Monday, December 28, 2009

Computer woes

I have not fallen off the planet...but I am considering throwing my pc off.
Checking back in to say -have gotten files transferred to laptop and will be blogging again soon. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

My favorite holiday is fast approaching - New Year's Eve.
Always a lot of hope and forward dreaming.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rejection

Another rejection and not just a rejection but the dreaded form letter without even a comment. My hope was that the agent would recognize the writing as good and ask to see something else. Yikes- my worst case scenario for this venture.

This submission was to an agent whose agency I hope will one day represent me. I studied the market and I respect the work they are doing. When I receive this type of rejection from them I take it seriously even though it smarts. Okay, it hurts. But I am learning not to be ultra-hyper-sensitive. It’s a long overdue lesson that I think will serve me well. And it is a relief not to lose my way because of disappointment.

The book is not what they are looking for - What does that mean?

Probably a number of things but the lack of comment leads me to conclude a few things.
Probably accurate to surmise: the writing did not wow -the book did not wow.
For me as a writer, the goal is to wow.


As tough as rejection is – I personally want to write the book that shines. The book that causes the agent and editor to pause and to be excited. To think automatically, this is good.

I know I am not there yet. But with each rejection comes an opportunity for insight and to improve. Time to put this book aside for awhile. Later I may consider t submitting to others. On to a new project.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Surrender

She hummed their anthem
braiding daisies in her hair.
In a heart too fragile and with resolute conviction,
she believed.

There was a magical moment
before the drug induced euphoria,
distorted realities and extremist platitudes.
A short sweet peace, with little strength to endure.

Once it was "Love Me Tender" and gyrating hips,
Beehives and Ducktails. Goldfish, telephone booths.
Now it was "All You Need Is Love" and The Pill.
Passive Resistance, Civil Rights and "Stop The War."
Many shook their heads in sad reveries, and unison
"This too shall Pass."

The course was charted
and it is painful to look back-
to see how close, and yet
so great the distance to be traveled.

The morning came, as they said it would.
A day no different from yesterday or tomorrow.
It was never decreed
a simple sadness that
has no end.
She took the daisies from her hair.


© 2009 Melissa Jackson Brister All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 7, 2009

Contests that offer score sheets

I decided to enter a few contests at the urging of other writers. The primary benefit cited by the writers was the feedback.I had nice news yesterday. I placed in a RWA local chapter’s contest. My scores were lower than I hoped.

I read the judges score sheets and comments several times. For me there is no doubt this will be beneficial. The scoring helps to gauge how I scored among the other contestants. The comments interjected throughout and/or at the end are instructive and worth their weight in gold.

It is the kind of feedback an aspiring and sometimes lost writer craves. The feedback is concrete and specific. Some information I should have known but did not – don’t confuse an editor by using minor character's name- designate by their job or relation, i.e. bodyguard, sister etc. There were also several suggestions for mistakes or weakness such as: starting in the wrong place, lack of layering and dimension in one central character compared with effective treatment of the other character.

The judges volunteer to read and comment. The local chapters organize and conduct the contest – all an investment of their time and energy. My limited experience has been terrific- a help in a way I most need-specific feedback even though all is subjective. But editors' decisions although determined by experience are also subjective. Thanks to those published writers, editors, aspiring writers, and groups who offer and judge contests. It’s another resource available to struggling writers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Gift of other Writers/Artists

Lost a day – I planned to post yesterday.
I meant to write but important to mundane things circumvented my course, my drive.
It’s now the day after tomorrow and this passage of time may help illustrate my topic, Why networking and writers/artists are important.


The pattern:

As mentioned in a previous blog, I tend to be a loner and isolated.
I can entertain myself endlessly when I’m up or on a roll.
I have more interests than I can attend.
I get myopic, then full swing and I chastise myself for my silly pursuits and hobbies.
Sometimes I feel like I should apologize for these inclinations.
I do what’s before me to meet expectations and obligations, both real and self-imposed.
No matter how far I stray, eventually I come back to writing.
The problem is I lose my focus and my momentum.
Over the years writing has remained at the bottom of my list.
Until recently it was below doing the dishes and doing wash!
It is still below cooking dinner but happily that seems to be slipping this past year.

