On fine tuning my craft

Conjuring my vision, developing my strategy, and finding my purpose in a sea of writers.

Stating my intent for the universe and benevolent forces.

Knowing that I can’t follow society’s instructions for success.

I don’t want to be a know it all. I just want to tell stories and share good things. I want to write from a place of curiosity and support for passionate beings and doings.

And secure glimpse of today for the people of tomorrow.

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Singing For You

When I state something political, that is nothing new, or deep- it is because I care to add my voice to the choir.  I want this song to penetrate your bones, and I want it to linger in your head throughout your workday.  I want you to disagree and second guess how it is possible that we are friends or how we were ever lovers. Or I want you to love me more, because you know I support you, or I wonder how I can support you.

Taking the Writing Challenge

Last night, I posted a Facebook status asking people to give me a topic, and then I will write a poem or short story based on it.  I threw this idea out there, hoping at least one person would offer a suggestion, so that I could practice some spontaneous writing that had nothing to do with my compulsion to only write things that I want to seriously approach for future publication.

I figured this would be a fun challenge that would keep me busy until I fell asleep.

My niece was the first to suggest “Family.”

I immediately decided on a poem, since a few rhymes instantly came to mind.  It took longer than I thought to eek it out, but it got done (despite having had several drinks in me) and I posted it as a comment to my original Facebook posting.  By that point, several other suggestions started rolling in.  Due to the potential length of the writings, I decided that my blog would be the best place to start compiling them.  As of right now, I am not sure how to make it easier to jump to the topic that you suggested for me, so perhaps this list below will help, as you scan through the writings to look for your headline.

I hope yall have fun reading what I came up with and thanks for the topic suggestions!

  1. Family
  2. Compassion
  3. Souls
  4. Laundromat
  5. Power
  6. Merkins
  7. Alcohol (So much to work with here. This is gonna take a while to decide on which to use!)
  8. Bubble guts

Family (suggested by my niece, Tabby)

The dark clouds roll in, as I wonder again,
who…and will there ever be a next of kin?

To wander is lovely, to settle is bleak,
but where is the pillow, where I will find sleep?

I ponder and ponder, as day turns to night,
wondering if I will live to see a bond made so tight-
that I can rest my weary head, and know that things will be ok…
because someone else has my back all along the way.

I guess it’s been here, but it wasn’t so clear,
as life took the turns that it did.
Finding ya’ll was the best gift of all,
and I do not take it lightly. I can only be in one place at one time,
so until otherwise, I will give thanks for you nightly. Continue reading

How we rationalize the privacies we invade

A brazen revelation for those who have a lot of obstacles in the way of writing out your story. May this help you with a few worries like it did for me. #memoir #family #healing

Vanessa Martir's Blog

I’ve been thinking a lot about privacy. Privacy from the perspective of a memoir and personal essay writer who is revealing family secrets, breaking silences that were intended to protect (or at least that’s what I’ve chosen to believe) but have done more damage than good.

I’m thinking about my aunt, my Titi who is very much a surrogate mom to me. When I told her I was writing a memoir, she said, “Be careful what you write.”

“I’m not being careful.”

“I know.” She looked at me with those loving eyes of hers, no judgment, but no understanding either. Then she walked out of her kitchen, a plate of food in her hand. The heaping plate she’d just served me sat on the table, heat rising off the rice in smoky tendrils.

Two years ago, I showed her the picture I found in Meryl Meisler’s exhibit, “Bushwick in the…

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Louisville: A Quietly Cool City

The dark winter hibernation of the Pacific Northwest had got me itching to travel somewhere warm and sunny.  While I am thankful for all of my travel situations, both for pleasure, work, or a stressful cross-country move, paradoxically, I keep feeling disappointed that I haven’t been able to leave the country, much less North America for about 15 years.  However, I continue to remind myself to be thankful and accept what domestic trips fall into place naturally. Continue reading

Ford on the Side of the Road

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Dear Ford on the side of the road,

I’m sorry your hazards are on and the country boy in my passenger seat yelled “Shoulda bought a Chevy!”, as we drove past you.

 

Dear Ford on the side of the road,

hurry up and start, the hurricane is coming!  (Secret prayer to the Universe: Please, please, please let their car start!)

 

Dear Ford on the side of the road,

I will always remember you, because of the guilt I own for not stopping to help.

 

-Scribbled in a notebook after a 17 hour car ride to a city that was only 2 hours away, to escape a possible hit from Hurricane Ivan.

The Alligator Woman: drunk ideas gone right.

I got drunk.  I wanted a new dance routine.  I needed ideas!

Something new to the audience’s repertoire of burlesque performances.

Something that my fellow New Orleanians would adore for years!

Brainstorm, brainstorm! Make a list!  Go big! Go bold! Go weird! Go New Orleans!

I am pretty sure that I was drinking Jameson and Coke that night, because I wanted the caffeine buzz along with the intoxication.  After-all, I had work to do.  I was staying in tonight to work on my costumes.

Inspiration struck shortly after I sat down to create my list of ideas.  I was ready to start this new idea now, so I immediately hopped on my spray-painted flat-black cruiser bike, with a red rose on the handlebars.  It was a quick trip from my Marigny home on Port St., up to the French Quarter gift shops on Decatur St., where I set out to find a taxidermy alligator head.

A glamourous alligator stripper- yes, that sounds weird and lovely to me!  I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a full or partial alligator at that point.  I just knew that I loved the idea enough to get it started.  Yes, I knew it was a drunk idea.  Yes, I know most people think their ideas are great while drinking, and then they realize they are not so great the next morning.  However, that didn’t stop me.

“Large heads $75” Gasp!  My plan is foiled- I won’t pay that much!  I turned around to leave and spotted a large, plush alligator stuffed-animal for $20-something-bucks.  The head was as big as mine…I could cut it apart, make a mask out of the head and use the tail as…a tail!

Photo by Zack Brown @ Asheville Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festivla 2012

Photo by Zack Brown @ Asheville Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festivla 2012

It musta been a charming sight for the tourists to see- a girl riding her bike down the street with a large stuffed alligator in one hand; however, I know it was charmingly normal for the locals.