Saturday, April 29, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Fourteen--What's The Top Priority In Your Life Right Now?

Right now the top priority in my life is a marriage/husband and myself. Fortunately, the two priorities work well together, in that if I am happy, the marriage thrives, and if the marriage thrives, I am happy.  :)  So when I go out and do things for me, like my writers group, or craft projects, or open mic poetry night, I come back refreshed and energetic, ready to dive back into the routine around here.

Friday, April 28, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Thirteen--Are You Putting Any Parts Of Your Life On Hold?

Currently, I don't feel as though any part of my life is on hold. For a lot of years, the writing was definitely on hold, but now I make sure that I do something writing related every day.  Some days that means doing a blog post, other days it's working on a manuscript, and still others it's searching out writing prompts or reading books about writing. I belong to a local writers group which meets twice a month, and I have also found a couple of writing groups on Facebook which are helpful.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Eleven--What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail And There Were No Limitation Of Resources?

If I couldn't fail, and resources were no obstacle, there are several things I'd like to consider

1) A Books and Cats cafe: Picture a bookstore with a coffee and pastry bar, and a separate room where, if they choose, patrons can read AND interact with cats/kittens available for adoption.  Sounds like heaven on earth for me!

2) Set up a community center of sorts, where kids could gather and hang out, play video games or board games, play sports (just friendly pickup games, not organized leagues or anything), start their own interest groups. We could do weekly movie nights, monthly book clubs, a Lego club, etc.

3) Set up a shelter for women and children who are trying to escape domestic violence situations. This is something that is VERY close to my heart, and I'd love to be able to set something like this up here in our town.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Ten--If You Could Do Something For Free For The Rest Of Your Life, What Would It Be?

Travel to all the places I'll probably never see otherwise: France, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Africa, Aruba, Bermuda....those would make a good start, at least.

Another thing I'd like to do is help children. Not sure exactly what I would do, but I'd start some type of program to work with abused kids.

Monday, April 24, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Nine--What Are Your Biggest Goals And Dreams

Most of my goals and dreams these days have to do with my writing. I just recently published print and ebook versions of a book of my poetry, as well as entering three poems in a contest AND submitting a short story to a contest. I would like to see some form of success from any or all of those in the near future.

My next writing project is to finish a book of short stories (many of which are based on the fragments/writers group exercises I've posted here). The goal is to have twenty of them in the first book and to continue producing books of twenty stories on a somewhat regular basis.

A dream of mine is to be able to travel to Paris someday. Maybe I can make enough money from the books to make that a reality. Who knows, right?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Eight--What Are You Worried About? Will It Matter Three Years From Now?

I am a professional worrier. I can ALWAYS find something to worry about, no matter how ridiculous it might be. 99.9% of the time, the things I worry about are not going to matter three years in the future.

One worry that will matter in the future is my health and the worry of having to deal with cancer again. That's not a worry I have all the time, but more often it happens at night when I'm having trouble sleeping, and I just start thinking of all the worst case scenarios. I suppose it is always in the back of my mind, but I try not to let it become the focus of my life.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Seven--What Do You Fear? How Can You Overcome It?

The first fear that comes to mind is snakes....I've been irrationally afraid of them since the age of five. I've managed to partially overcome it by being around non-poisonous varieties...I'm now even comfortable holding those for a short time.

Another fear is rejection, whether in my personal life or my writing life. The best way to overcome that one is to just put myself, or my writing, out in the world, and take a chance. I'll be doing just that next month when my revised book of poetry is released.

Friday, April 21, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Six--What Advice Would You Give To Yourself Three Years Ago?

In 2014, I was actually in a pretty good place. I had finished chemo and radiation, been declared cancer free, and started the reconstruction process.

I was dealing with some disappointments regarding family members, so one thing I would tell myself is to stop letting their actions impact my mood, as things are going to get progressively worse, and I just need to accept it for what it is and move on.

I would remind myself to be thankful every day for all my blessings, and to be good to myself--that I am lovable and loved, and that I deserve all the good things I have and the ones yet to come.

