Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chaotic Semblance of Sane - Sometimes

“Sanity is madness put to good uses.” – George Santayana

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The above graphic is about right…I’m buried in a new manuscript. I’ll let you figure out whether that is excitement or madness.

In light of the writing frenzy that keeps me imprisoned from giving any coherent responses to questions in the past few days, I’ve come to the following conclusions:

1) Google is more insane than I am with some of the results it passes off as informative.

2) I have way too many discussions with my dog. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t end them with a childish retort of “I’m not having this discussion, I said so.” Strange enough I’m the one that brought up whatever we were discussing to begin with. (Go ahead and look baffled – she does a good imitation).

3) Anyone within close proximity of me should NOT be surprised when I suddenly shout “I Got It!” at the top of my lungs and do a mad scramble for paper and pen (should see the alarmed looks I get). You know how those elusive story elements come at the oddest times in restaurants, in the car, in the middle of a conversation, while in the shower…chaotic at best.
PhotobucketThen comes along a challenge by a dear sweet soul - Kasie West, in the form of an award. Yep, this blog is still award free (appreciate it, love them, seldom follow the rules). But I couldn’t pass up the chance to see how I would do under pressure. She did say no pressure (but that’s like someone lighting a flame under your arse). The challenge? One word answers to the following.

Your Cell Phone? Text
Your Hair? Obsidian
Your Mother? Absent
Your Father? Lost
Your Favorite Food? Exotic
Your Dream Last Night? Tragic
Your Favorite Drink? Chai
Your Dream/Goal? Attainable
What Room Are You In? Head
Your Hobby? People
Your Fear? Silence
Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Published
Where Were You Last Night? Writing
Something That You Aren't? Silent
Muffins? Boring
Wish List Item? Peace (no it’s not an item per say, but it’s solid)
Where Did You Grow Up? Haven’t
Last Thing You Did? Dream
What Are You Wearing? Glasses
Your TV? Ancient
Your Pets? Psychotic
Friends? Many
Your Life? Chaotic
Your Mood? Serene
Missing Someone? Me
Vehicle? Passport
Something You Aren't Wearing? Mask
Your Favorite Store? Antique
Your Favorite Color? Indigo (Is it any wonder?)
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Inside
Last Time You Cried? Guess
Your Best Friend? Pickles (We’re literally bonded at the hip. She's a working dog for the deaf)
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Mountains
Facebook? Overblown
Favorite Place To Eat? Home

Kasie – Thanks! I had no idea how creative and fun this would be. This from overwordly (it’s a word in my mind sphere) me.

Nope, I won’t be passing it on. If you look up my answer to friends you’ll know why. However I would love to read any attempt by any of you to participate. Kasie, I'm truly honored. - Indigo

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rainy Day Muse

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
-Norah Jones (Come Away With Me)

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Nursing a hot cup of tea, I’m staring out the rain specked window, mystified by the sight of grass in my yard. A fortnight and a day was all it took to change nature’s canvas. As pleasant as the view is, I’m unsettled enough to want for the snow banks and normalcy.

I can’t help but study the contrast brought by chance in the middle of a New York January. It’s all in the details - the growing puddle in the middle of the yard, the rusted kiln blazing bronze in wet symmetry, and surprising for this time of year - the bright hue of the green grass despite the overcast drizzling day.

I’m reminded of a post my dear friend Aidan wrote, Confessions of a Double D. She referred to herself as a Detail Delinquent. In her case it applied to details such as appointments and important dates (It's a great read). All I could think of was my own brand of detail - The kind of details that burn bright in the absence of sound – silent details in glaring juxtaposition.

In a heartbeat I’ll capture a furrowed brow of impatience or the way someone’s eyes will light up when a certain subject is broached, the mumbling, the hand talker, the wary eye darting that comes with an inability to pay attention to what is in front of them. I see it all. You’re backlit by a dimly lit room, or the overhead is too bright, you’re uncomfortable in your chair – in my presence, you’re loved, you’re lonely and wanting someone – anyone to make eye contact - A room, a face, a place full of little defining details.

Yes, I’m fortunate to hear with those same eyes that capture every single little detail. Some would say it’s a writer’s paradise, no noise distractions what-so-ever.

I believe the depth and heart of a story is in the details. If I write about rain, I want you to feel the wet moisture on your skin, the cold splattered little shocks of surprise, smell the damp Earth and notice the misted breathe of delight that escapes your lips. If you yearned or in any aspect felt the rain by that last figurative sentence – I got the details right. I don’t always though.

Sometimes I have to stretch outward and relearn to communicate, to let the details lay quietly in the background. I don’t always say nor do the right thing and I know that. I’ve learned some details don’t make the writing stand out, some events are forgivable and more than anything I’m human. Underneath all the details and descriptions and words is a writer that doesn’t always get it. I’m trying not to forget there is a life strung in between these words of mine, a real live breathing persona.

I’m good with the details, I’m getting better at the living part. This has been brought to you from my Rainy Day Muse. - Indigo

Picture from here

Friday, January 15, 2010

Anonymous, Anonymous...

