What can YOU say in six sentences?
So the north of me is keeping a word count, 53,187 to be exact, and the north of me likes exact, is concerned about consistency within this manuscript, wants to stop writing and go back and re-read, and insists on looking at the busy calendar ahead with a little mental head shake (dinner at McCraine's with the Kohlers tomorrow night, gig at the fine arts thingy on Friday night with a quick look in on the museum reception after sound check, bigger gig on Saturday night but at least they got…Continue
This morning, when I came to my desk, late because I cut his hair first in front of the fire with third cups of coffee and the smell of him snaking up from beneath the bottom layer of my clothing, I found in my inbox a poem, from a friend, one who loves me with the Jungian reflected and refracted love of recognition and soul sisterhood, that prickly thing that we mistakenly think will be warm and "friendly."
Anyway, with the grease of his hair on my hands, I clicked on the…Continue
I cut up the partially frozen sirloin early this morning while the water for coffee got hot and the pan heated up for our eggs and flakes of snow fell with the coldest of suns shining upon them.
I added one sweet potato, some chopped ginger, a big onion, garlic, celery, and lots of carrots to the pot with the meat, poured in some wine from a bottle we never finished, and the smell of the red in the early morning was out of place, unfamiliar, too rich for the…Continue
We cut a storm's worth of wood today.
We apologized a fight's worth of words.
We smiled politely at everyone, tended to our responsibilities, looked at the weather map.
I said, "It's ok, and I understand, and don't worry about it."
I wonder if the words are enough to erase the fight, because it burned pretty hot in the night.
I wonder if the wood is enough to last the storm, because the cold looks deep and…Continue
So, when I come back in my next life (oh really? do I have to? this one is making me tired!!!), I want to come back as a man (oh really? with the dick and the itchy balls and the fart jokes? really?).
Yes, I want to come back as a man so that on holidays (read: Thanksgiving and Christmas) I can walk around outside in the cold with a gun and a flask until it is time to come indoors to the heavenly smells, the good rich calories, the warm fire, the candles (the fucking…Continue
Punch Lewis started coming to Shiney the night after the ranch Christmas party, as if too many people in his library had awakened him, made him restless, and Shiney wondered the next morning, over coffee, why he had waited thirty years.
On the nights he came, they always sat in the big red leather chairs, sipped scotch, and talked about the ranch, the modern-day ranch, the current employees, the here and now, not the one he left her with way back when.
My father never wanted me to throw a baseball like a girl.
Our german shepard, Jazbo, killed all of the baby kittens.
Door knobs make me think of masturbation.
I wish I had been homeschooled the way my children were.
My present in no way resembles my past, but I miss keeping a perfect house.
I write long letters to my ex-husband in my head, but I wonder if I ever say anything new.
What is it that makes you click through and read a 6S piece, the whole piece, when it appears on the "All Blog Posts" page?
I have been trying to figure out what it is for me, other than there are certain writers here who never disappoint.
Is it that first sentece, the one that ropes you in, catches your attention, that makes you say, "Whoa!" or "Huh?" or "Really?" or "I wanna know HER!"
Is it a character you are following, a story…Continue
Its just a simple cabin in our lower country, black sheets on the bed, a wrench always by the front door after he hooks up the propane so we can cook, birds nests and flint chippings on the windowsills, small pieces everywhere of solitary nights spent here before me.
We moved down here with horses and a plan to find the remnant, hit an errant group of cows on our way in and got some work done right there, put them in the horse pasture where their heads fell…Continue
Follow up to Ambiguity posted earlier this morning:
"Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky..."*
Oh, that wonderful theme song that is boosted up to True Art by the genius fim editor whose montage of suburbia makes me want to go sit in his lap...sniff his skin. hum under my breath.
The song runs through my mind while I clutch a cup of hot tea and wish it…Continue
Get in line and get yours, the little packet containing your labels, white with black letters, sticky on one side, and if you are smart, you will always wear them out in public so that there is no confusion:
Mother father wife girlfriend husband partner sister or half whatever homemaker lawyer artist white-bread middle class navaho registered voter horse person birdwatcher engaged retired cancer survivor paganpoet loser...
And whatever you do, don't let the…Continue
We got a hard freeze last night, 28 degrees at 6am, and my day is already dogpiled with words words words, as loud and as incessant as the leaves that are suddenly turning loose from the walnut branches, swishing down to the earth.
And, of course, the Christmas cactus is choosing now to burst into pink, and I didn't come to my computer immediately because there was fuzz on the floor, dirty laundry in the basket, spiderwebs in the bathroom, and a clean paper towel for shining…Continue
She hadn't made the cookies in ten years, but this year it was on her "To Do" list for over a week before she just did it, bit the bullet, put her shoulder to the wheel, stuck the dough in the freezer, and she remembered the years when she did it at midnight, when she did it with dry chapped skin, hair up in a rubber band, aching feet, a grouchy urgency to get it all done.
The next day she turned her favorite music (not Christmas) up loud and rolled the dough, cut out angels,…Continue
Jody thought he could fall in love with a girl if she would just dot R.M. Williams leather conditioner on her pulse points.
He stood beside Rafe in the leather shop and pounded the rivets into his new pulling harness, wondering who came up with the idea of soft copper smashed into a binding submission, and also wondering if Rafe was as comfortable with the silence as he seemed.
"You knew my dad?"
"Its ok, I mean, I know the…Continue
So a good friend of mine teaches Songwriting 101 at a major "party school" type university, and he moans each fall when he starts having individual meetings with his students and asks them about their works in progress.
He asks each student what their song is about, and they invariably say, "Loooooove," and he has to get them back on track with questions like what kind of love and how is this different from every fucking songwriting 101 student before them, and you know, my…Continue
Everyone who is a writer, or wants to be, has had the same fantasy: An adorable little cabin in the woods with just enough rusticity to be artistic but enough conveniences to be, well, convenient, a gourmet/health food market within a few miles where they sell expensive cheeses and French bread as well as a coffee shop/wine bar where one can go and moan with other writers when the writing gets tough, and a beach for walking and making campfires, and... the most important part, NO…Continue
Dear Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, Stephen King, Kim Stafford, Annie Dillard, Anne Lamott, Dorthea Brande, and Brenda Ueland,
Please go sit nicely on your shelf.
There was a time when I came eagerly to your feet, wanting desperately to know what it was I didn't know, slurping up your teachings and tricks, underlining and highlighting with childlike enthusiasm the magic keys to the process with dreams of product.
Now I want you to go away, be…Continue
When it is going right, the writing practice can be an obsession.
I dream of it.
We lay in bed, the sun only a hint outside the window, your hand on my thigh, my hand on your chest, and talk of renting paint sprayers, of retrieving a bull who is currently visiting the neighbor's pasture, of cutting wood for winter, of getting some more gopher traps at the hardware store, of nothing really, while we think about getting up and making coffee, scrambling eggs,…Continue