Up ‘til noon, back up again at sundown. Or is that the other way around? Just breathe.

Hesitantly her hands reached out to grasp the ledge of earth above her head and then focusing her strength, pulled herself from out of the hole. It's bright up here. The sunlight made her gasp and squeeze her eyes shut. Sunlight is a powerful thing. She’d forgotten how brilliant and warm it is. She sat there a moment on the ledge, her feet still dangling into the hole she’d just struggled from and trying to decide: open her eyes or keep them closed, go back into her oubliette, stay right here, or move forward. Decisions like these should not be made lightly. It took her so long to escape, what difference could another day or two or three make? Besides, it's not so bad sitting right here…
~ IK

It was much pleasanter at home, when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits.
~ Alice (and my sentiments exactly)

Do I have an excuse for not writing a blog post in (ahem) over a month? Ye-gads, of course I do! After all, I am part human and we humans excel at making (up) excuses: “I’m not feeling well,” “My hands hurt,” “I don’t really have anything to say,  A white rabbit keeps asking me to go with him to Wonderland” and my personal favorite, “I’m too busy working to write a post.” Are those the best I can come up with? Well, yeah. I could say I was abducted by aliens, but that would  merely be a vacation for me and therefore, not a very good excuse. And if we’re going to make (up) excuses, I say “good” isn’t good enough. Make them “very” good.

So, what is it about working that makes me forget about everything else? I have been writing, by the way. I’ve come up with all sorts of weird little tales (as is my wont) but I don’t post those to this blog. This blog was supposed to be about me. In a way. Kind of. Sort of. “Me,” is not my favorite topic, you see. There are just so many far more interesting topics out there (and in here). So yeah, I’ve been writing, just not about me. Yay for me.

Side note: The truth is, I almost wonder (weird expression, eh? How can I “almost” wonder, I wonder?) if blogging stops us writers from writing. Okay, I realize how that sounds. Bear with me a moment, folks. Does blogging keep us busy writing so we don’t feel guilty about not writing? Yes, blogging is writing. But is it the writing that we set out to write? Maybe. Sometimes. This is actually a question we have to answer individually, isn’t it? Crap. There isn’t a Universal Answer, is there? Crap. Crap.

I always think of myself as a Storyteller. Stories are easy and they’re everywhere. Basically, I can’t shut the Storytelling thing off. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m a big, fat liar. My stories aren’t close enough to reality to be confused with lies.

Storytelling is simply a twenty-four/seven thing, man. Anything and everything has at least one story, and most often several. And I’ve been telling them before I was even able to scribble, since about the age of five. By the way, stuffed animals make a great audience. They don’t interrupt and they always laugh in the right places. They're also incredibly patient and best of all, they reserve their judgment. 

When I’m not performing for a room of stuffed animals, then I’m scribbling the stories down or perhaps doodling a few pictures. Stuffed animals possess many wonderful qualities (see above paragraph), but a vivid imagination isn’t one of them (lucky them). So, it helps if you can show them a picture or two while you tell them a story. If I could stop there, that would be awesome. But damn-it, it doesn’t stop there. ‘Cos there’s eating, sleeping, general housework (dusting stuffed animals), socializing, white rabbits that must be followed to their natural conclusions, bills to pay, and a business to crawl (sorry, I can’t say I “run” my business, yet. That’s just too grand a phrase). Oh, and breathing. I really need to remember that one. I forget to breathe constantly. I get air into my lungs most of the time, but that’s really not the same thing as breathing.

Storytelling is not something I take credit for, because I was just born this way. Writing came afterwards. And as most of you know, writing is work. Same thing with doodling. Doodling is fun. Doodling is easy and can be done anywhere: on a bus, a plane, in front of a TV, at the breakfast table, in a meeting (especially in a meeting), inside, outside, right side, left side, upside down. And you can doodle on anything: napkins, paper plates, cheap tablecloths, empty pizza boxes, old tee shirts, your husband’s back while he’s asleep (harder than it sounds), whatever. Drawing is the work part.

