Today I stared at a giant green frog for inspiration.
He stared back.
Today I received several compliments on how I looked
and for each of those moments I stopped criticising myself.
Today my computer beeped at me like it might explode.
Today I walked through an empty hospital ward
soon to be filled with sick babies.
I felt inspired and upset.
Today I thought how amazing my sister is
and I missed her.
Today I wanted to hug a friend who needed hugging.
Today a colleague drew some boobies on my work pad.
It made me laugh.
Boobies are funny.
Today I wondered what the other me’s are doing in their alternate universes.
I hope they’re planting trees and swimming across oceans.
I hope they’re living in full colour.
Because today I don’t think I lived to my full potential.
Filed under Beauty, Boobs, Communicating, Family, Flash fiction, Friends, Hothouse exercise, Humour, Inspirational, IVF, List poem, Love, Motherhood, Poetry, Women/Feminist, Writing
I need a ball.
A blue ball.
I had a blue ball.
I lost it
under the fridge.
I keep standing at the fridge door
but my humans put me on a diet.
I don’t want to be on a diet.
I want my ball.
I found some sparkles.
I ate them.
They didn’t taste good.
I found Bronte and bit her on the neck.
She flattened herself into pancake.
She didn’t taste like a pancake.
I wish she did.
I pulled all the blankets off my humans’ bed.
I dragged them down the hall and into the kitchen.
I think I have very strong teeth.
I fell asleep and dreamt I was fighting a dragon.
When I woke up I vomited.
It had sparkles in it.
Bronte looked impressed.
Only pedigrees vomit sparkles.
Filed under blogging, Cats, Family, Flash fiction, Food, Friends, Humour, List poem, Love, Poetry, Writing
Writing. It drives writers mad. It drives me mad. It’s so important to me that I ignore it for months or years at a time – because it hurts to think what I’m doing isn’t good enough. As the years pass and I get better at it, and I feel better about it, and myself, those hurts and fears start to retreat and what’s left is the process of writing itself – what Ernest Hemingway called bleeding at the typewriter. So, really, it’s never going to be easy. That’s been a slowly dawning realisation for me, and an extremely helpful one.
Apart from bleeding at the keys, I have a problem of being split between writing projects. I basically write for a living – it’s not creative writing, but it’s helpful writing – it has to be economical as well as thought provoking and inspiring. It helps my creative writing, no doubt. I also write theatre reviews, and I’m back blogging, and I’m about to be doing some corporate blogging as well. But the writing I really want to be focusing on is my fiction writing – my new novel and the odd short story. This is a lot. I think it is anyway. And after a day at the keyboard at work I rarely feel like coming home and working on my own projects.
I think maybe the key to all this is the bleeding thing… I don’t sit at my work keyboard and bleed. Theoretically, I must have a whole lot left in the tank – I have six litres of the stuff after-all. I think it’s about fatigue. When I do sit at the blood-inducing home keyboard I tend to gravitate towards smaller projects. I write a blog post (as I am now – about wanting to work on my novel, but not actually doing it), or I have a review to write, and the novel is put aside yet again for “when I have more time”.
Aye, there’s the rub. From this point in my life, I will only ever have less time. If the IVF stars align soon, I will be in the midst of baby-time (which, according to everything I’ve ever seenreadheard, means there IS no time for anything else), my career is only going to get more full-on the longer I’m in it, and I’m getting old and have to spend more time on yoga and other limb-limbering pursuits. So, shouldn’t the time be NOW? Isn’t this the prime of my life? The time where I’m still child-free, but old enough to be wiser and more witty? Why am I STILL PROCRASTINATING?!
Honestly, I think I was born to procrastinate on long goals that are important to me. It just seems to be my way. Give me a short-term goal and I’m all over that baby! I guess the answer is persistence and prioritising what’s really important to me. Not to mention learning that I can work on a long piece of writing even if I only have twenty minutes to spare. I think, over the years, I’ve come to find my peace with the balance between blood and enjoyment. I can’t not do it – write – so I have to do it, blood’n all. Simple. Right?
