Writing

Writing 101, Day Two: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)

We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.

1

They drove past the old iron bridge across Little River on what once was the only route to Idabel; or at least that’s what her mother had always told her the few times they had traveled this narrow, curvy, back road.  She tried to remember if she had been in such a hurry when she was twenty-five.  The fact that Jill lived on this antique highway, which meant she drove it at least twice a day, made her uneasy.

“Please slow down, this road is so dangerous.”

Her interview wasn’t until nine and they still had plenty of time. She felt her stomach rise and fall every time they flew over a hill, just as it did when she was a little girl.  She thought it funny that Jill knew this road better than she ever had and felt regret that she hadn’t spent more time here with her.

“O M G! I’m not going that fast Mom” Jill laughed “Jeez! Did you ever tell him that you don’t have a car?”

No, she hadn’t told him and her nerves were frazzled. Why would the man want to hire her if she didn’t have a car? “I will address that if he offers me the job.  Anyway, I will be living on the property.”

She was sick with worry, it felt crazy to be trying to get a job without a car.  She hoped it didn’t come up. This was her dream job and she wanted it badly.

“We must have passed it, he said it was between the river and the by-pass.” She leaned forward to get a better look, “turn around and go slower.”

Jill turned around on a dirt road leading to a small neighborhood and started slowly back toward the river. Other than the old ball field close to the intersection and a few houses, there seemed to be nothing but woods and pasture.

“He said you could see it from the road.  That’s about the only details I have.”  Back at the bridge, they turned around at the little park nestled in the trees right on the edge of the river. If the place looked anything like this, she knew she would love it. “Oh, and it will be on the left.”

“Are you sure about your directions, Mom? I don’t see anything but trees and a brick house up on a hill!”

“Look!” She had spotted a mostly glass, with cedar trim, building peeking out of the trees high on the hill. “That has to be it! Probably the back of it, it’s the only thing I’ve seen that looks even remotely like a cabin or a lodge.”

“How do you get to it, I wonder?” Jill slowed down, smiling at the relief on her mother’s face,  “I don’t see a driveway anywhere.”

She inched along so she didn’t miss an entrance unseen the first time.  “It must be where we turned around, maybe down the road a little.”

Just around the curve, on the left,  the woods cut off abruptly at the edge of a giant grassy lawn with a stark, red brick house at the top of the hill.   The yard inhabited a large beautiful catalpa tree, a scraggly elm, and a bare magnolia.

They continued down the dirt road past the brick house, into what looked like a trashy neighborhood.  Several small houses in need of paint and an old trailer house with no underpinning lined the right side of the road.  Each residence had two or three junk cars, a homemade shed, and various repair projects scattered around the yard.

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Categories: ADHD, Family, Home, Nature, Post A Day, postaday, Self Improvement, Trees, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing 101, Day One: Unlock the Mind

I actually did this when it first appeared in my email.  Instead of going to look for it in one of my many notebooks, I’ll just do it again!  I know the first time I did this, it was simply a very long list of the things I needed to do. I’m sure I could cross a few things off that list and add a hundred more, but the looming to dos don’t seem to be what comes to mind.

Earlier tonight, I decided to clean out my inbox and unsubscribe to a few things when I came across the Writing 201 workshop. Great I thought, I haven’t even finished 101 yet!  I clicked the link and registered for Writing 201.  Even though 101 is not prerequisite, I feel compelled to do 101 first!

Why do we feel the need to do things in order? 

I’m thinking I need to do all of 101 before Monday so I can be caught up before beginning 201.  My nature is that if I don’t get it done, I can’t begin the new workshop!  I didn’t pay for the workshop and it’s not some kind of requirement so why do I do this to myself.  I probably won’t get it all done before Monday, in fact I most likely won’t even come back to do Day 2.

My twenty minutes of free writing are up and I have to go to bed, but this is the most I have written in forever!  I hope I will start 201 on Monday , even if I don’t get 101 done! 

Maybe sometimes we need to just start improving from this moment instead of waiting to catch up before we can move forward.

Categories: ADHD, OCD, Post A Day, Self Improvement, Writing | Leave a comment

Odd Time of Day

This is really an odd time of day for me to write, but who knows maybe it will be the time that finally works for me! The ADHD in me could write at any given moment a hundred times a day, but the OCD demands that I schedule it at the same time everyday for a set amount of time. Luckily, I have just enough OCD to keep myself employed and able to run my household!

