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BY meham

08/01 Direct Link
Itís challenging fo me to take steps forward that land on areas I canít see. Yes, there are people that are on the landscape I am heading to. And yes, they are willing to guide me. However, they canít take the steps for me, they canít see where my feet are heading. Could very well be that the very stones they stepped on are holes under my feet.

First of all, the people in question are both men. I donít know if that really matters in the long run. It could affect the shape of the stepping though. Weíll see.
08/02 Direct Link
Iím sure Iíve said this numerous times before. Iím saying it over and over again until I canít ask it anymore. I donít know where to start. I feel confused by how much there is to look at before I even pick up a pencil, a pen, a needle, a book.

I have the analogy of a tangled ball of string, of yarn. I had to unwind and rewind a skein of lace weight yarn. I ended up breaking the thing into pieces before I got is wound into balls.

How do I break my life into pieces? Stop living?
08/03 Direct Link
I think Iíve made progress today. I have actually put a thought into pictures. I completed a thumbnail of an idea that just flitted through my head and wanted to land somewhere on the page. So, I sketched a border and filled it up with marks that told the story of the thought.

When I put it that way, it seems so simple, so not threatening. I didnít worry about how it looked. I just put pencil to page and made notes about what I wanted to say. I put ink on top of the pencil and that was that.
08/04 Direct Link
Iíve made another little picture in my journal. I followed the same procedure as with the first one and I like those results also. Iím using the grid pages of my fat, red journal. It makes the scale less intimidating, of course. It also gives me something to look forward to when I look back over the journal in the years to come.

The challenge now is twofold. First, I donít want to get lost in my success and let it all go. And second, I also donít want to try to duplicate what Iíve already done. This is enough.
08/05 Direct Link
Where did the writing go? Yes, I know that this qualifies as writing. Itís still just journal writing though and I want to build a creative writing portfolio. Not only am I not doing any of that kind of writing, I am also not doing any in depth or focused writing on the forums or my blog. Whatís with that?

Oh. Yeah. Iíve been spending all my time on Second Life. Writing there doesnít count toward creative writing. And why not? Why am I not making art through words in Second Life? I can use the note function for storytelling.
08/06 Direct Link
Days and days and more days off coming up. Between that and the road trip planned for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I feel that I am actually having a summer vacation. When did that happen? When did I feel I even deserved a vacation? Well, maybe that is a bit extreme. Itís not so much that I havenít deserved something like what others call a vacation. Itís more like I didnít have the needed elements in place to make a vacation happen.

I have a comfortable car that runs. I have enough money to go, enjoy, share, and return. Whoopee!
08/07 Direct Link
I got everything ready before I picked up my travel companion. I had everything planned out nicely. Finished up the paperwork I had to turn into the office, and turned it in. I even took time to hang out on my own, looking at books on drawing, because I got off work unexpectedly and early. Got gas and groceries, both as planned and picked up the Navigator.

I got home, found a good parking place and sighed with relief for having done so much so well. Then, I forgot that I had a Meet up scheduled! Fortunately, no one RSVPed.
08/08 Direct Link
That was such a long trip! It was successful, exciting, pleasurable, and fun. And long. You know how when you take a trip to someplace new that the trip out seems long while the return trip seems shorter. I was so looking forward to that phenomenon on the return.

All I wanted to do was to drive, listen to the second three discs of the last Harry Potter book, and enjoy the scenery I missed on the way out.

No such luck. I hit traffic not once, not twice, but three times. The worst was an hour away from home.
08/09 Direct Link
I am still tired from yesterday. The photos turned out well reassuring me that the investment was well worth it. The aquarium function in the menu was stellar. And the videos turned out as well as I had hoped. The Navigator wasnít as keen on using it to take photos as I had hoped. In fact, he is not much keen on doing anything.

Perhaps that is what is so tiring today. Iím frustrated. I want to see him being more productive, or more precisely, more effective in his life. He seems to be withdrawing, expecting more help from others.
08/10 Direct Link
Today is the third of three days off. I go to work tomorrow and then have another two days off. Strange days. I donít know what to do with myself with so much free time. Iím not going to plan much though. Iím not actively planning anyway. Today, I decided on impulse, to go to the Weatherstone today.

There wasnít the crowd I would have usually seen, there. Things have changed a lot since the change of ownership. Itís not such a bad thing for me though. I donít seek engagement outside of myself so much. Except in Second Life!
08/11 Direct Link
I canít watch the Olympics since I donít get that station on my television. Iíve considered getting cable again, though. I figured that there are enough things in my financial life that I am not really using. I can take that money and contribute it towards the cable bill.

