Seventeen Days Since My Veins Were Filled with Poison

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I recently went though my first round of chemotherapy for Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (lymphoma), and I was prepared to dump on the world six pages of my experience and disparity. I decided no one wants to read that much content. Instead, I wrote a poem that reflects my feelings on the chemotherapy process. Cancer sucks. No doubt about it.

Seventeen Days Since My Veins Were Filled with Poison

 

Seventeen days

Since my veins were filled

With

Poison.

 

Funny how you need

Poison

to kill

poison.

 

Chemotherapy –

The Mother

Of all

Duckers.

 

Thirst,

Sweat,

Heart palpitating,

Throat closing,

Vomiting,

Gut wrenching,

Belly swollen,

Cracked lips,

Crashing,

Unrecognizable

Self….

 

Hopeless,

Tears,

Zombie skin,

Sunken eyes,

Anxious,

Dehydrated,

No taste.

 

Lifeless.

 

Crawling back

To reality….

Slowly,

Steadily.

 

A magenta-hued sky

over a bronze meadow,

The soft brush

of a cat’s whiskers,

The aroma of a caramel-scented

sugar cookie candle,

The gaze of a

saw whet owl

penetrating your soul,

The Snoopy and Woodstock

animated mailbox –

 

These are the medicines

of life…

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Coffee, and Currents

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For National Coffee Day, I’d like to share a poem I read yesterday from my devotional, “Coffee With God,” by Sarah Arthur.

She talks of how people run around like crazy, reminding her of a gerbil running on a wheel, or even an electric current zipping about.

Like Sarah, sometimes I feel I keep busy with stuff – some important writing goals and assignments, but sometimes time fillers…

Often times we don’t really recognize what God calls us to do. Help each other. Donate our time. Volunteer. Drive granny to the doctor. Rescue those poor dogs from the shelter. Walk for Freedom.

When you plan your day, or your weekend, will it include serving others or helping someone along the way?

Here’s that poem Sarah Arthur penned. Let me know what you think.

The current in me

is strong enough

to power a small life.

See: I zip around

my daily loops

with potential to shock

to make fingers tingle

and hair stand on end.

But if you were to

shut off

my circuit

unscrew the box,

take both ends

of my wires

and scrutinize

you would find

I only follow

 

the path of least resistance.

 

 

 

 

I Go Down to the Beach….

DSCN0319 me and sab in bathing suit copyrSometimes you forget what’s important in life, when the struggles of life consume you.

Lately, I’ve been busy with our ‘healing’ coffee table book, Folly Beach Dances, and all the stuff that goes along with promoting it — social media, networking, just to name a couple of things.

I feel like I’ve been missing out on the fun stuff in life.

Like the fact that I’m going to the beach two times in less than one month, and how lucky I am.

How great my editor at AAA Midwest and Southern Traveler is to send me on these dream assignments.

How I should appreciate every stinking minute of every stinking new experience.

The lyrical words were playing in my head when I awoke this morning.  They’ve also been accepted for inclusion into Well-Versed Literary Works 2014, for which I’m grateful.

I give you –

Ode to Sunset Beach

I go down to the beach today
to play
and cast my worries away.

I go down to the beach today
to remember
my carefree childhood of yesterday.

I go down to the beach
to savor
glistening rays,
tempestuous waves,
and nature’s folly.

I go down to the beach
to gaze
at lovers embracing,
six seagulls pacing,
and toddlers named Molly.

I do down to the beach
to pray
for sea turtles’ gestation,
Bird Island’s preservation,
and new found friends.

I go down to the beach today
because it moves me
with a wise silence,
and physical magnificence.

I go down to the beach
because I can.

I go down to the beach
because I am.

© Copyright, Sheree K. Nielsen, 2013

 

 

The Writing Process, and Favorite Women Bloggers

Cover photo - Seagul close up Folly Beach revised logoI’m honored that Mary Horner has invited me to be part of a blog chain to discuss my writing process.

Mary Horner is the author of “Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing”, and is also a contributing author in my healing coffee table book, Folly Beach Dances – The Infinite Rhythms of a South Carolina Seashore. Mary’s a member of our critique group, a wonderful person, and a communications professor at St. Charles Community College. She blogs at http://writrteachr.blogspot.com/

1. What am I working on?

My ‘healing’ coffee table book, Folly Beach Dances – The Infinite Rhythms of a South Carolina Seashore, due out mid-April, published by Ocean Spirit Photography. It combines my husband’s and my love affair of Folly Beach, South Carolina, through our photography and literary interpretations, and reflections from five award-winning women authors. Visit our official website.

I’ve just submitted a full feature article on an organic/sustainable farm due out in October, and a local restaurant review due out in June, for Missouri Life.

My newest assignment for AAA Midwest Traveler and AAA Southern Traveler will find me in the Caribbean this month. This full-feature travel story will be published in September 2014.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s deeply inspirational, positive, as well as reflective. I try to find universal beauty and rhythm in nature, people, and even structures. I’m a beach gal at heart, and my writing usually draws me to the seashore.

 

3. Why do I write what I do?

Simple answer. Because I love it.

 

4. How does your writing process work?

If photography is involved (which it usually is), I typically snap photos for recreating the essay, poem, or story at a later date.

