Friday, 21 October 2016


Past the point of prose,
Torn between "ought"
and "ought not",
the should-do
and the want-to.
One foot here, 
one foot there,
straddling the practical,
and the possible,
For money? For power?
For permission.

Who you are,
what you are,
what you do,
how you do it --
it's all the same.
Or should be.
My desire for art --
is it selfish?
To pursue it, to consume it, to create it...
It's all I want and ever wanted.
The movement, the music;
the canvas, the paint;
the actors, the stage;
the words, the page --

I want it all.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Superheroes and Converts

We cannot see what is ahead when we take action. We can only set things in motion, and then ride the wave. When I first sat down to carry on the stories of Mr. Schnoozle, I had no idea it would turn into a book. A book that is now The Adventures of Mr. Schnoozle. I had no idea I would love fall in love with this little green creature and his friends. In fact, I didn't even know some of his friends existed until they appeared on the page.

And I certainly did not think to myself, "I can't wait to finish this and then spend hours & hours of my free time researching self-publishing, marketing techniques, and crowdfunding!"

Yet here I am with a finished, fully-edited manuscript in my hands, and a least one million (maybe two) tabs open on my browser in an attempt to figure out how to convert this manuscript into a book and how to convert unsuspecting web surfers into fans of my dear Mr. Schnoozle.

I am also converting. I am slowly turning into one of those more-than-one-job individuals. Though I suppose I can't actually say I have two jobs until they both produce income. This full-time nurse and wanna-be writer life has me torn. I vacillate between "Isn't my life exciting?" and "What am I doing with my life?" with the occasional veering off to "Who even am I??"

In an attempt to reconcile this double life I am leading, I like to think of myself as an incognito superhero.

My workplace disguise: crisp, monotone scrubs, hair neatly pinned back, glasses, "Gretchen - nurse" on my shiny name badge, smiling face as I make parents feel better about the fact that their baby is in an ICU.

My after-work super-ness: pajamas (or whatever's most comfortable, which might be nothing), hair in wild disarray, glasses flung across the room, writing emails signed "Pattertwig" or "Luna", smiling as I save the world, one word at a time...

So, I've got some work to do. I have the incognito part down. Still working on the superhero gig. Even so, the imagery helps. I feel less like two different people and more like one person wearing two very different hats.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Weather the storm

Expectations are dangerous. We enter into something with a certain outcome in mind. If that outcome is as we expect, we are more or less satisfied. If it is better, we are thrilled. If the outcome we had in mind does not come to pass or changes drastically, we are somewhere on the spectrum of disappointed to devastated.

There is only one way to withstand changes: flexibility. This is not to say you won't feel any number of emotions at your unexpected outcome. You may feel anywhere from elation to sorrow, depending on what it is you're facing. Without flexibility, we will break. A reed that expects only fair weather and sunshine will snap when the storm comes if it does not bend with the wind. Where are you when the storm passes? Did you succumb and are now lying on the ground, acres away from your home? Or are you once again reaching for the sun?