Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Today's Assignment - Create New Words

I had some fun with this one. It was a light-hearted break from some of the more serious subjects we have been writing about in my 30 Day Writing Marathon.  Feel free to add some other  "gasms" in the Comments.

Designgasm – the overwhelming excitement you experience when you see a perfect room, or house or shoe
Foodgasm – the moment your tastebuds cry out “more, more, Oh my GOD, MORE!” (often involves chocolate)
Scalegasm – the fist-pumping joy you feel when you step on the scale and are down 5 lbs without even trying
Bookgasm – when you close an incredible book you just read, pause, and let it melt into your memory and sigh
Eargasm – when you hear a song or piece of music that moves you to tears (because it is good)
Composigasm – when a writer strings together what he/she considers a perfect sentence, analogy or metaphor and reads it over and over and over again basking in their own brilliance. (sometimes followed by a cigarette)

Friday, February 19, 2016

I Want....

I also want to read this book again.

Today's Writing Marathon prompt was to write a poem where each stanza started with the words, "I want".

I wrote this pretty quickly and the truth is, I could add many more "I wants", but these were the wants that sprang to mind right away.

I Want

I want to move forward
and stop looking back
quit changing direction
focus my track

I want people to see 
beyond acquiring things 
know happiness is not 
owning fat diamond rings 

I want deeper connection 
more face to face talk 
less cell phone obsession 
more time for a walk 

I want meaningful sharing 
my soul being fed 
not dead boring small talk 
that leaves things unsaid 

I want to live in a world 
where the spiritually depleted 
wake up one fine morning 
feeling joy, not defeated 

I want to see my girl’s life 
flourish and grow 
watch her follow her dreams 
don’t let them go 

I want just one more thing 
to hear people say, 
Have you read her book yet? 
Go read it today! 

(Had to throw in that last verse to lighten this wish list up a bit!) :-) 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Yabbies for Breakfast Anyone?

So, imagine this. It's about 6:30 am. I am about a block from home, heading back after my early morning walk. It's already starting to heat up here in Queensland. If I don't go by 5:30 or 6:00 at the latest, it becomes too uncomfortable. The combination of the humidity and the seering sunshine just hurts this Canadian gal's skin way too much.

I notice about halfway up the block a young boy emerging from the drive of his house. He is shirtless, barefoot, about 9, maybe 10 years old. I watch as he makes his way across the street to the corner where his mate or brother (not sure which) is standing waist deep in the storm drain on the road. He has lifted the heavy cast iron grate off and it is leaning against the curb. I cannot hear their conversation yet, but as I get closer, I can see that the kid in the sewer drain is about the same age, also shirtless and he is using a small net with a short handle and he is scooping guck and slime and gross sludge about 2 cups at a time and emptying it on the concrete next to the hole.

The two of them then sift through this disgusting sludge with their bare hands and are pulling the odd "treasure" out of the glup. My first thought is, "isn't this a bit dangerous.? What could they possibly be looking for and where is their mother?" Initially, I figured I would just keep walking past them, leaving them to their search, but my curiosity got the best of me, so I stopped and asked them if they had  lost something.

They looked up at me and the one in the hole says, "I lost two dollars in here the other day." Now that I am standing right over them, I see there is a secondary prize being found. He has collected at least 4-5 small creatures that look a bit like a small crab. "Eeewww, what are those?", I ask. "Yabbies," says the kid in the hole like I must be a complete idiot for not knowing. I ask him what they do with them. "Do you use them for fishing bait?" The kid on the street says, "yeah, you can use them for fishing." "Aaahh,  I see", I say trying not to be grossed out by their grubby, slime covered fingers as they grasp the wriggly crustaceans up for me to examine. I see they have not found their gold coin however and as I am about to leave them to their hunt, the kid in the hole, looking as feral as a character from Les Miserables shouts after me, "I'll eat one if you dare me!"

