Hello, new little writing home! Aren’t you pretty? I feel as though I could sip a cup of coffee and linger here for a bit.
A long and sorrowful autumn has passed since last I tarried in a webpage, and now winter clenches it jaws, shaking the life from us. My dreams have lately been fantastical, afloat in water the color of Curacao, with frog song like the noise of Muddy Waters jamming on the shore. Long walks in pink mist, a big hand cradling mine. In my dreams, I write, and the passage of time never alters this. Miracles and silvery piano chords, tarot cards and chocolate dump cake - all sweep along with the stroke of the pen.
In my waking life, Gentle Reader, I write – and this, too, remains unaltered.
Witness the little girl curled in the leather armchair with a notebook in her lap, lips pursed soundlessly around words she is making her own. The new mother with a baby in the crook of her arm, a pen in her right hand. The cashier who kept a list of her customers idiosyncrasies beneath the counter, the EMT who spilled her sorrows and elations into a journal.
All me. Writing, always writing.
There are worse habits, aren’t there?
But the creative process is like a drug, at once swaddling and unraveling the psyche. Imagine breathing life into a person, a setting, a world, and perhaps you can understand the addiction. For years, sharing such a treasure was unthinkable. My facebook page felt . . . trivial. Twitter? A madhouse. Blogs? Absolutely soul-baring, and that was never, ever what I wanted.
Until people began to respond.
And in turn I realized that I might have something to say, to somebody besides myself.
Publishing a novel was an impossibility until it happened. Until I opened that first box of dreams papered in blue sparkles - and I will tell you now, lovely people, that my little book did exactly as ordered, wending its way into the world and touching a few lives. Lives. So, both larger and smaller than I’d anticipated, but overall, something like August sunshine and hot fudge sundaes, everything good.
And so, I thought that . . . maybe writing isn’t very different from EMS. Maybe it’s the touching of lives that matters most.
Welcome to my webpage! May your journey here be magical!
The word of the day is luminous.
Oooh, this is a peach, yes?
Writers collect words the way your grandma hoarded knick-knacks, squeezing every inch of them for meaning, beauty and usability. Here’s what the Oxford says about “luminous”:
1. radiating or reflecting light; shining; bright.
2. lighted up or illuminated; well-lighted:
the luminous ballroom.
3. brilliant intellectually; enlightened or enlightening, as a writer or a writer's works
Ha! Well, of course.
The thesaurus gives us “incandescent, shining, vivid” and a thousand more ways to use just this one, gorgeous word.
“Rush loved the way the light came up in Nicola’s eyes, the luminous, birthday candle expression.” Or “The storm stripped the trees of their new blossoms and the petals danced, luminous as pink fairies in the premature darkness.”
So much fun!
But there’s more. In 2002, Pope John Paul 2 updated the Rosary to add the Luminous Mysteries, which are by and large concerned with miracles – the transfiguration, the changing of water into wine, the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Incredible events, they could have just as easily been the “fireball” mysteries or the “wheee! Awesome!” mysteries, but that wise man chose “Luminous” instead, thereby casting a beautiful shine over those days, inspiring a sort of quiet awe.
In photometry, luminous energy is the perceived energy of light, and should you choose to research this, you’ll soon be agog in technical terms. “This type of energy can be collected from luminous wisps, located south of Sophanem at level 90 of Divination.” What? Not a clue, but isn’t it lovely? I wish I could paint the luminous wisps; this feels Dr Seuss-ish to me.
Virginia Woolf said that, “Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”
Or wait – look at this song.
Admittedly, I’m not a big fan, but these lyrics:
Luminous more so then most anyone
Unapologetically alive knot in my stomach
And lump in my throat
I love you when you dance.
Fairly awesome, yes? The power of the word is amazing to me; as a writer, I never get enough of it.
So today, I’m going to take “luminous” and put it in my pocket, rub it smooth with my thumb the way you would a Saint Michael medallion or a worry stone, and make it my own.
As of this month, I have entered my upcoming novel “Maypops in September” in several competitions, the results of which should be so exciting! Of course – and perhaps inevitably – the submissions have caused a bit of anxiety, which has spilled over into the lives of my characters . . . Well, here is a glimpse of what this looks like:
John Rush sits in the slatted sunlight leaking through the window blinds, guitar in his lap, cigarette forgotten in the ashtray. He’s working out the bumps to Heart Shaped Box and watching his wife, who lies supine on the floor in front of him. She’s in sweats and a dago tee, blonde curls haloing her head. Biceps flex and knot – she lifts the kettle bell over her head, lowers it again, slowly.
“The Writer Lady’s coming over again today.” Bob O’Neill leans in the kitchen doorway, tall coffee cradled in his broad hand.
“Ah God.” Nicola lets the weight drop over her head, rattling the floor, huffing her indignation. “She wants to work on me.”
“Easy, babe.” Rush’s fingers pause over the strings and then find the melody again. “She’s just trying to help.”
“I’m not sure I even want people to like me.” Nicola sits up, pushes her hair back with the flat of her palm. Sweat glistens on her shoulders and arms, darkening her firefighter tattoo. “Why do they have to like me?”
“It’s all about her Amazon and Goodreads rank.” Bobby flops on the other end of the couch and bats at Rush’s cigarette smoke. “You’re holding the rest of us back.”
“Bob.” Rush cautions his friend with one word, brows raised minimally. Picks his cigarette up and inhales deliberately.
“Not true!” Nicola pulls an ugly mug, bottom lip thrust out. “And why the hell am I the main character anyway? I don’t even like talking to her.”
“Work on it, sugar.” Rush exhales a nicotine cloud, ragged plume settling just in front of Bobby’s face. “Might be important, right?”
“Not.” Nicola scoffs. “Look, the writer lady has a real job when she’s not hanging with us. Why doesn’t she just stay in her stupid fire station and leave us alone?”
“I dunno.” Bobby has settled behind the smoke screen, cobalt eyes half closed behind his glasses. “She found Sophie for me. That was good.”
“Yup.” Rush is strumming his guitar again, not looking at his wife. “And she lets us have all the booze and sex and cigarettes we want. That’s worth a lot.”
“Fine!” Nicola tugs her hair in frustration. “What do I have to do?”
“Tell her who you are.” Rush’s words flow over the music; in the next room The Writer Lady catches her breath in anticipation, and fumbles her Tablet out of her purse. “Just tell her who you are.”
Importing my blog onto the new website has been quite the feat. My team and I are still in the process of categorizing and fine-tuning the years of posts you'll find here. We hope you enjoy our work-in-progress library. Check back soon for updates!