notes on writing

i no longer wait to be inspired to write. one need not wait for rain, to irrigate the land. i block off time every morning to string the words together in a way that captures how i feel. might be 5 words. might be 500. keep digging, you will ultimately find water.

then i turn to some larger body of work – #wip – occupying my every day mind and heart. focus on the immediate work in progress brings me back in alignment with the gods.

the 14 twenty

your fingertips might really start pressing

playing the keys and then you know you’re telling the truth

don’t stop. let it all out. don’t answer your phone

for god’s sake don’t go near social media! keep typing

don’t censor your thoughts no matter how awful they may seem to you

they are only thoughts

 

the magic dust is the truth you are telling

people will be outraged. people will love you and hate you for it.

don’t stop! keep on. your truth is more valuable than anything else!

what the sun was up to

the sun was up and stretching its light across the sky and land. there was a concert on the radio, the vienna philharmonic. i spent the day kicking around the house, my papers and books everywhere. i wrote a couple of cards out by hand and started but could not finish them. i had pale pink paper and ink the color of an oak barrel. it’s not that i don’t have much to say. a winter morning. the sun acts cool. the cats are nosing behind fabric to stay warm. every few hours i stand at the stove preparing coffee or tea. i am hunting around for action in the story. the sun is looking through my window. writing requires patience and every word counts.

exist.ential

I’ve been writing this piece called Trouble ’99 since late spring of last year. I read it in its entirety a couple weeks ago and found it several shades darker than i expected. Which corresponds to one of my three beta readers’ critique. Writing is not unlike painting. You add layers until you find an image that best represents what you wish to portray. Yet with fiction you wanna let it be its own honest creation, which is often outside what you intended. Mixing conscious and unconscious elements. Let it be what it is. My characters may have fallen into a hopeless situation as they walk through the pages, but there is always hope. I think my work is often threatened by an existential mood. I have wrestled in my heart with this since I was a child, one day in the backyard when the limit on life first struck me. So words naturally come out of me that reflect that disappointment. Implicit in my sadness, is how much i love life and all its intricacies. How badly I wish to live on!

i read

I set up some light ina room and the kittens were sleeping to public radio Sunday evening jazz while i read through my manuscript. I’m coming up on some free time and I wanna work it out. I read without my glasses and carelessly on purpose, hoping not to get caught up in any detail. just read. I am open to total reconfiguration or whatever it takes to reclaim this 3 year project, own it and finish. Story has a life of its own. I discovered one chance tonight. I could take the split narratives and reunify them.  Then the first half of the book would be all Kell and the second half, Ame. Why not? I can try and resave a new draft and read the copy through that way. Then I will know if that’s a better issue.  What stands before me now, the existing form, is lacking. I have to be open-hearted and willing to recreate this gem.

how to find a pulse

Journal entry. may 18th. this morning i return to the manuscript, i return to my desk where i belong, to have another go at the trilogy, the daughter of darkness, a five year endeavor coinciding with a sea change in my life and lifestyle. i don’t know how this will work out, but hopefully by the end of the summer all these mornings strung together will produce a fresh and final paperback copy of the third book for you to sink your eyes in.

many of you have been on this adventure with me, and i thank you. i am hopeful and invigorated now, getting back to Ame and Bless and Freddy and Maze and Kell. part fiction, part story of my life, it’s really a tracking back into my spirit and heart.  some people like to ask where do fact and fantasy diverge? my curiosity lies elsewhere. i wanna live and play in the place where fact and fiction converge, and make a home for us there, you and me. the interplay of what i have experienced, with my imagination.

waking up fresh from dreams to a blue white morning light – rinsing my face with cool water – setting a prayer and intention – placing my fingertips on these keys – feeling the weight of the desk in my wrists – the earth in the soles of my feet… i am finding my pulse.

digital ink child

maybe the sweetest moment of writing a book
comes when      the intangibles
the tangibles

coalesce into a unified

tale
whole fiction
re.creation
en.vision

abstracted (out) then dropped back (in) to the world

the conveyance
your child of
digital ink

surrounds

like an atmosphere
like an aura
like a concert
like a principle
like a faith

maybe even warms a heart
or two

finally makes sense
and not only
to you

two clicks and a book

I do not write mysteries. Writing is the mystery and a book, a puzzle piece, a small part of being solved. I am wondering if I have what I need to do what I wish to now do? The magic number, I make it fourteen. Two weeks, to get back to you. To immerse myself in the colorful cove of creative process, and finish what I started a little over a year ago. There is a battle on our screens, online, for our eyes, our attention, our desires. When we are tired, they win. I go to do something creative and if I make one mistake, chasing down an email or a tweet – any packet of information – I may be sucked to the bottom of a sloping hill of mud, two clicks away, marching my way up and back to reclaim my sacred land… but always two clicks away. I wonder if I have what it takes to stand my ground? I have all my rations, all my munitions, and all my comrades around me. I have my health and my family, and my faith. I can easily recall when the world came over me, a long shadow before a setting sun. I plodded my way through the deepest night. Lost, I surrendered; and they had mercy on me. I don’t know how or why. I was a pitiful starved creature, lunatic raving and howling, chained to an iron post on a cracked island of asphalt. I was the one who broke dumb from the pack. Now they saw I was no threat and marched me through a wasted land of drought. I focused on the stars of windless night until I was one, too, the smallest and farthest away. And brighter grew. I stretched for the sun out of a cold, dark place only I inhabited. Not at first, but soon I was touched. I found something there I cannot describe. In the poverty of speech one may call it ‘god’ – if only to relate. The thing which keeps me bright. This thing which can keep me up all night. That which helps me shine through darkness. Immerses me in sacred process, helps me hold my ground. In fourteen days or not, two clicks away and shot, from the bottoms ever climbing… I wonder will I find my way, and back to you? Otherwise, this book may live a lonely life in my heart.

ultrawriting

ultrawriting and the swing-arm scorpion

Life is good getting better, all the running when mixed with yoga is another return to the moving current, out from the eddies where modern life traps us. I am also more involved than usual with a man who cares about me. The summer has gone quickly and quietly, a couple of heat waves and otherwise plain old lovely northern california sunshine. Yesterday morning I ran a half-marathon on my own along the river, for the first time ever and it felt great. I especially noticed falling into a sweet rhythm of breath and motion. I am hoping to use endurance running towards developing a discipline for endurance writing. There, the cat is out of the bag! I’m gonna start an ultrawriter craze. Writing entire novels at one sitting while choking down powerades and peanut butter! Think I won’t? Watch me.

on a heli-tour

Last night I had a dream I was at work with a clipboard with a checklist of items had to be done on the shift. I was working with perfect strangers and asked them for help but they didn’t want to help me. Turns out some woman with a big mouth who looked like a swing-arm lamp scorpion was in the hallway talking shit about me and some perceived hurt I caused her. I immediately confronted the scorpion and she blabbered this nonsense to my face and I didn’t even have to look closely at her to know she was lying. After all, I have never before met a swing-arm lamp anyone! I told her to shut the hell up and she started inching up my leg, and I woke up terrified. If that doesn’t get you out of bed, nothing will. I scrambled out and into the kitchen for some coffee, and worked up this joke:

What do you do when someone’s telling lies on you?
Hang them by their toenails and feed them the truth!