I gotta tell ya, the mere fact that this kid was willing to pop one of those filth covered yabbies in his mouth was as horrific to me as it would have been if he actually did it. I assured him I did not need to see him eat a yabby from the storm drain and he seemed disappointed that I didn't egg him on. He shouted out, "have a nice day" as politely as would be expected from an urchin standing in a pool of black goo at 6:30 am., and as I turned the corner toward my street, I looked back and saw they had continued their mission, unphased by the likes of me. Part of me wanted to give them each a 2 dollar coin just to get them out of the hole, but I reckon that would have ruined the fun.

Just another day here in my hood. In Maryborough. In Queensland. In Australia.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Letter to my Muse

I had fun with this assignment today. It was a writing prompt on Day 17 of my 30 Day Writing Marathon. We were to write a letter to our Muse, AKA, our inspiration. This was mine.

Dearest M,

Please forgive me for ignoring you. I want to drop everything when you come around, but sometimes it is just not possible. It does not mean that you are not precious to me. Please don’t for a minute think that I don’t appreciate you. I do. I truly do. You are my moment of brilliance, my shining star, my guiding light. You make everything flow and flower and flourish. You shower me with metaphors and analogies and illiterations. I owe you so much.

It’s just that I am annoyed when you show up at inopportune times. We really have to talk about the 3 am. visits. Give me a break. I need my sleep. You know I am a morning person. Are you mad at me for giving up our wine? I know you used to enjoy that. We did seem to come up with some great material after a couple of glasses of Shiraz. I did mention that I was having some digestive issues, right? The wine is off the menu for awhile M. You’re not alone, I miss it too. We had some really crazy ideas some nights, didn’t we? Funny though, looking back at what we wrote, it wasn’t as stellar as we thought it was at the time, was it? It was pretty good, but nothing earth shattering.

Also, I know you have asked me in the past to write down the ideas you feed me. I realize I have become a little forgetful over the years. But seriously, it’s not always convenient. Could you do me a favour and stop showing up while I am driving? It’s very distracting. Sometimes I get home and can hardly remember how I got there. Your’re like a rambunctious puppy when it comes to car rides. You just love nothing more than sitting shotgun with your head out the window, tongue hanging out, wind whistling in your ears. I get it. It is one of your favourite times to appear. Just remember, I need to be concentrating on driving, not on you and another one of your crazy notions.

Did I just hurt your feelings? Please don’t take it that way. I love you M. You just need to consider me a little more. Can we schedule you in perhaps? Make a date? Could you do that? Could you adhere to a schedule? Is that asking too much? Does that spoil the spontaneity for you? Does that seem too robotic for you? I know the answers already. Yes, no, no, no, no. yes and yes. Okay, so it looks like I am the one who will need to adapt to your schedule. I try you know. I really do try. You are everything to me. You do know that, don’t you? Without you I would be empty. My life would be meaningless. Shit, I just heard Sam Smith singing and the radio is off. “Oh, won’t you stay with me?, ‘Cause you’re all I need.”

But wait, isn’t that a song about one night stands? That’s not about us. Although, I must tell you that when you disappear for days at a time, I wonder if you really do care about me. Please stop doing that. We’ve been together for long enough now, that I do trust you will always come back, but even I can get insecure when you are gone for too long.

I do have one rather large favour to ask of you M. Could you send me a sign? You know I am struggling with which direction to take with this novel. Should I focus on the actual story verbatim or should I turn it into more of a spiriitual, self/help guide? I’m a bit lost and confused. Step in would you? Yank my reins a bit. Push me one way or the other. I will be waiting for your guidance.

Forever and ever,

Deb xoxo 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Writing Myself Alive

Where I wish I could be writing. The Red Cottage on Mabel Lake

Figured I might hop on my blog here today and let my loyal readers know why they are not seeing much from me these days. I have joined a 30 day Writing Marathon to kick start my creative juices and get over some writer's block that has taken hold lately.

