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Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

I’m just in from a coffee shop. Alright. Yes, it was Starbucks. And, surprise, surprise. There were 4 people in there with MacBook Airs. And they looked pretty much how I would’ve looked, had I also brought mine.

 

They were scarfed and sweatered. Fenced in by open books, cords, pens, mugs and, of course, phones.

 

At first, I was envious. Thinking how I long for days of doing nothing but writing. It’s a glorious feeling, you know. To be sure of your purpose. And for it to be something you enjoy. Something you find fulfilling. Albeit scorching and torturous at times.

 

And while I waited for my order, I, for the zillionth time, imagined a world where writing is my only focus. A world, that in reality, will never be. And, that’s okay. In my heart of hearts, I really wouldn’t want that, would I. I mean, where would my family be? Where’s my home in that scenario?

 

I don’t ever want to be without those things. Those distractions as they are sometimes referred to.

 

Anyway, what started as pre-beverage envy ended in post-coffee realization. Not one of those blessed little lambs was actually using their laptops. Every single one of them was on their phone.

 

Texting. Liking. Sharing.

 

Wasting.

 

Using valuable time. Precious, hard-to-come-by freedom. To generate useless statuses and insignificant tweets.

 

But, in truth, I really have no clue what they were doing on their phones. Never mind judging whether whatever they were doing was insignificant or useless. They may have been replying to agent’s proclamations, “CONGRATULATIONS, we sold your novel!” Or throwing out a few likes in support of fellow writers. Perhaps sharing triumphant news of a book deal.

 

Who knows? Like I said, not me. I just tend to make wild assumptions when I’m coffee-   deficient.

 

So, I admit to suffering from misplaced projection. Putting myself in their chairs. Surrounding my own being with beloved writing gear. Staring into productivity-stealing space. And spending too much time on a phone of my own.

 

But luckily, the coffee-sufficient me sees the advantage to having, what one might call, an overactive imagination. Next trip, the phone stays in my pocket.

 

What? You didn’t think I’d turn it off, did you!

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This is a post from almost a year ago, that I decided to revamp. Much to my delight, I didn’t end up feeling like I needed to change all that much. Most times I read my old posts and end up buried under the covers, shivering for the rest of the day.

Have a safe and happy Friday folks, and thanks for reading!

 

I have this old adding machine and for about ten years, the battery cover has been missing. It’s because of this I feel a profound sadness every time I pull it out of the drawer. Without the support, I know it will only be a matter of time before those little coils relax and let the batteries fall to the floor. But it would hurt my heart to replace a perfectly good thing due simply to the fact that it’s missing a piece. After all, it still works faultlessly and if anyone appreciates a bit of help in the calculating department, it’s me. You see, I can’t add worth a damn. I still count out on my fingers and have to write anything more than a three-digit sum down on paper or the numbers start climbing, tripping and toppling over one another in my head.

Many years ago, I waitressed and always kept a tiny calculator tucked into my billfold, never wanting to expose my tricky little secret. My fellow servers let bills flail from their pockets or flap from their cleavage and somehow still managed to finish their closes ahead of me and my tightly organized stash of cash.

I also worked in retail and strived to move up through the ranks. But moving up meant making manager and making manager meant numbers, which was, as you can guess, intimidating for someone like me. Eventually I learned to make my fingers fly over the chunky buttons without even looking. I earned a sense of control I’d never felt before, being able to ‘rule’ math that way. Granted, the bookwork to be done was very formulaic and the risk of something going seriously wrong was low. The numbers either balanced or they didn’t and if it turned out they wouldn’t, the mistake was usually very easy to find. It got so that I could do the hour-long nightly paperwork in twenty minutes—fifteen if I had somewhere more enticing to be.

Much to my dismay, long after being paid to fret over it, math continues to linger in my life and it seems the only time I’m able to call it rewarding is when I’m gauging the tip for a sly pub lunch. Things like balancing checkbooks, crunching numbers, logging endless expenses and estimating interests do not bring me joy.

What. So. Ever.

But the other day I decided it was time to clean out my junk drawers—oh shush, yes I have more than one—and you can probably guess what I came across. That’s right. Lo and behold, there, on the drawer’s gritty bottom, lay the battery cover for my old adding machine. I have to say my heart skipped a beat and I did experience what could be considered a teensy jab of joy.

Don’t give up on something because it’s disjointed or incomplete. You never know when you’ll find that very thing you weren’t even aware you were searching for. And sometimes, that little piece is all it takes.

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The paths are littered with boulders, rocks and large, fallen branches. Some are blocking my way and moving them is difficult. I push and pull, tug and tear, all the while; aware I’m not alone.

I make my way up and over the many big rocks, each one cutting, bruising and scraping my skin. I shimmy under branch after branch; their leaf laden twigs, poking at my torso.

I am famished.

Gales gust through the forest and whip debris up into my face. My eyes sting with the biting force and my hands fumble at the clasped satchel strapped across my chest.

Seeking shelter behind a large trunk, I lift my meager loaf as red eyes stare out from the darkness above and paralyze me. Frozen from the cold moments before, I am now crippled with terror.

I regain my composure but realize it’s coming for me. Many more red reflections materialize in the woodland’s black backdrop and I understand the brute is not alone. The group starts to emerge from the deep and their mangy fur, glistening lips and cloth-like tongues draped over razor teeth become clear to me.

They are ravenous.

I look down, knowing the food I have will distract them, but not for more than a mere wisp of time.

I decide to run.

