Books & Writing

How’s This for Starters?

Posted on 13/02/2012. Filed under: Books & Writing |

I have been writing a novel for what seems like eons now.  Every time I get into a ‘groove’ of writing, something *happens* (ie: LIFE) and the novel gets shelved.  It has been a while since I’ve had the inspiration to write and I really want to finish the story.  I would like to think that it will be a worthwhile read, but that’s best decided by those who read the novel.  So now, I have decided to post the first few pages in the hopes that it will get my creative juices flowing once again.  I would ask anyone who takes the time to read this to please give me your honest feedback and if you have the time, give me some specifics.  (I would rather hear why you like it/hate it than just “it’s good” or “it stinks”.)

A little about the book – This is an alternate reality – it’s our world, but with people who have special abilities, and possibly even creatures of legend, although the general public is unaware.  Talison Tremain (“Talen” to her friends) is a struggling free-lance photo editor who is just beginning to discover she’s not 100% ‘normal’.  As her talent for seeing the past and repairing photos that are beyond hope of repair starts growing, something begins stalking her.  She isn’t sure why it is stalking her, and she’s not sure she wants to find out what it is after.  While she is trying to come to terms with her new abilities, her friend Peter calls her in to help repair photos that could provide evidence in a killing.

A title has not been selected as of yet.  So, here it goes:

Eccentricity was located in the middle of a block of shops, bars and restaurants that had taken over brownstones facing the harbor in a formerly residential district. It was a store specializing in antiques, art and “house accessories” from around the world such as handmade tapestries or oriental rugs. I walked up the stone steps and opened the etched glass and dark wood door. Cool air swirled out around me, followed by the sound of soft music. As I stepped through the door I recognized the sounds of Native American flutes and other instruments. Troika again. The music didn’t soothe me as it normally did. I was too upset. I tossed my black leather portfolio onto an antique table and looked around for James. I didn’t see him, but I did notice a rather inviting overstuffed tapestry chair. I flopped down into it and announced into the air “That’s it! I’ve had it! He raised the rent again!!” James poked his head out of the office “What? Again?” He sounded incredulous. “How much is it now?”

Double what I was paying when I first got the place.”

Double! I know it’s a nice place, but it’s not worth nearly that much.”

I know but Rivers has it in his head he can get as much for it as the ones across the street.” James disappeared back into his office and kept talking “He’s crazy, those places are huge and they face the park.”

Well, regardless of that I have to find a new place to live and work.”

James came out of the office carrying two steaming cups of tea, one of which he thrust into my hand. “I think you need this.” “I need something stronger than that.” I said ruefully. “Oh, but it is something stronger than that of course.” I took a hesitant sip and found that whatever he’d put in the tea was good, and decidedly had a kick. He sat down opposite me, leaning back in his chair. His slate blue eyes focused on me intently. “So, what are you going to do?” I looked away, trying to mask my frustration “I don’t know. It’s not easy to find a place around here that isn’t either very pricy or tiny.” “How much room do you need?”

Well, really not much, though I do need to have room for an office separate from my living room or bedroom.”

How about taking the apartment above this place? It’s empty now and I can’t think of someone better as a tenant.”

But your rent is just as high as what Rivers is asking me for!” James grinned mischievously “C’mon, don’t you think that I’d cut a deal for you?” I stared at him for a moment trying to figure out what sort of deal he had in mind. James never did anything without profiting somehow. “Ok, what’s in it for you? I know by now that you’ll get something out of this.”

Oh I’m hurt! You think I have some other motivation aside from helping a friend and getting a good tenant to boot?” I rolled my eyes and laughed “Out with it!”

Ok, ok. I want you to run the shop for me whenever I’m away. That way I can keep it open. You know enough about this place that it shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll even cut the rent in half” My eyes lit up “you have a deal! The only catch is that I want to use the other office.” I knew he would have a problem with that. He used that office for his private stash of different antiques and art work he’d collected over the years. Things his customers would never see, much less be able to buy.

