A prompt from Writer’s Digest.
I’ve come to romanticize the idea of writing by hand. I imagine avid journal writers sitting in cafes filling the pages of their leather-bound notebooks with momentous thoughts. They use fancy expensive pens, and their handwriting is, of course, a sight to behold.
I want to be like these people, so I buy Moleskine notebooks and fill them with my deep thoughts and not-so-deep doodles. However, I don’t journal regularly, so I feel like I’m not doing it right. You hear about those people who have stacks and stacks of journals chronicling their lives from 2nd grade until their time in the retirement home. Having that kind of record of your life would be nice.
This post is about handwriting and the fact that I don’t like the way mine looks. When I’m writing quickly things get messy. The only way for me to write neatly is to slow down and practice mindfulness. Even my legible writing is not pleasing to my eye. I envy those art journalers who include nice looking handwritten words with their drawn and painted images. I’ve really been digging the work of Teesha Moore. She creates journals that include collage, handwritten text, and drawings. I thought about buying one of her journals, but the one she had for sale on Etsy was out of my price range at $1,400.
I have been making an effort to improve my handwriting. My lowercase d and a are looking better, and I’m trying not to let the tail of my f and the top of my t get too curvy. I’ve considered practicing handwriting by copying poems. My writing would improve, I would learn some poems, and I might get the bug to write poetry. I used to write poems regularly, but I stopped for some reason.
It always comes back to giving myself more things to do; more things for which I don’t have time.
My new thing is digital collage. Here’s a video showing the stuff I’ve created so far. I’ve been getting images from Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexels, and my own collection.
I use Photofox and Procreate for iPad. I think I’m doing this instead of writing. Why can’t I become obsessed with writing?
The prompt is strategy.
Being human ain’t easy. We suffer at the hands of others, and we cause a lot of our own pain. You’d think that since we have such big brains and opposable thumbs, we would be able to figure out a way to alleviate this situation.
I imagine that a lot of people enjoy causing others to suffer, and there are some who don’t like causing the suffering, but they do like to watch it, or just know that it’s happening. This must be normal because it’s been going on since people got started.
I need a strategy for keeping my suffering to a minimum. I would also like to help a few other people along the way. Some people use religion for this purpose. Some seek pleasure in sex, drugs, food, and shopping. We all do what we can to get through this life. I will probably keep doing the same things over and over with a few variations. Is that a strategy? Maybe it’s the opposite.
You can start writing a blog post thinking you’ll come up with some answers, and then only generate more questions. I go around in circles, and probably will until I leave this life. The trick might be to keep my body and mind occupied with the world’s mundane wonders.
A surreal digital collage by me.
Detective novelist, Sue Grafton, died on Dec. 28, 2017. She wrote the “alphabet series” of books featuring a private detective named Kinsey Millhone. I have listened to every book on audio read by Judy Kaye from A is for Alibi to Y is for Yesterday. I love Kinsey Millhone. She’s the type of gutsy, independent woman I wish I could be.
Sue Grafton’s death reported on CNN
I read that Grafton’s last book in the alphabet series was to be Z is for Zero, and because her family said she would not have wanted a ghostwriter, Y is the end of the line. I have never liked the idea of a ghost writer continuing where a novelist left off, so I’m okay with no Z.
The thing is, I have this feeling that Kinsey is out there in the fictional Santa Teresa, California waiting for something to happen. She’s waiting for Sue to write a new adventure. Maybe she goes over to her landlord Henry’s apartment and talks to him about their next steps as he busies himself in the kitchen baking bread. I know she and Henry are not real, but they are kind of real. Aren’t they? I want them to be okay.
Yep, I might be slightly crazy.
I almost want to write some Sue Grafton fan fiction. I won’t do that. This world belongs to Grafton, not to me. I am considering developing a fantasy for myself that puts me in Kinsey’s world. I don’t really relish the idea of going back to the 80s in this fantasy. Would I go back as an awkward teenager or as me of today? Who would I be in this world?
Maybe I need to write my own female detective who happens to be a Kinsey Millhone fan. She might have a bit of a Stephanie Plum vibe too. Janet Evanovich had better stay healthy!
The prompt is finally.
2017 has been some kind of crazy year, hasn’t it? There was bad stuff. We were faced with events that we’d like to wish away. Some believe that reality split in two with one person becoming president in this universe and the other person winning in an alternate universe.
We were told to be fearful of so many things. Some of us faced true danger; others were privileged enough to have never been at risk. If you got to December 30 without developing a drinking, drug, or food problem you are to be commended. If you had enough food to be an overeater, you were luckier than those who went without.
In 2017 I got a better job. I became a better jewelry and art maker. My health improved, but I also gained weight.
I lost a dog and a parent in 2017.
Does moving into a new year have any real significance? Sure, things will be the same tomorrow, but we can decide to change ourselves. We can, at the very least, change our attitude.
Let’s move forward and be better human beings in 2018. That’s my plan.
Self-portrait in dance studio for Abandoned or Alone photo challenge.
Taken in Nevada A dance studio at UIUC ca. ~1994-96
The prompt is confess.
I often see myself as an outsider.
At work, I am one of the writers, but I don’t have a degree in English, so I feel that I am not one of them. A writer writes. I write.
I don’t know what writing most of the others do outside of work. One of them writes fiction and is working on a novel. Another attended the recent IU Writers’ Conference, so I know she must be legit.
I stumbled into my current job. If I had applied, I wouldn’t have been considered, because I majored in Dance. Someone in human resources would have discarded my resume because it shows no English or Journalism degree. I wonder if my grammar skills would be better if I had majored in English.
I’m reading Stories from the Twilight Zone by Rod Serling. I found a preposition at the end of a sentence in the first story in the anthology, The Mighty Casey. I wonder if editors were less persnickety about the preposition rule at the time of this writing. Today you’ll find articles explaining why the rule should be abolished, but I continue to follow it when writing something for work. I wouldn’t want people to think I wasn’t an English major.
I’ve always felt like an outsider in the dance world despite my Master’s degree in the field. My dance technique was never great, but I made up for that with my choreography skills.
I make art and jewelry, but I have no formal training. I could go on about this, but I imagine you get the idea.
In the end, none of this matters. I do what I enjoy doing, and I give it my all. I’m willing to try and fail. Being an outsider sets me apart from the crowd. I like feeling special.
I never claimed to be an athlete, but I did play softball in my youth.