Sunday, April 19, 2015

April Moon #15

The prompt for today (and the last one!) is:

That we could all be happy.  All good people deserve to be happy.

I also hope the world finds peace one day, somehow.

That all our dreams come true, that we all find honorable mention for the things we do well (write, teach, inform, create, etc.) and that the world visits each of our little corners of the web to see what we have to say, perhaps find value in what we have to share.

That one day a cure for diseases like cancer, diabetes, HIV (and a whole other host of illnesses I can't think of right now) will be found.

That the hungry find food and the loveless feel the gentle touch of someone who cares.

I suppose I sound like a hippie.  I guess I do love all the good quotes of Lennon.  I do think Bob Dylan hung the moon (or at least had something to do with it).  And I really do think all the great contemporary books of poetry were written in the 60's and 70's (look at Anne Sexton and Bukowski, just to name a few).  Seriously, I was born in the wrong decade!

Anyway, I'll leave you with this hopeful quote, I think it best describes me and lumps everything I wish for into merely one statement:

"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.  I hope one day you'll join us, and the world will be as one."  ~John Lennon

April Moon Day #14

The prompt for today is:

....that I actually woke up today to enjoy another day of life...I know plenty of people probably did not get to.

...that I have shelter over my head, a warm bed, food to eat, the 'bare' necessities.

...that I have people I love and people whom love me...I know many people who live lonely lives (rather by choice or misfortune).

...that I get to be the mother to my daughter.  That little fairy is my whole world.

...that I have a family and a few good friends.

...that I have found my ultimate passion in poetry.  In words.  Digital art too (though I'm still, and always, a learner).

...that I first discovered journal-writing at a young age.  I believe it has saved me many times.

...that I am healthy in mind and body.  What a blessing.

...that I live in a country that, for the most part, we are free.

...for education and my ability to learn it, and hopefully share the wealth of my knowledge with others.

...that I live in an age where I can explore the world from my desk chair via the internet.  I've met so many beautiful souls on here.  People whom I have learned from, been inspired by.  Many I have not had the grace to touch in person, but I appreciate and love each one of you as if you were dear, old friends!

April Moon Day #13

The prompt for today is:

Fully complete my 'to-do' list on any given day.

Finish writing all the books I've only half-started.

Forgive certain people the hurts they've handed me and move on.

Stop procrastinating (notice I'm three days behind on April Moon, it's merely over by now!)

Ever find the time to work on all the projects I'm so passionate about rather than just tire out and crash and burn.  I suppose this is indicative of burn out, but cmon you only live once, I want to do everything.

Live in my bungalow by the beach.  I miss the shore, it feeds my muse, I need to be there!

Get done with the Month of April and this dang NaPoWriMo I decided to undertake.  A poem a day, and by a perfectionist, has NOT been an easy thing!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April Moon Day #12

The prompt for today is:

I wrote in an earlier post about my absolute favorite part of the day, the magical hour of evening when the day begins to turn to night.

I suppose another part of my day that I really enjoy is my early morning coffee/journal time.

Anytime I turn to my journal to speak, or figure things out, or maybe just to record something important, I always get this familiar feeling of returning home.  I think because for as long as I remember, writing has been my release.  I remember using all kinds of notebooks for my writing...the five year diary full with lock and key, the prettily-decorated hardcover journals, and I even remember pounding away at my sisters fancy electronic type-writer before we got our first computer in the late 90's.  Anytime I go to my journal, I feel as if I'm reconnecting with all those formal versions of myself.

Coffee is also an esoteric comfort to me.  It's an atmospheric experience...the scent and shadows of a lighted candle, the bitter-sweet taste of coffee, I liken it to sad memories from a happy time...or maybe the other way around sometimes.  My earliest childhood memories contain the boil of a coffeepot percolating in the kitchen of many long-ago homes.  I remember my eight-year old self sneaking coffee under the watch of my late grandmother, who only smiled and gave me extra cream and vanilla wavers as little cakes for dipping.  I suppose it's no surprise how drinking it, still to this day, gives me a comfortable and homey feeling.  I feel as if, every morning, I drink with the ghosts and memories of my history.

April Moon Day #11

the prompt for today is:

Negative things!  Negative events, bad memories, things that upset me or make me sad.  People who have made me feel like less of a person in one capacity or another.

