Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Publishing Credits


Skin Deep - Long and Short of It - Romance Ezine

Aunt Dorothy Knows Best - Long Story Short Ezine

As Time Goes By - The Storyteller Magazine

Nativity Idol - Children's Christmas play - Contemporary Drama Service

Destiny - Elements of Time Anthology - Trinity Books

Love of a Hero - Honorable Mention for Women on Writing Winter Flash Fiction Contest

The Treehouse - Listen to the Leaves Anthology - Brazensnakes Publishing

Cathy Graham - Writer's Page

WRITER'S PAGE
Cathy Graham
Fiction writing ~ Article writing
Summary
I am an imaginative creative writer who enjoys playing with words like a kid  with crayons. If it isn't fun, why do it?
Skills and Expertise
I write short stories, poetry and plays for children and adults. I strive to write stories that uplift and entertain. Even if the story is sad, I always try to include a message of hope. I also enjoy writing a good tingly romance or an uplifting story where I can escape into my characters' lives.

I also write humour, nonfiction articles and press releases.
Experience and Qualifications
I have had several short stories published online and in print magazines and anthologies. For a list of publications, see http://cattitudeandgratitude.blogspot.ca/2013/02/blog-post.html

I have taken many writing courses over the years and have attended workshops and retreats. I have taken the two children’s writing courses given by the Institute of Children’s Literature. 
I have used my writing as a literacy educator giving presentations and working one on one with with children in workshops and classes.
I have a background in desktop publishing and graphic design which has given me skills in formatting, editing and proofreading. I am also good at working with graphics and digital photos.
I can be reached at catgraham_59@yahoo.com. I am also a Facebook enthusiast. Maybe too much! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Daydream Believer, that's me!

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses 
of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; 
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, 
for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."

-- Lawrence of Arabia (Thomas Edward Lawrence) (1888-1935) 

British Soldier, Arabist, and Writer






Vanity? Dreams show your vanity?  Not sure I agree with ol’ Lawrence but hey, didn’t Peter O Toole look dreamy wearing that sheik outfit in the movie, Lawrence of Arabia with his blue eyes against his tan and the white?

Night dreams don’t do that much for me since I tend to get a lot of nightmares, but daydreams, well, now you’re talking. Now Lawrence and I are on the same wavelength. 

Without daydreamers daydreaming great ideas, the world wouldn’t be as amazing as it is.

I’m a daydreamer from way back. Used to drive teachers crazy when I was supposed to be paying attention in class.

I think you have to be dreamer if you want to explore new ideas and invent new things. Your mind is always off in dreamland spinning tales or connecting ideas into something new and fresh.

Often I find myself daydreaming about stories in progress and I see my characters together acting out my story. Or I envision how I'm going to put a scrapbook of photos together, what photos to use, what theme and what colour schemes will work best. Now isn’t that much more fun than doing housework?

Without dreamers, nothing would get invented, painted, created or designed. Dreamers envision the impossible and make it happen.

I really don’t think daydreaming is a bad thing so if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get back to it. La, la, laaaaaaaaaaaa.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Remembering and Reflecting


Remembering...

Another year has gone by and I reflect on what it would have been like to have our daughter Laura celebrating her 21st birthday today.

Instead, we have our two sons, Rory and Eric, 19 and 17. I’m very grateful to have been given another chance to be a parent. Many bereaved parents lose children and never get the chance to have another. I feel very fortunate and don’t take any of it for granted as it can all be gone in an instant.

I am a person who strives to look for the positive side of life. Some days this is easier than others. Though I fail to see much positive in Laura’s sad and tragic death from forceps injuries at 6 days old, the outcome is that I have been given such insight to grief and suffering that I never had before.

Instead of just reflecting on feelings of sadness today, I decided to think of useful tips I could offer for how to support those who have suffered loss.

My advice to helping those dealing with loss of a loved one would be:

  1. Acknowledge the grief and tell the person you’re sorry for the loss. Don’t pretend it never happened. I remember people acting that way with me and I know it was their awkwardness about not knowing what to say or do. Also they had no idea how it felt so found it difficult to relate. Often young people were the worst at this since they hadn’t experienced much death in their lives yet.

