Elusive Words

Since I’ve been writing, I’ve started looking for inspiration everywhere. I find inspiration in music, in art, and I draw on my own personal life experiences. Having your senses fired by external stimuli, often fuels your creative process. Nevertheless, some days the words just won’t come. Life, with all its anxieties can drown out the Muse, if he’s still talking.

My life has been especially busy and my mind has been a very noisy and messy place. It feels a little like I can’t catch my breath. Maybe even like I’m under water, trying to claw back to the surface.  I can fix this, I know I can. Yet, I ignore my own advice.

It’s time to take a break and find some quiet time. For me, that means getting outside, no matter the weather. Walking the country roads past the crumbling old walls that line the pastures, I let my mind wander. There’s a fallen down barn on the dirt road about a mile away. The red-tailed hawks perch on the half-rotted beams and watch for field mice and rabbits in the tall grass. The wind sighing, the birds singing, the chatter of the squirrels is the only music to my ears. Cross the creek, rushing with last night’s rain. The smell of damp leaves, the mud, all loamy and decayed.

Even better, when the world is quiet after a new fall of snow. It crunches beneath your boots as your feet plunge through the sheen of ice on the surface. When the sun returns, it sparkles like a spray of tiny stars on a field of white instead of black. The air freezes your nostrils but it feels clean and purifying. The red of the cardinal is in sharp contrast to the brilliant white of the snow clinging to the tree branches.

Breathe it in deeply. Inspire… Now, to go home and write something beautiful.

 

The Power of Negative Thinking

I woke this morning to howling winds. It’s dark and raining –perfect for staying in bed or for curling up with tea and a book. Or for writing. Usually this kind of weather lends itself to concentration and immersion in whatever project I’m working on. Recently, I’ve been struggling to write. It’s happened before but never for this long. I really haven’t put new ideas down on paper since before the holidays.

I’ve alluded to the stress I’m experiencing in my personal life –let’s just say that it is ongoing– and it’s had a dramatic impact on my ability to write. This too, is a new phenomenon. My best writing usually comes from that dark space inside. But this is different. And perhaps it has to do with the subject matter I’ve been working on. Without realizing it, I’ve given Maya –my main character– the same ‘kinds’ of issues that are troubling me as well. And maybe striking so close to home has stayed my hand. Because I can’t see the way forward personally, I can’t see the way forward fictionally.

However, the whole thing is tied up in a bundle together. If I can’t get the writing back on track, it will compound the rest of the stress I’m feeling. I have to act. If life would just imitate art, I could write myself a solution for my real problems and my fictional ones.

Losing Words

Reworked and reimagined…

The pretty words rattle and quiver
They shake the walls
And give you the shivers

Bless those words and damn the silence
Tap the inkwell
Cover the blankness

They flow like a river, swollen to flood
Burn like a wildfire
Drip like blood

Over the precipice they tauntingly hover
The chasm is deep
And seductive as a lover

To lose those words is just like a death
For the writer would leap
Not save his last breath