Madison gives a picture prompt and invites writers to write a story to the photo in 100 words or less. This is her photo for this week:
It is a lovely photo, but my writing took a different turn. Here goes my writing:
I stood like a deer in headlights, not knowing which way to turn. Well, literally, I looked behind me and their lights were on me. They knew my path. There was light on the horizon.
I decided to run, explosions in the distance, cracking sticks, limbs, and crumbling leaves encroaching closely behind me. All was but a whisper though compared to the pounding and pulsing deafening my spirit. I ran, no time to think, no time to contemplate, I just ran.
Minutes ago I stood, camera in hand, beauty to capture, landscape and light my focus, what happened? Why this?
I would invite you, if you want to dabble in writing, to go to her site and join in on the fun. A great challenge.
If you dabble with poetry, you might want to check out Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Aside Blog…each week on a Wednesday he gives poetry prompts to stimulate ideas with opportunities to share with the poetry blog community. Periodically there are challenges and contests that are fun to try as well.
The current challenge is to write Hay(na)ku, 3-lined poetry with one word on the first line, two words on the second, and three words on the third line. I thought I would share a few that I dabbled with, with you. If you get stimulated to be creative, I would love to read your Hay(na)ku, please share…and go to http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides and submit your poetry.
I don’t know about you, but I have days where there is nothing there – no inspiration, no creativity, no ah-ha moments…I am just there (here). For some writing and creating is a practice; for others it is an inspiration; for others it is a let-your-fingers-type-and-where-did-that-come-from-experience. Most writers would say that you have to develop a practice. Believe me, I understand the theory, I even understand the practice, but I don’t function that way…perhaps that is true for you as well. What also may be true is the grappling with the knowing of the how-to’s and the actuality of how it is in reality…then in comes the “should’s”…talked about that before, remember?
So this morning I sat down to practice. I honored the process for a few minutes and then I moved on in order to not beat myself up with the “should’s”. I began a chain of doing the small things…organizing my scarves, hats, and gloves – something I have been wanting to do for months…sending a thank you note – something I am usually fashionably late about doing…cleaning the water tray in the refrigerator water dispenser – sadly I admit it was brownish.
I remember hearing Patsy Clairmont, a motivational speaker with Women of Faith. She said in the midst of her depression and agoraphobia (fear of going out)…she started to be thankful in the small things – making her bed. Eventually her strength and abilities grew and her fears lessened. That one point though has stuck with me…when I feel like I am not “accomplishing anything, I remember her being thankful for accomplishing her making the bed.
Back to my “small things”…I sat down for a moment and realized that there was satisfaction in accomplishing the things that I mentioned. It felt good to do things I have been wanting to do. It felt good that one thing led to another and I didn’t follow a list. I didn’t succumb to the should’s. If you were a fly on the wall, you probably would have laughed at me because it wasn’t as smooth as it sounds, but hey, things got done in the funniest of ways.
Ok, I will tell you, I opened the closet, the hats, gloves, and scarves fell off the shelf…so I started to organize them…then there was a bottle of soap in there that I wanted to get out (peppermint soap for the holidays). I took the soap to the powder room and saw that they mirror was dirty…I went to the kitchen to get the spray…and I was thirsty so I went to get a drink of water from the refrigerator and saw that the tray was dirty…I went to wash that and then sat down to check e-mail and thought, “ok, I need to write a thank you note”…I did and I looked up and saw the hats, gloves, and scarves on the floor and returned to organize that…the bathroom light was on and I remembered that I was going to wash the mirror…and so I did. Tasks completed…full circle. There, I told you. Sorry I bored you with the details, but, I bet you have had those very same experiences.
No, these little accomplishments are not writing the next great novel; no they are not impacting the world with my “gifts”; no they are not creating, being productive in the world’s eyes, or even those around me; but, the small things are satisfying inside, for me…I needed to take a moment to appreciate that today. I am grateful for the ability to do the small things…
…And then I sat down to write…and I could…hooray, I am grateful for all things.
