satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Following the Super-Psychic advice via SnakyPoet, I am duly resting. Resting from attempting to re-educate myself in matters tarot or oracle cards. Resting from conjuring fiction out of whole cloth, because that will come when it wants to, it seems, or when the right prompt comes along. Resting from all the labels I've had on my business cards since the late 90's: writer, tarot consultant, palmist, belly dance teacher. All the stuff that takes me further into the world, and into contact with people.
Instead, today has been a day where I've cleaned the three toilets, and the bathroom, powder room, and en suite until their belly buttons shone. I've finished reading 'Gizelle's Bucket List', which is about a girl and an English bull mastiff, and PizzaBoy and I took a walk through Bellbird Dell. Did necessary texts to Bear, and VampireDancer. Wrote up next week's To Do sheet. Gave my animals pats.
And that's enough. Tonight, I'll continue reading, this time Patti Miller's new memoir writing book. Not to do any of the exercises, but to simply read through it, as I used to do with writing books. Inhale another writer's mind and methods and prompts, and then let it sit in the stew of my head.
I'm not good at resting. Haven't been since....well, forever. Since I felt I had to prove I was 'of use' in the world to LoafAbout, to the ExBastard, to my mother, OldestBrother, and people who were likely not judging me at all(the ones listed sure were).
Now, living in the House of Sloth, I am the crazy-active one, and every oracle, person, and the animals are all saying 'rest'.
Well, sitting on my bed reading with PB, the Pupika, Angel, and Penny is as close as I get. I'll take it, until my mind looses its hold on busy-ness a fraction more, and I can sink further into this thing called 'rest'.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Wholefood Merchants in Ferntree Gully has a café attached to the 'supermarket', and serves quite nice food, even if the menu changes on a whim, and every single thing I've ever liked there eventually gets supplanted by something containing wheat, quinoa, eggplant, or something I simply loathe.
I like to go there for brunch, to read, to shop, to browse, and sometimes to write. For that, I go in the non-rush times from 9.30-11.30am, and 1.30-4pm.
The café has a large water feature that's treated as a wishing well. It's a low, square pool of water, with a metal sculpture acting as waterfall.
Today, I gave a two year old three ten cent pieces to throw into the 'wish' for me, as she'd already emptied her mother's purse of all silver, and one gold coin ("Go all out, and make it a big wish!").
Whatever the poppet wished for, shortly afterwards, I finished the short story I've been mucking about with, and decided to have another crack at the idea of a water spirit living in the water feature. Two aborted short stories, and this time, a poem.
Well, that came tumbling out of me, and I thought I'd never find an end to it. I returned, yet again, to the idea of a female discovering she has a link to the water spirits.
So, thanks little girl, whatever your wish was. I feared that poetry had left me.
I'm so unsure of myself re poetry that I'll need to give a couple of people a look, and then I'll be brave and send it somewhere.
I have grave doubts about this. Every time I access Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, I find 80% of the poems inaccessible. I just don't get them. And the remaining 20% are so sophisticated that I quail before their cleverness.
This poem I've just first drafted is very simple, and just says it. No obscurity, no high-falutin'. Both concepts are my enemy. Can't be doing with high-falutin' poems.
Anyway, maybe there's a home for it somewhere, once it's been tidied up. It would be nice to have one publication to my belt this year.
As for the short story, I'll also run that by a couple of likely suspects. And then see if the competition I aimed for is still open. I had an uneasy conversation with my muse on this story.
Satya: Here's the criteria: X, Y, two Z's, and a K.
Muse: Hmmm.... While you're in the bath tonight, riff on it to PizzaBoy.
Satya: But that's just silly riffing.
Muse: It's called brainstorming.
Satya: Oh.

Satya riffs to PB. PB gently eggs her on. Satya, as usual, takes it to weird places. Much giggling, and self-entertainment. Satya feels sparkly.

Satya: Um, Muse, how about that story....
Muse: You have the idea. The riff?
Satya: But that can't be the story, surely. It's...simplistic, silly. There's no logic.
Muse: Take it or leave it. That's what it is.
Satya: But Margaret Atwood is a judge. We've just finished watching 'The Handmaid's Tale'.... This isn't going to fly with her.
Muse: Want me to take it back?
Satya: No, no. It's just that....I thought our idea would be more....important.
Muse: You don't do straight importance. You go the Pratchett, Adams, and Asprin route. You use humour.
Satya: People don't take it seriously. They think there's no skill to it.
Muse: Must I remind you that those 'writer people' you're thinking of write shitbox clunky humour, and you don't. Now, here's a nice new notebook, and your favourite turquoise Lamy fountain pen. Get on with it.

Tomorrow, I start trying to transcribe my handwriting. Not as easy as it used to be. My handwriting is even worse, and my eyesight...well, I can see I'm in for a 'squint at the page, then type a few words, then squint at the page' session or two.

