Experience Up To Now
By Jennifer Kiley
Alphabet Challenge “B” Day #2
I started my first blog in 2011 as an outlet to express my thoughts. That blog eventually created a need in me to find an outlet for my emotional feelings. Inside of me was a deeply felt pain that needed to be exorcised. I decided to create another blog where I decided I would express my feelings as freely as possible, not holding back the truth or hiding the pain I felt and what was causing it.
I had no idea at first what exactly I was doing. I learned from scatch. As I created each post, I learned how to develop and make my blog grow. But something didn’t feel right. I stopped for a short time.
Then Whitney Houston died so suddenly that it shocked me. It created in me a need to express how her death made me feel. I wanted to write something or do something to honour her. The year before I felt similar feelings when Amy Winehouse died on my birthday, a need to write something about her and to get to know who she really was because I didn’t really know Amy Winehouse. With Whitney Houston the level of intensity went higher because of the way I felt for Whitney for a very long time. Discovery her when she first sang the song The Greatest Love of All caused a phenomenal change in my life. There was a strong attachment inside of me for Whitney Houston. She brought a smile to my face from the first moment I heard her voice and discovered who she was. I kept calling that college radio station to play her song. From there I followed her career. I still haven’t been able to watch the film “The BodyGuard” since her death. I am afraid if I see her so alive in that film that it will really upset me so much and make me have to accept that she really is gone. For some reason that is so hard for me to accept.
The post on Whitney Houston was just the beginning though. I listened to her music and cried everytime I heard her voice or thought about her. Her death lit a fire in me that started growing. I eased myself back into starting up my blog again. By the end of April 2012 I was writing at least a minimum of one post a day. On some days this would increase. People started following my blog. There were several regular people who seemed to be there everytime I would post. They would “like” my posts. That was and is extremely exciting for me. I do not take that for granted and I feel honoured. One friend and follower that I have reads everyone of my posts. That truly amazes me. She is an author who I also follow.
There is one person who started following me who started making comments. Really brilliant comments that made me have to take a deep breath that contained within it a touch of anxiety and a day to think how I would answer the comments this person left. It was like a mental and emotional game of word chess. My first challenges and also my first friend from writing my blog and I began to follow her blog. Her writing was/is brilliant.
It turned out my partner knew this person also, but I didn’t realize that. She actually won a signed copy of the book “The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook,” one of my partner’s published books, by guessing the date our kittens would be born from a stray pregnant cat that we had taken in. I came in second by picking the exact number of kittens born which was three. I, also, knew we were not going to be giving any of those sweet little boys away. Their names are Carter, Parker and Poe.
It was awhile after this when I asked my partner how to pronounce this person’s name that I found out the connection. I friended her on Facebook after that, when I got brave enough, but I was not going by my nom de plume that I used on my blog. So for awhile, I kept my identity a secret. I wanted the two worlds to be separate. It didn’t take her too long to figure out that we were the same person but I confessed my true identity before she told me she had figured it out. That was rather cool of her for letting me be the first to reveal the truth.
Eventually, I made an announcement on Facebook who I really was and that I was officially changing my name and only using my legal name for documents. From then on I was to be know as the name I use as a writer. My last name, as a writer, is a family name. It belonged to one of my Irish grandmothers for who I was named. I loved her maiden, so I took it as my own.
I continued writing my blog and started taking on challenges that I created for myself. I would publish several posts a day. I started getting brave and began writing poetry that I found the courage to post. I illustrated and added music to my posts. Each step led me to adding more ideas to create into post. The creating of my own art and posting it had been bubbling up for awhile and then one day I felt what I needed to do. That’s when I started to post my art work and to develop new ways to express myself in that art. The secret keeper was and is quite eclectic in what I post. My mind is too diverse to limit or focus on any particular form. And now I am writing and just starting to publish posts of my own film reviews. They will be a mix of older films alternating weekly with newer films. Since, I am limited in respect to going to the theatre, if there is a brand new film that is released that I am not able to see at that time, I will be sure to follow it’s progress and report through trailers and reviews from those whom I respect and often check out the site for “rotten tomotoes.” They are fairly accurate on the mix of comments and reviews from both the audience feedback as well as the professionals input.
