Finding Film: Learning Curve

1000297_168124383375332_1485791733_nAround 35 years ago I discovered something that has been a vital part of my life. As a child with a more vivid imagination than those around me, I was starving for an outlet, a playground for my imagination. What I found was the world of television and movies. I was bewitched by the fantasy, the stories. So much so that I began writing my own stories by the time I was six years old. I wanted to be a part of that magic.

I can’t recall the first movie that weaved its spell on my young, ravenous imagination. I do, however, remember the first movie I ever saw when we finally got cable (The Boogins). It was terrible, but I loved it anyway.

And here is the magic part, as much as I fought with my mother, we always found common ground while watching old movies together. These little two hour journeys were somehow the key to my sanity in a world where I wasn’t allowed to show my true self. I was allowed to have a small amount of imagination while these movies were playing. I fell in love with old men and glamorous women that my peers had no idea even existed.

297234_10151276195227243_607406995_nShe took me to see Gone With the Wind at the Esquire in Cincinnati when I was about 10 years old. It was pure magic. It was the first time I had seen something from the Golden Age on the Silver Screen. It was a real movie theater, not a movie-plex with a dozen screens playing what my friends wanted to see. It was a real movie, full of pomp and fancy dressed southern belles.

But for me being hooked on movies was not about recreating what I saw on the screen. I did not go out searching for ways of making my own movies. It was my means of escape. What it unleashed within me was the need to write my own stories. And I did. For many years I did just that. I wrote.

970798_147203295467441_138530918_nMy mother and I continued to have a strained relationship throughout my childhood and adolescence. She would watch old Gene Kelly or Audrey Hepburn movies with me, but never let me watch the sci-fi and fantasy I really craved.

That was where my great-aunt Georgie came in. She was a sweet 70-ish year old woman who indulged my every movie whim. When we went out, she let me pick the movies. Imagine a 70 year old woman seeing Tron with an 8 year old. She was completely perplexed by the 3D glasses. So I asked to see Jaws 3D next. It went on like this for years, I wanted to see a movie that stretched my mother’s tolerance for imagination, so I’d ask Aunt GG to take me. Even at home I walked the tightrope of her tolerance by sneaking into the kitchen at midnight to watch Doctor Who on our little 13” black and white TV.

I felt like there was something calling to me when I was watching the forbidden. The seed had been planted for me to want more than just a sneak-peak at the imagination of others. I wanted to be a part of creating the worlds that other little girls and boys escaped into. And I wrote them. Until I was around 19, I wrote them.

Flashforward 20-some years later, a woman wonders what it would have been like to have listened to her inner voices instead of the voices from those who supposedly know what’s best for her. Those voices that said she wasn’t good enough to be great at something. Anything. But were those voices from other people or were they her inner voices all along?

This is what I have come to learn since taking a giant leap of faith and moving to Austin, I am meant to be great at something. Everything I choose to do, I am meant to be great at it. I did not move here to make movies. I moved here to learn what my love for them has always meant. I moved here to learn how to embrace my love for stories and how they are told. I moved here to learn how to tell my own story without the limitations of my own mind.

I have begun to learn from those who do put their imaginations on the screen. I am learning to make my stories into something more than words on paper. I am becoming what I began as a headstrong, rebellious child. The path has always been set before me, I was just too afraid to let myself walk too far into the unknown.

And I am once again writing my stories.

Moral of the story: It’s never too late to start over.

Posted in All the World is a Stage, Original Writing By The Fuzzy Lizzard | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roustabout Garden

17012_492581944123181_126256998_nMy dreams are a significant part of who I am. And as such they reveal the stress and hope I happen to be experiencing at any given time. I have been working a ton the past few months. So much so that I haven’t had much time to write, especially this blog. But it’s all worth it, if you were wondering. I love my work. But I miss writing too. Stress can be very hazardous to the creative process. 

I am no stranger to epic stories being born from one of my nighttime adventures. Sometimes the characters are reoccurring. I have recently been visited by one of my favorite characters, the Rat Guru. I have a series of short stories based on previous encounters with Renny, the Rat Guru. He is the oracle of the Rat Nation, and their leader. His divining gift manifests itself in gleaning insights and prophecies through his love of baking sweet things. He can see the future in cakes and creams.

This is what I wrote about him years ago after I first dreamed about him: I spoke with the Guru of the rat people over coffee and a slice of pineapple upside down cake. He is quite the exquisite baker. His cottage was quaint and decorated with antique furniture. Each table had a hand knotted lace doily laid upon it. The house was cozy and smelled of fruit pies and cinnamon. He wore robes the color of a spring sky, an azure blue. Upon his head he had a band of silver with the symbol for wisdom at his third eye. In the culture of the rat people the guru was a cherished icon of wisdom. He was revered as an infallible oracle. His visions were regarded as law and undisputed. He himself remained humble, scrying into baked goods instead of some fancy mirror or cauldron

Each time he invites me to tea we sit in the center of his garden.  A large stone circle is laid out in the ground surrounded by walls of overgrown flowers and herbs. There is a stone archway at the East side of the circle large enough for a dragon to enter. And on several occasions dragons have joined us for tea and cakes. Today we sit in the circle having lavender tea and eating blackberry cobbler with vanilla bean infused cream. It is the most decadent thing I have tasted since meeting Renny.

Renny: I called you here because of yesterday’s strawberry cheesecake.

Me: You saw me in your cheesecake? That’s awesome, I love cheesecake.

Renny: I saw your destiny in my cheesecake, Sweetling.

