IN THIS BLOG:
- Why 2012 is significant for writers and why you should start 2012 now, in November
- Upcoming Writing & Qi Gong “Asian Adventure” in Angkor & Beijing – February 16-28, 2012
- Early Bird Registration: Fall Writers Retreats in Paris & Florence
A New Year’s Resolution in November (for Writers): Breath Fire into the New Year, Today
Are you ready to “Enter the Dragon?”
Perhaps celluloid images of martial arts legend Bruce Lee come to mind. Spin-kicks. Flying leaps. Whooping like a crane before striking with lightning-fast speed and precision. Or perhaps you actually remember the climatic fight scene in the room of mirrors from his final movie “Enter the Dragon” where he smashed each mirror (or illusion) in his attempt to outsmart his iron claw-fisted villain.
In just a month or so, we will smash and banish all illusions about what 2011 could have been or was supposed to represent. Then, not only will we cross the threshold to 2012 – long held to be a mystic year of prolific change by the ancients Mayans – but will also usher in “The Year of the Dragon.”
On Monday, January 23, 2012 we’ll begin to hear the customary Chinese New Year greeting: “Gong Hay Fat Choy” which means “congratulations and make a fortune.” The celebration, which would be like Westerners combining Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years into one 15-day holiday, lasts through February 9th.
The Chinese Zodiac relates each chinese calendar year to an animal, based on a 12-year cycle. Legend has it that in ancient times, the Jade Emperor (a ruler in heavenly realms as believed in Taoism) asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and the Emperor named a year after each one and announced that each year would govern the planet with some of that animal’s personality.
In addition to naming years after one of 12 animals, every year was also given an attribute of either water, wood, fire, earth or metal.
2012 is The Year of the Water Dragon. A Water year, represents wealth and money luck. So make this year count.
The last year any of us experienced a Water Dragon year was between January 27, 1952 – February 13, 1953. So, if you were born sometime after 1953, this will be the first year in your life, and only year in your life (unless you live another 60 years) to experience a Water Dragon year.
The water dragon years are like having angel wings (or dragon wings) on your back to face opportunities that ask you to be energetic, fearless, warm-hearted, innovative, brave, and passionate. They are also years tempering the dragon’s fire with water – balancing out the dragon so it can be its most powerful ever. It’s the difference between wildly flinging a flame thrower and using a microscopic laser beam with impeccable control. It’s that kind of year.
2012 marks the year when the Dragon will replace the Rabbit (a year marked by speeding time. Didn’t it hop by fast? As well as being compassionate, sincere, and even popular) and will hunker down in your living room and psyche until February 9, 2013 until giving way to the Year of the Snake (a year of being introverted, smart, and generous).
According to Chinese astrology, the position of five planets along with the sun, the moon and comets in the sky at the time of birth (both day and hour) determine a person’s Chinese zodiac animal sign, which foretells the destiny of a person’s life. The 12 Chinese Zodiac animal signs are, in order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep/goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. (Find your sign here.)
Since it’s a Water Dragon Year, it’s predicted to be a flamboyant year, a great one to start something new. A new business. A new project. To be brave, to be bold, to be amazing!
FACE YOUR DEMONS & DRAGONS
You know that saying “there’s an elephant in the room,” referring to something huge and rather obvious that is taking up precious real estate in your life? The thing no one has the courage to confront or talk about? Well, a Water Dragon year is a herd of elephants on your front porch. They are trumpeting, deafening so, to be heard, pounding the ground beneath their feet like an earthquake, agitated, ready to break free, run. When you come home after a long day of work, there they are, steaming dung and all. They must be reckoned with.
This is the year of the the sharp clawed, fire breathing, tail-whipping, spiked-back, agitated alpha dragon ready to wreak havoc on your pretty and perfectly-packaged New Year’s plans for 2012. Prepare for change and much success, IF you face your demons and your dragons.
So rethink your New Year’s resolution list (you don’t need a soul mate or to lose 20 lbs. – they will come to you and off of you in perfect timing.) The dragon is beckoning you to “go big or stay home.” It’s not one of those fluffy, cotton candy year of rainbows and pink unicorns, it’s a warrior, dragon year. Dripping blood from battle year. Face what scares you this year. Enter the dragon.
2012 is predicted to be the year of hurricanes and tsunamis in your inner being, stirring things up. Urging you to wake up. Awaken. Get on with getting on. Enough already of the pleasantries and courtesies.
WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
Considered the most auspicious year for communications and writing in the 12-year Chinese Zodiac, dragon years are regarded, throughout Asian cultures, as the year to “breathe forth your fire.” Yah, spit fire! Shock yourself.
This is the year to share your stories. Express yourself. Communicate your truth. Offer a great reveal, perhaps in a memoir. Or like Bruce Lee, whoop like a crane. Do, say and be whatever it takes, to finally connect with your animalistic instincts and growl or howl or even whimper out that novel, poetry or screenplay. Chew off your own limb if you need to. Anything to break free of your illusions or trappings or niceties.
