Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place



Today I found myself with a very rare Saturday where I did not have any particular chores or errands to run. I had a total unstructured day ahead of me. My plan was to have no plan. The only thing I decided was to go to a place, enjoy it, and then let that place or activity suggest where to go and what to do next. My plan was to be a wanderer today. I will not go into great detail, but I eventually ended up on a train headed towards downtown.  I ended up at the county’s natural  history museum.    It was weird to be out and about with other people. I felt like I was coming out of a hibernation and greeting a strange new world.

LJGloyd 2022

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Input vs Output

It may seem that I have fallen off the 60-day writing program I put myself on.  I have not. It has just been that the day job with its incessant output of email writing required of me has left me so mentally exhausted that I am incapable of putting together coherent sentences of personal “creative” writing.   It occurs that one’s expressive output cannot happen every day without a rest.   Furthermore, there needs to be a certain amount of input to fuel the output.  

I suppose that such a refueling could be binge-watching old I Love Lucy episodes (well, actually lately for me it’s been The Big Bang Theory) or watching endless hours of cat videos on Youtube (actually for me it is cooking videos).   But instead the best way I have chosen to refuel is re-reading (or rather re-listening to) Anne Lamott’s book on writing, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.   I consider this one of the best books on writing ever written.

Here’s a little something to uplift you.

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Driving with Grandpa

Misha was surprised that she could remember when she first learned to drive. Typically, she could never remember details of any events that were traumatic. And in her mind learning to drive had always been traumatic.

Her mother never got a drivers license after she drove her parent’s Ford off the road into a muddy field when she was learning to drive. Misha’s sister never learn to drive either because she was afraid she would do the something similar and crash the car.   Misha’s dad loudly announced that he was tired of being the only person in the house to chauffeur everyone around and that Misha WOULD get a drivers license whether she liked it or not.

Misha’s initial training began in her drivers ed course which met at the hideous hour of 6:30 in the morning during the spring semester of her junior year in high school. To augment the training she spent Sundays mornings practicing her driving with her dad. That lasted until a severe breakdown of communication occurred when they were waiting at a red light.  Her intention was to drive through the intersection when the light turned green. Her dad, though, thought she was going to make a right turn.

“Why are you waiting? Go,” he urged.

“No, I can’t. It’s red.

“Yes you can. There’s no one coming.”

“No, I can’t,” Misha said with a little more emphasis

“Just drive, would you?!”

There was nothing Misha hated more than to get hollered at by her dad, so she floored it and plowed through the intersection on the red light. Her dad grip the dashboard and swore, “What the hell are you doing?!“

That was the last time she went practice driving with her dad. This task now fell upon her grandfather, another family chauffeur, who also wanted another driver to rely on.    Misha and her grandpa would go out on Saturday mornings. They avoided the highway and took roads through the countryside. Her grandpa would point out places that held memories for him and lamented those things that had changed. He would tell her stories of their family coming to the area. He told her funny stories of his days working for the movie studios. He even told her some ghost stories that he swore were true.

Misha eventually got her license and indeed became the chauffeur for her mom, sister, grandfather and dad (who got over his initial fright and consternation when he realized that he could sit back and relax on a Sunday drive).   She had many more excursions with her grandpa.

Misha, in retrospect, concluded that learning to drive was not as traumatic as she once thought.  In fact, it was downright enjoyable.

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The Light of Santa Fe

San Francisco de Asis Church in nearby Taos, NM.

Decades ago I took a road trip across the Southwest and ended up in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I was only there a day, but I fell under the magic of the light and color, the history, the intermix of cultures, the landscape.

I was only there one day, but I want to return to it. I want to see again the purple of the wisteria against rose-colored adobe walls, white clouds against cerulean skies, red rock and green pines,  the sparkle of silver and turquoise on the vendors’ displays, red and green chiles.   I want to enter again the sacred spaces of its ancient churches.   It all has to do with the light, both physical and spiritual.

It has been said by many artists and photographers, writers and creatives alike,  that there is a light unique to New Mexico. Whether it is the altitude or the particulate matter in the air diffusing the sunlight that causes this specialness, or the fiery glow of angels and saints flitting through the skies from beyond the veil, I just can’t say.

My photos from this trip are put away and mostly unscanned, but I don’t need them.   The light and colors are seared into my soul.

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A List of Favorite Stories

I followed the directives in the video of my previous post and started creating a list of favorite stories.  Some of these are books, but most are films or television shows.   This was a quick, off-the-top-of-my-head list with a few words to describe what I found appealing about them in terms of genre, theme, character development, and plot.  I know I will think of more.   Eventually, I will pop these in my internal story making blender and hopefully come up with a good story idea.   Here goes:

Dead Poets Society (A version of the gospel– teacher offers enlightenment to students, then betrayed, yet students continue to follow him)
Standing on the desks in honor of Prof. Keating (allegiance, enlightenment)
Prof. Keating Helping Todd to write a poem (enlightenment)

Scene: Singing of French National Anthem in the Bar (defiance, patriotism)
Scene: When they say good bye at the airport (drama, love, tension, oh my!)

