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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Monday’s Art and Quotes

The rooster walks with intent, wearing indifference as his charm. -- Illustration by Pat Bean

The rooster walks with intent, wearing indifference as his charm. — Illustration by Pat Bean

On Writing

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.” – Norbet Platt

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton  Chekhov

“Easy reading is damn hard writing”. – Nathaniel Hawthorne

 “I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when here was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it. – Ernest Hemingway

 “All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.      

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Wind Against Current http://tinyurl.com/k3mv8dp Fiddling along, crab style. I think these crabs look like pieces of art.

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Yesterday's art and the first piece in a new journal that I have promised myself I'm going to add a daily quick sketch.

Yesterday’s art … a scene captured on the hop. — Quick sketch by Pat Bean

            “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

            ‘If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” – Thomas Aquina

A Journey through the Mind  

Pepper taking a break on the picnic table after a hard run around the dog park. She got groomed later this day.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper taking a break on the picnic table after a hard run around the dog park. She got groomed later this day. — Photo by Pat Bean

          As a young, but erratic journal keeper, I quickly realized that what I would write one day would not be the same thing I would write the next day. Not only is memory an infallible tool, life changes us every day.

No one puts this reality into luscious words better than Vita Sackville-West in my favorite writing quote:

   “It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.”

While it can be confusing, irritating and even debilitating occasionally, I’m glad my mind, and hence my writing, is constantly in a state of flux. It’s a byproduct of my eagerness to learn something new each and every day, and my willingness to take my ship into unknown waters.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat:  The Return of the Modern Philosopher http://tinyurl.com/m3udejl A very large umbrella solves the problem. This blogger usually has a very upside down view of life. He makes me laugh.

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A Rainy Day in Tucson

      “Poetry is not the most important thing in life. I’d much rather lie in a hot bath reading Agatha  Christie and sucking sweets.” – Dylan Thomas

I was doing sky exercises with my watercolors, and came up with this one for a stormy day.

I was doing sky exercises with my watercolors, and came up with this one for a stormy day.

And It Captured too Much of my Attention 

It rained here in Tucson yesterday, a hard downpour that pretty much kept up a steady pace from early morning until mid-afternoon. I got drenched twice trying to walk dogs during pauses in the rain. But each time it began raining again before I could get back under a roof.

I  titled this one "After the Storm."

I titled this one “After the Storm.”

I’ve always loved rainstorms, but there seems to be something magical when rain falls in the desert. My neighbor said she watched the patterns of raindrops as they flowed on and off the leaves of the tree that shades her balcony for hours.

I also watched the rain — but only for a few minutes at a time. Even as an old broad, it’s hard for me to stay still doing nothing for long.

Instead, I found myself frequently glancing at the rain out the window that sits in front of my computer, while I tried to do a serious job of line-proofing my book, “Travels With Maggie.” It seemed like a good occupation for a rainy day.

Or maybe not.

I just reread some of what I had proofed yesterday, and found missed mistakes. Some days I don’t think there is an end in sight.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Martha died 100 years ago this month.  http://tinyurl.com/pvoaxsk Who is Martha, you ask? Check out this blog and find out.

 

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“Oh, I want what we all want: a comfortable couch, a nice beverage, a weekend of no distractions, a book that will stop time, lift me out of my quotidian existence and alter my thinking forever.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

There's noting better than a nice walk through a scenic landscape, such as this boardwalk loop at Point Pelee National Park in Canada. Some of my best ideas come to me on such walks. --  Photo by Pat Bean

There’s noting better than a nice walk through a scenic landscape, such as this boardwalk loop at Point Pelee National Park in Canada. Some of my best ideas come to me on such walks. — Photo by Pat Bean

Or Perspiration?

            I’m always being asked where I get my blogging ideas. A good answer would be everywhere.

Or how about this boardwalk trail outside of Galveston. It, too, would make for a good idea walk. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Or how about this boardwalk trail outside of Galveston. It, too, would make for a good idea walk. — Photo by Pat Bean

But I have noticed that they mostly come when I’m sitting still, perhaps drinking my morning coffee on my balcony, staring out at Mount Lemmon as the day comes to life, or when I’m soaking in my bathtub, thinking of nothing much but shaving my legs.

I also get ideas in my dreams at night – but unless I write these down immediately, they disappear before I sit down to drink that first cup of coffee.

The funny thing is that when I do sit down in front of my computer – the perspiration of writing – to put an idea into words, it’s not unusual for a slew of other ideas, usually better ones, to take over my writing fingers.

So I guess the best answer to where my ideas come from is my butt – when it sits itself down to write. I guess that’s why “Butt to Chair” is the No. 1 writing tip of all times.          

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

  Bean Pat: Zen Pencils http://tinyurl.com/mq5lqdp  Funny cartoon with great message. I loved it.

