The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

24 February 2014

The blip that was February

Like Ross and Rachel, I've been on a break. My job came to an end as January wound to a close. There were no prospects (the interview of the disco ball lip gloss turned out to be for a job already given to an internal candidate of that institution. Ah well.) and all I knew was that library jobs are more scarce than a Republican and a Democrat who get along. I also knew, somehow, that I was going to be ok for the month of February. Along came the proofreading gig that plumped my wallet nicely, and a cheque I'd forgotten I'd be receiving this month.  You know what?  I was fine for the month of February.

Figuring that job searching would take only so much time of every day, I decided I was going to write. Seriously write. Every day.  What happened?  Dear Reader, I did not write, beyond what obligation required of me. I didn't bake bread like I thought I would. I didn't master pie crust, clean the windows, scrub the oven, empty and organize the closets or finish The Inferno. And I don't feel guilty. Well, ok, maybe a little. I must have been internalizing the stress which causes me to freeze, somehow. Plus, I realize that for the year in New Town, and my year here in Lake Town, I haven't had any holiday. I've worked two years straight.  I know... woe to me. 

The result is that while I haven't been productive during these last 23 days, I feel ready to tackle life once more.  Today I started back supplying in school libraries - a challenging job sure to produce humorous anecdotes. Last week I went on  yet another interview, this one so short I'm not sure it qualifies as such. Do we call a very short job interview an interviewlette? If we'd met over coffee, my drink would still have been too hot for me to drink it by the time I left the building.  Regardless, it looks like I may have a placement for the rest of the school year with the school board. The library coordinator told me today to brace myself because the state of the library I'll be at beginning next week might cause librarian heart failure. I look forward to that.  Good thing I'm ready for a challenge!

Coincidentally, Lent begins next week. This year I'll be giving up the internet for entertainment purposes. I want to spend time doing the things I didn't do during my time off - I want to reinstitute morning prayer with the Liturgy of the Hours, spend more time on creative pursuits especially writing. It's funny for someone who lives a quiet life alone, but I want to slow down.  Be more deliberate in what I do, and be more present while I do them.

Where ever you are and whatever you're doing, I hope  you're warm and content.

19 February 2014

No more tapping

It's official. Attempting to meet a deadline with a completed article this morning, I realize that while I can write at my computer, I can't finish writing at my computer.  I've spent the last half hour typing, deleting, and retyping the same sentence over and over again.

While I'm sure the editor would appreciate a polished, practically perfect piece, no doubt a done and dusted piece would be appreciated more.

NaNoWriMo taught me that putting pen to paper and keeping it moving keeps the thoughts flowing as well as the ink. I'm more willing to let less than stellar sentences rest on the page, knowing I'll clean and buff them all before I hand the whole thing in. I know the aim is to lay the structure down, get the main ideas out, figure out the tone and the point I want to make. In comparison, tapping the keys is about not making any mistakes.

So I hereby resolve there shall be no more tapping 'til the writing's done.

13 February 2014

Five sentence fiction: Ache

From Lillie McFerrin Writes
The prompt was "Ache".  The word itself doesn't appear in these five sentences, but I hope ache is present in the words below.


The house is quiet; still as the dusty bars of sunlight laying on the floor; as silent as the phone that doesn’t ring.  In the drive sits a car, full to the windows with memories stuffed in boxes; memories that once filled the nooks and crannies of these empty rooms. Empty as the crib in the corner. The heels of my shoes echo down the hall to the door, ghosts of other hearts beating under this roof. I watch as the memory of my palm fades from the glass until there is nothing left of me here.



12 February 2014

Questions, writerly

My curiosity would like to ask the writers among you a few questions. Please forgive my inquisitiveness, but as writing is such a solitary pursuit, I find myself wondering what the experience is like for others.

Are you able to devote concentrated amounts of time to writing in a day, or do you cobble together stolen moments in a notebook?

Writing often looks like doing nothing. You can be writing while seemingly daydreaming or doing the dishes or baking banana bread. It can mean hours of pulling out your hair to produce one imperfect paragraph or (less likely) a half hour session can produce a fully edited page of perfection. Are the people in your life understanding of the sometimes vague, intangible, immeasurable nature of writing?

Do you have a business-like approach to writing in that you assign yourself a topic or a word count and just get 'er done -- even if you're not feelin' it? Or do you court the muse?

Do you set yourself challenges, either for the fun of it, or for the purposes of growth and skill (like tackling steampunk when you're really more of features writer)? Do you think you can produce something honest, real, and true... can it be really and truly good... if it in some way suppresses your voice?

What qualifies a person to be a writer?


Thank you for the replies!

08 February 2014

Busted and Baileys

Let us right off the bat agree that we shall not mention how long it has been since I've written anything here.  Do we have a deal?

Have you ever been out and about during the course of your day, having an idea of  yourself based on how you looked before leaving your house (possibly due to some extended primping and preparation) only to come home hours later to look in the mirror and discover you were so far off the mark the story of your day could be about two entirely different people?

I had one of those days just recently, and sadly I must report that it wasn't the first, and considering who we're talking about here, it won't be the last.

An important lesson the day taught me is this: nature always wins. It wins against blow dryers and flat irons; it wins against mascara and pressed powder; it wins against carefully chosen shoes that were a compromise between the sturdy winter boots I should have worn and the cute Mary Jane pumps I wanted to wear; it wins against the loose-knit hat that did nothing to keep my nose from turning red and, err, leaking.

Importantly, and rather too tardily, I also learned to always listen to that inner voice that suggests that all might not be as it should be in the zipper region of one's slacks.

Furthermore, the first time one hears oneself making car sounds whilst driving an actual car (with a virtual stranger in the passenger seat) one should take note of how odd it is to do so, and desist immediately, and not go on to do it a second time. One wonders why one chose that precise moment to do such a things for the very first time in one's life.

(Applying the lessons to 'one' rather than to 'me' makes them easier to bear. This is a practice I may adopt permanently)

Needless to say, arriving back home limp-haired, racoon-eyed, sodden-footed, unzipped, and dripping-nosed, I was grateful to have survived the day in one piece, but withdrew from whatever fun and frolic it may yet have had on offer to console myself with my friend Bailey. On ice.