Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Favourite all time book,

is usually the one I am reading. I have a few shelves of best friends, but it depends on how cosy they are in the right moment. My dream is to write that book that will offer a safe world to a child, bring out the shelter and new friends when life is set upon sending in the enemy.
I was constantly interviewing the author...what was your home like? did you write in a cold room, so you didn't fall asleep? did you know you would be published, or just hope? did you scribble down notes in scrap books, or were you organized with lists and maps? Who hurt you? Did this story start out as something else?
I have just crashed a 40,000+ manuscript because it was boring me. It is now married to another 7,000 piece that needed a friend. I don't know if it will ever smile at people from a shop shelf or if anybody will care that it caused me so much heartache. Maybe, nobody will care or mind that I bashed up something that they read as precious.
This morning I took my cat to the groomer. I am capable of grooming her myself but she has drawn so much blood, in spite of a towel, in spite of all my calming words, that she will need you be knocked out. As I drove her in, I told her how much I wanted to remove the fur-balls and would never hurt her...and she growled.
I would never leave her with the matted fur, and I could never leave a manuscript with boring bits. The compromise of bringing in another player was my last hope for a smooth ride.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the smallest in the best of us.

Few words have power to be ugly in any situation; somewhere they shine, somewhere they contribute. The inappropriate diminutive screams a hollow whine that begs audacity. I can't sit beneath the words... poor little thing, little nap, little home, little friend without white-knuckling the fading remains of the conversation. Does the speaker really use this to prove their own power or greatness? Or is it a left over sensitivity murmuring from my own height. Nobody who has stayed awake through the night would doubt the value of a brief sleep. The man without a home has different scales for any shelter.
I don't think of myself as short and am always surprised when any reference is made. I still think trivial chat belongs to those without depth or colour, and find myself looking for a door, big or small.
Within my own wonderland, time and comparisons are found only in the reflection of strange places and people who babble on about time and achievement. Nobody refers to a diamond or pearl as little, only to their perceived quality. The little ocean, little nation, little greed, little panic only tells us that somebody is short sighted and has missed the distress, the volume.
It bounces about rooms and papers with painless smiles, only to reply in a echo that the observer was a tourist. They hadn't smelt or felt the reality because they missed the purpose of soaking, trusting and embracing the greatness possible; in the stone, the sleep, the moment.         

Friday, August 27, 2010

one day, far away...

The reason I write is the reason I read as a small child, and as a short adult. So many truths were hidden by white noise, fashions and castles. With every breath of hope, promises were broken. Token friendships in the playground and neighbourhood felt as rich as the smiles, but then fell out. Nobody had any answers. Not that would tell,
But at night, nobody  spoke, pages under torchlight opened new places and spaces and opportunities. I had the choice to turn the page or close the book, but it all seemed like such a beautiful adventure. Even the sad moments displayed some key to walking through the next day. There was always the chance of repair. Simple typed words all in that hideous Times New Roman, filled stitched paper with anything I wanted. I could paint the faces, paint the walls, plant the garden and nobody would stop me. Books didn't tell me I was lying or dreaming or too quiet or chatty, they followed my call.
And then there were the moments of relief. Paths of tears resolved unrealistically, rarely sensibly, just to offer my mind the chance that life was worth the friendship.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bright Lights

I did an assessment on my personality and temperament to be told that I am an extreme introvert. As is usually the case, I didn't need to do a quizz to learn this. I wanted to be told. For somebody who hates crowds, tears up within noisy chatter, my work space is Life on Mars. I love people, that works for me. Each morning as I walk out into the clouds cuddling the mountain, I am hit by a blast from the splintering street lights.  They are not my friends, neither do they navigate because the burns to frayed places push me away from 
any call for help.

Achilles bleeds to attest defeat,
that bristles and blunders 
within the dawn.
Who will cool such aching feet,
wry, blistered ,
pressed on thorns.
A burnt out seeker
appeals dark eyes,
but dares not reach the pain,
as wanderers in search of hope, 
touch each mirage in vain.

why work the hours
when most must rest, 
yet few break breath and blood.
So hurt beyond your learned pace, 
as hope deceives the dream with mud.
Who dares to dream,
must flirt with fate,
forgive your fears,
as you wait, alone.
Each star alight,
sings odes of hope,
softly breaks the heart of stone.

That darkest moment, 
threatens hours that 
tempt us to see black.
No trust or promise
to fulfil could
stop us turning back
then heavy eyes
sweet with despair, 
look up to find the coal, 
those promised gases 
break the char, 
our story will be told

