Quote for the day — disenchantment

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

enchantmentSometimes people feel that recognizing the truth of suffering conditions a pessimistic outlook on life, that somehow it is life-denying. Actually, it is quite the reverse. By denying what is true, for example, the truth of impermanence, we live in a world of illusion and enchantment. Then when circumstances change in ways we don’t like, we feel disappointed, angry, or bitter. The Buddha expressed the liberating power of seeing the unreliability of conditions. “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation. Becoming disenchanted one becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion the mind is liberated.”

It’s telling that in English “disenchanted,” “disillusioned,” and dispassionate” often have a negative connotation. But looking more closely at their meaning reveals their connection to freedom. Becoming disenchanted means breaking the spell of enchantment, waking up into a greater and fuller reality. This is the happy ending of so many great myths and fairy tales. Being…

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Love this!

Chicquero

Illustrator Dante Tyler reimagines popular Disney princess as glamorized fashion icons, putting their likenesses into the covers of Vogue.

I am not influenced by the techniques or fashions of any other motion picture company.Walt Disney

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Journals

Do you keep a journal?

At one time I kept a journal that I wrote all my feelings in, dreams, strange ideas, thoughts, opened myself up and let it all flow…

…then someone I trusted read it…and got very angry with me because of the words I had written. So I deleted everything from my computer, I burned the notebook, and I made a resolution:  NEVER KEEP A JOURNAL AGAIN!

But,

over the years, the need to get some fuzzy stuff down, to jot story ideas, excerpts of fiction or poetry that feed my soul, notes on what I saw that day, or people I witnessed being people, human’s who carried a story around with them, one I could imagine if I took the time and let my mind run, run, run….so journaling has become part of my life again for the past few years. I do not use it to express inner feelings, disenchantments with every-day life or any of the like, except if it has to do with writing my novel or my short stories.

The journal has become more of an expression that keeps the momentum of writing going, no matter what my frame of mind might be. I hate my story, I love my story, it doesn’t matter, this will help me get by. For a few weeks I’ve let it slip by, not adding to the blank pages anything but my hollow stares. And my novel writing had slowed down to a decrepit pace, of like zero to none words a day with only one or two passing thoughts added. But I picked it up this weekend with new resolve. It feels heavy and real, the journal itself, which makes me feel like the words I’ve hand-written within have some weight that will make a difference somewhere…or maybe none at all. And it doesn’t matter.

Sometimes I let some personal stuff slip in, the stuff I know no one will hate me for after I’ve gone and they take this black book out and decide to look into me. Like this morning’s entry which went something like this:

July 18.2012

Could not sleep during the night, partly because of the heat (even though the air was on) and partly because I just wasn’t tired. My mind wasn’t racing, my legs felt fine (sometimes they itch or twitch) so I’m not sure what it was, but I got up around 1 am or so and came downstairs and read and wrote into my novel manuscript. I feel I may have focus now. My daughter, words of wisdom from a 16-year-old, said to me last night, “Why don’t you finish that story? Don’t give up on it, it’s really good.” (She’d read my first draft in progress a few months ago). “Even if you get another job, you could do both.”

And so I can.

Feel a bit more inspired to dig into blogs again too, especially Disenchanted Twilight, which I sometimes feel I should rename, though disenchantment is part of me, so perhaps it is fine.

~End of entry

If you keep a journal, what do you put into it? Feel free to share.

image: Disenchanted Twilight

Beautiful words by Lisa Chapman…

Just Under the Surface

The hour is late between us

Darkness intrudes

Our light obscured by our own shadows

Flashes of memory crave the light

Restore! Restore!

We swim for shoreline

Only to be shoved further out to sea

We made our start amongst the brilliance of stars

Believing our love built on solid ground.

Only to discover it was upon sinking sand.

