Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hello Dear Reader,

I wanted to write just a quick update to let you know I am doing well. I am writing. I am having vivid dreams. I am feeling optimistic. I am enjoying this week (Recovering a Sense of Possibility) in the Artist's Way so much that I made it a two-weeker. Not because I was dragging my ass, but because it is a rich subject and I wanted to spend a lot of time on it. I am really into the weekly tasks and getting a lot out of them. I may share some of the exercises with you later.

The other really cool thing that has happened is that I have made some really positive (re) connections with some of my creative friends. Now, if you are a friend of mine (and really, if you are reading this you are either friend or family, quite frankly) I do NOT want you to take this the wrong way. I recognize and appreciate the fact that all of you are creative in your own ways. Many of you are artists - both publicly and privately. What I mean is that I have - thanks, in part, to this blog - had conversations with folks that maybe I wouldn't have had before. Maybe because we didn't realize the other was interested in writing too, or to the same degree, or had the same struggles.

What has come out of this is that I am getting more comfortable talking about my writing (which gets me more excited about it), more comfortable calling myself a writer (which is a goal of mine) and also gathering a support group of other folks who are interested in writing or creating in some way and are willing to join forces with the goal of helping each of us stay focused, stay positive and get some good shit out there.

Write on,

Quote of the Day

"Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." ~ Arundhati Roy

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quote for a Rainy Day

"A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning."
~ James Dickey

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Deja Vu

Dear Reader...Oh Dear, Dear Reader, 

I have hit a wall. I had a sneaking suspicion  this would happen sooner or later and well, it seems to be upon me. I have nothing to write anymore. 

I straight up dissed my morning pages the other day because I didn't want to waste three pages of my pretty notebook writing boring drivel or filling up three pages writing "I have nothing to write, I have nothing to write" like some petulant school girl from years past. (though some of you may argue that image is not too far from reality - hah!) 

I  have not yet written today either. I suck. 

My best guess is that I am at this oh-so-familiar wall because I am on the brink of making some kind of breakthrough. That is what the optimistic therapist angel sitting on my left shoulder says anyways. 

The dark, depressing (she would say "realistic") angel on my right shoulder, however, has a differing opinion. She thinks it simply means I really have nothing of interest to say, no creative talent, hence nothing more to write. Duh. 

I don't think it is ironic to mention that this week, week 5 is "Recovering a Sense of Possibility." 


This is possible. Creating and writing good stuff is possible. But you gotta work at it, right? This is when the tough get going - you know, when the going gets tough. Or as Cameron says, "Pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can." This is when you start to run. Or, if you are me, this is when you say "Ah, I didn't really want to do that anyways. I think I'll just go home." 


This post is titled "Deja Vu" because, you guessed it, I have been here before. This cliff, this precipice, this fork in the road and I almost always stop. Retreat. Go somewhere warm and lick my psychological wounds. In fact, I recently came across an entry in an old diary that illustrates this point quite well. 

I must have been about 9 or 10 and was at the local pool one summer with a friend. We were having a blast - hanging on the side of the pool, playing  Marco Polo and splashing around. I've never been much of a fish, but can certainly have fun splashing around with my friends who are. Somehow I decided it would be fun to go off the high dive that day. So I waited in line and when it was my turn I began to climb the ladder. I was nearly to the top (if not at the top, the memory gets a little fuzzy here - you'll see why in a moment) when I thought "Uh. Hey. This is not such a good idea. I don't want to do this after all. I'm going back down." 

So I began to climb back down the ladder. This task was made much more difficult by the gung-ho kids behind me in line who were now half-way up the ladder themselves. Plus,  it is much harder to go down a slippery high dive ladder than it is to go up it for some reason (they must have designed it that way.) I got about 6 or 8 rungs from the bottom when my hands slipped off and I fell to the ground, nearly taking another kid out with me. I remember him yelling "Hey! She almost fell on me!"

I was pretty shaken up from the fall and my back was all scratched up too. Plus I was totally embarrassed. And ready to go home and lick my wounds. 

So here I am, again, some 30+ years later doing the same thing. Full of vim and vigor I began to climb up this high dive ladder and now that I am near the top I want to stop and turn around. Get off this damn thing. It's scary up here, the water is a long ways away and I am not a very good swimmer. 

Really, I am stuck. I don't know what the glue is that is keeping me here in this spot. Fear? It must be, but of what? 

I suppose there is only one way out of this spot I am in. I gotta write my way out of it.

Tryin' to Write On, 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Keep on Truckin'

Hello Dear Reader

We, well I,  have come to the end of Week Four on the Artist's Way ~ Recovering a Sense of Integrity.  I was warned that this week I  might be feeling "volatile and changeable". And that would be different, how exactly? 

Honestly, I felt OK during the week. I did my pages each day, I managed to cut my reading back by I'd say 90%, I got a lot of shiz done and yet...

Certainly cranky by the weekend. Too much to do? Not enough rest? Perhaps. 

Or perhaps I am changing somewhat. I feel myself drawn to those folks in my life who are creative, or are, like me, working on freeing their creativity. Getting re-acquainted with it.

The book says "It is important to know that no matter what form your growth takes, there is another kind of change, slower and more subtle, accumulating daily whether you sense its presence or not." Cameron goes on to mention things like having more vivid dreams - both the nighttime and daytime variety. That has certainly been true for me. I have more creative thoughts come to me at night and during the day. I've been trying to keep track of them all, but there are so many sometimes it can be difficult to remember them all. 

