aw8sus

Reflections

Goddess world

Wouldn’t it be lover-ly? A world of the goddess, where women didn’t need to be fearful, could trust everyone, where the were treated well.  Not put on a pedestal, or with disrespect, but well.  And not just some of the time, but all of the time.  I believe it would be a world without war and violence, but possibly too much shopping.  A  world that was a little softer. 

No, I’m not saying that women have a monopoly on tender feelings and great behovior as we clearly do not. But I’m just pondering the concept of a feminine-driven world.  I think there would be less competition.  We would look up to and respect differently than we do now.  I’d like to think that we’d be more inclusive, but that doesn’t seem to npbe much if a female quality.  In fact, the opposite could be said.  I think that children would have a better fate, than our current perspective.  

How much of who we are as women now, been influenced by our current view of both genders?  With that in mind, is it even conceivable to find an answer to this dilemma?  

Leave a comment »

A dream

Yesterday, a dream woke me.  It was early, very early for me as I keep my drowsy self in bed til mid-morning to some. But the dream…yes, I wanted to capture it, contain and record it, for it was important.  My protagonist is beginning to live in my dreamworld.  The dream was of her, or was it me, or both.  They say that everything and everyone in your dream is a representation of you.  So is she, me or me, her? Is this a dream or is it becoming real?   Am I losing myself or is she just becoming more real?

Regardless, the major bits of the dream unfolded on the page like a story.  Then it became ragged, which way to go?  Too many possibilities, or not enough.  How do I end this?  Hum, interesting.  I seem to have problems deciding where to begin the novel during my daylight hours.

I decided to let it go. The story/dream, that is.  If it wants to stay, it’s very welcome.  It could work in the book, with some tweaking.  Just come back when you’re ready…. I’ll be here, writing.

Leave a comment »

Go Down the Rabbit Hole: A Writer’s Manifesto

Writing for Digital Media

1. You are the work. The work is you: both an articulation of the self and a possibility for self-reflection. Be honest in creation: allow yourself to bleed into the work, but also allow it to work on you. Your work can show you things: illuminate and clarify your own thoughts, motivations, actions. If you do it right, you will find the work changing you, too.

2. Thinking is process. Laying on the floor. Sitting on park benches. Getting lost on purpose. These are all working. Learn the difference between mindless distraction and mindful wandering.

3. Go down the rabbit hole. Sometimes the work isn’t about what you think it is. Allow yourself to get lost down alleyways, to follow a train of thought around a corner. Don’t feel you need to reign yourself in. Too much focus squeezes all the possibility for revelation out of the work.

4. Fear…

View original post 290 more words

Leave a comment »

My Writing Life

I haven’t posted in awhile.  That’s obvious.  But I’m still writing, only it’s been in long hand, in a notebook.  I decided that I should post some of those writings here.  That way, I’ll have the posts pertaining to the process of writing a novel here where they can be read periodically.

So, I’m writing a novel, most likely historical fiction, about my grand-aunts, my grandfather’s younger sisters.  These two aunts were born in the 1900’s in what was then Oklahoma Territory.  Their lives encompassed Oklahoma statehood, an era of national prosperity and the Great Depression, major cultural shifts, including the era of the flappers, and massive changes in technology, cars, radio, telephone, electricity, etc.   During this time, these sisters became bank robbers. Yes, that’s right.  They ran with a gang of bandits.  But that story will be in the book and you can read it there.

What I intend to write here is about the process of writing and the journey it takes, literally, figuratively and creatively, as well as some flights of fancy.  Currently, I’m working on some character development.  Actually, all of the characters involved are ‘quite the characters’.  It’s my job to discover their voices, their actions, thoughts and beliefs.  Even though I’m related to the two main characters (my grand-aunts), I knew them when I was only a child and not very well.  You see, i come from a very large family – I have over 60 first cousins, and I’m closer in age to some of my second cousins.  So, it’s understandable that I may not know some family members very well or at all.

Back to process… I have found that understanding my characters, since I have only bits and pieces of memory regarding these two women and tales from other family members has been somewhat of analysis.  Specifically, psycho-analysis, as I ask questions such as “What would Goldie think about me writing her story?” which leads to “What would I think of someone writing my story?”  It’s a double-whammy of psycho-analysis, first for the character, then for me (or is it the other way around?). I have found that in writing about another, telling their story, requires that I not only place myself in their shoes, but also attempt to think like them, to see the world through their eyes.  To accomplish this, I must not automatically go to my natural reactions, but to consider other’s reactions thoughts, beliefs, and culture.  There is almost a 100 years difference between the time this story takes place and my time.  Times have changed drastically.