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Quest over Beauty

I grew up with a sister who was ten years older than me. She had all the beauty, appeal and style that big sisters should have. As a little sister, my task in life was obviously to learn from her.
There was evidently a stage in my life when I couldn't read, though I can't remember it. To hear a story before the sun had risen was difficult, as my sister would pretend to be asleep. Even after whispering, shoving and pulling the blankets off her she lay like a corpse. So, I would gently peel open her eyelids and stare into them with a smile. Realizing it was me with books under my arms, she stayed frozen.
'I know you're awake!' I'd announce, and after a bit of carry on, I'd get my story.
We were fortunate to have two phones in the house, so when boys called I was able to listen and learn how teens stumbled about asking a girl for a date. If they hadn't been so funny I wouldn't have been discovered and they wouldn't have had the opportunity to hear her interesting views on having a Little Sister.
If the conversation lasted long enough, the Brave may have decided to overlook her temper and go out with her. That was always fun. I negotiated piggy-back rides, riddles, more stories and games as the Brave waited in the lounge for MY Big Sister to emerge. As they sat doing the Boring Polite Conversation with my parents, I escaped to return dressed up in all her prettiest bras and undies. Yet again, the class was dismissed as she fed me volumes on her thoughts about me.
Sex education should always come from the Big Sister. How and when is usually best through windows of opportunity. We were in the public toilet/shower block at a very popular Melbourne Beach. She sat me up on the bench as she opened her make-up case to Do her face. As I explored the case contents I found a box with white things wrapped in cellophane.
"Are these lollies?'
'No, leave my stuff alone,' and she continued gooing her eyes.
As I unwrapped them I found they were fluffy if you pulled them apart and had strings attached.
I was just starting to enjoy swinging them about in circles when she slammed the lid shut, burst into tears and dragged me out through the masses of sandy, giggling, surfettes.
There were so many questions I still needed to ask her. Something in that perfect face told me, my searching was part of me, but my timing was...out.
jill in the middle
Big sister, Little sister and my fairy Godmother
the Questor at 4 years old

Monday, August 23, 2010

is it a bird?

In a world where tolerance and political correctness have been exalted as flags of honour, one quiet but gentle community appears to have been overlooked. You see, there is no point in having a vehicle with which to explore the wild, wild woods without a place of reflection for the beauty within the trees.

If all you brought home was the boast that you had been there, then you have nothing to offer those who have never seen a tree.
The arborist will speak of the structure, growth and health, but possibly not listen to the panic as each leaf loses colour and connection, falling and failing in her natural progression of seasons.
The artist will give an image you may keep, respecting form, shades and shadows, without pouring the picture of isolation into a page that makes you ache.
The teacher stirs a passion to understand the balance, variety, details and history. The banker will evaluate the financial value in removing the trees and evolving a community, the environmentalist will debate the banker, the Politician will make a party out of it and a local Cop may arrest them all. The believer encourages faith that even without argument, there is a reason and outcome for each aspect of the forest. The musician will offer harmony to the ensuring ballad.
And around the fringes, sensing every mood, betraying every belief, systematically sweeping stony steps, screaming inside because nobody is listening to them or understanding them or even noticing that their feelings had been shattered by the volume of the crowd, that they felt the crushed leaves, and heard the weeping willows, are the depths of the turbulent inner world of the...
don't accuse them of carrying on, somebody has to be taking notes on the vacuous vanity because one day it may be read, and appreciated, if anybody would...
stop lecturing them on diet, smoking, nail-biting and whining,
they are not paranoid but maybe tired of being misunderstood and feeling as if nobody cared.

Friday, August 20, 2010


"If you don't know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don't know the stories you may be lost in life." 
In a time before paper, storytelling was imbibed as a draught purer than breath. The teller was revered as someone who had skipped the waves and survived, and therefore could help the listeners dance through the currents. Words were too beautiful to write and the lessons too important to be forgotten or lost. Our first stories were probably not on paper, but through song and faces. Eventually the longing to copy people around us draws us into a quiet corner of letters and pictures. 
And then there's the library; silence and myriad faces head down in a world where no-one is invited, allowed or dares to tread. Every books listener is unique and the thoughts and comfort within can't be described.
Who dares to create these places? Those who are certain of success? Or those who believe.
If it brought such beauty and relief once, it could again. If it answered hidden questions, undid the heart's wonders and built fresh should happen again, and will.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

to sleep perchance

What is it about writers and sleep? Are we afraid of missing the most needed story in history, or staying awake mulling over details... Is it the consequence or concern bled from too much reading by torchlight, an over-active imagination, or being hard-wired to dream awake...
Being a night shift worker I am more concerned about being woken by ring-tones, as normal people try to call me in their daylight. It's a strange world where some fall off the wall of consciousness at the mention of sleep, and others remain awake for nights on end. Nobody will die from insomnia, and possibly the greatest fiction lurks like gemstones in the harsh darkness of a weary mind. No grief, pain, excitement or suggestion can burn the soul like endless hours of pondering and oblique distraction.
So with frazzled distraction, you finally decide to stay up and write for a few hours but some far off rooster will call you to the real world two hours after you have fallen from chaos. 
Consoling yourself that you are not average, destined for greater things is some comfort until you land in a zone where days, weeks and years have been swallowed by bright headlights and snoring neighbours...and no great things are on the horizon other than reality.
And then, there is that sweet possibility that the next page written erases the distraction of blurred faces, missed appointments and bumbling though daylight hours. The warm buzz from realizing your words work, even for some. Maybe the savour of a life inside life, eyes into the other worlds is its own reward, to be cherished rather than chastised and dismantled.