On the Road #5

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Hey y'all,

In Anchorage to give the Brown Beast the medical care he deserves.  Apparently, the BB has many leaking wounds, but according to the doctors, if I keep giving him transfusions on a regular basis, the BB should be good to go, for a long time...how about that? 

Joe has joined the tour for the rest of the summer and he's set a goal to sell all the books in my truck. It is definitely more empowering to be a team of plural than a mission of singular, and the books are definitely selling.  At Chair Five in Girdwood, I had people following me to the bathroom to buy a book - yippee!!!  It is so much easier to have somebody else promoting me as a dreamer who is trying to manifest fantasy into reality.  When I do it, I sound like a geek.  At least for the next month, I don't have to endure the surface polite nods of those who can smell blood, while underneath the kitty sharpens its claws...okay, so I'm blowing things out of proportion.

Done with the Kenai Peninsula, and manana we're heading to McCarthy for the Blackburn Music Festival where we'll lay out a blanket and sell books.  Heard good things about this festival, so it should be good, and then we'll be heading up north - we may even go to Prudhoe Bay just so we can say we did because I doubt a bunch of republican oil-drillers will be into fairy tales featuring my heart-eating seductress, but you never know.  Then we'll be meandering on down to Fairbanks, and then...who knows.

Joe asked the I Ching a couple of questions...about chicks of course.  And one said the great departs and the small approaches - after he made the decision to not spread himself thin to go see a gal on the other side of the world  and the other was "The Marrying Maiden" with "The Arousing, Thunder" as the upper trigram, and "The Joyous, Lake" as the lower.  Since that girl already compared him to a flower, because he's "sweet," that made Joe's day.  He's been referring to himself as "I am the Arousing Thunder" ever since.  And he's totally sold on the I Ching. 

It's like traveling with my kid brother. 

Anyway, my journal list is starting to get bloated, so I have a request of everybody...if you would like to keep hearing of what's going on, drop me a line and let me know one way or the other.  If I hear nothing by the end of the month, I'll assume the answer is not and you're too considerate or too chicken to say so.

Anyway, hope all is well... 

Montgomery

PS This is the 5th email I sent to my friends of what are now some cherished memories of my DIY booktour/roadtrip in Alaska in the summer and fall of 2005. It was literally called “I don’t know what to call this one; this is the fifth email.”

 

Strokes Before Pummels - Kindness Before Criticism

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Hey y’all,

Aren’t most people resistant to criticism. Some may even be terrified of it, especially writers when it comes to their work. For me, my anxiety around criticism started in my college creative writing class. In each one I took, there were students who loved to revel in their brilliance when it came to incisive criticism. To say I was traumatized might be going a bit far, but by the time I came to the Extension Writers Workshop at the University of Washington, Seattle in the 90’s, I was truly defensive (still am, really) and very apprehensive about the critique process.

The Writers’ Workshop was divided into 3 capsules of roughly 2 ½ months with breaks to make up a 9-month program. The Cage-Escape-Quest-Dragons-Home structure I wrote about in the blog on August 1st I learned in this course, in the 2nd and 3rd capsules.

But the most awesome teacher of the course was in my 1st. Margaret Grossman was so fantastic, all of us wanted to keep her. In her evaluation, many of expressed a preference to have her teach our 2nd capsule, and if we could, have her as our teacher for the whole course. Our praise of Margaret was so lavish that she almost got in trouble for it. Too many ruffled feathers and bruised egos, I suppose. Either way, she talked to us about the value of having a variety of teachers so we would learn more about the craft of writing, and to please be at peace with moving on for the next capsule.

In her mid-to-late forties, Margaret had the ageless quality that prompted her elder daughter’s friends to say: “That’s your MOTHER?” She had thick, dark, red hair, and hippie overtones to her style of dress. She had the good sense to prefer comfort over fashion, casually dressed in jeans and cozy sweaters (this capsule started in January).

“It is ridiculous for anybody to get an MFA right after undergrad,” Margaret said one night. “If you want to be a writer, give yourself something to write about. Get out there and do some living.”

