Sunday Sketch: Red River Tornado

Hello lovelies!

This week I have more circles but this time they have purpose! I discovered a weekly challenge over at Illustration Friday and guess what it was this week?

Tornadoes!

When I lived in the Red River Valley in Minnesota, tornadoes visited us on occaision. Several hours before one, the sky would turn a greenish yellow and the humidity would skyrocket. Then the winds would start.

I encourage you to check out both Sunday Sketch and the Illustration Friday prompt. There is so much inspiration on both.

 

 

 

Her Magesty, the Wind

A kiss scatters her bird sisters

Like blades of fire

Quenched by smog levels

High

 

 

 

A Love Letter to My Creativity

Here we are again. This doesn’t change, doesn’t it?

Here. Morning ritual folding into  afternoon climb upstairs to evening descent and nightly togetherness tucked into a shared room  between our little family: he, me and our cat.

Me reading, listening, creating, chatting or  watching with Shawn. Cuddling Spaz or watching him sleep on my pillow in an oval. These are  the repeated images of my days.

You have been by my side every morning ready to battle Resistance when it rears up, laughing at us.

When I am  lost in information gathering,  figuring out puzzle pieces for a novel, planning for the next week. You help me stand tall.

You have been patient and understanding when I bounce from project to obsession to cool neglect in a matter of days.

I don’t know how you do it.

I Want You To Know:

You mean the world to me. I appreciate you. You inspire me to show up every morning, so I will. Every morning.


Photo Courtesy of Vladimir Kudinov

Inspired by Prompt Nights over at Sanaa’s blog, A Dash of Sunny

I Sing a Body Eclectic

 

Feet

Carried me through the rain, when I’ve been lost, along the wilderness highways, grabbing ice cream to get a moment away from the shelter that held a dying man.

Drunk they lead me to a church where I lay prostrate and a girl told me to physically purge of all my sins then disappeared. I have arrived and left from my worst, painful, traumatized, hopes, dreams, small hearts and pieces of myself.

Hands

Held newborn fingers and hair, smooth out tight muscles, calm a feverish mind and body, felt the coarse cement under my body and the heat that beat down, power through steel and handlebars as I sped away from containment and pain with my bike.

Copying and copying and copying notes way after they are sore so I could graduate with my classmates. My hands allow me to forge stories and create bad art so I have freedom regardless how restrained I may be.

Eyes

I have always worn glasses since I was young. I could talk about what I have seen aided by glass, plastic and steel, but instead I will mention what I can see with just my eyes. I see a myriad of smudges, colors. Amorphous blobs that glide and speak at times.

I am also a creation of smudges, boundaries blending and swallowing up divisions. I lose things in the smudge, overwhelmed by possibility and assumption. My hands become my eyes gliding over surfaces, spread eagled stretching rubber band praying my fingers don’t lead me astray.
Brain

Houses, occludes, shelters and defends my mind. It’s just a structure that becomes more apparent when one seems to be disconnected from it, like in surgery, death or much worse.

My mind, my mind. It is the reason why I am emotional, stubborn, slow to learn social expectations, internalize and whisper, why I scream when I think no one can hear me, sends messages to my heart to bleed tears and dreams. It has the power to plunge me down below the earth outside of my body, desolate and apathetic. It is how I am able to be compassionate, resourceful, judgemental, unforgiving and blind.

Heart

Like the ocean, like the drum, rain, sunshine, sunrise and sunset. Completely outside of my ability to control it. It is my life, breath and yet it is not where my soul resides. A muscle really designed to keep blood flowing and energy pumping so I can turn my attention to higher level things.

It, along with the brain, are beyond my understanding and yet they not only exist but demand faith and trust. Trust in cells, mixed into tissues, organs. It is a very humbling thing to consider.

Written for Prompt Night at a Dash of Sunny

Perfection

Over at A Dash of Sunny, Sanaa has been gracious to offer weekly prompt nights. This week we were challenged to consider perfection in all its flashy colors.

