“Your worst humiliation is only someone’s momentary entertainment” Karen Crocket

Assignment #2: The Monster Hall of fame.

In sixth grade we would arrange our table desks into groupings of five or six. We were groups, capable of earning points and compliments from our teachers. Each group had a name, like a team, along with a drawing that best represented us. My group team were the Rushmores, complete with a portrait of Mt. Rushmore with our faces instead of dead president’s, drawn by yours truly.

The team was all girls, my best friend for kindergarten, the class popularity queen, the girl with fragile bones that were always broken, and the queen’s shadow. Sometimes I thought I was there by default, not really fitting in with the girls who seemed to be overly obsessed with boys, magazines, flavored chapstick, and what dress they were going to wear to the school dance.

I could care less. I was friends with the boys, at lunch I sat at their table and during recess I played with them on the soccer field, or I sat on the bleachers and cheered them on. Jeans and sneakers were my fashion statement, and I only liked flavored chapsticks if it were something tasty, like Dr. Pepper. That was just who I was and I was okay with it.

One frigid February afternoon, after lunch, the boys set out to take the soccer field. I perched myself on the silver steel bleachers, content to hold my friend, Diego’s keys and cheer him on. I had brought a notebook out with me and busied myself with doodles and sketches. At the sound of the whistle, everyone lined up ready to go back to education and leaving the recess field for the next day’s adventures.

Diego chatted with me as we walked in, taking our usual spots at the front of the line. He had scored a winning goal against his arch nemesis, Kevin, just before the whistle blew and he was riding the emotional high that came along with winning.  I laughed, unzipping my jacket as we walked into our classroom.

My desk was missing from the Rushmore table.

It hit me like a baseball bat to the chest. My desk, alone with my fuzzy purple pen dangling out next to my favorite purple marble notebook. Alone and dead center in the classroom. I hesitated, not understanding how my desk got up and walked away. The rest of the class shuffled in behind me, chatting about various things and putting their things away.

Something white glared from the top of my desk. With what seemed to be an entire roll of scotch tape, a piece of loose-leaf paper was plastered on the top of my desk. I slid into my chair, trying to act as normal as possible, though the whispering snickers started to stab me from behind. All eyes were on me. I was center stage. I prayed the spotlight would dance somewhere else, but it just got brighter as I stared at the written message scrawled upon the immovable parchment.

The Declaration of No More Friendship

We, the former friends of Kristen, hereby decree all friendship and friendly activities be stopped immediately for the following reasons:

I swallowed a rising lump in my throat. The little inner voice that tells you to protect yourself was shouting, telling me to stop reading. But I didn’t listen. I couldn’t, what had I done that was so incredibly wrong that would warrant me a monster deserving a cessation of friendship.My eyes floated down the list.

  • She thinks she is so cool, but she’s not
  • She secretly does sexual things with the boys, that’s why they like her
  • she’s ugly
  • she’s fat
  • she smells like a rabbit cage (i didn’t own a rabbit and i always smelled like the flowery perfume my aunt got me)
  • her family is crazy, and so is she
  • she’s mean to everyone
  • her voice sounds like a cartoon being choked
  • everyone hates her but won’t tell her to her face
  • she thinks she’s so smart, but really she just kisses up
  • her mom is sleeping with Mr. Lisinksi, that’s why she’s student of the month
  • she’s so ugly her own family doesn’t even want her
  • *insert a long list of other insults*

My ego, my heart, my confidence shattered and fell to the ground around me. The entire class was whispering to one another now. Salt water began to sting my eye lids, but I blinked it away before a monsoon took control of my face. I wouldn’t let them see me cry. I wouldn’t let them see me hurt. The little voice inside tried to call out to me again, telling me that none of these things were true. Once again it was ignored as my eyes floated down to the signatures lining the bottom of the page. All of the Rushmores signed it, and a few others who i considered to be friends in other classes.

The teacher floated into the room, smiling and bubbly as always. Her face changed as soon as she saw me and my castaway island. The girls from the Perfect Peaches asked me if I wanted to join their table. I moved, simply to escape the forced solitude, grateful but nevertheless aware to the pity staring out of their eyes. The teacher walked to my desk and eyed the declaration of independence so securely fastened to my desk. She asked me if I was okay. And I nodded, pulling out my notebook quickly and covering the horrid piece of paper. Wanting once again the spotlight to shift its burning focus.

