Pages

19 February 2010

It Is Time


My mind is telling me not to but my spirit, oh my spirit is begging.

I need a break. A vacation would be grand. I won't tell you how long it's been since I've had a vacation. It would only depress you :) But a break, even a small one, is much needed.

I know I haven't blogged much in the past two weeks. You're all probably wondering, "what's she got to break from?" I haven't blogged because I'm exhausted. Mentally and spiritually exhausted.

Long story short, I need to regroup. I will not be blogging next week. I may be visiting from time to time, and I'll comment where I wander. But I need the self imposed stress of blogging regularly to be removed for a paltry seven days.

Thank you all for your continued following! I honestly could not do this without you! I look forward to seeing you all on March 01. I do hope being unplugged can help me get out of this funk I'm in. Well, as unplugged as one can be when one works for an IT company.

Have a wonderful weekend, a blessed week and I hope the sun will shine for you and warm up this cold earth. The weather channel is telling me it's going to be in the 60s this weekend. I had to rub my eyes in disbelief. Really? Oh, hallelujah!

Exhaustedly, but cheerfully, yours,
Jen
ps: I will be posting my entry for Mr. Toast's Creative Tuesday, but that will be it for the next week! That will be posted over at my other blog: Sagewood Manor.

16 February 2010

Magpie Tales

I have a confession to make: I used to be afraid of short stories. Why? Because I am long winded. I love words. The lilt and flow of them. The thought of having to stifle their flow for a word count used to make me bristle. Then I gave it a go. And I really enjoyed it. I actually found relief in the necessity of ending.

Willow has invited us graciously into her manor each Tuesday to partake in some good, old fashioned story telling. Even if you don't want to participate, you should stop by for some wonderful stories. You are sure to make some new friends. And, if you're feeling up to it, sign yourself up! Get out those rusty short story tools and see what you can make of her sure to be delightful photo prompts.

Here's the first:



Tarnished it stood, against a backdrop of other reminders. Glory days passed by like a breath in the wind. He ran a finger over the engraving wistfully, his name, the date, the occasion. It wasn't so much the reason as the feeling: a time when accomplishment was king and he, well, he was master. What now?

Older he'd become, a little more stout. He wasn't so graceful anymore. No more praised for prowess on field or stream. Long fingers he ran through grey peppered hair, a smile of wistful nostalgia crossed his lips. Goodbye to you, old glory days. Farewell and good riddance.

Good riddance? He looked around. There was no one there to read his thoughts. Why good riddance? The past had been good. He'd been quite popular. But now, yes, now was the gift. And tomorrow? All the future lay spread before him. No use dwelling in bygones.

He took the once gleaming trophy from it's shelf, a waxen apple off gnarled old bough. He gave it a polish with one flannel sleeve, took it the kitchen and filled it with water from the sink. In it he plopped the daisies he'd bought, tokens for a more beautiful and lasting prize.

"Alice", he called into the garden, "Come look what I found."

15 February 2010

Monday Musings


"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."
~ Mother Teresa


A day late, but Happy Valentine's Day, dear ones.
Our lives are our messages. Let yours be one of love.


Happy Monday,
Jen

xxooxx
Oh my, and here I thought I was only going to find a simple heart picture for this post.
I think I went and discovered a wonderland of rustic eye candy : norpar barns.
What a lovely little place to while away the hours.

12 February 2010

A Little Dreaming on a Snow Threatened Day

picture found here


Old soul, you were born to wander, switchback cobbles and fairy rings. Sweater born of silk worm spinning's around you, boots of glossy floral and plaid, you creep out front door into the wild. "Wild nights are my glory," a favorite from childhood proclaims between crinkle stained pages and you heartily agree. With the wind whipping your hair, your lips into a grin, you crunch your way between leaves. Down falls, shaken from slumbering clouds. The moon sheen on ice branches reflects your appetite for shining; your fingers gather talismans dripped from elves: smooth stones, holly leaves, quartz.