~Lisa Chapman 2012

Inspired by: Disenchanted Twilight post
Photograph: Flickr/Symmetry Mind

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Writing the Duomatic Monologue

Okay, so I absolutely don’t know what the title has to do with this post…but I found it in my journal, and hell, I kind of like it, must have liked it, since it’s written in my beautiful handwriting back in May of last year. And during the writing of this, I hear this:

So, my point is that I’m in this really cool writing groove. We all get in one occasionally, hopefully often, or constantly. I wish I could take more time for this blog too. It’s becoming hard to find the time, which is a good thing, I guess.  But today I’d just want to express what it’s like to be in the groove, that dynamic place where all the words come into our heads and fall through our fingertips and onto the paper (or computer screen) like ethereal dictation.

And there’s that synch that happens also. You know the one. You come across all this stuff that reminds you of your story, or your character, or the setting of your novel. Or you come across a piece in a book, like I did today:

You see I have been here a long time now
And though the work I came for was years ago finished
It is an easy country to stay on in

I have got used to the way of certain things here.
They can be absurdly irritating at times
But I get on quite well, really quite well with the people.
And then, they take you for granted. And there’s the sun
And the night air in Summer. There are the Southern roses.
I am at ease in these frequented ruins
And here at least i have my place as exile.

[From Man in a Bar by Jenny Joseph]

So here is something: we open a book and discover, a pieces so appropriate for our eyes to witness, slipping into our thoughts, our writing.  Our story. Maybe that’s my duomatic monologue.

 

Ghost Story

It is a whip-o-will that awakes me at 4:45 or so. This bird chants for fifteen minutes before giving up for the day. It’s like his declaration, his minute convergence from the whole of himself, or herself. How does one tell the sex of a bird. It is one thing that I wished I’d learned. In any case, this bird, I have no way of knowing is it’s the same one each day, but something in my oblivious awareness tell me that it is, has been chanting for weeks now outside my asylum window. It started one Saturday morning. This is fact, not fiction, because it was the day that the dead girl, Julia, started to visit me.

(What is a dead girl but a shadowy ghost…Or a dead man’s voice but a distant and vain affirmation…Like dream words most. ~Archibald MacLeish)

She was once so beautiful, still is in many uncharted ways, but the bump and grind of being dead is taking a toll on her. She miss-spells words, when she even tries to spell, and miss-pronounces my name which isn’t hard pronounce, and of late she is looking more and more…worn…haggard…dark. It’s hard to describe. She still wears her golden hoop earrings. She still wears the dark flowered dress with the plunging neckline, even though she was buried in a pure white sheath of satin, a virgin’s dress. Julia was far from that.

So this is what happens after you die. You haunt your last haunt, you live out your dead life in the last shit hole that you graced, the last place you breathed the air on this side. How unfortunate for Julia. She didn’t know. Had she known I think she would have waited, waited to off herself in the more opportune place, on some excursion we’re permitted to go on – the mall, the amusement park, at some museum, even at the damn Baskin Robbins. Better to haunt a bin of cookies and cream than here. Better anywhere than here.

So Julia once again sits on my bed and folds her long legs in lotus position. I see the bare bottoms of her dirty feet, chocolate colored nail polish on her toes. The flowered dress flows around her, a puddle of chiffon. The blood stains in her lap have sort of dried. At least they’re not glistening anymore. It was hard to look at her ghost at first. How she got the mirror is the immaculate mystery, and how she got it into her vagina and moved it around so well is the other. She told me she had to see the things crawling around inside her, the things they’d implanted in her. She told me she was part of some nameless government experiment, years ago, that it took a few eloquent years to grow. So she said. It was our secret. I kept her secret. Hell, I didn’t want her to think I was one of them. I loved her. I think.

Her eyes look very dark today, but the rings bring out clear blueness of them. She’s an artist. Was an artist. We were allowed to view her art online when we found out that she was slightly famous. A series of self-portraits that hedged out the art world. She titled them Re-numeration, Bone, Time Culminating, Drinking Poison, Dying in Disguise, Wisps of Wind, Edges, Fairies and Faultlines, and Julia Apparently Dead. The images were full of color, illumination, and desolation. I thought they were weird and seductive.

James always came to see her. The boyfriend. This is part of Julia’s problem now. Since she died he doesn’t come anymore. She doesn’t get it. She suffers from rejection even in death.

Have you seen him? I was napping. I may have missed him.

No, he wasn’t here, Julia. He doesn’t come anymore, remember?