I refuse to allow these asinine things to rob me of happiness, to take away the importance in my gift of the present moment.

I've always felt that to dwell on things (especially unpleasant things) is to live them twice.

It's been hard, teaching myself the self-discipline of learning to just let go and live on from bad experiences, but I work on this everyday.  And I'm training myself to take into consideration the negative events, decide how (or if even) I'm going to allow them to effect me, and move on.

I firmly believe that holding on to bad things, thoughts, memories, and even grudges, is a toxic thing.  It poisons your now and robs from the happiness of your future.

So, I'm going to keep trying not to talk about it.  Or even think about it, really.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Moon Day #10

the prompt for today:

I used to have an eating disorder...back then, entering a kitchen gave me a certain sense of nervousness and anxiety.

Most days when I walk into the kitchen I'm anxious to find the exact thing I'm craving (and a lot of the time I have no idea what  I even want once I start looking!).

I'm always excited if it's coffee & pastry time (my daily treat to myself as I sit down to write).

Preparing dinner for my family always makes me feel happy.  I love my ability to whip up a meal for my loved ones and know that, although I'm far from a five star chef, they eat and enjoy my food.

If I'm entering a kitchen during Thanksgiving, or some other holiday (or family gathering) I feel giddy and festive.  Family dinners are my favorite!

Really, the way I feel when I enter a kitchen usually just depends on my mood and what I'm planning to do once I'm in that kitchen.

Let's not forget that oftentimes I write at the kitchen table, so that's always an enjoyable time.

April Moon Day #9

and the prompt for today was:

that someone is sick...especially with an incurable disease.

I hate to hear of the suffering of others (whether it be people or animals).

I detest kill shelters, animal cruelty, and child abuse.  Psychological suffering also really tears at my heart:  discrimination, bigotry, people being taken advantage of, and the terrible way those with mental illnesses are scoffed toward.  Addiction is just as much a disease as social anxiety...all these things exist and I hate when they are taken lightly.

I hate to see hunger, poverty, sickness, illiteracy.  Incarcerated youth who've no hope because the system has already given up on them really before their lives even had a chance to begin at all.

I hate inner city crimes, gang-related violence.  The cock-eyed CEO's of corporations and big business who care only to stuff their pockets full of dollar bills and never bother to give anything back to the communities, the countries, the towns that made them rich in the first place!

And I am totally disgusted with the exploitation of decent, hard-working Americans for the pathetic minimum wage!

I guess you could say I'm an activist...but there's so much to fight for I wouldn't know where to begin to apply the little energy I have after I deal with my personal life each day...some of us aren't lucky enough to live at the expense of others, to hire maids and tutors for our kids, to recline on beaches and have it made!  Because trust me, if I could live that way, I would apply all that idle time to changing lives!

Monday, April 13, 2015

April Moon Day #8

the prompt for today is:

hmmm i have quite a few things...

candles of all colors (and scents), lamps of all colors and designs, books...shelves upon shelves of books.

i also love costume jewelry.  and i wear a flower in my hair almost every single day.  if its not a flower then a headband, one of those wrapping bandanas (i probably look like a hippie!).

I love journals.  Blank ones.  One's half-filled.  One's I have ideas for, with perfectly decorated covers.

There's just something about new journals, books, and candles that make me happy.

Perhaps there's a metaphor to be uncovered in this:  books are light, vise versa.

I could just be giving you my 1:02 am sleep talk, ah, but these are the ways in which I sorta collect things.

April Moon Day #7

the prompt for today is:

If this asked for the first person I thought about, the answer would ultimately be my daughter.

But considering it says 'thing' I'm going to assume this excludes an actual person.

Even then I have trouble edging things down in singular terms.  Ah, but I will try...

I wake up breathing words.  Poetry, stories, quotes, prose...descriptions.  I am in love with words.  And have been for as long as I remember.  As a child, the library seemed like such a vast wonderland, and it was so easy to get lost in the world of a book.  These days books are every bit as magical, but real life distractions makes it hard to get that totally immersed and lost feeling.  I suppose psychologists refer to this type of deep concentration as flow.

