“Well now, what have YOU been up to?” Collecting Inspiration, of course! Oh – and I’ve fallen in love. Don’t ask.

Hello, everyone! It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything original and I’ve decided that I’m far overdue in updating The Old Fossil Writes. It will take a few days, but I’ll try to give a brief  “catch up” today…answer a few questions that some of my friends have emailed me and such – – like “Well now, Pearl, just what have YOU been up to?”

For one: I’ve fallen in love!. Don’t ask.

These past 14 months have been kind of trying. There have been ups, downs, tears, laughter, frustration after frustration and some really lucid moments when who I was before 8 December 2016 erupted from the depths, kicking and screaming. During these months, I’ve had ample time on my hands to reflect on my life and analyze my priorities, recall my dreams and goals, and try to get a grip on why I wound up where I am, who I am and why I am the person I’ve become. In this space of time, I have also inadvertently collected vast amounts of inspiration, and that from some very surprising people and places.

And I’ve fallen in love. Don’t ask.

I’ve actually stayed pretty much aligned with my social media, but even that has undergone some major changes. And while I have missed so many of you (but thanks to you guys who dropped me a line now and again, via email, Twitter and Instagram!), I have made a number of new acquaintances as well. It’s been altogether interesting to learn about the histories and cultures of even more countries than I have previously been introduced to…and, indeed to find how similar they are to my own American Indian forebears.

Enough of the where’s and on to the results of all this thinking:

Try as I might, I can’t seem to pick up the thread of the Folded Dreams novel. I’ve tried re-reading “…the Beginning” and even going over and over the many drafts of the novel since the beginning. No joy. Nada. Zilch. Kuchh nahin. Nothing. So I’m left with the question of whether I should take these new found insights, or seeds of ideas, or whatever you want to call them, and try to find a place to insert them into one of my books-in-progress, or simply start a new story. If I opt for a new story, it may still fall under the genre of Visionary Fiction, but only just.

I’ve started painting again. Still not having full control over fine movements in my fingers makes wielding a paintbrush difficult, but who says I must use just a brush! There are other art implements I can use…the earth, the sea, even animals offer up their various treasures…or even my hands (I’ve not used my hands to apply paint to canvas in years). And then there are those oil paints that my youngest son got for me several years ago – I don’t know why oils terrify me so much, but I’m going to give them a go. And canvasses larger than 24″ x 18″ ( or whatever that size was…stupid short term memory). I’m seriously thinking of going for a big, blank wall.

Sculpting and carving will, of a necessity, have to wait.

Did I mention that I’ve fallen in love? Don’t ask.

So that’s the basics of what I’ve been up to: collecting inspiration, meeting interesting people, both online and off, and doing a lot of introspection. Oh! And I’ve lost that horrid stroke related weight and started wearing a bit of make up again!! There’s more on my mind, but that can wait. Like that bit about me falling in love. Yeah – he doesn’t know – so don’t ask.

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It Doesn’t Rain, but what it Pours

Thanks to Morton’s Salt (trademark) 🙂

So it looks like I’ve not posted anything here on The Old Fossil since July. I could have sworn that I had, but I suppose I’m thinking about Facebook and my other WordPress site, Balance the Circle. It’s not surprising that my mind is confused, though, because it’s been a rough year all the way around. In fact, it doesn’t rain, but what it pours….especially these last two months.

Terrible storms.

On September 5th, I lost one of my older sons who lived in Connecticut. He was healthy as a horse until he hit his 20’s …then, every illness that has plagued his dad’s side of the family hit him. All of it. Diabetes. Blood pressure issues. Cardio-pulmonary disease. Kidney disease, ending in renal failure…he’d been on the transplant list for years. I think the only thing he escaped was cancer.

He was seconds away from 50 years old.

The following week, my daughters (from one of my late-husbands) lost a paternal cousin who was like another brother to them, having been raised alongside of him for many years. He was, I believe, in his late 30’s.

I spent the month of September in Connecticut, cherishing what was left of my family, and being there for my 2 daughters from that marriage. My flight home was scheduled for October 14th. But the rain wasn’t over.

My eldest son in Florida has been married for a little over a decade. His wife’s mother is one of the most amazing, good hearted, funny women who has ever called me “Friend”! She spent time with my youngest son’s son, teaching him all the swimming, floating and “jumping into the deep end!” skills the rest of us were at a loss to get through to him. She also helped me immeasurably with giving me awesome ideas on how to adapt my son’s pool to an efficient therapy regime.

On October 5, my son phoned me in Connecticut to tell me that this sweet woman had passed away in her sleep. She was only 59.

I’m almost afraid to wake up each morning, for fear that I have lost yet one more cherished friend, family member or confidante. So I have a word with my Maker before I sleep, and then again before the sun’s rays come peering through the blinds at my window in the mornings. It’s not that I mind the rain – “just not so much an’ all the time,” as my first, late husband used to say.

