Why I Like To Write

Robert McEwen, is a longtime friend, fellow Prosperos Mentor, and a nationally known Astrologer. He allows his artistic talents to express in many ways such as this written piece appearing here in other voices section of SOC, enjoy.  

Why I Like To Write - By Robert W. McEwen

I like to write.  Really because I have to write.  I don't feel I have a choice.  It is what I do.  Same with astrology.  I picked up both of those at the age of 16.  Got addicted to them both.  Oh yeah, along with bass guitar!  I started a band and wrote songs too.  Not complicated or great masterpieces, but they were MY songs...thy had a gut and they popped.  Pop music came from Pop People like anything when it POPS!  Its real, it has feelings, and it is a bit catchy as turns around and bites itself and then snaps out again...kinda like a rattlesnake.  

We all like something that surprises us with feelings.  That doesn't fit in.  That breaks the norms rules and the average code.  We get bored otherwise.  Life is monotonous and is just going through the motions.  So, we break out and go outside the dots.  That means actually that we have to dig inside to our real feelings to create.  Be it writing, music, or astrology.  If it snaps, and breaks commonality then it pops!  It gets our attention.  IT is real!  It has integrity of its own.  It holds its own and I like it, you like it, others may like it.  

But it is not written for that reason, so others can approve of it. Creativity is not an object that you go to the store and buy.  You can't buy it in a form of some kind. You can't fake it.  It is a function of its own intelligence and creates its own energy.  It can't be stopped once it is born. There is a little bit of rebellion in real creativity, and really in just "being alive!"    I learn by trial and air.  Certainly, everything I write is not great.  That is for sure.  I have written some real dribble. I know that...but it is going to take me to the next level.  I take a risk and know I am not really failing in the long run...I am learning!

 Making mistakes are part of that, like falling off the bike as a kid. I am growing.    But each thing leads to something that may "pop” That a connection may happen inside.   It is an inner revolution that sparks the energy between different parts...the contradictions create a tension and then there is release. I don't edit much, because too often the "juice" gets squeezed out it and it lays there lifeless and limp

Creativity is like hot sex.  That is when its good.   Sex is creative energy popping, and writing or music, or even astrology, for me anyway, it is like really good sex.  It is intimate, and a bit spicy, and almost feels like I am being a little naughty!  That is when I know I am onto something.  I have grabbed the hot wire and in the "zone".  I don't have a choice about it...I have to do it, just like I have to breathe.  I am not really alive, unless I am being creative.  It has no normal rules! It has its own rules.  It has its own voice.  That is what I listen to and follow.  That is my creed in being alive here on earth.

Valentine's Day

By Marni Spencer-Devlin

Below is an all too familiar tale for many.  It comes out of a writing session done at the Library Coffeehouse Writers Group in Long Beach, Ca., by writer, author, and Friend  Marni Spencer-Devlin.

She hated the day; hated it with a passion. It was the day that every TV commercial and newspaper ad, every flower shop, heck, even the grocery stores and the car dealerships banded together to thump their collective noses at her: “ You’re alone! You’re weird! You’re not good enough. You’re not pretty enough! You’re single -  because nobody wants you!”

All the other days of the year she could brush over the facts. She actually had a lot of friends; a lot of guy friends, even. In many ways she was very popular. Well-liked, in that she-has-great-personality kind of way. Her guy friends always included her in everything but that was because nobody considered her, in even the remotest sense, girlfriend material


Usually she was fine with it but today was that one truly dreaded day. None of her friends were available to hang out because they were all off on romantic dates. She had no such obligation and today it just got to her. The walls of her apartment were closing in on her. She could not bear to spend one more moment behind those lonely barriers. But she could not go out anywhere either. Every restaurant was running Valentine’s specials; every café chockfull of lovers. So she just went outside and sat on her stop and cried. Which made her feel even more lonely and pathetic. Which made her cry even harder.

She felt someone standing in front of her. Oh no! She didn’t want to lift her head. She didn’t want to move her hands from her face. She knew she was a pathetic, snotty mess. She didn’t even have a handkerchief.


Oh no! The Someone knew her name!!? Now she would have to respond!

“Melanie, are you crying?”

Well duh! Clearly A Rhoades Scholar!

She didn’t recognize the voice. And she didn’t want to look up.

