Six Word Story (38)

They are small, they are fierce. Why do we underestimate them so? Why do we deny they are reflections of what still lives deep inside of every adult heart?

Cherish those hearts, be they in the bodies of 2-year-olds, or in full-grown adults with all our learned coping mechanisms. It’s never too late to be brave.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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Six Word Stories (37)

I am so small, and that climb is so high. There is no railing.

What makes the difference? A guiding hand to help me hold my balance and keep me from filling backyards while I take one step at a time.

What if I can not find that hand? What if I am alone? What if no one, will help me?

I still can, even if it’s on hands and knees. I won’t give up, I won’t turn back.

But how I pray for that one hand.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from Unsplash.com


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My Search for Words

Is there a word that holds deep meaning for you?

I must confess, I have been struggling. The state of the world and the fear I feel flowing in the wind are oppressing my spirit. I keep looking for words of hope to meditate on, just single words I let my mind mull over.

Joy

Goodness

Hope

These poems were all born from that endeavor, but I find myself running low on ideas. If you have a word that sparks hope, or peace within you, would you share it with us in the comments?

I will do my best to write a short poem or reflection on each word you share with me.

Or maybe you have a word that weighs on your mind. Maybe it’s not oppressive, but you feel it’s important. Share it please.

I have been working on a small side project called Words of Weight. Once I have penned enough poems to fill a small chapbook, I plan to share it with you all for free. Your words are paramount to my finishing.

Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Six Word Story (36)

Do you thrive in the quiet? Or in the none stop rush of the spinning world?

Each element has its own worth, and we can find each within the other if we look closely.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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What’s in a Compliment

Encouragement is important to creativity. To hear constant criticism, or belittlement of our efforts, is deadly to most people’s dreams.

“Oh my! You are so talented.”

People love to hear this comment. But could it and the beliefs behind it be hurting, more than helping creativity?

I see potential danger lurking in the background.

Natural, or raw talent, is a beautiful thing. Each of us have it. Weather that talent has to do with speaking, writing, sculpting, painting, or listening to a friend. Perhaps it looks different for you, like understanding complex logical thought patterns.

Regardless, each human is gifted in something. But if we believe our ability to succeed rests solely on that natural ability, it will limit us.

What happens to a runner, who is fast from birth, but as soon as running hurts, they stop training? They will never stand on an international podium. It’s the same for creatives who refuse to do the hard work.

For a writer, hard work is research, editing, and lots of words that will never be in a book.

What is your talent? What is hard work and growth for you?

Can working at something you are not naturally talented at be worth it? Should you give up?

NO!

If you work hard, you will improve.
Sure, maybe you won’t be world famous. But I am confident you will reach a higher level of ability if you persevere. Hard work trumps talent alone, every time.

“Your hard work is paying off.”

“Look at you grow!”

“I love your perspective.”

These three compliments are powerful and satisfying to my soul. They acknowledge things that have happened behind the senses while still praising.

Next time we give a compliment, let’s think about what it’s really communicating and ask ourselves, could we give more than a nod to talent?

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Nighttime Sounds

.
Creak of staircase sounds.
Eyes through spindles peering.
“I’m thirsty Mommy.”

.
The clock ticks constant.
Refrigerator purring.
Air through nose louder.

.
Rolling over, pops.
Rejected sheets whisper,
one more bathroom trip.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Hope/Calla Press

At Calla Press, we are unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and we desire to glorify His name above all else.

– SAMANTHA CABRERA, Calla Press Founder and Editor

It blessed me to be in the right online writing group at the right time to hear Samantha Cabrera’s announcement about reopening Calla Press. What a job they have done. The new website is gorgeous and the stories and voices they are amplifying do just what they claim their mission is all about. Glorifying Jesus Christ.

Calla Press is a Christian literary journal publishing articles, poetry, prose, flash fiction, creative none fiction, and photography.

– Calla Press Website

A huge thank you to the team for including my poem ‘Hope‘ in their web publications. I invite you all to head over to their website and read my piece, as well as the many other great words you will find there.

