Upon the Dog's Cushion…

imagesI bought the dogs a new cushion. Beautiful doggy print, full of high quality beans. Comfy as. They have barely gone near it. So I adopted it to sit upon during mediation.  Possibly one of the best meditation cushions I have sat on.  I settled upon my new cushion; lights low, fan chopping its way through the warm evening air. And this is what I recall:

I close my eyes and pull deep breaths in and out through my nose. My head spins a little as my body lets go of the day. I focus on breath –  and let the experiences of the day flutter away like leaves from a tree; spent and no longer required. The world of sound crowds in on me. In the distance a yappy dog barks, a truck thunders past, its gears changing as it chugs up a hill. Oliver Font, my Cavalier, snores on his favourite cushion. I hear Little Dog pad across the floor, her nails clacking against polished boards. I feel her nestle beside me, muscling her way in on my right. She settles and I refocus back on my breath. Seconds later I feel the presence. It’s female and sits just to my left. I know who it is. She has come before. Despite my eyes beging closed, I turn my head toward her.

“Don’t” she says, and I stop.

“I want you to feel me not see me.” I think about this for a while. I have no true idea what she looks like – just an inkling of what I imagine her to be when she is around. I begin to imagine her features; long willowy limbs, a cherub like face, strands of gossamer gold weaved through her long wavy locks.

“I asked you to stop,” she says. Her voice cuts through the darkened room. “Don’t waste your time describing me. Put it into your characters,” she offers. 

“I have been,” I retort.

“You haven’t. Why do you think I am here? You are barely present. You rarely show up. You are compromising our work. We have a deal, remember?”

Her words are nettles that prickle my ill formed intentions. When the sting fades, I see it is true what she says. She sends me great lines that I never write down. She gives me stories – beginning to end but never so much as a pen scratches paper. Entire story-lines delivered at night pale in the light of the rising sun. She has offered me all this and more. Worlds full of conflict and great expectation. Poetic lines full of beauty and woe. But I shun all her gifts. Turn my back on them like a bad mother rejecting her young. Too frightened to encourage any one of them for fear of what they might finally become. 

“Why am I doing this?” I ask her.

“You’re lazy,” she says, a little too soon. I know she is right. 

“And you’re scared. Mostly of failing but also a little of actually succeeding.” I hadn’t  considered these points.

“I am tired, too,” I go to bat for myself.

“Tired doesn’t cut it.  You know what they say. If it aint on the page-it aint on the stage.”

“I know. I know all that. But some days it’s so hard. What inspires you?” I ask her. I can feel her looking at me, the corners of her mouth lifting skyward. 

“That’s a ridiculous question. I am inspiration. That’s like asking the air what it breathes,” she explains. 

“Oh,” I say, wanting to catch a better glimpse of her.

“I wish you would spend half as much time discovering your characters the way you attempt to discover me?” Silence edges between us. The dog shifts a little. She continues. 

“Inspiration is everywhere. I offer it to you all day long. But you walk through your day barely awake, a filter over your eyes. And when you open your eyes, you pick and choose the moments you think are the best. All moments are good. But you have this agenda, these rules where you only take what suits you at the time. So much goes to waste.”

I know she is right. Inspiration is all around me. Ideas pummel me all day long. They charge through my head like shells that spray from the mag of a fast firing gun. And I am content to watch them drop to the ground, to kick them aside. 

“You remember the Gilbert girl?” she asks me. She is referring to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. I had read of Elizabeth’s planned sequel to the book the other morning. Later that same morning, on Facebook, someone posted Elizabeth’s talk on creativity filmed for TED.com. That same afternoon I went to my chiropractor and she returned to me my copy of Eat Pray Love that I had given to her eight months ago. 

“What do you think that was all about?” she asks me. I can’t answer her. I haven’t thought much about Elizabeth Gilbert since reading her book. But there she had been, three times in my day. I thought back over her talk. How she spoke of the fear of failure. 

“You remember the bit where she talks about creativity being some divine attendant spirit. And that it came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source?”  she asks me. I did remember that bit. It was part of the talk that resonated right through me.  I want to look at her, get the tiniest glimpse so I can remember this moment. 

“Do you think that’s true?” she asks me. I laugh at this, as I sit and consider my present situation; sitting on a doggy bean bag having a silent conversation with what I assume is my muse. But I continue. 

“Do you think it’s true?” I ask her. 

“You’re asking water what it drinks…” she says, tapping a foot against the floorboards. I get her drift. I cast out my answer.

