planner notes

this month, I finally got a handle on how to use my planner. if you can recall, I got this planner in july. at first I tried to use it like a traditional planner. then I tried to get all creative and such but none of those things worked. 

it all came to a head in October when I did not use the planner but one day, the last one. And it was only after I had journaled a bit over  the remainder (empty pages)  of the month of that I got it.  I just do things and put them in the planner. sorta like a diary but one related to my creativity. for instance, this mornings entry is a simple list---



oil pulling

did some sketching and work with my watercolor markers

notes: feeling sick need read. took two vitamin cs. will make soup for lunch, I think.

sometimes I write more notes or do a bit of journaling.  I still  write the important things to do at the top of dates (or on the action item list)but otherwise, I feel in things as I go. sometimes, I only note something if I haven't  done it in a while or if I know that I need to be mindful about a certain area.

and it works for me.

it feels very personal, so I won't be sharing( too much) of it.

long story short, I actually enjoy this approach over any other one, I have tried.  it feels very organic to me and my process.

do you have a planner? if so how do you use it?


(maybe) back to life


if you sit at the desk long enough

I don't know what you will find

maybe the world of darkness and light, that the poets speak of

or maybe just a desk full of empty space


if you go out into the world long enough

I don't know what you will find

maybe heartache rage and hopeful faces

or maybe just people treading stars and stripes


if you go into yourself long enough

I don't know what you will find

maybe a misshapen story and ugly hands on your neck

or maybe it will be a golden and bitter ladder

leading from your bladder to your throat

maybe all the words that you have spent years swallowing

and drowning in will climb into your hair and nose


maybe you will bear down on the years of faces in sheets and

crippling doubt and white rage and become very afraid

or maybe you will cry with your whole heart full of tears and pain

at the news

feel like you need to take all your salt and vines

and make a bridge in yourself


maybe you will build a bridge in your life

maybe you will build a fort in your marrow


maybe you will die at the arrows of hate and indifference

maybe lying in street with the American Judas, starts to sound, okay

until he/she/they kisses/kiss your face and turns you in to be shredded by laser and lies


maybe you will lie awake for a 100 years full of storms and silent fury

until the daylight sears you wide open with jagged balloons of your past selves

and  eventually you peep your

head from the middle of your stomach

long enough to take your own hand

and pull yourself

back to life


slowly creating

this November, I had the earnest stars in my eyes to work on a novel. And I did. I got up every morning and wrote for 20 minutes on a piece of fiction.

there are many reasons I wanted work on a piece of fiction. I think writing fiction helps hone story-telling skills. I like reading fiction and I use to write fiction.  I don't need to tell you but I will. it was hard. really hard. mostly, because I was not reading enough and mostly because it was hard.

you see, for the longest time, I had a story and characters that I wanted to bring to life. only on the page, they were flat and boring. so, all of a sudden a few new characters and scenarios started coming to life and I was surprised but awed at how hard it was to keep the momentum, even with a little flow.

then the election happened and I just wrote poems and other non-fiction pieces and realized a few things.

1) I like writing non-fiction things. Most of my writing is kinda of autobiographical/memoir prose and poetry and the jump into fiction is disorienting.

2) I like writing fiction but I am slow at it. It's okay to be slow at things. Trying to cram a certain amount of words in a day, for the sake of doing so is just not for me.  I know some famous folks have written x amount of words at x hour but that is not my style.

Slow writing is a meditative act: slowing down to understand our relationship to our writing, slowing down to determine our authentic subjects, slowing down to write complex works, slowing down to study our literary antecedents.
— louise deSalvo

3) I like to have multiple projects going on. Not too many but more than one. Just working on piece of work is like torment for me. I like to blog, journal, Instagram and write fiction.  I don't do all these things on the same day or for any prescribed amount of time but I do enjoy the variety and it makes for slower progress on bigger works.

4) I like the characters I am creating and I like the story. Still, I need to read and write more (WIDELY) before I can even really feel inspired to call it a novel. so, maybe pre-rough draft or (ROUGH)rough draft would be a better way of thinking about things for me. Writing a rough drafts feels freer than writing a novel for me. I don't even know if this will be a novel or something novel-like.

5) sometimes, you just can't do everything. Some things take time. If, this whole artist-residency in motherhood is teaching me anything, it is that fast is not my friend. For me things work best when they are open-ended and with loose parameters. I have to work with a long view and not a short view for sanity's sake.

so this is where I am with the novel-like piece of work. I am just working on it, like I just work on all my other projects, slowly. I do feel like I should be more focused but that perpetual laser focus stuff drains me. so I am here accepting this is how I work.

 In all my time of reading books on writing, even my favorite ones, I think most of the writers have been singularly focused on one medium but I am not. I feel like a misfit but I am not. I work best when I am stimulated by my works but not overstimulated and not working too fast.

Recently,  I read somewhere that artist, especially mother artists, should think about things in five or ten year increments. So my goal is to have a decent draft of this novel-like work ( or another work)  in five years or so.

however, I also want to work on my visual art a lot during this time, too. I want to paint more canvases and get better camera equipment and go on photography adventures. I want marry the visual and the words better in a small-scale project. I want to write more long-form pieces or maybe just one. I want to do more interviews and oral histories.

Just art as way of life. Nothing major, right? of course, I am not holding myself to the letter on these.  Who know what the world or life may hold but also, why not create art no mater what?

Do you have a five year plan or is it hard enough to keep a daily plan?


less confession

gratitude for these moments. moments when the yesterdays still stand but the right now brings you back. you remember what you are in this for and where you are at. you grab yourself out of the ashes and remake yourself. almost
because this is your narrative. you get to say who and what you are after all.
— keishua

these are words, I wrote them a few weeks ago and shared them on my old blog and flickr. I was referencing a lot of things but mostly I was thinking about boundaries. my boundaries. how as much as I like the idea of being a confessional writer, that it has its limits for me. How processing things online was not helpful for me. it still is not, even though I try ( and delete many things because of it).

I am back to here. Respecting my boundaries. I will always share information. follow me on twitter for tons of it but when comes to intimate thoughts I have to be careful for my own soul sakes. it may look innocent but writing about things (for public consumption) I have not fully digested or that are really personal to me (even if they are awesome topics) makes me feel horrible and I need to respect that.

 I have long thought that to be a good writer I needed to dive deep and tell the truth. I think this is true but I also have to protect my heart and not give it away to people who can't hold it properly. this feels like explaining. I don't want to explain. I guess that is why I am more into writing but not confessional writing. the truth but one(s) told fully on a artful slant.


inspired by this post and life, of course.