Dreams, Interrupted (Part II)

Posted in Creativity and Chaos on January 9, 2011 by coyotescribe

Unravelling the music…

I couldn’t just leave it all hanging out there like that, flapping in the wind—not for too long. Dreams, Interrupted has to have some kind of second act. It’s pretty bad when someone finds their way to your blog because they typed the words ‘life in hell online’ into Google’s search engine. Despite my trippy doo-dahs about how life just went down in a flame-throwing blaze, part of me knows there was something deeper going on—a bigger picture, a forest beyond the smoldering tree trunks in my immediate vicinity.

Okay. So I tend to maneuver the extremes. But I needed to know. How else could I have, without leaping from the precipice and moving to Santa Barbara to see how it fits? Yeah, my wings flailed against a determined headwind until it spun me around in what seemed like an about-face. But that’s not it, you see. I’m not going back, I’m moving forward. I’ve just had a minor course correction.

A little backstory about the music:

It was in Santa Barbara where I first landed, in 1983, with rock-star dreams intact. I drove that long trek from the Midwest to California carrying all my worldly possessions, consisting mostly of music equipment. I had been touring for the past six years all over the eastern half of the United States and Canada as a multi-keyboardist, singer/songwriter.

Once I got to SB, I searched out other musicians. An all-girl band was forming, and I was asked to join. However, we did not survive our first rehearsal. The guy who had donated his spacious home to us was under surveillance. In the middle of setup—while we were thinking how lucky we were to have such a cool rehearsal space up in the hills overlooking the city—a battalion of Santa Barbara S.W.A.T. guys crashed through the sliding-glass door pointing automatic weapons at us and yelling Get down! (Too bad they weren’t talking about the music).

I was in the middle of attaching the legs to the underbelly of my Rhodes Piano. I ducked behind 73 keys, hammers and tines encased in plastic.

All four girls—a drummer, bass player, guitar player, and keyboard player—were directed to the kitchen and handcuffed to patio chairs while being questioned as to our knowledge of the $150,000 worth of hallucinogenic mushrooms at all stages of growth in the guy’s garage.

The short of it: it was the biggest drug bust in Santa Barbara’s history. The police thought we were there to transport the loot, especially in my window van, with its pink India-print curtains for hiding the evidence. But the only thing in my van that night was my grandmother’s cedar chest filled with my clothes, which were ransacked.

* * *

When I moved to Santa Barbara again twenty-seven years later, in October 2010, one of the people paying me to write web content gave me a contact number for a female musician in town, saying he thought she and I would get along. Jill Avery, bass player and painter extraordinaire, listened intently as I explained over the phone my brief history with Santa Barbara. When I started down the long tale of woe regarding a first rehearsal with an all-girl band, she stopped me mid-sentence, saying, “I know where you’re going.”

She was there! She was one of the musicians handcuffed to a patio chair that night. As it turned out, she had a whole other perspective on the event. She stirred my memory of her, the girl who just kept talking, asking questions, getting permission to go to the bathroom, etc. When she and I compared notes, we realized we had a whopping-good musician story to tell. The best of it is: we are connected, and we reconnected. If it were only this one thing that Santa Barbara offered me in return for my short stay here (this second time around), it has been worth it. Because finding a soul-level female friend is priceless.

And… Did I say I would never play live again?

After having gone through the whirlwind, I feel a sense of peace, and hope, and I’m grateful for my own courage. Where I stood at the moment of my perceived collapse, is where I had to forgive myself—for making a big mistake. But now, as I step beyond this process, I see how the forces of that mysterious night within me were participating, in that night where resides my ghost, my duende, that aspect of soul who often appears as an objector. He can be relentless, and he/she can initiate a dismantlement of old dreams. Because, you see, the duende holds secrets to destiny, and to where one’s passions truly lie.

In the middle of packing and moving back to Thousand Oaks, I was asked to open for SoulAviv in Santa Barbara the first Friday in February, at the one venue I performed last month that felt like home—Cambridge Drive Community Church. With all the rubble I was sifting through after December’s fallout, I had failed to acknowledge my first gig in December, which turned out to be a starry starry night of success: my first time out performing my own songs solo in fifteen years. I was nervous, but the sacred space inside the church sanctuary soothed me, and I was able to connect with the audience, and give a little of myself to them.