But that's tomorrow. Right now, I can tell you that all this chipperness is a smoke screen for The Sad, and The Exhaustion. I didn't sleep well last night, so fibro symptoms are rolling through me, namely joint and muscle pain. The Sad is nagging to consider images of hanging and being shot in the head. The Exhaustion wants me to lie down and die.
Yeah, well, not tonight, thanks. Now that I've realised that I'm on to my second World War II book, and I've been listening to another WWII book in the car, I've ceased 2/3, and am applying 'The Utterly Ultimate My Word Collection' by Frank Muir and Denis Norden. That should make me laugh, and I can forget about Nazis.
Full Moon in Aquarius, plus a partial lunar eclipse. No wonder my brain is messed up.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
It's a cold, cold day here in Melbourne. Overcast skies, and the Dandenongs are misted in. No visibility at all and it's the middle of the day. Not as freezing cold as yesterday, but enough to keep me indoors until my 5pm naturopath appointment.
I walked to and from the chiropractor's rooms this morning. That's plenty of outdoor air for today.
I'm now parked on PizzaBoy's bed, as the snoring room is the warmest room in the house. I've whittled the mammoth email backlog by about 10 emails, paid a couple of bills, and have answered some facebook messages.
What a good girl am I.
I've even remembered to give my seeds, thinking about sprouting in the seedling tray, a squirt of water.
I thought this afternoon would be an arting time, but now that I'm fed, watered, warm, and comfy, the afternoon blah is upon me, and I will spend my time reading.
Yesterday I did some artwork with a girlfriend. Her house in Boronia was quite cold, an old weatherboard house. Her art room upstairs was even colder. By the time I'd played with some pastels, and done my 'thing', I could no longer feel my legs from the knees down. We went back downstairs, but even the warmth of her little dog in my lap couldn't thaw me. When I left, I went straight to Forage and ate hot chips and drank hot chocolate, but it was no good. I was chilled. I came home, into pyjamas, and into bed.
And what happens when Satya gets warm again? A nanna nap.
However, my friend and I had spent much time discussing how unkind we are to ourselves, that if we spoke to others the way we spoke to ourselves, we'd have no friends. So I took my afternoon sleepiness as a sign that this was what I needed, and let myself drowse.
Today, I'm conscious that I feel good when I get some things done, so I've done that, and now I can be kind to myself by being warm, cozy, and reading. I've just borrowed 'The Boy At The Top of The Mountain' by John Boyne, the man who wrote 'The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas'. It's not a fat book, so I suspect that if I start now, I'll be immersed in it until this evening's bedtime.
Must run, book is calling.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
SnakyPoet alerted me to the way my chosen blog skin was playing out for visitors. I've hopefully fixed that now.

I'm sitting in the sun, which is coming in through my bedroom windows. I'm cross-legged on the floor, squinting at the screen against the sunlight, with Penny right in front of my legs. She's more cranky these days, don't know why. Hisses all the time, has started biting visitors when they pet her. I'm going to apply coconut oil to her paws again, and when she licks it off, she will eat it, and hopefully, it might affect her skin. I think she has terribly ichy skin, and it's annoying her.

An anxiety day for me today. Far too much in the world recently. Body had had enough by last night, mind has had enough today. I've done a bit of house tidying, not that you can tell, and I've been on the couch late morning, reading. Reading will continue after this blog update.

Not much else to report. Still very down, although I put a jolly good face on it. Still anxious, so nothing new there. Still got fibro, although a friend has signed me up to a 'detox through cabbage and kale ferments, kill the candida, kill the worms, be prepared to piss and poop and vomit, as this is good' group, and the admins say that if you cease naming your diseases, they won't exist. So I don't have fibro. I have SparklingHealth. Which I am treating with Nimbin oil, chinese herbs, rest, and gentle exercise. Not to mention the occasional Voltaren.
I will not be treating my SparklingHealth with cabbage and kale ferments, which makes one sick as a dog.

Good gods, there's an ant crawling around my windowsill. There must be warmer weather on the way if the ant scouts are out and about. I would have thought they'd still be below ground. Then again, only another six weeks or so, and I can start organising my back yard beehive. The bees will be ready by then, I think.

I live for the warmer weather, for not so many clothes, and because I'm too chicken to inflict enough pain and discomfort on myself, and others, to end it.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
I have a blog update scheduled for tomorrow.
I want tomorrow to be full of nothing.
So I'm updating now.
I'm sad, and have been for most of this year.
I hide it well.
Everyone believes my smile.
There. I updated.
As if anyone gives a fuck.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com.au/

I've not written poetry much at all this year. I've been deep in memoir territory, and I feel dry, used up, a leaf in winter scraping on cold bitumen. So, I toddled over to my favourite poetry inspiration place and I'll try to do something with Brendan's prompt.

Knife through butter
to measure out half a cup
for this new recipe.

A good sliver off the Larsen Ice Shelf
loosing itself into the ocean.

Sugar weighed out into metal bowl,
white and silver.

