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For the first time in several weeks I had and remembered a dream this morning, or maybe it was two dreams. I'm not sure what the segue was between the separate segments, if there was one. I think having spent the weekend creatively made a difference.

I have noted my mood is much better since Friday or so. It's not that I was depressed before, but I'm actively happy now. I've even gotten going in the morning much more easily, and arrived at work on time two days in a row! I know that doesn't sound like much, but I had been dragging more and more, arriving later and later, until there were a couple days last week that I didn't arrive until nearly ten a.m.

My weekend of gardening has been very therapeutic for me. I'm so proud of my work, and just getting intimate with Mother Earth is wonderfully refreshing. I have to remember this lesson, and not let other things separate me from my creativity. Now for my next trick--get back to writing morning pages every day and start doing the weekly Artist's Way tasks again. I think I am going to restart completely, since I've lost the thread of it.

On to the dreams.

I dreamed I had been arrested and thrown in jail for selling drugs, along with an older man I did not know. In the cell, while we awaited our interviews with the police, he tried to convince me to confess. I knew I was innocent, and that he was trying to get out of it by blaming me.

My turn for interview came first, and I went with the policeman to his office. He was asking me about my finances, I guess trying to prove that I had more money than my job--at the police station!--would account for. I told him about paying off my mortgage a little extra each month, and really boring things like that. I also told him that the other man had been trying to make me confess but I didn't do anything. A secretary told him "She's a four," which had something to do with my pay grade at the police station. Then he asked me what my DSN was (it's an acronym used at the SLMPD and means employee number). I said "2577". I don't remember whether that is actually my old DSN from when I worked for the SLMPD, but it could well be. After a while they let me go. As I walked out I saw the other guy being taken in for his interview.

I went down to the parking garage to get my car, and on the way I saw him leaning out of an upper window as if he were about to jump. I yelled, "Don't jump!" and his head withdrew. When I got to the parking garage, he was there in a car opposite mine. I thought at first that he was going to ram my car for my having told on him. But no, he pulled back and I saw that the car was an ancient opentopped behemoth, three rows of seats crammed full with seventeen kids--yes, exact number, not exaggeration--and a wife. The older girls and his wife were wearing those stiff bonnet-caps that the Mennonites or Amish wear. He said to me that he had been married and divorced five times. I suppose it was by way of explaining the extreme number of children or the necessity for ill-gotten funds from drug sales, or both.

Then suddenly I was in my garden with [livejournal.com profile] curgoth and [livejournal.com profile] neeuqdrazil. My saxophone case and some other miscellaneous junk was piled against some of my new plants. I think if there was any connection between this and the previous dream it was that I thought the other guy had done the minor vandalism as revenge. I was concerned for my saxophone, but cg reassured me that it would be fine because it had been inside the case. We started complaining about a new edition of the Amber books that had been bowdlerized beyond recognition, while planting something grassy with long purple plumes similar to pampas grass.

My morning

Jan. 29th, 2002 09:38 am
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It's kind of funny. As I was writing my morning pages today, I was whining to the page about how I didn't think I was getting anywhere with this project, that I hadn't had any revelations in quite some time, and suchlike, when something told me to write the rest of the last scene from last night's game. I rewrote the dialog that had happened in game, and then suddenly my pencil took off.

I'd written three more pages before I stopped myself realizing that I had no more time: I had to get to work. I was half an hour late as it is, because I stopped to turn in my written notice of moving, to the apartment management. (This is really happening. I'm really really going home.) and to put a package of books in the mail for my parents in Peru, and a letter-packet for someone in Canada...::sly grin::

I'd say, "Poor Rayna," being left mid-scene like that, but I can't really feel sorry for her. She's got both Emerson and Lila stroking and kissing her. If she has to be left for a while unwritten, she could be stuck in a lot worse place than that!
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I tried [livejournal.com profile] tafkar's suggestion this morning, and wrote my morning pages after my shower. It worked rather well, though I can only do that on the non-Rosa mornings. I've noticed the shower wakes her up, if she's not up already.

Then I wrote the rest of my Valentines, addressed and stamped them, and off they go today.
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A whole day of posting nothing but one-liners, and I feel a bit disappointed in myself. Like I should have more to say. But I really don't have much on my mind right now. I ended my reading fast completely today, with a binge of reading and posting to Wombat, and I also read Catwings and Bridge of Birds, two of the books that were recommended to me by people here a week or so ago.

What I haven't done, and I should, but will probably do in the morning, is to post a weekly checkin to the Artist's Way. I did do a few of the week's tasks, but they're in a notebook and I haven't copied them into the computer yet. I was going to do it tonight. Well, at least I read the Week 5 chapter.