On you trudge, pushing past the thorn berry bushes, to the center of the wood of heart and home. There you are reborn, no longer confined to judgements, your spirit is free to roam on it's own, unencumbered by the vise of technology, dress code, standard procedure. For here procedure is one of the heart, of what you can see with your mind's eye. Here you are safe, for the moment, and can be. Ontology: the study of the nature of being. Ontological: your mindset: you know you are. Think, therefore I am. Here you aren't afraid to be.


"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
~ Howard Thurman


Allow yourselves to BE this weekend.

Journey on,
Jen

11 February 2010

Just a Little Post


I wanted to pass along a shout out to Shannon over at Book Dreaming. She was so kind to pass along the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award to me. *GRIN*

Wander on over if you have a minute. I promise you'll enjoy the visit.

Thanks, Shannon :) *hugs*
Jen
One of these days, when I'm not so swamped, I will start passing along awards again. Yes, I know, I'm such a rule breaker! I'm not trying to be rude, I promise. Please don't hate me for not playing by the rules. Hey, we all got a little rebel working in us, right? ;)

10 February 2010

In which we find ourselves

I started writing because I could. I loved story and story begged to be set free. Between my thin fingers a pen is usually found, clutched, held tight. Ink splatters my fingers, eternal rainbow of blue, black and green. The feel of ink on paper, of keys pressed, the excitement of random letters formed into cognition. Ahhh, there is nothing like it.

I fell away, as so many of us do. From writing, not from story. Other dreams, delusions if you will, took precedence and writing fell away. I devoured books, as usual, and characters crept into my dreams. Then a light shone and again I took up my pen to craft story, to craft life.

There are days when I feel I could rule the lands I write about. Then (most days) I feel like a bottom dweller, The Nothing. Writing pulls me out, saves me. I am free to be myself, no matter what the world tells me. No matter how I'm seen on the outside, through writing my truth is set free.

We're surrounded by normal, in our jobs, our families, at the grocery store. It inundates us. I hear a lot, "What a weird person" regarding someone who calls the office or comes in. Sure, they are eccentric or loud, annoying or strange. They aren't normal. But neither am I. I am not pressed khakis and collared shirts. I am not stare blindly, eye balls pulsing, fluorescent light tanned or, rather, not. Funny how when you're quiet people label you as normal. You open your mouth and people say, inevitably, "You watch baseball?" Like a girl isn't allowed. "Are you sure you can carry that?" It's a box of postcards, barely 5 pounds. I think I can manage. What would these people think to read what I write? Of dragons and sunken cities, of quickened bones and wandering souls. Of dark and light and the necessity of both (and the sometimes confusion between the two).

It is in writing we are free. Sometimes it's our only breath in a day filled with floating, face down, in a pool of "now" and "when" and "hurry". Breathe deep the words that flow from your pen. Let go and scribble unhindered. You are you and no one else can do what it is you are here to do. Find yourself through your words. Let ink become your blood, flowing through your veins as words become your meat and marrow. We have a job to do and once found, we can not, will not, shall not be held back.

Write on,
Jen

Got a moment? Wander over the The Manor for a delightful romp through the woods :)

08 February 2010

Monday's Musings

"Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals." ~ Don Delillo

A quote to chew slowly, savor, let swallow at it's own pace. Digest, ruminate, and regurgitate.

Happy Monday,
Jen

05 February 2010

Gratitude

I've heard that to have a thankful heart is a great remedy for almost anything that ails you. After yesterday's post, I have much to be thankful for. Your comments moved me to tears and I realized how tightly woven this blog community is that I have so serendipitously become a part of. I am eternally grateful to all of you. The encouragement, the realization that I'm not alone, even the common ground of baseball love really helped to ease me out of these slumps just a little.

I can not convey my thanks enough so I shall simply say
Thank You

Have a fabulous weekend. I hope those of you who are in the path of the snow storm stay warm and healthy. I've done a bit of soul searching since yesterday and I am feeling much better. Sometimes, it's just good to let it out and see what happens.

Happy Friday,
Jen

04 February 2010

The Slumps

**This is not a happy-go-lucky post. I even hesitated to post it, but we all go through these times. Now you all know I really am human :) You have been warned.

Pitchers get them.

