Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Posts tagged ‘my life’

Writing Another Chapter

If you’re reading this, you may be interested to know that I started a new blog, A.D. Joyce–poetry and the butterfly psyche. I already have two posts up. Take a look and maybe even subscribe! Also, I have a new Twitter account, @ad__joyce, so follow me there, too.

From now on, I’ll blog infrequently at Sweepy Jean Explores the World, if at all, and I will soon dismantle the @sweepyjean twitter account.

So what’s the deal? Well, this blog started off as a way  to stretch my limits and get rid of inhibitions as a writer.

I very quickly found a way to write authentically. People loved the “Sweepy Jean” moniker but eventually I was able to be more open about who I am as a real person living on Earth. Sometimes, though, I found that I was writing myself into other boxes, fighting against the idea of branding, rejecting the notion that the “MFA” type of writing was the benchmark  for good poetry, and struggling with traditional concepts of how a poet is supposed to build an audience. I’ve figured out some things but not everything, and I don’t really want to get to the point where I know it all. I truly embrace my stance as a perpetual student of poetry and life.

One of the things I’ve done to try to work out the answers to these questions is  a “game” I called 1 + 1 Wednesday, a weekly post I started here and eventually created a separate blog for. I invited readers to leave two words in the comment section and I did the same. The words could be related to any random thing. I saw it as a way to look at language and meaning differently and to shake up our thought patterns.

Then I ran the Third Sunday Blog Carnival. Again, the idea was to promote free self expression among writers, expand our readership, share the collective knowledge.

“Sweepy Jean” was always the go-to blog for personal expression. But although I’m still an explorer, it’s been a while since I was Sweepy. She has long become a third person pronoun; now it’s time to completely step out of that shadow to let Adriene shine. (As most of  you know, A.D. Joyce is the name I use to sign my poetry. “A.D.” is a nickname for Adriene and Joyce is my middle name.)

Whereas in this blog I did a lot of explaining myself and public self analysis, my new blog will not contain much of that at all. The archives will remain here if you want to read personal details about me. Over at A.D. Joyce–poetry and the butterfly psyche, I’ll be transparent and self expressive in a way that will remain undefined, at least by me. But as always I hope you will find something there for you.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2014

Feeling My Way Around Mexico

IMG_0306 - CopyThis is not an extensive travelogue and it doesn’t cover all I saw during my trip, but rather these are some really subjective impressions of traveling in and around Mexico City, Guanajuato, and Puebla recently with my 24-year-old daughter. She is such a private person, and so far the only way she has allowed me to show her image on this blog is through this caricature a wonderful artist did for us. She’s beautiful and as the portrait suggests, she looks young for her age. She’s a sweetheart but don’t let appearances fool you: She’s also a tough cookie.

Before getting to Mexico, I had a feeling that it would be a life-altering trip for me and I wasn’t wrong. In addition to wanting to see my daughter, I was well overdue to shake up my routine, get away from worries, clear my head, and just relax. Being around my daughter’s energy was a huge factor in helping bring me back in balance.

The Guantajuato mountainside

The Guantajuato mountainside

At first, I was a bit nervous about the trip because my Spanish is not very good. However, it’s true that when you lose one sense, such as sight or hearing, your other senses get stronger. In this case,  (more…)

Here I go again …

471235_69107547Life gives us many opportunities for “do-overs.” For instance, I think parenthood is an opportunity to redo our childhoods. While some of us repeat mistakes made by our parents, some of us seize the opportunity to do things differently. That’s the concept on a big scale but there are opportunities for do-overs on a smaller scale nearly every day.

I’ve been going through some sort of a spiritual journey that started taking shape in a significant way (more…)

Prying Loose My Thoughts

Reality and Perception

I see me as reinventing myself, in a manner of speaking. But what does that mean? Is it changing my hairstyle, revamping my wardrobe, rearranging the furniture, taking a different career path, altering my lifestyle, shifting priorities? As I do these things, am I really becoming somebody different or am I aligning myself closer to who I really am? I think of the lyrics of a Beatles song, “Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.”

Isn’t It Comedic Tragic Ironic

The better I become at writing,  the harder it is to do.

You Really Like Me

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Kalyani Magazine has accepted two of my poems for publication. I took them down from the blog but some of you may vaguely remember them: “7 Haiku: Geese” and “they said.” I’m really excited because this type of recognition of my poetry has eluded me for years. Although it’s good to believe in yourself, it’s nice to have a little external validation once in a while. And if any self help gurus are offended by that statement, you have just proved my point!

