Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writing On Writing – Entry 004

Writing Non-Fiction

As I mentioned in previous blogs, I am working on writing two books. One is a fiction of the fantasy genre. The other is non-fiction. I find writing non-fiction the easier task as I have a base to work with and I don’t have to pull plot and characters from my imagination. However, for this particular book I am, to some extent, put to the task of establishing plot and fleshing out characters.  Let me explain…

It is normal for people in their elder years to recall their history and tell stories of their life experiences dating back to the beginning of their lives, or as far back as they can remember. In fact, it is sometimes easier for elder people to remember the days of their youth than it is for them to remember their experiences of the previous week. In the case of my mother, now at the age of eighty-five, she is no different from any other in their later years. About five years ago, my mother began to tell stories of her youth. Some of the stories I heard before, but these had much more detail. Still, other stories were brand new to me. All of her stories, I noted, were not only interesting and in some ways unusual, but as well, inspiring. Finally, I asked her if she would like to record her memories so that I could transcribe them to writing. She thought that this was a great idea, so I gave her a bunch of 90-minute blank tapes. So far, I have seven tapes that I am still in the process of transcribing. My mother, obviously, loves to talk and is as always the social butterfly.
After transcribing a couple of the tapes, my thoughts turned to writing a book in  the biographical memoir genre. However the more I transcribed the more I thought that composing a linear biography could prove difficult. For one thing, the recorded stories are not in any order, for another, some stories are repeated or come in fragments that are fill-ins of a previous story told several tapes ahead or behind. I wasn't sure how to put it all together, and so I put the project aside, however it stayed on my mind. Then, a couple of months ago, I came up with the idea that I could write the stories as a series of chronological vignettes consisting of  three to four parts. I also came up with a working title for the book, "Visions of My Life... Stories from My Mother's Memories."
As some of the readers of my blog know, my mom lost her vision in an accident at age six. She does remember, however, having vision, and she has memories of experiences of that time. The first part of the book I plan to dedicate to these stories. The second part I plan to include stories during the time between ages six and eight before she went away to the Batavia State School for the Bind. It is interesting to note here that my mother was born in a small French speaking community in the Adirondack Mountains near the Canadian border, and so her relocation to a city where English is the predominant language added to her culture shock, and adds to make her story more interesting.  The third part of the book will contain stories of my mother’s years at school as well as her learning experiences. The final section of the book will contain stories from my mother's adult life as a wife, mother and community volunteer.
This is a huge project to undertake, but I am excited to work toward its completion. My hope is to have it ready for publication within a year’s time, though it may take longer. I try not to constrain myself to time within the confines my personal projects. That way I have leeway when I have deadlines to meet when editing or proofreading the work of others. However, that is a whole other blog to write.
Thanks so much for reading. ~Yvonne~

Monday, August 27, 2012

Creative Community

"Although I am a loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated."  
 ~Albert Einstein~ "My Credo" speech Autumn 1932
I came across this quote last week and I was struck by the relevance of its message as it relates to my own life, as a creative and as a loner. I wondered, how much more less isolated Mr. Einstein would have felt if he had access to the internet during his lifetime. I wondered, too, if he'd had the advantage of conversing with like minds, how much more could he have discovered. I also thought of Vincent Van Gogh. Would Van Gogh have died a poor unrecognized artist if he had had a community of like minds with whom he could share his work and converse? Might he not have taken his own life, and instead, continued to create more beauty in the world through his paintings?
As a creative person, who did not her entire life, have the advantage of the internet, I feel blessed to now have the ability to share my poetry, thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the world. I, too am a loner and remember a feeling of isolation as a writer without a community. I did not always have the advantage of having access to a community with whom I could not only share my work, but also receive understanding that my writing was not merely a hobby, but a need for self-expression. As well, within this community, I find an audience that encourages me to continue moving forward with my creativity. 
So, for those of you my fellow creatives, whether writers, artists, musicians, photographers, or whatever your calling, take advantage of what our world now has to offer. Share your work with one another, and with the world. Most of all support and encourage one another to continue moving forward. 
Thank you for reading. ~Yvonne~ 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Writing Every Day

