Tag: author

We’ve All Got to Anchor Somewhere

Sometimes, I feel like a bobbing buoy, detached from its lifeline, flailing about in the waves of a grumpy storm. I’m not drowning, but I’m definitely unhappy out here.

A buoy belongs on its tether, and sometimes it should be allowed to sway here and sway there, piddle along with one ripple or another, hop free of the water for a brief moment, taken with the momentum, but it must always return to its tethered center. It must be centered, or it is lost.

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It’s taken me a while to know myself, and in a way, it’s beautiful that I’m still figuring out my own brain, but it’s also disorienting, sometimes painful. It was only in the last year or two that I figured out that other introverts, like me, have to have a “base.” This might be common to all people, but particularly for introverts, this base is a place that they have as their own. It is their place to defrag and sort out the mess of their consciousness.

For me, while I was in college, this place was a coffee shop near campus. I liked it best when there were a few other people there, chatting quietly to cut the quiet, no music, just car noise from the window, a slight breeze giving it a good shake. I like to find my corner, put pen to paper, and let latte lips and fingertips drive me back to sanity. I know, that probably sounds so “hipster.” But it was my place, my anchor. I became so dependent on this routine that every time I went to the coffee shop, I knew I’d be able to come back to my dorm with a poem. I knew that I’d leave with something I’d created.

I cried many times in my corner of the coffee shop, disregarding the throngs of people, in-and-out, laughing maniacally, sometimes singing and asking for a highlighter to be thrown at their face. I would go when my frazzled brain tips were wigging out inside my brain, flinging themselves like tantruming toddlers all over my thoughts. I would be on the verge of a breakdown, tears brimming, heart empty, and more than once, the barista behind the counter would fake ring-up a coffee. Their kindness and the relief of being in that place would center me, would push me over the edge so I could get that cry out and put myself back on track. I used to eat stress three meals a day, but at least I always had that.

Right now, I’m adrift. I try to always find my center, my anchoring place, though I haven’t had a true “home” since before I graduated high school. At my in-law’s house, I found a home at my father in-law’s hand-made table at the far end, surrounded by windows, my back supported by a soft cushion. I’d cross my legs and thousands of words would fly out me to find their home in my fiction. It wasn’t ideal, maybe, but it was my center. Their home wasn’t my home, but it was a good enough stand-in, a beautiful stand-in.

Here, we make our stand-in home at a hotel. There’s nowhere to sit, and sometimes I don’t see another human face for eleven hours. I find myself bereft of inspiration, energy, or determination. I feel emptied without having gone through the effort of emptying myself. I feel drained, as a matter of fact, and often, I blame the fact that I don’t have a tether. There is no place to which I can relocate to physically and mentally distance myself from whatever issues are associated with the space I live in. There is no place I can go to where people in a similar state of mind gather to work out their tangled inner coils.

I feel like I’m a flailing buoy, head upside down in the ocean, legs kicking skyward like mad.

Don’t get me wrong, there are joys here. I have three constant blessings, all of them living things that renew my spirit and hopes. But, renewing emotional strength isn’t just a matter of my loved ones being near, it is about an enriching environment, a welcoming space where welcoming minds make tremors in the world, silently, on paper, in their thoughts, in whispers by the window.

Introverts, find your centers. Humans, get your tethers together. Everyone needs a room of one’s own. We all need our anchors. Heaven help the flailing buoys.


An Update and Life Confusion

Since my last update, I’ve traveled about 1300 miles with one car, two rabbits, and my husband to Albany, New York.

Albany is gorgeous, though Google Maps seems to be confused about whether we actually live in Buffalo or Albany. The rural areas around us are far different from what I’m used to.

Where I grew up in Texas, the skies are so large, it almost detracts from the long, flat plains of yellow grasses and shrubs so sharp and dry they could probably tear your skin off with the encouragement of a slight breeze. In Arkansas, you can hardly see the sky due to the hills and the trees. Rural New York is a beautiful amalgamation of long, open spaces, hills, trees, farmlands, and clean air. I can’t tell you how many gorgeous cornfields I’ve seen like a half-rippled quilted blanket, squares of the greenest grass on either side paired with the towering stalks of corn, feathered golden head wobbling on top.

Though I’m happy to be here, grateful to my husband for working hard here, it’s not exactly ideal for my creative mind, and it is for this reason that I’m writing this post.

