My daughters, Madeleine Alexandrite, Helaina Amethyst Wilkerson and my grand son Hawthorne with my Aunt Marti Whitmer at our 2020 Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend Book Club Convention this past January!
In this time of social distancing I have a lot of time to reflect on who I am, where I am going, and what is my story. I began this journey by doing a DNA test and was surprised. I was told all my life I had Native Indian Heritage, Cherokee in fact, I was wrong. When I received the results I found out I was mostly Northern European, only 19% Scottish/Irish and the biggest surprise of all 3% Norwegian. The only mention of any Native American Heritage was I had an ancestor apply to become registered as Native American but nothing came it. Learn who you are.
I am a mutt but always having rescue pets to me those are the best kind. Last night I stayed up to almost 3:00 a.m. as I have been in deep conversation with my now deceased father’s youngest sister, my Aunt Marti. She shared so much family history with me and I shared mine with her, both of us learned a lot. I am traveling in October to go to her home at Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs, California. I’m taking what little photographs I have and all the geneaology that I have been researching and collecting on our family tree. She is doing the same. It was a great conversation and I am finding this reconnection so incredibly life affirming.
I had not seen her since my Eureka High School 1974 graduation but she and her daughter, Suzanne both came to my 2020 Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend. To have my family members there was so important to me as had so many of my family members present for celebratory 20th Anniversary occasion. I had no idea then just how important that Girlfriend Weekend was because right after the Covid-19 hit, our lives as they once were changed forever. We had to cancel our 2021 Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend. So I am practicing social distancing, masks, gloves, and sanitizers in hand as I travel to California to be with her for another great conversation of sharing our family stories.
So Sundays since social distancing I spend time, early time with my coffee, with devotions, prayer, meditation and trying to figure out my place in this world. I have been studying world religions as absolutely fascinating. I got lost in the films of India which made me purchase books on the Hindu faith, the Muslim faith, to better understand the films. I am teaching myself Hindi. Always I have felt a deep connection to the storytelling of all cultures of the world since my mother purchased for me and my sisters, The Golden Books of Children’s Ecyclopedias and other books with stickers and activities of people, cultures, and countries from around the world.
I am a reader, a life long learner and I look for the visionaries, the ones that calmly speak and question. Ones who lead the world to better understanding of each other. I read and watch a lot of Ted Talks, youtube video postings by those of interest to me and a sense of peace and understanding envelops me in blanket of comfort. I have learned it is all about the story, the stories we share whether as an author, a songwriter, a film maker, we each our sharing stories that are our history. No matter where you live, what faith you instill in your heart, we are all connected because we,as humans, we share our stories as we are made to be in community with others.. We are also a people that think we know when we actually only have learned from what we have been taught by our parents, our teachers, and those around us. Oftentimes, we never leave our own small worlds. One thing I know to be true is that we come together as a community to share our stories, we learn. Be a life long learner as this is the true way to world peace.
I hope you enjoy this video I posted from one of my favorite visionaries, Pulpwood Queen Author Joseph Marshall III. I chose his books many years ago as the Pulpwood Queen to read books as I select all the books for my nearly 800 book clubs nationwide and now International book club as we have members and chapter now all around the world. I am taking us into the next 20 years as we just celebrated our 20th Year of reading all together.
I lost touch with Joseph some time back but he recently reached out to me and I have just finished a novel he has written. You see readers, I also invest in ALL our authors body of work. Once a Pulpwood Queen Author, always a Pulpwood Queen Author. Having read all his books and now this new one, the journey as a writer I see unfolding is exceptional. He is a master storyteller. We all do not start that way but as we read and write we grow and hone our artistry, much as I have from the first time I picked up a color to color a picture as a very small child to now painting in my twilight years in Alcohol inks. I have evolved through the years and what a journey.
This Sunday, reflect on your story. Watch this video with it’s incredible prompts on writing and sharing your story. I too have always said a library is lost to your family and friends if you do not share your story. I am not the first to say that so pass it on. Everyone has a story and nobody can tell it better than you. It’s all about the story.
Kathy L. Murphy
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