Recently I have come to know and interact with a few other writers and artists.
So far my reaction is – Wow! – have I ever been missing out!

Networking: A few important components:
There is an ongoing dialogue about writing.
Providing feedback on another writer or artist's work.
Feedback on your work.
Keeping directed on the goal with like focused individuals.

The gift of other writers/artists is important: What other writers know and give-
Yen and Yang –someone is hurting, doubting – someone else is there encouraging, celebrating that someone.
A belief in the same dream,
Understanding how it feels be thus afflicted.
Writers/artists don’t make you feel odd for being odd.
Writers/artists know when you need to be alone and when you don’t, no matter what you insist.
Writers/artists will tell you you’re getting too damn odd and snap out of it!
Writers/artists commiserate with you while you wait for the rejection and then get rejected.
Writers/artisits recognize the accomplishments even dinky ones.
Writers/artists celebrate the acceptance...being published. They know what it takes; they live it.


The obvious benefits for writers/artists who connect:

Growth
Brainstorming
It’s easier to find hope when you do not always solo.

I’ve been isolated for so long that I suspect my perceptions are slightly skewed.
I can’t accurately gauge where I stand on the weird meter.

However, without my writer/artist friends I would be stuck in that dark place I know too well, again immobilized.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rejection and is it possible I suck mega?

Talk about ruining a writer’s morning – the arrival of another rejection. This particular rejection was whammied on another writer but my defenses went into overload along with my friend. Rejection unleashes a fierce and reflexive response. I’m working on disengaging the automatic trigger. For me, it is vital to learn how to handle rejection in a productive and understandable way as I continue to submit.

Rejections are about as fun as flatulence in a quiet room. It feels like the world pauses, all eyes are riveted on you - you stand alone, a beacon of the uncouth and laughable. It’s embarrassing. Over the years I have received plenty of thanks but no thanks. A couple stand out because they were not form rejections. Today my focus is on a couple of poetry submissions. In the future I will share some memorable book rejections.

Once an editor took a red pen and hand-wrote personal comments on my submission. He hated the poem and felt so strongly that he was compelled to underline key phrases. I suppose he thought I was of questionable intelligence and might miss the point. The gist of his words: I was a hack, a no talent. I was devastated.

Not long after that, I received another poem graced with another editor’s hand-written rant. Basically, he advised me to stop being an idealist and get real. The dreaded words that he carefully printed in pencil (no red ink) were: Flowery and pretty, you've worn it out. To make sure I understood how juvenile the work was, he placed a happy face on the poem.. Talk about a bad few days and a counter productive response, we are talking brain farts of the first magnitude here. I was mortified.

To me it was a clear and official message, YOU SUCK. I have a dear writer friend who having steeled herself as best she can against rejection, sings the “I suck song” as she travels down the harrowing road of submitting her work. I agree with her assertion, “Writing is not for sissies!”

Several things occurred concurrently with the two editor’s rejections.
1-The handwritten comments from several other editors (one editor loved the same poem the editor red-inked) were positive and encouraging.

2-The same two poems were liked enough by other editors to be bought. Granted, I think at the time it was $10 a poem but it was a validation.

3-Said maligned poems were published, appeared in print.

However, the positive responses did not counter or balance my read of the rejections. Following the two handwritten rejections, I didn't write poetry for years and that morphed into less and less writing in general. I was hurt. Being sensitive, and in my cases as a young writer I was hyper- ultra – sensitive and shy to a ridiculous degree, did I mention I was shy?

Now I’m mature and I'm only overly sensitive and neurotic. Happily the instances of blushing and being tongue-tied are far less frequent. I get lost in the flow of writing and forget personal barriers. What a relief and what fun!

