Writer’s Block


​Writer’s block.

When it comes, it comes from nowhere, and leads to nowhere.

It comes in so many forms that sometimes it’s hard at first to recognize. Is it writer’s block or do I just need a cup of tea? Have I been out of the house too many times? Do I need to stay home for a change? But home is so distracting.

Then there’s the writer’s block that’s literally a brick wall. Okay, not literally a brick wall, but it is a barrier to any and all writing.

There’s the writer’s block that needs a stream of consciousness jump start that turns into questioning whether your stream of consciousness is on drugs. That comes out sounding like June is too hot. Except when it’s not.


And then there’s the writer’s block that bonks your confidence on the head with a sock full of pennies. The right words don’t come and the wrong words come too fast. There’s too many feelings to put into words, but when words are your thing what are you supposed to do?

Well, it’s been about five days, and I’m still not sure.

But there’s this.

Prompt – Joy


This was supposed to be posted on Friday, but with Prince’s unexpected death and the beginning of Passover, I delayed it until this morning. Future prompts will appear on Fridays.

Now that my writing class has started up again, I’m going to share our prompts with you and hopefully encourage you to do your own free writes. Remember that free writes are ten to fifteen minutes of stream of consciousness writing related to the prompt. I sometimes call it spewing. We all have our words for things.

The class is six weeks, but with homework this prompt exercise should go on for about twelve weeks.

Share your writings by linking them in the comments.

Our theme for these next few weeks is Emotions.

Today’s prompt begins with Joy.

Have fun!

Grumbles, Grumblies, Grumblr


Today’s homily was about grumbling. The Grumbles. Grumblies. Father J may have looked directly at me, but that may also have just been my guilty conscience. He was saying that we should have less grumblies. The Grumblies are those things that pick at your brain and land on your very last nerve, like typos or posts with your instead of you’re, captions that don’t match the picture or any number of things like leaving the toilet seat up or the tea kettle turned the wrong way.

If you follow my blog with any regularity, you all know that I am a grumbler. I grumble. I grumble a lot. Sometimes, well, no, that’s not fair; it’s always warranted, at least in my mind, but sometimes all it needs is an outlet. I post here. It gets ignored. I’ve actually cut back on the grumblies; I was becoming Peter and I did not want that. I do not want that. There are times that I need the comfort and the hugs and the shoulder to lean on, and asking for it is just too hard.

Another problem my grumblies have is in the need to get them out; it’s not always the best idea to name names. However, when not naming names, the problem is often misinterpretation as to the subject of the grumblies. Another downside is the common feeling that whatever is bothering me isn’t what’s been word-vomited and that leads to the assumption that it’s passive-aggressive. I will tell you a secret: It is almost never passive-aggressive.

I do know how it sounds, but sometimes, truly it is just the truth coming out and there is only one way to say it, like tearing the band-aid off, but in my world, I don’t want to hurt anyone, so I hem and I haw and I stall and stammer, and grumble here and grumble there, and talk circles around the real matter-at-hand that in the end no one knows what the problem is, but everyone is all pissed off and there is a new conundrum, and no one knows how that happened. But I guarantee, with 85% accuracy that I was not being passive-aggressive.

You know, there’s stuff that’s been going on for many, many weeks. Only a handful of people know what it’s about, and I would hazard to guess that even they’re in the dark because I don’t talk about it. I don’t have anyone to talk to about it. So I grumble.

I want to fix things. I want to say things, so I only say half of what I wanted to say – dipping my toe in the water as it were and I end up with my foot in my mouth. I apologize and try again with more words, with explanations that are so wordy and twisty that a contortionist would feel at home in my sentence. And I do it again, and I hope that all I get is my own foot in my mouth as opposed to someone else’s foot up my ass.

I stay quiet when I should speak out, and a mole hill becomes a mountain. And I grumble. And no one listens. And at some point it comes to a head.

In this particular case, today’s instance is more complicated than when I usually do this. There’s baggage. There’s misunderstanding. There are private issues that I can’t grumble about. There is consideration that I need to give, but sometimes it bothers me that I feel as though no consideration for my issues is given to me. I’m expected to step back, to take the deep breath, to wait, and for the most part, that’s okay because I try to know where that expectation is coming from, but some days are harder than others, and this is one of those days.

The stress is piling on with family and teenager and what’s for dinner and mother in law (who is truly the easiest person to get along with in the world), sorting out my sister’s schedule, Easter and church and wow, it’s next week already, and I have more appointments and yesterday’s doctor’s visit was a bit more intense than I planned on and now I’ve got more appointments for blood work and tests, and today I hit a wall.

I could feel the misplaced snark, but not snark, more like it’s nasty cousin, and the anger that had no place, and I needed to just shut up, which I did. Mostly. But it’s pent up, and instead of a full blown volcanic eruption, I released little currents of steam, drips of hot lava and tumblr grumblrs.

I’m not even sure if it helps me.

