I Stammer When I Write, but I am brilliant when I read.

I do, and I have an odd habit of saying things in a back-assed way. It is as if addressing a glove that is turned insideout I imagine turning the world inside out to accommodate it. So it is of paramount importance that I learn to edit. If I want to share that is.   (What is the deal with EM dashes really?)

Unfortunately I am doing most of my reading through audio books these days. Presently I am listening to “City on Fire” by Garth Risk Hallberg and it is AWESOME.  It is set in 1970’s New York and that was MY TIME in history, –as pathetic as that may be– I feel at home there.

Mostly I am enjoying the writing. He is a beautiful writer. Every sentence I want to swim in, dive in, gulp.  Truly. And now I feel I need to see the words so I can discern the magic of them.

Ah words, you trap me everyday.

So that’s all I have to say: I stammer when I write.  I spent a year stammering as a child and had to go to speech therapy.  What I learned was if they take you out during regular class time you will get beaten up at recess.  So I fixed it because of my sheer determination to not be different. That’s what the 1970’s were, the struggle to be normal and the results of how impossible it was to be normal.  The punk, post humanist posture, and it’s darker preppy twin, the hyper vigilant, fake it till you make it, corporate minion was the result. All of this is delineated in his book wondrously.

I don’t know what started my stammer or really what ended it but it ended.

I can learn to write better, perhaps not brilliantly but better.  I just have to find someone to threaten me with a beating if I don’t. 😦

Getting there is not the issue.

I should have expected this. Right on time I went a bit crazy with anxiety over my writing. I know about the hard work of writing (and just about any creative endeavour)and I had the crazy idea that because I have overcome so many of my “demons” I would be able to slog through the nasty bits of finishing off my novella for possible publication. I also thought I could handle having to talk to other people about it. Instead I sunk into a black despair which I commonly call “being in the grip of the black dogs”. I think I have written about this and how it compares to grief, both of which are not really the same as sadness despite the social misuse of the term “depressed”.

*sigh*

Where I have fallen down and continue to fall down is not in falling down but
in trying to hide it.

I can’t write the “great novel”.  I can only write my novel and be as true as I can possibly be. That includes letting it fail but doing the work anyway.

Sometimes when I am riding my bike home with my groceries I am passed on the road by someone all suited up with the latest apparel and newest bike and I think of the old lady I used to see in Ottawa. She carried her groceries in the front basket of an old bicycle. She made lunches for a local day care. I would see her everyday. She always dressed in a skirt and wore a hat or scarf and she rode very erect.  She is the one I remember out of all the cyclists whizzing by me in my lifetime. I have no ego invested in the daily chores that riding my bike help me complete, I don’t compare myself to athletes or pretend to be other than who I am.

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Wheeeeel, Wheeeel, Wheeeel, BUTTERFLY!

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wilficecream

About Writing

 

 

Back in the good old days of Live journal I used it as my personal diary and sometimes forgot to click on “private” in the drop down so it was sort of like a Rear Window event only I was the victim or the murderer, not sure which.  I did share a lot of my attempts at writing fiction in that ghostly world of on-line journaling.  But it was unsubstantial, like a life that only happens when you are sleeping.

I recently gave my novella to a couple of friends and then to a woman who is a professional editor. She offered to give it a read and then an estimate for the edit…  This is about as REAL as I have gotten with my fiction writing beyond a few teen magazines when I was a teen and a cook book and short story anthology that I gave my oldest son.

btw, WHAT THE F*&K ARE EM DASHES?

forgive the brain fart

Here is what they have said:

  • Friend who makes her living writing, or a portion of her living, we will call her J.  “Hi Rio, I’m just starting to read your book. I love it! I don’t want to put it down!”
  • Friend who is very much the opposite of sanguine. Lets call her D.: “Hi my birth name, I’ve read half your story and here are the notes I jotted down while I was reading. (The majority are spelling mistakes.)”
  • The Editor, hence called “the editor”: I read the working name of my novella and found it very engaging. The storytelling is strong; you have a clear tone and good flow. I really like the stories within a larger story concept. You’ve created a dystopian environment that is still recognizable, and timely!” Then she said she would do it with suggestions for story for $1000 to $1200. I paid her $100 for the read and begged off for now.

Ack.  Should I go in debt to get this book published?  I am old.  Am I just an old fool?

I would say yes. I am an old fool. This morning I received my first phone call from my grandson. He is 1 1/2 years old.  He can say “Hi Nana” and his own name, and a bunch of adorable and clever things but when he gets tired of prompting he says, “whhheeeeeel, wheeeeeel, wheeeeeel” -which sounds like a British ambulance- and then, “BUTTERFLY!”

Gaud I wish I could do that when I feel overwhelmed by the pressure to do something awesome!  Oh, hey, I did!

What we bring to what we see.

allegory in art

When we make a snap judgement about what we see, we are being human.

day four

the way we perceive, how we perceive, what we perceive, is it’s manipulation art?

Is the frame we put around a picture, the duration of a performance, the context, are these the things that make it digestible? And within what we can bare to see and experience, the difference between entertainment, distraction and trauma?

I’ve been having a hard time with Facebook and the spectrum of information it assaults one with, this was even before I started chronicling my recovery from a fall. I have posted a picture of my face next to a piece of art  everyday.  (Doing this was my son’s suggestion.  He is a Vancouver artist, Linton Murphy).   I have joined the fray as it were with my posts.  I have no idea how many people are screening me from their news feed now. Ha!

Having a concussion has been interesting.  I have enjoyed an increased sensitivity to colour, while I am more exhausted by the rigours of conversation, preferring cats, dogs and small children to most adults except for the ones who are physically emotive.  People who have hugged me:  A technician who spent a lot of time talking about how she loves her children (while prodding me with an ultrasound device) and the effect of war and poverty on her mother in her home country;   The receptionist at the doctor’s;  The nurse’s assistant from the Philippines who helped me wash my cuts at the hospital. My daughter, her mother-in-law, my son-in-law, my upstairs tenant…  I am not an emotive person normally, nor a hugger. Moments outside watching dramatic cloud formations and being transfixed by awesomeness, for lack of a better word. As it wanes the usualness of my space and my expectations is settling in.  Some changes.  Some.

APAD

Poems drip from shelves
filled with half realized dreams
mopped up by poets.

 

 As A POEM A DAY month draws to an end, and I have NOT successfully managed to come even close to writing or sharing a poem a day, this one spilled on to the page, or the screen in this case…

Be kind, it is very young and innocent.

I am a Tablet Illiterate.

Lovely Rachel gave me a tablet.  I am taking careful care of it.  I sewed a quilted bag for it and I keep it charged but I really haven’t got a clue what to do with it.  These days it is a glorified alarm clock.  I am afraid to take it out with me.  325893_300

I spend an hour every morning on the desktop computer reading and writing. I have my special keyboard that supports my wrists, my special seat that keeps my spine erect,  I have a small work area with scraps of paper piled up, yes, I take jot notes with a PEN.  But the real environment is in my mind, a reflective place with little stimulus and a lot of concentration.

The whole idea of taking a computer on the road with me seems too bizarre to fathom.  Yet I see people everywhere focused on screens of various sizes. They are working, playing games and conversing.  I have no criticism for the lack of involvement humans show their fellow man because of these devices, for I don’t believe it to be true.  Human beings have many ways of ignoring each other, and many supposed  reasons for doing so, this is just a new one for some… but what interests me is how do they do it? 

I can barely “walk and chew gum”.