Monday, October 28, 2013


On a recent trip to the Grand Canyon, I used the excuse to visit a cousin I hadn’t seen in years. It was good to catch up and share old memories. A gracious host, we had the run of her home that was filled with her various collections. Every flat surface contained fun and whimsical collectables from cookie jars to cartoon action toys.

Returning to my home turf, I started thinking about my collections. What have I got sitting on the shelves of my ego? Dusty memories, antique grudges, and hurtful platitudes (still in their original containers) line the shelves of my mind. It’s easy to store wounds, put them away in glass cases where I hash them over periodically from a safe distance. Forgiveness takes work. I don’t want to dust the toys of indignation and self-righteousness I have stored.
Visiting my attic, I see several skeletons. Maybe I’ll take them out for Halloween--give them a good cleaning.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Educated, Encouraged, and Inspired

The Bayou Writers Group of Lake Charles is hosting its 10th Annual Conference, A Bridge to Publication on November 9th, 8AM – 4PM at University United Methodist Church, 3501 Patrick St., Lake Charles, LA.

This is my first rodeo as President, and there are a million details, but things are coming together with the members all doing their share. BWG is a terrific group of individuals who happen to be writers. This year’s conference, like the group’s motto, is sure to Educate, Encourage, and Inspire those who attend.
We have a great line up of presenters. The keynote speaker, DiAnn Mills, author of multiple contemporary fiction novels, historical romances and several non-fiction titles, will have two hands-on workshops. DiAnn is not only an author, but a writing coach, and manuscript editor.  Her workshops titled “Self-Editing for the Professional Writer” and “Creating Powerful Emotion” are sure to inspire.
The screenwriters Glen Pitre and Michelle Benoit are a husband and wife team who will educate listeners with “The ABC’s of Screenwriting: Action, Believable Plots, and Characters.” Founders of the N.O. based production company Cote Blanche Productions, their combined expertise covers the spectrum of movies, documentaries, 4D, and IMAX to TV shorts and series. Entertaining speakers, we look forward to our lessons.
Amanda T. Graves, president of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, will encourage us in the art of self-promotion with her session, “Get Yourself Out There! Collaborating with School Librarians.”
The fourth session of A Bridge to Publication will be a panel question and answer session with all the speakers plus New York Agents, Jill Marr, Jessica Kirkland, and N.Y. acquisitions editor, Stella Riley. These last three women will be taking manuscript pitches during the day to help writers walk the bridge to publication.
No matter if you’ve been writing in a closet for years or a teenager with werewolves living in your imagination, you are invited to attend the 10th Annual, Bridge to Publication. I promise you will be Educated, Encouraged, and Inspired to get out there and write.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wizard of BWG

I’ve been stretched the past few months as President of the Bayou Writers Group. A replacement in the middle of the year, I’ve felt a step behind from the beginning. However, I am grateful for this opportunity, because I’ve been stretched and learned much.

With our annual officer elections fast approaching, I’ve been encouraging others to consider serving on the board in some capacity. Down to the wire for a slate of officers, I have been forced to phone and email members and directly ask. I think people are shy or modest and don’t see themselves capable. Most writers are introverts. Put a roomful of gifted talent together you get insecurities by the pail full, overachievers who don’t want to be noticed.
Ironically, most of us want to be published, and in this new area of publishing, writers are no longer allowed the privilege of anonymity. It’s a world of Facebook and salesmanship. A successful author can’t just produce; they are required to write the perfect story and sell it. We have returned to the dog and pony show of the traveling medicine man, but with technology. If you produce the book that “speaks” to an agent’s heart then you must morph into the Wizard of Oz. It’s all about the show, selling the story and the character who wrote it.
As I write this, I’m morphing into Madame President. Now where is my list and that balloon?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I was raised in the Midwest. My blood sings with a heavy German accent, and my DNA is imprinted with a blue-collar work ethic. I was brought up to believe if you weren’t ill, you should be sweating. The South has taught me to slow down. Granted it’s taken me a few years, but I do appreciate a good drawl and the rock of a porch swing.

This week we’re expecting visitors from the North, and my dead mother’s sainted head shook in disdain at the dirty windows and grimy fingerprints on every surface. I thought about hiring a young woman to help clean, but mom said, “You can do this yourself. Spread it out over several days.” Evidently she must have been talking to my husband, too, because we have worked doggedly washing windows inside and out, vacuumed, dusted, mopped, primped, and cooked for days.
Sitting on the couch, I am enjoying the view of the river out my clean windows, but now I see all the stuff in the yard that needs tending. Those darn German ancestors were workaholics. I need a bier.

