A LITTLE RATTLED

more work

Do you ever get ‘a little rattled?’ This has been my theme song for the past few weeks. Here I am retired and realize I did a lot better when my mind was full of stuff. My writings have fallen way behind and as I try to catch up everything comes out scrambled.

What I know, is we are getting some much-needed rain. Of course, the sun has to hide for all of this to happen, but our grass, trees need the rain and it also helps wash away the pollen. I sent out a small note to friends in the flood and tornado areas. Heard back from most of them. Small increases in rivers, soggy, but safe.

We have lots of vegetables around our area and you cannot beat the home-grown flavors. I love to go to a farmer’s market and listen to all the different conversations. No, I do not know what all is being said, but they are so proud to show you their products. I ask a lot of questions about what it is, how to cook their products and eyes sparkle. Usually, there is someone close by who can translate for both of us.

Our swimming pool opened up just in time for all the rain. We have to wait until we get certified by the city to open up and everyone is holding their breath as Memorial Day Weekend is close by and this is our start of the summer.

A few days ago, after a quick rain shower, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful rainbow stretched across the sky. It looked like it went on for miles and miles and I wondered about the ‘pot of gold’ at the end.  So, I took a short walk and noticed the rainbow had no beginning and no ending. It just appeared and when the sun came out, the colors were brilliant. It was like the pot of gold was close, but untouchable. Clouds started to return and I did not have time to search further, but one can always dream about their ‘pot of gold.’ Now, it is your turn…”What would you do with a huge pot of gold?”

 Please take a few moments, think, and let me know your thoughts on this question. There is no right or wrong answer, and I’ll plug them in my next blog or two. No names will be attached, but it would make A WONDERFUL BLOG.  This way you would get to give your answers, read other answers, and then we can take it from there and start a new blog with your questions and answers. SO….keep this going as we continue forward.

I love to touch base with all of you, as your input is important to me.  And, I am looking forward to all of your answers to OUR blog, Chasing the Rainbow, for the next few weeks.

Stay close and help me and other readers to share their ‘Pot of Gold’ dreams.

 

Patriciachats

 

WHERE’S SPRING?

Seasonal_Festivals

I looked all over for a special calendar and could not find SPRING, so this will have to do for now. As I sit at my desk, I can look out my windows and see nothing but grey clouds, trees waving their branches, and the only sign of spring is the green leaves and green grass. I want to see sunshine, hear birds singing, see and smell flowers in bloom, and know that May Day is just around the corner. Spring seems to get lost between the long winter months and the hot summer months.

Do you remember your ‘Spring Times’? As a child, I remember the opportunity to stay and play outside a little later, watch the flowers peek through the dirt, see squirrels scamper up and down tree trunks, chasing each other and having a good time. And now that we are so close to May, do you remember the May Days? We’d walk up to a friend’s house and hide our May Basket for that special person and run away before anyone saw us.

Guess, Spring Time brings back wonderful memories and yet gives us space to make new memories. Each season gives new hope and ideas to think about and try.

A couple of weeks ago, the Library in my neighborhood, held its first Poetry Reading Night. Great attendance and wonderful poems. I was impressed by all the presenters and their ability to share without any props, like a book, and their words gave music to our ears.

Yeah, I got up, but had to have my poetry book in my hands, my glasses on, and no dancing around. But, it was fun and they plan to do this every so often. Maybe I can get my act together and do this without my book. Doubt it, but hey who knows. So to end this post, I would like to share  MOODS OF MUSIC,

Music opens the windows of the soul creating many moods. Strings of violins being gently caressed sing of intimacy, soft flickering candle light. Rumble of the drums gives a dominating beat to life – slow measured steps or a fast-moving pace. A slide trombone can bring a feeling of melancholy, a sway to the music, a backward trip in memories. Reeds of the clarinet performing jazzy blues mixing the past and present together. Cymbals clashing awakens opportunities yet to be explored.  Moods of music, complacent, invigorating, dreamy. . . Open your soul and listen.

Happy Spring.  Happy Writing.

Patricia

HELP! I LOST MY WORDS

Yes, it has been a while since my fingers crept across the keyboard. I still can’t run them over the keys because I lost my words. Instead of writing, I’ve been on a wild journey. Picture yourself trying to remember where you ‘stored’ something of great importance to you. Why is it we always try the refrigerator last? This time I went straight to the fridge and search every storage drawer, every shelf, and yes, I did not forget the freezer. Nothing but food and containers; no papers.