She nodded and began her class, eyeing the girls, and taking my cue that discussion of the matter best be mute.

To Be Continued…

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“My Outer Child is Holding my Inner Child Hostage”

“Remember, your artist is a child. Find and protect that child. Learning to let yourself create is like learning to walk. The artist child must begin by crawling. Baby steps will follow and there will be falls–yecchy first paintings, beginning films that will look like unedited home movies, first poems that would shame a greeting card.” ~ The Artist’s Way – pg 44

I’ve already discovered that the best of my creative abilities come from the remembrance of my inner child–the adventurous and curious child of my earlier youth– as my earlier post would indicate. Walking along this journey I have come to realize to realize that my inner child has suffered many blows and for a while was hiding in the corner of the creative crevice in my mind. I am taking steps to protect and love that child. I take her to empty rooms in my mind and let her explore. I treat her to long walks, and silent moments in nature. I let her play with my niece and nephew, allowing her imagination to take reign and revel in the laughter of the my niece and nephew’s laughter. I push her to be strong. I tell her continually how much I love her, reminding her how beautiful she really is.

We all have that inner child within us. It is the excitement we experience when we see a cool new toy that we wished we had growing up. It is the joy of coloring in a coloring book and the smell of crayons, even though we are “too” old to do so.  When we hurt, when we are scared, our inner child is begging for relief, for security, for protection. It makes me wonder how many of us are truly in tuned with the inner child.

Children are naturally happy. Their imagination is their greatest asset in guarding them from the demons of the adult world. Children view the world with wonder. New toys, the rain, the first snowfall ignites a fire inside of them. Oh if only we could taste that snowflake on our tongues!

My outer child is holding my inner-child hostage” ~Anonymous

So I ask you… are you holding your inner-child hostage? Or do you allow him or her to explore the world around them with wonder, magic, and love?

Peace,

Kris


“Journeys, like artists are born and not made…”

Assignment #1

Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will–whatever we may think. ~Lawrence Durrell

Thank you.
You stared up, from the bottom of the Christmas tree, dazzled by the blinking lights content with the magic scent of it all. The water drips from the broken branches you couldn’t avoid watering in your quest to complete your volunteered goal. Had to prove you were big enough to do it. You were big enough. (And just small enough)
You climbed up onto your window ledge, pretending you were on a cushioned window seat. The kind you once on a T.V show. The kind you wanted as your own. You rested your head against the cool pane of the glass. You stared down to where your mother’s rose bush once bloomed, watching the moon sparkle in the snow. The wind whispered with snowy dust and your mind wandered to the whimsical sky, the stars singing in silence back at you. Thank you.
You tucked yourself away in your closet, crammed in between your dresses and shoeboxes. Each of your stuffed animal comrades close enough to hear all your thoughts. Mr. Bear, your first love, cradled you in his oversized bear hug back to you. The green velvet ribbon soft against your cheek, and always coming undone. His soft brown hair was like a pet beneath her fingers, and his dark ball eyes providing comfort in times of fright.  He held your hand through all of the fights.
Thank you, Mr. Bear. Thank you.
Thank you for remembering the star filled eyes of Grandpa. For the time he pushed in you the cart over the wooden planks in the Ribbon and Fake Flower gallery in the little Nursery on the way to the mall. Ba Bump. Ba bump. Just like the cars traveling on Sunrise. Ba Bump. Ba Bump. Brrrrum brrruuuum. He pretended he was a car. Racing you through, stopping and slowing. Making you giggle out of control. Thank you for remembering the way your grandmother would snap. “Eddie, Eddie knock it off,” scolding a child who humble acquiesced his wife’s remark with a gentle nod and an affirmative, “uh huh.” He waited for her to turn back to your mother and ribbons and the motor would start again, quieter than before.  Thank you for remembering his whistle, the touch of his flannel shirts, the love swirling in his eyes. Thank you.
Thank you for your imagination. The fake tests and roll call you made for “School,” the fine French dinner in yellow Playskool chairs. For days tromping through the redwood forest, finding forbidden creatures beneath logs, leaves, and rocks. Thank you for the twirl of pretty pretty princesses, for the colored monsters living in the trees, for the flight off the swing, for the award-winning goal during recess.
Dear Child,
Thank you for painting my childhood with color. Thank you for tucking yourself away in the lost and found bin. And thank you more than ever for waiting patiently among the lost in order to be found.
Thank you inner child, for showing me the Way.
Peace,
Kris


“…armed with nothing but their own vision.”

Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. ~ Ayn Rand

I am taking the first step. I have a vision, a dream that I must chase, catch up to, and run along with. Every week you can expect new material. Different assignments given to me from the Artist’s Way. Journey with me?

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Today’s Assignment is a prompt. A thank you letter to someone who has helped you along your creative way. Let me know what you think of my choice!

Hope you enjoy!

Peace, Kris


“Every Journey begins with a single step”

Hey all,

So sorry for the delay in my posts. I have had a little bit of a set back in the world of creativity and my ever too fast mind. My book is coming along. I’ve finished the draft for my prologue. I started the first chapter, and have developed a new narration style that I think will really take the story places! I am excited. Contrary to my norm, I’m actually confident that a masterpiece will be born 🙂

In the meantime, I decided I wanted to change-up my blog a little. I want to make it that I post daily, and to do so I need incentive, or at least something that will keep me up to date. I’ve decided to go back to the first chapter of The Artist’s way, by Julia Cameron. The book is a wonderful and a means to unleash the inner creative soul. Each day I will take part in a writing assignment and post it. I’ll use this blog to track my process.

Wandering the way, journeying the Artist’s way. 🙂

I feel good and in a better state of mind.
Wish me luck!

Peace,
Kris


“Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.” ~ Tina Turner

It’s been a rather difficult day. The gray hues of the world around me seemed to somber my mind in a way that is familiar but not all together productive. Reneging on my daily promise to write my Morning Pages, I found myself curled up on the couch, clutching to the warmth of my comforter, and watching Dexter.

As the day progressed, my sister called and forced me to get dressed. Much to the dismay of my inner desire to stay a vegetable in front of my laptop, I went with her to run her daily errands. We talked some, about friends that have come and gone, and our own family issues. Once finished with all the running around, we made a pit stop at panera and headed back to her house.

This is the sad part, I’m sitting here writing to you a play by play of my day, instead of unleashing the creative spirit that’s stored under lock and key. I realize, however, that not doing my Morning Pages leaves me with a sense of longing. It is creative withdrawal.

Alas, the night is not yet over and maybe in writing the truth here I can acknowledge and let go of the barriers fencing my creative spirit in. I have plenty of fodder stored away in this over sized cranium, I should be able to pull something out, though it feels like it will be like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Let you know if I am indeed magical.

Thanks.
Peace,
Kris


“Not all who wander are lost” ~Tolkien

It’s the beginning of the week! It’s been an interesting previous week both in my personal life, as well as the artistic journey I’ve been on. I’ve decided (after a week of trying it) to track my journey through “The Artist’s Way.”

Week one was successful. I took a looooooooong walk as my artist’s date and had a wonderful time. I found different pathways to the ocean, which made my creative spirit dance with glee. I found a house not to far from my home, built with architectural mastery and beautifully landscape. Upon seeing the house, I thought an artist must live here. It was that little artistic nudge on the inside, that feeling of being in the presence of art. As I walked closer to the mailbox, I noticed a giant rock marking the driveway in an artistic landscaping design. On the rock was painted a beautiful mural of a lighthouse and a calming sea. From now on, my camera is coming along with me!

Each morning I began my day with writing. As part of the program, Morning Pages are part of the deal. 3 pages, front and back every morning, right after I wake up. I have to admit, sometimes I have to convince myself it is for my betterment, but usually feel lighter when completed. I also noticed the clarity that comes from doing them. No longer sitting at my lap top in the middle afternoon attempting to write but getting held up on the issues of the days past or the issues at hand, I now, after a bout of yoga, a healthy breakfast, and a morning meeting with the trees in my back yard, am able to create.

