The Names of Things


Oh boy. I’m back to the blog.

*runs around in circles a few times*

Except my assignment for the blogging class sat untouched in my inbox for two days.

I’m easily distracted. By email, yes, but mostly by other people’s writing.  Esquire, mostly. But sometimes, You Won’t Believe What These Child Stars Look Like Now. This must stop. I need a different writing routine.

This morning I turn on my computer, and that’s it. I leave it, and go out to a small courtyard to smoke. There is no grass here, but this is in the most fundamental sense a garden.

A weathered, wrought-iron bench is damp so I squat near a wet fern. Bonsai trees of varying shapes and sizes sit on a high shelf, and a Blue Spruce branch from outside the courtyard pokes through and over the dark fencing.

My father dug up the sod when he landscaped this area, and among the ferns and other greenery, replaced the sod with stones. They are smooth, and about the size of his thumb. The stones are earth colors, of a wide variety. I wonder where they came from last, and where they’ve been: red, like fired clay. Sand. Slate grey, and grey of an overcast sky reflected in moving water. Some the color of moist, dark handfuls of earth rich with worms.

I know these rocks – I frequent the garden department at Home Depot – but the name won’t come until I stop mentally searching, then: River rock.  That’s the name for these small, traveled bodies. So I come here to write this down, to have a place that fuels my noticing that being near the rock, homed with such loving intention, is also being near the river.



TED Talk re the Creative Process E Gilbert Nails it

After watching this talk I could not not post the link to it here.  Her talk describes my own process, and maybe yours as well, of writing. Specifically, writing poetry. She touches on how the Divine is a part of that process.

I have always known this to be true; that writing comes through me, not necessarily from me. That I’m (often) only a scribe.

I’ve always thought of it as being touched by the hand of You Know. Or maybe better, touching that hand. That’s a pretty big assertion but it’s true, and the best way I can describe the experience.  And, the experience is beyond and beyond bliss.  It’s what gives me the courage to keep coming back to the often-for-me-terrifyingly-blank page.


Questions For My Nominees

Here is my list of questions for my Liebster nominees:

  1. In grade school who broke your heart?
  2. What three things could you not live without on a deserted island?
  3. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
  4. Do you play a musical instrument? If not, which one would you like to learn?
  5. What was your most embarrassing childhood experience?
  6. What’s your go-to comfort food?
  7. What’s on your nightstand that you’re reading now?
  8. When did you realize that writing made you happy?
  9. If you could have lunch with any person not living, who would that person be? And why?
  10. Who is your favorite poet, or poem?

Nominated for the Liebster Award

Hi All, Well that was the shortest sabbatical ever.  I’ve been nominated for The Liebster Award by lovely fellow-blogger PaigeRita. It is for bloggers with 200 or less followers. Thank you, Paige!!

The rules she gave are as such:

  • Acknowledge the blogger that nominated you
  • Answer the questions they asked
  • Nominate 10 bloggers with under 200 followers
  • Inform the bloggers you have nominated them
  • Post 10 questions for them to answer

The bloggers I nominate are Donna,  Deane, Art,  Dear Sylvia, De Novo, thataddictedgirl, artlesslyfit , Harrison’s Blog, and the TJ Blog. I’m short one because all the other blogs I follow have over 200 followers.

The questions Paige gave me (and the answers) are below:

  • What is the history of/meaning behind your name? If you’d rather not put your name online, what is the background of your blog title? Answer:  I love poetry and words, and I found out that there really are words that rhyme with orange, hence Orange Blorenge (a mountainous region in…oh just ask me. I’ll tell you).
  • Where is the most exciting place you’ve been and what did you see? In my own mind and heart. And I saw mostly good but some not-so-good
  • What is your earliest memory? Uh…ask my therapist.
  • Did you ever do anything hilariously horrible as a kid? What was it? (Bonus points if it involves embarrassing a parent.) I was about seven and my friend and I were playing with matches in a field and set it on fire.  We ran.  The fire-department came. I got grounded for a long time.
  • What awards have you won? What is your favorite? I once won $500 for a philosophy paper I wrote in college. 
  • What blog post of your own is your favorite so far? The poem that fell out of me about my mother.
  • Do you have any outfits that makes you feel totally great about your body? Describe it!  I’m a tom-boy but I scored and bought what otherwise would be very expensive little silk black dress at a thrift-store that fell/draped over my body like uh, I wouldn’t mind wearing to the Oscars. It sits in my closet unworn.  Ever.
  • What is your favorite thing about yourself/best attribute of your body?  My cheek-bones, with which I could dial a telephone.
  • Do you have any unusual talents? I know all the words to the Brady Bunch theme song.
  • What do you think would make for the greatest meal? A medium-rare steak, corn, and a baked potato.  Lava cake for dessert.