Snow and ice gleaming,
deep within larimar-blue.

Crumbled almond meal,
the tang of vanilla essence.

Icebergs melting, salt biting deep,
the smell of krill
from a minke's mouth.

Apply heat.

The cake rises.
The land bares itself.
One more palatable than the other.
****

That felt like grinding dry concrete. But it's a start.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
I lay in bed this morning, and thought: "Oh pooh, I have appointments, and yoga that require me to be in the world, just when I don't want to be."
I had the choice of cancelling everything and staying put in bed, with the justification of 'well, everyone needs rest'. In reality, I feel low, and lethargic, and tired of fighting the cold, all for the sake of 'living a life'.
It's July, so here's the Big Sad, the Big Anxious, and the mid-winter blues. I long to be in Darwin, Mission Beach, Monkey Mia. Anywhere warm, tropical, with lots of sunlight. I want bright green, and white sand, and blue sky and ocean. I want to not be wrapped up to the eye-teeth in layers and layers of clothes until I feel I'm suffocating.
I want all my writing to be done, and not have to go back into it and fix all the dumb-ass mistakes.
Today, I want to be the Four of Swords, someone lying in their tomb.
Yeah, I know it's bad thinking. You know what, I don't have it in me to alter it today.
I'll mope along to yoga, because that's what I do. I'll eat food, because one must, I suppose. I'll read because what else is there? Because these are things that make up my life, and I don't know how to just sit and moulder away to nothing.
I know all the nutrition, and exercise, and change-my-thoughts stuff. I can do all that. No use telling me to 'get out for a walk and have an orange'. I'll likely do both today. They won't change in the inner essence of me that's craving sunlight, and warmth, and....well, preferably the ability to sit and not move, and not think.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
I'm watching THE HANDMAID'S TALE. I always knew it would be a hard watch, just as the book is a very hard read. I read it once as a young woman, and thought 'ugh, I don't like Atwood at any time, and this is one fucked up dystopian read'.
I read it again earlier this year, as an older woman with more perspective, and thought: "Dear Gods, it's here."
I'm up to the second-last episode of season one. What have I just remembered?
That my ex-husband said to me that if I couldn't bear him children, he would have to divorce me, and find someone who could. Only he didn't put it like that. He said 'get rid of'.
I was a vessel to provide the dream family he envisioned. They were the last few things on his 'Stuff To Get' list: house, wife, two children.
I was the wife, I birthed the two children.
What a good handmaid I was.
#triggered
#horrified
#mortified
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
I am making another climb of Mount Readmore, the huge pile of unread books in the house, mostly things I've bought. A recent purchase was eliminated in under an hour today, as I found it to be a most mundane of a mundane chicklit story. I succumbed to the bus stop ads I saw, grabbed a copy, and found it underwhelming. Some chicklit fan will be thrilled at the local op shop to find a brand new book.
I started 'Frogkisser' by Garth Nix at lunchtime today, and I'm intrigued enough to keep reading, bearing in mind that it really has to pull me in by page 50, or it too begins the long op shop trip.
Can't speak highly enough of 'Cold Vein' by....by....someone. A memoir of anorexia, told by a mother. Chilling, scary, awful, brilliant, gripping. Grabbed me in two pages and didn't let go.
Books, books, books for me over the next couple of days, as I gear up for the next section of memoir. I admire those who can plug away at their writing daily. I'm not one of them.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
What a busy writing day it's been. I met with Saraswati at 11.40am(ten minutes after she finishes teaching yoga), and we wrote for two hours. She's writing about 'yoga off the mat', and I'm still deep in A TEAR IN THE AIR land. Through the worst of it now, I think. The Ordeal is done with, and now I start the return journey to the ordinary world.
Then, pick up a new thumb drive, one that can attach to my key ring. I'm fearful that if my computer gets stolen, my months of hard memoir work will be gone. With a thumb drive in my purse, and another on my key ring, I can back up each time I finish a café or friend's house binge writing session.
I'm home now, and have just copied all my poems from The Followers project of several years ago into a file. Over the next week, I'll go through them, rewrite if necessary, and do a coupla paragraphs to talk about the experience of The Followers. Then, send them to snakypoet, I guess, who once again is assuming editor hat. I might even find some title suggestions in amongst the poems, because so far, we are scratching our heads.
I'll be glad to knock off writing for the day, and tend to a few other things. Pets, husband, adult offspring, the state of the house, reading, meal planning. Gosh, even down time for day dreaming. I think I've forgotten how to do that.
It looks like I'll finish A TEAR IN THE AIR this month (and about darned time). I know it's only first draft stage, but I'm going to seek appropriate beta readers for feedback while I attend to other writing projects. THE STORIES SO FAR has languished for a few months. It's now time to turn my attention to it again, and get it out in the world. The dreaded synopsis, and all that jazz, to try some of the smaller presses like Ticonderoga, and such, to see if their keen on my collected published short stories.
Then it will be time to take a look at the ambitious goals I set myself in December at the break-up party of the Secret Keepers Memoir Group. We each listed three projects we'd go crazy on this year.
And that should be enough to be going on with for the rest of this year.

