Samara O'Shea

Archive for January, 2009

I’ll Admit I’m Tempted

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

I’m not shy about saying I prefer old-fashioned journaling—the kind where pen meets paper. Last week, however, someone sent me the link to Life Journal (it’s journal / diary writing software) and I didn’t roll my eyes. I read the pitch and pondered. I thought about a good girlfriend of mine who told me once, “I would keep a journal, but my husband would read it. I know he would!” This password-protected program would be perfect for someone in her situation. It’s also good for people who just prefer the computer—who are happy to do away with paper for the rest of their lives. Honestly, if pen and paper is what’s keeping you from journaling then I’m all for new methods. Even a paper lover like me is tempted by the potential to be so organized about my practice.

I tried to download the free demo software but was unsuccessful. If any of you are able, let me know what you think.

The Answers Aren’t Blowing in the Wind

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

They’re actually closer than you think. Have I waxed poetic about Anne Lamott yet? She’s in my top five favorite writers of all time. I was reading her book Plan B last night and came across this simple but oh so true sentence:

From the wise old pinnacle of my years, I can tell you that what you’re looking for is already inside you.

I couldn’t believe it more! Life is all about digging. Digging to the center of yourself. We get deeper and deeper with age and experience. It’s good to have a shovel handy.

The Red-Letter Assault

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

I was in Walgreens today looking to buy one final New Year’s card to send to my friend Kevin. I innocently turned the corner toward the card section and . . . gasp! A sea of red. This happens to me every year. You’d think I’d get used to it: Your regularly scheduled Hallmark cards have been replaced by a wall of Valentine’s Day cards to remind you that you’re single every day from now until February 14th!

Ugh. Is what I’ve said in year’s past—the single gal’s instinctive response—but last year I decided to get over it. I bought several of those V-Day cards and sent them to my girlfriends (married and single alike). Just a reminder that I love them dearly and that life is good no matter what. This year the great wall of red actually served as an appreciated reminder that I need to get my act together because I’m teaching a workshop on love letter writing in early February. Believe it or not that has me really looking forward to Valentine’s Day.

You should look forward to it too! No matter what your relationship status. If you’re single then pick at least one person who you know would love love love to received a happy V-Day card. If you’re in a relationship then back away from the cards. Slowly. That’s right! Steer clear of Hallmark this year. Write your own love letter. It will last longer than the flowers and be cherished more than the expensive dinner. I promise.

Honestly, I Don’t Know Who These People Are

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

But! They come highly recommend by New York Magazine and The New York Times.

Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 is the recently published diary of Susan Sontag. I happened upon a review of the book in this week’s NY Mag. I copied this quote of Sontag’s regarding journal writing, “I do not just express myself more openly than I could do to any person; I create myself.” Exactly! Yes! Yes! Yes! That’s what a journal is. I’ll buy the book based on that line alone.

The other book—a collection of letters—Graham Greene: A Life in Letters was written up in this week’s NY Times Book Review. Apparently he wrote 24 novels. Sounds like a man worth reading about to me.

I hope everyone’s year is off to a smashing start! Mine certainly is.