So, what’s a Blog Hop? Basically, a Blog Hop introduces you to a world of different bloggers that you will probably be very interested in getting to know but would otherwise possibly not have known about. A blogger suggests a format/premise, asks you to participate, you follow the guidelines they pass to you and ask you to post your results, and you select others to do the same thing the following week on their blogs. Voila! Adventure is born. I was introduced to this Blog Hop by Tammy Vitale. Read her info below and explore her blog along with the blogs of the others mentioned. Delve into their worlds and see what I mean. We all pretty much rock.
This is a name to remember if you aren’t familiar with it. Gifted artist, writer, inspirational coach, environmental supporter (the list goes on) and friend via Facebook whom I have now been following and e-chatting with for a long time and consider to be the one and only HELL YES!!! Guru (although I think she and I both dislike the label and concept of Guru) – that’s her – all these things, and then some. She is amazing.
Tammy was invited to the Blog Hop by Margie Goodchild (tangerinemeg). I was, of course, invited by Tammy and now Su Swanne (info below) is invited by me. You might also be interested in Beth DeSombre and Mo Davies (links found below) who were also invited by Tammy. It’s like a treasure hunt. So here I am, walking on the ever-changing landscape of my blog, asking you to take a few moments and read these brilliant women and feel their presence on the internet and in life in general. I love Tammy’s art and her dedication to the inspiration and guidance of women who embark on a new path toward their best possible life. We live in a changing world and Tammy knows how to weather the storms of change and will help each of us do the same. She encourages us to step off the curb wearing our best dress and make no excuses. She is genuine and strong and I am grateful to say that she is friend – lucky for me and a lot of other people for being able to utter that statement.
So you know, I am a writer who doesn’t write enough, an artist who still sits on the floor now and then with scissors and glue, and a technology whore who believes that doctors will be in your living room as full size holograms in the next ten years. I just want to make sure my hair is done when they show up, hence my Green Not Hazel twitter bio. I’m not kidding.
Here is the format/premise of this Blog Hop I mentioned above. They differ. This Blog Hop asks that I answer four questions. The questions focus on writing. I’ll repeat what Tammy Vitale said because it’s also true for me: … is interesting, because I haven’t done as much lately as once, so I am as curious myself as any others might be as to the answer. Here we go!
1) What am I working on/writing?
I am working on several things, all connected to my voice, evidenced in the blog itself and the copious notes, clippings, and photographs I have stacked in a few Xerox boxes and on my computer. Not my spoken voice. But my, you know, VOICE. That big, truthful, expose’ of a voice – the story that connects the dots. One would think that by now I had it down; I’ve been writing for a trillion years. But I don’t. I am a late bloomer and easily distracted by shiny objects. That’s fine with me because I love shiny objects. They are a perfect balance of respite and flow. Each art form has shiny objects, the gems, the nuggets that cajole and entice. For me, some of these gems also translate into the making of art jewelry. I love stones and metal, marrying them and creating wearable art. There is a vocality in an art object that when worn, acts as a conduit of the soul. And there is a release of energy that only the trio of torch, hammer, and metal can produce, at least for me. I should add here that making anything at all is a passion of mine. Altered photographs, distorted images, lists, poems, and bits of recycled paper end up drenched in resin or wax and added like fodder to mixed media pieces. When I was recuperating from heart surgery I had to refrain from banging on metal so I wrote and made black polymer mini frames covered in hand carved rose buds. I still don’t know why I made the frames, but one can imagine. I always know why I write, maybe not the subject matter but I do know the reason. As I will say again below – I have no choice. It is who I am. It is what I hear – the breathing of the muse and those of us who understand the breathing of the muse know that if we do not listen, if we do not let it in, it will go elsewhere. Hence, I am always working on some aspect of something, even if the work is to think and ponder. Pondering is its own creative act. Just to be aware is a gift and bowing to the awareness is creating more awareness. The trick for me at this point in time (I’ve recently relocated and am enjoying a bit of a hiatus from anything at all, organizing the debris and welcoming the presence of new things – like the cows next door) is to ponder less and act more, to finish a piece, a page, a necklace, a list, or finish editing the 500 or so photographs I have of garages, tools, and used parts that will become an e-project or, most importantly, to compile those pages and pages of notes, poems and confessions and finally give it all the title it craves, a home. Now that I think of it, I might write to find a home. I am closer to getting most of this done than anyone realizes, including me. I am very, very close and immensely inspired.
