Update: In response to one of the comments left below, I began to feel guilty (maybe more like petrified) about using this picture of a print. In order to avoid the copyright police I did the best I could to find the artist – not a difficult task and it came with a bonus. Check out Art That Makes You Laugh but be forewarned – you will laugh, be inspired and want to own one of his pieces. And just so you know, Jeff Leedy responded to my confession and says the picture can stay.
What the heck happened this year? And the blog? Where did it go? I just realized the titles for my last three posts could tell a story. Three months ago I mentioned I wanted to write. Nine days later marijuana had arrived. Two months after that I looked at the news feed on Facebook and saw it was I Love to Write Day.
So here’s the story. I felt trumped. No amount of word tweaking, plot twisting, or new endings could turn my 90,000 word memoir into the Erma Bombeck kind of masterpiece I had imagined in my head. It was just not going to happen. In an angry moment I placed Trumpette (our neurotic cat) dangerously close to the delete key.
But, a miracle happened. Marijuana had arrived. Trumpette inhaled a hefty dose and the next thing I knew she was attacking fireflies at the patio door in the middle of a sunny day. Wait. I got that wrong. We don’t have fireflies in California. I guess it was night time and they were moths. It seems I was in a kind of fog, maybe a contact high? I found myself back at the keyboard. Magic happened. While Trumpette purred off the pot, I rewrote the entire book. In one night. It was done. I sent it off to the publisher. And then I quit writing until I-Love-To-Write-Day came.
Remember that Bullet Journal I had started a few months back? I began a new list:
After a month long break from blogging and church, I have returned. Pulling off the Grove Shafter freeway at 27th street in Oakland on the way to church, I was pleased to see that the Chase billboard has been replaced but it was disheartening to see the growth of the homeless camp. I missed the camp photo op so I guess I’ll have to come up with a 1,000 word blog post to describe the area. Just kidding.
But, I do have a couple of observations. Judging by the content of debris that oozes its way into the streets under the freeway, I suspect not all of the mess is the work of the homeless. It’s unlikely that car-less pedestrians with shopping carts are capable of hauling eight foot sofas and heavy appliances to the area. Someone is dumping their crap in the street at the expense of the homeless. What are these thoughtless trash dumpers thinking? Do they think their are providing comfortable beds for the homeless.? Do they think the homeless can tweak the appliance innards into working machines? Or perhaps they consider the shell of their old refrigerator to be a “tiny house.” More likely, they don’t want to pay the fees to dump legally. The issue becomes more complicated for the life of the homeless when the city comes by and blames them for the mess.
Meanwhile, under the freeway, off the street, there is a huge empty lot, surrounded by barbed wire topped fencing. Perhaps it would be possible to open the gates and allow this community to migrate over there? Lend them the area and responsibility to live their lifestyle without the burden of everyone else’s garbage. Add to their dignity with a couple of portables (yes, I mentioned before that there are problems with that). But how about this? Give them some maintenance responsibility and if successful provide this reward: Japanese shower.
Okay, enough of a rant. The photo above most likely has nothing to do with homeless. It’s about a dozen blocks away from the camp. I just thought it was an interesting piece of art. Or is it graffiti?
Patience – taking snare wire and shaping into intricate wall art. These fascinating pieces of art are created from wires used in illegal poaching, turning bad intentions into good ones, and increasing awareness. For more info visit the Painted Dog.
The local morning paper held a surprise today. Right there on the front page was a familiar face. Not the people and pets photo – the “Moving forward by looking to the past” article on the right hand side. I was so excited to see this article that I almost choked on my coffee.
Jill Morris teaches memoir classes. I am pleased to be a part of her advanced writer’s group which will resume this fall. She’s a fantastic teacher but for quite some time we wondered if she was ever going to get her memoir on the market. “It’s coming out soon,” she’d say. We waited patiently. Finally the release announcement came to my inbox.
I ordered “Eating the Walls Breaking free from the ghosts of the past” on Amazon, expedited delivery since I couldn’t wait another day – plus I was leaving on vacation and definitely needed to take it with me. If it were on Kindle, I would have read it that night. I am woefully addicted to instant gratification. Jill assures me it will be available on Kindle later. Meanwhile, I packed the paperback edition in my carryon and devoured it between beach visits. You know how people go to Kauai and come back with golden tans? Could I blame my lily white tones on this memoir?
The book is all that I expected from Jill. It’s a powerful and inspirational story of moving forward after the tragedy of her husband’s suicide. Her narrative is a fascinating portrayal of this journey with her two small children. Grief and humor cross the seas. I’ll be looking forward to her next memoir.
Now back to those classes Jill teaches. Her book is out. You know her style. Her encouragement and gentle critique will entice you to finish yours.