Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Random Musings’ Category

Vanished: A Year’s Worth of Blogs

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

You’ll notice that the blog directly below this one is from June 2014. My website was down in October of this year for a few days and when it came back up, a year’s worth of blogs had vanished. Fortunately, those blogs were not lengthy. I’ve stepped back from blogging in the past few years. Most of my 2014/2015 blogs were links to my advice column at The Daily Basics. While it was unfortunate to lose my random musings for the past year and a half, I would have been much more upset had I lost all that I wrote from 2007 – 2012.

I write this as an explanation for why it appears as though I haven’t blogged in so long.

When to Call it Quits on an Unrequited Crush

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Happy theoretical spring everyone! (It is literally still winter here in the northeast). In any case, check out my latest write up: When to Call it Quits on an Unrequited Crush. I can’t promise it will keep you warm, but I hope it makes you smile.

The Foreseeable Future

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

I had every intention of blogging more regularly when I last wrote in July…then my summer class began and I wondered what I was thinking. Summer classes are accelerated—six weeks instead of twelve. Alas, I continue to enjoy school and, as a result, blogging will continue to be sporadic. I do plan to take reader Anna’s excellent advice and turn a section or two that didn’t make it into the book into a blog post. There is one large section that we cut, and I’m hoping to whittle it down and submit it to The Huffington Post.

The one thing that I now know I must stop, unfortunately, is the letter-writing service. For the firts half of the year I had an away message sent to anyone requesting a letter that said something like, “Taking a break…be back in June.” June became July. July is now August and I know it’s something I won’t have time to do for the foreseeable future. I am so glad that I did do it and continue to be amazed that people trusted me with their stories. Being a therapist really began for me when I was hearing those personal tales and writing those letters. I am sad to stop. This is the response letter requesters will now receive:

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting LetterLover. I have been blessed with the opportunity to write letters on behalf of others for eight years. Unfortunately, it is time to close up shop. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree and getting ready to promote my next book (out in February 2014). I cannot dedicate myself to this wonderful craft the way I once did. I hope that you will still write and send the letter you had planned to ask for my help with. The recipient will surely appreciate your effort!

I may re-start my services someday, but at this point I cannot tell when that might be. I am grateful that you stopped by and wish you all the best.

Warmest regards,

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

“Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” is the second chapter in Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden. I have not read the book in its entirety, but I love the title of this chapter. A few years ago I came to the conclusion that everyone should write an essay (or journal entry, poem, song, etc.) with this title. I think I’d like to write a piece with this title every five years or so. Because surely where I lived and what I lived for will change!

My first attempt was made back in 2009. I had completely forgotten about it until I stumbled across some old Word documents hidden deep down in my hard drive. This draft was rough and I didn’t finish it. When I make another attempt I’m sure I’ll start from scratch. For now, however, I share the first version:

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For

I lived in loud rooms and quiet corners. I am a translator. I experience emotions and translate them to the page. I cried. I cursed. I hid from the sun and stood naked in the rain. I lived long enough to know that kindness is the only medicine and I try (I said try) to have some with me wherever I go.

I lived to tell about it. Whatever it was. A night of passion. An afternoon of ennui. I grew determined to describe it.

I lived to experience and study those experiences to find out which ones were given to me and which ones others fought tirelessly for. I lived to experience and do everything in my limited power to make sure that every person is welcome to have the rights and privileges thereof. Even if the only thing I can do is helplessly watch YouTube and pray.

I already know what my last regret will be. It will be not being able to find the right adjectives to describe death. Whether I fade away slowly in my sleep, take a rogue bullet, am smashed between a Prius and a Honda Accord, choke in agony with someone’s angry hands around my neck, or try aimlessly to reach for the surface while my body pulls me down deeper into the water, I won’t know how to describe what I’m experiencing.

And if the glorious words do come like an unexpected comet across the sky and I say “I’ve got it! I know just how to describe it,” there won’t be a pen and paper handy to get it down just in time.

Video Art

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

I teamed up with some fabulous filmmaker friends of mine and made a short piece of video art—it’s me reciting “The Raven.” I memorized the poem in college and always wanted to recite it on stage. In the age of YouTube, we can create our own stage. The video is in its final phases of editing. I’ll share once it’s ready. For now, here are some photos from the shoot.




Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was wonderful and exhausting. I did log back into Facebook on Sunday afternoon. I’ll tell more about my experience later in the week. For now, I will simply share the game my sister shared with us over Easter Brunch.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

This is something I have never thought about: people who design stamps. I love stamps and obviously someone must create each design, but I confess I’ve never given those designers any thought. Until today! Check out this interview with designer Suzanne Kleinwaks. It’s part of a series celebrating two of my favorite things: women’s history and stamps. Another stamp designer who electronically crossed my path today is Paul Rogers. He designed a splendid stamp in honor of the Cherry Blossom Centennial. This stamp commemorates the 100-year-old gifting of 3,020 cherry trees from Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C. I confidently count cherry trees among my favorite things, too.