Turn off the light on the vacancy sign

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Drawing-Room-Empty

The hotel in my brain had been open but every room, on every floor, seemed to be empty.  I got home from another 13-hour work day yesterday, opened the laptop and stared blankly at the screen.  The lobby in my hotel was lifeless, the elevator was stuck on the ground floor and there was no movement in the confines of my cranium.  The hotel in my head, for all intents and purposes, was closed for business.  The hamster on the wheel of creativity was dead.

After a much-needed ten hours of sleep, the elevator is faintly humming once again.  The front desk staff are present and smiling and the bellman is waiting patiently to assist me with my words.  The neon vacancy sign still hums but the ideas are slowly coming to check in and the hotel is back in business.  I’m hoping after a few coffee breaks the writing staff will be comfortably ensconced in their suites, ready to work, and the writing hotel will soon be sold out.

I have enjoyed the interaction with other people over the last five days but I will eagerly anticipate the required maintenance being finished at the hotel in my brain so I can hop on the elevator when I get home and reach the penthouse of idioms upon my return.

The vacancy sign of inspiration is flickering because the ideas have begun to occupy the rooms in the recesses of my brain.  I’m hoping by tonight the prolific hotel in my mind will be sold out.

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Much ado about the opposite of nothing

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reading

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I have been suspiciously absent from reading other blogs or anything else in the category of the written word because I have been alarmingly removed from anything resembling spare time.   I am on day 8 of a 10-day work stretch and logged in 25 hours of overtime this week.  (too bad I’m on salary!!)

I miss the carefree hours of being able to have enough brain capacity to read on a recurring basis.   This phenomenon happens frequently this time of year and I feel like I am missing an appendage when I cannot feed the creative appetite that yearns, incessantly, to be fed by words.

My attention span is non-existent.  My ability to concentrate is tenuous.   My capacity to hold a thought is…………………waning.

Next week is a quiet week at work, probably the last extensive time period that I will  have to fill my desire to absorb words as quickly as I am able before the onset of summer.   The list of books has been established.  The sequential collection of email notifications has been queued, the wine has been stored at the proper temperature and the spot on the couch has been reserved.

I hope to see you on the blog (and book) side.

 

 

 

 

Maybe I should have paid more attention in my high school Physics class

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It never ceases to amaze me.  The amount of hours one works in the real world is directly proportionate to the eradication of the creative mind in the artistic world, especially following a long weekend of working in the hospitality business.

I remember my Physics teacher in Grade 11 throwing around words like ‘inertia’ and ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ but I don’t remember studying the direct correlation of physical exhaustion and prolific brain death.  Sure, the basic functions in my body still happen – I breathe in and out, I walk and talk, but the rest of me seems to be on autopilot – like that object in motion that tends to stay in motion.

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I want to be that object at rest.   I want to remain at rest (for at least 24 hours).  I want to have my brain back – the brain that wakes me up at night, swirling words around in circles until I can grab them all from those cartoon word clouds above my head.  I want the ability to form those words into whimsical, thoughtful or romantic lines and be able to feel that creative flow coursing through my veins.

I wonder what Newton’s theory would be on my chances of winning the lottery and being able to spend my precious moments writing a best-seller?  Time + creativity = true bliss.  Until that moment, I shall struggle through the hours required at my job and hope my brain can keep up the frantic pace.

Peeling back the layers of the onion

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It is rare to find people who you can talk to about anything.  Words seem to just flow and nothing you say is awkward or judged.  There is no pause in the natural ebb of the conversation and there is no deflection to inane topics like the weather.   The connection exists on so many levels that no topic is off-limits.

Those people are hard to come by and each time you find yourself encapsulated in their presence, the synergy grows.  The things you anticipated would generate a look of surprise become predicted and that person peels back the skin of your onion, exposing another layer and getting closer to the core of your existence.  Sometimes that onion will cause some tears along the way but the true essence of its flavor will far outweigh the arbitrary drops of saline along the way.

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Words can be weapons but words can also be gateways into a meaningful relationship that is based on a true appreciation of what the other person represents in our lives.  Whether it is pre-destined chemistry or the slow development a true affection, the words uttered truly matter.  They are not said to fill a block of time.  They are communicated because of a shared interest in what is being said.  They are expressed in moments of affinity.

When conversation flows, it flows because of an unspoken bond.  It flows because two people feel a level of comfort that is achieved by honesty and a genuine interest in what the other person has to say.  It flows because they care about the words being said.  Minutes turn into moments and those moments linger through time.  Those moments repeat themselves and the conversation flows so freely that becomes etched in our memory and our lives are changed forever.

