Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Happy Saint Patrick's day
Why does the dog always steal the show?
My head is indeed getting full of stuff Mr. Bradbury.
reading and reading
But yesterday it was 73 outside
so....I was outside cleaning up the garden
oh what good medicine for the soul and body
The smell of the air.......
the sound of robins chirping in the trees
the feel of the warmth of the sun on my skin
the taste of memories as I entered the zone
while working...I visited my grandfather's garden in my mind
the remembered smell of manure
and marigolds
I was taken back to a trip to Michigan
when I was so very tiny
but I remember the tall flowers, taller than me
the ducks walking around quaking
a rooster crowing
the warmth of the sun
All this roused by being in the garden
But today I am back inside...high winds and cool temperature
 force me to get back to writing my story of the week---
.......Somehow an apartment building came to mind......
it's about a man who goes downstairs to tell his neighbor who lives just below him
that her singing of show tunes at 6am are driving him crazy
When she opens the door to him
he sees the likes of Ruth Gordon
This is going to be a funny story
for sure......so back to work
I feel the story rising to be worked on

Saturday, March 14, 2015

An Edgar Allen Poe dream


I read the Telltale Heart before going to bed
and early this morning I awoke suddenly
knowing and remembering what I had been dreaming
I was entering a mansion through a heavy mahogany door
and it swiftly became a revolving door
and I was spinning around in  mahogany walls that kept closing in on me
and it all stopped
 and a piece of wall cracked open
with a little shaft of light piercing through  and there it was
the eye....
I'll never read him before bed again
Our writing group ( we are now down to 3) :(
has begun
What a great time it is meeting with these women once a week
One of them is stuck in her writing, trying too hard to control her characters 
they won't to go one way and she is determined to make them go according to her plot
oh well....do what you must....but I think the characters know better
The other woman is onto a great story about an escaped slave
...and me....I presented them my story for the week and they all cried
It was an emotional piece
and it did unburden me from something from the LISTS
The little girl character has appeared in many of my stories
..in fact they did recognize her.....Is this the girl you wrote about in another story
...Three other stories.....I said
There is a lot of energy to this girl from my childhood
a tragic event that happened
But not until I began my Bradbury way
did I write almost the truth...what I mean is
the truth of my shame
the story is fiction, but the shame was released in the writing
I didn't realize the burden of this character, so I put her in stories in different ways....
...I wrote around it
Bits of her story appearing in my stories
yes, she had an alcoholic father
yes, she had a mean grandmother
yes, there was a fire
I used all that in stories
but the engine of my writing about her was hidden to me
and I never wrote the true story
until I heard Mr. Bradbury's lecture
Almost everything I write is in first person
and I am always having to say that it is a fictional story...sort of like trying to defend myself
that's how it feels.....I have worked hard and used skills to write that story and somehow I thought and still do think
they were dismissed by some  because they think I am only writing about something from life
and not using imagination to write it
but they are wrong....my stories gather things from me, but they are fictional
it didn't happen to ME...it is a story
 Surely something of me is in there, but it is made up
But this time it was pretty darn close to the actual event
things changed to make it a better story...because that is what my goal was...story
but the haunting hidden thing I unveiled was shame
a shame a little girl.....me.....
had wrongly incorporated into her very being and hidden until it was no more
but oh lordie....it was there
and this little 550 word short revealed it to me
no wonder they cried
but it is still a story

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I thought it was something I said


.....not her real name
In 2005 I became a workout freak
I was very disciplined about my diet and exercise
paid off with good results....I looked good

That year I saw a good friend in the grocery store
she walked right by me....didn't even recognize me
How'd you do it? she asked
Hard work I told her
 For years we had worked hot lunch at school every week
We adored each other.
She married a Lutheran boy,even though she was a strict Catholic
we used to laugh about that....I said all the Catholics girls stole all the Lutheran boys
She was so much fun to be with.
But she always complained about her weight and her bad complexion....

We were friends until our children graduated and went to high school
She was a situation friend I guess....the situation of grade school lunch had brought us together as pals

So when I spotted her years later again in the grocery store
I was shocked to see how wonderful she looked
...thin....great haircut.....clothes that fit her perfectly
make-up and earrings
I tried to get through the checkout quickly
to try and catch up with her,
but it wasn't meant to be that day

I somehow wished it was something that I had said to her
 so many years ago
that had inspired her

Oh ego......it wasn't

Last year I was skimming through our local paper and stopped
to read and re-read an article about a woman charged with
stealing from her employer
it was Marilyn

After getting over my shock, I remembered the week she had gotten that job
A job that she hoped would help her family
She started happily at $7.50 an hour
She hadn't worked since she had gotten married.
and she was thrilled to start a new phase in her life

I also remembered the times I kidded her about how lucky she was to be Catholic
Yea, she said......I can be bad then go to confession

She had stolen almost a million dollars from her dear employer
who I am sure cried, like I did, when he found out.......she was the kind of person everyone liked
even loved

Now that is not a small amount of money

I still can't believe it...
but I saw her mug shot online
and an article about how she had set up a separate account where she deposited
her employers checks to herself
...thus the lavish living and good looking style
I often think if I would have picked something up about her if I had
been able to catch up with her that day at the store.

probably not.....