    It’s a shame that society is so bad in dealing with death and dying. We don’t talk about it openly because it makes us so uncomfortable and forces us to acknowledge our own mortality.
  2. Don’t chatter on about the weather or other trivial topics to fill the silence. The person is overwhelmed by grief and often just wants a supportive friend to be there to listen and let them talk about their loved one. Don’t think that talking about the departed loved one will hurt them. This is so untrue. It is a comfort to talk about them and acknowledge the feelings of grief. Not talking about the person and denying the feelings hurts much more.
  3. If you feel awkward about knowing what to say, offer a hug and just listen. That’s the best gift you can give a bereaved person. Your patient quiet presence is more than enough.
  4. Don’t try to fix the person by telling them to snap out of it and get on with things. Grief can’t be fixed. It has to be dealt with and experienced head on in order to heal. The grieving process is different for everyone and each person will have bad days and good days.
  5. Refrain from making unfeeling comments like “She/He’s in a better place” or “Everything happens for a reason” or “You’ll have more children” or “It was meant to be.” These comments are not very helpful or comforting.
  6. You could offer any useful books on grief that you know about. I remember being greatly comforted by books about grief outlining all the stages a bereaved person goes through. It reassured me that what I was experiencing was normal and that others had survived and I would, too. I found that the writings of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who was an expert on death and dying, were very helpful.
  7. Flowers were nice to receive but didn’t last and were so expensive.  Special lasting gifts I appreciated were lovely handwritten cards, angel figurines, paintings or poems created by friends and family, trees planted in my daughter’s memory or donations to charities in her name.
The main thing to remember is that the bereaved person’s life has been shattered and will never be the same. They are a changed person from before and have to adapt to a new life without their precious loved one in it.

Your patient understanding and quiet support will help them cope with this transition more than you realize. Just being there for them in their time of need is such a gift.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's a new day!



I was introduced to Rabindranath Tagore last year when my family and I had the pleasure of attending an event devoted to this poet, philosopher and Renaissance man from Bangladesh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabindranath_Tagore

This quote resonates with me today and I was inspired to make an inspirational poster out of it.

I like the idea of each day being brand new like a newborn child that has no name.

It echoes with possibility and allows us to create something completely new, free of the mistakes and regrets of yesterday.

Like a blanket of clean snow waiting for our footprints, this day is pure and ready for us to make an imprint.

Make it a good one!

Friday, February 1, 2013

If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?




Everyone who knows me knows how I love cats. I plaster my Facebook wall with cat photos, cat illustrations and cat jokes. I even have good Facebook friends who are cats like B.f.Thorneycroft, my parents' orange cat and Gordon Drummond, a cheeky white Persian who lives in New Zealand.

My two cats, Daisy and Rosie, are my constant companions and I love them both so much. 

As you can see, I identify strongly with cats. My nickname is even Cat. Meowwww!

Cats are such creatures of contradiction. I am very similar to a cat in personality as I am an introvert and can be aloof and independent not needing anyone. Sometimes I even crave it. Then in the next moment, I become loving and affectionate, wanting to be with people.

I anger easily and my claws come out so watch out. But then that anger is gone as quickly as it came and I am loving again.

I am fairly relaxed and like to lounge about like a cat. But if I’m pushed or startled, I’m on my feet and ready for confrontation.

I can sit and ponder something with deep concentration for ages just like a cat does when it stares out the window at the birds or it hears a mouse rustling somewhere. 

I can be indecisive like a cat not sure if I want in or out, to come or to go, always on the wrong side of every door.

Cats don't ask for too much and are happy to just be, content for a bowl of food and an occasional cuddle. I like how they are happy in their own fur, confident of their value, and I wish I could be more like that, too. They teach me to be happy in the moment.

And I’m even growing whiskers these days. Now if that isn’t cat-like, what is?