Margaret was living proof good stories came from a vivid life. Her life story was as fascinating as anything you would read in a novel. She grew up rough. Alcoholic parents – her father drank himself to death by the time she was in her twenties. Her mother was still alive, but if Margaret didn’t call her by 11am, she was already incoherent. Margaret was a huge fan of Jack Kerouac before alcoholism sucked his soul dry. She had lived the On the Road lifestyle as a young teenager, leaving home to hitchhike at 14. When I expressed shock at how dangerous it must have been to throw herself in the world like that, she said: “With what was going on at home, I felt safer on the road.” She listened to Alan Ginsburg read poetry to the urchin runaways who found themselves in his backyard – she was one of them. This was the early days of Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Somewhere in all this, her mother got her married off to some guy she didn’t like all that well, with whom she had two daughters. She left him, managed to get an education (with an MFA), and remarry somebody she liked a lot more who took on her daughters as his own. Since they had no relationship with their bio-father, I think that made things much simpler.

“My husband’s pretty aware,” she said. “He knows sperm doesn’t really matter.” 

Obviously, Margaret Grossman was a very intriguing human. And it was Margaret who taught us how to critique effectively. In fact, it was the first thing she taught us before she let us anywhere near each other’s writing. Her technique was simple. Rooted in kindness.

“Writers are insecure,” she said. “We all are. Just admit it. We don’t get enough nourishment, so always put the positive before the negative. Point out everything you like about somebody’s work before you criticize it.”

And the more we waxed eloquent over the qualities we liked – even loved - about a piece the better. Flattery was the silver bullet of criticism. For the recipient of the critique will receive what you had to say after you compliment their work. Also, as the giver of the criticism, you’ve been primed to deliver in a way that is softer and gentler. Instead of focusing on your critical brilliance, you find yourself with the desire to help your fellow fledgling writer.

Of course, for anybody who LIKES to give incisive, crushing critiques to kill the spirit of vulnerable, beginning writers, this blog is not for you. Unless you’re an editor of a major publishing house or at least an average literary agent, people are probably going to think you’re a douche bag, so I hope the ego massage is worth it.

Speaking of massage, that works the same way as an effective critique. Pummeling is a healing technique. When done with excellent timing, after the body is warmed up and relaxed, pummeling brings the recipient to even deeper relaxation. It is actually a pleasure when the therapist literally punches your back with their fists, if you’ve been massaged first.

Imagine that! What could be painful feels really good if it’s delivered after a whopping dose of praise! Healing massage and good writing - who would have thought the 2 had this much in common?

For the record, Margaret wasn’t all sugar and sweetness. She had an editing symbol reserved for irredeemable pieces of shit. From what I remember, she made a mini-tree, and what that symbol meant was: “You killed a tree for this!” She said she only had to use it once. She also said she still found something she liked about a piece that she thought so awful she used the dreaded murdered tree editing symbol. To my relief, Margaret did not use it on any of my work.

I haven’t thought of Margaret Grossman in years. I never saw her again after her workshop. I’ve used her critiquing technique ever since I learned it, and this came up in my most recent gathering of writers. I mentioned that I should write a blog about this, and their enthusiastic response: “Do it!”

Anyway, with my memory jogged, I tried to Google Margaret Grossman to see what became of her. All I found was something vague, but it looks like she died in 2001. She from the University of Washington had her in her journal footnotes – “Margaret Grossman’s death.” Why that was on the internet, I don’t know. I only know that my heart hurt when I read that.

RIP you spectacular, warrior woman. You inspired me more than you will ever know.

Massage before Pounding. Positive Before Negative. Kindness Before Criticism. It’s the only way to critique. In writing and in life. 

Margaret Grossman’s legacy is worth remembering.

Peace,

Montgomery

 

Eternal Novicehood and the Saving Grace of Good Friends - On the Road #4

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Hey y’all,

This road trip was shaping up to be an exercise in humiliation until Joe showed up. For instance, in Homer, at my first open mike, I had right in front of my stage the Christian kiddie contingent. They were there to play cards, talk loud, and make smart-ass speeches after different musicians played just to show how cute they were, while the folks that were actually listening attentively were behind them.  

I was lucky though, they got even more obnoxious when the guy after me went up to play his guitar and sing.  