Friday, September 6, 2013


The cardiology office had scheduled both a stress test and an echo cardiogram on the same day, for my convenience. Embroiled in a convoluted tour of the health care system, running from one doctor’s appointment to the next, this sounded good to me. I arrived early at 8:30 to a full waiting room. Looked bad, but I only needed tests. Our electronic relationship already established a few weeks prior with my visit to the nurse practitioner, there was nothing to fill out, just sit down. I looked around. Not only was I the youngest person in the room, but the only one wearing sweats.
Feeling self-conscious about my clothing choice, I noticed a dapper gent in white ortho walkers checking in with the receptionist. He barely sat down before he’s called back for his test, and I’m hoping—no, I’m delusional that this won’t take all morning. My name’s called soon, but the voice comes from a different direction. It seemed the billing office was serious when they phoned the house looking for the co-payment prior to service. The voice had informed me that waiting to pay until the day of my visit might slow my forward progress. Who’d have thought—evidentially the dandy in the white shoes. I vowed to pay upfront the next time. Back in my seat, several people proceeded to the test area before my credit cleared.
Not long and the echo tech, Lynette, called my name. When she instructed me to strip down to my waist and put on the pretty blue paper number with the opening to the front, I realized I had no idea what this test was about. Lynette dimmed the lights and quietly explained that an echo cardiogram is basically a sonogram of the heart. Instead of my grandson in the little V shaped shadow, I reclined to watch my valves beat out a percussive number that would make a marching band Gangnam. Each of the four chambers grooved a different beat—Zah-zim-zah, Zah-zim-zah, Zah-zim-zah or my favorite, Whack-a-do, Whack-a-do, Whack-a-do. My little cupped valves swung and jived while Lynette’s calm voice assured me nothing was enlarged. I knew I was healthy, but then there was that stress test I didn’t study for.
The radiology team of Frick and Frack put me through my paces. I made nine minutes while fussing with the electrode belt, trying to keep it from falling around my knees. With the treadmill goosed four times, I was pleased with myself for not fainting or falling off the back of the machine. After an hour or so of waiting for the nurse practitioner, she shows me my poor test scores and orders (of course) another test.
Driving home, the billing office called. They had contacted my insurance provider and wanted to warn me of the co-pay amount. Did I want to pay by credit card. I explained that the test wasn’t even scheduled yet. The voice assured me, someone would call to set the appointment that afternoon. That seemed wrong, worse than paying before receiving services. I declined payment again, feigning dangerous driving conditions.
They haven't called, yet. A nuclear stress test—sounds dangerous. I wonder if I should wear a hazmat suit.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Waiting Game

Thankfully, I haven’t had much need to sit in a doctor’s waiting room the past few years. Recently, my internist left his clinic for fairer shores, and I was forced to find a new doc. I decided on a female physician, nice woman, I like her a lot. After listening to my litany of aches and pains, she suggested some screenings—my age. Okay.

The past month I have worked full time scheduling appointments, driving to one clinic after another and WAITING. I’ve been stuck, prodded, smeared, squished, and nearly killed (a stress test) ultimately for my good health.
The new fancy orthopedic clinic was a cattle call. In the name of efficiency, I was given an electronic tablet to fill out and got into a line where a young woman took vital signs one patient after another. When I finished entering my life history into the cloud, I was given an electronic survey of my techie experience. Handing the device to a human, I was assigned a number printed on the schematic of the building, complete with all the different doctor’s exam room numbers. I was instructed to listen for the “dings” and watch the TV monitor for my number and its corresponding room number. Sitting down in the gymnasium sized waiting room, I noticed there was not one magazine, newspaper, or pamphlet, on any of the end tables. Everyone who was smart used their phone. Waiting two hours for my number to “ding” and flash across the screen, I proceeded to find my own exam room. I was relieved to see the doctor was human if not harried. I wonder why.
I'll tell you about the cardiologist next time. Right now, I have to answer the phone. They're calling me to schedule an appointment.

Monday, July 29, 2013


I went to Fred's funeral yesterday. He was an older gentleman who lived a long and healthy lifestyle. An active golfer and avid smiler, it was hard to imagine Fred was in his 80's.

