Grim’s List Seems An Awesome Idea

I saw a beautiful tweet today. It seems my writing hiatus is ending.

 

This is a Big Day, Post One

There will be two posts today, and the first contains a bit of writing that is non-fiction and you should read it because it is very well written *cough*.

It’s not on this blog, because it’s on a new blog, a blog that will only discuss my non-fiction life as a…. um… me. I mean, the things I do range from chasing bees with a camera to writing horror, learning to train dogs, and this thing coming up that I will post later today that I find even more exciting than opening a new blog.

That blog would be www.scribeofshadows.com, and if you like my fiction, you can now be happy that I won’t be interrupting it with “hey, check out my dog” or “fuck we’re moving again”. Just smooth, uninterrupted fiction with the occasional brief P.S. If, on the other hand, you enjoyed back in the day when I talked about my life more…. you know, I’m going to detour here a bit.

I have a fan. This is cool, this has provided me with motivation. There’s a person in real life that I shared a link to my blog with (because I had just moved in to her Staten Island house and thought she might like to see what I wrote about it), and she ended up liking my writing so much, she said she wasn’t a reader but she couldn’t stop reading it, and she actually texted me recently asking if I had written any more non-fiction. When I told her I was thinking about starting a non-fiction blog, she asked me about a month later if it had gone up yet.

Y’all. I’m not even published yet, and I have an actual admirer. I’m just tickled pink. So, Mary, you’ll be happy to know that blog is now live, and if you subscribe to it, you’ll be emailed when I write a non-fiction piece.

I bet it was that bit where I started talking about getting trampled in pre-Katrina New Orleans, on the evening that ended up in a warehouse surrounded by hippies and cops. Oh yeah, and the mayor. Police commissioner. Cool party.

Fuck. I don’t have anything to put on the featured image. New puppy it is. Stay tuned though, later today there will be a more fiction related update that I know you will enjoy.

Fireflies

As this week progressed, I started off with another film project, intending to finish the week by returning to writing. Unfortunately, a bad fibromyalgia flareup hit, and I’m not even going to sit up long enough to make this a proper post. It’s been days. I’ve been resisting the urge to whine, only to cry about pain in my dreams.

So, here’s the substandard home movie I whipped together to for my daughter, designed to catch her interest and then lull her into a relaxed state. I really need to keep looking for editing software, and work on those night filming skills, at times it looks like it’s about 3 pixels but what can I say? I’m a spoiled housewife, this is a hobby.

Also, I shared a gif on twitter that was popular, so you can have that too.

20190707_211937.gif

And I did a clip of just firefly butts wiggling for amusement.

There will be writing again. For now I’m going to go hide under a blanket while my teenager watches the toddler.

P.S. – There’s a nature preserve nearby. I thought it was an hour’s walk, but recently found an entrance only a 10 minute walk away. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect. It’s so close. And I can’t even walk up the stairs.

This Week Has Been Visual

This week, I played with video footage. I’d say it was a distraction from my writing, and it’s true that not much writing has gotten done, but multimedia writing is all the rage lately with this internet thing, so naturally I have plans for some of my video.

Last weekend, my daughter turned three, and she lucked out because we live near the beach now, and there was a carnival on the boardwalk nearby. So, she got a toddler-friendly video with extra saturation. It was a hit, she laughs at footage of the rides, and that’s satisfying because Joe was getting a little frustrated at the time I spent pointing the camera at “boring stuff”.

But I am I, and being thusly so, I enjoy looking at the world a little differently.

I so don’t mind giving music credit above that spaceship. Anyway, I call this “working” and justify it with the vague passing idea I had for a carnival-themed story collection, and this is “inspiration”. Now you will have to excuse me because I have untouched beach footage to “work” with. But I shall leave you with a parting gift.

 

 

 

Restless

As I post this, the rain has me trapped, and it makes me upset. This is unusual. I have a mad passion for thunderstorms, but not this one. My writing has had a major distraction. Mom came by and handed me something that steals my sleep, my attempts at writing fiction, and my ability to pay attention to anything anyone else is saying, because in my mind I’m revisiting places and capturing them in magnificent detail.