So do batters.

I grew up watching baseball so I've heard the term my whole life. "Pitching slump"; "Hitting slump". Not so fun, for players or fans.
Did you know that writers can go through "Writing slumps"?

Of course you did. They are better known as "Writer's Block" but I like putting it this way. A block is something that is immovable. It calls to mind a military blockade. I feel dumbfounded, lost, and perpetually blank.

But a slump sounds temporary. A little lull. The valley between two mountains. Not too bad, just a little down time. A little slow going. A wee slump.

I've been in a slump lately. Okay, for the past few months. It's not that I don't have anything to write about. It's more of feeling pressed for time and losing all my energy during to day to sitting. Yes, you read that correctly. I sit for eight hours a day at a desk. When I get home I am exhausted! My body was created to move. This past weekend I hauled a cedar chest upstairs by myself. I felt great! My back didn't hurt after that. Crazy but true: when I do hard work, my body rejoices! Sit me in front of a computer all day and all I want to do is sip cocoa and sleep. (Not at the same time. That could be dangerous!)

I read that taking a walk can help a slump. Getting outside is my cure all. Unfortunately, where we're living at present, there's really no where to get outside. Plus it's freezing. Oh yeah, and raining. If we had snow I'd be all eager and leaping with joy to get outside. But freezing cold rain...no thank you! Writing exercises were also recommended. Problem: if I don't have the energy to work on my own projects, where am I going to pull it from to work on some free writing prompts? Hmmm...

What to do? My life has dwindled into a catch phrase. Or rather a title of a very influential work of literature. "Catch 22". I long to write and yet my energy is gone and I'm over looking at computer screens after five. I could write by hand but thanks to working on said computer all day, I now have tennis elbow (or, more correctly, typists elbow). Grrr...I would LOVE to get outside but asphalt and concrete do not a happy soul make. Aaaahhhhh!!!

I know, I know. Suck it up. Get over it. Do it any way. Just do it!

Sage advice, but seriously: what DO you do when your in a slump? No, not a slump, THE slumps. I guess I can't truly call it a Writer's slump. More of an Energy-Need-Fresh-Air-&-Physical-Activity-I-Hate-Computers-&-Fluorescent-Lights Slumps. Maybe I just need to up my vitamin intake (read: take vitamins every day). Maybe I need more caffeine. Maybe I need a good, month long vacation. Oooh. Yeah. NOW we're talking!

***What do YOU do when you hit the slumps? Not just in writing but in life? All thoughts are appreciated and would be rewarded liberally with mountains of chocolate if only I owned Godiva.
Slumpily yours,
Jen
PS: I posted about this in an alternate light over at The Manor. Stop by if you get a chance (I promise it's not nearly as depressing.)

02 February 2010

"A kind of double living"

Monday got away from me, but that's why God made Tuesday, right?

"Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind." ~ Catherine Bowen, Atlantic, Dec. 1957

"A kind of double living."

It's true. The good, the bad, the crazy, we, as writers, always live it twice. (Sometimes more than twice if you edit like I do!) It's our way of coping, of explaining the deep thoughts that bombard all humans at any given time. We write vignettes and essays, explaining away our pain or joy in metaphors and terms of magic. We abuse our characters by killing their parents, pitting them against bullies and breaking their fragile hearts again, and again, and again. Why? Because it helps us deal with our own loss, our own pain, our own conflict.

Some people go to the gym to de-stress. Some eat, some sleep, some pray. And some write. We write to try and make sense of the senseless. We write to get revenge. We write to make things right. How would we have done that different if only we'd known what we know now? We can never go back. A lot we can never change. But on paper, we are the foragers of destinies. We can, in our own, puny ways, make amends. Even if the only person with whom we make things right is ourselves. Sometimes that's enough.

When you write, allow yourself to open to the ever expanding range of emotions. You will be assaulted, you will be bombarded. A lot of writers hold back for fear of having to face the pain all over again. Don't. Someone out there needs your pain. Why? Because it may lessen theirs. Or, and this is most humbling, it may just remind them that they are not alone.

Happy writing, even from the hard places,
Jen