Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Graven Images

We walk slowly and softly amongst them
Carefully if not reverently
They have no meaning anymore
No power
No power over our lives
Over our hearts and minds
We don’t even know who they are
These things that are the last representation
Of that which we knew
And yet we still walk through and around
With respect
No shouting or calling or disrespect
Only sad eyes and tears
For those that still find meaning
Those that remember
So perhaps there is power still left
In the quiet lined gravestones
As long as we remember
The laughter, the tears, the lives
Of those laid here before us.
Perhaps that’s power enough
To bind us all together
The power of a life once lived
And the power left behind by the remembrance.

(sgchris Jan.2010)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yay for Finding Sherpa People!

Yay that when I looked out in the swirling snow of the emptiness of being left on the trail alone that I discovered Sherpa People around me to encourage and aid my spirit. Willing to offer a hand and a warm cup of encouragement and cheer, and a nudge in the right direction, the direction I need to go..
Thanks Denise, Thanks Karen. And all the rest of you aiding and cheering me along my path. My world's a lot less colder now. Thanks.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Need Sherpa People!

That’s what I need! Sherpa People! I had sherpas written but for some reason Word and all doesn’t like that and has squiggly red lined it. Phbbbbtttt. – yeah, so it doesn’t like that either.

I still think I’ve discovered that I need sherpas. Sherpa people then, Word.

Writing is challenging enough without trying to hoist the load of excess words, or perhaps worse, none, alone. There’s so much to the writing life that doesn’t even involve just the words and writing. There is the writing and how to keep learning and getting better at it, and all the time spent doing that. Then there’s also the business of understanding marketplace and your niche, your voice, and how to shop your writing, market it and sell it. And on and on. All while you’re trying to do all that word packing and writing stuff. There’s a myriad of different rocky paths to stumble through, it makes sense that it would help to have someone along that is willing to help you and share their pitfalls on the road you both are traveling.

In case you’re wondering if the recent stresses and cold and snow has made me go….well, a little high altitude, I will explain.

A blog post email thing popped into my email.

Being there procrastinating hard things to do of course forced me to read it.

Especially when it said –
January 07, 2010 Not Going it Alone ...
And I’m sitting here alone at my desk trying to muddle everything out.

I knew it touched me when I started thinking about climbing Everest. Okay, so not really. In the real literal sense anyway. I’m not exactly a cold weather kind of gal really. All that heavy clothing makes me look too....poofy.

But the writing life sometimes feels like you are on as tough and cold a trek as that. And as the blog author puts it, writers need sherpas. Okay why can they get away with sherpas and I can’t? Oh, they have a Sherpa. Can’t I have more than one? I have a very supportive husband. Not sure I’ve considered him a Sherpa though. Perhaps I need to go and look at him again. But I also know no matter how supportive and understanding he is, there are some things he just doesn’t truly understand. And I feel it’s not fair to him and his trek through life to burden him with all the travails and heavy backpacks that I have accumulated that he can’t really empathize with because he’s not on a writer’s journey. He just lives with one that he probably feels throws snow balls at him, a lot. I don’t think he necessarily thinks that fun b-t-w.

So I think I could use more than one Sherpa.
Can you have too many sherpas…Sherpa People?
Since I figure I need sherp….. I need Sherpa People. I figure that way there’s not only just one that gets all tired and cranky wanting to rest and holding things up when you have the air to go on a bit way farther. But can warn you honestly, without being rude or mean or self-serving if it's better not to, for awhile or for a reason. And the same for them. Since I’m not expecting them to be sherp…Sherpa People alone. I am continually working on myself to try to be a better writer and be a better friend, especially to fellow writers, so I guess that could make me a possible Sherpa. Sherpa in training?

I know I want these things the author mentions in the post. Like this : "…Do you have a Sherpa in your writing life? A spouse willing to encourage you regardless of the sacrifices? A writing partner who understands the costs and keeps you moving forward regardless? A critique group committed to helping one another get in condition? Maybe, if you're ready, you have an agent who believes in your talent and is moving along with you step by step. If not, perhaps this should be the year you find someone to help keep your eye on either the big picture or the next small goal, depending. Someone to hold you up when your knees buckle in exhaustion. Someone to keep you thinking about the importance of your personal goals when you risk losing motivation because you realize there is a line of people before you waiting for their turn to stand on top of the world."

I feel I have the one, but not sure if I have any of the others. I want these and ALL the things the author mentions in the post that writer Sherpa People can do for you.

What about you? Are you looking for a Sherpa?
I know I am.
I’m looking for Sherpa People, not just a Sherpa.
But I can start with a Sherpa. Know anyone like that? Know where I can find some Sherpa people that are interested in trekking along together?
Read the post and let me know, maybe we could look together or something.
I'll be here slogging along the track somewhere. Uh, don't forget to look in the ditches along the way. Just in case.

Communication Sucks

Why is communicating so hard? Uh, I'm talking about with people here. I get the different species with animals thing. Or does that different species thing really come down to, me, you = different species?

Is that why it’s so hard? And why are we so bad at it? Okay so a lot of people seem to be, I Know I'm not the only one here people!