Surely some poetry must come out of me soon. Surely.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
The time has come for TwentiesBoy to have a will. He owns property. He has stuff. It's not just a case of rocking up to a solicitor and saying 'his sister gets everything'. Oh no. Of course it's not that easy.
Phone solicitor. Nope, she can't do it. Please talk to VCAT.
Phone VCAT. Not their thing. The Supreme Court is the one who can make an order.
Phone Supreme Court. Phone rings out.
Repeat every few days for a month.
Get through to Supreme Court Wills and Probate. Get referred to a different department three times.
Talk to a man who says I need to: employ a solicitor, who will brief a barrister, who will make application to the Supreme Court for a hearing, where it will all be discussed, and then, if everyone is feeling good that day, and the planets are in alignment, an order will be made. All interested parties will have to attend. That means me, PizzaBoy, LoafAbout, TwentiesGirl, possibly TG's partner, CarMan.
Interested? Why not come along for a fun day out at the Supreme Court? Bring a packed lunch, a picnic rug, and a cricket set.
I can't say that I don't have other things I might be doing with my time. Little things such as writing books.
But hey, for sins in a past life presumably, I get to pay off the karma this lifetime with a hefty dose of admin paperwork.
All fun, all the time.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Well, so much for the good intentions to be here twice a week. Most of that motivation was to 'build my on-line platform', and you know what, fuck that for a joke. I'd rather be writing actual stuff.
Which hasn't been happening either. I had a great rhythm going there for a bit, and then fell of the bike. Now I have a head cold, which won't kill me - I'll just wish it would.
It's 4.41pm, getting dark already. Winter Solstice, and I've done nothing about that, apart from a brief foray to Lincraft to buy a swatch of black and white cloth for my altar. Instead, I've spent most of this afternoon either reading the 4th Harry Potter book, or dicking about online.
I have three candles burning on the coffee table in front of me. There, that's my big ritual to welcome back the light. Even though we're still in for the coldest months of the year, and I feel cold and dark, and insular.
Rather shitty too, that this head cold has caused me to miss a seminar through the Emerging Writers Festival, and cancel my planned trip to Alice Springs for the Beanie Festival.
Fuck! on both counts.
Part of me wants to just lie down, turn my back to the outside world, and mope. Part of me wants to watch classic movies such as 'All About Eve' until late Spring is here. Part of me hopes to forge ahead with 257 writing projects and burst on the scene like a comet.
A very small part of me might like to attend Medtrek 6, but I dunno, I'm not much of a con-goer these days, and would know only very few people. I'm not much good at sitting around reminiscing about Medtrek 1, and 2, because I didn't attend them.
Oh, I'm a gloomy person today. A curse on all the head-filling gunk of viruses.
Okay, that's it, no more moaning. Stop putting this shit out in the world.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
My life has been far too busy of late. My own doing, of course. No one is forcing me to attend the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival, to go out to lunch, to hostess a group of women here for a storytelling afternoon.
I enjoyed all these things, even if that last did require a certain frantic 'shove the rubble into cupboards and rooms not on display' yesterday morning.
I am having a quiet day today. Walked the dog, did a few yoga stretches, surrendered the yoga mat to Penny the Cranky black cat, and I've been on the brown couch reading UNDER STORY by Inga Simpson, with breaks for toast, chocolate, and now, green tea.
You know, I waited most of my life to find my Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I read the book when I was twenty-something, and craved a group of friends who would be there, no matter what. Long-standing friends with whom I could share everything. I've never had that. No blood sisters, no relatives I am close to, and groups of people have come and gone in my life.
Fandom wasn't a place to find my sisterhood. I was too weird for even them. Parenting groups, nope. The Frankston Orchid Society - they were too weird for me.
Over and over, I'd think 'this is the one', only to have the group fall apart.
But now, in my 50's, when I think some of my more prickly edges have softened, my heart has opened in new ways, and I have inevitably grown more into my true self, I find myself in two groups that accept me wholeheartedly.
First there's the memoir group I belong to, with OopsIHadABaby, Gardener, and HippieRussian. We've been together over three years now, and are closer than sisters. We've thrown each other much-belated 21st birthday parties, celebrated publications, commiserated over rejection slips. We've bolstered each other through difficult writing patches, bitched about various jobs, and held each other as we reveal the most hidden parts of ourselves. These are the ladies to whom I consign my journals, and who must break into my house after I'm dead, and steal them. Whenever one of us is nervous about reading out a piece of writing, for fear of judgement, we hold her in silence, compassion, and love. We make space for her to forgive that younger, unknowing self.
We have agreed that we simply have to continue writing memoirs for the rest of our lives, so that we can continue meeting every two weeks. Even if those memoirs devolve into 'my three years at a shit job', or 'the dog walking weirdos I meet'. As we dig deeper, we realise that there's another story, and another, and another. I have never felt more accepted in my life.