Posting my poetry and writing, as well as blogging is good for me,a form of stretching. I have been rewarded with some favorable responses and readers. Readers, the end goal- to write – to be read. I have gleaned a few things that apply to me about the process.

For too long, I didn't have anyone outside of my family with whom to seek council and to exchange ideas, talk writing. My family has been incredibly supportive but face it, is the man you’re sleeping with going to tell you you’re a hopeless idealist or get real? Not if he’s smart. He will say something diplomatic and clever like, “Look you got a strong reaction at least your work moved the guy. He really hated that poem! That means your poetry works.”

If you’re lucky family and friends recognize that you're doing something you love and they support you. If they think your work stinks, you'll probably never know.

Both of our daughters write and one of our sons is beginning. The last two years I have enjoyed writer time with my family as writers. It has provided another direction. I attended the RWA conference in DC and in the midst of over 2,000 other writers I discovered the importance of other writers.

Tomorrow – what I am discovering about networking and writing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Getting unstuck

It's official, I'm stuck. The story has been in my head for several years. So far that's where most of it is staying. One strategy for moving past a block or a lull is to write something else. It's a means of freeing my brain. It can be a refreshing break especially when I find myself where I am now, running in place.

Start from scratch or return to something you have written and put aside. I am also interested in a young adult novel. My exercise is to write between 250 and 500 words about a youngster's walk to school. You can find prompts online at various writing sites including the Writer's Diget site. http://www.writersdigest.com/WritingPrompts/


The day was warm and golden as the sun glowed. This new morning sparkled and crackled. Everywhere she looked was warmth and life.

As the wind tousled her hair she knew it was a dinosaur wind, a wind that had blown a million years before perhaps across the flanks of a triceratops or brontosaurs, or maybe a marauding T-Rex. She ran, soaring, flying over the ground as her feet scarcely touched the ground. After all, she was nearly as fast as the wind itself, as light as air. Sometimes she ran faster than the wind and in those moments she became invisible, there was nothing she could not conquer.

Each morning the same magic awaited, the sun warmed her, the wind carried her setting her adrift in a universe of unlimited potential. The morning routine possessed a momentum of its own and then abruptly she would find herself staring at the sullen brick of Grady Elementary.

The building seemed amiss among the swaying pines and the swirling Texas wind. The school looked as though it had clawed its way up from the bowels of the earth and she swore most times it smelled like it. In her deepest reservoir of wishes she wished the earth would suddenly open and swallow the hideous place that demanded her attendance and precipitously snatched her form her world.

It wasn't that she disliked school, she was ambivalent at best. It was an aspect of existence over which she had no control, much like her cowlick. Much to her grandmother’s alarm, no amount of hair product tamed her dark wavy hair. Hair that her mother cut short with little regard to style or symmetry.

Just as she learned to accept the strands of hair that defied gravity, she accepted school. Early on she grasped that sometimes the best way to resolve a problem was to minimize its impact. She participated, made good grades, and was repeatedly patted on her cowlick by approving adults. Then sighing, the ever vigilant adults turned dour expressions to the problem children.

Her parents placed undue significance on her performance. Clearly they never understood her motivations. If they had they would not have strutted like vain peacocks waving the straight A reports cards as a testament to their superior parenting.

There was no honor involved but survival and sanity-it kept adults at a tolerable distance. Adults most outstanding and unifying characteristic was the ability to kill the magic that abounded, if one would look, move, breathe, the magic was everywhere.

"Good morning Maddie," Mrs. Grayson smiled at each child as he or she entered the room. Maddie called them graded smiles, each child began their day with the appropriate Mrs. Grayson brand. Maddie was greeted with her "A" smile while Dwight received the "C" smile. Susie and Danny were "D" smiles.