Rekindling your first love

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There are not enough hours in a day to do all of the things I love to do.  I have always had a talent for artistic things and have dabbled in many different genres of craft since my early days.  I have painted, sketched, enjoyed calligraphy, I have carved wooden signs, done needlepoint, sewn clothing, holiday gifts and teddy bears, decorated birthday and wedding cakes.  I have even reinvented some pieces of furniture.

This world of creativity is my happy place.  It allows me to play by my rules and recreate the world I see in my head.  Sometimes that world is edible and sometimes it merely hangs on a wall but that portal of imagination opens and allows me the freedom to choose how I portray my vision and the medium transforms as time goes on.  But the one outlet I seem to consistently rekindle a relationship with is writing.

I may cycle through my repertoire of inventiveness and hastily spend my time with one art form or another but I always come back to the written word.  It has been my staple.  It has been my constant.  And it has been my comfort zone because it was my first real love.

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I know words will always be there for me.  I learned at a very early age that I could freely express myself through my writing.  I could vent frustrations, express buried emotion and free the feelings that yearned to be expelled from my head and my heart through composition or poetry.  Words permeated my brain.  Words soothed me.  Words helped me escape.  Words encouraged me to love more deeply than I ever imagined I could.  And even if those words did not come from my brain, words still connected me to a world beyond the world I live in every day.

There will always be moments I cheat on my true love with other avenues of creativity but I will always come back to the truest art that knows me better than any brush stroke or any jagged seam.   Words reassure me and always have the ability to welcome me back into their world.   Words will always be the embrace in which I find the most comfort.  Words will always be my first love.

 

The prodigious exultation of being a word-nerd

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Blogging has allowed me to become a true, and very contented, word snob.  I have always loved words.  As a teenager, I kept a duo-tang (who remembers those?) filled with lined paper and would make note of all the unfamiliar words I came across while devouring all the books I used to read.  Those words that eluded my pubescent mind became a staple of my vocabulary once I had defined them and cemented them into the library of my brain.  They circled my imagination and urged my cerebrum to come out to play.  They tickled my tongue and they began to flow like blood in my veins.

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(look at how lovely my penmanship was in high school)

I assiduously began to incorporate those words into as many scenarios as I could.  My teachers were duly impressed.  My fellow students merely looked at me like I had three heads.  My flamboyant wordiness was an ephemeral fantasy and I had to tone down my elevated rhetoric to become a conventional high-school student filled with angst rather than synonyms.

Today I still continue to incorporate those words into my daily conversations, not to sound more intelligent but, because I enjoy the way those words sound when I say them aloud.  I relish being able to use the phrase ‘alarmingly verbose’ instead of just saying “he talked a lot”.  I enjoy describing winter as arduous and not just “shitty”, although shitty can truly encapsulate the past six months.  And I will forever want to be mystified by language and not speak simply to communicate.  I want to thrive in my love for words.

My enthusiasm for articulate phrases has never waned.  It has followed me throughout my journey.  It has haunted my sleep and clandestinely pursued me during my conscious hours.

May those words forever churn in the maelstrom of my imagination and may I always be able to maintain my romance with the language of expression.

 

Take a bite of a story and digest it thoroughly

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“The man who reads lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen.  The man who never reads lives only one.”

 George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

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There is something divinely quieting about a good book.  It can take all of the external forces in our lives and make them seem non-existent for a few well-deserved moments. Losing ourselves in a great story line can give us a temporary escape from reality and take us on a journey to a life outside of our own.

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Although authors don’t write with us in mind, their words can give us a momentary reprieve from the demons that stalk us throughout our busy days and that try to dwell in the hours that we would like to thrive in after the work day is done.  When you open that novel or turn on that E-reader, the chaotic minutes that you have survived during your work day cease to matter and the outside world becomes a distant memory.

If you are one of the fortunate few who can switch that après-work brain to the “off” position, you are able to allow yourself to become fully involved in the plot line that the author has created and send yourself on a journey far beyond the realm of your existence.  The words on the page seep into your mind and transport you to a place and time ever distant from the here and now.

Those words, the way they are woven into a complex story line, allow us the ability to sink into a world of imagery and intrigue.  They give us the opportunity to leave our stress behind, to leave the world in which we live and venture into the fabricated journey of elusive enjoyment.  Those words have the power to enlighten us, torture us, amuse us and keep reality at bay as long as we will let them.

We owe it to ourselves to relish those moments of escape.  We deserve to embrace the worlds beyond our own and tune out the brash sounds of our real lives by bathing in the dulcet tones of pure fantasy.  Do yourself a favor…..grab a book, turn off the television and let yourself be transported by words.  You will be surprised at how simple it is to be carried away by your imagination.

Now, if you’ll excuse me….it’s time to shut the world out and take that first bite.