Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Creative Space

I have recently discovered a wonderful podcast series, Write Now, hosted by author Sarah Werner.   This morning I listened to her episode on creating a space for writing where she posed the question:  what is your writing space like and how is it reflected in your writing?

I am fairly agile when it comes to the physical act of writing. I made a creative corner in my bedroom consisting of a bookcase filled with writing, reference, poetry, and spiritual books. I have my laptop, assorted art supplies and writing implements, and several dozen notebooks and pads of art paper. Typically, I write here only in the oh-so-early-butt-crack o’dawn and only on morning pages or personal journaling.  For my other writing sessions, I pop around from place-to-place.

Sometimes I dictate onto a hand device while lounging on the living room sofa.  Sometimes I write at a proper desk on a computer before I start working at the day job.  Sometimes I hand write in coffee houses and libraries.   I have tried writing outside in the park or at the beach but that, for reasons that I need to explore someday, is not an optimal experience.

How does that affect my writing?  You only need to look at the posts on this blog to see:  just as I jump from place-to-place when I write, so too do my blog posts leap from subject-to-subject.   Even my writing style demonstrates some agility:   I tend to write quick, short pieces in a simple, active voice — most suitable for blog-writing.

I wonder how my writing would change if I had a whole room dedicated to writing filled with my entire library and decorated with art pieces and other dinkerdoodles?   Would it change?

Since that is not likely to happen anytime in the near future, I guess I better keep flexing my muscles to stay fit and mobile.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2018

To hear the podcast, go to Creating a Space for Writing

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Appeasing the Muse


I have said it before: this is not a food blog. I’m write mostly about the creative process. But since my writing has been a little static for a few days, I thought I would take a little break from that and be creative in the kitchen.

What do you do with a couple of ancient squash?  OK, they’re only two months old, but for produce that’s a long time.   I roasted them, gutted them, paired them with an equally ancient pair of apples, an onion, and various spices and other seasonings. After pouring it all into a casserole, I glued it all together with big fistfuls of fontina and mozzarella.

Many times when I get loose in the kitchen, the end result is a disaster. Not so this time. It turned out quite tasty.

Who knew that one could overcome writer’s block by appeasing the Muse with mounds of hot, gooey cheese?  She’s easy that way.

Ljgloyd 2018


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Stop Worrying and Love Someone

You may have realized by now that I’m a bit of a planner. I brain dump everything into a journal, tease out actionable items, and then move these tasks to a separate calendar book to be done on certain days and at certain times. And this is just my personal and creative life. My work tasks are planned and organized on my computer at work.

One of my life mottos is “make a plan, work the plan.” By adhering to this, I am productive and I get things done.

I have been on vacation for the last three weeks and had planned to write, create some drumming compositions, do some art, go to museums, exercise and do yoga.

I did none of those things. Instead, I got sick, and between that and making preparations for holiday activities, I did none of the things I had planned to do. I was just too tired. My body was calling for rest, and because I ignored it, it knocked me down hard.

Yesterday, someone told me to slow down and listen to the voice of Spirit. I was admonished to stop worrying about plans for the future, live in the present and “love someone now.” This little bit of advice is so profoundly simple that it knocked me back on my heels. Upon reflection I have come to the conclusion that if I were to have a New Year’s resolution it would be to slow down, to engage in more self-care and to seek out people who need to be shown love, kindness and compassion.

No small order in this messed up world.

Ljgloyd 2018

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The Daily Examen

Candles in the Dark

I am quite ashamed of myself. I made an agreement with myself that I would become involved with a daily self-assessment practice. My plan was to take a few minutes each day to write in my journal an inventory of my behaviors, both good and bad. If I had been unkind that day or morally failed to step up to the plate in some situation, I would note that in my journal so that I could own it, make an amend if necessary, and in general try to improve myself.

In addition to confessing faults, I would also note those things for which I have gratitude.

I have a roof over my head, food on my plate, clothes on my back, and an income. I live in a place where I am relatively safe, there are people who care for me, and in some small way I am making an impact in the world. I am more fortunate than 99% of the rest of the world.

Yet I consistently fail to state that gratitude for what has been provided to me.

That selfish, self-absorbed, center-of-the-universe attitude — well, I own it. It is mine. And I need to excise it from my life.

One way that I will deal with this is to get back on track with writing a daily examen. Let this be the first entry:

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity.

Ljg


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Why the Pelican?

Isn’t she pretty?

If you have wondered why I use the pelican as my avatar, a trademark of a sort, it comes from an encounter I had with a pelican a few years ago.

Pelicans are actually indigenous creatures where I live, but I never saw one while growing up. DDT and other pesticides had killed them off, but when those substances were banned, they made a comeback.   One day while I was hiking along a sea bluff, I came across a juvenile or a female — it’s hard to tell which– perched on the railing. She did not startle when I approached. Had I wanted to I could have reached out and touched her. Instead I just marveled at such a magnificent creature. Right then she became a symbol to me of one coming back from the brink. Whenever my creative spirit feels crushed I think of her.

The picture above is the actual pelican I encountered.

I have other “trademarks” — ravens, the moon, the sun, stars, and dancers — but I always seemed to come back to the pelican.

 

ljg (C) 2017