Monday, February 22, 2010

Facing Your Inner Critic

What does your inner critic look like? What does he/she sound like? Lately, mine looks like this (above).

We all have thoughts. Agreed? And usually we are in charge of them. We call the shots. Rule the roost. We are the emperor or empress of the whole of Rome in our brain. Do this, do that, peel me some more grapes. That is, until The Critic arrives. Our inner voice that, well, criticizes the hell out of everything we do. His/her POV is that s/he is in charge of quality control.

"And you call yourself an artist. More like a fartist." Though this image is from Ben's and my book, The Boy Who Went Ape, the omni-max in red is my second grade teacher, Miss Foot, mixed in with my piano teacher, Miss Hand, or was it Miss Hook. Both hated kids. My inner voice looks and sounds like her sometimes.

I find that the inner critic can paralyze me from proceeding. Why bother when it seems so frikkin' impossible? One way to shut her/him up is to drag her into a scene. Here are some notes I jotted down from a recent tête-á-tête with my inner critic (loosely translated).

"Avast! Ye scurvy fog headed poltroon. Belay! Set to! Unfurl the mizzen you sorry wet dog. Goad the Fates and heave ho! You lard rendered lubber, you Jack-of-no-trade. Put your back into it , Sea Foam-For-Brains. Pull!! We're bound for the Outer Hebrides and sun burnt gold that glistens like sweat. Not that you've ever sweated, pig.

Haul yore rusted rump about, uncork that rum soaked noggin and burn yore oars, fire the crow's nest. What a far sighted fake. I've seen mermaids with more muscle. Show some fish guts, tan yore hide, slice the water and butter the bow. You call yourself a writer? Get me a bucket and a linen hanky, while yer at it."

We all need to self adjust. It makes us better people. We need to respectfully listen to others and to our inner critic. And then when we can't stands it no more, we make our inner critic walk the plank.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Are you listening?

Some of my best friends are phantoms. This boy, for instance. I don't know who he is, but the photo speaks to me. Volumes. I've had this photo forever. It reminds me of my dad who made the first crystal radio receiver in Forest Grove Oregon, when he was a lad.

What is he listening to? It's blowing his mind, whatever it is. Or forming it. I like his button up shoes. The oriental rug. The doily on the table top. And that radio, with the Bakelite knobs, and the speaker horn-thingy.

Do you have old family (or otherwise) photos that stir your imagination? What do they say to you?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fortune and Glory

I painted this aeons ago using my daughter as model

It wasn't very long ago that my offspring were children. I'm not sure about the word "offspring". Sounds like what happened to our couch. Anyway, now my chirrens ( to use Mr. T's colloquium) have chirrens of their own. And my daughter, Faith, has just announced on her blog, a new contest: The Winter Word Olympics, a.k.a., The Writer Games.

Go. Just go. To: Sacred Dirt. Fortune and glory await. There be cleverness, and a chance to scale new heights. A different wordish competition with each post. Prizes. Self esteem infusions. Free tax advice. Facials. Thank you all for being great friends, and for being you.