The hotel we are staying at is, I’m fairly sure, the only one within 40-60 miles of Parker’s work that is both affordable and allows pets. Unfortunately, we have to pay for internet nightly if we wish to utilize it. This does not bode well for posting updates on the website, uploading podcasts or any of that. Not to mention, we had no room in the car for my recording equipment or any books.

I have very little to accomplish most days, petting rabbits and writing when I feel capable being the two foremost activities, but it’s been a surprisingly difficult transition to be alone all day and attempt to find motivation to create. I’m a very introverted person, truly. I cherish alone time, but too much alone time does tend to muffle up your creative juices.

Anyway, we are about 30 minutes to an hour away from Niagara Falls, and we’ve had the best pizza I’ve ever eaten in my life since we’ve been here, and I have so very much to be thankful for and inspired by. With all that said, I’d like to promise that I’ll post updates when I can, putting off regular podcast updates for the moment, and continuing to work on the second draft of my novel. I will make good use of my time, and hopefully we can work something out with the internet. When I don’t absolutely need it, it is hard to justify the payment.

Thanks for your continuing support. Much love.


Writing Exercise #1

 

I recently bought a book full of writing exercises. The first exercise encourages a James-Joyce-like internal monologue writing session. I thought I’d show you the bulk of the internal monologue I wrote down, and the monologue of a character I adapted it to. It was fun and enlightening to transform my own strange ravings into the even stranger ravings of a potential character that I’d very much like to explore later.

My internal monologue : Pre-transformation

The crows caw loudly, and I think of raw meat. Footsteps nearby, a clopping horse’s gallop. It is a strange turn taking between the birds and the clopping, the whirring of a pair of wings above and the response of a locking-car horn nearby. The carts, the wheels and rattles, moaning wind, echoing laughter.

I do feel alone here, but delighted by it. I think “what atrocious handwriting you have,” but still, I write my head down. Voices distract me and the heat sits like spring, jet engine blanket on me. I want to lean back and sleep.

Sickness shares the air with beauty. Trollopsing wasp, buoyant and disturbed by passing cars and their boom-boom hello. I still hear its thunder. Whoosh. Whir. I shouldn’t be stopping, but often if I don’t try to, my head stops thinking—goes blank and silent and comfortable.

A muscle is twingeing in my arm. Phone buzz and I see spots on my vision. Bleep. Caws sound jolly—not so argumentative. Red-headed angel trollop, over-the-shoulder bag—hello, parking lot visitors, I can ow hear your music. Turn it down. I take these things like invasions of my privacy, my personal space.

Ha, I can tell you BUZZ BUZZ dropped your phone. the crows are HAW HAW, laughing at you, too, but you don’t hear them. There’s so much noise and sometimes it smells like spring time, but often they disturb me. Do I hear singing? Sounded kind of ghostly.

Adapted character monologue using details from the exercise

The crows caw loudly, and I think of raw meat. Footsteps nearby, a clopping horse’s gallop; there are no horses near, but shoes are hooves when passages like wind tunnels carry noise beyond its half-life. The carts, the wheels and rattles, moaning wind, echoing laughter, they are carried one painted brick too far.

I do feel alone here, but delighted by it. I think “What atrociously un-hemmed pants you have” as I look down at my swinging legs, dangling from the garden wall. Still, I let my head silt its voices out. They distract me as the heat sits like a jet-engine blanket on my shoulders, persuading me to lean back and sleep.

I resist as I hear a tuberculoid cough wrack the dewey air. Sickness shares the air with beauty as before my eyes, a trollopsing wasp, bouyant and disturbed by mournful winds and its schwoop schwoop “hello” makes arcs and dips with its top-like body in the air. Whoosh, whirr, I hear the wind and wasp exchange their matter in a short flight to nowhere, and for a moment, the heat wins out as I stop and think of nothing. Often, if I don’t try to, my head stops thinking—goes blank and silent and comfortable.

A muscle is twingeing in my arm as I lean. I can’t move yet. I must observe. Twinge. The crows still haw haw; they sound more jolly—less argumentative. Maybe I only thought they were arguing when the mist was heavier and it felt like an evening for a murder.

The trailing end of a measure of a song drifts from the tunnel now, and its half-life turns it ghostly. I shiver, but my twingeing arm reminds me that it’s still not time to go.