My duende reminded me not to forget about that. And so did Roy Donkin, pastor of the church. I was honored to receive his invitation, and I knew immediately that it was right for me to accept.  I’ll be warming up the crowd for SoulAviv with a half-hour set of my original songs.  Now in preparation.

My performance schedule has been updated.

Did I not say in my last post that I was going to limit my future ramblings to 500 words? Oops…

Dreams, Interrupted (Part I)

Posted in Creativity and Chaos on December 28, 2010 by coyotescribe

They fell like a giant tree: what at first might appear as a slow heavy descent, eventually came crashing through the understory, clearing everything in its wake before colliding with earth.  It was messy, and it was final.  My dreams of Santa Barbara went down with a reverberating thwack.

It was hard to understand what was happening in the middle of it all, but I learned awhile ago that staying with confusion is not such a bad thing, and conversely, putting ducks in a row isn’t all that it’s quacked up to be.  You kind of just have to go with the chaos, until it wends its way back to calmer seas.

This blog post only covers one aspect of the fall: The Music (Part I)

If you start pushing against resistance, you’re going to struggle.  Moving to Montecito Land provided the perfect petri dish for my revisit with struggle in my music.  Where else can you find the juxtaposition of countless millionaires and boatloads of unpaid musicians in one place?

Somewhere in the middle of four gigs in December , the push-pull became a tug-of-war.   I was fighting against my fear of humiliation, big time.  I had to go through it.  I made myself go through it.  Down to the dregs of it.  Otherwise I knew I’d take it to the stage and sabotage myself.  I’ve done it many times before.  When I popped out on the other side of the fear, I had lost all desire to do this.  Though I kept to my obligations until the very end, despite the escaping helium in my dream balloon.

By the time I hit the last gig of the month, December 17th at the popular Cold Spring Tavern in the mountains, the only gig that paid anything ($50 a “man” plus tips), I already knew the dream had died.  The night was supposed to yield a crowd, but it turned out to be the first night of that weeklong west coast torrent that flooded California.  I carried my keyboard from my car in the rain, in the mud, grateful I had the foresight to wear my old tennis shoes rather than nice gig shoes.

I don’t want to linger too long on describing the night, so I’m going to reduce it to one metaphor, which pretty much says it all.  While I was setting up my keyboard on the stage, I hit my head on the cow skull that hung on the back wall.  Other symbolic clues have not eluded me, but this one was a hammer-on-the-nail reminder.  After two and a half months in pursuit of being a performing musician in Santa Barbara, the dream was dead, and so was my desire to live here.

I’m moving, my fastest turnaround in history, except when I was on the road.  (More about my busted Santa Barbara dreams later.)  I decided I wasn’t going to struggle with blog posts anymore either, keeping them to about 500 words from now on.   And I’m steering this blog towards fiction, and towards the process with my novel, which I have sorely missed working on.

No Turning Back: Performing Again

Posted in Creativity and Chaos on November 25, 2010 by coyotescribe

It has been years since I’ve seriously gone out and gigged, and now I’ve got four dates coming up next month, starting December 3rd!   Meanwhile, an old acquaintance from a long time ago is reading my novel. He says it’s a page-turner. Once he gets to page 253, he’s gonna run out of words and become frustrated, because there’s at least eight more chapters that still need to be written. I miss working on my novel, and I’m still in a landing pattern around my new Montecito hideaway.

But I won’t be able to hide away for much longer. Butterflies are not free.  They’re in my stomach while I worry about upcoming performances. I set myself up for a bit of an overwhelm here, first because there were songs I wanted to learn, and also because I’ve had to rework and relearn my own songs, too.  It hasn’t come as smoothly and swiftly as I imagined. It’s been hard work. I’m really trying not to sturggle, but I think I’ve fallen into that old pattern a bit. Need some healing on that front. Being an artist comes with all these templates for survival, and I’m determined to build my survival from a new foundation, and forego any templates.  So far, I have no idea whether it’s working.

