Linda Edwards Scribbles











Once again, it’s been a while.  The world is happening and it’s all the awful things they swore to us as children would never, ever, not in a million years happen (again/ more than already).  I won’t list them.  There are too many and it hurts.  Things I’m trying to remember:

  1. I don’t need to take on every fight at full power, because a) I simply am not super human and don’t have enough power to do so, b) I am not the only one fighting any one fight, and thus do not need to do so, and c) I am no good to anyone if I burn myself out.  I can concentrate my efforts on a few things, and offer my voice or my hands when and where I can to other people concentrating their efforts on other things.  There are so many things that absolutely need immediate attention, and luckily, there are so many of us willing to put in the work that everything can get that attention.
  2. The world will not stop if I need to surface for air.  This is as much a boon as a burden.  Everything that needs attention will not stop to let me breathe, but since it won’t stop whether I breathe or not, I might as well take it where I can.  I can even offer it to others.  Like making a taco run for everyone on a busy day.  I’ll go gather the happy and cute things, the things that make us snuffly and heartbroken for being so wonderful, and I’ll bring them back to share.  That’s okay.  It’s okay to appreciate things even while you’re angry and hurting.  Especially when you’re angry and hurting.  It’s a luxury to step back, it’s a luxury to try, but it’s necessary.
  3. (Because lists just feel better in threes.) I can’t let fear and heartache become so common place that it becomes my new normal, that I grow comfortable again in that place and become complacent, apathetic.  As much for my mental health as for how absolutely wrong it is and wretchedly useless you become when you stop being able to tell that awful things are not okay to leave alone.  It’s too close to my most horrible fear of not being able to notice when the terrible ideas are terrible, of becoming a danger to myself and others.  If I stop feeling, if I stop caring, if I start just accepting it all as “just the way things are”, then I become complicit in our collective demise.  I become a perpetrator in the violence against people whose lives are literally at risk right now.  It’s bad enough to think my mind could fall apart like that, but that much worse to think my heart could, too.
  4. Be vocal.

The last one is most important to me, I think.

I was stalling in the shower the other day trying to put off going to work (like somehow work wasn’t going to expect me to come in at the appointed hour all the same) amusing myself by finding as many different ways to say things as possible and picking apart how the images changed depending on the words I choose.  It’s such a simple change, but there are studies done and terms to remember and it’s ultimately, like, half the art of communication at the very least.  It suddenly (conveniently) struck me as strange. Of course I had to play with it.  (I know none of those terms, by the way.)

Like describing how someone reacted in a moment, “He was super chill, and even seemed to think the whole thing was funny,” vs saying, “Though he remained composed, I had the distinct impression he found the whole affair amusing.”

It’s kind of like the toe-mate-o/ toe-maaah-to thing in my mind; call it a vegetable or a fruit, the thing is still delicious.  I know what I’m saying, and you get the basic shape of what I’m trying to describe, but it’s how the details flesh out in your mind from how I say it that tickles me and frustrates me.

It’s hard to ever be sure you’re communicating as clearly as you want to be.  I don’t know where you come from that makes what each word contributes to the scene you build in your head almost in the instant the words reach you.  Guessing is what’s fun, but getting it wrong– that’s why getting it wrong, I think, feels so much bigger a deal than just, “oh, maybe there was a tiny disconnect. maybe let’s try again,” the way you do when you know the phone isn’t working right.  It’s like you suddenly realize the misstep isn’t only a word lost, but a connection not quite where you thought it was.

Communication is hard.

None of this is new. I’m used to the importance of connotation, because of how my family operates.  All so incredibly smart that sometimes it doesn’t occur to us we’ve misunderstood, or worse that we shared at all in the responsibility of the misunderstanding.  Half the time an argument is punctuated with protests against semantics, like we don’t all easily, fluently maneuver in tanks made of words, trained at the dinner table alongside our manners and our general paranoia called caution.  Word tank ballet.

I didn’t know that being so keenly aware of each word and finding the most thorough way, often the most roundabout way incidentally, of saying anything at all was a strange way to speak for so long.  I didn’t even know I was doing it until someone asked me why I did and impatiently explained to me what it was specifically, taking apart my words and what he was understanding in them, that was so weird.  I take great joy in the ability to be straight forward now.  Like a toy I’ve never gotten tired of.  And maybe I’m too blunt now, but in my defense, I never learned how one is “supposed to” operate this toy properly, and it’s more fun this way.