I don't do funerals well. I usually try to avoid them because I cry -- a lot. I could have been one of those professional mourners in ancient times. Women who were hired, presumably by the rich, to wail at funerals. I try not to be so emotional, but the tears leak out. Usually I look worse than the family who I'm supposed to be comforting. They inevitably end-up patting me on the back, giving hugs and words of encouragement. Geech.

No one I know disliked Fred.We weren't especially close friends, but he lived and died my ideal. Extending his hand with a smile, he had a welcoming soul. He died in his sleep. What a blessing. There are many things worse than dying.

Godspeed, Fred. And for your family, I cry.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Reality Check

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride. My emotions, like eggs rolling on the coaster car’s floor between my feet. I try to stop them, but they crack and ooze with a gooey reality check.
I’ve been on hormone replacement for years, and I was under a delusion my emotions were under control – that I was too old and therefore no longer at the mercies of this monthly ride. How foolish we humans are, so easily sucked into our fantasies of power and restraint. A tiny pill, half the size of a pencil eraser, one milligram, zapped my myth. Between our insurance provider insisting on a generic medication substitution or pay through-the-nose, and our drug store closing because of Obama insurance restructuring, I was left for a month without my milligram of hormonal sanity.
I didn’t care at first. It comes on slow. The coaster moves away from the platform and chugs up a scenic incline. "Oh, LOOK. How beautiful. Maybe I don’t need that pill anymoreeeeeeeeeeeh." I fall headlong into a tantrum. Expletives fly like egg bombs. As I round a bend into a black tunnel, tears streak my yolk covered face.

The doorbell rings. FedEx. My meds delivery – expedited.
Only a few more loops now, and I’ll be back to the platform. What was I thinking? One lie or another. That’s what fiction writers do best. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013


            the grain of wood
            a tree’s life measure
            jagged and stained
            knotted beauty
            cut and sanded

            pillar and post
            sound foundation
            pressed over time
            striations of strength
            weather the storms

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Goal Cleaning

I’m doing some spring cleaning – spring of 2009 to be precise.

We had company last weekend, and I had to clean my office to make room for an air mattress. I couldn’t believe how much stuff has accumulated since we moved here nine years ago. For the health and well-being of our guests, I hurriedly rearranged one shelf in the closet to shove all the mess laying on the desk, chairs, and floor, and promised to come back.

A few days ago, I stood at the Closet of Truth. “I will never save junk again.” I lied, when we moved. On the top shelf there was an expensive broken camera. On the shelves below were floppy discs with no drive, used (but still good) manila folders, a laptop I haven’t fired up since we got our iPad, wires that don’t connect to a computer, TV, or telephone we currently own, and on the floor (my personal favorite) those two large boxes full of 20 year old photos that “need to be put into albums.”
Today I’ve tackled my file cabinet. You know those antiquated boxes that stack in the corner with drawers. Evidently, I started these when I didn’t have a clue how to file (or spell). It’s all interesting, sometimes just from the curious. What the hell was I thinking?
I came across a file from a workshop I attended in 2009. Besides half used notebooks and a plastic baggy with out-of-date conference news, I came across a list of career goals. We had been encouraged to write a list of one year goals and five year goals. Ouch – 2013. All the things I was going to achieve. Humm, maybe I should have revisited these sooner –worked a little harder.
No, I am not going to share. Actually these look pretty good. No need to waste paper, I’ll just change the date and file it under 2018.

Friday, April 19, 2013

One of Those Days

Last weekend, I went on a two day road trip with three friends from the Bayou Writers’ Group in Lake Charles. We had the privilege to attend the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference hosted by the Terrebonne Parish Library in Houma, Louisiana. It’s a terrific small conference year after year, where they treat participants well for a great price. This year’s keynote speaker was Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried, and he didn’t disappoint. Listeners were treated to personal antidotes where Mr. O'Brien demonstrated his storytelling style of writing.