I get lost in my journal as well.  And in writing my own poetry.  I get lost in assembling words, playing with them, writing them on cards, applying them to things/people/life.

I try to write poetry everyday.  I share some of it, other pieces I am preserving for books and major publication.

I love journal writing prompts (which is why I LOVE Kat's work!).  I even have a soul journal, an art journal, a journal for my rune readings.  Seriously...there is a blank book for everything!

I write when I wake up, I create throughout the day, and I read before bed.

I think sometimes I dream in text.

You could probably refer to me as a bibliophile...or, if you don't want to be that formal, my family likes to think of me as a book hoarder.

I share my home with thousands of books, proudly so!

Ahhhh, all those words!

April Moon Day #6

The prompt for today is:

....a cozy evening, a new moon out my window.

A fuzzy, fleece blanket and my favorite yoga pants on a comfy couch.  A nice cup of mocha iced coffee at my side and a good book in my lap.

A candle flickering on the center of the coffee table, throwing soft shadows into all four corners of the room where they linger there, friendly ghosts.

April Moon Day #5

The prompt for today is:

....real life experiences.

I like to think that when I'm referring to memories and actual experiences, I'm writing from the inside.

And what better way to figure out the world, the things that happen to me, than to construct them outside myself, on paper?

I'm not just inspired by my own life experiences, I'm often inspired by the miracle of life, in and of itself.

I am inspired by the stories of other people.  I like to consider myself a collector of experiences.  I love gaining new insight, sharing new ideas, getting into the heads and personal lives of fascinating people...these people are usually writers, themselves.  The poets and artists of the world.  The talkers and performers.  The starving, eccentric screenwriters who slave away at the typewriter each day.

I also love learning about the lives of people I'll never be....the visual artist who lives in a one bed-room flat by the sea, her house full of paint cans and canvases she hopes to sell.  The elderly widow (once a flapper) with a whole lifetime of memories to share with me.  The traveler and his stamped suitcase with a vintage guitar that belonged to his great grandfather strapped across his shoulder.

I love poeple.  The kind with big hearts and deep minds.  I'd like to think these people are a lot like me...

People like this, and their stories; how we interconnect and share love and light and hope, all with a tiny string of a great source of inspiration for me (and my writing).

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April Moon Day #4

And the prompt for today is:

...when I sat on the couch, near the window with my journal open atop my lap just last night.

My favorite time of the day is early evening.  I love that small window of time when light begins to transform into night.  Those few moments of transition between daylight and the darkness...when the sky begins to dim and the sun goes to sleep for a while.  You can almost watch the stars come on like light-bulbs, one by one.  The moon moves from a transparent figure into a full-blown, bulbous descent onto the grand stage of the sky.

I love watching this sky theater as I reflect the meaning of life.

And then I write...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April Moon Day #3

I literally did give birth to my own heart beating outside my body.  That really is the most accurate metaphor for the way I love my girl.  She has led me into the strong, independent, adult version of myself.  Funny how I'm raising her, but she held my hand and has walked me into my most amazing self thus far.

Oh my...every poem I write is a child of mine.  How do I ever pick just one for a magazine submission, even forty for a chapbook?  I love them all dearly.  They all lead me more deeply into this existential experience we call life.  Poetry has allowed me to live more pay attention to the details.  When life has ever lacked (or maybe I wasn't looking hard enough) poetry has allowed me to color my world in interesting ways.

Every journal entry, every piece of artwork (in my humble opinion) is a grand conception.  These things are the the ways in which I most easily make sense of my world.  I feel digital art is an exploratory, experimental way of understanding the processes that are going on inside me.  Anytime I create any form of art, it really feels sort of like a reflection of my inner world.  As if I've taken this idea and birthed it in some physical form...a poem, art, story, even a photo.

Journal writing feels much the same to me.  Writing allows me to get inside myself, to figure out what ideas, writings, messages are just awaiting a swift birth.  It is the pen that usually allows me to pull these things forth from inside, so they can find their proper place in the outside world.

And, in a way, as I transcend in my life from one era into another...from one experience to another, I feel as if I sorta have given birth to my own soul many times as I have learned and reemerged.  This reminds me of a quote by Joan Didion that I'll end this post with:  "I've already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be."