Me: Oh no, not another destiny dream. I’m done with the dreaming. I just want to get to the manifesting part of this destiny bullshit.

Renny: You might as well just suck it up, Little One. You have so much more dreaming ahead. But this is completely different.

Me: Last time I was here you introduced me to a unicorn, a Minotaur, and an Elvin prince. Are they coming to tea to gang up on me too?

Renny: No they aren’t. But you might listen if I sick the Minotaur on you again. We all agree, however, that it may not be wise to trust you with your own destiny.

Me: Why not?

Renny: Do you remember that story you started by never finished called The Time Yard?

Me: Yes.

Renny: Well, you are sort of stuck in The Time Yard. Not going forward, not going back. Just spinning in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Me: I’m not sure I follow. The Time Yard was filled with architecture and misplaced road signs.

Renny: Exactly. You are building a huge castle using the wrong signs.

Me: Huh?

Renny: You took the right leap of faith, found the right job, but forgot bring your castle. It’s still out of synch with the rest of you.

Me: You saw an out of synch castle in your cheesecake?

Renny: Your castle is on the hill just waiting for you to find the doorway. It is about resetting the timeline back to where you were when you took that leap of faith, when you were ok with not controlling your destiny and letting the signs lead the way. More cobbler, Sweetling?

Me: Yes, please. You are basically telling me to let go, aren’t you?

Renny: Yes and no. There’s more.

Me: Of course there is.

The stone archway shimmered with light and a small brown tortoise wearing a box shaped hat made from bamboo walked through much more briskly than I would have expected of a tortoise. Renny told me his name was Tito.

Tito: I am not an Earth tortoise, silly girl. I can move around quite sufficiently.

Me: You can read minds, I assume.

Tito: Indeed. And we have a matter to discuss.

Me: About The Time Yard?

Tito: No, this is not about that piece of fiction you wrote. It’s about one you are writing right now.

Me: Ok? Which one?

Tito: Are you committed to the story, girl? If you are going to keep writing that screenplay, you must be committed to that story. It’s a rather large piece of yourself.

Me: I know.

Tito: Well, are you?

Me: Yes.

Tito: Good. We want you to keep going and stand strong when the wind picks up. Because it will.

Renny: Sweetling, you see, this isn’t just about you any longer. You are writing for more than just you. So be sure you are ready for a storm. Good, bad, indifferent, you will need to be sure of yourself.

Tito: I have no patience for half-assery. So get to finishing what you started and be proud of it.

Me: This whole afternoon tea is about my writing? My destiny, that I am not to be trusted with, is what I write? How can I keep from being in control of it if it’s what I’m writing?

Renny: You need to let the story tell itself, it’s already in you.

Tito: Control where you put the periods and commas, not the message. You are too wrapped up in “I can’t” and “It’s not what so-and-so would do”. Get over it and write your story, your way. The strength of your character will show itself.

Me: So do I need to revisit writing The Time Yard or not?

Renny: Revisit it when the other three projects are finished.

Me: I do tend to start too many things at once, don’t I?

Tito: That is exactly what I mean by half-assery. You are a nuisance to yourself, girl. At least you are good at being a nurse. That gives me some hope.

Renny: Don’t be hard on the poor girl, Tito. She’s under a lot of stress. I think we’ve made our point.

Renny tipped his teacup and the entire garden disappeared with a wink.

Posted in My Public Dream Journal, Nurse Bitterpill, Original Writing By The Fuzzy Lizzard | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


blue_moon (1)


By Amy Moloney

A poem from a dream…

Waking life, more painful than the dream

And the dream becomes the pain

From the edge of sunlight

To the haloed darkness, filled with drops of moon

That precarious perch of never and always

Desperately clawing for tangibility

We fall into the pools of familiar alienation

Moondrops and sunbeams cast silken nets

All that is left is the next fall

The abyss of this foreign realm

Steeped in what some may call reality

Posted in Original Writing By The Fuzzy Lizzard | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Bat Signal


OMFG Amy, where have you been?!?

I know you all have been going crazy without my mindless dribble in you inbox every day. But I assure you, I am still around. Although, a bit stressed with a job at a brand new Alzheimer’s facility and an impending promotion.  Nurse Bitterpill has taken over my life completely these days.

Have no fear, there is a dream or two, some terrible poems, and at least one exciting short story coming soon.

Stay tuned for some motherfuckingly amazing rambling.

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I May Have Married Edgar Wright By Accident, But Don’t Tell Him

Welcome to my public dream theater once more

bird godYou know, its amazing how often sad, lonely women have vivid dreams about finding a perfect man. Um… Well… I almost had one of those the other day.

I didn’t quite snag me a perfect man so much as accidentally getting all hitchified at the hands of strange alien bird-gods. I really don’t think either of us were paying that much attention to what was going on around us to realize we were getting nuptialized by extraterrestrials.

As far as arranged marriages go, an alien intervention is a pretty cool way to do it. Especially when it is with talented and handsome British movie directors.

Apparently, even my subconscious has commitment issues. I seem to have to be tricked into saying I do by other worldly interlopers.

I am sure the only reason that I dreamed about Mr. Wright was due to a combination of factors: One, my tripping over the Illustrated Kama Sutra,  my Shaun of the Dead DVD, and a copy of the True Romance screenplay on the way to the bathroom in a half-sleep stupor. (I really need to invest in more bookshelves. A lot of bookshelves.) And two, the work I’ve been doing on the Grandmother Magic dreams from last year that has me thinking about charming people from my twitter feed. As you know, my dreams are quite adventurous and often have celebrity cameos.

tumblr_ltrbqgpOZA1r10q84o1_500Hell, the other night I dreamed about babysitting David Bowie’s extremely blue eyed psychic kid. [disclaimer: I have no clue as to whether or not David Bowie has an extremely blue eyed psychic kid that forces me to feel other people’s emotions while he sings karaoke. No matter, here is an image of David Bowie in the bathtub to brighten your day.]