James looked at me with a pained expression on his face “Where am I supposed to put my things??” “Oh I don’t want you to really move anything; I just need the desk for my laptop. That way I can watch the store and do my work.” He sat there for a while frowning a little. I could sense his concern over me being in his private retreat and said “Look, I will only be in there when you aren’t here, you probably won’t even notice I’ve been using the office.” He nodded his head while he cleared away our cups. “Ok, it’s a deal. When will you move in?”

I have several weeks before I have to be out of my place, why?” “Well, I have to leave soon for that estate sale I told you about. I’d like you in here before then.” I thought about it for a moment “Ok, that should be fine. Thank goodness I don’t have a lot to pack.”

The bell rang for the shop entrance and James strolled over to the customer almost unnoticed by me. I was busy thinking about moving all my things. The biggest problem was that I would have to hurry to finish the work on a couple of my projects and put off taking anything new until after the move. Of course the up side was that I wouldn’t have to take any vanity projects ever again. I love my photo restoration business, but there isn’t enough work in photo restoration to keep me busy. So I take on other photo editing work. I don’t mind the ones where I remove blemishes or make sure everyone in the wedding party has a nice smile. What I really hate though is when someone wants me to alter the way they always look, making them much slimmer, younger or otherwise more attractive. Every instinct inside me screams to make the photographs true to life. Some commissions I won’t take at all. Thank goodness for James. He often sent me restoration work, my true love. I had been doing work for him for several years and a comfortable friendship grew over that time.

When I first met James I’d been at Patrick’s having dinner and drinks. I was loosing myself in writing as usual. I felt someone getting close to me and I looked up to see this rather attractive man walk up to the bar and sit near me. James is five-ten and athletically built. His slightly chiseled face is framed by warm brown hair and inset with deep blue eyes. He was dressed in a well cut suit and looked like he had walked off the cover of GQ. He took his suit jacket off and hung it on the back of the bar stool while I went back to my writing. Keo came over to take his order – a scotch on the rocks – and then turned her attention to me. She didn’t bother asking me if I wanted anything more, she just handed me another Jet Pilot and then leaned close. “Have you met James before?” I shook my head “No, I would have remembered him.”

He’s gorgeous, yes?” she said with a conspiratorial wink. She caught his attention “James Harding, Talison Tremaine. I’ll leave you two kids alone – play nice.” Then she spun around and flounced off to wait on another patron. Figures she’d do something like that, she would do her best to ‘fix up’ friends. James looked at me appraisingly. I knew what he saw, a small slender woman with dark green eyes, chestnut hair and pale skin. Most people think I’m beautiful, but I don’t agree. Pretty yes, but beautiful? Please. “Nice to meet you Miss Tremain” “Likewise Mister Harding, but please, call me Talen. A friend of Keo’s is a friend of mine.” “Talen?” He left my nickname hanging in the air as he cocked his head to the side as if trying to figure me out. “Should I be afraid you’ll sink claws into me and carry me off?” I just shook my head at him. “What is it you do Harding?” “If I have to call you Talen you have to call me James. I collect and sell antiques, art and specialty items from around the world.” “Interesting” “What do you do Talen? Librarian? School teacher?” I leveled my eyes at him “Hardly! I do photo restoration.” “It wasn’t an insult!” I smirked and said “Did I say I was insulted?” With that he laughed “You’re mischievous, aren’t you?” “Of course, what else would you have me be?”

Talen, Talison!” I looked up from my musings “Hmm?” James was standing in front of me trying to look upset. “This gentleman wants to look at the table you are so thoughtfully resting your feet on.” Lucky for him the gentleman in question was behind him and couldn’t see the slightly amused look on his face. I quickly took my feet off the table and assumed a repentant posture. “I’m sorry. I have no idea what I was thinking.” James then told me I could find the keys to the loft in his office. “It’s the set with the Yung Cheng coin attached to it. Have a look around.” He then turned his attention to his customer and left me to my own devices. In truth I was itching to see the apartment.

