Overdue Blog Update (I’m baaaaack)

It isn’t normal for anyone to be deliriously happy or so lucky, I’m certain. But I am. 

I am. 

My writing output has been shameful over the last few months. I was adjusting to some gut wrenching news and dared not to spend so much time alone  in intense self reflection (which is necessary for writing, of course) (also, it seems like the last year and a half was just a series of knocks that paralysed my pen). 

I have, however, met the most perfect human and he’s making me brave enough to face anything. He makes me hungry for experience, to enjoy myself, to not be so anxious about life or a day of writing and submissions. It’s amazing the positive influence someone special can have over you. So, here it goes! Let’s put myself out there again for some rejections. Yay! 

Blog update

So, my computer broke and I lost a lot of writing. I’ve decided to let it all die on the hard drive and start fresh. At least I have hard copies of my best/nearly completed works.

I’m in the process of making a zine, gathering pieces together, thinking of artwork, learning new skills, writing a lot of poetry. It seems the common thread of much of my work is an investigation into the nature of different types of love, so, I’ve been playing with titles. “My Peace is a Nuclear Weapon” is my favourite so far.

I’m getting a loan of a laptop for three weeks so I can get kickstarted with submissions again.

I haven’t much more writing related news. I’ve had a few rejections, nothing pending for publication.

Here is the (very rough) beginning of a poem.

I built on bones

Tacked

Sinew to muscle

Stitched

Your words to my skin

Weaved

Myself through you.

****
Here are some more random musings.

Need is a dragon

Breathing fire.

Revolt.

Bring water.

*

True power lies in a womb’s embrace,

the lives, lived, unlived, in the gap

between her legs,

holding universe upon universe.

Her power is out of this world.

Astronomical.

Godlike.

*

Beautiful man.

Glimpses of you

leaves stones in my throat.

***

I’m sure there are many typos in the post. Forgive me. Writing an update on the phone is tedious.

That is all for this week. I’m a busy bee for the next few days, in the process of waxing and epilating for a mischief making weekend. There won’t be too much more writing done this week with work tomorrow, a trip to Bantry on Friday, work on Saturday and another session Sunday.

Mona.

Life is full of wonders…

I have to write this on my phone. There will be a lot of typos. I forgot to pay my internet bill and they cut me off. Feckers. 

Today was lovely. Roast chicken for breakfast. Shopping (I made €20  in tips last night and bought myself an easel). A walk through the park which was beautiful. It was sunny, the mountains were capped with snow and the trees are still bare. I love the shapes the branches make. I like to imagine some are Ents, I have three trees I particularly love. 

  
I got two lovely gifts this week. My Dad’s mobile phone, cutting edge technology twenty years ago. I can still see him clearly, chewing the antenna or the phone poking out of the pocket of his favourite shirt. The red head on him. 

  
And a lovely refillable notebook from my very talented friend, Kerry. I got a bit teary, I’m a sucker for thoughtful gifts and, by God, I have some grá for stationary. 

  
I finally finished knitting my eternity scarf and it’s particularly beautiful in my humble opinion. 210 cm. It took ages. I’ll be knitting Aran jumpers in no time. I’m naturally gifted at needlework. 

  

I will be painting and listening to music this evening. My mom eyeballed a rough painting I did and wanted it for her bedroom so I am redoing it on canvas for her. I think she’s mad. I paint like a ten year old. And my friend is calling in later, I already stocked up on chocolate, salads, tea and milk for the post weekend analysis. 

My story is still muddled. I’ll have to submit two pieces next month instead. Writing is going well, I have several ideas floating about and I’m considering how to make them a little sexier, make them pop. It’s funny how people imagine writing necessitates mentally unhealthy situations, like trauma or an addiction. They do add empathy into one’s writing but it’s certainly not good for a consistent work ethos. I simply cannot edit when I’m anxious or depressed. I don’t have the ability to concentrate and editing is when the magic occurs. 

And I am happy. I had a horrible seven or eight months. I went a bit wild after my breakup, fell in love with someone utterly wrong for me, my mother’s illness really scares me, I lost all my closest friends, menopause is impending, and there was another horror I can’t mention here. A series of other worries seem to pile up. But I am content. Very much so. 

As for the friends, I didn’t realise how wrong they were for me and I didn’t realise I had other, better friends who accept me at my best and worst. My mother will surely be diagnosed soon and is very shortly going for a lung biopsy and, hopefully, will go back to her vibrant, energetic, happy self. Menopause can kiss my arse, I’m am not going to worry over something that hasn’t happened yet. I have settled back into normality, my own version of it, quiet evenings, long walks, I’m not going out all the time, just sometimes. Like next Friday with Linda, there will be frocks and dancing and laughter, hopefully I won’t creat chaos and will stay away from mischief. I have so many hobbies I’m always busy with a project. And I’m quite proud of myself, I have a very strong character and I realise it’s okay to say that. I really helped someone recently and I’m glad I did it though it was hard with tough choices to make. 

Having the person you love treat you like dirt is awful but I don’t want to be with someone who is weak. Every person is a lesson and now I want a proper man who is audacious, kind, stubborn, smart and wilful. Definitely odd. I like weirdos. I’m nurturing and look after everyone so someone to look after me would be nice. I’m staying celibate though. I’m shit sick of men, every one of them seem to have mommy issues and aren’t the slightest bit emotionally evolved. I’m sure I can reach a year, it will be an experiment. I’m determined. It will be hilarious. Although I am harbouring a serious crush which may test me, I am certain I can do it. 

That certainly veered drastically from writing well is related to happiness. I guess what I am trying to say is that getting out of bed can be the most difficult thing to do sometimes and facing up to issues, trauma, personal demons is the true test of one’s character. Living well, being happy, means you have to really like yourself, allow that you can and will make mistakes. Big and small. Take joy in little things such as a book, laugh at the small humans in a playground, nature, meet your crazy friends, get a cat (gratuitous picture of Claude below), rediscover activities you enjoyed in your childhood. And slowly, slowly, you mend. Then, one day, you wake up with a happy heart again. You’ve survived another battle and become better for it. You can focus on your work again. 

  
Look at this beauty I found in a secondhand bookstore this week 

  
I think that’s it. I was a busy little beaver this week. It’s been very interesting this week with the general election. Now to look forward to a few days of solitude before madness starts again with work on Thursday night. I think this is going to be a great week. I have a good feeling about it. 

And, because I have some pride and the last picture was shit, here is the teapot cosy on an actual teapot….
  
LM Carey

Spring Cleaning

I’ve gone through enough kitchen cupboards and reorganising furniture so, today, I tackled writing folders. I must dust off a few pieces and get submitting. I went through the pains of disillusionment to the joy of reading near completed stories. I’m my own worst enemy with critiquing and I take an age to do anything right, a nightmare when I like everything done yesterday. 

Now for a substantial headache, reading, and plans on knitting and painting this evening. Perhaps a nap first. The quintessential procrastinator.  

Here’s a picture of my first completed knitting project, a teapot cosy for my mother that looks like a genetically mutated pineapple. 

 

Writer’s block me hole…. 

I have to change the tagline on my blog, “On becoming a writer” is farcical at this point. That picture above is a snapshot of how I have been using my free time. I decided, out of the blue, to start knitting and I dropped a small fortune on the new hobby and paints (notice my newly acquired tree?). Not a cent left for bills, though there will probably be a pound or two spent in the bar tomorrow night after I get paid.

So, with the end of January looming, I still can’t figure out where to submit my poem. And, being so concerned about it, I went on a road trip this morning with my mammypants, I changed around my sitting room twice, finally started my drawing course (below is a “before” of a friend of mine, the lack of skills is hilarious), decided (again) to change my silhouette painting (I’ll never get the bloody thing done), devoured half a chocolate orange while giving out to my fat cat (bit rich), spent a good three hours knitting, and now I am updating my blog. At least I had the decency to do some found poetry.

Tsk.

There is always tomorrow. I swear I will submit that poem, write a minimum of 500 words, and I will go to the library to find some light reading. I must get back into writing. Properly. No more arsing, or filling up free time avoiding my head or my heart. Time is ticking and all these rough drafts won’t edit themselves. The time for tears and disappointment is over. I’m fierce and strong-willed. I have integrity and self-respect. It gets easier to remember it is a blessing in disguise, people showing how little you mean to them. But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Now, I’m pooped after all that and it’s time for my favourite part of the day. Bed!

Good night.

Lorraine

 

Simple pleasures

  
My “currently reading” pile.

This evening is dedicated to reading so I am thrown across the couch. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver is just superb. It’s upsetting so I only read a chapter at a time. I’m alternating that with The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang. I got that from the library today and I didn’t even manage to get through the introduction before crying ceaselessly for a half hour. It’s harrowing but an excellent read. Certainly, I must read more of her. Researching her other non fiction, I saw she died in 2004 through suicide. It adds another dimension when reading it; through her work she became ill and, ultimately, lost her life. The Memorial museum dedicated a wing to her for her efforts to tell the victims stories. So sad. 

In fairness, I must read something lighthearted and silly soon. I’m reading to quell my own head, heaping war atrocities and an (albeit fictional) emotional account of a woman whose son went on killing spree isn’t exactly helping matters. 

Perhaps, I ought to leave the house for a cup of tea in some dark, quiet pub? No, no. Tomorrow will do for that. Best get back to my reading. I can draw or paint for therapeutic reasons after. I certainly have enough books on that subject matter (art AND therapy, of course. I am a nut and I have a degree in psychology). 

Damn my phone… 

Well, the camera on my phone has decided to stop working so you’ll just have to take my word for it that I have been very busy with my art journal. I’m delighted I’ve taken up painting again. It’s so relaxing. 

I’ve also been very busy with writing. I’ve been writing two or three poems a day. Now, of course, most of these are unusable but it is nice to build up piles of paper for editing. 

One of my New Years resolutions was to submit at least one piece per month. I’m in the process of trying to find a suitable journal for a poem that has been sitting on my desk for months gathering dust. I figure if I only say one piece per month I’m more likely to get back into the habit of submitting. 

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Mine was spent working or nursing a flu. And I have had a headache for the last three weeks. I’m on a week long holiday from work and I made up for my enforced sobriety the last two days. I’m sick of going out now. Sick of drink. Sick of being sociable. I won’t leave the house until Saturday, I think.  On that cheerful note, goodbye. 

Mona

Happy Christmas 

Look at what my beautiful, talented mother made me, my very own handstitched patchwork quilt. She even picked out the materials specifically for my tastes. And then made two cushions to go with it. 

  
  
   
I won’t lie. I could not stop crying for about four hours. It’s amazing to have something someone put so much time into (approx 100 hours), then to wrap it around you. It’s as if you are enveloped in love. Even when I don’t have her around I can snuggle into her time and love. I’m so thrilled. There’s a lot to be said for crafting.  I’ve never been so touched about a gift before.  My sister got me a pink panther when I was fifteen because I adore the cartoon and someone wrote a story for me before. I wept a little over them. Those meant a lot. Mom’s had me in a heap. Someone thinking of you is so special. 

It was such a lovely Christmas, we all spent time with each other and didn’t focus on gifts. It ought to be like that. Life gets so messy it can be difficult to make time for the ones you really love. 

I also kicked my brother’s arse in cards. He owes me €190. I bet he regrets teaching me how to gamble now. I kept notes on some of the laughs we had. It only took an hour for mom to lose her temper and threaten us with not inviting us to Christmas dinner next year. It’s a new record I’m sure. There was singing around the fire and my moms fiancé reeled off a few pieces. He’s great at the drama. 

A wonderful Christmas. I hope all of you had just as good time as I. 

Have a happy new year. 

X

Mona