When passion supersedes thinking

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Sometimes I think too much.  I beat an idea to death because I am too stubborn to let the words flow they way they want to flow from my brain.  When that happens, the passion I have for those words seems to die a slow death and is replaced by the perfunctory task of trying to string a simple sentence together.

A few nights ago I watched the movie “Chef” with Jon Favreau.  Although his career path in the movie is obviously not a writer, his struggle to hold onto his passion becomes interrupted and his job becomes a menial task.  He lets too many outside influences tarnish the joy he gets from, not just cooking food but, creating food.

I took a lot of wisdom from that movie, so much so that I watched it a second time.  The underlying theme really struck the right chord in the orchestra of my creativity.  I watched his character peel back the unwanted opinions that had been constricting his imagination and he went right back to the basics, to the thing he fell in love with, and he rekindled his passion for food.

creative writing

(image credit)

I’m going to wipe my writing counter clean and start from scratch.  I’m going to build the ingredients of my stories and get back to that place where my love for words began.  I’m going to let that passion speak for itself and not pound it into submission.  I am simply going to write.

 

 

 

 

Just one nice, looonnnngggg sniff

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I had just about given up on harnessing anything creative today when my dog sat on the floor next to me and rested her face on the window sill.  Almost motionless, she stared intently as a chipmunk ran back and forth across the lawn, each time carrying another acorn to its hiding spot.  Callaway didn’t utter even the slightest whine as she watched the little furry creature passing by about 50 times.

chippy

Every so often the chippie would pause for a rest, choosing to stop about 10 feet from my living room window.  This intrigued Callaway even more.  Pushing her nose up to the screen, she took deep breaths with the hope of getting just a tiny hint of Eau de Chippie.

I knew the writer in me had begun to take over for the pet owner when I realized her behavior reminded me of Hannibal Lecter displaying his highly acute sense of smell to Agent Starling from behind his glass partition.  There’s hope yet for finishing my novel….I just need to pay more attention to my dog!

 

 

A Chance Encounter

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Polysyllabic Profundities:

I must admit when WordPress began adding the “related posts” at the bottom I wasn’t too keen on it. But one of my recent posts brought me back to this one that I had long since forgotten. It made me misty reading it again. It seems to be a fitting post for our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend when we think of the things that are truly important and what we are most thankful for.

Originally posted on polysyllabic profundities:

Today’s Daily Prompt was this – Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow. (I highlighted the sentence in question)

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I loathe public transportation.  Every nuance of its existence offends me. The platforms are loud and over-crowded, the blended fragrances of the vast array of perfumes, cologne and foul body odors are noxious and people are overtly rude.  I don’t like crowds and I certainly don’t like feeling like a sheep being herded into a confined space.  I wish I had a car.

I purposely took a seat in the station far from the gathering crowd.  If I could begin my holiday with some personal space, I might have a fighting chance of surviving the journey without incident.  I buried my nose in the latest Oprah Book Club selection, The Poisonwood Bible, and tuned out…

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When someone says “get stuffed”, it’s not always a bad thing

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There’s a lot to be said for the joy the holidays bring – or any celebration, for that matter.  Whether it be a birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas or a reunion – the ease of the conversation, the steady flow of wine, the melodic sound of laughter and the joy of being with a close-knit group of people is unequalled.  There is an undefined comfort level that allows us to become absorbed in the festivities that surround us. The fact that we can gorge ourselves and have an excuse to eat everything in sight with only a few fleeting moments of guilt is sublime.

turkey

The molecules change in the room when family and friends get together for a holiday celebration.  There is something intrinsically sacred about holidays and the memories that are created within those moments. Time has a way of strategically obliterating those precious seconds as it marches on at a frantic pace, but our memories have a way of stopping that clock, if only for a few moments.

Holidays are a portal.  They can freeze time and create a vortex that allows us to travel back and relive certain periods in our lives.  The memories wrap themselves around us like a blanket and soothe us with the warmth of the times that engaged us and truly breathed life into our lives.

Although many holidays have passed and are collecting dust in the books of my hallowed history, watching my brother “float” his dinner in gravy brings back a rush of nostalgia, and that, to me, is what the holidays are truly about.  Personal moments that, to any other person would mean nothing but, to me, define my holiday experience.

Our Canadian Thanksgiving begins today and this evening I will spend time with family and friends enjoying a concert by Victoria Banks.  She is currently living in Nashville but is home for Thanksgiving weekend with her family.  The one glaring item that will be missing this Thanksgiving is my mom.  This weekend will be another “first” after her passing in March.  I know she will be with us in spirit tonight and especially during the making of my brother’s always spectacular turkey dinner.  Undoubtedly, she will be looking over his shoulder, whispering secrets into his ear, so he can make her stuffing just the way she used to.