I’m asking myself now, “What am I, a writer or a musician?”… cause there doesn’t seem to be time to do both and make money, too. I was adding content to someone’s travel blog, but alas I have hit the wall on that, my ideas not compelling enough. I think maybe my heart wasn’t in it. Yes, and I’m still scared. Am I ever gonna get to the other side of this frightful process, and stop being the sole inhabitant of my own gloomy gulag? (reference from my favorite writers movie, Wonder Boys) Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I will want to feel the gratitude for all the beauty in my life. It may be just what I need to get through the next nine days…

…which is how long I have till my first gig.  I’m wanting to run away… to where?… There ain’t no place to run, or hide, or fall back upon… I’m feeling alone, but I know I’m not. (This is stream of unconsciousness writing, by the way.) The reason I’m even posting tonight is because I promised in the previous post that I’d get my gig schedule up, and I’m late.  So here it is:

Tysa’s Performance Schedule

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends and good food!

Getting Focused

Posted in Creativity and Chaos on November 1, 2010 by coyotescribe

If I don’t take the time to post this Sunday night, I may never blog again.  I have to give myself the message that there is always time to write, even when music rehearsals are taking center stage… (Sorry about the pun.  I couldn’t help it.  It’s late.)  I do have to get my performance schedule posted soon!  I mean… what’s going on here?

Journal entry from Wednesday, October 27th – somewhere up the steep climb along Romero Canyon Trail:

I’m on the other side of my move to Santa Barbara, and I’m in crisis.  I hiked this canyon for the first time, carrying my journal and camera.  I sat down where I could see the ocean between the hills… and just cried.  I’m really scared.  I just frickin’ jumped, and now I’ve landed in the land of Oz (Montecito), where the rich hobnob with eclectic expenditures. I’m not sensing my place here yet.  That’s part of the fear.  It’s like, “Now, what have I done?  Where am I?  Who am I?”  Mostly when I talk about this stuff, especially about the fear, people seem to always want to give advice, cause they don’t like the intensity of it.  Well, I don’t much like it either, and yet I know this is where I’m supposed to be.  If I’m not feeling it, where the hell is it going to go?… back in the addictions?  Don’t think I haven’t been tempted.  But no, I have to be intimate with what I’m feeling—all of it—because I’m the only common denominator here.  It is my process, and a necessary one in order to integrate into my new life.

Where I sat and wrote in my journal

On the other side of this fear a breeze will blow.  I’ll hear the sound of the wind through the Montecito hills, and I’ll know what I did took courage, and that I am not alone.

Coming down off the mountain

In conclusion, all I can say is: I guess I did what Grandpa Samuel Reaches (Ted Thin Elk) said Mr. Magoo should do in the movie Thunderheart, when he told Ray (Val Kilmer), “Mr. Magoo needs to go up the mountain and get focused.”  And maybe I’ll have to do this a few more times, at least for a while.

Writing Between Paradigms

Posted in Creativity and Chaos on August 10, 2010 by coyotescribe

In trying to coalesce a theme for this blog post—with my focus careening all over tarnation looking for an appropriate track on which to travel—I realized I had already left the station.  No turning back.  It’s about the power of change, the biggest change of my life, and it’s affecting everything.  I’ve got one foot in the old paradigm and one foot in the new, and I’m moving through a fluid chaos, a transitional period, and it’s been showing me things: about writing, about music, relationships, passion, and about my connection to All Things.  Realizations fall like a surprise summer rain, each drop another pearl of destiny being absorbed by my future.

Inside this seemingly unreal abyss, the unknown has become where I live.  Yet, I’ve glimpsed what’s coming, and I feel the changes going on inside me as definitive as the nightly serenades from the coyotes just beyond my apartment balcony.  It gives me an exhilarating thrill.  (One particular coyote also likes to return during the day and go rollicking through bushes looking for conejos.)

