Monday, July 10, 2023

"Obi-Wan, I Need Your Help."


"The curiosity and connection that create the Eureka effect rely on parts of the brain that don't feel fear."—Martha Beck.





I thought fear was all-pervasive. Yet, as I think about it, fear comes from our primitive brain stem, the part that's into survival.


Martha is right; it doesn't come from the creative side. 


That must be why we feel happy when we are into some creative endeavor or when faced with a problem whose solution has stumped us, if we let it sit a while, Eureka, "Out of the blue," comes the answer.


I know, however, that while the right side of our brains is creative, and it's so much fun to be in that space, I did not know it was fearless. The other side must creep in.


I've been hearing more and more that scientists are trying to pinpoint where consciousness lies and, so far, haven't been able to do it. They are pretty sure it doesn't reside in the brain as we have been led to believe. 


Don't we think with our brains? Doesn't it feel like it is coming from our heads? Yes, but what about those moments of transcendence where something comes to us from out of that blue space?


The first time l experienced an out-of-the-blue thought where I got the message that we can KNOW as a teenager.


This is silly, a trivial little thing, but it impacted me.


I had taken a knit dress to the cleaners, and when I picked it up, it was wrapped in brown paper like a package. I absolutely knew the belt wasn't in that package. But I didn't want to tell them, thus committing to such boldness, so I went to the car, opened the package, verified that the belt wasn't there, returned to the shop, and told them the belt was missing. They found it and gave it to me.


I have mentioned I am writing a memoir. This memoir could also fit into the Memoir/autobiography/travel/adventure/special interest categories. Every time I say I'm writing a memoir, I sound arrogant. Then I remind myself I do not know anyone better than I know myself.


Perhaps people will want to read it; perhaps they won't. Perhaps it will inspire others to write their memoir; maybe it won't. Either way, come hell or high water, I'm doing it. I mentioned I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days, but that doesn't mean it is complete; it just means I got words on the page, and now I am faced with a mess. 


Natalie Goldberg (Old Friend from Far Away), my inspiration, says you can write many memoirs in your life; every time you write one, you will be at a different place. And don't write about dreary stuff; you can write about pain, for that's a part of life, but generally, write about what takes your breath away.


Yesterday I was writing about Spankings, and I made this statement: 


"I don't know why it is embarrassing to be spanked like it is embarrassing to be bullied, molested, or unloved."


The moment I wrote the above sentence, I got the answer. 


When Joseph McClendon III talked about sleeping in a box in Lancaster, California, after somebody tried to kill him because of the color of his skin, he thought, "If someone would do that to me, there must be something wrong with me."


That's it. 


As McClendon erroneously thought there was something wrong with him, kids probably think there is something wrong with them and that they deserve punishment.


There was nothing wrong with McClendon, as there is nothing wrong with kids who get hit for some infraction. They are kids, remember?


I wonder how much punishment contributes to our culture's prevailing "I'm not good enough" syndrome. I'm not good enough to be loved. I'm not good enough to find a mate. I'm not good enough to write a good book, a play, a symphony, paint a picture or start a business. 


"I've been bad and deserve to be hit. I am a girl, a less desirable weaker sex, and I must keep my mouth shut. Boys will be boys, you know." 




That's the biggest Bullshit I have ever heard. 


I told you I was a Badass in training.


I will ask for pre-sales for the book PAINTING A LIFE from a Badass in Training by Jewell D. That way, I can hit the ground running when the book is launched. Getting sales right away is the best way to get a higher rating on Google.


"Obi-Wan, I need your help."


You can tell me you're willing to join my pre-sales campaign if you want to. Pre-sales are only charged once a book is launched.


So, nobody will be charged if it never gets off the launching pad.


Over and out, have fun, be creative, do a little dance.



Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Write Drunk, Edit Sober


I think I used that title before. However, I'm using it again. My site told me it only takes 2 minutes, 48 seconds to read this post. My kind of read. Read it and get on with it.


I wrote drunk, now I am editing sober. 


I was not drunk with alcohol or any other mood-altering

substances. I was drunk with inspiration. 


Write when you are drunk with the pleasure of living.

Write when you are drunk with words bursting to land on a page. Write when the

Muse visits—if you don't, you ought to be smacked.


When you come in for a landing, edit. That's being sober. 


(Even if a writing class teacher swore to you this

"Write drunk, edit sober" advice came straight from the mouth of

Ernest Hemingway it is actually a quote from a fictional

character. Mariel Hemingway, Ernest's granddaughter, said the author wrote and

edited sober.) 


Since Hemingway had a reputation for drinking a lot, he

had to write drunk, right? Actually, he didn't. He wrote first, then celebrated.


I was drunk with reaching my goal of 50,000 words in my

memoir. In editing, they went down to 48,000 and up to 53,000; I had some

repeats, and now I'm at 50,323. If you are a writer, you know about first

drafts—don't let anyone see them. 


I wondered and felt insulted that a writing process

called NaNoWriMo encouraged writers to write a novel in a month. 

Somewhere I read that Margaret Mitchel spent 30 years on Gone with the Wind, 

but online it says she spent only 3. It's hard to know what to believe anymore. They did practically have to rip that manuscript out of her hands to get it published, though, as she kept it hidden under a blanket when people visited. She wrote the last chapter first and rearranged the chapters, and it went on to sell 30 million copies. 


Now, though, after my exercise, I see the value of keeping the hand

moving. Don't look at the words; that way, you are more into feeling than

thinking. You will end up with a mess but words on a page.


Okay, now you are sober. Edit the damn thing.


As time passes in this writing endeavor, I remember

little past things like V-Mail. For years I had a letter from my father when he

was in the war. But after repeated searches, I believe it went with our wedding

pictures when we were packing to move to Hawaii. You know how it can be; you

put things away for safekeeping, and they are the ones that get lost. We sold

some things to a man who agreed to sell them on eBay, and some of my best

things disappeared. Unfortunately, I was not on top of the process. 


V-mail is short for Victory-mail, and few know of it now.

During the war, yes, WWII, since mail was stacking up with letters from

soldiers to home and from home to soldiers, someone came up with a brilliant



The sender would write their letter on a specified sheet

of paper—it would only hold so many words. A reader would check for secrets and

black them out if need be, and the letters would be on their way.


The plan was OO7 inspired.


It was microfilmed and sent by airmail.


Microfilmed—yep, in WWII. When the mail arrived in the

The US, it came as a photographed letter, about 4 or 5 inches. The writer

needed to print large enough, so the words would be readable on the other end.


With this method, they saved much-needed room in the

airplane. Contrast microfilm to bags upon bags of mail. Online it says they

don't think they ever lost a letter using that method.


Over the years, I repeatedly read my two little letters

from my dad. One was from Italy, "You thought I would only be gone for a

while, didn't you?" He had beautiful printing and drew bunnies along the

bottom of the page. And he called me Princess, although I never knew he called

me that. 


I only saw my father once after the war, but then 38

years later, I met him again.



In lieu of my beautiful letter.