So, you are ambling along in the library, and you check into your books on hold. Did I mention, I’m a memoir addict?
Okay, okay, the author? Jenny Lawson, and she’s called “The Bloggess,” Yep, I ordered a book based on the cover, and of course that it’s a memoir. A white rat who looks in need of dental work, wears a stunning black velvet cape, with a red silk lining. His rat feet look like a DSW size 10? He has a white ruffled tutu type collar, the kind used in Medieval days, which if you want to know seem just like yesterday.
Okay, okay, the author? She’s called “The Bloggess,” and did I meet her in my Name is Not Bob Blog April challenge, MNINB? I’m Not Bob April Challenge (MNINB) caused a loose knot in the sky, a gnarled rotting elbow on a tree, to fall on my neck and pressure stress liquids into my brain.
I don’t know where I discovered Jenny Lawson, but Reader, I read this book while slammed with the process of April Challenged which Not Bob gave to us bloggers, and I laughed, and chuckled, and snuffled and snorted at midnight, in the quiet ambiance of our 2-room pool house of the high ceilings and spillage of computer material, books, whatever.
Okay, sorry for the hot dogging, but The Bloggess, aka Jenny Lawson, wrote “A Mostly True Memoir,” and that works for me. She had me on the rat cover. I love the abandoned warrens of her mind, picture Kafka-toned jokes as her thoughts trot ahead of us readers, twisting, turning, always into belly laughing and chortles. She is snarky in deed, and she got me on “folded vagina,” and claimed my heart and soul when I discovered she had a Pug, Barnaby Jones.
The book is filled with huge metal chickens, small creatures of the stuffed kind (her father was a crazy Taxidermist).
Reader, what is one to do with chapter titles like, “Stabbed by Chicken,” “Hairless Rats Free for Kids Only,” and an enchanting view of detachment from a bizarro childhood, and interstitial laughter and views of a marriage with an wonderfully funny man.
I read the first few pages and thought, maybe I’m too old for this contemporary writing, but when I finished this book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson’s writing claimed me.
My brother–in-law called me “The Bro-ess,” and now I, the Broess, am on the devotee path of one Bloggess. Kudos to all who write
I’m reposting this from http://kofegeek.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/larry-the-most-famous-feline-in-england/
She’s an artist, and I like her blogs. I find this one enchanting. Best to all!
Brandi’s prompts today or yesterday from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CHPercolator/ and my response today:
Tell us why you became a part of this fabulous league of writers!
2. “According to the hard-hitting journalism of cosmos…”
3. Of all the skeletons in my closet, you are my favorite.
List your personal comfort foods, bonus points if you tell us why each one is comforting.
One day, when the earth was young, and bubbling, in a cute kind of primordial way, I was sitting, driving, thinking, wondering, if I were anorexic and a fiction writer, could I, just possibly, write about all the skeletons in my closet and how I admired their paucity of flesh.
Exactly dear reader. They had no flesh.
Then I mulled over which type of comfort food I was in the mood to eat. I couldn’t decide on either bowlS of Hagen Das vanilla ice cream with buckets of Hersey syrup or my old standby; that balled-up-in-a-fist peanut butter and jam sandwich on wheat if you please, but a friend, a writer from CHPercolator sent me an
email encouraging me. He encourages well, and to all I note.
Soooo, long story short, I had just finished several advanced writing classes with Jack Grapes,http://jackgrapes.com/grapes_approach.php – superb writing workshop leader, and I had blasted out of the gate of Write Like You Talk, into Write Like You Sing, Absence of Field, Teeth and Mouth writing (feel your mouth and teeth going over syllables and words you produce), Write Like You Sing, (think Martin Luther King, or Dickens, “It was the best of times, the worst of times…”) literary, heavy on the multisyllabic, so reader, you catch my drift. Are you with me? (Straight talk) and I thought why not try CHPercolatorCoffeehouseforwriters, and the rest is history. Two years later, enter into my crooked pathways of a brain, a book, You Carry the Heavy Stuff – (Lulu, Amazon, my house), a combination of writing styles, homage to Oakley Hall, Jack Grapes, and stuff from their workshops, plus my responses
to CHPerc prompts.
The lesson: A little prompt goes a long way.
So how do you feel about prompts? Writing Workshops? Do they help?
P.S. Open House to my blog, no visitor turned away, sign up, and we’ll dance together among the words.
Somewhere down in San Diego, away in some hilly area, a retreat happened today, a women’s yearly retreat. Last year they asked me to write a meditation for the last day, and I did. They liked it. They asked the same this year and suggested the title of Building Community. Reader, frankly I was stuck. I was stuck until I shared with my writing students how stuck I was, and the following images came to me of getting up, getting dressed, knitting, knitting friendships. I hope you like it. It is mostly Baha’i related, but I never write to just Baha’is, but rather, write to people – their inner essence, for we are all connected.
Building community. Esther Bradley-DeTally for the women who gather at retreat –Spring, 2012.