The decision to get cable after all this time comes in part because I want to enrich the Navigator a little. He has expressed interest in more scientific things without having anything specific he is interested in. The trip to the aquarium was evidently a hit, because heís been quizzing mom!
08/12 Direct Link
I can just watch Avatar all day. It has all the same attention to the needs of children growing up in our society as Harry Potter does. We all have Ang inside us, knowing we have something to do and not knowing how to make all the choices necessary. His quest is ours. His friends, we hope, are ours and his enemies, we hope also, have a weakness we might exploit.

For me, I hope that as I am willing to take on more of my own quest to heal the world, I make friends as courageous as his.
08/13 Direct Link
Ok, so I was wrong about being able to watch the Olympics. I turned on the television and there was the sound and really distorted image of the Olympics. So, I was only partially wrong. I can listen to the broadcast, and as long as I am not watching I donít know the difference. I just heard the big Michael Phelps win. It was interesting for me to experience the event and not feel myself tense up.

What would that kind of ďperfectionĒ be for me? What is the path to finding my best life? I know. So Oprah!
08/14 Direct Link
My intent is to live the balance of my life as a writer. What else would I be? Iíve written all my life. Iíve been known as someone who has the skill to write since second or third grade for certain. Writing came easily to me. Rather, I should say, expressing myself in the forms required by school at that time came easily to me. The writing was even considered expressive.

So, why is it so hard now? Why am I so afraid? I get plenty of ideas when I focus my attention, and things like this come easily enough.
08/15 Direct Link
Oh, crap! I just noticed that all my previous entries were ninety-eight or ninety nine-words. Why? Because when I wrote everything out in Word, I put in the paragraph break code. Each time I did that it was counted as a word. Yuckola. I feel like I have failed the task.

Having gone back and fixed it in the original tells me that getting it right is easy enough. Itís not so terribly hard for me to construct a piece of drizzle that is one hundred words long. Itís not even hard for me to make it make sense. Pleh!
08/16 Direct Link
Iím not thinking about writing today. No, really, Iím not. Well, except for the bits of writing I am working on for Twitter. Twitter requires that the text be no more than one hundred forty characters. Not much writing space there. And of course, I feel challenged. And of course I step up to the challenge.

Iíve been writing American Sentences since they are short enough to fit. Almost too easy, in fact. So, what do I do? I try to write a story, one post at a time. I havenít got very far, yet, since Iím drawing it, too.
08/17 Direct Link
I donít want to start each of these as a question, but it seems that is all there is at the moment. Yes, I do have some things worked out. And, yes, I know how to write about it. What I donít have is a center to write from. Iím still struggling with that.

For example, I just found a cool website dedicated to poetry. I got to look at, and finally get a handle on, some of the forms that interest me. Prose poetry is one. Found poetry another. I found other forms that attract me, forms to try.
08/18 Direct Link
If I were to build a map of myself, where would I start? Would it be the shape of me? Which shape would it be, then? It could be the shape the continent of me takes at the beginning of my life. In which case, how would the continent become this shape, the shape of me now?

Volcanoes erupt and add landscape. How many eruptions are there? How many volcanoes and how often do they throw stuff into the ocean? There are many more questions to ask, that I canít answer, because I donít yet know the geography. Why not?
08/19 Direct Link
I got the mapping the idea reading some old pages about keeping a journal. I donít really need to be encouraged to keep a journal, so why did I buy those magazines? I was looking for ideas for writing differently. The mapping idea appealed to me because I had already decided that an island in a story could be shaped like me.

Itís not really shaped like the real me. It was designed in the shape of something I call ďDollbabyĒ, a caricature of a distorted me. It has six arms and a barrel head and barrel legs and arms.
08/20 Direct Link
A question that was asked in the article is when you navigate is it by compass or by the stars. I have wished that I could navigate by the stars. I took a math class, in trigonometry, so that I could take the next class that would teach celestial navigation. I was so frustrated by the class that I didnít go on.

Maybe I could take it now, now that I have used trig in electronics classes. I have more to relate the math to, a second perspective. I wouldnít be sailing though. Tried that and got scared of it.
08/21 Direct Link
This daily writing and focus gives me strange stuff to consider. I get to follow through on very short ideas in a way that straight journal writing doesnít. Oh, yeah, still talking about journal keeping, keeping thoughts and ideas in a journal. What is the difference, then, between making words come together in this format and putting stuff in a journal?

