Weaving Gold

Mokosha, Anastasia Sophia, and Me, Natalia . . . while the books are written

Determined to Do 2016 Differently

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Sun rising over the Old Bahia Honda Bridge January 1, 2016

I could have started my blogging year on January 1, listing resolutions, describing dreams, or selecting word for the year. Except, I’ve already done that, over and over, and I want 2016 to be different. I want BIGGER, brighter, and bolder. Even with clear awareness that life is about the journey, not a destination, I want to get where I’ve been going, be who I’ve been becoming, revel in achievement. When I’ve enjoyed enough revelry, I’ll move on.

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Old 7 Mile Bridge, Florida Keys

A few times a year, I see one of my favorite trees on the planet. It sprouted on a far-from-land stretch of the Old 7 Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. I suspect that thousands of seeds have been deposited on that bridge by winds and birds, but this one grew. This one, is my teacher.

A Different Year

Yesterday, I discovered, and today, I joined, the Twitter Monthly Writing Challenge to write 500 words per day. It’s time to finish writing my books.

In the fall of 2015, I began noticing the miracles of the natural world. Haikus flowed and I liked writing them. More #iSeeBeauty coming in 2016, maybe with new inspiration from ronovan writes.

In October 2015, I started indoor rock climbing with my son, and was thrilled to discover that I love it. Climbing on.

In years past, I would have written a dozen more “I wants” and “I wills,” but 2016 is different, so I’m letting the above be enough.

What are your plans for 2016? What will you do, differently?

 

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Daybreak Rainbows

  
Strange island weather
drenches morning bay paddlers
blesses with rainbows.

  

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Mangrove Mysteries

Wind whirs through green leaves.
Secret mangrove cathedral
sings blessings for me.  

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Abandoning a Book

You are a Wild Thing, Natalia. You have strength and courage. You have a natural propensity to survive, grow, and bloom. But you must choose, Natalia. You must choose.
~ White Tiger’s message to me, one year ago

Menna van Praag‘s novels, House at the End of Hope Street and Dress Shop of Dreams, are similar in their magical, wish-granting themes to my WIP. Since Menna offers coaching, I scheduled a consultation. I sent her the first chapter of Zirka’s Zany Zenanigan’s, which I intended to finish during NaNo.

Professional Opinion

When Menna and I talked by Skype, she said that she liked my story, but that I would not be able to get an agent for the story as it is written. My main characters are happy and the book is structured as a series of short stories that are linked in the conclusion. She told me, quite clearly, how I would need to change the manuscript to sell it.

Some of the suggested changes were acceptable to me, but others were not. Minutes into our consult, I knew I would be putting the manuscript in a drawer. My decision was confirmed when Menna told me that if I did change the story and sell it, if the book were successful, the publisher would want me to write more of the same — which would be hugely problematic since my major WIP is completely different, and I don’t want to write anything else like Zirka.

Ultimately, I was RELIEVED after our consultation. The story had not been flowing. I had been feeling that it was not quite right. I want to get back to the Weaving Gold Chronicles.

Goodbye Zirka’s Zany Zennanigans. It was fun for a while, but now it is not, so you’re going in the drawer.

Hibernating 1

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Expressing What Lives Inside Me

IMAGE CREDIT: Carol Cavalaris

IMAGE CREDIT: Carol Cavalaris

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
~ Gospel of Thomas

Inside each of us simmer and rattle countless ideas, initiatives, and impetuses clambering to be brought forth. No one story, poem, song, sculpture, painting, relationship, business, or adventure is enough. We are never done, even if we can call it quits at any time. I am perpetually, simultaneously saving and destroying myself. I bring forth, and I repress. I create, and I oppress. I think too much, and do too little.

Because the books that want to be written are foremost in my mind, when I read bring forth what is within in you, I think I need to write this book, or the other, now. I think I’m destroying myself by not writing. I tell myself my delaying, my ebb and flow are resistance, my writer’s excuse. I scoff at my fears: they are not real.

IMG_0489Rock Climbing

This summer, at age 46 and moderate (at best) physical fitness, I tried rock climbing for the first time. It was a modified, safer kind of rock climbing, but I found it exhilarating. A few weeks ago, I began indoor climbing with my fifteen-year old son. He could climb 45-feet to the top on the first day. I’m — not quite there. (Okay. Not even close.)

