Inspiration by way of Manman Brigitte

 

Among the tools I draw on for creative inspiration is tarot cards. The skeptic in me doesn’t believe in fortune-telling; instead, I use them for guidance when I’m feeling a little lost or am in transition.

Today I drew the card of Manman Brigitte from the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot. (You can purchase it via that link, if you’re interested in the deck.).

Since the book and deck is copyrighted, I’ll refrain from including detailed descriptions from the tarot deck’s book, but it does allude to her being an advocate of change.

According to the Maman Brigitte entry on Readers & Rootworkers website, she acts as both healer and judge, and is linked with Brigid in Celtic mythology (or St. Brigid, depending on your viewpoint).

Wikipedia has more about her link with Brigid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maman_Brigitte

Justice, retribution, healing, transition–plenty of writerly inspiration to be found in any of these areas. Especially if you, like me, write in one of the speculative fiction genres.

This morning I spent retiring my Facebook page from my social media collection. Because, you know, Facebook, although I also had other reasons for doing so.

I hope you have a productive writing day!

Wee Quiz: Facebook, Yay or Nay?

 

 

Nature’s Army

(Inspired by my own writing prompt I posted on Twitter, et al, today)

This past decade has been quite the journey for me as an unemployed worker  graduate student historian admin assistant temp gas station attendant substitute teacher and eternal job seeker.

It was only in the past year that I really set aside time to dedicate to writing.

What surprised me was how quiet the process was. I’m used to living in a state of chaos. Neither one thing or another. Always fiercely banging against things, trying to prove I could fit in. “Notice me!” my efforts would scream. “I’m a hard worker.” Trying to conform to hold down jobs I hated.

I was a real-life Don Quixote, tilting at society’s windmills.

I wouldn’t say I was clueless about who I was–I just had to ignore it. Hide it away. Because it wasn’t relevant, hireable, marketable, socially acceptable, important, and, therefore, had zero worth to the world. Or so I had been taught to believe, from a very young age.

Like I said, the process of writing is quiet. The development of a writer, or any artist/creative soul, cannot be forced. It has to grow on its own. It was hard to let go. To relax. But then I had expended years of energy and had nothing to show for it.

I had to push my way up from the morass to figure out what kind of writer I wanted to be. I shed growth when it no longer fit. Dropping leaves that had been grafted onto me. (The drive for money being one of them–proof positive I wasn’t a failure.) It was scary to let go. It still is.

I suddenly realized, though, that if I was going to do it, I couldn’t do it inauthentically. Writing is demanding; it won’t let you be what you’re not. You can’t grow against the grain. At the same time, you have to write to write. Write where the topic (and submission guidelines!) takes you.

I stopped trying to be all things. One of the lessons passed down in workshops, articles, blogs was “find your niche.”

This was probably the hardest. I’d never been allowed; subsequently, never allowed myself, to have a niche based on my actual self.

“Who am I,” I asked myself.

The winds started howling from deep within. I shivered a deep bone chill when I realized I had no idea. I had had my existence wiped. I had been reprogrammed.

So, I had to dig deep. Dig through a frightening past, risk getting lost in nebulous dimensions, all to excavate a handful of fractured remembrances.

It’s still going on. Slowly. Quietly. And my self is still fractured. But I’m rebuilding. Even if people still want to classify me by their negative terms.

But here’s some discoveries.

Writer.

Artist.

A sensitive soul.

A creative mind.

Someone who played the violin.

Who likes classical music. Atmospheric music, without words.

Drawn to what’s now classified as speculative: horror, fantasy, science fiction.

I write these things.

The spooky.

The unreal.

The mystic.

A world of make-believe.

The impossibly possible.

So, if you made it this far, what does that have to do with the title of the blog, “Nature’s Army”?

Because I also love nature. Trees. Plants. Insects.

And that’s the stuff of nightmares dreams.

Working its tangled way into my stories.

Building a fictive world where nature has agency.

Where nature wins.

[See my 66-word story (and others!) in Speculative 66’s Issue 20, on April 6th. https://speculative66.weebly.com/ ]

 

Now it’s your turn to “tilt at windmills”. How has writing/creative ventures helped you develop your sense of self?

 

It’s National Pig Day…

…and the Year of the Pig!

Glad you could come celebrate this wonderful animal…get into the pig love spirit by checking out the links below.

First draw a pig (as per the instructions) then compare your pig to the results: http://www.peopleconnectinstitute.com/client/images/pig.pdf

Learn about the traits of people who were born in the Year of the Pig: https://www.yourchineseastrology.com/zodiac/pig-personality/

And, even if you’re not a teacher, visit this wonderfully compassionate link that Peta created about the amazing nature of pigs: https://www.peta.org/teachkind/lesson-plans-activities/year-of-the-pig-classroom-ideas/

Have you fallen in love yet? (If you need any additional persuasion, re-read Charlotte’s Web or watch the movie Babe.)

Adopt a rescued pig from a pig/farm sanctuary, or make a donation/sponsor an animal if you don’t have the room.

https://happytrailsfarm.org/category/meet-the-animals/piggies/

http://www.pigplacementnetwork.org/

https://bestfriends.org/adopt/adopt-our-sanctuary/pigs

https://www.farmsanctuary.org/

 

 

A Lily for the Valley

A Lily for the Valley

Frosted guardians keep watch

yet I still feel alone

winter blue, and

I am tired of angels

angling towards me

handfuls of bait outstretched.

How do I know what’s true,

even here in the empty desert

with no hiding place for cruelty.

Trapped by four walls, I burrow down for winter,

sinking deep in the depths of my splintered-ice mind.

There, I dream of a greening world from long ago,

tangled, wild, warm,

just like you.

 

–Willow Croft 2019

 

(My inspiration came from these Canva-created posts I made and shared via Pinterest and Twitter. Feel free to use them for today’s creative inspiration, and link back if you wish.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/422986590001080493/ or https://twitter.com/WillowCroft16/status/1100425111042174983 )

 

Treasure Box

Treasure Box

It’s the end of the world

in this dream that rests in eternity.

We have lost the outside to poisons

made by our own hands.

This thought carries so much pain.

Heartbreak

for our lost animals

but here, inside the abandoned office

next to the empty soda machine 

and paper that was once trees

I find the magic you

and everything is put right

both inside and out

and the treasure box I hold

has only trinkets

but you love it anyway,

and we plant it in the last wild wood.

–Willow Croft