I know what I want.

I want someone to read my mind. To tell me what I’m thinking and that it will be alright, and I can ask anything again and say anything and it will be alright, and normal is a horrible word, but I want normal, even if normal is a little different. I want it back. I’m trying so hard not to be a jackass that I’m being a jackass, aren’t I?

Babble, babble, grumble.

I’m reading Ashley Judd’s memoir and I’ve said this week, in some places, it is just too much. Too much emotion, too much spirituality that is too familiar and so a bit heartrending, too much pain. I think of how lucky I was, and am, and so much of the emotional upheaval and depression from her, I feel, and I feel as though her recovery tools might be helpful for me, so I might try a couple. Parts of it I’m finding intense and stressed. I could use a massage after this book.

Tomorrow is Wednesday, but more than that it’s a New Day and I have a chance to try again. Maybe I’ll get up the courage to send a message, to ask the question, to say the words.

In the meantime, I will have Mass, which is a balm on my heart, and I have my Memoir Workshop and before this weekend I will ask someone for a hug. Not anyone off the street, but I will walk in and ask someone for a hug, and that will get me through for a short bit.

It will be alright, right?

Discovering One’s Shadow


When I first read the prompt, “discovering one’s shadow” I immediately thought of Peter Pan. Then I thought of the Vashta Nerada. Logically, next of course, was Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams. And finally, I remembered that I  once wrote a poem for my high school yearbook about spies hiding in the shadows. It was inspired by Roger Moore’s James Bond, an inside joke about a teacher we disliked, and them coupled with the new style of story music videos from Duran Duran – their Hungry Like the Wolf, Save A Prayer, New Moon on Monday, Nightboat – all different from the usual rock and roll guitar solo videos of live concerts that we were used to at that time. But shadows have both the reputation for being both scary and enlightening. You can’t have a shadow without a light source, can you? We hide ourselves in our shadows, waiting for the right opportunity to glide out quietly as if we’d always been in the light or we can jump out and surprise (or scare) whoever hadn’t noticed us near.

I continued to glance at my inbox at this prompt and never having anything to say, I moved on. Now that it’s the last day of February and I need to begin work on my monthly review, I thought I didn’t want to leave this prompt in the basket. Grasping onto one of my hidden agendas, stealthy goals is not so much to stop procrastinating on my writing, but to motivate, motivate, motivate or not only won’t anything ever get done, but nothing worth doing should wait.

I began to see visions of shadow; not the scary, hidden demons down the alley, but the shadows of things past, the shadows of things not yet done, the shadows of things I’m afraid of doing, and that maybe I shouldn’t run from the shadows, but embrace them as part of who I am; who I want to be.

This year has started out pretty badly. Some of that will be covered in my monthly review scheduled for later, but between getting sick, not really getting better, losing a friend, misplacing another  (or was I the one misplaced), not feeling as loved as I might want to be, misunderstanding more than I’ve been understanding, I’ve noticed the shadows closing in.

When I look directly at them, they mist away. They know that if I ever dared to confront them head on, they’re just not that scary. And the reality is that they were scary, but now, they are merely roadblocks. They are the future; my future.

I see the outline of who I want to be, and if I can breathe out and billow at the wisps until they swirl, it is much like a relief painting. The colors are hidden below the black paint, and you use the stylus to chip away at the blackness to reveal the picture beneath. Much like carving an ebony statue until what you have left is the masterpiece that you’ve been looking for.

That is discovering one’s shadow.

Discovering what lies beneath the darkness; the mind-space that is swirling just below the surface. You can feel what it should be, what it will become, but it’s not quite there yet and it is only upon discovering yourself that you see the shape of the shadow, and now can mold it in little places, shoring up where the mists try to waft and float away. The parts that essentially do slip away were the parts you didn’t need anymore; the shattered shards of a mirror. Look at your past in the broken bits and look for your future in the rest of it; carving out your niche, your belonging place, your you-ness that is inside, slowing becoming more real and less shadow like, expanding, broadening, extending, solidifying. More.

More you.

Train Derailed


(* This is something that spewed out suddenly during my workshop on Thursday while someone else was reading. My mind wouldn’t let me stop until it was written and I didn’t know what would come out of the pen until it was on the paper. It is not an assignment of blame. Just thoughts. I don’t know if this will be expanded on eventually or left as is. It’s not quite poetry, but it’s a bit more emotional and the cadence isn’t quite prose.)


My eyes hurt. I haven’t cried today, but my eyes want to. I’m not sure about my heart. I’m full of feels. Feeling melancholy. The lingering sad, inappropriate considering this week’s events of a heaviness, the lingering of something, loss of memories not to be. I was afraid to want, but I wanted so badly, needed so badly and I let myself grasp it and blow the embers keeping it warm, building the flame of expectation, of want and need I didn’t know I needed, but I did. This is strike two. You know me better than I know myself and you can’t heal me. You can’t fix me. And I want that so badly.