Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

Well, the holidays are upon us. And like every other year, utter chaos abounds. Shops are in full retail swing trying to make the most of the holiday buying season, from gift ideas to decorations. Everywhere you turn, you see signs indicating SALE! SALE! SALE! Christmas advertisements are numerous. Lights are twinkling and flashing all over the place; on light poles, trees, houses and stores. More people seem to be invading the pavement trying to make all the sales they possibly can in the countdown to that spectacular day known as Christmas. It reminds me of a race; however, there never appears to be any winners. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. But I prefer a quieter, simpler atmosphere. No ostentatious decorations, just a simple tree decorated with homemade ornaments and lights. I would much rather have the company of my family and friends instead of receiving tons of gifts which will either find their way sitting in a drawer somewhere or back to the shop they originally came from.

I don’t know what causes this annual phenomenon, but it is severely doing my head in. Because of it, I am unable to focus on any one thing. Not a great thing for a writer. The ideas seem to be bouncing like little rubber balls around my head, all avoiding capture. If only I could grasp just one and let it germinate into something truly spectacular, then maybe I wouldn’t feel like a complete loser in the writing department. It’s just not fair, but life does go on in this matter whether we like it or not. I must resign myself to the inevitable and wait for my muse to return. I only hope it returns sooner than later.

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One second I’m asleep, the next I’m wide awake.  What, for the love of God, woke me up?  Sure, the radio is still droning on…some program discussing the role of Christian missionaries among Islamic peoples.  Nope, that can’t be it…I’m sure if anything it should’ve put me back to sleep. Why else would it be on the radio in the dead of night.  So, I roll over and close my eyes forcing myself back to sleep.  After a few minutes of tossing and turning, I still can’t get into a comfortable position to warrant the egress back to the Land of Nod.  I sigh.  Levering myself onto my elbow, I glance over the prone, sleeping figure of my lover to the alarm clock.  In bold red digital numbers, the time reads 2:26am.  UUGGHH!!  I flop back down and will myself to return to a state of nocturnal bliss.  Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…although there is no traditional clock, I can hear time ticking away.  My mind turns over like the engine of a car on a cold, winter’s morning.   Gggrrr….Gggrrr…Gggrrr….VROOM!   That’s it…no stopping it now!

Suddenly a light bulb goes off in the recesses of my mind – “Duh! I’m thirsty.”  Ok, I’ll give this one a go.  Tossing off the duvet and swinging my feet to the floor, I make my way across the room to the closed-door guided by the eerie blue light emanating from the radio.  Without any thought to my partner, I open the door as if its full morning and stumble into a severely darkened hallway.  Instead of going into the kitchen or bathroom, my feet lead me to our living room to where I left a started bottle of water earlier in the day.  Again, I’m confronted by an eerily lit room all thanks in part to the electronics in the corner.  Giving it no further thought, I grab the bottle and take a large gulp.  Replacing the cap, I return the bottle to coffee table and trace my steps back to the bedroom.  Once inside, I move to my partner’s side of the bed and proceed to turn off the radio.  The soft blue glow immediately disappears.  As I turn to make my way to my side, I nearly trip on his sandals.  I curse under my breath about his attempting to kill himself should he get up and fall over them.  I bend to pick up the offending footwear and move them to the foot of the bed as I continue my journey to regain sleep.  I stretch out on the bed and close my eyes once again.  Minutes tick by and I can’t help but become aware of the silence permeating the room both from within it and from outside.  It invades my mind, causing me to continue my struggle.  Turning toward my lover, I rest my hand upon his warm body seeking succor and a chance to focus my thoughts elsewhere.  I lay with my eyes closed and my hand on his back for several minutes…until I feel a tingling surging through my hand and white flashes pulsating in my mind’s eye.  This is utterly useless.  I’m not going to fall back asleep.  It’s over!  The battle is over and I am clearly not the winner.  And that’s when the words start to form…yes, these words and many more.  Alright, might as well make it productive or at least try.

