Tag Archives: art

“Lost and Found : A Mid-life Love Story” Writers’ Group Piece

Our rainbow

The group’s mandatory word prompts are boldfaced, 500 words +/- 50.

My reasons for living had left me. Nothing remained but the sound of the clock ticking on the wall. Silent tears tucked me into bed each night. Fear of being alone in this world woke me up in the morning. He had taken his machete to my heart and mutilated the better part of me. Only a shell of my former self remained. Knowing I was losing all that I loved, I lost my mind, went deep inside myself to the point of no return, or so it seemed. An orchestra played The Horror Anthem in my head.

I lost my home, my family, and all the roles that were me. My job was gone. My profession was at risk. My grandmother’s house belonged to him now. He could pay the mortgage, the power bill, buy the groceries. All those years of listening to the advice of Suze Orman had paid off. I got the retirement savings. I got the serenity of knowing that the good does not last forever, but neither does the bad.

For years, I stumbled in the darkness alone. I could let the darkness suck me up and become a casualty, or I could turn away from the darkness and toward the light. I had that choice. I could trust the light that dances moonlit shadows on the forest floor, pierces the night sky with pin pricks, and sends rays through the clouds to lift the morning fog. I could trust the light that raises the seedling from the earth, warms the landscape, and slants through the window. I could put my faith in the light. I chose to trust the light.

There was not much left. The sun was beginning to set, but still, I could not look up into the sky to see it on the horizon. I walked the sidewalks of the city; head down, to see the dandelion weeds pushing their way through the cracks. My world was black and white fusion without any tone or hue at all. It was a void, numb, gray place. Socializing seemed something reserved for the living. A newspaper blew across the street proclaiming McGillicuddy as Mayor, and I did not care. A cup of coffee at Austin’s and you were there. Our eyes locked. We began to chat. We talked for hours that day.

You were an artist. You stroked skillfully onto the canvas of my soul with all of the primary colors, the palate of autumn sassafras leaves, until I laughed in the yellow, danced in the blue, and felt the passion of the red again, and again. As you painted, the blue and yellow blended into green of new life; the yellow and red mingled into orange zest for living it. A soft purple breath was whispered into the masterpiece with the sweep of your brush. As the days went by I marveled at what we had accomplished together. It was art for art’s sake, and then we signed that painting. Now we have this beautiful rainbow suspended in the spaces around us. It catches the light of a new morning sun.

529 words

Creative Expression to Collectively Open Minds

My soon-to-be four year old granddaughter refuses to try to color in the lines. She hates coloring books, but loves to draw and paint freehand. These are birds flying in the air:

Her daddy is an artist and these are a few of his works:

Misha Burnett did a post today that got me thinking about art, music and writing….mostly creativity, whether traditionally or independently produced.

Take art.

Jackson Pollock, Picasso and Rembrandt. All three different styles. All three with their own audience…all styles that were copied.

There are those who swear only their preferred style of art is worthy. Yet there are those art critics who can appreciate the variety of all three.  It is the unique expression of creativity from the soul that makes them worthy.

Take music.

Again, tastes vary tremendously. The people who enjoyed this:

Often Detested This:

And many who loved this:

Thought this was absurd:

Yet they all have had an audience. Many can appreciate all forms of music.

It’s all good. Influential artistry.
It demonstrates our collective creativity.

Now, more than ever, writers have an opportunity to express their creativity.

Dare to be Different!

Writing is like art and music. Along with specific genre choices, people develop an expectation of what is acceptable to them regarding writing style, content, voice, person, POV, execution techniques, formatting choices. When we deviate from that which is expected, we break out of a traditional mold and become creative. Breaking from tradition always carries risks. But, is creativity a bad thing or a good thing? I personally believe creativity is an awesome thing, a powerfully liberating thing…provided the artist, in this case the writer, can attract the right audience. Find your audience.

There are always going to be critics who don’t like your work. It is written in the “wrong” person, the prose is too flowery, the characters didn’t develop “properly”, and the ending was not satisfying. I have been reading reviews of great classics and people are making the same complaints about them as they are contemporary works, because everyone is a master in their own mind.

Industry standards are often creativity killers.

Be your own master.

Don’t be an industrial slave unless you choose to be.

Write what you are passionate about. Write how you feel it. Write in the way that is comfortable to you. Write what comes naturally. Don’t force your writing into a mold.

Sure, edit properly. Follow the rules that govern language and grammar, but don’t be afraid to deviate. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Sing your own song. Color outside the lines if it pleases you.

Can you think of books that opened your mind that were written differently than the traditional novel?

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winner, comes to mind.

Ursula K. Le Guin challenged the world with her mix of fantasy and sci-fi at a time when to deviate was simply unacceptable.

“The Book Theif” by Markus-Zusak, published by Random House, is an historical fiction that was narrated by Death, and is a book for teens and adults, with nearly 8000 positive reviews.