Okay, the truth is, I’m scared out of my wits half the time, walking around with this leveled fog of dread hovering around my chest, a new and unrecognizable dread.  But I know it’s the key for me, so I try to stay open and not suppress it, not shut myself down, nor give in to the old addictions, emotional or otherwise.  You see, the fear is telling me I’m moving in the right direction, showing me the realness of what’s happening and where I’m going.  And I can’t go back—I won’t—not after glimpsing that pinpoint of light, a hint of something out there,  even as I walk through the narrows.

Along the path, here in the dark, there come these surpirses, little ecstatic moments that reveal things to me.  AND, none of this would’ve been possible had it not been my husband and I of fifteen years—soul mates and eternal friends—jumping off the precipice of our established safety and making the choice to leave our cocoon of marriage and set each other free.

I hear the voices of bemused blog readers: “Could you please give it to us in concrete terms.  What the hell’s going on?  And since you’re a writer, how is this affecting your work?”

I’m not going to detail the personal process of our dissolving marriage, but I will say this:  It’s a divorce without betrayal, without abandonment, a divorce that manifested from love and the idea of personal freedom.  We’ve been working over the years to dismantle the control that seems to permeate the institution of marriage, where you have to mold yourself into a particular form in order to make yourself fit comfortably, and that you can never be yourself completely, that you must hide parts of yourself in order to make it work, in order to make the marriage safe.  Sacrifice.

I’m feeling the sadness, and grief, but it’s not at the level you might expect in such a circumstance.  In fact, it has come clear to me that once we have separated and moved into our individual lives, there will be a deeper, more profound level of grief that will come, and it will be wrapped in gratitude for the gift we have given each other. 

No, it doesn’t make sense, because there’s no road map for it, no prescribed formula, no Wayne Dyer book on the subject.  There’s only a society that freaks out when people make too many choices on their own—upsetting the status quo and stirring up anarchy.  Got to have control so people will behave, obey the rules.  It’s why the idea of gay marriage ignites such volatility.  Societal and religious dogma is supposed to hold the key to your happiness.  You can’t unlock those doors on your own.  That’s heresy.

Down the line, I may perhaps do another radio show about this subject, a similar show to the one I did in April on LA Talk Radio, where I shared my process about dealing with growing older as a women in this society, something I also touched upon in my last blog post (May 2010) – The Intimate Life of a Writer.  I was facing all that I needed to in order to find my way through to the resonance I wanted to feel, to the sensuousness, living a sensuous life, a luscious life, full of juice.  Society’s image of 50-something women be frickin’ damned.  That process of change in April was perhaps instrumental in getting me to the decision in June to separate from my husband, not because he sees me a certain way, but because I need to see me a certain way, to reveal me to myself without the underlying chauvinism of inequality that happens in relationships on so many levels, in both women and men.  (How many blog posts would it take to go into that subject?)

Okay, what about my novel?  How’s that going?

My novel is also in transition, appropriately so.  It’s quite serendipitous how I’ve ostensibly completed ACT I and II, including the “all is lost” moment for my main character, just prior to my monumental life decision.  What remains to be written is a series of mystical events that culminate at the moment of totality during the Montana solar eclipse of 1979, where everything comes together for a moment and changes the future.  I don’t think I would’ve been able to write these final chapters without this change in my life.

Right now, the writing is slow.  There are a lot of personal activities: sifting through the physical remnants of living life as a couple, and discarding what cannot move forward into the life of single womanhood.  I think one of the reasons the writing has stalled is because I’m having trouble conjoining the past, the present, and the future in my story, because, conversely, my personal life is immersed in the in-between.  My characters wait in limbo right now, and yet, while I ride this fast-moving train into the unknown, I’m making sure to use Einstein’s light beam to keep my characters lassoed at the speed of light.  So when I disembark at the next station (which will most likely be Santa Barbara), they’ll be ready to give me what I need to finish the novel, without missing a beat.

Wild Nature Girl Photography

For now, I keep myself open for the story insights of the in-between, and jot them down while I think of them.  All that has been written up till now, some 250 pages, is as it should be, written in the moments of the before.  And now my characters’ transformations are hinging on my own.  Like I said in my previous post, I am inextricably linked to my characters.  NOT because they’re ME, but because we’re that close.  So, you can imagine how much chaos they might be experiencing while they wait for my pen to start flowing ink again, and they can tell me what’s happening on their side of the universe.  I will never let them go.  As long as it takes, they’re going to make it to the end of their story.  It is my promise to them.

The Intimate Life of a Writer

Posted in Creativity and Chaos on May 26, 2010 by coyotescribe

Admonishment: I have violated social media protocol. The last serious post to any of my blogs was written in December of last year. These kinds of cryptic sabbaticals from blog duty seem to be my forte, and in fact, apply to all of my writing. I moved my coyote caboodle over to wordpress at the dawning of 2010, leaving two years of posts on blogspot to sit idle and collect traffic dust. It is my goal to confuse the hell out of search engines and spread coyotescribe over the internet like a basting sauce.

I’ve been going through hell. I mean, not really hell, but I’ve been wandering the dark recesses of self-doubt, and occasionally finding myself lost in Dante’s dark wood, where midway through my novel I become wholly lost.

Everything’s up right now: creativity, chaos, impending change, reaching out for my characters, being courageous enough to leap into nothingness, my need for a sensuous life (a life filled with sensation), including sensuous sexuality, something my characters need, too.

My personal plight lately has been dealing with the chauvinistic constructs of what sexy is, what beauty is, and what older women are, and what I’m “supposed” to be doing and feeling at my age. Well, yesterday I just snapped, meaning: I frickin’ snapped out of it, with the help of a wild coyote and my departed grandmother.

As much as I have imagined how my heart would pump with dread at having a close encounter with a coyote, it didn’t happen like that at all. I heard a rustle in the tall weeds not more than twelve yards in front of me. He bound over the path, paused, looked at me, then walked on, stopped and turned back again before disappearing in the foliage by the creek. Then he peeked at me through the foliage, just too curious. I had my camera, but I didn’t take the shot. I was in the moment with him, in awe, in wonder, and there was not a frightened bone in my body.  Instead, I felt gratitude.

My grandmother showed up later that same evening. Since her death, there have been times when I’ve shared communication with her, but it seems the coyote instilled enough wildness in me to up-step my attenuator to the other side. And, I don’t think I could’ve received this message from my grandmother before now, the message that she, too, had rebelled. She became a teenager in the roaring 20s, and rebelled in the flowery 60s, when I was becoming a teenager. But hers was a quiet rebellion, unlike the one I was going through at the time. There were those few women from her generation who resisted male-dominated constraint in the 1960s, and I was lucky enough to have one of those rare and precious older women in my life. Never did I see her compromise her presence, or her love, for the sake of presentation. My grandmother Opal was beautiful, even at 70. Her name says it all, doesn’t it?

This is Opal and me on her front porch in Hannibal, Missouri. She’s dressed in her Red Cross volunteer “Gray Ladies” uniform. The year was 1956, and though she was my grandmother, she was only forty-one years old at the time.  She was keeping a treasure map for me, safely tucked away, until the day I would find it—at the moment I needed it—a map of mattering and meaning, of value and vitality, of beauty and uncompromising self. I finally discovered her treasure map, at fifty-six years old.

* * *

There’s a level of intimacy I’ve been reaching for—in my writing, in my music, and with the people in my life whom I choose to share that intimacy with, those I call my soul family, where the connection goes beyond physical life. We are linked by some invisible force emanating from deeper parts of ourselves, and we come together to meet in this life, again. Some of those souls are the characters in my novel—not based on real people I know, but people who are just as real in their worlds as I am in mine. I believe that every good story has been plucked from a reality beyond our comprehension, perhaps from another star system in a parallel universe; no less viable than the world we deem the center of our universe.

Path of Totality, the novel

If I’m writing the stories wrong, everything stops working, jammed like an old rusty pocket watch, the hands of time refusing to move. I was born in Hannibal, Missouri, and so I have a particular fondness for the storytelling wisdom of Mark Twain. He once explained it this way:

“There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn’t because the book is not there and worth being written — it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story, and if you fail to find that form, the story will not tell itself.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Mark Twain’s desk just the way he left it in the basement press area of Nevada’s first newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise.  Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) wrote for the Virginia City paper from 1862-1864.  I took this photo while on a research trip for my novel in Reno, Nevada.  I sat in a chair to the left of Twain’s office area and carried on a rather in-depth conversation with him, but that’s another story for another time.

