Been Awhile…

Ok. My year of writing ended in January and I have barely done anything since then.
Have not missed it. Have not mourned the loss of it.
Have not even thought about it much. Maybe I am truly a reader and only a wannabe writer. I looooooove reading. Reading is me. I truly grieve for anyone who doesn’t love to read. How do you get through life without a good book to anchor your day? How do you survive without reading every day? Films are great, yeah, and music absolutely but without books to read I would be adrift psychically, emotionally, mentally, creatively. I wanted to write because I love to read. I thought that if I could love writing as much as I love reading the world would make sense to me in a way that thoroughly nurtured and delighted me. If writing would feel as immersive and natural and absorbing and juicy and sustaining forever and ever amen-wouldn’t that be so great? That was my wild dream. My hope. My quest sort of.

So okay. Didn’t turn out that way really. I did the daily writing. I loved the classes I took and the energizing talks and recordings and podcasts I lavished upon myself. I felt inspired and fed and excited at times. All good. The struggle to produce writing I liked and that others also liked was not exciting and inspiring. The daily wrestle with the negative energies of sloth and pride and impression management drained the immaculate purity I imagined a writing life would be until the thought of writing no longer seemed anything related to my love of reading. I could have one maybe but not both.

Now true that reading is a solitary blessing without the need for any other souls presence. Part of why I love it. I do not require the approval or company of others when I am reading a really great book. I like that. Prefer that. While writing seems to demand interaction. Demands a vulnerability and intimacy and fear of failure that my lovely reading never requests. Writing did not soothe me the way reading does. Writing stirs me and bumps me. Gets under my skin and skitters vaguely hither and thither. It is not a restful place. It prods and pushes and twists a snaky slither inside me.

So. Not what I had in mind. The beautiful notion that maybe writing itself would feel completely wonderful and that I would be utterly filled with my story, the characters, places, events, the unfolding of a cool world of my own creation- maybe not so much. Nice vision. Sweet thing to wish for. Just not happening here. Don’t know why.

Anyway. I’m glad I got back to my little blogworld for a check-in. Thank you to whatever writing forces or sources or godlets there might be.

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Backyards

Dark purple silk palms
spread profusely from twig wrists,
trail delicately over the tall woodslat fence
that separates our yards.

Tiny fragile white startles
of petals cluster together
on the tips of lean, limber vines,
shimmy softly in the uneven breeze.
The jungle next door tantalizes.

On the opposite side, my other neighbors
plant a waist-high picket fence
between our yards,
whirling windtoys
and tidy raised wood boxes
of dark soil,
beds for vegetables and flowers.

Rakes, shovels, a worn pitchfork
lean against the wall of their  home.
Adolescent fruit trees
elbow awkwardly
from corners.

The old two-story oak
with recently shortened limbs
hovers,
waiting to grow soft,
supple again.

My yard,
a bare block of crewcut grass
and clover, a thick short hedge or two.
A chest-high rubbery roundness
hunkers down in one corner,
a succulent cabbage-like hulk.

Spindly impatiens scrabble
across from the bedraggled fern.
The fading wood lattice
slants sideways, empty.

Calla lilies weed up
by the back door,
forest green
plastic Adirondack yardchairs
arm by arm
on the rectangle of concrete.

The gray cat prowls the bare patches
of survivor growth,
peers through the weathered picket fence.
I imagine she wants to lie
in the tender charmyard
of cherry tomatoes and bachelor buttons,
to paw at spinning yellow windmills
and tiny wood stickbirds.

I sit
taking in the neighboring passions,
stumped, overwhelmed, unable
to turn over this soil,
wishing for green delicate grace
to materialize
in this small naked square.

Despair puckers its split lips
and mutters its busy rote
while my fingers
pluck at the
plastic chair arms.

