Blog Check In #13

Well, Blog Check In #12 didn’t happen. Let’s just say it was a rough day, kept reminding myself about blogging, then as I laid down to bed, slipping beneath my bedcovers, I felt the weight of the world, including school assignments slip from my shoulders…on the cusp of drifting off to sleep, my mind jolted. I didn’t blog! To my dismay, sleep’s tranquilizing agents had already entered my system. There was no escaping my bed. My blog is minus a check in. Dargh! It irks my sense of completion, but all is well.

So, here we are at Blog Check In #13. At this moment, writing is going well. Due to my varying work schedule I don’t have a set morning writing time I can stick to, but writing in the morning is now a part of my mental routine. I find myself scripting the words in my mind, wondering how I will shape the story. Yesterday, I took a pen and paper, laying down on the ground like I did as a kid, coloring in color books and wrote a scene of Lijah’s interaction with the Seer. I was surprised by how much I wrote, and even more surprised by how natural it felt. As natural as when I pick up a brush to paint. I spent the days before the short story section in a panic, believeing I didn’t have a tale to tell within me. But, once I decided to write what comes naturally to me, the ideas have arrived. I didn’t edit myself, judge myself, I just wrote with enjoyment.

Flash Fiction English 251

Our assignment: Use the protagonist and antagonist we created during group projects in class: Rebecca and Cassandra. Write 250-500 words. The flash fiction must feature both characters, take place in the mall, and begin with these 4 sentences -Most days were the same. But not today. Today was different. Today was special. Here’s what I wrote:

Most days were the same. But not today. Today was different. Today was special. Cassandra sat at her desk, sucking on a butterscotch candy like her Grandpa used to give her as a little girl. She stared bitterly at the photo pinned to her corkboard. The photograph was of her as a young girl, dressed in her ballerina outfit. Life had sopped her up like she was the gravy and it was a big ol’ biscuit. It sopped and sopped ’til there wasn’t anything left but a greasy smear that used to be her joy, her youth, and her dreams. Cassandra was life leftovers, gimping through the rest of her existence. She was smothered in old hopes like elderly lady powder. Every night she drank herself to sleep, shaken awake every morning with the cruelest realization that she had a shoe store to run. A foot amputee selling shoes. Boy, life sure knew hot to stick it to a gal. You can’t buy a single shoe, can you? You can only buy the pair…Cassandra threw a sharp glance at the door when she heard the timid knock. “What is it?” she snapped. Rebecca stood partially in the doorway, sensing Cassandra’s mood. “Good morning Cassandra, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday…and give you these.” Rebecca held out a simple yet fashionable vase, blooming with petite roses. “Why would you do that?” Cassandra asked, looking at the vase as if it held vipers instead of flowers. The two had never been friendly, due to Cassandra’s constant micromanaging. Moving carefully, Rebecca set the flowers on Cassandra’s desk and turned to go, pausing to say, “Everyone deserves a little joy on their birthday.” She smiled with compassion, knowing Cassandra thought she was ridiculous for trying. She sighed, kicking herself for imagining things could be different between them. But, just before she closed the door to Cassandra’s office she heard a soft reply, “Thank You.”

Blog Check In #11

The early bird gets the worm-or in my case, the early bird downs a cup of coffee, and chases it with an iced americano loaded with espresso, types a blog, then heads to work. Morning is the best time for writing. My inner critics are still asleep, and the quiet allows space for my thoughts to flow. I’m altering my writing time to embrace the morning.

Flash Fiction was alot of fun! I’ve been panicked about writing the short story, mainly because I normally have an inspiration starting point, but I was blank for awhile. So, the night before Thursday’s class an idea started forming. I actually got out of bed, searching around in the dark for my writing book and started scribbling some notes. The point of all that is to say, flash fiction gave me the first chance to try my hand at typing out a bit of story, and reassured me I can do it…and also, dare, I say it, have fun! Writing should begin in a place of joy, struggle will happen, it’s all a part of the creative process, but beginning in a place of enjoyment and staying focused on enjoying every part of the process ensures success.

