Category Archives: Writing

Health and things

Let’s talk about:

  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Weight loss
  • Exercising with MS
  • Herbalists & Naturopaths
  • Near Death Experience
  • Life after death
  • Love
  • Art
  • Writing
  • Jewelry
  • Meditation
  • Podcasts

That is a list of topics that are swimming around my head. It’s a prompt, of sorts-perhaps a promise.

I must blog about these topics, or else.

Or else what? I don’t know.

Red tulips

Repetition

I signed up for a free online workshop hosted by Karen Abend, called Sketchbook Revival.

I did this because I have a habit of signing up for things that I don’t have time for. I’m lucky to have remembered about this one at all.

Today I watched the first video of the series while using cardio equipment at Planet Fitness.

The session was given by Kiala Givehand who is one of the few African Americans I’ve come across in the mixed-media, art journaling world. The field is dominated by white women and I sure there’s a sociology paper that needs to be written about that. I’m no Sociology major, so I’ll move on.

Anyway, Kaila demonstrated some simple paper folding bookmaking techniques that I want to try. At the end of the class, she talked about the value of repetition in making art. She mentioned a poet who sat down every morning for a year and wrote a new poem about the view from his kitchen window. That is a great idea. What if I adapt it to fiction writing. I could write about a character doing the same actions every day for a month. Maybe he/she has a goal in mind, and I try different ways to get there. Now that sounds like an exercise guaranteed to improve my writing.

People say there are no guarantees in life. Let’s listen less to people for a change. Let’s just be us.

Some repetition:

Digitally painted abstract flowerDigitally painted abstract flowerDigitally painted abstract flower

True Crime as a guilty pleasure

True crime podcasts are wildly popular as of late. I mainly listen to True Crime Garage and Sword and Scale.

Sometimes I wonder if there is something morally questionable about being entertained by the activities of criminals, and the suffering of their victims. Is true crime socially acceptable porn? But even porn is socially acceptable these days.

I might have been a detective in a past life—I’ll post about my belief in reincarnation another time.

I’m intrigued by the process of investigating a crime. The detectives examine the crime scene and collect evidence. They look into the background of the victim to figure out who they associated with and who might have had reason to harm them.  Sometimes the victim happens to be at the right place at the right time for the perpetrator. In these cases, investigators hope to find someone who witnessed the crime or saw something before or after the crime occurred.

This post is not meant to be a primer on how to be a criminal investigator. I am not qualified to write such a primer. However, my consumption of true crime entertainment and detective fiction is filling me with fodder for writing my own crime fiction. I could refer you to previous posts about me not writing enough, but blah, blah, blah.

This entry (if I can call it that) sort of went off the rails. I need a blogging plan. I need all sorts of plans. Here’s a list.

  • Eating
  • Exercise
  • Art
  • Blogging
  • Fiction writing
  • Plans for plans
    • sub plans
      • sub sub plans

Get the picture? Now watch as very little comes of any of it. I guess a Little is better than nothing.

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Work doodle

 

 

 

 

Handwriting Anatomy

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.

walk through my cloud

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.

I’m worried about Kinsey Millhone

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.

grafton

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!

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Confessions of an outsider

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.

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I never claimed to be an athlete, but I did play softball in my youth.

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