Titles Maybe…

Earth R Us

13 Ways to Look at the Earth

7 tips to survive a dreaded social event

7 ways to finesse a  ”

7 ways to handle ”

7 ways to Survive  ”

Seven Meditation Tips

Work Like Nobody’s Watching

Elderly Women in Trailer Parks     :)*******

We Don’t Need No Stinking Birthdays

Binge Thinking        (Grapev)

Going for Broke

Tit for Tat

Dangerous Neighborhood

Never Now

Seven Ways to Handle Christmas Dinner with Family

Positive Pitching

You Are Your Own Expert

Mothership of Mine

The Power of Maybe

If I Was in Syria (or ?) Right at This Moment

Difficult Times

Any Port in a Storm  (aa)

 

 

Things I wonder

Do pacemakers and pulled teeth/old crowns get recycled?

Do salvage yards for mobile homes exist?

Is there any market for Knock Knock jokes?

The high costs of dental work.

Are flat roofs worth the required maintenance?

Do noir crime novelists exist in Korea and Vietnam and the Philipines and Bali?  China?

What percentage of the planet is landfill?

How might the planet survive the most severe impact of humans?

How fences and walls affect the “physics” of sound.

What ultimately happens to old or no longer used email accounts or other “documentation” on the web/internet?

If I wanted to create a map of the world that indicated the amount of “shed blood” by country would the entire globe be dark red?  Drip?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Books & Addictive Authors

Fiction

Refugio They Named You Wrong  by Susan Clark Schofield

Nowhere Else on Earth  by Josephine Humphreys

Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley

Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodie Picoult

The Monk Downstairs  by Tim Farrington

Anthem for a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx

Lynda La Plante

Ken Bruen

Most Scandinavian Crime novelists

Peter Taylor?  (Australian)

Dennis Lehane

Michael Nava

James Lee Burke

Tana French

 Non-Fiction

Spirituality of the Body by Alexander Lowen

How We Die by Sheldon Nuland

 

 

Audiobooks & Narrators still with me

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. Narrated by Brad Pitt.

Sea Biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand.  Narrated by Campbell Scott.

Cell by Stephen King.  Narrated by Campbell Scott.

The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale.  Narrated by Don Jellerson.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Narrated by Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Jenna Lamia, Cassandra Campbell.

Any James Lee Burke titles narrated by Will Patton.

The Given Day by Dennis Lehane.  Narrated by Michael Boatwright.

Prodigal Summer written & narrated by Barbara Kingsolver.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.  Narrated by Richard Poe.

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.  Narrated by Jenna Lamia.

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. Narrated by James Jenner, Ali Ahn ?

The Shining by Stephen King.  Narrated by Campbell Scott.

Beach House by Jane Green.  Narrated by Cassandra Campbell.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  Narrated by Edward Herrman.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Narrated by Lynne Thigpen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Querky things I remember:

  • “It’s a dog eat dog world and there ain’t enough dog to go around ” news cartoon/ 2005 in SF
  • ” They say God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle, but I don’t know what homeboy thinks my back is made of”  Elderly woman in documentary about terminal illness.
  • “Story about the housewife who cleaned everyday all day. She spent her life fighting dirt and when she passed away she was buried in dirt.”  Not sure where I heard this.
  • “That dog don’t hunt.”  Not sure.
  • If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”  Not sure.
  • “Shoot all extremists”  wall graffiti in Sebastopol, CA/1978.
  • “Little Crooked House”  Name of home-organization business/2010.
  • “We’re all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”  Oscar Wilde
  • “Lets be frank with each other.”  My mother/ age 85 in 2006.
  • “Hair is a woman’s crowning glory.”  My dad when I was a teenager.
  • “Other people show me to myself.”  high school friend/ 1970?
  • The raw dialogue in the original Bad News Bears movie.  Long time ago.
  • The bathtub falling through the floor in the movie ‘The Money Pit”  “
  • The title of the movie “Throw Mama from the Train”                          “
  • How amazing Christian Bale was as a little kid in the movie “Empire of the Sun”  “