I now own a 4k camcorder and 2 tripods with bells and whistles. I’ll need a couple of lenses, macro shots on it suck and those are necessary for the plethora of bugs I’ll be chasing through the grass like I’m on a miniature safari. The zoom is awesome though. My eyes have gotten so bad I can’t see birds in trees anymore, but now I can not only see them, I can save them and see them again. Also, it has an excellent microphone and I can extract the sound track of beautiful areas.

I really like what I’ve done with the blog lately, turning my ramblings into quick notes under the flash makes it a better read, and I’ve gained a few more followers that way. But this camera… it’s a game changer.

I’ve had dreams, y’all. Dreams of doing things like going camping near where Bigfoot has been seen and taking nature videos and sound recordings out there, so when I do the thing where I put on my headphones and half of me starts pretending I live in the woods, it can be where Bigfoot lives. Or I can explore abandoned places, haunted houses, graveyards, murder sites, treacherous looking sites of urban decay, and play them back late at night when everyone is sleeping. Then I can stay up writing by the light of my adventures.

Last year ended in massive disappointment for me. My adventures in Staten Island ended and the only sightseeing I managed was on the island itself. I didn’t even get to see all the cool things there (though I did snag a couple of rocks from the mansion where a mafia hitman dismembered a dude). I was too worried about having someone with me if I tried to go into the city for safety and security. I don’t like crowds. I didn’t want to deal with a toddler while I was distracted sightseeing in that crowd, especially if I wanted to stop and write in the middle of a neat atmosphere. Joe was too tired on the weekends, and the weeks kept passing until I felt so much pressure that I ended up trying to take the bus multiple times and failed. Once there was this bus/foot race until I got sick on the side of the road (running with fibro and a low level migraine sucks), and there was all kinds of getting lost or confused about the bus routes.

I had my hopes set on quite a few things, like seeing Poe’s banister, drinking with the ghost of Dylan Thomas, and walking over the bones in Washington Square park. I even wanted more of just the island, seeing more of the crumbling cemeteries, nature preserves, the abandoned hospital… sigh.

I didn’t even get to explore inside the murder mansion because a van was parked in the front so I was worried someone was inside. Probably always parked there to deter “visitors” by the same person who stuck a mannequin in the window for the ghost hunters to see when they tried to take long distance photos to peek inside. I’d show you a pic but I lost it. I lost all my Staten Island pics except what was used on the blog when I decided to be a moron and not back up my documents.

Work directly from the cloud, people.

As I was saying, I had plans, goals, things I wanted to do. I wanted these places to inspire my writing, put more color to my fiction, possibly even end up in a little dark tourism style travel writing. But no, I couldn’t get my shit together quickly enough. The disappointment was enough to shut me up about my life, and make me stick to just the tiny little stories I manage to churn out in the moments the toddler is still.

Which ended up good. I enjoy rambling about my life, but meanwhile, the place started looking more like a collection of stories, and I picked up a few more followers from it. At first, I hoped to lick my wounds and then start applying what I wanted to a local level, then I would start talking about my life again.

After all, I haven’t seen some of the cool stuff around Tulsa that could thrill me. I’m not from the area and haven’t had a car until recently. So, I was going to take my little Craig’s list freebie camera around some of the sights, like the forgotten graveyard under downtown and the hanging tree near there, when Mom told me about the 4k camcorder she bought on a whim that has been sitting around her house, unused, for about a year. I can’t believe we’re related.

Therefore, I have been waiting. Spring is here. I have transportation, gas money, and an air popcorn popper. That last bit will help with the ravenous squirrels that swarm you in Woodward park, which is next to the haunted Tulsa Garden Center, full of flowers and bees to photograph. I have not gone on this wonderful little adventure that I have been looking forward to since January, as I have been waiting on this camera and spring. Now, both are here.