At the Land's End in Homer, my first night was the exact same time and date as the post-Memorial service for Drew Scalzi, a former state Representative, so everyone there was going to that. One couple tried to get me to go upstairs, have some food and drink and let people know I was there, but there's just something about going to somebody's funeral, especially someone that I'd never met, to hustle some business that is...distasteful to say the least. The same couple came down and bought a book - probably out of sympathy because nobody showed up that day, and the wife suggested that I should come in the winter when people are looking for things to do during that time.

The next day, a couple of acquaintances and a couple of total strangers showed up. I sold two books. All I could think was that it was a mighty fine thing that I did not pay a dime for that space and that my beginner's luck had run out. And I'm back in the time and space of being a novice...again.

I packed up the Brown Beast (that is burning through the oil, but other than that is running beautifully) and headed for Seward.

It seems like every year I decide to do something different that I know nothing about, just so I can be a novice all over again. Perhaps Zen Buddhists would applaud my embrace of Zen mind by constantly being a beginner; but given that I learn by making sooooo many mistakes, the novice/beginner period can be agony.    

In Seward, at the Resurrect Art Coffee House – an old church that was converted into this little gem, I had set up a tableside storytelling for the sake of promoting my book. The owners are every artist's dream come true as they support the arts and would let me do whatever I wanted. So I set up for three days, hoping positive word of mouth would help.

Day one: I told several stories and sold...nothing.

Granted, I'm sure it could have been worse, I could have been insulted on top of it. But to be in a place for four hours and have people nod politely at my efforts is...awful and humiliating.

Why would any sane person put herself through all this?

It didn't help that I had a Homer friend tempting me to go back to Homer, go charter fishing and party. It was so demoralizing, I almost went, but I made a commitment and as much as it hurt, that commitment must be kept. I gritted my teeth to bear it on Thursday, where at least the day would be mercifully short.

Day two: I told two stories to four people...sold two books.  I perked up a bit. I've survived painful learning curves before and it was always better. I even sold two more books to a waitress and one of her followers at the bar where I refreshed myself with a beer after hiking.  

And then came deliverance...

Friday brought the arrival of Joe, who has absolutely no boundaries, and therefore, no inhibitions. A born balls-to-the-wall salesman type. For those who know Joe, after fishing in Bristol Bay, his dreds got inflected with fish bits, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. He said every morning when he woke up his head smelled like fish and he couldn't take it anymore. What should surprise everyone was that he shaved them off, along with his beard. And damn! He now looks like a respectable young man. He’s not, of course. But at least, he now passes.

Joe listened to a couple of stories, and even stopped being a smart-ass half-way through the first one. A Colorado woman who calls herself "Soozie Creamcheese," bought a book, and the two over-friendly studs I'd met at the youth hostel bought none. Then Joe took it upon himself to take a few books and hit the bars. He took four books, and within 45 minutes, came back with forty bucks, and left with ten more books. By the time people were only caring about getting drunk he sold seven more books. While I stayed put at the Resurrect Art Coffe House, told more stories, and sold two books.

I couldn’t believe it.

Here I am, busting my butt telling stories and recommending myself to strangers and all Joe has to say is: "Dude, you should REALLY buy this book," and he’s usually chatting up a female.

And it works.

I just might have to pack up Joe in my luggage...

Thank God for good friends.

Peace,

Montgomery

PS These were some great memories of my road trip book tour in the summer of 2005. FYI, the Resurrect Art Coffee House is still around. If you’re ever in Seward, go check it out! 

Original Writing Prompts for Fantasy and Writing Inspiration for Journaling...or even Memoir!

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Hey y'all,

Cole has busted out some pretty fabulous memes in the form of writing prompts and inspiration! Their style is different from mine, but that makes for broader perspective and more choices for all the writers out there to find those pearls of inspiration to get those creative ideas flowing and the pen moving across the page or fingers dancing over a keyboard. Things tend to flow from there. So enjoy!

On another note, this weekend, I'm heading for my first festival as a vendor for the first time in a coon's age. Imagine Orcas Island, with sacred music, late night dance parties, aerialists, fire dancers, nature, beauty, and lots of rain - that's where I'll be with Cole and my partner, Morgen, trying to tell some stories and sell some books. I have an updated and revised version of The Golden Pedestal for the kiddos with some gorgeous new illustrations, as well as Ella Bandita and the Wanderer for the adults. I'll also have some older copies of my original collection of stories, Ella Bandita and the Wanderer, which will go for a $4. A lot has changed in the self-publishing world since the DIY booktour odyssey I did in 2005/2006. One positive change on my end is that I'm not doing this alone. That is a huge relief!