April Moon #2

And the prompt for today is:

Hm, there's quite a few pieces of advice I'd like to give my former self:

1.  Don't worry about what other people think so much.  Rather you live perfectly by their standards, or completely off-the-grid crazy, someone is always going to have something critical to say....

2.  Which brings me to the next thing:  live authentically.

3.  When making choices, trust your gut instincts...not what everyone else wants or thinks or expects you to do.  Sometimes not even logic, or your heart, can best tell you what to do....listen to your instincts, they are almost always on cue.

4.  Don't tie yourself down to serious, long-term relationships until you've lived a little.  The world is too full of interesting people to meet and fun things to do.  Don't limit yourself at such a young age.

5.  Take every opportunity that comes your way, especially the opportunity to travel! You only live once, don't pass up any chance to see the world!

6.  Stop dwelling on the past, accept the things you can't change, make peace and move on.  Learn to let it go so you can live!

7.  Seek the good things in the world.  Cultivate good energy.  Create good karma.

8.  Try to steer clear of negative people and negative situations.  They will only bring you down.  Seek people who uplift you, instead.

9.  Wake up every single day with a thankful heart.  Count your blessings.  Be grateful for all you've got.  Remember that  a bad day, even a bad month or a bad year, does not equal a bad life.

10.  Don't be so impressionable.  Think for yourself.  Do you.

Looking at this list, I pretty much have learned to do these things over the years.  And even though I live this way now, it would have been wonderful had someone been knowledgeable enough to give me this advice years ago.  It would have saved me some wasted time and unnecessary heartache.

This is some great advice that anyone can benefit from, I think.  And at any age.  :)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April Moon: A Quick, Inspiring Read and Day #1: The Art of Being Free

Hello fellow seekers of the muse!

In addition to the NaPoWriMo and my aspiration to read as much poetry as I possibly can this month (I'm on book three right now!) I also will be partaking in April Moon, a blogging/journal-writing/self-reflective project created and overseen by the beautifully creative Kat McNally.  If you recall the December Reverb, then you'll remember pretty much how this little networking/blogging experience is designed.

Kat was such a dear to send us a free Oracle reading from a beautiful deck of cards she created. (You can read all about her cards here.)

She asked us to choose which card really called to us:

And as soon as I saw this picture, my eyes went directly to #2.  There was no doubt in my mind that my card was to be #2.

And so the reading for this card was:


Ideas you may wish to carry with you:

* Patience, serenity, solitude
* Focus, precision, determination
* Inquisitiveness, resourcefulness
* Light
* Prosperity

This reading really resonated with me and the place that I find myself at in life right now.  I'm working hard on my writing.  I have two manuscripts that are eagerly awaiting respectful publishing homes (for which I'm eagerly seeking!).  I work diligently each day on my independent press Pink.Girl.Ink.  I have a gothic novella that, thus far, is only halfway written.  And I feel as if I'm ever-searching for a job position in the vocation of Addiction Counseling.  A career is important to me, yet I also believe that what is mine will eventually come to me and my ideal job will arrive in due time.

So when I read the description for the card which so innately seemed to call to me...all the elements of the Heron seemed to fit into my goals and my life's work as, perhaps, an omen of good things to come and insight into what I should continue to do (and am doing).

I'm going to carry that bit of insight and thoughtful motivation with me as I complete the NaPoWriMo and April Moon projects this month.

Okay, so off to Day #1 of April Moon

When I first read this prompt, I'll admit, it seemed daunting to me.  What had I left lately?  I had no idea...

And then, as I began to analyze the last year of my life, I realized that I'd actually moved on from quite a few toxic, unhealthy, self-degrading things (or habits, if you will).  The kinds of things that you do (but don't even realize you're doing it for a long time) that only wound your spirit and stifle your energy (especially creative energy).

Maybe I'm becoming wise, or just finally realizing it's not worth my time...but I've stopped making the effort to force relationships, friendships... have communication with any extended family who doesn't want and wish the best for me.  I've even stopped in my eager awaiting of jobs I recently interviewed for.

Somehow, amid the chaos of my life, the epiphany sort of dawned on me that if you have to really force things, if things do not happen naturally and with ease, or with a feeling of ease, or sorta on their own...mutually...that maybe they are not meant to be.  Perhaps those jobs, friendships, the confinement of closed-minded folks....these people and things simply are not where I'm supposed to be.