The other group came into my life most unexpectedly last year. I was at the Fig Tree Café, having morning tea with my two young grandsons, and somehow I got talking to one of the ladies at the next table. BritchyWitch revealed that her group were parents from Vermont South Special School, where TwentiesBoy used to go. I was invited to join their group as an Elder Stateswoman, someone who's gone through the VSSS and Heatherwood High thing, and whose young adult is now in a recreation programme through Interchange Outer East.
I thought this group would be a fly-by-night thing, but I find myself turning up every few weeks, and sharing my life with theirs. I have found true friends there, who care, and share, and don't place conditions on how any of us parent.
The themes of both these groups: no judgement.
And perhaps I had to wait until my own heart felt safe enough to open, and cease being so judging. Only then could others find their way in.
Do I have sisters? No, not of the 'same parents, same blood' variety. Nieces, great-nieces, cousins, yes.
Do I have women who are sisters? Yes. OopsIHadABaby, SnakyPoet, Gardener, HippieRussian, BritchyWitch, Blondie, PaulFan, and a few others. The sisters of my heart.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Just back from seeing ALADDIN in the theatre. Maybe it's me being super-tired, and shaky, and almost smelling illness in my nose(got that pre-cold feeling), but apart from the Genie, the performances felt flat. The guy playing Aladdin had a hard job coming up against the actor playing the Genie. Then again, the Genie is such a BIG part in every sense of the word, that any mere mortal role would pale beside it.
I'm tucked up in bed now, and will haul myself out for Dr Who with PB and TB, but then it's back to the swooning sheets again.
I'm listening to a vimeo thing for the course I'm studying, and truly, I don't have much else to impart.
I've just started listening to the audio book THE MONSTROUS CHILD, and I'm not sure that a whiny teen is the right personification for the Norse Goddess Hel. And whine is all she does.
So, consider, Satya, how would you portray one of the 'negative' Goddesses. There are plenty of books out there portraying the Aphrodites, Athenas, Hinas, Artemises of this world, but how to make the likes of Hel, Pele, and Kali. How does a teen goddess react to finding out she's got an unpopular gig? A certain amount of whining. But come on, She's Goddess material! She's gotta love it, right? How does Persephone deal with her Queen of the Dead gig, never mind the Spring Maiden thing? She's also Hades consort.
This bears thinking upon, because there's a story here...
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
In the past couple of weeks, I've undertaken a Creative Non Fiction short forms course, and started Sage Priestess Training. I'm also doing the Pull Pen Paint tarot art journalling course, which is turning into a year-long thing. Loving all of it.
I have also started writing first thing in the morning as a regular practice, just a couple of pages here and there, dividing my attention between various projects, but mostly the spiritual memoir, the CNF homework, and the new writing memoir.
I do yoga once a week, walk most days, belly dance once a week, and grandparent in the cracks. Bit of gardening, bit of cooking, bit of parenting, wifeing, being with my pets.
Let's not forget reading. Never forget reading.
This is the happiest, most content I've been for a very long time. It's like the Bachelor of Arts I should have taken back in the 80's.
I am my writerly, witchie, yogini, dancer self, with a side salad of mother, grandmother, and wife.
Ironically, because of anxiety, I'm getting a referral back to the psychiatrist today, where I can tell her that I'm weirdly anxious, but quite happy, and not depressed at all.
Have not lost any weight at all, even with increased exercise, but I think I've moved it around a bit, so that's okay. It would be useful if I didn't scoff so much Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate. But not as pleasurable.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
My amateur peering into my tea cup this morning netted me several butterflies standing out from the general wodge of herbs. A few odd specks of herb formed into butterfly wings on two different angles. For me, butterflies signal transformation.
I truly hope so, because just yesterday, at Mastermind group, I was whinging about how I saw writing as work, wanted to reframe that back into play and adventure. I was reminded of an NLP exercise BunnyGirl took me through some years ago, to reframe a difficult incident I'd just experienced.
Today will see me trawling the web to see if I can find something similar to help me reframe my writing life. My mind just don't like Work, and Job, and Career. Not even Calling, Gifts, Destiny. It all sounds like a drag to my child-mind.
Nevertheless, three new pages written this morning. Two on the spiritual memoir, one on....wait for it, a new memoir called A GIRAFFE IN MY TEA CUP. Writing memoir. Title came shortly after the tea leaf reading I had at the Tea Festival.
"Nice title," I thought.
"It's a great title! Now, let's get on with the writing memoir!" said Creative Brain.
"The what?"
"The writing memoir. You know, for the boxed set of memoirs."
"But I'm not done with the spiritual memoir, the PizzaBoy memoir, the TwentiesBoy memoir, or the belly dance memoir..."
"Writing memoir. Start now."
Sigh.
Because who doesn't want 20 unfinished projects?