“Melanie, it’s Frank from the Bodega across the street? Melanie, I’m here to give you these…”

She eyed through her fingers and spied the most beautiful, huge bouquet of pink Peonies she had ever seen!

“Melanie, I have admired you from afar for so many years. I was always too shy to say something. But today I thought….well…here goes….

“Melanie…will you be my Valentine?”

My Experience of Discovery with Jean-Paul Basquiat's Notebooks

By Michael Kelly

"In my opinion, an individual without any love of the arts cannot be considered completely civilized. At the same time, it is extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to interest people in works of art unless they can see them and know something about them."

—J. Paul Getty, 1965

In a continuing discourse on Art and where to begin finding yours. I would like to present a post by my friend Michael Kelly who, among other things, is a technical business & educational systems creator. -Calvin

On my first visit to the High Museum’s exhibit of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Unknown Notebooks” here in Atlanta, I was disappointed. Close to a hundred pages from the notebooks were displayed in the usual waist-high display cases in two large galleries; it was a very mixed bag: some were interesting, but most seemed to be the product of someone playing with one or two words, or a few lines. Here’s an example:

colors with numbers on the back
brooming into mezzo /aspuria-

You have to picture a page with just these two lines on the top the rest blank. Insight, anyone? It’s true that this is the kind of private noodling that art-history scholars love to sift through, but why was it trumpeted as providing insight into Jean-Michel’s art for the rest of us?

Before saying more about my visits, you should know that this is a traveling exhibit that may come to a Museum near you. It came to the High from the Brooklyn Museum, where it was first organized, and where an important Basquiat show was mounted in 2005. I wanted to see Basquiat’s notebooks because of seeing and enjoying other artists’ notebooks, and because his art is baffling to me. While some of his pieces have a very strong visceral impact, I draw a blank when I try to understand why; many of his pieces hardly register as art, which of course is hardly unique to Basquiat. Although I’ve spent a good number of years in New York’s many museums and galleries enjoying and learning about all kinds of art, especially modern art, I find it difficult to sort out what is going on in any given Basquiat painting—and if you are familiar with his work, you know that there’s typically a lot going on. He put an enormous amount of energy into his work, which attracted me and affected me, but it was also clear that I had very little resonance with what was actually being depicted in the paintings.

Although I left the exhibit disappointed, I was actually still processing a lecture by Franklin Sirmans on Basquiat and his notebooks which I’d attended earlier in the evening. Basquiat was born in New York City on December 22, 1960 and died there in 1988. He emerged as an artist in the 80s, and some of the key points of reference in Mr. Sirmans’ talk were the cultural transformations that Jean-Michel was immersed in during this period: rap music and other kinds of street art, most notably for Jean-Michel graffiti. Where he emerged was in Manhattan’s famous downtown gallery scene, which was scruffy, energetic and Punk.

Discovering that the Notebooks show was closing in a matter of days, I decided to give it one more try. The second time I could feel the pieces start to come together. I realized that I was reading the words on the page in a literal way, as if they were orphans from a story or that he started describing something and kept getting interrupted. In other words, I was reading like I would read my notebook, not like the words of a graffiti artist! And not words from a street-art, rap-inflected view of the world. These neatly printed words were like bits of poems: creating visual imagery in the mind’s eye; testing out how they looked on the page; and experimenting with how they sounded. Once I made that shift, the notebooks came alive for me. I still don’t know what “colors with numbers on the back” means, but as poetry it comes alive: maybe a colored ticket or artist’s paints? And “brooming into Mezzo”—I get that he’s playing with word-sounds: booming into…, brrrroooming into…. I began to peer down at each page, trying to free-associate with each one. It was an intense kind of fun, and had the side-effect of creating a backed up line of museum visitors.

My discovery was to see the notebook pages more like a street-smart graffiti artist with an attitude and a lyrical gift with words as images. It takes time to see something in a new way because we don’t have any indication that we are seeing in a way at all and don’t have a conscious way to change it even if we want to. But despite our habitual ways of seeing, that ones we don’t know are ways, with lots of inputs and a willing attitude our brains are able to process things differently. So be on the lookout for possible visual shifts, and then pay attention when what you obviously see is raw fish—try to get your brain to show you sushi!

Michael Kelly can be contacted thorough his blog Explorations.