Here is my contribution:

Potato-church eyes
beets grow new clothes
Variance has no place
Where the Red River flows

Before y’all think I’m going all Children of the Corn on you, listen to the explanation. It will only take a moment of your time😀

I grew up in a small farming community that relied upon its beet and potato harvest as well as its church. My family didn’t have much money to tithe, nor a crop to contribute to the annual harvest. I went to a Catholic school where generations of farmer’s kids had gone before.

My clarinet never tuned right and I preferred the school library to athletic sports. In order to be perfect and popular, you had to come from the right family, donated much of your money to the Church and play football or hockey.

Fast-forward to now, I have a much different perception of perfection. It tastes really good with Ranch🙂

Found Light and Darkness

Originally posted June 2015:

“In the mansion called literature I would have the eaves deep and the walls dark, I would push back into the shadows the things that come forward too clearly, I would strip away the useless decoration…” – In Praise of Shadows by  Junichiro Tanizaki (July 24, 1886–July 30, 1965)

Meditative shadows
Embed all generations
An organic patina
illuminating crumpled words

Light made of worn darkness still
holding their beauty

Glorious Edison’s candle droplets
Illuminate Blaze culture
Darkness gives polarity

Legacy in shadows transform
from shallow light to meditative dark
a brighter dimness


In response to d’Verse prompt  about Black vs. White:

I recently read the article, “In Praise of Shadows: Ancient Japanese Aesthetics and Why Every Technology Is a Technology of Thought” by Maria Popova. The idea that beauty could be found beyond light inspired me to create a found poem from the text.

I used the website Language is a Virus to cut up the original text into different combinations of words to create my poem.
Photo Credit: joansorolla Creative Commons site via Compfight cc

It Was Not Death: Remixed

It was not Death

for I stood up everything that ticked has stopped

It was not Death

for I could not breathe without a key

It was not Autumn

For I felt Siroccos crawl

It was not Midnight

For Noon bells put out their tongues

Source Text:
Emily Dickinson’s “It was not Death, for I stood up”

Fleeting Shadow and Wood

Good morning! I offer this fleeting description of what I saw for today’s #OctoPoWriMo prompt. Curious? Go check it out😀

white embraces river
sliding darkness

Wood shadow, silver light
Weight of stone

Fading out

I Was Here

“Watch your step. These floors are very thin in places” our guide whispered. Scott was twenty something and knew every path and tunnel in the Rubber Chicken cave. Our group, two women and three men, ducked low along the passageway through mud and rock. The cavern was supposed to open up in a few more feet so that we could rest and look around. Anxiety sprinted through neurons before settling at the base of my throat. I was more than ready to stand upright.

One by one we passed through the “squeeze” and into a large opening nicknamed “the auditorium.” The walls were decorated with formations sculpted by running water throughout the centuries. A natural shelf made of stone faced the east wall of the auditorium. It was covered in small piles of rock and other found objects.

Our guide explained the meaning and tradition behind the stony structures. Those who had traveled these passageways before us had left mounds of rock and sometimes statues to mark a special event in their lives. Light from his flashlight bounced off mounds, pyramids, memorials until resting on his marker. It had been standing, perfectly balanced, for fifteen years.

I built my base with stones half the size of my palm. A stone that fit my thumb and pointer finger balanced precariously atop the mound. Tucked deep into the shelf was proof I was strong enough to fight my crippling anxiety and depression.

I was here.

Linked to Tale Weaver #26 Inuksuk  from Mindlovemisery Menagerie

Unrequited Love: A Story in Progress

She handed me my latte as she did everyday. I plucked up my courage. “Would you like to go to dinner sometime?” She paled. “Oh, I, uh…already have a boyfriend.” She didn’t meet my eyes. Instead, Miranda rung up my purchase and handed me the reciept. “Well he’s a lucky guy! No wonder you smile all the time. Have a good day!” I showed my biggest smile and moved aside to let another take my place at the counter. I opened the etched glass door decorated with a Victorian frame and went back out into the storm. The delicate ring of the bell bid me goodbye.