Writing every day…

            Brings space for the thoughts to flow

            Brings the surreal to reality

            Brings new life to old dreams

            Brings excitement to the mundane

            Brings clarity to the unclear

            Brings the imaginary to life

            Brings understanding to the vague

            Brings melody to the silent

            Brings bright color to the dull vision

            Brings acceptance of our differences

Writing every day…

            Banishes the shadows within the mind to envision the light of the Soul

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mommy’s Hands

As children, we learn everything from our parents or prime caregivers.  As a blind mother of a sighted child, my mom had to teach me to do things as a sighted person, and not as she did as a blind person.  It took me some time to comprehend what my mom was telling me and to understand what she was trying to teach me. This poem contains my first memories of my mom trying to explain to me that she could not see and that I could see.  After quite a bit of observing, and noting differences between my mom and other people in my small world, I finally figured it out.

I wrote this poem several years ago and had it transcribed to Braille for my mom for her 80th birthday.

Mommy’s Hands

One time, when I was not yet four,
A spool of thread slipped to the floor.
"Can you help me," my mommy asked.
And I came right over for the task.
I moved my hands feeling all around,
And my hands they made a rustling sound.
Mommy moved her hands the same,
And I enjoyed this little game.
Until Mommy pulled me from my knees,
And gave my hands a tiny squeeze.

"No, no," she told me patiently,
"it's ME who finds things differently.
you can use your eyes to see."

"Mommy sees things with her hands."
She asks me if I understand.
Though I agree, and say, "I do"
My answer is not really true.
Her words run circles in my head,
Becoming dizzy rhymes instead
Not bringing any clear meaning;
"You must depend on what you're 'seeing'."

I watch her as she cooks and cleans,
And I see she does things differently
Than other mommies, or even me.

She reads to me before my nap,
From a book so big it hides her lap.
As her hands move swiftly across the page
She tells me of a wise old sage.

I move my fingers across my book,
But find I need my eyes to look.

With my hands, I cannot read.
Reading we do differently,
For words, I need my eyes to see.

One morning at breakfast, I putter and play
With cereal that tends to remind me of hay.
And I listen to Mommy talk on the phone
To her friend Sally, or maybe it's Joan.
"What happened in the end of that TV show?
There wasn't much talking, I didn't know
how it ended," Mommy explains.
"When there's only music and no talking remains,
the actions on screen are a mystery to me.
And I need you to tell me as one who can see."

Her hands can't help her to see the TV.
This she must do very differently.
She has to ask her friends who can SEE.

The idea pops in my head so bright
It sends a shower of falling light.
Then as quietly and quickly as I am able,
I push myself away from the table.
Though sneaking on Mommy I know is bad,
To the living room in bare feet I pad.
In front of the TV I kneel down
And turn the knobs until there is only sound.
Across the room, I sit in a chair,
And listen to voices and noises on air
That match the sights that make up a scene,
I try to imagine the view on the screen.
Now the reason is clear and I understand
Why Mommy tells me she 'sees with her hands'.

The words she has said all make sense to me,
And the reasons she does some things differently.
She sees through touch, what her eyes cannot see.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seven Random Things