The good news is, I am really enjoying the process and the program is really getting me deeper into my passion which you all know is the written word. The program requires accountability and writing exercises that are stretching me in different directions and just generally making me commit more time to my novel.  Today, one of the prompts was to summarize your creative path and growth to date.  I will share what I wrote with you and perhaps a few other snippets  as I move through the marathon. Most of you are aware of most of this already, but others may not know me as intimately. I give you Day 11.

Dig Deeper…Day 10…recall your artistic growth/path 

Colouring. It all started with colouring. Brightly coloured construction paper and fat Crayolas in Kindergarten. These brought me joy. This was followed by the primitive musical instruments that we would clang together like an untrained chaotic orchestra. But the teacher would really up the creative ante when she would say, OK, today boys and girls, I would like you to write a poem." That was the real music to my ears. Rhyming words. Roses are red, violets are blue, pass me a pencil, I’ll parlez-vous. For a shy, dreamy little girl, poetry was my Nirvana. There was something about the focused searching for the right words, the rhyming words that would still convey the context of the story being told in the poem that truly could engage me for hours. 

Later on it was word puzzles. I couldn’t wait for the Saturday paper to land on the front porch so I could grab the giant Word Find and then when I got a little older, it was the weekend Crossword. It was a great brain workout that didn’t seem like work to me. It also helped earn me A’s in spelling. In seventh grade, I summoned up the courage to submit one of my poems to the annual school yearbook for publication, not knowing if it would actually end up making it into the Poetry Section. I wasn’t even sure if I really wanted it to appear, as it was an angst filled sonnet of pre-teen heartbreak. When it did get printed for the whole school to see, I realized the incredible light it shone on my already shaky vulnerability and I was embarrassed and regretted sharing something so personal. It was the end of my poetry career, publicly anyway. 

I continued to write poems and love letters and journals for years. Years later when I was not accepted into one of Canada’s top Journalism schools, it was my skill as a letter writer and journal writer that helped me turn that “decline” letter to an “accepted” letter after refusing to accept their decline decision. I called the chairman of the department and begged for a face to face interview. An appointment was made and I pleaded my case and convinced them that I would show them what a great reporter I could be even though I had never worked on my high school paper. (that was pretty much a prerequisite for entry at the time) What I had done, was set off to see the world after high school and I had what could only be defined as “street smarts” and had recorded my adventures in journals. I was accepted as a “mature student” at 24. 

It was there, in my years at Ryerson’s Journalism school that I developed another love. Photography. It was part of the curriculum to be able to wield a camera. so I turned my focus to photojournalism. I could already write. This was exciting and new. I wanted to turn it into a career, but as fate would have it, I ended up taking a job in PR after graduation and I wrote advertising copy and public relations materials and put the silly notion of becoming a photojournalist or reporter behind me. There were few jobs in my field at the time and they went to the superstars of the program, not me. 

Over the next decade I made the mistake of working for money versus doing what I loved. I got married, had a child, stayed at home and went back to colouring with my toddler.  And decorating my house. I was bored. I went back to school to get some accreditation for my decorating and studied at night for 3 years. I started my own interior decorating business and it worked for me for another decade until I got fed up with the design world. I still enjoyed the field, but didn’t want to work for other people any longer. I missed writing. I knew I had to return to my passions. I read a quote – I forget who said it, but it was simply…“If you want to be a writer, start writing.” 

I launched my blog shortly after I read that. I had no idea what I wanted to write about, but I stopped worrying about all that and just started writing again. Since 2009 I have kept my blog going. It is not a money earner and I don’t care about that. It is simply a place for me to write. A place that I go to hone my skills, pour my heart out, rant, rave and ponder. Sometimes I even write poetry. I do whatever the hell I feel like doing there and it has been a wonderful tool for examining my life, commenting on the world, expressing my creativity and simply stringing words together to form some meaning to myself and others. It is something I do for the sheer love of doing it. And that has been enough until now. Joining this 30 day marathon is my next step. Not sure where it is leading, but I am enjoying the ride.