So are the thunderstorms for the next couple of days. And this isn’t one of those waterproof type cameras. Fuck.

What this all means for the blog goes a little something like this: not much yet. I don’t even have software to edit 4k or a desktop computer at the moment. But, I can export photos and it records in mp4 at the same time, so I can share a few adventures occasionally.

However, because I like the blog being mostly a chain of stories, these posts might happen on a day other than Tuesday (which will remain flash day), when circumstances permit me to have an adventure. I may end up reviving my old blog (which was nature oriented) just for those posts and link to them here, not sure yet. For now, I will resume weekly flash stories next week, while I figure out how to use this thing and wait for the rain to end.

Also, very soon, summer is coming. My teen will be out of school, and Joe already rented a beautiful place for the family to be together again. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be going back to New York. Not to Staten Island, though I will revisit a few things I miss pictures of. Long Island this time, where there’s an active serial killer and we have access to two back yards, one with a pool. Gonna be a great summer.

I hope the move goes better than last time.

20180903_122543_HDR.jpg

Zombies Just Wanna Be Loved

I am mortified at my lack of presence here lately. Every day I’ve been wanting to write, but couldn’t. Besides moving back to Tulsa (sigh), there were the holidays, and a few dashes of the kind of drama I don’t really want to go on about here.

And the unpacking, oh man the chaos. We left the trailer looking like a tornado went through it. I had to deep clean everything and start reorganizing before I could unpack. The two year old “helped”, so naturally it went painfully slow. I only found where she put my hair brush yesterday.

It wasn’t just that I couldn’t write, I couldn’t even find my coat and shoes for two weeks after we got back. I had to run around in my bathrobe and slippers that I was wearing for the drive down here. I’m still not done cleaning and unpacking. At a couple of points I was down with the flu. Also, with fibromyalgia, winter is always a struggle. And as I said in a brief update post, I didn’t even have a laptop cord for a while.

I’m throwing out a list of excuses, but there’s a point to it. I feel so guilty for missing so many posts, but the main reason is not how busy I was (that happens to everyone). It’s because I used up my emergency posts during the packing, move, and surrounding chores the first time we relocated in October. I figured my stash would build up again the way it was created, by occasionally writing an extra piece or two as relevant ideas occurred to me.

I mean, surely I wouldn’t need to dip into my extra writing folder too many times so quickly after depleting it, right? Sigh. I’m old enough to know better, and how tempted fates get mischievous. I want to be a professional writer and here I am skipping posts frequently.

So, I learned. I shall apply this lesson immediately. My next few posts will be brief, just a simple bit of flash, so I can focus on building up my stash again (during cleaning breaks). I’m going to pull a single tarot card out of my deck each week and use it as a prompt, posting the resulting story without any of my usual blathering on about aspects of my life that impact my writing, until I have a safety net back in place and my house is less chaotic. I mean, I’d say clean, but I love writing too much for that to happen.

P.S. – Post title is a song reference.

img_2543

Cake

I can hear their cries for the boy over the incessant banging. I know the ancient chest of doors barricading the door is heavy and sound, but I’m worried about the bookshelves covering the windows. Can they be tipped over the couch that locks them in place?

I smile at my new little friend, cold and muddy from his run through the forest. “No reason to worry,” I lie, “We only need to hold out just a little longer and help should arrive.”

“That’s what my dad said.” My heart sinks with grief at the insane cruelty of the human race. Whatever madness caused this mob, at least it will be easy to get justice for his family. “Well, help is even closer now. I tell you what, we don’t have to listen to them. Let’s turn up the radio really loud and go eat cake in the kitchen while we wait for the police.”

He held my hand and followed quietly, but I could tell that trying to turn his crisis into a party was a mistake. I didn’t know what to do other than to try and be chipper though, it’s what I’ve always done.

I pulled out the leftover cake I was fortunate to have on hand, and placed the chef’s knife next to it. “Would you mind setting the table?” I asked as I rummaged in the dishwasher for a pair of forks.

