Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Unraveling a Tapestry....

 “The mind is like a richly woven tapestry, in which the colors are distilled from the experiences of the senses and the designs drawn from the convolutions of the intellect…” 
– Carson McCullers

It is often that I think about stories, myths, and tales. Those I hold captive in my mind, those friends have told me through the years, the ones that I have yet to read, the ones I intend to write, the ones that still leave imprints on my memory, the ones that haunt the darkness and feed off the light…They are small pieces of our soul. They are the pieces that we often overlook, the moments we taste when the wind falls around us and the sun shines brightly on our faces. They are the pieces that crumble with every broken heart, that ache to be shared with the world when anger flows through us. They are the pieces of us that we tend to try to cover up and are those pieces that we hold in front of us to hide the inner being we still don’t understand.  At night, they are the pieces that hazily come together in our dreams, they talk to us when we are afraid, they fill us when we are lonely and they also have the power to drain us when met by unexpected foes.

To tell a story is to unravel a tapestry. No matter the ending, no matter the beginning, the tapestry is no longer the same as it was. The listener takes it and makes it something else. Their mind now holds the pieces; their mind is now in control of its design. They paint the picture and they decide its destiny. It now infiltrates their moments…the listener can feed it, share it, destroy it. Their soul is now pierced by its magic. Even in print a story is not the same to two people as it might be to the one who wrote it. That is its beauty that is its horror.  That is where the writer sees fear incarnate.  It is in print where we place our words, share the stories, the pieces of our souls…naively thinking that the listener/reader will see it exactly as it was intended. Would any of us really have it any other way? These different perspectives, these different spins are what we used to get ourselves into this passion to begin with. Inspiration is what made the tapestry exist, it fueled us when we felt lost, pushed us to create what we desired and aggravated us when we were unable to explain our thoughts. 

In today’s world where social media makes it so easy for the listener/reader to breakdown or build up the stories of our soul we must remember that it is our belief in its greatness that matters. Their version, their vision, their design of what we share is theirs – but it was spurred by the ideas, the passions, the love, the hate, the fear, the rebellion of what we put out there. The writer is doing as he/she should, writing; writing because their soul is not content to just be pieces that no one knows, to be silent, to be hidden away. It is yearning to be listened to, to be read, to be shared and to be recreated into whatever destiny awaits…the tapestry is ever changing, its colors, its design is not stagnate…it is gloriously being weaved into new hearts and minds with every comment, every opinion. Continue to write, to explore those stories because without them what a colorless landscape this would be…
Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and good things will be yours.
-Swedish Proverb

Monday, May 28, 2012

An ENDLESSLY fun Contest...

Well Kiersten White just happens to have this amazing series about if you do not know Evie...boy you should! Pink Tazers, Supernatural Creatures, Adventures...

Anyway you have plenty of time to discover Evie's world (download it, read it, borrow it...don't steal it...I am a writer too and well it's frowned upon in all circles.... ;o) ) Right now you need to be counting down to the release of ENDLESSLY. Oh my goodness I cannot tell you how great Evie is..

Listen, go and wander over to Kiersten's blog enter her ARC contest - she has a challenge out for us all on this one (from her blog): I want you to tell me how a supernatural creature would disappoint you in reality.
 How much fun is that? Batman - hairy pits, Spider Man - VERY CLINGY as a get the idea.

Without further ado, here is my contest entry:

Soooo today has been pretty interesting. I mean, it has been a really crappy day. First I forgot to shampoo my hair in the shower = greasy blonde mess; then I failed to shave my left leg = one legged pants are NEVER in fashion (no matter what your skeevy little brother tells you - the laughter will ring in my ears for decades!); last but not least I almost crashed my mom's car into the hardware store downtown because this HOT green eyed guy was standing on top of the Dairy Bar. Yeah ON TOP! 
Well he was up there until he slowed down the car before impact...yeah he flew or something - pretty cool, found out he's like uber strong, magical, save the world kind of guy. 
Of course I was psyched, thrilled and embarrassed...then he breathed on me. Really, really, REALLY bad halitosis...really bad. Hot eyes though. 