I think my favorite thing about getting re-excited about playing with words like this is the– well, the word play itself, but also re-having the epiphany of exactly how useful this is as a skill.  Being able to see it and hear it when someone is trying to bullshit you.  Being able to point it out and seeing the light flicker in someone’s eyes when they blink them open, sometimes for the first time, and start wondering about everything they thought a bullshitter was saying this whole time.  It’s sometimes– frequently, I guess– not fun to be the person for whom the light just went on.  And they shut their eyes really quickly against the feeling that they’ve somehow been had or made a terrible choice.  It’s not as much fun to watch someone see and choose fear over knowledge, over comprehension.  It’s not as much fun when they get mad at you, because you’re the one who asked them to open their eyes just a little, and so you’re held responsible for their discomfort.

It is what it is.  I love the words no less.  I love you all no less.

This post is a mess.  Word adventures, go!



I know I swear up and down every time I will update more than once a year, and I’m inclined to do it again, but we all know the probability.  I won’t say.  Please don’t you say it, either.

A lot of things are happening in the world, as things do, but it’s like they’re all clambering too fast and crashing in on top of each other.  It feels like there’s no room to breathe, to open your mouth to let anything in or out.  I once again find myself in a spot where I want to scream and cry and sing and laugh and beg and flail in response to it all, against all of it and in the face of all of it.  I want to commit sudden acts of affection on all of you, each of you one at a time and all at once, just so you can say you have at least one positive thing to report for the day:  someone loved you, it was surprising, it was strange and not unpleasant(?), it wasn’t bad news.  Any combination there of.  All of the above.

I don’t have enough tea in my office to bring myself back down (up?), so of course my heart isn’t really in anything I’m doing today.  It’s kind of all over the place.  My day job– thank goodness– is super quiet today, which would normally be a great time to scribble all over whatever scratch pads or sticky notes I have on hand.  All Hallow’s Read is coming.  I should be writing.  All my internal ink wells are being uncooperative.  I guess you could try to claim hopping around twitter and tumblr and the rest of the internet is a kind of refilling process?  Taking in new information and letting my head spin new thoughts from scraps and FEELINGS and life?  (Good grief, this post is such a mess already–)  Well, it’s not inaccurate, I guess?

Just so I have something to show for myself for the day, I decided to clean out my desk a bit.  I’ve apparently been stashing more snippets than I thought in the pen drawer.  It wasn’t exactly a rat’s nest?  But it did kinda look like a poor attempt to build a paper home in a too tiny space.  I’ve collected some of them here for you in case you’re curious.

That’s more or less all I wanted to say.  Lost things.  Found things.  As ever, life is never the adventure we quite want, and definitely not one we ever really expect.  I love you all.  Be as safe as can be, please.



{November 1, 2015}   From a hotel, with love

I finished things!  I FINISHED THINGS!  It’s been so uncommon for me to actually bring a story to an end in the last– well, you can look back at the posts.  I’m belatedly going a little bit into shock over this.  They’ve been done for a few days now.  Everything has been so bananas, though.  Whole bowls of fruit, really.  And it’s probably not my best work, but I’m just so delighted to have SOMETHING- three THINGS- done to offer you for All Hallow’s Read!  Posted the stories earlier from my phone, but didn’t get a chance to write this post, so this is kind of a post-Halloween gift.  Oh, weeeeeell, here it all is!  Tada!

I actually almost had four things to post!  Work happened, though.  All month, I’ve had the picture of Neil Gaiman with the text “You should be writing.” as my desktop image on my work computer.  It is strangely effective.  It also helped that a number of friends who are similarly of a writerly persuasion wanted to get together to share stories for Halloween, too. My husband also wanted to take our stories to read to children, and that was very helpful.

I’m really liking this thing where having people request to put that pressure on you (“you” being me) actually motivates instead of sending you-me spiraling into fits of frozen terror at the thought of doing anything at all while someone hovers near fully expecting and ready to catch.  I have nothing to pitch.  I have so many things I could pitch if they’d just hold still.  What even is pitching?  I am the ball.

But then there were THINGS!  That happened!  It’s so nice.  I was actually beginning to worry that I’d lost my mental story crafting limb.  I don’t know that I can properly express how relieved I am that it’s still there.

Aaaanyway!

Work is still happening, actually.  Briefly visiting family for Halloween and then on to a day-job-related conference.  I feel like such an adult.  It feels weird.

Writing adventures.  Fruit adventures.  Work adventures.  So much adulting adventures.

This has been very clear, I’m sure.  We got this.  Onward!



So it’s been a while. (Apparently, yes, all my blog posts will start this way now.)  The wordpress swears it’s been 9 months.  I could have grown a baby in that time.  I did not.  There is not a baby.  Except I wrote something that is longer than a line for the first time in a while.  After failing miserably to keep chugging along on the last few things, I thought I should share.  I offer it to you.  Because space.