Mrs. Grayson barely kept the wrinkled corners of her mouth from turning downward when those two entered. If Mattie was very still she felt Mrs. Grayson's disapproval moving from her withered lips across the room like a cold wrinkled hand shaking the two children ever so slightly. More than once she knew Susie and Danny felt her palpable condemnation as she watched them both suddenly shiver before taking their seats.


I'll let you know if the exercise helps me to get back on track.
Until later -

Monday, November 30, 2009

Five Minutes


It is not unusual at this time of year to contemplate gratitude. Much has been written about developing an attitude of gratitude and the benefits. It seems the more we practice something, the more we become convinced. This cuts both ways. Insecure artists, which I think are the majority and not the exception, know where I am going with this.

This Thanksgiving I hobbled around on an aching knee that limited my mobility. By Friday after the usual holiday cooking marathon Wednesday and Thursday, I hurt and I was not feeling great.

However, I ended up having a laid-back holiday in spite of the discomfort.
I did a lot of reading and pondering, two favorites that often are on the bottom of my list.

After two days of grape seed, ice packs, ibuprofen and msm/glucosomine/chondroitin …much better today. I love Mondays...new week...new beginning.

I was planning the have to do this week vs. can be put off which led me to wonder when I would get back to my walks. When would I ever be healthy and fit again…and it went on from there. I miss my walks, the new neighborhood has failed to engage me. Now I am between the Gulf of Mexico and the Grand Lagoon, my lack of interest has to be about me, not the place.

I hobbled a bit, did a few stretches and put on my walking shoes, grabbed my camera and decided – I was going to shift my focus, take a different path even if all I managed was five minutes.

Doing and not doing are decisions, each weighty and with consequences. Beliefs, fears, and doubts can be appropriate but must lead to change, new insights, some type of cognition and growth. Even if you decide to never, ever do that particular thing again.

If no change comes then these thoughts are traps. Looking at the big picture may be daunting... go for small victories. Take five minutes…listen to music, listen to the quiet, doodle, practice deep breathing, write a sentence of your novel...get up and move. Reinvest in your dreams and aspirations. Recognize failures for what they are – the result of effort and direction, energy invested, and it provides experience and opportunities to succeed.

I arrived at the launching dock to meet the caution sign and it was correct. The dock was shaky and shifted as I walked out. And what I wanted, the lagoon, was just beyond. I wobbled and shot some pictures and then sat. The pictures are not what I imagined in my mind but I will try again with another camera...another day...in one of those Take Five times.

Try replacing one negative and/or doubt with something new. Come on you have plenty of other downer thoughts, relinquish just one. I use,
I am a writer on the road to being published. It's exciting and I am going for it.

You are welcome to try it.

Of course I’m listening to Dave Brubeck’s Take Five as I write.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Memories

Remembering
brings me
closer.
And reminds me,
I may never
find you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Please remind me

As I posted on Facebook - Because the looming deadline to submit a partial to the agency was not stressful enough AND I am obviously unhinged- I have been rewriting/editing/reworking the damnable pages.

Been a marathon 36 hours or so.
I have never been happy with Chapter Two and various passages throughout.

The passages to me were almost there but not quite. Not good enough.
Seemed to throw the flow off.

Chopped 6500 words.- more pleased with the work now.

Additonal Thoughts: Sometime later today or early Tuesday morning, the final rewrite will be finished. Then I will upload the partial to the literary agent’s site. This is the agency I sincerely hope will eventually accept me as client. The agency represents a range of books including literary fiction, young adult and paranormal, all of which I am interested in writing.

I am finally at peace with the submission. This is the first time I have felt like this about any book I have written. I can read it without stumbling over cadence or questioning word choice or POV. It is as seamless and polished as I can manage. It has been an evolving work for more than a year.

As I was editing and rewriting for the umpteenth time, I wondered how many hours were invested in this project. A lot – that's all I know. But it’s been interesting. I learn more with each edit and revision.