I grabbed the keys out of the office and climbed the back stairs to the apartment. When I opened the door I was pleased to see oak colored beams, pale sea green carpet and walls the shade of Daytona Beach sand. The skylights over the living room enhanced the feel of being outdoors. There was a loft above the kitchen overlooking the living room. That would be the perfect place for my home office. I could position the furniture there to give it the look of a library rather than an office. There was a little hall that ran along one side of the kitchen which led to the bedroom, bathroom and storage closet. As an added bonus there were wonderful views of the harbor from the living room, bedroom and bath.

I walked back downstairs and found James finishing some paperwork. James filed the papers and turned his attention to me. “How do you like it?” I shrugged “I guess I can live with it.” James gave me an amused look. Apparently he wasn’t fooled, not that I was trying to fool him. “You really want to use my other office?”

Yes, otherwise my work has to wait until the store closes. I can’t be upstairs working and keep an eye on this place as well.” James cocked his head to one side and then nodded. “Makes sense.”

I was surrounded by boxes. I never thought I would have so many! It was mostly books, very little in the way of kitchenware or anything else. My place is fairly spartan by most people’s standards. I have the normal amount of furniture, but not much else. Most of the decorations I have consist of a few well-chosen watercolor seascapes and black and white landscape photos. There weren’t any pictures of family or friends for display… Of course nothing was hung and none of my shells, vases or candles were unpacked yet either.

Three days of intense packing and moving had me longing to escape. I sighed and stretched. What I needed was some coffee and a nice hot shower. I wove my way through the boxes into the kitchen. The coffee pot, mugs and grinder were the first things I had unpacked. It wasn’t long before I was pouring coffee into my favorite mug and lacing it with cream & sugar. I padded down the hall into the bathroom and set the mug down on the counter. I turned on the water and grabbed a towel. I stripped out of my clothes while the water heated up and then stepped under the steaming spray. I tipped my head back and let out a sigh. I let my mind drift while relaxing under the hard, tingly spray.

After the shower I wrapped up in a cozy robe and stepped into the closet to pick out clothes. Soft black leggings, a black knit T-shirt and hiking boots… aah comfort clothes! Clothing had to feel good or I wouldn’t buy it, especially if it was stuff to relax in. Of course it had to look good, but feeling good was equally important, if not more so, in my book. I heard a knock on my door and wondered who it could be. Very few people knew about the move yet and James was gone for the day. I looked out the peephole and pulled the door open. My best friend Fai Young stood there tapping her foot trying to look impatient “Well, are you going to stand there looking at me or are you going to invite me in?” I smiled shaking my head at her, stepped back and gestured for her to enter. She gave me a wink as she walked into my living room. “Nice, VERY nice. You’ve done well for yourself Tat.” I stuck my tongue out at her “You know I hate that nickname.” She laughed “Of course! Why else would I keep calling you that?” I pretended to punch her and motioned for her to follow me. “Allow me to give you the grand tour.” When we got to the bathroom she gasped “Oh, I’m in love!” I had to admit the corner Jacuzzi was a great perk.

When we got back out front Fai looked at all the boxes “Are you getting tired of unpacking?” I nodded “Yes, but I have to get done before James leaves for his trip, and I do need to get back to my work at some point soon.” “You need a break, let’s go to dinner.” Without waiting for my answer she whipped out her cell phone and dialed “Michael, would you be a dear and make reservations for dinner? Talen needs a break and it’s been a while since we’ve all had time together.” She paused, listening to him and then smiled “Oh that’s perfect! Thanks love! We’ll see you soon.” She looked at me with arched eyebrow “You need a little wardrobe change.” I walked back into my bedroom, switched the hiking boots for some high heeled ankle boots, traded the Tee for a black silk tank top and added a knee length sleeveless black duster. I stepped back out into the living room to find Fai admiring the view of the harbor. She turned as she heard me approach and eyed me appraisingly. “Nice, not what I would wear, but it suits you well.” I grinned “Nor would I wear what you have on, and you look great.” She was dressed in a soft charcoal grey suit jacket and matching mini skirt paired with an ivory scoop neck silk top. The mini skirt was just long enough to be ‘acceptable’ at work, but just short enough to show off her long, slender legs. Her rich, melodious laugh echoed off my still bare walls. “True, I can’t picture you in a suit.” We both shook our heads at the thought. I was more at home in jeans and leggings than in office wear.

