Spring Ephemerals 2017 & Garden Adventures

I took a walk around my apartment community after working on the garden this weekend, and some of the Spring Ephemeral flowers were up a bit early! My apartment community was built on an old farmstead, and in the border between the community and the other apartments next door is a narrow strip of old fencerow. Its only 10 – 20 feet across in most places, but it still whispers woodland to itself and is home to many Michigan wildflowers and several interesting feral plants that have continued growing long since the humans who planted them stopped tending them. These feral plants include: 2 apple trees, a pear tree, a sweet cherry tree, strawberry patches, black raspberries, raspberries, and various flowers such as: lily of the valley, daffodils, tulips, poppies, tiger lilies, periwinkle, and many more.

Here are some of the early bloomers I saw this weekend:

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A surprising carpet of Blood Wort blooming in the underbrush. At the very bottom of the picture you can see the distinctive leaves of Trout Lilies, but there weren’t any flowers yet.

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Blood Wort closeup

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Spring Beauty was also carpeting the area.

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Spring Beauty closeup

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Vinca Minor in bloom – better known as Periwinkle!

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The Cherry Tree is in bud!

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Found this vine that had grown over a tree stump and looked creepily alive!

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I have lived in my current apartment for 6 years, and I planted these daffodils right away. This is the FIRST YEAR they’ve ever bloomed!! YAY!

University of Iowa’s How Writers Write Fiction 2015

So thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this years How Writer’s Write Fiction, a massively open online course from University of Iowa. I started the class in 2014 but got very ill right at the beginning of the course.

If you’re interested in joining the course too check out How Writer’s Write Fiction 2015.

The Writing Device

This afternoon my Husbando witnessed my epic struggle to hold my writing pad up so that I could read it while I transcribed the story into my computer program. I’ve gone back to pen and paper writing because it removes all of the procrastination temptations of the computer, but it leaves me with the onerous job of re-writing everything in order to get it entered into the PC. I usually manage to convince myself that this is all for the best since it affords me an opportunity for passive editing as I’m entering in the initial rough draft.

But it was becoming increasingly frustrating, since I couldn’t find a way to keep the paper at an angle I could both read and type with.

Enter my clever Husbando’s portable writing transcribing device!

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Why yes Madam, that is a fine use of our otherwise underutilized telescope!

My Kind Adventure

I’m hoping for a kind adventure.

A grand adventure devours your life, wreaking havoc and leaving something utterly new in the after math.

I’m asking for a gentler adventure, one that just wants to borrow me for a bit. Go on a nice life vacation; laugh a bit, grow a little.

Nothing disastrous.

Published in: on March 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Persistant Quitter

So I read something simply astounding today. I simply couldn’t find words to express the emotions it evoked within me. I was devastated by its intensity.

Then the most absurd thing happened. Reading this stunning article left me with the overwhelming desire to stop writing. Forever. Never try again. Simply quit. Again. It really is what I’m best at after all; the single action and reaction I’ve practiced and perfected my entire life.

I read this inexplicably beautiful work about language and place and loss, and then I saw that it had been sent into the world on the same day as my most recent blog post, with its tiny writing sample, and my mind shuddered for a moment then screamed, “Stop right now! Oh my lord, you are embarrassing yourself!” And I cried, because I’m splendidly well suited to that reaction as well.

Then I became stubborn. Obstinate. Tenacious.

Yes, my writing was silly and rather pointless in comparison, lacking in every way the mastery that made the article I’d just read something that will leave an imprint within me that I’ll never shake. Of course it was. Of course my work is rough, and kind of crap, and at this point really unfit for sharing about with other literate beings. I’ve wrote stories from the very first moment I was sufficiently able to read and hold a #2 pencil, but I quit completely in 2005 when I decided that if I couldn’t write something publishable, something profitable, then it was a pointless exercise in self indulgence and a waste of time I should instead be spending “adulting around the island, adult, adult, adult.”

So after 9 years I started over. I was scared, and rusty, and completely directionless with it, but I sat there and gave myself permission to write terribly. This attempt lasted three months. At which point I allowed life to cajole me into giving up, again. Over and over I come back to the belief  that because what I’m doing isn’t lyrical, or epic in scope, or heart wrenching, or whatever the fuck I’m hung up on, that I must stop. That I’m delusional when I begin to hope that writing is a calling of which I’m worthy.

I started over again in January anyhow, with the timed free writes and the prompts and a project I’d probably be ashamed of if my grandmother ever read the stories. And its garbage. Truly awful – with cliches, astonishing grammatical errors, and my continued abuse and overuse of poor little commas. But how will it ever improve, ever grow, ever learn or develop if I keep quitting? Why do I expect such greatness from a skill I’ve consistently abandoned every time I start to feel ridiculous and foolish?

So my writing is young, and rubbish, and will likely never encompass topics as noble and venerable as those encompassed in the article I read today, but its mine. And writing, badly, hurts just a little less than not writing at all, which is a pain I can no longer handle. So I’m writing. I’ll keep on writing. Writing the things that appeal to me, the threads I find that pull me away into the wild, and I’ll bring back those stories, and if they’re never anything more then something I share with my framily, then that’s fine.

It’s all fine.

Published in: on February 28, 2015 at 11:54 am  Comments (4)  
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Before we begin, a question…

I have recently done some not really all that serious soul searching about this blog. I’ve started and stopped using it several times now, and framily members have posed many good questions I needed to consider in order to make an eventual decision in regards to continuing forth in the world of creative writing blogging.