So how did I accidentally tie the knot with some strange British dude?

alien wine

Image re-appropriated from a google search for aliens with wine.

You see, there was this party on a hill in a desert. We were both there, unaware of each other, doing what we do at impromptu desert parties with ancient Babylonians. Yes, Babylonians. Did I forget to mention that Babylonians were the hosts and Indiana Jones was playing the flute? They were. We were all jamming to some of Indy’s trippy flute music drinking some sort of blackberry flavored alien wine. I call it alien wine because of the aliens that brought it to the party.

Those little grey fuckers were the instigators of our unintentional nuptials. They were that stir-up-trouble breed of alien you hear so much about. It started innocently enough, with them telling us to join them in a traditional Cerilian joining ceremony. (They gave me that name, I didn’t just go making it up.) And everyone wanted to see what sort of ceremonial shit aliens do. Humans are so easily distracted with the promise of a freak show. (Again, their description of events, not mine. Although, I totally agree with that assessment of humans.)

They chose Edgar and I out of the crowd of mesmerized party-goers to stand in the center of a circle of ancient gods with bird heads and jungle cat bodies. Then the bird-gods tied our hands together with twine from the wine bottles. I kept wondering why the wine bottles had twine in them. But no one could tell me. Edgar just shrugged and said, “Does it really matter? We’re being tied up by aliens. How cool is that?”

They said weird alien words and pulled us around the circle so that the bird-gods could touch our hands with their beaks. When the beaks touched our skin a red-blue light arced from Edgar’s hand to mine. We mouthed the word “cool” to each other, still unaware that we were being married.

Edgar+WrightEdgar and I danced for a while before entering a red mud brick house that was a perfect sphere. An old medicine man touched our foreheads with his glowy wand carved to look like a feather. He said, “When you wake you will be one and always two. But the two can only survive as one.”


Edgar said, “I take it we’re married then? I’ve always wanted to honeymoon in space. What do you say, wanna give it a go?”

I said, “Sure, why not. I didn’t get a honeymoon the first time around. This could be fun.”

We fell asleep still tied together as the bird-gods sang ‘Walk the Dinosaur’ to the moon.

The moral of this story?

Babylonians throw one hell of a party. And Edgar Wright is an excellent dancer.

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Lemon Cake: A short story revisited

Here is a short story I wrote a while ago as it was originally written. I am posting it now because I am working on giving it a bit of a facelift and including it in my Grandmother Magic series (1 & 2), possibly to become a series of short films. But I should not get ahead of myself here. First, I must give Madame Teagarden a bit more of a back story.

Stay tuned for more short stories revisited and re-imagined.


Lemon Cake

By Amy Moloney


She floated into the room, an apparition, holding a delicate china plate. Her soft voice rang in my ears with a sing-song lullaby.

“Please dear, try some lemon cake. It will soothe the edges of your pain.” She said with a hint of sorcery.

“Thank you, Mrs. Teagarden. It looks divine.” I was under her spell before the first bite touched my lips.

“Madame Teagarden, dear. And it is divine. Made by the Goddess herself.” With that last part she winked and I saw a radiant light emanate from her fingers as she held them to her mouth in a shush gesture.

As I lifted the first bit of soft, creamy lemon cake to my eager mouth a darkness fell over the room. A complete darkness that always made everything feel colder.

“The Feedlings are here, dear. You have a decision to make. Eat the cake. It will make things easier.” Madame Teagarden was as calm as ever. I could hear her fluttering about the room at ease in the darkness.

“Who are the Feedlings?” With my mouth so full of cake that it sounded more like I said “Ooo er da eefigs?” The cake was more delicious than I had expected. I truly believed that a goddess had made it. Nothing has ever felt so perfect in my mouth.

The lights flickered for a moment then came on with an audible electrical buzz. She was across the room holding a beautiful glass wand the color of the afternoon sky. The tip glowed violet. She waved it in the air, sparks of sunshine following in it’s wake.

“That’s better. Isn’t it, dear?”

“Yes. The room seems brighter than before.” My mind was floating in a state that reminded me of the twilight time when I am just waking up from a vivid dream. The room was brighter and slightly out of focus. I could see movement at the edges of my vision. Little flashes of light flying just to my peripheral.

“It’s time, dear. You must choose.” Then she held out a small serving tray with three cards face down. On the back of each card was written the word Lonliness.

“I’m confused. What do these cards mean?” I didn’t feel particularly lonely right then. I remembered feeling lonely before Madame Teagarden came into the room. In fact, the loneliness was suffocating.

I remember it being blinding, obscuring the little things around me. The sweet little things of life that can otherwise be glorious experiences. It reached inside of me, inside my very soul. Erasing memories, replacing them with bitterness. Distorting the truth of what they once were. I allowed the loneliness to get it’s claws deep inside my skin. A succubus slowly dissolving the breath within my lungs. Constricting with each inhalation, a python breeding misery.

I took another bite of lemon cake and felt numb to the memory of loneliness again.

“Do you choose loneliness, dear?” Her voice slightly less calm.