I really shouldn’t say I failed, because that implies that I’ve given up and have zero intention of touching those things again.  I haven’t.  I have all of the intention.  I will touch them firmly, tenderly, with love.  My friend got me thinking about how I’ve never attempted a romance novel.  I’m trying to figure out if I could write one, just to see.  I’ve read a couple of supernatural romance books?  Are those typical romance?  I don’t really know if I can deal with it.  Maybe I’ll just write a story and romance will just kind of happen.  This probably won’t end well.  ONE THING AT A TIME.  Soooo, yes, intentions.  Which amount to very little if I don’t actually, you know, pick up a freaking pen.

Am I scared of pens now?

Two jobs briefly became just the one full-time job at the print shop where once I was a little work-study, by the way.  And now it seems I’m working two jobs again as the Chinese restaurant is ever short handed, so I’m there once a week.  Which I’m okay with, because you can see all kinds of things in how people interact where a meal is involved.  Also, I like having the extra cash.  And exciting lunches that I’m never certain of what they’re made.  I like both jobs, but I should probably push to keep it to the one.  I’m tired a lot.

To be fair, I have picked up pens.  I’ve sat and written snippets of sentences before I got– stuck, for lack of a better word.  It’s not like there isn’t a lot in my head.  It’s more like everything gets kind of muddled, or the thoughts get nervous and confused, like birds that suddenly get disoriented, and then they can’t remember how to get out.  And I can’t do anything except keep poking them with a stick through the slats of their little bird house trying to organize them and direct them toward the door.  They’re not being very cooperative.

I thought about buying really cute stationary in order to motivate myself, but I’d never use it.  I’d want to keep it clean and safe and save it for just the right thoughts, and I’d go find sticky notes that would inevitably get jumbled up or lost or eaten by the cat.  Maybe I’ll buy cute sticky notes.

I was researching getting help, and then there were kidney stones and work and life.  It’s a funny sensation to try to analyze everything going on around you, all the choices you’re making about whether or not and how to engage in those things, to determine if you’re not making excuses to not get help out of fear or stubbornness (what am I even being stubborn about?), and then deciding that, “No, everything here looks like a completely rational decision,” only to then think that of course everything would seem very rational to yourself if you’re the one who rationalized your choices in order to make them in the first place.  Just because they’re rational doesn’t mean they’re not coming from that cave or fear and stubbornness and not actually 100% rational at all.

My mother likes to quote “Lion King” at times like this.  LIE DOWN BEFORE YOU HURT YOURSELF.

Sounds legit.  Point being, I’m not dead yet.  Adventuring continues.



{January 3, 2014}   A pulse! Evidence of life!

I’m not!  I’m not ignoring my blog again!  Not for another year!  Things have simply been a bit unorganized with my husband and me taking turns to be sick and then holidays and so on.  I have a bit more of Beasts, but I don’t have it quite to a point where I feel alright hitting pause to put at least something up.  The end is only in sight in that I know it exists.  It will happen.

Ah, so I have a New Year’s resolution for the first time in years!  To finish things.  That’s it.  I’m starting with “Beasts”.  I’m not picking a second thing to finish ’til I’m finished with that.  And then I’ll pick something else.  One thing at a time, so I don’t overwhelm myself.

This post was actually going to be a video blog!  But after starting and stopping and starting and deleting and arranging a space in which to record repeatedly, then rearranging the space, I came to the conclusion that, no–  yes, I really am still shy.  I have a sock puppet I had seriously considered using in place of– myself.  Me.  The sock puppet was going to be me.  Anyone who has met me in the last six or seven years would look at me funny were I to describe myself as shy.  I’ve mostly managed to find ways around it.  (I’m still very proud of myself that I can order at fast food places all by myself now without the urge to dive under the nearest table to pretend I don’t exist!).  I thought maybe I was done being shy, then; that I’d grown out of it.  Nope.  I then think about you handful of folks out there who follow this blog, my twitter, my tumblr– you’re all out there.  Actual people.  You’re all probably terribly interesting and wonderful.  I’d rather you not know I’m out here, too.  It’s not the anonymity thing.  Obviously you know my name, you’ve seen my face (I think I posted a pic here once without thinking), you’ve read some of my stuff, and yet a video blog feels like meeting new people somehow.  It’s a strange mix of being intimidated and afraid you won’t actually like me after all and excited that maybe we’ll be friends, which then makes me anxious for no definable reason except– people.  In reality (that place my mind refuses to believe exists), you’ll probably watch the video, or not bother, and then go on and do other things.  You might just say, “Huh, it speaks,” and then watch a video of dogs with boxes on their heads or check your email.  That’s cool.  I’m absolutely alright with that.  In the end, I’m ridiculous.  I’ll do a video blog.  Okay, I have resolution number two.  

