Writing, Writing Prompts

WOD Challenge 6-17-22 Never Have I Tried a Rye

Never Have I Tried a Rye

I have never tried a rye

Tortillas do me fine

But if I ever tried that bread

I’d pair it with red wine

Good grief! The month is almost gone and I have whiled it away doing almost nothing! Where does the time go? And now I’m feeling under the weather…which is Africa hot btw!

I’ve been busy with church things, working and worrying about Dad’s house, which is over now, and dealing with my grief. Things are improving in general, and Dave and I are planning an out-of-town trip next weekend (hopefully) to go look at some property in east Texas. It is getting close to the time for him to retire and for us to enter into the next chapter/phase of our lives.

I have so many things I want to do but have no energy lately to do them. I’m hoping once I feel better, this will change because I have begun to write things in my head again. Like this silly little poem, I can write whole posts in my head but if I don’t write them down, they’re gone forever. I started my book/essay/whatever and I’m working on my entry for this year’s Literary Taxidermy contest. I still need to sort through pictures of Mom and Dad and get them into the album. We need to start whittling down our belongings because the plan is to downsize when we move. I’m trying to keep several plants alive, and Dave has a nice garden growing that I also keep an eye on. I have choir, practice, and faith-based book club meetings at church that I love, yet will have to leave behind when we move on.

All these things and more are swirling around in my head and I’m trying to get to a point where I feel like straightening things out. I have only worked out once this week because I feel bad, but I am on antibiotics now, so things are hopefully going to improve soon. (stupid body, I can NEVER play without paying for it!)

My office is a nightmare, I think I’m going to cancel my Medium membership because I never write on that platform anymore. I need to find a new one. I was invited to join a Discord writing group yesterday but watched an expose on Discord last night so…I’m thinking not.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, trying to stay cool, or warm wherever you are!

Word of the Day Challenge
Writing, Writing Prompts

WOD Challenge 06-06-2022 A Special Day

Tomorrow is a special day for Dave and me, although we may not celebrate it until Thursday or perhaps the weekend.

Dave and me a couple of months ago.

It will be our 37th anniversary! That, I feel, is great in these days and times. For us, it has been mainly a walk in the park. Sure, we’ve had some ups and downs like every marriage, but it’s been smooth sailing most of the time.

Dave is beginning to consider retirement and we have been talking about moving to a less populated area, like a lake somewhere. Our original dream was to retire to the coast, but due to soaring prices and the increased activity in the Gulf, we talked about moving to a lake instead. The jury is still out on that one.

I will keep you posted as soon as something is on the immediate horizon, I figure sometime after summer.

Wow, it’s been a hot minute since I have been on the computer! It took a long time to reboot, I think it was mad at me for ignoring it for so long. All my blogs for months now have been on the iPad. I am thrilled I still know how to type, lol! I am rusty, and it will take a bit to get back up to the speed I was at when I stopped my transcription lessons (which I need to get back to).

I am still journaling, keeping up with my grief journal, and attending the therapy sessions every Monday night except for the last two weeks. Last Monday was a holiday and the week before, I wasn’t feeling good. I also started an entry for a writing contest, but need to work more on that. I was writing it as a long limerick, but I may change it to a short story. I have enough limericks saved now for a book if I choose to do that. Speaking of books, I have been longing to write one. I even have a working title- Why Don’t You Care?

It is going to be about the state of the medical community and society in general. I feel that in the aftermath of COVID and the increased downfall of society, there is a general sense of apathy in the working world. Not only the working world but the whole world. Have you not noticed that?? Just think about it for a minute.

But on to happier subjects.

My dad’s house is mostly cleaned out after this past weekend and the photographer is coming to take pictures to list it on the market! Yea! I feel bittersweet about this. I was a bit emotional on Saturday and again yesterday when I walked through and saw the empty rooms. It must be done, however, so we can all move on with our lives.

I need to get back to regular exercise, I have been slacking-except for times in the pool. Even though I don’t do traditional exercises, my legs never stop moving. During the summer, I try to spend as much time in the pool as possible. But I need to keep on walking and working with lighter weights to shape up. So, I’m off to do that before Dave gets home and before I have to go to grief counseling.

Have a good Monday everyone!

Word of the Day Challenge
Writing, Writing Prompts

Last Class 4-06-22

Last night was the last in the Creative Writing Masterclass at church and it was the best one yet!

My answer to Linda G Hill’s prompt for One-Liner Wednesday

This was two hours before class.

First, we had a guest speaker who is very experienced in writing memoirs because he has already written his own. Just to get to hear some of what he has written was a real treat! He is such a gifted writer!

“I want to read your novel because I’m sure you’ve written one!”

That’s what I told him (Rob) when he was done with his readings and our lesson for the day.

So now we know the difference between memoir vs autobiography, and we know how to write a memoir based on our memories and perceptions of just when we know Christ was in our life. For me, it wasn’t a particular day, I looked back on my life experiences and wrote how God had put me in all the right places and situations. I thought after rewriting it three times, surely I had it wrong, but they enjoyed it…but the teachers didn’t hear it, so I still don’t know if it was “correct” or if ALL memoir is correct because it’s your perceptions and memories of how things occurred.

But Rob was so eloquent and so detailed in all his writing about one small situation or two, I wished I was the family he was leaving it to so I could read the entire thing. He knows how to show-not-tell and that is what I still struggle with. I am not the most flowery writer, yet I know I have it in me somewhere, I just need to listen to feedback from other people and take their advice. That is what I enjoyed about this class. The fact that I got so hyped up and excited after every class made me feel like I’d found my people!! That is what has been missing, trying to do it alone. We all need fellowship, feedback, and of course, instruction. Tips and tricks of the trade.