Lord of the Rings
Return of the King scene “I can’t carry the ring, but I can carry you” (loyalty)
Two Towers: Sam’s speech about great stories being the ones that you remember (hope, good triumphs over evil)

Harry Potter Series (friendship, another gospel tale– Harry as savior that comes back to life at the end and banishes evil)

Star Wars original (The classic Hero’s Quest)

The Fugitive (driving complex plot)

Downton Abbey (setting/locale– the abbey is almost a character)

Star Trek Voyager (strong female protagonist)

Star Trek DSN (exploration of spirituality)

King Arthur legends (mythological components)

Shakespeare in Love (tragic love story in comedic form)

James Michener’s Hawaii (setting/locale told in vivid detail)

Sherlock Holmes (character development: is Sherlock a genius or is he just insane or both)

Big Bang Theory (It is basically a story of family)

Scenes: “Swing Away Merrill”
“The Poison Never Got In” (both scenes deal with “everything happens for a reason” or predestination

Practical Magic: (Urban fantasy, finding joy in the moment particularly in the Midnight Margarita scene of the movie version)


Prompts Suck So Go Steal A Story Idea from Someone Else

The prompt I pulled from the deck today was about character development.  Meh.  I love character development, but I just didn’t feel like writing about this morning.  In an attempt to jump start this, I started sniffing around on YouTube to find a video on how to develop characters.  Again I was not being engaged by this prompt.  However, I stumbled across this video on an entirely different subject:  developing story ideas.     The vlogger started by announcing that prompts don’t work in developing story ideas.  Amen to that.  Then she gives what I think is a brilliant idea: Steal from other writers!  Yeah, really.  But it is not as bad you might think.  Watch the video and you’ll see.    I’m going to give this a try.   More to come on this.




What kind of things distract us? I think a lot of us would say that we spend too much time on social media. That’s me. Or we waste hours watching television or streaming our binge-favorites on Netflix.  Then there’s YouTube.  I have 253 YouTube subscriptions. 

Reading. “What? Books are good,” you are screaming at me.   Okay then, how many of you would rather read than spend time with your partner or friends?  Right. I thought so.

For me,  my imagination is a distraction. About ten years ago I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote a sci-fictiony short novel that takes place in an alternate reality on an alternate planet.  Even now I will take a dip back into that world that I created. I’ll come home from a hard shift on the day job and try to “meditate,” but instead imagine in my mind’s eye walking through that world interacting with my characters.  I waste quite a bit of time there.

What about writing and art-making? “Wait a minute,” you say, “that’s what I SHOULD be doing. Those are the things that I get distracted FROM.” Really? I say even these can be just as addictive as any other of the aforementioned activities. 

So it would seem that the more important question to ask is what are the things FROM which we are distracted?  Could it be that we engage in addictive distractions to keep us from dealing with the things that we fear or the activities that would better this world?  This is perfectly understandable. Who wouldn’t be afraid of global climate change? Or perhaps the start of World War III that will lead to nuclear annihilation?  Poverty, disease, racism?   And the things we fear don’t necessarily have to be on such a big scale. Maybe we are afraid to confront the deep traumas of our personal lives. Or perhaps we have been hurt so much by others that we are afraid to develop intimacy and community. 

I know even my saying this probably makes some people uncomfortable. I don’t mean to be critical because I deal with the same things. And I certainly do not have a remedy.

So if messing around on Twitter or Facebook, or losing yourself in a good trashy romance novel helps you cope, then by all means do it. But just consider the consequences.


ljg 2022

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What to do with Mags and Mike

I have not written much in the last three days. What you have been reading up to today was written four or five days ago in a flurry of frenzied scribbling and scheduled in advance to post one a day. However, I got overwhelmed with real life and this has put me behind and caused a creative block.

I have been trying to write a short-short story since Tuesday, but I don’t know where to take the action. I have two characters shaping up and a locale that may be a character of is own. Now, how shall I have Mags and Mike engage with each other? How do I make them sizzle and pop in 500 words and still keep the story family friendly? If I am successful, you will see it eventually posted here.


I Think She Was Possessed

So I have to share something weird that happened a couple of days ago. I was sitting in my living room  having a zoom conversation with another person.   Then I heard someone talking and music start playing somewhere in the back of the house.    I excused myself from the call and went to investigate.

I found my Echo Dot (Alexa) playing a song in my bedroom.  I can’t identify the song but it sounded like some kind of Christian-oriented lyrics.   Since my zoom partner was waiting I simply said “Alexa, stop” and when back to the call.   After I signed off, I pulled out my phone and opened my Alexa app to see the activity log.  Someone had to tell her to play music and it would  be noted on the app.

The app reported that someone said to the device:

“Alexa,  put on I Just. ‘ I Just Need U. by TobyMac is only available with Amazon Music Unlimited. Here’s a station based on I just need U.’”

So apparently she heard “Put on “I Just..’.” and thought I wanted to hear this song by TobyMac, a Christian hiphop artist.   Since I don’t have Amazon Music Unlimited, she put on a streaming Christian music station instead.

I was alone in the house.  The windows were shut so there was no outside noise to stimulate her.   Did she overhear and misinterpret something I said in the living room on my zoom call?   I don’t recall saying anything with Alexa’s name that would have woken her up, let alone anything that sounded like the name of this song.  And I’ve never heard of TobyMac.

So WTF?    This is so weird that I had to share.   Any ideas?





Over the years, I have done meditation off-and-on. Mostly, it is the “focus on your breathing” type and only for a few minutes. I have a monkey in my mind that swings from branch to branch flinging crap all over the place. I get discouraged and fall out of the practice for a while. Then something prompts me to take it up again.

It has gotten better ever since I took first and second level Reiki training. Self-reiki is encouraged and I must tell you that I always feel good and revitalized whenever I do it. That little monkey swinging and flinging has something to do now as she visualizes energy pouring into and spreading all over my body.

As a result, I meditate in some form more often and for longer periods.

However, there is a consequence too. As my mind becomes more clear, a lot of junk from the past is coming up, emotional baggage that has sat unclaimed and covered with dust for decades. That little monkey has pulled it out of storage and is making me deal with it.

I guess that’s a good thing. I really ought to reward her with a banana.

ljg 2022