Surgical Incisions and a Major Award

As the calendar tells the story, today we bid farewell to Summer and greet the Fall. Growing up, Summer was always my favorite season, but I guess that was probably because I disliked school. Now, as an adult and a parent, I find Summer to be the most stressful time in my life. The days are long and the kids play late, go to bed late, so I go to bed even later, and I run on thinner fumes than I do the rest of the year. In addition, the industry I work in finds its most hectic months during Summer, so work gets crazy.

Coming off the heels of Summer 2012, I am more exhausted than I’ve been my whole life. I’m also older than I’ve been my whole life, and the flurry of activity I’ve recently been through has tapped my aging vessel to its hilt. I feel that I’ve lived a dozen summers in just this last one. And there’s been much internal change during these recent months. Though I’ve had less time to write than ever, I am internally hemorrhaging muse more profusely than I have in the past, which is causing a mounting pressure in my mind and spirit, and this pressure is building with each day I lack the capacity to release written words. I feel like one of those people who experiences some sort of trauma and develops bleeding on the brain, and the surgeon is frantically applying a scalpel to release the swelling. I guess that’s what writing and blogging has been doing for me, which might make each of you my surgeons, prolonging my life with small incisions to release the pressure. And there are other releasers – other surgical incisions.

To list a few:
– Music. I’ve always adored music (who doesn’t?), but its role in my life has become more crucial lately. I’ve performed music a great deal in the past, but I refuse to call myself a musician because musicians are often a painfully insecure and miserable lot. (But that describes me well these days, so perhaps I ought to call myself one.) Something I started doing at Summer’s beginning was to stop listening to the radio. When commuting, I listen to only my iPod or Pandora; absent from my ears are ads or the stress causing blabber of talk radio. Is the media banter about the upcoming election driving you crazy? I’m blissfully unaware. I’ve not heard a single presidential ad yet.

– Water. Around May, I started drinking it by the gallons. Aside from coffee, it’s the only thing I drink. I always drink it through a straw, and it seems to calm my nerves a little each time I sip. It’s also one of the more likely reasons for the 30+ pounds of weight I’ve dropped this summer.

– Reading. I’ve re-emphasized my intake of literature in recent months. Downloading books electronically has helped a lot, because I have very little time to read. Having the ability to read on multiple devices, including my phone if I find I’m stuck waiting somewhere and have some time to cram reading in – it makes a big difference. I recently started reading Stephen King’s “The Stand” for the first time. (I’m a loser for waiting so long, I know.) That book was my late father’s favorite; he spoke of it for months after reading, and it now makes me think a lot of him. I’m also reminded that King is probably the most talented writer of our time. Unbelievable, that guy.

– Jesus. This summer – or this past year, really, I’ve experienced a truer encounter with Jesus, even as I’ve grown more frustrated and exasperated with church traditions. I love Him more than I did, and I understand more now His love for all humanity. Dirty or clean. Religious or not. Strong or weak. Right or left. He not only loves us, I think that guy actually likes us. Go figure.

I want to bring attention to one special “surgeon”, who managed to perform a crucial incision at the perfect time. This week at work was a killer. Pressure is high as we close out a financial quarter that has been largely disappointing. But on Friday, I experienced the sort of joy displayed by the famous father in “A Christmas Story”. Arriving in the mail – a major award!

Ok, so the award was actually a lot better than a leg lamp 🙂

A couple weeks ago, I was fortunate to win a prize, awarded by the lovely Boomie over at It’s unlikely any of you reading are not already familiar with Boomie, because she’s everywhere on WordPress, but if you don’t already know her, do stop by her blog. She has a habit of transforming herself into a cool breeze and blowing across your face on stifling hot days. In my case, the cool breeze was a new Kindle! I was astounded when it arrived, and I am incredibly grateful. As mentioned, I’ve taken to doing all my reading electronically, and this awesome new device will allow me to do so in a more elegant, less clunky way.

When I arrived home on Friday, I walked up to my seven-year-old and said, “Son, writing is the most important subject in school. If you can write, you can do anything! You may even grow up and write a blog some day, and then you may win a contest and win a Kindle!”

Viewing the newly published novel “The Seneca Scourge” by the talented Carrie Rubin on my major award.

Categories: awards

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , ,

45 replies »

  1. Congrats on the Kindle. I love Boomie. I can see how that could make a difference. I want one, too. Hope you get some writing out. Of course, when you can’t do it that’s when it all wants to come out…naturally.

  2. A real nice blog. And thanks for referencing Jean Sheperd, may he rest in peace. I didn’t know Boomie was giving out prizes. Terrific that you won.

