Vacation: A respite; rest

I have been in a rest period of writing. Resting meaning I haven’t been doing it. I have taken a respite from thinking about it, talking about it and doing it.

In so doing, I have found I miss it. I miss the feeling of putting in words my thoughts. Now, sometimes, they need to be unsaid or deleted. I can’t unsay them, but I can unwrite them.

I have returned to this vocation from a vacation and hopefully will find joy and enjoyment in doing it again.

Vacation is over and I am listening to the much needed rain pattering on my roof, enjoying it and knowing that in every life rain must fall. When it falls on the trees, grass and flowers something beautiful happens. They green up and get beautiful.

When rain falls in our lives, it sometimes feels bitter rather than better, but it washes away the unnecessary and lets us see the real. The beautiful in our lives. Sometimes we have to have a vacation and a storm to let us see what is important to us and see the path to that thing.

I learned that to get better at something, you have to do it. Not just once, but many, many times. The more words you put down the easier it is to put them down. You become less censorious it seems. You will still think it all stinks, but you will leave more standing and less in the delete column as time goes on. It is for me, anyway.

I make greeting cards and write the verses. I have found that the more I make the less likely I am to just toss it all to the side and declare it trash. I find it harder to throw away my cards than to delete my writing. I practice my words on throw away paper and don’t do my art until I am pretty sure what the words will be.

All of the words thus far are leading up to this: Please take the time to go through the storms, enjoy the vacation and come back ready to take up the path that is


W for Wend

“Wend: to go in a specified direction, typically slowly or in an indirect route.”

That pretty much is how I write: specified direction (finish) slowly or indirectly.

I know where I want to go, just not how to get there.

When you start to write, you know you want to say something. Maybe it is to say how to make biscuits or what your purpose in life is. You have to start somewhere and end somewhere else. You don’t want to end where you started unless the journey is what you are trying to sell.

Let’s say you want to talk about biscuits. Your specified direction is the recipe. Now, you are wending your way to the end. Moving slowly, or indirectly.

Moving slowly, you could tell the story of how you made your first biscuits and the results. Then you could list the recipe.

Story done.

You could do it indirectly by talking about your grandmother. You could tell how you spent time with her and what you did.

One of those things you did could be the biscuits. You made them one morning for the family with grandma, but you did all the work. They don’t know that and tell grandma that those are the best they ever ate.

Which could easily move in to the next story.

When you write you could picture wending your way through a garden as you try to put together your story, whether it is biscuits or flowers.

Here is to wending your way to a great story and great career of writing.



Traipsing Through Writing

Traipsing is moving wearily or reluctantly through grounds or anything else. Here we are talking about traipsing through your writing to edit.

You really don’t want to do it, but do it you must.

You need to take out unnecessary words and phrases, even though you may thing they are necessary.

When you see adjectives, you need to weed through them and keep the ones you need, which is none.

Show don’t tell and adjectives tell.

You need to check your repetitions. Your repetitions. Some are as obvious as this and some hide. Read your work aloud to find the ones who hide. Hearing what you have written is essential. It helps with the flow and with the unnecessary.

Where I live we usually think of traipsing as slow as well as reluctantly. So do it slowly and reluctantly as you don’t want to kill too many of your darlings. Some of them are pure gold.

So, traipse away.

Q is for Quietude

Quietude is the state of stillness or calmness. Sometimes when we are trying to write we feel as though there is a squirrel loose in our brains jumping from this twig to that nut. We can’t seem to find a spot to land and rest to see what our brain can tell us.

You may not need a quiet place to have a quiet mind. Lots of people use music to write to. I find that just the sounds in the house around me are enough to keep me on track. I have learned not to jump and run at every sound in the house to see what is happening. I can write through it. I can do it because there are only two of us and I usually know where and what the other half is doing, so, quietude.

One of my favorite Bible verses is ” Be still and know that I am God”. He usually comes to you in the quiet times and so do ideas. Ideas, and your muse, like to be heard and if you have that squirrel in a cage rattling around up there, they don’t talk to you. They sometimes go away where it is quiet and wait.

And wait.

And finally you get the idea to shut up the squirrel, maybe give him a nut, and then the ideas creep back to you.

Slowly, very slowly.

Be ready to put them down on paper or in the computer when they return. Take copious notes and see what happens when quietude returns.

Here’s to a quiet squirrel and lots of ideas.

P is for Pens, Pencils and Practicality

Since I loved O so much I posted two pieces, I decided to cover three Ps in this post.

People, could have used that one, always want to know how your write or rather what do you write with, pen, pencil or computer. I actually use all of them.

The practicality of it is sometimes what is available. I cannot always carry a computer, but I usually find paper and pen or pencil. I like a pen and paper sometimes to be able to see it in black and white. It makes it more real for me. AndI know it can be black and white on my computer, but paper is easier to carry from place to place than my pc.

The computer is what  I write my blog and other notes and pieces because that is usually where I am when it is time to write. And I usually can read my notes easier on the computer. I still have the same ol’ problem of where is it after I have written it and put it in a folder of some kind.

Pens and paper are what I learned to write with. I am left handed and the years that I was in school I usually had a black side of my hand because my hand went over my pencil writing and picked up the lead. I also have to turn my paper a certain way to write, but not my computer or my keyboard. So, really, computer is easier for me.

Here’s to writing with what makes you most comfortable and productive.