“M’am?” He asked shyly. I looked over my shoulder and froze as I saw the blade in his hand. “I’m not hungry for cake.” He smiled, and I realized I had been wrong to assume the blood on the corner of his mouth had been his own.

Sometimes you have to carry your home on the inside.

I have a recurring dream, one that always brings me comfort, though to some it might be considered a nightmare. There’s a place I visit, and when I’m there, I soar with freedom. Sometimes literally, because hey, dream. I know when I’m in this place again, not because I recognize it, nothing in it is ever truly familiar. It’s not the look of the land, it’s the spirit.

I might be walking down a prosperous neighborhood, admiring the occasional flash of stained glass and enjoying thrills of delight at lawn gnomes tucked discreetly in well-tended flower gardens.

IMG_2205

I’m always on the move, a quiet pressure deep inside urging me away from where I was, and onward to where I am going. Looking for something intangible, looking for something I can hold, something to satisfy the desire that can’t be filled.

Sometimes, I’ll admit it, sometimes I’m looking for something to steal. Stolen treasures are even more exciting. But I never find anything. There is nothing that calls to be mine.

Maybe I enter a home, only to pass through to the other side, winding my way through backyards and over fences. Maybe I turn down an alley, or take a shortcut across an empty lot. Maybe I stick to the streets and simply make another turn, and it all falls away to something else. A new neighborhood, a new adventure.

On this street, colorful laundry flutters in the air. Cautious eyes on strained faces peek through open windows while the sweat drips from their brow. The colors of the homes change from brick to adobe, and strong spices flow from a market on the corner.

A breathless push through the excited market might turn me into a rustic neighborhood of wood and pine, or one that likes to mix up its architectural style with a minimalist modern flare. Every street has something new, everything a gleaming snapshot of the shiniest treasures that area has to offer, be they succulent or depraved, glitters of the exotic or the luxurious, the serene or the mysterious, and always, always out of reach. No matter how simple the treasure I have found might be.

Always. Be it a lawn gnome, or a family sitting down at the table together for a meal.

IMG_2354

I never live there, I am always walking through, and everything I see is out of my reach, therefore exotic and exciting.

I know exactly why I have this dream, and I know exactly why it comforts me. I won’t tell you every detail, but I might hint that when I wanted to live in the woods, there was a reason it might have been preferable to home. Maybe more than one reason.

Those reasons stopped in my teenage years, and so did my attempts to run off and live like a feral child. I was always caught, but those moments of freedom wandering around unfamiliar streets affected me forever. To the point that they molded my dreams.

When I started riding a bike to explore, the dreams started sometimes taking on the feel of flying, racing along in pure joy up and down the roads. Never high enough to reach the sky, or even avoid cars without a lot of effort, but a nice smooth gliding flight that I had the joy of recreating when I woke up and got on my bike again. I don’t have a bike anymore, but I still fly through neighborhoods in my sleep.

When I lived on the street, the longing to be a part of the places I passed through grew to something more intense, darker, but comforting and familiar in its own way. The dreamy landscapes I wandered through grew more colorful, more diverse, more like an entire city contained in a small area, each street a representation of the best of all the towns I’ve wandered through, secret treasures and fascinations intact.

Know what reminds me of that oddly comforting dream, that recurring expression of an emotion I know no name for other than wanderlust? That word only expresses the desire, not the blissful satisfaction of something new and exciting washing over you in waves as you experience temporary release from despair (or, more recently, mild annoyance).

IMG_2013

Walking around Staten Island, that’s what. The smallest, greenest borough of New York City. A variety of cultures stacked on top of each other, some streets new and shiny and some streets cracking and mossy, and all of them beautiful.

If I were forced (well, persuaded by love) to live in pollution and population filled New Fucking York City, this would be the place to stick me. Home of protected marshlands, deer, subcutaneous egg laying sand fleas, and reputedly practically the whole damn island is haunted.