Writing and drawing can leave one stiff, exhausted, in pain, exhilarated, and out of breath. Or that’s how these activities often leave me. You’d think I’d been hiking, skiing, rowing (highly unlikely), or all three at once (now that would be interesting).

 “There were no life jackets and as the little boat hit the waves I was beginning to wonder if this was yet another of my not so bright ideas.”

I do remember to come up for air every-so-often, but again, this is not the same thing as breathing. So, where have I been for the last month? In my oubliette without window or door, which is the perfect place for discovering stories, encountering doodles, writing (grrrr), drawing (double grrrr) and much occupied with trying very hard to remember to breathe. Hope your breathing is going very well. 


  1. If this comment gets to you Sis, it's nothing short of a miracle. Here's to Miracles, and all those who believe in them.....

    It's the thought of you dusting the stuffed animals and trying to remember to breathe! Love it love it love it.

    I think you make a valid point about the blogging stopping the writing. A sort of nice displacement activity from the job in hand. I don't write, but I blog and I suspect (no, I know damn well!) that if I did write, my blog would be something that I fell back on if I had run out of steam with the writing or had some sort of block, or couldn't see a way forward with the writing. Does any of that make sense??!

    And, you are right about the doodles V the drawing. Doodling is within the comfort zone, but the minute one sets out to do a drawing, now that is a serious business. It's suddenly a conscious exercise and it changes the whole complection. I can only liken it to when we were children. I dont' remember when it actually happens, but there is a point in childhood where you cease to effortlessly draw and write. I think it's the point where you start to get critisised - when suddenly we become scared because someone is going to peer over our shoulder and say 'oh, that's nice but it's a bit out of perspective, or ummm, maybe you should re-think that last paragraph?

    The moment that happens we lose that wonderful confidence and the effortlessness that comes with early creativity and trust in whatever we do. And JOY! the sheer joy of just doing something for the simple and unparalleled pleasure of it.

    So, as adults we are subjected to criticiscm - we learn to expect it, and we know for better or for worse we need it but it can make us very conscious and constipated in our creativity - especially if we are sensitive types!

    Keep those juices flowing, whether it be a doodle, a blog, a story or a drawing and by all means entertain the soft toys with them, but PLEASE don't forget to tell us human beans about them too! They are wonderful xoxo

    1. Absodamnlutely everything you say makes perfect sense, Sis and I totally agree. Except the part that you "don't write." Of course you do. And you're a marvelous writer! AND you're a published writer, too!!

      Even if we have no one peering over our shoulders, our inner critic seems to gleefully take over (and is actually much harsher than anyone else).

      Thanks so much for the lovely and thoughtful comments, Lottie xoxo

  2. Ahhh....the lovely alien abduction story. I too love that excuse. I find it useful for so many things.

    "Why didn't you take the trash out?"

    "How come the sink if full of dishes?" or

    "Why is my son only wearing a diaper today?"

    (did you note the last one...if Xander had done something wrong it would have been "your son")

    A standard answer for all of these questions is "I was abducted by aliens and we just now got back! Xander had a wonderful time!" (since my son is only 3 it is very easy to get him to say he had fun too!)

    I do wonder about the writing though. I started blogging as a gift to my son but it has developed into something more. I have always enjoyed writing and sharing things with others.

    It's only been recently I have actually been guest blogging at a few sites (although today I am rather excited I will have one of my posts featured on The Good Men Project website ... huge father/parenting site.) I think I lack the self-confidence sometimes to force myself into writing and it's safer to blog about things that might get read.

    I am glad to see you post again. I was wondering where your posts were. (I will take a tip from you and the next time the aliens abduct me I will take my laptop and write part of the time)

    Aaron :)

    1. Haha! Lucky you to have a co-conspirator, I mean witness to your alien abductions!

      Your blogging is a wonderful gift to your son and as is often the case with things we do for our children, it turns out wonderful for you, as well. Who knows where it will lead, eh? I think you have a solid and enjoyably casual style. And a big congrats on getting a feature on The Good Men Project website! Go you!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a delightful comment, Aaron! :)

  3. I have been horrible about commenting and keeping up with my blog also :) Life always seems to get in the way and I put my life first of course :) I always love reading your posts and appreciate them whether they are every day or only once a month. It isn't the quantity, but the quality. I hope your having a great week!

