Writing 101

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Writing 101 Day 18: A Quiet Riot

Veröffentlicht Juni 27, 2014 von Zarah

Writing 101 Day 18 – A Quiet Riot

The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

Maybe I didn’t use that point-of-view thing the way it was supposed to be – but this 12 year-old didn’t seem to be content to just sit there while old Grandma Pauley was evicted. He wanted to do something, and he did.

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A Quiet Riot

Yesterday there was a riot in our street. Well, maybe not a real riot with violence and stuff, but sort of an uprising. A small one, but still.

I was sitting on the steps in front of our house, texting my BF about meeting later in the afternoon when I noticed cops on the other side of the street. Cops in our street? Weird. Nothing ever happens here. It’s a quiet neighbourhood. They had this official looking guy with them. Dark suit, white shirt, a tie, and a smooth face like a TV presenter. They were walking up to Grandma Pauley’s place.

Now Grandma Pauley is just the sweetest little old lady you could ever hope to meet. She has lived here her whole life, she’s been like a real grandma for all of us children here. Actually Grampa Pauley, her husband, was like a grampa for all of us too until he died of a stroke three months ago. I didn’t know what a stroke was then, but my mom explained it to me. She’s a nurse, my mom. She knows about all this weird medical stuff. It went real quick. Maybe better for him than if he had died of a long illness, like cancer or something. But Grandma Pauley was very sad after he died. They had been married like forever. The best thing about it was, they were old and still happy together. You could see it when they looked at each other. The warmth in their smiles. So when he was gone so suddenly she was downtrodden. That’s a word I’ve learned, downtrodden. It’s an old-fashioned word, but I love old English words like that. Maybe I’m going to be a writer some day. But I’m not sure yet. There’s more to being a writer than just knowing some unusual words.

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Well, anyway – after her beloved Willy died, Grandma Pauley dressed all in black and stopped talking to people. It was weird because she always used to be so cheerful, chatting with everyone, baking cakes for people’s birthdays, telling stories to us children and all that. But the loss of him took all the spunk out of her, it seemed. She just withdrew inside of herself. We tried to talk to her, ask if we could help her in any way, but she just wouldn’t open the door or answer the phone. Mom told me some people get like that when they’re grieving. It’s called a post-traumatic depression or something.

But what did these cops want from her? It’s not illegal to be depressed, is it? I went across the street to find out. “That’s none of your business, son”, one of the cops said. He looked rather stern, as if he wasn’t comfortable with me being there. But the other one was more friendly. He was still young, he had grown up in this street and he knew Grandma well. He thought it was not okay to send police to her, but he had to obey the orders of his chief. It turned out that Grandma had not paid the rent for the last three months, ever since Grampa Willy died. Probably she didn’t even know how to go about it, because Grampa had always taken care of all the paperwork and she didn’t understand about all the legal stuff. Now they were going to evict her for not paying the rent.

Of course that was impossible. Where would she go if they kicked her out of her home? She’s been living here for the last 40 years. She’s over 80 now. I thanked the officer kindly for the information and went around the corner and texted everyone I knew about what was happening, and that they should hurry up and come to Grandma’s door and help before this sleek-looking guy could really get her evicted.

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It worked like a charm. Within minutes, there were about a hundred people there asking what was going on. And more were coming. My friend Davy’s dad, Mr. Jones, is a lawyer, and he said he would represent Mrs. Pauley and all the paper stuff and claims should be directed to him. That was a low blow for the sleek-looking guy from the housing company. He’d thought if Grandma was too poor to pay the rent, she would never be able to afford a lawyer. He thought he could get it over with real quick and without a lot of noise. But he wasn’t from this neighbourhood. He didn’t know we all loved Grandma, and that we were all going to help her and stand up for her if she really got into trouble. None of us had known that she wasn’t able to pay the rent, or couldn’t figure out how it was done. She had been just to proud, or maybe too downtrodden, to ask for help.

The young cop actually looked quite relieved that he didn’t have to evict Grandma now. He had been feeling really bad about it. Mr. Jones told the bloke from the housing company that he would get in touch with Grandma’s children. Next of kin, he called them. They didn’t know about this either. They all lived far away. One was in Australia, one in New Zealand, one was in an ashram in India and one lived in a wooden cabin in Canada, without phone, internet or any other means of communication. The latter two were a bit difficult to reach, but Mr. Jones managed to contact the others. They had had no idea that their mom was in such trouble. They had been here for their dad’s funeral, but apparently she didn’t tell them anything about her financial situation. They sent enough money via cable to cover the debt, so Grandma was out of trouble for the time being.

