Monday, July 31, 2006

another month gone!

"Once you’ve overcome inertia, it’s much easier to keep going." - Steve Pavlina

Can you believe that tomorrow is August!? I am flabbergasted and astounded that this year has gone by so quickly. That old cliche about life going faster and faster as you get older scares me. If life is moving this quickly in my thirties, what sort of speed will it go in my forties?? Urk!

I feel like I need to do something to mark the passage of time a little better. I feel like the weeks are rolling by and I have no real record of my days. I tried keeping a daily Gratitude Journal, but anything that I have to do before bed goes by the wayside eventually. I used to be an evening person - an owl - but in this third decade of my life I have realized that I am definitely a lark. I've been getting up at 6am to run (yes, me!!) and I have found that if I can write before lunch I get a lot more done. So perhaps a morning memorial to my days is a good plan.

A few days ago Jamie at Starshyne Productions wrote about keeping a Spell/ Prayer/ Magic book. I absolutely love this idea! I love it because it is very open in its brief. As someone who writes a lot, sometimes writing for personal pleasure outside of Getting Something Done is difficult. This book lets me free of that stress because I don't have to even put words in if I don't want to! So I am copying her (thanks Jamie!) and I am going to create my very own 'Spells and Prayers and Magic' book. And as tomorrow is August first, I am going to try to keep it up for a whole month. A month, says Steve Pavlina, is long enough to see how something is going without committing to anything forever. So I'd like to see where I will be after a month of spells and prayers and magic. Sounds intriguing doesn't it?

And hopefully September first won't sneak up on me so quickly.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #18 - My 2 Cents

This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is, "My 2 Cents." I wasn't sure what to write about because I am not feeling particularly full of beans tonight. But then I started read through some of the posts this week and I realized what I would like to give my 2 cents about.

A few months ago I sent out a question. I realized that there were lots of sites for artists but not very many (that I had found) for writers. So I asked if anyone would be interested in participating in something. I wanted to call it, "Sunday Scribblings" because there wasn't much going on in blog-land on the weekend. Laini quickly answered and said that she would like to help me do it. (In hindsight - thank GOODNESS!!) So between us we cooked up the site.

As our first week approached we emailed back and forth wondering if anyone would be interested. We thought we'd be lucky to have twenty people participate and instead thirty-three people answered the call. The site grew quickly and by week five we already had eighty or more people coming most weeks. It's been overwhelming at times, but the prompts have always been accepted, delays in linking have been humored, and a real community has been created.

It's that community that prompted me to write this post today. Many times over the past few months I have found myself shaking my head in heady emotion. People have responded to the prompts with bravery and honesty and clarity and strength. I am constantly inspired by the writers in this group. Sharing the kind of depth of experience that most people hide from each other, people have opened their lives and their hearts. Every week I am jealous of someone's writing skill and of someone else's ideas. Every week I wish I could go and visit someone for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Every week I am humbled by someone else's experiences.

My hope for this site was that we could inspire someone to begin to write. I wanted to read what other people had to say. I also selfishly wanted an excuse to write every week. Along the way Sunday Scribblings has taken on a life of its own. Friends and connections have been made, stories have been told, and words have been strung together in many ways. I get excited when I go to a new site and see the Sunday Scribblings link. What more could we do? Where else can we go? What piece of writing could be started here on a Sunday morning? The possibilities, I hope, are endless.

P.S. Having read the comments already left, I need to make it clear that I didn't write this post for thanks or for any accolades. I don't want you to think I was fishing. I wrote it because of how much I am enjoying all of this.... but thank you for enjoying it right back!!

P.P.S. Crazy, amazing news! Yahoo Picks has chosen Sunday Scribblings as their pick of the day!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

it's TOO HOT!!

I found these pictures in a newspaper and they made me grin so I thought I would share them with you. I just love that the zookeepers are making huge popsicles for the animals. Political views aside, it's nice to know that the animals are being taken care of in this heat!! (I think that the tiger looks particularly happy with his treat!) xo

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #17: "Thief!"

