Following a Folded Dream

My dad was of the mind that a job’s only purpose is that it pays your bills, whether you like the work or not. Well, he was an architect and one does not pursue that career unless he enjoys the creativity of the work. I believe he followed a dream and the end result was, “BAMMM! Architect!”

I have always enjoyed hard work…physically hard work. It kept me in shape and by it’s nature (no ledgers or contracts or personnel issues) my mind was free to wander and daydream. My favourite job was working on a truck terminal…a 400′ terminal…loading and unloading 41′ semi-truck trailers, mostly by myself. 8-10 hours a day. 6-7 days a week.

I’m here to tell you that I was in marvelous shape, both physically and mentally. I ate like a horse and slept like a baby! Working a truck terminal wasn’t my dream job, but I¬†loved it…for twelve years.

We don’t all have the luxury of finding a job that allows us to follow our dreams – where we can go to work every day and return home with a calm mind. I’d say most of us must unwind from working a job that is so stressful that it affects our health.

Thank God for meditation, yoga and Tai Chi. And fireplaces. And windchimes. And paths that meander through the woods.

Hmmm… ūüėĆ

Mine have always been artistic dreams:

  • Painting, pencil sketching and portraiture
  • Fabric painting and crafts
  • Wood and stone carving
  • Clay and wire sculpture
  • Singing, and…
  • Writing

I have followed each of those dreams, either in the course of (or in spite of) any employment…and accomplished enough to satisfy my ideas of success.

Though I’ve always been a writer, it is only now, in my retirement, that I have begun to follow my dream of becoming an author – writing more than articles and blog posts for a company.¬†I started by writing…and publishing…a book.

Folded Dreams – the Beginning was published last December (2015). The follow up novel, “Folded Dreams – to the End?” (working title) will be published before this Christmas, hopefully.

This¬†two book series is good. I’m not an award winning author – yet – but I am my own worst critic and even I think it’s good for its genre (metaphysical/visionary fiction). In fact, the first book has received 4 star reviews from people who don’t normally even like this genre.

What has this to do with balancing your life? Everything!

At my age, the biggest worries are fixed income and health, with mental accuity rating top of the list.

Working on these books (and the next four or five) has excercised my mental faculties in crucial ways. After several mini-strokes affected my short term memory, I had a difficult time finding my words – they just got lost. I need words in order to write…so I have to work at it – even now. Hard.

Also, 62 years is just not long enough to share the memories of a life that has been so full of adventure, crazy experiences and drama, with all my fifty-plus grandchildren.

The fact that I continued to follow my dreams into old age is my legacy to my family. These books, starting with Folded Dreams – the Beginning, are my legacy to them.

My mind is clear, my health is fair – my spirit and body are balanced. I’m good.

If you would like to read a bit of Folded Dreams – the Beginning, you can find it on Amazon; try the “Look Inside” feature for the Kindle version.

A rough draft (3rd edit) of the first 4 or 5 chapters of the upcoming “Folded Dreams” novel (and the ¬†first chapter of my newest novel, “Waking Up Dead!”), are here on Goodreads. I’m sure you’ll find both of them…interesting!

You can also enter the Goodreads Giveaway (below) to win 1 of 10 copies of Folded Dreams – the Beginning.

(by the way Рyou can follow my author blog, The Old Fossil Writes, catch me on Twitter @PLKirkby and Instagram @pearlkirkby_author.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Folded Dreams by Pearl Kirkby

Folded Dreams

by Pearl Kirkby

Giveaway ends October 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Wow! Has it been that long? UPDATES


I cannot believe it’s been so long since I posted here on “Balance the Circle…”! And oh! are there ever Updates…at least for this category of Journal of Journalism!

Has it really been that long…8 months??

Well, be that as it may, here is the latest news on my writing endeavours:

  • “Mama Always Said…I Love You More!” – children’s book: text complete…illustrations: not so much.
  • “Folded Dreams – the Beginning” – (very) short story: published 5 December 2015. Lovely little book; available on and in both paperback and Kindle, Barnes & Noble (paperback only) and other booksellers worldwide.
  • “Folded Dreams”, the novel: in-progress…about 1/3 finished; tentative release – late November – mid-December 2016
  • “Waking Up Dead!” – a novel; in-progress. Should be completed next year, 2017…cannot give a closer estimate!
  • “Prosetry & P’ose and other little ditties” – a compilation of simple poetry/prose: compiled selection of works from 2001 – 2015. Simple. Uncomplicated.. Nothing “dark”. Compilation in-progress. Should be released some time between Thanksgiving 2016 and Spring 2017.
  • Tomatoes & Babies…who knew!” – compilation of Sermon Topics from 2003-2014: Book 1 of 2. Compilation in-progress.
  • “More Tomatoes” – Compilation of Sermon Topics: Book 2

And there you have it…all the updates (I still can’t believe it has been that long!).¬†This will be my last direct post in the Journal of Journalism category; future posts will be re-blogged from my author site, “The Old Fossil Writes”, which I hope you will visit.