“What? Who would choose loneliness? I am very confused.” I was swimming in a sea of detached emotion. Why would I want to be lonely? Suddenly the visit from Madame Teagarden didn’t seem so divine. Fear was beginning to bite at my skin. I could feel it, sort of.

“Hurry dear, the Feedlings are here. If you do not choose a card they will feed on your loneliness. I do not think you would want that. It is a far worse fate than loneliness.” She was losing her calm and speaking a bit faster.

The Feedlings appeared suddenly before my eyes. Little flashes of light expanded into brilliant vortexes of fire. Each with a mouth as big as their spinning center. Fangs dripping with glittering liquid, beautiful and sinister.  It was impossible not to become entranced by the Feedlings. They were like nothing I’d ever seen.

I heard them speaking into my mind. Promising to take away the crippling pain of loneliness. Their voices sang together like a choir. It was irresistible. I was opening my mouth to answer them when Madame Teagarden came at me with the lemon cake in one hand and the wand in another. She laid the lemon cake on my lap before tracing a circle around my chair with the wand.

“Eat the entire cake now.” She said it with authority. Squeezing the words through gritted teeth. She was either angry with me or frightened. I couldn’t tell which in my current state of detachment.

I was frightened. That much I knew. I ate the cake, devouring it. It was still delicious, but stung my throat on the way down. I felt emotion slowly descending upon me once more. I was myself again.

I could see the circle Madame Teagarden had drawn around me. The feedlings were hungry, frantically ramming the circle with their teeth trying to get through. Under the plate with the cake was the tray holding the three cards. I looked at them closely. Above the word loneliness on each card was another word written in a smaller print.

I chose the one that read Accept Loneliness. When I turned the card over there was a picture of my face staring back at me.

The Feedlings became irate. Their singing became howls of anger. They continued to assault the circle around me, chipping away at it. I saw threads of light crumbling, fracturing the barrier.

Two Feedlings made it into the circle with me. They were close enough for me to feel the suction of the vortex pull my hair into their mouths.

One bite of lemon cake was left on the plate. I picked it up with my fingers and put it into my mouth. As it melted on my tongue I whispered the words, “I accept my loneliness as a part of who I am.” I do not know where those words came from, they seemed right. I closed my eyes and prayed for the Feedlings to go away. I wanted my emotions back, the good and the bad. I wanted to feel like me.

The Feedlings disappeared with a popping noise. The circle dissolved and Madame Teagarden was nowhere to be seen. I looked down at the empty plate, the card with my photograph, and the blue glass wand. My hair was singed a bit on one side and there was a ring of smoke rising from the carpet around my chair. But every entity that had been there moments before were gone. Except for me.

I laughed at the sudden quiet exaggerating the loneliness of the room. The loneliness that somehow felt right. I picked up my purse, checked myself in the mirror, then went out for the night.


Posted in Artistically Inclined, My Public Dream Journal, Original Writing By The Fuzzy Lizzard | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Before Midnight: Not a review, a reaction.

before midnight 1

This evening I finished watching the Before Trilogy with the film Before Midnight by Richard Linklater. I must admit that I did not see, in their entirety, the other two films until last week. Regardless, they affected me in a very personal way. Basically hitting so many buttons that I have tried to deactivate over the years. The conversations between Jesse & Celine are almost word for word conversations I’ve had with that phantom lover I’ve mentioned. Yes, the conversations were in the dreamscape, but that does not negate their power over my conscious mind. And again, the conversations in this movie proved to be very much a mirror of my own psyche. Which is what great filmmaking is, a mirror revealing the mask and it’s inherent cracks.

I left the theater feeling a bit more lonely and melancholy than I when I entered. It wasn’t so much the movie as the feelings stirred up by the stark realism of the characters. They both paralleled my life and were vastly different from my journey. It made the “lack” more apparent. But also gave me a sense of peace with myself for managing to be alone for so long and retain the majority of my sanity. It means that I can be an individual within a relationship, if that is what is meant for me.

I have been oscillating between the romanticism of finding a soul mate or true love and the realism of just finding a suitable companion. Where is that point where finding suitability is settling for something you weren’t meant to keep? It’s the question that I left the theater thinking.

What do you think?

Am I wasting my time waiting for something fated to come along or am I fulfilling my destiny by becoming the best me I can be without the distraction of the wrong guy? Loneliness is the only downside to waiting. How long is too long to wait?

A little of this is stirred up by the acclimatization process of moving to a new city, starting over. Since the whirlwind of my arrival has died down I’ve had time to try to settle in to the routine, the mundane nature of life in any city. I am filled with new beginnings: a new job, a new apartment, a new perspective, and even a new haircut. I feel like I’m in a holding pattern waiting for the next big whirlwind to blow into my reality. It’s exciting and terrifying. But a small part of me is on a train waiting for some cocky smile to ask me to have an adventure with a stranger. Who doesn’t want the chance, at least once in their lifetime, to fall in love before sunrise?

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Deli Meat Jesus

I’ve told you before that I have a weird sleep disorder. I sleep write. It’s like sleep walking, but with poetry and snippets of story. I haven’t written in a while, much less sleep writing. The writer’s block demon has been hitting me pretty hard since the stress of my move. But the other night I woke to this poem. I will admit I cleaned it up a little. Or more aptly, translated it from sleepy handwriting to actual English.

This strange poem was the torpedo I needed to destroy the writer’s block. And I am happy to say that I have had some narrative juices flowing for a few days now.

Sorry for the absences, my pretties. I will try to be better at posting my usual stupid shit even though I do not have internets at home yet.

