Art, bloggity blog, writing

Thoughts on how abstract art can help you

I was talking to one of my friends this morning about how to get back into the swing of things. She asked me how I got my groove back after I escaped Rock Bottom.

And it took a while, but, in the end what has helped me is blogging and abstract art.

Quite often when we create art we put so much focus on things and it is that focus which we lack when we become blocked.

Blocked = no focus.

No focus = no art/no words.

No art/no words =sad artist.

Well, actually, sadder artist because normally we become blocked because we are sad (or sick or anxious or tired etc)

Abstract art allows you a kind of freedom to be creative without actually having to create something specific. Especially with art forms like acrylic pouring, drip painting, drawing fractals, ink blots and other such “chaos” art.

I call it “chaos” art because it is less about talent and more about luck and outside influence. I’m not saying that it doesn’t take talent or that those who use these forms are talentless, it is simply not as reliant on talent as trying to do sketch wirh charcoal or do an oil painting of your great aunt Petunia.

But it is a way of creating and expressing and getting almost instant results.

Same sort of thing for the blogging. Sometimes, I have no idea wtf I am gonna write about. I haven’t been able to put pen to paper at all. So I just pick a thought floating around in my bubbly grey matter and start madly thumb-typing away.

It is about getting synapses firing.

Blood pumping.

Creative juices bubbling and boiling until they simply spill out of your noggin.

Now I will leave you with a few pickies of the pours I (and by I, I actually mean me and the roomy) finished today.

Love

Amberley

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bloggity blog, writing

Summer shade

The cicadas are loud today

Singing their merry creed to the summer heat

Like lovers

Summer and cicada

Star crossed and long distance

They use the only words they know how

Trrrrrp trrrrrp trrrp the cicadas sing

The summer heats up

A southerly breeze blows

And the cicadas sing

The breeze coaxes leaves from the trees

They float down to litter the grass

Feeding the tree in turn to make new leaves

And the cicadas sing

A horse whinnies in the distance

Safe under the shade of a swaying, fragrant eucalypt

Parrots flock to the trees

Getting drunk off the sun-kissed flowers

And the cicadas sing

A storm teases the horizon with its darkness

Lightning crackles

Electricity in the sticky air

Thunder moans

Long…

and deep

And the cicadas sing

I sit under the shade of the tree

I breathe in the summer and exhale the hope for an early winter

But the shade kisses my skin, sweetly

The way only summer shade can

The scent of pool chlorine and eucalyptus and baked asphalt is thick

The aroma of a summer freshly cooked and ready to be devoured

And so

I eat

I gorge on summer

And the cicadas sing

Love

Amberley

This was just a random stream of thoughts as I sit and watched my kids play in the pool.

As most of you may be aware, I’m not huge on summer. But as I watch my kids in the pool… how much they love it. Splashing and floating and staying still to allow a dragonfly or wasp to come drink… It makes me hate on summer less and think more on the good, more on the love and deliciousness of everything…

bloggity blog, writing

Yet…

I miss the way you look when you are staring at something you love

The awe in your eyes

The gentle curve of an alomst-smile on your lips

Your brow smooth, worryless.

Me: Sally

You: Jack

I miss your gentle touch

The way you gather me up in your arms…

Me: a dandelion seed

You: a sweet, summer breeze

I miss the passion and the heat of you

Hot enough to start a fire but never burning my skin

Me: Morticia

You: Gomez

I miss the look in your eyes…

I miss the smile on your face when you see me.

As if I am a happy surprise

A gift you did not expect

And that smile is the special one you only show me.

Only my eyes have seen…

Me: Hermione

You: Ron

I miss your hand on my lower back.

Me: the canvas, blank, waiting

You: the paint, colour, life

I long for all these things.

And more…

All these things I have never had.

Because, I have not met you,

Yet…

Our paths have not crossed

Destiny has not pulled us together.

There must be more for us to do

More for us to learn

Apart

How do you miss someone you have never met?

Love

Amberley

PS this is in no way about goat-dragon.

I miss goat-dragon the way an insect misses pesticide. The way a snowman misses the desert. The way a dog misses its intestinal parasites.