So, my wonderful new fellow blogger friend, Bridget, tagged me with the Beautiful Blogger and Reader Appreciation Awwards. Thank you, Bridget! I wasn't under any obligation to continue by writing this particular blog post, but it looked like fun.
Anyway, to continue, according to the rules of the Awards, I now have to write a list of seven random things about me. (As a side note, this took some time to finish as too many random things kept on popping into my head).
Seven Random Things
1.      I don’t like Jell-O. I never did, even as a kid. I think it has something to do with the consistency. Or maybe not because even if it’s made with fruit, I don’t like it.
2.      I live on coffee, but I don’t like any fancy coffees. I drink it from the moment I get up in the morning until I fall asleep at night. This is not something new. I have consumed coffee to this extent since my parents allowed me to start drinking it at around age fourteen.
3.      One of my favorite hobbies is building LEGOs. I have a closet full of them and I like to build them in sets to tell a story. I haven’t had the money to buy any new collections lately, but I have many sets that go back to the early ‘60s.
4.      My favorite television series of all time is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”  It changed my life, brought me back, and woke me up to the realization that I was living my life to please others and in so doing, I had created a façade to hide my true self and my real goals.  I re-watch the entire series every couple of years and each time I do, it reinforces that connection to my inner self and my certainty that I am on the right path.
5.      I am a hermit by nature. It’s not that I am exactly unsociable but I do thrive on solitude. In fact, I would prefer to live in a cabin set deep in the mountains, surrounded by nature with the nearest neighbor at least an hour away. However, I do have certain requirements related to communication. Foremost of these is that I have a computer with internet access as most of my communication with others takes place online.  I rarely phone anyone, and when I do, I only phone the two people in the world who I consider my best friends. If someone calls me, I answer the phone unless I am writing or in the middle of an art project, but if I am busy at the time of the call I will always return the phone call later.  If someone wants to visit me, it is best that the person contact me before arriving on my doorstep, as I am apt not to answer the door. However, if someone should call and would like to visit they are always welcome.
6.      I have dyed my hair since I was a teenager. In my younger years, I experimented with an assortment of colors. Presently, I use a color close to what I believe is my natural color. I say, “I believe” because I haven’t let my natural color out in so many years that I have no idea what color it actually is.
7.      I don’t watch sports events on television. I prefer to watch as a live audience spectator. If I watch something on a screen from my living room, I feel like I am missing something. It is the same for listening to live music concerts on CD. The only sport I would consider watching on television is Quidditch, but alas, I didn’t receive my Hogwart’s letter and muggles are not allowed… 
Well that's it for me. I am now supposed to tag seven more bloggers with the Beautiful Blogger and Reader appreciation Awards. If I tag your blog, please don't feel that you are any obligation to post. However, the following blogs are some of those that I read on a regular basis ( there are more, but I am limited to seven) and find interesting. I would appreciate that any readers of this blog check out the blogs listed below.
Thank you for visiting. ~ Yvonne ~

Solitary Reasoning

In the course of life we wander among others,
Through mists of memory we grapple with ghosts
That haunt the edges of demands for decisions
To embody other’s goals that crush our own hopes.

While we leap through hoops of unstable circles
And clutch for strings of uncertain dreams
That fabricates nothing but pathetic ruses
As promises made, converge into schemes.

Yet left to ourselves to sort through our thoughts
We clear our minds to contemplate our own lives
To find we’re much more than a chance cast of lots
And we finally discover that our own Spirit thrives.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Love Unrequited

Like a spider’s web it spreads.

Barely seeing...
There’s no room left in my head.

I don’t know why so many crave
This turmoil that I feel inside.
I am trying to be brave
But I’d feel safer just to hide.

You surround me then you’re gone.

Always knowing...
I can never be the one.

And I knew you never loved me
Yet you needed to be near.
The pain I feel is but my fee
For saying words you had to hear.

My heart goes on inside my chest.

Never lying...
All for you I did my best.

Love unrequited, months to years
Starves the life, then chokes the soul
Instead of clinging to all my fears
Leaving should have been my goal.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Knowing Direction

I have this weird little quirk (I know that others have this quirk, too) wherein whenever I have to distinguish right from left I have to pause and look at my hands and think about it.  Even after I perform this little ritual, I sometimes say right for left or vice-versa.  That is not the weird thing though. The weird thing is that I generally know direction, as in North, South, East, or West without even thinking about it.  Of course giving this type of direction is not helpful to others, as most people have no idea what I am talking about when I tell them to head West or South, etc. While knowing direction in this manner is useless in the real world, (unless you are lost in a forest or at sea or something of that nature) knowing direction in life is important to everyone. However, this is not always as easy a process as distinguishing left from right, or East or West. At some point in our lives, we all face cross roads. I am no exception.

Many moons ago, when I was twenty-years-old, I was just finishing my studies in Practical Nursing and I had the dream of joining the Peace Corps. I was also in a serious relationship. At the time, I felt very free in expressing my goals to my boyfriend, friends, and family. However, I received very few positive reactions, and had to face some difficult decisions. Which direction should I follow?  Should I ignore the advice of others and follow my dream to travel to distant places to help in the world at large? Or, should I accept the advice of others and take my place in society to become another person working to find the proverbial American dream?  I admit that I knew the path I wanted to follow and yes, although the pull to follow my dream was strong, I squelched it and followed the desires of others instead of my own.

