Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Brainstorming an Epistolary Project


I will be starting my winter break from work in a couple of days. I usually try to come up with some creative project to do during my itme off.

I was inspired by a prompt at While Waiting for Godot“Make a Mailbox Happy and Improve Your Mood.”

The article started me brainstorming (in the image of my brain dump).  I started thinking about how only distressing or useless pieces come in a real mailbox: bills, jury summons, junk mail, and thve like. Fun mail comes in emails, texts, and social media posts, if at all.

Then I started thinking about a series of books I read about 25 years ago. Do any of your remember the Griffin and Sabine trilogy by Nick Bantock?  The author/artist uses letters and postcards that he so brilliantly illustrates to tell the story.

I got to thinking maybe I could tell an epistolary short story on my break. It will be a challenge since I don’t have access to Photoshop, my favored tool of visual creations. I may have to go old school with pen and paint. And then there’s the question: from whom shall the correspondence come, to whom shall they go, and what story shall it tell?

I am not certain that I will even do this — such is the nature of brainstorming. What seems like a good idea today may not be tomorrow.

I may end up spending my break just re-reading Griffin and Sabine instead.

 

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Playing with Images

As a creative, I like to repackage reality and present it in new and hopefully interesting ways.  I do this mostly with words, but sometimes I do it with image.   Here is a photo of some crystals hanging from my car’s rear-view mirror, slightly enhanced with Photoshop to make it a little more “more,” if you get my meaning.

“Hanging Crystals”, manipulated original photograph.
LJGloyd (c) 2017


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A Close Encounter with My Inner Critic

The first short story I ever posted for public consumption came about when I took a turn down a rabbit hole at the Soul Food Cafe.  The story was the response to a prompt about overcoming writing blocks.  In my story I have a close encounter with my vexing inner critic (long-since  banished) in a virtual and fantastical writer’s retreat called Riversleigh Manor. Here is a repost of that story.

——————– 

The Visitor

My room in Riversleigh Manor is comfortable. It has hardwood floors and a bright berber carpet, recessed bookshelves filled with all my favorite history and art books, fine literature, and religious and philosophical treatises of all sorts. A map of Riversleigh hangs on wall, and I am delighted to discover all the cozy places I could hole up and work. Though the room is furnished with only the most basic pieces—bed, writing table, reading chair, and chest of drawers—there is one item that seems out of place. On the wall over the chest of drawers, hangs a large silver framed mirror with inlaid amber around the glass. Its luxury contrasts the utility of the rest of the room.

I unpacked my sparse belongings—a change of clothes, a few special books, some toiletries, my writing and art supplies. I slid open the French doors and stepped out onto the balcony. I gazed at the valley below and saw the River ribbon its way towards the sea. In the distance I could see the mouth of the River, a vast delta spreading out like a large green lotus, spilling into the Bay.

As I leaned on the railing and tried to compose a poem in my head about the River, I heard a banging sound from my room. I rushed back in and saw the mirror over the chest rising and falling against the wall. As I grabbed the mirror to keep it from shattering, a glow emanated from it, filling the room with a orange-yellow light. I had been warned that Riversleigh was a place of unusual happenings so I wasn’t afraid or even surprised.

Holding the mirror firmly in place, I looked into it and saw it filling with a wall of fire. The flames writhed and shimmered but cast no heat. In the depths of the flames, I could see a dark speck grow larger and rush towards me. It grew into the figure of a woman. Just as the figure filled the entire mirror, a large pop sounded and I released the mirror and fell back on my bed, covering my eyes against a bright blast of light.

Silence enveloped the room and after a moment, I opened my eyes.  “Oh, no, not YOU!”

“Well, hey there, Sugar!”

“What are YOU doing here?”

“What? Can’t a friend drop by and say hello?”

“Yeah, right, like WE’RE friends,” I said as I pulled myself off the bed. Standing in front of the mirror was Arvilla. Tall, platinum blonde and gorgeous, she was dressed in a pin-striped business suit, pearls, and stiletto heels.

“That’s a different look. And what’s with the flaming entrance? That’s over-the-top, even for you!”

“What can I say, Sugar, it’s the twenty-first century and I’ve got to keep with the program.”