I've been struggling to write something for this topic until I realized that the reason I am struggling is because I am conspiring with a thief of my own!

I've not been reading any blogs or phoning anyone. I owe my brother and several friends a proper email. My house is quite shocking in its mess. My laundry is piling up. I can see my regular life being neglected. I was trying to write about a time when I have either been a thief (except for bar-stuff, the list is remarkably short) or been with a thief (again a short list!) but I just can't seem to focus.

The reason for all of this is that I have had a book enter my brain. I have written before about accepting book ideas from the universe. Well, some time ago I accepted a wonderful idea. I heard it whispered in my ear and I wrote it down in one of my notebooks. I left it to percolate and found that I thought about it a lot more than some of the others. I mentioned it to Mark last week but told him that I was thinking about starting to write a different book because I didn't feel like I was a good enough writer yet to do this idea justice. (Oooh, I am a textbook case, aren't I?!) He shook his head and told me not to wait and that I should just start. After all, the first attempt is only a rough draft, right? It doesn't have to be good right away.

Well, I mulled over that for a few days. In fact, I started making notes for a different book entirely. I ignored the advice and the whispers and went on with my days. (Why do we have such angst about being 'good'??) And then a few days ago the thieves completely entered my brain. It started with a name. I got the full name of a character. I knew immediately who she was. I wasn't sure about the name and tried to change it to something different. She stubbornly stayed strong. So I wrote her name down. From there my pen hasn't really stopped moving. She has told me her whole story. So has her next door neighbor, her landlord, her ex-lover, and a whole cast of other people who inhabit her world. They have stolen me and my time away. I have found myself scribbling when I should be working, being resentful when I am asked to do something else, and desperate for a pen when another voice begins to whisper in my ear.

I'm scared. I know what this means. This has happened to me twice before. This thief will continue to steal my time. There is a real love-hate thing going on here. I love this moment. I love knowing that if I just sit down at the page, a book will begin to emerge. But I hate it as well. I hate that I will question my ability, my talent, and my use of time. I will always either want to be writing or be dreading it. I will hear the voices in my head and I either won't know how to tell their story or I won't be able to get it down quickly enough. This is a jealous and demanding thief. But I am afraid I have no choice.

For more Sunday Scribblings that have stuck to the topic much better, go here!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Poetry Thursday

This Week's Poetry Thursday topic is... Sex.

Now, I am not a prude, but I am not very brave. So I would like to share my favorite all-time sex poems with you, but I will make you go somewhere else to read them. I found them in high school when my teacher read 'Carrots' to us. They are absolutely hilarious - I can't wait to hear what you think!!

I had to do some searching to find this poetry on the web, but another blogger has posted them before, so here they are. (scroll down a little bit on her post to find them. They are called, 'The Sex Lives of Vegetables' by Lorna Crozier.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

a bunch of good stuff.

It's been a funny blogging week! I keep on thinking, "ooh, that would make a great blog post!" Then I go about my day and when I get to my computer I can't remember a thing. Sigh. There's a heat wave here this week so maybe the heat is frying out my memory systems. So as I have nothing intelligent to say, I will share the intelligence of others.

Things I wish I had said/ done/ written this week:

1) This post by the remarkable Liz.

2) "When you act out of fear, your fears come true" - David Bayles & Ted Orland

3) "Just get up and do your thing and speak your truth. It's as simple as that." - Lamar Harrington

4) And two quotes by my constant favorite, Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

"Like wolf pups, women need a similar initiation, one which teaches that the inner and outer worlds are not happy-go-lucky places. Many women do not even have the basic teaching about predators that a wolf woman gives her pups, such as: if it's threatening and bigger than you, flee; if it's weaker, see what you want to do; if it's sick, leave it alone; if it has quills, poison, fangs, or razor claws, back up and go in the other direction; if it smells nice but is wrapped around metal jaws, walk on by."