“I do believe that. Yes. I do believe that there is this thing bigger than me and it graces me with its presence and fills my head and heart with knowing but I know not where it comes from…you know?” 

“And what about when that thing bigger than you isn’t around. Then what?”

I’m trying to gauge where she is going with this but I haven’t a clue. I am left to trust my own gut. 

“Well, it’s easier when that thing is around…” I say.

“Answer the question.” I can tell she is tetchy. I’m avoiding her question. 

“Alright. OK. I think its just bloody hard work and I hate it but when I park my arse on the chair and get my head down amongst it, the feeling surpasses any I’ve known. I fold up into that great bigger thing, whatever it is and I just become part of it all. Seamless. In love. Incapable of leaving, once in its hands. So what of it?”  She’s hit a nerve and we both know it. 

“And you’d take laziness or possible failure over a slice of that kind of heaven?” she asks. I think about this. About how I spend my free time. The time I am meant to dedicate to my craft. I run off a list in my head:

  1. There is a face-book addiction that swallows whole hours and disables my characters, keeping them faceless and flat as the book they are trying to inhabit. 
  2. There is brainless T.V. that I watch and seldom enjoy.
  3. The lack of a plan or schedule. 
  4. Jumping online and filtering email first thing in the morning. 
  5. Jumping online, period especially when I should have my head in a book (MY book) 

I consider these forms of creative suicide, which is what they are for me, anyway. The tip of the iceberg that sinks the Titanic.

When I look at these hindrances through her eyes, I can see how crippling these habits become. 

The room grows quiet aside from the muffled snores of  Oliver Font. I finally speak.

“So…” 

“A needle pulling thread…” she muses but then her voice becomes serious, calmer, softer.

“So…you tell me. What are you going to do? You know, doing what you are doing is slowly killing me, don’t you? Literally.” she says. The room feels  darker, colder after she says this. I try to imagine my life without her. A life without creativity. A frightening black void that is larger than life stares back at me. There is no life without it.

“I’ll do whatever it takes,” I tell her. “We are in this together. We made a deal,”  I say to her. Tears trickle down my face. I think of the people who trundle through life trapped in a passionless existence. I  cry  for those who don’t know what it feels like to have this connection, this passion for something you love. I cry because I do know and too often choose to let it lie idle.

I have options. They are quite simple. I put my brain on a diet – wean it off all the junk I am feeding it. Give it some structure to lean on. Clean out my head. Be mindful, awake and take note of the gifts that fly through the air. Make a plan to follow. Indulge myself in the craft that leads me to that same space every time. To that slice of heavenly pie that tastes and feels like nothing else on this earthly plane. Fight through the murky quagmire of resistance. That’s all I have to do. Eleven words. A new mantra.

“Turn up to the page and write. Every day. Without fail.”

 

“And of course you know that if I’m not around, you must start without me. At some point, I know we’ll both be on the same page. Guaranteed, ” she says. 

I know this to be true.

So I make my vow;

I, Lynn Priestley, hereby solemnly pledge, (upon the Dog’s Cushion of Creativity ) that I will turn up to the page and write.  

Every day.

Without fail.

As you are my witness.

So be it.

You can see the lovely and inspirational Elizabeth here:  www.ted.com/index.php/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

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Upon the Dog’s Cushion…

imagesI bought the dogs a new cushion. Beautiful doggy print, full of high quality beans. Comfy as. They have barely gone near it. So I adopted it to sit upon during mediation.  Possibly one of the best meditation cushions I have sat on.  I settled upon my new cushion; lights low, fan chopping its way through the warm evening air. And this is what I recall:

I close my eyes and pull deep breaths in and out through my nose. My head spins a little as my body lets go of the day. I focus on breath –  and let the experiences of the day flutter away like leaves from a tree; spent and no longer required. The world of sound crowds in on me. In the distance a yappy dog barks, a truck thunders past, its gears changing as it chugs up a hill. Oliver Font, my Cavalier, snores on his favourite cushion. I hear Little Dog pad across the floor, her nails clacking against polished boards. I feel her nestle beside me, muscling her way in on my right. She settles and I refocus back on my breath. Seconds later I feel the presence. It’s female and sits just to my left. I know who it is. She has come before. Despite my eyes beging closed, I turn my head toward her.

“Don’t” she says, and I stop.

“I want you to feel me not see me.” I think about this for a while. I have no true idea what she looks like – just an inkling of what I imagine her to be when she is around. I begin to imagine her features; long willowy limbs, a cherub like face, strands of gossamer gold weaved through her long wavy locks.

