Spellbound colander of treetops amid bruised cloud aperture

Belfast, 30 Nov 15

Belfast, 30 Nov 15

It’s funny, when I think about James Joyce now I wonder how much of his art is judged by what he said vs. how he said it, the fact he freed others to rethink writing: or that his book went to the Supreme Court and was banned because of a passage describing a woman’s feelings about sex, how those who ban books don’t create or free anyone, they just prop up old ideas of how to govern and subjugate, how to limit us.

How I spent a lot of my summer trying to figure out what to do for money, how I could earn money as a writer, and all the freelance copywriter courses that break it all down to eight easy steps (for $499), how anyone can do it—and it’s true, anyone can, everyone does, and studies show there’s a formula for post titles, how eight out of ten get opened if they follow this formula—and how angry and depressed it made me, how much it just made me want to be more myself.

I walked to the lake this morning, thought this is the best gift for my birthday, another day to come here alone: and an eagle caught me through the trees with its eyes etched on mine, they were all out circling and chirping, I sat on a rock and spotted the same fisherman’s line caught in a gnarled tree, an orange bob swinging in the breeze like the pendulum on a clock, a hypnotist’s watch—and though it looked like rain, it cleared over the lake, the wind made the sky and clouds pastels, it made a swishing sound as it combed the trees and swept out the dead, returned them to their beds where they could rest and we could all do the same, this season.

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
This entry was posted in death, musings, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Spellbound colander of treetops amid bruised cloud aperture

  1. dawnpearse says:

    Beautiful! Happy Birthday!!!

    Like

  2. Happy Spirit Formation Anniversary Journey! Your prose is so awfully poetic in that last paragraph.

    I’m having a similar revelation about blog writing. Does your title follow that format? For me, I’m realizing that more pix, less text, tends to equal success. I’m afraid most of my posts are greeted with the dreaded “tl;dr.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Hey Justin! Shout out to IDAHO. Thanks for the well wishes. I don’t know about the pix vs text thing. It depends on your goals I think…for me, I like me a good photo (or not) with what I read, but it’s the content that’s mostly engaging because that’s what I’m looking for, good, original content. My title on this post was an intended F you to that formula. I liked the sound of the words and they had spontaneous (albeit obscure) meaning for me in the moment. Best to you and yours, I’m off to celebrate now! Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynn Love says:

    Ooh, it reads like prose poetry – how do you do that? Love your thoughts on Joyce and though I find him hard (what little I’ve attempted – which is next to nothing!) it’s amazing someone was prepared to write about those things in such a breathtakingly original way. Hate the idea of banned books – even the most offensive and luird have a place.
    And I hear you about trying to work out how to make money from writing – it’s been buzzing through my head for ages, though I’m still a florist, so you can see how successful I’ve been at that! Is that true about title formulas? It is depressing, but not surprising – humans are like puzzles that someone somewhere is always willing to solve so they can take advantage of how they tick.
    And that last paragraph? Just wonderful descriptions and feelings, from eagle to fisherman’s line to trees. A stunning creation. A very happy birthhday Bill – all the very best to you x

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      That’s a lovely comment Lynn, as always…heartfelt and all that. Truly appreciate it. I have a funny sensation when I try to recommend Joyce to writer-friends, or hear writer-friends reading him for the first time and don’t ‘get it,’ and I don’t blame them. I was very lucky to have the right prof at the right time, to hand-hold me through…and grateful for that. But looking back, I do wonder if it’s more the symbol of what he opened up, the sense of permission ‘post-modern’ writers got from experiencing what he did. There’s a lot to that: and we don’t grow or advance by working out formulas and dumbing shit down. I could start a rant, I almost did there, pardon. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        It makes such a difference, having a lecturer who knows what they’re talking about. I remember hearing this great lecture on Rothko’s Seagram Murals years ago – I really saw the depth in them after that. Maybe that’s what we all need with difficult works of art – an enthusiastic expert on hand to guide us through. Always a pleasure to read your writing 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy birthday, brother! That lake of yours sounds like your go-to “keep your head on straight” place. Those kinds of spots are the only thing between us and 21st century cloud cuckoo land.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      “It’s in the lake,” that’s what I say. The gal with the sword sticking out and the slender wrist, you know the one. Thanks for the well wishes to you, brother! I am hitting that Harrison record hard. Wish I could play that sweet, drippy slide…bet you can…