"We find lingering evidence of [the Wild Woman] archetype in the images and symbols found in stories, literature, poetry, painting, and religion. It would appear that its glow, its voice, and its fragrance are meant to cause us to be raised up from contemplating the shit on our tails to occasionally traveling in the company of the stars."

(That quote is one of my all time favorites. Since I read it the first time, it's become like a refrain in my life's song. It pops up in my head a lot when I am feeling stuck or sorry for myself. When it appears in my head I realize that I must be contemplating the shit again... time to look at things differently. Funny... it's been poking its nose in this week.)

5) "We do not grow absolutely. Chronologically. We sometimes grow in one dimension and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cell, constellations." - Anais Nin.

6) And last but not least: This past week saw so much bravery and courage from Jamie at Starshyne Productions. YAY to her for leaving a job that didn't fit and moving farther into the realm of following her dreams! If you don't read her blog yet, do go there and have a look. If you read back only a few posts you will watch this brave woman make that leap! Thank you for the inspiration Jamie!!!

Hope that you have a wonderful day wherever you are. xoox

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Long way Around

I'm in love with a song! Sometimes songs hit me really hard. I end up listening to them over and over, drinking them in. I feel the way about songs the way I feel about books. Both of them have the potential to make me feel less lonely or less weird.

I may be behind the times over here, but I am completely loving the Dixie Chicks' new song. Sometimes I wish I could have come out of high school and married the guy I was in love with and gotten an ordinary job and gotten on with the business of kids & dogs. I am not commenting on whether or not those choices are right or wrong. For some people, that path was the best one. For me it wasn't. Or at least I don't think it was. I followed a slightly different path, and I am still doing things differently.

So this is the song I am loving right now!

Taking the Long way 'Round
by The Dixie Chicks

My friends from high school
Married their high school boyfriends
Moved into houses
In the same ZIP codes where their parents lived

But I
I could never follow
No I
I could never follow

I hit the highway
In a pink RV with stars on the ceiling
Lived like a gypsy
Six strong hands on the steering wheel

I've been a long time gone now
Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
But I've always found my way somehow

By takin' the long way
Takin' the long way around
Takin' the long way
Takin' the long way around

I met the queen of whatever
Drank with the Irish and smoked with the hippies
Moved with the shakers
Wouldn't kiss all the asses that they told me to

No I
I could never follow
No I
I could never follow

It's been two long years now
Since the top of the world came crashing down
And I'm gettin' it back on the road now

But I'm takin' the long way
Takin' the long way around
I'm takin' the long way
Takin' the long way around

Oh, I just take my time I won't lay down
And take the long way 'round

Well, I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself

But I
I could never follow
No I
I could never follow

Well I never seem to do it like anybody else
Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
If you ever want to find me I can still be found

Takin' the long way
Takin' the long way around
Takin' the long way
Takin' the long way around

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #16: "With Baggage"

If I could use one phrase to describe myself in the past I would have said, 'pack rat.' I have posted before about my love of stuff. I used to be a lot worse. Papers of all kinds, quotes, books, mugs, jewelry, more books, and memorabilia - lots of memorabilia - still stuff the corners of the closet (and the shelves) in my old room in my parent's house. It's not that I love the stuff exactly. I think I am addicted to memories. I don't keep anything that doesn't matter to me.

So when I was packing up to move to the UK for the first time, I was in a bit of a state. I was moving with no money, no plans, no place to live and no final date. I didn't know what job I would be doing or where I would be doing it. Packing just one bag was a difficult job. Going off into the wild blue yonder was such a stretch for me. I knew that I would need comfort. Even in the middle of the deepest darkest adventures, I think that people need touchstones. When you can only pack one bag, how much of it needs to be necessary things and how much of it can be nostalgia?