Over the next twenty years I married, assisted my husband in building a home and a successful business. We never had children of our own, but we did help to raise other’s children through foster care. There were many difficulties, happy times as well as heartaches. Yet, overall, the satisfactions far out-weighed the difficulties.  However, I always had the nagging feeling that something was missing. By the late ‘90s, the children were gone—the older grown and beginning lives of their own, the younger reunited with their own families. My husband, immersed in his business and other activities, was barely ever home; and so I started turning my attention inward to focus on my inner voice and to listen to the message it was trying to convey to me.

I started searching and experimenting by taking some art and writing classes, and in doing this, I found a freedom that I did not know existed. I earned certificates in proofreading and editing which proved useful in obtaining several freelance writing jobs. I also picked up a bit of contract work for some volunteer agencies. I still assisted my husband with the business when he needed me and earned a small compensation for my work there, but I felt I needed something of my own. Unfortunately, my husband, now ex-husband did not agree. We split in September of 2003. I was not surprised nor I have to admit, extremely upset that our twenty-something year relationship was at an end. In fact, that new-felt seed of freedom began to blossom, and I saw myself facing a new direction.  

Two months later, I started classes at the local community college and graduated two years later with an honors degree in writing communication. However, finding a good and permanent position as a writer, especially in the declining economy, proved next to impossible. So instead, I volunteered at the Central Library’s bookstore, and picked up some odds and end jobs here and there.  At one point my neighbor, knowing that I had nursing experience, asked if I could care for her mom on weekends.  I took the job and later, during a conversation with one of my fellow volunteers, the subject of my work came up and he asked me if I would interview to care for his mom. I acquired the position and continued for the next three years. However, the directional pull toward writing did not cease.  I began to compose essays and poetry to satisfy my need for self-expression.

In late June 2009, I had a freak accident in which I broke my left arm and shattered my wrist. The bones of my wrist did not set correctly and the doctors had to re-break and reset my wrist after the first four weeks of its casting. Consequently, I was in a cast for the next three months. To make matters worse, I did not have health insurance to cover these bills and had to apply for public medical assistance. It is surprising how helpless a person can become with only the use of one arm. Actually, I think it was more the cast that made tasks so difficult as it was extremely heavy, clumsy, and the fact that I could not get it wet. Though I taught myself to do many things with the use of one hand; some things however, were impossible to manage. If not for some awesome friends, I don’t know what I would have done. Anyway, my wrist never did set correctly and I have limited use of it.  What I found interesting during those three months of incapacitation was that the pull in the direction towards writing became stronger, and I continued to write poetry and began jotting down ideas for stories.

In October, once free of the cast, I resumed my position as nurse and caregiver to my friend’s mom. By the following June the position ended, as these types of positions always do.  The hunt for work once more commenced. After several months of an exhaustive and disappointing search, (at one point, I submitted resumes over a ten week period to a total of 150 companies and never received so much as a phone call) I realized that nothing was going to surface. Yet, I was luckier than some as through mutual agreement with my ex, I remained living in the house (I live here alone) and he supplies me with enough money to cover food and minor expenses. It’s not very much but it’s all I need, and I occasionally land an obscure writing assignment to compensate. So once again, my directional focus rested on writing and art.

Currently, I am in the process of writing two books, which is proving a slow but steady process. Also, I work on art projects to submit and sell at the many art festivals held here annually. I plan to take a grant-writing course in the fall that may supply me with additional writing work. I would still like to volunteer a year of service to the Peace Corps and/or AmeriCorps Vista. It remains as one of my future goals. Interestingly, when I recently mentioned this goal to a family member, the response was rather insulting, with the question, “Why do you want to live like a vagabond?” I ignored it…

I no longer care about the opinions of others. I am following my inner compass and I feel content and free. Granted it took half a lifetime of trial and error, and many disagree with my current path. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, I know without question that I am heading in the right direction.

Thank you for reading. ~ Yvonne ~

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Last Week, Next Week, Now...

