Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Bench-pressing with Words

My goal is to write at least five minutes every day. Sometimes it is by blogging, or through social media postings, or even at times by crafting the content of a significant e-mail at work. My purpose in writing every day is simply to get better at it.

I need to particularly practice writing with intent. I need to practice since my writing intentions don’t always play out in the finished piece. For example, my writing is sometimes droll or witty, but if my intention is to purposefully write in that manner, it oftentimes falls flat. Similarly, that carefully crafted email mentioned above most likely needs to be precise, clear, and authoritative. However, I often muddy the waters when I overthink that intention.

I find that it is best to briefly set the intention, let it go, and then just write. I don’t think about it. I just write and tell myself that I can clean it all up in the editing process. In other words, I tell my inner critic to zip it while my inner muse creates. She can chime in later.

I need to regularly practice this intentional “free flow”. This is the reason I come back to this blog several times a week. Each time I pull myself back to a singular, pure output of creative thought. I need this regular practice to get stronger and more adept.

It’s like working out in a gym.

ljg 2017

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Back to Basics Across the Disciplines

Once or twice a month I gather with others at a local drum circle. This particular circle has a lot of djembe and conga players and most of them are experienced and talented percussionists. I am learning a lot from them.

However, I am an amateur darbuka player, and my initial study of drumming was with middle-eastern rhythms– which are enormously different from the Afro-Latin beats of the drum circle players. Furthermore, once a week I practice with a band (guitarists and vocalists) who play contemporary pop/folk. So you can see that I am exposed to an ecclectic variety of musical sounds. Unfortunately, this is resulting in me developing, in my opinion, a rather eccentric drumming style where I am not particulary good at any one of them.

To mitigate this, I have assigned to myself the task of going back to the fundamentals of middle-eastern drum patterns and practicing them until I am competent in them.

I think this return to the fundamentals is important in all creative disciplines. If you crochet, perfect that single chain stitch. If you cook, be a master at hard boiling eggs or making that bechemel sauce. If you write, dust off your dog-earred copy of Strunk and White and review the elements of style.

Before Picasso started painting like this,

he learned to paint like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ljg (c) 2017

In case you are interested, I am working on perfecting a maqsoum pattern:

 


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Okay, So About Today’s Post….

This post has nothing to do with today’s Daily Post prompt, ghoulish, but I wanted to end my month-long self-challenge to blog every day with a link to the Daily Post since so many of you who commented and liked my posts came through this portal.

What did I learn from engaging this self-challenge?

First, it was an exercise in finding connections.  I was able to find some kind of relationship between the daily prompts and my imagination, even though at times that connection was tenuous and convoluted.   Usually I wrote these posts sometime between 6 am and the time I started the day job.  At the very least,  I proved to myself that the synapses can still fire even that early in the morning.

Secondly, I learned to expect the unexpected with regard to the responses. For example, yesterday’s post about “Fluff” was a piece of drivel in my opinion, yet it got more likes than any other of my blog posts in the last month. Then there were other posts that I thought were pretty darn good — which hardly got a look.  I think my Inner Critic has gone on a bender because my writing instincts have become a bit skewed.

Third, I reinforced my commitment to write every day.  The writing has become every bit as much a morning spiritual practice as has my yoga, meditation, and reading.

What’s next? I am still  going to be writing every day but not necessarily through blogging. I have some personal writing that has gone long unattended, and I also want to work on my drumming and photography.

Oh, who am I kidding?  If a prompt floats my boat, I’ll still be posting!

Thanks again.  And Happy Halloween!!!!

Miss Pelican.


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What to Say About Orange

A writer could examine “orange” in a number of ways:   as a sweet, juicy type of fruit, as a prison uniform, as the aftermath of a bad trip to a tanning salon.   A writer might describe orange as an emotion — not as angry as red nor as happy as yellow.  Orange is confident … or orange is sickly… it depends on your frame of mind.

A good writer can convey this visual through words.   However, I am a photographer as well so I’m just going to show it:

Sunrise over the Gundo

ljg (c) 2015, 2017


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Flipping the Switch

As I have stated many times in the past, I think it is vital to a writer’s life that she or he write every day.

Just as doing a cardio workout or a strength-building regimen on a daily basis would keep a person physically healthy, writing every day keeps a writer’s skills toned and in shape.

Writing for a few minutes every day also helps the writer gain insight. That insight can be on anything from the writer’s personal life to the broader world where solutions to social and political problems may find their way into a finished essay.

Sometimes the insight comes slowly. Fragments of thought become words, words develop into plots, characters come to life and stories are born..

Sometimes just putting the first word on the paper will flip a switch and light will suddenly illuminate the imagination.

That being said, once again I give my admonition to write on a regular basis and write often.

 

ljg

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