Jess Nickelsen: Discombobulated
September 30, 2021 - Looking Back


t to the p to the ot to the p to the o

I’ve been doing a lot of morning-pages writing lately. I originally started a new notebook thinking I’d try something different; I was inspired by Priscilla Long’s The Writer’s Portable Mentor, specifically her thoughts on a writer’s notebook, and what happens therein. Unfortunately (?) I think I have Julia Cameron hard-wired in my brain; I start a daily writing practice and it turns into freewriting, no matter how much I’d like to work on scenes or brainstorming or whatnot. It just feels out of place. One thing I have adopted however, which might seem quite minor but gives this writing a different feel or purpose from a journal or diary entry, is to go back and add a title to your piece of writing. Somehow, that gives it a little more focus, even if you’re just listing what you’ve just been blathering on about.

The past month:

  • On Writer’s Notebooks, Reading & Shakespeare
  • Moo at home; lexicon work; grandpa’s dictionary; fear of editing
  • Yesterday’s big wins, covid, and child rearing
  • Covid Level 3 speculation, what’s on the beach in Lowry Bay
  • A stabbing, newsletters, child-rearing, pelvic floors
  • Morning writing confessions, mask-making and enjoyment of life as a matter of perspective
  • on writing ideas; many topics for haiku; time sandwiches
  • On getting ready for school, being thankful
  • Epiphany, Jeremy Crystal, my covid jab
  • Memories of Taupo, the states, and diary-writing
  • Hobonichi, the pandemic, big dinners
  • Crafting plans, Felathia plans, wet weather, masks
  • Planning my day, a novel bullet journal, permitting, and positive thinking
  • Trying to tune out, peace, Leila’s screen time
  • Steve to work, Auckland L3, bad coffee, it’s spring
  • Lazy morning pages, day’s plan, and how to write Felathia
  • Daylight saving, Utopia workload, today, light bulb changing
  • Looking back to Taupo days
  • Covid angst, pencil sharpeners, a grammar lesson, plot planning

I like looking back on these; they sum up a lot of what my mental state has been like. I might change some of how I title my blog posts to something similar. Maybe I will even wind up typing these up as-is. It’s a strange being, this blog. So was the last one. I think a great deal of my writing is personal, introspective. I’ve been writing in diaries and journals longer than anything else, and I think this is just my natural state.” My natural voice.

I’m due to write my newsletter, but that may happen tomorrow. I’ve been working on Felathia planning all morning and I need a little brain-break (it’s nearly 1pm now). Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes” is on Spotify. I never listened to her when this came out, but I remember my sister did. Some of the songs are really familiar even though she was never really my thing. I was more into big guitars and the like. But I came across a reference to the album in Francisca Lia Block’s The Thorn Necklace (which is beautiful, amazing, fucking great, by the way) and thought I’d put it on while I worked.

Overcast but bright outside. Drizzle but nothing serious. My little pea plants that I sprouted over the last few weeks are doing alright out in the planter boxes. Bok choi going to seed, and kale getting bigger. Parsley everywhere.