Oh, yeah….Why?

Well, you know…You’re sort of dead.

She stares at me. She seems to be forgetting what I tell her. I fear I’ve said the wrong thing. Am I too blunt?  The truth, you know? It’s confusing to some of us.

We have a lot of work to do. I’m so behind. I have to have my collection ready by…

I sit down next to Julia. For a ghost, a wisp of a girl’s shadow, she smells pretty good. Like peonies from my grandmother’s garden, an earthy smell, pink, green, and mossy. The colors of her dress. There’s a lead smell there too. The blood. I try not to look at the dried puddle in her lap, at the stains on her fingers.

It could be paint, not blood.

____________

A Brief Hunger Games Movie Review

Well, The Hunger Games movie received two enthusiastic thumbs up after my daughter viewed it last evening…though it of course took some detours from the book. Some of the great lines in the book didn’t make it…such as “Stay alive” spoken by Haymitch, and the cute tongue in cheek comment from Peeta, “You here to finish me off, sweetheart?” But all in all, the movie was well acted, the visual effects stunning, and will not disappoint fans of the book.

Final report: The book was better, but all this beauty makes up for it. (reference the actors above)

Now, are you Team Peeta or Team Gale?

More Disenchanted Literary Terms

IVORY TOWER –

To be in an ivory tower is to be remote from the world, out of touch with reality, and probably devitalized. (Devitalized? okayyyy….) This term is often a connotation to writers or artists. A fall from your ivory tower? I feel doomed. Click here for help.

INVOCATION –

A bit lighter here: An invocation is an appeal or request for help to a higher authority or to God.

NOM DE PLUME –

A nom de plume is French for “Pen-Name”. This is a fictitious name used by a writer. NOM DE GUERRE is the French term for an author’s pen name. Another useful word: pseudonym.

Why do I write?

I freaking ask myself this all the time. One time I quit, long ago, my kids were little…it actually felt great.

Of course, it didn’t last…this writing bug grabs you in unique and unexpected ways, it slathers your soul and you brain with ideas that just keep coming, then if you’re crazy enough, you mention this to a loved one and they actually say: That would make such a good story.

So there you go…you’re off again.

I love when the groove of writing is found…not the rut, mind you, but the slickest groove that’s covered in oil and you can just barely hear the hum of the creativity train’s wheels, just slightly, and it’s oh, so soothing…I love it when everything flows. Story. Words. Characters. Descriptions.

I hate it when I look back and see how “less-than” it really was. I try not to compare. I try, like Kerouac, to make it all perfect the first time around or why bother, but I can’t.
Who can really?
Except Jack Kerouac.
Was it he who said that? That a writer shouldn’t need to rewrite, that the original inspiration was all there should ever be. I think it was.

Hold on, like Nora Ephron I’ll have to Google it…be right back…

Bloody hell, I couldn’t find that quote, but I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere, that he said that. If he did, he sucks.

So, why do I write? If you’re a writer, why do you? Is it some sort of inner self talk, or story, or whatever, that needs to burst out? Do we really need others’ approvals? Do you read a book, any good book, and say to yourself, I have a story something like this, I have to write it? Do you lay awake thinking of that little piece of something new to add to your character? Do you find yourself jotting notes down in the oddest of places, like the paper coffee cup you just drank from, because you just might forget before you get back to your desk or computer?

Are you someone like me who would rather do nothing else as a job?

Then we are the same my dear reader.

“There is always in me two women at least…”

Here is a  quote from a favorite woman writer (I have so many!) Anais Nin on keeping her famous diaries. I find the words so inspiring, the “echoes and reverberations” transform and enchant me.

This diary is my kief, hashish, and opium pipe.  This is my drug and my vice.  Instead of writing a novel, I lie back with this book and a pen, and dream, and indulge in refractions and defractions… I must relive my life in the dream.  The dream is my only life.  I see in the echoes  and reverberations, the tranfigurations which alone keep wonder pure.  Otherwise all magic is lost.  Otherwise life show its deformities and the homeliness becomes rust… All matter must be fused this way through the lens of my vise or the rust of living would slow down my rhythm to a sob.

