Creative Blocks-IFeel Them

I often feel blocked.  Not because I do not have anything to say, but because I am not sure where to begin. what to do if I finish.  What if it is not good?  What if if is hack-eyed and crap writing?  How do I develop characters so they are not card board cutouts?  How do I write sharper dialogue and more concise descriptions?  How do I get what I envision in my head onto the page?

What I write never seems good enough once I begin.  I fret over its shortcomings and push it away.  I move onto another project or begin another piece.

Yet the questions persist.  Soon I grow anxious.  When I grow anxious I eat.  I have struggled with this for years.  I can’t control the eating or stop it.  I have tried to work with it.  I buy fruit and salad and give myself permission to eat it all.  And I do.  Then I feel terrible with the lack of self control.

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Who Doesn’t Have A Few

I believe it was my mother who once told me I should live life so that I had no major regrets.  I have tried to follow that advice.  And I have a quite a few minor ones, such as not applying to the University of Illinois, and not getting my degree sooner, so I could get a decent job overseas.  There are a few girls I wish I had asked to the dances back in my high school days, or asked for a date in my college days.  I regret things didn’t work out between Cheri and I.  But all of these are minor happenings and they don’t haunt me.

The ones that haunt me are soul crushing.  Luckily I only have two.  Leaving my son and giving him up for adoption left me hating myself for years.  Eventually I worked to live a life that would make me happy to share with him, if I ever got the chance.  And the other regret is not returning to China to be with Fanbin.  I miss her everyday.  The way she smiles, or pretends to be made at me and the fierce determination she lives life, I miss that and more.  I wish I was a brave as her.

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I Hate Flying

I didn’t always hate flying.  I use to enjoy the plunges through the sky and flying through storms, lighting flashing and the plane swerving through the screaming winds.  I would often sit with my face pressed to the window, watching the Earth bend at the horizon.  I loved the ground moving slowly beneath, city giving way to farm land before I was so high I couldn’t make out much of anything.  Except for the mountains and the rivers, those always stood out.

Perhaps it is part of growing old, knowing that time on Earth is short, that made me fear flying.  I know for sure that after my first flight to China I have avoided flying as much as possible.  The plane took off from San Fran for a direct flight to Shanghai.  Some where past the international date line the flight hit the worst air turbulence,

I had just gotten my food when the first bounces began.  They were good size but they were intermittent.  Then the sky began to fall away quite regularly.  I have to hang onto the tray so it wouldn’t fly through the cabin.  The stewardess stopped serving.  Occasionally one or two of them would dart by and pick up the trays that had been served.  It seemed I waited for ever for my tray to be taken.  It was the only time I experienced air sickness.

The only good thing about the flight was I didn’t have a window seat.  I don’t think I could have bared the horrors outside.  And there was the stop over in Korea.

The plane had exhausted most of its fuel battling the winds that the plane was diverted to an island off the coast of South Korea to refuel.  I was never so happy to reach terra firma.

If I have to fly I try to get a seat on the aisle so that I can stretch out my left leg.  A few hours of sitting my knee begins to ache.  Stretching it out between stewardess’ ambling by answering passenger requests, helps.  Of course when the cart runs into my foot I wake with a start.

I am a huge fan of train travel, especially in these days of traveling.  Train travel may be slower, but it is so much more civilized.  I love going up to the dining car and watching the world roll by.  On the train I don’t really care if I get a window or aisle seat.  Both are some what comfortable.

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Preliminary Menu For Saturday Market

I have been working on this for a few days now.  And while the menu has at times ballooned up on me I have pretty manageable now.  That was due to my constant refrain “keep it tight, keep it easy’.

In theory this plan will work out, but in practice well . . . .  Hopefully it won’t go completely pear shaped-as the Brits say.

For breakfast I plan to do mostly burritos-similar to the ones El Burrito Loco in Gresham, OR serves.  They are massive affairs-I would be stuffed after eating half.  I continued to until nothing was left because-it was the awesome.  I miss those burritos.  In addition I am thinking of biscuits and gravy.  At least come October they will be added.  There will also be a secret menu-ala In & Out Burger-of biscuit sandwiches.

Come lunch time will be the usual suspects of burgers and brats.  And there will be chicken wraps and a salad of two.  But the secret here will be the rubs and BBQ sauces I make.

There might be some problems transitioning from breakfast to lunch but happens in stand alone restaurants.

I went to the Health Dept today and they told me what was required and they said they would work with me to on what was possible.  The guy told me he visited farmers markets around the midwest and wondered how long until Quincy got food stands in its market.  Well here is hoping to this year.

I can’t wait.

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Big City Visits

I have been to a few big cities in my travels.  Among the ones I have been lucky enough to visit include: D.C., New York City-and I didn’t have any salsa, Chicago, and I did try the dogs, pizza and of course sliders, L.A., it was hot, San Diego, it was expensive.  Up the coast to San Fran and Oakland, and San Jose.  Wish I could have taken in a ball game at Giants Stadium.  Further north Portland, and Seattle and Vancouver, B.C..  I also made it to Calgary one summer.  I was reminded of Texas, what with all the oil derricks and cattle.  I moved on before the great winter storms could pound Calgary.

In Europe I have been lucky to visit Dublin, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Rome, Vatican City,  Venice, Florence, Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Dresden, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Budapest, Munich, Milan and Naples.

While in Asia I got to see Saigon, aka Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and of course Hanoi and its famous Hilton.  Then there is Bangkok, Chang Mai where I had to stop and show respect for the royal motorcade.  In Burma I go to explore the capitol of Rangoon or Yangon.  It seemed more like a sleepy provincial town than a capitol city.  It was very lovely and yes I did see the Sweedagon.  If you ever get there you will know what I mean.  I touched down in Taipei for a few hours.  And they let me board the plane with a whole jade handled dining and service set-which contained knives,  They waived me on board and sent me back to the states.  In China I flew in Beijing and set a nite out in a suburb.  I trained into Shanghai and sent a weekend taking in the sites and avoiding a couple of bar girls, who ran up a tab they expected me to pay.  Thankfully I only had a hundo on my and got out the place before the muscle showed me the way to an ATM machine.  But my favorite city in China is Xiamen.  It is not the provincial capitol but is the economic capitol of Fujian Province.  It was one of the original Economic Development Zones, opened up under Deng Zhou Ping in the 70’s and 80’s.  Xiamen and the other lucky cities where to be where the great capitalistic experiment would be tried first.

I thankful for all the places I have visited.  Big city, or back road village, I have enjoyed most if not all.  Perhaps I should draw up a list of smaller cities I have visited.  Then again that would require a week or more of remembering and way too many blog pages.

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