Several agents and editors from New York attended, and I wanted to take advantage of the one-on-one book pitch sessions being offered. From experience I knew these 10 minute appointments went fast, and I needed to sign up early. Not a good self-promoter, I usually shoot myself (or wished I had) during the interview process, so I rose that morning to meditate and prepare in my room.
I walked the short distance from the hotel to the library where the conference is held, thinking I had arrived in plenty of time. The woman at the table informed me, “There are only two editors left with times available.” I perused the names and asked about my editor of choice, Monique Patterson. The helper with the clipboard checked the schedules confident that Monica was already booked. To her surprise and my glee the name on the first slot had been scratched threw, not once, but twice, leaving it open for me. My confidence in prayer sored, as I returned to the hotel to meet my friends.
They were sitting in the lobby, where I discovered one of my writer companions had awoke having health issues that necessitated a wheelchair, or she wouldn’t be able to attend the conference. Being a Methodist, I had noticed a United Methodist church across the street from the library and hotel. The concierge called the number, but no one answered. Of course it was Saturday, I thought, listening to the machine. However, the pastor left his cell number.
Boldly, I called and identified myself (like he’d know me), explained our problem in one sentence, and asked if the church had a wheelchair they might loan us for the day. He immediately said, “Can you come right now?” He was on site, preparing for a funeral.
We shuffled to our waiting SUV and drove across the street. Pastor Don Ross, wearing his blue suit and tie, met us at the front door, wheeled the chair down the walk, and helped us load it. We exchanged a few pleasantries with simple return instructions and waved good-by. In ten minutes we were at the conference, on time with a rolling front row seat.
Listening to the morning greeting, I knew the interview would go fine. Calm and professional, I met the challenge and my fears with confidence—someone smarter than me was in charge.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I Haiku – Do You?

Haiku – a three line poem consisting of 17 syllables, 5 in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the last line. This simple Japanese art form was first created in seventeenth century by a humble teacher named Basho. The purest form of this ancient poetry creates a snap-shot of nature. 
Like delicate flowers,
     Haiku appears simple – mundane.
Truth is its nectar. 
Daisies wilt and fade.
    Poetry preserves the mind,
Time in its blooming.
To get a real feel for excellent Haiku read some Basho, but remember in English the Japanese doesn’t always have the 5,7,5 syllable translation.  

Master Basho Haiku

old dark sleepy pool…
    quick unexpected frog
Goes plop! Watersplash! 

Now try it yourself and slip one in your pocket You never know when you might need a poem to share.

Baldauf Haiku 

Chrysanthemums paint
       a color pallet for spring.
Brushstrokes for the eyes.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Poetry in Your Pocket

April is National Poetry Month, according to the Academy of American Poets, and they’d like us to celebrate by carrying a “Poem in Your Pocket.” It’s a fun idea to energize a flagging spirit. You find a cherished poem from childhood or write one yourself, keep it in your pocket or purse, and gift it to someone. If you’re a teacher, it’s suggested you make class more exciting in April by giving extra credit if someone can produce a poem from their pocket.
I took a Leisure Learning class at McNeese State University in February. Our lovely instructor, Connie McDonald, inspired us with her enthusiasm and knowledge, dragging our winter weary minds into spring with some fun poetry exercises. My middle-aged mind hesitated at first, then grabbed the rope and took a step. Swinging out over the river of imagination, I let go and enjoyed the metaphor and mechanism that poetry embraces. When our four weeks were over, I wished it could have been a few nights longer.
For the next few months, I’m committing to blog about different types of poetry and encourage you to carry in your pocket that Shell Silverstein poem you read your kids a million times, or the Langston Hughes or E. B. Browning poem that gave you goose-bumps the first time you heard it.  When you see a long face at the grocery store, or that special person at work who makes you laugh, gift them with a poem. Let’s celebrate. Happy Easter.

       The Swing                                                             
       by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
    Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
    Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
    Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
    Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green
     Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again,
     Up in the air and down!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Athletic Indifference

I don’t like to exercise. I’m not an athlete. Competition makes me nervous. If you want to be first and win, I’ll gladly step aside. The concept of sweating for pleasure is foreign to me. I’d rather sit and read, exercising the muscle between my ears. But recently an ugly truth has surfaced in my miry brain—if you don’t step up and play some games, you run the risk of becoming a pawn.
My weight, like most Americans, has increased with my age. In the past two years, I cringe to admit, I’ve started taking prescriptions to battle the side effects of obesity. Of course the doctor never says lose weight, he just hands me another script.
I was teasing our daughter the other day about being an exercise fanatic, and she reminded me she’s an athlete, training for a triathlon. This got me to thinking; I’m in training for a stroke. My mouth keeps saying I’m going to lose weight, but that muscle between my ears lies. Sitting there in the dark, it’s only fooling me.
So—enlighten, what do I do? “Run the race with perseverance,” is the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to disciples. Disciple being the root of discipline, I’m lacking. Not being an athlete, I never quite grasped that running metaphor in the past. Maybe because I didn’t want to lay down my idol worship of food and join the race.
Hum…, I need to keep my eyes on the prize and sweat a little more.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sage Advice