I much prefer the saying, “It doesn’t rain, but what it pours” to relate only to Morton’s Salt.

I’m Still a Writer, Damnit! (some grumble from the pity jungle)

It’s been one of those days where you find you’ve taken two steps forward and three steps back – then fell backasswards off of a cliff. Want to come to my Pity Party, anyone?

  1. I’ve had a stroke. Can’t remember squat, like:
    *how to type
    *how to use a pencil
    *how to spell
    *how to walk
    *how to talk
    *how to dress myself
    ****how to finish the novel I was in the middle of when I had this blasted TIA, which was a hard won, one-third of the way to completion.

I seem to have gotten lost somewhere, those parts of me that make me – ME. I do know who I am. It’s locating me inside of this dumfuggled, scrambled, crambled, muddled, fuddled and befuddled, addled, dizzy, woozy, muzzy, groggy, foggy, dopey and dazed brain of mine that causes me such agitation.

It’s so frustrating. I get flashes of the whole the snapshot of what “Me” entails. Then it’s gone.

I know the basics: I’m married – and of a necessity, due to my limitations, separated from my spouse. I know I’m an ordained minister, an arm chair philosopher and a student of Nature and that I maintain websites connected to THOSE parts of me (which are woefully out of date).

I also know that I cannot pursue any religious ministry because my filters
are all out of kilter and “the ‘f’ bomb” slips out every now and again, along with certain other, less shocking profanities. In any case, no longer clergy material.

But I AM still a writer, damnit.

At least, I think so.

“I think, therefore I am…”, or so the saying goes. So, yes, damnit…STILL A WRITER!

You just watch – – I’ll come away from this experiece with all sorts of creations under my belt (Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise!)

TRUE Writer’s Block: What to Do Now, After Your Muse Has Really Left (Six Months and Counting)

Folded Dreams, a follow-up novel to my venture into the world of self-publishing, managed to get to about 45% edit-worthy completion. I wasn’t completely satisfied with my work at that point, but I was proud to have at least made it that far! And then, as often happens of course, I hit an annoying bout of writer’s block – so I pouted for a few days, then decided I’d really show my Muse how childish an old fossil can get, and “cut off my nose just to spite my own face”…

Thanks to someecards.com!

Translation:  I  did what I believe a serious writer should never do for more than a few days at a time – I took a stupid vacation from writing. A couple of weeks should do it, I thought to myself. Just two weeks.

That was about the end of November or first of December, 2016.

As fate would have it (or “Never Disrespect Your Muse”), on the 8th of December I had a pretty serious stroke. Not a “major stroke”, mind (the kind that leaves one totally blind and unable to control one’s bodily functions), but bad enough to have to start from scratch to re-develop the ability to walk and use the muscles on the whole right side of my body to cough and spit toothpaste into a sink, and the dexterity I needed to dress and to even simply keyboard.

Writer’s block just became very real and much more complicated than ever, indeed.

It was necessary for me to leave my home and move in with one of my children; but I was determined to be ready when my muse again visited me, so I had my computer and flash drive book files brought over here to my son’s house.

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with the urge to write. I thought about perhaps starting that book on stroke recovery which my therapists at Brooks Hospital had suggested. But, no – I wanted to get crackin’ on my novel again. After all, it’s nearly a year over-due for publish.

I plugged my flash drive into my lap top and began reading the existing chapters to the novel, “Folded Dreams”, you know, to refresh my memory as to where I was heading with the story. I really enjoyed re-reading what I’d written so far, mostly because I didn’t “recognize” it…

In fact, I had forgotten nearly the entire thing. Gone. Just. Like. That.

Pfffft.

Since that day, I’ve pondered the story, pounded my brain and perused all of my files on story-line notes and research to find anything I recognize. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. the only ‘discovery’ I’ve made is the continued enjoyment of reading a story which, each time I open it, seems like the first time reading someone else’s work. You see, I only vaguely remember having read it at all, no matter how many times I may have done so…that’s how Swiss-cheesey my brain is.

I don’t know how long this phase of recovery will last. I would like to believe it is only temporary, even if ‘temporary’ lasts for a long time yet. All I know is that THIS is true writer’s block, the likes of which can discourage me to the point of throwing in the towel…for good and ever.

But I won’t, even if I have to change the plot to include the protagonist having a stroke and losing herself completely.

Take THAT, Writer’s Block!!

The Definition of “Useless”

useless-object-design-the-unusable-katerina-kamprani-5

It’s not a word which requires a definition. And nor does it usually call for an example for explanation, being sufficiently self-explanatory, ya’ know? Still, if you think about it, could you actually define ‘useless’, without looking it up in your Funk & Wagnell’s?

See that picture up there? That’s pretty much what I feel like at this stage of recovery from this damnable stroke. Useless.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Just sayin’.

(wonder if i could incorporate this into my novel Waking Up Dead! – that is, if i ever stop being so USELESS!!!)