We all know both the word and the feelings that come with it. Overwhelmed is one of those words that can be both a negative and a positive. I have experienced both these last few weeks. First of all I was overwhelmed with joy at the support for the new publishing venture Barbadum Books. Thank you again to those of you who contributed to the Kickstarter.
In the aftermath, I have been a bit overwhelmed with work at getting everything lined up and ready to go. But that is a good problem to have because frankly this year has been overwhelmingly rough for me. Having a healthy outlet to pour my time and energy is truly a blessing.
Because I love the absurd I began thinking o the word overwhelmed and then thought about how you also hear underwhelmed but never just plain ol' whelmed.
past tense: whelmed; past participle: whelmed
engulf, submerge, or bury (someone or something).
"a swimmer whelmed in a raging storm"
flow or heap up abundantly.
"the brook whelmed up from its source"
Apparently hitting that fine line of being perfectly whelmed was so tough, the very word became archaic. Even though the word itself already meant drowning or flooded over. I understand because that's a bit how I feel about life currently.
There is a spot there in the middle somewhere I am trying to land, but it seems to be eluding me. I don't mind being neck deep, but I sure want to keep my head above water.
Back many long years ago, I took my first ever writing class under Jodi Thomas. She taught me a lot and I forged a few lasting friendships from that group. Right at the top of that list is Marcy McKay. Marcy's novel Pennies From Burger Heaven came out earlier this year and because I have been so overwhelmed I only recently made time to sit down and read it. I now urge you to do the same. Told from a young homeless girls POV this dark and gritty novel sheds light upon the people we've all ignored or walked past hurriedly at one time or another. It is a novel that not only entertains with it's thrilling pace down the stretch but at the same time teaches us some humanity. All without knowing you are getting a that lesson. Great job Marcy.
I also want to share a video from another friend of mine. Dan Johnson has a band called the Salt Cedar Rebels and all their music is great, but early one morning I woke up to a text message from Dan with the lyrics to a song called Hemingway. I was moved reading the words and told him so, Later that morning he sent me a rough cut of the song recorded on his phone and the character spoke to me straight away. I listened to the haunting vocals and story all throughout the day and that evening I basically begged Dan to let me flesh out the story. I did so and I am very proud of the result. I shared that story with the Kickstarter backers, and sometime soon I will be able to share it with the world. Until then please check out Dan's video.
And please visit www.hemingwayproject.org to learn more about how you can help our military members struggling with this all too common problem. Because being overwhelmed, is no way to live and turning our backs on the problems of others is truly an archaic idea.