Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
As far back as I can remember, it seems, someone has asked me, "When are you going to write this all down?" or "When are you going to write the story of your life." Throughout my childhood, this single task loomed over me: some magnificent yet horrifying responsibility owed to the world around me. For many years, I obsessively jotted down the notes, impressions, sketches, and character analyses which were sure, in my mind, to comprise this great work.
Before I knew it, I was too swept up in living the chapters of my life to record them; still, the notes were meticulously kept. And, when nearly twenty years worth of notebooks, journals, and carefully collected research--the sum total of my identy--were forever lost, recollecting those mountains of data seemed to me an impossible task.
Just thinking about it would leave me stone-to-the-bone tired.
This past week, however, I was asked to sign a contract to publish my "memoirs." My initial reaction? Who would want to read about me? Afterwards? "That would be a whole lot of freakin' work. Am I up to it?" And finally, "Which part of my story would I tell?" In my mind, my life falls neatly into five distinct stages (not counting the present), each of which represents a distinct volume to be written. Could I, in my state of health and with all the insanity surrounding my current existence, even hope to take on such an endeavor? Especially with the constant hindrance of oxygen-deprivation to the brain, which often leaves me struggling to remember the simplest things (like why did I come into the kitchen again? or what was I just saying?)
Then--now, in fact--I found myself facing another major medical crisis. As I lay day after day struggling with the matter, the debate--to write or not to write--raged on in my head.
I encountered a real scare.
Now I know that if I do not tackle this project now, I might not have the chance again.
So,the process of "penning" the first of five volumes of my autobiography has begun. Whether time or its ever ebbing tides will allow me to complete it, I cannot even guess. (At this point, I am not even sure if I'll sign that infernal contract!) Even so, this resolve to at least put forth my best, most concentrated effort has cemented as bullheaded determination within the walls of my iron will.
I've actually included excerpts from this work as it exists thus far.
Wish me luck, ya'll!
Where The Honeysuckles Grow
(The Childhood Recollections of Chanctetinyea J.J. Ouellette)
...I have lived my life behind thick, impregnable walls, clamoring for the touch of unobstructed sun, wondering when the invisible gates would part, and I would be able to take that first tentative step outside them....
I often wondered about life beyond those unseen walls, about the people who lived unimprisoned, about the children ran freely beneath the yellow-white glare of the sun. Why were they free? And what had I done—what did I house inside my deepest self—which left me too grotesque, too evil, too distorted somehow to be let loose among them....
Most clearly, I remember the scent of honeysuckles, new-mown grass, and that strange, metallic anticipation of one day--some day--escaping them both....
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
From a mound of pillows on my bed
I gaze out into the August morn.
Soft clusters of thick green needles
Lay in dense nests against the robin’s egg sky.
Though I strain to hear them,
No birds sing.
There is only the quiet that comes
From the Earth’s placid indulgence:
A patient vigil
Over mankind itself…
Its determined wait
For the collective foolishness
To at long last end.
I am alive,
Even though the gentle winds, themselves
Whisper that I should not be.
Perhaps this knowledge has evoked within me
The stoical resolve
To wait, as well.
For its meaning…
For my purpose.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Earlier today, during the long and tedious process of sorting through the seemingly endless emails which accumulated over those months spent in various hospitals, I stumbled across two glorious finds. The first was a message from "Ingrid" in the editorial department of Blue Mountain Arts informing me of their continued interest in greeting card verses I submitted long ago. The second was a request, in response to a past query, for a copy of one of my manuscripts. Consuming most of my day, therefore, was this process of attempting to track down these potential successes in hopes of actually, like, publishing new works...
Under my own name, ya'll!
As a result, I must say, the day has proven itself a long and exhausting one. Having lost most of my current data with my poor, overworked ibook, submitting said written work required a great deal of cutting and pasting from various sources in order to reconstruct (to the best of my ability) the complete manuscript. Still, despite the many frustrations along the way, I find myself undeniably excited.
Perhaps I am even beginning to feel like an actual writer again!
(Keep writing, everybody!)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Well, my friends, the time has come...
I must face the signs, most undeniable, of truly dire straits...and aggressively combat this impending doom with preemptive action.
In other words, it is time to organize more workshops.
It seems the dictates of my balance sheet must, invariably, overcome the conflicts of my confus-ed soul. Whether I wish to do so or not, regardless of whether I am ready to do so or not, I have no option but to (barring some unforeseen miracle, some new and wondrous career opportunity) find work within my chosen field, all the while optimistic that the need to be a fruitful, functioning member of society will counterbalance--indeed, outweigh--any lingering apprehensions curling about the fringes of battered psyche.
At least, that's the story I'm a-tellin' you all now!
So if any of you know anyone in the Colorado Springs area with a burning desire to write more picturesque prose, to more completely grasp the elements of grammar and literary style, or will merely take pity on a frazzled mother with bills, bills, and more bills preying upon her proverbial purse...
Tell 'em Chanctetinyea says, "Ya'll come on by now, ya hear!"
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Having at long last resolved the Matter of the Lost Laptop (i.e. accepting a newer unit to replace the one which remains lost...with much my pertinent information and latest revisions on it), the time has come for me to end this hiatus from paying projects in order to get back to the business of actually paying the bills, putting food on the table and clothing on my children's backs (whether I have come to terms with my own frustrations about writing--not to mention my own capabilities as a writer--or not)!
The time has come, it seems, to resume my work facilitating workshops, teaching classes, and editing the works of others.
Time, Tide, and T-Mobile wait for no one, ya'll!