Grief, Stories, Writing

Podcast Interview is Still Available! – “Living through the loss of a spouse.”

Exciting news! A couple months ago I was interviewed by Ronit Plank about my book “Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry” and grief as a young man! I share my walk through cancer with my first wife, her death, the aftermath of grief and my healing.

The interview aired recently on January 12 and is still available. Click the link below to listen to my story and know that you are not alone in whatever kind of grief you may be experiencing.

God Bless and Live Your Dreams!

Let me know what you think and would you be interested in reading the book when it comes out later this year?

Grief, Stories, Writing

Podcast Interview is Live – 1/12/2021!

Exciting news! A couple months ago I was interviewed by Ronit Plank about my book “Cowboys Aren’t Supposed to Cry” and living through grief as a young man, and today is the air date!

I share my walk through cancer with my first wife, her death and aftermath of grief and the writing of my memoir > Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry. Listen to my story at And Then Everything Changed or any streaming platform. Know that you are not alone in whatever kind of grief you may have or be experiencing.

I pray God’s blessings over each of you. Be a warrior poet and

Live Your Dreams!

Grief, Life, Stories

No Turning Back Now – Podcast Interview

Airing this Tuesday, January 12 on the And Then Everything Changed podcast. I was blessed to be a guest and interviewed by host Ronit Plank, her intro on IG is below.

⚡️Next week @mwschutter joins me to talk about nursing his first wife through cancer, becoming a young widower, and what he’s learned about the man he was all those years ago and who he is now.

You can listen in on all the podcast platforms – ITunes, Apple, Spotify and so many others.

This spring you can read more of my journey in my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry‘.

Life, Stories

The DAY AFTER, and What Do You Do With That?

Every major life event, every holiday, every milestone, every anniversary, every accomplishment or disappointment is followed by the day after, and what do you do with that?

“So, this was it I thought, no trumpets, no angels singing hallelujah, no bright light, no  nothing,… she was just gone.

One line, no explanation, no context from my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry’

As this post goes live today, December 26, is the day after Christmas 2020 🎄and a week from now will the day after New Years Day 2021 🎉. Is it just me or do you experience pangs of melancholy during this supposed festive time of good will and frivolity?

So what can we do?

  • Pause – rest in the moments and let the world move on.
  • Anchor – revisit the memories and breathe in the feelings that come.
  • Believe – in hope for tomorrow until our journey through this life is done.

There are reasons to live
There are reasons to die
But the end’s not the end
While you’re still alive

~The lyrics above are from the song ‘There Was a Life’ from the album Night Castle by Trans Siberian Orchestra. Tomorrow is coming, so with faith and hope go…

Life, Stories, Writing

New Novel – No Title Yet!

I wrote a first draft of a new novel during November’s National Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) creeping up on 70k words. I have no title yet, but here are some teasers of the story.

“I breathed a huge sigh…”

This is the line in the story that put me over 50k words and made me a winner in #NaNoWriMo for the third year in a row!

A silver shekel

The story revolves around the discovery of silver shekels in America that come from the time of Christ in the first century.

The book blurb!

So tell me what you think? Interesting or not?

I still have a lot of editing, along with working on my memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry’ and The Chronicles of Faith’ series. Even with the lock downs and such, 2020 has been a busy year.

So what have you been up to?

Grief, Stories, Writing

“What do you do with that?” – Memoir Update

“What do you do when the waves of finality wash over you and cover you in a different reality? Can one single moment define your entire life? A life is made up of a series of events, some happy, some sad, some magic, and some tragic. The tragic moments, the events filled with trauma, pain, and loss irrevocably change us forever. There is no going back from these events. We are undeniably not the same as we were before, so the question remains,— what do you do with that?” ©Mark Wayne

The above is an excerpt from my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry’ due out next spring, exact date still to be determined. Here is a short list of updates of what has been happening:

  • The first round of edits has been done on the manuscript, waiting on the second round from the editing team at my publisher.
  • Received some permissions and fair use for quoted material in my book, other material has been rewritten to avoid using copyrighted material.
  • I recorded an interview with Ronit Plank for her podcast ‘And Then Everything Changed’ the date for interview to go live is January 12, 2021.
“What do you do with that?”

Grief and loss changes us, how could it not and what do you do with that? #WickedQuestions #BlogPost #Memoir #UpcomingBook

Grief, Poetry, Stories, Writing

Separate Journeys – Why Do We Bury Our Fears?

A short excerpt from my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry to be published by Christian Faith Publishing in spring of 2021 (emphasis below added).

“I only want her to not be in pain.”

He looked at me with a look of both sadness and resignation, his voice low and measured, “That is what I am focused on.”

I nodded in agreement, and he turned and walked away. I watched him stride down the hall his white lab coat flaying out at his sides. Standing for a moment alone, I collected myself midst the noise of the corridor.

Forcing myself to turn, I slowly walked back into the hospital room. I plastered a smile on my face and buried the fear so far down where I believed it could never be unearthed.

~Mark Wayne ©2020

What have you buried?

What if it were to be found?

Grief, Stories, Writing

I Did A Thing – Recording A Podcast Interview This Week!

And Then Everything Changed – October 28, 2020

Tap the image to visit the website!

I will be interviewed by Ronit Plank for her podcast ‘And Then Everything Changed’ this Wednesday, October 28th. The episode will be aired at a still to be determined date.

In preparation for my interview with Ronit I have binged listened to many past episodes. I encourage you to take a listen to great stories of resilience, courage and hope. Ronit is a skilled host and interviewer. All past and future episodes, including mine when it becomes available, are available on her website and many podcast platforms including:

The conversations Ronit has with her guests are real and vulnerable. Talking about personal history; those pivotal moments of their childhood and adulthood that defined them and the crucial and sometimes painful decisions they made that forever changed the course of their lives.

