I was sitting on the couch a little while ago with a cat in my lap, another cat on the arm of the couch, and a hot cup of coffee in my hand. Thunder boomed outside and rain pounded down on my tin roof. Content and peaceful I didn’t want to move but I had to get up and get ready for work.
I am ready to head out the door now. The rain is pounding down but now it doesn’t seem as pleasing as it was before. Now the echo of thunder is more ominous. I hate driving in the rain. Driving in the dark and in the rain is even worse.
Once I do get to work there will still be the sound of rain on a tin roof. I have to spend the night upstairs sorting overstock, so that roof will be right over my head. Somehow I don’t think the sound of rain on the roof at work will bring the same feelings as rain on the roof of my home.
Sometimes I wake up an hour or so before the alarm goes off. If I am still really tired, and my mind hasn’t woken up yet, it is easy to just roll over and go back to sleep. Those times are few and far between however.
I often wake up and find my mind has been in over drive and is still running strong when my eyes pop open. Sometimes that takes the form of weird half remembered dreams. Sometimes it is the 3a.m. epiphany that has me scrambling for pen and paper in the dark.
(3a.m. epiphanies tend to be an interesting thing for me. Either it will be this great idea, that truly is great, but I won’t be able to read what I’ve written later. Or it will be a crappy idea that I thought was great at 3a.m. in the dark. I don’t turn the light on because the only thought I have after that happens is: “Ahhhhh! my eyes!”)
This morning I woke up with my head hurting like my brain has been going for Olympic gold in mental gymnastics and practicing while the rest of me sleeps. I had a thousand and one thoughts running through my head. Part of me was excited because obviously my brain isn’t a dull as I have been lately beginning to believe. Part of me was mad because my head hurt and I had two hours before the alarm. The last part of me, the writer part, was all: “Go for coffee and write it down! No skip the coffee! You might forget something, Go write!”
Which is why I stumbled through the dark to my bedroom door intent on reaching my computer. The problem was I forgot about “The Horde”. Nope, that isn’t a rock band or the misspelling of all the crap littering my hallway. That is in reference to the trio of cats who occupy my house. (Panda, Casper, and Max.) They look cute and fluffy but nothing stands in the way of their breakfast.
So as I stumbled down the hall it was to a chorus of meows and the feel of little sharp kitten claws. (Max doesn’t meow much. He is blind and I think meowing messes with his radar or something. I don’t know. Maybe the other two put him up to the biting because they know he is a baby and I won’t do anything to him. Whatever the reason, kitten claws and teeth hurt.)
Normally, by the time I make it to the kitchen and feed them all in order of rank, (This is important. There will be a war if rank isn’t followed. Panda always gets fed first.) any idea that is still hanging around is a strong one.
So what did I think about this morning that had me crawling out of bed, stumbling to my computer before coffee, and facing The Horde two hours early? Heck if I know, but I thought if I was here anyway I might as well write.
I’ve been reading poetry lately. Yes, yes I know. Nasty habit. All those feelings and thoughts expressed in just a short space with precise words. But sometimes when things feel too close to heart it is nice to know that others have felt them as deeply.
Now I am not saying that such things can not be expressed in prose. Of course they can. However, as a poet myself, I understand the need to get a sudden intense feeling down on paper. Really you are just trying to express things that hit you hard right in the heart.
I often don’t even have the words for whatever it is I am feeling until I start to write them down. And it can be about anything. Headaches, coffee, heartaches, sleeping children, dreams, simple musings, cats sitting on your feet…I’ve written about them all. (Okay, all except that last one. But I have a very soft fluffy white cat putting my left foot to sleep right now, so I should.)
In fact I’ve written two or three poems just this week. Not that anyone else will ever see them. I wrote one to express frustration, one was a random musing on sanity, and the other… Well, okay that one did end up on face book but it was only a few lines about a headache that wouldn’t go away.
I love poetry that echoes things that I have felt before. I love elegant uses for words. I love harsh slashing phrases that bring feelings to life. I read Keats, Wordsworth, and Shakespeare but I also seek out newer poets too. It is the words I am interested in.
I don’t know why I am surprised when I find out that some writers I know are poets as well. I am, my dad is, why can’t others be? Writers play with words all the time. Words are treasured friends. Is it really a surprise that when we feel things deeply that words are what we turn to?
Good Monday to all! I slept in this morning, something that I don’t get to do too often. Sometimes I have nightmares when I sleep in or I awake feeling foggy headed and with a head ache. Today I had a nightmare but despite having my head chopped off it was kind of interesting.
In the dream I argued with the machete wielding killer because she was about to chop my head off in the wrong spot. She was aiming too low. I told her she had to chop higher if she wanted to get the head off in one swift strike, otherwise she was just going to dull the blade against bone.
She did what I said and chopped off my head and I lay there until someone shouted commercial break. Then I went around asking questions about what the budget for the show was and who was the costume designer. I woke up amused. Nightmares don’t usually go that way, but then I don’t often dream someone is about to chop of my head either.
My cats stayed out all night and were at the door ready for breakfast. It is beautiful out, though a little chilly. The sky is a little cloudy but the sun is shining though bathing the world in gold. I think if it warms up to 58 like they say it will, then I may write on the porch for a while.
This morning I was packing my son’s lunch when I opened the freezer section of our refrigerator. I was going for an ice pack, but what I got was the back half of a cat. Get the gruesome ideas out of your head. (You can write those thoughts down for later use if you want. I’ll wait.) It wasn’t a dead mangled cat.
What happened, was at the moment I reached for the door handle our cat, Casper, decided to jump on top of the refrigerator. I opened the door just as his hind legs came down and completely ruined his landing. Needless to say we were both surprised.
I was also completely unhelpful as he scrabbled for purchase with cold toes. I was too busy laughing. By the time I thought to help, he had made it safely to his original destination. He had also decided that the top of the refrigerator wasn’t as appealing as he thought and jumped down as soon as I closed the freezer door.
Five minutes later he was in the living room pretending nothing had happened.
Sometimes I feel like that. I will do something that seemed like a good idea at the time but then I am left wondering “what the heck?” as the world goes unstable under my feet. Then I am left clawing my way up next to the cereal boxes, waiting for things to settle down so I can go pretend everything is normal.
Life happens like that.
A few posts ago I wrote about the Liebster Award and I cobbled together ten questions for those I nominated to answer. Number 3 was : “What gives you inspiration?” Now this sounds a lot like “Where do you get your ideas?” That is a question you never ask a writer. Writers hate that question. I hate that question. Ideas are everywhere. Ideas are never the problem.
I know better than to ask this question. So why did I post something so similar to the dreaded “Where do you get your ideas?”. Well, I meant something else. Looking at it now, I haven’t the slightest idea what I meant but I know the thought behind the question was something different. (I have vague recollections of thinking about taking walks for some reason. Maybe I meant what do you do to recharge? I don’t know.)
I was appalled and promptly introduced my head to my desk when I realized how that question sounded. I had jumped to the refrigerator and landed bottom first into the freezer. It is too late to take the question back. There isn’t much I can do except not to repeat that mistake. (Next time I will have someone else read over questions before I ask them.)
Taking a page from my cat, my cold toes and I are moving on. Lesson Learned.
My sleep was filled with dreams last night. I cannot recall them but I have brief snatches, like catching a flash of color out of the corner of your eye. I was awakened by clawing and meowing at my bedroom door at five a.m. because my furry mistress and master decided it was breakfast time.
I am still not quite awake and I would love to lay down and cuddle with my pillow again but I know if I go back to sleep I will be haunted by nightmares. I’m tired but I am in a semi foul mood and that is not a good combination.
My stomach is tied in knots, probably because I didn’t wake up on my own, but I feel apprehensive as well. It’s like I am waiting for something unpleasant to happen. I will probably feel better after a warm shower and a cup of tea…and with the sun actually up.
I can sit on the porch and watch the sun rise this morning with a nice cup of chai, that should raise my spirits. Still, it is good to record my current unease for two reasons.
One: It makes me feel better.
Two: It might come in handy someday with a story.
So if I finally get something written, polished, and ready for audience consumption enough to put it up on Amazon; and someone who reads this blog also reads that work and finds a scene were a character is awoken by cats and left with a sense of unease….you know where it came from.
On the bathroom sink I have a small pink box with roses stamped into it. I think I got as part of some bath gift set one year for Christmas. I am not sure what its intended purpose was, but right now it holds odds and ends taken out of pockets, ponytail ties, and the occasional comb.
My cat, Panda, thinks it is a treasure box. She often hops up on the counter and rubs her face along its edge, marking the box as hers. She thinks I hide toys inside it for her to find. Often I will be home alone and hear the noise of someone rummaging around in the bathroom. When I check it out I find Panda posed in front of the mirror with her paw in the box, sorting through it looking for ‘toys’. She will pick out a ponytail tie, scoop it up with a paw, bring it to her mouth, then hop down with her chosen treasure. (Later I will find it lost or discarded in between the couch cushions, or under the clock.)
I think a lot of writers are like my cat, but instead of random objects in a pink box we have the entire world. A snippet of conversation exchanged by two strangers while we wait in line at the grocery store, the way someone walks through the mall, a spilled cup of coffee,or a fairy tale read to our kids at bed time…all of these things make their way into our own treasure boxes and remain there to be pulled out and played with.
To many people these are just common inconsequential things, like ponytail ties and loose change, but to a writer these things inspire ideas. Ideas build worlds. Our words share these worlds with others. And others often help provide the treasures that keep our boxes full.