A couple haiku for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie about clouds:
Winter blanket thick
Clouds roll out like ginger snap dough
Little Women beckon
Last Thursday I heard
Bowling balls across the sky
You beat gods and angels
Image by Alvimann
It’s been awhile since I have participated in one of MindloveMisery’s challenges. My fingers wouldn’t lose their grip on the keyboard, so I present to you a story:
The day that my grandmother Trudy died, I heard her say goodbye. I wasn’t near her. I was riding my bike in mud puddles and following little rivulets along the street to the drain. I told I think my mother that I had heard her but she didn’t even show disbelief. My exulansis formed an invisible barrier between me and her. The force field was almost imperceptible, but I could tell it was there by the look of incredulity on her face.
The barrier allowed me by invisible permission to escape from regular familial obligations like spending time watching sports in the basement or even the responsibility of watching my sisters. My favorite place to regather was my small single room with full control of the heater in an otherwise uninsulated house, or in a vacant and ancient bedroom when we were at the grandparents for Sunday dinner.
I was searching for Truth like the Bible had mentioned in sections like Psalms and Proverbs. I hadn’t gotten the “memo” on how to gain acceptance from the family. Perhaps in an inadvertent way, those crystalline moments were assumed to be diabolic in nature. I didn’t see the connection between saying the Rosary and grace, nor confessing my sins to a man whom I had no spiritual connections to.
I had been raised with the help of Miss Manners and grandma’s rules to be polite at the dinner table. To never speak what I really meant until I had located the correct filter and tucked in my white blouse into an ankle length black skirt to address a Latin teacher after school I was forced to take classes from (deep, cleansing breath.)
Six years later, I produced a likeness in a operating room in Duluth, MN. There was little fanfare and although I had been given a haircut by a visiting aunt, I left the hospital seven days later resembling a prisoner of war. We didn’t have a car and the hospital refused to let her leave in a car seat, his sister came to pick us up and drop us off at our duplex just across the parking lot from where she was born.
Our bedroom was at the back of the ground floor apartment. The neighbor upstairs had a habit of screaming at the top of her lungs out the window. I can still hear her stomping across the room, could feel her seething with confused rage.
Her crib was across from our air pump mattress, scattered clothes and tools made the room feel so small. A hoarder’s mess. The room had a screened in door that could not be locked against the night, the frozen air came and went as it pleased. So she often slept with me, locked upon my breast every two hours. I dreamed of the connection we would share. No invisible barrier made from small town religion and poverty.
I would tuck her into a Snugli and zip her up with a huge coat against the wind when we went out. Just days old, but so adroit at finding her milk. Few I think knew that she traveled as she did before birth as the bus lurched up each ice hill.
When he couldn’t find a job, we moved back home to the small neighborhood where we first met. I let family hold her in the hope that her small body with milky breath would soften their hearts towards me. I drank up hope only to drown later from the threat of Purgatory.
Image by Jordan Whitt
Rochelle Campbell has a BA in Written Communications with an emphasis on Digital Media. The SciFi End of the Supernatural will be her fourth published book. It will be available on January 30th in both print and e-book on Amazon and CreateSpace.
We met online during the #Storydam Writer’s Group, and her productivity and attitude are a great fit for the Saturday Show & Tell. (You can find her on twitter @NotebkBlogairy.)
JR: You started in journalism and public relations. Can you talk a little about how those experiences from your early writing career shaped who you are as an author today?
RC: Sure! I think you’re the first to ask me about those yesteryear experiences! The main thing journalism did for my current writing was force me to think of plot – What’s the story? My editor, at The City Sun…
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Long time no see!
I’ve been on a long journey through NaNoWriMo, a horrible fiction first draft, a strange memoir first draft and now I’ve been creating in line and color.
I am currently part of a six month art mentor group that has the added benefit of accountability. This, my friends, is a game changer! I’ve been making art every day and it’s crazy to watch my process in different stages as I use color to heal past wounds to painting my first series.
The website, TinyArt Originals, is in process but you should hop over there to check out the pictures I have up as well as subscribe to my very first newsletter. In it, you will have a first glance at my process as I experiment with different mediums and different media types. I’ve been sharing most of this process on Instagram and Facebook in the past.
Time for all of that to change!
As we speak, I am putting together a list of my favorite people who inspire me, what they can offer you and some mighty big inspiration. It’s a growing list but I wanted to let you be the first with the curated list. Cuz I love you that much for sticking by me through the bad poetry, strange stories and interesting challenges.
Take a moment to look. If what you see inspires, makes you smile or makes you want to create your own masterpieces, go check out TinyArt Originals.
See you all soon 😀
Today’s piece, “Crisp Fall Morning,” marks the halfway point in a collage challenge created by Shelly Klammer. Truth be told, there were many times I wasn’t sure that I would make it this far.
At the beginning of the challenge, my goal was to have access to her 100 Day Collage Course for free after creating a daily collage for ninety days. I thought her program was unique and I had never attempted collage as a daily practice.
But as I created and posted, layers of self began to shed. I had days where Resistance was strong, my bed beckoned and promise of possible inspiration sounded so sweet. The pull of Resistance was especially hard on days that had been rough and the feeling of failure reigned. On those days, I’d grab a few shreds of wrapping paper and old work and paste them altogether.
On other days, images revolved inside my mind until I could settle down at my desk. Those images took nearly no effort on my part, I automatically settled on materials and the collage was done and shared. On those days, I felt like Resistance had lost not only my phone number, but my location on a GPS map.
This piece was one that began with unknowing but as pieces fell together, the image–the symbolism–became crystal clear. There was fertile ground underneath all that muck and colors and texture radiated my joy.