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Oh, Anonymous…

What am I going to do with you? You have preyed for some time on my trusting nature and as a result – I’m beginning to cringe at the very mention of the heading you have chosen to hide behind.

It’s not a name (why else would it be anonymous?).

At times with the bullying you subject me to, vying to bend me to your will to hit those links you embed in your comments – I’m left to wonder at the face that would be so cunning (at least you think so), unfeeling and downright inglorious…You’re not human are you?

For most humans I know have that one thing they own above all else – A name. Or at the very least an identity, a place where they came from, arrived from and end up at (besides my comment section and those idiotic links that have nothing to do with my post what-so-ever).

Just so you know – I do have a name and a reputation I do adhere to, that is far more worthy than your simple non-descriptive moniker – Anonymous.

I back up my words and writing wherever I go with a name. Why? Because I feel what I have to say is deserving of ownership. You on the other hand poor dear anonymous nonentity - apparently don’t have a whole lot of faith in backing up your words (or links). Part of it might be because, well…you’re not exactly kosher and following the guidelines are you? - (Which leaves me to ponder why Blogger would allow your existence to begin with).

In essence I no longer trust comments left under the guise of Anonymous. Which is a travesty in it’s own as I had only wished to make commenting here an easy transition for my readers. So you did manage to get my attention. Although I don’t think it was the method you were aiming for. As of this post, you are banned from commenting – unless of course you want to back up your words with a name (smirks). The likelihood of that happening is null. I’ve trumped my trust issues with you. So I wish you adieu, goodbye and good riddance.

Farewell Anonymous, my fair weather friend (not). I won’t be seeing you anytime soon.

For the rest of my readers who grace my comment section: Thank you for your patronage, words and friendship. I appreciate the time you take to leave a word or two and let me know you’ve passed by my way. Love and Peace!

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Picture from here

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Deeper Kind of Silent

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Some part of me always knew I would eventually call myself a writer – that was a given.

Then came the deafening roar of silence…
*I should note here for those of you who may not know. I had been hearing impaired since the age of five. This is about a precise date, January 8th, 2005 – the night I ceased to hear. Imagine a light bulb burning brightest before it fizzles, pops and goes dark. Going deaf was a bit like that.

What I didn’t plan on was deaf being part of that descriptive nuance. Five years later I can’t imagine describing myself any other way. It’s the very current that flows beneath my writing. Life lessons that echo and reverberate against my words.

Why would I find myself with this need to define who I am? The question begs of me.

Because, it wasn’t until this year that it dawned on me, the subtle hush that falls soon after Christmas and stays with me until the very day – January 8th. A pattern that apparently repeats itself year after year as predictable as the air I breathe. It wasn’t until this year that I noticed something unremarkably different in as much as, the day slipped by without a whimper, unfelt and forgotten. Could it be?

Could I have somehow crossed that threshold of deeper understanding and awareness? What changed and where do I go from here? Those questions and more were in the forefront of my mind today, along with that insatiable need for definition.

If memory serves me right - that first year of deafening silence was spent exploring the space within my silent world. I tried to temper my feelings and prepare for this new learning curve by stretching my boundaries as far as I could, to see which parts of me snapped back into place. The second year was a defiant one and by the third year I was done exploring. I wanted all the jagged edges of my life to somehow work themselves out.

I discovered over these last silent five years, I didn’t get to take the easy way out – no one does. I had to put in the time and labor and let it teach me how to be complete. Think of it as reading a book: If you tear out the pages you don’t like and rush to the happy ever ending – you’re left feeling as if you missed an important part of the story. What happened to the journey to get there? Doesn’t it seem so much more enriching after reading the struggle that ensued to see the end results? Didn’t the book gain substance and life with those points of controversy and compromise?

Honestly, I don’t need to define this deaf writer. Questions come with anniversaries, dates (point being Jan. 8th was the day I first learned my world was completely and incomprehensibly silent forevermore) and life changes. My humanity simply begs to understand and the hush falls on my contemplation.

These last few years the pages of my life overflow, the plot and consistency of my beautiful flaws and exceptions from the norm only made the tale so much more enriched. Are not our lives all an unfinished book with it’s own plots and twist? Some are easier to read, others more complicated and filled with rich detail.

And so it goes…

Five years later my deafness fits me well. The lessons that have come from such a life experience are ten fold. Ink that was once wet with the first rendering of those days, is now dry on numbered pages of my life. Fresh crisp new pages await the next chapters.

These lessons echo in the characters of books. When faced with controversy and dealt a hand in life they didn’t ask for, they tell their story – page by page and show in their own way they haven’t reached that finale yet. Books mimic life. A writer’s experience and voice can be found scratched across a page, underneath the lives of characters. Listen for the whispers between the words, the hush that foretells a deeper kind of silence. Catch your breathe, keep reading, and keep living. There is a deeper kind of silent that unfolds within us all.

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” – Helen Keller

Picture from here.