This idea that stories are stubborn and refuse to be written until they’re in their right form, I totally believe. Of course, there are otherwise times when emotional upheavals and personal process can block my writing, too.  But I’m at a place in my book, Chapter Twenty-Five, where the right form of the story has not presented itself, and my writing process has melded with my personal upheavals. I have decided that I cannot separate them, because it seems me and my characters are inextricably linked. NOT because they’re ME, but because I’m that close to them.

This whole thing also presents me with a dilemma, because all the current writing wisdom out there says to keep going no matter how shitty you write it. Read the acclaimed “Bird By Bird” by Anne Lamott.  She’s got a whole chapter on “Shitty First Drafts.” And this “writing is rewriting” has become such an obsession that everyone who is deemed a REAL writer must wholehoggedly regurgitate their first draft.

I’m rebelling against that, too, and I don’t give a flying turd if anyone thinks I’m a real writer—not anymore.  I’m determined to get this novel published.  In my gut, my expectations are high, and those who know me would attest to this not being my typical view, since I often castigate myself over my artistic endeavors.  I’ve leaned heavily on the tortured and starving artist image for the better part of my life.  I’m realizing it only now, validation doesn’t come from “out there,” it comes from my characters.  I’m not going to write a shitty chapter because that’s what conventional wisdom purports.  I have to listen to my main character.  He’s a mixed-blood Ojibwe Indian and a Vietnam Vet living in 1978, and he’s now in the darkest moment of his life.  Sure, I have my doubts about whether I can even do it, and the voice that says, “Who the hell are you to write such a character, someone you’ve never walked in the shoes of?”

I’ve twittered about it, facebooked about it, even raked my collective body parts over the coals about it.  But I’m not going to write this chapter shitty!  And I’m not going to drink booze, nor gulp caffeinated beverages, or get my sugar fix and carb myself to death because I’m in a crisis.  Like Dante in the Inferno, I need to be there in the dark wood.  I have to be lost there for awhile.  It’s important.

I’ve been thinking about this writing stuff for a long time, and dying to file a public complaint against hard-and-fast rules spinning like twirling gifs all around the web, and frankly, it’s starting to bore me, if not weary me.  I still keep learning.  I want that.  I’ve recently gotten the New York publishing perspective from an editor and literary agent visiting California.  (I was lucky enough to get into her writers bootcamp.)  It’s been enlightening, and I’m adding her insights to my learning toolbox, but I must take what I need when I need it, and leave the rest behind.  I jotted a note in the middle of one of the workshops, telling myself, “I am not overriding my instincts with logic.”  And, at the same time, I darn well know I’m going to do whatever I can to get my characters their day in books.  But I won’t compromise their voice in order to do it, or my own voice, for that matter.

Question: Is it remotely possible that the writer’s vision may have a different, even wider-scoped view, when it comes to the story’s best courses of action, beyond the manipulation of words to conform to the sellable product?  I know.  I know.  I sound really naïve, like my ego’s all over the place.  Because this, too, has gone round and round too many times to count, bubbling up like so much laundry soap from writers’ egos everywhere.

Here I make no comment.

I’ve realized after the fact, following dozens of courses on the craft of writing (mostly from UCLA Extension Writers Program), that while I was in the midst of my writer’s education, I was listening through the ears of insecurity.  Well, I’m not doing it anymore.  I am not overriding instincts with logic.  I’ve learned a lot, my instincts have been honed by that knowledge, and now I’m making the decisions.

Two things are true: (1) Intimacy is scary, and (2) I need it for my writing.  And if I’m not down there, I’m going to do everything I can to get myself there, no matter how big a chunk the effort devours from my writing time.  I believe I have to be vulnerable to write.  If there are intimacy issues going on in my life, they’re also going on in my writing.

