nothing could be something

The whole word of the year/one little word thing is escaping me this year. I spent time pondering what word might do, and you know what word came to mind? Nothing. Like, literally the word nothing

What am I supposed to do with that? Seriously. I do have some ideas floating around, but it is just so bizarre that no other words or goals have been nagging at me. I'd like to know what some of your ideas are about this whole nothing business. It might help me in my quest for the best word (or realizing nothing is the best).

So anyway. It is interesting that's for certain. I'll keep my mind open to other words while continuing to consider what nothing might accomplish for me this year. 

what's in a name?

I'll tell you what's in a name. Every hope that a young mother and father have for their tiny baby. The heritage of all the ancestors gone before. Identity. Opportunity. Labels. Shackles. Freedom. 

Names mean things. There are expectations and identity wrapped up in a name. 

And this week, I got back my Texan roots. I no longer will be mistaken for a different lineage or heritage than where I came from. I will be empowered to be myself entirely. 

I do not regret taking a married name, and I will do it again if I remarry, but I very much resent the way I couldn't get my name back when I should have been able to. 

Self-advocacy made it happen, and I am thankful that I have enough courage and education to know how to help myself on this. 

I have always been the same rose, but now it will be easier for others to identify where and with whom I belong, and I am thankful—even overjoyed. 

Poetry Top Ten 2016

Another year, another set of your favorite poems. It's a pleasure to keep writing for you and to see what everyone enjoys the most.

Over this past year, more of you have been reaching out to express your appreciation and thoughts about my poetry and writing in general, so I'd like to thank you for that. Your encouragement makes such a difference!

All my gratitude goes out to each person reading this…

The 2016 Poetry Top Ten:

1. More Than a Story

2. What I Need Today

3. Come

4. Inside

5. Always Golden

6. Knots

7. Pain

8. Without a Doubt

9. No Angel

10. Essential

Honorable Mention: Just Barely

my best

I'm doing the best I can. This is something that is true at any given moment.

There are factors that limit my ability to actually do well. Fatigue, emotional stress and distress, physical setbacks, so many things all affecting what my best looks like at any given moment. But no matter what, I am doing all I can.

And I still feel like I'm sinking. Or maybe it is just my heart sinking as I let all the rejection I have faced over the past while get under my skin.

I don't know. Everything has got to work out somehow. I strive with all I've got. That has to count for something. Somehow my best will be enough.

Reader's Choice Top Ten 2016

It always surprises me what my readership embraces and what is left in the corner. This year has been no different. I am thankful as ever to have readers of my writing and continue to doubt I will ever get used to you people coming back for more on the regular. It truly rocks my world.

What I have done is come to realize that what I have to say is not only valuable but valued. Thank you for teaching me this thing. I believed it but only to a point until I was taught through comments and repeated, regular visits to my writing pages herein. You keep me writing when there "isn't time" and when I can't seem find anything to say because there is just too much. Thank you.

I now give you the Readers' Choice Top Ten for the amazing year of 2016:

1. Cardboard Signs
2. My Inspiration
3. Farmers and Paul Harvey
4. Keep Writing
5. Hope's Wake
6. An Open Letter for Single Moms
7. Friendship
8. Playing in the Background
9. Changing Every Day
10. Defying Negativity

Honorable Mentions:

More Like Water
My Truth