“I asked you to stop,” she says. Her voice cuts through the darkened room. “Don’t waste your time describing me. Put it into your characters,” she offers. 

“I have been,” I retort.

“You haven’t. Why do you think I am here? You are barely present. You rarely show up. You are compromising our work. We have a deal, remember?”

Her words are nettles that prickle my ill formed intentions. When the sting fades, I see it is true what she says. She sends me great lines that I never write down. She gives me stories – beginning to end but never so much as a pen scratches paper. Entire story-lines delivered at night pale in the light of the rising sun. She has offered me all this and more. Worlds full of conflict and great expectation. Poetic lines full of beauty and woe. But I shun all her gifts. Turn my back on them like a bad mother rejecting her young. Too frightened to encourage any one of them for fear of what they might finally become. 

“Why am I doing this?” I ask her.

“You’re lazy,” she says, a little too soon. I know she is right. 

“And you’re scared. Mostly of failing but also a little of actually succeeding.” I hadn’t  considered these points.

“I am tired, too,” I go to bat for myself.

“Tired doesn’t cut it.  You know what they say. If it aint on the page-it aint on the stage.”

“I know. I know all that. But some days it’s so hard. What inspires you?” I ask her. I can feel her looking at me, the corners of her mouth lifting skyward. 

“That’s a ridiculous question. I am inspiration. That’s like asking the air what it breathes,” she explains. 

“Oh,” I say, wanting to catch a better glimpse of her.

“I wish you would spend half as much time discovering your characters the way you attempt to discover me?” Silence edges between us. The dog shifts a little. She continues. 

“Inspiration is everywhere. I offer it to you all day long. But you walk through your day barely awake, a filter over your eyes. And when you open your eyes, you pick and choose the moments you think are the best. All moments are good. But you have this agenda, these rules where you only take what suits you at the time. So much goes to waste.”

I know she is right. Inspiration is all around me. Ideas pummel me all day long. They charge through my head like shells that spray from the mag of a fast firing gun. And I am content to watch them drop to the ground, to kick them aside. 

“You remember the Gilbert girl?” she asks me. She is referring to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. I had read of Elizabeth’s planned sequel to the book the other morning. Later that same morning, on Facebook, someone posted Elizabeth’s talk on creativity filmed for TED.com. That same afternoon I went to my chiropractor and she returned to me my copy of Eat Pray Love that I had given to her eight months ago. 

“What do you think that was all about?” she asks me. I can’t answer her. I haven’t thought much about Elizabeth Gilbert since reading her book. But there she had been, three times in my day. I thought back over her talk. How she spoke of the fear of failure. 

“You remember the bit where she talks about creativity being some divine attendant spirit. And that it came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source?”  she asks me. I did remember that bit. It was part of the talk that resonated right through me.  I want to look at her, get the tiniest glimpse so I can remember this moment. 

“Do you think that’s true?” she asks me. I laugh at this, as I sit and consider my present situation; sitting on a doggy bean bag having a silent conversation with what I assume is my muse. But I continue. 

“Do you think it’s true?” I ask her. 

“You’re asking water what it drinks…” she says, tapping a foot against the floorboards. I get her drift. I cast out my answer.

“I do believe that. Yes. I do believe that there is this thing bigger than me and it graces me with its presence and fills my head and heart with knowing but I know not where it comes from…you know?” 

“And what about when that thing bigger than you isn’t around. Then what?”

I’m trying to gauge where she is going with this but I haven’t a clue. I am left to trust my own gut. 

“Well, it’s easier when that thing is around…” I say.

“Answer the question.” I can tell she is tetchy. I’m avoiding her question. 

“Alright. OK. I think its just bloody hard work and I hate it but when I park my arse on the chair and get my head down amongst it, the feeling surpasses any I’ve known. I fold up into that great bigger thing, whatever it is and I just become part of it all. Seamless. In love. Incapable of leaving, once in its hands. So what of it?”  She’s hit a nerve and we both know it. 

“And you’d take laziness or possible failure over a slice of that kind of heaven?” she asks. I think about this. About how I spend my free time. The time I am meant to dedicate to my craft. I run off a list in my head:

  1. There is a face-book addiction that swallows whole hours and disables my characters, keeping them faceless and flat as the book they are trying to inhabit. 
  2. There is brainless T.V. that I watch and seldom enjoy.
  3. The lack of a plan or schedule. 
  4. Jumping online and filtering email first thing in the morning. 
  5. Jumping online, period especially when I should have my head in a book (MY book) 

I consider these forms of creative suicide, which is what they are for me, anyway. The tip of the iceberg that sinks the Titanic.