    1. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who's been slacking. It's always nice to have company, isn't it?

      I always enjoy your posts and excellent recipes! It's been so hot lately, of course, I've not done much cooking, but I'm really looking forward to autumn so I can try out all those yummy scone and biscuit recipes you've recently posted.

      And you're absolutely right Frugal, Life must come first. Hope you're having a great week, as well. :)

  4. Only a month? Lightweight! I've not blogged since Methusela was riding a Brontosaurus to victory in one of the earliest known Grand National races (Jebadiah on a Stegosaurus and Japeth on a Brachiosaurus was a photo finish for second).

    Anyhoo, I'm glad to see you back (in the New York Groove) blogging away and making me laugh and smile and wanting to skip through fields picking daisies and following white rabbits down holes and getting into all sorts of mischief! Love the drawing too!

    Keep on blogging in the free world IK (while it's still free!) :)

    1. Totally! We'd really miss it if we had to pay, wouldn't we? Perish the thought!

      YOU always make me laugh out loud with your fabulously witty comments, MrGG. And thanks for putting Neil Young in my head (to replace that horrible commercial jingle that was previously occupying the space). :)

  5. I blame it on summer, I personally have been a bad bad blogger this summer! Your blogs are worth the wait my friend.

    1. Aww, thanks Natalie! I feel the same about your posts. xo

  6. This as always was fantastic! I love hearing that you are writing, i've read some of your stories and i love them. Exactly the kinds of things i like to read. Can't wait to hear more from you!!

    1. That is wonderful to hear! Thanks so much, Dev! xo

  7. ~...and then focusing her strength, pulled herself from out of the hole. ~

    Well, in pulling yourself out from that hole, I think you've just helped me out. Didn't know I was clutching onto your ankles, did ya? I think my face just discovered the sunlight through your vision. Thank you, IK. I'm ready to write. (;

    I also am trying to remember to "Just breathe", as Drew Barrymore once said in, "A Cinderella Story". Yeah, I know, Faith Hill said it too. But this breathing I'm talking about is of the individual-soul-on-a-journey kind. Not a new concept, I know. But an important one. We take this breathing thing for granted, I think. One more reason meditation is something I should be doing Every Day. To remind me where I draw my strength and where I want it to take me.

    Yes, we may have been abducted by aliens this summer (or as my daughter once said, "adopted by aliens"... more on that in my next post). But Baby, I'm back! At least in my head. And that's just exactly where I need to be right now. I'll write down the bones, just as you will(are) in good time!

    So happy to hang out with you again! I needed that!

    Love! and Friendship

    1. That is MOST awesome to hear, Scarlett! Anything that can inspire us to write and do our true work is a fabulous thing.

      "To remind me where I draw my strength and where I want it to take me." YES.

      I totally agree about "soul-on-a-journey-breathing" and meditation (in whatever form you choose). We ARE on a journey and it goes by fast, we need to breathe to slow it all down and be aware. I've always found it fascinating that it's the simple things that we do to take care of ourselves that are most often the first thing to fly out the door when we're busy, injured, stressed, ill etc. Bizarre!

      Being back "in your head" is the biggest step. So glad you are! Thanks for stopping by, Scarlett! xoxo

  8. Can relate to you in the haven't blogged in over a month problem. I have two reasons really......sometimes (actually most of the time) I feel that what I have to say isn't all that important (self-esteem issues) and the other is that you, IK, are the only one who reads and comments on my posts since I don't have any followers. I think the whole blogging thing would be more fun if I had more followers (and that works both ways, I would love to follow more people also.....still figuring this blogging thing out). Anyways.....starting to ramble.....it is nice to see a new post from you and glad you are working on your writing.

    1. I love what you have to say, Kranky. And who fu**ing cares whether or not it's "important"?? It's about expressing ourselves, which IS important.

      Rambling is good for the soul. You can ramble to me anytime! xo