So I left for England with a densely packed knapsack and ended up (after three nights in a London hotel booked by my Mom!) moving to the coast. I realized quite quickly that I am not a backpacker. I needed to live in a place for awhile to get to know it. So I unpacked my bag. Nine months later my friend Jayne came and we travelled around the UK. I packed up and we went on a wonderful adventure. We hunted for Puffins on Orkney and played Pooh Sticks in the Hundred Acre Wood. We stalked Shakespeare's house, did some stupid things in Edinburgh and marvelled at the architecture in Bath. And every time we stopped I emptied my bag of something. The more you move around carrying baggage, the lighter you want it to be. As my first trip came to an end, I returned home much lighter than when I left.

Several trips back and forth later, I am now living in that same little village I started in. Except for my laptop (my pride and joy,) pretty much everything I own could still be packed into a couple of suitcases. I travel much lighter these days. In fact, if it's possible, I carry-on. I don't know that I have changed that much, I just realized somewhere along the line that it is much easier on the back, the legs, and the soul to travel light. I still have that cache of memories and treasures (and books - never forget the books) stowed away in my childhood closet, but the grown-up me has decided not to add much to that pile. Baggage, you see, is really really heavy. Travelling light is the only way to go.

For more Sunday Scribblings, go here.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A rant.

If I could change one thing about myself it would not be my weight or my height or my foot size. If I could change one thing about myself it would be my ability to follow through with my decisions. Sometimes I am a very determined person. Give me a deadline and I can get my writing done. Give me a darn good reason for something and I can do it. No problem. The trouble begins when I sit down and make vague but grand decisions.

I can not tell you how many times I have said to myself, "From now on I will..." or "Starting tomorrow..." and NOT DONE IT. I'm getting fairly tired of the whole process to be honest. Which switch in my brain do I have to switch? Which magical thought do I have to think? How do I become one of those people whose stories you read in magazines saying, "One day I had had enough and..." or "A light bulb went off and I realized..." I have been changing light bulbs and having epiphanies for years; YEARS do you hear me? So what is different about me? I don't lack determination, I just can't seem to decide which decisions to use it on.

Sigh. And so I sit here, writing it all and thinking it all AGAIN. I'm bored of it and I am bored of me talking about it. I'm fed up with NOT following through with the good stuff. Why can I not just NOT eat things when I know that they are bad for me? Why can I not just get my sorry ass outside to exercise more regularly? Why can I not do these and other things that are good for me? Am I not wired properly? Does anyone know where that switch is?

Monday, July 10, 2006

dipping my toes back in!

"God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you have two wings to fly, not one."

- ­ Rumi

Hello there! I am finally back!!

My trip home was full-to-bursting with family and friends and food! I truly had a wonderful time. A week flew by! And I am determined that someday soon I will have enough money to be able to afford to fly in a more intelligent way. I spent about 3 days travelling in the end, and the flights were only about 7 hours each... travelling is really about 'hurry up and wait.' I love the getting there, but the journey is exhausting!!

It's strange - I have been back for a couple of days but I have been really hesitating coming back on here. I have no idea why. I feel like somehow I need to have something to SAY, which is rubbish really. I felt this way at the very beginning of my blogging journey. I hesitated for a long long time before finally starting. I feel the same way now - nervous and unsure. I have felt cocooned in my trip home. I went through a wide range of emotions in the past two weeks. I was deeply torn in many ways. I spent time yearning for a chance to live in Canada again. My dream is to have a house on a lake near my family. I want to be able to watch my niece and my friend's daughter grow up. I want to spend more time with family and friends. I want to be back in the arms of my support system.

But then I also found myself longing for England (and Mark!) I love our lifestyle here. We completely play by our own rules. If I hadn't moved to the UK with Mark I have no doubt that I would be teaching and probably still not writing. Instead I am writing and helping to create something. We are following our dreams, however difficult those paths are. We live in our little flat by the sea. Sigh. I think that I need to realize that being torn is going to be a part of my life. We'll figure it all out someday.

I am looking forward to getting back in touch. Now that I have dipped my toes back into blogging, I remember how much I like it! YAY! I think I am BACK!!