      Best, Bill

      Like

      • Yes, Georgie’s slide is like liquid manna at times. I haven’t tried to play those bits. The closest I came was a meticulous Garageband copy of Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross,” but it took forever to do. Fun, though. I’ll take Peter Green any old time!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. walt walker says:

    I can’t say I wouldn’t click on the formula-title. I mean, that’s why it’s a formula, probably, so it might work on me. But I think I can smell click bait when I see it. And titles like yours are the opposite of click bait, which makes them click bait for those who despise click bait. I didn’t think I’d ever type the word click bait so many times, but there you go. What I’m saying is, when I see a good title, something original, something that tells me I’m not going to find the same thing I’m finding everywhere else, I’m more likely to bite on that kind of bait. So, well done, Old Sport. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rossmurray1 says:

    Who wants to be a formula anyway? Formula’s just an anagram for “flour ma.” Yeah, I said it. Now it really is your birthday and you’re the man. THE MAN!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kingmidget says:

    Happy Birthday, good sir. I need to come visit your lake one day. As for the rest, I have two thoughts. First, when I started blogging, I read these articles about how the only successful blogger is one who focuses their blog on a narrow topic and then finds a niche audience because of that topic. So, I could write about food and cooking, but couldn’t mix politics in. Or, I could write about writing and share my efforts, but couldn’t mix in travel. And that just sounded so ridiculously ridiculous to me. While I’d love to have “success” at blogging, I no longer have any idea what that really means. To me success is that I write what I feel like. My blog is an extension of me and all of my varied interests.

    Second … oh hell, I’ve forgotten. Oh, I remember now. The first writing conference I went to (one of only two such things I’ve gone to) included a session with an author whose name now escapes me. There was a woman in the audience who kept asking him questions like “I’ve been told that I can’t switch voice in the middle of a chapter. That a new voice requires a new chapter.” And each time she rose from her seat to ask a question the author had the same response, “there are no rules to writing except one. Write an interesting story.”

    That has stuck with me ever since. The reality is that if there were rules, I’d have lost interest in writing a long time ago. Rules are too much like work and part of what appeals to me about writing is that I can do whatever I want. The same applies to blogging to me. Of course, if a person wants to achieve some type of material “success” from blogging, things may be different. But, to me, my blog is about me and who I am. What I care about. And the same for writing.

    Back to your lake … I envy you for your opportunity to have a lake you can walk to for those moments when you need it. That’s one of my retirement goals — to live in a place where there is a lake, a river, or an ocean within easy walking distance. For those escapes I need.

    (By the way — turkey soup? Didn’t happen. My wife made turkey soup last night. I offered your recipe as an option. Her response … “I have a recipe.” There were no leeks or potatoes in hers.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Ah, well no sweat on the leeks, so to speak. I wish you that, a body of water when you retire. It’s been the best tonic for me truly, and become my daily tonic or “well” for creative inspiration. Yes, success and blogging are very personal. Sounds like you’ve found yours, thanks for being part of mine. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      And yes, the lake awaits: come visit some day. We have a hot tub, too.

      Like

  8. ksbeth says:

    always go to the water –

    Like

  9. byebyebeer says:

    I signed up somehow for emails about a copywriting program…man, they hit you over the head and hard, though not like I would spend that kind of money on a promise, seems worse than lottery tickets. And sure, you could follow proven formulas to get more traffic, but then it will turn something joyful and pure into soul-suck. You’re well on track, your writing more fluid and meaningful by the day.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      More fluid and meaningful, I’ll take that Kristen thanks!I signed up for THREE courses like that over the summer and was not surprised, though a bit sickened, to see how their approach was so similar between the three, the formula and psychology of it. But I did learn some from it, which I’m able to use a little in my current work. Soul-suck is the right word, the leeches. Good to really figure out your own thing, I think. No eight easy steps.

      Like

      • byebyebeer says:

        You could start your own course, weeding out the bs and focusing on proven tips from all three. It’s helpful to hear you learned from it…that’s a testimonial that means something. Glad you’re putting it to use now.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        There is the notion of permission marketing I like and believe, the fact you have to deliver unique value…and when the time is right, you then ask for the sale after you’ve built trust/loyalty etc. And you do that by delivering value. I sound like I’m parroting one of their emails now.

        Liked by 1 person

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