#1:  Finish “Beasts”.

#2:  Video.

So there.  There’s that.  Carry on with your lives, citizens.  Hope the New Year is treating you all well thus far.  We’re only three days in, you know.  Good luck!  Much love!  Happy adventuring!

Oh!  Ah!  Okay, so my grandmother died some time back.  I had this tape she’d given me of her practicing guitar and singing (she played at church).  I’d been trying for a really long time to sit down and get it recorded off the tape into mp3’s for the family, but it just– I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.  I finally did thanks to my wonderful husband keeping me company.  He’s a good man.  Best of all, he’s good at hugs.  It really helped that I could share my grandmother with him the way I remember her best, one of the ways I miss her most.  Anyway, it’s on soundcloud.  I put it up there for easy access for my relatives, but if you’re into Spanish sung church music, there’s that for you.



The best stories I ever wrote as a kid– and then later on, too– were all about death or murder or scary things. That’s what I was drawn to when I picked books to read, so that’s what I wrote. Naturally, I’m a bit crap at writing much else. I mean, you can see it in the one attempt at a “happy ending” that is sitting there in the fiction section of my blog. It got a bit slapdash at the end because I was on a deadline for a class that demanded that I turn in something finished. As it is with most of my stories that get forced endings, I can’t go back to it. I want to. I had a concept I wanted to run with and I fell in love with the tea shop and bakery I’d written. (On a separate note, that shop is an idea I’ve been kicking around since high school that I’d love to bring into being, but I’m not sure how to go about it and I don’t feel I know enough about tea yet for what I’d want to do.) But the story itself, having been cut short, feels wrong. It feels like I’d be trying to resurrect the dead and it would come back like the son in the “Monkey’s Paw”as a thing that is no longer what it once was and could never be what it might have been. I keep that story posted there as a reminder to try harder. I don’t want to only write scary, dismal, morbid stories, as much as I love them. There’s a whole 360 degree scope of human experience, most of which I know nothing about even in the periphery, and it can all exist together. It all frequently exists at once as a little emotional cosmos inside each person. That’s what makes the stories of other people’s lives– fictional or non-fictional– so compelling. I want to write all those stories. I want to write compelling stories. I want to be compelling.

I feel limited in my imagination by my lack of knowledge. I once wanted to study history. I wanted to be an archaeologist or an anthropologist because I wanted to know the stories as they stood from every point of view. I wanted to explore every facet of the lives that no one thought about anymore, but that had been a part of what shaped the here’s and now’s all over the world. And then I realized I just wanted to be a story teller. Maybe a travelling one. But there was that “lack of knowledge” thing, and I felt– I feel that I need to see and do more to be able to fully grasps a lot of things that drive people. I want to understand the internal states and the external possible circumstances that affect even the least considered factors of day to day existence. That’s why I’m happy as a waitress. That’s why I’ve done a lot of things the way I have. It’s hard to explain, and I think harder for a lot of people who worry about what I’m doing with my life to understand, that I’m deliberately not aiming for the structure that is supposed to lead to “success” as it is mostly understood to be (i.e. the safe job with the steady income, carefully managed for a wealthy old age, etc.). I want to be content. Not perpetually happy. Happy happens in between everything else. Happy happens when you strive for who and what you love, which may or may not be always exciting. I want to simply be content with where my life is, okay with where I’ve been, and eager to take on what’s coming my way as much by my own hand as possible. It really is an adventure, and that’s exactly what I’m aiming for. Structures are stationary. I want to keep moving.

I’ve had a number of bits of information shared with me recently about the lives of people I love that take my little heart and twist and makes it shiver from the strain of caring. A lot of it isn’t really anything to get too worked up about, but that there’s the potential for those things to become so much more, so much worse terrifies me. So I write. Except then I have that problem where, like in dreams, the doors start appearing that seem to require opening, and that I can feel I really don’t want to open. The stories start trying to go in directions I didn’t initially have in mind almost of their own volition. And so it’s that problem again. The one that goes like this:

“My characters keep trying to jump off bridges. Perhaps I should make a cup of tea and then try writing again.”

And so I make some tea, maybe a nice chamomile, and try again. And sometimes that means I manage to make the story move past the door. And sometimes it means the words stop playing nice and I have to go sit somewhere to sulk with my tea and watch episodes of “Supernatural” or watch “Lilo & Stitch”, feeling rejected until the words get lonely and want to play again.