Embrace your family, enjoy the moments and get stuffed with those memories.

Innocence (fiction)

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The curtains had already parted and the blackened room was silent.  There was no Maestro leading an orchestra to fill the deafening reticence.  He was pushed forward onto the stage and he sat in the still, invisible air, straining to hear any signs of movement or shallow, clandestine breathing.  The scraping sound of the rusting pulley system startled him as the curtains were drawn closed behind him.

 Although he was not bound to his chair, he was unable to move.  The bright stage lights abruptly came to life and blinded him, etching his likeness into the velvet material behind him.  He could not see the crowd that sat only yards away from him but he could feel them.  He could feel their hatred and the anger in the myriad pairs of eyes burning into every fiber of his being.  

The energy in the theater rose to a climax and the chanting of the crowd became almost ritualistic.  The three-dimensional quality of his body seemed to dissolve under the pressure of their angst.  His tortured screams filled the hallowed space.  They came to reap what he had taken from them.  They wanted their souls back.  One by one he felt the energies being ripped from his body and his cries slowly muted into whispers.  His physical body became lifeless and transparent and his screaming could no longer be heard.

His own soul had been the last to leave his body.  His mouth is forever open, frozen in a scream of repentance and regret.

7, January 1655

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“Do you believe any of that, Marcus?”   Danielle continued to read the information in the tour brochure.

The tickets to the historical theater are sold for $10.00 each.  Those who really want to impress their friends say they can still see his shadow on the curtain but those who come looking for their lost soul can still hear him screaming, fighting to get back the essence of the souls he had taken.

Marcus shrugged and didn’t know what else to say.  “Maybe Pope Innocent X wasn’t so innocent after all.”  He subconsciously rubbed his fingers on his ears to silence the sound of the more than century-old screams.

~~

gg-wkbadge-e1411321572196

Written for the 2nd challenge at Grammar Ghoul Press.  I love that this new challenge is greasing my writing wheels!  The challenge was to write a story based on the above picture and the following word prompt:

Reap (verb):
Receive (something, especially something beneficial) as a consequence of one’s own or another’s actions.

There is always a little movement in the shadows

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I was 12 years old when I first saw the movie “The Changeling”.  True to its title, it altered some metaphysical part of my being.  I was a relatively normal child, as normal as kids could be in the 70’s and 80’s, but I still remember my reaction to that movie and the subsequent “change” that happened in me.  I knew from the moment that story ended that I would never be the same.  I didn’t sleep in my own bed for at least three days and I vowed I would never play with that same tri-coloured rubber ball again.  To this day, it still haunts me to see the Pepsi emblem. It reminds me of the horror I felt watching those scenes of a bouncing ball take on a life of its own and subject George C. Scott to interminable terror.

If I were a recurring patient at a psychiatrist’s office (perhaps I should be), I undoubtedly would be told that the reason I prefer a shower to a bath was a direct result of Russell Hunter’s tale of a haunted house and the fury that a spirit could unleash on living, breathing human beings.  If I pause for a moment to put myself back into that mind space, I can still hear that young, disabled boy beating on the sides of that claw-footed bathtub as he was drowned by his father.

This is the feeling that a good horror movie is meant to elicit from its viewers.  That lingering terror, although irrational, invades the deepest reaches of our psyche and makes us second guess relatively commonplace parts of our existence.  Human beings, by nature, are fundamentally flawed, and we seek the terror in the shadows.  The horror genre only adds fuel to that fire.

Although Carol Kane starred in “When A Stranger Calls” in 1979, I did not see that movie until years after I had moved on from The Changeling.  Regrettably, for me, I watched that madness on a big screen during my tenable years as a babysitter!!   I took my role as guardian very seriously, but nearly jumped out of my skin each time the phone rang while the children I had sworn to protect were in the next room.  If anyone had called and asked “have you checked the children”, I would have come completely unglued!!

As the years have unfolded, I have been able to detach most of the parallels of movie horrors from my own perception of reality.  Although my current basement resembles something akin to the “Red Room” in the Amityville Horror, I nonetheless regard the creativity of the horror film genre as it is mean to be portrayed. It is nothing more than scary entertainment meant to ensure I still look for movement in the shadows.

I do believe in spirits, but I am not going to be consumed by the notion that they hold any ill will towards me, nor are they bent on doing me bodily harm.  There are no ghost writings on my walls, nor do I hear evil voices or things that go bump in the night (except the squirrels in my attic).   The only admission I will make is that I will NEVER have a Ouija board in my house – EVER.   Even though I don’t believe I will come to any harm from spirits lingering in between worlds, I am not going to entertain the chance that I open a portal and tempt  a forbidden soul with the vestigial energy contained in that board.  (Watch the movie Witchboard and you’ll understand my paranoia)

What scary movies left a lingering impression on you when you were younger?