Casting Bones: Examining Entrails.

My Place in the Market- a board across two barrels.


I am limping back after a three month break from blogging, and this is the first breaking of the ice of silence. I simply lost any belief that anything I might write would be of interest, so I took a break, not knowing whether it might prove fatal. If I am to write I have to hold to a working title ‘This is for you- whoever you are’

Instead of a holiday I took a course to evaluate my Artmark. My Artmark defines whether what I do holds any allure, relevance, or dynamic for anyone else, so brave, nicht? The moment of horrible truth. This required a further act of courage, to join a group, blind. Groups and me? Dangerous.

Would I go on a river cruise with twelve close-confined retirees, ( who have scrimped for their treat) and lie awake knowing that the veneered plywood between my cabin and theirs would amplify the snoring? Of end up at a ‘regular table’ where everyone has their own napkin ring, metaphorically speaking. I would not. Paddling my own canoe has always seemed safer. Things get rough? Swim. No waiting for a lifeboat, and ‘you first’. I’ve tried quite a bit of ‘you first’ in the past three years, and watched most other authors bear away reviews without a ‘no, after you’.

So I opened up my doubts, like slitting a carcass, to an array of strangers peering at it and poking it in the hope of restoring life. They were kind, to a man; well to each and every woman. Only women seem to attend these kinds of courses. They were all truly generous about the old woman unlikely to rise armed with doables, lists or intentions. I found it difficult to stay straight faced, and nobody seemed to mind. I made a few genuine friends, who may find their way here.


The intention was to guide each of us to an understanding of our unique message, and to evaluate how better we might reach our ‘patch of the planet’ (aka PoP). Mine went the way of the weasel. My message has always had one indisputable quality: Uniqueness. That was its problem. We also went through an evaluation of in what ways we ‘fascinate’, in order to learn how best to do more of that. There are some 49 different ways you combine seven  ‘advantages’ to define your style of fascination and as I wrote in a earlier blog mine ended up as ‘Rockstar’ which contributed to the continuing silence.

What do you say after that? You peep down. It did however clarify why the last three years had brought me to my knees. I was trying to fascinate by doing all the things defined as ‘inert’ for me, ( some of the words to describe them are ‘judicious, pro-active, detailed, strategic, steadfast, composed, meticulous) No wonder I was looking like the crawler across the desert, tongue hanging out, for the water,(even brackish) of life! I had not had a sip of much since I was passionate, innovative, bold, artistic and unorthodox, which come (allegedly) naturally. Those had come to a grinding halt, blown over by all the sand of meticulousness. ( all those marketing courses, strategic planning, and twitter techie hashtags.)

Anyway now I know that my Patch of the Planet are all solitaries, like me, and probably don’t join groups ( or not beyond the table outside a quick fry beach café) and unlike most of my travelling companions on this course I do not have ‘services’ to reach my potential ‘heroes’. As solitaries mine are heroic already, and don’t need my help, though I catch the occasional fish to grill and share.

I write. Period. So you will find my posts shorter, because they will fit, carefully rolled, into a bottle for any beachcomber to find.

Thanks to anyone who picks this one up. Write a tick in the sand if you’re likely to come this way again. I’m just waving but no longer drowning. No heroics called for.

By Hariton Mizgir (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Author: philipparees

A writer ( mostly narrative poetry) of fiction and non-fiction. Self publisher of fiction and Involution-An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God (Runner-up Book of the Year (2013), One time builder ( Arts centre) Mother of four daughters: Companion of old man and old dog: One time gardener, lecturer, wannabe cellist, mostly enquirer of 'what's it all about', blogger and things as yet undiscovered.

15 thoughts on “Casting Bones: Examining Entrails.”

  1. There has to be some sort of balance. I’m trying to find that in my life. It’s very easy to get sidetracked by all the stuff that goes with writing until you have no time left to write at all.

    Rediscover your voice. Polish it, but believe in it, too.

    At least, that’s what I’m trying to do.


  2. I’ve marveled at you seeking meaning and the divine spark among others. It’s been comedic, darkly humorous, ironic and pathos-filled, tragic at times. Myself being a solitary – never even dreaming to attempt what you have – It’s also been painful for me to witness, I thinking, “God, is she so great, but also so foolish.” It’s been somewhat like the Prince and Pauper with you changing garb and mixing with others more common, less “unique” (I’m learning to hate that word, how it’s applied and used), trying to blend in with others and adapt to their manners and behaviors. Among the more socially attuned and oriented, the more happy-go-lucky and extroverted, the more you seek in that direction, the more you abuse and debase yourself, appearing to enact a strange penance, seeming to punish yourself, whereas among loners and solitaries you are a Queen.


    1. John, I felt that I had shunned the common herd without ever examining whether I was excluding something of value. I had been. I never ‘blended in’ with this group and was applauded for it. If anything they endorsed the value of not doing so.That showed that one cannot dismiss what one has never known. The experience returned me newly supported to the solitude I enjoy, but without the portcullis! Good to see you here. I did wonder whether anyone I remembered would also remember.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes Diana and EVERYBODY noticed it! ( Except the guilty party!) I the end I became paralysed and beat myself about the head. Not a pretty sight. Seriously this course was tailor made to winkle me out like a tired salmon on a fly. I think I’ve reached a riverbank-finally.


    1. All this ‘Build a Platform before you publish’ is undoubtedly wise. But you have already. I found if I was platform hammering the fingers failed to play a single note of something sweeter.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting post, Philippa. It feels to me like a softening; it feels good, accessible. This writing thing is tough of the solitaires and introverts. Well, not the writing, but what comes after, the marketing (I even hate the word). There are so many paths across this uncomfortable terrain, and finding the one that’s easy on our feet is tough. It’s always, always an uphill climb. As an introvert, I’ve found it helpful to go slow, stop to enjoy the view, and find ways to enjoy the walk. Enjoy this softening. I think it will work for you.


    1. Thank you Diana, gratifying y’all recall! I think this softening ( and I accept your recognition with gratitude) is due to accepting failure (if that’s what it is) as not necessarily due to laxity, or insufficient pushing and pulling. Until I examined it my life was one of self-rebuke. I hated what I was spending most time doing, and felt guilty when I stopped! Now I think I will do some when the writing gets tired and we might all pour a drink! At my age that ought to work. Nothing else will!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wasn’t suggesting laxity or lack of effort at all, but you were very hard on yourself, I think. It seemed to put a damper on all the good stuff that was bubbling beneath and is so attractive. Take a deep breath and let yourself shine. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Tick.
    The problem with solitaries like us is that the rest of the world works quite differently, and works using groups and group dynamics that completely baffle me.
    There is, you may know of it, a thing called The Fellowship of Solitaries. They don’t have meetings, just an occasional newsletter; Other Half is a member, I might consider it. I’ve become disenchanted with the destinations I’d have once sought out as special; the trod of eager extroverts keen to delve into the mysteries of isolation (in a nice big group for protection) has spoiled places like Lindisfarne for me.
    I’m drowning, not waving; my waves are likely to be one fingered salutes these days when the wrong kind of advice is poured out by the happy simplistic souls who tend to offer such counsel.

    Liked by 1 person

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