I would tell myself to stop letting fear get in the way of putting any of my writing out into the world, and not wait so long to publish the poetry or to get back into writing fiction.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Five--What are the three biggest things you've learned in life to date?

1) I am stronger than I would have imagined. And I'm referring to emotional strength here, not physical.

2) Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, you have to just put them in God's hands, keep praying for them, keep loving them, but STOP enabling them.

3) I am lovable, and I am loved.  :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

100 Days of Self-Exploration: Day Four--What Are Your Values?

This is a hard one for me to really put into words, for whatever reason. So....I found a list of values online and I'm listing here the ones from that list which figure prominently in my life.

Meaningful work

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Brain Bearing Scars

(Went to a poetry workshop at the library tonight, led by Joan Harris-check her website HERE--and we wrote a blitz poem. Will add an explanation of a blitz poem at the end of the post.)

Tax my patience
Tax my brain
Brain drain
Brain damage
Damage done
Damage unseen
Unseen angels
Unseen beauty
Beauty and the beast
Beauty fades away
Away we go
Away from home
Home sweet home
Homeward bound
Bound to fail
Bound by promises
Promises kept
Promises broken
Broken hearts
Broken dreams
Dreams become goals
Dreams come true
True grit
True love
Love unconditionally
Love scars
Scars don't heal
Scars remain

A blitz is a thirty-line poem comprised of connected phrases and images.

Line 1 is a short phrase or image
Line 2 is another short phrase or image using the same first word as the first word in Line 1.

Lines 3 and 4 are short phrases or images that use the last word of Line 2 as their first word.

Lines 5 and 6 are short phrases or images that use the last word of Line 4 as their first word, and so on until you've made it through 28 lines.

Line 29 is the last word of Line 28.

Line 30 is the last word of Line 27.

The title of the poem is the first word of line 3, a connecting word, and the first word of line 27.

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Three: What Are You Most Grateful For?

I am grateful for so many things:
1) being free of cancer
2) mature, responsible children
3) healthy, happy grandchildren
4) a husband who treats me incredibly well
5) a supportive group of friends I can count on
6) a writers group to encourage me, hold me accountable, and also be new friends.
7) a closer, more open relationship with my mother than I used to believe was possible.
8) music that can touch my heart
9) books that make me think, or make me laugh, or just help me relax.
10) the ability to learn something new every day.
(these are just the first ten that came to mind...there are dozens more!)

Monday, April 17, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Two--What Are You Passionate About?

I am passionate about many things. Most importantly, I am passionate about my family: my husband, my children, my grandchildren. I am generally a quiet, reserved person, but if someone messes with a member of my family, I can become a tiger. I will do whatever I think is in the best interest of a family member, especially if they are not in a position to advocate for themselves, even if it means that another family member gets upset with me in the process.
In a larger sense, my passion is children. I have always enjoyed working with children, seeing them learn and grow over time--and it's been amazing to watch them grow to adults, knowing that I have played some part in their life, either as a Sunday school teacher, a kindergarten teacher, a babysitter, a friend's mom, etc.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day One--Who Are You?

I am Teresa Dene (Danner) Kander. I am the daughter of Richard Ward Danner and Gloria Dene (Johnson) Evans. I am the former wife of Douglas Brian Rankin and George Amyl Haffelt Jr. (both deceased) and the current wife of Barry Richard Kander. I am the mother of Brian Alan Rankin, Samantha Adrienne (Rankin) Swan, and Amylia Marie (Haffelt) Handwerker. I am the grandmother of Micheal Lee Swan, Annamea Kay Swan, and Lucian Alexander Rankin.
I am a Christian who is no longer part of any organized religion, because I choose to follow the words of Jesus as they speak to my heart, not the words spoken from a pulpit. I am a teacher, hopefully, every day of my life, as I try to offer inspiration and encouragement to all. I am a writer who feels more empowered to listen to her muse each day and less inclined to listen to those who don't believe in me.
I am living a life after breast cancer, finding the joy in every day and doing the things I've always said I would do "one day,"---since we never know when today could be the LAST day.
(Stay tuned for the whole 100 days as we all learn more about who I am!!)