Silver Linings

I thought that I’d take a break from my fictional story this afternoon, and write about something that has been on my mind lately (non-fiction). 

As many (or most) of you already know, I started this blog back in 2016 for the purpose of sharing the story of my journey into recovery, and my newfound belief in God.

Halfway into that same year, I was inspired by the work of several photographers on WordPress, and I started another new journey – I began to dabble in photography. In doing so, I began learning Photoshop, and I found that I enjoyed manipulating photographs – possibly even more than I did taking them. 

My story of recovery continued, as did my many photo-manipulations, and the blog stayed pretty much the same for several years. 

During that time, I started college as an adult – a very mature (old) adult – with a major in graphic design. While it turned out that this area of study was not really what I had anticipated, I rediscovered my interest in psychology, and I went that route instead.

I’ve written about all of this, and I don’t want to be redundant – as redundancy is a bit of the subject matter of this post – but that’s the story in case anyone hasn’t heard it before. (yawn)

Onto now. More recently, I took what I had learned (and am still learning), in illustration and a visual communication course, and began to dabble in THAT – which almost brings us up to speed.

During my community college years (hanging out with the young people), I also took a creative writing class. I’m not an avid reader, mind you, and I never really thought about writing much until I started sharing my story of recovery.

The main reason I wanted to try this class was to see if I could turn my real life story into fiction somehow, using symbolic archetypes, so that I wasn’t always saying the word “I.” 

Trust me, it gets old. I chuckle when I read those “How to Increase Traffic on Your Blog” posts that say “never talk about yourself.” That’s pretty hard when your blog is about your own personal journey!

What I also discovered is that once you tell your story, you either have to move on, or keep repeating things… and that is where the feelings of redundancy came in. It felt as though I was trying to find new ways to say the same thing. Not to mention the fact that you begin to feel “stuck in the past,” when the past is all you refer to.

Anyway, the most recent shift that’s taken place is the addition of fictional writings – and these are all written through trial and error… so no judging! Honestly, I’d love to call my blog “Learning to Write,” as that is kind of what I’m using the blog for these days, but if history repeats itself – this could change at any minute.

So, now I’m getting to my recent thoughts. I began to think that maybe it’s not exactly kosher to constantly change the purpose or the content of the blog. I mean, is that like a bait and switch tactic? I don’t know. But that has never been my intention.

Furthermore, since “the days of the virus,” I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what could help me – and possibly others – overcome the weirdness of this new life, and the strange emotions that surface. 

I think I hit the nail on the head the other day when I labeled mine “melancholy,” because that’s kind of what it feels like. Then again, it could just be because I turned 60 in all this madness – and it’s simply a developmental phase I’m going through. Who knows?

Anyway, as I pondered (overthought) all of this, I asked myself why I was enjoying writing fiction so much lately, and there was one simple answer. 


It felt like a slight AHA moment, but maybe I “imagined” that. Ha! Seriously though, what if the remedy that I’ve been looking for, the miracle cure that could help me – and possibly others – overcome the weirdness of this new life, and the strange emotions that surface, is “the use of imagination.”

Whether it be story or essay writing, poetry, art, illustration, photography, or… whatever, when we find that “something” that helps us open and nurture our imagination, we gain even more in the process.

I don’t know about you, but when I imagine a place that I’ve never been to, or a cast of characters that couldn’t possibly exist, I begin to feel something old and familiar creeping in, that thing that seemed to be missing – that I couldn’t quite put my finger on before… my sense of purpose.


That’s about all for now, and thank you for reading if you made it to here!

I figured I’d get my “thought sharing” out of the way so that I don’t bog down my next story excerpt with too much personal talk at the end. Although I still might… you just never know.

Anyway, I used a manipulated photograph that I shared back in 2018 for my featured image. I’m pretty sure it’s a variation of lights that I shot from a moving car. It seemed to represent “silver linings” pretty well.

And I think I may have found something that I was looking for in all of my (over)thinking recently… so it’s a silver lining indeed.

Until later,


The irony of life is that the protagonist doesn’t realize they were in the spotlight until the curtain has come down.

Quote by Me

My quote was written for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Spotlight (21 Words).

And I’m sorry I can’t stop at 21 words, but – as some of you know – I’m a rule breaker. The truth is, everything about this post is random. No planning. No idea where I was going to go with it. Not a clue about anything. Nada.

The quote may be a bit of an overdramatization, but it fits with what I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out why I’ve been failing at some of the art I’ve attempted recently, and why I’ve wanted to write so bad but I’ve stopped in my tracks every time. Why? Because I felt I had nothing to write about. Nothing to say.

The fact of the matter is, however, that I never give up. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Since I found it so hard to get back into illustrations, I decided to go through my photo archives to see if anything inspired me.

I found an old black and white that I had photographed with my iPhone so that I could upload a copy to the genealogy site that tested my DNA. I love working with apps that modify photos with paint or sketch effects, and I thought this oldie would be perfect as a sketch. I also added a slight paint effect just to tone down the sketchiness, and I am really happy with how it turned out.

I mean, look at those clothes! Can you imagine people walking around like that today? I think it would be awesome, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that it looks like the set of an old movie – which makes it even cooler. And the man bending down with the cup in his hand? Well, that’s my granddaddy.

I don’t remember what my mom told me they were doing, but if I had to guess I’d say they were playing dice or something… which makes it even more intriguing. Everyone is so involved. So alive! What a story this picture tells. And if gramps were still alive today, he might not even remember the day it was taken. But this one moment was part of his story.

So, what’s my point? Well, I’ve been thinking that the reason I’ve had nothing to write about is the fact that – during my voluntary isolation which has nothing to do with the old pandemic – I’ve been feeling as though I haven’t “really” been living. I mean, alive… yes… but not taking part in anything extraordinary or “newsworthy.” I’m no expert, but I would guess that writing about my movements over the past months (years?) would literally bore you, the reader, to tears.

I don’t know, but something lit up in me when I looked at this image and thought about the quote that I wrote for Sammi’s challenge. The truth is, life is happening all around us, no matter where we are; no matter what we’re doing.

Maybe some days it’s just in our thoughts about life. Other days, maybe the story is in the dog that chased us halfway down the street when we took the trash out in the wee hours of the night (didn’t happen, but it could!). Maybe it’s in a game of dice, with men in fancy suits and hats looking down at the roll. Or maybe someone just dropped their donut. Who knows?

The fact is, LIFE is our story. It need not be action packed, or full of unimaginable achievements, it just needs to be lived. And in every movement, every thought, every action… we are living our story and it’s worth something. It’s worth everything.

So, like my quote says… sadly, some people wait too long, and suddenly they realize that life has passed them by. And they missed it, because they were always on the lookout for the major headlines. But every story matters, big or small, because it’s ours. And one day that curtain will come down.

I don’t know about you, but when that happens for me, I’d like to take a bow with a big smile on my face, thinking about each and every moment in my life, and then say to myself….

THAT was a great story.”

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my thoughts this evening because, well… it’s my story. And it’s worth everything to me.