Oh and the shiny glitter handprint left on the hood....yeah, my dad will never be seen in this car again.

So, I hope you like it, but more than that I hope you discover Kiersen and all her witty loveliness...she is a doll.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Change is our only constant....

Well, it’s official. My 18 year old niece is now a High School Graduate. She IS coming into her own and we could not be more proud. We are preparing again to just be me & the Royal Hubs at home… She does not leave for college until August, but the mindset of her being adult forces us to consider how our lives will again change.

How can it simultaneously feel as though it was just the other month that she came to live with us, yet the couple of years we have shared make it also seem as though she has always been here?

Life is funny that way. Time does fly, we do seem to be flitting along this wisp of a life at rapid speed but I also feel like time is allowing me to cruise a little. I don’t feel my age. I have been told I don’t look it. I don’t feel tired. I don’t feel rundown. For the first time in a very long time I feel relaxed, ready, excited for another new chapter. My writing in the last year has definitely been a backburner, I don’t regret it because the effort I have been able to put towards The Duchess, my medical “detours”, and also the Royal Hub is worth it. But I am thrilled beyond anything that I have already been plotting in my head, that I have been reading more again, that I have had dreams that make my typing fingers itch and that right now I am typing a blog entry.
Please don’t think I have completely abandoned visiting the blogs I love so much. Thank you Google reader, thank you NOOK, APPLE, all the technology in my life has allowed me to at least see where everyone’s journey has taken them and I am so excited for all the endeavors I am seeing out there. God definitely has great timing, it does not always make sense but Faith teaches me patience and in patience I find so many good things that I would have overlooked.
I want to wish every graduate out there a congrats…whether it is High School, College, Masters, levels at work, levels in life…moving forward is something we cannot stop. Change is evidently here to stay and with it we discover so much and are allowed opportunities to create a positive change on those around us & within ourselves. Life is an amazing rollercoaster, we get to so many heights, dip our toes in the lows, feel the wind whip around us, feelings of fear, excitement, pleasure…what a ride life is. We are so blessed to get the chance to have our ticket to ride. Don’t waste it by sitting on the bench and watching everyone else fly by you…
I look forward to summer days…hours by the pool…fingers tapping on the keys…head bouncing to music…laughter, lots of laughter…warm nights with mosquitoes…long sun filled afternoons where the sky is painted orange, purple, blue and yellow…I invite you to not give up on me, to still check the castle for updates, to laugh every chance you get, to embrace the changes(whatever they may be) that surround you and to hold on tight – this castle intends to have a phenomenal summer!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wading Through Menopause While Projecting a Good Attitude....

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our Attitudes."
- Charles R Swindoll
I have never been someone who delights in angry situations, who chooses to get mad rather than let it go. I work hard to keep my attitude in check. It is on occasion that I let it slip, that I snap at someone or take it out on those closest to me when really they have nothing to do with the issue at hand. Like most of us it is easy to blame the mood on hormones (the lack of or overload), a bad day at work or just because I don't feel right.  Lately I have been the subject of many discussions pertaining to moods. Not that I have had bad ones or anything more that I am a little like a lab rat being watched by those closest to me. You see after all the physical changes from December there are assumptions about how my attitude and demeanor may/might/will/won't change:
"Well, she needs to be on hormones, they will really help." "Go ahead and get her to a shrink, it will help your marriage. My wife went crazy after her hysterectomy." "I don't know man, I mean, they say women just don't handle the hormone changes well...maybe she will be different." "So is she acting any different?" "How is Courtney? How is she handling everything?" 