My mother-in-law is visiting for a few months to escape the late snows that are plaguing the Midwest. Her birthday is next week. She is going to be 92, but you’d never guess. Always ready for “an adventure,” she slides in and out of my sedan like butter. I can see arthritis has knarred her knuckles and one knee now bends in, making her walk hobbled. Not quite as fast as last year, she still cuts a path—cane and all. I’m glad she’s here. It’s hard adding another adult to your space, especially a parent. The first week took some adjustments, more to my attitude than my schedule.
In January I committed to coordinating a fundraiser for The Open Door, a women’s prison ministry and re-entry center, where I volunteer. Some days I feel like the sword thrower’s assistant, strapped spread eagle to a colored wheel being spun around. Thunk. Thunk. The knives whizz past my skin and hit the board. I try to smile, but feel like throwing up. In the evening, I stumble down from the stage to sharpen the blades and make my to-do list for tomorrow.
My office is upstairs, and I feel guilty sitting at the computer for hours or making a bazillion phone calls, leaving my guest. Her son’s at work, and I’m a poor excuse for a host, but she beams happy as long as there’s coffee in the pot. She likes to read and alternates this with The Days of Our Lives and doing her “stretches.”
Wednesday, I decided we needed to do something fun. After four quick call backs, we escaped to shop. After ninety minutes tottering the long aisles of JC Penney’s, we hit a bistro for soup and a sandwich. On the way home in the car, I brought up her obvious arthritis and mentioned she never complained. In my shallow mind, musty with fiftyish youth, I figured it didn't bother her since she never mentioned it. Her German, mater-of-fact comment broke the cartoon light bulb hanging above my heart. “No, why complain? No one wants to hear about that anyway, so why bother.”
I look at her humor and willingness to wait – to do whatever opportunity presents itself with a smile, and I wonder, if I start practicing now, can I be this gracious to my daughters at 90? We’ll see.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter Paradise

The north wind is wrestling with a warm front, as gray clouds jockey for position. The air is electrified with a cacophony of birds. Like the dissonant noise before a symphony, the musicians warm up. Winged sections flutter overhead. Dozens of sporadic flocks moving, migrating, chirping hello to their southern cousins as they hurry past, using their invisible GPS.
Across the river, the audience of one hundred foot pines and bare armed cypress stands and waits. A few have dressed in their early chartreuse buds of welcome for the traveling orchestra. The resident mockingbird sits silently on the fence, waiting for his cue. The cheep of the local cardinal couple announces their morning fly by. No seed in the feeder, they move on with a titter.  
For a moment the air stills with anticipation. The hawk conductor has spread his wings. He sores on the updraft. Slowly the music of spring begins to rise, wooing the blooms and chlorophyll. A fish jumps. The slap of tail to water creates a percussive ripple.
The north wind tickles the hair on my neck. A chill runs down my arm. I must leave the porch swing and my winter paradise to fill the dryer and make the beds. Snowbirds of the human variety are coming to call.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February Blues

It's amazing how a little company coming for a visit can create so much dirt. I see fingerprints and cat hair in places where, I'm sure it wasn't last week. I've washed sheets and blankets until the washer groaned. And who spilled that sticky mess in the refrigerator?

Okay, so what? Take a deep breath. If the weather has you stuck inside (or you're sick of cleaning house), and you can't take that refreshing walk, here's an exercise to turn those February "blues" pink.



Wednesday, February 6, 2013


As the leaves fell in September, I remember my despair. My mind ached with the coming gray and bare, the monochrome of winter in South Louisiana. There's no promise of snow here, that fresh fall of magic, waking in the morning to white silence; the reverent beauty that washes the soul. I remember January in Michigan. Shovel in hand, the romance fades; snow turns to gray and fluff to mush.