Oh dear, that heavy block-like phrase, so necessary for foundations, so hard to wield for the artistic mind, the mind that wants to build angel wings into the phosphorescent sky.
Oh well, you, out there, you women, sitting, standing, laughing, crying inside, with not enough to do, too much to do, do you feel as if a large building, let’s take an image of the Empire State Building, is over your head, descending on a crane, and the wires are frayed, as is your psyche, when this building obliterates all sun and light, and only shadows eclipse your tiny, puny, human frame?
No worries my duckies! Take up words, and paints and colors, and throw some tea with jasmine, coffee with creamed soy of buttercup, butternut essence, grab a friend, a kid, a knitting needle, find a canopy, from arbors of Bougainvillea to hard, green, snappy, umbrellas over the outwardly composed urban woman.
In other words duckies, don’t sweat it.
There’s no one golden bricked path to building communities, no one particular hard hat to wear. Think:
Mornings: get up.
This in itself is an immense achievement, because we do it, day after day, year after year. That’s what women do best. They get up.
Okay, put on clean underwear. Any kind duckies. I still wear granny types, but thongs will do. Count your blessings if said inner garment is not inside out. That’s part of getting up.
Shovel the body together, teeth, nails, and do whatever you have to do, the laundry, the work, the subway, the elevated, the car with too big a tank, or the silent runs on the latest tech – you catch my drift.
Think – knit, purl. Yes, that’s right, knit, and purl. Duckies, this is what we do. Let all the manly Germanic phrases of “build community” slide off your head, like excess water in the ears from the swimming pool. Let it slide down your neck, off your shoulders, down your thighs, your ankles and into the ground. This is California, and we could use the water.
Knit one stitch at a time, because that’s you, creating whatever base you need, tight, little bits of yarn sitting next to each other like sparrows on a telephone wire, keeping each other company, overseeing the world. Then if you want to be bon vivant, try the pearl, a backward knit? Who knows, but you catch my drift. Pull things together one stitch at a time.
You’ll make it; soon you will have knit friendships into this fabric of yours. Find someone you like, maybe very different from you, but you like that person. You want his/her qualities. Knit her into your heart’s edges.
Places to find loose stitches:
12 Step Programs
Coffee places where everyone shouts and hollers to each other,or whispers, take your pick.
Dogs, talk to them all, if they are on a leash and their canines aren’t fanged and pointed right at you.
Long obligatory prayer in morning, Tablet of Ahmad for yourself, any others
Prayers, prayers for others, i.e., parents, kids, healing, protection, the Baha’is in Iran, help immensely.
Private talk with trusted friends, the ones you can bay at the moon with and grow German shepherd fur on your throat. (We’ve all been there)
Time to make your own list; this is just from an old gal with a writing voice of a 35-year-old, but this is something I count upon for sure, and I’m 73 and in thrive right now:
“Nothing save that which profiteth them shall ever befall My loved ones.”
Check the quote, not sure I have it just picture perfect in print.
Have a glorious hour, day, week, month, and life.
Reader, may I call you reader. help me in my hour of trouble and affliction. Here’s the deal. I’m blogging. Bless me Lord, for I am blogging. I am FB-ing, with about 700 of my cronies around the world. I twitted over to tweet and succumbed, barely. I checked my name, Esther Bradley-DeTally, against Google, Bing, and a whole bunch of little places with interesting names of which I have forgotten. In other words, I am in Brain-Stretch, big time. Before I toddle through this page with episodic thoughts, first let me say, My Name is Not Bob is great, and Not Bob is a generous man. As a respondee to my blog, Keith, of the winsome words with a touch of dry flour around them, said, “Bob sounds like an inspirational fellow.” Indeed he is. As you are my fellow bloggers.
I am concerned about my long-time 7-10 hard-core followers, since my blog has grown, and since this challenge came along. I fear they all could fit inside a telephone booth, but I’ve been known to exaggerate.
I am back from the dentist – 2 crowns needed, and as I walked in the door, I received a call from an older woman I revere. She called to tell me a writing suggestion given years ago in one of my workshops changed her life. It was simple, “Make a timeline,” and in her early years, she was heavily burned at 2, her father died in a fire later, she added all the good transformational stuff, and saw the wisdom and purpose of all things and people in her life, even the original accident, for which she had numerous plastic surgeries. We yukked and jawed, and I got off the phone buoyant to have given a shred of anything light to this incredible lady who is now 88.
So far so good Reader. Are you with me? Do you catch my drift? I had a tuna sandwich, picture a round tuna with bits of green heap, the heel of my hand smashing two slices of bread around it and my eating it as I walked to my laptop. Open I am Not Bob. April 11 – challenge. This is so wonderful. I read down to Not Bob’s list of five popular URL shorteners. I checked out http://bit.ly because Not Bob said, “This is my favorite.”