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Of course that wasn’t the end of it yet. Grandma needed to be covered for the future too. She had had a real shock when she realized that she would have to leave her beloved home if these things didn’t get settled. She had been buried so deep in her grief that she had always postponed the “official” stuff until the next day, and then the next, and then the next … Mr. Jones said that he would go through all the papers and see to it that the financial situation was cleared up. He wasn’t going to charge for it – he just wanted to help so she could stay in her home until the end. She could have lived with her son in Australia – he had offered to take her in when Grampa died -, but she didn’t want to. “I was born here, and I’m going to die here. My beloved Willy died here too, and I want to be buried next to him”, she said. We all had a big meeting in her living room after the cops and the housing company bloke had left. That was when she finally understood that you have to ask for help when something’s up. And she also finally understood how much we all loved her. She was really moved to see how many people cared about her.

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One thing still remains to be told. A friend of my parents‘, Jim Cooper, works for the Morning Post. My mom told him the whole story, and this morning there was a big story about it in the Post. Of course they used it as a hook to write about the housing situation in general, and the desolate situation of old and bereft people. But something incredible happened – Grandma got dozens of calls and letters from total strangers, people came by to visit and bring groceries and stuff. Everyone wanted to help. She got so many donations that her rent for the next six months was secured. She was famous now! “The Granny of Old Cook Street.” It overwhelmed her a bit, actually. She had never wanted to be famous. But she was glad – as were we all – that she could remain in her home and in our street for the rest of her life.

Oh yeah – Jim said that he was going to do some more research on that housing company. He was sure that there must be some weird stuff going on if they were in such a hurry to get Grandma out of her house. It will be interesting to see what he can find out.

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Writing 101 Day 19: Vision Thing

Veröffentlicht Juni 26, 2014 von Zarah

 

Writing 101 Day 19

Don’t Stop the Rockin‘

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Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

Metatron’s Cube caught up with me when I went to Stonehenge to visit the ancient druid’s cemetery. I had not planned for that at all. I sat there thinking of the druid who was buried there when suddenly this giant shape appeared before my 3rd eye.

Oops – what the f*** is that, I thought. then I heard this voice say, I am Lord Metatron and you have been asking for this, even though you don’t remember it at this point.

I had not asked for anything of the sort. But it seemed that wasn’t important to the entity who was speaking to me. He just went ahead giving me visions of this bloody geometric shape that made my head spin when I looked at it.

Well, he said, didn’t you listen to the Metatron Activation on the internet three months ago? I had to admit that I had listened to an mp3 with that title, but had completely forgotten about it. You see, he said, that was when you activated the events that are happening now. Oh, I said, so this is how it works, is it? I’ve listened to lots of videos and mp3s over the years and never had any stuff happen because of it. Well, he said, if you listen to my stuff it does work, unlike other things you may have given your attention to.. The giant thingy was still swirling in front of my 3rd eye …

to be continued

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Another time I was doing my Christmas shopping, not thinking of anything except how I would find a suitable present for my mother-in-law when suddenly this guy in a Santa costume walked up to me and said, Would you like to see something really special? Not really, I said, I’m just looking for a Christmas present for a really conservative person, so something special wouldn’t be the right thing for her at all. She needs something pretty ordinary. Oh, he said, it’s for you, not for someone else. What do you mean, I asked him. He said, Just follow me and you’ll see.

Intrigued, I followed him. He walked into the back of the shop, then through a rather dark corridor and through a rather small door. He had to bend down to avoid knocking his head on the door frame. When we stepped though on the other side it was spring.

I was amazed. But it‘ s the middle of winter, I said. Not here, it ain’t, he retorted. Well, where are we? I asked him.. This is the land of eternal youth, he said. Things don’t grow old and die here. But how are these flowering trees going to bear fruit, if nothing ever changes? I asked him. Oh they do bear fruit, he said. There is no time here. They can have fruit and bloom at the same time. And sure enough, next to the flowers there were fruits hanging on the branches. Wow, I said, what a great place. I thought you’d like it, he said. That’s why I brought you here.

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Writing 101 Day 6: A Guru in Disguise

Veröffentlicht Juni 10, 2014 von Zarah

Writing 101, Day Six: A Character-Building Experience

Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’v met this year?

Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-six/

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A Guru in Disguise

I am a shamanic singer. I work with intent and sound, singing things into existence. It’s a rather uncommon profession. People who are interested in my work typically belong to the esoterically minded (aka „woo-woo“) tribe, the type of person who reads channelings and meditates regularly. So when I received an e-mail from an unknown man requesting a session, that was the type of person I expected to meet.

