I read an article which stated, there’s no need to feel you have to be productive at this time.
WHAT? Then wtf are we going to do?
I heartily disagree. I think during this time we need to set goals. We need to focus on something to keep us sane!
When this is over, I want to have something to show for it.
When this is over, in another month? another two months? giving us a total of 3 months or more alone in our homes, do we walk out with nothing to show but our muffin tops the size of three tiered wedding cakes?
I’m not telling you not to feel stress. I’m not telling you not to stress eat. I am saying – set a goal and focus on something positive while we’re doing the best we can to survive the pandemic.
This is hard. I get it. We’re scared. If you want to stuff your face full of maple bacon donuts, I’m totally with you. If you have a bad day and want to curl yourself into a ball under your flannel sheets and cuddle your cat – that was my Saturday. I’m not superwoman. I’m not asking you to do anything I’m not doing myself.
When someone asks me, what did you do during the pandemic? I want to say I accomplished something.
I’m setting goals.
I’m in the process of another draft – hopefully the final – of my novel. I want to finish that.
I have two fully drafted novellas that need work – those are next.
I signed up to take two classes. I may take more.
I painted my patio. No shit. It’s nearly finished.
I’m going to have a hell of a lot of rooted clippings – plant speak.
My yard will look amazing – well, for a week or so after the pandemic ends, then the weeds will be back.
I’ve written two new poems. I think I’ll start reading poetry live.
I have a live online reading scheduled for April 24th, if you’re interested.
If you’ve gotten this far, I’m planning on offering a free writing class to whoever wants to share some writing. I may recruit other writers to offer their opinions. I think we should workshop too.
So – speaking from the future – what did you do during the pandemic?
KUDOS and LOVE
to those who are serving,
police, fire, grocery clerks, doctors, nurses, volunteers.
You are my HEROES!
In being more authentic, I want to be more open with readers. This story is something I’ve been working on – off and on – for years.
At first, the event was difficult to write about. It’s easier now. After all these years. Sometimes you need years to find the balance between tone, authenticity, and creativity. When you’re under pressure and in a bad situation, a lot of things happen in your mind and your body.
Here’s an excerpt:
In the bathroom mirror, my eyes are raccooned; make-up smeared from tears. My once pretty pink slip dress is wrinkled and smudged.
This doesn’t happen to girls like me. I did everything right. I was careful. Just hours ago I was out with friends; how many hours ago? It’s easy to lose track of time in Vegas. It’s built into the plan. Into his plan.
“Don’t try nothing’.” His voice is on the other side of the door; his thick hand, I sense, on the door knob. The house is empty except for us. I don’t know where everyone else went. But, suddenly, we were alone and his long hair hung in my face as he leaned in and whispered, “lots of people pay lots of money for young girls like you in Vegas.”
Reason and tears are wasted on psychopaths. There’s he and I, and only a hollow door between us.
“Ju…” The word sticks in a sob deep in my throat. I move closer to the door and put my fingers on the lock, turn it as I try again, “just washing my face.” I step back and flip the lever; the water rushes into the shell shaped porcelain filling the silence. I take the dampened towel and rub it around my eyes, lose some of the dark circles as I glance around.
Light pushes through the shower door and I slide it open slowly, quietly. There’s a small square window higher up, but I can reach if I stand on the edge of the tub. I don’t pause to remind myself I’m on the second floor of a two story house; all I can think is escape. My throat tightens, breath narrows.
“You’re stalling,” he growls.
My tears have dried, my adrenaline is pumping, and I can hear my heartbeat bounce off the porcelain. “I have to use the bathroom.” I toss the towel next to the door, push the window open and pull myself up.
It’s a work in progress – still a draft.
These might be some of the best stories I’ve ever written – even if I do say so myself.
Malcom Gladwell has a theory – it takes 10,000 hours to perfect one’s craft. Well, I think, perhaps I’ve hit 50,000, maybe 100,000.
Beyond that – one learns, one grows wiser with age; hopefully, that is what you’ll read in these stories. Wisdom. Empathy. Healing.
Find out how to throw a psychic a surprise party.
Okay, so not bragging, but….. I’ve been hard at work….
The Healer’s Daughter in The Ear
The Healer’s Daughter is a departure for me. It marks a turns in my writing that came about just this year. It’s more mystical. Risky, maybe. A woman’s daughter describes her mother’s gift and discovers she has her very own gift, but will she actually use it?
The Healer’s Daughter will be featured in my summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party. It’s a book of short stories, all of which have a special or surprising twist.
Friends, Lovers, and Liars in Home Renovation
Originally titled Deception, it didn’t find a home. In fact, the topic of lies and cheating offended one editor. I think it may have hit too close to home. It, too, will be released in the summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.
How to Throw a Psychic Surprise Party in The Electric Press Magazine
The title story for the book of short stories. Inspired by a show in which I saw a television host throw a “surprise” party for a psychic. It struck me – How do you throw a psychic a surprise party?
This story may answer that question. Maybe not. How much empathy can you muster?
Hunger and other poems as well as some photography in Voices of Eve
Not in the book of short stories. But well worth the read. Hunger is one of my favorite poems.
Also in the book of short stories –
The Crier: In a time when emotions are unheard of, people need a release.
The Mirror People: Ever wondered what’s inside the mirror? You know there’s something, right? Here’s a woman who collects them – she knows.
Bowie and the Basket Case: Anna’s things keep disappearing and reappearing. At first she thinks she’s misplaced them, but then she’s sure she hasn’t!