++ Question #1 was more of a statement, with no prelude, and no obvious ties to this blog, that was put to me by my bestest pal. She said, “Stop giving your work away for free!” Now that’s a serious allegation she made right there and at first my answer was a daft “Uhhh…what? What does that mean? What work?” But I kept pondering the possible meanings and decided it could pertain to this blog, since I post actual samples of my writing, and I am just putting them out there into the world where anyone could commandeer them if they weren’t too shy about plagiarism. But these are just tiny nibblets of writing, and usually I feel pretty confident that I’m not going to do anything more with them in a serious way, so hopefully I won’t recognize one down the line in a book or a movie and think “Well damn…”

++ Question #2 was about whether or not I felt like the blog made me more creative, or encouraged me to create more often. And no, it does not. Hence the long long breaks between short bursts of posting. No, what the blog is meant to do is provide my framily a convenient place to say “Hooray You! We knew you didn’t completely suck and are happy to tell you through this impersonal medium that we like what ya did there. Now go do that some more.” Seriously, I’ve nearly no confidence in my abilities with this. And since I’m mostly praise driven – the point of this is to get as much warm and snuggley approval as I can possibly wring from the interwebs.

++ Question #3 “Do you enjoy writing it?” I do as soon as someone comments on a post. Instant gratification at its best! I also enjoy that some of these small writings, which would be sad abandoned dust bunnies in the back of a musty writing folder in my library otherwise, have a place to go and say “Hey! I existed!”

++ Question #4 asked my intuition to speak up and have a say in the matter to which she said, “No. Stop. Stop right there. Don’t come any closer!” Seriously, there was no opinion on that front other than the depressing sense of a creature too long ignored to feel comfortable speaking in clear sentences or forming strong opinions. I haven’t listened most of my life; I doubt she’d believe me if I said I was going to start consulting with her now.

++ Other half formed thoughts on the matter centered around daydream topics like how the blog would be good future marketing if I ever became a published author, or how I could theoretically utilize the blog as some measuring device for building self discipline, and other similar musings. Eventually I came to the final decision that I would in fact give this another go, and I’ve made the bold move of setting a posting schedule. I’m not revealing what that is right now, on the not so off chance that it all falls to shit and I don’t follow through.

++Yup. That’s right, I’m leaving myself an out. Tada!

Published in: on February 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Reboot

New adventures two years later.

I’ve begun a new writing regimen where I go to my favorite local coffee hangout every Friday morning and sit there for an hour. The only things I allow myself to take into the shop are my notebooks and enough cash to get a Chai Tea. This leaves me two options for entertainment; write something or sit in annoyed and frustrated silence.

So far? I’ve wrote. Nothing long or fancy, and I’ve simply utilized timed free writes and story prompts, but its statistically significant compared to the big dam diddly squat I’ve wrote since March 4th, 2012, which coincidentally is the last time I updated this blog.

Stay tuned…actual writing samples may follow.

~BAM

Published in: on March 17, 2014 at 8:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cat Lasagna

I just made Cat Lasagna! Here’s How: Step one – strip all of the bedding off of your bed. Step two – begin to stretch the fitted sheet onto the mattress; at this point a cat will arrive to “assist” you. Their assistance can look pretty aggressive at this stage, but refrain from shooing your cat away as this is a critical moment in your lasagna construction! Step three – attempt to place the flat sheet over the fitted sheet while the cat is still arranging (mauling) the fitted sheet. This has created your first layer. Step four – Suddenly a second cat will appear and immediately begin to attempt rescue of their cat brethren under the flat sheet…don’t worry if this rescue looks more like an attempt to maim the first cat…the second one is just showing some “tough love.” Finally, secure the comforter onto the bed over the second cat. This creates the final layer! You have now made a Cat Lasagna – watch proudly as your bed wriggles and chuckle softly.

*Note* No cats were harmed in the making of this lasagna. If they didn’t want this to happen why would they re-enact the same thing every….single…time…I make the bed?!!!!

Published in: on March 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm  Comments (1)  

In A Mood

When I am writing, I have to be in the mood for a certain genre to hold my interest, and the same is true of reading. When I pick a book up off the shelf and delve into it, it is entirely dependent on my “craving” what genre of book it will be.

To me this phenomenon is exactly like being hungry for a certain cuisine. When you want Chinese food, pizza will not be satisfying. When you are craving the meaty crunch of a taco, fettuccini alfredo just won’t do. When I want a hot steamy eroto-romance with werewolves and BDSM overtones a YA fantasy novel with unicorns isn’t going to seem like much of a read.

I’ve fallen into a new mood recently where NONE of the books I’ve tried reading suit my tastes. Pure fantasy? Too slow and PG. Romance? Too much cheese. Sci-fi? Too much deep thinking to fill in the galactic sized plot holes.

Those are my three favorite genres, so now I’m in a pickle. What the hell do I want to read!!!???

What are you reading? Can I borrow your book?

Published in: on September 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Writer’s Circle

As of yesterday September 1st, 2011 I am now a member of the CMU Writing Circle. I’ve been looking for a writer’s group in my area for quite some time, and until now there was only an undergraduate group available thru the local university.
Now however there is an open group that accepts community members and has a decently large number of graduate students & other older adults.

It felt like a great fit!

I will share with you one of the quick writing prompts we used to get the meeting started. Next circle we will actually begin work shopping pieces.

Poetry Prompt #2 Pick five words randomly from the dictionary. Write a stanza in which each word appears. (I chose to write a paragraph, since poetry isn’t really my thing.)

It was such an inopportune moment to realize I’d neglected to conserve my advance responsibly. The glow of the ATM on 3rd & Bank informed me nonchalantly that I was now totally penniless, & Mason’s men were wearing latex gloves that spoke of ill happenings should I not cough up the eight grand I owed my bookie.

Now – can you guess which 5 words were the random ones!?

Published in: on September 2, 2011 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment