The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

02 July 2015

July Day Two

Personal details approaching:
Roughly a decade ago, a mole mysteriously appeared on my right shin, almost spot-on the middle.  Then about two years ago, one showed up in the exact same spot on the other leg (the left one). Maybe two weeks ago, the first mole became swollen and sore - in fact the whole shin bone is achy.  You know what I'm thinking, don't you?  That Dreaded Word.  It's probably just infected from a razor nick or something equally benign, but my way of handling things is to internally freak out about it, and externally do nothing about it.  I don't have a family doctor (a side effect of moving frequently) and this isn't something I fancy going to a walk-in clinic with.  I had almost convinced myself it would just go away (don't all unpleasant things go away if you ignore them long enough?) but when my sister saw it yesterday she told me to see a doctor without passing go and collecting $200.  This involves registering with a "we'll help you find a doctor who is accepting new patients within an overnight drive of where you live" service that will then connect me with a "I'm a helpful nurse who will take the information you gave over the phone to the other people and possibly maybe do something with it" person and that might result in me being able to contact a health care provider for an appointment sometime in the next month or so.  Hopefully the leg will not either fall off or swell to drastic proportions before then.

All this to say that I had personal business to attend to this morning before I headed out to work from noon to dusk.  Now that I'm home I've had just enough oomph to eat a bowl of ice cream with mango and bacon (I know!) and will now crawl into bed with the Gamel notebook to - hopefully - write the rest of the chapter begun yesterday.

Day Two: a forecast of done.

01 July 2015

Be ye maple-leafy

Happy Canada Day, bloggish friends.

I spent the day - happily - with the Peanuts. I remember the Days of Yore when I would head to the Big Downtown and party it up with half a million strangers, culminating in a walk of days back to the car and a sleepy drive home smothered in yawns and residual feelings of giddiness.  Now, in my advanced years, a day spent with five chattering boys and the cutest little girl-peanut in the world was exactly what I wanted to do.

One of the wonderful things about coming home after filling up on Nut-ness is the drive. There is a long straight approach over and down the escarpment to the lake and it's that view that - every single time - has me offering up a thank you to the Lord that I get to live in this place.  Tonight that drive was lit by the biggest, pinkest sun I've seen in a long time.  It was a stunning sight.

Today wasn't entirely about getting my ears talked off, however.  I did manage to spend some time with Gamel.  Well, another character in the story of Gamel, actually.  A very rough count has it at about 700 words.

Day one:  done.

30 June 2015

June - accountability

Posts written: 3 (shocking)
Writing elsewhere: 4
Books read: 3 (I think.  I forgot to keep track)
Kitchen fires: 1
Jobs ended: 2
Jobs applied for: 3
Jobs not selected for: 1 (so far)

It's been a busy month of school closings and such.  Today I'm busily scrambling to get my ducks in order (eggs in a row?  What is the expression I'm looking for?) because tomorrow begins a month of Gamel-ing.  I've got 15 chapters planned, and hope to get all 15 at least roughly written by the end of July. I was going to officially join a Camp NaNoWriMo cabin and go for the whole experience, but I know myself enough to know I'd get caught up in the record keeping and all the extras going on that the actual writing would be overshadowed.  So instead, I will post regular updates here - for accountability purposes, but also, hopefully, for feedback.

Here's the seed for the story I'll be working on: Gamel.

23 June 2015

Of heads bursting and camping

I may have shared this already. I've just come across it again in a shockingly unorganized bundle of notes written on random scraps of paper and schtuffed in a notebook.
The book it came from is, "Letter to a future lover: marginalia, irrata, secrets, inscriptions & other ephemera found in libraries." by Ander Monson.

The quote is this:
"Who burst your head wide open with a sentence? Whose linguistic tics have you ingested?"

Don't you love that?  I do.  I love both questions. I love that a gifted writer has the ability to burst open the head of a reader.  I've had that happen. The sentence starts soft and malleable in my mind, then expands as I examine it from all sides and delight in its construction, its sounds, the imagery, the feeling of it.

Years and years ago I read "Away" by Jane Urquhart. I don't remember all that much about the plot, but I remember pausing to savour phrases and being in awe that someone could put words together in just that way.

Years after that I discovered Adriana Trigiani who, while writing more lighthearted novels than Urquhart, has the wonderful gift of painting a scene, infusing the story with humour, and portraying complex characters.  She delights in, and plays with words - a talent I enjoy in writers.

A few years ago I read "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows. The book as a whole moved me, not for specific phrasing but for the way plot, character, and emotion were conveyed entirely through letters written between the characters. The skill required to create fully realized characters and ensure the reader is fully invested in the story using such a format is prodigious.  That blows my head open.

More recently there has been Marisa de los Santos and her book, "The Precious one". Her turns of phrase would leave me giddy... I truly became drunk on her words.

And so, thinking of my own writing, I discover I have a kernel of determination to begin serious work on my own story.  I've played with several ideas over the past year and more, but while they intrigued me, are not true to me so I was utterly defeated by them.  I have instead surrendered to the snippet I began quite a long time ago, called Gamel, about a little man who lives in the woods.  I have been working on ideas to develop it further, and am also trying to work ahead on the other writerly obligations I have to complete so I can take all of July off in order to spend time with Gamel.  I'm going to try Camp NaNoWriMo, and see if that helps or hinders the process.

I'll try to post updates periodically through the month.  Wish me luck!

15 June 2015

Where silence reigns

There is a frequently chattering voice in my head. It is a voice of lists and fears and worries. It speaks of insecurity and falling short, and tempts me to want what I do not need – or even truly want. A dull background murmur of daily life floats on the surface of my consciousness, distracting me from quiet and contemplation and peace.

But deep in my heart, the part of me bearing the fingerprint of God from when He thought of me and called me into being – that is where my silence reigns.

It is the silence of deep water; not empty but full of life and so vast as to be incomprehensible. It is the substance of that which tethers me to God. Within that silence I know who I am and where I belong; I am sustained.



03 June 2015

Accountability: May

Month in review.

Posts at the Lighthouse: 6
Elsewhere: 4
Days of completing 10 minute challenge (writing for 10 minutes without stopping): 3

Books read: 9
New authors tried and loved instantly: 1

Not bad. Not brilliant, but not bad.

19 May 2015

FSF: Steam

Five Sentence Fiction from Lillie McFerrin Writes.
This week the prompt word is: Steam.

Her heart was in her throat. She could feel it pulsing in her fingertips. Would he remember her? Would she recognize him? And then all the noise of sad departures and happy homecomings receded because through the clouds of steam there he was - smiling as wide as the world to see her.