  3. “The Stand” is an incredible read, glad you’re taking time away from stress to read such an awesome book. Keep working at it whenever you can, I’m sure all the words of all your stories will work their way out – nice work too, winning that prize. Enjoy your autumn – ultimate season of change, maybe this bodes well for your writing.

  4. I say this covering my face in shame…I have never read a Stephen King book. I heard they were scary… Me and scary don’t go well lol. I just might jump on his trail next month.

    Great post as always Luke! Thank you for the generous mention. So glad you won and like the kindle. I am sure in your son’s time, the prizes would be so cooler, considering the wave of technology :).

    Have a great Sunday!

    • Feel no shame, dear one. I read very few of King’s books for the same reason. He is insanely talented, but he’s also a sick dude. “The Stand”, however, is not a horror novel. It’s an amazing good vs evil, masterpiece of work. If you’re going to read one, that’s the one to start with. Thanks again for the amazing gift!

  5. Congrats on your Kindle win and thank you so much for showcasing my book on it! Very thoughtful of you and what a pleasant surprise for me this morning. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

    I, too, think King is a brilliant storyteller. I barely have to read two sentences before I’m sucked into his stories. I haven’t read “Cell” yet so I’m thinking of checking that out. Have you read that one?

    Oh, and congrats on the weight loss!

  6. Congrats on the win. Sounds like a hectic season in your life but it also sounds like your perspective and priorities are spot on. Also, dude! Losing weight is NOT easy so I tip my hat to you. I would like to drop 10 to 15 pounds but it is not easy. Would like to hear more from you sometime on how you did it. Also, that the Creator of all things not just loves but likes this hot mess is amazing. I don’t even like me. Ha.

    • Oops, thought I’d responded to you a couple days ago, but my WordPress app is being weird.
      Thanks for the kind response, my friend! On the weight loss – not too sure I know exactly how it’s gone so well. I do think the huge water intake has a lot to do with it. I’m also suffering from intense anxiety, and I think it’s contributed, but I don’t recommend that as a long term weight program! I think a big thing is just being concious of what you eat. I’ve had a tendency to mindlessly snack. I’ve focused on not doing that and it’s really helped.
      Thanks again for reading bro.

  7. WHAT A WONDERFUL WRITER YOU ARE!!! Congratulations on winning boomies contest and what a prize! isn’t boomie the best she has such a sweet blog but a serious adament side about her home country as well, I among many consider her a dear friend. I am also grateful I found your blog through whatever medium I did so for I truly enjoy your it! God Bless! 🙂

  8. Reading this, I can feel the oppressiveness of your summer…and also the relief of the refreshing (Boomie) breeze. Congrats on your win! Wish you many hours of reading (and writing) pleasure in the cooler months. 🙂

  9. Big Congrats on so many levels!
    First for the peace you have been able to find by actively not listening to the political banter the media loves to kill us with unlike Carole King’s famous song “Killing us softly with his words”
    Second, Congrats for taking the moments needed to become closer to Jesus, I find he is always there. It is us too busy to be with him, doesn’t that sound arrogant?
    Third, Big congrats with your wonderful award and your prize, a new Kindle. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to have earned something, a prize, a praise, an award and not purchased but recognized.

    Legionwriter I am addicted to your eloquent writing, even your hectic summer pace through your writing today seemed to make me feel so much better!
    Your advice to your son is the truth…when you can write well, express yourself clearly, the world is at your finger tips!
    Again, many thanks!!!

    • Well, I won’t go so far as to say I earned the Kindle. Much more a gift from Ms. Boomie than anything – awarded for having an opinion on her wonderful writes.
      Thanks for the kind words, as always, dear Lotta.

  10. First of all Congrats! That is a major prize!! I don’t think I could live without my Kindle. I check almost all of my books out from the library, I couldn’t afford to pay for all the books I read otherwise!! A lot of people I know did know they had this option. Hopefully this lil tip helps you too 🙂 And some libraries have free legal music downloads, mp3’s that go right into iTunes, so you can add to your playlist too!!
    Second, congrats on your weight loss!! I’m a huge advocate of subbing everything with water (well except when it comes to alcohol, lol) 30 lbs is major!
    And lastly, I’m so happy for you that you have found comfort in religion. It sounds like you have more than enough going on, but at least you can take refuge in the fact that you have the first three things.
    Many congrats!! xoxo

  11. Wow, so many items within this post that I identify with!

    1. I haven’t listened to the radio in ages, but couldn’t live without my iPod in the car (or a disc in the stereo). I stopped reading the news during Lent, mostly due to political ads, and other than sport, I’ve avoided news altogether, and really don’t miss it. More time for writing, music, and well, housecleaning, sigh… 🙂

    2. Other than water, all I drink is tea, with a little milk. Been trying to drink more water lately, but it ends up as lemon tea, no sugar. Once a week have a latte, that’s a big treat. Is the weight loss a good thing?