Deli Meat Jesus

By Amy Moloney

Temperance of fate no longer fickle with need

Disco waits for no man

For no man moves without passion

Laughter only medicates after the forlorn loses its bloom to night

But the sun shines when the meat trays are fresh with the day’s kill

A palm sized birdie refuses to fly behind glass and ice

Wings clipped, she dreams of her last flight among the shelter of greying clouds

You can see his face when the light hits the pastrami just so

Florescent beams casting shadows between the marbles of flesh

A face ravaged by time, fragile as those who seek his rake

The marrow from bone scavenged from promises given on his behalf

Laughter in his eyes, disapproval in his smile

Always head held above the meat counter

For that discerning shopper with eyes open to see between the cold cuts and the filets

At the end of the day he orders a roast beef with horseradish on rye

And a second one for the birdie he cannot find

Hold the cheese

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Brand Spanking New El Rey Pulpo

I know it’s been a little bit since I’ve posted. I’m sorry for being away from the blogosphere for so long. I do have a great excuse, though. I have no internet at home at the moment and have been working a lot of hours at my awesome new job, which I will tell you about soon.

Instead of a long winded explanation of what’s been happening as I settle into my new life in Austin, I will post some new El Rey Pulpo characters hot off the press.

El Rey Pulpo: Mexican Space Claw

El Rey Pulpo: Mexican Space Claw

Mexican Space Claw is based on a dream I posted here.

El Rey Pulpo: Pulpo & the Bee

El Rey Pulpo: Pulpo & the Bee

El Rey Pulpo: Dream It Real II

El Rey Pulpo: Dream It Real II

El Rey Pulpo: Crystal Ball

El Rey Pulpo: Crystal Ball

El Rey Pulpo: El Rey Cameo

El Rey Pulpo: El Rey Cameo







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Giant Rat Parsons Project

alan parsons project

So I had a dream last night that a quartet of giant sewer rats were singing an Alan Parsons Project song to me while I sat in a jazz club sipping on a bright blue drink out of glass shaped like a banana. Now the song is stuck in my freakin’ head. So here it is to get stuck in yours.

Honestly, this is the Alan Parsons Project song I would have preferred a bunch of rats sing to me.

Posted in Absurdity Is The Only Reality, Music Is The Best, My Public Dream Journal | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

National Poetry Month: Cure For My Discontent


The Cure For My Discontent

By Amy Moloney

An endless loop of Bowie on vinyl filling me with divine

The scent of woodsmoke carrying the sweetgrass to the sky

Long conversation on a road trip to nowhere, just roam

An extra glass of red wine when I should just go home

A million colors dancing from a million lights far away

A brief touch to the small of my back followed by a sway

A ferocious hug from a friend that lingers way too long

Sounds of children when they’re singing their own song

A new lipstick that makes my lips feel the anticipation of a kiss

Long fingers twisting the ends of my hair, brief touch to my wrist

Kung fu movies all day on Sunday and well into the night

A soft pair of fuzzy pajama pants that never fit too tight

The taste of chocolate when it’s warm in my mouth

Watching the autumn sky as birds begin to fly south

Long walks through the forested canopy of trees

Feeling the wind on my face as it blows through the leaves

Coffee flavored ice cream in a café before unknown

A leap of faith that this next step is far away from alone

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Finding Film Part 1: James Benning

Image from the film 13 Lakes by James Benning

Image from the film 13 Lakes by James Benning

Impressions and Lessons

“The old medicine man smiles through the face of nature. The old medicine man captures the face of nature within the eyes of his camera.”

Part of my compulsion to move to Austin had to do with a compulsion to understand and learn a new artistic medium of storytelling, film. Something that I never thought was part of my path, a strange and terrifying new direction that seemed to come from that place within the universe that pushes our actions toward our destiny. It cannot be denied, but takes some time to understand. This is not one of my spur of the moment new directions, I am taking my time and learning before acting upon the compulsion.

I have always been a movie lover, a devotee of fantasy and story. But film was at the periphery of my experience. A thing to be watched, observed, not to be made by my own hands. But there is this little voice in the wind whispering for me to tell my stories within a more visual format.

Before arriving in Texas, I became a member of the Austin Film Society. Mostly because I thought it was an opportunity to explore what this compulsion means in my world. I have no real definitions for what I’m drawn to do within this concept so foreign to me. I’ll admit, I am quite intimidated by this world.

I am finding myself surrounded by those who have been called to make films at an early age. They have been doing it for years, decades. Some of them are well known in the film industry. The feeling of intimidation is only heightened in the presence of such successful filmmakers. When they ask what I do, why I am there, how do I answer with anything definitive. I don’t even know what role I will play in this new world. And here I am face to face with directors of movies I’ve loved for years, being treated as one of the cool kids.

A Weekend with Filmmaker James Benning

james_benning_circlingI spent an entire weekend engulfed by the films of James Benning, a filmmaker that I have only recently become aware. I found myself enchanted by his simplicity, yet complex storytelling. In essence he removed some of the intimidation from my perspective of the film world. I had been approaching things from the standpoint of being an outsider peeking into someone else’s window like a secretive Peeping Tom. Inspiration struck while watching the last movie in the series, Stemple Pass. It’s not about being insider or an outsider of the film world. It’s about finding a voice in which to channel my own stories.

I see a lot of my own spiritual concepts reflected in the films of Mr. Benning. The love of nature, the silence of the mind, the communion with all while being in the moment then letting it go as the past. I felt a strong kinship with the man and his work.

