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…
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.