Holding my satchel to my chest, I bolt out into the lashing rain and flee the pack. I sail up and over rough terrain and dash past gigantic trees, their low-hanging branches narrowly missing my head. Brush slices at my cheeks but the blood is washed away by torrents pelting from the sky. The creatures snarl and snap at my heels, their teeth snag and shred the fabric of my clothes.

They are relentless.

Muscles scream and my body aches. I sense I’m reaching the end and fear the battle is lost. My journey has been long and my heart close to exploding as I climb what I believe will be my last crest. Weary, I grow, as I turn to face what will be my maker, but I see their lowered heads and tattered tails drifting back down the trail.

It’s then that I know – If I had fed them at the bottom, they would not have driven me to the top.

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Writing…anywhere, anytime, anyplace…

We all take pride in having interests, hobbies and passions.  Further to that, we enjoy feeling like we’re good at something.  Writing does this for me.  (Easy in the comment section, please)

Writing has lurked in my blood and traveled through my bones year after year, but I had no time for it.  Ooh, I dabbled in this and dipped into that.  I took my fair share of writing courses and participated in an assortment of online classes, but actual writing?  Meh.  It’s easy to find distractions from the nitty gritty…get your hands dirty…prove you can write business.

I was busy working, dating, getting married, being pregnant, raising kids, cleaning, cooking, going for coffee, washing my hair…you name it.

But, writing lingered.  Well, actually it poked, prodded, pressured and pushed me.  Everywhere I went, everything I did, writing was there, strategically changing life’s events into type on a page and punctuating dialogue dangling in my mind.

I could blame myself.  Say I didn’t put in the effort.  Rake myself over the coals.  But really, we both knew, writing and me, that it wasn’t my time.   I wasn’t ready.

What do I love most about writing?  It waited.

Thank you to Writing Tips, Thoughts and Whims and Lit and Scribbles for the inspiration.

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We’re not always at our best.  I should speak for myself, I suppose, but I like to think I’m not alone.

We get busy, we get tired and we get sick.  We. Get. Swamped.

But, for some reason, we plod on.  Why?  Perpetual responsibility looms, but we can skirt it.  Obligation drags us out the door, but we know we can avoid it.  We can hide from those things for a day or two.  Heck, some people manage to hole up a lifetime shirking the albatrosses of society.

Nope.  Although we bear those crosses, they are not why we get out of bed every day.

The mover, the maker, the motivator and shaker is purpose. Purpose comes home, slumps into a chair and says; “I’m rusty. Anoint me.”  Oil it and it’ll stay.

We can direct it.  We can twist it.  We can stretch it to the ends of the earth. It’s ours to dress in cute little hats.  We own it.

Its varieties are infinite; a drive to stand on top of the corporate world, an itch to ‘pwn’ domesticity (go figure), a stubborn bug to travel from country to country, a will to be a fighter pilot or an itch to be…oh, I don’t know…the greatest writer there ever was.  Ring a bell?

No matter what it is, whatever it may be that floats our boats and has us hanging on (if only by a slowly tearing page) our individual purpose which, by the way, magically translates into passion, is what keeps us going when the chips are down.

No, we may not always be at our best, but when purpose knocks, wet its whistle and you can’t ever be at your worst.

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Don’t be so gullible. There is no ‘perfect moment’ lurking around the corner, another hour will not make a difference, it matters not whether we’re sitting in a cluttered house breathing in dust or staring out a mountain loft window, absorbing a breathtaking view.

If we’re going to write something believable, marketable and applausable, we’re going to do it poolside, seaside or on the back of an envelope, billside.

Convincing ourselves; if things were different, we’d sit down and write, is wrong. The fact is, if it’s in our blood and we’re born to do it, nothing will get in our way.

Dissuasion is simple. It’s a sedentary activity. It could be seen as lackadaisical, slothful even. Being encouraged to head out for a walk is reasonable, but cheering someone to sit down at a computer is, at best, questionable.

None the less, it needs to be done. Someone should stand up. Someone should shout out. Someone should put his foot down. Someone should don a lick of devotion.

But we’re the someones. There’s nobody here but us chickens.

We’re standing alright, but in the way. We don’t believe. We lack confidence. We’re afraid. We’re our own worst enemy.

So step aside and sit down. Magically, invisible time will be found, surroundings, no matter their attributes, will melt into our story and those all-consuming tasks will be put on hold.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, so tie yourself to a chair and start cheering.

A ruse…

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There are those who were latchkey kids, kids who didn’t have the ‘right’ clothes, were bullied at school, friendless…kids that endured self-indulgent, monstrous parents.

Some who had it rough. Like, real rough. Dirt poor, beaten, sexually abused, neglected, starved…abandoned.

There are folks who were never shown an ounce of love. Not nurtured, not praised, not cared for, not raised.

There’s the temptation to think; if only we had…which brings us to the people who had a solid upbringing, unconditional love…money galore and chose to piss it all away on material possessions and self-abuse…early ending lives. Spoiled and severely unhappy, lonely, effed up, tragic humans.

Then there are individuals whose success, fame and wealth seem to lead to a balanced and gratified existence. An existence suffused with paying it forward.

The world is full of different kinds of people with different principles, morals and motives. What makes us what we are? What makes us what we become?

At the risk of a cliché, life is what we make of it. It really is. We can let our journey make us, break us, drag down or define us, but the path we walk is our choice and every day is a new dawn because the rest is still Unwritten

“I am unwritten

Can’t read my mind

I’m undefined

I’m just beginning

Pen’s in my hand

Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you

Open up the dirty window

Let the sun illuminate the words

That you could not find

Drench yourself in words unspoken

Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten” (Natasha Beddingfield)

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