This led me to the closets and corners of each room. Nothing, but I did get things pulled out and taken to Goodwill, dust bunnies no longer laugh when I open a closet door. Instead they try to hide or race out to unknown places. The extra hiding areas I’ve developed are now empty and again, no papers or words. The only peace I find is reading others words. I became so desperate, I go to bed with a book, and wake up with the same book. Thank goodness, I’ve finished two. The words are familiar, but I still have problems putting them on my own paper.

The book I am writing came to a complete STOP. I”d read everything from beginning to the point of no words and begin again reading the same material. At least I have made some revisions and feel better about those, but it’s not the same as writing new ideas and moving the story forward to publication.

The harder I try to get words out of my head and onto the keys of my computer, the harder it is to remember what word I should use. So, to help me out, I began to take pictures with my camera. I am not a picture taker, but managed to get some decent shots of familiar people, objects, and places that might bring back the words I need on the tips of my fingers and not hidden in my head.

A friend told me to forget everything and not work so hard at nothing. “Go out for walks, hit the coffee shops, and listen to others. No, not snooping, just listen to the words.” And then, she suggested we take in a matinée of a silly movie. I got caught up in the show and never realized I was laughing until the end. Something clicked and I wanted to get home and write. Maybe. But the silence almost destroyed the progress in front of me.

Now, I can once again find words with my CD’s. Music gives me energy, energy makes my fingers move, and soon words appear on the page. That they all do not make sense, so what? The delete key works, the backspace key backs up, and the music keeps playing.

When we stop because of worry or the need to do things ‘more’ better, it freezes our ability to be free. So, I’ve made a promise to myself, when things get out of whack, go for a walk. I’d love to run, but those days are over. My knees told me this, and I follow these requests.

May your weekend be filled with friends, fun, flowers. I am now back on track so see you soon.

Happy Writing,

P E PATTERSON

 

WILD WEDNESDAYS

When I started to blog, I gave myself a list of ideas to jump-start my creative side. Sometimes, it is hard to look at a blank screen and come up with all the ideas you’ll ever need. Okay, some of you can, but not this writer. I need a little shove in the imagination, better yet, a big push or all you’d ever see is pictured below:  the tools, a blank piece of paper, and no words. So, decided on a few titles and since Wednesday is the middle of the week, known as HUMP DAY, thought why not make it a “wild” day. Anything can happen and I let my imagination run wild. So far, I’m still at the beginning of the race, but there is a lot of open space to cover.

Here’s a question for all of you…..What would you do with all this white space? Gotcha thinking, right?  Don’t stop, keep those thoughts and gather more as you stare at the blank screen. Hold on…I see a tall guy walking my way, kinda like the “Marlboro” Man, but he walks past me and may be on his way to see you. Shot down before I begin, but the picture stays in my mind. This is beginning to paint a romantic notion on the lenses behind my eyelids.

No. Yes. He is turning back towards me. Hey, its Wild Wednesday and my day for fun, frolic, fantasies. I watch him on his horse galloping in my direction, he reaches down swoops me into his arms, and I am now sharing the saddle with him. I look down at the ground, dirt being kicked up by the hooves of the horse, and I can’t keep my breakfast in side.  Oops! So much for fantasies. Lesson – never fantasize on a full stomach. Down I slide to the ground and the man and horse ride over a hill.

It’s still Wednesday Lots of wild ideas are continuing to roam in my head. Not only is it Wednesday, it is winter and snow covers the ground. I can’t remember the last time I was on a sled. No, not the kind behind horses, but the kind where you are on your stomach and can guide the contraption with the small handles. At least the hill is not high and the ground close, so here I go. First time down was a blast, walking back up the hill with the sled was not a blast. Still, the top of the hill in view, the excitement of sliding down again was worth the climb. I’m back on my stomach, the small handles in my hands, and my confidence up. This time, I push forward as I get on and the sled and snow connect. I am going faster and faster and cannot remember how to apply the brakes. I pull the handles and nothing happens. I push the handles and nothing happens. The downward speed picks up and I whiz by in the emptiness of the snow-covered hill until an evergreen tree appears out of nowhere. Yeah, we connect. At least it was a small evergreen tree, kinda like a table top Christmas Tree. I fall off the sled and land in the cold, wet snow just in time to see “Marlboro” Man ride up beside me.