I have finally come to accept this....need for approval from others is no longer needed.  I no longer seek it.  And in doing so, I've left a lot of people in the dust of my past.  Extended family members that only seem to negate the negative energy of the world.  Jobs that would only stifle my creativity or force me to regress and perform from a place of knowledge for which I've exceeded (I want to be challenged, to use the full knowledge of my education in whatever vocation I finally arrive at).  I feel I've left people who just generally either just falsely judge me, or those who do not know me well enough to understand me, as well as those who (for whatever reason) have ill-will towards me.

Life's too short to waste time and energy, even money or resources, on people, things, situations, and relationships that either 1) take you nowhere or 2) only take from you

I'm done with people pleasing.  I'm also done with forgiving and forgetting people who hurt me, or those who are not real with me.  I'm done with apologizing or making excuses for my life...I'm happy with my lifestyle.  And I'm most definitely not even interested in defending the vocation of my writing or any of my professional projects...if these things are important to me and mean something to me, well then that's all that matters.  Those who can't be happy for me, or supportive, don't have to partake in my personal journey.

I just don't feel the need (not even the smallest inkling) to communicate with people who aren't truly interested in communicating with me.  I'm also steering clear of naysayers, drama queens, dishonest souls, and those who seem to be continuously surrounded by negative energy.  I don't want to attract these things to me, and I don't want anything to do with their bad karma!

And now that I have closed that chapter in my life, I'm free to fill that new space with people who are like-minded and worthy of the things  I have to offer, the knowledge/thoughts I have to share.  Kind souls who share the same interests as me.

I decided a while back to put my intention into the world, for the types of people I want to meet.  The friendships that will inspire and move me, motivate and encourage me...creative, deep-thinking, all-loving, positive, different people who search their souls (and their worlds), who try to find joy in the everyday, who foster a sense of creativity.  Yes...these are the types of people I intend to meet.  Poets, artists, the do-gooders of the world.  The authentic, eccentric, artistic, happy people of the world...those are the friendships, the family (perhaps I'm willing to adopt a new one of my own heh) I intend to meet, make, to partake with me in this journey of life.

I feel that once these intentions are set (they already are) and placed into the world, the universe has no choice but to send forth  the same energy I send into this vast, and sparkling world.  And I believe it will be returned in full!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Today Begins the Official NaPoWriMo 2015!

I'm so excited for April.  Every year I challenge myself to write a poem a day for the duration of April.  I've been undertaking NaPoWriMo since 2010 but this is the FIRST year that I have decided to blog my poems rather than just scribble them in a notebook.

I also am attempting to read one book of poetry a day throughout the month of April.  That's quite a bit of poetry, I know.  The book for today is Instructions For The Wishing Light by Ann Staley.  I found this author while perusing poetry books on Oyster.  If you have not yet heard of this amazing app (online and for android and apple products), it works pretty much like Netflix for books.  For just $10.00 a month you can read as many books as you want, they have literally over a million books in their database!  

As for the NaPoWriMo, I searched the web far and wide, and chose to do the April challenge from the official NaPoWrimo site.  

The Prompt for today went something like this:  ...I challenge you to write a poem that involves describing something in terms of what it is not, or not like...

Below is the concluding poem created from this prompt:

For The Leavers and the Left

Moving on is not like scanning
The newsstand and reading the tabloids.
You don’t get to choose
The most exciting headlines
And omit huge chunks of text
Deemed unpretty.
There’s no such thing as
As speed-reading through a memory,
And fate is not a misspelled word
Or a story just as easily erased
By the keystroke of some glitzy writer
In the sky-rise building of some
Big city you’ve never stepped foot into.

No, freewill isn’t always
an invaluable choice,
Not unlike how I opened an old book
The other night, a favorite
From my early college years,
To find a note from an ex
Scribbled across the inside flap.
Words I don’t recall ever reading,
Their surprise meaning now dead,
It read much like a eulogy
To all the dreams lost to old lovers:
“Just something to say I love you…”

Maybe old flames really
Do calculate like typos in
Investment score-sheets,
You misread a tally, you cheat yourself.