This is not a place where I think I’m a great writer. This is where I come to let myself be with the process, continue writing every day, no matter what! I read two chapters tonight. “Artistic Stability” is about the continuity of just continuing to write daily, whether the end result of that day is brilliant or not. Doing this every day takes the pressure off trying to write something amazing. Stability seeps in when we know that if we are consistent, we will eventually find our stride and our voice, and the words will flow from us. So we write.

The second chapter I read was about keeping a list of topics for writing practice, so each day we can sit down and begin! It reminded me of a phrase I heard myself say this morning as I was describing the sunrise. I said something about the pebble clouds, and I told myself I would remember that and write something about it today.

As I put ice cubes in my glass, the phrase Big Tomato Leopard Sky popped into my mind, and at first I resisted it because it sounded ridiculous, and then I thought, well, why not? So here goes!

Pebble clouds fill the
big tomato leopard sky
and I am filled with laughter
at the wide sky
and long view;
the cartoon feel
of the description
as it pops into my
mind – wild but true,
a perfect depiction
of the round dots
of river rock clouds
sneaking stealthily
across a red tomato
salsa sky.

Vibrant like a festival;
mariachi band
behind me,
Women with big skirts
and big arms to hold me
speaking liquid language
I do not understand
but love the melody,
the song and the rolling
consonants, the tambourines
and castanets.

My sky today is a party
below the Border,
jungles teeming close by,
heat rising
in a line of steamy dancers
Sizzling barbecue
chili’s, chipotle, and habaneros;
Chop, Chop
in the kitchen
Slicing peppers loud
and drums
beat in the distance.

Barefoot children
run giggling between our feet
as we dance below
the candles on the patio.

Sun-kissed shoulders
and salt on our lips;
Hip swinging merengues
and foot stomping mambos.

How did we get
to this savage, sexy beat
this Latin love
extravaganza?

Oh yes – the sunrise
from my Southern Oregon
kitchen window,
looking out to the mountains
across the big field
with cows grazing
in the early morning mist.

It is difficult for me to leave this as it is – but every day that I write doesn’t have to become something. It is enough that I kept my hand to the page. Maybe after I actually get to take a Mexican vacation, I will be able to write about it with more authority.

Still – I have to say, I am in love with the Big Tomato Leopard Sky imagery!

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