Tag Archive | ideas

#becausewecan: 82 Cards

A lot of things are going on in the world right now, and what we need is inspiration. The docotrs and scientists need inspiration to find a way to navigate us out of this mess. And we need inspiration to help us remain human and connected in a world of social distancing.

Some things happened the weekend of March 20th that inspired me. Some people inspired me. The first was Jennifer Pastiloff. If you dont follow her on Facebook or Instagram, you should. In the face of losing her livlihood, she decided to hang on by asking “How may I serve?” She did one of her classes online for a donation… to help feed others. To buy diapers, food. To help. She could have set it up and done her confrences that way– Zoomed her way into a paycheck. I still think she should consider it. But at this time, when we needed help, we needed to remember that you can always find 5 beautiful things right here and now… she gave me that reminder. That hope.

The other person that inspired me was Jon Bon Jovi. He did a video of the start of the song and asked that the people watching help write the rest. I don’t remember the name of the song, but i do remember thinking that he has already made an anthem for these crazy days. Because We Can. And also Army of One.

Those who know me know that Bon Jovi wrote the soundtrack to my life. At one point I toyed with writing a monologe set to their music. Is it any wonder that when I was looking for inspiration and comfort and the “Hell yes we can do this!” I turned to them, to the band that I grew up beside?

So.

How many have seen the meme about writing cards to seniors in rehab care facilities? On Monday night i got a wild hair and called the one Dad had been in here locally.  They have 82 people there. Writing cards is my super power. I dont just sign my name, I write. 

And then God laughed. I wrote Tuesday. I came home from work Wednesday and crashed (essential employee). I wrote Thursday. Ended up on the phoen a lot Friday, still wrote thouh. I wrote on my breaks. I wrote on my lunch. I wrote on Saturday and on Sunday morning. And at some point, your brain goes to sleep and magic happens and you’re just creating.

I delivered 82 cards on Sunday. All the cards opened with “To My Special Friend” and ended with the note that they are special and they are loved. I signed only with my first name. No phone number, no return address. Because while it would be great to know if the right card got to the right person… I am fighting my need for positive reinforcement.

I did it because I am an #Armyofone, and #becausewecan.

And also because Jen Pastiloff asked “How May I Serve?”

Idea Factory

As a writer, sometimes I get asked where my ideas come from. As I write fantasy, especially about dragons, I can understand the question comes from. How on earth can you relate what happens in today’s world to a high fantasy setting?

We went to Moaning Caverns in Northern California last weekend. A princeling (3 years old), the Duke of Dyspraxia (at 6 years old), Linda and myself. She’d commented before that she always had wanted to go—and I had as well.

In the parking lot, the Duke of Dyspraxia fell down and skinned his knees. We hadn’t even gone ten steps yet. Whew! That’s out of the way!

So we wait around, waiting to go down into the cave. Down should be easy. Down is ALWAYS easier than up.

234

Two hundred
and
Thirty four
steps

In areas I didn’t think I’d fit (I’m a big girl, both tall and extra fluffy). The first stair case is close, rock walls closing in on you both from the sides and from above. The wooden steps have a little give in them and were, well… only the first part.

Then the unthinkable happened. We were at the head of the line of people trooping down the stairs. Princeling first, then Linda, then Duke of Dyspraxia, then myself. And the princeling, the one we were not concerned about falling— fell. Linda saw her baby falling, and lets be honest here. There’s no room for error when the cavern floor is 165 feet below the surface of the earth.

I hope I never witness that sort of stark terror again.

He slid ten feet before she snatched him up.

He was carried most of the rest of the way.

Finally we got off the wooden stairs and onto a platform. And you learn it’s only the first portion of the trip. Legs are noodling, breathings getting a little different, and it’s warm. And humid.

The next portion of our journey was to be taken on a spiral staircase. Just in case you’re wondering, there are no nuts and bolts in it. It is all welded together and fitted into place and has been there since the 1920’s or something. It was built using scrap metal from one of the World War I battleships. You can see air through the slices of steps going down.

The boys were sandwiched between us this time.

If you look out into the cave as you’re descending, it’s extremely easy to get disoriented. The points of reference make no sense if you’ve never been down there before. If you’re afraid of heights, just look at the center pole.

Just saying.

Then you get to the bottom (finally!), huffing and puffing, legs noodling, knees giving out….

To recap: To get down into the cavern, we have been claustrophobically close to rock walls creeping in, watched as someone damn near slid off the face of the earth (a child. A child you love and who calls you auntie and you love to pieces). Then you’ve decended the spiral staircase into the underbelly of the world.

And then you arrive.

And think “Hey, it’s really nice down here. Maybe we don’t need to climb back up. Because, you know, my legs don’t work anymore.”

The cave itself is gorgeous. A small pool with baby blue water was on one side. The ceiling was higher and grander than any cathedral (although now I know where the impulse comes from—God’s artistry will top them all). The features in the walls themselves—I’m not sure if they are from the dynamite blasting, nature, or someone wanting to make a little extra cash. The rocks had faces== dragons, a hippo butt, a shark, Winnie the Pooh… As if they were trying to escape the primordeal ooze of the earth’s core. Or perhaps an evil magician had trapped them? Or were they the guardians of the cave? And the angel’s wings, high above.

The tour does what they call “total darkness”. Turn off all the lights. It was interesting. You never think about it— but how often are we left in complete and total darkness?

The ascent was uneventful. Unless you count having to pull myself up. We took a break at the midway point. Big girl huffing and a puffing over here and burning. Oh my gawd my muscles were burning. (Note: it took five days for my legs to return to normal.)

But I did it! And I have first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to succeed at something and still feel like a total failure.

Originally, I had a much longer post planned. It is morphing into an essay about mothers and daughters. I have several short story ideas as well, just from the information above. But it’s not the going places and doing things that gives writers their ideas. It’s a way of looking at the world and seeing the possibilities. In our minds, Chocolate Factories are scrumdeliumptious and romance always wins. We see, we feel, we process and we save. It’s another form of scrapbooking, in a way. It’s taking that memory, and spreading it through several snap shots.

Speaking of which, I’m going to try and figure out posting photos on this blog. We’ll see if it works (Why oh why can i not figure this out???)

Until next time, my lovelies. I’ll be happily writing until then.

QUICK WRITE IT DOWN

Came up with the perfect opening line for a story. Had to make sure to tell Leyla, so I wouldn’t forget as I was just on the edge of taking a nap.

Which is very very exciting when you realize that I haven’t written anything except for this blog and a couple of poems since… well, forever. YAY!

Will it work out? Who knows. All I know is that I have at least a start and can jump head first from there.

YAY TEAM ME!