I’ve been studying the market, reading agents, editors, and publishing house blogs. It’s grim out there. Although romantic fiction continues to survive, the competition is fierce. Shelf space and shelf life are tough to come by but not impossible.

I am not sure I have one voice which has troubled me. Then I realized I write like I paint- all over the place- in different voices- different schools and hopefully I will develop a truly unique style. But like my work, I am a work in progress. I am finally smart enough to see how far I have come and to understand “making it” is a state that occurs in many different ways.

When I first decided to approach an agent I was somewhat ambivalent about the novel. Now I feel and think differently. It takes a lot to offer your work to an objective and business-minded world.

Success or failure are intimidating options. Every writer dreams of hitting with their submission. That acknowledged, I am a dreamer by choice, by design, but I am also capable of being a cold-hearted realist. Published authors with a track record are being turned down; it is a tough market.

My realistic goal is to have the partial read and make an impression. To have the agency acknowledge I have talent and ask to see more of my work and at some point I will make it.

I am happy to be at this place. And I have far to go and no guarantees.
But it is the journey as they say. Please remind me of my goal when I get the blues.

Friday, November 20, 2009

someday i will untie myself

What a surprise to find this and a pleasure to read.
A comment following In A Day Gone posted by Hetro

someday i will untie myself
from this rock, love of you,
and i will no longer be lashed

i will rise through the water
no longer dropping down
seeing the sun translated through ripples

as i am bourne skyward
i will feel the nearing warmth
gravity reversing its hold to propel me home

and when i break the surface
the question will be answered:
can i breathe the air of the new day?

or have i grown gills
and now belong to the depths
tied to this rock, love of you


My thoughts - Good imagery and mood in this -
seeing the sun translated through ripples
gravity reversing its hold to propel me home

I particularly like the ideas and feel of Stanza 4 and
The use of gills and depths in the final stanza is stark and perfect.


Only suggestions I have are minor –
in stanza one-
delete love of you,and maybe change lashed to bound
to read

someday i will untie myself
from this rock
and i will no longer be bound

Last stanza
delete rock
and flip now and belong
to read

or have i grown gills
and belong now to the depths
tied to this love of you

This is one of the aspects I love about poetry – the range of voices, emotions, and interpretations.
BTW feel free to critique my work. I hope the blog will become a place to discuss and share writing. Thank you Hetro.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A road map from Mahatma Gandhi

In college I met a student pursuing a degree in journalism. Through several conversations I learned she was an avid reader and her passion was to be a writer. At some point I asked to read her work. She told me she didn’t do a lot of writing but did do a lot of thinking about it. She shared a paper awarded high marks and considerable praise by a professor.

Several things struck me. At this time I was pretty nomadic. I had few possessions – my cats, my paints, and several boxes crammed with writing. I could easily move – except the piano that I still have not learned to play. Does Jingle Bells and the first stanza of Across the Universe (painfully slow) count? A story for another day. I did not think of myself as a writer. Writing was something I did. I couldn’t Not write.

I think often about how we define ourselves and by extension our lives. To my way of thinking, she was and is by definition a writer. I too, have spent considerable time ruminating before I get the words to paper. However, as a writer if publishing is the endgame then you must write. I hope that for most writers to be read is the goal, to share, to contribute somehow. For me at least hence and now, it is the reward - the reason I write. There is joy in writing. I get high when I am writing…and I can go through ridiculous lows when I am not. Still working on that.

Mahatma Gandhi words:
Your beliefs become your thoughts
Your thoughts become your words
Your words become your actions
Your actions become your habits
Your habits become your values
Your values become your destiny.

In applying this to writing, I acknowledge his application was intended as a philosophical and practical application for living one’s life. In using it in writing be warned – it may become a part of your philosophy. Whoopee!

As a writer. I pay special attention to:
Your actions become your habits
Your habits become your values
Your values become your destiny.