I hope it's a good weekend, and if anybody reading this happens to be on Orcas Island for Imagine this weekend, come find us. In the meantime, enjoy Cole's writing prompts and inspiration!

Peace,
Montgomery

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Different Name for Children's Books Because...Morality and Sexuality

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Hey y’all,

I’m about to put out a children’s book, The Golden Pedestal. This original fairy tale is written in the classical style, with black and white illustrations interspersed throughout the story. There is no technology, the characters are archetypal, and there is a moral to the story. I wrote this story years ago, and a reviewer described it and the other kids’ story in the collection, Why Roses Have Thorns, as “gentle parables about the dangers of pride.” I concur.

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To be more specific, I describe The Golden Pedestal as a cautionary tale about narcissism and how destructive it is to a community. My partner says The Golden Pedestal makes an effective allegory for popularity contests that gain momentum in high school.

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Originally, the title of the story was Preacher Man and the Golden Pedestal, a friend of mine did about 7 illustrations, the books were handmade on 8.5x11” paper that I printed at the local copier and then bound with mini black binder clips. The cover was an illustration of the Preacher Man on top of the Golden Pedestal against a bright yellow background, whereas Roses was red. These were part of the DIY book tour/roadtrip odyssey that I took in 2005, and that I drop one of those old emails in this blog from time to time.

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Perhaps because it was a pourquoi story, Roses sold noticeably better than Pedestal on that trip. Yet a lot of people preferred Pedestal when they read it in the collection.

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So after messing about with the title and deciding to keep it simple, I hired an illustrator with some experience as a working artist to provide a fresh perspective, not to mention a lot more illustrations, and a book designer fresh out of a graphic design program who is eager to work in her new career. She did a lovely job with taking pieces of the illustrations and sprinkling them all over the book. Thus The Golden Pedestal is transformed into is a beautiful gem of a book. At least, I believe it is. I’m excited to get it out there.

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I also am pretty clueless on how to market this to the general public because it’s completely different than the adult novels I usually write. It also complicates things just a bit that I write children’s fairy tales using my first name (Mary), and my adult fairy tales under my middle name (Montgomery).

I was advised to use different names to prevent confusion, especially for parents who might get scared off by the nature of my adult work. The Ella Bandita Stories – I’m at work on the second novel right now – cover the darker themes of sexuality, yearning, seduction, grief, loss, alienation, and these novels are for an adult audience. Although the sex scenes are not the majority of the story by any means, the sex scenes are explicit enough to be considered erotica. There’s only 1 scene like this in Ella Bandita and the Wanderer, but in The Shepherd and the Courtesan, there will be many more.

Although it may be the better part of wisdom to separate my children’s work from my adult work, I think it’s a shame. Sexuality and morality are two completely different states of being, and this really shouldn’t be necessary. Yet I was raised with the belief that good morals had far more concern with “not having sex before marriage,” and not enough concern for being honest, kind, and humble; having integrity; playing fair; living with courage and authenticity; acknowledging the dignity of others; and respecting the rights of others. It is very possible that somebody could have a sex drive so high they are what is considered “promiscuous,” but still embody all these beautiful traits that make a truly moral being. Yet how often is such a person given credit for having sound principles?

The cold, hard truth is we live in a highly sex negative society. That has not changed after decades of sex before marriage is the norm; many couples live together before getting married, and many young people have at least a few lovers before they do settle down.

Truthfully, I am so turned off by the word “moral,” I often substitute it with “principled” because it doesn’t have the emotional charge that makes my skin crawl. I often cringe when I hear “morals.” What comes to mind is the hard edged voice of an embittered dowager who is usually slut-shaming a girl or young woman for being sexual – whether she is “promiscuous” or not.

I could go on and on about this, and frankly, this last could be a long blog in its own right, and maybe it will be later. So I conclude with – I’m about to come out with a children’s book. I promise The Golden Pedestal will encourage good morals in your kids.

So what is The Golden Pedestal about? 

A fable for ages 8 and up!

