My 250 Word Challenge

The Door

Only in the dark, could a glimmer be so bright. Or so Davis thought, when the door swelled beneath his fingers then burst through the grass like a budding mushroom. It drew him to his feet. Beneath his aching hands, the cool metal pulsed with the promise of release.

(Continue reading at Indies Unlimited, Flash Fiction Entries and vote here for your favourite.)

On Christmas Day, I read a blog by Martin Crosbie, whom I met at the Rural Writers’ Retreat in Smithers this fall. He reminded me through his article on Charles Dickens’ self publishing journey for A Christmas Carol  that even those “greats” began somewhere. That those classic authors we teach in school succeeded because of hard work, confidence, and a belief in their creations. Most of all, I guess, our writing and artistic heroes make it because they make a point of creating and publishing. Thanks to my Christmas lesson (even though I thought I was on holidays), I joined the writing site Martin recommended called Indies Unlimited, AND, my first New Year’s Resolution to publish comes in the form of entering a flash fiction contest. Learning to tell a story in 250 words or less is quite an experience! Although it was a bit painful to slash 100 words from my story I decided that it was worth the experience of (1) actually sitting down and writing and (2) putting myself out there in a competitive context.

Please, check out Indies if you haven’t already. Although I am very partial to my own story I promise you that the other submissions are creative and thought provoking, You might even be inspired to try the next writing challenge.

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Into the matte jumble

clouds

Into the matte jumble

of thumb-pressed cotton

the shadow fell

through

fell

too slowly for the eye to notice

still

there was a sense

a notion of change

in the pulpy towers of cumulous

a cumulative knowing

that some Other being

was there.

 

It was

Not the green-yellow palette

Of pre-apocalyptic sky

 

although more reasoned minds

would wonder at this blindness

this unwillingness to see

what was so obvious –

nor was it the pinprick

of explosive force

that shattered preconception.

 

It was the subtle immersion

into the light-well

the realization of drowning

that brought her to life.

Being

In silence we travel;

through the lava beds we wind

wrapped in thought and acid

sweet melody.

Notes play upon my solar plexus,

ripple upward from groin to throat, subtle

waves of energy

keyed to my body like a lover’s hand.

It is my birthday, but we don’t speak of it

yet.

My attention drifts through fog,

seeks threads of blue between stone.

Momentarily I consider breaking

the solitude though it’s not heavy.

It’s the passenger’s obligation to fill the air, isn’t it,

With words?

Amidst the lava a shadow stirs,

shifts into Other shape –

Owl – Woman – Grandmother.

I should not gaze into those dark eyes, or

so I’m told. I cannot fear her still serenity,

or the gathering of life shadows beneath her wings.

Pinioned by love, forgiven for my life’s transgressions

of deeds undone, I

can only hope she will last a lifetime

even as she returns to stone

and mist.

Waiting for Bill at Lava Lake

“Waiting for Bill at Lava Lake”

delicate trills of bird song
cascading notes too quick for human ears to decipher
the underchirp of ravens
and the curious twitter of stellars
poplar leaves, newly budded, yet fully present
tremble on stems fragile enough yet strong
mist is a veil on the mountains though sun shines
and warms my hair
grace and grass waft in equal amounts
over the lava

in body, tired
neck cricked to the left
stiff from a Sunday’s labour of love
internal landscape quiet
with a hint of sun

capturing the moment, stretching it out
like muscles after a long day
it’s a painful kind of sweet
~ being ~

Art Journaling

Why Journal?

  • to personalize or internalize new information
  • to process ideas and feelings
  • to create stronger connections between new ideas and things we’ve already experienced or learned
  • to retain information for longer periods of time
  • to build understanding through a symbolic process

Is There a Right Way or a Wrong Way to Journal?

  • No — Because an art journal records your personal journey to enlightenment, there is no one way to journal. Check out how these Pinterest Examples use colour, objects, texture, words in different ways.
  • HOWEVER — The more that you put into an art journal, the more you will get out of it.
  • Art journals are layered – with colours, textures, media, and meanings.

The medium is the message, and the thoughts / attitudes / actions of the journalist will affect the outcome of the journal.

 

GETTING STARTED:

Ask yourself, “Why am I creating this journal?”

  • to reflect on an experience
  • to express an idea
  • to balance 2 opposing thoughts
  • to argue a position
  • to tell a story
  • to persuade
  • to explain

Ask yourself, “Who is my audience going to be?”

  • myself
  • friends / family
  • colleagues
  • anyone

The answer to this question will guide you in how personal, experimental, RADICAL you want to be with your journal.

BASIC MATERIALS:

  • Colored pencils
  • Gel pens
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Magazines or other image resources
  • Decorative papers (wrapping paper etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glue sticks
  • Double-sided tape

ADVANCED MATERIALS:

  • Water color paint
  • Water color pencils
  • Acrylic paint
  • India ink
  • Acrylic inks of different colors
  • Oil pastels
  • Linseed oil
  • Chalk pastels

FOUND MATERIALS:

  • coffee
  • tea
  • salt
  • leaves, sticks, shells, stones
  • lint
  • candy wrappers

SOME ARTY THINGS TO CONSIDER:

The Elements and Principles of Art when combined can help you to express your ideas and your emotions. Over time, as you experiment, mix, and match line, shape, form, space, texture and value with pattern, rhythm, movement, proportion, scale, balance, unity and emphasis you will find yourself becoming more conscious not only of your choices but the reasons behind your choices.

You may even find yourself becoming …. an artist.

 

A local artist and ardent art journalist can be found in Terrace, BC at Green Blossom Studio. She is a published poet, and artist. Her work can be found at greenblossomstudio.wordpress, where she also writes extensively about the process of art journaling.

The Mountain Speaks

mountain pass

Through mist and shadowed hope we toil

each foot

forward

a step toward success

eyes certain

chins firm

shoulders straight

no thoughts given to the negative space

to the freefall of uncertainty

to the sure death of anticipation

just inches from our trail.

 

“Ji six-mukws n̍iin,” rumbles Sgan̍ist

~ listen carefully ~

Over our heads a boulder whistles

followed by the clatter of lesser stones.

 

The mountain speaks.