Nicole Sharp

Writer, Wanderer and Coffee Lover living "la dolce vita"

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Heroes…

I love John Cougar Mellencamp. I saw him in concert two years ago and I’m still not ready to talk about it. Seeing him in concert was intense bucket list stuff for me.  I hold The Cougar in a private sort of way. I don’t hold him out in the open for all to see. His influence and presence in my life: I’ve always felt I needed to hold him close to the bone.

John Cougar Mellencamp, this man who stood for himself and did things his own way, regardless of what the world was doing…well, I was inspired, impressed, and wholeheartedly related to his message. As a sixth grade girl whose friends were evenly divided between Duran Duran or Michael Jackson (those were the times my friends, MJ hadn’t gone all creepy in ‘85. Not that we knew about anyway.) But those were the two camps available to me at that point in my life, and I decided to stand alone in camp with The Cougar.

He gave me a voice when I felt voiceless. He was a friend I rocked out to in my room, my small tape player turned up as far as it would go, distorting the sound of the music from a full rift of a guitar to a high pitched twangy strain of technology. He was honest and heartfelt and didn’t care what others thought about him, and that’s what I was desperately trying to be; but a girl in 6th grade in ’85 wasn’t really encouraged to stand out from the crowd. And still that was the beginning of a twinkle, when I began to think I wanted to do things differently than all the other around me. That was the beginning of my iconoclastic ways.

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Un-rejection?

A woman writes in 1901

This is not the rejection you thought it was, it’s a different rejection of rejection. I’m pretty sure Yoda said that at one point.

So, this morning, I’m sitting in my haven of a backyard, the weather is nice and cool, cloud cover with active squirrels whooping it up, rummaging through the trees along my fence line.

I go through my normal morning moves: coffee, jazz, journal, and then check the email. I’ve subscribed to several informative ‘writer’ blogs and such over the years, and this morning as I read through one such one, an interesting article caught my eye, “Levels of rejection and what they mean.”

Of course, my gut reaction: What the fuck?! You mean there are different levels of rejection to feel bad about other than just the normal rejection that’s eating me up on the insides?!

A glutton; of course I read on.

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A short story…

Here’s a weird bit of information. When you publish short stories on your own personal website, it often voids the chances of said story to be published in a literary magazine, most of them require pieces that have never been published before.  That rule includes one’s own blog.

That is one of the reasons I tend not to put any short stories on my blog.

But I love this one. I wrote it for a short story / essay contest held here in my little corner of the world where the theme was Fuel. Well, when I think of fuel, the one thing that always comes to my mind is my love for coffee. It truly fuels me!

Coffee Shops by Nicole Sharp Continue reading

Please welcome back to the stage…Rejection

Two rejected grant applications have wandered their unwanted way into my mailbox. This past Friday found the arrival of the second rejection.

So, how have I been handling it? Not well. Rejection, whether it’s the first one or the thousandth, hurts.

And sucks and makes me feel bad and I spiraled and quit because what’s the point and and and…

And if you’ve been reading, you’ve noticed a difference in my determination this year. Well, I will admit that there has been a shift in my depression demeanor as well. Is that a thing?

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To fail…

I jumped on the podcast trendy train. No, I’m not putting a podcast out there, but I started listening to them. I didn’t know where to start with the plethora of podcasts that are out these days. Before getting into the podcast these past few months, I’ve only really listened to two from years past.

Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter did one called A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment. They did about 28 shows, the last one being in October of 2015. The other one I loved was The Dead Authors Podcast. “Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizen Brigade Theater in LA for a lively discussion in front of a live audience. Unscripted, barely researched, all fun!”

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Everything…

I’m moved into my backyard for the season. My flowers are starting to bloom enough for me to make small bouquets of fresh loveliness for myself every few days. I’ve been writing again in the early morning hours with my coffee and I find that there are so many life lessons that can be gleaned from where I sit and watch. No need to go too far afield. Of course, I love going far afield, but these past few weeks, it seems the lessons and magic abound right here at home.

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I’ve been thinking…

A friend and I get together and walk every two weeks or so. Once the hugs of greeting are given; cellphones and keys are tucked away in various pockets; and hats are fitted into place – we get to the task of walking. And talking.

My friend quickly runs through her personal update and then asks me excitedly, “what have you been thinking about lately?”

I like that question, the way she puts it. Though, I have to ask myself, is that really interesting? The things I’ve been thinking about?

I don’t think so.

Of course, just as I’m about to go on and on about how I haven’t been thinking about anything interesting and I have nothing to say, I start talking about what it is that I actually have been ruminating on.

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And the Author Bio goes to…

I haven’t blogged much lately because I’ve been stuck in the void of grant application deadlines and short story submissions. While a bit of a challenge, the experiences haven’t been bad. One positive is that I’ve been given the opportunity to stand up for my writing and passion. (Even if I’m standing up to myself.) I’m a writer. There is only one direction. Forward. Always.

(Oooh, it works for lots of stuff going on in life right now, too. Weird, huh?)

That’s one side of the grant application. The other is an exercise in self examination.  I’ve had to come up with several personal statements that cause me to question, “who am I?”

Wait. It’s not like that. Not the way you just read those words. Off handed and quickly,  ‘who am I’.

Read it again. With gusto. Read it like the self-inflicted, insidious introspection it’s become. Like it’s a torturous, soul bending, hair pulling, lying prone on the floor scream of: “WHO AM I?!!”

There you go, that’s how you should read it. Continue reading

Wow…Mary!

A few years ago, maybe only two years ago, now that I think about it. Two years ago, I found Mary Beard. And since then, the more I find out about her, as she shows up in my peripheral, the more of a crush I develop on her.

Mary Beard has a laundry list of ‘things she is’ behind her name. In summation, she is a Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge. She is an English scholar and classicist, think study of ancient Romans and Greeks among others. She’s been made a Dame of Commander of the Order of the British Empire, which puts the title Dame in front of her given name. There are more titles she touts as well; and she has a regular blog that appears in The Times Literary Supplement.

I first came to know of Mary’s in an article written in the New Yorker. I was fascinated with the easy going, long gray haired woman with no make-up that was practically glowing because as she sat comfortably on a velvet chase, she looked like she had the whole world figured out. The article was wonderful as well, and instilled the beginnings of my crush. Apparently, Mary’s not so polite trolls on social media are no match for her. She often engages them. So much so, that she engaged one such young man and they are now friends. She did indeed, if I am remembering correctly, garner an apology as well.

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Birthday wishes…

Birthdays are interesting things aren’t they? There is a joy in the celebration of self. It’s like a personal New Year with pampering at the forefront. Although, some people don’t like to celebrate them. Some never really celebrated to begin with, so they just give a nod of acknowledgment to the passing day. Of course, in my family, mom made it a big deal. I’m not talking themed birthday parties every year (although she did do that on occasion.) I’m talking – short of a parade – my mom had a way of making our birthday’s so special, we could hear the band in our head coming round the corner.

Okay, so I’m talking about birthday’s because the writer had a birthday. She is of a certain age now. I don’t mind telling you how old she is; it doesn’t faze her really. I’m 45.

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