Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


The Best Mentors I Ever Had

When I think of a mentor, I think of Yoda. You know, he’s the shriveled gnome-like creature who tried to teach Luke Skywalker the ways of the Force. More realistically, mentors are often teachers, relatives, or friends who see something teachable in a person and reach out to lead that person on a path of excellence in a specific skill, talent or knowledge.

I wish I could say that there was one such person in my life: that one special person who took me under wing to teach me that one…thing.  The fact is that there were many:  Those teachers who taught me to read and write and then later to critically think and learn the tools of research.    There were those spiritual teachers who taught me to walk in a just and upright way.  There are the people who are concerned with my physical and emotional health.  Thank God for them. There were those practical teachers who taught me how to use a computer, cook a meal, and take command of an office.   Then there are the men and women with whom I drum.

My mentors are not limited to those I know.  There are all those teachers and mentors from history’s pages.  I never understood why I had to study the Greek philosophers while a college student.   Now I do.  I love to read biographies.  Learning how a notable person navigated life has given me insight in to how I conduct my own.  Hundreds of writers, artists, and musicians, both alive and not, have influenced my creative expressions.

For a polymath, one mentor  would never have been enough.


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Learning the Craft: Ray Bradbury on Fahrenheit 451

Besides actually writing, listening to  other riders talk about their craft is another way to learn how to write. YouTube is a great resource for this.   One of my favorite authors is Ray Bradbury, and he was particularly generous in giving interviews and talking about his process. Here is an 11 minute video of how conceived and wrote Fahrenheit 451 .


Vampires and Personal Boundaries

Dracula-1931Today’s prompt from the Daily Post“It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?”

I had to think about this prompt for a few minutes, and concluded that some people would say I was an extroverted person because I will chat it up with complete strangers.  Others would think I am an introvert, guarded and a bit stand-offish because I don’t readily engage those people.   How can one be both?

I have been labeled with empathic and intuitive qualities.  I don’t know if I altogether believe those labels, but  I would say that I do pick the “vibes” of certain people and gauge my social interaction to them accordingly.   With some individuals, I will feel an immediate connection.  Those are the people with warm and honest with a positive energy.  Even as a stranger, that person will draw me forth and I will have interaction with them.  These are individuals who have a healthy respect for personal boundaries.  They will engage me, but won’t press too much.

However, there are others who may seem open and positive, but they have an erratic energy that tells me to guard myself and don’t give away too much information.  I don’t inherently trust those people.  Typically, such individuals are without filters and without the proper respect for boundaries.  They will press for personal details and may even harangue in order to get me to engage.   My “Spidey-sense” forces me to shut down even to the point of being seemingly rude to them.    These individuals are what many experts in social interaction call “Energy Vampires”.  They will suck the energy right out of me.  In the case of the plane or coffee shop scenario, I would definitely try to find another seat.  I don’t blame them for this.  They are who they are.

I try not to be an energy vampire.  (We always think it is the other person, never ourselves).   I try to assess other people on an intuitive level and if I feel that someone else needs to have their space, I will back away.   I will respect their boundaries.

I don’t want to be the person that drives others to change their seats.



Who Am I?

pelican perched 2 smallTo be a writer, I believe, one must be able to write about herself, even if that self is wrapped deep within the plot of a short story, the verses of a poem, or the complex arguments of an essay.

That has not always been easy for me to do — to show too much of myself. Even the name of this blog, Miss Pelican’s Perch, and the way I sign my posts so that my name is harder to google, are aimed to keep me somewhat anonymous.  I have always felt that being anonymous would provide me with a certain freedom to write what I wanted without worrying about coworkers, friends, or family being shocked by any of my interests.   A couple of years ago, I wrote about how hurt I was, when a friend criticized me for sharing too much of my interests. (You can read about it here.)

But I have discovered that this living behind a veil is not providing me with freedom.  On the contrary, not threading my various interests into my creative works is a sort of prison.   There is so much in this world that is wondrous and amazing and I want to share it with anyone of like-mind.

That being said, this blog, which was originally intended as a form of self-exploration of my creative process, is going to continue to expand into other areas that interest me. (It actually has changed already in this regard). I will still be Miss Pelican and sign my name in my quirky way, not because I’m so much afraid anymore that coworkers and friends will discover and disapprove of my interests, but because I am angry at the narrow-mindedness of some of them and they just don’t deserve to share in all that I find fascinating and glorious in this world.  These I will share with people who “get it.”  I hope you are one of them.

If you ever looked at my About page, you may have noticed that it was brief and vague. That has changed. Take a look if you are interested here.