We locked up and decided it was nice enough out to walk the couple of blocks to the restaurant. Romero’s is a great Italian restaurant with many different dining areas, some intimate and others a sort of casual “family table” kind of thing where you could sit at any open seat. Michael had picked one of the more intimate dining areas for us. Michael and Fai both loved good food, though you couldn’t tell by looking at them due to their many athletic hobbies. It didn’t take us long to order our food… we barely needed to look at a menu there anymore; we practically knew it by heart. By the time the appetizer and wine came we were already engrossed in all sorts of discussions. We flitted from topic to topic, telling jokes and stories, sometimes laughing uproariously at times. We quieted down by the time dessert arrived. We always split a sampling of desserts and indulged in cappuccinos… a heavenly end to a delicious meal. Fai looked over at Michael and he nodded… The exchange between the two wasn’t lost on me. “Ok… what’s up?” “Well, Michael and I would like to do something for you as our housewarming gift to you.”

We want to give you a break for the night, go out and have fun… and while you do that, we’ll hang all your art work”

That’s sweet of you guys but I couldn’t ask you to do that.”

You’re not asking us, we’re telling you… after dinner go get lost for a while… relax… and let us do something nice for you.”

I’m not going to win on this one am I?”

Nope” they chorused in unison.

Ok… fine… but I want to get my papers first… maybe I can get some writing done.”

They grinned and nodded their heads. I had the distinct feeling they were up to something more than just hanging pictures, but I let it slide.

We made our way back to my new place and I grabbed my binder up from the side table by the door. Fai and Michael hustled me out and said “we don’t want you coming back for hours!” I nodded my head and asked “Will you guys still be here when I get back?”

We might, but we can always lock up for you”

Fai leaned close and whispered in my ear “You know, I might want the use of that tub of yours.”

I laughed and said “That’s fine, but you’ll have to find the box with the rest of my towels first!” I tossed Fai a spare set of keys so she could lock up and left wondering what surprise they had in store for me.

I headed to Patrick’s, which fortunately was only a short walk from my place now. Keo was there and when she came over she took one look at me and poured me a glass of pinot noir. I don’t know how she managed to do it, but she always knew what I wanted. I opened my notebook but didn’t start writing yet. I just scanned the room for anyone interesting, sat back and sipped my wine. The noise of the crowd soothed my still somewhat frazzled nerves. Most people would find it energizing, or possibly unsettling but not relaxing. The opposite was usually true for me. Certain noisy situations will jar me, the cacophony that only children can create is one of the few that does. Here in this smoky, noisy environment however I am at home. This is where I come to center myself, to sort out the chaos in my life and make sense of it all. Looking at all the people crowded around, seeing and hearing the interplay of all the bustling life was like watching a thunderstorm or waves pound a rocky beach.

After a while I started jotting down bits and pieces of things I would incorporate in my stories. Now and then someone would come over and talk with me. Most of them would drift away after a while; going back to their friends or wandering over to someone else who caught their eye. A few people talked to me for quite a while about random things before leaving.

I was always friendly, yet aloof when I was out at the bar. Keo understood my reasons. If I allowed my normally friendly, affable nature to come out and didn’t stay at least a bit aloof there were often problems. It was beyond my understanding why men thought I was very interested in them when I was just being friendly and enjoying conversation. I couldn’t understand why they would be interested in the first place. I’m short, wear glasses and I’ve always though I’m a bit too ‘serious’ looking for most guys. But they still try to pursue things. Maybe it’s the way guys act with any girl who shows interest in what they have to say, but I don’t think so. I’ve always been able to set people at ease, to the point they tell me things they rarely – if ever – share with anyone. Maybe it’s an extension of that I mused.

I wasn’t expecting to see James, but I knew the moment he walked in the door. I didn’t bother looking up until he was almost ready to sit down.