When I look at these hindrances through her eyes, I can see how crippling these habits become. 

The room grows quiet aside from the muffled snores of  Oliver Font. I finally speak.

“So…” 

“A needle pulling thread…” she muses but then her voice becomes serious, calmer, softer.

“So…you tell me. What are you going to do? You know, doing what you are doing is slowly killing me, don’t you? Literally.” she says. The room feels  darker, colder after she says this. I try to imagine my life without her. A life without creativity. A frightening black void that is larger than life stares back at me. There is no life without it.

“I’ll do whatever it takes,” I tell her. “We are in this together. We made a deal,”  I say to her. Tears trickle down my face. I think of the people who trundle through life trapped in a passionless existence. I  cry  for those who don’t know what it feels like to have this connection, this passion for something you love. I cry because I do know and too often choose to let it lie idle.

I have options. They are quite simple. I put my brain on a diet – wean it off all the junk I am feeding it. Give it some structure to lean on. Clean out my head. Be mindful, awake and take note of the gifts that fly through the air. Make a plan to follow. Indulge myself in the craft that leads me to that same space every time. To that slice of heavenly pie that tastes and feels like nothing else on this earthly plane. Fight through the murky quagmire of resistance. That’s all I have to do. Eleven words. A new mantra.

“Turn up to the page and write. Every day. Without fail.”

 

“And of course you know that if I’m not around, you must start without me. At some point, I know we’ll both be on the same page. Guaranteed, ” she says. 

I know this to be true.

So I make my vow;

I, Lynn Priestley, hereby solemnly pledge, (upon the Dog’s Cushion of Creativity ) that I will turn up to the page and write.  

Every day.

Without fail.

As you are my witness.

So be it.

You can see the lovely and inspirational Elizabeth here:  www.ted.com/index.php/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

A Kissing Convention

The Kissing Convention

Padua-Italy: A kissing convention,

Speaking in tongues, ever seeking attention,

And there in the corner, clad under robe,

Judas Iscariot pleated his thobe.

 

In old leather thongs, he cut through the throng,

As troubadours lauded in spirited song,

Discerning another’s familiar face,

Judas fronted the woman and stated his case.

 

“Pardon me, Madam,” he said to the shrew,

As she eyed him with malice and spitefulness, too,

While dogding her venom and obvious hate,

Judas offered a hand and said, “You must be Kate’,

 

She slapped him aside in ignorant bliss,

Returning her thoughts to those she might kiss,

And as if by some magical twisting of fate,

Judas leant and he whispered, “Come, kiss me Kate.”

 

He whispered it softly, with honest intention,

What else was to do at a kissing convention?

Ignoring his plea while keeping her cool,

Kate turned to acknowledge a transient fool.

 

Renowned for her talented torturous tongue,

She lashed at the fool as the troubadours sung,

And though it appeared quite bitter and cruel,

Helpless, she begged, “Kiss me you fool.”

 

The fool felt a dupe but with standing ovation,

Kate stole the show with her fine osculation,

Failing to tame her outlandish display,

Judas retreated and scuttled away.

 

He left her to service the lips of a fool,

A talent she’d learned in the yard, after school,

Alarmed and abraded, her target withdrawn,

She banished the fool with her womanly scorn.

 

As Romeo passed, providing distraction,

Kate noticed Juliet missing in action,

“Juliet fine? How is she…do tell?”

“She has glandular fever. She hasn’t been well,”

“The kissing disease? How tragically sad,”

“She’ll be fine in a while…she’s not got it bad,”

 

And lurking behind, resisting temptation,

Judas discovered a long lost relation,

A kissable cousin, delivered by fate

saw Judas forgetting all about Kate.

 

Now standing alone at the kissing convention,

Kate spied Iscariot’s wandering intention,

In front of her there,in the arms of another,

Judas betrayed her, kissing the other.

 

Scorning, contemptuous, pitiful, too,

No one came close to taming this shrew,

And filled with despair and deep – seated contention,

Kate pulled the plug on the kissing convention.

© 2009 -Lynn Priestley

Untitled

Untitled

There is a soft fog dwelling about you,

Amid the greys and haze, I glimpse your truest colours,

Through saline water blues in a deeper sea of green,

Crystals goblets,

Sorrowful,

Saddest eyes I’ve ever seen

Look to you, settled in the garden you have planted.

