Samara O'Shea

Archive for September, 2008

Joss Stone’s Ode to the Break-up Letter

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Watching one YouTube video always leads to another, leads to another, and leads to another. I don’t remember what I went to YouTube for initially, but the unintended video I came across today was Joss Stone’s You Had Me. I love the song and have seen the video before but don’t remember a break-up letter playing such a prominent roll. This time I noticed and thought I’d share.

Many people think lowly of break-up letters. The rule of thumb is that everyone deserves a face to face break-up. Not to knock the face to face thing—it is admirable and bold. Let’s be honest though, not everyone has the audacity to do it. I’ve had guys end things with me by not ending things at all. They just disappear with no explanation. In that case then, yes, I think the break-up letter is gallant. In the Joss video case, I think she just needs to get out and get away from this guy as soon as she can and decides a letter is her ticket.

The Wall Diary of Tommie Elton Mabry

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

A friend of mine sent me the link to this extraordinary story. I have never met this friend face to face. He read my book and wrote me a letter as a result. We’ve been friends ever since =) In any case, the story is that of Tommie Elton Mabry, 53—a homeless man who lived in an abandoned apartment for two months following Hurricane Katrina. To cope with the uncertainty, the silence, and the two feet of water on the floor, Mabry kept a journal—on the apartment walls. As with most Katrina stories, this one is both sad and triumphant. Mabry says of his writing experience, “Sometimes, expressing yourself, it gives you the basis to keep going, keep going. You’ve got to keep going. Keep going and get through this.” The walls have since been removed by conservators at the Louisiana State Museum for use in a permanent Katrina exhibit.

The Tremendous World I Have Inside My Head

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

I’m feeling mighty grateful right now because there have been a handful of bloggers who’ve kindly written about me and my book this past month. In the name of “Doing unto others . . .” I’d like to shout out a great blog (and fellow blogger) I just read about Writing As Meditation by Susan Smalley.

She sums up part of the written-word experience:
I often study my thoughts and feelings through writing and I doubt I can destroy my journals either; the words seem to have a life of their own. It will likely be left to my children to wade through the pages – throwing most away but perhaps saving a few words of wisdom found among the morass. With age I’ve come to see the wisdom we all share and the barriers we create to hide it from ourselves. In writing it can often be revealed. A wise person knows he knows but does not profess it. He writes in ways to be forgotten but time yields to their discovery.

I have every intention of shouting out my fellow authors, too. Stay tuned!

Jessica Simpson’s Mood Journals

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Between reading back issues of New York magazine on the beach this past weekend I indulged People with Jessica Simpson on the cover. The publication is like rock candy—no substance but oh so good. Before talking about her new country album and before admitting that yes, some of the songs on that album are about John Mayer, Miss Simpson talked about her different colored journals. She has black and blue books for when she’s feeling down, but lately she’s only been writing in her pink diary because she’s madly in love (with Tony Romo).

Keeping different colored journals isn’t something I see myself doing, but since I advocate everyone keeping or creating journals that work best for them I gladly share this method with you in case it’s one you might consider. I think a stack of colored journals by one’s bedside could serve an honest reminder that our emotions are set on spin cycle—meaning they’re always coming back. There will never come a day when sadness says, “Well, we’ve spent enough time together. I won’t be seeing you anymore.” Or when anger gives his final resignation. I find when I allow unpleasant emotions to run a full course through me—in other words I don’t deny that I’m feeling them and I try to feel them fully by listening to music or writing in my journal—then I am granted happiness and certainty for much longer periods of time.