And why are we especially bad at something so essentially needed. Yeah, so it's not food, water, shelter but it can be a great help to get those things. And while words might not break our bones they certainly have the power to break the spirit. I've had that experience tried on me more than should be on anyone. Not that I've had the great tragedies and abuse that some people have experienced but just because someone doesn't experience the same thing, or seems to have it so great, doesn't mean that they don't have things going on that no one else knows about. As the theme of the novel I am trying desperately to get finally finished kind of says, there's more to the face you see than what people usually know. Is it people just don’t really care? Is that why communicating is so difficult? I know some people don’t have a clue that words do have the ability to kill, it just takes longer and is more painful than a bullet. So while words might not shelter and protect the body directly they certainly do the spirit. Words just go to the spirit first and then the body follows. For what is a body without the spirit but an empty shell.

Are devastating words more powerful than empty words? Guess it depends on what shell they’re in.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's - what's in the air

Maybe it’s the New Year’s air or something but have you noticed all the people around you setting resolutions and goals and all those sort of things?

Or maybe it’s just my people. I know a Lot of this has to do with Maggie Stiefvater and her blog posts. She’s quite the influence, Maggie is. She does have really helpful things to say so it is worth going over and being influenced by her. Not sayin’ they’re bad or good influence, that’s up to you to decide. I think I am still deciding. ;)

So here’s Maggie’s link for you to check out and decide for yourself. I do expect you to come back here and tell me if she influenced you though – good or bad. ;)

For another very interesting and helpful look on working on hard things, especially for writers working on the hard business of getting Just the right words, do check out Leslie Pietrzyk’s blog.

I’m so glad I met Leslie at a James River Writers Writing Show this past year. For those that were there at the Writing Show and wondering, she was talking about the writing group she has with fellow author Carolyn Parkhurst who was also on the Writing Show panel [and was at the JRW Conference couple years back. On one of the panels I got to moderate.]

Leslie has a wonderful blog that I discovered after I met her and she always has something interesting on it. She is currently off teaching and is running some of her previous posts, and having discovered her blog fairly recently, I’m very glad she is!

So if you are struggling with something hard to do, go check out her blog entry mentioned below. It’s specially geared toward writers and writing but I think it could apply to any hard thing you had to do. Just be a little open when you read it. But especially if you are a writer I think you’ll be glad you checked it out.

Author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.

Oldies but Goodies, 3: In Praise of Discipline

Posted: 06 Jan 2010

And after you read the 06 Jan post, keep scrolling to the 05 Jan and read it. Especially if you’ve been one of those writers in recent months talking to me about knowing when the time is to abandon what you are whacking your head against and leave it as it is where it is, and when it is time to take that discipline talked about in the Discipline post and persevere.

Leslie has some very interesting insights that are definitely worth checking out. On all her blog posts. And if you don’t want to miss those interesting insights sign up for them to be sent to you by email the way I did. So I can save them and bludgeon my unruly inner writer whenever need be. Hold on I need to go do that now.

So you go check out the posts and then come back and let me know what you think. I’m right, yeah?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow Changes Everything!

Okay just so you know, I’m talking about Richmond, Virginia here. I can hear the northerners curling their lips [it’s so cold there most of the time you do hear it don’t you? ;) ] and sneering at us poor simpletons that can’t handle a foot or so of snow. Just mere days before Christmas! Unheard of for these regions! Although even those that ‘dreamed of a white Christmas’ didn’t seem all that overjoyed with it come to think of it.

At our house we only had about 5-6 inches, it was still enough to add to the woes. The general holiday hectic ones and the newly bought refrigerator sagas. Yes, I had sagas. And I’m still not exactly sure about that new energy saver washer I had to buy, is that little smidge amount of water Really getting the clothes all clean? Makes me a bit nervous. But that’s a different saga. And I suppose it’s better than being nervous about the old one, which made me listen and wonder after its puddling accident [process of elimination, no animals, husband swears it wasn’t him], if I was imagining it or if it really did sound funny. And no, it wasn’t ha-ha funny. When I was doing about 8 things at once early December when I still had hope of getting a real handle on Christmas as well as everything else, and had a load in and was upstairs trying to catch up with any one of the myriad of things I am probably way behind on now [like this blog for instance], my husband comes in from work and immediately said, ‘the washer sounds funny.’ He didn’t mean funny ha-ha either. I figured if He noticed then I probably needed to be concerned about working on borrowed washer time. – And what the heck does that mean anyway? The southern readers have heard that, right? Being on borrowed time? Living on borrowed time? –

Anyway, so a simple happy time of looking forward to having new washer, and since sale included extra 10% off, a new refrigerator, ended up being a time-eating, mini-meltdown inducing, more than-usual-frantic holidays, time of Sagas. Upon Sagas.

I have had Sagas my friend. Indeed.

But hopefully that is behind me now. It is a new year. I have come through and I am a stronger person. Well, I will be soon. If I ever manage to get some rest.

Just don’t make me have any more sagas for awhile. Quite awhile.