If you've read my ramblings before, you may recall that in July 2014 my husband and I sold the lovely home we designed ourselves and had contractors build for us. We loved this house that was perfect for us and for our kids when
they visited, but we could see the house and yard work were getting too much for us to look after.
Sparing you the details, the Norwegian and I ended up moving three times in three years. Even with much help from our adult kids, moving and resettling three times was exhausting. That plus serious health problems for Hank and minor ones for me have kept us busy attending doctor's appointments and medical tests.
A Tale of Three Houses
The first house was too much work.
|The Naked Bulb in the Rafters|
The third was just right,
And we are thankful for it all.
InSights from InScribe
InSight #1: Appreciating My New Space
We have room for the kids to stay over and I have a huge office in the semi-finished basement. Recently I Marnie Polman's blog, called "Secret Mission."
"Peering over the writer's shoulder," she begins, "like an annoying supervisor, the naked light bulb dangling from the ceiling gives the impression of light while effectively casting shadows that hide the dust of neglect littered throughout the room."
How does she know what my oversized office looks like and what state it is in? I wondered.
|My stash of journals, daybooks, and binders|
Since we are renting, we won't be closing in the ceiling or putting in fancy fixtures. I do, however, love my quiet space down here.
The kids have moved back my bookshelves and cupboards I didn't have place for in House #1 or House #2. Just see what I can do in the space I have.
InSight #2: Comparing Journals and Writer's Notebooks
Sandi Somers, I felt reassured to read your title, "On Journals and Writers' Notebooks", because I'm not ready to give up my journals to start something new. I have been journal writing for decades. In the earlier days my journals were coil-ringed notebooks, which included everything from soup recipes to nutty quips.
Then came the acid-free age where pages would be safe into the next millennium. I bought the gel pens and away I wrote, not knowing if anyone besides me would ever care to read them. I wrote for permanence and I wrote more neatly. On the other side of my brain, I tried to figure out who I would trust to "burn them when I was gone."
InSight #3: The Day Book, a Must for Me
The last decade or so, I have also kept a day book, where I record basically what I/we did that day. This has come in handy for writing plans and respecting deadlines, for medical notes, ideas, shopping, and whatever.
Since these day books can be hard to find, I hunt for my book early in the fall for the next year. This past year new people took over the drug store/Christian book store in our town and I had to special order this one.
Details for the day planners I've been using for several years:
* about 16 cm by 22.5 cm
* contains charts you may find helpful
* year planner for current year and next year
* monthly budget pages
* monthly spiritual theme with biblical and other quotes
* daily quotes to go with monthly theme
* place for hourly entries, which I ignore
* zipper cased and bookmarked with a ribbon
InSight #4: Purse-Sized Notebook
I am keeping a watch out for a Fat Little Wireless Notebook like the one Shirley Tye mentions in her blog, "Don't Leave Home Without It." The Day Book above doesn't, alas, fit in my purse.
InSight #5: Journal Writing
I have read with interest what other InScribers say about journal writing. For some, it has become ho-hum. For others, it causes angst when they are not able to keep up with it. I agree with Dayna Mazzuca when she says, "(Daily) journalling is essential to my soul, my craft and my coherence." She explains that if she goes too long without writing in her journal, she becomes "a mess" and "bereft" and (gasp)" hard to live with.
I don't write in my journal daily, but when I do, I expand on observations, concerns, anecdotes, memories, books I'm reading, prayers . . .
InSight #6: Morning Pages
Hmm! Have I covered my bases with my journals and my day book? Or is there something else. I read with interest Sandra Somer's resource-rich blog and I am trying a new tactic. Taking to heart what Sandi wrote about The Writer's Way by Julie Cameron, I reached for the book covered in dust mites and standing on one of my bookshelves.
|My morning pages await me.|
I am studying the introductory part of the book before getting into the weekly exercises. Thanks, Sandi, for reminding me of this resource, which seems to be the gas I need for my engine right now. I am on Day 4 of my morning pages. Although I had done something similar when I read and wrote with Henrietta Klauser's book, Writing on Both Sides of the Brain, all things old became new for me.
I have bookmarked your blog, Sandi, for further reference
InSight #7: The Writer's Notebook
I can't do all of these activities every day, but I plan to experiment with a writer's notebook. I chair our Women Word Weavers meeting tomorrow. For this, I found an inexpensive sketch book for each of our members, which we'll crack open tomorrow.
I am not the expert on this, but we have one member who has used a writer's notebook for years. We have another writer who has filled several art/writer's notebooks, which are beautiful books to "read."
My survey shows that our writing buddies are willing to give this a go.
We can begin by listing writing ideas and activities for the summer. We can review, or write, personal mission statements--thanks Ruth Snyder for reminding me of this necessity in one of your recent FB posts. In the fall, when I'm chairperson again and have had time to try this more, we can take our writer's notebooks to the next level.
I'd like my notebook to be visual "art", of which my specialty would be collage. This will be my attempt at "playing with the art of writing." Please wish me luck or pray that this leads us further in using our gifts to glorify God.
InSight #8: Gratitude
I am thankful for for the members of InScribe and our satellite group for being with me on this writing journey. In a recent e-mail to me, Connie Inglis, InScribe Spiritual Advisor, mentioned Paul's first letter to the Corinthians: 1:21-31.
To see this scripture with new eyes,
I read this passage in several translations, including The Message. Eugene Peterson closes the chapter with,
"If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."
I write with gratitude to God for InScribe, for writing companions on the journey and for the gift of writing which is mine to develop and use for his glory.
Thanks be to God for creating us as creative beings!