Without speaking, I find myself back in the saddle beside him and I make a promise to keep my mouth closed. Of course, I did not and asked him about the sled. “We’ll climb back and get it.” Short answer. At the bottom of the hill, he got out of the saddle and the horse took off toward the barn. No brakes on this animal, but I wrap my hands in the silky mane and pull back. Maybe too hard, as he comes to a full stop and I slide out of the saddle, and to the ground. Then the horse lowers his head and pushes me to the side,  before heading into the barn.

Okay, this Wild Wednesday is finished and I never even got a hug from the tall stranger. But, I did learn. . . I am not one for the winter, outdoors, and animals, both beast and man. Maybe next Wednesday will be the ‘wild one’ for me.

Let me hear from you about any of your Wild Wednesdays.

images_120Keep Writing.

Write Your Life Away

9776003-audience“Why should I do that? I want to have a writing life.” Yeah, me too. Yet somewhere in the back of your mind strange thoughts emerge. What about Natalie Goldberg’s flash writing. Then, Julia Cameron sparked up her ‘morning pages.’ More and more, I am resisting these concepts of writing.

I remember writing morning pages and one morning where I wrote forever with only one simple sentence – I do not know what to write. I do not know what to write, and this continued until the alarm screamed at me. The clang brought my mind from a state of, who knows what, to an alert status and thousand of thoughts flowed through my brain. I tried to jot some down, but my daytime job called me from the depth of my abyss.

When you sign up for Na-No-Mo-Wri Month, you need the skills of speed writing, flash writing and no censor is allowed. This means, you start out with the pen on the paper, fingers on the keyboard and you do not stop for any errors, spelling mistakes, whatever else your mind tells you or Windows suggests.

There is no right or wrong. Your mind and your fingers are one of the same. You are flying on high with new ideas, new thoughts, new feelings and you have NO time to stop and  examine what you have written. This is a go with the flow. In NoNoMoWri, you only keep track of the word count, and then at the end of the month, put all your gibberish away. DO NOT LOOK. Hide your work for a month. Then take a fresh new look. You will be surprised. In among the misspelled words, no paragraphs, no commas, no periods, you see, no make that read, the beginning of a story you wanted to write, but couldn’t. Why? your censor got in the way. Without, and we’ll call it him, your Muse had the lead on your head, heart and hands.

This is no contest, except for you as a writer. Take 15 minutes out of your day, preferably in the morning when the mind is still not quite awake, and you feel the creative juices begin to flow. You have a story, but nothing seems to connect. Thoughts flow by each day and you ignore them. Now, in this state of free writing, you want to address these issues. Is he gay is he straight; or does she have a secret lover or a wandering spouse? Whose baby is she carrying; her husband’s or her lover’s? Does the whole town know or is she just imagining the stares and cold shoulders?

STOP. Get up and walk around. Do some chores. Indulge yourself into another cup of java or tea. Run the vacuum. Just get moving.

Then free write for another 15 minutes. Do not look at what you wrote, but start with what is in your head. You are the creator of these words. Listen to what your character(s) want. Can you provide these avenues? If not, what dark side of the street can you take them.? Play with your characters. Take them in unusual places and watch how they react. Would this make a good diversion in your book?

STOP – and put the pages away in your safe place. If you have time, do this process again for another 15 minutes. This time, use different characters. These could be your secondary characters or a minor character, who just might make a big impact in your story. Funny, you never thought about this.

Then STOP, really stop. With all the pages hidden for the day, take your thoughts and mind over what you have discovered. Do you feel a new life in your story? Do some characters need more work or did you find a minor player, who could change the whole story? Are there images that keep sticking into your thoughts? Visualize. Think, Ponder. Replay again and again.

In a couple of days, pull these pages out and read from beginning to end. Is there a new story? Did you change the old story? Is the old story still prevalent, but some new character adds spice? Look over your words. You are the captain of your story and you hear yourself shout,”Full Speed Ahead.”

Enjoy your free writes. They can impel you to greater tight stories and what a wonderful feeling – the censor played no part as your fingers flew across the page or the keyboard. You will always feel great when your characters tell you their story.

Keep the censor in a locked drawer. Keep your muse on your shoulder and fly with free writing.