Mary Grace van der Kroef

Note: They receive submissions for the website on a rolling basis, and publish a print issue once a year. Submissions will open for that print issue in September.

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Six Word Story (34)

The word ‘art’ usually invokes images of paintings, drawings, or maybe woven tapestries from a different time. Or maybe the word ‘art’ brings a favorite story to mind, or a famous poem, or sculpture. But art is so much more than those things, and lives in so many places.

The hands of come in all shades, sizes, and from all places. They stir cooking pots, pull stitches through fabric, and yes, weld iron beams into place.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Picture sourced from unsplash.com


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Layers

Layering,
building up of stuff.
Stuff that’s warped and ground and rough.

Bits and pieces piling
in uneven gallantry.
Mountains forming valleys as parts of She.

Terrain shifts,
rips with violent quakes.
Foretelling of eruptions coming day.

A living, growing orb.
Spewing pressures liquid rock.
Building high ranges, a guard against winds plot

As rocks form,
windward weather rages.
Jaded earth is watered, flourishes in stages.

Climb the crags,
find passes high.
Leading on to landwards slops brittle, bare and dry

Wonder past the grass lands
sheltering beneath.
Hear the whispered love songs riding on Her breeze.

Landscapes ever changing,
built by a liquid core.
Created for exploring while she lays one layer more.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Reflections from a Dyslexic Writer

I remember one day trying to read my ‘A’ book to Mom, and being unable to put ‘gl’ together, to read the word ‘glad’. It took so much patience. My mother sat there, listening to me struggle over and over.

The first day I got the consonant blend out once, that was it. Only once after a half hour of trying. I have always had to battle language in written form.

I still mix up my B’s and D’s. Often write M’s and N’s wrong, have always hated grammar lessons. I even hid my workbook behind the couch and got away with it for a week, to my mother’s frustration.

So why did I choose to be a writer?

The quick answer is, I didn’t, it chose me.

Stories have been a constant in my life, and the desire to tell them and create has always been within me. I distinctly remember regaling everyone at a friend’s birthday parting, with the story of my dad using a rifle to ‘shoot down’ trees instead of cutting them with a chainsaw. That he was a logger was true, but ya, felling trees doesn’t work that way. I had the entire room in stitches.

It was an absurd story, but for that moment my dad was the hero, as trees fell around him with a single shot. A projection of how my heart saw him. It was great fun.

The need to be understood, and to understand are huge parts of my personality and I have no better way to attempt both, then to use language. But how do I deal with wondering eyes that just can’t see the words they write straight the first time?

I taking my time.

I am horribly slow with writing. I take weeks to craft these short blog posts, even longer for any of my short stories. If I am rushed, it shows. Time sensitive writing competitions are exhausting. Deadlines are important but often missed. My comments in chat boxes and social media are laughable. Even so, the landscape of language speaks to me.

I have learned there is no unfixable mistake in writing. Asking for help is not weakness, but strength. Every sentence, when you sit back and think about it, can tell a unique story.

I acknowledge I don’t have it near as difficult as other people I know. Years of repetition have improved my skills with spelling, and trained my eyes to work as a team far better than they used to. But still there are so many mistakes I miss.

Will I ever be a great poet? Maybe not… Will people ever take me seriously in the literary world? I don’t know. Will I ever write a best-selling novel? I will try. But as I try, I will do my best not to forget that day I fought to put ‘gl’ together. Remembering where we started keeps us grounded.

Where did you start your creative journey?

What walls did you have to clump?

I didn’t realise I was learning the lessons of perseverance while struggling to read at age six, seven, and eight. I thought I was just learning letters on a page. Resilience started building the first time they teased me for not being able to read my bible out loud in Sunday school. The foundations of those lessons were messy, hard work. But a temple can not stand tall, if we do not lay the groundwork.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Note: I have not been formally diagnosed with Dyslexia. Being from a homeschool family, we did not have that opportunity while I was in school. There are other members of my immediate family what have undergone vision therapy and deal with learning differences on a far larger scale than I do. ~ Mary Grace van der Kroef


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