Tag Archives: random thoughts


Queen's BathOn occasion, I find myself thinking quite a lot. My brain flits and jumps from idea to idea, like a wren on the hunt, never settling on one.

I can really only tell that I am in one of these moments when I try to pin my brain down onto one branch instead of the whole tree. Because in those moments I suddenly feel like I’m a small child watching people peruse  a candy store, and I’m locked on the outside. But instead of being locked out of a candy store, I’m locked away from the ideas: I can only watch them from the outside without ever interacting.

And the only solution I’ve found for this, as watching my ideas meander is no way for me as a person (particularly when what I rely on for m income and sanity is my ability to interact and modify the ideas in my head) to function is to write about this separation. And then to do something else entirely.

Because acknowledging the gulf helps me see where the bridges lie, and then I can find my way back into the delicious, delicious treats.

I dwell in possibility

I haven’t been writing recently because I couldn’t. Journaling led my mind down unhelpfully distracting bunny trails; stories stagnated after the first line or two; frustrations over minor setbacks roadblocked my blogging.

Maybe you’ve been in this kind of situation. You think it’s writers block or something only mastered by pushing through and continuing to write. That’s what I thought, but when my inability to write only grew, I knew the reason was something I’d never encountered.

So I followed the only logical path and stopped writing. I hardly even tweeted original thoughts, leaving my feed to pass along information from other people I wanted to share. I embraced the lack of writing in my life (although begrudgingly) and opted instead to think through the potential causes, to reconnect with friends I made not online, to make new friends.

The distance from my current way of life showed me that the possibilities were happening so fast they were overwhelming my ability to organize my thoughts. TCA moved so fast that I had more opportunities than I knew what to do with, new options for sharing my writing kept appearing, everyone had a great idea that I wanted to help with all at once, and I had so many stories running through my head I couldn’t tell them apart.

I know for many people these kinds of moments make life exciting. And it was exciting. But I hadn’t prepared for the onslaught of possibility, and so I was overwhelmed.

But the time away from everything, especially those that I love and make my life fantastic, gave my brain the space it needed to get itself organized.

So now I can dwell in possibility, embracing life and what I love.

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it never rains but it pours

I had one of those weeks last week. All the news that came in was bad, and I kept expecting it to get worse.

I’m still recovering from it, but that week started me thinking about creativity and life.

I have been keeping a distant eye on some really neat creative projects that launched last week. (I will be posting more a little later) And there are some fascinating collections that are calling for submissions. And there are projects I was in the middle of and that I still need to finish. But I couldn’t track with much beyond my own life last week. Not that I think I needed to (the deadlines are still far enough away that giving myself the necessary time), but I still chose to be fairly isolated.

Writing this now, a line from the end of James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. “[Mother] prays now, she says, that I may learn in my own life and away from home and friends what the heart is and what it feels.” I have loved this line since I first read it, but what I see now, added to everything else I’ve seen in this quote, is the absolute need for space, both physical and mental, to understand your life.

I gave myself some space, and I found the beginnings and concepts for more stories than I now have time to write. Not that I won’t try to write them all, but in that time of turmoil, I discovered my brain was working on ways to process and siphon of the influx of emotion and information.

T.S. Eliot is quoted as saying something like: I have lived through enough for an epic. The timeframe given is not long before he leaves to write The Wasteland.*

I don’t know about you, but I frequently remember quotes like Eliot’s when I’m in the midst of events or situations where I don’t have control.  I’m also a believer in signs, so I don’t discount the appearance of these random quotes. I go with whatever my first thought is in response to the quote, and see if it’s something helpful.

This time it was. What I took from the confluence of events is that I have lived through much, because I have been living. So what is there to stop me from taking all that experience and emotion and using it to create something new?**


So I’ve decided that the rest of this week, I will work on all those stories that knocked on my consciousness when I had proclaimed: Do Not Disturb.

Life is what it is. I’m going to embrace it. Time to get cracking on those stories.

    *I can’t remember off the top of my head where I found this. But I know I used it in a paper for the MA, and those notes are currently packed away.
    ** I’m a big fan of the Modernists, and could bore you for hours with minutia from then.

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Oh look, it’s a new year

If there weren’t elventy-million Top Ten lists floating around the internet, I wouldn’t be very sure.

There isn’t very much that defines my life currently, which lends a montage perspective to the last few months. The days bleed into one another, not unlike poorly dyed material, making it rather difficult to differentiate when events occur.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Being part of a huge group of people all in various stages of the same state of joblessness makes the poorly finished cloth feel somewhat more complete. Not in a “misery loves company” sort of way, but in more of a “we’re all in this together” sort of way.

And that makes me hopeful for this new year.

I realize that there is no logic in my reasoning, but when I look back on the story we’ve constructed of events long over, I see the effect this communal attitude has. When people share suffering, they are more likely to reach out to people they would never interact with. Suffering reveals humanity. It is a constant. The particulars of each person’s suffering differs greatly, but the experience of suffering is shared. And this shared experience pushes unlikely connections that redefine a life, and sometimes the world.

So as I journey through this new year, suffering with others in my own way, I’m looking forward for those connections that will change our lives, hopefully for the better. I’m expecting a different future, and I’m hoping it’s brighter. I’m even a smidge excited.

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Creative People

I was thinking today about how I occasionally trust people based on their creative works. I have a lot of friends that are very creative, and I am finding that if I see their work as honest, I trust them more. This happens even when I am just getting to know the person and we’re becoming friends. This is a very funny observation particularly since I tend not to trust the speakers of stories. So even though I don’t necessarily trust the characters speaking in a work, I trust the author as my friend. And I am finding that some of this friendship trust comes from what I can see of them in their works.

I guess I’m just a bundle of contradictions… I’m not that surprised.

do I know you?

          So I thought I was sitting next to someone who I’ve only ever read about. Not in celebrity magazines or online, but someone from a friend’s story. I picked the seat simply because it was the closest one on the aisle, which I love to sit on in planes, and I didn’t realize it until we were in the midst of takeoff.

            I’d just read through my friend’s story about his brother. It was well written, and I felt like I could see him in the story, but when it comes to picking someone out of a crowd based on the written description of them I’m terrible. If I could only have seen him interact with someone in the way that I saw him in the story, I would have known for sure. But I simply had a description of him as not suffering from male-pattern baldness but still shaving his head, intimidating, raspy voice, somewhere in the neighborhood of 37 now, and not having baby-blue eyes. The tattoo that would clench it is on his chest above his heart, and since this guy’s wearing a white thermal, I have no idea if he has a tattoo or not.

            I almost asked him several times if he was the one that the story was based on. I wouldn’t have phrased it that way, mostly because I don’t know if he knows he’s the subject of his brother’s story, but I nearly talked to him just to find out if he even had a brother. That’s saying something since I don’t so much like to talk to people who I don’t know.

            But then I wondered how many times we do things like this – sit next to people we’ve heard stories about without meeting and never know that the person from the story is a hand’s breadth away? How many people do I know their secrets without knowing their face? And what if all they needed was to know that there was someone out there who knows them? How many people’s days would be made with the simple act of finding out that they are talked about? What a weird, interesting idea. Maybe there should be a story. I love traveling.