Hi James” I said as I looked up at him and smiled. He looked a little startled then a bit annoyed “I wish you would stop doing that! It makes me feel like you have eyes in the back of your head or something!” I just grinned. It wasn’t long before he started excitedly telling me that he had just found out about another estate sale not far from the one he was already going to. “The best thing is they have agreed to let me come in early!” “From what they have said there are quite a few Chippendale pieces and even a couple of pieces by Boulle!” He might as well have been speaking Greek to me for all I knew about antiques. “I’m going to need you to take over running the shop starting the end of next week.” I told him that was fine, by then I’d be settled in to my place.

A couple of girls sat down next to James and tried to get his attention. They were very pretty but he hardly noticed. They looked over at me as if I had something to do with him ignoring them. He excused himself for a moment. While he was gone I leaned over and told them “You aren’t his type, but of course I’m not his type either… He’s not interested in anything under a hundred years old.” They looked at me as if I was crazy. I just shrugged and said “Believe what you will, of course you can always ask him.” He had just returned and said “Ask me what?” “Oh. If you’re really only interested in something over a hundred years old.” I said grinning. He laughed “You’ve got me there, unless it’s very unusual or rare.” The girls looked at him and said “Oh that’s gross!” grabbed their drinks and moved to the other side of the bar. James looked puzzled “What was that about?” “Oh, I think they believed you were talking about people.” I flashed him a wicked grin. He shook his head at me “I wonder how they got that idea! You really shouldn’t do that. Of course they were stupid to fall for your prank.” I tried feigning innocence but burst out laughing instead. “You do happen to prefer older things; I swear you can’t love a woman because you are so in love with antiques. Well, that and the fact that there aren’t any antique women around who look young enough that you’d want to bed them!” He pretended to cuff me “You’re a wicked girl Talen!” I just smiled sweetly and took another sip of my wine.

Keo came over and refilled our drinks. She was shaking her head at me and said “You are so mean. Poor James will never get any girls if you keep making them run in fear.” I just laughed and said “James wouldn’t have wanted those little Barbie dolls anyway. He likes intelligent women.” “So why’s he friends with you?” “Because I’m not just intelligent, I’m brilliant!” She shook her head and walked away laughing. I gave James a puzzled look “Did I say something funny?” He just shook his head and drank his Scotch. We discussed some things about running his shop and he admonished me not to put my feet up on any of the furniture while he was gone. He headed out after a little while saying that he had a million things to do before his flight, which was now moved to Friday.


Congratulations!  You made it to the end!

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Posted on 01/10/2011. Filed under: Books & Writing |

Lately I have been involved in doing a lot of different craft projects such as tin can lanterns, scarves, T-shirt purses, etc.  Everyone who has seen the crafts has talked about how creative I am because of the things I’ve made.  I think they are wrong though because all of the things I have made are from copying other people’s ideas and instructions.  I don’t feel particularly ‘creative’ because of that.  I really enjoy doing crafts and taking the ideas of other people and putting in special touches to make them my own.  I really wish I were back in the States, because I could do a lot more.  Part of that is because there are more tools and things to work with there and part is because it’s so much easier to have a little ‘spare change’ for my projects.

The one area that I do feel creative in is my writing.  Sadly, I have allowed my book to take the back seat in my priorities yet again.  I really want to be able to finish my book and I noticed that National Novel Writing Month is coming up (Nov.) and the challenge for NaNoWriMo is to write a complete novel by the end of Nov.   For several years now I have thought “this year will be the year I finish my book”  and yet, again and again it gets put on the shelf, unfinished.   In the past I’ve done the majority of my writing in bars or coffee shops.  Now, it’s not possible for me to do that for several reasons.  The main one being that the types of bars or coffee shops that get my creative juices flowing aren’t very common here (or are very expensive).  The ones that are available aren’t close to the house, so that doesn’t help either.  Another thing is that it’s not very common for women to go to bars by themselves here and when they do, people think they are out looking for a good time.  The other thing is that the interaction between people is different here as well, so it doesn’t follow the rhythm of my story.  So… now I have to find a new way to get inspired and get the creative juices flowing.