Last week found me a little discombobulated.  My focus, it seemed, on anything particular was not on the dockit. Although now that I look back on it I realise that I really did accomplish quite a bit. However, I did start a few writings that I have not, as yet completed.

I have two poems in the works. The first one has eight lines completed and I feel is perfect. The second is a series of random thoughts that are connected yet framented. I am not sure yet, but the two may end up combined to form one poem. I am still not sure yet.

I have an essay started that I will post here on this blog. It needs some revision, but I think it is turning out well, and I feel I am getting my idea across. Anyway, I hope it will clearly express my thoughts.

Also, I have started "Writing on Writing - Entry 004," which concentrates on the second book I am writing that is in the genre of non-fiction.

Next week, I hope, will find me finishing all the writings I started last week and didn't complete. As well, I need to spend some time at the library getting some research done for my fictional story. I am sure that all of this will keep me quite busy until the next weekend comes along.

It is a good thing, I think, to occasionally put my mind on pause, and take an account of the things I have finished, and the things that need completion. Right now, as I come to the close of this blog entry, and read my account of last week's accomplishments and realize the extent of the work I have accumulated for next week, I am feeling much more focussed as I face the week ahead.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and week ahead. Thank you for reading. ~ Yvonne ~

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Refinish, Refurbish, Re-invent

Well, today I thought I would tell you all a little bit about the furniture I salvage.  I have always had an attraction to old furniture and I hate to see anything go to waste. Also, in art, I like mosaics and geometric design - either in precise or abstract form.  I often experimented with adding design to wood but I never could get it just right the way I wanted it.

Then, last year, while browsing the art and craft section in the library, I came across a book called, Perfect Paper Mosaics, by Susan Seymore. This book was the answer to my quest. After reading Ms. Seymore's book all sorts of ideas came to life. I have expanded on some of the applications to applying paper for design to include the quilt series I am working on. In creating the quilt designs I combine medias such as paint and colored pencil, along with cut paterned paper (or patterned cloth fused to paper) which I then attach to a paper or canvas base. But the quilt designs were only beginning of the paper mosaic adventure.

Ms. Seymore's focus in her book is basically referenced to the application of paper design on wood including furniture. I had two small stacking side tables that I rarely used and decided to experiment with these first. The tables were in rough condition with the tops and legs marred and scratched, so the first step was to sand them until they were as smooth as possible. After sanding, there were still some scratches and gouges, so I filled them with wood putty and then sanded the surfaces smooth once more. I decided to sponge paint the legs and sides using three different colors of purple on the first table and fall colors on the other table. The tops of the tables I painted in the darkest base color--
purple and brown--respectively.

I then chose coordinating clolors and patterns of paper from a couple of books of scrapbook papers. Some of the papers were too thin to use on their own so I had to laminate them using craft glue to water color paper. Now I was ready to cut the papers into small pieces and glue them to the table tops. I decided, once the table was covered, to layer smaller cuts of paper over the base design. See photos below...

The next table I rescued from a church rummage sale. It cost me all of $3.00. This table, too, was in rough shape. It went through the same process of sanding, filling and sanding. The legs of this table were loose, as well, so I had to get those attached propersly. I used the same process with sponge paint on the legs and sides, however, the paper I ut in curved lines as opposed to the straight lines on the previous two tables. I added the flower design after the the top was conpletely covered.

So, that is basically wht I am doing to refinish, refurbish, and re-invent old furniture. I am currently working on adding mosaic two end tables, and I have a set of old wooden chairs that I am giving new life with a sponge paint design. I will post these at a later time.

Well, Thank you for stopping by. ~ Yvonne ~

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hey Are You There?

Hey are you there?

We are both her now.
We linger beneath the radar.
We know it's crazy.
We don't know why...

We stir the pot,
        that's how messed up we are.

Life day-to-day
       does not lend to us.
It molds us into everyone else,
       it kills our spirit
       it makes us forget.
We will never forget,
       We tell ourselves, "Don't!"
Then we know that we won't.
       We must always remember 
Free spirits aren't still.

Hey are you there?

We are both here now.
We yearn for the sun.
We live life everyday.
We prepare ourselves for it;

We know what life is,
       It's easier said than done.