The short time I’ve spent just observing films and observing conversations between Richard Linklater and others with the Austin Film Society has given me insight on the definitions I have been trying to formulate. I am learning the art of storytelling from all angles. I may never pick up a camera. I may pick one up tomorrow. Either way, I am finding that the compulsion to learn film from people who have been making films for decades is leading me to develop my own way. And there is no wrong way to do it. There is no need to feel intimidated by the experienced film people. Or even the idealistic youth of the film world that seem to be demanding my reason for being there with them.

Finding the drive to be something different than you have been for most of your adult life is a scary thing. I have basically hit the reset button on my life and am starting over like an 18 year old just leaving home for the first time. (Not that I ever want to be 18 again.) Doing what I’ve always wanted to do is extremely satisfying. For the first time in life that feeling of being perfectly inline with my purpose is all encompassing. I may only write things that end up on film. I may learn to do it all from concept to editing to shooting myself out of a cannon to promote my ideas. The future is unwritten, and mine to mold. But at least I will be entering the future with a new network of supportive film nerds that will understand all of my incessant movie quotes.

Pictures are Poetry

This film series has inspired me to write a series of stories and poetry based on the notes I jotted down while watching. These notes are like a journey into my personal meditations.

Possibly at the end of the series I will post snippets of the actual notes taken. They are surreal. But I will start with this one because it’s weird and funny, “Rick Linklater is wearing ugly socks, just like he is taunting me with memories of my [deceased] brother. The whole time I can hear Bryan laughing at me for trying to hold in my fart by concentrating on ugly socks.”

Here is the first poetic interpretation of one of James Benning’s films. I thought it fit with the National Poetry Month theme.

13 Lakes

By Amy Moloney

Hello Grandmother

It has been too long since you’ve reflected upon our world

The ripples upon your brow reveal the worry you carry deep below your surface

Steadfast you nurture and move us to where life begins

And ends and begins again

The world is the distortion, the static, the chaotic mind

Silence is the picture, the image, the solitude of mind

Grandmother, the mother, consort to the sky

Wearing her gown of white

As she opens her earth to let the winged gohead inside

Explosion before the impact of hard into soft

Where the Earth becomes the sky

And the sky becomes the reflection of night

This moment of perfect union

Already a memory of what was then

This moment an illusion

Never to be visited again


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National Poetry Month: Emerald



By Amy Moloney

Crawling inside the forbidden, cups hold the hidden,

where secret knowledge dwells

Drinking from the pool, that hides from the fool,

the ancient doorway to your own hell

Somewhere croaks the raven, do not enter this haven,

follow you beyond the stone

Gathered beside the shade, the open evening glade,

Emerald sits upon his throne

He whispers to reap, crafty words from the deep,

they wrap themselves inside

Holding an ostentatious blade, you swipe them away,

afraid they’ll make you rise up with the tide

Never listening the grey, so this mage has to say,

banish your ego and your pride

Emerald walks turns himself away, denying your your claim,

casts a silent spell upon the night

The waters of hell, around you they swell,

sweep you up into a raging fire

The ways of the damned, have called you a man,

a thief, assassin, and a liar

Holding your blade, praying to names,

that rule your two-pronged tongue

Emerald appears enraged, you blaspheme his name,

like zealots blotting out the sun

You seek an unknown prize, with deceitful hungry eyes,

but refuse to play the seller’s game

Inside his hollowed lair, insulting the perfumed air,

again he denied this quest of empty fame

A knight of the other gods, whose fear you have wrought,

of a simple Emerald glow

Dwelling beneath the earth, holding no curse,

you vilify his shadowed place below

Now you become his, weeping into clenched fists,

a broken crusader of minds so old

Emerald frees your breath, saves you from death,

but still to lies you stubbornly hold

If a prize you do seek, look past the raven’s beak,

and knowledge will be yours

Just open your mind, leave old gods behind,

and kneel down at the shore

The green one awaits, holding open hidden gates,

take a sacred scroll from the pile

Drink from the cup, let it warm the body up,

and sit with Emerald a good long while

Emerald is not blind, his thoughts change your mind,

an enlightened one shares the bodhi seed

Sift through the sand, grasp it in your hand,

and allow the wisdom to feed

Again fear grips your throat, like a sinking boat,

you tumble through the waves

Somewhere you see, old archetypes make-believe,

a man himself he must save

Emerald is pleased, the green man on his knees,

to you he bows respect

It takes more than fear, to render man clear,

when he is his own shipwreck

You came here with pride, to slay what’s inside,

misguided prophecy upon your lips

You leave here with hope, new ways to cope,

your armor becomes your ship

Rising from deep, the knowledge you keep,

the raven will guide you across

Emerald you say, why show me this way,

our paths should never have crossed

He winks himself away, not before he said,

My son, we are one in the same

You called me him, then call it something grim,

but really it’s not what’s in the name

The wisdom is you, finding the truth,

on a quest to make pure the kingdom of what?