Not at all…

FYI: This is the first time I have written about love in a long time… maybe something has healed. Maybe something has changed. I dunno. But if you made it this far, thank you for reading my terrible poetry. All the love…

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Life-upcycling

I am currently walking up and down my hallway. I’m not pacing, exactly…

As part of my life-upcycling that is in progress, I’m trying to get fit again.

It is too hot to walk outside and I have no one to look after the kids. I don’t have the money to join a gym and I know I wouldn’t go if I did.

I don’t want to do nothing. As tempting as it may be to curl up in bed and let myself drift further down the spiral. That is not what I want to let myself do.

So, I watch my FitBit as I race up and down the halls like a manical cat on heat… with out all the screeching of course.

Well, maybe a little screeching.

It is ironic actually. My destination-less wandering is a lot like my old life. A lot of movement nowhere. Floundering. Swimming through pitch.

Except this is giving my legs a workout.

Love

Amberley

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Australia is like Melisandre’s snatch

I’m Australian. Like, as in, I was born here. Blood-nationality (if there even really is such a random notion) I’m like a slow-cooked stew. But that is not at all what I wanna talk about today. actually I don’t really wanna talk about anything. (But here we are …)

Why don’t I want to do anything?

Cause it is fucking hot here!

Australia is like sitting under Vulcan’s ballsack. (The Roman god of fire not the Trekkie kind)

Australia is like Mordor in the Summer time.

Australia is like Melisandre’s snatch.

Australia is like a giant  bowl of boiling chili. It is hot. Like “hot” hot. Like “fuck off” hot. Like “we have pulled all of our mattresses out into the only A/Ced room” hot. (See the heat is making me WAY more vulgar than I normally am.)

It was 47C here the other day. That is 117F…

If all you lovely Americans, having your snow storms up there, could please send some our way? I would super appreciate that.

Please and thank you.

That’s all I came here to say toady.

No life lessons.

No shiny pearls of fucking wisdom.

Just me bitching because I have to walk around in clothing and I can’t just get around topless like blokes can. And complaining that I am currently using antiperspirant in my bra as well as my armpits because boob sweat is a real problem and it’s super gross.

Now, I’m gonna leave you with that image and go pass out in the lounge room and day dream about winter.

PS Please feel free to tag me or send me picks of your snow. I just wanna look at and imagine I’m rolling around in it. Thanks

Love

Amberley

Oh and I will leave the google link for Hot Australia here because they were fucking hilarious and I couldn’t put them all here…

bloggity blog, writing

The danger of undeserved power

Prologue

The books I’ve read have always explained blood as smelling “coppery” or “metallic.” They’re not wrong, but they’re not right either.

Yes. I could detect that old-penny tang in the air, but there were other things too.

They never mention the rot of it. The butcher shop meatiness. The piss and shit part that will undoubtedly be there. Because if there is so much blood you can smell it, then someone is either dead or about to be. A band aid would no longer help them.

Blood doesn’t just smell like loose change. I should know. I was covered in it.

The final chapter

Pain was what I felt.

There was no shock. His behaviour no longer shocked me.

It was bad, what he did, don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t the worst. This was a Tuesday morning type of hit. Not, say, a Friday night when he knew I’d have, at least, the weekend to recover so no one could see.

Some of you may ask, what did I do to deserve it? Cause I’ve heard that one before. I must’ve started it. Asked for it in some way.

And you’d be fucking right. I did something that pissed him off. I don’t regret it neither.

I bought the wrong ice cream.

I had stood in the super market, staring into the ice cream freezer at the ice cream I knew he liked. Trying to make a decision, I fiddled with the six dollars in very small change that sat fat in my pocket and jingled loudly, sounding out the joyous accompaniment to my poverty.

I could afford to get one tub of what he wanted but we’d have not much else to eat. And he’d never share the ice cream with me. I was fat enough, he’d say.

Or I could buy milk, bread and the cheap plain stuff. I knew I could make it nice for him. I thought we’d have some Oreos in the back of the cupboard, maybe some chocolate sauce. I could turn it nice like the expensive stuff. And that way, we could at least eat toast until his pay day.