Some don't forget
       But yet become bitter.
They resent all they have;
       they see it as bane
       allowing them nothing
Within the realized dream.
       They lose their center
And can't get it back.
       That won't happen to us;
We will never lose track.

Hey are you there?

We are both here now.
We talk everyday.
We reveal though word
We don't ever say...

We give it our best
       always fearing the worst.

Moves need to be made.
       We believe it's our time.
It's a feeling we get,
       it wears on our minds,
       it makes us aware
To prepare for the change.
       We hope it comes soon,
There's much more than this.
       We need to have room;
It's not enough to exist.

Hey are you there?

We are both here now.
And now that we are
Will we be here forever?
We are always so close
Yet never together...

We've so long been alone,
       Now we cling to each other.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Writing on Writing – Entry 003

Writing Fiction

I am in the process of writing two books. One is a fictional tale of the fantasy genre and is, I believe, the most difficult to write. It seems a little odd that writing a fantasy tale is difficult for me as fantasy/science-fiction and horror are my favorite genres whether in reading, movies or television series. However, I must admit that any form of writing other than non-fiction finds me floundering. While I find these genres fascinating, exciting, and have the ability to take me out of the concrete world, I have to say that in truth that I am a very realistic, rational, and logical person at my core. However, any good stories of these genres hold true to those attributes in their otherworldly depictions, their characters, and their character’s adventures.

I believe that stories of this genre have to have logic, as do the actions of the characters within the boundaries of their own personalities and life experience. The worlds in which the characters live, and/or the worlds in which they travel, have to have realistic perimeters. In the telling of stories in these genres, the writer must bring the audience into other worlds and make them believe that that they do or did or could exist. As an audience member, I want to believe that parallel realities exist, that magic is real, that vampires/werewolves/aliens/ghosts/dragons and all other sort of life forms exist within our real world realm. I also want to believe that I can as easily as the characters of the story travel to or step into these worlds as easily as they do. 

The most important reality, however, is in the believability in the characters, whether human or otherwise. The audience must relate and understand the actions of the characters on an emotional level. We must know who they are and why they do the thing that they do whether we agree with their actions or not.  While I find most authors of these genres have the ability to do this for me, I am constantly questioning as to whether I can do this with my story for my audience. However, I am determined and doing all I can to produce a tale that will do exactly for my audience what other storytellers have done so well for me. It may take me awhile, but in the end, I guess, time will tell.

Thanks for reading. ~ Yvonne

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Writing on Writing – Entry 002

Poetry and Free-Writing

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I write poetry. However, many times my poems begin with my wanting to write an essay (or a blurb if you will) about something I am thinking about that has come to me through conversation with a friend, my life experience, or through some other media that caused me to think philosophically about some subject or other. As well, I often free-write in my journal, and thoughts sometimes appear on the page that eventually turn into a poem without my intention.  

When I free-write with the use of paper and pen or pencil, I do not sit down with any clear idea of what I am going to write. It is a sort of meditation in which I clear my head of all thought and simply begin moving my writing instrument across the blank page. At first, I might write a string of disconnected words. Yet though the words seem random, as they don’t form sentences, they have a sense of clarity in informing a thought or idea or that I was not aware of when I first sat down to the task. In other words, free-writing informs me of ideas that have not quite surfaced to the forefront of my conscious thought. Now that is not to say that I come away from every free-writing task with a poem, or that I don’t have to work out any details of the poem at hand, however, free-writing is a very useful task for me in the writing of poetry. Yet, this is not the case when it comes to other writing tasks, such as writing a solid story whether the story is fiction or no-fiction.

Thanks for reading. ~ Yvonne

Writing on Writing – Entry 001

Contrary to the beliefs of some, in particular those who don’t write or have the need or desire to write often, writing is not always (and maybe never is) an easy task. My goal in starting this new heading of my blog, “Writing on Writing,” is not only to give you, my readers, a bit of insight into what I am writing, but also to encourage me to keep writing even when the writing is difficult for me. I hope to add entries to this section at least once a week if not more often.  As well, I hope that you find them both interesting and informative. I will try not to ramble or to write too much at one sitting, as I do not want to lose your attention or bore you with unnecessary information or detail.