But this world is pure, it has been before,

and will always be what it must

The knight rides home, now never alone,

the emerald stone set into his ring

A new song begun, the honey bees hum,

and the kingdom of Emerald will sing

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National Poetry Month: Journey



By Amy Moloney

Raised within a bible, taught my very nature was a sin

Confused by what they told me and what I knew within

They told me I was wrong, by nature, a freak

To hold inside the things they dare not speak

They were frightened of what they could not control

And the fact that I was the one they couldn’t pigeon hole

A vibrant creature with independent thought

Someone to dare disagree with intolerance they taught

Rebel, heathen, blasphemous witch

Free thinking must be some internal glitch

Sold myself as the devil’s wanton slave

At least, that’s how they perceived I would behave

Never once looking at the soul I did posses

Blinded to soul’s they themselves repress

Frightened of power that lies within themselves

Useless words upon their righteous shelves

Pious men sit in judgement of my wrongs

Took away my words and burned my songs

Silence the music it did not do

For strength in me is what it drew

I found a goddess within my mind

Who showed me how their sight was blind

She held me close against her breast

Assured me I had passed a bigger test

And through it all I escaped slightly scathed

Still, in the light of God I am bathed

My spirit they could crush or not take away

For I have found there is more than just one way

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National Poetry Month: Phantoms & Lovers


Phantoms & Lovers

By Amy Moloney

Craving the connection to a phantom, of what once was and yet to be.

A space left wide open to be filled with unfolding fantasy.

Why can’t we start now even though we have yet to play?

When light hits your face, do you let it in or cower away?

If I were to ask you to be my lover would you say yes?

Or would the phantom of you be the only interest?

I opened the door to my soul for a moment last night

Just to see if you would invite yourself in for a bite

It seems our timing is not quite in sync with our dreams

Phantoms and lovers fall into the trap of crossing screams

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National Poetry Month: Don’t Let Go, But Please Don’t Hold On

hug-best-friends-love-forever-best-quotes-and-sayings-Far away but alwaz near-I hold ur relatnshp very dear-Sum tym lonely but never apart-As a special friend youre alwaz in my heart.

Don’t Let Go, But Please Don’t Hold On

By Amy Moloney


A slow dance in cadence with the night

My head on your shoulder

Your scent surrounding my senses

Burning me inside, a slow constant smolder

Knowing the time is short

And you will be gone before the morn

I feel my soul die a little at the thought

My mind in anticipation building a storm

Losing you, but holding on

I feel both relief and wrenching pain

Taking in the truth of our situation

A slow smoldering that will not change

….don’t let go, but please don’t hold on

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National Poetry Month: The Diner


The Diner

By Amy Moloney

Kind of like a dream…

Coffee and a diner on the desert sand

He waits at a booth in the corner

The back, where the lights flicker and strobe

Pouring syrup over a stack of pancakes

He smiles and offers me syrup for my coffee

Laughter and stories fill the room

A native man holds a bone to the sky

Offers prayers to the ancients made of smoke

A child is a ballerina dancing circles by the jukebox

Upon her toes with glitter in her hair

To the tune of a man named Johnny

And a boy named Sue

She giggles at the man with syrup

He pours the little girl a cup of maple

The waitress is 9 months pregnant, barely able to stand

The man gets up and pours his own coffee

And some for me

The sun begins to set outside the window of the diner

The whole room fills with orange light

He reaches out to brush my hair away from my face

Says that the orange light makes my smile look like candy

Candy made from the tears of angels

They cry for their happiness, and the joy of love

He opens the door for me, we walk outside

The desert air is warm

He leans in close

Whispers in my ear

“We have work to do”

I smile

We walk into the desert

Toward the lowering sun

The air begins to chill

He places a blanket around my shoulders

We walk

A small fire is burning

We sit to take in its heat

We dance to the sound of the popping flames

He places the blanket on the sand and we sleep

Curled together by the fire

His breath in my hair

He inhales my scent

Then says to me with another whisper

“Now I can find you no matter where you roam. I will always find you.”

He closes his eyes

Pulls me closer

We drift into the dream world together

Having the same dream

Where the clouds roll in

Rain washes us of every lover past

We dance in the rain

Laughing and free

We wake




We walk back to the diner for more pancakes

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National Poetry Month: Soul Lights in Time

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Soul Lights in Time

By Amy Moloney

Silencing the thundering drums keeping the time

Holding accountable the promise of resurrecting what was eternally mine

Doubting reality in favor of a forgotten fairy tale

Within two hearts where home still refuses to settle or set sail

Earth spins in directions it’s never spun before

An axis of space becomes an unattainable dream, an alien shore

Propelling bodies through spaces meant for those we call gods

Shaking the souls, giving them life, melting away their facades

Unable to resist a pull stronger than the urge to fight

The draw of two bodies split from one single stream of light

Resistance remains but fades away in a matter of time

As belief refuses to take shape in the mirror of two stubborn minds

Still pulling together in spite of their being afraid

Finding the light becomes electric when lit from a single flame

Circling in confusion desperate to touch, to connect

Always trying to fit another’s light into the stark emptiness

Barely coping in the mundane trials of life

Light fades in and out, strobes of potential for true flight

Electric collision, two worlds explode into one

Light finds light, the storm of passion strikes with a force of a sun

Entwined eternal dancing upon ribbons of stardust and fire

Never too old to find the light of perfect union of an ancient desire

Whole and secure in the light that is once again made

A light shining so bright under a million suns, know only shade

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National Poetry Month: I Eat Pickles