Raw Story

May. 22nd, 2017 08:14 am
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
#StoryADay prompt
Societal World Building

The Story A Day website offered the prompt of looking at a story you're writing, and asking how a particular aspect of the story came into being. It can mean research if writing a 'mundane' or literary story, more wild speculation if writing genre.

My mind went straight to a story I never finished, an older one, where Christianity has been side-lined in favour of every other religion in the world. Naturally, I gave St Paul's cathedral to the pagans. Prime real estate.
I never got further than someone on the steps of St Paul's watching Christians march down Swanston St, from the State Library to the Shrine of Remembrance. I remember something about ruined tram lines from the religious riots of twenty years before, and it seemed it was yet another foray of mine into a semi post-apocalyptic Melbourne. I've yet to discover whether all these little Melbourne vignettes are part of one great disaster vision, or separate worlds.

Anyway, so if that's where my mind went, I'm okay with that. Maybe the speculation I'm about to do here, straight onto the page, and without too much seriousness, will respark the story. Maybe not. I don't have much of a stake in the results either way. It's an exercise.

So, partly-ruined Melbourne, or at least, a greatly neglected and run-down Melbourne.
How? When? I want to say it's an offshoot of the Kennett years, which is when this story started. That Kennett's strictures on Victoria tightened and tightened, and somehow, the Christian sects of Melbourne became harsher, to the point where other religions finally revolted.
Did they band together? They'd have to, I think. That would take some organisation. A charismatic leader? This was in the days before Facebook, flash mobs, and the internet being a way to rally people(and for people to say they're coming to something, and then not bother turning up, because there's a turmeric chai latte with their name on it at a hipster café).
What would it take for the Pagans, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and every other mob to take to the streets and wrest control of the church sites, and the dominant religious paradigm of Victoria?
Did it happen worldwide, or just in Australia, or just Victoria?
Interesting if it's just Victoria, because it ties in with a story I wrote, also during the Kennett years, of a wall going up around Victoria, and Kennett continuing as a despot. And harnessing all the magical and psychic folk to control the security of the wall. In the case of my heroine, holding her daughter hostage.
If the tram lines in Melbourne are ruined, it suggests a violent takeover that wrecked Melbourne.
Now that the pagans have St Paul's what are they going to do with it? It's scarcely a grove of trees, an open space, or Stonehenge. Or is it? Do those steps of St Paul's now lead to a new Stonehenge on the site of the church?
Oh, but I would miss the bell turrets, and the gargoyles...
But what was the last straw? What was the incident that broke the camel's back and incited rebellion, rioting, and takeover? Who was it who said 'let them eat cake'?
I truly want to implicate George Pell.
"Christians have only ever done good," he might have said.
And that, my friends, would have pissed off just about everyone not Christian. Not that their hands are clean, by any means, because every religion has dickheads, and oppressors.
But, I can just picture Pell saying something like that, then denying he said it, as he's lead to the chopping block.
Or something equally inflammatory.
When it's broadcast on tv, one person puts down their knife and fork on their dinner plate and says: "That's it. I had enough of this git."
Then they're on the phone to their mates, saying: "Did you see Pell? Yeah? We riot at midnight. Call your friends."
And the biggest phone tree in the history of phone trees is activated.
At midnight, Melbourne starts to fall.