Books (updated from “Private” to “Public” on 17/7/23)


Their heft when you lift them off of a shelf.

Running your fingers over the title of an embossed cover.

The sound of just that kind of paper, as you flip the pages until a word, a sentence, a chapter title, or just plain instinct, stops you.

The smell of them.

The urge to write is persistent. The dream of becoming published…urgent. Sometimes even obsessive.

But life happens. Urges are stifled, dreams are put on hold. Still, throughout life, there are diary entries made, journals become a passion and massive reams of paper, handsful of pens and the hoardish possession of great, hardback journals full of empty, inviting pages feeds an obsessive-compulsive streak you never knew could be so fierce.

Then you retire and everything falls into place.

Over the course of sixty-one years*, one can accumulate a library full of memories and experiences, thoughts and philosophies. Categorizing everything by subject can take years, especially if you’re physically ¬†organizing notes. Then comes ordering, whether chronologically or otherwise,¬†and then updating and setting it all down in NEW notebooks or, stored in and on the latest technological format.

During the past decade and a half, I’ve discovered that nearly ten books have grown out of my 61* years of life.

One book lacks only illustrations. One is nearing it’s final self-edit before a more professional editor can critique’ it*. The rest are coming together, slowly but surely. ¬† “I Love You More”, part of the “Mama Always Said” series (Mama Always Said, Vols 1-4 ¬©2003-2017) is my first children’s book.

It is time.*

Continue reading



So here I am. It’s Monday, September 23, 2013. Got laid off earlier this month. Loved my job, but really missing the social life I’ve had for two years at a great company with awesome co-workers.

To quote an oldie but goodie song, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!”

Poor, pitiful me.

Now although I must admit I’ve enjoyed the “Time to Relax” part¬†(even though I got bored by about day 11), my allotted two weeks¬†for¬†a¬†“Semi-Pity-Party” is¬†finally over and my new life as a retiree has¬†now commenced. Sort of.

Today is relegated to making a list, or schedule if you will, of how to proceed.¬† Oh yes…and cleaning the guinea pig cage and changing the cat litter, but that’s neither here nor there!

Yes, I know¬†it sounds kind of stupid, but only to those who don’t know me for the quintessential list maker that I am (is that a dangling participle??). Some would say, “What list? You know what needs doing, so just do it!”, right?


My brain doesn’t work like that. Unless there is a deadline, my mind will skip merrily around like a curious puppy…sniff a flower here, chase a rabbit there, watch a swarm of bees, spot a favourite chew toy (puppies have teeth, you see )…in other words, I’m the epitome of what Mother Superior refers to Maria in The Sound of Music: “A Flibbertigibbet“.

You see, in my world there is always such a wondrous choice of things to do that, when I start on one task, I’m very easily distracted into pursuing another one.

With me, it’s all, “Ok, I need to do this…no wait! Let me do that first…but no! I have to¬†take care of this other first, THEN finish that and¬†THEN I’ll do this….aww, shoot fire and save matches…wait, dang it! I need to finish this thing before I get to that thing and THEN I can do those other¬†things!”

BUT FIRST I need a cup of coffee…


Today is list making day…

You all have a great day doing whatever YOU do!

DAMN YOU, GRAPH PAPER! ((Mama always said")

“Mama Always Said…” (8th Draft???)


Here I am, ready to write (by hand, of course) a full draft of my book, “Mama Always Said…” All my notes are gathered around me, placed ‘just so’, so that I can organize them properly. I worked on my WordPress site for four and a half hours yesterday and completed around 4 pages, one of them introducing the concept of the book, another outlining the book itself – plus introducing three more manuscripts which are “in the works”.

I’m excited! I’m ready! I’m more than ready….I’m psyched!!


…as I said, I’m ready to make a good start, having purchased four spiral notebooks (one for each book) and a set of six gel pens. I grab my coffee, phone, pens and reading glasses, cigarettes and ashtray and I hie me to the bedroom for some serious creating.

I get settled and comfortable, perch my readers on the tip of my nose, open my pen. Ready to write…and with a self-satisfied sigh, I turn back the front cover of my first notebook.