Keeping is short is one. Having the limit keeps things focused. Being able to drop the topic each day lets me let go. And finding out that I want to stay on the topic is interesting. Helpful. And inspiring.
08/22 Direct Link
So, back to maps. Travelling is a theme of the world Iím building in my nano novels. Itís funny that I call them ďnanoĒ novels. Even though they are fifty thousand words long, a lot of writing time and stress, they are not considered full length novels. They would be considered novellas.

Or I can keep calling them Nano novels and feel good about it. Oh, yeah. The ďnoĒ part of the word stands for ďnovelĒ, so what Iím really saying is novel novel. Strange. And why am I talking about the nano novel now? Almost time to start one.
08/23 Direct Link
Iím watching High Fidelity with John Cusak and Jack Black. Itís also got a couple of really top list actors in it. They are the kind of actors that you can use to connect Jack Black to people like Sean Connery and Anthony Hopkins in one step. Catherine Zeta-Jones takes care of that one. Jack Black and Bill Cosby? Lisa Bonet. And how many movies has Tim Robbins been in? Coolness.

Itís a lovely movie. I didnít think I would like it very much. Wrong topic. Some guy angsting over his breakups. I like the look, sound track and words.
08/24 Direct Link
Iím coming back to the mapping idea today. Do I navigate by compass or stars? What does it mean to navigate by compass? Iíve never used a compass to navigate by. Not stars either. What do I navigate by then? Iím not even talking about my life path either.

Suddenly I wonder how I go about getting around flat on the planet, step by step. I mean, I get lost easily. A lot. And maybe this compass vs stars thing is something I need to look at. One implies having my head in the clouds. The fool on the road.
08/25 Direct Link
About the fool on the road. Itís the tarot image of the fool looking up, walking along and the little dog trying to get his attention before he steps off the cliff, or whatever the end of the road is. This would be navigating by the stars. And it does represent how I move through my life.

I live by intuition more than by ordered planning. The consequences are not so terrible as to get me to change my ways. At least not previously, not earlier in my life. But Iím of a middling age now and need to change.
08/26 Direct Link
Itís getting closer. Novel writing time. Yeah, I know, I said that a couple of days ago. Itís just that Iíve got writing on the brain. Iíve been reading a textbook about fiction writing and am seriously inspired. Ordered a book on writing dialog, my failing, and am waiting for it.

I need to teach myself to be better at this thing, to become the craftsperson Iíve never wanted to be till now. Maybe this is what it means to navigate by compass. Or at least whatís implied in the question. Oh, and I realize that this is themed journaling.
08/27 Direct Link
Social networking. Stars or compass? I havenít got very far with my Twitter mystery. Could be because I was told itís not fiction. When Serge King asked me what kind of story it was I told him it was a Journey Story. He said, ďItís not fiction, then.Ē I had nothing to say after that. Got quiet.

Had to take that in and recognize that the person who was saying this to me is the person I respect both as a shaman and a writer. His books have this lovely, lightly humorous voice. The phrase ďself deprecatingĒ comes to mind.
08/28 Direct Link
Took a lot of time off from Second Life. Iíve been working a very relaxed schedule, letting the families use me as they will. Fortunately, the two families are compatible and flexible. What thatís done is give me extra time off backed with strange hours. And what did I do with that extra time off? Did I write? Did I clean? Did I take off and wander around the countryside?

Nope. I sat still and stared off into space, or the TV screen. Why? Here I go with celestial navigation again, only in the dark of a cloudy night, bravely.
08/29 Direct Link
I figured out that I was sitting still doing nothing because that was what I needed to do. I have been paying attention to the deeper tensions in my body. An on-line friend is studying for her massage state boards and Iím interested in what she is doing.

Iím becoming more aware of those deeper tensions and when I become tense, what thoughts accompany that resistance. So, Iíve been sitting monstrously still and changing my thinking by trying to remain relaxed. It seems to be working because I have been able to get things done without pulling out the compass.
08/30 Direct Link
I think I like having a theme for these things. I didnít think I would. I thought that I would be too slavish to the topic and become whiny again. Iíve finally opened some of the files I need to go through and clear out. I usually resist this necessary action because I canít stand reading my old writing.

Not that I intend to toss it. No, I just want to sort it and file it and I canít when it hurts to hear myself whining about the same things. I like my writing most of the time. Iím decent.
08/31 Direct Link
Ran out of words. I guess all that sitting around relaxing was of help. I didnít seem to feel the same way about that old journal stuff after all. What I found instead was confirmation of the path Iíve found myself on. Iím on course, to reference the metaphor. The true difference, though is that I have better tools for evaluating the map.

Yeah, thatís a good way to refer to the old pieces, maps. Familiar whines are familiar territories, shores, landscapes. Finding the familiar tells me that though the clouds havenít cleared I am not lost. And further along.