 

Your Eden, your Hades, your state of mind dictates the season,

Mother wit, an unknown reason given

just to chide you in a basting fashion,

As you sow the seeds of knowledge with such passion.

 

Sequestered from the common species,

Searching for a place to rest your head

as the subtle autumn changes confine you to your garden’s bed,

So tenderly you slide a searching hand,

Deep beneath the fold that blankets my eternal soul,

I wonder could you find such comfort there?

As we couple in the chamber that I proffer,

How I long for your caress, that silken touch that you may offer.

 

Could you sweep beneath the canopy of everything I long to be,

And relegate my idleness and such?

 

As I watch the weather turning in your garden here before me,

You roll yourself into an orb and hurl yourself at my direction,

Rolling, roaring, thunderous,

So passionate without exception,

Erupting from the knowledge you embrace,

Like sudden cloudburst raining down,

To fall so clearly on my face.

Washing out the sorrow in my eyes,

Filling crystal goblets with the knowledge that my heart desires,

Grateful for the chance to spend my days,

Sharing in your garden, here amid the haze.

© 2009 -Lynn Priestley

 

Water's Edge

He found her near her water’s edge, arrived to gaze upon her face,

Unfurled a sea of words that he splashed with care about her place,

He took her by surprise, took her beast and laid it down,

Soaked its head in sorrow and then let the sorrow slowly drown.

 

He spoke about a past that was dark as night is long

as he slaved away in silence reproducing angel song,

And all the while he packed away the secrets of a past,

His one true love lay folded deep inside a tear shaped crystal glass.

 

He waged an honest war against the demon of his days,

Fought back at all the wrongs 

to banish risky ‘come what mays’,

She watched him standing there, the sun against his skin,

And noticed in his eyes 

that a gentle rain had set in.

 

“What brings you to my water’s edge?”,

She searched for answers in his eyes

and through the parting clouds she suspected hidden lies,

But in the crystal blues she found no hoax nor guile,

He was just an honest man who had placed his life on trial.

 

“I come in peace, am friend not foe, am only here to share”,

And as he set his goblet down, she noticed moonbeams in his hair,

Inside his crystal goblet was parchment folded thrice,

“What message have you brought me, Sir?”

She asked him twice.

And not ‘til he was ready did he offer her the news that greater good had sent him there to reinstate her muse.

 

And there beside the water’s edge they shared a common love 

of word and parchment, quill and pen,

beneath a cloudless sky above, 

They spoke until the sun fell to a moonless night confirming to each other friendship’s might,

She held her tongue but finally spoke, “Why did you choose to do this task?” 

He smiled a little, cocked his head,

“Because you asked.” 

 

And there she saw the clouds had gone, his blue eyed rain had washed away,

She asked him one more thing,

“Will you stay?”

Again he smiled and cocked his head in confirmation of his pledge,

Fulfilled, she took his hand and pledge and led him to her water’s edge.

© 2009 -Lynn Priestley

Water’s Edge

He found her near her water’s edge, arrived to gaze upon her face,

Unfurled a sea of words that he splashed with care about her place,

He took her by surprise, took her beast and laid it down,

Soaked its head in sorrow and then let the sorrow slowly drown.

 

He spoke about a past that was dark as night is long

as he slaved away in silence reproducing angel song,

And all the while he packed away the secrets of a past,

His one true love lay folded deep inside a tear shaped crystal glass.

 

He waged an honest war against the demon of his days,

Fought back at all the wrongs 

to banish risky ‘come what mays’,

She watched him standing there, the sun against his skin,

And noticed in his eyes 

that a gentle rain had set in.

 

“What brings you to my water’s edge?”,

She searched for answers in his eyes

and through the parting clouds she suspected hidden lies,

But in the crystal blues she found no hoax nor guile,

He was just an honest man who had placed his life on trial.

 

“I come in peace, am friend not foe, am only here to share”,

And as he set his goblet down, she noticed moonbeams in his hair,

Inside his crystal goblet was parchment folded thrice,

“What message have you brought me, Sir?”

She asked him twice.

And not ‘til he was ready did he offer her the news that greater good had sent him there to reinstate her muse.

 

And there beside the water’s edge they shared a common love 

of word and parchment, quill and pen,

beneath a cloudless sky above, 

They spoke until the sun fell to a moonless night confirming to each other friendship’s might,

She held her tongue but finally spoke, “Why did you choose to do this task?” 

He smiled a little, cocked his head,

“Because you asked.” 

