Tag Archive | writing

A Recap of the Deployment Thus Far


For this week’s Blue Star Families‘ deployment post, they wanted us to address where we are in the deployment cycle and how writing about it has changed things.

We are almost two months into the deployment, which is almost the same point that Julie’s family is at currently.  Two of those weeks were spent on emergency leave, so Mark has been in-country for a little over a month.  In the grand scheme of things, it has NOT been very long AT ALL.

That is okay though.  I knew going into this deployment that it would be longer than the first one.  I also knew the circumstances would be different than the first one, and the circumstances are definitely easier on me, as the one waiting at home.  But I think, in a way, things are harder for Mark this time around.  Nothing is more thrilling (our warriors tell us) than being in the heat of battle.  There are moments when it is absolutely terrifying, but there are other times when the exhilaration is more than anything we could ever imagine….and they CRAVE that adrenaline rush.  It may be hard for us civilians to understand, but Mark sometimes misses that, as do many other soldiers.

For me personally, writing is something that I just do.  I would write even if no one read it.  I write in my private journal.  I write here publicly.  My writing here used to not be so public, and it IS very exciting that it’s reaching more readers.  It is wonderful to receive comments that say, “I’m glad I’m not the only one” or “You are such a good writer!”  My love language is Words of Affirmation, and nothing makes me feel better than verbal (or written) praise.

But has writing about the deployment affected it?  It is hard to tell, actually.  Writing helps me focus and organize my thoughts, and therefore “see the woods through the trees” when things get rough.  But writing is also an integral part of who I am.  I MUST write.  I can’t imagine not doing it.  I am COMPELLED to write in order to thrive.  And I do believe in not just surviving deployments, but thriving through them.

It is my hope also that my writing about deployment can touch many other lives.  If you are having a “stabby” day (coined by my dear Army Wife Network family), I hope that something I’ve written can be of comfort to you.  I get you, fellow military wives.  We are in this together.


Mark and his identical twin brother Matt, celebrating their birthday together for the first time in 4 years...in Afghanistan, no less! :)

Mark and his identical twin brother Matt, celebrating their birthday together for the first time in 4 years…in Afghanistan, no less! :)


Magnify Your Positive Voices, Minimize the Negative

A few nights ago, I literally had a dream about my negative voice – actually, it was more like a nightmare.  A strange man walked up to me and said, “Who do you think you are?  Who are YOU to think that you can be a writer, a published author?  You have a degree in music performance.  You’re a violinist, not a writer!  You are wasting your life by pursuing writing and not music.”

I was held spell-bound by what this man was saying.  I soaked in every word as if he was reading me the Gospel.  Maybe he was right.  I did feel inadequate sometimes.  And it is true: I’m a trained classical violinist.  I didn’t go to school to become an author.  Think of those tens of hundreds of dollars that will be sucked down the drain, worthless, because I pursue something I love yet didn’t get an expensive degree in.

Suddenly, my iPhone rang, which I was holding in my hand.  I looked at the screen and saw it was The Warrior calling.  I looked up at the man and back at the phone screen.  I was so awfully absorbed with this negative, forceful voice that I almost did not take The Warrior’s call.  I stood in the balance between positivity and negativity.  But then I made my choice and said to the man, “I HAVE to take this.  I don’t know when I’ll hear from him next,” which was probably inspired by the fact that The Warrior is deploying soon.  I took his call, walked away from the negativity, and after that I don’t remember what happened.  But there is great symbolism in him interrupting the negative voice in my dream.

The Warrior has been the BIGGEST positive voice in my life in regards to my writing – and it’s not a false aww-you’re-the-best-baby-slobbering-love-affair adoration.  He believes in what I do, he encourages me in what I do, and he has confidence that I will be very successful with my writing career.  He has said (genuinely) on multiple occasions, “One day you will write a New York Times bestseller.”  (Although I tease him and say, “The only reason you want me to be a NY Times bestselling author is so that YOU can claim some of the fame, being married to me.”  Ha!)

Sometimes I do have self-doubt. Sometimes I think that I don’t have any credibility, or that no one will be interested in my work.  When I get down to it, I would write even if no one read my words; I write because I LOVE it and feel a need to do it.  But it’s hard to not sometimes feel the pressure of being successful at my dream.

I thank God for The Warrior.  He keeps me grounded.  He reminds me of what is important in life.  He reminds me of my self-worth.  And he gives me that extra push I need to ignore the negative voices and listen to the positive ones.


Surprise hug

When The Warrior showed up at my house as a surprise last year – this is a screen shot taken from the video my mom took! What a fun, memorable moment. :)