In fact, in 2013, I plan to do an assortment of challenges and mix them up for variety. Have specific days for a film review every week. Days when I will write Haiku and/or Piku, a form of poetry which only have 3 lines with each and each has a specific count on syllables. I, also, will continue to create my ©transgraphics art to coincide with poems I write. I will also write longer poems. I want to showcase occasionally a poet from the past and a sample of their work in a meaningfully creative way as I have done with an e.e. cummings poem included in a collage. Collages have now been added to some of the art work I want to present. Other challenges that I am developing will be put into the mix and I will add some of my own photography once I develop them to the point I feel they are ready to be displayed.
(In fact, in a future post for my film reviews, I intend to watch and review “The BodyGuard.” I think it is time to face the feelings of loss, not just for Whitney Houston, but for all those who leave this world when they are way too young. I will go into that aspect of life and death, losing someone you deeply love, when I get to writing about Whitney and her role in our culture and how much I love and enjoy her music and how profoundly her soul effects me. Listen to her sing: “I Look To You” which I recently posted with her lyrics and video. It’s a surrender and acceptance that you need power not to come just from yourself but from others and a place beyond you. The film review for “The BodyGuard” should be coming up soon.)
What started out as an experiment and a place where I just wanted an outlet for my feelings to be expressed has turned into a real creative endeavor that I must say I am finding quite addicting. My therapist feels it is a great outlet but she feels I also need to take it slower and develop my ideas for “the secret keeper” at a more manageable rate. Bipolar “Spectrum” Disorder, when one is in a high state can take you rather off to the end of the pier and you plainly just run out of space and inevitable you crash into the sea or up against an extremely crazy set of playing cards in Wonderland or you fall over the edge like in a dream and it’s better if you slip into a deep sleep before you hit the end of the darkness. (Question for Quora fans: Is there an End to the Darkness? Universe-Multiverse or other Dimensions…)
Outside of the blog I also work on writing creative works for short stories and screenplays and longer fictional pieces. I am reworking a screenplay now that I lost in the multiple crashes of two hard drives within two weeks of the other. I find that when you lose something so important, the rewriting of the piece tends to go deeper and develops into something much better than the original. I am hopeful that this will happen with this script.
To close, my blog is named “the secret keeper” on wordpress for a rather important reason. I felt as a child there were so many secrets. So much abuse of all kinds that never were ever spoken about or even recognized as happening. Whether there was a knowledge of any of it is debatable today. There are strong feelings that certain people conspired, a non-delusional conspiracy. But there was too much silence when things should have been spoken out loud. Now there are no secrets. I call myself the secret keeper for two reasons specifically. One, I will keep secrets that are meant to be kept in confidence and two, I will shout out loud those secrets that should never remain hidden or kept, especially by children that are being abused or if you are adult and being abused, that should not be kept a secret. What happens in the darkness that is evil should always have the light shone down upon it.
I should also state that I feel there are certain secrets that are kept silent that have to do with mental capabilities. Having bipolar is one example of something that I feel does not need to be secret for me. Being a lesbian, another thing some would like to have kept a secret. One’s beliefs, one’s ideas, speaking out against prejudice of any kind. Secrets bring into my mine another “S” word and that is “Shame.” It is all painted in the same portrait. The word “secret” has so many meanings. I believe in “Truth” and “Honesty” but I don’t believe in hurting someone. I think for the Alphabet Challenge, which this post is part of, the “S” word should be “Secret” and there I will elaborate further on what “secret” means and what it means to me. And I think, also, the word “Shame” needs closer examination. The Alphabet Challenge can fill many posts, not just 26 but it can start from the beginning again at “A” where I would like to examine the word “Artist” the next time around. jk the secret keeper…