Filed under blogging, Books, Communicating, Criticism, Editing, Family, Fiction, Flash fiction, Health, Inspirational, IVF, Motherhood, My Book, Reading, Review, Short Stories, Women/Feminist, Writing
My resolve got tested today
I drank too much coffee
I told a sad story and almost made myself cry
I imagined bees today, lots of them, and I liked the sound they made in my head
Today I saw a man with one leg in a blue dressing gown who walked like a King
I am more resilient than I give myself credit for
The clouds were closer today
I mopped up spilt coffee with a new friend
I gave a cat a massage
I ate salami and missed my Nonna
I wished I could stick up for myself more
I got a lovely email
I boosted someone’s confidence
I heard some great news from the other side of the world
I remembered horseback riding on a Welsh Mountain and
I could taste the wet ground on my tongue
I saw someone else’s pain today
It was thick, like molasses, and it wrapped around me as I walked past
I had to stand in the wind to set it free.
Boobs. Angel Cakes. Gazongas. Cupcakes. Breasticles. Funbags. Knockers. Zingers. Baps. Bouncers. Bazooms. Girls. Norks. Ta-tas. Cha-Chas. Bongos. Rib Ticklers. Pillows. Peepers. Watermelons. Gob Stoppers. Milk Cans. Muchachas. Mams. Yams. Loblollies. Butterballs. Hooters. Humdingers. Boobs.
Boobs are cool.
Boobs have pizzazz.
Boobs see the world just before everyone else does.
Boobs have magic and mystery.
Boobs create scandal at will.
Boobs feed the world.
That’s when they hum.
You don’t believe me?
Next time it’s quiet put your ear to the wind. You will hear a steady sound. Like a whispery wail or a looping tale. Quiet as a sigh and clear as the sky, the feeding boobs are singing. They’re lulling and trilling and jiggling and spilling. And all the babies in all the world understand the joy they are giving. So sing back, if you dare, when night time looms, and see what happens when you charm a big bouncing pair of bazooms.
So last night I was searching for something I’d written a long time ago and thought I’d check and see if it ever ended up on my blog. What ensued was several hours of reminiscing… plus one late dinner. Oops. I started this blog five and a half years ago and a lot has happened and much has been written in that time that I’d completely forgotten about. So I’m going to re-post a few old favourites. The following was written in June 2008.
On Speaking to Myself
It’s quarter to eleven, you should get up now.
God. Really? Quarter to eleven? It doesn’t feel like it. That’s terrible, I’ll get up now.
I roll onto my side and discover how comfortable it really is on my left side. I wish I’d been lying on my left side for the last half hour. I pause, on my left side, just for a minute.
Yeah, yeah, I’m getting there, hang on.
What would your brother-in-law say right now? You still being in bed at quarter to eleven?
Me thinking about my brother-in-law while I’m naked in bed disturbs me and I pull the covers up to my nose. My bloodshot eyes are like two red beacons, willing my husband to bring me coffee.
He would say – You can’t do THIS when you have children you know, you can’t sleep-IN on a Sunday morning. And he would roll his chirpy blue eyes to the chirpy blue sky and lift all four chirpy children with one perfectly muscled arm as they chirpily squealed for chirpy joy. Where the hell is my husband? He never brings me coffee in bed so why the hell can’t he work out that THIS is the morning I need one?
Couples with children shouldn’t be allowed to talk to couples without children. It should be a law. My brother-in-law probably really thinks that I have no idea about not having another sleep-in for the next 20 years. All the more reason to stay here just a little bit longer.
Are you getting up now?
Am I the only part of our consciousness that’s capable of eliciting movement? You get up.
We won’t be able to do this when we have kids you know.
I roll my bloodshot eyes around and around my head until I feel dizzy.
I can’t get up, I’m dizzy.
We need to get the washing on while the sun’s still warm.
That’s the most imbecilic thing you’ve ever said, you’re clearly sleep-deprived, now go back to sleep.
The bathroom needs cleaning.
I’m right there, it really does. I can hear its tortured screams from beyond the wall next to me. I pull the covers up over my ears.
Pfft, I pfft. But I’ve run out of excuses. The bathroom is wailing in staphylococcus studded screams, the washing is mounting a mutiny on the laundry floor, the kitchen sink is a cacophony of caterwauling, and I need to pee.
‘How would you like an amazing energy drink that is guaranteed to taste good and get you out of bed?’ My husband looms over me and smiles at my red eyeballs poking above the top of the sheet. A broad hand clamped around a hot coffee comes into view.
I look at him. My gratitude swamps the bed like a menopausal hot flush.