 

And there she saw the clouds had gone, his blue eyed rain had washed away,

She asked him one more thing,

“Will you stay?”

Again he smiled and cocked his head in confirmation of his pledge,

Fulfilled, she took his hand and pledge and led him to her water’s edge.

© 2009 -Lynn Priestley

The Memory of Scent and a Road Less Travelled

imagesI sat in meditation this morning beneath a gentle sun on a perfect Queensland winter’s day. As I filtered out the garbage of the past few days, what finally came to me was a scent. A memory of  scent. Vanilla cup cakes in my home economics class back when I was sixteen years old. The smell was overwhelming, like I was there in the room with my friends and we had just whipped a batch of steamy hot cakes from the oven. The Home Ec room always smelled of vanilla cupcakes to me, no matter what. So why was I recalling this familiar smell some thirty years later?  I ran with it, stayed with the vision of the classroom, the scent, the feeling of being back at school through the long hot  days of a Caringbah summer. I could feel the coolness of the classroom fold around me after coming in from the playground. And constantly throughout the meditation, the smell of cupcakes.

After, I thought about those days back at school. The gender stereotyping as the girls whipped batches of food and the boys played down the corridor with saws and sanders and dangerous machinery. We crossed paths by our own sneaky means to travel down a road of taboo forbidden by those who had travelled before us. My thoughts wandered along this path of taboo at the end of which stood my father. A pointing finger and “get in the house” accompanied that vision. Memories of being confined to a life where I couldn’t do what “the others” could do. I wasn’t allowed. I rebelled, of course. Got myself into all sorts of mischief  and loved it. Because it enraged my father, mostly. It drove a clean sharp wedge between my father and I. His want to protect me and my need to be independent. I never saw protection in his actions. I only saw control and disappointment in his eyes. I never felt like I lived up to his great expectations. 

The gap widened into my young adult years. At one point I hated him, a thought that shames me now. My hatred was born out of ignorance – as most hatred is. I was ignorant to who he was. What he was about. I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I didn’t want to know either. I didn’t want to be controlled anymore. I only ever saw me in our equation. Never “us”. To see “us” took me years. To understand “us” took most of our time together  on Earth. I remember the day the wall came down. I was visiting him one summer and we’d gone down to the beach – just him and me. It was rare to have time on our own because I don’t think either of really knew what to say. It was a road less travelled. I think we avoided it for years. But here we were, on this day. A day like today – sunny and warm and full of promise. We sat on the rocks and for the first time in years we talked. Not like father and feuding daughter but like friends. Old friends finding each other at the tip of a mountain of regret, conquered and now all behind us. It was the day we moved forward. The day I learned to love my father again. The day I unmasked him as a villain of my own making. The world can only be what I think it is. And I must be responsible for my thoughts, my actions, my love.

In the silence of this morning’s meditation came the memory of cupcakes and the realisation that my father was only ever the monster I made him out to be.I was the one at fault. Not him. But I got the chance to balance the equation, to tread a road with my father that I never thought I would.  To see “us” on equal footing. I finally got to have my cake and eat it too. Strangely, my father loved vanilla cupcakes.

The Perfect Nook to Write a Book

THE BOOK NOOK

I’m jotting and plotting and trying my best to pin down a routine. My goal has been to find some sweet little nest where I can roost for part of the day to write, uninterrupted. I began on the couch this afternoon but have progressed slowly but surely toward the bedroom. Nestled among eiderdown, blanket and warm wooly rugs,  I am getting words down on paper.

I am inspired by a website that showcases writers’ rooms. If you want some inspiration from those who have gone before you or from those who tread beside you, head on over to www.guardian.co.uk/books/series/writersrooms for a peek at some beautiful nooks to create books. Be warned – there are some scary places there, too. If you think your writing space is a mess…fear no longer.

So tell me…where is your favourite place to write?

Head Down…Tail Up

It was May 31st when I slid the envelope into the post-box. Inside was my first submitted short story. I had laboured for hours, head down, tail up, going over and over it, making it as perfect as I could. For the first time in my life, I followed instructions to a T. Every step of the guidelines, I followed. Weeks went by. Two weeks more than the expected response time.

“What if it never arrived?” I wondered, as another week sailed by. Still, I sat and I waited. And waited. And then, two months to the day after I slipped my story into the post, an email arrived. My heart skipped a beat as I clicked on the link. I am happy to announce that my story was accepted for publication by The School Magazine. It will be published in the months to come. My first submission, ever. Published. At last.  It’s amazing what happens when you follow instructions.