I really want to be able to finish writing my book this year.  I think the first step will be to re-read what I’ve written so far, and then write up a rough timeline of what I want to happen in the book. (I had a timeline before, but since it’s been so long I might have a different idea of where I want to go with the book now.)  I plan on doing both of those things tomorrow.  After that, it’s back to writing.  Yes, I could probably write in our Cafe, but when there’s enough people there to be inspired, I’m working on filling their orders.  Hopefully this time I won’t get sidetracked by the little things in life, like moving to another country.

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Dating, New Roommate & Life In General

Posted on 07/01/2008. Filed under: Books & Writing, Friends, Relationships |

Well, it has been a little while since my last blog post. I have to say, that was a bit of an ‘experience’ *laughs*. Thankfully the guy in question did wind up understanding and didn’t turn into Mr. Stalker, LOL. Ever since the breakup with my last boyfriend back in September I haven’t really been interested in pursuing dating, much less a relationship. Deep down I would like to have someone in my life, but let’s face it, as fun as dating can be it can also be a pain. In the past when a relationship has ended it hasn’t taken me very long to get back on a dating site and meet new people. In fact I’ve been pretty eager to get back out there again. This time has been different.

One of my friends recently had some things happen that have made it necessary for her to ‘regroup’. Since my son moved out I have a spare bedroom in my apartment, so I offered to have her become my roommate. I had been enjoying having the place to myself, but she’s been a good friend for a number of years, and I wanted to help her. All of her big stuff was moved in this past weekend and she will be fully moved in by the end of this week. I have never had a roommate before, so it will be a bit of an adjustment. I think having a roommate is very different than living with someone you are dating or married to. This should be interesting *laughs*.

On the 27th I was at work, trying to get things done even though I had a headache that kept trying to become a migraine. I finally decided to work on the schedule, which needed to be done by the next day, hoping that by sitting still it might help a bit. As I was looking over the schedule I realized that we had great coverage every day of the week since a lot of the college students wanted to be able to pick up more hours during their winter break. I had been talking about how I needed to take a vacation for over a month and I decided to just go ahead and take time off. I’m not actually going anywhere since it was really last minute, but starting tonight at 7:00 when I punch out from work I will be off till next Monday afternoon. *YAY* People have asked me where I am going and what I’m doing with my time off… Well as I said, I’m not going anywhere, however I am going to use the time to do a few projects that I’ve been wanting to work on, plus do more writing in my story… maybe I’ll be able to bring it up to 50,000 words by the time I go back to work…. Yeah, it’s a rather lofty goal, but it should be fun. I’m pretty sure I will wind up kicking around Fells Point, Canton or Federal Hill at some point as well. Above all else I will be RELAXING. The only way it could possibly be better is if I were to go to the beach… However, I don’t think I will be doing that this time around.

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Posted on 02/11/2007. Filed under: Books & Writing, Fitness, Relationships |

My oldest son was living with me for a while this year, waiting on finding a better apartment. It was supposed to only last for about a month, but it turned out to be much longer than that. This past Sunday he finally moved out and since then I have been getting my apartment back in order. There is a certain amount of freedom you can enjoy when you are the only person in an apartment. I have to admit it took me a little bit to realize that I no longer had to bring a change of clothes into the bathroom when I would shower *laughs* Yes Allie you can walk around naked in your apartment now! *WHEEE*

So here I am with no one living with me and not really ‘seeing’ anyone. Aside from work I don’t really have anything major consuming my time. So, lately I’ve been doing 4 to 7 mile walks, trying to get in shape (a 4 mile walk now takes me roughly 45 minutes, which isn’t too shabby I guess). The only other thing that’s truly taking up any of my time is my writing. As of last night I am now at almost 30,000 words in the story I am working on. Just two weeks ago I was at 26,000 words. I’m not sure how good 4,000 words in two weeks is compared to professional writers, but I feel good about it. At this rate I may reach my goal of 120,000 words within a year. *crosses fingers*

I am still rather apathetic about dating in general. I’m not interested in just ‘hooking up’ and that seems to be what a lot of people are looking for – something almost like ‘friends with benefits’ – and honestly I feel that’s something best left to 20 somethings. That said, I’m not looking for a ‘relationship’ either… so that leaves me in limbo. In past years I was always quick to get back to dating, but now when I have offers to date I often find some excuse not to. I have always enjoyed sharing things with someone special and even yearned for it, but for now I’m content either way.

