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
This year I am participating in #NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row and fourth time overall. 👊
You can view my profile here and hit me up if you are participating and want to be buddies. 😉
NaNoWriMo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.
The goal is to write 50k, or more, words in 30 days.
I am well on my way so far. This year has in some aspects been harder. The past two years I wrote books two and three of a series, The Chronicles of Faith . This year I am writing a completely different standalone story. It is a lot of fun but very different!
It is challenging and motivating to get a ‘shitty’ first draft down on paper. And something I never believed I would or could do until I did it.
So what challenge are you willing to undertake?
Go live your dreams! #Motivation #Encouragement #YouGotThis #YouMatter
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.
This little poem, if you want to call it that, in question form was written and posted back on October 25, 2016 right here on this site. It is now four years later and the question still lingers although I think we all deep down inside know the answer.
We have all made promises to do this or that. Promises we swore we would keep forever.
The impact we make on others, whether good or bad, will be long remembered. There is never a neutral encounter, make your impact a positive one! And when they remember you, it brings smile to their face and a joy within their heart. ❤
The journey has begun from draft manuscript to published book.
Please Note: This is most likely not the final cover only a draft I created.
The manuscript, about the author bio, back of the book blurb and foreword have all been submitted to the Editing Department. Next steps is comprehensive edit with suggested changes submitted back to me for further editing and approval. It is a little nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time.
The foreword was written by a good friend of mine who I first met through a professional relationship many years ago. The following is a short excerpt from the foreword he wrote for my book, which I absolutely love. He captured the theme, tone and purpose of my story perfectly. He knows my journey intimately and I am honored he would do this for me and very appreciative.
“This book is for people who have had real pain. People who have loved and lost, and are struggling to move on.” #Memoir #Foreword #UpcomingBook > ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry’
I have also submitted ideas to the Cover Design Department to begin the process of creating a book cover. I look forward to the creative ideas from the cover designer. More to come on that progress in a future post.
I will leave you with this – if I can write a book so can you if you want to. It took me over 25 years to finally complete the manuscript. Many years of contemplation, learning, living and healing until I could pull it all together into a whole over the last 3 years. And now I am a mere months away from having a published book in my hands and maybe yours!
You can > Reconcile your Past, Embrace your Present, and Redeem your Future! #LiveYourDreams #JustBelieve #HopeLives #Memoir #Grief
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…”
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.”
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?’
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.
You now have the opportunity to head over to the A.B. Baird Publishing website and cast your vote(s) for your favorite poem. I would be thrilled if you like my poem ‘Wake the Beast’ and cast a vote for it but better yet, read all the poems and vote for your favorites. There are some amazingly talented writers out there and you won’t be disappointed.
Just click this link A.B. Baird Publishing and either scroll down the page to the My Still Waters or click the My Still Waters hyperlink in the left hand column. The directions for the People’s Choice voting are easy, read each piece and cast a vote for your favorites. It is that easy!
Also, if would be appreciated if you are on Twitter to follow me @mwschutter and tweet the link below.
People’s Choice voting is live until 8/5 at https://www.abbairdpublishing.com for the upcoming anthology My Still Waters. My piece is ‘Wake the Beast’ and would love to have your support. #PoetryCommunity #WritingCommunity #Poetry #Writing #WritersLife #MondayMotivation #MondayBlogs
I recently submitted 7 poems to A.B. Baird Publishing for inclusion in the upcoming anthology “My Still Waters.” The theme of the anthology is poems related to self-hope, self-discovery and healing.
My poem submissions included:
Healing is Never Perfect
Just What I Need
My Black Heart
My Broken Mind (honorable mention)
Wake the Beast (short list)
Words I Wanted to Say (honorable mention)
The publishers narrowed the list to 120 poems for inclusion and a couple of weeks ago I received notice that 5 of the 7 had been selected to be published in the anthology. Better yet two received honorable mentions and ‘Wake the Beast‘ made the short list of the top 25.
The first two lines of my poem are:
I tiptoe around afraid to wake the beast – He rests sleeping his power unreleased “Wake the Beast” #poetry #poetrycommunity #amwriting #writerslife
And now I have received another notice that this poem, ‘Wake the Beast‘ was selected for the top 11. I am so honored and excited. There are so many talented poets and writers out there and to be chosen is wonderful. The final 11 pieces now move to the final round of judging for the competition and the winner will be announced on Monday, July 27.
Additionally all 11 poems will be posted on the A.B. Baird Publishing website and Instagram page. There they will compete for your votes and the title of “people’s choice.”
Voting begins next Tuesday, July 28 the day after the competition winner is announced. I encourage you to visit, read the poems and vote for your favorite.
If it happens to be mine ‘Wake the Beast‘ I would be honored and I thank you in advance.