Curtain Call


New Curtains

New curtains, old view

When I first moved into my house many years ago, the curtains the previous owners left up in the extra bedroom were so pathetically worn, they’d been taped to the curtain rod. I replaced them with some nice, simple curtains that served me well for years until the plastic tabs broke off and the curtains drooped in the center. Droopy drapes were not a good look, so I picked up replacement tabs and pulled down the curtains to fix the rod. While the curtains were down, I decided to wash the accumulated dust of years off them.

Big mistake. The curtains tore themselves apart in the washer. And guess what? Modern style has moved away from pinch-pleat, so I couldn’t find direct replacements. I had to replace the entire curtain rod as well. The new curtains look nice now, but more work than I expected.

The whole experience got me thinking about the nature of curtains. Curtains cover up windows, right? Without curtains and window glass, we’d have gaping holes in our walls. So curtains are for both decoration and privacy. Curtains keep our neighbors from seeing inside, and on the flip-side, they keep us from seeing outside. Sometimes, that’s more important.

My writing desk is positioned so I’m facing the window within touching distance of the curtain. Yet sometimes when I sit at my desk in the morning to eat breakfast and begin writing, I make no move to open the curtain. Might be cloudy outside, might be sunny, might be raining or snowing or hailing, yet I’m not ready to see. A thin piece of cloth like a curtain is by no means a physical barrier. It’s a psychological barrier. By blocking sight, the world reduces to the confines of the walls. Sometimes I crave the coziness of my room. Maybe it’s a holdover from childhood and the sense of safety offered by blankets against the monsters under the bed. Adult fears aren’t as easily dispelled. Sometimes the world is too big, so keeping things small for a time helps me regain my perspective so I can expand and face what’s beyond.

Sometimes I sit at my desk sipping my coffee and listen to the sounds from outside. The rustling of trees, the neighbor kids, traffic noise, tools in the distance, birdsong… I listen and imagine what might be out there considering that the only barrier between my imaginings and knowledge is this thin piece of cloth blocking my sight.

Then I open the curtains.


Story Time: Old Flames


Old Flames by Gayle Schultz

“I hear something.”
“Quit shoving. If you’d brought enough torches, we could see.”
“I brought the treasure map.”
“And no light. We’re going to march down this tunnel straight into the dragon’s jaws.”
“Dragon’s been dead for centuries. Only treasure left. Gold, diamonds, emeralds…”
“Stop drooling. Who says the dragon’s dead?”
“The man with the glowing red eyes who sold us the map.”
“Nasty smile on him.”
“Too many teeth.”
“Sharp teeth.”
“I see something.”
“Two red lights?”
The rubies blinked.
Flames roared down the tunnel. Screams, then silence.
A quiet burp.
“Time to draw another treasure map.”

The Grand Reopening

Some transitions take longer than others.

Real Life derailed my initial plans for this blog, but I’m back now, hopefully with something interesting to say. To begin, here’s a random wonder. This was the view over my house at sunset on a day when I was facing many challenges. I’m taking it as a good omen. I give you a moment of beauty, peace, and hope:

Sunset Rainbow

Sunset Rainbow

And so it begins…


Why am I doing this?

I’m staring at a page with all the fancy blogging software and trying to figure out what content to write.  What do I have to say that’s interesting?  Something fresh.  Something mine.  Some perspective I can share that might encourage others.

So I think I’ll write about creativity.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve looked for ways to make my mark.  A love of reading led me to learning how to write my own stories.  Seeing beautiful pictures led to learning how to draw, which in turn led to learning how to sculpt when two dimensions weren’t enough.  Listening to music led to … listening to more music.  I’ll sing along with the radio, but making music is not one of my talents.  Still won’t stop me from enjoying the music other people create.

See, that’s the thing.  I believe everyone has something they want to say/sing/draw/sculpt/compose/<insert action verb of your choice>, but for whatever reason, we don’t.  We find excuses not to do what we want.  If our initial efforts don’t match the beauty of our dreams, we stop trying.

That’s sad.

Everyone needs passions.  Everyone needs something that fires the imagination and transforms the world from mundane to magical.  Everyone needs wonder.

“Wonder” is such a lovely word.  Wonder is both a question and an answer.  To wonder about something is to explore the nuances, and discover wonders along the way.  Wondering is a process.  Try something, keep going if it works, try something else if it doesn’t.  Every answer spawns new questions.  Every attempt, no matter how abysmal or grand, is another step along the path.

That’s wonderful.

So I’m going to write about my own journey to create.  My first published short story will be released in an anthology this August (stay tuned for more info).  I’ve written several novel manuscripts set in the same fantasy universe, and I’m working on a query letter to send to agents.  I sculpt a menagerie of polymer clay animals, mostly cats, and I’m on a quest to devise a better dragon design.  Then there’s making jewelry, painting Dungeons & Dragons figurines, drawing, and whatever other random wonders take my fancy.

So much to explore.  So much to create.  So much to share.

So many wonders…