I pass the barren woods near my house and recall my earlier fears. Striped of its green undergrowth, the new horizon, unseen in summer, stands naked and proud, majestic, serene, uncomplicated. My backyard hosts several ruffly azaleas, dotting the landscape with whimsy. Last year's green lay yellow and dormant beneath the final fallen leaves while perfumed hyacinths sway top heavy with white blossoms. Down the street February Camillas scream spring, dressed in their red finery. Along the country highway thousands of birds, reminiscent of Hitchcock, swoop and dance in migratory clouds, performing avian acrobatics, above fallow fields and unconcerned cows. This is home now, I feel it in my bones, or maybe it's that northeaster blowing in for one last who-rah.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday Afternoons

The room is empty, devoid of students. Chow in 100 comes early and always during literacy class. Through the door I watch two female deputies work the tower, a raised area in the center quad of three large dorms that house thirty women each, and my classroom. Food carts squeak. Trustees push plastic trays through portals in locked massive, metal doors. Women wave and mouth verboten greetings through heavy windows laced with wire mesh. Phones ring. Walkie-talkies squawk. Voices loud – laughing, scolding, praising, joking.

Fifteen minutes – “Teacher’s waiting. Hurry-up.”

A wave of women shuffle in, then another, back to their pencils and pages. Greetings and gossip, all ages, races, average, normal – dressed in orange, INMATE stamped on their backs. Each has a story, choices and circumstance – tragic or luck. Lives pulled from poverty and privilege, sit side-by-side in search of change. I listen and pray, glad I’m the volunteer and not the judge.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Test of Time

As a kid in school, I hated tests. Looking at my old elementary school report cards (the ones where the teacher wrote a progress note home to the parents every six weeks) more than one teacher mentioned, “Not a good test taker.” I think probably today I’d be diagnosed with one of the AD syndromes, but in my family, failure was not an option. I didn’t realize until I had four children and was back in college that I had learned to survive my lack of concentration and ability to memorize with perseverance.

Recently, I was required as part of my volunteer prison ministry to take a computer based training, mandated by the federal government. Thirty multiple choice questions with 80% needed to pass. Sounds simple enough. The first day I spent six hours—ninety minutes of that, just to find the minuscule icon that opened the actual test portion of the program. Thoroughly frustrated, but afraid the program would time-out, I plunged ahead for a pre-test score of 50. Several tests later and a high score of 58%, I quit to start afresh the next day. With a new attitude and a better understanding of the program, I started with the video odyssey training sessions. After hours of endless lesson scenarios, my high score reached 78%. Another try with a 50 and I quit again. However, failure was not an option. I passed the test eventually with some handholding, but I’ve discovered new meaning in the dreaded words – the test.

Testing in reference to my faith has always bothered me. The dictionary refers to test as “a purification process by heat and pressure.” Purified by fire scares the Hell out of me, literally. I have a hard time reconciling my loving God as testing me. What if I fail? But that’s the whole point. Life – this journey is the test – baby steps of faith, and if we keep getting up and toddling back on the path, we can't fail.
The test of time – stubborn perseverance. God help me. I’m still not good at standardized tests, but I have the wisdom that time affords and the dogged determination that can’t be measured by little bubbles on a page.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Big Thaw

I started this blog several days ago.
It’s 10pm and finally quiet. The rest of the house is sleeping, and I’m sitting here, looking for inspiration. Our calico walks across my page, sits on my arm, and kneads my stomach. No amount of good natured shooing works, only the obvious push onto the floor. I could use a good push myself. I haven’t written my pages in weeks – forgive me Julia.* I’ve dropped my pen and I can’t pick it up.

At the computer surfing the self-help blogs that encourage January goal setting and perseverance, I languish in fear. The ink has dried up, dedication shrivels. My mind has wandered off the page into the dessert dunes. Big Bang reruns flicker across the flat screen. The bright colors and loud noise make my head nod with the laugh track. What happened to that book I was reading? Seduced by Sudoku. Replaced by the lure of electronic solitaire and mindless word finds.
Where is that Muse? Did I pack her in the attic with the Christmas decorations? Wait! I see a Leisure Learning writing class in my future. Okay, and there’s that contest I want to enter. Oh, yeah, I’m up next for critique this week.
If you’re suffering from a creative ache that eats at your soul, I recommend reading the spiritual leadings offered by * Julia Cameron, author of Right to Write and The Artist’s Way, and writing three pages every morning whether you want to or not!