Posted in everyday living, life and reflection, Perhaps...I'll Let You In, Your Turn

From the Archive: Five Years Ago

Where did you go, you know, the person?  Not the one we see but the you inside.

Where did you go?  You let them strip you of your joy,  your energy, your light.

Lose who you are and you become a collage of everything and everyone else.

 

Feeling some sort of way that I can’t define. Is it depression? Frustration? Inertia? My writer’s brain says “caged” but that’s a bit dramatic. It’s a long story that I suppose my conscience has nudged me about before. Something has been trying to tell me something for years.

So when do you say, enough is enough? When do you just…free fall? Is there anything besides concrete down there when I jump?

The abridged version of this story is that the current circumstances aren’t working, at all. However, being the overly cautious thinker I am, I’m reluctant to just open a window and plummet.  It seems impractical to starve while happy, and yet it’s crazy to make money while sacrificing one’s self, family, and sanity. Tis the world we live in. We learn to become collages.

I eventually retired from retail in 2012 due to health issues and a couple of surgeries, one of which didn’t go well.  Now, because of more life changes, I find myself at yet another crossroad.

True, I’ve enjoyed the freedom of being fully present when it comes to family. And in hindsight, things happened that I don’t know if I could’ve dealt with while working full-time–serious illnesses, the death of my father, marital separation.

It baffles me that I got more writing done while working thirty to forty hours, with two small children, than I do without a binding schedule and with kids old enough to occupy themselves. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow, I’ve also missed the security of steady paychecks.  I’m saying this to say that happiness doesn’t come from circumstance. Happiness is a state of mind, period.  But we have to figure out who we are, what we want, and how we’ll balance our true callings with the titles society places upon us.

Who are you? Where did you go? Lose who you are and you become a collage of everything and everyone else.

 

Your turn:

In definition of “inner calling” how would you define yourself?

In terms of societal titles, name at least three that describe you.

If you’re not being true to yourself, what’s the reason?

Map out a way to get back to the real you 😉

 

F.Y.I

In definition of inner calling, I’d define myself as: a writer, an empath, a peacemaker

In terms of societal titles, I’d describe myself as: a mother,  an estranged spouse, an introvert who knows how to play it off when necessary

I’m not true to myself because: I’m not a fan of failure, abstract ideas, or what-ifs

And yes, I’m mapping out a way of getting back to the real me 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in random, Writing and all its cousins, Your Turn

AS SOON AS (AKA AS WE PREPARE TO WRITE)

As Soon As

  • I can afford another chair, a “real” chair, preferably non-rust, indestructible, with arm rest and the option to lean back, forward, or twirl around as I deem fit.

 

  • I land 12 hours of restorative sleep

 

  • I create THE perfect  playlist

 

  • Fridge is fully stocked with Coke and my mouth with Hershey’s candy

 

  • I complete to-do list. Yes, all seven days worth of must dos (except writing, of course)

 

  • I surf websites I don’t care about

 

  • Clear inbox(es)

 

  •  X out  parts I don’t like

 

  • Put everything back

 

  • Decide for the umpteenth time (because I really thought I had) what to write and how to write it

 

  • Make another list

 

 

Your turn. What are your top five excuses when preparing to write?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in everyday living, life and reflection, Writers I Like, Writing, Your Turn

“Ode to the Liquor Store Lady” by M.D. /Writers I Like

I wonder sometimes if she sees their pain …all of our pain. What kind of job it must be to hand out the poison that ruins every other patron. Is she a home-wrecker? A murderer? An abuser? She’s just doing her job. We are the ones so willing to walk through her doors & waste away an entire paycheck on that sweet nectar that rots our minds. The housewife with her Sunday wine. The college kids with their vodka & Redbull. The awkward first-timer perusing the wares. The homeless man counting his pennies for some gin. Everyone has their story, why they’re here. Why they can’t look her in the eye. I’d like to blame her for all the misery. ‘Why do you do this to me?’ when I really want to ask ‘Why do i do this to myself?’ That must be one of the worst jobs in the world. To see the best of people with the worst of intentions go in & out – in & out – day after day, week after week … until one day they don’t show up anymore. Jail, rehab, death? Where did they go? What path did you lead them down? – the drunks, with their pursed lips & dry hands. The ones who are too weak or too strong to make it through their days. How many families have you ruined? How many hearts have you broken? Jaws have you broken? Cars wrecked? Thank you for your services, liquor store lady. You are the kindest of doctors. The sweetest of anesthesia. The warmest of fires & the Queen of the Drunks.

Posted in Writers I Like, Writing, Writing and all its cousins, Your Turn

Young Writers: Larisa

No one knew how it happened. How he just stopped caring, but also began caring too much. How no one ever knew what to expect from him anymore. Bipolar, the doctors said. Like that really explained anything. How could a single word justify the way he was slowly but surely slipping away, the moments where he didn’t seem to be himself anymore, when he fell into this parallel world of insanity….