The Poetry Business

976300_52203064I have a regular freelance writing gig with a magazine that features profiles of entrepreneurs. Having interviewed quite a few of them for my articles, I’ve come to admire the ability of those in business to talk positively about themselves and to promote their brand. They brag about revenues, awards, and milestones with no pretense of humility. And whoever doesn’t like it can kiss their asses all the way to the bank.

I think about myself and other poets who are trying to sell books. Very few poets make money writing poetry. Part of that is because the buying public doesn’t place much value on poetry, not realizing that the world would be barren without it. Are actors, pro sports players, and novelists really more essential than poets? If poets are ever going to be paid what they are worth, the demand has to come from the public. But there are not enough public relations spinners out there telling the masses that they need poetry.

And don’t hold your breath waiting for poets to make the case, either, because money is rarely a motivating factor for us. We poets are compelled to write poetry whether we get paid for it or not. It only makes good business sense not to pay us for it. It doesn’t get any more pathetic than that. We are our own self-deprecating enemy.

Madness in the Method

When I sit down to write poetry, the thoughts seem to occupy a physical space in my brain (the location changes from poem to poem). I have to tunnel through to extract the thoughts. I always worry that I’m going to lose my way, or if I’m able to get to that space, I won’t be able to pry the thoughts loose. Even if I accomplish those two things, I fear that I won’t be able to find my way back out again.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

The Blog Post Cliff

Today, America waits to see if it will fall over the fiscal cliff. I hope that just this once, politics can be set aside so that we the people who are all affected by the crushing effects of a depressed economy can finally catch a break. With my recent layoff, I was late to the party–unless, of course, you count the fact that the rest of my immediate family have been variously unemployed and underemployed throughout the entire recession. It’s been going on for nearly five years now.

I usually don’t engage in political talk here. But my preoccupation with keeping my head above water has almost made me go over the Blog Post Cliff, which is to neglect mentioning that this month marks this blog’s third year anniversary!

This was a strange and interesting year for me personally with regard to external life changes. But I also feel it was a breakthrough year internally with my poetry. I am more at peace with the words now than ever before.

I’ve shared a lot of poetry this year, included the ones in my mini collection Like. Love. Hate. available for download at Amazon and Smashwords.

Most of all, I have formed and strengthened many of my relationships with real life people, as well as with fellow bloggers and blog readers. These relationships are what get me through the day, every day.

inspiringblogaward-300px1Speaking of fellow bloggers, I just want to mention the latest wonderful writers who have honored me recently with awards. First, there’s Stuart Nager, whose latest blog is called The Opening of Doors. The tag line for the blog is “Writing To Heal, Cope, and be Restored,” which he does in a creative and honest way. Stu graciously gave me the Inspiring Blog Award.

Liebster-blog-award1-300x225-1Muriel Jacques, another stellar blogger, writes insightfully about living in London as a French expatriate. Her blog is called 40blogSpot – A French Yummy Mummy In London and she gave me the Liebster Award.

So there you have it. I’ve done my part. Here’s hoping that our political leaders do theirs.

Happy New Year, everyone! ❤

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2012

Life Without Limits: Is That Possible?

In my last post I said that I no longer want to limit the possibilities in my life or box myself in through labels, such as wife. mother, or what have you.

However, one of the comments to that post brought up some interesting points, though it may have been slightly tongue in cheek. Here’s the comment, in part:

“But can we avoid being boxed in? What about the label ‘poet’? Is that a box? Is what we call ‘freedom’ merely the exercising of our right to choose our own boxes? Are those that refuse to be boxed in unknowingly occupying a box labelled ‘those that refused to be boxed in’? Is there life without boxes?”

Well, I’d have to say that (more…)

Down the Shore (in real time)

I not long ago got back from a few days “down the shore,” as we say in New Jersey, that is, from one of the many beach towns that hug the coast of the Atlantic in our fair state. I was there with my sister as we both badly needed to recharge our batteries that were run down from living overly busy lives. Being on the beach is my favorite thing to do for recreation.

The weather was the nicest we’ve had in a long time. Almost immediately I gave in to the atmosphere to the point where there was no thought in my head except about whatever was happening in the moment.

I was able to bond with my sister in way we haven’t  been able to do for a while. During one of our deep talks, she asked me where did I see myself in five years and what I wanted out of life.

I really appreciated her challenging me in that way as I am already in the process of reevaluating my direction in life. In essence, I said, (more…)

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