Beautiful words by Lisa Chapman…
The hour is late between us
Our light obscured by our own shadows
Flashes of memory crave the light
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
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.
The 29 Ways to Stay Creative via The Wit Continuum
I should blow up this great list and plaster it above my desk! Print it out an tape it in my journal. We all need reminders, right?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
Simply love this illustration work by Cowboy Lucas
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.
A funny post, and so perfect, since I’m just finishing my read of The Hunger Games…