Tattoo – The Deed Is Done

I have been wanting to do this for a few years, and have been, it seems, annoying a few people with that desire. I was finally challenged to put up or shut up via a gift certificate for my birthday.  Yesterday I took the bit in my teeth, or the needle in my arm, and headed downtown to do the deed.

Getting the tattooI actually ended up with Chuck at Pepper Shade Tattoo which is the sister shop to Blu Gorilla and is right across the street (and some railroad tracks). Chuck is a friend of my long time buddy Ingrid Tugwell, and so came highly recommended. The shop was cool in that funky tattoo parlor kind of way, though I still cannot get over listening to Milli Vanilli in the place. I am hoping it was just a poor choice by the radio station.
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Till Angels Bid Us Rise

I was reading some short passages this weekend in Charleston Magazine from back in February of this year. Yes, I am often way behind in my reading. But these short works in a featured titled “In Love with the Lowcountry” reminded my of how much I love the cemeteries and churchyard of my home town.

When I was in college many years ago I used to steal away with my books, often poetry, and sit in these ‘fine and private’ places. I could read, recharge my spirit, and be at one with the history of the old city. I still do this from time to time. It helps that I am member of one of the churches that has a churchyard that offers such solace. But, also I seek others out. Magnolia Cemetery is a wonderful haven.

So indulge me, if you will, for a few pictures and a few favorite lines of poetry.

UCChs Churchyard

“…we’ll close our eyes,
To the decaying world,
till angels bid us rise.”
— from The Christian Year
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Distractions and Determination

I am far too easily distracted. There are so many things, many of them not even interesting, which will pull my attention away in an effort to keep me from writing. And yes, I know it is all up to me, and it is my own fault. It is my own psyche that is stepping in front of my progress to keep me from putting words on the page.

The distractions and pulls can be anything as simple as wanting to go to the restroom or stopping to find a new feature in my word-processor to things as complicated as my hands suddenly deciding they hurt or an email coming in that demands I read it. Of course if I give in to that demand and read the email, then I am going to have to either answer it or do research and maybe a bit of delegation. All of that takes time. Time that should be used to write.

David's DeterminationIn truth, it is my own fault for giving in to the earthly desires of urination or software features, and even more so for not turning off my email notifications or better yet turning off the internet in its entirety. Of course, as I type another question comes to mind – is going back and correcting mistypes, grammar mistakes, and misspellings a distraction or a necessity of writing? Sure they would all need to be corrected at some point, but is that point supposed to be while I am in the flow of writing? Or should it be in the future?

Anyway, what I have then are those distractions that keep me from writing – the ones that stop me from ever getting a single word down, and additionally those that slow me down or limit the words I produce. It is not an all or nothing battle. In contrast to an alcoholic who has to resist the urge to drink totally, and even if they give in once they can start all over by not drinking, we writers have to start and then work to keep going. Writing then is more like running. Perhaps it makes sense that we call them “writing exercises.”

Just as with the traditional forms of physical exercises such as running, there are the roadblocks that stand in the way of our ever starting to write. The sometimes seemingly mundane circumstances that try to keep us from getting to the gym. The traffic, the busy schedule, the malaise, the thought that we need better equipment before we even start. But then there are the forces that work on us while we move. The exhaustion, the soreness, the unrealistic comparisons of ourselves to others, and yes, even boredom. Even a writer can get tired of laying down word after word after word while our hands get sore and our minds get numb. And while our well meaning friends call us out to play. But we will not get better without practice, and we will not produce the mileage of words without discipline and dedication.

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The Sully Story Circle – Part IV

Well you waited for it, and finally is here! We have now been gifted with Part IV of the most recent story circle, and this Cameron Garriepytime it is authored by none other than the story circle host herself, Cameron Garriepy. Cameron has been extremely busy recently with a new job, the publishing of her Twelve Days ’til Christmas, her short story From the Earth To The Moon, and so many other ventures that it makes me feel like a serious under achiever.

But, she took time out from her schedule to write the last part of the current story circle. The first part was penned by Shannon Gooding, the second part by the one and only me, the third part by Amanda Holling, and now we wind up with the talents of Cameron.  So, here is a taste of the beginning of the end, and you can continue reading on her site. And trust me, you want to continue reading – she has produced an excellent and unexpected conclusion.

Sully, Finale

The Jaguar wasn’t built for the road it met at the end of the ramp. Sully bumped along a half a mile of broken asphalt and mud road through deep evergreen forest. She kept her eyes ahead. Behind lay madness, that much was clear.

Ahead, through a mist which lay, thick and creeping, along the forest floor, the soft pale light beckoned.

Sully felt silence pressing against the outside of the car. This silence had weight. She imagined it with hands to press against the glass and steel, but the vision brought on another bout of nausea. She swiped her clammy hands on her jeans and steered the car around the worst of the potholes.

She’d awoken drenched in sweat and tears in the hotel bed, two time zones from home, from an endless dream-loop of pursuit — prey to an unseen, all-seeing predator. Like a night-blind animal, she’d obeyed a primal instinct to flee the evil that was the box without stopping to consider that the box had chosen her.

That whatever the box contained had called to her from its table in the little shop.

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Sully Story Circle – Part III (the librarian)

Amanda Holling with BooksWow, it is Wednesday again! And do you know what that means? Yes, it means it is time for the third part of our story circle. Or really the third part of Cameron Garriepy’s story circle. Two weeks ago the story of Sully running from … something … was kicked of by Shannon.  And then last week your’s truly, that would be me, picked up part two with my addition. And now, in week three, we have Amanda Holling of librarian fame picking up the trail. This story is a fast-paced good read, and I can’t wait to see where it ends up next week with part four. So start reading below and then head on over to Cameron’s Story Circle to read the rest.

Sully – Part III

Sully clutched the steering wheel hard in both hands and swallowed down the sharp taste of bile at the back of her throat. She knew that couldn’t stop to be sick. If she slowed down long enough to open her car door and vomit onto the pavement, the terrifying blankness might catch up with her. She didn’t want to think about what that might mean. A tingling chill curled around her neck once more, clinging to her skin like a slender hand with too-long fingers. Her stomach lurched as the road in front of her seemed to slide upwards and to the right. She struggled to see clearly enough to keep the car on the road. Her foot involuntarily pressed the brake, but the dizziness began to fade almost as soon as it started and she was able to speed up again.

She topped a rise and saw something coming into view on the side of the road. It was one of those blue signs that always promised food, gas, or lodging, or so she thought at first. The reflective lettering glowed in the headlights and ordered the passerby to “Turn Here For Help.” Sully blinked once in confusion and squinted at the sign. As she drew level to it, she realized that it actually read “Tourist Information 740 AM.” She decided that it must be the lack of sleep finally beginning to show itself.

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