My favorite things to do are read, sit on the beach, laugh during dinner with my family, and walk in the woods. I am not a thrill-seeker. My adventures are safe and tame: trying new foods, travel to calm places, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking. And yet, I’ve been driving to the climbing gym twice each week. I’ve been strapping myself into a harness, and letting my son belay for me. I’ve been climbing with trembling, jelly arms.

While I’m on the wall, I feel fine. But a night, or when I am quiet, I am TERRIFIED. Yes, all caps, full-body, heart-thumping, mind-reeling SCARED. Fear rolls through me. I imagine, without wanting to, falling, being shattered. Worse, much worse, I imagine my son falling.

With climbing, the dangers aren’t metaphorical. I have good, logical reasons to be afraid. Writing is terrifying, too. What if my books are published, and hated? What if I write for the next three decades, and no one reads, no one cares, my work doesn’t affect anyone, in any way at all?

The Two Sides of the Coin, again

Everything matters, and nothing matters. I don’t have to write or climb or cook dinner for my family, but if I don’t enough, I will surely let repression destroy me. And so, I do. I climb, because daring dwells inside me. I cook, because love dwells inside me. I write, because stories dwell inside me. I save myself.

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7 — Letting Go of the Reins when Writing

Last autumn, I participated in Lyn Thruman’s October Writing Challenge: Writing the Wisdom of the Soul, a writing journey through the major arcana of the Tarot. On October 20 of this year, sitting in silence, I pulled the Fool Card from my OSHO Zen Tarot deck and was drawn to the begin a new loop of the journey. Here I go again.


76a1016017a5975658f1d603dcd8f6efPrompt 8: “Sometimes, lady, you have to just take the reins and be the one in control.” Write about a time when you set your sights on something and you took control/action to make sure you came out victorious. 

October 10, 2014: Answering the Call to Adventure with Yes! is exhilarating and freeing. It is also scary. I remind myself: I’ve done this before. I experienced an A-ha! moment (I should write a book). I followed a trail of synchronicities and joined a writers’ circle. I wrote, hundreds of words per day, for nine months. I submitted query letters. I received rejections. I self-published. I became, I am, a published author.

November 7, 2015: I read the prompt for today, and added, “and sometimes, you have to let go.” At the moment, this is poignantly true for me with respect to my writing.

I started NaNoWriMo with a bang. The words were flowing and I was writing more per day than ever before. Yesterday, inspiration came to a screeching, whip-lash-inducing halt. I was devastated. I made myself do sprints with @NaNoWordSprints, which had been an amazing tool in previous days. I wrote, producing utterly uninspired (and uninspiring) sentences. I quit. For me, there is no point in writing unusable paragraphs.

Dreaming with Horse Spirit

Dreaming with Horse Spirit

My Word Count horse did not respond to my lead, no matter how I spurred it. Worse, I was so entrenched in controlling productivity, that I had choked my Creativity streak.

I am dropping the reins. I am releasing the perverse need to meet my self-imposed daily word count goals. I am setting my creative spirit free. (Do with me what you will, !!! — I just realized that she has a name. Off to listen. Off to learn it. Off to merge with her in friendly partnership.)


Writing Prompt from Lyn Thurman. You can receive the full prompts from Writing the Wisdom of the Soul.

Images are from the Osho Zen Tarot, an amazing, consciousness-expanding deck.

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Ode to my Throat Chakra

th2_mp63Sapphire blue vibration,
Let your pulsing be key
Unlocking songs, poems, and stories
Dwelling inside of me.

Whirling sphere of blue ribbons,
May your movement let flow
Dances long stifled, voices repressed
Smothered secrets I know.

Flow, as words from my fingers.
Sing, express from my heart.
Radical truth, deep sweet magic,
Blue Quiver -- bring forth my art.

Inspired by the art of Mara Berendt Friedman and contemplation of the fifth chakra, center of creative expression.

Posts about the Throat Chakra, by others.