The reason for the time shift today is that my high school friend, whom I found out is my cousin at our reunion this weekend, just called and will be here in a couple of hours. I thought I better get my “postaday” done before she gets here and maybe I’ll be able to sneak in a few quotes or something this weekend. She is probably staying until Sunday!

I always thought of myself as a loner, since I have never had a problem being alone and even prefer to be most of the time. It seems that ever since I decided to move back to my hometown and write something, I have become quite social! Well, I guess that’s a story for another time…

…supposed to be working, Dr. Phil is on (the only TV I watch besides Grey’s Anatomy) and I gotta straighten up the house.

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My father never…

My father never had truck driver’s block.
~Roger Simon

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from “A Writer’s Coach” by Jack Hart

From “A Writers Coach” by Jack Hart about a Pulitzer Prize-winning story by Tom Hallman:
Tom’s first draft was just that, an initial run at the story that mixed great promise with plenty of disappointments. The second draft tied up loose ends, tweaked the structure, and sharpened the character development. The third polished the language, refined the imagery, and pushed through to the final level of excellence. Seeing that progression, one editor told me, was the most instructive lesson he’d ever had in newspaper writing.

In eleven more days I should have developed the habit of “posting” every day even if I haven’t written much yet! Now I want to create the habit of learning something about how to write every day. Now off to find a first draft of something I can apply this new knowledge to.

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Post A Day is Kicking My Butt, Part 1

It was snowing when I got up this morning. While I was waiting on my coffee to brew, I was looking out the window watching it snow. Then I noticed some little birds falling out of the trees like autumn leaves. I went and got my glasses, made my cup of coffee, and sat down by the window to watch. There were at least a hundred tiny birds, no bigger than a golf balls with heads, dropping out of trees and pecking around on the ground like they were eating the snow. They were brown with a little black on their wings and a fluffy tan underside if anyone can tell me what kind they were. I took a picture with my phone but you can’t see them.

The chamber of commerce luncheon was today so I called my son, TJ to come get me and we went. We were late because he would not ask his boss, who is his brother, if he could leave for lunch early! His brother TH, my son also, told him to tell me he loved me and give me a kiss. This is not usual and customary for him so I wonder what’s up. Especially since he came and took me to lunch last Friday which is also not normal. Hmm!
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Wal-Mart gave the chamber all of their leftover Christmas decor, so they gave some to me. I have a giant box of assorted I don’t know what all and 4 cases of scented pine cones! It smells really good in here. The bosses son called to tell me he was having a meeting in my office so it is spotlessly clean now and the bathroom too. I’m glad to have that done since my dad will probably come by tomorrow to tell me happy birthday.

I was reading in The Daily Post about lessons from The Daily Post bloggers and all of the comments section. The comments were mostly about frivolous and boring posts just to get something on here every day. That describes my blog to a T! I know that most of my stuff is not worth reading, but the reason I signed up to blog is to create the daily writing habit. So when I discovered the post-a-day challenge in The Daily Post, I knew this was for me.

My first post just flowed out of me, with very little revision, like words from a natural-born writer. The next day I was brain-dead and have been ever since! I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was able to read Highlights for Children and about how to send stuff in to maybe get published in the magazine. I daydreamed about writing a story as good as Little House on the Prairie or The Boxcar Children even before I was a teenager. I once started writing about finding a tiny person in the woods across the street from my house and letting her live in my Barbie house and wear her clothes but I could never think of an ending so I never finished. Then I read Ralph (mouse on a motorcycle?) and some other story about little people and thought people would just think I was trying to copy those stories so I threw it away.

Then when I was in Jr. High… (I still have work to do and have to go to bed…see ya tomorrow)

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Got Drunk and Missed a Day

Well I haven’t missed a day technically, if I get this in before midnight! But, I really missed a day in time, because I normally post just after midnight.

I spent the entire day yesterday studying how to use Word Press and reading a million other posts. Then my brain was so jumbled that I couldn’t think, not to mention I got discouraged after reading so much good stuff. There’s so many good writers out there that I wondered whatever made me think I could write.

I never made any tea or went to the store for Dr. Pepper like I had been planning all day and now it was dark outside. I was thirsty, but didn’t want to stay away too long from all of the amazing writing I was reading, so I just grabbed a wine cooler and got back to my reading.

My sister had left them there over a week ago when she came over and we played Scrabble. I don’t really drink much at all and we didn’t know what I liked. So, she bought a 4 pack of fuzzy naval wine coolers and a 4 pack of tomato beer. She drank 2 of the beers and I sipped on 1 and a half. She had to drive home and I was sleepy so she left the wine coolers for another time.

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