Seeing the state of many of these places, once shining and now peeling with grief, crammed right up next to homes oozing prosperous promises, I can see why rumors of ghosts linger. Also, there was that serial killer with his associated scandalous hospital, then the other abandoned hospital that’s supposed to be like an entire village, the mob hitman who cut up that dude in that mansion… Anyway, you know. Fun history alongside all that birth of our nation stuff.

IMG_2371

I want you to take a moment and put yourself in my skin, with forty some-odd years of that dream driving your spirit. Now add twenty years of living in virtual confinement, restrained by poverty, lack of transportation, and the life of a single mother struggling to get through school (before I met Joe), followed by a new bundle of joy and the chaining to the home that brings.

Then suddenly…

I’m living in a landscape that holds some of the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood of my spirit. The landscape around me mirrors adventures that have called to me for decades. I play in unexplored landscapes and unfamiliar cultures just when I’m walking to the store. Awesome.

As pleasant as this place is, it is still New York City. Exotic, challenging, and bold. I walk, and I look around, and I feel my soul taking it in to store for later, material for memories that will become stories and dreams. My inner life grows wealthier, my need for stimulation being fed.

And Joe is talking about possibly sending us back to Tulsa.

Oklahoma. Land of flat, dull, and boring. We don’t even have basements, or homes above shops. I grew up surrounded by people who picked on me for reading for fun. People who had no idea how to eat an artichoke and had never eaten shrimp and ask you what church you belong to when you meet because it’s assumed you are Christian.

I mean, okay I get it. When it comes down to it, our current housing situation is not going to work out for a multitude of reasons. It would be less expensive to ship us off, we could save money to buy land faster, and oh boy, I do want land.

But I haven’t explored Manhattan yet, and it’s December so it’s cold and Joe’s commute is twice as long because of shoppers and tourists. I don’t think I want to face that crowd. Stuck in traffic that long with a hyper toddler, not a good idea either. If I were alone, the crowd and cold would just be part of the adventure, but I just can’t do it to her. I was hoping to visit the city with her in the spring, but now I hear I might not even be in the city over Christmas.

I had my heart set on so many things. I won’t get to tour the best graffiti, or eat a dandelion in Central Park. I might not even get a chance to see Poe’s banister before we leave. I did get to gather seashells with my daughter, and I do admit the beach was lovely (if you admire the tragedy of urban decay and can vaguely enjoy the horror you feel while you watch trash bobbing in the waves).

IMG_2075 - Copy

I thought I would be here for a year, and that I wouldn’t have to be apart from Joe again. I wanted to walk through Washington Square park while wondering how many bones I was walking across. I wanted to drink with the ghost of Dylan Thomas. Now, instead, I may be going back to the trailer. To paint the walls in a vain attempt to inject optimism and a woodland theme into my life.

Or, as I was informed this morning, perhaps we’ll be moving to Long Island, with an actual view of the ocean. It would be longer until we saved enough for land, but we would stay together and I could continue my plans for the rest of the year.

This should be earth-shatteringly good news, a possibility to cling to, but it’s just making me worried it won’t happen.

Once again, I’m not sure of where I will be and when. The way possibilities keep popping up, then fading away around here, that might be going on for a while. In a way, it’s cool. All the possibilities have positive eventual outcomes, even going back to the land of flat, dead, and boring will lead to land, so I know I can adapt.

It’s just that, well, humans are complicated creatures and the seed for adventure isn’t the only thing in my heart. Lots of stuff lives there.

Fucking anxiety and PTSD to name a couple. Know what stuff like that doesn’t like? Instability. Unpredictable futures. Trying to get settled in, and just when you do, it’s time to move again. I totally signed up for this journey, I just didn’t realize it would jump around so much or move so fast.

I am not reacting well. Thankfully, middle age doesn’t just come with wrinkles. It also comes with a lifetime of experience and skill sets to stave off the waves of panic attacks that would have been hell in this situation when I was younger.