I usually carry a pad and paper with me. (I’m old school). Then, in the quiet of the morning when the songbirds are chirping and the sun is at its lowest point in the sky, I transcribe my notes onto my computer.

My critique group usually gives me great feedback through the editing process. That’s how the story, essay or poem evolves.

 

5. The last step in this process is to invite two other authors to participate in the blog chain.

I hope that my writer buddies, Patti Hall and Becky Povich, will continue this blog chain.

Patti Hall is a 54-year old veteran of life, who ran away to a little fishing village on the Washington Coast. She blogs about her journey, the daily grind, and writerly tips. I met Patti through twitter, and I love her blog http://1writeplace.com/blog/

Becky Povich is a writer, humorist, and bliss follower who blogs about crazy and goofy things life has placed in front of her. Her new book is a journey of life, titled “Pigtails to Chin Hairs.” Becky is somewhat unpredictable, and basically a funny (side-splitting) lovable woman. Visit her website at http://www.beckypovich.com/purchase.html

Thanks Mary Horner for inviting me to participate in the blog chain.

Remember, there’s beauty in every living thing.

Stay positive and remember to dance,

Sheree

 

 

A Well Versed book launch, and writing

On Sunday July 14, Donna Volkennant, Marcia Gaye. Lynn Obermoeller, and I made the trek to Columbia, Missouri for the Well Versed Literary Works 2013 Book Launch.  Well Versed is the literary anthology for the Columbia Chapter of Missouri Writer’s Guild.  The four of us were contributing writers.

About a 90-minute drive one way, we shared stories on how we met our husbands, and talked about many topics.  The conversation was easy, like smooth butterscotch sauce flowing in slow-motion over homemade vanilla ice cream.  It seemed as if we’d know each other for years.

And before you knew it, I was pulling into the driveway of the Unity Center in Columbia.

We arrived early, so I foraged a few snacks for my gurgling tummy, grabbed a bottle of water, and settled in for readings from the anthology’s authors.

Lynn Obermoeller read her essay “I Don’t Remember” about a day in seventh grade she had little memory of (except that it was picture day, and the dress she wore was baby poop-colored with paisley stripes).

I read my essay “Breakfast With the Queen” about Midnight, our butter-eating black cat and her morning breakfast ritual.  Two of my poems were in the book.  One poem recalled a snow-white day in winter.  The other poem was a kindergarten memory that scarred me for life.

Eva Ridenour’s poem titled “Dust” was laugh-out-loud funny.

Suzanne Norton’s poem “Rupture”, an emotional poem about birth and rebirth, had me on the edge of my seat.

I noticed something about myself while listening to the book’s authors reading their selected works.

My breathing slowed.

My body relaxed.

My mind was open.  Open to the artistic and imaginative use of words.

Words.  Smart, sassy, funny and raw.

Each writer – a prolific artist.

Each author, vulnerable.

And I enjoyed myself.

One of the lucky ones, I’m proud to say “I’m a writer and loving it”.  Although writers are many, we’re a close-knit group of individuals – spanning the globe.  Connected by email, facebook and twitter — writers know no boundaries.

It’s kind of a weird thing how tight knit we are.  I can’t really explain it, unless of course, you’re a writer.

So here’s to Linda Fisher for doing a fine job as Managing Editor for Well Versed Literary Works 2013.  The authors well represented the anthology.

Looking forward to next year’s event.

Lynne, Marcia, Donna, me, Linda

Lynne, Marcia, Donna, me, Linda

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Well-Versed Literary Works – Cover release; June publication

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Recently received an email from Linda Fisher, Managing Editor of Well-Versed Literary Works, releasing the book’s long-awaited cover.

She wished to share with contributors, and asked that we post the cover photo on our Facebook page or blog.

I’m excited to say I won an Honorable Mention in the Nonfiction category with my essay, “Breakfast with the Queen” about my black’s cat love of butter.

Also, two of my poems were accepted for inclusion  — “Winter’s Kiss” and “The Girl with the Dunce Cap.”

Can’t wait for its release this June!

Other local authors are in the book – Marcia Gaye, Donna Volkennant, Lynn Obermoeller, and Jack Zerr have featured works in the anthology.

Happy reading everyone,

Sheree

Main Street Books, April 7, 2012 – Sheree Nielsen

Vicky Erwin has posted this on her Main Street Books newsletter calender.  Thank you Vicky!
Sheree Nielsen – Art Show
Start: 04/07/2012 1:00 pm
End: 04/07/2012 3:00 pm

Something a little different for us — an art show.

Come out and support local author and photographer, Sheree Nielsen on April 7, 2012 at Main Street Books from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Sheree, owner of Ocean Spirit Photography, will be displaying her inspirational messages and poems on original scenic and nature photographs, which are also for purchase.

Sheree won the People’s Choice 1st Place for Non-fiction Award in Storyteller Magazine Apr/May/June 2010.

Visit her blog at www.shereenielsen.wordpress.com and view her photography at www.oceanspiritphoto.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ocean-Spirit-Photography/145719078855595 .

Location:
307 S Main St, Saint Charles, Missouri, 63301
United States