And that's what I can think of at 8.30am, Monday morning, over breakfast on the brown couch.
As an experiment, I didn't go terribly wild, but I am feeling rather worn down by the past week.
Plus, I'm only slowly regaining my ability to 'ask the next question' to get deeper into weird territory.
So much of my original storytelling skill deteriorated in the years after my breakdowns, and in the made scramble to write non-fiction to sell to magazines. My word skills have improved, but I need to work out my speculation muscles, build them up again. They are rather atrophied.
So, morning workout done, I now rise from the brown couch, disturbing both the pup, and Chloe Ballerina Cat, and go about my day.
Ciao for now, world builders.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Saturday 20th May was the Melbourne Tea Festival, which, on Facebook, comes under the auspices of Tea Festivals.
Went last year, drank lots, bought lots, still drinking some of that. Very crowded, many stalls, T2 taking up the most space. Odd, because they are in many shopping centres.
Anyway, they weren't there this year, and it was more artisan teas, and small businesses.
Last year, it was all about green tea. This year, it was chai.
A sign of the trendy hipster influence?
Certainly the amount of turmeric chai tea on offer indicates a strong trendy café influence.
It's $20 to get in, and then, small porcelain tea cup in hand, I wandered the aisles. Every stall had a crowd of people, so I utilised the elbows, patience, and long arms of PizzaBoy to get in for me.
"Go PizzaBoy, fetch me some slurps!"
And he did.
I drank my way through green teas, rooibos teas, chai's, turmeric chai's, fruit tisanes. Most were good, a few foul beyond belief.
I managed to book a tea leaf reading with Tea With Annie, and scored a reading with the very pregnant Annie herself. A lovely lady, full of light, and delight. I arrived early for my reading, naturally, being a Capricorn who frets about lateness, so I urged her to stuff her face with food while she had the chance. To my motherly mind, she didn't eat enough for lunch, but likely, in her late stage of pregnancy, can't fit much in at any one time.
I drank my herbal tea, straining the herbs through my teeth, and, upon her instruction, tipped my cup upside down on the saucer and let it sit.
When she picked it up, she waited for further drops to drip out, and said: "When the tea cup cries like this, it's an indication to drink more tea, you're dehydrated". Well, I dunno about drink more tea. I'd just siphoned about 3 litres into the toilet. But she was likely right about being dehydrated. I needed more water.
To me, the herbs just looked like a big clump, but, armed with a metal skewer, Annie pulled images and meaning.
Now, all she knew about me was my first name, and my mobile phone number, which I'd rather scrawled down. We'd not met before.
First up, she remarked on the heart shape of the clump of herbs, pointing out aorta and other valves. She said that if I was to look after any aspect of my health, heart needed to come first.
As I'd spent a day the prior week with a Halta heart monitor on, because I've been having palpitations, and occasional skipped beats(my heart has always skipped beats on occasion, but it's recent that it's become painful when it does so). Heart is fine, according to the 12 hour scan done. Sure, my heart totally behaved itself. Not a palp or skip in sight. Half an hour after ripping the ruddy, rash-inducing pads off, palpitations. Go figure. (Like the magic that happens in a doctor's office, you start feeling better while sitting there.)
I have taken note of Annie's remarks, and am slowing my life down again, as I think the heart stuff is anxiety.
Annie pointed out a giraffe shape made of calendula and rooibos leaves.
"Are you a writer?"
"Yes."
She said that giraffes usually come up in the cups of writers. I am so very happy to have had a giraffe in my cup. (Title of writing memoir)
She said that something to do with the writing, an opportunity, or success, will come up in about four months. So there's some impetus to get a memoir finished to first draft through edit stage, and send it somewhere. Likely to be the spiritual memoir, as that's the one I'm closest to atm.
Gosh, what else did she say?....
She saw a wedding in the family (yes, TwentiesGirl, November), and.... Annie is not the first intuitive to think that TG and CarMan will add a fourth child to their household in a few years, another girl, and a girly girl this time. So far, two other psychics have picked that up, and me.
No pressure, TG, just carry on with raising your three brood right now.
Annie picked up my own intuitive gifts and talents. We chatted about tarot being my forte, and not hers, and tea leaf reading being hers, and not mine. She put me on to a transparent tarot that can build up images when pulled cards are placed on top of each other.
We then had a wee bitch-fest about a certain coffee cup reader who has been unpleasant to both of us.
I can't remember what else she said now. I'm still rather full of myself that the giraffe was in my cup. Yes, I'm a writer. Even the gods, and the tea gods, and the tea leaves think so. Not that I was in any doubt, but in times past, readers have picked up 'musician' over and over, and I have all the musical skill of an avocado.
After the reading, I continued my merry slurping way, although my palate was rather jaded, and so was my nose. I couldn't tell a green rose tea from a jasmine tea. Besides, there's only so much tea I can drink before my tongue feels furry and dry, and my stomach says 'for pity's sakes, woman, eat something'.
A few food trucks were selling stuff, but the Vietnamese tofu bowl PB bought me was far too spicy for this unadventurous eater. I fancied it was upsetting my vata dosha (I've been a bit keen on Ayurvedic stuff since my last Byron Bay trip).
I did a quick trip through the 'blend your own tea' section, where I made a warming and calming tea, with a chamomile base, plenty of rose and calendula, some ginger, clove, and some blue mallow flowers. It tastes...okay.
And I was done. I couldn't face any more tea, didn't want the macarons on offer, or the fancy red bean tea cakes, so we choofed off.
A walk along Southbank in the sunshine, and onto the train for home.
Pleasant day out, but the body and brain were telling me it was a step too far in a busy week. I had the shakes, and the brain addles.
Still, I'd go again next year, provided I drink up all my tea in the meantime...

Raw story

May. 18th, 2017 12:32 pm
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
StoryADay Day 17, straight onto the page here.