The Purple Princess has it so good. Her best friends, Sir Highbrow Olive and Miss Blue Begonia live on either side of her. The Purple Princess loves to play piano. Sir Highbrow Olive loves to study. Miss Blue Begonia loves to garden. They live with a view of the Golden Pedestal that drew their ancestors from the mountains to this valley. Harmony rules this village until the Preacher Man falls to his knees before the Golden Pedestal. Every day, the Preacher Man preaches of the glory of gold, begging the question: Who is good enough to be beholden on the Golden Pedestal? Then the people choose the Purple Princess as the one they should worship, the one who stands above all the rest. Sir Highbrow Olive and Miss Blue Begonia rush to her aid, and the three friends must find a way to reclaim the peace and harmony of their home before it is too late.

I hope you enjoyed some of the illustrations throughout this blog post. If this sounds like the kind of story you'd want for your kids and you'd love to pre-order a copy, write to me at freeflyingpress@gmail.com, send me a Paypal of $10 with both your email and physical addresses by September 15th, 2018, you'll get that beautiful book by the end of September. Unless you live in another country. It may take longer. 

Thanks for reading!

Peace,

Montgomery

 

Tapestry of Life - On the Road #3

  Hey y’all,    Every time I'm on the road, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly friendships are bonded and easily untied - especially as the need arises.  There's something about traveling - being suspended from the day to day life of jobs, rent, bills, social obligations, community service, and established groups - that suspends the usual rules of how people interact with each other. Boundaries are lifted, discretion is almost an insult when making friends and forming temporary community from town to town.    I met Ann at the Amped Cafe in Homer, the day after I arrived in town. She's torn between career and more school, and which way to turn. There was an immediate bond that forged itself when she mentioned living in her truck, with a dog, and a Holly Golightly-style best friend that was halibut fishing with a new fling who "wore his mullet well," and thus, was currently unavailable.    What a coincidence! I'm also living in my truck.      Ann talked me into doing a reading at the open mike that night to get warmed up for the Concert on the Lawn that first weekend. The next morning, she met me at 8:30 to help me set up my booth and was in and out every so often, as the need arose.    Hey, she got into the concert for free. After the weekend, she felt comfortable enough to let me stay in a tent outside the mullet-fisherman's house and I had a place to reorganize my truck and make coffee in the morning.    At the Concert on the Lawn, a volunteer named Lia offered to let me park my truck and sleep in her van with a double bed if I needed a place to stay. She was widowed from the love of her life two years before, and she had done her fair share of adventuring in her youth. She was also letting a young man stay on her property that was on a spiritual path of Buddhism and daily meditation, so it was really no big deal. But she felt the need to assure me that she wasn't coming on to me and that the young man was not her lover.     When Ann moved on to Seward to look into a possible dream job, I gave Lia a call and after it took her a moment to remember me...    "Oh yes, the Scheherazade..." she said. (I totally dug that compliment) before giving me directions to her house.     She got a little reluctant about using her van, but I had a place to park, and a kitchen to make my coffee, and an outhouse to do my business, and my body was scrunched again into my truck's proportions.    She told me her story, and it turns we have much in common.    "We are all interconnected," she said.     If she ever comes to Juneau, of course she'll have a place to stay.    Ann's sweet dog was hit by a car on Saturday night and killed, so she left Seward by the time I got there and the Holly Golightly-style best friend met her in Anchorage. I doubt I'll see her much from here on out, but I have a couple of pieces of mail and her PO box key. I'm sure we'll keep in touch and all, but I suspect that Ann was my Homer friend.    So here I am in Seward to do table to table storytelling at the Resurrect Art Coffee House in Seward. I'm staying at the hostel and it feels like high luxury accommodation to be able to stretch out in sleep and have a place to put food.    This morning I was looking forward to coffee in the communal kitchen and writing in my journal when a born-again Christian wrecked the peace of my morning today when she had to tell me her story of giving her life to the Lord and how happy she was that she didn't have to be good enough to get into heaven, because God sent his Son to die on a cross for her. It's incredible that Christians never stop to think how sadistic and cruel that is...     I felt my energy being sucked dry...dammit, I knew I should have kept my distance.    When I couldn't take anymore of her being saved speeches, I got up and told her abruptly that I had gotten screwed by the same system that had done so much for her, and would she please stop. She said, yes of course and we made banal chit chat and wished each other a good day.    I'm only one thread on the tapestry of life, and these intersections are only a moment and some are a part of beautiful patterns and others...are not.      But then my thread runs on, as does theirs.    As Lia said, we are all connected.    Peace,    Montgomery    PS: This is the 3rd email from my DIY booktour roadtrip that started in the summer of 2005. Ann was the first friend I made on the road, and her sweet dog, Wiley, snuggled against me one night when I was feeling lonely and sad, and maybe a touch of anguish. As amazing an adventure as this was, there were some things that were going on in my personal life that weighed heavy on my heart. I realized Wiley could feel my pain and was trying to comfort me. Later, it hurt so badly to hear that that sweet dog had been killed (frankly, from Ann's carelessness), that I couldn't bring myself to include that moment in this email at the time I wrote it. I regret that. So better late than never that Wiley was remembered as the awesome being that she was. I hope that dog reincarnated to a more responsible owner. Wiley also proved the point of how all of us are interconnected.    PPS: I never saw Ann again, and we didn't keep in touch.    