The frustrating thing for me is that I have not acted on any of these ideas or inspirations I come across. It is all I can do to remember them and jot them down. I almost feel more pressure having had the ideas - now there is clay to work with and I am still not creating! 

As I am writing this convoluted, wandering post I stop to read through the chapter for week 4 and came across this as well, "You are no longer stuck, but you cannot tell where you are going. You may feel that this can't keep up." 

I guess I am where I am supposed to be at this point. I do feel frustrated. I feel creative, yet  blocked still, I feel optimistic,  yet heavy, I feel blah. And cranky. And snarky

I am looking forward to this week, week 5: Recovering a Sense of Possibility. 

I pledge to keep on keepin' on. Let's see what happens! 

Write on, 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Second Childhood

Hello Dear Reader, 

As it is Sunday it is officially "Check-In Time" for week 3 of The Artist's Way. This week's theme was recovering a sense of power.  I initially recovered my sense of power by extending my week in light of the holidays and all that encompassed. :-)

Here is my official check-in, for your reading pleasure: 

1) How many days this week did you do your morning pages? How was the experience for you? If you skipped a day, why did you skip it? I wrote at least three pages every day this week - more than three on more than on occassion! Whoo Hoo! That being said, I have yet to write my morning pages today...

I find that I will frequently pull my journal out when I am visiting my mom. She is usually either asleep or in her own world, so I use the time to just be with her and write about what is going on in the SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility), or wondering what she is remembering as she mumbles and screams. 

2) Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel? You know, I honestly thought this would be one of the easiest and tastiest pieces of the Artist's Way pie - but so far it is one of the most difficult for me to accomplish. If I can stretch the definition of the artist date a bit I would say that I took my artist self out for a decaf and a muffin before I went to the gym on Thursday. I sat in a sagging, worn, comfy, blue leather couch and read the paper, watched people, and wrote a few pages. Does that count? I think I need to re-read the part about artist dates and get on this one! 

3) Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it? Hmmm...Sadly, I have to say "No." Not that I wasn't on the outlook for it! I love synchronicity and am always hopeful it will find me, but it didn't this week. I remain hopeful.

4) Were there any issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them. Why yes, Dear Reader, there were, thanks for asking! 

One of the tasks this week was to describe 5 characteristics you like in yourself as a child. I hesitated to do this task, but remembered that the instructions are to pay close attention to the tasks that make you the most uncomfortable - or that you shy away from - and do those. So I dove in and was actually able to come up with quite a few things I liked about myself as a child like my imagination, my ability to entertain myself, my creativity, my confidence, my strong belief that my way was as right as anyone else's way and my sense of humor. 

The thing that struck me the most was the amount of confidence I used to have. I began to wonder when it started to fade. Let me tell you a story - when I was in 9th grade I was competing (track and field, people!) in a big meet called the Central Coast Section (CCS) Top 8 meet. Supposedly this was a chance for the fastest folks in the section to go head to head early in the season. I was ready, I felt good, I was confident. My father (a track coach) was there and several members of his track team were there to cheer me on. They all said "we know you can do it! you can win!" and I believed them. I believed in myself. It totally didn't phase me that there were older girls racing against me who had run faster than I had. I didn't care. I knew I could win. 

And I did. 

After I won, I remember the same kids who had said "We know you can do it!" told me - "Wow! I didn't think you would win! We were just saying that." It gave me pause. But not too much, because later in the season I had made it to the CCS Finals where a top finish would get me one step away from the state meet. I recall driving over to the meet, looking at the seeds for my race and seeing how many other girls had faster times than I did going into the race. But again, I was confident. I remember saying out-loud to my coach - "I can beat them. I can run that fast." 

And I did. I won the 200 meter CCS finals as a freshman! That was a big deal. 

Now that I look back, that was probably the last time I felt that confident, that invincible in the face of competition, that sure of myself and my abilities. 

In 2010, I want to become Confident Girl again.

Write On, 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hello Stranger

Dear Reader,

Please accept my apologies for being such a blog-slacker! Has it really been two weeks since I posted last?

In my humble defense I present the following facts:
  1. Mom was moved into a skilled nursing facility (sad, good, different, jolting)
  2. It was Christmas Eve (crab, french bread, salad, 1.25 bottles of champagne per imbiber, up until 3AM drunk wrapping for Santa and watching Jersey Shore);
  3. It was Christmas (happy kids, speed unwrapping completed in less than 20 minutes, joy, unbridled enthusiasm, happiness, contentedness, exhaustion)
  4. ... I cooked (prime rib roast experiment, roasted honey glazed veg, DIVINE oven roasted broccolini and green beans, cranberry sauce, baked potatoes, cheese, crackers, Dip Cheney, wine, coookies, pleasant exhaustion)
  5. It was New Year's (Big Sur, camping, meeting new, fascinating, creative, fun, warm people, more pure joy and awe and hope than one can really hope to start the new year with)
  6. And then...back to work ( to put this politely?...Let's just say it involves less of the good stuff listed above.)

That is the life update for the past two weeks. Now to the creative update, which, Dear Reader, is the point of this whole endeavor, as you well know.

I have managed to do my morning pages (and then some!) most days. I think I may have missed a day or two in the midst of the Christmas hullaballoo, but for the most part I have been on the money as far as that goes. I have, once again, given myself another extension this week. Where I ought to have completed Week Three : "Recovering a Sense of Power" last Sunday I will now complete it this Sunday, the 10th.

How's that for recovering a sense of power! hah! How you like me now!?!

Write On,