We had to write a few small vignettes like our first kiss, our favorite vacation, and the night before our weddings. We heard some really cute and funny stories.

As we were leaving, I was invited to come back for Bible Study this morning and I went and it was nice. It’s a pretty large group, and they are studying the book “The Will of God.” The discussion got very philosophical. Plus, I’m meeting more and more members of my church and that is a great thing!

Now I’m wanting to join the choir if Dave doesn’t care, and they said they really need me because I’m an alto and they are very short on those. 😉

One-Liner Wednesday
Writing, Writing Prompts

WOD Challenge 3-18-22 Balter Like Elaine

Any other Seinfeld fans in the house?

Photo credit: Tenor

As soon as I saw the meaning of today’s Word of the Day- Balter, all I could picture was Elaine in that famous scene where she is dancing to an Earth, Wind, and Fire song, and now every time I hear that song, that is all that comes to mind.

Have you ever danced with careless abandon, like no one is watching? Jay-lyn I’m talking to you, 🤣😂

Similar dance move 🤣

Seriously though, I used to be like that. So much so, that I did the high kicks and everything, thinking everyone was as into watching me as I was having the time of my life while doing it. It wasn’t until I went to a club one night with my brother that I was told I looked like a fool. I didn’t care! I definitely didn’t look like Elaine, but I DID have my own signature moves, and when I was in the service, guys always wanted to dance with me.

Maybe it was cool at the time, or maybe I was the butt of a secret joke, either way, I didn’t let it change me or the way I danced. Plenty of guys wanted pictures with me after seeing me dance, and I still have them. They don’t look like they are making fun of me as far as I can see.

To balter is to “dance clumsily with no particular skill but usually with enjoyment.” Well, I certainly enjoyed myself back then but I thought I had skills and still do. But isn’t enjoyment the bottom line, the real reason we dance to begin with? I like to think so. I sure embarrassed the heck out of my brother, though, and that kinda makes me laugh to this day.

Changing gears and speaking of my brother, yesterday, he invited me to come to his house for lunch and we ate and had a good talk…some more grief therapy for me-and maybe him-too. Then, we got into a sort of biblical conversation and as we were talking, he told me about a very cool app called Verse by Verse Ministry that you can download from the app store that “teaches you God’s word, clearly and boldly in it’s proper historical and theological context, and for the purposes God has ordained: to persuade the unbeliever of the truth of the Gospel.” I am a believer by the way, but it’s good to study the Scripture in any case.

I started on it today with the current chapter and verse, which was Mark Chapter 2:18-22. I don’t know if I want to keep going with that or dive into Revelation, but the beauty is, you can start where you want to. It’s free, and let me tell you, it breaks each scripture down to the point where anyone patient enough to get through each lesson will come away knowing more than they ever thought they would! My lesson today was around an hour long, and I really enjoyed it. I did it while I was doing my Diamond Art instead of watching something on Hulu…certainly a more wholesome choice! (not that watching Hulu is bad)

I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about the Word of God or just wants a spiritual experience to check into it. I have read the Bible, but not this way. This is studying the Bible, there’s a difference! I’m so glad my brother shared it with me, therefore, I’m excited to share it with you.

Have a spectacular weekend everyone! May you be blessed by the grace of God.

Word of the Day Challenge
Writing, Writing Prompts

Masterclass and New Assignment

Photo credit: Unsplash

Last night was my second class in creative writing at the church’s masterclass.

I have to admit, I almost didn’t go, yet I’m so glad I did. I had not been feeling well yesterday and I now have an appointment with my eye doctor because I am also not seeing well. Anyway, I think I heard the one thing I needed to hear in class last night which might explain why I keep getting so many rejections from the editors I send my work to.

  1. BARF!
  2. Rewrite/revise
  3. Polish

That’s it!

BARF is another way of saying “get it on the page.” I don’t do that. It’s kind of like a brain dump where you take all your ideas and just write them down in no particular order. Then you move on to the next step where you rewrite and revise. I don’t do that enough either. I tend to write a story, edit for basic grammar and punctuation and then I hit send with no real revision. I guess I hate to “kill my darlings” or something, but it must be that to keep on getting rejected as much as I do. (I’m talking about paying markets, not platforms like Medium) Then polish. Nope. I haven’t been doing that either. I write the story and if it moves me, I hit send. UGH! I feel really dumb and kind of full of myself. How could I think I don’t need editing? That is why you should take classes or be involved in a writing group that can give you positive (or negative) feedback.

On top of all that, I have not exactly been following the proper 5-step structure of a short story. More like a 3-step process: Introduce the setting and characters, state the “problem” or conflict, write the ending. NEVERMIND steps 3 and 4; 3 being the stakes are raised and 4 being the climax or big moment. THEN, comes the resolution/reflection or number 5 in the process. I have a lot of work to do.

For next week, we are to write a shorter version of a short story so that all four of us have time to share them. Somewhere around 600-800 words, I would guess. So now I have to create something and I am not good at that. I will give it a shot though. I did share my poem from last week and it was well-received. If I just slow down and take my time, stop worrying that I should be doing something else, I will get it done. And this time, I won’t share it unless it goes over well in class. 😉

I’m also ashamed that I shared the address to my blog without prefacing that it is not always the best example of my writing, it’s more like a mishmash of things. I save creative writing for Medium publications or paying markets and I keep it pretty real here and write about more daily life kinds of things. Although I do share stories and poems every now and then. I need to make more of an effort to get my work in front of you, my fellow bloggers, so you can give me that constructive criticism I obviously need!! I’ll try to do better!

The other important takeaway from the class was that we should never forget “The ultimate job of a story is to entertain.”

With that, I leave you this!