Once inside the car, however, I sat and fumed. How dare she lead me on like that? All those low cut sweaters and extra snacks thrown in for free. What was her motivation? I turned it over and over in my mind like a metal chain lock puzzle. There must be a reason behind it. Surely she wasn’t trying to embarass me.

The next morning I changed up my routine. High time to try a different coffee house. Soon one materialized. Nice homey feel, large couches, sunny corners. No Miranda. I sighed with relief and placed my order for a latte, extra shot of caffeine. The barista was an older woman, not one who would make any passes at me. I was safe.

That became my regular routine—drive by my “old haunt” on the way to my current one. I allowed my mind to ask “what if?” as we passed her store. Different scenarios, different motivations. All ended the same way. Perhaps she had a bad upbringing and never knew stability or honesty. Or she was in an abusive relationship but didn’t have the nerve to leave. I could feel pity, sadness, then pride spread across my chest. I would do what I could to prevent other naive men to fall into the same trap.

Thus began my campaign for “The Coffee Bean,” a cut above the others. The manager, a middle-aged woman in her fifties who still wore bell bottoms and prided herself as a strict vegan, was thrilled when I suggested new posters and placement in the local news to drum up new business. I began designing posters for the shop citing their healthy selection, low prices, and quality customer service. I was also in charge of distribution and sales. I worked with the store owner day and night like a man obsessed.

New business came in at a steady pace. The Coffee Bean was fluroushing, thanks to my ingenuity. I saw Miranda just the other day at the local co-op. We had formed a partnership with the company and I was their go-between. There she was. Her brown curly hair wet from the rainstorm, skin pale and shrunken. She wore a deep blue wool coat that smelled like wet mammal. She looked miserable. What had I ever seen in her?

We exchanged greetings as she continued down the natural shampoo isle. I quickly turned and continued the business conversation.

To be continued…

A Garden Meditation

Sunday morning I rise before birdsong begins and drop of moon in the sky. My chocolate mint, she waits to be bedded down into cool earth among her own kind. Mozart tags along as garden meditation begins. Her breath matches mine, inhale.

Trowel digs deep into garden next to spearmint, breathe out and stretch. The soil, palpable and alive, relaxes as do I. Breathe out, transient roots provide stability covered with cool earth. Morning air, warm embrace.

Movement to my right disturbs my meditation, and I look up. Ten yellow-headed blackbirds rest on lavender, like bees to flowers.


Linked to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about dirt. You can go with the idea of digging into the dirt as an analogy, or you can be realistic. Maybe a character has “the dirt” on someone or another has “dirty laundry” to hide.

carrot ranch flash fiction

Cosmos Pregnant, Stretch Marks Shameless

What if a second could capture
the last heart beat
her baby kiss
4am grace
scent of ridge top

Or fresh ground black coffee bedevil
now to inverse
crystal ball risk
Bell jar moonlight
Move on with grace

Cosmos pregnant, stretch marks shameless
In Virginia
Yellow headed
Blackbirds look like
Bees on lilac


Image by ProProfs

Today’s brilliant prompt from Miz Quickly is all about time:

Here’s the Minute Poem. Looks nice on a page.

Poem in three stanzas.

Syllabic. (Count syllables, not feet)

No rhyme, etc required

8 syllables
4
4
4
(twenty syllables per stanza)

Repeat x2 for a total of 60 syllables.
Minute poem. Get it?

Sun Is Like…

Sun is like batteries for dragonflies
Dragonflies are like sons and daughters of the sky
Sky is like the backdrop collage of trees
Trees are like earthbound clouds
Clouds are like tadpoles in our pool
Our pool is like a marriage bed
Bed is like bait for my dreams
My dreams are like images of full grown poems
Poems are pieces of love, survival and courage of I
I am like an incubator for the Sun


Linked to Rattling Bones Inspirational Sunday Prompt #11

Those who bring sunshine into the
lives of others cannot keep
it from themselves.
–James M. Barrie

Where My Pulse Lives

Approach the entrance as if it is a sacred shrine guarded by several battle-worn guards. They stretch to the sky and guard the magic, my pulse within. Price of admission? First, you must be still and quiet your breathing. It is a place of peace, of rhythmic beating of a butterfly’s soul and the music of ants clothed in moss and mushrooms. Can you feel it? If you are found worthy, briers will not bring any harm.

