20 September 2012


I love this photo from today's APOD. And what a cool word for it, analemma – a Latin word meaning "the pedestal of the sundial" – which is the figure eight shape obtained by recording the position of the sun in the sky at the same time of day through the course of a year.  One day I will get around to learning how to make a sundial... add to the list along with welding large pieces of metal. One day, one day.

10 September 2012

The Studio

I have these ideas all the time, I just never do anything more with them.

Why, I think is really not that important – it's the usual combination of uncertainty (is it *really* a good idea?),  not knowing where to start, and waffling (am I or am I not prepared to commit). 

Today's idea came from talking with a friend who was telling me how she needs more space to herself. I told her she could always come and write in my place – the girls would be at school, I would be writing at my own desk or off to work; she could have the dining room and full use of the kitchen and we would agree not to talk or anything. I don't know whether or not she will actually do this, but it got me thinking:
What if she did? What if there are other people like her, too, who need a space to create?

A space to create... (Credit/Source.)

So the idea came: what if I/we/me and whoever else created a writers studio? It could be like a yoga studio, only instead of coming for yoga classes you come to write. Kind of like the library when you were at school: there'd be big communal tables, and some smaller, one-person tables, and a kitchen where you could take a break (quietly), and reference books, atlases, and wifi. The atmosphere would be quietly inspirational. There'd be an agreed vow of silence except in the kitchen. Financially, it could work like a yoga studio, too: buy a month, three months, six months or a year of access. Or something like that. Something that would finance the place and running costs. Essentially, it would be a place to be alone away from home, kind of like Arvon, only in Brussels, and you could come every day and not just one special week. It would be a dedicated space for writers to come and practice their art, in peace, in calm, among other writers.

Inspiration: the library at Arvon Foundation's Lumb Bank. (Credit/source.)

There could possibly be readings and other events from time to time, but these would not be the main focus.

Would this, could this work? I wish I could buy the flat that's for sale downstairs from me, and maybe find out.

And if I didn't get enough writers at first, I could always give a couple of yoga classes....

08 September 2012

The Middle


Having been in a state of quasi-crisis that was entirely self-imposed (and possibly brought on by working through the exercises in The Prosperous Heart, more of which later), the crisis finally reached its peak and I was able to see it for what it was:
I am in the middle, and the middle is a tough place to be.
The middle is where your arms get tired and your back aches and you're sweating.

The middle is where you can see neither where you've come from (and anyway there's no going back), nor where you're headed – not least because the shape of the future is constantly shifting.

The middle is where you have to remind yourself: this is why I am doing this. This is why, this is why, this is why.

I feel like I'm in the middle of precisely everything that's going on in my life, with little more to show as achievement than some good beginning, some auspicious starts. 

Now comes the crunch, the follow-through....the perseverance, the maintaining of momentum. This is no time to crack up, but the time to knuckle down, and not be distracted by what other people have done or the choices they've made – why is it that these things start to look so attractive, despite being the things I didn't want, paths I consciously chose not to take? I don't know, and I've decided that trying to find out is not worth pursuing. It's just part of the minefield that is being in the middle, and the best thing I can do is observe, take note, and move on.

06 September 2012

Call Out to My Bad Self

"You should sure stand strong in your bad self," wrote a friend of mine, in an email to me, over the summer.

So I've been thinking about that.

I have often bemoaned being out of touch with Bad Self. Standing strong in my Sweet Self doesn't always cut it. My Bad Self has been out on one hell of a long lunch. Bad Self has been out gallivanting, while Sweet Self holds down the fort. Bad Self maybe shouldn't run the show all by herself, but basically, she needs to get her bad a** back here! Sweet Self is hanging on, but she's digging in with her fingernails, the cliff is crumbly, and the mothereffers are out there and on the move. Bad Self, we need you.