satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
With the advent of a head cold, I cancelled nearly everything in my diary this week. So this is what it's like to make space. No wonder the writing well has felt dry for so long. I am usually so busy that I don't make space to rest, think, dream, and let my mind make connections.
Lo, and the writer is confined to the house. And lo, images and ideas start to intertwine, and hello, it's poetry.
Yes, Satya, all it takes is not running around doing stuff to 'feed your writing and mind'.
Der.
A new poem yesterday, and one this morning. Dunno if they're any good. Shrug. They can be bonsai'd into shape. Right now, what's important is that poetry edged its way out into the early Spring sunlight, and I'm very happy to see it.
Don't make too much of it, don't make too much of it, don't shine 25 spotlights on it. Let it be. Shhhh.

Anyway, so, head cold. Another one. Melbourne is germ-laden this year. Ugh. PizzaBoy and I are moping around the house, snorking and coughing. So far, TwentiesPerson is well.
Not much else to report, except that I finished reading 'Spoonbenders' and wondered what that big fat book was all about. I thought I'd lost my current journal, until I saw it again 5 days later, sitting on my altar, where I'd carefully put it with my mala, like I've been doing for the past several weeks. Brain fog is real, people.

Also, I'm taken with the idea of choosing tarot and oracle decks to suit the season and the Wheel of the Year, so I've had a brief flick through my decks and chosen a few that might match up. Margaret Peterson Tarot, Winged Enchantment Oracle, Belly Dance Oracle, Flower Reading Cards, Hawaiian Oracle. Some chosen for the colour palette, some because flowers or burgeoning life feature. I'll see if this method of playing suits me.
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)
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)
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.

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.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
There, did my two writing submissions this morning. A piece of flash fiction to Liminal Stories(they DO say they like weird), and a short personal essay, a bit of stuff and nonsense, to Elephant Journal.
Those 'in the know' say one must aim for 100 No Thankyous a year, which means amongst the many offerings will be some Yes, We Love You. That's the theory. Rather depressing if all I get is the No Thankyou 100 times.
So, that's 3 offerings down, and it's May. I really don't want to calculate how many more I'd need to do to get the 100. I'll just choof along at my own pace, offering when I think I have something to offer, and meanwhile, writing new stuff, blogging, and sporadically doing my art journaling.

It's started raining. Oh dear, no getting into the garden. I shall simply have to stay inside and read THE GIRL BEFORE. Such a hardship.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Broke my blogging habit there for a while. I don't want to set yet another weekly reminder on my phone, but I may have to, if I want to be consistent here. No one says I have to, but I'm conscious that one day again, I might have more than three readers (hello snakypoet, dragonlady, and cap'nlychee), and they may like consistency.

A number of things to note. The Clunes Booktown Festival was lovely. Loads and loads of secondhand books, as well as new books, fine speakers, and I scored a new copy of THE WRITING BOOK by Kate Grenville, autographed. I had to sell my original copy a number of years ago to put food on the table.
Shocking though this revelation will be, I found that I can only look through so many tables of books. By the time I got to the tenth stall, I was book-overdosed, and no longer gave a hoot.
Will I go back next year? Hmmm.... Depends on who's speaking, and if we can get closer accommodation than the Tuki Trout Farm, in Smeaton.
Tuki has glorious food, btw.

Vivid dreams lately of getting back into the groove re writing, subbing to lit and genre mags, and putting myself out there. This time, I don't feel in utter despair about it before starting. I don't feel completely exhausted at the thought. So, looks like the weekly calendar reminders are going to be a thing. Along with Memoir Writing Mondays, Grandparenting Thursdays, and Arty Farty Fridays, there will be Lit Mag Offering Wednesdays.

I know this is only one way to build a 'name'. A friend has done an effective job building her audience through Wattpad, and another through consistent participation in online poetry groups. It's the consistency and output of the latter I struggle with, and am wondering if Wattpad is worth it. Wattpad Lady has now been approached by Radish, which is a mob who send stories and whatnot straight to phones for subscribers. WL has offered one free story, and now one for pay, and is receiving income, via Radish. However, one has to be invited to join Radish, or apply to join, and I have no loyal audience I can bring with me.
Something to think about anyway.

So, today: set up calendar reminders. Do StoryADay. A little memoir, as I missed writing on Monday.
Have a swim, have some soup, take a walk, pull 10 weeds.

Saw the endocrinologist yesterday. She grabbed my belly fat and gave it a jiggle. Sigh, okay, back to the 'eat less food' thing, too.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
Achievement unlocked, or whatever the phrase is.
I got the computer, and sat up in bed this morning, and dragged out 600 words. It had a beginning, an end, and truly, does read like a summary of a 'concentration camp survivor' novel. But, I am telling myself to let go of expectation, and just have a go at this.
Writing practice, story practice, putting words down.
And allowing the old gears to grind.
It's based on a dream from early this morning, and even now, I can only grasp at threads of it. A train, prisoners of war, pregnancy, people communicating through looks rather than words, guards. That's what I remember.
The story I wrote does nothing new with the material.
Shrug.
I still feel my blood singing from story telling.
And now, on with my day. Yoga, a bit of gardening perhaps, phone calls to make come 9am, a walk, and somewhere along the way, 30 minutes of memoir writing. It's time to write about the Ex Bastard years, in terms of my spiritual development.

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