After listening to many episodes, my biggest takeaway is the all too often similar feelings and emotions that we all experience in life. Despite our often very different circumstances, beliefs, values and life stories the emotional toil often runs deep. Although, my life may often have little in common with many of the guests I feel a connection.

It is not a competition, and yet we all have or will experience pain in this life. #quote

“The Princess Bride”

The question and the test is what will we do with the pain we experience in this life? Listen to some Ronit’s guests tell their stories and you will be inspired by the strength, courage and the resiliency of the human spirit. Thank you Ronit for creating this platform that allows others to share their stories, reminding us each that we are not alone.

Stay tuned to this site and sign up for email updates for the latest and when my conversation with Ronit will air on her podcast!

#LiveYourDreams

Grief, Stories, Writing

Grief and Loss Changes Us, How Could it Not?

The following is taken from the draft introduction to my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry’ to be published in Spring of 2021.

Reconciling the Past

Embracing the Present

 Redeeming the Future

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

~Matthew 5:4

“When we suffer loss, when it finds us in one form or another we must first reconcile our past. Second, we must embrace the present, our circumstances and play the cards life has dealt us. Thirdly, we must redeem our future, a vision with new dreams for a new life where there is no finish line. Forever changed we must move forward, a different person with a different trajectory we carry the past with us every step of the way.” ©Mark W. Schutter

Grief and loss changes us, how could it not?

Grief and loss changes us, how could it not? #Memoir #UpcomingBook #TrueStory

What are your thoughts? How do you move forward following loss and what helps you?

Leave me a comment below and have a great day. Remember, you are the hero of your story, who else could be?

#LiveYourDreams

Grief, Stories, Writing

“What Do You See?”

“What do you see?

The blue sky is beginning to darken as night approaches and I watch you lying there. Your head on its side resting on the ground. You stare straight ahead past your nose, eyes wide open.

We both stay in the silence of the moment, only a faint rustle of leaves in the trees. Slowly I watch you lift your head and look around before you stop and stare off into the distance. Your dark nose crinkles as you sniff the evening air.

“What do you see?” I want to ask, I open my mouth to speak and the words catch in my throat. I swallow hard, my heart beating loudly within my chest.

I close my mouth and sit silently conjuring images of the unknown that may be floating through your mind. I sit helpless to ease your pain, wanting to comfort you as each second ticks by.

If you could only speak. To tell me what you see, what you are thinking of. For I would do whatever it is you ask or need. The world around me swirls, a strong breeze rustles the leaves, and a voice in my head from long ago breaks my reverie transporting me back.

“Please shove the pillow down lower, closer to my hip here…”

“Oh God!”

Your shrill voice rings loud in the silence of the late evening. I quickly jerk my hands away coming off the pillow as I back pedal a few steps watching your pained expression.

“I am sorry.” I speak slowly in a trembling voice as I slowly move back closer to the chair. Your head is tilted back resting hard against the back of the chair, your breath deep and labored.

“I know, … it’s okay. It just hurts so bad, ya know. I just can’t ever seem to get comfortable where it doesn’t hurt.”

My mind whirls as I stand swaying on unsteady legs unsure what to do next, not wanting to cause you more pain. I stand staring not knowing what to say waiting until you speak.

“Okay, let’s try this. Put that little pillow down behind my lower back. I will hold this one here at my side and we’ll see if that works.”

Okay I say, tentatively moving forward treating you as a fragile porcelain doll instead of the courageous strong woman that you are despite the circumstances. Inside my helplessness screams at the absurdity of it all.

Several minutes later after many machinations and adjustments you are finally somewhat comfortable for now. Breathing a heavy sigh you sink deeper into the chair closing your eyes.

“Okay that will work, thank you love.”

“Your welcome.”

I fall onto the couch next to your chair my own exhaustion overtaking me. Our eyes meet for a brief second as you open your eyes and you faintly smile. Then you turn away from my gaze to look out the window at the darkening sky. I watch as you sit motionless, your pale arms resting on the arms of the recliner.

Your short dark brown hair barely touches your shoulders now as it hangs framing your face. I can still picture your long locks that used to cascade down your back and over your shoulders. I see your eyes gloss over, focused on something that only you can see. I wonder are you seeing beyond the veil that separates the worlds.

“What do you see my love?” my mind asks as I swallow my words.

My head clears, I come back to the present. You are now on your side, head once again laying on the grass, eyes open staring. The dark brown fur of your coat in sharp contrast to the green grass of late summertime.

You seem at peace with whatever may come and I envy you. My mind again asks “What do you see girl? Do you see the end?” I wonder.

A chorus of memories run through my mind of the years together. The joy, the laughter, the adventures we all shared. You completed our family and made it whole. We watched you and her grow alongside one another becoming best friends. You have always been a loyal companion that shepherded her well into her teenage years.

I know your body is now weak and frail. Age or disease catches up with us all and I hope you know I will continue to try whatever that may mean. I truly will, my mind screams into the silence of the ever darkening sky overhead. To spare you and others from what inevitability will come. My helplessness looms large, again a mountain in front of me that I am once again forced to climb.

Your eyes now closed, I watch you breathing slowly, your chest rising and falling as you sleep. There is life left and I will do whatever I can to ease your days. Although I know that option is sometimes not offered. And so we live with the unanswered question of ‘What do you see?’

“Best Friends”

Sharing a little free write essay that compares the feelings I have watching our older dog as she battles lymphoma and the triggers of memories it evokes from long ago. You will be able to read more about those memories in my upcoming memoir to be published in early 2021. You can read about it here and be sure to sign up for email notifications to get the latest updates.