Yes, there are new things I am learning about. I never thought at 31 I would be wading through menopause searching desperately for any air conditioner, fan, iceberg that might lead me to wherever it is I won't sweat through my clothes at the drop of a hat or that I would be experiencing insomnia like nothing before. (The fact that I can no longer carry a child obviously is a hilarious irony to the fact that I am getting less sleep than I would with a newborn). Even with these new things to learn about I am trying to take everything in stride. I am in no way angry, upset or disappointed in how my life has evolved. I know that there are things that I cannot control and that the way I approach them relates to the way I progress through this life, it affects the attitude that I project onto others. Yes, I have down days, days where I imagine things differently - but even in those moments I have a supreme amount of clarity. I KNOW that I am here today because of amazing people who had the right attitude when they dealt with my rare case. I KNOW that the attitude they had when talking to me about everything helped mold my response. I trusted them because of their own convictions and because their attitude made me feel more at peace with the changes I would encounter. My attitude toward recovery helped my husband and my family relax. So Mr. Swindoll was quite right in his statement: We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. It may seem too easy or some days too difficult but either way it is always our choice. I am choosing to see the silver lining each day. I am choosing to look at the blessings I am given and acknowledge their greatness. I am selecting an attitude that hopefully will leave a positive imprint on everyone I encounter....So what will your attitude be today?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Holding On and Letting Go...

"It's everything you wanted, It's everything you don't. It's one door swinging open and one door swinging closed. Some prayers find an answer, some prayers never know. Holding on and Letting go."
-Ross Copperman, Holding On and Letting Go
There are songs in this life that touch me. That move me to moments of clarity and make me feel as though someone out there understands. This one has been on repeat for the last month. I talk often about how you must live to be able to write. You must recognize that it is this amazing world around us that reminds us how great a story can be. Life inspires us to dream beyond the realities we see every day. It reminds us that in the pages of a book great love can be found, great pain can be survived and great things can happen to those who feel they are lost among the wreckage. Words found on clean crisp pages tell us to remember that evil can be defeated, that cancer can be beaten before it begins, that loss can bring us to a place where we appreciate all that we have.

Losing options in life is not something we always think of. We are built to be hopeful, to look to the good things and to overcome the dark times. Occasionally we give in, we let the sadness creep up our bodies and steal a little of the sunlight. I strive everyday to not let darkness cloud my mind, my life or my heart. I know that losing options is inevitable in life. We often lose them because we choose to, we choose another path, we walk in a different direction and never look back. This past December I lost an option. We chose to take a direction that will forever remove the possibility of holding a mini me or a mini version of my husband. We did not do this blindly or out of the blue. Our window was rapidly sliding closed and I know that God stood with me at every discussion, during the surgery, after it, and as I sit here. I am discovering, as my recovery progresses, that life is worth even more than I originally knew. Faith flows through me and yet I let the hard time cloud my mind, each day I work to rise above it. My recovery is painful, but less than some; it is long, but shorter than others; it is a time where I am understanding what it all means; it is a process. We often hold on to things that really should be released. I am still clinging to the things I will never get to experience...I know this. Each day I am forcing myself to let go, bit by bit, chunk by chunk and to remember that Holding on and Letting Go is a part of life. We don't always get what we ask for, but that doesn't mean we are not exactly where we are supposed to be, doing exactly what we are supposed to do and learning the lesson meant just for us. We must have faith that as we let go we are giving our problems, our issues and our troubles to our Faith. We are letting it go, trusting our life will be guided by a loving God.

I am so blessed. Today I am writing again. Words that hopefully will help someone else, will bring them some sort of comfort, happiness or compassion. I don't know if it will be successful, but the fact that I am sitting here, that I am thinking about life, talking to family, loving my dog and my husband... well it means that sometimes we just have to wade through what we let go and recognize the things we get to hold onto, that we get to enjoy. Don't ever let a supposed unanswered prayer take you down a dark road. Because you are where you need to be, sometimes you just need to recognize that the options in front of you may be foreign but they are yours and yours alone. Climb out of the dark, find the light and see that life gives you so many options that even when you think they are gone another one will slide into place..... and that sometimes, every so often we are blessed to be able to recognize how amazing this life is and it is worth inspiring each and every one of us to be better, to use our talents, to discover new ones and to live.