I wore my hair up all day long but only one person noticed the new tragus piercing. Or at least, only one person commented. Even Ray didn't notice, when I went to pick up Rosa. She actually whacked me in the ear and I whimpered, but he didn't look at me to see why. Not that I'm surprised, he was never particularly observant. It took him about six weeks to notice that I had taken off my wedding ring last spring.

Ah yes. I finally emailed Amazon to find out what happened to my dvd player I ordered around Christmas that hasn't arrived yet, and they're sending me another one. After it had been listed as "in transit" for over two weeks past the estimated date of arrival, it seemed likely it was lost. I need that, how else am I going to watch Legolas and Aragorn every day after the movie leaves theatres?
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I've just written not only my morning pages, but five cards for special friends. I feel so awake and alert and accomplished (and alliterative). Just not going back to bed, that's all it took!
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It's only nine-thirty, but my cold is acting up and I haven't slept well for two days. I think I'm going to bed really early tonight. I only just now got Rosa to bed--or well, about ten minutes ago, just long enough to read a drastically cut-down portion of my friends list and write a few comments. I know, I promised myself I wouldn't do that, but I couldn't resist.

I'm feeling really good, otherwise, though, and I think I'll manage to sleep better tonight.

I was really bad today about reading. Well, first of all I was getting obsessive about my email again, hoping for mail from certain people, and then even when I managed to get away from that, I found myself reading some documentation for my project, just because it was there. I could easily have procrastinated doing it--I had plenty of other work to do--and in a normal week almost certainly would have. This is not a normal week.

Over lunch I had a tarot reading from Jill. I wish I had written down the reading, but I didn't think of it until she'd already shuffled the cards back together. My question was "what does 2002 hold for me?" and the answer, the future card, was "Bounty". I was not asking about finances but about love, and everything pointed to a very good, very full year with many blessings. That was wonderful. Other points of interest were a strong indication that I have a spirit guide trying to reach me and lead me somewhere, and when we did another spread on that, a very strong indication that my spiritual and mundane lives need to be more closely unified. I think the Artist's Way is a vital step in that direction, and I think I'll be working with someone on encountering the spirit guide.

The fact that a lion has been breathing in my face for two nights trying to get me to do something was a pretty good attention-getter. As I told Jill, I don't often See things until they hit me in the butt. This was almost as good. It isn't every day you get kept awake by lion breath all night.

For the smart-alecks among us, tarot reading is allowed. Even if there are words on the cards, and there are, on her deck, it is a very intuition-based exercise. It was interesting too, because a mutual friend of ours, Suzanne, was also there, and Jill read her cards also. Not even really knowing what Suz's personal situation was, or even having heard the first half of the reading (I arrived late), I made what Jill felt were some very good guesses on what the cards were saying. Unfortunately we don't think Suz really wanted to hear it.

Why I was late: I wasn't even planning to be there at all. I had gone to the license bureau to get plates for my car. Unfortunately, I didn't have all the necessary paperwork (Ray had last year's personal property tax receipt that I needed), and they sent me away again. So I called Jill, she was still in the office, and invited me to tag along. I'm really glad I did, that reading was very encouraging.

Has anyone else noticed what a good, round, full number 2002 actually is? It seems very auspicious.

Aside to dj, in the first reading the 'spiritual influence' came up King of Wands, a fire card, I forget what it's "word" was, but the instantI saw it it made me think of you. I'm not quite sure what that means, except to point toward the Artist's Way again. (Redheaded man with a short beard, robed in red. Can you say Bleys? I knew you could...)
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What have I done with my reading-free--and Rosa-free--evening?

I went to a decorating store and looked vaguely for wallpaper and decorating fabric that I might want to use in my house. I started thinking about making a canopy for my bed, with fabric hung from the ceiling and wall on curtain rods. The most interesting wallpaper I found was the one my coworker had told me about which was why I went there in the first place: a view out a castle window, with a flying unicorn in the distance.

I bought myself another notebook, this one for non-morning pages scribbling: to take to a coffee house, or just the other side of the apartment where the computer isn't, and write.

I went to House of India and had vegetable korma. It may be my stuffy head, but I think their food's not quite as good as it used to be. On the other hand, the cute waiter is still there, and he still flirts with every woman who comes in the door.

Then I went to see about getting a haircut, but there were no stylists available, so I made an appointment for Wednesday.

I came home and played the piano for about half an hour. I called Christine hoping to go out somewhere, but she wasn't home. Then I tried out my fingerpaints, and finally sat down here and wrote another six or eight paragraphs of La Llorona. I am kind of annoyed with myself because I did some writing on it at work today, but forgot to send the file home, so I now have two files with different pieces of the story, and I'll have to merge them.

