Archive for the ‘Random thoughts’ Category

A kick in the ass means a good night’s sleep

I found WordPress and I said I wanted to blog every day.  Yes, this was a lofty goal but I was committed.  I had ideas. I was inspired.  I had opinions to share and a need to rant about my pet peeves.  So much positive energy and yet I have blogged with no regularity.  I have only disappointed myself, someone who claims they want to be a writer.

 Drastic steps had to be taken.

 I called upon Lulu, my alter ego whom also happens to be perfect.  Some have good angels who sit on their shoulders.  I have Lulu living in my head, prompting me to do the things I know I should do but seem to avoid.  Lulu is who tells me the justifiable excuses I am using in my defense are nothing but manure for the gardens in the backyard.  She is the reflection in the mirror when I am being completely honest with myself.

I grabbed a bottle a wine, (red, dry) and two glasses.  I’m not crazy but the second glass makes me feel like I’m not drinking alone.  I grabbed a cake pan, a lighter and sat at the table with a notebook and my favourite pen, affectionately named Herb. I was not leaving the table until I had listed the reasons excuses I was not committing one hour a day to a blog.

With Lulu at the helm and a pleasant glow from the wine, I had a fabulous, honest productive evening.  I faced the fact I didn’t know what to write.  I knew this when I first started the blog but I was trying to believe writing everyday was going to help me answer this question.  I didn’t blog – I found no answers.  I was also forced to admit I am scared to share with the world.  Another attribute not desirable in a want to be writer.  Like every self-help program tells you, the first step is admitting the problem.

In a symbolic gesture to the writing gods (Is there one?) I placed my pages of reasons, excuses, doodles and summary points into the cake pan and set them ablaze.  While I watched the challenges I faced burn, and pieces of ash dance about the dining room (an unexpected benefit) I listened to Lulu telling me that I needed to make a plan, map out the path to success.  I agreed but heard my bed calling me. The bottle of wine made me susceptible to the beckoning.  After a large glass of water and a couple of Tylenol, even Lulu felt a good night’s sleep was in order.

In the morning, the cake pan and its contents served to remind me of the honesty of the previous evening and inspired me to move on to phase two.  Plan your work, work your plan.  I did this, Lulu encouraging me all the way.  While she can annoy me and flip on the inner guilt switch at any time, she can also be my biggest supporter.  She reminds me I am a writer, a technical writer.  I am learning a new genre rather than a new craft.  I hear her telling me of all my accomplishments, some expected of me while others were surprises.  Lulu tells me she believes in me.  Having decided a weekly blog was a better goal and designing my outline and listing upcoming topics, I put my notebook next to the laptop and Herb in his case.  Then I bitch slapped Lulu and sent her back into the depths of my mind.  One can handle only so much honesty at a time.

Kharma is a bitch. I got rid of Lulu and nine days later I still have not posted a blog.  I had a plan! I did all the hard work.  I left my notes next to the computer.  All I had to do was spend a couple of hours in the upcoming week writing a one thousand word blog.  Let me be clear.  I have the abilities to do this.  I have the time to do this.  I offer no excuses.  I simply did not do it.

Lulu wouldn’t let me off this hook this time.  I called on her, again, and the first thing she did was give me a swift kick in the ass.  This time, no planning, just doing.  “Write anything!” echoes through my head.  She promised me she would not let me have a good night’s sleep until I posted something.  Lulu’s threats are not to be taken lightly and quality sleep is important to me.

So here I sit, confessing my insanity.  More importantly I am posting a blog.  Most importantly, I will sleep well tonight.

My Sounds of Silence

When you walk into my home, either the stereo is on, the TV is blaring from the other room or I am talking to my cats.  I do not enjoy silence, with one exception.  The last 45 minutes of my day, I listen to the same Sounds of Silence.

The hum of the air cleaner, annoying during the day, becomes the timekeeper for the night time melody.  One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight, one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight.  The rythm echoes from the basement through the hardwood floors, telling the rest of the house how to keep time.

The cats are the playful melody of the lullaby.  They have been sleeping all day and are now convening at the food dishes, planning their mischief for the night.  When the sound of crunching kibble stops, if I listen closely, I can hear them start their rounds, down the hallway and into the front window.  If there is a ticking in the music, one of the beasts needs a pedicure.  I will hear them dance through the house all night long.

The furnace always seems to chime in at the same time each night.  It coughs and sputters first as if to draw attention to the upcoming solo.  It’s opening note is strong and loud and makes its metal frame shake.  When the hot air of this blowhard has warmed the house’s sweet spot, the hallway where the thermostat sits, he retires from the spotlight and is quiet until he feels the chill of his next cue.

The owl from the neighbour’s yard chimes in at odd intervals.  His motion sensor is a bit too sensitive, causing him to hoot at stray cats, birds, the wind, shadows.  During the summer months, I’ve been known to wander next door and hide Mr. Owl.  In the winter, the closed windows seem to mute his hoot, making him part of the chorus rather than a headliner.

During the daylight hours, I hear only what I’d describe as “traffic” coming from the main drag three blocks over.  By the time I retire, I can hear single cars and even tell from what direction they are entering the stage.  I can count them now, like counting sheep.

Behind the baton is the Sandman.  He leads the night time orchestra through the same routine each evening.  While his timing is never consistent, he manages to keep the whole thing going until the comfort of the harmony lulls me to sleep.

There is an encore performance again tomorrow night.

A week of learning

  • No matter how creative or motivated I feel, I cannot write with the television turned on.  Even if it is only the news or Sportcentre, turned low, in the other room.  I am easily distracted.  For the record, this is not new news to me.
  • Blogging means something different to everyone.  Some use the forum as a personal confessional.  Funny how it seems so easy for people to share their deepest secrets with the world, while writing how they will die if their husband/wife/friend/mother/father/sister/brother should ever find out.  I’ve read other blogs that seem to be elegant advertising in disguise.  There are an amazing number of bloggers who appear as professional as daily columnists of the big papers.  I blog as a daily commitment to improve my writing.  If you read blogs, you understand.
  • I like WordPress.  I admit I haven’t used any other blogging host.  However, I haven’t quit yet, this is a good thing. Some of the simple things elude me.  I still can’t set the correct date and time.  Those who know me, know there ain’t no way I was up at 6:18 am posting anyting on the internet.  I also know that I did blog Thursday and not Friday.  But I do love a challenge.  I am continually playing with the themes.  I know sooner or later the page will become what I want but until then I will click and cancel and see what happens.
  • I still have issues with sharing my posts. I allow myself an hour to blog and I am finding it easier than I expected to keep this commitment.  My inner, anal editor has not given her approval to anything I have posted.  I find my blogs are great brainstorming sessions. They are not reflections of what I want my “reputation” of a writer to be.  Sharing things I feel are incomplete is difficult.  Getting easier but still scarey.
  • I continue to prefer paper and pen over a keyboard and mind numbing screen.  I find the flashing cursor intimidating and the blank screen stifles my creative process.  I like to doodle between thoughts and scratch out and highlight.  I like to write in a spiral bound notebook, several of them on the go at once. 
  • In the back of my head, I find myself always trying to find a unique spin on a routine situation.  I think others call this humour.  I don’t recall ever being so aware of possible writing topics.
  • When I write, I prefer to be outside or near a window.  I find greater inspiration in the outdoors than I do in any set of painted walls.

I’ve been saying I want to be a writer.  Writing on a daily basis has only reaffirmed this desire.  A week into this experiment and I am only feeling better about my decision!