Once again, I toss off the covers, pick up my nightgown, grab my glasses and make my way back to the living room.  I immediately walk to the closed curtains and open them a fraction.  I reach my hand through and push the window open as well.  Moving over to the sofa, I reach behind it, turn on the light, sit down and take up my computer.  As I press the power button, it whirrs to life with its familiar chime.  Thank God I plugged in the headphones before turning it on since the chime alone could wake the dead during a thunderstorm.   As I have a clock on my desktop, I notice it is only 3:25am.  OMG!!!…It’s only been an hour since this whole episode has started.  UNBELIEVABLE!  Does time stand still in the middle of the night?  It must, I conclude.  Before I opt to pen anything worthy in my book, I jump into the popular music software of the day and choose some calming music to better help with the flow of the creative ideas.  Ok, time to get started…but instead I pop onto the internet to check if anything is going on.  Fine, it will give me a chance to collect my thoughts.  I soon realize I’ve been on my favorite social network site for over an hour…damn is it addictive.  Ok, ok…time to get cracking.  I open up a new word document and start typing.  Periodically, I glance up and look through the slight opening in the curtains…to gauge how long I’ve been in my waking state.  Although the clock on the computer reads 5:00am, outside is already light with the sky a pale blue.  It looks like it’s going to be a fine day.  However, as I stifle a yawn, I have a funny feeling I’m going to miss most of it.  Too ironic, isn’t it.  Anyway, pleasant dreams everyone…

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No card…No flowers…No box of chocolates!  Nothing!  Absolutely nothing!  Not even a “Happy Valentine’s Day” sentiment.  Nothing to mark this epitome of  Hallmark holidays.  Yet, something would have been nice and greatly appreciated.  After all, I selected the perfect card for him AND purchased a collection of his favorite music. 

Mind you, I’m a fairly practical person.  I really am!  I know I have a great man who loves me.  Also, I truly don’t care about all the fripperies of a commercialized holiday.  However, deep down, I’m still a romantic…a silly, hopeless romantic.  I’m still a girl who hopes for the perfect Christmas, Valentine’s and birthday.  It’s the dreamer in me.  So imagine how gutted I feel when there is nothing.  No outward, public sign that I am loved or cherished.  The tears come pouring out, usually in secret.  Out of his sight.  I frantically dash them from my eyes when I hear him entering a room.  God forbid I let him know how devastated I feel.  I wouldn’t want him to think I’m a drama queen or something (like he hasn’t thought that already!).  Instead I become judgemental and moody.  Like that doesn’t give me away, right?  I will snap and “bite” to constantly prove I’ve been wronged and unappreciated.  And I don’t care who knows.  I have no qualms about telling the world; or at least anyone who comes in contact with me.  It’s childish really and so inappropriate. 

Why then can’t I settle for what really matters?  I have a wonderful man who loves me for me.  Everyday of every year.  I know he isn’t one for public or outward displays to prove his love.  I should be content and secure in that knowledge alone.  Guess that is something I still need to work on.

Oh, yeah!  By the way, although I wasn’t presented with a card or flowers or a box of chocolate, I received the best non-Valentine imaginable…I was given a heart to heart cuddle…which lead to something even better.  Not bad for a hopeless romantic after all.

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Dreams.  We all have them, even if you don’t remember them in the morning.  Scientists seem to think the human race dreams approximately 5 times a night, with each dream lasting only 30 minutes.  I often wonder how that is even possible.  To me, it appears as one long continuous movie that begins the moment I drift off to the Land of Nod.  However, I’m not a scientist and science has its own explanation of that phenomenon – the mind is only remembering the last dream of the night.  How do they know each of the supposed 5 dreams I have are not the same one?  No one has ever asked me to be a part of a sleep study.  And I’d like to keep it that way.  My dreams are mine alone.  Or are they?

The fascinating part about dreams is how they are meant to guide us.  For whatever reason, we seem to be able to ‘switch off’ our conscious mind each and every night, only to awaken the subconscious to muddle through problems or try to set the world to rights (If only correcting the world’s ills were that simple).  Our subconscious allows us to realize nothing is impossible; to give us hope; to be more childlike.  It reminds us there is more to life than the reality of our conscious lives.  And I would have to agree.  We have the power and the fortitude to bring our subconscious thoughts into our reality.  I’m not talking about the wacky or the bizarre, but the dreams which can shape our lives.  Like the song sung by Disney’s Cinderella, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (1950) indicatesif one wishes for something long and hard; and it takes root in their heart, doesn’t it become a dream?  Something to strive for in their everyday life?  A goal?  I truly believe so.  As a little girl, I often dreamed about what I wanted to be when I grew up (and I’m still waiting), where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to see.  Not so unlike many other little girls, or boys for that matter.  For some like me, those dreams would be written down, and revised as the years flew past; biding their time when they could be achieved.   And that’s what makes each and every one special…unique…priceless.

I said it before, we all have dreams, and when I pointed that out, it wasn’t to bore you with the scientific.  Sure, we sleep, therefore, we dream.  But dreams can become so much more.  However, if all one does is dream and not bring it to fruition, then have they truly lived?  Believe me all dreams are not achievable, but the dreamer who pursues their dreams is the one who actually lives life to the fullest, usually without regret.  So when you curl up tonight and fall into blissful slumber, do me a favor…Dream a little dream of me (1931).

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I don’t know about you, but I have voices in my head.  Constantly.  Never-ending.  They shout and scream at me for attention.  Pleading with me to put their story down before any of the others.  I know they are there.  And to be honest, they know I know.  Even better, when I close my eyes, I can see their faces, so I have an idea of what they look like.  Each one pushing and shoving another to make sure I see them.  Now that can be scary especially if I don’t expect it.  Yet the incessant nagging never ceases to let up, except when I pick up the pen.  How very kind of them!  I think they just aren’t playing fair.  Do you experience the same thing?

In some ways, I experience the same thing with random thoughts.  Something cool or interesting enters, but as soon as I venture to jot  the gem down, it seems to disappear.  POOF!   Some writer I’m turning out to be.  HAHA!  I realize I’m being hard on myself.  And yes, I know Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Come to think of it, neither was Paris, London, New York or Chicago.  But I digress.  Sure, I’ve tried all the tricks of the trade; a notepad and pen in the car, a digital recorder in the bag, a pen and notebook sitting next to the bed.  I like the last one…its only there should I suddenly wake up in the middle of the night (Like that’s gonna happen!).  Not once have I been able to rouse myself from blissful slumber to turn on a light, grab the notebook and write.  Yet, it could happen.  Maybe in the next lifetime!  Anyway, I guess that is the nature of writer’s block, so I should just live with it.  However, maybe…just maybe, by writing about it, I’ve turned the faucet back on.  That would be extremely awesome, don’t you think?

Now, back to the voices in my head…I think I have an idea…maybe they should take a number like at the deli counter and wait for me to wait on them.  Better yet, I should buy an appointment book and make each character schedule an appointment…  Think I’d be able to charge $250.00 per hour to listen to them?

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As I sat gazing at pictures for this site, I started thinking about the clichés relating to photographs and writing.  “A picture paints a thousand words.”  So the quote goes.  However, has anyone ever counted how many words have actually been written or spoken about a single picture?  I know I haven’t and I don’t plan on doing so any time soon, if ever.  How can it be said only a thousand words?  Why not five thousand or five hundred?  How can there be a limit set?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Many of us know the origin of this quote…and it had absolutely nothing to do with a picture as such.  It was coined in 1921 as a way of expressing the effectiveness of using graphics in advertising.  How very corporate!  Interestingly enough, it had actually evolved and grown into the rather simple meaning of looking at a picture accomplishes the same thing as writing about it.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

It’s true that pictures tell a story, but exactly how much of the story?  A picture (or photo) is a static entity – taken at one moment in time and frozen forever.  Where nature is concerned, it could capture timeless beauty which may not continue into perpetuity.  Unlike a picture, a written narrative is dynamic.  Although based on a static picture, words bring it to life; makes it breathe.  Words not only describe, but give texture and substance – permanence.

Depending on the picture, I know when looking at it I have a tendency to ask all sorts of questions before offering any type of observation.  For example, let’s consider the photo I selected above.  One glance and my mind started to race…simple questions of “where was this taken?” and “when was it taken?” start the tumble.  I then contemplated such things as “is it possible the path has existed for over 100 years?” and “who might have traversed it?”  By looking at a photo, I usually hope to bring about a memory (or feeling) with which to draw inspiration.  It is from such musings many a verse or tale could be derived.

However, if all we did was look and never write or speak about a picture, would the saying “a picture paints a thousand words” still be as profound?  Or would it need to evolve to reflect a new meaning?

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