 

Making Time

This week has been a writing frenzy for me…or a change. I’m so happy. Of course, blogging time has been non-existent. Still trying to get a schedule together to include that.  I am presently working on a second draft of a young adult paranormal novel, which is being co-written with my daughter.  I’ve been so overwhelmed with her responses, which, of course, keep me motivated. She has the rest of it outlined and noted, and we’ve worked on visualizing the way things happen, the way the characters look, act, the rhythms of speech, etc.  Having her input has a tremendous joy, though we are not at all times in perfect agreement on the text. She also plans to do some Manga-type drawings for the story, which I hopefully be able to share here.

The bottom line? Writing productivity has been up. Like William Hazlitt says: The more a man writes, the more he can write.

It is brilliantly strange and enchanting when one makes writing a habit (in some way) that it becomes…dare I say the word, easier.  Not that it’s easy…don’t yell at me. I know it’s not an easy task all the time…okay, most of the time, but there is something to getting a certain number of pages done, or a certain amount of hours at the desk jotting or tapping away that feeds the writer’s soul, makes the images flow easier, and also brings about those surges in writing genius that we delude ourselves into thinking that we really have. All in all, it makes us keep going, and that my friends and fellow writers is the reason we are here.

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

And once we are sunk in deep into our story, old, new, or in the re-write stage, I wonder is some of you find yourselves zoning off at any given moment in your life, like when doing dishes, or taking a walk, or a shower, driving in the car, or before you fall asleep, with your story in your head, a scene you’re working on visualized while doing something else?

I love this little story on productivity from For Writers Only by Sophie Burnham:

Emile Zola sat ten hours a day at his desk. Much of this
time was spent staring out the window in a brooding effort

to call up a certain scene. It was work. Zola claimed that
at times the struggle with a certain passage was so intense
it caused an erection.
But sitting ten hours is hard on the back. Another writer
walks. “Three miles a page,” he says.

Give me your opinions on how you keep the writer’s pace at a productive level. You can leave out the erection records if you want.

World Book Night

A Night of giving the joy of reading!

World Book Night is a new event designed to share the joy of reading with as many new underserved readers as possible.  What a way to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday!

50,000 volunteer book givers have been chosen in communities around the country (and the U.K. and Ireland) and will give free books to those who may not have access to books or are infrequent readers.

Registration for this year’s event is closed, but info on next year’s event is available on the website.

I am so thrilled with the 30 books chosen for this year’s give-away. I’ve read over half of them. Thrilled to see The Hunger Games there. For the complete list click here.

Writing Prompt

Often an image tells a story, contains a story, lives and breathes with story. I am ever enchanted with finding a gem that can be used as a great writing prompt. This one is no exception. See what you come up with, a flash piece, a sentence or two, a piece of dialogue.
I welcome responses to this piece. If you are inspired, leave a link to your writing in comments. I’ll post my own short in a few days.
Image Credit: Yanidel Street Photography

Deceptive Words

A great writer needs a great vocabulary. Do we ever really stop learning new words? Do we want to?

Here’s a few deceptive words to consider to add duplicity to the guile in your writing.

artifice – a skillful, sly or artful trick

cozen – to fraud, trick, cheat, or deceive

dissimulate – to hide one’s feelings, or to lie.

demagoguery – speech of a leader that appeals to people’s emotions, and therefore gains power.

imposture – to assume a false identity

panderer – caters to lower tastes of others and exploits weaknesses.

duplicity – deliberate deception in behavior or speech.

guile – insidiousness, treacherousness, cunning.

Flash Fiction: “It takes a long time to become young again.”

She finishes the phone call and lights a cigarette. He waits for the coffee to cool, pulls the sheer curtains aside to view St. Mark’s square beyond the canal. They’ve been in Venice for three days. They’ll go out later, get something to eat, drink wine, bring up some day that they both thought they’d forgotten. She’ll smoke more and he’ll pretend not to mind.

“So, how is he?” he asks.

She exhales loudly. “Fine…I guess.”

“Do you want to leave?”

She drags on the cigarette again, chews her thumb nail. They had waited for, talked about, planned for months this trip. This was the trip to make everything right, to get the cells enlivened, to save what was left of their life together.

He stirs his coffee and sits down in the brown leather chair. It squeaks subtly and she looks at him, not for the first time, nor the last, in his rumpled gray suit. He should get a new one while he’s here. And shoes. He crosses his legs and sips the coffee.

It takes a long time to become young again – a quote from Picasso she’s read somewhere. Where? She can’t remember now. She pushed the spent cigarette into the lid of her soda can where it makes a small “shush” sound as it extinguishes. She looks out the window.

“I’m not leaving,” she says.

Confessions of a Writing Reader

I must confess…I love to read about writing more than I love to write.

Okay, wait, that’s not completely true. No, never mind. It is. What I mean to say is that I love reading great articles about how to write as much as I actually do the process, which means that I have spent enormous amounts of writing time reading articles like, Bring Your Characters to Life, How to Create Your Story Outline, or Tips on Getting Your Novel Published, or What’s the Best Point of View for Your Story, How to Create Riveting Action…You get the picture?

This past weekend we were in Barnes & Noble. I first went to the magazine shelves, the writing section, and breezed through every writer and poetry magazine while sitting in the window seat with my Hazlenut Frap. That done, I selected two magazines and headed for the back of the store where the reference and writing section was. I grabbed one of those step stools, not for stepping, but for my bum, which I purposefully placed in front of the section of writing books. I hauled out all the titles that caught my eye. A lot of the books I’d seen before, of course, and had them dutifully noted on the notes page of my iPhone for further purchasing opportunities. There were three stacks of books at my feet, or sideways on the shelves sticking out, waiting my final approval. The lady who works in the store (who’s actually a man transformed into a woman, I complimented her shoes, which were pretty cool looking black heels, which made me wonder how he, I mean she, walked all day in them) leaned over and asked me if I wanted a book cart to get to the register. We laughed. I asked, How big is your cart?

About two hours later my dear husband tracked me down. He knew where to look by now. I had narrowed my selections down to ten, and I was adding up the ultimate charge to the credit card with the phone’s calculator, when he said, “You’re buying all of those? You have a three book shelves full of writing books at home.”  Ah, yes, a voice of reason. One of the perks of being married. And when exactly would I find the time to read all these books?  So I ended up with one magazine.

*!*

I read and re-read writing articles. I keep all my Writers Digests and The Writer magazines. My collection stretches back to 1989. I’ve used highlighters and ink pens of various shades to underline passages. Page upon page are tattooed with ink arrows at paragraphs to look at again, some with stars next to them to spark my eye when I return, or exclamation marks near a quote to keep my writing ambition up to speed.

It is a painstaking process – all this reading about writing that one simply has to do. I could make a career out of it (oh, if someone would only pay me to read!) and the reading and noting of articles I could easily fill and replace a day of actual writing work.

So, is anything wrong with me? Can anyone relate to this? Hell, you’re doing it now, reading this article about writing, so I guess part of you can relate.

So how does one get some efficient, publishable writing done when one likes to read about it more than actually doing said writing? By setting a time limit. One half hour of article – if I feel the urge – then get writing! A prompt, a short piece, or into the novel in progress.

I’ve come to limit my reading about writing time with great practicality. It hasn’t been easy. This means avoiding news stands, limiting online searches (especially tough since I love so many great writer’s websites, a list I’ll create in a later post) and filing away my magazines for the time being.

Now I believe that I can finally write more than I read about it. I do keep one well underlined, starred, and exclamation pointed magazine around as an idea sparkler. I use articles for writing prompts and exercises to keep my writer’s spirit from falling off the pyramid. This magazine presently is The Writer’s Guide to Creativity, a Writer’s Digest supplement, issued back in November 2011. And one precious, awesome, book I can’t get enough of on manuscript revision, called Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon.

Manuscript Makeover delves not only into revision techniques, which I desperately need, but also helps with my current novel’s inspiration, helps me to think of my story in new insightful ways, and puts creativity at its peak, both in writing first drafts, and revising stories as a whole.

So there is my confession.

I’m still a writing reader. I’ve taken a step program to free myself for the loss of precious writing time due to this reading addiction. I now am revising a novel for publication, and writing two different shorter stories for this sweet blog I started. And I can safely stay away from my shelves of books and magazines…

I think…

 

Buried

She stands. The sand falls from her clothes. From this point of view she can survey her work. She is immobile, in disbelief.

“What?” he asks.

Words evade her. Fourteen hours straight working the dig. Her voice is dry as the bones.

He stands beside her.

“My God.”

She has uncovered, pulled out, layer by layer, brush stroke by stroke, painstakingly slow, so as not to damage the fleshless human bones…an arm, a shoulder blade, long, extended, abnormal, numerous bones scattered by sediment and decay, now freshly exposed to air after what? Centuries? Millennium?

“What is it?”

“It’s a wing.”

Disenchanted Residence

Disenchanted Residence

She hovered near the bannister was that a voice she heard it had been so long since she’d heard a voice a man’s voice yes the dust the plaster that had fallen over the years softly swirled as she passed the stairs in search of the voice the voice of a man it echoed up the through marble and fallen time it echoed through her and she felt alive for a moment then the voice died away was gone was but a breath of wind in the ancient air and air filled with her light presence disenchanted false ethereal glazed with novel wind and shaded without life…

I fell passionately in love with this post written in December 2009 on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:  Letters to Santa written by Shakespeare Characters, by Caroline Bicks and Michelle Ephraim.  Here’s a sample:

Dear Santa:

How does my lord? I am fine. I believe ’tis possible you did not receive my wish list last year, or that it fell into unsavory hands and was rudely tampered with before reaching you, as all you brought me was a chastity belt and some granny underpants. I pray that this one flies to you untainted since this year hath really sucked. I wish for the following:

— He’s Just Not That Into You (book and DVD)

— “All About Me” Lock and Key Diary

— National Geographic Flower and Leaf Pressing Kit

— Coastal Deluxe Automatic Inflatable Life Vest

Fingers crossed,
Ophelia

Read more letters here.

You Do Not even have to leave your room…

“You do not even have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen.  Do not even listen, simply wait.  Do not even wait, be still and solitary.  The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”  ~Franz Kafka

 

Okay….I’m still waiting….what is happening?  The heat has turned on and the plant is in the warm stream of air and is moving back and forth and I’m thinking, I should move that plant, it may be too hot for it in that spot.

And so I sit.  It’s not like I don’t have any writing projects to work on. I have three going right now, which may be why I sit here. Too many things pulling me around, scattering my focus.  I believe when we write we have to become part of the story. We have to live, eat and breath as one or all the characters we’ve created do. With this focus comes and unending stream of scenes that we can sit and witness, and with some creative luck get those images down on paper with just the right, most publishable words that will send readers into another world that they’ll never want to leave.

It’s not easy of course. Often we sit and try over and over again. Some days I write all nonsense. I look at it the next day and think, what the fuck was I thinking yesterday.  Other days, I look at what I’ve written and think it’s brilliant. (Okay, maybe not brilliant, brilliant, but that sort-of kinda almost brilliant that my favorite writers have).  Still, the main thing, is that we have to set the time down and try, no, do the writing and what will come of it is a moment of brilliant. Without doing it regularly, well, the slump sets in.

As Sophy Burnham says: “When I am happiest, I write every almost every day.”

Me too.

The Grande Malade

by Djuna Barnes

“And there we were, my sister Moydia and I, Madame.  Moydia was fifteen and I was seventeen and we were young all over. Moydia has a thin thin skin, so that I sit and look at her and wonder how she has opinions.  She is all white except the cheekbones, then rosy red; her teeth are milk-teeth and she has a small figure, very pretty and droll.  She wanted to become ‘tragique‘ and ‘triste‘ and ‘tremendous’ all at once, like the great period French-women, only fiercer and perhaps less pure, and yet to die and give up the heart like a virgin. It was a noble, an impossible ambition, n’est-ce pas, Madame?  But that was the way it was with Moydia. We used to sit in the sun when we were in Norway and read Goethe and did not agree with him at all. ‘The man is pompeaux and too assure,’ she would say, shutting her teeth, ‘and very much too facile.’ But then, people say we do not know.

