Posts Tagged ‘writing’

I wrote this in my journal last summer. It’s the middle of winter today; rainy, cold…I can hear the wind swirling under the eaves and rattling the windowpanes. But last summer, sitting in the park was another season. Another time in the film rushes of my memory.

Watching the world unfold. Faint sounds of young children in the nearby playground. Strains of music from the nearby club. Statues stand amid pioneer plantings, reminding me of this civic history and dispossession of First Nations. I pay my respects.

I think of my own history, and feel into my immigrant roots. I wonder about my ancestors a century ago in the coastal town of Troon in Scotland, where the hinterland ground was fertile; yielding. Of young love and a seaside crossing to settle in outback Australia. I think about young love in Ireland this time, and I feel the gentle ocean breeze, and the green-ness and rain on grass as the sun emerges. Another young couple leaving their lands, and clan, for Australia. One day their child would meet a man whose parents were immigrant farmers from Troon. My ancestors and my roots in far off places and cultures. Meiosis.

A young boy with a lollipop and a huge Acubra stops to stare. His Nona stands and waits, patiently caring for her family. In Italy, and perhaps Australia, she might live with her daughter and grandchildren. The sun on the back of my neck, too hot, I don’t want to burn. Bird sounds in this little oasis, surrounded by concrete footpaths, bitumen and petrol driven cars.

Three running boys are immersed in their game. A family from Asia is close; grandparents taking teenagers on a trip. Respect and the bonds of blood, celebrated and sustaining.

I have a rose scented hand cream on and I breathe its velvety perfume.

I wonder about the connectedness of everyone in this park. Why they come here? Why they choose to be near one another? And I know, or sense, or think, it’s because of the peace and belonging we find in community, and the quiet of observation, and nearness. It’s a good place to come on a sunny, Saturday morning.

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Water giver

Posted: June 25, 2018 in poetry, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

One day I remembered, what I was supposed to do.
I thought about the ground my feet had walked,
Across fields of green, and dust, and fire,
To the lake’s edge. To the water.

I walked beside a guide on my journey.
I didn’t look into his eyes; I feared that.
I remember he pointed to the water,
A million miles away, across an alien landscape,
Barren and destroyed by…I’m not sure.

I only knew I had to cross that wasteland,
With its dead trees and murky shadows,
To get to the water, for whatever his reason,
For pointing to it, as if I knew.

I remember now that water nourishes,
And quenches thirst. It carries things away,
Like words and thoughts, and experiences.
I crossed that barren land…like he said,
To find myself, and now to write these words.

Grey rain on the roof,

green breaks through, slightly swaying leaves, in time.

Softness, wetness; birds stay close to temporary homes.

 

Thoughts are a gentle hum,

faraway the iPhone clatters, reminding of electronic connections

but today there is respite in the natural world.

 

Conscious thoughts go to past time,

a yellow wattle tree outside a window on an old home.

Softness, wetness; grey rain on a tin roof.

 

Streaking windows,

droplets of feeling moving down the pane.

All is well, all is watched, silently from peace’s parapet.

 

As eternal as time.

 

It’s been a good start to the year. Health wise, I’m ok but like all cancer warriors I touch wood when I say that. I’m feeling much better than I was at this time last year however it’s been a long road back, rehabilitating my immune system following chemo and radiation, and also building strength and overcoming physical setbacks. That is cancer for you…the gift that keeps on giving.

I have my last CT scan coming up in the next few months; part of the surveillance oncologists implement following cancer treatment. It will be three years since diagnosis. After the CT scan, providing it’s clear, I will be handed over to my GP for six monthly blood tests, and that’s it. So getting on with things beyond cancer, and working within any limitations treatment has left me with, is a priority for me this year.