This is hard! I keep wandering around the apartment feeling lost because I can't just pick up a book and plop on the couch, I have to think of things to do. Yet I'm still a procrastinator, so the idea of cleaning the apt just doesn't want to happen. I do allow myself to write (and to read my own words, in the process, of course) because I think that is entirely different from getting distracted by other people's words.

Maybe by the end of the week I'll have an easier time of this. I'm hoping so; it's one reason I'm really going to try to stick it out that long. I even sent Paul an email telling him I couldn't game this week!

Tomorrow should hopefully be better: I've got a bunch of errands to run, then Jen and I are going to see Lord of the Rings again (this will be a record. I have never seen any movie more than twice in the theater). After that, I'm tentatively planning to go to the Way Out club with Pam again. This time she is going to drive. I don't want to take my shiny new car to the place where my old one was killed!
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Upon consideration, I am going to try to do this reading dep thing. I'm giving myself permission to read email twice a day, and that's it. No IM, no LJ reading (writing's ok). I'll see comments, because they come in my email, but I won't reply to them until next week, and I won't read my friends page until then either. I love you all.

I'm not even going to game on Monday and Thursday. I'm writing an email to the GM to say so, soon's I'm done here.

I already started. I took my book-on-CD out of the player in my car (The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett, and I'm on Track 16 of CD 4 of 6, for anyone who's curious), and put in a music CD instead: the Indigo Girls, which I had never listened to before.

A misheard phrase from the first song gave me another scene of my Llorona story, and a possible title, though it probably gives too much away: "The Drowning Moon". First thing I did when I got here was to write down that scene. The last one of the story, as it happens. I have the very first scene, one in the middle, and now the end. Progress, though slow.

Some things I might do with my reading-free week: Call Kirk. Call some other people. Write a few letters. Clean the house. Play with Rosa. Work on my story.
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How will I survive? I haven't read the chapter yet, but I accidentally opened to it when looking for the week 3 exercises (which I still haven't done, either), and I've been dreading the idea ever since. Now that everyone else is mentioning that it includes reading LJ and email and and and...oh my. Reading's not a chore for me, it's a relaxation and a pleasure and a joy, and the computer is a major part of my social life. But then, the computer, and reading as well, are also probably minor obsessions. Does this also mean I can't game, since my gaming is online in chat rooms? And that I have to go a whole week not IMing anybody? I'd actually have to telephone Jen to talk to her? Or write letters to people?

The very thought has me stunned into disbelief and fear, but at the same time I can also see why I might need it. There are so very very many things I don't do because I'm addicted to reading and the online world.

This is going to be very very hard. I can see myself fighting it already. Wish me luck.
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I think I've determined my artist date for next week. I'm going to go get my hair cut and possibly colored (or else do it myself like I usually do), and get a manicure. I might even also get that piercing I've been wanting for more than two years now. Keep your fingers crossed.

I realized this morning that it's my artist that likes to play dress-up and look nice, and the other side of me that says it's frivolous and a waste of money. She often wins, which is why I have a collection of semi-formal dresses, but on the other hand I haven't had a haircut for over six months, because I always find excuses not to do it. The sad part is that I really love the whole haircut process. Having my hair washed and head massaged and someone playing with my hair...I love all that. Strange.
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I missed my morning pages today. Immediately after I got up to do them, the small one woke up and wanted to go potty and then she wouldn't go back to sleep. So instead of morning pages I had morning baby-snuggles. I can't say I really mind, though I did bring my morning pages notebook here to work in the theory that I might write here. I doubt it will happen though. This is not a conducive environment. Telephones ringing, people talking, people asking me questions, wanting to know what I'm doing, annoying muzak, and of course the fact that I'm supposed to be working!

Another character did invade my mindspace this morning. His name is Bernie Fish, and he's sort of a typical Woody Allen character. Quiet, shy, nebbish type, who can't ever quite get anything right. From Brooklyn, of course.

This one, unlike most, had a name first. Usually I think of the character or situation and then pick the name to fit, but this name occurred to me, bringing the character with it. Its etymology is kind of amusing. I was thinking about changing the beneficiary on my life insurance and retirement funds (Ray's name is still on some of them), and probably due to my half-awake state, I realized the word sounds rather like Bennie Fishery. Then I thought Bennie Fish, but decided it should be Bernie for reasons I can't remember.

I was *thisclose* to staying home from work today. My head is so stuffed up and my throat hurts. I can't use the treatment I was applying last night--straight rum, in tiny sips--even though it worked, because of the American taboo about drinking during the working day. I'm not driving a train or flying an airplane here, folks! What's the big deal, as long as the work does not suffer?

