Friday, January 29, 2010

Introducing Beth Chapman: A Southern Hi Yall from Minnesota!

Hello! Or, as they would say in my native tongue, Hi Yall! This southern belle, now living in the Minnesota tundra, is quite honored to be among such fine company. Thank you Kathryn and thank you all for the inspiration, smiles, laughter and “so true” moments you have already gifted me.

Blogging is a new experience to me but it has brought me full circle. My passion for and release through writing began at the age of nine on a large very worn and clunky Royal typewriter and a picture in the World Book Encyclopedia showing you how to type. You know those old typewriters that could amputate a finger if it fell between the keys. The tapping rhythm of the keys hitting the platen, the ribbon spools turning, and the paper inching upward with each return physically embraced the emotions of watching thoughts appear on paper. You could not hide the smudges if you made a mistake. Everything was exposed on the typewriter. Then came computers and everything could be deleted, cut, pasted or copied with a single keystroke. Convenient, but it felt like something was lost. Blogging and writing in an environment like Writer’s Rising has brought back the opportunity for the honesty and nakedness of that old Royal typewriter … with the added convenience.

I am a fifty-six year old southern woman who chose a non southern woman’s role and pursued education and working. My degrees are in accounting and anthropology. In a predominately male manufacturing world, my job is to tell the guys whether they are performing to standards. People ask me how I deal with numbers all day. It always makes me smile. I tell stories and I teach. I am a translator or bridge maker between the plant, finance and executives. I speak their languages. My job is to help the plant workers see how their actions have a financial impact. I then tell the plant’s story to the guys in the suits with clean fingernails. They see only ratios, balance sheets and P&L statements with little or no understanding of what happened to create the numbers. My work gives me a chance to do something not many people do - give a voice to people who are usually just an employee ID. That's pretty cool and that’s what I do with numbers – I tell stories and I write. I share this because I think many of us who have the desire to write see it as a double life separate from our “real lives.” My epiphany that the two can be joined is perhaps not only my introduction to this group but also to myself. The two types of writing are very different but they share one author-the passion to write and give voice.

Life, to me, is like a Rubik’s Cube. I am constantly looking and twisting the cube to create new patterns. I am an observer of life and people determined to find that spark and spirit of hope and awakening. My blog, Hope's Breath represents my journey into the magic of life’s Rubik’s Cube, of waking up, seeing and breathing the joy and wonder of life. Along the way, my breath of hope is that I may leave bread crumbs of hope for my fellow travelers. Thank you to all the contributors of Writer’s Rising for the loaves of bread you have shared with me. Oh, the little one in the picture is my great niece,Zoey, a real breath of hope.


marcime said...

I am sitting here with my mouth open - as I am finding is my usual position when I am reading Writers Rising...Beth! you tell stories and write...and give voice to people's humanity whilst immersed in numbers - an anthropologist-accountant-writer - I can't wait to hear what you have to say...
Welcome! - M.

Katherine Jenkins said...

Lovely Beth...what a very diverse background you have. So many great people here. I am very excited to see where this all goes. Much peace, Kathy

Tony Anders said...

I look forward to reading more - having friends in the south, as well as Minesota - I look forward to how you combine this perspective! With warm regards!

Heather Conroy said...

Hi Beth,

What a busy lady you are! I, like you, cannot separate out the writer from my other selves. Writing is a part of me and also the conduit for integrating all other parts.

I am looking forward to looking through your blog (an all the other new contributors as well). So many blogs, so little time *sigh* What a wealth of talent and inspiration Kathy has assembled here. Thanks Kathy!