Well, I was in for a big surprise. When the time of our appointment came and I opened the door, I saw a sturdy man not much taller than myself who was wearing coarse workclothes smeared with what looked like white paint and speaking in a broad Berlin dialect. He radiated a definite working-class aura. Not at all the kind of person I had been anticipating! Indicating the paintmarks on his trousers, I asked him if he did renovations or interior decoration, painting houses and suchlike. He replied that he did “building insulation” – stabilizing walls that had become porous with a silicone-like substance that hardened after it had been sprayed into the holes. He told me that he enjoyed his work very much but had left earlier today to enjoy a quiet hour by himself  and a cup of coffee before coming to our session, adding that he was usually late, but was amazed at himself to be ten minutes early today. Then he went to the men’s room to change into fresh clothes whilst I prepared my audio equipment, feeling thoroughly confused.

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Issues? What Issues?

My confusion grew more intense when we started the session and he told me about the “issues” that had brought him here. As I listened to him enumerating his perceived problems, I caught myself thinking, “That is not really an issue that needs any kind of treatment. What on earth did he come here for?” It was mostly the stuff of everyday life that many people live with, but it turned out he had been to many “self-awareness” seminars where they seemed to make a very serious issue of almost everything under the sun. Stuff you had to work on very hard to resolve it – even if there was nothing to resolve in the first place. 😉

He actually struck me as someone who didn’t need outside help at all to cope with his life. He was getting along just fine. He was open, friendly and communicative, and he had no problems with his work, relationships, finances or health. The only “problem” seemed to be a certain confusion about these issues he thought he was having. It seemed as if his teachers had convinced him that there was something wrong that needed to be fixed although I couldn’t really see what that might be. Slowly it dawned on me that my confusion in listening to him was caused by his own. He really didn’t need any help, although he thought he did.

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Finding a Focus

However, following the meandering stream of his tales, gradually a theme emerged that seemed like a worthy pursuit. He told me that the question „What do you want?“ had come up several times recently, and it seemed like he could use some clarity on what he really wanted. So we agreed that the singing should be for him to gain clarity about what he wanted and what really mattered to him.

For those who aren’t familiar with creation through sound, I should explain at this point that it is vital to have a clear focus before you start singing. It’s important to know exactly what you intend to create through the sound, because if your intention is fuzzy or unclear, you might create stuff that isn’t really helpful and might even be detrimental. If I had just gone along with what he thought his “problem” was, chances are that the session would have produced the opposite effect from what he intended, creating a problem where none existed before. But when we hit on the topic of gaining clarity on what he wanted, there was an immediate resonance that “this was it” – this was what he had actually come for. (Or so we thought.)

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Another Surprise

I had only been singing for a short while when suddenly this huge wave of love came through me for him. It seemed like there was a person or persons who wanted to send this love to him. It was overwhelming. Amazing. Just …. wow.

When I had finished he told me that he had seen himself standing on a mountain, or actually, a kind of mesa. At first he thought he was alone up there. Then he noticed there were people standing to his left and right. And then his gaze widened and he saw that he was standing in a huge circle of people! That he was not alone up there at all. That was the message for him.

They were his people from ancient times, and they seemed very happy that they had finally found a way to reach him. I told him that he could always contact them again, and he said he would.

Then it seemed as if there was something else waiting to be sung, so I started singing and felt the strong presence of a woman (of his people), who was grinning broadly and sending more love to him. It felt a bit as if she thought, “Well, let’s see if this will make him remember …” He told me afterwards that there had been still the same circle of people and one woman had stood up but he couldn’t see her clearly enough to recognize her. But he had felt the love she was sending him.

The next thing that happened was that really huge waves of love came through and I was supposed to just hold the energy in silence. No singing this time. It took everything I had to transmit this huge wave of love for him. And all the while I thought, what if he doesn’t notice anything? Am I doing this right? Am I even able to do this? Then I heard a reply inside of myself that this was my chance to let go of the little doubting self and embrace the big Self (capital S). I thought, well maybe that message is not just for me, and told him he could also release the small self now if he felt a resonance to that. He told me afterwards that he had been able to let it go quite peacefully. 🙂

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The Hidden Master

After the session was finished, we talked some more and he told me he had done firewalks and had been not walking, but dancing on the burning coals without hurting his feet. I was impressed. Then he mentioned that he was a Reiki teacher. “I went through with it”, he said proudly. “After I discovered Reiki, I did my first degree, then the second. Then I pulled it through to get my master’s degree, and then finally I became Reiki teacher.” I was amazed that he thought he had to come to me if he had these abilities, and asked him if he had ever thought about becoming a professional healer. “Yes”, he said, “ I did it professionally for a while, but it just didn’t seem right. Something was missing. I need a practical activity as a balance. Just can’t live without it. I have a little garden outside of Berlin, and I have my job, and I love it this way. Working and doing my garden. I just have to do something practical. Then in the evenings and on weekends everyone who wants a Reiki session can come if they want to. That’s the way that feels right to me.” He reminded me of  those spiritual healers in Brazil I had heard of who work in a day job and then do healings all night without ever getting tired. And I thought, wow, this man is not my client, he is my teacher. He came here to give something to me, not to get something from me. I felt thoroughly humbled.