My second entry in this category will follow soon as I am in the process of finishing it now. Thanks for reading. ~ Yvonne

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weekend Plans

I am dogsitting this weekend. Macy, a white standard poodle, has stayed with me quite a few times since her puppyhood, (she is three-years-old now) yet it always takes a day for Miss Kitty and I to acclimate ourselves to having a dog in the house. I forewarn Miss Kitty by putting her food dishes in the bathroom where Macy cannot get to them and gobble up her food. However, Macy is really  no bother to have around, and she is company for my walks.

At present, I have two projects in the works. One is a new quilt project for the series, and the other is a table I am decorating. I have changed my mind on the table design a couple of times, but now I think I have settled on what I am going to do with it. I found some wall papers at a garage sale for a mere $1.00 a roll that are perfect for the colors I want to use. The design is complete for the quilt project and I have the colors picked out, so now it is just a matter of cutting the papers to fit the design. I must admit that I have not touched on these projects much in the past week. However I have re-organized my work space which was a mammoth job as I moved everything from the spare room to the kitchen. I gave away the portable dishwasher in the process as I never use it anymore now that I live alone which means it takes a week and a half to fill it enough to turn it on. Of course, by this time I have run out of clean dishes to use and I end up washing various pieces by hand. Anyway, I like washing dishes as I usually find myself lost in thought and come up with new ideas for writing, (particularly poetry) and projects. It's kind of a "wax on, wax off" sort of thing.

I want to start a new section for this blog that focuses on my writing other than poetry. I am writing two books. One is a fantasy story and the other is non-fiction. I was stuck on the direction in which to take the fantasy story, but after watching several episodes of "Doctor Who" this week my story seemed to begin to knit some of its pieces together. Finding my way through to my own writing through other's media such as TV series, movies, books, music, or even simple conversation happens to me quite a bit. Not that I take other's ideas or that I am not paying attention to the other person or media, but all of a sudden things begin to come together in my head as to where I should take my stories.  Poetry doesn't always work the same way, but sometimes it does. Usually, when I write poetry an idea sparks and then my head spits out a line and then another, and then all of a sudden I am piecing these lines together to form a poem. But I can get stuck as to where a poem should go or is going, as well. Then I find it's best to leave it alone until a later time.

Okay, now I think I am rambling and have lost the purpose of the title of this blog. So essentially my weekend plans involve enjoying Macy's company and writing. Yet, you never know what other adventures the days ahead may bring, and that, I think, is the most exciting part of life: stepping into the days without knowing where they will take you...

I wish you all great days ahead, and thank you for reading! - Yvonne


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Who I Am

I am woman, I am man.
I am white, no black I am.
I am Christian, I am Jew.
No, but wait, this is not true,
These are what, they are not who.

How can I say it so you’ll understand
Each of the pieces of who I am...

 I am connected, just the same,
To brothers and sisters, too many to name.
In the present, of the past,
All together to the last,
We are as one doing our best,
Striving to nurture, to help the rest.

Now when asked, there's no need to explain
I am human not always humane.
My answer's quick, and you know it's true,
You are me and I am you.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Beware the Spider

The spider weaves her wispy web
With patterns pretty to her prey.
While her kisses taste sweet it’s really venomous sap,
And her caresses constrict to make you stay.
You believe it’s a safety net, but it’s clearly a trap.
So beware of that spider, for she’ll drain you someday.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Bravura of the Butterfly

The egg, a tiny dot so small
Grows to burgeon for its beginning.
Yet waits its time and considers all
Of the aspects of its envisioning.

Then insignificant as she seems
Caterpillar creeps and crawls along
Consuming greens to store for dreams,
She moves in silence, for she sings no song.

When she feels she has had her fill
She stops to stretch upon a stem
And cloaks herself in softened silk
That hardens to harbor her from all storms.

Within the confines of her shadowed shell
Caterpillar surrenders to alteration.
Using the vision that did foretell
Her future forecasted in apparition.

Butterfly emerges during the months of spring
And once she is dry from the warmth of Sun,
She performs her dance on petite petal wings
To share with the world her concluded conception.