“Like I care. You didn’t answer my question—what are you doing here?”

“I heard you were taking a little vacation and I just wanted to stop by to see if I could be of some assistance.” Arvilla strolled across the room, grimacing at the furniture. She plopped herself on the chair and put her feet on my writing desk. She picked up my journal and began thumbing through it.

“I most certainly do NOT need anything from you.” I started picking up my clothes that had fallen to the floor.

“You only brought one set of clothes and no underwear—now that’s rustic, darlin’.”

She was right. How could I have forgotten underwear? “Um, I’ll pick some up at the Gypsy Camp. They have everything anyone would want.”

“Oh, yes, Gypsy underwear. How Bohemian of you. Dressing the part of a writer? You might as well, honey, because that’s as close to being a writer as you’ll ever be.”

“Just who do you think—!”

She opened my journal.  “Oh, looky here…..’I strive to transform reality through my words and images.’” Now, ain’t that a hoot and a holler.”

I rushed over to the table and grabbed the journal out of her hands. “Arvilla, get out! I came ten thousand miles to get away from you. You are NOT going to spoil this for me.”

There was a knock on the door. Glaring at Arvilla, I stomped to the door and yanked it open. Standing there was the Riversleigh Manor concierge backed by two beefy security officers, unsmiling in their black shades.

“Madam, I understand that you have a visitor. As you know, Inner Critics are not welcome on the premises.”

I’m not here a day and she’s gotten me in trouble already. “Yes, sir, you’re quite right, I understand. My ‘guest’ was just leaving.” I turned to Arvilla.

With a sigh, Arvilla dropped her feet to the floor and stood up. “Oh, alright! Don’t have a hissy fit. You’re just not much fun anymore, are ya, Sugar.”

I pointed toward the mirror. “Go!”

“I can’t get out that way. Where do you think we are? In a Harry Potter movie?”

The room began to vibrate and Arvilla spread her arms out to her sides. “Just wait until you have forty-three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing that you need me to edit.  You’ll come a-runnin’.”

The room filled with intense yellow light and I could see Arvilla’s arms morph into enormous bird’s wings. With a harpy’s shriek, Arvilla began flapping them. She bounded through the French doors and off the balcony. I rushed to the railing and saw Arvilla gliding up the river valley towards the mountains. Looking over her shoulder, she yelled “I’ll be baaaaack……”

“And I’ll be ready for you,” I muttered as I slammed the doors shut.

——–

ljgloyd, originally published 2006

Lgloyd, “The Adversary, original digital montage, 2006


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On the Nature of Selfies



What I enjoy about writing on this blog is the freedom I have to explore my interests and share my creative expressions. What I share here I don’t often share in my “real “life.  I have a different “face” here than I have in real life. Which is true?  Both.

It’s a curious thing, the nature of selfies. One would think that a selfie photo is a fairly accurate representation of a person. That selfie you see online, on some social media platform, should be what the person looks like in real life.

I am fairly certain that they are not. This blog is evidence of that.

 

Ljg


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Tools


When I look at the list of applications, web tools, and other technologies that we employed with our work at SFC, I am both amazed at how far that technology has come in the last twelve years, and how I have NOT kept up with those changes. Allow me to explain.

Twelve years ago, when I started blogging, WordPress was a cutting edge platform. Although blogs still abound and WordPress still holds a vibrant place in the blogosphere, more people opt to self-express on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and a host of others. Back in the day, I would post on WordPress, using search engines like Altavista and Netscape for my writing research, and then announce my post on a Yahoo group. Not much is changed in that regard, except I announce on Facebook now (even though FB is somewhat dated) and I use the mighty Google engine to do my research.

Not very progressive or innovative of me, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I always say. Just give me a computer, a good blogging program, and a search engine, and I can be quite productive.

I can’t help but think that if I lived 100 years ago, my tools for writing would still be quite simple: a tablet of paper, a fountain pen, and access to a world-class museum to accommodate my research needs.

Or, two thousand years ago, I would have been lounging in the library at Alexandria with a roll af papyrus and… What kind of writing implements did they use back then? I guess I will need to Google that.

Ljgloyd 2017

Age