If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Posts tagged ‘National Novel Writing Month’

Just Dance

We seek not rest but transformation.
We are dancing through each other as doorways.   Marge Piercy

Key word:  dancing…

My schedule is too full.  Classes to teach and attend, book club to facilitate, projects to grade…and then there’s Nano ( I’m “behind” by about 5000 words)

How do I get so overloaded?

Don’t hold on so tightly.

Let go of your need to be “perfect” child.

Override the drone of your inner critic.

Listen for the music.

And just dance.


Character Building

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.   George Bernard Shaw.

The Nano novel has been more challenging for me this year.  I’m meeting resistance; something’s in my way.

Last night’s writing group is exactly what I needed.  After catching up on each other’s week, we moved into a discussion of the “Nano experience.”  We are all signed up, but we are all behind, numbers wise.  I realize when giving a brief summary of my story thus far that I’m in big trouble.  Melissa and June talk of murders and sex and attention grabbing plots.  I’m a teacher in search of myself.  Sigh.  What does that mean?  Story of my life.

Melissa suggests we do a ten minute free write using the topic “what’s on our character’s bedside table.”  Hmm, hadn’t  thought much about it.  Get set. Write.

Yes! My pen begins scribbling, as I pin this dude down.  Every night he sits on his bed watching the news and eating  a bowl of cold cereal.   The alarm clock on the table next to him is from college, forty years ago.  There’s also the $13 phone from Walmart that is forever tipping off its flimsy stand.  Under his bed is a stack of ungraded papers and an overdue library book he hasn’t finished, but has already been renewed the maximum two times.

I know this guy.  He’s been floating around in my head for a long time now.  It’s time to make him real.

Thanks, writing buddies, for the grounding.

Being Beautiful

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Day 6 of Nano and I’m already several thousand words behind.

I wanted to write a story, a real novel.  But it wasn’t happening; my journaling voice kept taking over.  I knew the story I wanted to tell was based on my experiences, so when I read Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried -explaining the difference in story-truth and happening-truth- I thought, I will do it that way.

I have 24 days left to find another 43,ooo words, and I am letting my pen take the lead.  I will dig to the core of this story, The Gift of a Second Chance, using my journal voice.   For now.  I accept that.

This and That

The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. Brandon Sanderson

It’s the first day of NaNo and there are some things I want to post before I can begin my story.

First, some unfinished business…I have been nominated for blog awards in the past few months and I have not responded.  Not because I don’t appreciate the nomination, I just feel overwhelmed.  So a belated, yet heartfelt thanks to:






There are so many blogs I enjoy and would like to affirm, I don’t know where to begin.  Therefore, consider yourself nominated each time I “like” your post and follow your blog.

Secondly, I have had an abundance, glut actually, of eggplants on my two measly plants this year.  I’m constantly giving them away and looking for new recipes.  Last night, at my wit’s end with the purple monsters, I tried one more “easy” eggplant parmesan.  Ta-da!

Soften chopped onion in oil.  Add thinly sliced eggplant and brown. (Mine wasn’t brown, more like translucent.) Dump in a can of tomatoes  and season with basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Simmer till softened throughout.  Add parmesan.  Yum!

Now I can focus on the quote…and my NaNo story 🙂

Life According to Miss Frizzle

Take chances, make mistakes, get messy.   Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus

Yep, I’m taking chances, and I’m making mistakes, and it sure is messy.

Why just this week I did all three.

Rip up that carpet and pad and save some money, I thought.  (This was a chance, I just didn’t know it at the time.)

The carpet pad was stuck to the floor.  (This is the mess, for sure.)

I started scraping anyway.  I’ll just slowly work my way through the house.  (This is the mistake, I am now realizing and dealing with.)


At the time I began the carpet project, I also began free writes in preparation for NaNo, my 50,000 word novel that I’ll be writing during the month of November.

Writing demands taking chances, making mistakes and getting messy.  Yep.
I’m going in…again.

Preparing for NaNo

Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life. —Eudora Welty

There are less than six days left until November 1. How, you ask, am I getting ready for this annual writing frenzy ritual?  Oh, you didn’t ask?  Well, I’ll tell you anyway.  Several days ago I got the bright idea that I could cut into the cost of replacing my nasty old carpet with laminate flooring by ripping up the carpet and padding myself.  How hard can that be?

Pretty &#$* hard.  This stuff has been on my floors since we moved in in 1987.  And…ta-da…the padding is stuck to the concrete.  Nasty!

There’s a story here for sure as I rip and scrape and sweep and haul.  My mind spins on elusive ideas for my Nano novel as my body slaves over the “foundations” of this house.

Here’s the plan.  I’ll work on clearing the floor for an hour or so at a time, then rest and free write, allowing the characters and their stories to become more “concrete.”

Maybe by the end of November I’ll have a novel and a new floor!

Listening to Learn

Learning to Listen

Listening for Lessons

A Teacher and her Writing Practice

Writing Is My Drink

slake your thirst; find your voice


~ creative ideas for making a difference ~

...the house I live in...

A journal of life pursued