I thought it was a good idea.

While I lay on the floor, feeling my lip swell and pulse, watching my blood puddle on the linoleum, I realised I was wrong.

He said nothing as he stormed away from me, fists clenched as if he were ready to take another swing.

I stayed on the floor. Unmoving. Trying not to cry. Crying only made it worse. Playing dead. If I don’t move he can’t see me.

I sneaked a peek as he sauntered around the kitchen, his boxing ring. He slammed open the freezer door so hard that it made me flinch and I doubted it would ever close properly again. Taking out the white and black tub, he threw it at the kitchen window with a thunderous, wet crash which made me flinch again.

The ice cream, half liquefied because our freezer was on the fritz, sprayed across the kitchen bench, vanilla white tears streaked down the cob-webbed window.

I still cowered as he stalked around the kitchen, breath like fire burning, he couldn’t get it out of his lungs quick enough.

I, a mouse, a small creature, heart murmuring be still, be still, be still. But, for the first time, I do not see a cat in front of me. I do not see a tiger, a lion, a wolf.

I see just a man.

And even if he were an animal, he would be a Chihuahua. All bark and some bite, enough to draw blood. But no longer enough to eat me alive.

If my heart pounds be still then it is the heart of a bear and he heard my roar. And I will not be still any longer.

He had power over me for a lifetime and I will give him no more.

It may not have been the worst time, just a Tuesday morning, but it was the last time.

I waited till the blood stopped pumping to call an ambulance. I had to dirty a tea towel to use my phone. I won’t lie. I enjoyed watching him die.

The cleaver in my clenched fist, slick with his blood, no longer shakes.

Power is not something that can be taken, it must be given, even if it seems stolen at times. But there is a secret they – the fake wolves, fake lions, fake predators – don’t want us to know.

We can take our power back.

Short story for Chuck Wendig’s Fiction Challenge

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please seek help. Go to the police. Do not pass go. No two hundred dollars for you. Go now. Today. Because this bullshit has to stop.

To put it into perspective for you, here is a quote from Huffington Post.

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. That’s nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war.

And this just for America. And this number has not improved. It is only getting worse.

Silence about domestic violence can be deadly. So please, please, please speak out. #notviolentnotsilent

And don’t resort to the lengths that my character went to. This is a work of fiction and by no means an instruction to murder a spouse. Abusive or not. No stabby stabby.

If you are unsure if your partner is abusive, I will attach something below that shows the typical behaviour of DV and DA situations. If any of the items on that list are checked please call the police, ask for help, stay safe.

You don’t have to walk on eggshells forever. You don’t have to be another statistic. You can have a life again. You have the power. You are stronger than you think.

Love

Amberley

Soulmates - not exactly a love story

Soulmates – not exactly a love story

The murder of crows littered the corpse, a coffin of feathers and beaks and blackness. A fresh kill, the kangaroo’s fur still wafted in the breeze. Its face mangled by the car that had skittled him.

The setting sun lit the glimmering bitumen on fire. Stopping her walk to enjoy the last bit of warmth before night fell, Jill watched as the crows squabbled over the kangaroo’s eyes.

Night fell quickly out there in the country, making way for the dusty swell of milky stars.

It was her favourite time of day, the coming of darkness, like the earth’s final symphony.

Looking up and down the empty road, Jill crossed to the opposite side. She’d hate to disturb the crows from their feast. Hunger was her oldest friend and she understood him well.

Sweat itched under the straps of her backpack, tools of her trade a heavy but necessary burden. She considered calling it a day. The summer heat had gone to her head but the hunger was still there.

If she waited the hunger would only grow, but at the same time, feeding it would make the beast grow, its belly swell. Every time the beast raised its hungry maw it would be more ravenous, more insistent than the last.

Jill rubbed her flat, growling belly, trying to decide whether to just walk home or wait for a car that might take her there.

The night birds were starting their choir, just warming up. Jill stood still, listening to their song, facing the setting sun. If it was meant to happen today, it would. And just as she began to think of her calling, Jill heard the distant hush of car tyres.