Anyway, all of this is really to say that I’m having trouble carrying on with “Beasts” right now. It’s happening. I know where I want it to go. I have scenes playing out in my head. But I’m having trouble forcing it from my hand down the funnel that is my pen. It’s frustrating and it’s making me think about a whole lot of other things that are frustrating, which, of course, just makes things worse. Bother, indeed.

Well, I suppose it’s not an adventure without falling into a few holes and walking into a bit of mental poison ivy. Scrapes and bruises are to be expected. Right, more tea, then off to work.



{November 15, 2012}   Really should update more often.

I’m very bad about updating lately.  It’s a little more difficult to find ways to update on writing projects than it is on video and other projects.  At least when I’m working on a video project I can say things about the production process like, “I’ve checked out my location and found people to be in my video!  Hooray!” or “Jeez, editing takes so loooong!”  And then you can visualize these processes and see the work going into it.  What does one say about a writing project without giving too much away?

“I wrote a lot today!”

“The words weren’t playing nice today.  Bother.”

“My characters keep trying to jump off bridges.  Perhaps I should make a cup of tea and then try writing again.”

These things aren’t very engaging for a casual reader, I think.  Talking about the mechanics of writing can be interesting for those interested, and those interested tend to just be other writers, but even then the talk gets more than a little vague and there’s only so interested anyone can be without knowing the story to which the mechanics pieces belong.  Which brings me right back to giving too much away.  And I really, really don’t want to share things that aren’t complete, at the very least complete.  It’s irksome to everyone involved; for the writer who will then likely get feedback to a story that may not yet have a direction, and for the reader who doesn’t get any kind of closure.  I don’t want to do that.  Or maybe I’m just afraid?  It could go both ways, really.

And that’s the other thing!  The other thing that prevents me from updating lately is that so many story projects get started and not finished.  I thought I’d overcome this horrible habit of mine that I’ve had for as long as I can recall (ask my mother, she’ll confirm it) thanks to the journalism department.  For a while there, I probably had.  I started and finished things, anyway.  I seem to have slipped backwards a little, though, since graduating.  I’m not entirely sure what to do about it except to keep pushing myself forward.

But that’s what I’ve been doing all my life!  So maybe I have to approach this from another direction?

It occurs to me that maybe I simply need a focus.  I need a character or an idea to push around instead of just charging forward on nothing.  Kind of like the difference between walking round and round on a track or just forward forever on a treadmill, and walking with a destination in mind or walking with the purpose of seeing things.  Anyone who knows me personally will tell you I physically can’t focus on one thing at a time, so this will be a bit of a trick for me.  I’ll see how well it works with one just to get me started.  I’ll let you know how that goes, I suppose.

More immediately, I have to figure out how to get around work to write.  I’m not unfamiliar with physically demanding work, but the bakery is absolutely draining physically, mentally and, unexpectedly, emotionally.  I’m finding the more exhausted I am after work (or even the next morning still), the less I can think straight and more prone I am to saying–shouting–“Bugger it!” to everything and everyone.  And then there’s the crying and the fits of fetal-position-muttering that goes along with being tired and pitiful– Well, yes, you get the picture.  Tired duck = disinclined-to-do-much-more-than-loaf duck  Go figure.  There needs to be a writing / story / word-fiddling slow cooker.  Slow cookers are wonderful and terribly useful, especially when you keep them handy for use.  They make dinner so much easier and convenient.  Someone needs to invent one for writing.

So perhaps there was quite a bit to say after all.  I will keep experimenting and trying to keep the words happening and hopefully I can offer something more another day.  Seriously, guys, it’s all one long frikin’ adventure.  We can do this.



{October 31, 2012}   Stories and good news!

Good news, everyone!  I found work!  I am now a bakery clerk at a local grocery store.  It’s busier there than I ever really realized it would be.  Not that I didn’t think it would be hectic, but, really, it’s a bit overwhelming.  It’s more adventure than I was really expecting.  Of course, if I’d been expecting it, that’s not much of an adventure.  Bah.

Also!  I have stories for you folk!  My gift to you for All Hallow’s Read.  Two stories and one tiny poem, “Last Wish”, “It looked like a spook.” and “Skeptical”, sit in the All Hallow’s Read 2012 section for your reading pleasure.  Hope you like them!  Happy Halloween!  Happy All Hallow’s Read!

Dont’ forget there’s still the All Hallow’s Read 2011 stories, too.



et cetera
%d bloggers like this: