Monday Metaphor

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First, you buy flowers. You love them so much you can’t seem to part. They sit in your living room, on your dining room table, on that hard-to-reach-but-totally-worth-it shelf in your upstairs bathroom where no one sees them but you and only when you’re in the tub. They sit so long that now a soft cough in the same room strips them of their petals. A politely closed door anywhere in the house. Now is time to carry them outside. And they fall apart, each pink petal adding to the story.

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Thank you, Amtrak.

Train from Bratislava to Budapest

Train from Bratislava to Budapest

I often write while watching things go by: people, scenery, that dappled horse in the back corner of a farmer’s field rearing up just as the train passes. So the writers’ residencies to be put in place by Amtrak definitely deserve a spot on my blog and my Facebook page and anywhere else I can write about them, for that matter. Thanks, Amtrak, for realizing the value of artists, the financial struggles they go through, and the ways in which you can help contribute to their success.

Click on the link above or here for The Wire’s full article.

Happy Friday.

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I don’t usually post photos of my bosom. Grammar tank tops are now the exception.

Don’t Lose it, Use it…as Inspiration

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Here, I’ll make up my own: Don’t find it, grind it. Um, maybe, bind it? All I’m saying is, go with what you’ve got.

As established by my last post, I love coffee. And this morning, I’m staying in. Above is what my coffee bag says. It was a gift, and I’ll take it.

Google Inspiration SearchGoogle Inspiration Search 2

Best and Worst Reason not to Write: #7

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I’ve been dropping hints all week. (Remember these? Photo of bike with suspicious carrier. Incriminating syntax.) But here’s my final and most obvious shot. Above is the face of a coffee-adoring woman who’s spotted bags full of freshly-ground Turkish coffee. In Istanbul nonetheless. And, get this, according to the sign, the bag she’s pointing at would cost her half a Euro. This woman, however, has been weaning her intake. Why? Because she’s four months pregnant.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Reason not to Write #6: Uncertainty

Sign inside Dracula's Castle- Bran, Romania

Sign inside Dracula’s Castle- Bran, Romania

Reasons not to Write Numbers Four and Five: Romania & Turkey

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(Above: Dracula’s Castle, Bran, Romania and Dracula’s writing desk)

In lands pregnant with folklore, filled by mysterious forests, enchanting music and, above all, equally interesting people, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Yes, you packed notebooks of varying sizes, plenty of pencils, a pen or two, and a camera. You kept them (always) in your interior jacket-front pocket. Hiking, driving, on a boat down the Bosporus. (You’d be more upset if your trusty green spiral notebook was pick-pocketed over your passport and so feel for its outline frequently.) While you slept, the items waited not-so-patiently on the hotel nightstand.

And so, now that you’re home, what have you got to show? How many pages did your writing occupy? How many of those notebooks did you pack back away in your suitcase as they quickly filled? How many pencils lost their led at your leaning?

Answer:

1. Not much.

2. Six small–reporter-pad-sized–pages.

3. Zero notebooks packed back away.

4. Zero mechanical pencils that need re-filling.

But there are moments. Just moments. Somewhere. Everywhere. Written and un-.

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(Above: Bookstore, Istanbul, Turkey)

Reasons not to Write #3: Boys in Trees

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Yesterday, on my run through a nearby park, four ten-year-old boys stopped me to ask the time: Hoe laat is it? I changed my watch from GPS to clock. Half (two syllables) vijf, I said. When they giggled on in Dutch, Ik sprek Engels, I said. Engels? Well, um, how old are you? one asked. Twenty-nine, I said, You? When do you go back to England? another asked. I live here in Den Bosch, I said. I don’t know when I’ll go back. And your man? Is he from England too? Amerika, I corrected. According to my GPS the boys then ran with me for half a kilometer, longer than I had expected, the tallest of the group, though, out-striding me for sure. I made the rest of the lap around the park alone without event until I saw a fifty-foot-tall tree shaking and calling my name. If I’d been writing, I would have missed it.

I’d like to think that when I forgo writing, it’s for adventure. That life simply sucks me up in a whirlwind of exploration, and that’s why I didn’t get my quota in today. But, a lot of times, it’s neither: no writing, no adventure, just me and a lonely computer screen trying desperately to make something up. Which never works, by the way. I don’t suggest it.

So, as much as I hate New Year’s resolutions (besides, it’s Feb. 11), that’s my pledge from here on out. If you don’t hear from me in a while, I’m out on an adventure.

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