I also believe there’s a place on the other side of real where my characters truly exist.  There’s also this light on the other side of the darkness.  I gotta go there—into the darkness—and find the light at the end of the dark wood, not only for me, but for my characters.  Without the darkness (the substance, the soul), how would I be able to see how bright the light can be, to see the story arc in its fullness?  The journey has to be worth it, for me, for my characters, and for the readers who pick up the book and want to take the journey with them, wanting to see where the story ends.

I don’t agree with Ernest Hemingway, who said: “I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”

Sorry Ernie, I want the deepest part of the well to be in my writing, and so I want the last, dark drop to moisten my manuscript.  Then I’ll rest.  I’m not worried about running my well dry.  If I do, then there’s a whole lot more going on than what’s contained in my story.  That’s when I must take a break, one of my cryptic sabbaticals, to feel whatever’s there, no matter how scary it is, to feel all of it, down to the last drop, then let my imagination pour itself into the mysterious waters.

Am I am afraid of letting myself loose, to be that free?… trust myself enough that I won’t indulge myself, give up the ghost, give up my writing?  Will I listen to the wind in both my worlds?  How would I respond if I didn’t trust myself with the information?  As I ask for help from the wind, then maybe my imagination can spark to life and I can begin writing again.

Writing for my blog has got me going again, and I’m trying to get this post done and uploaded, because when I’m finished, not only will I have satisfied some social media requirement, but I will have been launched into a reunion with my novel, and you probably won’t see me around here for another six months.  My main character’s letting me know that he’s ready to spill out onto the page again.  It has to come from him.  It’s happening because things are changing from the inside out, and not the other way around.

AFTERGLOW:  This blog post was not initially written while sitting at the computer, but during my walks in the woods near my apartment.  I would stop midway on the trail and scribble on scraps of paper stuffed in my camera bag. Most of the photos accompanying the words also stopped me midway on the trail, where aerobic exercise became wholly lostOther photos are from Hannibal, Missouri; Virginia City, Nevada; and Rice Lake State Park, Minnesota. The photo of the back of my head was taken by my cousin, Alison Hurst (Winter Park, Florida).


J.D. Salinger (1919-2010)

Posted in Creativity and Chaos on January 28, 2010 by coyotescribe

I was saddened to hear of J.D. Salinger’s passing this morning.

In the middle of a writer’s crisis last year—when I was losing sleep, facing excessive despair amidst a second-act freeze in my novel, the creative marrow being sucked from my bones—I stayed up three nights rereading The Catcher in the Rye and found my inspiration again.

Thank you, Mr. Salinger. I, for one, will miss your presence here on earth.

Welcome 2010

Posted in Creativity and Chaos on January 2, 2010 by coyotescribe

Introductions are in order.  I’m new to wordpress, but not new to blogging.  I’m trying on some new blogging shoes here, to see how they fit. (See my other blog at: google’s blogspot – coyotescribe). I’m particularly fond of my last two posts of 2009: 

New York Won’t Leave Me Alone” and…
The Sacrosanctity of Your Writing Space

I was thinking I’d be a little more focused theme-wise while strolling through this new terrain, but my creative side is quite resistant, you know.  I save thematic stuff for the stories I write, which often become unremittingly epic, like my first novel (currently in progress).  I’ve been a singer/songwriter/keyboardist for more years than I’ll mention here. It was in the midst of good songs and ecstatic performances where story first found its rooting and grew to become a part of my creative world… the weaving tentacles of life experience poured into music and lyrics, making poetry out of the crazy shit that happens to rock-n-roll musicians on the road: the subject of my backburned memoir, simmering on low for reasons other than, well… that I should have at least one fiction book published, or screenplay optioned, first.  Aw, but there are more reasons here, logically-speaking, why my novel comes first — the one piece of logic that doesn’t elude me: how many liberties I can take with story afforded me by prose fiction.  It presents such juicy allurement right now.  

In short: I’m breaking in my new bloggers, and finishing my novel this year, 65,000 words and counting.  My biggest wish for myself, and for everyone who enjoys a good mystery, is the courage to move forward into the unknown, as this most fortunate year unfolds.  Happy New Year!