That brings another consideration to light.  Ross MacDonald stated, “We re-shape ourselves when we write.”  That’s all well and good, but I need to re-shape myself only in the timeless ways.  Re-shaping to a culture 100 years in the past could become detrimental to my present.

On one hand, it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to speak with the characters that I’m writing about, or some of their descendants, but I’ve found that to be difficult if not impossible.  Most have died, or it brings back bad memories to the family members.  The flip side of that fact is that I have more room for creativity to bloom.  In the meantime, I’m trying to be as informed as possible by the research.

Til next time…

Leave a comment »

Childhood Communion

Forward and back, back and forward

Wind rushing past my cheek

Whoosh…Whoosh…

Eyes closed, sunbeams on my face

I am in my happy place

No thoughts…

Concerns have flown away

 

Back and forth, forward and back

Taking huge gulps of spring-scented air

Blowing the breath out

Through a wide grin, plastered to my face

Long hair streaming wildly, freely behind me

Or falling forward into my eyes and nose

Tendrils clinging to the moisture on my lips

 

Forward and back, back and forth

Traveling through time and space

Emptying my mind

Listening to the trees sigh in the wind

Feeling the pull on my arms

From the warm chains in my hands

Gliding through the air

 

Back and forth, forward and back

Thoughts dart through my mind like butterflies

Hovering briefly

Then spirited away on the wind

Sun-warmed skin softening

To the heat, opening, relaxing

Weightless

 

Forward and back, back and forth

Momentum begins to slow

My body intuitively moves, shifts

Time changes

I’m not ready yet

Still a need for movement

Go, go, go

 

Back and forth, forward and back

Learn far, far back

Small hands grip the chains tightly

Legs stretched out, toes pointed

There it is – the shift

A momentary pause

The gap

 

Forward and back, back and forth

Thrusting small chest forward

Tucking legs under

Streamlined position

Pushing, pushing

Pushing forward

To the end of an invisible arc

 

Back and forth, forward and back

Climbing higher, higher

Muscles straining, flexing, shifting

So, high, higher than the crossbar

A little jump, a bump

Momentary slackness in the chains

High enough

 

Forward and back, back and forth

Ease into the rhythm once more

Reaching for the tress

Leaves whispering wise words

Branches enfold me in a bark-covered embrace

Ancient sage to a novice

Communion on a swing

 

Back and forth, forward and back

Quiet, peaceful, serene

Gliding through the air

Comfort, warmth, love

Momentum slows, winding down

From an ecstatic interlude

Sh…..

 

Forward and back, back and forth

I am free, at least for now

Alone, on a beautiful day

Among the tall trees

Home amid the spikey green grass

And the fine brown dust below

My soul filled to over-flowing

 

Back and forth, forward and back

Don’t stop, not yet, not now

Begin again, another climb

To celebrate, to kiss the air

Hug the bark-skin of the tree

Offer thanks and love

A promise to return…tomorrow

 

Forward and back, back and forth

Muscles tighten, then release

Moving higher, higher

To the peak

I prepare, wiggle a bit

Shift of the shoulders

Fist the right, then the left

 

Back and forth, forward and back

Chains behind me now

Gulping in the spring-scented air

And fly…

Higher and higher

Toes pointed, arms outstretched

Landing – a perfect 10

 

Leave a comment »

Hibernation

Hibernation mode – that’s where I am now.  The weather agrees with me, grey days of low light and water falling in big drops.  It takes a great deal of effort just to stir, to move myself out of the house.  Inside, it’s warm and cozy.  I can find plenty to occupy my hands, mind and time.  I move through the days lazily with brief interludes devoted to activities that connect me to the outside world., some online work, the dreaded taxes, or having a telephone conversation with a dear one.

My soul hungers for conversation, laughter, or just quiet company of another.  I eagerly await my husband’s return from work to hear about his day, to share some moments together.  However, once I’ve entered into that space occupied by someone else, I’m ready to run and hide away in my books, my writing, or other solitary retreats. 