Larisa is a seventeen-year-old from Belgium who enjoys television, books, and writing. Her work also includes fan-fiction. The above piece is fan-fiction based on an episode of Shameless. For Full Story, please click link.  For more of Larisa’s writing, mosey over to Writer’s Cafe.  

*

*

Some believe in letting the story evolve as they write, whereas others swear by an outline. Which approach, if any, do you take?

A mix of both. I find that outlining too much makes me bored with the story before I’ve even penned a quarter of it; too little leads to rambling without ever making a point.

There’s an old saying that goes, “write what you know.” Yet, you managed to tackle a weighty subject without ever having experienced the illness yourself. Do you feel writing the unfamiliar has both advantages and disadvantages? Please explain.

Yes, I do feel that way. The biggest advantage to working with the unfamiliar is the ability to delve in and really imagine. When I write about familiar situations, I tend to stick to facts and reality and often struggle to add in fiction. I find it easier to just let my imagination run wild. There are disadvantages to writing the unfamiliar as well; for me, it’s mostly a fear of inaccuracy. In this short story specifically, I was afraid to portray Ian’s illness badly, which is why I ended up writing it from Mickey’s point of view. I hope I ended up giving it justice!

In one word, writing isESCAPING

Posted in Writers I Like, Writing, Your Turn

Artist & Writer: Monte Robinson

I have shared several of his poems and essays on the blog–BROKEN DOLL, GIVERS VS TAKERSINCOMPLETE; we’ve collaborated on a few projects, or at least tried (FREESTYLE); and now, Mr. Robinson, aka The Writerly Genius, has finally granted an interview.

Do you agree with the cliché that creative types are misunderstood?
​I do​ agree with that statement, because of personal experiences and scientific research. Artists are often stereotyped as weirdos, and I think some of that perceived weirdness derives from the creativity we hung onto and expanded throughout our lives. We do not quite fit into the box of what is considered “normal” due to our natural born talent.
I draw, paint, write short stories, and dabble in poetry. Those things require me to think differently than the average person. I think all artists think differently than the average person, which can lead to us being misunderstood. In many cases, I just experience the world in a way that others do not. When I look at real life landscapes, I see them as two dimensional like they were on a canvas. At random times, lines and stanzas just pop into my mind.
From an educator’s standpoint, how would you encourage a young person interested in the Arts? How would you  encourage your younger self?
Usually when students tell me they cannot write poems, short stories, or plays, I reassure them that they have the ability, and they just need to tap into it. Generally, they are afraid that it will not be good enough, so I explain to them that “good” is relative. Some may like it; some may not, so write something that you will enjoy. My mother was very supportive of my artistic side, so I would encourage my younger self the same way she did.
We often hear the term “natural-born talent”, do you feel we have innate gifts, or is creativity one of those things learned over time?
​I believe we are all born with creativity. When left to their own devices, kids come up with some creative – sometimes crazy – stuff. I think some of us are more developed in specific areas than others, also. My mom said I started drawing at age 3. I remember being in Headstart at age 5 and drawing my own cartoon characters on the back of the pages they gave us to color. I think schools, adults, and the need to fit-in kills the creativity. ​
You’re both an artist and a writer. Which of these was most dominant in your formative years? In later years? Are there similarities in each field?
In my formative years, I was more of an artist. I did not think of myself as a writer at all. I still don’t. Looking back, I realize that I used to tell short stories to entertain my cousins. It was usually silly stuff, but it fit my age. I really enjoyed drawing, and it garnered lots of support, so it was much more of a factor for most of my life. I only started writing within the last fifteen years after I stopped drawing and painting. It started with blogging. I had a way of getting my point across in story form and that eventually morphed into writing short stories. My ex-wife was a poet, so I kind of started messing around with poetry because of her.​​
The similarities between the two are that I am trying to tell a story. The differences are – besides the obvious- I have to find just the right way to tell my story in a single image while drawing versus writing​​ ​where I paint the picture with as many or as few words as I like.​
Imagine you have time to pursue a creative project. What would it be?
I would write a novel. For years now, it has felt like something I was destined to do. It is hard to explain. It just feels like the next step.​

In one word. Writing is _____________

​Unpredictable​
 
                sketchII
Posted in Writers I Like, Writing and all its cousins, Your Turn

Forget-Me-Not by Nusquam Esse/Winner of Flash Fiction Contest

Read Nusquam’s winning entry and other creative works here:

Forget-Me-Not.

 

*I think what initially attracted me to Nusquam Esse’s piece is the first line:  As children, do we realize what a father does?  There are many things we take for granted as children–plus, I wanted to know what it was in particular that this father did to make him story worthy.

Then Esse goes on to talk about a seed. A seed his father has tried desperately to grow in the harshest of conditions. Will he succeed? Is he crazy? Why is this tiny seed so important?

And the ending is both ironic and bittersweet.

Give it a read and feel free to comment in the section below.