Sunday, October 1, 2017

Scene & Story - September 2017

September marks the start of my favorite season ~ the Learning Season. I never enjoyed it as a kid, but I loved it as a mother.

I was not an outstanding student, especially in math, there I slipped to the bottom of the pool; but English, English was my life saver. I understood and excelled in reading and given time, I probably would have excelled at writing as well.

When September started this year, I felt compelled to get back to some writing exercises. I scoured my board on Pinterest that held photography/writing prompt lists and picked the one that felt right. Conveniently it was a September Photo A Day list, but I picked it because I loved the first prompt - Music. On September 1st, I sat down at my desk with my word and revived a writing exercise I learned a couple of years ago when I took Laurie Wagner's writing class Telling True Stories. The writing practice is called Wild Writing, fifteen minutes of continuous writing on your chosen word or phrase, pen never leaving the page. Don't try to make sense or correct or edit yourself, just write.

I spent the first two days writing about how I didn't want to write, how I would rather go check the laundry or wash the dishes. In the final two minutes, I would write something about Music. On the third day, I had cleared all that other junk out of my head and could focus on writing something about music. I stuck with the topic day after day as more and more memories continued to emerge. The best one was remembering music class in elementary school, and the blue milk crate that contained the fun instruments like finger cymbals, maracas, and my favorite - the little silver triangle with the silver striker. I even remembered my music teacher's name, which led to a Google search. I learned she had passed away in 2008, had never married but was an awesome aunt, and spent most of her years teaching 2nd grade, not music.

While I dip my toe in and out of writing, I remain fully submerged in photography, so I thought it would be fun to find a little silver triangle and striker and have my daughter hold it so I could photograph it to go with the story I was writing. Of course, I couldn't have a brand new triangle, which I am sure I could have easily found. Oh no, I needed a vintage silver triangle, so off to the antique store I went, and after five antique stores I still hadn't found one.

About this time an email came into my inbox from Laurie Wagner. She was starting a brand new, self-paced e-course called 27 Days of Wild Writing. A daily video with a daily writing prompt for 27 days. Well sign me up, I wasn't getting very far on my own. I am currently on Day 19 and when I finish, I plan to start all over again. What I wrote last month on a prompt will be completely different than what I write this month. That's the beauty and the frustration of life, it is always changing.

So what does the photograph at the beginning of this post have to do with this story? Absolutely nothing, or maybe everything...


  1. I used to meet with a small group of friends once a week to do this kind of writing practice. The four of us had been inspired by Natalie Goldberg at a writers' workshop we attended. We wrote for 10 minutes on the same prompt, then read aloud what we'd written. It was interesting as a writing exercise, but also a psychological one, as certain themes tended to crop up no matter what the prompt was. We got to know one another very well! I enjoyed your story and I like the photo, too. It makes me think of gazing out the window on a rainy day -- the perfect atmosphere for sitting down and writing.

  2. Interesting to read about your writing experiences, Sarah. I have also done intuitive writing on my own, but find it more stimulating when there is a group and interaction between the members and especially with the group leader. Your photo makes a very good abstract!

  3. I love your writing more and more and also find it interesting to read about your writing process and the classes that you take. When I was still living in Germany I used to join writing classes and groups and enjoyed that very much. I tried that again after moving to the States, but it is a very different thing if you suddenly have to write in a different language, one that is actually not your own. It was very frustrating and after the second class (yes, I sat through both of them, never giving up) I left. Since then I have been writing on and off on my won in my native language. As much as I enjoy it, it's not quite the same. Maybe joining an online class would be different, who knows?

  4. Wishing you enjoyment with this class, Sarah, and I hope to see your writing here.
    I love this photograph!
    Have a wonderful week ahead.

  5. It's good to get into something you love, I don't have a the patience for writing but I admire what you're doing.

  6. Vivid memories of the “triangle pings”
    Not “blurred” a bit . . .

  7. Your discipline is to be admired. And I can't figure out what your photo is!! But I like it!

  8. Hi Sarah! I enjoyed reading about how the 'Wild Writing' progressed for you. I have tried similar writing exercises and must not have stuck with it long enough to get all the 'noise' out of my head and on to the good stuff. You have inspired me to try it again sometime. I love the reflections and drops in your picture. Have a great week!

  9. I appreciate your story about your own writing 'adventures' and the online courses you have taken for that. This photo, as I look at it, seems to be calling like a writing prompt to me...making me wonder why there is water, what is underneath it, and what is being reflected in the surface.

  10. So fun to always see all of the innovative and creative things going on in your life! I always have enjoyed writing, and have especially loved my years of journaling.


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)