The air is like no other in the galaxy. Open up your lungs and take as much as you can carry with you. Feel it heal your soul, your heart. Move within this wooded womb as inspiration whispers. Over there lies the city of Tun amongst the neon orange and green mushrooms. Let’s sit for a moment and I will tell you about the first time I visited this space.

It was a hot day, heavy with moisture and sadness. My friend had just left this world in a sigh. I wandered outside to exchange the smell of death for anything else. Ahead I spotted a wood that hadn’t been there before. Drawn to its music, I approached the forbidding trees woven with brambles and biting leaves. Tears began to fall from deadened eyes, sadness felt like a insistent foreign growth deep inside me.

I heard branches break and looked up expecting to see the intruder. It was a small black bear with eyes the depth of the ocean. I turned to leave when a voice whispered into my ear, “She will lead you inside, if that’s where you wish to go.” Not caring if it was my sadness or a forest being who whispered, I followed the creature inside.

Spread before me was an emerald sea, above was the ceiling of a cathedral of trees. My guide had disappeared leaving me to stand breathlessly among the wooded giants. The voice whispered once more, “Run if you must, but gather the air here. It will heal and bring you peace.”

Something inside me stirred and I began to run through Her paths and alongside streams. Black shadows merged with green, blue, brown, gold as I matched pace with my pulse. Sadness couldn’t keep up and I could feel it fall far behind me. I shed that skin and stopped in front of a running stream. Time drifted like the clouds hidden above the canopy. I rested within Her. We spoke at times and sleep covered me like a blanket. Here is where my spirit lives, as do I now.

Be on your way now, dear Traveler. Seek your peace within this sacred ground.

Linked to Mid-Week Blues Buster and imaginary garden with real toads

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Welcome to My Creative Chaos

As a self-diagnosed autodidact, I am always looking for new ways to sneak backstage to see for myself how and why everyday occurrences manifest and function. I’ve always been a bibliophile (I used to use the dictionary to insult my sisters) and often sought refuge amongst dusty paper magic and made sense out of life through the Dewey Decimal System. I’m one to gather inspiration and information from all over and store it for future use. Recently it occurred to me that perhaps I could find connection to others who dig beyond the surface and ask way too many questions🙂

By being drawn to books, I cling to the creation of stories. I have begun studying writing in many of its crooks and crannies which lead me to blogging. I hope to use the internet culture to share ideas and resources. The complete focus for my blog is still brewing. In the meantime, I’ve been gathering various tools so that I can design as well as create content. I am always full of questions and open to all sorts of wacky wonderful points of view and ideas. Who knows what we will learn from each other?

Sunday Sketch #1: Circling on a Sunday Afternoon

Hello there!

Sorry I have been missing as of late. My creativity has taken an unexpected turn towards the colorful side. When words fail me, color is there. It requires no structure or grammar, just enjoyment.

Come join me over at Sunday Sketches today. They are an art link-up site, kind of like poetry prompts but without themes.

 

SundaySketches

 

Way Up There I Knew…

 

So many lives, dramas below me going on at the same time I was watching from above. Above where? In my own secret space where nobody could find me. Where I could be alone without having to leave humanity. Where if something happened, I would be one of the first to see it, experience it, record it.

 

I had power at my fingertips, I could make the decision to live or jump, I was in control and no one else. What would happen if I flew off the roof? Would I find myself in another plane of time? A windowpane? Pane of glass. Pain in body. I knew once again I would renew my commitment to breath, being, a human being. Being in love, being in pane, being sitting in the sunlight, a beam.