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            “I love playing. The keyboard is my journal” – Pharrell Williams

            “I think the word ‘blog’ is an ugly word. I just don’t know why people can’t use the word ‘journal.’” — Moby

Should I write about the butterflies I saw at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix for my blog or my journal? Does it matter. Does anyone care? -- Photo by Pat Bean

Should I write about the butterflies I saw at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix for my blog or my journal? Does it matter. Does anyone care? — Photo by Pat Bean

What Do You Think?

            I’m reading Dinty Moore’s book, “Crafting the Personal Essay.” It’s good. Really good! I’ve been reading a chapter every morning with my coffee – and taking lots of notes.

Mother Nature's wonders, I believe, are meant to be shared with the world. So I guess that means they belong in a blog and not a private journal. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Mother Nature’s wonders, I believe, are meant to be shared with the world. So I guess that means they belong in a blog and not a private journal. — Photo by Pat Bean

This morning’s session, however, cost me.

Dinty thinks it is important to write things readers might care about and be interested in reading; and I realized that what I had written didn’t sound interesting – even to me. Well, except for the quotes, which I do find thought-provoking.

My first draft of this blog, however, was taking too many words to say simply that. Thankfully, I have learned that the delete key is often the best editor.

As for the difference between blogging and journaling, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the audience.  My journal is for my eyes only, and my blog is for the entire world to read. And I hope they do.           

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat Are Blogs the New Journal? http://tinyurl.com/mu6lelo This was my inspiration for today’s blog, but the subject matter is one I have pondered now for over a year.

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“The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.” – Flannery O’Connor

The large X Marks the Spot painting that hangs in my living room that was a gift to me from my artist friend Richard Sheppard.

The large X Marks the Spot painting that hangs in my living room, which was a gift to me from my artist friend Richard Sheppard.

A Silly Game

            My mornings begin by walking my canine companion, Pepper, and then returning to my apartment for a cup of bold, cream-laced coffee, during which time I plan my day by writing down everything I want to accomplish in my daily notebook.

A painting my Wassily Kandinsky, an artist whose work I love.

A painting my Wassily Kandinsky, an artist whose work I love.

The list is usually lengthy – and most certainly undoable. But, since I don’t suffer from OCD, I get pleasure in crossing out anything on the list that I do complete, and accepting that what’s left over makes a starting point for the next day.

Often, as I drink my coffee, I look up at a painting that was a gift to me from my friend Richard Sheppard. It’s titled X Marks the Spot.

My imagination asks me which X represents me this particular day.  Do I feel energized like a red X, happy or giddily like a yellow X, or strong and determined like a black X.? I know it’s silly, but it’s a game I’ve been playing for years.

This morning, as I drank my coffee and looked at the painting, I thought of the opening line of an Indiana Jones movie in which the professor said “X never marks the spot.” But of course it did.

Then I decided that my X for this day would be the biggest black one I could find. It would represent my determination to keep my newly created resolution to write three hours a day. I’ve learned that if I at least mark off this item on my long list, I will feel a sense of achievement that will put a big smile on my face.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pats: Spiced Memories http://tinyurl.com/n3vsf7v  and Wassily Kandinsky http://tinyurl.com/lx9ou9d I liked these two blogs because they sent me on a research mission to learn more. I checked out the photo on Spiced Memories, and found a creative spice commercial that was truly artsy-fartsy. And the second blog introduced me to an artist whose work has now made the list of my favorites, along with the paintings of Homer Winslow, Van Gogh and Emil Nolde’s colorful interpretations of life that goes on around us. The Internet is so much better than the encyclopedia volumes that my curious mind devoured before the world-wide-web became a daily part of my life.

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I feel like the past nine days have been like a storm on the horizon keeping me holed up inside of myself.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

I feel like the past nine days have been  a storm on the horizon that has kept me holed up inside of myself. — Photo by Pat Bean

So Many Questions, Only One Answer

            My goal for this year was to post three times a week. Mostly I met it, and even sometimes exceeded it. But it’s been nine days since I posted on this blog. Nine unproductive days in which I have done nothing that gave me a sense of achievement.

It feels good to have weathered that storm, and to once again be on the path I chose for myself. While I've thought about other paths, they aren't the ones that sustain me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

It feels good to have weathered that storm, and to once again be on the path I chose for myself. While I’ve thought about other paths, they aren’t the ones that sustain me. — Photo by Pat Bean

Now I’m asking myself why I keep on keeping on. Why do I continue to struggle to get my book, “Travels with Maggie,” published? Why do I continue to send out my travel articles and other essays to markets when I get more rejections than acceptances? Why do feel I must write every day?

I think about giving it all up, simply living this third trimester of my life lazing about. I would have to be quite frugal, but I’ve done that all my life. I long ago realized money is nice to have, but has nothing to do with happiness.

The truth is, my past nine days of lazing about morphed the happy person I’ve always been into someone I suddenly didn’t know, or particularly like.

Now, however, as I ponder these questions in the way I do best – with my fingers on my computer in front of a blank page – I find myself smiling. It feels amazing and wonderful to once again be the person I have come to know and love.

I guess that’s my answer to why I keep on keeping on.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: To Girls of all Age http://tinyurl.com/ld44qas I love this message. It touched my soul.

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