Ultimately I’m generally happy with life and that’s really what matters 🙂

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Posted on 08/06/2006. Filed under: Books & Writing |

After finishing a wonderful book (An Unquiet Mind) I decided to pick up two more books by the same author (Kay Redfield Jamison). The first is titled “Exuberance: The Passion for Life” and the second book is titled “Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperment” I just started reading Exuberance today and it is a wonderful book so far. She truly captures the feelings and energy of people who truly are exuberant and not merely energetic or enthusiastic….

Most of the references she gives revolve around nature and the joys that can be found therin. Poetry is often quoted in her works and all the passages speak to your heart. I have often wanted to write in such a way, where what I put down on paper uplifts people and has an impact on them. My poetry is often neglected for long peroids of time, only to surface again when I am wrapped in nature’s cloak. One of my favorite quotes in the book so far is by John Muir “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” I think that going out into nature is really going home, where we can truly center ourselves.

The book gives me a great desire to go dance among the flowers and smile up into the sky, basking in the warmth of the sun, or marveling at the endless starry sky. The idea of running free, twirling ’round like a sprite and falling back, face up in a field gazing at all the beauty around has me smiling and planning for a time for me to run free.

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Creative Process & a Special Poem

Posted on 14/01/2006. Filed under: Books & Writing, Life in General, Relaxation |

Last night a friend of mine took me to the Grand Cru, which is a wonderful place to spend an evening.  Every time I visit there I determine that I need to go back again soon and work on my writing.  It seems like an ideal place to write due to the energy, atmosphere and interesting people I’ve met there.  Of course the moment I get wrapped up in conversation I completely forget that I was intending to write.  Still, even if I don’t write much while I’m there I wind up getting ideas for my story or, even better have the pleasure of a good conversation.

While I have been out writing I often get asked about the story I am working on.  Sometimes people want to know if I have included them in my story and the answer is a qualified no.  That is I never have the whole person included in the story, but I do have bits and pieces of almost everyone around.  I may take a mannerism here, expression there, perhaps a way of talking or physical appearance, but the things I use from one person rarely goes into a single character.  The other thing people often ask is if this is my first story (which it is not, though I feel it is my first REAL story since it’s the first one that seems alive to me).  They also ask if I have ever published anything or if I have ever posted any of my work.  I did post a few of my short stories on a friend’s site a number of years ago, but to me those were rather pathetic attempts at writing.   I do not feel comfortable posting excerpts from my current story as of yet, since it is not complete it seems like publishing a rough sketch of a painting prior to fleshing it out, loosing some of the mystery of the art by showing it ‘naked’ as it were.  I think a similar effect occurs if you show someone totally nude and then show sensually clothed photos of them.  You wind up ruining the mystery and taking away a part of the enjoyment.

Still people have encouraged me on more than one occasion to publish some of my work and I think perhaps I will start with a poem I wrote in August of 2004 after my mother died.

ComfortStrong arms hold me in silence.
The quiet seeps into me like a cool cloth held against all my fevered pain.
The silence and strength that holds me is a comfort, soothing the pain held inside.
The ache eases and though the sadness is still there,
it is softened by the comfort of those strong arms holding me in silence.
A comfort more than words, a quiet communication of support and concern.
This is what love really is, not just a sharing of joy, but also an easing of sorrow.

This piece was something that was very personal to me, something that I kept private and shared with only a few people.  I gave it to my father the day before my mother’s funeral and he included a copy of it in the personal effects that were burried with her.  Now that time has past and my father is getting remarried I feel comfortable with sharing such an intimate part of my life.  Hopefully others will find it to be helpful and valuable as well.


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