2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
I’m not sure which genre my work fits into. I know it isn’t unusual. I’m sure it differs in some manner since we are all different as people, but I do not know in what way. I recently decided to be brutally honest in any work I did. I thought I had been, but realized that I’d held back, reserved the meat of the sandwich and only wrote the bread part which is, of course, predictable and ordinary. I have vowed to never be either again. This causes problems because not everyone understands us when we make this shift. There are consequences and rewards to everything. I no longer want to experience the consequences of holding back. The only possible reward would be safety, but sometimes safety is hell and hell is never a good place to live. These are hard lessons but that’s what I write about. The same is true of making jewelry and other art. Why make what others make? You become a competitor when you do this. Make who you are and you are happy. I make bold, honest and earthy pieces – so far. I can’t seem to make dainty work. It just doesn’t seem to happen. Life has been glorious but some of us are unwittingly thrown into the role of warrior and warriors have never worn dainty things.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write to heal. It’s not very complicated. I write to heal myself and to heal others. We all need to be healed from something at some time. Ultimately, healing is what I do. Healing is what we should all do with our art, but I don’t believe we can actually heal other people directly, or even at all. I think we heal ourselves, then build a door. Maybe we heal and build at the same time. Maybe it’s a window we build. Someone passes by. They choose to look inside or they walk on. The curious ones might jiggle the door knob. The brave ones will pay attention and want to come inside. That’s the job of art – to seduce people to come inside for their own reasons, not …ours
I have been to the field of the Saints, she said
In the midst of the grey dawn
Sprouting like Grace at the ocean
Impaled by her joy as she spoke
I was freed by the Knowing that
She’d seen what I had only dreamed of
As I’ve said, I write because I have no choice. Cliché, perhaps, but true. As a child, I secretly carved designs on furniture – until the carvings were discovered and my father’s frown became a more regular expression. I still carve and sculpt when the mood strikes. I thought later in childhood that I really wanted to be a painter and have now painted for years but have never been very good at expressing myself through that medium. I just love to do it. I love it all, actually. I love art making. I’ve been making jewelry for nearly 12 years and can get lost in it but not like I can with writing. It has always been the writing, the words that like the pearls my mother wore with her red chiffon dress actually won the war. Our war was a real war because we – our family – did not value or support creativity. I’ve always found this odd because the one family member who chose not to express themselves creatively was the most talented of all of us. I think this was common for my generation, that some of our families exercised frustration in the act of terrorism and chains. My writing survived that damned war. Everything else is Lagniappe. Other things might end up bigger and better, but the writing will always be what matters most. It is the record keeper.
4) How does my writing process work?
My process is probably nothing more than paying attention. I am a master observer, a voyeur of sorts, and I know how this tendency was born. At the age of 9 or so, I was quarantined in my bedroom for 30 days. Scarlet Fever. Raging hallucinations. (In those days the treatment was daily injections of penicillin, a darkened room and “sponge” baths in a diluted solution of CN Plus Germicidal (no longer manufactured). Think Lysol mixed with Pine Sol. My room was blue with a rocking chair that had a striped fabric seat. My youngest brother was just a baby at the time and the summer was long and scattered with tanned construction workers rebuilding a sidewalk in our part of the neighborhood, each of them sweating and shouting as they laid down the new cement. One of them had blonde hair, blue eyes, perfectly straight white teeth and wore a white handkerchief around his neck to catch the beads of sweat. He was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
Horned dogs and colicky babies
All screaming at the same time
Lavender crickets kissing my feet
And the sun bleeding diamonds
Into a sieve made of grey glass
The Chigger Man knows my name
The flames of Hell are blue
With stripes that creak when the wind blows
Remind me tomorrow why you’ve come
How could I not pay attention? All I had to do was breathe and everything showed up. It still shows up. Once I stopped judging it, stopped expecting it to be what it did not want to be, it came faster, arriving when I needed it to and always with fresh news. Writing is the big VOICE dancing. Read Shakespeare. He must have danced with the gods. But my process really just involves knowing who I am, paying attention and leaving the light on for the muse. You will see. There are surprises coming.
The final part of the blog hop is to nominate three more people to follow this process. Since most of my friends are not bloggers, I found just one but she is worth three, in my opinion. Su Swanne is a good friend and fellow writer/blogger. She is a strong woman who could entertain you with her stories for more than a few stormy weekends. She is wise and funny, that respite and flow I mentioned. Su lives in Tucson, Arizona and writes The Traveling Alchemist and Swanne Song – Views From The Edge. She is a Facebook friend I first met through another social media site almost ten years ago. We’ve spent hours and hours on the phone discussing everything since them. Su has kindly accepted my invitation to this Blog Hop and will be posting her answers to these interesting questions next week. I thank her for this. I am looking forward to reading what she posts as I am always fascinated by her insight and understanding. Read her now and look for her Blog Hop contribution next weekend. Let me now introduce you to Su Swanne:
I have no agenda, preferring to take one day at a time, doing whatever I feel motivated to do. I am a student of Human Design and try to live my life as my true self, using the knowledge and understanding I have from my study.
I sometimes create beaded art, usually in the form of jewelry, and sometimes in other forms, such as window hangings and fan pulls, etc. Since leaving the road full time I spend time in my garden, experimenting with plants and designs to bring positive change to my environment.
Follow me on Twitter as Green Not Hazel. There are fun discoveries to be made wherever you look. Share our voices. Support the arts. Support women. Support women making art. Be happy. Change the world for the better. Be the best of the real you and pass it on.