    3. The Stand is one of my all time fave books, oh good grief! Such an amazing story from an incredible author.

    4. I am always amazed at Christ’s boundless love, as if I can only accept it in bits and pieces, and he’s been in my life for, well, a long time. 🙂 And yes, that he likes us, as well as loves us, slaps me more often than not. Why that is so hard to accept, I’m not altogether sure, but the older I get, the more I relax in that truth, which is another gift in itself.

    So thanks ever so much for stopping by my blog. Honesty is a rare treat these days, and I appreciate yours! 🙂

    • Wow yourself! Thanks for the thoughtful comments! Is the weight loss a good thing? Certainly yes, as I could still stand to lose about 15 more, but I must confess that some of the weight loss has been a result of intense anxiety that I’ve been suffering under for several months. So, I’d like to lose a little more, but I’d like a healthier method. 🙂
      So glad I bumped into you! Blessings on you.

  12. Congratulations on the kindle, lucky you!! 😉 Your post resonates so much with how I’ve felt at times! What happens to me is worse though, because I feel that pressure from the things I want to say building up in my head but I can’t seem to conjure the right words to describe them! I can’t say it’s writer’s block because I am not a writer but it’s some sort of block that just doesn’t allow my ideas to communicate well enough with my fingers so that they can type them. So, they remain pent up in my head until it happens (and let me tell you that sometimes it takes a while)!

    By the way, summer was my favorite season as a kid, too, but mostly because I anticipated the excitement of that first day back to school and the smell of old books lingering in the school hallways! Yes, I was one of those kids! >.<

    Hope you're having a great week, my friend!!

    • You’re not a writer?? Coulda fooled me. 🙂 This phenomenon you describe, where the stuff builds up, but you struggle to make it to words, that is the case for everyone. All a writer does is grope and usually feel a trifle let down by how far they missed what they really wanted to say. A writer is simply one who keeps trying anyway. Thanks for the kind words!

  13. You are so welcome!! I’m more of a rambling blogger who writes for her own amusement but I must confess that it does make me feel a tiny bit like a writer when others take interest in my ramblings! 😉

    And by the way, sir, losing thirty five pounds is excellent! I recently started walking an hour a day and I’ve only lost about three pounds in the last three weeks! >.< Hopefully once I build up the stamina and start jogging I will start seeing better results.

    Have a wonderful day! (:

  14. Your creative soul is soaring on wings of life. Your writing is a clear catharses. Its those thoughts from feelings that turn into these words you share. Its the expressing that you heal from every time yo place a word into forever. I have been a writer all my life and although I am blessed in that I have other creative outlet it is with words that I assimilate, I process.
    It may the healthiest thing I do, write.

    On music and the radio I applaud you! Nothing will deplete your soul quicker. Oh wait! Television may be faster. Also refusing to call myself a musician even though it is what fed my soul for many early years. I have just been through a realization how empty I am without music being in my life. Not radio music. Music I choose or someone chooses for me.

    You have a wonderful blog because of what you share, the willingness on your part to be so real and honest with your feelings about life. Its a refreshing thing to read and I wanted you to know how grateful I am to read what you share. You desrev to win and be recognized, Congrats to you friend.

    Summers end, Autumns glory feed my soul. Always have.This is the time when the green plants turn their eyes to the sun and know its time to tuck in for winter. I too take my cues from the sun. I too tuck in for winter, with my good book list and I begin.
    I read the Stand back in the 8o’s great story. It has stuck with me forever. King’s book Thinner was another that shook me to my core. he can do that. Enjoy, I like your connection to the book and your late father. God Speed. I am sorry that you are dealing with grief too. Having seen both my parents leave was my most growing time. I think its meant to be that way and am assuming that you are in that in that place of great growth.

    God has put angels on your shoulders to light your way when the lights get dim from painful memories.

    May God’s blessings fill your days, laughter fill your heart, and joy find your spirit!

    • If there were an award for comments, you just got it, Baroness. 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading and for the encouraging words. Powerful things, words are. Incredibly powerful things. Goes beyond just us in these fleshly cells, I think.

      • How kind and lovely of you to say, Thank you.~

        Words.. yes they are a the most magical things. Its always amazed me what a kind gentle word can do to calm an anxiety in a friend, clear an anger wth a family…
        Its also amazing to me how we communicate such meaningful and deep feelings in places such as blogs, where there is no body language, no eye contact..
        I rather fancy how feelings are still expressed without that touch on the shoulder, a tender smile…how they are still possibly expressed.. with just words. Amazing magic!

        And you have it my friend~BB

        I so enjoy your blog, so please, thanks are not necerssary Okay?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s