Write in your heart, your mind, and believe. If you think you are a writer, you are. Writers write- basic rule. Seems simple but it has taken years for me to move that privilege, that necessity, to the top of my gianormous To Do list. Enjoy learning. It is wonderful to see how far I have come – I can read earlier attempts without laughing hysterically or dying a tiny death from embarrassment.

Take the initiative, make writing a habit. Value the act. Be an active participant in your destiny.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In a Day Gone

In a day gone
I am found wandering.
Darkest day to the darker night,
Silence calls, a sweet summons.

There is a gentleness
That is you
Just beyond my touch.

You are close
In a sigh
In a dream.
I am found wandering.

Time that you were mine, complete.
And when you are gone
All too soon.
There will be a place,
No one can travel.

I was here,
Only to be me,
To be you.

Where is it dreams go?
That we begin,
That we end?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17

As I posted on FB…this day is tethered to my heart – an emotional yo-yo. What a day it has been. Test results for my husband came back better than expected. Huge relief. Much good on this day, some reflections. Author Bruce Lipton tells a story in the intro to his book, The Biology Of Belief, how as a young boy his first encounter with a microscope set his life course in a profound way. I was thinking about how we are impacted by design and accident and the way our lives unfold. It can be a microscope or fairly predictable and clich├ęd – live by the sword, die by the sword. But for many it is not that direct, more gray and ill-defined.

I consider myself intuitive and emotional then logical, in that order. Perhaps the most important concept I have grasped in a long time is the idea of fluidity versus stasis. As a long time observer of people, one of the things I noticed is how easily we conform to unspoken yet rigid societal definitions. As we age, we fall into step even more- our physical limitations reinforce our roles. I have witnessed too many begin down the path of aging in their late thirties. With each decade they slip more into the realm of believing their time is passing or past. Too many are defeated before they begin.

I have been shy for as long as I can remember. Somedays I hide it better than other days. I love people, don’t like crowds. I prefer to relate one-on-one or in small groups. Learned early on it was: unladylike to talk about one’s accomplishments, needs, disappointments; bad manners to be assertive; and unforgivable to be angry. I learned my lessons well. But being intuitive and emotional by nature, occasionally my heart spoke. That’s a story unto itself.

I’ve spent some time learning to navigate between assertive and aggressive and working on typical anger issues that come with gender stereotyping. With great trepidation, I am putting myself out there. Reaching out to people, networking, hanging out, opening up. Taking risks. Or actions perceived as risky by me, i.e. Trusting someone with my thoughts, emotions, at the risk of rejection, ridicule, or being misunderstood etc. And believing in myself as much as I believe in other people’s efforts.

The benefits have been a day like today - An invitation from the literary agency I consider top notch. My realistic hope is that they see something in my work that persuades them to ask to see what I continue to write. Several people reading my work and liking it and telling me. Some awesome communications from a friend who wanted to talk about the work! Yikes! An offer to possibly collaborate on a project – very exciting. A call from one of my favorite artists to tell me good changes were coming. My great writer friend Jeanie and my wonderful daughters have offered the deadline crunch read. And my very dear friend Melinda has signed to follow my blog. I got tears in my eyes - my first and only follower! So glad I have been stretching…what lovely days ahead.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Great Spirit and Romance



As a young girl I was devoted to the Lone Ranger and believed that Tonto was the best friend anyone could have. Through movies and television came a cultural stereotyping including the cowboy hero as well as the American Indian. I went on to fall in love with every cowboy and rare Indian heroes presented in Wagon Train, Rawhide, Have Gun Will Travel, Bonanza, and western movies.

I spent a good deal of my time playing cowboys and Indians. When I wasn’t Bell Starr, I was an Indian. I lived in my Indian outfit. My Aunt Ruth made Indian outfits for her four sons, the Dalton Boys (yes, really) and for me and my Aunt Brenda, who was my age. The first photo is me playing with my dollhouse. The second picture is David and Odell in the cowboy outfits Aunt Ruth made them.

