Write With Me! Study Hall, Monday, Ecember 7, 2015

FIND YOUR STAR

  The Kansas sky is a carpet of stars, so clear you can see the full sweep–well, of our arm, anyway–of the Milky Way, as we could along much of the East Coast when I was a child. Those days are long gone to vapor lights. 

I try to hold onto that thought as I help my future daughter-in-law and son navigate through a thicket of attitudes about children and animals that is stunning in its cruelty. More about that later. 

Writing requires one thing above all, something most writers know but find hard to practice: Keep your butt in the seat if you want to succeed. My recent workshop instructor, Laura van den Berg, had a much nicer way of putting it when asked about her productivity on the page: Try to touch your manuscript each day. Any way you put it, persistence is the difference between success and less than that. 

Today my family had a bit of a disaster concerning two pets that kept me away from our Study Hall and my writing. So, apologies, all. Now let’s get to work. 

Today, I’m going to fashion a new chapter in my second novel, tentatively titled The Man Who Loved Chocolate, which you might call a paean to kind men. Today I met a local government official who was anything but kind, and I’ll have him in the back of my mind as I continue the love story with the sweet-souled bookseller, David Bear. Sometimes it’s good to draw a real-life character’s opposite.

It’s important when the World deals you dirt to remember who you are and what you are worth. To hold onto your star. I hope yours is in sight as you navigate through your day. 

Now, what are YOU working on?

Earth Magic and Indian Physics

This blog is my attempt to look at the bigger picture, to take the long view in the light of the Universe. (Although at times I may examine the details in order to find the universal.)

Recently, I gave a talk entitled "Earth Magic and Indian Physics" at a local Unitarian-Universalist church in celebration of National American Indian Heritage month, using concepts from physics, like the black hole information paradox, and readings from American Indian authors, including an excerpt from Susan Power's The Grassdancer, as a way of talking about expanding our personal views to encompass more people and more of the Earth and its ways. (Hear the audio below.) As always when I give talks, I learned a lot about myself and for myself. One of the things I learned is that my son is right when he says I'm a nerd girl at heart.

I love science as it relates to the Earth and Sky World. This can be uncomfortable for an Indian, since some scientists have been so pigheaded as to trample our beliefs and so narrow-minded as to negate our inclination for the rather long view of history. But science is a great way to question–just not the only way. And it never negates my belief that there is magic in the world. Not magic as in unrepeatable or unobservable, but as in wonderful and awesome. And, yes, so much that is beyond our current powers to explain is real. To want to explain everything is to wish to conquer it. And conquest brings conflict; this much I know is true.

So much of conflict is avoidable. If we truly see into the heart of things, I believe that all conflict is avoidable. The paradox becomes the internalized lesson. I set about to show that Margaret Many Wound's walk on the moon, from Power's novel, is no more speculative than some scientists' attempts to explain the black hole information paradox. We all are capable of dancing out on a limb for the people and experiences we love.

Read the book for yourself, listen to the audio, and let me know what you think.

I will try to leave you a few words and an image at least once or twice a week on this site, as a record of what I am working on and thinking about. Sometimes it may be personal, sometimes political, sometimes as deep-thinking  as I am capable of being.

For my family and friends, remember you are my lifeblood. For those who happen upon my work and find something worthwhile in it, please let me know how we are connected.

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