The lead character I have come up with is Lijah, Lijah is a Dreamer, he has some type of spiritual/magical gift, but its not developed and he is filled with self-doubt. Lijah will have to make a journey, and face obstacles that force him to face his fears. A kind of modern day fable. I don’t have Lijah’s age narrowed down yet. Still working out the kinks. He will face a few antagonists, literal and mental. He might be searching for something, like the treasure of Chulahwee (a land in his world). The first will be The Seer, he travels to get a glimpse of his future or some divine guidance, and finds that the future and those who dish out prophecy are not always kind. Also, and this makes me giggle, The Prince of a Thousand Pillows, Lijah passes through his realm during his journey, and finds it may not be so easy to leave. The Prince is a delightful sadist, the heir and guardian to a thousand pillows, give or take, who wants to keep Lijah for himself. The Prince loves plush things, and despises tassles on pillows.

Block Check In #9

“No matter where you are, no matter how difficult things might appear to be, you are always being moved toward magnificence. Always.” ~The Secret, Daily Teachings

Well, I sure hope so. Currently, no short story idea has bubbled to the surface. I did scribble a thought in my writing notebook this morning before work, and thought to myself…hmmm, would this make an interesting story? Why did I set my writing time for evening when my natural writing time occurs in the morning? I might adjust that for the short story section, and hopefully stay on track. After a day of classes, people, work, etc…it’s hard to feel free enough to write. In the morning there’s a stillness that allows more creativity to come forth.

Looking forward to a morning without looming responsibilities. Just a moment’s sense of leisure when the sunrise climbs up the horizon, spilling in through my window. Waking up to that first searing sip of coffee. A pure moment when nothing invades the quiet.

Blog Check In #8

“Ask and it shall be given you….Knock and it shall be opened unto you.” ~Matthew 7:7

The beauty of creation begins in the dark soil of the unknown. A question, a thought, an image, a spark of imagination, whispering to inspiration, grow…My desire shapes from nothing; becoming. Roots sinking deep, concepts unfolding, rising from beneath. Art is born. Artists hold the universe in our hands, reflections of a greater Creator. 

Thank you to the poetry section for reminding me what it is to create. The poetry section of class was a great beginning. Structure and meter excercised unused muscles. I’m happy with my accomplishments.

Reviewing my goals for the first section of class. I’m tempted to revise them, but actually, I believe it would be more difficult to keep them in place. So, in place they stay. I’m not afraid of challenge. Somehow, I will find a way to incorporate artistic embelllishment into my assignments even though I currently don’t have a short story concept in place. I will devote more time to adding artwork to my blog, and go back into the archives of my journal, finding past wisdoms to display in this space. I foresee the daily 30 minute writing time will be a great benefit to this section of class. As my story progresses those 30 minutes will ensure it keeps moving forward.

A toast to the conclusion of poetry, and the delicious challenges ahead!

Blog Check In #7

“Ask yourself: Is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing? If there isn’t, then time is covering up the present moment, and life is perceived as a burden or a struggle.”

~The Power of Now, pg56

This week was a bit disheartening for me. What I expected out of my poems wasn’t taking shape. So, I had to let it be for the moment and produce what I could. I turned in an ego-tripping poem that fit the requirements, but it wasn’t what I intended for the assignment. For my revised poem, I actually went back to my original ego trip poem, and worked through my issues with it. I have a piece that I actually enjoy now. The song lyrics poem was not what I expected either. I felt a bit foolish having been so giddy earlier about my song choices. But, after having zero inspiration on Thursday, and feeling a wave of self doubt, breakthrough arrived on Friday.

Part of my struggle in this class is feeling like what I do isn’t on the level with other students. That isn’t typed out of false modesty or a search for complimets. That really is something that I’m working through within myself. It’s just part of my artistic journey. Getting back into school hasn’t been easy, I but I will continue pushing myself to focus on doing what Gordon does best.

Short story section is coming up, and I must admit it’s a bit daunting (4,000 to 7,000 words!). Other people have started their stories already?? I’ve never approached a project like this before, so starting at a point of unknown. Sometimes, the best ideas take shape in the space of the unknown, so we will see. I’m reminded by the quote about above not to attempt anything that is not me. My best work always comes from the heart. I commit to enjoying the creative process.