I was captivated by the Great Spirit and the American Indians. I think playtime led to my first pondering about the meaning of life. The Great Spirit was magical and there were times when I wished fervently that spirit could hear me. The Great Spirit never seemed any more astounding to me than Christianity or later Buddhism. Conceptually the manner in which the Indians’ religion was presented seemed more real even though magical. I suppose this was because of the cohesiveness of the message. The reverence for all things, animals, and nature and that in taking life one must acknowledge the gift, the debt, and the belief that this all had meaning.

Years ago my family rented The Last of the Mohicans which is now one of my favorite movies. However, I did not want to watch it and only acquiesced because the popcorn smelled really good. Through my readings I had come to disdain the violence and the suffering inflicted by both sides as history took its toll. As a matter of personal choice I usually avoid violent movies. I find it difficult to watch and hear.

I fell in love with the movie, the music. Then, I read the book – I liked the movie much more because of the love story and the changes in the storyline. It took me awhile to figure out why I loved the movie. The hero Hawkeye does many things but primarily he spends the entire movie rescuing Cora and Uncas is compelling as well. These guys are strong, valiant, and sensitive – I was hooked.

Was I surprised! I consider myself a modern woman and I was a goner! What was going on? Admittedly, Cora is no faint lass but this is the stuff of fantasies. A gorgeous, half naked, long-haired, strong Indian carrying my willing self off into the night. It’s the lure of magic/mysticism. After great sex (is there any doubt?) there is the magic - the deep and thoughtful hero whose love is made more intense by his beliefs, who is bound to everything in a profound and intense way. It was the merging of my very young days, the adolescent and adult life all mixed up emotionally, intellectually, and culturally, and I am enjoying it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

my tiny eureka moment

In Eureka! Scientific Breakthroughs that Changed the World, author Leslie Alan Horvitz, posits that sudden insight may come as a part of the process of study and thought, not directly but indirectly. Be it as varied as Charles Townes’ laser technology or Alfred Wegener's Theory of the Continental Drift, she describes the Eureka moment as a "sudden flash of light." Only a few chapters into her book what interests me is her discussion of the creative process (I believe is innate in all people, but is certainly more heightened in some). She describes a steadfast belief that they were on the right track no matter how elusive the solutions. That certainty intrigues me. Ideas and concepts in the abstract lead to the concrete but what happens along that road? How is the brain wired, what is thought and reason and emotion – and is there connectivity between others?

It occurred to me that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience speaks to this as does an entire section of books on my shelves. It dawned on me how long I have been searching and moving in this direction. My little, tiny, Eureka moment was twofold – I am not alone in this – and perhaps there is a palpable connection between us, a connection that is communicated and heightened in creative pursuits. The sense of knowing that I find most complete and satisfying is when logic and emotions merge.

I read back and forth between books and added Flow to the current reads. And in this flow of things it is no surprise that The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton is in the stack. Hmmm… Listening this evening to Celtic Requiem. This night finds me between the lagoon and the Gulf - a good place.

Friday, November 13, 2009

beginnings and routines

Changes can be unsettling but the challenge and promise of change is exciting. 2009 brought plenty of changes. Now I am in the little house, still unpacking and sorting. There are treasures I carry no matter where I go, both material and abstract. I am in my new home with my prints, electronics, photographs, robots, plants, cats, family, my words, books, paints, purple paraphernalia and dreams.

Looking at my van Gogh print of Starry Night is one of my comforts no matter where I live. I am reminded what my brother Skip once said about the painting, "It is what the stars look like through tears." A resident memory - one of many good conversations thru the years about art and writing.

I have finally begun physically writing the paranormal story I have been writing in my head for several years. I am beyond fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my dreams and hooray - the chase is on again...feels like home.

Current reading list The Biology of Belief, Eureka! - Scientific Breakthroughs that Changed the World, and In the Spirit of Mother Earth - Nature in Native American Art. Listening to Etta James - Time after Time.