July 30, 2011 § 11 Comments
FRIDAY NIGHT…unwinding, poolside ….
SATURDAY … flowering and kitchening…
Sometimes you think you’re the only one. The week rockets by with spins, turns and not so well performed pirouettes at work. You push large rocks up steep hills, you listen as people transfer monkeys from their back to yours and walk away, you envision, you list, you write and rewrite, a dear friend resigns a position you thought was ideal and you realize that even in this economy, the trend is not only that people lose jobs but that people leave jobs because the job have become untenable. That is not the case where you work; nevertheless you put in long long hours and long long meetings and stay so awake, alert, visionary, on point, that by Friday night, you curl on the couch with your spouse and fall so deeply asleep that when you wake, you think you’re still at work and have fallen asleep at your desk and has anyone seen you, sleep wrinkled and tousled?
When you reach out to friends you find they are spinning the same delirious tale.
And so we learn to really vacation and lounge about when we take vacation time.
We learn to really sleep when it’s time to sleep.
We learn to love even more the preparation of simple meals and being at the table together.
We learn to look up and say thanks.
If a weed grows in a small crack in the driveway, it’s ok.
If two little bambis fit their heads inside the iron gate to eat the glorious morning glories from our garden, it’s ok. There are plenty of blooms to enjoy.
How lovely to resist schedules.
February 24, 2011 § 9 Comments
I know the full moon occurred sometime last week for its usual amount of hours. However, I believe there is some conspiracy afoot (incurred by Mother Nature, of course) that involves an extension of the full moon.
I’m saying that, according to all the quirks, faux pas, mistakes, twists, dips and downright “what the heck?s” that happened this week, the full moon is ongoing. I dont’ know how it looks like it’s no longer full – perhaps the power of Wikileaks or sci-fi writers banded together or some secret group engaged in adjusting the light reflected from the moon so that it no longer looks full, just to trick us, but I’m telling ya, it’s been a rockin’ ridiculous, rioutous week that has included everything from lost project files, to frozen PCs to misplaced money to a million individual moments of quiet head-shaking – and it’s been totally full moon-able.
Thank goodness for the peace of writing with a pen, the reading of a thick good book and the moments to stare off, thinking about a particular line just read and for the rituals of returning to home life after work.
And thank goodness for stepping outside an hour past twilight with the dogs and all three of us looking into the parklike area where all the backyards meet and seeing seven deer, all lying there, unfettered, unconcerned, just bathing in the moonlight.
Freaky. Unexpected. Beautiful.
If the full moon is going to go long, then fine, let all the nonsense occur as long as we can have those deer right there, nearly invisible, among us.
OK, and I might have to do a little howling, but that just goes with moon territory.
Write what’s on your mind and push and pull and twist it (like taffy) so someone else might want to read it. Just go. There is no writing “in the box.” Crawl out of there and write, write, write. If you go long enough, there will be something in there, in your writing: something good, something lesson-able, something that makes you say “oh.” And just for that, it’s good enough, it’s wonderful.
Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (1992), by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It was on the NY Times bestseller list for 145 weeks. Impressive.
But no, I haven’t read it yet. Yes, it’s been on my shelf for at least nine years.
How can I recommend it? I don’t know. It just seems like a good time to open it up.
And wait for that (I know it’s not really full) moon to go away.
March 29, 2009 § 10 Comments
aaaaarrrrggghhhhh … I miss Blogworld. I miss you.
The laundry is stacking up. Someone needs to go to the grocery store. My closet is in an uproar. There’s no time to even look at my Planner and lists. My TBR bookstack is untouched. The New Yorker is piling up very un-neatly the coffee table.
It’s “road warrior” season for HM.
I am on deadline.
Later, ‘gators. I should have some stories to tell!
August 7, 2008 § 5 Comments
Becca’s questions this week ask: Do you consider yourself a writer? Do you think blogging is “real writing?” What does it take to be a “real writer”?
Here is an exaggerated example of why I hesitate to say I’m a writer (at a party or something).
“And what do you do, Oh?”
“I’m a writer.”
“Really. How exciting. What have you written?”
“A variety of things – stories, feature articles, tech manuals, business profiles, book reviews….”
“Yes, yes, but anything that I’ve read?”
“I don’t know what you read.”
“Well, name some of your books.”
“I don’t have a book yet. (I really do, but I’m not telling this person.) So far I publish as a journalist.”