 

Inspired by Messy, Beautiful Pages #27 at Firefly Creative Writing.com

In golden light

A beautiful account worthy of dreams and beauty😀

photography plus

About a week ago a friend rang me right on tea time. ‘There are whales at The Passage,’ she said. She was so excited she could hardly get the words out. ‘What?’ I said thickly not quite computing what she said. ‘Whales,’ my friend repeated. ‘Just past the lighthouse. Come down.’

This friend and I have bonded over whales for we both love them. Over the winter months when the Southern Right whales come into a local bay to give birth we sit in the dunes and play our medicine drums. Sometimes when we start drumming we can see the mother whales and their calves further round the bay. As we play they come closer to us. The sight of the whale calves leaping and cavorting fills our hearts with joy.

But that’s a winter time thing. Down here in Oz on the shores of the Southern Ocean summer now…

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My Everest

I feel like I am spinning my tires so much and getting nowhere like reinventing the wrong shaped wheel. I’ve tried different approaches, techniques, books, motivations, applications, FaceBook groups. I’ve asked other writers for the best way to find a mentor, accountability partners and their processes they have used for writing. I have read hours of articles, listened to all kinds of podcasts and done millions of exercises on time management, creative process, different writing skills and the craft itself.

I have all sorts of different books that were designed to help the lost writer but none have clicked with me. I have tried different creative endeavors like writing poetry, analyzing the process, collecting poems, participating in different poetry challenges, learned HTML and CSS, trying to learn Github and so on. Taking classes on coding, on programming. Participated in National Novel Writing Month and won both times resulting in two different Draft Zeroes that are now collecting dust.

I have developed a morning writing routine and I track my word count on a daily basis. Spent money on courses and attended live calls. Read other author’s books, although I need to admit that I read more than one at a time and if I can’t stand the book I abandon it somewhere between the first chapter and middle of the story. I have saved questions to ask myself as I read in the attempt to become a Reader who reads like a Writer would. I have developed a blog and host my own music prompt in the attempts of fulfilling my need to communicate through writing and sharing ideas. I have meditated and done daily yoga exercises.

I feel like I’ve tried so many things that haven’t been successful and hoping to run across a few things or methods or processes or even apps that may work. I get frustrated often and easily. I threaten to give up on myself only to wake up the next morning with the overwhelming desire to write again. I have tried to numb myself, to dampen the desire. To overwork and throw myself into other projects, anything to move beyond broken field, or land of Doesn’t Work. Makes me wonder often if I am supposed to be writing or am i pouring all this energy into another bad idea? Who am I fooling? Who would really be interested in what I have to say, how I perceive the world?

I am just a tiny Midwestern girl who transplanted herself to the Eastern Shore after nearly thirty years of sadness and loss. These thoughts and a sea more threaten to drown me where I lay every morning, noon and night. I think about the information that states that I suffered frontal brain damage at the hands of people who believed completely that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names could never hurt me.”

Yet, I heave over crevasses trying to plan goals, plans and outcomes. Get lost and forget names even in the most familiar places. Take medicine on a daily basis so I could have a better quality of life. Separated from my children because of my own actions and values. Who am I to feel qualified to write and speak my truth? I cannot even “be a good mom” by society’s standards.
I know that I am beating myself up a bit here, but I need to expose these feelings, experiences so that I can move forward and obey an obsession that never stops burning. Now that I have said all this, who knows where life will take me? What is beyond this crevasse, this Everest?

On Creative Adaptation with Beth Barany

Amazing chat. Kristen is one of my new heroes because she is not afraid to experiment with her abilities. Thank goodness for creatives like her😀

Kristen Caven

In Beth Barany’s weekly live #askaWritingCoach chat on BLAB, she interviewed me about adaptation of creative works into different media.

2

It was great to have a chance to sit down and think through how many media The Souls of Her Feet has morphed through in its long development. (As the first in a trilogy!)

1Why, if anyone had been watching I could have a master’s degree in adaptations by now! The story was been worked through the structures of a graphic novel, an opera, a musical,

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