Hey y’all,

Every time I'm on the road, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly friendships are bonded and easily untied - especially as the need arises.  There's something about traveling - being suspended from the day to day life of jobs, rent, bills, social obligations, community service, and established groups - that suspends the usual rules of how people interact with each other. Boundaries are lifted, discretion is almost an insult when making friends and forming temporary community from town to town.

I met Ann at the Amped Cafe in Homer, the day after I arrived in town. She's torn between career and more school, and which way to turn. There was an immediate bond that forged itself when she mentioned living in her truck, with a dog, and a Holly Golightly-style best friend that was halibut fishing with a new fling who "wore his mullet well," and thus, was currently unavailable.

What a coincidence! I'm also living in my truck.  

Ann talked me into doing a reading at the open mike that night to get warmed up for the Concert on the Lawn that first weekend. The next morning, she met me at 8:30 to help me set up my booth and was in and out every so often, as the need arose.

Hey, she got into the concert for free. After the weekend, she felt comfortable enough to let me stay in a tent outside the mullet-fisherman's house and I had a place to reorganize my truck and make coffee in the morning.

At the Concert on the Lawn, a volunteer named Lia offered to let me park my truck and sleep in her van with a double bed if I needed a place to stay. She was widowed from the love of her life two years before, and she had done her fair share of adventuring in her youth. She was also letting a young man stay on her property that was on a spiritual path of Buddhism and daily meditation, so it was really no big deal. But she felt the need to assure me that she wasn't coming on to me and that the young man was not her lover. 

When Ann moved on to Seward to look into a possible dream job, I gave Lia a call and after it took her a moment to remember me...

"Oh yes, the Scheherazade..." she said. (I totally dug that compliment) before giving me directions to her house. 

She got a little reluctant about using her van, but I had a place to park, and a kitchen to make my coffee, and an outhouse to do my business, and my body was scrunched again into my truck's proportions.

She told me her story, and it turns we have much in common.

"We are all interconnected," she said. 

If she ever comes to Juneau, of course she'll have a place to stay.

Ann's sweet dog was hit by a car on Saturday night and killed, so she left Seward by the time I got there and the Holly Golightly-style best friend met her in Anchorage. I doubt I'll see her much from here on out, but I have a couple of pieces of mail and her PO box key. I'm sure we'll keep in touch and all, but I suspect that Ann was my Homer friend.

So here I am in Seward to do table to table storytelling at the Resurrect Art Coffee House in Seward. I'm staying at the hostel and it feels like high luxury accommodation to be able to stretch out in sleep and have a place to put food.

This morning I was looking forward to coffee in the communal kitchen and writing in my journal when a born-again Christian wrecked the peace of my morning today when she had to tell me her story of giving her life to the Lord and how happy she was that she didn't have to be good enough to get into heaven, because God sent his Son to die on a cross for her. It's incredible that Christians never stop to think how sadistic and cruel that is... 

I felt my energy being sucked dry...dammit, I knew I should have kept my distance.

When I couldn't take anymore of her being saved speeches, I got up and told her abruptly that I had gotten screwed by the same system that had done so much for her, and would she please stop. She said, yes of course and we made banal chit chat and wished each other a good day.

