The Marionnette in the Writer’s Toolbox.

We often wonder what it would be like to be published.

We steal glances at the recently published books at our local bookstore, stare at the copies of paperbacks at the grocery store, all the while we ignore the little voice in our head asking, “Why the fuck aren’t you published yet?”

This voice stands up like a broken marionette, one string is torn as though it was never attached, but we keeping hearing the damn voice, calling to use in our dreams.

“Write asshole, why aren’t you writing, you’re sleeping and you should be writing, why aren’t you writing?”

The marionette is a clever disguise for our lack of faith in our writing or that we often, without understanding it, try to destabilize ourselves by worrying about the most recently published writer we’re friends with on social media.

Then we pick up their book and think, I’m better than this.

We continue our slog, staring at the paperbacks when we’re buying beer or another box of Cap’n Crunch.

We write, ignoring that damn marionette and keep going for one reason, we love to write. We love it like we love our kids, spouse, mom, and dog.

Stop staring publisher’s weekly, their emails will just drive you mad.

 

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Gates Swinging and There’s Still More Coming.

We see the world, its many colors, shades and flowers unlike any we’ve seen through varied glasses throughout our life.

Our sight is often changed by instances of pain, reward and grief.

The change continues until we see the figurative light, which comes when we’re least expecting something to happen.

I saw it the other day, not the way I was expecting, but, still, it was something I’d been hoping to see. He’d never let me through the gate, or control the wheel, and this is, as I write it, is the first time.

You’ve met the deviant, Cubist, now it’s my turn. I’m a bit more sophisticated than that hack, and because of that the words are different.

I am Jackson Thomas Hunter, a name that is different than I planned, but still in a sense what he wanted and then we’ll discuss the other things you may see from me.

These things will be prettier, not because of anything other than the way I feel about the world and its beauty.

I hope you’ll come along and visit, there’s more of us, but I’ll always come when needed.

Regards,

Jack

A Work In Progress

This is a guest post from my wife. She’s been practicing TM for three and a half weeks.

The Phoenix

When people make changes in their lives they often point to a breaking point, a specific incident that made them decide to make a change. For me, however, learning Transcendental Meditation (TM) is not about experiencing a breaking point, but about realizing I could no longer accept the person I had become.

Although I experienced some depression when I was younger, I was always able to overcome those feelings.

As an adult, I’ve had a difficult time doing this, and have been on and off various medications for the past six or seven years. I came to accept that not much made me happy even though I have a wonderful husband, who tells me how he feels more often than I probably hear, and two kids who love to play and laugh. Even painting and drawing that I used to love, would sit untouched for months because I didn’t find joy and satisfaction in it.

Over the past year, I’ve seen what TM has done for my husband, but kept telling myself that there was no way it would help me. After all, everything else I’ve tried has only been a short-term band-aid.

I have been doing TM for three and a half weeks, and can say I am starting to notice how 20 minutes twice a day can change how you view yourself, your relationships with others, and the world around you. Although I still take my medication, TM is helping me in ways a pill has.

I’ve been able to enjoy the time I have with my family. I don’t find myself getting as angry, or annoyed when my kids do something they should not do. I’m able to find the humor in things I previously ignored. Best of all, I feel better about myself, and who I am, than I have most of my adult life.

Everything is a work in progress, but with TM my hopes and expectations for the future are positive for the first time.

Writing Through the Falling Ash

Searching through the files of our lives, they must look like the deleted technology of a long-lost civilization, long burnt down, crashed and falling to ash.

We watch the reel, enjoying the moments of joy and cringe at the moments of self-realization.

Each of these moments have created who we are, the wrinkles, age and that odd grey color in our hair which we swear wasn’t there yesterday.

These moments are unspoiled by time, life and the things we’ve done since.

Through the years of tears, and every one has a year of tears, no one’s life is perfect.

Staying in a reel, we see watch the life we had, and think about the things yet to come. The loves, loss and the disappointment.

There’s nothing more disconcerting than not being able to see these things. Pulling these files from their roster, some collecting dust, others fresh from the other day, none of them are bad, they just are what they are.

Leading our lives through years, days and hours, each new thing we discover is different, but it may feel the same.

We have the same feelings, but different. The same pain without consequence or the laughter without the joke.

There are some of these which lead to our goals and our strength.

Running through the life which never changes, or appears not to things don’t fall away.

These things add caution and fire to what we want. Going  through, we see the difference of who we’ve become, what’s fallen away, what our foundation has become and where the ash has fallen.

Writing with the Cheshire Cat staring at me.

Sitting upon the ridge behind where I live the moon sits, its Cheshire cat grin a notice that life isn’t supposed to be fun all the time, neither is writing. If you’ve ever spent a night staring into a white screen, blank pages or miles of edits, you’re aware of the not so fun parts of being a writer.

Yesterday was my birthday, and with every year, I look back at where my writing’s gone and where it hasn’t.

I started this blog last year to help writers who’ve gotten lost in the delusions of what writing is and isn’t.

Initially I talked about the little things, but it became clear (through my own writing) that I something else was needed.

Moons come and go, followed by the sunrise, but in between the two is a pleasant darkness. It’s not the death throes of depression that I’ve been dealing with the past six months, it’s a darkness where things just are.

The animals scurry across the desert landscape, their bodies oblivious to the knowledge that their lives are short. Because they’re not cognizant to realize this, they don’t care about crossing that street or running through the field where coyotes reside.

They don’t care, they just live.

As humans we care about crossing that street. We know where the coyotes roam, and we steer clear of that area, but if we’d only let go for just a little while of how uncomfortable we are in thinking about that street or those coyotes, we’d do something great.

The Grin on the moon’s surface is only a reminder that its part of its cycle, that in a few weeks there will be no cat staring down, it will be the man himself staring, his face aglow with the sun’s rays.

Stepping into the Cheshire Cat sky I look up at the cat staring down and wonder if this will be the year, then I quickly forget it, walk back inside, sit down and finish my word count, because regardless of what pays the bills, I’m a writer and finishing word counts or page counts are what get me to the next birthday.