Note: I read all comments and respond to most. --- New posts every 10 to 15 days...except when life decides to get in my way by dropping a log into my pond.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reliable as Rain Falling Down, Not Up

Does anyone punch holes in the top of large juice cans anymore? You know, with the "other side" of that old bottle cap opener, the pointy triangle end. As a child, it amazed me that to get the juice to pour out of the can nicely, rather than just a blub...blub...blub, a second hole had to be punched in the top of the can across from the first. There was a right way to do it and it worked wonders!

Today you buy coffee or a latte to go and the lid has a tiny hole across from where you sip. I usually don't give it much thought until I tip my cup and not much of that invigorating espresso with the yummy caramel flavor seems to hit my mouth. That's when I immediately inspect that teeny little hole to make sure it's open. It was certainly the right way to make those lids.

Know what makes it right? Because for every inflow there has to be an outflow, and vice versa. It is a law of physics - no less impacting than when Newton said, "what goes up, must come down."

I love to write. What writer doesn't? Then what in the world could possibly stop the flow of those beautifully orchestrated metaphors and lingering states of suspended disbelief I know I am so capable of? And yet, at times, the writer in me just does one of those blub...blub...blub's. That's when I inspect my teeny little hole to make sure it's open, and possibly even make it a bit larger.

If I want to receive anything I need in my life, I know I have to give. That's right. It's another one of those crazy physical laws like Newton's. I will need to get completely away from the narcissistic side of my personality that thinks what I'm currently doing is all important, and freely give. Albeit, this may seem to be a might difficult in this particular moment, since I'm right in the middle of confronting my own worst enemy: writer's block or, what's right block.

Actually, I have found this to be a perfect time to go to one of my social networks to see who's asking for an opinion, or perhaps initiate some new discussion, or maybe even let another artist know how much I enjoy their work. What a fantastic playground to relieve my stress and simply... give! Rather than visiting my writers' group for help, on this occasion I look for how I can help someone else. Usually this causes a far greater influx of writing possibilities than anything I ever give out.

Not only have I found my teeny little hole, but I cleared it, and even made the opening a bit larger. My writing flows just right. How? By freely giving. The Law of Giving stops the blub...blub...blub and is reliable as rain falling down, not up :~)

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Tiny Tweak

It only takes one tiny tweak to change the course of any life. If I am traveling a straight line and I veer off of it by even a fraction of a degree, at some point that new line I'm on will be miles away from the original. When constructing a building, veering would not be wise. That is one reason masons use string when laying brick. But when a person feels worn out, frustrated and is frequently complaining about life, it's definitely time for a tweak. And isn't it a great relief to realize it'll only take one. teeny. tiny. tweak. to change the direction of your life? to become who you dream of being?

The easiest change to make in all of our daily habits and routines, is to vary the order of just one thing, and the new line is drawn. Such a small adjustment to make. But we are creatures of habit, and to move a regular afternoon routine to the morning, for example, can be quite an undertaking. It's easier if looked at as a one-time adventure, keeping in mind that it's just the one. tiny. tweak. that will absolutely be worth more than any of the discomfort that is felt, when all is said and done.

I made just such a tweak one day last March. I did my grocery shopping on a completely different day than my usual Saturday, and in the morning instead of the afternoon. Many different and interesting little things happened that day, bringing about another tweak in April. I simply joined Facebook. But that's where I met a really cool friend who does a food blog and I became her copy editor. By August I believed I could do my own blog. So, now I'm finally back to writing... after nearly a 30 year break... joined a couple writers' groups, and have decided to write my first book. I am doing what I always dreamed of, and all I did was go to the grocery store at a different time than I usually went. Imagine that.

Perhaps, if you tell me about the one tiny tweak you're deciding to do - however small it may be - it will inspire others to do their own, and help me to tweak some more, too :~)

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's a Beginning

I figure I have to start somewhere - with my nonfiction novel that is. But that means dialogue, which I've never even tried before. So here it is... my baby steps... at least it's a beginning.

My ex decided not to bring Christa back that day.  She had just turned four in April, and ironically, it was Mother's Day.  I had a mind to just show up at his parents' farm.  I knew that's where he had taken her.  One slight problem in getting there - my car had just been totaled.  It was a hit and run while parked out in front of the duplex I called home.  My roommate, who had been working late, quietly and calmly woke me up in the middle of the night with her most serious tone of voice.

"Kathy... Kathy... Did you park your car up on the grass last night?!"

I had heard her talk that way only a couple of other times over the past ten months since we met.  She was a young single mom like myself, with a daughter not yet two.  We had decided to rent a place together only half a block from where we both worked. 

"Did I what?? What are you talking about? That's crazy."  I turned over to go back to sleep.

"Yeh, uh, I thought so too," she went on, "but then I got to thinking, I'd better wake her up and tell her, 'cause if she didn't park it there, then someone else did... and maybe she doesn't know it. So that's why I'm tellin' you now."

"Colleen..." I took a deep breath. "That's not something to be waking me up out of a sound sleep and joking about."

"Oh, it's no joke.  I would never joke about something like this."

I sat up, scrutinizing her face for some clue that would give away her uncanny attempt at getting a laugh.

"You might want to come and take a look," she added, still in that calm, serious tone.

I did.  We did.  Then I phoned the police.  My old red Pinto had been pushed a good 50 feet from where I had parked it on the street that evening, and there was white paint left behind on my scrunched rear fender from the other car.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: Conversations with My Dog

I often coin the phrase "conversations with a dog," referring to what my husband and I both do when we are in relaxing conversation or enjoying a movie, and our attention is diverted by our lovable Cocker, Ginger, thinking she needs to get in on it. More than once I've commented that I thought this quip would make a great book title, so today I googled it. I found one written by a motivational speaker and author I was quite familiar with, so I read it. Here is my review of Conversations with My Dog by Zig Ziglar:

When deciding to read Zig Ziglar's book, I think there are 2 necessary ingredients the reader must have:

1) You don't want this to be your initial exposure to Zig Ziglar; i.e. you would have to be somewhat acquainted with him, at least through his other books, to know what to expect from these conversations. Then, they actually become quite humorous.

2) You would need to have some understanding of what it is to own, love and live with a small dog. Without that experience, it would be more difficult for the mind to actually understand and "allow" these particular conversations.

Having said this, I believe that small dogs (such as his Corgi) would not be so verbose, as he makes his out to be, especially if they're beginning to tire or get frustrated. I also believe it would've been more effective to introduce the human-comparisons in each scenario as reflective thought at the end of the day - away from the dog - rather than interrupting my suspended disbelief, at that somewhat intimate moment in time when the conversation is taking place with his dog. Each incident would then have been more of a fabled tale or anecdote with the moral given at the end of it all, making it much easier to glean the gems of insight and truth.

Sometimes I feel we, as writers, need to do just one more re-write, for that is where truly great writing lies: in the re-writes!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Want to Write But... (conclusion)

Don't ask. You know... about the bulbs. Mom? She's fine - sort of. Harder to "deal with," I suppose. Doesn't hear so well - if at all for that matter. (But she can somehow hear her books just fine. Go figure!) Refuses to get hearing aids; has it all reasoned out as to why they were never meant for her. Takes a Lipo-something nutritional her sister sent to help improve hearing. It doesn't. But she doesn't realize how placebo it is, because she has very limited short-term memory (among her many other interesting ailments that she's decided no doctor is allowed to address). Did that actually make any sense? If I sound stressed about it, I'm not; but some tell me I might be in denial.

Ahhh... now here's the *real* question: Am I finally writing? Well... sort of. At least you're reading it! And, I thank you:~)