I hadn't been an inspiration to her after all

I only bring this up because of all my writing lately
I made my list
I have written 3 short stories so far
read until my eyeballs are about to fall out
Made my list of things
I hate, fear and love

Marilyn appeared on that list

...on the rumblings list  (that's my category)

I think of Marilyn every time I work out or go to the store
....if this could happen to her ..could it happen to anyone...
...I sat down and wrote a story

 Marilyn....she got 7 years in prison


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Essays.....not so much, but we'll see

I'm finding that I haven't read many essays.

Since starting my one essay a day, I realized there was a reason for this....I haven't liked the ones I did read. 
But there must be a reason Bradbury insists that you read them.
I've ordered the above book of essays by Donald Hall. He was married to one of my favorite poets, Jane Kenyon.  A curmudgeon of a man. I think part of him just died when she died of leukemia. I anticipate some strong, unlikeable writing here.  But I am sure, very interesting in its own way.
I am also searching on the internet for essays. I don't own one book of essays. Maybe this one above, will be the only one I will own. But maybe this kind of writing will open up things in my writing that I never knew existed. Or maybe not.
Reading one poem a day is like cheating.........a pleasurable thing I do often.
I have been reading Hitchcock's collection of short stories, and Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor's.  This is a wonderful assignment Mr. Bradbury. So much better than watching The Housewives of here or there.
Along with all of this I continue reading novels.  My current one is, House Broken, by Sonja Yoerg.
After this one I have two more on my list:
Under the  Mercy Trees, by Heather Newton...recommended by our dear writer blogger friend, Vicki
The Knife, by Ross Ritchell......written by a friend of my daughter's, his first novel
I also like to read non-fiction books on such topics as  health, meditation, and of course...writing.
Right now I am reading,  Stein On Writing
Last night I finished writing my first one-a-week short story.  It's rough, but it's not bad. It was about something I feared.   Set myself up for a few bad dreams...
Update on my other life......house mom to kittens
I have fallen in love with all my kittens.......One I am keeping, one has a home as soon as I can catch him and get him fixed, one that is coming around to being petted and cuddled...and then there is Fiona........
all I can say.....there's always one
and I will cry my heart out when they are gone....truly I will.

Friday, March 6, 2015

What you love, what you fear, and what you hate


Aren't we all sick of snow and cold?
Besides taking care of and socializing the kittens
I have been reading a whole bunch.
My friend called and wondered if I wanted to go to a workshop in October
....oh isn't possible that October will be cold?
It's a rewrite and revision workshop.
Well since my computer has been down,
I haven't written much
I listened to a lecture by Ray Bradbury on my Ipad
It was a lecture about writing.
Wow, I love this guy.
He is kick ass about writing.
I remember one of my favorite shorts by him,
Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned
He stated in this lecture, that for him ,writing is about someone saying they connected
with what he'd written....that they were thankful for what he had written
that they found joy in what he wrote
hopefully as much joy as he had in writing it
Joy...why you should write--
It should bring you joy.
He went on to say that the three things that  you should examine in yourself
what you love
what you fear
what you hate
Then he went on to give this advice:
Don't start trying to write a novel.......yea sure...I don't have to worry about that..
Start by writing a short story a week! ..
that's 52 short stories for a year....yikes...
Then he said it is imperative that you
One short story A DAY
one poem A DAY
....and not the modern poets....they're crap, he said
look to the masters...like Frost and Pope
Then read
One essay A DAY
.....on varied subjects
He assured...that if you do this, you will fill your head with stuff
and if you write one short story A WEEK...they won't all be crap
there will be good stuff
If you hit a writer's block....dump it....it's not truth
So I started to do all this...and man....oh man....has it lit my wick
one story a week
I actually think by next month I will be writing two a week
love, fear, hate.....
Now to word associate
I also took out some class notes from a prior workshop
where we were to listen for "found language"..eavesdrop
My were:
 "nobody's going to be arrested"
"he's all whiskers and gray"
"I like the reverse"
"I steep my tea bag a bit longer"
"my mouse is frozen, now what?"
and "lady slippers are behind our cabin"
Why not start with these, I thought
Bradbury's Martian Chronicles started out as a collection of short stories
and a publisher in New York said they didn't publish shorts
But could he go home and outline them to form a novel?
...the rest is history...
Snow...cold...who cares...I'm busy
Oh, I just finished a delightful book
A Man Called Ove
Maybe give it a look

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