Cancer leaves many legacies – good and bad. One of these is an inbuilt ‘I don’t muck around anymore’ mantra. Dysfunction, things that aren’t working out, and old patterns that aren’t in my best interests, are dealt with swiftly and decisively. You learn there simply isn’t the time ‘to much around anymore’. Which brings me to my fight with the sulfur crested cockatoos that visit my home every year, to feast on my pear and apple trees. I love pears. They are soft, full of good stuff, and I eat them every morning. I’ve been waiting for them to ripen, conscious of the cockatoos’ arrival. They came again this year, but I was determined to get them out of my pear trees.

For years I’ve been talking to the birds that nest in the many trees surrounding my home. Call me what you will but I enjoy communicating with them, and they’ve become friends. I have a group of magpies that stand guard around my house, two crows who go walking with me, plenty of parrots who fly close by me, and the cranky plovers who grudgingly accept my presence near their nest because I faced them one day when they were swooping and angrily shook my fist at them. (Sure I might look like a crazy bird person to outsiders, but I don’t really care!).

I decided to try a bit of attitude on the thieving cockatoos, so I looked them in the eye and yelled at them to get off my tree. My partner and sons laughed…the ‘mum’s being random again’ thought crossed their minds. I was undeterred. Next I got a riding crop and waved it in the air at them, making a whooshing sound, and telling them to stay off the pear trees. The cockatoos flew off screeching back at me. For the next two days, it was back and forth until only a solitary bird would land in the tree. I would stare the bird down until it flew off.

Then the cockatoos thought I was a potential friend and began appearing in the gum tree outside my window every morning cawing, not screeching; kind of like saying ‘good morning’. And so my ‘friendship’ with them developed. The pear trees? They by and large left them alone, however I haven’t dropped my guard because they will have another go at trying to get what they want, and I’ll have to try and keep what I have. It’s just the way it works, but they do make me smile.

Anyway, enough mucking around with the cockatoos. It’s time to finish the many writing projects I have outstanding now. That, and a bit of exploring…wherever that may take me this year.

Every morning multitudes of people wake up and reach for their phone to check their facebook newsfeeds. On their specially crafted reel of favourites, they’ll scroll through and maybe like or share content with other users. Instead of going to websites, perhaps even newspapers now, people open facebook for connection to society and the world.

It’s the portal to end all portals; one that sucks us in and keeps us there. There are quizzes and tests to take on facebook that predict everything from which movie star you look like, to the year you are going to die. It’s both infotainment and a humongous time waster.

I took one of the tests once – the one about which celebrity you look like. I got the ‘grumpy cat’ – a facebook famous identity. Yes, it’s a real cat who looks grumpy and has more than 8,000,000 followers.

Are we stupid to devote so much time to an artificial and I would say influential learning environment? As of the third quarter of 2015, Facebook had 1.55 billion monthly active users. While the grumpy cat mightn’t have much to teach us, the news, lifestyle and new age sites might. Just about everyone – artists, authors, the Dalai Lama – is on facebook.

I remember when I first started out on facebook. I liked Oxfam and the RSPCA, spiritual sites and the New York Post. As newspapers realised the news distribution had entered a new era, they too began to build their facebook platforms but the twist for them is they don’t control the advertising dollars. Facebook does.

And it is attempting to control our memories now too. Aside from the greeting facebook gives you when you logon in the morning, it is now providing you with ‘anniversary’ posts for you to share – so you and your friends can reminisce.

What’s next? Hopefully it won’t attempt political influence though I’m sure there are subtle signs there if you looked.

I would really ‘like’ to take a break from facebook for a week. It would take real discipline, as I’m one of those people who reach for their phone and newsfeed each morning upon waking. Someone once likened that to reaching for a glass of whiskey. They might be right.

A few months ago I told you that my first horror/supernatural novel was being published by Whiskey Creek Press, a division of Start Publishing in the US. So far, I’ve worked with an editor and cover artist and I’m now working with a publicist who requested five of the top quotes from the book.