The bloody fairies have been at it again. They must sit peering around books on shelves, and behind photo frames as I lumber about the house, wondering where the hell I've stored my belly dance veils, and my small selection of hip scarves.
I'm a retired belly dance teacher, and tomorrow, someone is coming to buy the last few things from me. I never sold everything, thinking that one day I'd go back, but now I know I won't.
I kept some favourites. But, where? Apparently, not where I used to store my costumes, wigs, and the hardware involved with belly dance - finger cymbals, sword, cane, veils, shamadan, dancing flags, Isis wings.
The fairies move things around in this house. Or the spirits. Or the ghost of Little Egypt, turning in her grave at the sight of red-haired, white, round little me in a two piece cabaret costume.
So, I've had enough. I'm getting out the big guns. I borrowed a book on fairy witchcraft from the library. "Fairies, Magic, and You At Home". I'm going to get my stuff back from wherever they've stashed it.
The book says to cast circle by strewing fairy dust. What the-? Who has that lying around? I don't even have packets of sequins any more. Skip that, then, because I have no idea what they're talking about. Who's the author? Lady Morgaine Le Star. Never heard of her.
Next, call in the elements. This book isn't very detailed. I don't think it's for beginners. Well okay. I feel like a nutter, but I don't know what else to do.
I'm in the middle of my lounge room. I can smell the washing drying in front of the space heater.
"Elements, come to me!" I say, with my arms raised, because that seems like the right thing to do. "Hydrogen, helium, lithium....um....nitrogen, aluminium..." Do I really have to name them all? There's a lot, and high school chemistry was a long time ago. "Ah...lead, zinc, and sodium. Hello, greetings, um, yeah."
The book says to invoke the fairies, and ask for their help.
"Oh, fairies, come to me." How do you invoke things you've never seen? I suppose it's like praying to God. "Dear Fairies who move things around, hallowed be your names. Your kingdom is nearby I guess, and you're certainly imposing your wills on me. Please fairies, return to me that which you have moved, or taken, and hidden. Please. I need them for a charity gig tomorrow. Please."
I pause to take a peek at the book. It says to make an offering to the fairies of milk and honey, and little bread, as the fairies 'keep no herds, no hives, and do not farm'.
Soy milk, stevia, and no bread at all. I'm a health nut. I don't do grains. I cut up an apple, and put it in a bowl with the soy milk, and sprinkle it all with stevia powder.
My loungeroom is unchanged, and there's no feeling of magic in the air. But...the book is missing. It was right there on my coffee table, and now it's gone.
"All right, you wise guys. Put it back. Put everything back the way you found it. I'm sick of this. Put. It. All. Back. The. Way. You. Found. It." My voice is strong, and I have my hands on my hips. The old performance adrenaline is running through me. The stuff that kept me addicted to dance well past the time I should have retired, for my health. I kept teaching and dancing, despite the loss of balance, the confusion, the shaking.
Parkinson's is a bitch of a thing.
I sit down before I'm tempted to try a few dance moves, before I start thinking beyond my body's limits, and wanting a life I can't have any more.
Nothing happens. The room is as quiet and still as ever. I flop back against the couch, and soon, I'm dozing. It's easy to sleep time away.

I wake and I'm...not in my lounge. I'm on the couch of my parents old house. The house that has been torn down, and transformed into three townhouses, with ugly straight lines. There's the smell of Mum's vegetable soup cooking, and I'm small again.
I'm...a child. A tiny one, maybe four, I guess. I'm inside this body that doesn't shake, or hurt, isn't weak.
I'm the age....when I saw fairies around the roots of the apricot tree. I remember now. I saw them. I did.
They've put everything back the way they found it. The way they found me.
And then, the memories start to fade. Gone are my fifties, my forties. I'm going back and back in time, losing my adult self. Back through my twenties, and my teens.
I'm four, and Mummy has soup, and I like that. Mummy calls me to dinner, and I run. I like Mummy's soup, and after dinner, she said we could play dancing. We can dance together like big girls.

****

I had no idea where that was going to go when I started it. I'm a bit pleased. I had to go back and alter a couple of things when the true situation of the woman came out, but all the rest is fresh onto the page.
StoryADay done. Writing done for today. Weird itchy feeling released.

Poem

May. 18th, 2017 09:50 am
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Poor sorting: I like that: that it all gets dropped, the big stuff enmeshed with the grainy soft stuff. The indiscriminate mess. That it forms a long train, so that seeing it all, one can trail events back. Guess at them. View time. And by way of the whole scattered and shifting pattern, by the gathering eye, make something of these loose details, collecting. - from "Glaciology" by Lia Purpura.

Imagine the bride down the aisle,
white train leaving behind her old life.
Along the curated carpet:
a Barbie here, a skipping rope there.
Over by the doorway, a tiny engagement ring
given to her by a boy desperate to fuck her
when she was eighteen,
the diamond speck scarcely visible
amongst light refracting off the rock on her finger today.
Her life revealed,
like a shock of ankle,
or a glimpse of 1913 stocking.
Heaven knows, now anything goes,
as old bikinis,
and a school uniform are kicked
by the mother of the bride
into a spare aisle at the back of the church.
And oh, over there, the body of her first dog,
old Aldo, who endured her toddler love.
Everyone pretends they can't see
her history sediment roughed up and exposed
by the glacier-white of her dress.
She streams past, hands trembling
ever so slightly,
and face frozen in a smile she's practiced
for years.
The groom, at the front of the church
yet to be ground down to rock flour,
as she approaches.
New territory open for both of them;
climate change, and going-away outfits.
The rubble is left behind
on the floor of the church,
as she looks ahead,
as though she knows what's coming.

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