And so it’s the same with humankind
By using their knowledge of present and past,
They nurture their notions that come to mind
Then share the creations they’ve strived to amass.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Eternal Bond

First the inspiration...

I watched Great Expectations (1998), last evening. I haven’t watched this movie in some time, but I remembered that I liked it.

            It’s a complex story with complex characters. Alfonso Cuarón  skillfully directed his actors Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow, to perform wonderfully in depicting deep emotion that easily transfers to the audience, causing remembrances of experiences that are easily recognized.  A particular instance of my life experience came to me at the end of the movie when rhe charater of Finn says of himself and Estella, “She did know me...and I knew her.  And I always had, from that first instant.”  

            His words struck in me a chorus of memories; I went back, and returned to the beginning of the story to watch the character’s first meeting as children.  Their introduction was silent, yet there was a sense of knowledge in that silence, an understanding of one another that went beyond words or reasonable thought that remained with them forever—even within their periods of separation—there was always a sort of spiritual awareness of one another’s existence.

            Although the occurrence of this experience is rare, I have found that when it occurs in my life, the person it surrounds and the ensuing relationship or friendship remains forever. This type of bond is the inspiration for the following poem...    

Eternal Bond

A meeting of eyes, a flash of smile,
Your hands clasp in formal greeting.
There's warmth like home, without any guile
And your heart flutters within its beating.

Voices grow faint, and then fade out,
And you lose track of the conversation
While you try to reason, what this feeling is about—
This emotional transcendence without explanation.

Your eyes drift and meet in a glance.
You push it aside, and try to discuss.
Yet you know this meeting is not mere chance.
And then once more, you begin to lose focus.

Your mind is a rush of Déjà vu,
In your ears is a crashing roar.
You know this person, and they know you
And you will forevermore.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Sometimes It's Best to Walk Away

Have you ever had one of those days, (I'm sure you have) when anything you attempt simply won't work out the way you want it to?  Well, yesterday I had one of those days.

I started a new design for the "Ode to the Quilt" series. It is a little larger than the others I designed previously and the design is a little more intricate as well. The graphing of the design went well, however, I could not for the life of me, choose the colors or patterns for the design. I use a variety of materials to complete the design, from paint to decorative paper to cloth to colored pencil, but yesterday nothing came together the way it should. I finally decided to walk away from the project and concentrate on writing.

Much to my surprise and frustration, writing wouldn't work either. It is not often that I can't find words to cover the blank space set before me. However, yesterday no words ran from my brain to my fingers to fill in the blank screen. Nothing came to me except vague thoughts that would not come together. My mind was a jumble of random words. This lack of expression frustrated me even more than the quilt project. And so, I decided some yoga and meditation were in order.

I sat with my legs crossed, my eyes closed, and began the process of clearing my mind of all thought. And guess what? That's right, you guessed it, I couldn't do it. I kept on thinking of something that was posted on Facebook. It was a picture of a girl sitting in the same position that I was sitting, and the caption read, "C'mon inner peace, I haven't got all day!" It was exactly how I felt.

I decided that it was best that I remove myself from creativity all together. I went to the kitchen and ran a sink full of soapy water, and with no clear intention in mind I opened the refrigerator. Before I knew it, the counter was overflowing with the contents from the refrigerator and I was washing the entire inside of the refrigerator. I was in the moment.  I wasn't thinking about anything except the wide, white expanse of the open refrigerator. After I it was all clean and shiny, I replaced the food and proceeded to open the proverbial 'junk drawer'. Again, the menagerie content contained within was spread across the counter, and a bag of 'junk' I would never use sat half full next to the trash can. I thought, "Wow, I can't believe I did all this!" And then I noticed the time, it was 10:30pm and I was hungry!

I made a sandwich and went to the living room and began to read, still bypassing anything creative. I must have fallen to sleep, because I awoke on the sofa around 12:30am. I must have dreamt of the quilt project, because I knew exactly what colors the project needed! I went to the cupboard where I store my material and there, close to the top of the stack, I found the patterned papers I needed.

Now, today I am having no problem filling the blank space with words... (obviously). Sometimes it's best to walk away and let everything come together on its own.

Thanks for reading. - Yvonne