An extremely good conversation in my literature class about intelligence (Inspired by Ted Chiang’s The Great Silence). We talked about other species that fall under the definition of intelligence, which is “the ability to understand and apply knowledge.” Considering Alex the Parrot and Koko the Gorilla, and other species: crows are problem solvers and remember faces. We discussed dogs, cats, and others. Is love, as an abstract idea, understood and applied by animals? And then – is intelligence found in showing love?
This is what good literature should do. Teach, delight, and create wonder.
“Don’t be afraid of failure. The reality is that most people successes rise out of the ashes of their previous failures.”
From a new documentary on Netflix titled Creativity. The narrator is talking to the creator of Game of Thrones. The creator is talking about how many times he’s failed.
I started this to say – what are you afraid of?
Then I wanted to ask – what if there was no such thing as fear? What would you do? What could you do?
I want you to think about that. What if fear was not in the human range of emotion or thought?
I don’t like the word “can’t.”
I don’t like people telling me I can’t do something. I’ve experienced some person or another throughout my whole life telling me I can’t do this or I can’t do that. For too many years, I believed them.
Now, it just annoys me.
I made a goal to write six short stories in a month. Someone, another writer, said, “You can’t do that.” Their point: writing must organically develop from inspiration, forcing it unnaturally would create work which was unpublishable.
Three of those six stories have already been published. Can’t? HA!
I spend time on photography, just because I like it. Unasked, another person inserted their opinion: “You can’t do that!” They had the idea that a person can only be good at one creative pursuit and I shouldn’t waste my time on another. I took up photography for the pure joy of capturing visual beauty, but I’ve had a number of photographs published now too!
Why are people so wrapped up in “can’t”?
Some people judge themselves based on how they know you. When you change or move forward or do something they never thought you would or could, it changes how they see you and, therefore, how they see themselves.
Others have limited views of what they can accomplish and, therefore, what anyone can accomplish, so they believe their guiding you away from an upcoming failure.
Whatever their reasons, never let anyone keep you from spreading your wings, doing what you want, need, must do to achieve what you want.
Writers must be brave. Depart from the naysayers and live your fullest life. Travel. Love. Experience. Write. Try something new.
Do not listen to the “can’t”!
I’ve been remiss in my posting – which is a social media no-no. Can I tell you a secret? I’m really just an introverted writer and I really want to do is:
I had a fantastic time at the Poe Museum reading Eddy. They live streamed it (I didn’t know they were doing that!) and I’ve been invited back, hope to go soon!
In the meantime, I’ll be at AWP.
So – whenever you need something to do – click the link, read a story, let me know what you think!
Happy New Year, Beautiful People!
Reading comments on social media gives the impression many people are feeling quite negative about the New Year. There’s definitely positivity, people looking forward to the celebrations, but I was struck by so many people barking last year stunk and 2018 would bring more the same.
We get what we believe we will!
Someone asked, “What is the new year celebration all about? If you know me, you know I had to look that one up!
New Year celebrations began in medieval times when those who honored nature brought green trees into the house to celebrate the coming of another spring.
A number of traditions, beliefs, and myths have come about since that time and we all take part in some sort of celebration. While some love the coming of a new year, a new chance, promises to make and keep, resolutions to make and break, others dread another year. This I’m confused about.
Ladies and gentlemen, joy is a choice! There are thousands of reasons to be happy every day. Blue skies, rain clouds, bird song to name the simplest things. Add to those, a roof over your head, coffee. Acknowledging how important the little things are is just as important as being thankful for the things you do have.
Many people wander around wishing for something more, something different. They fail to recognize 1. the things they have and 2. the things they can have if they work for them.
I asked people what they would do if they woke up with a million dollars in their bank account. Many said, pay off debts and travel. What are you waiting for? Do it!
I’m not a millionaire (trust me on that one) and my debts are paid, I refuse to use credit unless I have to. (Consider what you need vs what you want! Decide accordingly.)
When my children were young, I was a single mother with two (sometimes three) part time jobs and we traveled. You don’t need to be wealthy to travel. You need to know the tricks! (Just ask!)
I think most people believe they would have more time if they had a million dollars and, therefore, live their dreams. But accomplishing goals has more to do with organization and time management than having the money to work with.
The secret to joy is not what we have or what we can do. The secret to feeling true joy, no matter what we have or do, is two-fold:
- Acknowledge the good things in your life – no matter how small (or big) they are. Some people keep a small book with them and write a note of something they found beautiful and makes them smile. They look at this when they need to be reminded.
- Lose the negativity. I mean get rid of everything that is negative, that drains you, that does not support you. This does mean people. I know this sounds mean. Someone told me that those “negative people” were their friends. Uhm, would friends drag you down? would friends stomp on your dreams? Friends want you to be the best version of yourself and will work to support you on that and you will do the same for them.
Remember that old cliche – if you can believe it, you can achieve it? That doesn’t mean what you want just comes to you – but believing is the start.
If you have a job draining you, start looking for a new one. Hate where you live? Start planning and organizing a move. And, if right now, you’re thinking, “oh, it’s easy for you to say, I need…..” that’s negative! Whatever you “need” in order to get to where you want – start moving toward it by being positive, by being happy!
My mother used to say wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills faster. So – are you wishing?
Be happy. Not for a moment. Not for a day. But just be happy every day!
Believe in what you want. Believe you will get it; it will come to you, but you have to meet it half way!
Move in the direction of joy, of your dreams, and understand that everything we do is a choice!
I know a good year is waiting for all of us!