I cannot be responsible for the way my eyes which rolled around like loose pinballs shooting out of an Arcade game because of broken curly wires. I went to the Techy God for explanations: Wikipedia.
URL shortening Pro:
is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL. For example, the URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_shortening can be shortened to http://bit.ly/urlwiki or http://tinyurl.com/urlwiki. This is especially convenient for messaging technologies such as Twitter and Identi.ca, which severely limit the number of characters that may be used in a message. Short URLs allow otherwise long web addresses to be referred to in a tweet. In November 2009, the shortened links on one URL shortening service were accessed 2.1 billion times.
Normally, a URL shortening service will use the top-level domain of a country that allows foreign sites to use its extension, and is a common ending in the English language, such as .ly (Libya), to redirect worldwide using a short alphanumeric sequence after the provider’s site address in order to point to the long URL.
Another use of URL shortening is to disguise the underlying address. Although this may be desired for legitimate business or personal reasons, it is open to abuse and for this reason, some URL shortening service providers have found themselves on spam blacklists, because of the use of their redirect services by sites trying to bypass those very same blacklists. Some websites prevent short, redirected URLs from being posted
There are con views so as readers you can Google Wikipedia, but I think to myself, “not right now Esther.” Later. I can shorten my own words within Twitter Texts, and because I drip, exude words in every other social media area, shortening my URL doesn’t seem to amount to a hill of beans.
That said, I’m off to read Best Blogs: I do so like Rain Wilson’s Soul Pancake, http://soulpancake.com/; now there’s a mind with many tunnels.
Reader, may I call you reader. This is a response to my blog of yesterday about being an old gal with a 35-year-old voice. You see that blog had its genesis in CHPercolatorCoffeeHouseforWriters – a yahoo site. My friend Steve encouraged me. Steve is responsible for my latest book You Carry the Heavy Stuff, and ChPercolator. It’s free; we only encourage, never criticize, check it out.
Keith is a funny writer, and any email or comments from him make me yuck and chortle. Steve and I even drove down to Disneyland area, Anaheim area, to visit Keith and his wife, who were in from New Jersey. Keith also wrote a blurb on the back of Carry Heavy Stuff, and this is his response to my blog of yesterday, soon to be yesteryear:
I underlined Bob sounds like an inspiration person because it was so deadpan. Yes, I roll on floors over stuff like this.
Re: SUB: Dingbat and stuff
Is that at all related to being a dingbat?
Are frabjous and frabulous synonyms?
If I had a canary I would let it perch on my shoulders.
Bob sounds like an inspirational person.
My mother-in-law and you could climb mountains together.
What, what, oh what ever happened to the cardboard pug?
Jessica wouldn’t be that fictional writer/sleuth who murdered all those people and then hypnotized someone else into confessing to the crime? It’s just too much of a coincidence that she lives in a tiny hamlet in Maine with the highest murder rate in the world when she’s home and someone gets murdered wherever she travels. If that’s the same Jessica I would exercise caution.
First a group poem – in a writing session each woman took 2 lines and voila:
Friday, April 6, 2012 – Women’s Room Group Poem – Jennifer Robinson read:
Voices from the Women’s Room, a Group Poem
Forgiveness is such a big word of many colors,
bruise yellow, anger red, wounded blue, white hope.
Most of the time we feel unforgiven.
The world would be a better place if we acknowledge we are forgiven.
“Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” Even their
unforgiveness causes us to be unforgiving.
Forgive us, Father, for we sometimes know what we do.
Though my flesh is torn and our hearts are broken.
Forgiveness comes from love we received
when we were made in God’s own image.
I see the world of peace within my eyes growing together as we do our part.
The days seem long, and the nights seem short.
FORGIVENESS by Esther Bradley-DeTally For Good Friday Service April 6, 2012
To everything but anguish the mind will soon adjust…Roger White
After a great wound no feeling comes,
But, a white hot pain settles upon you.
You stand shivering in a fire of agony,
“Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do,”
is a whispered voice, hidden deep within cumulus clouds,
blocked tributaries of feeling, your heart a mere stump.
Enough, enough, enough.
The well-intentioned speak of forgiveness.
Skippingly on the tongue they toss
“Turn the other cheek” which produces
a yellow, curled up feeling within.
You’ve turned the other cheek so much,
you have whiplash, and your chiropractor
is upping his fees.
You are so done
Chumped out by the world
Sick of greed lurch on the planet
Numb to the scalding rhetoric of gossip,
absolute abandonment of your Lord’s teaching
on mercy, on love Thy neighbor,
Dormancy pokes its head up, a tickling feeling
Your nerve endings prickle, and you realize
not wanting to, you are coming to life.
It’s a crucible this world, and you have
gone through the white heat of change
Ignorance and love will not cohabit within
You cast away the purple bruise of resentment
Which led you to the heart of your journey.
You will no longer resent
You will not forget
But, you are a leaf in the wind
Of the Will of your Lord
And you will love again.
It was a good day.