I Miss you Already!

Hi All, Now that the blogging and poetry classes are over (whew!) I’ll be working on researching, and reading  everything I can get my hands on that has anything to do with writing ad copy.  And reading everything I can on writing creative non-fiction. And will start writing some tiny little pieces to (hopefully) get published in magazines, and online (although at this very early stage I’ll be happy to start collecting rejection slips).

So, I need to put blogging on hold for a while.  And I think instead of just un-following the blogs I love, I’m going to turn off the Notifications so I don’t get notified when the blogs I follow post.  If I didn’t, reading what you write would be too much of an attention grabber for me to leave alone.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know this so that if you don’t hear back from me (in Likes and Comments) like you usually do, you’ll know that I haven’t gone out on a month-long drinking binge or am in jail, or in the hospital from a fiery car-wreck, or worst: ignoring you.

I won’t be ignoring you, I’ll be missing you.

Love, and write-on,

Susan (Dusty)

The Finger Poem assignment

I’ve tried but I got nothing.  The well is dry today so before I go into a full-on block, I’m giving you a link to someone who has a LOT to say about fingers.  Specifically, giving the finger.  I hope you’ve been doing your Kegels.

You’re welcome.

A new drop-down menu – yay!

Wow – I finally have a theme that permits me to have a drop-down menu.  I was using Penscratch and this new theme is Truly Minimal. I think Penscratch does allow for a drop-down menu but it wasn’t until I switched to this new theme that I could finally execute directions Michelle (rocks) and Art gave me to make a drop-down menu work. And, this theme has a featured image capability (I think – I’m still learning the terms) so I can get a different image on each post, rather than only having the landing page header throughout.

Feel free to correct my assumptions if they’re incorrect!

For the Living (my late elegy poem)

for Angie

it’s true  my first thought

was it could have been me

I thought I could transform

it  the horror and not know it like

the Palace Hotel and Goldie’s

and six-inch yellow heels

(I loved those shoes)

but finally there isn’t anything left

to say really   to do  only that it slips

through   the knowing

like a knife and at least each time

I’m a little less surprised

at how cold

Sometimes I Want to Give Up

I’ve been thinking lately about my writing dreams, and the steps I’ll have to take to realize them (the steps themselves are dreams). Dreams:  meaning “good luck with that!”  At least that’s the sarcasm I hear in my head.  The obstacles are many. Not the least of which is I’m running out of fucking time. And, I need to get a fucking boundary

Last April I felt really on track. In the zone.  Things seemed possible (though maybe not probable). My trajectory was true. Then I got derailed, for the nth time. You can read about that, and about my throwing my laptop out the window here.

Now I’m feeling hopeful again.  Sort of back on track after grieving losing all the momentum and flow I’d built up.  And I’m trying to find out this:  Am I acting like I’m a victim of interruptions?  Or am I not just not doing my part to keep out the distractions and interruptions.  Are they the same thing? My thought, even though it pains me, is that I want people to like me.  I want to be “nice.”  When really, to get anything done, I truly need to be to militant.

And, shit, I’ve underestimated how big  a part being militant is, and how maybe that’s the bulk of what makes writing real work:  paring down commitments, and availability; junking the junk mail; setting a time limit on how much I read others’ writing (everything is a give and take).  I’ve never so keenly felt,  known, how the decisions I make today decide my tomorrow  (I forget where I read that). And if not now, when? When does it get to be my time?

(I’ve been interrupted half a dozen times since I began this post. Reading it, it feels erratic – I’d planned to write it straight through).

It’s not in my nature, maybe because I’m a woman, to be hard-core-leave-me-the-fuck-alone. And see?  I don’t even know how to say it nicely.  I know two extremes:  Sure, I can do that, and Leave me the fuck alone.  There must be a balance somewhere. But maybe at first I need to shout, the only alternative to being run over, used, my needs ignored.  Maybe later,  I’ll be able to make my way back to the middle.

I don’t love this post.  But I’m going to publish it.  Even though my voice sounds stilted.  But I’m out of time. Today, this is simply what it is.