And I have a brand new, shiny skill set that hasn’t even gotten boring yet. Bullet journaling about organization, a routine, pain solutions, family meals, standard life skills that will remain consistent no matter where we live or what we are doing. That helps.

I mean, I just got a new journal for 2019 a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve at least started notes on collections for more than half of the pages, so apparently it’s helping quite frequently. I have to say though, copying recipes from Pinterest into my BUJO is the most white girl thing I’ve ever done. At least I don’t think I’ve been so drunk that I’ve lost a shoe in public.

P.S.- I finally caved and got Scrivener, and had one of those moments where angels sang in chorus while light radiated so hard my hair blew back. I’ve already started a bullet journal page with custom icons.

P.P.S. – Posting Tuesdays now. I tried posting when my views were at their peak, apparently that is not a good strategy to get more views on my blog.

Celebrating My Inner Domestic Goddess

This week, I’ve put my projects aside. Mucking through the aftermath of a sick household made me start to see that it’s far too easy for me to let my home fall into total disrepair. It might be time to re-balance and organize my primary job as Mommy. If that job is more efficient, I will have more time to write.

Naturally, there is only one method that someone like me would use to do such a thing, because I need rulers and colored pencils to be a large part of my life. So, I bought a brand new bullet journal to start setting up for 2019.

IMG_2401

I have sketched out a habit tracker for every month and planned or already started collections for meal planning, holiday menus, chore maps and scheduling, etc. The dates and calendars I am making might be for 2019, but the collections and task organizations I can start using now.

IMG_2398

I’d show you more pages, but my eyes are horrid. I can’t make text clear to me even when I’m reading, photography of text does not work out well.

I’m excited though. A new pair of glasses has finally climbed up to the top of our priority list, I’ve already had the exam, and I’m stoked. I was told I would never see clearly again, but apparently I didn’t understand that was with single vision glasses. It looks like bifocals might end up being life altering.

I have to wait a few days, but hopefully both my art and my photography will improve. It will certainly be easier to see if my camera is in focus. It will make drawing easier to do, but I’m also hoping it will make it easier to control my fingers, I know fibromyalgia will keep my fingers stiff but maybe better vision will help hand/eye coordination.

Once I get my shiny new glasses I’ll post a few more of my favorite pages.

Crush: Also A Tarot Story Prompt.

This week, I will post just a little early, because this is my favorite day of the year, so I thought I’d show you a trick that might kick your inner muse in the butt if she’s being stubborn.

Seeing as how I have a little bit of the heavy flirtation with all things Goth in my well-spent youth, I seemed to have picked up the skill of reading tarot cards.

There is an ongoing dance of elemental archetypes going on in the cards, something that storytellers should be aware of.

If you care to start browsing well written books on the subject, such as 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card, you might find that there is a magnificently complex dance of psychological archetypes throughout the cards. They are built to reflect the story of man’s spiritual journey from birth to death, as well as aspects of our intellect, passion, emotion, and material world.

They are built to remind us of different aspects of being human and the lessons we learn along the way, which is exactly what writers try to communicate.

Do I believe in the tarot? I’m not going to answer. It’s more fun for me that way.

I DO believe you can use the tarot for therapeutic introspection. I will always admit that.

Also, story prompts. Which you don’t have to know how to read the tarot to use, every deck comes with a little reference booklet. In the description of the spread, I paraphrase one of my booklet’s suggestions – my booklet is seriously awesome because it suggests how to best survive a zombie apocalypse and it has just the most wonderful everything.

I use a 3 card draw that some people interpret as “past, present, future”, but I say:
The Seed: 7 of Swords reversed. Theft, sabotage, deception. Beware of the person who keeps fondling your ammo.
The Tree: VI The Lovers. Romance, sex, blinded by passion. Warning: undead lovers may rip out your heart.
The Fruit: 6 of Hazards (Pentacles). Generosity, favors, rewards. Beware of false generosity; they may expect something in return later.

