Sunday, May 4, 2014

Apropos of Nothing

My Last Post

A couple days ago I dropped in a piece of flash fiction I'd written a little bit ago. No intro, and for no real reason...or if there was one, it's lost somewhere that my uncaffeinated brain can't quite find right now. Almost all of my work is first person, so no it's not necessarily autobiographical. The pieces that are real are often so covered in my own perceptions that, while there is truth, there is also a layer of the paint of my perceptions. It's how most people tell stories, I believe...It's the truth as they felt it. What was a minor part of a story to me, may have been a very emotional moment for someone else, and his or her story will reflect that. It's a key to figuring out what's important to people. Just listen, rather than try to persuade them to your version of reality. Because their reality is a patchwork of past experiences that have made them aware of different aspects of life. My awareness is different than my husband's, in part because he's 6'3 with forearms around the size of my calf.

It can be as simple as the wind. For me at 115lbs, the wind is a factor. That's all there is to it. Yesterday's wind was a shoving wind, and as we left the zoo, it was work to get to the car. For him, it was just a windy day. We joked about it (we joke about a lot and that's one of the most awesome things about him), but I remember being 160 lbs and a wind like that would have been laughable to me. But I'm portable and I know it (that is its own post; being thin isn't everything it's cracked up to be. See also: my clothes say things like Hannah Montana).

This I Why I Don't Write In The Morning

Because I've been handed a sock, two shoes, and as I type, Lokisdottir is on her way to help. While we are watching some kid's show, I have thrown a new variable into the routine and must be liberated. She has her breakfast bar (Z Bars, while not advertised as GF have given us no trouble)and juice while I have coffee. We watch a show, then play with trains. Today we are waiting for CoyoteCurls to surface from her makeshift tent in the great room...she's practicing for a camp out next weekend. Yeah on Mother's Day weekend, thank you YMCA.

Lokisdottir seems to be distracted by her Awesome Disney Toy that my friend gave her. For now. So I get to write more, but it will most likely end up being a lot about how surprised I am that I have time to do this in the morning. Because the second I'm engaged in writing, there will be an emergency, I am sure.

Well, everyone have a good one. I'm gonna go put shoes on Minnie Mouse before I get a fat lip.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The River is Mine

I’m sitting here in the coffee shop, tucked away in a corner where no one can see me. It’s not my favorite place, but the rain drove me inside today. Turns out I needed it though. Some demons left behind. Some demons yet to find. This place isn’t mine and I like it that way.

I usually go to a park not far from here, down by the river. There’s a sunbathed rock that is perfect for sitting, my feet dangling. Hot pink toes swirling in the eddies. It’s a quiet place where the currents carry, the sun warms, and I am alone. That place is becoming mine. It’s my imprint I feel when I return. On the bank are my own footprints I find each day. That spot on the rock I wiped clean. There’s a place I put my drink and a place I put my notebook. I’ve told no one about this place. Certainly not him.

I’d go to the dam where the roiling water hushes everything. Where it’s always raining a muddy rainbow. But it’s not mine any more. Those were my footprints but they’ve washed away. I loved that place until him. It was raining that night. His silhouette in the lightening. It was my own doing, really…or rather my own undoing. There was a sandy boot print on my floor mat for days. Pointing directly at me. A specific print from a specific boot for a specific job. I knew the print. I knew the job. I couldn’t bring myself to wipe that print away. I didn’t want to forget. For a moment he claimed that space. That place. I went back to the dam the next day, walked all over where he stood to let my tennis shoes have the last word. I kicked at the prints his tires had left. Erased them with my shoe. I walked all over to reclaim every rock, hidden stream and trail. Up into the woods until it became someone’s back yard. I walked all over, my feet staking a claim. Kicked at all the footprints that weren’t mine. I went to the dam to say good bye. I loved that place until him.

This place is only mine for a moment. The moment I am here. This shining moment of private smiles and hide-and-seek blushes. Nothing happened in this place, no ghosts can claim it. But they will. The dam is lost to me. But the river is mine.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Creativity the Slow Way

Mindless Work and Blank Pages

I love mindless work. Lifting, shoveling, hauling, mowing. It gives me time and space to think, but enough distraction to not overthink. Usually that's when The Muse is around, chattering away about this and that. Helping me break thoughts apart into smaller, more manageable ones. I like my iPhone because I can take notes. And though I have voice to text, I usually type...and now that I think of it, I prefer my creative endeavors the slow way.

Originally I had intended to hire someone for bobcat work, figuring that getting the heavy lifting done in a few hours would save a lot of time. But looking back over the last 20 tons of gravel, and the big pile of dirt I moved by hand, it gave me time to gain confidence in my abilities. At first I was really nervous about getting the wall in the right place, making sure it was straight and level and not too deep nor shallow. But Once I dug part of the trench, I started to relax about that part. Then came the gravel bed. Same thing. Nervous at first, but relaxed. And finally the wall. I'd helped my husband with several, already, so I knew the drill. Level on all axes, and after a bit check the level with the 4ft level to see that I'm trending, set a string, to keep it straight. But this was me alone with the tools, and a Really Heavy Blocks...and dammit I was NOT going to ask for help. But I relaxed and it went great.

Next was filling the space behind the wall, and for most of this part, it's just been endless wheelbarrows of stone, which I placed deliberately, because I hadn't decided yet what the boundaries of the terrace were going to look like. So I got to spend some time playing with shape, size, and depth; I know there will be a fairy garden for the dottirs, but I hadn't made many more decisions beyond that. Had I done this the bobcat way, I'd have had no chance to play with these ideas. So I set the first stage of garden wall, and tomorrow will buy what I need for the second stage (it's a different kind of wall block, but these will be planters rather than gardens, so I needed a heavier duty wall material that locked together, much like the retaining wall. But lighter). As a result I'm happy. I didn't have to make the garden any particular size because it was dictated by gravel. I had time.

I don't know what it is about the process of typing that changes things. I suppose I can stop mid-sentence, think, delete, reroute. Get distracted and come back. Fix a sentence in the first paragraph (which I just did), and return to whatever thought I'm working on. Voice to text seems so linear to me. Like having a bobcat dump a bunch of words onto my page, that I have to sort and re-sort until I get it right. Typing is slow, but not too slow (hand writing is just delayed death). It lets me play with adjectives, or find ways to get around using adjectives (I believe in using adjectives responsibly, which means I end up being a fairly tight writer. Even this blogpost feels long to me, because I'm not really sure I"m saying anything at all).

And She's Gone

Working on the terrace has brought me great joy, however it leaves me nearly wordless at the end of the day. That makes me sad, because I'm not getting anywhere with my writing as a result; yes I'm spending precious time on this blog rather than my various projects, but actual creativity is a struggle at times like this. And at least I'm writing something. And I will get back to it. I find I miss my characters after a while.