The Throat Chakra: The Center for Self Expression

Throat Chakra: Free Your Self-Expression

Yoga Poses to Open the Throat Chakra

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A Very Scary NaNoWeen

Lady with quillWhat if no one reads it?
What if no one cares?
Am I crazy, brave, deluded
to be one who dares?
  Dares to fail
   bleed, weep, flail.
  Dares to flounder
   grasp, go under.
  Dares to rip her soul asunder
    to write until The End.
But what if no one reads it?
What if no one cares?
Must be crazy, brave, deluded
to be one who dares.
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Alchemy of Three

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Prompt 2: The Magician brings the tools to write the story. Write about the miracles you want or need to manifest with your miracle-maker kit.  What’s going to make your journey sweeter?

October 2, 2014: The magician has delivered my miracle-maker kit. I am grateful for each item, but I’ve been on The Journey long enough to know that it is I who am the miracle-maker, or not. Tools can be useful, but they are inert. I must determine how and when to wield them.

October 21, 2015: I need a miracle, specifically, to be infused with an alchemical blend of inspiration, passion, and stamina. I thought, almost wrote, that I need inspiration mixed with discipline, but discipline is a stale ingredient, one that served me well in my old world but has no place here, now. In my old world, requirements were clear. I understood the rules, operated in accordance with them, and achieved expected outcomes. In the world that is emerging for/in/through me, rules have been scattered in winds, sizzled in infernos, drowned in tsunamis, suffocated in swamps.

Not long ago, most people grew, sewed, built, and otherwise created what they needed. Today, I can subsist without creating anything. But subsisting is not satisfying, so I must create meaning-beauty-luminosity with/in/through me. It has become impossible to fake it, bewildering to know which way or why or how to go.

I need a miracle. I need to be infused with an alchemical blend of inspiration, passion, and stamina, so that I may write, create, and live.


Writing Prompt from Lyn Thurman. You can receive the full prompts from Writing the Wisdom of the Soul.

Images are from the Osho Zen Tarot, an amazing, consciousness-expanding deck.

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Here I Go Again

IMG_1316In the cycle of seasons, autumn is a time of completion. Trees bear last fruit and drop leaves. Gardens yield late produce. Animals prepare for hibernation. The time for dormancy approaches.

Inculcated with decades of September school-year starts, I am out of sync with nature. For me, fall is the time for beginnings. I am dusting off works in progress and fall cleaning. I am preparing to write and create.

Last autumn, I participated in Lyn Thruman’s October Writing Challenge: Writing the Wisdom of the Soul, a writing journey through the major arcana of the TarotThis morning, sitting in silence, I pulled the Fool Card from my OSHO Zen Tarot deck and was drawn to the begin a new loop of the journey. Here I go again.

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OSHO Zen Tarot

Prompt 1: Write about a journey you want to take in life…

October 1, 2014: The journey I want to take has been called “the longest journey you will make in your life.”  The path I wish to travel is from my head to my heart.

October 20, 2015: One year later, I want to take a more tangible journey, one with a simple (if not easy) goal. I intend to travel metaphorically, literally writing to the end the novel I started almost a year ago.

I had mixed feelings about joining NaNoWriMo last year, but a story dropped into my head, so jumped in. I intended to complete a light-hearted novella by November 30, 2014, for a NaNoWin. The idea introduced itself to me as fun and easy, a way to play with writing before I got back to my Big Serious WIP. The concept is fun and easy, but writing it has challenged me.

I wrote, and then I didn’t write. I was inspired, and then I was drained, distracted, and detoured. My excuses reasons are common. Life/obligations/laziness got in the way. Sometimes, I neglected butt in chair time, but often, even when I sat, everything perfectly prepared and aligned, words refused to come. I half-wanted to quit many times, but the idea of Zirka’s Zany Zenanigans is persistent. It wants to see itself in print.

Recently, I’ve been re-inspired. Playing Menna van Praag’s Sentence Game reminded me that writing is fun, and Menna has pointed out that I’m good at it. I’ve also been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic podcasts and book. I am in love with Liz’s approach to and relationship with creativity.

So, here I am on Day 0, stepping off the cliff, leaving past failures and uncertainties behind (may they become compost for a field of poppies). I trust that I will travel by typing to the end of my manuscript and that Zirka’s Zany Zenanigans will soon be in the hands of an agent and publisher. One. Two. Three. Step.

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