I had shot one about ten hours ago. All I can think of is, I have a foreign substance coursing through my healthy body, causing it to launch a full blown, response protocol. Not to a virus that can replicate itself, but to a protein, that doesn’t belong; An article of clothing, that COVID wears, which my immune system, will sniff out and know whose it is, if that intruder ever shows up at the doorstep of my collection of cells. I feel slightly like I have betrayed, my body’s trust, but then again I’ve done that many times; eating the wrong foods, too much food, Indulgences to soothe the mind, robbing from the heart, the muscles. I find myself making a vow, to take care of this mortal dwelling, to mistreat it no more.
Birds singing – birds sang when the skies were quiet after 911. They sang after the tornado blew through, the dust storm blew out, after the last crack of a bullet from battle or the drive-by shooting. They sang when the unjust took power and life got harder. They sang even at the gravesite where mourners were speechless. If their bright songs, their ballad of joy ceases, who will remind us that hope still resides on earth?
Music –music sweeps through our cells and catches our deepest emotions and pulls them up and out to the surface where, yes, we feel. The order, the disorder, the rhythm, the syncopation, the sound on our eardrums travels through tiny bones and we are turned inside out, lost, caught up, taken away, let loose, drawn to tears, to laughter, to reconciliation, to hard choices sealed by a melody that holds the answer. No, humanity would not make it without music.
Wind – is there anything that speaks both peace and shear terror?
Compassion – in compassion is understanding that it’s not all about me, every person is a ‘me’. Someone else’s pain, is my pain. Someone else’s need is my need. Without compassion, there is unbridled selfishiness, loneness, anxiety and fear at failing to take care of ‘me’. Passing by my own needs, they are left behind like extra clothing on a hot day. I lose what I was afraid to not have without looking back because I’m lost in caring for the comfort of someone else.
Humility– if everyone was proud, everyone boastful, everyone up front, on top, the best, we would all be in a single horizontal line. If someone dropped something who would bend down, and for a moment be lower, to pick it up? Humility is freedom. Freedom to be last, to be overlooked, to be quiet, to serve, to rest in the shadow of another and be at peace.
Hunger– surprised? Hunger not starvation. Each and every day, every human knows hunger, a reminder that we have limitations, we need food to survive no matter how successful, powerful, self-sufficient we are. If our physical needs were not a part of life calling us back to the basic task of feeding our bellies, how much more trouble would we be in?
What happens when your life gets dragged back into family drama? Don’t ask me! I avoid family like the plague. Only kidding, well half way kidding. I’ve had my fair share of being in the thick of it with shoutfests, accusations, ugly scenes of dirty laundry, but I’ve grown up a bit and channel those passionate emotions to better things.
My grown up self may be physically distant from the rest of the clan but my heart strings are pulled when I know any of my sisters or mother or cousins are dealing with difficult situations. My kids have unlimited access to our bank account and our very breath if they need it.
The hard part comes in when I can’t fix things. When I can’t give advice because it’s not wanted and wouldn’t be accepted anyway. When choices are made that completely confound me as though I speak a different language and can’t understand a single word they speak. I’m a praying person, maybe I should clarify that, a praying, believing person. I believe what I’m incapable of changing, prayer can.
Right now at EnTylerwords.com, there’s a series running – “The Roady Series”. It’s about when Tyler is called back home to Tennessee by his abusive stepfather to take care of his four younger brothers. Mom was in a car accident and is in ICU. Tyler learns she was high, a man was killed and it’s unclear if she was at fault. Returning home stirs up a hornet’s nest of trouble for Tyler but in the middle of it, he finds some parts of his life open and some parts close.
Binge read the series first 10 episodes at EnTylerwords.com. Click on Menu at the top header of the blog site and choose “Roady Series”. Enjoy!
Don’t think too much or too deeply, Don’t. Some pools are meant to not be stirred, to remain crystal clear; the muck where it belongs, settled, bound up, resting in darkness. Certainly don’t drop a rock hard truth, Or a heavy reality, Into the calm waters. Don’t. The serenity of the right place for everything, is at stake. Don’t even blow a wish on it’s surface, Don’t. The glare of the desire, will shine down, and show the dismal mud, it’s desolation stark and sure. Guard yourself, if you value peace , no turmoil. Don’t.
Can there be any better discovery than finding a new place to build a bookcase? It all started with the garden or maybe I should say anticipation of the garden. It’s just five raised beds but the dreams I have for them start now, or actually should have started a few weeks ago. I’m already behind in growing seedlings. That’s because I’ve learned it’s important to start seeds with warmth and light which requires a good set-up. First, a sturdy but collapsible shelf system. Second a light source. I follow a YouTube channel “The Rusted Garden”. Now I know why my seedlings are usually spindly tall and either dry up the first time in full sun or end up covered in mold: too little light and too much moisture. I am determined this year, to successfully transplant homegrown seedlings into my garden. It turns out I had the perfect (okay near perfect) plastic ‘bookshelf’ in one of my closets. It’s absolutely not a good shelf for books but somewhere along the line that’s how it came to be used. But not anymore. The books were pulled down and piled on the floor and the plastic shelves are now home to pots of dirt and seeds. Grow lights are still being hunted down. That left piles of books homeless. With the shelf out of the closet, suddenly there was more space for…well junk but that’s not the point. Now where to put the books? Turns out the closet has a twelve inch deep cubby in it. My husband installed vertical runners and we happened to have a box of brackets (no joke we’ve carried them from house to house for years and never used them before) on which he put cut boards. Just look at it! Am I the only one who can look at a shelf full of books and feel warm fuzzies? Here’s the best part, I have a lot more closets in my house.