I Eat Pickles

By Amy Moloney

Sometimes I eat the wrong pickles

But you know, I really like them sweet

The looks of disdain from my friends

Shows how poorly I have chosen

But the pickles I eat are mine and mine alone

Go eat your own pickles if you feel so strongly

Furthermore, I like a lot of things sweet

There is no crime in sugar coating this world

I am not a bum for eating dessert first

Sweetness makes this thing called reality easier to swallow

And why wouldn’t anyone want to sweeten life

It’s filled with the bitterness of anger, denial, greed

The foul taste of jealousy permeates the air

So much so that people judge you for eating pickles

The news reads like a horror movie gone wrong

With images of murder, abduction, and rape

Served up by plastic smiles on barbie dolls

The sound of music becoming trite

As memorable as bubblegum on the bottom of my shoe

With themes so trivial that the size of my ass

Is the only real issue for the world to contemplate

By the way, the size of my ass is perfect

But you didn’t notice because you were watching me eat the wrong pickle

Did you notice that the government has removed your right to speak

While you were giving me shit for eating pickles

Somewhere there is a billionaire dictating the rest of your life

There is a prison cell being padded for your breakdown

An army of our brothers are coming to capture your freedom

Taking citizenship away from you

But you didn’t see the uprising of corporations

Distracted by a my jar of pickles

I may eat the wrong pickles

But I do not judge others for the pickles they eat

You may not find zesty and sweet to your preference

But do you know who won the Nobel Prize for peace

Not that any award is more than a popularity contest

Congratulations, you’re the prom queen of peace

And thanks for not blowing shit up this year

Is there a place safe from pedophiles and cyber-stalkers

And if there were such a safe place would anyone be there

But the pedophiles and cyber-stalkers looking for new prey

Will the media report about the cure for cancer

would such a cure be allowed to survive

Because there is no profit in a cure, only in suppressing the disease

Or do the designer shoes of a cracked out actor make the front page

Where does priority start and where does vanity stop?

But don’t mind me, I’m eating pickles

Are you fucking serious?

They are only pickles for fuck’s sake

So here we are, a world at war for things

As non-tangible as the name of God

And who’s getting to heaven first

Here I am eating the wrong fucking pickle

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Kim Boekbinder, Impossible goes BOOM BOOM BOOM

My Impossible Week:

1-SXSW 002Some people leave an indelible mark upon your soul. And you are a better person for having had the chance to get to know them, no matter how long the interaction. Such is the case of my week with The Impossible Girl, Kim Boekbinder. A truly Impossible Girl, space alien, and sister soul.

I was one of the crowdsourced minions for Kim. And this was a lesson in answering my own soul phone when someone asks. There is power in answering, when asked. Saying yes to the little nudges in your heart, even if they don’t always make sense, will lead you to miracles and wonder. They are telling you where you were meant to go. And because I answered her request for help I was given the gift of friendship, the beauty of being true to one’s inner self, and of course Neil Gaiman (see this post about chocolate).

It seemed impractical for me to agree to help her the same week I moved to Austin, as her driver and Galactic Glitter Minion. I knew nothing of the city other than I was compelled to live here. I knew nothing of SXSW other than what I had read on twitter the year before. It terrified me. I am terrified of crowds, unsure of the roads, and have absolutely no sense of direction. Yet I managed to make every part of this adventure work for both myself and Kim. I wanted the opportunity to meet new people and learn my new city. And that worked out better than either of us anticipated.

1-SXSW 007Impossible is a state of Fabulous

Our first night together was kind of a last minute invite to the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards after party. We hadn’t actually met in person before I picked her up. So we spent dinner sizing each other up. From her perspective, she was probably wondering who this strange exhausted woman sitting across from her was. From my perspective, I was trying to figure out how to form words through the layers of travel exhaustion. We managed to communicate perfectly in the form of Crème Brule.

What started out as a business arrangement turned into a friendship, a mutual appreciation for the people we are. And I think we were both thrilled in finding another member of our strange and colorful tribe. To my delight, Kim introduced me to some other wonderful tribe members: Molly Crabapple, Najva Sol, Angeliska, and many other beautiful souls that have made my soul soar.

1-20130313_001653 (2)I had planned on going into detail about the whole week and a half we spent dodging traffic, eating hotdogs, fish tacos, and drinking coffee. But I think my heart just wants to fill this page with the love I felt being in the presence of so many creative and inspiring people. I may have stayed at the periphery of most of the goings on, that doesn’t mean it didn’t expand my senses like an incandescent alien muse.

I had also planned on writing a long winded interpretation of People of Letters, an event in which Kim was featured. I didn’t get around to doing it because of life happening around me. I started a letter to my Little Red Record Player as an amalgamation of the letters read at the event.

This event struck me right in the brain of my heart. Made me think, feel, and reminisce about many things long past. Kim in particular struck a chord with her letter to the word ‘Love’. In a way it opened up how much some of us take for granted that we have an abundance of love in our lives. Only we keep searching for the one definition of love that continues to elude us. Love is so much more than one word, one meaning, one feeling.

Thank you, Kim, for that insight. This has been a prominent subject on my journey, one that only I can reconcile. And your letter has become a valuable tool in which to do that.

1-20130317_170439 (1)Our last adventure together, which I will share a brief interpretation, was an event that happened after SXSW called Gaybigaygay. It was glorious. We passed the glitter like vials of Technicolor cocaine, junkies needing their shimmering fix while listening to the thumping sound ensorseling us from the stage. (In all honesty, the glitter high had been happening the entire week.) And where else can you have gay porn to look at while using a port-a-potty after watching Kim, the silver caped space alien, parkour her way through a sea of jeweled half-naked bodies in the dwindling sun?

If you would like to see some beautiful photographs from the event, look here for some pics by Najva Sol. She pretty much rocks the camera.

And so that you too can enjoy the gorgeous sounds of Kim Boekbinder, my Impossible Girl, here is her latest. Stellar Alchemist.

Be inspired, be creative, and don’t forget to say YES when your heart compels you.

Enjoy Kim’s music from the sky, my pretties.

Posted in All the World is a Stage, Artistically Inclined, Music Is The Best, The Life And Times Of Fuzzy Lizzard | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments