Friday, June 26, 2009

The Room

As promised, a picture of the Writing Room before the end of the week. Actually, it's just a picture of the daybed. But you'll get an idea of the wall color. The colors on the bed are reminiscent of my bedroom when I was in high school. The lavendar is not, but what the hell. Bright colors to keep me awake while creating.
I have a few more, but I have to smaller them so they'll fit. And I want to get some after the rest of the shelves are installed and the pictures are hung, etc. Plus the poppets need to take up residence.
That's Spooky on the daybed, and she will tell you that it is her room. The dark blue pillow next to her has a picture of birds at a feeder with a cat looking out the window at them. Her Uncle Ron sent it for Christmas a few years back.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday Writing Prompt

Yeah, I know. It's Thursday. Whatever.

This is my take on Ali's weekly challenge. Here are the rules. The prompt, from Juanita's blog, is highlighted and links to said blog.

I’m STILL waiting for my doll class.”


“My doll class. I’ve been waiting for it for ever so long.” The ragamuffin slumped between the craft store and tiny toyshop, her clothing reminiscent of a Dickens orphan.

The strip mall would close in just a few minutes. Certainly no doll class would be starting now. I scanned the window of the craft store for a class schedule, but found none. “Did your mother go into that store?” I pointed.

She shook her head. “My mother left me here ages ago, but she didn’t go into that store.”

“The toy store then?” I opened the door of the toyshop and strained to see. The lights were dim and no one was in sight. “Hello. Does anyone know this little girl?” I stepped back outside. “What’s your name, sweetie?”

Her head tilted down as if to hide her face. “It used to be Rebecca Louise. But then my mother started calling me Doody Head and Puke Face.”

Disgust for the woman who would do something like that to her own child filled me and almost choked off my next words. “I’m going to call someone to help you.” My cell phone blinked “no service” at me, and there was no sign of a security guard anywhere. “Stay right here, I’m going into the store to make a call.”

I dashed into the craft store. Maybe the horrible mother was inside it after all. At least that was the justification I gave for not just stepping back into the toyshop. The toyshop that felt off somehow.

There were no customers inside, and the woman behind the counter knew nothing about a doll-making class. After reporting the lost girl, I went back outside to wait with her for the police and, I suspected, social services. She wasn’t there. I tried the door of the toyshop, but it was locked. Panicked, I ran the length of the mall, stopping at each of the six other stores. Most were already closed, but the few people remaining had not seen the little girl.

An hour later, the police officer finally seemed satisfied with my statement. “Maybe her mother picked her up while you were calling,” he offered for the fifth or sixth time.

“Maybe.” It was as much as I could manage. I had been watching out the window the whole time I made the phone call. No one had passed the store. And I hadn’t seen the little girl, Rebecca Louise, walk away. But I had my own children to get home to.

“Thank you for your concern,” the office said. “Not everyone would take the time.” He closed his notepad and walked back to his squad car.

I leaned against the window of the toyshop, going over the event, trying to figure out when the girl’s mother could have retrieved her without my seeing it. The interior of the shop was brighter than it had been when I’d been inside. It looked more cheerful as well.

As I gathered my bags, a display near the back of the shop caught my attention. One doll pointed at a blackboard. Three other dolls sat at desks facing her. One had short marcelled hair and was dressed like a flapper. One looked like she’d just come from settling the old west. And the one closest to the door looked like, she looked like, well like Rebecca Louise.

I shifted to see what was written on the blackboard. The teacher pointed at, “How To Find A New Mommy.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Do You Sing?

NPR again, although it seems to have been a while since I referenced them. This morning, I heard an obituary piece about Ali Akbar Kahn. He played the sarod, a 25-string Indian instrument. Along with Ravi Shankar, he popularized Indian music in the west and influenced generations of musicians.

The journalist talked about visiting the musician in his studio. Kahn's rebuke to students was, "You're singing like a typewriter. Sing like handwriting."

Maybe that's why there's so much talk about pens and other tools on this blog and the ones I link to. If I'm missing the pretty in my writing, I turn off the computer and pick up a notebook and pen. Is there a way to sing like handwriting on a typewriter (or computer)?

Where else in your life can you learn to sing like handwriting?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Writing Books Galore!

Not as in "I'm writing a lot of books," but as in "Holy crap, I have a boatload of books about writing!"

Saturday I put up shelves in the newly painted Writing Room (I think of it in capitals). I need to get some more. My plan was to use those shelves--as opposed to the ones in the family room downstairs or the ones in my bedroom--for my writing books, my metaphysical books and any researchy-type books I am currently using. There are separate spaces for books and journals. I figured I'd have empty shelving for spillover from my to-be-read pile. I figured wrong. The shelves are full to bursting. There will be another trip to Wal-mart.

I have a handful of metaphysical books to add, but I probably have two dozen or more writing books that I still need to schlep upstairs and find a place for. Who the hell bought all these books? Oh, right. That's what I do when I'm interested in something. I research the bloody bejeebers out of it. Correction: I collect research on it, read like mad for a while then jump in with both feet while there is still a pile of research to be read.

The good news? I have lots of resources to tap into. And I now have one place to look when I need a refresher or I'm stuck. It's also a good source of inspiration. Not just the "here's a prompt" or "how I did it" books either. Sometimes just a skim through one of the craft honing books can dislodge something.

How do you go about learning something new? Take a class? Are you a reader? Do you learn by doing?

***I promise pictures of the Writing Room progress before the end of the week. I have to get a cable to upload from camera to laptop. ***