Archives for the month of: May, 2011

In twilight, though, the forest changed.  It softened, and the shadows that seemed so deep and threatening in the daylight, melded with the gentleness of the night.  They faded into the pale mists that rose from the carpet of dead leaves and needles that spread over the forest floor.   It was then that the forest came to life — not in the usual manner by nocturnal creatures and night birds– rather when small orbs of  golden light would flicker on and then silently float among the ferns and groves.

At first the woman thought the lights were fireflies until a temple groundskeeper informed her that the lights were the fay, the elemental beings that ruled the forest. Oddly, the woman was not surprised and took this information in stride.  The presence of the fay was merely one more strand woven into the magic of the place.

The woman loved the lingering twilight.  It was not the same in the place of her origin– a harsh desert land where the transition from day to night was sudden and to-the-point.   She had a hard time remembering from whence she came.  Her memory of her life before coming to the temple was fading.  Her recollections were becoming vague – like herself.  The woman chuckled.  One thing she did remember: someone had once called her “vague” and in need of a little character development.   “Give me a chance,” she had replied.

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Click HERE to go to my garden blog for a new post.

Good morning. I am testing the WordPress iPhone/iPad app. I won’t usually be posting by way of mobile device because it takes too long for me to type with my thumbs, but I like to have this option available to me if need be. Thanks. End of test.

Here’s the next paragraph…. maybe someday I’ll get beyond description to an actual plot!

🙂

.………The woman opened her eyes and set them on the edge of the forest that ringed the temple grounds.  

 The trees in the sacred forest were taller than any she had ever seen – cypress, blue oaks, katsura with their short broad leaves, and the magnificent cedars, the lords of the forest.  Their top-most limbs were sweeping wildly in the brisk breeze, creating an undulating canopy.   

In the daylight hours, the woman often went walking short distances just beyond the edge of the temple complex, but only until the canopy pulled over her like a blanket and she felt an uneasiness rise up within her.  Often that uneasiness became a voice on the edge of her hearing that said “Tread with care the pathways here.”

Writer’s note:  I just noticed that I use the word “edge” three times in this short bit…. mmmmm…. I guess I’m a bit “edgy” these days.

😀

Image and text,  Wayward Pelican (c) 2011

Altered Book Mixed Media

The text is:

The least explored realm of natural and human experience is not the depths of the oceans, or the vastness of the stars, or the mysteries of the human genome and the theories of quantum physics.  The least explored region is the complex hallways and chambers of the personal psyche.  There are a multitude of rooms, each unique and each relevant only to the individual who owns it.  It may take a lifetime to map this inner architecture and one may never finish.  Enter your room here.

The Wayward Pelican (c) 2011

korean bell 9 for webA couple of nights ago, I wrote one sentence:  Healing begins like cool, sweet spring water trickling past the temple’s steps.

Because of a big project I am working on at my job, lately I have come home each evening utterly exhausted and too wound up to be able to focus on writing.  I have come to realize that I need to settle my mind first before I can commit to writing anything. 

It has just occurred to me that  cool sweet spring water running past the temple steps is exactly the visualization that I could use to achieve that state of mental calmness and resolve. 

So my next sentence might be something like this: 

The woman leaned back against a painted wooden temple pillar and felt the warm sun shining on her face.  She let the scroll she was reading fall beside her.  The Sage would be coming soon and their daily conversations would begin……

The Wayward Pelican (c) 2011

Papyrus and Lily Pads by Lori GloydI told myself I would write one sentence today — just ONE — to do that is all I had to commit.   I don’t know where this sentence came from or why, but here it is:

Healing begins like cool, sweet spring water trickling past the temple’s steps.

Tomorrow, my plan is to add another sentence to go with this one.

The Wayward Pelican (c) 2011

Thank you for the comments, everyone.  I guess I was too quick to say that the application was fairly evident.  What I was trying to say is that I need to strive towards a certain level of  authenticity when I write.