It’s graph paper. A notebook full of graph paper, all neatly held together by a silver coloured spiral.

Graph paper. Big old squares just sitting all over each and every page. Both sides, front and back.

Distracting me.

Teasing me.

Tempting me away from my well laid plans to write.

To most people, this will sound a bit petty. But I know me better than anyone else does. It’s really not petty, this graph paper, even now, just sneering at me with its perfect little boxes – all the same size

perfectly aligned

4 squares per inch

which can be scaled to read:    4 sq. (=) 1ft     2 sq (=) 6in     1 sq (=) 3in.


But not for writing my book.

You see, there are certain things in this life that I treasure dearly:

  • a blank canvas and a dozen tubes of paint
  • a big old lump of clay, or a good sized chunk of wood
  • a ream of blank, college lined paper and a supply of pens, cos I love to WRITE – and –
  • a ream of graph paper, a dozen pencils and a gum eraser…cos I love to design houses and furniture and jewelry and…and…and…

Perfect squares.

Four whole notebooks of perfect little squares.

Just sayin’…

DAMN YOU GRAPH PAPER! ("Mama Always Said...")

“She Didn’t Get It From MY Side of the Family!”

When I was just a little girl I used to ask my mother about our family history; actually I¬†was¬†curious¬†to know only about her father and his people, who were Native American, and Granny’s people who were originally from the Emerald Isle of Ireland. Although my paternal history was never taboo, Mama never seemed to¬†want to talk about the¬†native side of our family. “We are Caucasian! We are not indian!” she would say.¬†In short, until she became much, much older, it appeared that she¬†was ashamed of her father.

But I don’t think she was. She loved her daddy. I just think that she ran into that sort of bias when she was young and merely didn’t want to ever deal with it again. I¬†eventually learned that,¬†back in the day, prejudice ran as rampantly toward the red man as the black.

I was able to finagle stories from Granny about my grandfather but, funnily enough, not too many about her family history. Oh, I got stories from most of my aunts and uncles (there were six) but nothing that could create a timeline, you know?

Family means a lot to me. If you ponder all the people in your family, you can recognize certain familial traits that are passed from one to another, but if you are like most people you will always notice one or two cousins, aunts or uncles…or even yourself…who just don’t seem to “fit the mold”.

So just where did, say, great aunt Aunt Susie get her daydreaming qualities from a family who were so serious that none of them would know a fantasy if it sucked them into a painting. And how did Uncle Stuart wind up as a person who was as mean as a striped snake when nearly all of his family were the greatest of philanthropists?

For that matter, in my case,¬†how did I wind up wanting nothing more than to paint, draw, sing and write my entire life when everyone else in my family went on to go to college (straight out of school) and make careers in business? I mean, I did go to college, even got a degree in accounting, of all things…but only so I would be able to understand my own finances when I make truckloads money writing my first book!

The more you can trace your family, not only the names and where they lived, but information on their characters, careers and day to day activities, then the better able you are to understand the “Who” of you.

Past, present and future? That’s history.

Body, mind, spirit? That’s pretty much all¬†genetic.

“Mama Always Said…”

I¬†created this¬†Balance the Circle account on WordPress¬†years ago, but¬†only now have¬†finally decided to¬†produce¬†this, my¬†very first post,¬†which is supposed to¬†be about¬† my book, “Mama Always Said..”, a work that has been in progress since 1983.¬† (sigh) ¬†It’s been¬†a long time coming¬†but,¬†having been¬†branded “Procrastinator”¬†at the ripe old¬†age of four (a title to which I have stubbornly clung¬†for nearly¬†six decades), I think I will¬†excuse myself by¬†quoting what Mama always said: “I’ll be there when I get there.”

During the process of creation, Balance the Circle has evolved to include a number of subjects: Health, Telemedicine and Telehealth, The Body/Mind Connection and Journal of Journalism (which will be for my book writing endeavors and will likely contain the least number of posts!!). Incidentally, Journal of Journalism is destined to become a completely different site at some point, so if you miss it, look for the post that announces it.

I have to say that I owe this inspiration to “get on with it” to¬†two people:¬† Pinklightsabre (“Death is Not the end”)…and, of course, Mama, who always had something to say about every situation in life.¬†How Pinklightsabre became an inspiration to someone like me,¬†who has a history of fearing any journey that¬†takes me away from my comfort zone¬†into risky territory will become obvious if you read that blog.

As for Mama, God rest her sweet soul, she simply hated whining and excuses.