You can do it…

doubt_dice

doubt butts into life

and tricks us into sorry

paralyzation

JSmith 09/28/2017

 

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Um…what was I saying?

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Good morning, friends. I woke up to sunshine and a stack of birthday greetings, so I’m currently fortifying my brain and bones with coffee and preparing to meet myself at age 70 before the day’s over. It feels odd to own that milestone, but my primary emotion is thankfulness – I’ve outlived my mother by three years now, and I like not dying yet, so here we go…

Kim’s playing PickleBall for a couple of hours in NoLaw, and when he’s home and showered we’ll walk through the alley to The Roost so I can have potato pancakes like my mom made. This evening will be dinner at Basil Leaf, with serious fasting between the two birthday meals. Some industrial-strength healing is in order as well – over the weekend Kim narrowly missed getting slammed by a bronchial event, and yesterday I picked up where he left off. It’s been years, I have no idea how many, since I’ve had a cold or flu, but this thing is trying to kick my butt. Razor-blade throat, cough that won’t quit, head full of gack. My stubborn intention is to feed it, drown it in good coffee, sleep it off this afternoon, and otherwise ignore it to every extent possible.

I have projects to finish and about a million books to read, so Job One is to stick around and do life right. There are people to meet, family to embrace, music to cry over, beauty to fully appreciate, and love to hand out like candy, so I hope I get to stay here with all y’all a good long while.

Experience is worth everything and I happily own the lessons it’s taught me – I’m genuinely liking this part of life from 65 to whatevs. Things have kind of smushed together by now and squeezed out the excess baggage, so I mostly deal with only what really matters, and that works super nice.

Hey, I’m feeling better already. An excellent week to all, and come talk to me. ūüíč

 

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Songwriters are good at this…

big

 

Haiku by Kim the night before the eclipse:

the soft suffocation of
a hot august night
earth heaves and tumbles with life 
.
.
one bat two bat fast bat gone
silent sonar song
masters of the inky night
.
.
many paths are crossed today
astral planes above
we achieve totality
.
.
Kim Smith 8/20/2017

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More rain worship…

Rainy-Day-Quotes-13

 

Adrift on the pouring rain, the flashes and rumblings, the delicious darkling morning. The bed is unmade and its still-warm folds insistently breathe my name. I brazenly cancel coffee and convo with a friend in favor of staying inside and cozy with Kim, who isn’t going out to play this morning either. My friend goes back to bed, so there’s one good deed done for the day.

Languid…liquid…lazy…leisurely…laid back. It’s that kind of day, and if my muse remains trapped in here with me it will be productive in spite of itself.

 

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There comes a time…

creative-thinking

nothing replaces

doing the actual work

dream all you want to

JSmith 03/15/2016

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How bad is your OCD?

indecision1

Over¬†the years together¬†Kimmers and I have gradually realized that we’re both assorted shades of OCD. His shows up, fortunately, as a desire for neat and clean so we’ve saved serious coin by declining to engage the services of a Professional Domestic Engineer since his Mom-&-U.S.Navy Training rendered him¬†eminently qualified. He also prefers being alone in his kitchen while he works his magic according to nose and feel. It isn’t¬†nice to interfere with¬†the Zen, not to mention that it would be¬†foolish, so staying out of the way¬†and maintaining partial radio silence is no sacrifice on my part. I read yesterday that “he who feeds us is our personal god.” I’ll buy that, especially since Kim’s an entirely benevolent one and those are hard to find.

My OCDness is sort of what it¬†looks like – oddness. Odd Cranial Disarray. That’s me up there with too many things taking up space in my brain, sorting priorities, trying to stockpile enough spoons for whatever’s ahead. When it all gets to be a little much I start asking myself what needs to go, either for a while or for good. This month it was my long-term addiction to Facebook, something that felt¬†unbreakable until now. In a bold effort to rescue myself from the slough of despond over politics, which is to say daily life, I shut the door cold turkey on February 1 and the only thing I miss is comments from my real friends there. If I go back¬†when March blows in it will be with a far less engaged mindset. No rush.

The most obvious clue that I’m at least a little OCD is that whatever toy grabs my interest and attention gets¬†the “You’re my favorite thing in the world” treatment until the shiny¬†wears off. Disclaimer: The preceding statement does not apply to people I love – distractions only.

First obsession I remember was learning embroidery from my grandma, making quilts with her, making my own clothes, and then in my little old lady days falling victim to the counted cross-stitch fever that took the civilized world by storm. It was fun, expensive, and I got good at it, but alas, in the end too much work for the eyes and neck muscles, so bye-bye trunkload of fabric, floss, and patterns, hope your next mistress isn’t so fickle.

Having grown too young at that point for needlework I got my first computer and the world was new again. It turned all that industrial-strength bookkeeping on the farm into a sweet walk in the pasture, and it was chock full of games, including an elaborate DOS setup that taxed all my brain cells even as it entertained. Then…years later, when I was even younger, social media burst onto the scene in all its primal glory and began its scorched-earth march to the sea, incinerating all in its path. And hasn’t it been a barrel of laughs, boys and girls? Still is, some days, and I’ll wander back soon, to touch base if nothing else.

I have fond memories of the adorbs farming app in the early days – I lived that silly game, fretted when my crops failed because I was, incredibly, away from the computer when they ripened, took pride in arranging everything just so. One day it dawned on me that I was exerting a godlike control unavailable to me as an actual farm wife and I quietly left it to the birds and bunnies. Then came Candy Crush, the game that ate my soul.

In my current iteration as an adolescent I’m bouncing from one fill-the-blocks app to another, working an endless selection of online jigsaw puzzles and crosswords, dabbling with Twitter, and still ending up with plenty of focused hours¬†to write. Shocking how time-devouring Facebook alone is if you think you have to see every.single.thing that passes through your feed.