I'm only one thread on the tapestry of life, and these intersections are only a moment and some are a part of beautiful patterns and others...are not.  

But then my thread runs on, as does theirs.

As Lia said, we are all connected.

Peace,

Montgomery

PS: This is the 3rd email from my DIY booktour roadtrip that started in the summer of 2005. Ann was the first friend I made on the road, and her sweet dog, Wiley, snuggled against me one night when I was feeling lonely and sad, and maybe a touch of anguish. As amazing an adventure as this was, there were some things that were going on in my personal life that weighed heavy on my heart. I realized Wiley could feel my pain and was trying to comfort me. Later, it hurt so badly to hear that that sweet dog had been killed (frankly, from Ann's carelessness), that I couldn't bring myself to include that moment in this email at the time I wrote it. I regret that. So better late than never that Wiley was remembered as the awesome being that she was. I hope that dog reincarnated to a more responsible owner. Wiley also proved the point of how all of us are interconnected.

PPS: I never saw Ann again, and we didn't keep in touch.

 

Memes, memes, and more memes!

 This one is fun. I used Canva for this one.

This one is fun. I used Canva for this one.

Hey y’all,

As I said in an earlier post, I got to making lots of memes to promote my existence here in this world and in cyber space. I think Cole and I came up with some pretty awesome images, and thought it would be cool to share some of our collection in the blog. 

These memes are original in the pairings of images with words. Many of the quotes are from those who are wiser and more experienced than I - not to mention famous. Unless the author is unknown, I always credit brilliance where it is due. And of course, I didn't take the pictures. But many are quotes from my work, and in one meme, my perspective.

These are some favorites of mine as well as those pinned often on Pinterest. I don’t know how all of this will shake out, but for the sake of passing on some good advice, I recommend Canva as a great place to design memes for free. My second choice is Quotes Cover, which is where I got started. I was pretty limited with how I could design the image and where I could put words on Quotes Cover. I think Canva makes a cleaner, more pristine image, so I use it all the time now. But I had to figure it out and have somebody show me a little of how to work that site. Both sites are free to work with, which is always a bonus. That said, I hope y’all enjoy the images and feel free to share them on your own social media – especially those that have Free Flying Press on them. ;)

 Canva. Personally, I would contact improv with my shadow, with moments of tango. And you?

Canva. Personally, I would contact improv with my shadow, with moments of tango. And you?

 This meme is one of my favorites, but it wasn't pinned as much as I would have liked. Made it on Quotes Cover.

This meme is one of my favorites, but it wasn't pinned as much as I would have liked. Made it on Quotes Cover.

 This meme is one of Cole's. I think they worked with Adobe on this one, but I'm not sure. I was also surprised it didn't get the Pinterest love because I think it's lovely.

This meme is one of Cole's. I think they worked with Adobe on this one, but I'm not sure. I was also surprised it didn't get the Pinterest love because I think it's lovely.

 This meme I used to promote my work, Ella Bandita and the Wanderer. Made on Canva. I hope the model doesn't take offense I used her face, because she's beautiful.   Just in case you are intrigued, this quote is also in a  free download  because Part 1 is a freebie.

This meme I used to promote my work, Ella Bandita and the Wanderer. Made on Canva. I hope the model doesn't take offense I used her face, because she's beautiful. 

Just in case you are intrigued, this quote is also in a free download because Part 1 is a freebie.

 Made on Canva. This meme may get some Pinterest love yet.

Made on Canva. This meme may get some Pinterest love yet.

 This bit of awesomeness was made by Cole.

This bit of awesomeness was made by Cole.

 I made this on Quotes Cover.

I made this on Quotes Cover.

 And I made this meme on Canva. I also altered the color from my computer to make the blue deeper.

And I made this meme on Canva. I also altered the color from my computer to make the blue deeper.

 This meme is by Cole, and the quote is out of Ella Bandita and the Wanderer. It makes me wonder if people are scared of sex, bondage, or both because I'm surprised this didn't get a lot of attention. And no, this doesn't imply a bondage scene. You'll have to wait for the second novel to get something like that. ;)

This meme is by Cole, and the quote is out of Ella Bandita and the Wanderer. It makes me wonder if people are scared of sex, bondage, or both because I'm surprised this didn't get a lot of attention. And no, this doesn't imply a bondage scene. You'll have to wait for the second novel to get something like that. ;)

 This meme was much loved. And I'm proud of this one!