Let’s not have kids, what’d’ya reckon honey?
Did I say that out loud?
Today the Australian government let us all down, fucked us all over, and embarrassed themselves.
Today I thought about my mother four times. I haven’t seen my mother in over a year. I miss her.
Today I imagined myself in Tuscany, brushing my fingers across the smiles of sunflowers.
Today I wondered if I will be pregnant and 40 or just plain 40.
Today, for the briefest moment, I saw music in colour.
Today I laughed at an unexpected text message.
Today I played chasey with a cat.
Today I wondered what I would do with twenty million dollars.
Today I did not come close to fulfilling my potential.
And as the sun dips in the sky, I yearn for sleep.
Because tomorrow I pull on my wonder woman boots, fasten my superman cape, roar out of my bat cave and start creating honest to goodness miracles.
I saw a boy’s penis fall out of his shorts once. At the time it was the single most ridiculous thing I’d ever seen. Once I sneezed out a tampon while trying to seduce a boy. It shot out and hit the opposite wall. He thought it was a torpedo sent from God to try and kill him. Boys are very self-absorbed. Once I saw a girl wet her pants while sitting on a stool in science class. That same year I grabbed my best friend’s boob by mistake. She was furious. I didn’t mind it. Willies float in water. I find that far funnier than it probably should be. My mum made my dad a boob cake for his birthday one year and we have photos of him pretending to grab them. I’m pretty sure it scarred me for life. My friend went on a holiday and had a masseur pick an errant bit of toilet paper out of her labia. Women are helpful towards one another that way. My husband knows which tampons I like and he buys them for me. I told him if I ever become a paraplegic I want him to know how to insert them. I got him to practice it once, but he was so bad at it I decided I’d just take my chances. I once dated a penis that was completely bent to one side. It was like it was trying to peer around at something much more exciting going on behind me. Maybe it was my bum. I have a fabulous bum.
You are yellow to me
Like sunflower wallpaper
Like lemons and eggs
Like aged skin, tinted with life.
You are purple to me
Like nail polish and violets
Like a bruise, fading but not forgotten.
You are brown to me
Like tree roots and coffee
Like earth and life.
You are green to me
Like the roof of my house
Like sour plums and jealousy.
You are pink to me
Like a soft kiss and things unspeakable
You are red to me
Like Dr. Seuss and candy
Like blood and spite.
You are black to me
Like leather and licorice
Like things unknowable.
You are white to to me.
Like yoghurt and magnolias
I remember blogging about a new feminist short short story I was working on a while ago and have just discovered it was over a year ago! (Along with my attempts to get knocked up, and here am I still at that too!) That particular story did undergo several drafts and then sat in a drawer for a long time. But it is now in (digital) print at Verity La literary journal and I’m really pleased because it’s rather a heavy piece and certainly wouldn’t be to everyone’s liking, so I think it’s great the folks at Verity decided it give it a home. It’s called Blood.
After twelve years of marriage his fishing hat, which sits forgotten on my armoire, is all that remains. The house creaks and groans, trying to establish a new order. The floorboards still look for his heavy, morning footfalls, while the dip in the mattress defiantly begins to rise up.I have trouble sleeping. I go down okay. I starfish on the bottom sheet, fanning my legs back and forth back and forth across the cotton. But at 3am the novelty of space wears off and I’m a frozen arrow of flesh in the middle of the bed.I walk down the hall and into the living-room. I sit on the couch and let the tears come. They don’t come evenly. They either barrel out of me in great, wracking sobs, or they drip silently down my face and gather at my chin.
I am overcome with a desire to see my vagina. I don’t question this desire. I have not seen my vagina in many years.
I bring the square mirror from the bathroom. Pyjama bottoms off, I sit on the floor with my knees spread open. I hold the mirror, its bottom edge resting on the carpet. For a moment I don’t look. I just sit, naked from the waist down, and realise I have not been this thoroughly alone in a very long time.
Then I look down.
I am Alice looking in the glass.
I am pulled down. Then sucked up, travelling backwards inside myself. A sticky diary of all that has gone before.
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Filed under Art, Australia, Beauty, blogging, Criticism, Editing, Fiction, Flash fiction, Love, Motherhood, Political Writing, Sex, Short Stories, Submission, Women/Feminist, Writing