John Grisham, for example, can write legal thrillers in a way that most others cannot because he is a lawyer.   He practiced criminal law for over a decade.   Of course  one needs to step outside the box when writing and that may require a lot of research.  But even if someone researches every aspect of a person, situation, place, what have you, their writing may still fall flat.  I think to gain authenticity one must put themselves in the character, situation, place, etc.  It’s easier if you’ve been there — doing what the character does, being in that particular city — but if not, then you have to get those characters, places, et cetera firmly entrenched in yourself in some other way.    That may come from research, but it may go a lot further and deeper.    It’s sort of like what some actors do when they prepare for a part:  they become the characters they portray.

So the next time you hear me speaking like a pirate or swinging a cutlass around, you know what I’ll be writing about.

Good discussion, folks.

The Wayward Pelican

I had the strangest dream last night.  This really happened, I kid you not.

In the dream, I was seated at a table in an outdoor cafe in London.  (I have never been to London).  I was eating lunch with Whoopie Goldberg (whom I have never met).  We were waiting for Prince William and his new missus to join us (I can’t even figure why they’re in my dream).  Whoopie says to me that she just finished reading my latest story.  (I haven’t written a story in who-knows-when).  She asked if the story took place in Houston, Texas.  I told her that indeed the story took place in Houston, Texas.   Then she asks,

“Have you ever been to Houston?”

“No,” I replied.

She did not say a word, but merely raised an eyebrow and gave me her toothy Cheshire cat grin.  And it immediately occurred to me (while still in the dream, not upon waking), that I should not be writing about things I don’t know about; not about places I’ve never been, or people I’ve never met.

Then I woke up.

I don’t think I need to apply an application here.  It seems fairly evident.

Though, if someone knows why Will and Kate, er, the Duke and Duchess are there, please let me know.

The Wayward Pelican (c) 2011

Being a creative person means you must be an observant person.  There is boundless fodder around you from which to draw inspiration.  But beyond this axiom that most of us already know, trolling the observable world for crude material to use in our creative expressions often has the side benefit of providing us with internal inspiration.  The Universe likes to fling a message to us at the right time and the right place in our lives with the absolute intention of  having us say to ourselves, “Yeah, that was meant just for ME!”

This happened to me a couple of days ago.  I went into a local fast-food franchise known for its Chinese food served up speedily by a cuddly Panda bear.  You may know the one.  It was crowded since it was lunch time,  and with  my bowl of kung-pao chicken  I squeezed into a tight seat in the corner next to another table already occupied by a young woman and an older man.  Since I was so close that I was practically sitting at their table with them, I could not help but be privy to their conversation.  Initially I got caught up in trying to figure out their relationship.

They did not appear to be father and daughter or any sort of relation based on the awkwardness of their conversation.  If they were related in some way, it was a distant or strained relationship.  It was clear that the young woman had bought lunch for the older man because he made frequent thanks for it.   They did not work together because the older man made reference to his work in manner that indicated the woman did not work where he worked.   In the back of my mind, I was hoping there would be something about this relationship (the first date of a spring/winter romance perhaps) that would be the spark for a story.

Finally, my train of thought on this relationship got derailed when their conversation turned this way:

Older man:  “Have you seen Marcus lately?”

Younger woman:  “Yeah. I have.”

“You grew up with him, right?”

“Yes, I’ve known him since the fourth grade.”

“He’s a nice guy.”

“Yeah, he dated my best friend for four years, in high school and a little after.”

“I hear he works at the nursery now.”

“Yeah, he likes working with plants and stuff like that.”

“That’s a great place he’s at.  They pay well and have a health plan.”

“He likes it a lot.”

“That’s good he has found a place there.  If he sticks with it, maybe he might go back to school and get a landscaping degree.”

The young woman nods as she focuses on her orange-glazed chicken.  The older man continues,

“It’s never too late to change and try something new.”

My attention snapped inward and I tuned out the rest of their conversation.  That one statement, “it’s never too late to change and try something new,” had been intended for me to hear.  I was sure of it.  Right now on my journey I am beginning to feel as if I am stuck in a rut that time will not allow me to pull out of and move ahead.

Will I act upon those words and make a change for myself?  Time will tell.  But that’s not the point right now.  The point is that obviously I am not alone in my journey.  SomeOne out there is watching me, overhearing MY conversations, being concerned about my course and wanting to give me some advice.

To the Universe I say Thank You.

The Wayward Pelican © 2011