Afloat in a Shandy Sea.

Creativity is lounging somewhere getting drunk at a bar.  It’s stalled on writing but became ever so quietly excited at Goodwill when I purchased an outfit destined to be zombiefied.  I quietly plan on the sidelines while thinking of other things.  I love that talent.  The ideas form and gel in the background.  I stand back, press my finger to my lips, take out this, add that.  All the while, I’m checking ingredients in food, cooking dinner, doing laundry, thinking about things, worrying about my son.  Life rolls forward in an endless stream but behind the scenes, the nature of me does what it does best:  Plans, creates.  And I know when I have all I need in front of me, the thing that I’ve been visualizing will come to be as imagined.

The practical side has stepped up.  But I have a little bitch with a whip silently berating me for not making any progress with my writing.  I feel guilty which is so not the frame of mind from which to be doing this.  I sit down and write anyway, delete what I’ve written, start again, become dissatisfied and give up altogether.  I think perhaps I put too much pressure on myself to write long.  And by long, I don’t mean the length of time, rather the length of the piece.  It appears that I’m pretty good at flash fiction.  If only, I think, if only I could stretch out those 100 word pieces to thousands.  Driving in the car, I think well, I’m in my mid-forties…maybe I’ll have it together in my fifties – I’ve got plenty of time!

If I do, I do.  If not, well, at least I have two great kids, right?  That’s some wonderful creation right there.

I’m astonished that how day after day, week after week, I’m still surprised at the ebb and flow of life.  Of love.  Of feelings.  Of the past.  Monkeys occasionally jump on for a quick ride (sometimes the same terribly stupid monkey who won’t quit), sometimes I’m up and free of burden, sometimes I’m weighed down and sometimes, like this week, I’m treading water.  It’s probably a good thing to feel astonished because the alternative would be very boring.

At once, I’m feeling ironic.  Opposite.  Paradoxical.  This AND that.  Pushed and pulled.

I’ll keep myself buoyed with some disco. It reminds me of my little nine year-old world that came with this:

photo-of-old-portable-record-playerso that I could play and dance and sing to this.  All lip-syched and cheesy, perfect!

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Just Write.

rollerskate

I read This blog yesterday and felt the familiar “Yes!”  ohmygod, yes!

Ideas for stories pile up in my head, occasionally filtering through enough to enable a creative outlet and the start of some kind of story…be it flash fiction, a short story or who knows what else, how long or where it’s going.  Too many ideas up the wazoo and I am frustrated lately with the lack of propulsion.  My Springpad is filling up with unfinished work, stories that race great out of the gates but quickly lose steam.

After reading the above blog, I thought perhaps I had strayed too far from the point.  Taking advice too deeply to heart.  Holding tightly to the notion that no-one wants to read a life story because what might be fascinating for the writer, may not necessarily be so for the reader.  But, perhaps it’s all in the telling.

I have pieces and portions, events and happenings, some of which might shock or provoke tears or elicit a resounding mental “Bravo!” and so I began writing about a quick thing that happened many, many years ago.  After composing the story from two different angles, I’m astounded at how the memory has sprung to life… from a faded thirty-three years ago to now.  The colors are vivid, the characters leap from my mind, the touch of a person, the feel of the day, the utter dumbing numbness that encompassed me.  I have rarely given it thought over the years.  How surprising to find that it is all still intact but if you asked me what I had for dinner last week, I would falter.

It’s the kind of piece that makes me wonder what the people in my story are doing today.  Do they remember?  Do they remember me?

And, how can I trust myself to get it all down in such a way that it doesn’t resemble the page of a confused ten year old’s diary?  To bring it to life without going overboard on prose.  To simplify it.  To describe it in its stark, summer-filled way.

Take a step back and observe.

Much like the strong emotions in life – bearing witness as opposed to immersion in any event that invokes strong emotion, helps work it through.

Be honest and true to human nature, in all its ugliness and darkness.

Write.  Just write.