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The subplot thickens.

More writing. Subplot thickens. Snake in the garden (a couple of them)  What else is new.

I was listening to Debussy this morning – on Youtube. There’s this program where you watch a little multi-colored bar graph go along as the music plays.  Fascinating.

As I listened I thought of Julia talking about the ignoring or suppressing of the artistic urges of the little child. I remembered that the piano was my first love, several years before I started playing viola in the 7th grade . tha and singing in the church choir.  My choir director was my first music teacher. My music was never really encouraged.  I was made to choose between piano and viola early on. My piano teacher was furious at my mother and told me to just come and stay with her. I had forgotten about that. I chose the viola because they had the free school program and activities on the weekend at the University.

I can’t play the piano worth  a flip now. Can’t get through Fur Eiise without have to drag out the music and forget Beethoven. I am feeling an urge to make a real effort to try to play again. And here come all the negatives again.  “It’s too late. You’ll never be any good again so why try,”  and the same old, “your house isn’t clean, there are other more important things to do” and so on.

One excuse though, I will have to get the poor old neglected piano tuned if I am going to go back into this.  It’s been neglected for several years now.  Poor piano. And the old arm doesn’t work as well as it used to. SO I will never become another Van (ess) Cliburn) but I should let that stop me from doing what I can.

I can’t start tonight. I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate that. I hope that is not just another excuse. Maye by posting this I will be too embarrassed to not follow through.

Back to the novel for now. The heroine is playing Clair de Lune in the library. Or maybe it will be the hero that plays. Hmmm.  Decisions.

Until tomorrow.   Jusqu’à demain.  That’s the name of a chapter.

Artist’s Way – Recovering a Sense of Safety Fears raise their ugly head(s)

Reading Week 1 in Julia’s book – Recovering a sense of safety. Art [writing] won’t pay the electric bill. How many times have you heard that? I think it a lot these days.  My main guilt for not writing or painting is that I don’t see it bringing in any money at least not right away and that little voice keeps saying, screaming actually, “You need to find a real job.”Easier said than done these days. With the economy in the toilet there isn’t much of a place for a old – why aren’t you retired – plus with a small disability – old bag like me.  That fear about money keeps a lot of people from going ahead and creating anyway.Yes you need to generate money. I think I have angsted about this before haven’t I?  But if you go broke and don’t write then you are still broke, but have nothing else either. Better to create something.

I also reasonate to the part where she talks about the blocking of artistic tendencies in children. Midwest cultures wanted the girls to learn to cook, keep house and maybe teach school if you had to do something. Sewing could be creative, but be an artist? Or a Musician – my talents were in this area as a child. Or a writer? It was just frowned on at best. When you never get the nutrients you need in the growing stage you can end up stunted.

These are only two of the core negative ailments that hamper artistic endeavors. Julia goes into a long list and offers positive affirmations to thep offset them. More later on that.

I am dying to get back to my book but that little voice is there – no money, your house is a mess. Etc. and so forth.

Please, Julia, tell it to go away.

I attended two open mics this week.  One for poetry mostly and one that reads anything.  I am reading chapters of the book here as well as attending a critique group. Open mIcs – I can talk to anyone on an informal basis. But when I get behind a microphone, even with friendly faces looking at me, I just get goofy. Hey! I’m a writer. I can to get the words down on paper. Nobody told me I had to be a speaker too.

Critique groups are scary. The good responses are so wonderful.The critiques are hard to take sometimes. I remember the first time I attended a group.  I thought I was going to burst into tears and run out like some schoolgirl. And here I thought I was a grownup. (and old grownup at that). I don’t know if all writers or artists, etc. are as sensitive as I am, probably not. But I know a lot of them that are. I mean, that’s your heart you lay out on the table.  And everyone is different in their opinions, likes and dislikes.  You have to try to learn to take what is useful and discard the rest. Don’t throw out everything and keep revising forever (guilty) , but don’t think that every opinion is valid for your work either.  A fine line sometimes – often.  I keep on trying.

Artist’s Way – Thoughts about the creative recovery process

.Thoughts about the creative recovery process  My comments in [  ]

Artist’s Way

The purpose of art is life – intensified, brilliant. When your life feels flat, you need to take step to get on the path to better creativity. That path is not straight, but more like a spiral. You will go by the same are many times if you are progressing, but on a higher level each time. [Interesting concept. I always think of a path as being, if not straight, at least flat. This is a new way of thinking about paths.]

Julia advises us to pick a combination of tasks that appeal the most to you and also ones that you strongly resist, because we often resist what we need the most. [I can attest to the truth of this. It’s true in about every aspect of life, isn’t it?]

To give us an idea of what to expect, she outlines the typical phases in creative recovery:

1.  Entry level.  Defiance and giddiness  [I know a lot about the first one, unfortunately.]

2. Explosive anger   [me – ditto. Angry about not being able to do things or even regret about what has been lost]

3. Grief – alternating waves of resistance and hope. Peaks and valleys. a ‘birthing’ process of elation and defensive skepticism.  [Again, I can relate to the resistance. I have plenty of that, It is the hope part that is lacking. I hope I fan the flame of hope enough to get through.]

4. Urge to abandon the process and return to earlier life. Temptation to abandon the course.  A creative U-turn.  [I’ve abandoned this course before, so I know all about this one. I am hoping that blogging this journey will help keep me on track.]

5. Recommitment to the process triggers the ‘free-fall’ of major ego surrender. [Difficult concept to imagine. Much less put into practice.]

6. A new sense of self. Increased autonomy. Resilience and the ability to make and execute concrete creative plans. [Sounds wonderful. I am looking forward to getting to this stage.]


1. – saying “It’s too late.”  [I’m guilty of this]

2. – waiting until you make enough money …  [also guilty]

3. – telling yourself that it’s just your ego whenever you crave a more creative live

4. – telling yourself that dreams don’t matter or that you should be more sensible [also guilty]

5. – fearing your family and friends will think you are crazy [or irresponsible…]

6. – thinking that creativity is a luxury or you should [just] be grateful for what you have

The Artist’s Way

I have started reading the Artist’s Way – by Julia Cameron. Again. I tried once before and didn’t get very far. I am going to try to make it through the whole book this time. I am already falling behind though, not reading every day, but I am not going to let that stop me. Persistence.