Hibernation feels like an alternative reality – fuzzy, comfortable, timeless, and endless.  Yet I know that it is a temporary condition.    My mind stretches a bit, a long, twisty, languid, cat-like stretch into impossible positions to grab an idea of what’s next.  Then suddenly, it moves away, slippery as an eel. 

I just want to spend my time in the spot.  You know, the one, where words flow like a waterfall or even a slow moving stream.  The place where the pen glides easily and without stopping over the paper.  Where all of the right words pour forth and are committed by ink.  The sensation of being in alignment with your source and all is right.

Something occurs, a cramp in your hand, the mail dropping in the slot, the phone buzzing with another text message and the moment is lost.  Once jarred back into this space we call everyday life, perspectives shift as if a cloud covered the sun.  We are left yearning yet again.

Leave a comment »

The color of Green

She sat in the backyard amid the sounds of a repeatedly revving lawn mower nearby and a jet flying overhead.  “Is this the color of green?” she wondered.  Perhaps the lawnmower could be, but not quite.  And certainly not the overhead jet – that was the silvery blue of a minnow swimming in the pond’s edge.  The lawn mower reminded her of the ‘grass green’ paint on the old Craftsman mower she had used as a kid.  She had pushed that mower in square patterns on the lawn in an endless, hot tedium of chores that must be done before play.  Certainly not a restful shade of green.  The neighbor, eventually defeated, put away the noisy machine.  When that sound ceased, it was replaced by the steady sucking sound of a vacuum.  She had noticed another neighbor cleaning the trunk of his car when she walked through the backdoor.  Also, not the color of green.

She sat in the lawn chair found two summers ago when she and her husband were returning from a long bicycle ride.  It had been one of those glorious weekend days that made riding a bike a sweet sensual experience complete with pleasant scents, visions and sensations.  The air was perfumed with the bouquet of flowers as they rode through the neighborhood streets.  Each of them spied the lawn chairs as the same time.  However, he had to make a quick turn around to come back to the place where the chairs sat next to a large tree on the curb.  Two low-slung Adirondack style chairs in dark forest green, one holding a ‘FREE’ sign in the seat.  “Do you want those?” He asked. She nodded her head emphatically.  They had been looking for yard furniture and this was obviously a bargain.  Right at that moment, another younger couple stopped to view the chairs.  “These are taken, sorry” she informed them.  They readily agreed, while offering a postcard invitation.  The invitation was to a Sex Show on the following weekend.  “Why don’t you come?”. asked the younger woman, “It will be fun.”. Murmuring a quick thank you and a muffled “we’ll see”, she was pleasantly surprised by the invitation when the young people left on their bikes.

He said that he would hurry home to bring the truck back so that they could transport the chairs, while she settled into one.  After securing her bike next to the charm she pulled out her knitting to await the truck.  She had time only to complete a few rows when he returned with his work van. They loaded the chairs and she stated that she would continue home on her bicycle.  What a lucky find, she thought as they parted.

Once home, he inspected the chairs more  closely.  One rotted board while all of the joints had rusted hardware was found after a  thorough scrubbing of the chairs.  Over the next week, he made the necessary repairs and she began to paint.  Supplies were located in a garage, resulting in bright white chairs.  Obviously, not the color of green, but an improvement over the original color of deep forest green. 

As the days passed, the realization became evident that bright white did not suit.  So, she gathered supplies and ideas.  Painting began in earnest:  one board became navy blue, multi colored circles decorated the arms, wavy lines of lilac punctuated strips of lime green and rose, and flowers erupted in random places over the back and seat of the chairs.  Each chair was different, yet the same – much closer to the color of green…

Today, she sits curled on a pillow in her repaired, repainted, second chance chair feeling the color of green.  A neighbor’s tabby cat walks the roofline of her garage, as her tiger striped cat scampers under the picnic table.  Visions of the newly found white metal head and foot boards planted in the strawberry bed play in her creative consciousness, seeking inspiration. Baskets of colored flowers hang just above these new trellises, filled with primroses and daisies.  Next to her, the baby transplants of kale, broccoli, lettuce and spinach enjoy their new home in the cool, rich garden soil.  She imagines the small plants are extending their roots deep into the dirt to grab the earth’s nutrients as their leaves sniff the air for oxygen and moisture.  The wind chimes are quiet today as the air is still.  A nearby squirrel chatters to the cat, who ignores his attempts at conversation during her investigation of every nook and cranny in her cat kingdom. 