But he must have gotten something from me too, because he said, “Well, this was definitely something special. It’s something I could do more often. It’s not like working on your issues. This is something completely different.” I felt grateful that I had helped to provide a special experience for him.

He gave me one last teaching, by paying me more than my regular fee. At first I thought he had made a mistake, but he said with a smile, “This is the figure that came up during the session, so I reckon it’s the right one.” I was so surprised that I could say nothing but, “Wow … thank you.” He said, “Well this was definitely not the last time we’ve met.” I said , “I surely hope so.”

Then he left, and I was left with a feeling of incredible joy in my heart and nobody to share it with …

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Veröffentlicht Juni 3, 2014 von Zarah

Ich hab mich jetzt für den Writing 101 Challenge von WordPress eingetragen. Man bekommt jeden Tag eine Aufgabe bzw. ein Thema, worüber man schreiben soll. Dadurch gewöhnt man sich daran, jeden Tag zu schreiben. Die Challenge geht 20 Tage. Man kann sich aussuchen, was man postet und was nicht. 🙂 Ich habe jetzt erstmal auf Englisch geschrieben, mal sehen ob ich dabei bleibe. Wenn ihr diesen Blog abonniert habt und das langweilig findet, schmeißt die e-mails enfach weg … ich mach das für mich, weil es Spaß macht und ich mal sehen will, wsa dabei herauskommt. 😉

Die erste Aufgabe war, 20 Minuten lang alles zu schreiben, was einem einfällt, ohne Rücksicht darauf, ob es schön ist, ob es vollständig ist, ob es einfach nur Bullshit ist.

Ich saß vor meinem Fenster und lauschte den Vögeln. Dann flogen drei große Vögel mit Riesen-Spannweite über unser Dach hinweg. Störche? Reiher? Keine Ahnung. Auf jeden Fall dachte ich dann plötzlich daran, wieviel Vielfalt es in der Natur gibt, nur die Menschen denken oft, es gäbe einen „richtigen“ Weg und man mßßte so und so sein … Darüber habe ich dann geschrieben. Ob das jetzt klassicher stream-of-consciousness ist, weiß ich nicht, aber es war jedenfalls das, was herauskam.

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To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to handwrite for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up.

I was sitting in front of my window listening to the songs of the small birds. Suddenly three huge birds came flying over our rooftop, and that set me off thinking how much diversity there is in nature, only humans think they have to follow „one“ way … and I started writing about htat. (BTW I wrote it by hand first, and haven’t been writing in English for a while, so I hope you’ll bear with me.) This is what came out of it:

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Weird Creatures

Nature brings forth all kinds of creatures. Some hunt for food. Some eat what others throw away. Some are carrion eaters. Some eat plants or seeds, and some eat meat. Most birds build their own nests, but the cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds’s nests. They don’t want to have to work to raise their young. 😉 Still, everyone is glad to hear the cuckoo in the spring.

Then there’s plants. Most plants live on sunlight and water, but some eat insects. They come in all sizes, from the tiniest moss to the tallest tree. Creepy crawlies too … there are little green bugs not even 1 mm long, that would look like giant dangerous monsters to others that are even smaller. It’s a world full of wonders.

Why am I saying this? Because some people seem to think that it would be good if everyone were the same. They believe there are some absolute rules, that there is THE way to be and if everyone just followed that the world would be okay.

But we are all different, and what’s good and natural for one creature might not be natural for someone else. If an oak tree tried to become a butterfly, that just wouldn’t work. But some people think they have to follow rules that were not made for the likes of them … just because they want to be like others.

It’s good to know what kind of creature you are, and live according to your own nature. instead of emulating a way of life that doesn’t really fit you, only because you think it’s somehow better than your own, or because others have told you that you “must” be this way (or else …) You may lose some people’s sympathies if you do what’s good for you, but at least you will be following your nature, and that is ultimately what will make you happy. If you are a bird, sing! and if you are a lion, roar! Be what you are and live the way you were meant to live, not how others think you „should“ live. 🙂