Integrative Thought: Big things, small things, they are all the same…take a moment to be grateful for and in the small things.
Before I close, a great big hooorrrraaaayyyy for Susan Dennard. Susan is a writer and blogger.
Susan has answered questions about writing and has been an inspiration through her blogs (she has several)…she has commented on my blog and I feel like I know her…and…she signed a three-book deal…can you imagine. Fellow writers, check out her blogs: www.susandennard.com. Congrats Susan!
For those of you who are following me who are writers, I wanted to share a shout out to Susan Dennard. Susan’s blogs and website have been so helpful…and fun as well. I highly recommend following her or staying in contact with her sites…great resource.
If you are not from the area, I want to tell you about a great environment that you should visit in the Reading, PA area, Goggleworks Center for the Arts. Yesterday was Second Sunday when many of the artists are in their studios and much is going on throughout the building. There were art talks, glassblowing demonstrations, lamp work demos, pottery classes, artist talks, galleries to peruse, films, and lots of people everywhere…a feel good, inspiring environment.
I had the privilege of having a writing critique with Mickey Getty, author of Junk Lottery. It is always good to have your writing critiqued with constructive input and I received good input…so Mickey Getty, thank you…it was a helpful experience.
Today in the blog world and twitter there is much written about destructive/harmful critiques…and yes, they can be painful. What I have learned, though, is that no matter what someone else says or how destructively critical he/she is, I have my knowing inside of the purpose of my writing and the personal satisfaction of getting my thoughts on paper. I also try to remind myself that “every person pulls their pants up the same way I do”. That has been my filter through which I have tried to experience critiques. Actually that is the way I try to experience life. “I am ok being ok.”
A thought to share: Whether it is writing, talking to family/friend on the phone, interacting with people at a store, or dealing with an uncooperative customer rep on the phone, remember “they pull their pants up the same way as you do”, their “power” doesn’t have to penetrate your knowing of who you are, and “it is ok being ok”. Have a great day.
This morning , after voting, I had to get my car serviced. Another task in the day. I arrived at the service center and of course there is a wait. There are five chairs and there are five people sitting in those chairs. The observant man behind the desk said, “Have a seat, we will be right with you.” I wasn’t in my cocky mood this morning, so I didn’t respond with, “And whose lap would you like me to sit on.” I smiled instead and walked away.
It was in the 40’s outside, but I headed out to find a step to have a seat. It is funny how you can convince yourself that 40 degrees is warm and that you love being out in the cold. Truth be told, it actually felt wonderfully good.
I am reading Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the writer within, by Natalie Goldberg (1986, 2005). I was reading about writing in different places, under different circumstances, with different people, and moving out of the “box” of writing for 60-minutes everyday as a task to be completed…the good girl/boy approach. What better place to walk the walk. I grabbed my pen and notebook…and began writing.
I don’t always know about what I am going to write. I don’t know what is going to come out either. But I did know that I had strong emotions today. Writing is much like an adventure and today was no differently. I have been practicing the art of surrendering in emotions…being ok with having multiple emotions; being ok in the emotions without judgment; normalizing and validating the feelings, and writing has become a part of that practice. And so, I took a few moments to breathe, to look around and be present with my senses, to surrender and lastly to invite…and the words began to flow. Haiku that is. Separation, aloneness, lost, disconnectedness poured forward in Haiku.
There I sat, on freezing cold cement, outside the auto service center, in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, looking at signs of life, Fall, leaves, beauty, writing about the aching pains of not feeling connected, learning the lessons from my own words…we are always connected, there is no separation, and I can rest in that knowing.
“Miss, your car is finished.” I returned in thought, put the pen and notebook away, and had a moment of gratitude for the solitude, the cold step, and the words. I always learn from my words.
I hope today that you can find such a sacred place. Don’t be surprised at where that place is and what that place inspires.