The Inevitable Writer’s Block

It’s amazing how fast things can grind to a halt when dealing with creativity. There I was chugging nicely along when my muse thought it would be fun to detour me into an unimaginative wasteland. I finished my 6th chapter, started on the 7th and was quite happy with how it was turning out… then screech. Nothing. The blank page was frighteningly daunting to me. It suddenly stopped being the easy-going creative playground I’ve come to know it as and transformed into a white page of doom! It was pure agony!

My writer friends determined that perhaps I needed to make a sacrifice to my muse – a sassy little thing that demands a sprig of rosemary in exchange for inspiration – but that only lead to a conversation of whose muse is more demanding. Bloody lamb shanks and decadent chocolate dominated the dialogue for a while. We ended up deciding our muses should rent an apartment and live together, it was a lovely back-and-forth, but I got exactly no-where in my quest to write a novel. Sadness.

I slothed around for a few days, not really working on anything, watching way too much television (which seems to be the bane of my existence nowadays), and generally just procrastinated the inevitable. Sooner or later I was going to have to have to stop wasting time and actually try to write. I finally sat next to my computer, opened it up, clicked on Pages, and let the white glow of the screen bask over me. My fingers were hovering over the keyboard. Annnd nothing. The white page remained white for the longest time and I just sat there, thinking. Trying to come up with a good plot, an interesting dynamic for my characters, a planetary name, anything really. Nothing came to me. After an hour of doing nothing I ended up doing the one thing that seems to make my life a little bit better. I made tea. But not just any tea, a gaping cup of Lipton black tea with a dash of milk and (probably) too much honey. My happy place. I decided that I tried enough for one night and moved on. It took a few more days before anything else happened. It was completely frustrating, agonizing, annoying. Just plain dang stupid, in my humble opinion, that I couldn’t think of something.

I ended up drawing inspiration from the most unlikely of places. My folks and I were driving down the east coast, traveling from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania. I was sitting in the backseat with my older sister, just watching the scenery and poof. An idea came to me. Maybe I should write a scene with them having dinner, I thought, it’s a natural link to my last chapter. So I did. Maybe I wrote the scene because one of my writer friend’s asked about it. Maybe I wrote the scene because I was hungry. Maybe I wrote the scene just because I wanted to do something other than watch trees flash by. Nonetheless, I did. I ended up writing a tiny little thing that afternoon, only two pages or so. I may not even use the dang thing, who know? But at least it was a start. At least it got me writing again.

Remember, writing is an skill, you have to cultivate it, spend time with it, agonize over it, in order to watch it bloom.

Time for me to agonize again. =)

Warmest regards,

Kellie

The Tool Box website

I’m amazed to see how far the world of art has traveled, how art has helped others. Creating something – drawings, paintings, sculptures, poetry, prose – just the act of creating something helps. Helps to relieve stress, helps to channel the energy – bad or good – into something productive, helps to heal. This website, Tool Box, does just that, it attempts to heal by expressing art of all mediums.

I submitted one of my poems entitled Shards of Blue. The lovely Elise accepted. So now it’s on the website. Hopefully my words will help someone out there, hopefully the poem will inspire them to do better, to be greater, or at least… to remember.

The works there ones born of pain, of anxiety, of suffering. The works there are beautiful. Check it out, you won’t be sorry.

Warmest regards,
Kellie

Getting Out There

This past month I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with some of Anchorage’s most talented dancers and choreographers. The Momentum Dance Collective is putting on a show that combines dance with poetry, two art forms, radically different, yet both pulsing with beat. About a month ago I submitted one poem called The Criminality of Love to the program, really not thinking that I’d get in, but lo and behold they picked my piece!

The lovely thing about this experience is that my poem is one of many poems that were selected for this special performance and will actually be the inspiration for a dance choreographed by this wonderful woman named Therese (one of the artists in the studio). Yet not only is my work the inspiration for the dance, it’s also within the dance! I get to record my poem so it can be played in the background!!

This week I got to see a rehearsal of the dance Therese created. I went to the Out North Studio on Sunday, and was introduced to Therese as “your poet” (which, I have to admit, made me smile like a huge dork and puff up a little bit). There were two dancers performing the piece and, let me tell you, they were amazing! The dance was so powerful, connected and sexual, incredibly raw and unbelievably harsh, yet gentle and loving at the same time. I was quite thrilled that Therese gleaned so much out of my poem. It’s an authors dream to be recognized, and an authors job to have the audience understand the core of the work, understand and relate to it as well, and Therese did just that.

This afternoon I recorded my poem on this little MacBook of mine and sent it to Therese to play in the background. She loved it! (Whoot!)

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see the actual performance, I’m going on vacation for three weeks and it just happens (as the fates would have it) that those dates are when the performances will be. Irony. I would have loved to see the other dances and hear the other poems! Yet I can’t be too sad though because my poem is still the inspiration for an intense dance and will be played during the performance! How amazing is that? And heck, I’ll be there in spirit.

Honestly, I’m just stoked that my poem is out there. It’s out there! I’m so happy.

On that happy note, though, I really must be off. Just so you know, I might be a little late next week, we’re going to be traveling for a while to get to the Lower 48 so I apologize in advance for it.

Warmest regards,
Kellie

Postscript – There’s termination dust on the mountains!! Winter’s icy fingers are inching closing and I couldn’t be happier!