Sticking put her thumb, she waited till the car came over the crest, illuminating her with the pale white of new LED headlamps.

Not a local. A tourist. Hopefully alone.

The beast inside her groaned and she rubbed her belly again.

The approaching car slowed but Jill knew this didn’t mean anything. Humans generally tended to be sticky beaks.

Holding her breath, she waited.
The beast inside her sharpened its fangs.

The car pulled up. It took a few moments for her eyes to adjust but she had already turned on her most brilliant human smile.

A man sat inside the car, alone. Shaggy hair as dark as a new moon sky. Beard edging his sharp features. Inky eyes, deep as pools. Jill found herself lost in them for a small eternity, drowning.

Her belly rumbled, the beast’s mouth watered.

“Hasn’t anyone ever told you it’s dangerous to hitchhike?” said the man with the inky eyes.

Jill laid her smile on a little thicker.

“Where you headed?”

“Out Toongi way,” Jill said. “You think you could give us a ride?”

“No problems, I’m heading straight through there, darlin. Hop in.”

She jumped into the passenger seat, never looking away from his dark eyes.

She might have to keep them. She had a jar that would suit them perfectly.

***

He watched her get in.

She wasn’t your typical sort of beautiful, but she was breathtaking, nonetheless.

Full-figured and firm, thighs you could sink your teeth into.

He tried to control his breathing.

She was better than he’d expected. She was perfect.

Once she was in the car, he could smell her. And it wasn’t like he had expected. Not that stale-sweat, old-food, stench which most humans wreaked of.

She smelled of spice and dandelions and … he took another long inhale … rain.

She satin the seat smiling that smile, the one he had seen in his mind. The one he had dreamed of. The one that had forced him to search for her for so long.

He was sure this one, she, was the one.

“So, where you comin from,” she said in an accent that wasn’t quite right. Her voice had a melody, an inflection he couldn’t place.

The question threw him.

“Umm…”

He didn’t know the answer. He had simply woke up one day with clothes on his back and a hunger he could never satisfy. Of course, she didn’t mean it the way he took it. She meant “from where had he driven?”

“Long way from here,” he said. The same answer he gave to anyone who asked.

“You visiting family?” she asked, the sort of question he would normally ask.

He looked at her as the car started. He’d had to get a new one after the last failed find. She definitely hadn’t been the one. And the new car was one of those “turn off at every stop” ones.

The feeding crows scattered as the engine came to life. He felt bad for disturbing their meal.

Her moss green eyes smiled at him. They were beautiful. He longed to taste one. To pop one in his mouth and roll it around in there, like a gumball. (Not that he’d ever been one for human sweets.)

He shook his head. “Nope, no family.”

The girl’s smile grew. “Naawww, a loner like me,” she said.

And he smiled, pushinghis foot on the accelerator.

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Thoughts on beach photography

As I wander along the beautiful beach I am camping by, I simply cannot help but take out my phone and take snap shots.

It is so in our nature to do so. Our phones are like a limb now, never leaving our side and if we loose it we feel the lost-itch of its missing presence – the phantom pain of this served appendage.

But it leads me to thinking about how many people have taken a photo of this very rock formation, this same stretch of sand and surf and it makes me put down my phone for a moment.

So, if there are already photos of this beach out there somewhere, in fact, EVERY beach, why do we keep snapping?

You could say that each photo would vary slightly, different waves, a change salt crystal clusters and sand grain placement, clouds and shells and critters woulf all vary from photo to photo. But aren’t they all basically the same thing?

Or does the artist matter?

Or is the real difference in the meaning to us? To the artist?

Melancholy crept up my throat as I stared out to sea. Out into the blueberry waters that had been captured byany other artists before me. It felt useless for a moment. Worthless. If I wanted to look back I could use my memory or simply type the beach’s name into Google images.

But, since this my journey, my time to record and create, I lifted my phone up again and cotinued snapping.

As an artist, what’s the point of having an experience if you can’t create something from it?

Love

Amberley