I started out to say something here but it got lost in the spaghetti, so let’s do this – if you have reason to think that you, too, may be eligible for the OCD Club, raise your hand, introduce yourself, and let’s have a meeting.

 

 

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Hello February…

February pinned on noticeboard

(GOALS)

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The sleeper wakes…

books-fall-writing

 

Since yesterday fell on a Sunday it was all about grazing, napping, TV sports, and trying to mentally get my poop in a group for starting a new week, which happened today, actually. 

There’s now a handy list of ESSENTIALS taped¬†to my bathroom mirror, providing steady inspiration and focus¬†for being something other than retired, because it’s so hard to stay on task. My happiest day is one where¬†the calendar is a wasteland¬†– a blank slate – but a never-ending string of those can become tedious and full of ennui, so a new LIST and a soup√ßon of discipline¬†are called for at this point.

There are things I need to get down in words, and that happens best when the crowded house at the top of my neck has been freed from clutter. Working on it…

So for now, my list reminds me to do things like:

  • Get up
  • Shower
  • Accomplish one thing every day
  • Do other stuff

I’ll be chugging down the tracks in no time, because I THINK I can, darn it. Admonitions about writing show up three times on THE LIST, because what else is it about? Getting rid of the crap, within and without, opening blinds AND windows, bringing all fresh air onto the scene…preparing to snuggle in and put words on the page through the fall and winter months. So yeah, thanks for listening… ūüíč

 

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ZEN beats PPT

 

Interesting phenomenon in progress: just as too much¬†of social media is disintegrating into a sticky morass of politics, racism, and religious conflict and I’m wondering who the hell I’ll hang with after the mud dries and the dust settles, a door opens – one of the best kinds, totally unexpected and unanticipated. Said¬†door is¬†an invitation to blog for a site whose aim¬†is to provide new platforms for current voices. Their bonafides having checked out, I’m in.

That’s three weeks ago, and my sticky news feed is increasingly¬†being populated by writing sites, blogging sites, photography sites, publishing sites, helpful friendly contact with writers of every stripe (not the porn dudes, they can’t find the trail), and it’s the best attitude adjustment I’ve happened across in months. Nobody’s been purged, blocked, unfriended, unfollowed, or hidden (recently), I’m just so busy talking with friendlies¬†in the world of words, the spunk is quite organically melting right off my page, who knew?

Venturing further into the writing community is proving timely on a purely personal level as well – in a week when nothing at all seems to be going smoothly (an aberration for us), when there are more questions than answers, when our pitiful attempts to garner information come smack back in our faces RETURN TO SENDER every time, and both of us are entertaining morose thoughts of a worm & gopher-guts diet…whew…new friends to save the day (for me). Not that all my old friends aren’t¬†doing a bang-up job, promise.

So yeah, we’re just over here speaking of books and blogs and …

“… shoes- and ships-
And sealing wax-
Of cabbages and kings-
And why the sae is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings.‚ÄĚ

“Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.”*

…and just like that, my prickly, peevish, testy news feed is Zen AF and feels all homey and shit. Guess who took it full PPT on everybody in the first place? Should I write that down somewhere?

 

23-motivational-quotes-for-authors-by-authors-9-638

*Jabberwocky, Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

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modern HAIKU…teachable moments

And by teachable, of course, I mean me. The fabulous one-of-a-kind¬†Janis Ian led me straight down an enticing rabbit hole with her Godzilla haiku, and although I haven’t sent her my own personal homage¬†to the Big Guy yet, I’m having fun with the new toy. Since I’m hoping you’ll add your own quirky lines in Comments (so I can psychoanalyze you), it’s time for me to branch out and experiment with alternate rhythms from yesterday’s teachable moment:

.

want a piece of me

not enough to go around

get in line Sweetness

JSmith 5/25/2016

.

That’s five seven five again. Next challenge…

.

lunch is served

Chef Boy Are We Poor

act not proud

JSmith 5/25/2016

.

Three five three and I like it!

.

Two three two? What are the odds?

.

puffed up

infested

jackass

JSmith 5/25/2016

.

TA-DAA!! That’s the most fun I’ve had since last night¬†and once you screw your brains¬†out into left field and let them freewheel (were you getting worried?), the stanzas jump up and dance. You have to do this, okay? because it’s so much fun and you’ll be so.freaking.proud of yourself. Truth.

.

I’ll just¬†leave this here as the embodiment¬†of inspiration¬†for each of us today:

the-voice-of-the-bagworm

.

Six five four, did you catch that? Just do it.

 

 

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You, too, can haiku…

“A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.” That is hot off the interwebs, kids, so I’m giving it my No Housekeeping Seal of Approval and we’ll roll with it.

Unless we want to consider this generous input from Be Happy Zone:

haiku

See what I’m sayin’?¬† EVERYBODY CAN DO THIS! ¬†So EVERYBODY DO THIS, OKAY? Here, I’ll get us started…

 

pain is not a friend

taking my chubby lumpkins

to the pool for cure

JSmith 5/24/2016

 

*My internal rhythm is partial to 5 7 5, but I promise to experiment with other patterns next time. SHOW ME WHAT YA’ GOT! (Post in Comments.)

 

 

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Rain or shine…

writing-desk2

 

days sunny or gray

pass like water rolling on

inspiration dry

JSmith 5/23/2016

 

 

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A self-rant …

2015 looks fine so far, relatively speaking, but there is much to do as the year rolls by. ¬†Each of the eight points delineated by Neil is a rant aimed specifically at me — a kick in the shorts toward a more focused writing experience. ¬†So on January 5, 2016, remember to ask me how I feel!

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Good Writing Practices:

writingFrame

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Note to self on a Monday …

owning our story

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Why we write …

we write

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