(There is a raising of the eyebrows on my inquisitor’s face): “So, you’re the media, then…like one of those writers who tries to tell us what to think about politics, food, (insert any topic). I can’t help but think the media is most of what’s wrong with the world today.”
I smile and walk away in order that I don’t purposely spill my drink on the other person’s designer dumbass shoes.
Yes, seriously, blogging is writing.
It’s an exercise AND an end product.
It’s writing practice. It’s also learning and practicing writing that other people might read.
While for some blogging may be whining in public, for so many others, it is full of personality, real life, sharing info and tips and honestly, for me, with it comes the realization that there are many, many excellent writers out there. That is, people whose blogs you want to return to in order to see what happens next, or what’s on their minds, or what caught their attention and became deserving of a write up.
Yes, blogging is writing. It is communicating our universal and personal experience.
What does it take to be a real writer?
Wow. I guess that means writing every day.
Making it one’s priority, whether or not it is accompanied by financial gain.
Whether or not anyone else knows about it.
When I sit down to write (the stuff I write at home, the real stuff, not the corporate tech stuff), I always think about the fact that this is what I REALLY love doing – writing. Like a runner gets all those endorphins when they break through their running wall, I get them when I’m at my desk, looking out at the leafy canopy beyond my window and start typing.
Yet if you stick me at a party and someone asks me “What do you do?”, I’ll probably say I’m a tech writer. That is something they kind of understand. And while they may not know exactly how the tech writing bit works, they are less inclined to ask those things associated with what they know as a “typical” writer involved perhaps with books and magazines and have I ever worked with Anna Wintour or People magazine?
And so, Becca, whether you tell people you write or not, you, too, are indeed a writer!
February 24, 2008 § Leave a comment
Tonight several professionals from the writing, medical, IT, financial, educational and graphic artist worlds will meet. In my living room.
Age range: 24 to 64.
Reason: the Oscars.
Real reason: to socialize.
There is only one degree of separation among those who haven’t met directly before.
The only thematic activity will be filling out our faux Oscar ballots, blithely choosing winners. There is no prize for who gets the most right. There is no money involved.
However, in so doing, there will likely be the exchange of ideas, having nothing to do with the stuff on the big screen TV. (In fact, all the living room chairs are not perfectly situated for viewing.) Little matter.
Coming under the conversational microscope (I hope): what’s hot, what’s not in our various kids’ lives; one idea (if not more) of something to make for dinner on any given work weeknight; the political temperature of the Gateway; some super software that’s useful and about to preview; good books to read or have read; shows coming to town; ideas for a camera shoot; a good vacation without having to fly; shoe solutions; charity event in March – who can come?; what regional editors are looking for right now; who needs freelance, who needs staff (oh, I have good one to add to that); best cures for the local raging flu; weight watching points; the new fitness center going up at Clarkson/Clayton; and, more.
Everyone will walk away with something, either idealogical or at least, regarding pop trash. I’m thinking of gift bags but nothing so far.
The point in recording the above and making myself look at it? Here is a Sunday with no other things sitting down on it. I have no deadlines, having completed several things. The cleaning and shopping is done. HM and I even went to the Missouri Botanical Garden yesterday for annual Orchid show. And Friday night we had a date.
Sunday would have allowed literal rest, writing time. With no fetters.
No,It’s not writers block that keeps me from putting pen to paper. I’ve never had writers block. Nope, this is a writers blockade. I created it (on purpose) I threw up the idea weeks ago of having a very informal party to gather some girlfriends and watch the Oscars (though not too intently).
We have not been together in ages. The more our kids grow and leave the house, the more time we all spend working at our offices, at home on our laptops and even taking them along on the brief nouveau 3- and 4-day weekend vacations. (And the younger ones who attend are just as hell-bent on schedules with their careers, their volunteer work and their grad school classes.)
We need to get together, need that laughter, that disbelief, that OMG you’re kidding, that wow, that’s a good idea, that oh-I-never-would, etc.
Guys go hunting. Guys get together and play music. Guys fix things and spend hours in the driveway with a hose in their hand.
Girls…talk, innovate, laugh. Yes, I know we do waaay more than that.
Anyway, I have scrambled, blocked, (or, is it avoided?) the opportunity for a full day of writing. It is a sophisticated form of procrastination.
But maybe, just maybe, by about 4 o’clock, with everything ready, I’ll bust through my singularly built “blockade” and write for a couple of hours.