O is for Oleo strut

I am betting not many will know what an oleo strut is. Neither did I until I was dictionary reading and saw it.

It is a part on an airplane that pushes oil into an opening in a hollow piston to absorb the shock in landing gear.

Now, how is this going to work with writing? Well, when you write a story you have to have ascendance to a climax and you need something to soften that landing back into your life or the character’s life so that you or they do not fall into an abyss of horror or death.

Therefore you need an oleo strut. Someone or something that can put the oil or a padding that softens the landing after the climax. The climax that can mean the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one or even being just missed by the semi going through the yellow light.

When you write a story or article you know that there will be conflict and you have to resolve it. When you resolve it there is fall out and recovery to what is either the old normal or the new normal that is where your oleo strut comes in to play.

We have all had oleo struts in our life, be it the nurse that shows the new mother how to hold the baby when feeding or the friend who holds your hand after a break-up.

And there you have it. My take on an oleo strut.



N is for Nothing

We often say we have done nothing, or have nothing to do. Or the very favorite, I have nothing to write about. We discussed this in the A post. There is always something to write about.

Now, would it be wrong or unhelpful if you truly felt drained with no energy to write? No.

Sometimes doing nothing is the best refueler you can have. While doing nothing your brain has a chance to roam and investigate that hazy memory that had appeared a while back and had been left on the floor because you didn’t want to do it then.

Doing nothing gives you the opportunity to maybe read a book or bake some bread. I do nothing really well. The reason I do it well is because I have no guilt over doing nothing.

I have learned that guilt will get me nowhere and doing nothing may lead me somewhere.

So the next time you feel like doing nothing…just do it.

You do not need to spend the entire day doing nothing, but that half hour or so may net you some pretty big fish when you go back to doing something.

Excuse me, I have some nothing to get  back to.


Knowledge is something you acquire through study and living.

You find out to use a spoon, how to speak and how to laugh. You need all these things for living and for writing. Some knowledge is specific to a certain job and some knowledge is specific to people. You need all you can acquire or remember when you write.

The mantra of every writer seems to be “write what you know”. That could put you in a situation where you only wrote about babies, maybe even just boy babies, because that is what you know.

I the write what you know can mean not facts, but feelings. You know what it feels like to be awakened at 2 am after having been up at 12 am til 1 am feeding the baby, and baby wants food again. Take that feeling and put to a character who has been up all night finishing their college paper and the baby wakes at 2 am for feeding. It is annoyance, frustration, and love. You know you want sleep, need it, and can’t have it and you love the baby.

Writing what you know can mean that you have to research setting, jobs or education, in order to know what you want to write about.

Maybe your hero is extremely rich and you have now idea how that feels. If you can visit places the rich frequent or perhaps the house of a rich person, you will get the feel of the luxury and everydayness of that luxury. For them luxury is an everyday affair.

Or perhaps, one of your main characters is homeless. Visiting shelters, dressing like a homeless person would, hauling everything you need daily in a cart or backpack could give you that feel.

If you have ever felt pampered you can use that emotion in your rich person. If you have ever felt true hunger and known that you could buy nothing to assuage that hunger, tap into that for the homeless character.

Knowledge of grammar and spelling is necessary to your writing so that others may understand it.

Knowledge is key.

Delight in Your Words

I could have called my theme emotions for writing the way my mind has lead me on the trek so far. The main thing I want to get across is that we need to be as positive as we possibly can about what we do, how we do it and how we like it.

Delighting in what we do is not a 24/7 thing, but a burst in the middle of mediocrity. It may be only one one phrase or word, but when it is right, enjoy it.

Writing is not always delightful. Sometimes it is one of those, ” Awwww, mom, do I have to?” kind of things. It is in the ” do I have to” that we find the delight. The delight of a child seeing the candle on their birthday cake for the first time. There is also delight in seeing that birthday candle for 60th or 80th time. Our job is capture that and share it.        It isn’t bad to enjoy the fruits of your labors, just remember there are more to produce and more to remember.

Be delighted in that sentence that says this is the way it was that day. The next three paragraphs may bring tears of frustration to your eyes, but there is that one sentence that makes it worthwhile to keep trying. And even if only one sentence on that page makes you grin, delight in it. Especially since that may be the very one you have to kill before the story is complete.

Delight in the Lord always. That is what has come to my mind, delight in Lord and delight in what we do.

Go forth and delight.

A is for About

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This is my first post in the A to Z  blogging challenge. I have chosen a theme of ABCs for writing.

A is for About.

The eternal question for the writer is: What shall I write about?  Good question.

Well, pick a subject. I don’t know a subject. Sure you do: kids, marriage, sunflowers, sky…you get the picture.

I don’t know enough.

Sure you do. For the single person, how about do I want kids. Talk on how you do or don’t want kids. If you are writing a story, have a character that wants kids and one that doesn’t. Be the devil’s advocate and look at both sides. How will it feel not wanting children? Will you feel selfish? Will you even think about it or will it just happen that way? Do you have a choice and do you want to make the choice?

If you are writing a blog or a column on kids and wanting or not wanting them, dip into your own life and tell what you think about the subject on your blog. If you are writing a column or think piece, interview someone on each side of the question. You could also take the tack of someone who thought they didn’t want children and wound up having one through circumstances beyond their control

See? There is a lot to write about.

Asking questions is always a good way to find what to write about.