The creative writing, observations, experiences, and opinions, on life, and the world around him, by Kiril Kundurazieff; taking one step at a time on the Journey of Discovery, and Enlightenment, that every individual must take from the cradle to the grave.
Dear readers of this blog and of Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat:
It is my distinct honor and privilege to invite you over to the blog Sopphey Says for, as far as I can remember, my very first “guest blogger” appearance, in a decade of blogging.
Sopphey Vance is a poet and online publisher, with a pair of interesting websites, and last week she had a post where she encouraged her readers to get a copy of a short, but cool, book for fiction writers. She ended her piece with an invitation to her readers to submit essays for her to share on her blog.
Sopphey is someone I first encountered last spring, through the month long "My Name is Not Bob April Platform Challenge" held by Robert Lee Brewer, and we are both part of the new Wordsmith Studio community that was born out of that on Facebook.
I thought about it a bit, and realized I might have the perfect thing to share, a piece first written in 2008, but hardly read by anyone at the time, or since. I ran it through spell and grammar check for the first time, and then sent it off.
In the wake of my 2 part story on downtown Houston, 2 of my Texas friends, and another friend, tossed their 2 cents in, and I replied, all in the comments. I’ve decided that the discussion deserved more attention and so have promoted it…
I lived in California (mostly SoCal) for nearly all of the first 62 years of my life, and I have been in downtown LA only three times: once to court over child-custody; once to the theater (one of the last performances of "Phantom of the Opera" there) and then to a restaurant; and once to take a tour of one of the original Bank of America buildings when they were first opened.
Over almost 30 years as a teacher, I took students to LACMA, USC, Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits, the Schubert Theater ... oh, wait! Those places aren't in downtown! I've been all over the Los Angeles area since I was about 14, but only those three times in downtown. Do I think I missed anything? No. Do I like the Metrolink system? You bet!
It's far superior to Houston's 7-mile toy train!! We could go from my parents' home outside of Riverside to any of the beach towns during summer without having to get on freeways!
Houston has a wonderful aquarium, zoo, theater district, and museum district. I've been only to the first two, though, because I refuse to drive in that city ... or even to the city and find parking! Houston's main problem is travel ... the streets, the street-level train that is terribly dangerous, the awful drivers ... and the powers that be don't seem to be very interested in building a train system like LA's or SF's BART or DC's Metro or any number of others.
The system needs to bring people INTO the downtown area from the suburbs and airports. Otherwise, they are just spouting air!
In November I wrote a post about the notion that each of us, especially creative writers are a "pencil in God's hand." While I have struggled for 10 years, as a blogger, to find my place in the blogosphere and build an audience, God knows where my creative journey will eventually lead me, even if I do not.
As I wrote, then, I’ve begun to think about new ways to wield that pencil, thanks to the advice and encouragement of friends, and believe I was meant to relocate from CA to TX to build a new life, personally, career-wise, and creatively.
Every once in a while a pencil needs to be sharpened, and books I’ve read over the past year and a half, and continue to read, by “pencil sharpeners” as diverse as Julia Cameron, Glenn Beck, Norman Vincent Peale, Seth Godin, Chris Gardner, C. S. Lewis, Dinesh DeSouza, David Brog, and now Joel Osteen (whose church I've attended since October), have inspired me to think and write in new ways. Other such “pencil sharpeners” are writers and bloggers I am encountering, especially my friend Amanda Socci, the Creative Idea Gal.
As readers know, I have decided to see what I could learn from the February “chapbook challenge” being written by Khara House. Day 1 was “an encouragement to participants to dig out their material, from the recent to the long forgotten, and beginning the task of organizing it in some way.”
Well, I focused on my poems and song parodies, over 100 of them, then I decided to organize my 100 word musings and 100 word cat stories as well. All are on Word Docs, and in folders on my computer. There are many other things that can be similarly saved and organized, but I’ll leave them for other days.
When I bought more bookshelves the other day, and finally put all my books out for display, I was reminded that this pencil had been collecting pencil sharpeners (books on writing, poetry, and related prompts) for a decade, but had only put a few of them to any use.
Now comes this: I had an interesting encounter during the Lakewood Church service, the evening of February 2.
As I let a nice black lady into my row, and she sat a couple seats away, she looked at me and asked if I was a book author....I told her no, but I was a writer with hopes of someday publishing, why did she ask?
Before things got a tad too, um, rambunctious for us to hear each other she said I looked like someone she'd met there a few weeks ago. After the service we met in the lobby and I asked her again why she thought I'd written a book. She said she'd encountered a guy, also carrying a book bag, who said he'd recently published an e-book and was trying to sell it on Amazon. I said, nope it wasn't me! I'm a writer, a recent transplant from Ca., with a couple of blogs and a decade of material a friend is encouraging me to organize into possible book worthiness, but I am nowhere near ready for publication yet. I said that I hope to be maybe someday, and she laughed and said that maybe God meant for her to mistake me for the other guy as some sort of encouragement to me.
How the heck do I know? I'm the last guy to be trying to figure out what is in the mind of God!
Articles and websites referenced for this story:
1. 30 Days of Gratitude Writing Challenge #25: A Pencil In God's Hand.
My inner cheerleader must be doing handstands and quadruple backflips right about now.
In June of last year I wrote a poem I called "Being my own Cheerleader", and part of it reads...
"God gave me talents That He meant for no other, I must find the strength, & determination, to utilize My gifts or the world loses Much the Great Creator meant for its enrichment.
My talent is an asset Which should not be squandered in A meaningless way. Through my writing I have opportunity To make a lasting impact on the world around me, and beyond."
A lot of things have been going on between when I wrote than in Santa Ana, Ca., and as I write this here in Houston, TX.
Especially, recently, on the creative side of my life.
I am learning to challenge myself in new, and complex, ways, deciding to do new things, returning to doing things I used to do way back before I left my last job in 2010, then broke my ankle.
I am daring to believe that maybe I don’t have to settle for where I’m at, or for what is comfortable and familiar. I am daring to take steps toward the fresh new start that brought me here to Texas in the first place.