Well…I couldn’t choose five so I gave her 15 and said, “you choose“. I’m sure she wasn’t impressed because I guess this is a job for the author. In any case, I’ve selected five from the 15 tonight and will publish the other 10 here over the next few nights.

  • Fortuna had been having strange dreams which she called her “blood visions” because they were bathed in blood red violence—suffering and torture, which always ended in a kill.
  • He opened the bedside drawer and took out the knife, running its metal blade along his arms, just enough to cut the hairs. He drew in his breath and held it, closing his eyes and remembering his last kill.
  • Life had a way of dealing one bad card after another, and when Danny Manchester walked out of the Police Force, he found his wife was taking his two kids and leaving with another detective.
  • All she could manage was a guttural groan of disbelief and then despair, into the dark space surrounding her.BloodVisionsback
  • He looked like failure had paid him a visit too, like someone had knocked him around when he was at his most vulnerable. The way a dog looks when it’s been kicked by its master.

I hope you like Blood Visions. I’m finding, more so nowadays, a real joy in creative fiction writing. It is flowing like never before, and I take great joy in creating a ‘killer’ plot. Blood Visions is published on 12 November 2015, and you can preorder on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Visions-Maryann-Weston-ebook/dp/B015DCH3CW

It’s raining here. The air is still, although the clouds overhead are heavy and grey. Despite the lack of sunshine, it’s comfortable, warm and welcoming within my humble abode. Such luxury; to have the time to write this blog post. This time last year I was toiling away, completing multiple jobs, juggling people and deadlines, in an office where my colleagues were equally busy, stressed and strained.

In February this year I made the decision to take some time off and focus on my health. 2014 had been a tough, tough year and it, along with a backlog of decades of hard slog, child raising and getting through a long and merciless to do list, had taken its toll. I was sick and I needed to get better. So I removed myself from the stress of an executivebless level job and burrowed into my home haven. Six months later, there is no resemblance between the me of last year and the me of now.

Often it takes a health crisis to bring on an epiphany. My realisations are simple – all he best ones are – I’ve realised that the things I was focusing on and allowing myself to be burdened with were really very trivial. We are given a short time here; no-one is immortal though we tend to act like we are, and yet we waste precious energy on the people and situations that don’t matter.

I used to worry about the office politics or get resentful when I was overworked. I stressed over my children, money and the future. I looked for approval in all the wrong places, and for the wrong reasons. I missed the moments that mattered because I was too preoccupied with my worries. I was tired all the time. The truth? I was holding onto the edge of the cliff by my finger nails. Looking back, I wondered how I kept going.

Now, I’m in the now. I am conscious of the rain, getting heavier on our tin roof. I have my dog at my feet. He understands my slightest expression. I answer a text from a friend, wishing her well. I have quality interactions with my friends now – I used to fit them in vaguely and infrequently before. I have time for my writing and to immerse myself in literary journals, books and the writing craft generally. I notice the passage of time, and indeed the interplay of time, and I hold it in my vision, grateful that I have it.

I don’t take anything for granted anymore. The now is my sanctuary and it sustains me like my previous chaotic, high achieving, life never did.

I have had a few momentous happenings this year also. After years of slogging away with my creative fiction writing, I am beginning to gain traction as a creative writer. Earlier this year, I was selected among 25 other writers from around Australia for a writing mentorship program. The judging panel thought my non-fiction manuscript had merit. Just this week, I also found out that my horror novel ‘Blood Visions’ would be published by Whiskey Creek Press, an imprint of New York based Start Publishing. Also, one of my short stories ‘Dark Star’ was chosen in an upcoming, and successful, horror anthology series.

All these happenings are welcomed and gratefully received, but they are not the main game. The main game for me is to continue to live without complacency, and within the full awareness of the gift of life.

My novel ‘Blood Visions’ is due out in November. If you would like to read more of my writing in the horror genre, you can head over to Amazon to find my collection of horror short stories ‘Evil Imminent’.