Wednesday, September 9, 2015

That Pesky Little Thing Called "Life" by Kathy Halsey

We all have those days when we chalk up a zero for creativity. Life can intervene in our writing. How inconvenient, but yet...
how scintillating. Just be ready with an open mind to change a frantic day into the WRITE day for you.
The Day Begins
A driver with a suspended license ran a red light, totaled my car, and pretty much made August a mess. I was in court a month later to testify. You know courts-confusing, long waits, legalese, and no resolve. I was ready for an all day marathon. I was also ready to sneak in my writing time. 

  • Book? Check-Gary Schmidt's THE WEDNESDAY WARS. One of my current WIPs is a middle grade, and I wanted to reread the MG as a mentor text.
  • Notebook and pen? Check-I know courts are full of interesting characters and, sometimes, drama. 
  • Camera? No. I wish my phone camera was better, but I did not want to lug another thing to court. 
As court opened, I sped past the historic placard that began "On this sight in 1800-something or other," to find courtroom 13A. I was dismissed in 45 minutes and only read a chapter or so of Gary's book. I marked some pertinent passages with effective use of repetition for later. Yay, I had accomplished something "writerly."
After Court
Relieved to have almost the entire afternoon for myself, I waited outside for my hubby to pick me up. I had time to inspect that historic marker. Until I began writing non-fiction, I never ever read these things. I was thunder-struck. (Hey, it's been raining daily in Columbus for WEEKS.) 
  • I needed that camera, but I had my trusty notebook. 
  • I slowed down, observed, and found a story smack in the middle of that historic sign. No one else even glanced at it!
  • I found a tidbit about the first German/Lutheran to settle in Columbus. He was baker, helped found a local university, and participated in The Great Squirrel Hunt of 1882. 
  • Whaaat? Facts can be more fun than fiction. Here's a story in the making! Feeling groovy; feeling "writerly" again!
Bluegrass Connection
Husband Bob commandeered the VW bug through downtown and off to a music store. Sigh! I wanted to go home and WRITE. While Bob stroked banjos and thumbed through sheet music, I wandered through a place that felt like your aunty's old attic. The storefront was crammed to the rafters-flyers, invites to bluegrass picking venues, and wait...books!
Not just music books but odd books: COWBOY SONGS, JOKES, LINGO 'N LORE (with cowboy insults); TAKE TWO & BUTTER 'EM. All from company/publisher Native Ground Books and Music. The cowboy book has some great ideas to spice up another WIP of mine with a Western theme. 
The Whole Day in a Nutshell
(Image courtesy of author/artist Teresa Robeson)
  • Always be on the lookout for writerly stuff.
  • Take time to enjoy your surroundings to find your writerly path for the day.
  • All of life is a story. You just have to have the WRITE point of view!

22 comments:

  1. Glad that the whole crash issue is being resolved. Great inspiration here Kathy. You learned a lot!

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  2. I'm so relieved that you weren't badly hurt in the accident, Kathy...and thrilled that you got a bunch of story ideas out of the incident!

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  3. The Great Squirrel Hunt? So glad you had your eyes open for opportunities, Kathy! I've had a hard time lately squeezing writing time in, too. But much can be accomplished in tiny bits. Glad to know you're feeling better.

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    1. And your book is coming out. That's a big bit. Congrats.

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  4. What an important lesson: you think one thing is happening, but if you let go of your attachment (this is "court day) and open your eyes to the present, you find so much more. Thanks!

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    1. I appreciate you stopping by to read this, Sue.

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  5. ...AND you also found the subject for a helpful post. Entertaining to read how you found writing gems instead of merely enduring the events. Thanks for your insights!

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    1. Pat, you always make the best of situations, just following your lead.

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  6. Since life always seems to interfere with writing...making the most of interference worked for you. Thanks for the reminder to "seize the moment" regardless of the circumstances. Some of our best stories come from such places. Stay well!

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  7. My whole year has been off and on writing more off than on. I've had one family high or low moment after another and just now am finally trying to get a writing schedule together again as I help my son's family following a surgery he needed. This post really 'spoke' to me today! :) I love that you found two books to take home.

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    1. Kim,may the time appear for you and may health follow your family. Blessings.

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  8. Great post, Kathy! Glad your trip to court was worthwhile.;-) What a fabulous find. Now we know to keep our eyes open at all times.

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    1. Jarm, I lov show you always have your eyes open to the beauty God provides.

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  9. Take Two and Butter 'em. Love that title! But I want to know why you didn't give us a cowboy insult or two. I may need them someday. I did take a little peek at the publisher. I'm trying to learn how to play the ukulele, so this may be of help. Who knew that when I clicked through on Grog, I could find something to help me make better music? And I, too, am very glad you weren't totaled along with the machinery. Cheers to good fortune!

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    1. Jilanne, I'll post a few insults just for YOU.

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  10. Dear Kathy,
    Reading about your car wreck still gives me the shivers & I wasn't n-e-where near it.
    Effective writing!
    Luv that you found your writer bliss in the music store & with that historic marker.
    It's clear your shimmer with gre8t eyedears & powerful intent.
    Thanks for sharing a bit of your process - it's a very engaging post.

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    1. Ah, Jan, you write such wonderfully supportive lines for us all.

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