 

~excerpt from The Grande Malade, a short story by Djuna Barnes

I love the words “we were young all over” in the second sentence.

top image: je suis malade by aglayan-agac

Roald Dahl retells Red Riding Hood

Roald Dahl retelling of fairy tales: Red Riding Hood

The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature’s head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, “Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat.”

Love this!!

The man behind the Wings…

Author Henry James, a favorite here in the disenchanted twilight was born on this day, April 15, 1843. Some of his works include, Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Turn of the Screw, Daisy Miller, The Embassadors,  and by far one of my favorites in literature, The Wings of the Dove, my muse for Pale Girls.

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” – Henry James

Charcoal drawing my John Singer Sargent (1913)

We fret about words…

An enchanted writing quote from Susan Sontag:

We fret about words, we writers. Words mean.  Words point.  They are arrows. Arrows stuck in the rough hide of reality. And the more portentous, more general the word, the more they also resemble rooms or tunnels.  They can expand, or cave in.  They can com to be filled with a bad smell.  They will often remind us of other rooms, where we’d rather dwell or where we think we are already living.  They can be spaces we lose the art or the wisdom of inhabiting.  And eventually those volumes of mental intention we no longer know how to inhabit, will be abandoned, boarded up, closed down.

Haiku

I’ve always found the Japanese for of poetry, called Haiku, fascinating and enchanting.

Haiku, as defined in the shaded literary dictionary, consists of seventeen syllables formed in three lines of poetry: line one has five syllables, line two has seven, and line three has five syllables again.

Haiku poems are meant to express a single idea, an inspiring image or feeling, “it is a kind of miniature “snap” of words!”  This form of poetry was first established in the 16th century and was originally called hokku.

Two of the most well-known Japanese haiku poets are Basho and Kobayashi Issa.  Other poets who may have used haiku principles in their works or were influenced by this delicate form of poetry are Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, Conrad Aiken and W. B. Yeats.

Here is a sample by Western poet James Kirkup from the poem titled Evening

In the amber dusk
Each island dreams its own night
The sea swarms with gold.

image: asian princess iPhone wallpaper

Books about Teens Gone Bad…and then some…

Found this interesting: Cat Clarke’s top 10 books with teens behaving badly….

Good list. Have to say I just read  Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and this book instantly came to mind when I saw this article. It’s number six on her list.  Great book…Clarke describes as “Mean Girls meets Ground Hog Day”…that’s a perfect description…

What would you do if you had to live the last day of your life over and over again? What would you do different?

ghostword…

To the list of literary terms we begin with: ghostword

I ain’t afraid of no ghost

ghostword – It is a literary term invented by a 19th century editor of medieval texts named, W. W. Skeat. That name’s an interest in itself!  The term “ghostword” is used to describe words which have no real existence.  Strange to say these words often come from copyists, editors, or printers who accidentally spell the word wrong, thus creating a “ghostword” with this error.

Ah, the inadvertent creation of ghosts…word-ghosts…now that’s a story idea…

Another term for this is phantom word, defined as a word created through an error of a scribe or lexicographer, or perhaps through some corruptive influence.

Top Twenty Most Common Dreams of Teens

This list was not compiled by me, but from some of the teens, high school age and college age included, this list pretty much tops it out…almost all interviewed checked off at least half of these…so I found the list quite interesting. For myself when I was a teenager, swimming was repetitive dream and flying, which I’m surprised is not on the list. Being on a roller-coaster was another one, and mentioned by others as well.  What other dreams are missing on this list? Tell me yours.

  1. Falling
  2. Being attacked or pursued
  3. Trying repeatedly to do something
  4. School, teachers, and studying
  5. Sexual experience
  6. Arriving too late
  7. Eating
  8. Being frozen with fright
  9. A loved person is dead
  10. Being locked up
  11. Finding money
  12. Swimming
  13. Snakes
  14. Being inappropriately dressed
  15. Being smothered
  16. Being nude in public
  17. Fire
  18. Failing an examination
  19. Seeing one’s self as dead
  20. Killing someone (for the record, no one I interviewed has ever had this dream.)