As she looks around the backyard, evidence of her husband’s handiwork is everywhere. The trellis built two summers ago supports the thick, ropey branches of the old fashioned rose bush and a jasmine.  The lean-to garage extension which keeps the rain and occasional snows off their bicycles, out of season yard furniture and his larger tools, even the kayaks are stored on the back wall.  The relatively new outdoor electrical safety plug, handy all year round.  A dwindling supply of wood is stacked neatly under the roofed structure providing shelter for insects to nest, especially the spiders.  The faux outhouse sits at the back of the yard, still unfinished but with big plans in store.  He had cleaned up all the borders of the previous garden beds and created two more in past summers. Two large water drums sit proudly in the center of one, moss growth evident around the spouts.  The newest raised bed is decorated with an bug house and colorful prayer flags.  The clotheslines bisecting the yard was one of her favorite features of the yard. That line was quite busy between laundry and the industrious spider activity of web making. 

There are various bits and pieces still needing attention or completion.  The yard and garden are always a meditation in process. Storage needs to be found for the extra washer and dryer covered by a tarp by the wood pile.  Scraps of building materials are stacked neatly along the back fence, a benefit/hazard of his construction work, depending on one’s perspective.  Absent are the mosquitoes, thanks to the spiders.  “If only they would go after the garden slugs….” she thought, “but then I really love their exquisite spider webs.”.

This is her color of green – springtime in the backyard.            

          

Leave a comment »

Layers

Writing, like Buddhist meditation, is an excavation of thoughts, emotions, motivations all the way down to existence.  The pure primordial being-ness that is my soul.  It’s so easy to get caught in the mundane, the superficial bits of our lives.  Much more difficult to burrow underneath to different meaning or greater truth, to that small nugget of wisdom.  It begins with the slick, black gooey mass of debris that slides out of our soul, covering us as we try to build barriers for protection.  It’s the monkey mind of busyness, or avoidance, or just plain old fear.  There’s this trick we play upon ourselves, to hide behind, to offer justifications, to consider ourselves not enough.  Not good enough, smart enough, trained enough, big enough, or even interesting enough.  But I am!  I know that I am.  I want to move past the broken plastic cups, the wadded pieces of paper lying on the floor, the whiny voice in my head that repeatedly tells me reasons to stop.  But I won’t.  I won’t stop writing.  I will not stop knowing that I’m capable, that I’m creative, and that my words, whether written or spoken, have merit.  I’m moving to the next layer, past that black, sticky, gooey covering to see what’s next.   

Leave a comment »

Writing

I’ve been writing some, but not nearly enough.  I started another 50,000 words challenge this month, but soon realized that I just wasn’t prepared to write the story.  I’m still in research phase.  It’s mid-way through the month, and I’ve just entered all of the data that I’ve retrieved from my research.  I’ve found missing bits that I need for the story, historical references for fashions, cars, technology, crops, and even the topographical data that is needed to make the story work.

Then I listen to other readers or read stories on other blogs and get frustrated or intimidated & fearful. Am I just fooling myself? Why do I believe that my story needs telling? The doubting thoughts arise and I felt like a fraud, yet again.

 I know that I have what it takes to become an author. It’s not just a silly illusion. But, it is unfamiliar and it’s been quite some time that I’ve been a novice. The challenge is to continue to be kind to myself as I move through this change and grow into the vision I have of myself.

Leave a comment »

Next Chapter

I resigned from my day job today. Funny to call it my day job as it had invaded my life. I even dreamt about work, almost every night and while on vacation. I don’t know that it should be classified as work since it was so insidious and pervasive. Maybe it was one of the levels of Dante’s Inferno. Whatever it was, it’s almost over and I can reclaim my life once more.

I really didn’t know what to do with myself when I got home. I didn’t feel like calling anyone to share my good news. Although, I’m sure there are several people who would be interested. I didn’t feel like making art or writing. Now, that’s odd because I’ve been so impatient to get to that space and have the time to create. I didn’t feel like reading.

I just wanted to be for awhile. To simply float, mindless. My brain has been so active for so long, actually, hyperactive. I don’t really want to move on to the next bit, but to simply relax. There’s enough time to do that for now. The decisions can come later.

Leave a comment »