This meme was much loved. And I'm proud of this one!

 I reused this picture to make a different meme. I'm fairly proud of it too.

I reused this picture to make a different meme. I'm fairly proud of it too.

 It shouldn't surprise anybody that this was a big hit. I couldn't have made this meme so graceful without the tools on Canva. 

It shouldn't surprise anybody that this was a big hit. I couldn't have made this meme so graceful without the tools on Canva. 

 Meme made on Quotes Cover. This was pretty fun!

Meme made on Quotes Cover. This was pretty fun!

 Quotes cover meme. This one surprised me. It was pinned a lot. 

Quotes cover meme. This one surprised me. It was pinned a lot. 

 I'm proud of this meme, and I'm proud of the attention it received because it was personal, and especially because the quote is not out of a novel I wrote. This is advice I've given many friends and family when a relationship falls apart. I came to this conclusion over the years after experiencing my relationship disasters and observing others. The kind of catastrophe that happens after somebody has given everything except their blood to make someone happy - and more loving - only to have that blow up in their face when their beloved leaves.

I'm proud of this meme, and I'm proud of the attention it received because it was personal, and especially because the quote is not out of a novel I wrote. This is advice I've given many friends and family when a relationship falls apart. I came to this conclusion over the years after experiencing my relationship disasters and observing others. The kind of catastrophe that happens after somebody has given everything except their blood to make someone happy - and more loving - only to have that blow up in their face when their beloved leaves.

 Cole. This meme got some Pinterest love - which was well deserved, I believe.

Cole. This meme got some Pinterest love - which was well deserved, I believe.

 I was pretty disappointed this didn't get much attention on Pinterest. Maybe the word "Loneliness" put people off. Made on Quotes Cover.

I was pretty disappointed this didn't get much attention on Pinterest. Maybe the word "Loneliness" put people off. Made on Quotes Cover.

 This meme is one of my first attempts at making a writing prompt. Made on Quotes Cover.

This meme is one of my first attempts at making a writing prompt. Made on Quotes Cover.

 This meme is one of Cole's first and it's one of my favorites. I love the ferocity of it, but those on Pinterest did not. I guess a woman with a bloody sword may be off-putting.

This meme is one of Cole's first and it's one of my favorites. I love the ferocity of it, but those on Pinterest did not. I guess a woman with a bloody sword may be off-putting.

 This meme is one of my recent writing prompts, and I'm proud of it too. It's gotten some respectable attention on Pinterest. But again, I was surprised it didn't take off in a spectacular way.   It's also part of collection of writing prompts if you care to check that out  here .

This meme is one of my recent writing prompts, and I'm proud of it too. It's gotten some respectable attention on Pinterest. But again, I was surprised it didn't take off in a spectacular way. 

It's also part of collection of writing prompts if you care to check that out here.

 Cole. Isn't it fabulous!

Cole. Isn't it fabulous!

 One of my early ones, and I still think it's one of the funniest. Making myself laugh is a real joy. Made on Quotes Cover.

One of my early ones, and I still think it's one of the funniest. Making myself laugh is a real joy. Made on Quotes Cover.

So there y'all have it. There are many more. I hope y'all enjoyed viewing these as much as we did making them! It's a lovely creative pursuit to make some memes!

Peace,

Montgomery

 

 

Writing Prompts! Come and Get 'Em!

writingprompt-fairytale-fable-myth-fantasy.jpg

Hey y’all,

Are you a writer? Or someone who likes to write?

Do you love fantasy?

Do you love fables and myths?

Do you love the idea of taking fables and myths in a different direction?

Did you like that prompt above?

If so, have a look-see at these bits of inspiration to get your creative juices flowing! Some are also rather pleasing to look at, if I say so myself. ;-)

Most of these are take-offs on myths and fables, but there are also two suspense prompts, and Rogue and Babe promise to make a romp of a romance – or a spoof of a romance if that’s how you roll.

The possibilities are endless…

FYI, these prompts are original and unconnected to my creative work, so use them however you like and enjoy!

Happy writing,

Montgomery