Gratitude Spiral: Day 87

Today, I’m grateful for the stack of half-used notebooks leftover from my kids’ school days. For this writer, a seemingly unending supply of blank paper is a definite perk!

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 84

Today, I’m grateful for the practice and work of writing.

In this new year, I’ve decided to finish writing a novel that somehow migrated to the back burner last year. And the only way to accomplish that is to write. Consistently. To work at it, often. To practice regularly. I’m thankful for each small chunk of time given to the task.

What are you grateful for today?

First Lines…

Sometimes, hearing a well-known opening sentence can immediately conjure up the rest of a famous story for us. That’s all it takes. One sentence. For example: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,…” (Anyone NOT know what book that’s from?) Or how about “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” (Yes, I’m a Harry Potter fan!) I’m sure if we thought about it for a few minutes, we’d come up with plenty more examples.

Everything one reads on the art of story-telling stresses the importance of grabbing the reader right off the bat with that opening sentence. I’ve got both a novel and a children’s picture book manuscript in progress. One of them starts with the line, “R—- kicked hard at the cardboard box that blocked her bedroom doorway.” The other starts, “F—– the Frog had nothing to do.” Hopefully, they’ll lead the reader to ask questions like Why was there a box in her doorway? Why did she kick it? Or Is something going to happen to the frog since she’s got nothing to do? Either that or they’ll lead this writer to ask How could I make these introductions a whole lot more interesting?? 😉

Anyway, I’ve got two questions for you…and I’d love to hear your answers! First, can anyone tell me what children’s book starts with the line, “It was a dark and stormy night.”?  (A great book, by the way!) And second, can you share the first line of one of your favorite books? Let’s see if the rest of us can guess where it came from…

 

A New Year: Time To Dive In…

I’ve hemmed and hawed; I’ve bucked and snorted; I’ve backed away nervously. I’ve been silly. Today, I dove in and joined the already-in-progress Storystorm challenge. Thirty ideas in thirty-one days. Nothing to lose, but much fun to be had! I’ve got some catching up to do, but I’m EXCITED!!! Who knows what possibilities exist in 2018…

Tara Lazar is inspiring! Check out her blog here.

 

Rather Than Write…

Well, I haven’t posted anything here in over a year. Does that mean I’m not a blogger anymore? Or even a writer? On the contrary. I’ve joined local writing and poetry critique groups; I’m working on a novel; and I’m honing my skills.

But on a daily basis, it’s hard to make the time to write consistently. What do I make time for instead? Laundry, food shopping, singing, refinishing cabinetry, paying bills, taking walks, filling out rebate slips… So many things seem more important and more immediate. I tell myself just one more thing first. I know it comes down to a decision to put other activities aside and gift myself with uninterrupted writing time. I can see it in my future. 🙂

So, I’m curious, what do YOU, fellow bloggers and writers, do instead of just sitting down to write? I think it’d make quite an interesting list! Tell me…

Permission Granted…

A friend from my writing group recently handed out copies of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic. (Thanks, Jeff!) What a fresh perspective on creativity she has! And I love this:

“You do not need a permission slip from the principal’s office to live a creative life…”

Whew! 🙂

 

 

Who I Am & Why I’m Here…

I’ve been blogging on and off for over three years, but I still feel like a newbie. So, I’m taking the Blogging101 course and this is my first assignment. I do have an “About” page that sort of answers the questions of who and why, but they’re worth thinking through again…

I’ve been a writer, a poet, and a photographer since I first learned to spell and to hold a camera. But that hasn’t made me an expert. It just means that now they’re in my blood or my skin or my bones or however you’d like to imagine it. Sort of like a tree that incorporates an object leaning against it as it grows. They’re part of me. And the subjects of my essays, poems, and photographs reveal a lot about who I am: woman, wife, mother, adult child with aging parents, nature-lover, gardener, birdwatcher, musician, mathematician, spiritual and curious human being.

Why a blog? Well, I’ve had a few things published locally, but I don’t write consistently enough to keep my skills sharp or to improve much. I wanted to change that, so I started a blog. It helps to have an instant audience – one that’s willing to give some feedback or to relate to what I’m posting. I expect to grow and learn as a writer and a photographer in direct proportion to how much time and effort I put into my blogging.

With this in mind, I’m excited to participate in Blogging101. I see it as a personal challenge and a great opportunity. Thanks, WordPress!