Sunday, October 19, 2014


"If one really loves nature, one can find beauty everywhere.”
-Vincent van Gogh

It has been an interesting week. While my husband is away, now in New Zealand and his time away adding up to about five weeks, I have been getting a little stir crazy. This is partly because I had an outpatient surgery on my ear to remove an ill-placed and "suspicious" mole (redhead problems and, yes, partly why I was drawn to the van Gogh quote). I have been rather irritated by nagging (but not horrible) pain and an inability to wear my hair up comfortably while it heals. 

Meanwhile, I was thrilled to find one of my most personal and intimate pieces of fiction (originally an essay that I decided to get a little more experimental with) was accepted into a notable magazine. More on that soon. And it looks like my first column will be coming out in Fiction Southeast in November (first and second, as it stands now). So the good with the bad. 

To occupy my mind and keep myself busy to distract myself from my ear, I've been doing some yard work. Some pretty shoddy yard work, so much so I don't want to post pics. Okay, here are some pics. I mean... even the one bundle of San Antonio-appropriate flowers I bought is dying after a matter of weeks. I started pouring mulch over dead grass and hoping for the best, and that hasn't worked out so well yet either. 

Perhaps, like most of my artistic ventures, it will eventually morph into something tolerable looking, or I'll just have to tinker forever and the phases will come and go. No matter, I love my backyard.  

Much as I continue to tinker in that wonderful mess you see above, so goes the same for the writing. Writers have to start and restart again. It's the nature of our art, and the trick (as I see it) is just getting started.

Instead of giving you a scenario for a writing prompt today, I thought I'd pick a line and say, "Go!" A friend of mine from undergrad, playwright Jennifer Roberts, suggested this practice one day a long time ago, wherein we would grab a favorite book, open to a random passage, point, write a sentence and say, "Go!" Then, we'd start the timers and write. Clear stories or nonsensical ramblings, it didn't matter. Sometimes we'd share our work, other times not. No pressure, just creation. So, here we go...  

It is hardly surprising that so many people lose their tempers with so many other people. 

-Shirley Jackson, "About Two Nice People"

Write this sentence down, then set the timer for 20 minutes and Go!

*If you have any ideas for the backyard, I'll all ears (well... kind of)

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