So what you do next is interpret the meaning in the context of the position. It may take a few minutes of brainstorming up a few and narrowing it down to your favorite. I came up with this as my prompt:

The Lovers grew from failed deception, then bore the fruit of false generosity and entrapment.

So I have:

Crush

He liked it when I didn’t call bullshit on his stories. He liked that I smiled demurely, and took it as flirting rather than modesty. He believed himself the cure for whatever it was I needed. With his magic wand.

He thought himself the hunter of me, he thought me kittenish and conquered. He thought I would lay down and be his prize, and in the morning, he would leave with my heart in his pocket.

He did not like it when I showed him I intended to leave with his instead.

Come to think of it, the story has a lot to do with adaptation itself…

I miss one major thing about the trailer. Magnificent childproofing from one end to the other. Even if I didn’t get time to retreat to my writing desk where I could write uninterrupted, I could still place my laptop on the bar, out of her reach, and write while sitting on a bar-stool. All within reach of my coffee pot, and an easy view of Princess Tomboy wherever she may be.

It is not so easy to write around her here. Every room has nooks and crannies I need to keep her out of, there is no spot where I can see all the places she likes to play. And chores keep eating up my “yay, the baby is sleeping” time.

I mentioned recently that I realized I can get writing time on walks, but it’s starting to get cold, so walks will get shorter and then non-existent soon. But I will persist.

I’ll carve the time out relentlessly, until I find enough solutions to give me what I need to focus. In the meantime, I have tricks to try to keep reminding me of my current story-lines, so I can work things out in my head.

This sounds better in theory than practice. Most of my papers in college were worked out in my head during chores and showers before I sat down to write them once my son went to bed. He was older though, and she is at an age where she is far more distracting and exhausting.

Thankfully, my tricks will let me keep the motivation to snatch whatever time I can, and when she distracts me I have continual reminders to pull my head back in that game, so that hopefully (by the third or fourth try), I can finally manage to finish a train of thought.

Ambiance noise is a big part of it, sounds of wolves in a thunderstorm kept me company when diving into The Raven, sounds of busy urban settings are helping me nourish this particular story.

I go about my day with my noise-canceling headphones helping me maintain a suitable environment, and I doodle in small bursts when she lets me, something easier for me to pick up and put down than writing. Though the distraction does seem to decrease the quality of my art.

Ah, the sacrifices we make in the joy of raising our little chaotic monsterlings.

Here is how I’m maintaining focus on a story to illuminate the word Grim, for my Poe’s Raven Eggs project.

IMG_23102

I doodle on this and keep my notebook near, jotting down bits and pieces to organize and develop as soon as I get the chance.

IMG_2332

This particular bit was me focusing on sensory details, in preparation for an exercise I like to do based on what I learned in the book A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting: How to Enhance your Fiction with More Descriptive, Dynamic Settings by Mary Buckham.

My next step is to come up with a setting and put my character in it, and just imagine it from their point of view for a little bit, allowing the passage to show characterization through how they react with the environment:

The air is turning crisp, each breath slightly sharp and refreshing, with the bright scents clear from the morning dew. Low clouds blanket the sky, allowing me to stray a little further from the safety of the tunnels, to stay in the open air just a little longer, enjoying the fetid breeze from a nearby dumpster, ripe with the heady aroma of aging meat.

The comforting scent of wet stone, the quiet hollow shadows, glittering glass reminding me of the old caverns and their hidden sparkling treasures, a home lost to me so long ago.

The occasional echoing screeches from the heavy machines, twisting and echoing in the tunnels to distort like the cry of raptors singing the joy of the hunt, cheer my soul.

At this point, I know where I’m going to go with the story, and I do have to say that this process has helped. Only because it’s chaos here as the toddler grows stronger, faster, more cunning.

I was really worried as I worked on the picture of the Raven’s nest (which I want to redo soon). Ideas didn’t seem like they were coming, and I was in dismay that I might have to face the possibility that I had the dreaded writer’s block.

Thankfully, It looks like I’m carving my own way out just fine. Slowly, but I will persist and I will adapt.