In Dreams

There is some magic that happens between midnight and three a.m. Words fall like rain, ideas bloom like tulips in the spring.

That state, somewhere between alpha and theta, when the mind is past meditation and drifting – freed.

Many nights, I wake filled with story. Sometimes I sit up and write, capturing those dream images and ideas. Other times, I hang on to the sweet theta mind and scratch notes to myself that I’ll decipher in the bright light of day.

There’s something quite lovely about theta, about that time of night. The world is soft and quiet. The world is ours and ours alone.

Writers are powerful in the dark, in the aloneness, capturing ideas that flutterby like butterflies.

Once, I fought a poem. The poem lay incomplete, begrudgingly sitting there refusing to become complete. I placed the notebook on the bed and fell asleep.

In a few hours, I sprang to wakefulness when the line in full form drifted by. I snatched it out of theta air and pushed it onto the page.

There, the poem complete.

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I woke up one morning with this story playing in the theta playground. I got out of bed and wrote until I had to go to work. When I got back from work, I finished it, edited it, and had it accepted to Pilcrow and Dagger almost immediately.

What’s a girl to do when her ex gives her a stray dog?

Of Strays and Exes – on Kindle

Passion Comes in Waves

Writing is like passion, coming in bursts, wrapping us up, and pulling us forward toward some unknown destination.

Untended passion wanes, loses it’s spark, leaves us alone on the beach, gazing at the sand.

Commitment to job and kids and groceries seems so mundane in comparison with that flow that drags us away from life and onto better places, but we pay that so much more mind. We have to work, and kids have to be fed, and groceries need to be bought.

If only we could commit to that passion, carve out those wee hours, those tiny moments, hidden away from responsibility and live our lives enthralled and in love with that story, poem, act of writing it all out.

Passion can not survive on promises of some day. Passion thrives on action. Write. Write. Write like there’s no tomorrow and no day will ever be wasted.

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Check out other entries:

Your Journal is Important

The Myth of Writer’s Block

The Healing Power of Writing

As Winter Wanes

We laughed over coffee in the wide, wide windows of 85*.

We tempted each other with strawberry buns and green matcha pastries.

We shopped like there was no tomorrow. We planned like there were guarantees to life.

March purred like a kitten. We waited for promise of ideas in showers of moonlight.

As winter waned, we rushed home in fear.

This week, last year.

We learned to love each other deeper. We learned to be kind.

We changed direction within four stiff walls and built cities in our minds.

As winter wanes, this week, this year,

kiss every dawn, treasure every happy tear.

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Inspired creativity

A Statement Of Poetics

Gratitude

I am four, standing in the doorway of a pawn broker’s shop at the corner of E.152nd and St. Clair Avenue. My brother is kicking the door frame while my mother throws words over her shoulder. There’s a younger sister in the stroller next to my mother, and another in her belly. My mother is young, younger than I will ever remember.

She’s pawning her wedding ring – again – because we are out of milk and bread – again – .

I am giddy. Standing in front of my refrigerator. Grateful for a life in which my children will never go hungry.

Memories are said to play favorites. The more you think of one thing, the better you’ll remember it. The less you think of another thing, you’re likely to forget.

I rarely visit the past. Maybe I’m trying to forget. But there’s enough snippets left to keep me basking in gratitude for the life I have.

Up All Night

Half past the witching hour and before the break of angels, I’m awake in the shadows of 3am. My mind dances in between words and ideas. The darkness grows. The air chills. I write on spirits with invisible ink.

And, every time I close my eyes, those words make sentences, and those sentences fall into lines, those lines grow into meaning.

Dawn tugs at my lashes. I pull the blanket close, the notebook closer, scribble in nonsensical rhythms promising reason and form in the writhing lines squirming to get out of my mind.

The Soul is Sold One Piece at a Time

Do you remember who you were so many years ago when you began this journey so full of dreams? MTV was novel and the world was wide open.

The first pinch might be the hardest. It’s such a small, small thing. A tiny piece of flesh in exchange for what seemed like so much.

What’s another pinch?

Because the world is so big.

The city is made of blocks and on those blocks are neighborhoods, and somewhere in those neighborhoods you stopped feeling the pain,

around the corner is where you began to buy in. You didn’t even realized you had wandered so far from the home of your soul.

The world is four walls with an internet connection. We travel so far without going anywhere at all. It’s safe and warm and full proof. The commercialism of promise. The bindings of success.

Within, that child waits for second life.

My mind is a dry, dry desert

The waters cease to flow and my mind becomes a dry desert, void of any green and brown or dreams. Words fail me. Dedication wanes. I posture in contention with an empty screen, my silence doing little to reach resolution.

The tea pot whistles, the phone pings, a dog barks in the distance and I remove myself to interject where wanted or needed. Anywhere but that blank screen and my vacuous mind which refuses to fill it.

The dry times are the hardest. I remind myself it’s temporary; I list the ways, committed to memory, of how to overcome, outdo, move forward. But I am uncooperative.

I need new stimuli, a piece of starlight dropped at my feet, the feather floating before my eyes, but it’s all just lies.

I blame the hostility of empty souls, the long blankness of lock down, the right light, the wrong pen, but it’s meaningless.

Streams create rivers which become lakes and flow into oceans. Water wedges into openings, fills spaces, creates movement.

Stay open. Always stay open.

It’s all over now

The long covid winter has has taken so much. Our days languish. Our nights persist.

And I have adopted men’s pajamas.

The need for attractive shoes disappeared within weeks of the lock-down; the stylish pants and dresses went soon after. By summer, we donned our yoga pants and tennies. When the first chill of autumn blew the leaves from the trees, we switched to sweats where we have lived quietly, but not quieted, through the holidays – unveiling pretty sweaters in our above the waist zoom camera-shots.

January sprung confidence in the new year. But February rolled in, hope stilled in the cold snow, and it happened. The wind chill dropped and the dryer broke. Sitting on the coffee table, a forgotten gift, still wrapped – I tugged the ribbon and unpacked the thermal flannels. I studied them begrudgingly for a single moment before I slipped them on.

Warmth.

The lust for spring freedom is shackled. It can waste away in dreams now.

I have donned men’s pajamas and may never leave my writing desk ever again.

Lay it down

I love when story, seemingly already written on an ephemeral cloud, comes to us. The words pour down and we lay them on the page. They are marshaled in divine design.

It feels like magic, like power. This is genius and, we, the mere conduits.

Then…

There are those stories that drag us pathetically across the calloused black top, burn our fingers and crook our spines, harboring a shadowed threat of what it might become – one day.

We are not magic or power or even conduit, we are witch and warlock and cursed all at once, damned to live an obscure existence sucking on green m-n-m’s and cold coffee.

One moment sailing the skies, the next scouring gutters for unredeemed inspiration.

It’s a writer’s life.

Not for the weakened soul.