A writer’s mind is a scary place, unless it’s put down on paper, nice and neat, telling a story. What can be expected from someone who conjures up, and toils over the right words to describe an emotion that is not reflective of their current true state of mind? Inside there has to be the ability to feel every gamut of emotion. It is a cruel thing we do to ourselves, isn’t it? Diving into sometimes deeply dark places in humanity to create suffering, merciless villains, and heartless, betraying friends or up to that place where two people fall in love, a dream comes true, a hero is born. And we do it all in the name of stirring the emotions of the reader so that they experience for the hours it takes to read a novel, a place they’ve never been and person they are not.
So how to get the characters and drama inside the mind out onto the page? Here’s another tip I learned from a writer’s conference: For particularly strong or difficult scenes, set up the atmosphere in your writing area (which may be a laptop and earbuds) with music, aroma, video or pictures that match the emotion or scene you need to write. Sad music even without words can make me cry! Likewise, fast pace rhythmic music will make my heart beat faster. Add the scent of lavender for a calm scene, cinnamon for sharp but warm scene, vinegar for sharp with no warmth, whatever works. As much as is possible submerge in the environment of the scene and then let the words flow.
Have you tried this technique before? How do you create a scene specific environment?
So it is, Is another day, Daily spent free, Freely to step, Stepping any way, Wayward on some, Sometimes path straight, Straightened by hope, Hopeless for today, Today is not life, Lifelong destiny, Destined for higher, Heights not seen, Seeing in now, Now clouds the view, Viewing with soul eyes, Eying beyond fills, Filled up with belief, Believing in time, Timely all days, Dayspring to see.
The last vestige of normal washed down the bathroom sink. Her hair was now purple, shocking purple to be exact. When it was all blow dried and the waves of purple were shining down her shoulders, Janey knew this was the day. The day everyone would see who she really was, not a quiet, impish girl who didn’t take chances but a bold, unpredictable, even wild woman.
As soon as Janey stepped out the front door it hit her. She was the same person that she was yesterday with mousey brown hair. If purple was going to make a difference, it was up to her to make it happen. Afterall she really was a punky, fun person, right? All she needed was a tool to open people’s eyes to her real inner self. Three steps down the walk, it was a mistake. How could she ever show her face? They would laugh. Wouldn’t they? No, of course not. Why didn’t she think to do this around Halloween? That would have worked. Maybe she should use that back-up ‘chestnut brown’ color. Two steps back toward the front door. No. She would probably end up with puke colored hair that way.
Just do it Janey. Just do it. She turned around and started walking away from the house without looking back.
It’s a hot debate in writer’s circles with the old adage ‘write what you know’ against ‘create your own world’. I personally think writing is one of the last frontiers for the mind, that and scientific research (ha ha). The subject, the setting, the fiction needs to have the freedom to expand to fill whatever space the story fits in. Apart from technical and historical accuracy, I say, breathe your characters to life in the circumstance that they fit in whether it’s been your experience or just one you know of. The truth is, in many ways we all share in common human pressures, disappointments, joys and triumphs. In mini-bites there are moments of hunger, desperation, hopelessness, being mis-understood, deceived, betrayed, loved, abused, broken, wounded, stuck with no clear way out and the list goes on and on.
In the Peanuts cartoon, Lucy complains that Snoopy’s story about suffering is shallow, meaning it’s not believable. She accuses him of having not suffered enough to get it right. That is the key point if you’re going to superimpose your mini-bites of life over a character whose whole life is about something you may know just a little bit about and the rest is imagination you better get it right. To do that, you need to be a studier of people, of emotions, and think deep enough, act out in your mind the full experience and lose yourself in a new reality. It’s a gamble and it means frequent gut checks. Does this ring true? It means research and interviewing and pulling from all those sources and then crafting the words up out of it. In that process, I have lost myself in research and learned things I never would have if I didn’t need to strengthen the believability of my story plot. Early on in my writing adventure I was writing a book about two friends, one with AIDS and the other a medical student. My draft story received such a scathing critique from someone on the frontlines of patient care. She let me know I didn’t get it right. She challenged me to get to know my subject. I took the challenge and joined a volunteer program to help patients who didn’t have any family to support them. Before you think I’m a saint, I never actually became an active volunteer but I stepped into a world that I would never have understood if I didn’t write myself into that corner. Tread carefully in the land of research. That’s all I’m saying. It may be easier just to rewrite scenes from your own life ; avoid the challenge and pitfalls of conjecture….really? When are we writers afraid of going into the unknown wherever the pen may take us? You’ll be fine. Write on!
Where has that last pebble gone? I make the mistake of using the broom. Did I hear a sound, the rattle of a pebble skipping across the floor, Out the door? Maggie springs after it, bats it further down the worn front path, Now I’m chasing the cat, Chasing the stone, Till I come upon a weeping woman in the grass. “I’m sorry to disturb you.” These lowland meadows don’t usually include Random people. Why is she here? “The grave. It’s gone. There was a stone here for my baby.” “A stone?” And then I see it, my brown pebble.
Read the StormWeaver series by searching under #StormWeaver category.