Beyond Walls

It always happens. Just when you finally get your writing mojo working, a wall suddenly juts up in your path. In my case it was my laptop's keyboard. Since last Friday it's been impossible to use. Dead, Jim. Ville told me to use the on-screen keyboard, which has been helpful, but it's gotten increasingly tedious and frustrating. Over the weekend I ordered a replacement keyboard, which should arrive sometime this week. In the meantime I can use Nettl's laptop during weekdays, which is a huge relief. Being back on a regular keyboard makes the on-screen version feel like chiseling words into stone.

I really missed writing over the weekend, usually my most productive days, so I'm planning to spend this afternoon in some quality Ass+Chair+Time mode. (Hat tip to Skinny Artist for that little turn of phrase.) Once I'm back on my own computer I'll have web work to get to; there are a couple of projects that wait, patiently, so until then I'm writing, Jack!

Here's a picture I took yesterday. After five years of failure, I've finally managed to create a tiny spot of my native California here in Oklahoma. It was a joy to see.

California Poppy


On Turning 63 Today

I am a woman full grown,
self-realized, self-actualized;
I am a woman full blown.
Don't feel the need to fight my age,
hide my face,
or fear turning the page.
I refuse to play dumb,
no longer a girl,
I don't wish to be young.
I will not play coy,
hide my light,
or swallow my joy.
No longer sexual prey,
no longer the huntress,
I live in the day.
I have time on my hands,
raised my young, buried my old,
now I'm free of demands.
I have wrinkles and I have scars,
my feet are tired,
so I reach for the stars;
No longer living on hold,
this life is mine and I
no longer fear getting old.
I am a woman full blown.
self-realized, self-actualized;
I am a woman full grown.


If it Sounds Like Writing

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” - Elmore Leonard


Angels Unawares

Growing up in the Southern Baptist tradition (my mom's idea, not my dad's), I believed in prayer, intercession, guardian angels, and Jesus holding my hand. I prayed more than most kids my age and had what's called God experiences through that period in all kids' lives when different centers in the brain open up and begin to gel. I had a healthy relationship with my heavenly father, I believe, because I had a healthy relationship with my earthly father. Throughout my life I've observed that this often holds true with others as well. These days, however, I'm not sure where I stand on the God issue. Actually, I believe that anyone who claims to be agnostic is honest not only with themselves but with others and that people who say they know without a doubt that there is or is not a God are conversely dishonest; none of us know what the hell's going on. That's one of the Big Deals about being human. I begrudge no one for believing what they wish, but at least claim to believe something because it lends comfort or meaning, not because of some circular logic: "I believe in the Bible because the Bible tells me it's the infallible Word of God."


I Need a Monday

It has been a weekend of constant distraction and I've not been able to write even one word. My plan was to write all weekend as I did last week, but it just wasn't in the cards. I guess I'll claim my weekend tomorrow. No business dealings, no Alla Breve emails, no business-related phone calls. I really don't want to lose the momentum I'd built up, although this weekend I watched it recede with an alarming velocity. Best to call it back before it's completely washed out to sea.

It wasn't only work that kept jumping my creativity queue, it was putting out fires, worry, and a crushing three-day toothache. Vanilla swabs, Ibuprofen, and caramel Bailey's in my morning coffee and bedtime hot milk took care of the toothache and the worry, but it didn't address the fires. And now I'm out of Bailey's with no date in sight that I can get more...


The Beast With (at least) Two Heads

Creativity is a funny thing, although I can only speak for myself. I have no idea if it's true for anyone else, but in my experience it's an entity of its own with many arms and legs and possibly more than two heads.

It breathes and then holds its breath. It plays leapfrog with me. It entices and then becomes aloof. Sometimes it recedes until it's all but invisible and then it rushes toward me in a tsunami crush. It shrinks when tickled and then is all over me when it's ignored. But mostly it's unpredictable in a way that has become predictable...


Whichever Comes First

Lord, have mercy. You just never know how much whining, bitching, inane, pointless drivel you can come up with until you start going through 12 years of blog posts one-by-one. What's worse is that you don't just come up with it. Nooo... That's not enough. You have to go and lay it out on the Web for the world to read until the end of time, or until Blogger folds and is no more, whichever comes first...


On the Writing of a Memoir

I'm writing A Polite Little Madness in a way that I've never written before and I find the change energizing. Besides the writing style, or "voice" (which I'll get to in a minute), I'm using an entirely different approach as well as a different discipline, for want of a better word. The reason for this is, well, there was no real conscious reason, the book created its own voice, structure, and technique. During the note-taking phase, I realized I was employing virtually nothing of my past writing tools. This was new territory and I have to tell you, I dug it. I'm still digging it.

9 Weeks

My hiatus from blogging didn't last as long as I thought it would. I thought I'd return in six months or a year, if I returned at all. But a lot happened in that short 9 weeks. I guess I simply was ready for something different, because all of the important changes took only about two weeks. Looking back, I'm amazed at how quickly and easily everything fell into place.

First of all, I had to get my health under control. I finally reached a point where I was sick to death of being sick and, well, waiting for death. I quit identifying with this disease and focusing on it so much. I left the different online groups that are dedicated to it and I quit thinking and talking about it so much. Instead, I focused on being creative via poetry, journaling, photography, and a new book.

What set this into motion was that I was rushed to the hospital with what Nettl and I thought was a stroke. Fortunately, it wasn't, but my blood pressure was dangerously high and erratic. Because I have no health insurance and cannot work out in the world, I qualified for a program through which all of my medical care, hospital costs, tests, etc., are now covered 100%. It required that I do the usual paperwork, but I soldiered on through and got it done. I was determined to change my life.

Then, a massage therapist offered to give me regular treatments in exchange for a website and ongoing maintenance. She specializes in treating chronic illness and the elderly and also does energy and chakra work as well as personal counseling. What we've accomplished together is nothing short of miraculous. I'm completely off the narcotic pain killers and now take only my thyroid med and one anti-inflammatory every day, which means my prescription bills have gone down to just $45 a month. But the main thing is that I'm pain-free. I don't even take Ibuprofen. I'm active, cheerful, and most importantly, I no longer feel ill. Of course, I've had to make some grownup lifestyle changes, mostly having to do with diet and pacing myself, physically, but it's well worth it. I'll never go back.

So I guess giving up blogging for a couple of months was a good idea. I'm now ready to get back into it. Facebook doesn't offer anything where real writing is concerned; outside of the Notes feature, there's nowhere for me to write like I've always done here.

I'm looking forward to posting my thoughts this autumn and winter.

Photo: "Gash" Copyright © SK Waller, 2014



So I must confess, I do miss blogging here. After what was about a two-month hiatus, I find that I can't help myself. But don't expect miracles, okay? I want to tell you (although this isn't why I broke down and decided to post a blog entry) that I'm busily writing my memoirs, A Polite Little Madness. In fact, I've been writing like a fiend and I'm actually enjoying it. No sludge, no drudge, just joyous spillage. Maybe it primed my blogging pump, I don't know, but it's nice to see you again. At least, I hope you're still there.