Thursday, May 30, 2013

Next time...

By Camincha

It has been a long time
since she's seen a teenager eating like that:
hunched over. He ate slowly, calmly,
as if the whole world were at peace,
seen through his eyes. His movements were
precise, deliberate. Every bite he put
into his mouth he masticated carefully.

He took the teakettle and poured himself
a cup, watching the liquid fill the space
as if there was nothing more important in
the universe at that moment. It took
his complete attention. He took some sips,
they met with his approval. He sipped slowly.
Replenished the cup as needed. Savored it.

She hasn’t seen anyone so self absorbed
in a long, long time. She's forgotten that
tea is to be savored, a mudpie to be
relished slowly, reverently and calmly.

Tea and mudpie, she’ll try to remember to
savor them, to masticate them with precise
deliberate movements. Next time she will try
not to rush through the day: getting to work,
organizing files, pleasing boyfriend, checking
e-mail, getting groceries, paying bills.

Next time she'll
savor her tea, slowly, reverently, and calmly
eat her mudpie.

Next time…she'll try to be self-

Next time…

Camincha is a pen name for a prolific California-based writer.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Come on, Just Write It Already!!

I am sitting here at the meditation table, staring into the never ending burning candle, and wondering why can't I just write it?

The ending to this Sister Mysteries story, that is.

Why am I procrastinating? Why can't I just write the scene where Sister Renata goes down the hill and faces her accusers? She is armed with proof -- the journal pages -- that she didn't kill Antonie. The journal will prove she should go free.

Are you kidding? You're procrastinating for good reason -- her proof is as solid as burning candle wax. And as soon as she gets there (to the court, a few steps from the gallows) she's going to get thrown back in jail. And maybe get hung from a rope. 

True. But I've always known that the nun would go free, so it's time to discover how exactly that happens. (The candle just went out but I dumped the liquid wax out and relit the wick.)

The ending is tricky because something out of this world (as in magic realism) is going to happen and I'm not sure exactly what that magic is. I know one thing, it has something to do with the Virgin Mary.

I'm on the verge of writing it, but these things (chapters, scenes, novels, books, stories) can't be forced. For me, the best scenes emerge out of visions, vivid images in my head. In my first novel, Dreaming Maples, I didn't write any scene until I had seen it first in my mind! It was as if I had a movie going in my mind and all I had to do was write down what was happening.

A lot of this book emerged the same way.

So maybe the key here is simple: just sit at your meditation table and see if you're able to see something. And if you aren't, so be it, just sit outside and stare at the daffodils and get your work done and enjoy your day and sooner or later something will happen. And hopefully, Renata will go free.