I may have to take a mental health day soon, and stay home and write. Today would've been a good choice: the forecasters are predicting a high above 60 degrees. Oh well, I'm here, but I'm still writing a little.

I really really enjoyed talking to dj last night. It was great to just talk. It'd been a long time.

I need to find out if Jill wants to go to lunch. We could even go do our traditional walk-around-the-park that we haven't done since winter started, if the weather lives up to predictions. (And with the thought, I write and send an email.)
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I spent a goodly portion of my morning pages on Ray this morning. He really is my crazymaker. He's never directly attacked my creativity, but he attacks the deepest parts of my soul with anger and shame and makes me defensive. Then he blames me for my reactions. I feel like a marionette, because everything I do when he is around is controlled by him pulling on my strings. I hate that about myself, and I have to resolve to keep away from him as much as possible, and when I am forced to be around him, to keep myself away from him. I need a wall. It's very hard, when I've been trying so hard to take down walls and interact more freely with people, to build one, but I have to. He cannot be allowed to tear me up the way he does. I am envisioning myself building a wall of heavy granite between myself and him. Stone by stone, protecting myself from his destructive efforts.
I'm not walling myself in, I'm walling him out. There is a difference.
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I guess Pam wasn't offended, she replied already.

I've added another scene to La Llorona just now. It came to me last night whole and entire as a picture or movie clip.

Time to do some AW exercises. I'm rather behind.
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I haven't said anything today, been too busy living to write about it. ::grin:: Let's see, what did I do today.
I got up to do morning pages, but owing to being awakened at 2:00 by a car alarm that went off in a piercing continuous tone for ten full minutes, and actually getting out of bed to investigate in case it was a fire alarm, I didn't get up right away when the alarm clock went off. I got up at seven, started writing, and Rosa woke up half-way through. So then I had to feed, clothe, and entertain her until Ray arrived at 10:30 to pick her up. I finally wrote the other page and a half then, and it was actually good because I was much more awake and able to concentrate on what I was doing. That's when I found the affirmations.
At 1:00 I left to go meet Marina and Drew and see Lord of the Rings, and thus the subject line. I was on the edge of my chair for three hours--and I've read the books 30 times! Further comments in another post, and I'll hide them in an lj-cut. I'm too tired tonight.
After the movie I hung out at their house for a while, talking about the movie, books, other movies, politics, etc etc. Marina is pregnant and wasn't feeling well, so I mostly talked to Drew. He and I seem to share the same tastes in books and movies (we're always swapping recommendations and lending each other things to read) so I quite enjoy talking to him.
I'll see them again Tuesday for Christmas dinner and presents.
And just for dessert before bed, a little IM conversation with Liz and another with Jay. And dj too. To top off a very good day.
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I've just come back from taking Rosa to The Magic House for the first time. I'd never been there before either, but I think I'm going back very soon, as one of my artist dates. Four levels of exhibits and things to play with/on/under...I could have spent hours there. Rosa really enjoyed the toddler section, though she explored some of the other areas too.
I kept losing her because she'd go off to look at something. We made music in a recording studio with piano and electric drums, we played with a dollhouse and checked out some lightswitches and doorbells, dropped balls down chutes to see where they'd go...
I love doing that sort of stuff, and I'm looking forward to going back. It's almost more fun without the little one along, because you don't have to keep watch for her, but on the other hand it's wonderful fun to see her get engaged with something and watch her little face light up when she makes something happen.
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Yes, I know it's not morning anymore, and I should have said this then, but oh well. I got up and wrote the morning pages today: sheer drivel, barely even legible, but that's not the point, is it. Doing it is the point, at least at this stage.

Tomorrow is going to be harder, because I will have to get up at the crack o' dawn (on a Saturday!) in order to do them before Rosa wakes up and interrupts me. Hopefully I can finish and then go back to bed for a little while.
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Stephen King, On Writing
Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and
Spirit

Annie Lamont, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within and Thunder & Lightning: Cracking Open the Writers Craft
Julia Cameron, The Right to Write and The Artist's Way
Ursula K. Le Guin, Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on
Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew

Deema Metzger, Writing for Your Life: A Guide and Companion to the Inner
Worlds

Gail Sher, One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers
Jane Hirschfeild, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry
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Just bought my online tickets for Sunday at 2:30. I'd like to use this as my artist date for the week, but that feels a little like cheating because I'm going with some friends. I think I will plan something else for Wednesday or Thursday.
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Time to go to bed so I can get up and do morning pages...

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