One particular writing session produced an essay that was more than just a rambling of past transgressions. I had written it as an exercise assignment from the book. Who knew how creative that assignment could be! I’m considering editing it and sending it off for publication. I’ll let you know how that endeavor goes.

I also had the creative editing spirit and looked at one of my old poems. “Mother’s Advice” was written about a year ago in a Creative Writing class at school. The assignment was to write a poem using a metaphor. I was pretty proud of it when it came time to sharing and it was received well. It was also the poem that warranted a surprise meeting after class with my professor. It was the first time that any one said I needed to get published in a literary magazine. My poetry had caliber. It was a nice feeling.

Anyway, I digress. I originally started this post to tell you about the status of my book! I’ve finished the prologue and am trying my hardest to not to go back and rewrite but rather rewrite. Tomorrow I hope to at least finish a quarter of the first chapter. I also have been having little brain blasts of scenes that I want to try to develop more, the scribbled on napkins and random post its are starting to clutter up my desk! I’ll give you a little insider tip, the invocation of the heavenly muses has been called after the description of the Great Orchestra! 🙂

As Always guys, Thanks for stopping by. See you next post.

Peace,
Kris


Have you Heard about Wordle?

Wordle: Ladybug
If you haven’t heard of Wordle, then you’re missing out on some fun, or an added procrastination technique other than facebook. Wordle is a website in which you enter a peice of text, maybe you have a poem you just wrote, or maybe you have a fun quote you like to look at. At the hands of the creative programing, the text will be formatted in a fun emblem you can post to your blog. The recent wordle adventure included the new poetry post, my poem “A Mother’s Advice.” Pretty cool, right? Well, I think so. Now if only I could figure out how to make it bigger….
*le sigh* sometimes I wish I had a tech geek in my life.


“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” ~Robert Frost

~ Ladybug  Ladybird ~

"A scarlet Lady with blemished wings"

A Mother’s Advice

She flies free, this lady with blemished wings;
a scarlet lady in a field of Greens.

She climbs–He bends–The wind begins to sing:
“No M’lady there are still more to seek.”

She’s re-learning to fly, happy and free.
Suddenly–FLASH– she’s netted down by Red.

His scent was strong and his beauty screamed,
but the guard of thorns made the tears she bled.
“No, M’lday, there is still more to seek.”

Carried to limbs, wings weary and broken,
he sways from his roots to lull her to sleep.
She sleeps while love’s words are at last spoken,

“Lady bug Lady bug you are not alone,”
“Lady Bug, Dear Lady Bug, Welcome Home.”

—  Kris E. King —
©

 


“Every child is an artist. The Problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picaso

What a week! I spent most of the week at my sister’s house, helping around the house (folding laundry, playing/babysitting the niece and nephew, and cleaning up at the end of the night). It was a nice reprieve and kept my mind a little occupied and away from negative thinking that I am normally prone to. It also gave me a little time to flex my creative muscles as I played with the kids. Thier imaginations are strong and we easily get carried away into a world of make believe. I absolutely love it!

At the end of the week I made a trip out to the nearest book store and picked up a few reading materials. I recently finished Breakfast with Buddha, by Roland Merullo. It was a fantastic book with wonderful insight and many laugh out loud moments. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know what an everyday joe schmo can do to incorporate a spiritual life to their every day way of life.

At the book store I picked up Me Talk Pretty One Day, by Greg Sedaris. Can’t wait to start it. I also picked up The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. It is a 12 week program to unleash the creative spirit and turning creativity into a spiritual practice. It was recommended to me by someone who has ultimately changed my life for the better. Dina, if you’re reading, thank you.

This week’s assignment is Recovering a sense of safety. In addition to the weekly artist’s date and daily Morning Pages, the focus is to acknowledge the little nagging inner censor and identifying where, when, and by whom the seeds of this irksome voice were planted. Like weeds, we want to pull the voice out at its root and open up the creative passageways and clear the blockage. I am hopeful and take the assignment seriously.

I will let you know how it goes!

As always thank you for stopping by!
Peace,
Kris