Considering the magical alignment of such cosmic forces in your favor, you might want to consider (seriously this time) to dive into the deep end of our writing. Especially before the dragon awakens on January 23rd.
Being still in the rabbit year, sprint to the end, to the finish line. Wake up from slumbering and in these next weeks, and write!
No more dipping your toes into the shallow pools to check the temperature before committing. Throw off anything that defines you and plunge. Skinny dip. Swan dive into the unknown. Dive for pearls. Tickle the belly of sharks. Let some laugh bubbles rise to the surface. And don’t measure your worth by your frigid, shriveled up, dinky …. scribbles. Just write.
Bring your voice to the conversation of life.
Give permission to your passion – and let your writing flow whether it be with pen, computer keystrokes or audibly recorded for later dictation. Care less if someone is warmed by your stories or scorched by them. Care more about the fact that you are speaking forth your stories.
Speak your truth – no matter how raw, elementary, convoluted, drone, slim or intense, as it illuminates the path for others to speak forth their truth. Most importantly though, your writing will open new doorways to yourself and to others.
Rap it out, spit it out, shout it out. Get it out!
JUST DO IT!
To get this dragon party started, sign up for writing instruction with a coach or join a local writers group. Take a day-long writing workshop or attend a multi-day writing conference. Go online and engage in daily writing prompts. Submit your article for publication. Start a blog. Write on someone else’s blog.
Or venture forth on a “bucket-list” world adventure and bring along your trusty, dog-eared journal. How about Angkor Wat & Beijing in February or Fall Writing Retreats in Paris or Florence? Or enjoy a staycation, declaring a small space in your house as The Kingdom of Hypergraphia (It means “an overwhelming urge to write.”) Yeah, become one of those freakalicious writers who cannot not write.
Catch the virus that is the opposite of writers block. Get sick in love with writing. Vomit words. Just get the words out. Let them spill unto the page, with the force of regurgitation and let them repel you with their stench. At least they are out of your system. Write bad, horribly wrong and odd, bad grammar stuff. Stuff that would totally embarrass you in front of your peers or high school English teacher or anyone on Facebook.
Let your ramblings, fumblings, spelling errors and smash-words intoxicate you. Be in bliss when you write. Make up stuff. Lie. Pretend. Fabricate. Experiment. Let each sentence linger for awhile before editing it, like a like perfumed-flowered moment, like the remembrance of a lover’s smell or smile.
To begin this joyous, arduous journey of writing, simply snag a cheap notebook. (Yah, that beautiful journal you’ve been saving to write in some day, not that one.) I like to get those five-for-a-dollar spiral bound, college-ruled notebooks that go on sale every year for the back-to-school crowd. If you buy them after September, they might be something like $1.29. Go for it, big spender. Seriously buy something that is crap, so you feel ok about putting crap into it.
Or whip out your laptop or iPad. Heck, even scribble your inspiration on scrap pieces of paper – after all that’s how we got The Wizard of Oz – the idea burst into Baum’s head while standing in the hallway near a coat rack and all he could find were used envelopes.
THE WAY, IS NO WAY
You’ve probably already heard this ditty but here it goes: What’s the tip to writing? Write. Here’s another tip: The way, is no way.
Bruce Lee, who was born in the year of the Dragon, and the Hour of the Dragon and was nicknamed “Little Dragon” from childhood, suggests for martial arts enthusiasts that one way or one system doesn’t cut it. Same for writing or any arts or discipline. You’ve got to cross-train, mix it up. Learn the rules and then break them. The perfect style, says Bruce, is no style. The way, is no way. Take a little something from everything, make it yours. Use what works, throw the rest away.
It’s November, so this holiday season, carve out some turkey time for writing.
Delve into your rich fantasy world and drag back, filthy and deranged characters, strangers you can commit to paper. Record your dreams or hellish nightmares in an attempt to capture their shadowed and cloaked meanings. Dig deep to unearth jewels buried in your childhood or young adulthood or that tragic thing that happened a few years back and start that ole “i’ll get it to someday” memoir.
In The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula LeGuin, it reads:
The question is always the same with a dragon:
will he talk with you or will he eat you?
If you can count on his doing the former,
and not doing the latter, why then you’re a dragonlord.
This year, get your stories and dreams out. Be in charge of the dragon, lest he eat you live. Be a Dragonlord!
Start or restart your writing today. It’s just like exercise, sex (for those of you married), forgiveness, or a New Year’s resolution, writing can start anew, fresh, any day of the year.
So “Gong Hay Fat Choy!” in November. Congratulations, I wish you a year of abundance and prosperity.
Bio: Sequoia Hamilton, born in the year and the hour of The Ox on the cusp of the Year of the Tiger, is a writer who writes. A lot. Everyday. Almost. About three things: travel, writing, and the soulful path. She also leads writing adventures around the globe, based from her hometown of Ojai, CA and spearheads local writing venues like Ojai WordFest every March, Ojai Writers Conference in June and Ojai Writing Workshops throughout the year.