Monday, May 15, 2017

On Writing

I've been writing for years, like my entire life years, or at least since junior high.  I've written in starts and spurts.  I've had long dry spells, and I've had those moments of scribbling on any piece of paper I could find in my bag.

For me, writing isn't about scribbling out the next great American novel.  It's about getting all the thoughts and ideas out of my head and onto paper.  If something creative comes from all the nonsense, then that's a bonus.

I was never much of a journal keeper until a couple of years ago.  I took it on as a challenge for myself.  Somewhere to just get random stuff out of my head.  Looking back I wish I'd developed this habit years ago, but hindsight is always 20/20.

The type of journal I keep could be referred to as a "commonplace book" or a "brain dump book" or even an "everything book."  I'm not a "dear diary" kind of person, those kinds of restrictions make me hyperventilate and cause writer's block.  I also keep different journals for different things.

My daily journal is a Midori Traveler's Notebook.  I write anything in here daily including quotes, the weather, pictures I took, what we did (especially if we're on vacation), something I found interesting and even personal revolutions on things.  In the past, I've tracked my weight, activity and hours of daylight.  You get the picture - this is my anything goes book.  The journal where I put random thoughts.

Beyond that, there are a few other notebooks, all of which are composition notebooks.  I love comp books, versatile and easy to embellish the covers if desired.  I have one for "morning pages" where I clear my brain of all the stuff that seems to be on repeat in my brain.  The stuff you wish you said.  The stuff you need to do but hate doing.  The things that made you mad or stressed you out at work.  This is just a purge book, a book I rarely go back through.

Next on the comp book list is the one that holds all my free verse writing.  Creative writing needs its own space.  Sometimes it's just a line, sometimes a paragraph and often a complete poem.

The third is a second commonplace book.  I use this book for things I want to do more than jot a few notes about.  Things I'd like to research, kick around more and sort out.  Like when I decided to start writing this blog.  There's a list of notes and ideas, even options for blog names.  This book gives me more space to scratch it all out.

As if these aren't enough journals, there's one more in the stack for reading notes.  As a general rule, I read mostly non-fiction, which leads to note-taking.  Lots of note taking.  Quotes, ideas of notes, little bits of knowledge I want to return to.  This also helps me write book reviews for the blog.

Do you write?  Should you write?  Does the thought give you hives?  Do you wish you could or had the courage?  What keeps you from scribbling in a journal?

Often when I ask these questions of friends they say something like "It'd be a bad idea to write down my thoughts," or "I don't want all my crazy out there for everyone to read."  I think this often comes from the preconceived idea that a journal needs to be a "dear diary" style and that you have to write all your secrets in a book with a lock and key.  While I don't doubt that those kinds of journals exist, I don't think they're as common as many people think.  I think commonplace books are much more common in the world of journalers.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

From My Collection of Quotes & Poems

For Rent

The baby came with the house.
As we walked up the sidewalk,
I saw him through the window lying in a crib.

Summer wind breezed the yellow curtains,
billowing them against railing sides.
He lay watching the flow of the tapestry
as it breathed in and out of the window
and he reached to grasp the edge
as it was inhaled against the wooden window frame,
his expectant eyes peering at me 
through the glass from inside the empty room.

That was why I cried, 
knowing we would never come again.
You see,
the baby came with the house.  

~ by Roxanne Fehlaicer

I've had this in my collection for years, and unfortunately, I can't tell you where it came from.  I know it was a Wyoming Anthology of sorts, published quarterly and that I picked up an issue at a library book sale when I lived in Laramie years ago.  That's where the info stops.  I didn't write down the book name when I copied down the poem and I no longer have the book.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Craving Travel

Torn.  There are so many days that I would like to run away and live in a Winabego, on the open road, thumbing my nose at the world.  That's the point where hubby reminds me we're just too responsible to really do that.  I nod my head and go on with my daydream. Then there are the other days, the days where thinking about giving it all up gives me anxiety and can't cope with the thoughts of how much we'd have to give up to travel full time.

I still have wanderlust and will probably suffer for life.  I like having a house, but honestly the older I get the more I want to travel and what better way to do it than in a moveable house - be it travel trailer, RV or converted bus.

I have a romance in my head of living a traveling life, writing and creating art wherever we go.  Most days I know this a  crazy pipe dream, but days like yesterday I don't care!!!  Days like yesterday make me want to be free and live a life of creating, writing and photographing my journey.  Everyone needs dreams right?  Even if they are a little crazy and somewhat irresponsible for an almost 40-year-old.

Yes, I realize there are people out there doing this very thing daily, many of them are even raising kids on the open road, but we're not them.  We need an income and I'm honestly starting to think neither one of us really has the hustle to be self-employed.  Ok, that's mostly me that I think that about.  I know hubby has no desire nor hustle to pursue the self-employed, travel the world life that I find an itch for on a weekly, if not daily basis.

Right now were sensible people living the daily hustle and bustle of regular jobs, if you can call my job regular.  Monday through Friday people, weekends off.  Living the American dream, but is that really the American dream?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

From My Journal - February 2015

Start again.  
Find your path.  
Look beyond the now.  
Learn to grow.  
Trust your inner self.  
Find courage.  
Step away from comfortable.  
Seek your own peace.  
Be your own light.  
Move past the fear.  
Accept the compliments.  
Be confident in your own skin.  
Accept yourself. 
 Seek your heart's truth. 
Find creative peace.  
Build the path one stone at a time, remember Rome wasn't built in a day.  
Who said that anyway?  
Stop being someone's afterthought.  
Build the success you desire.  
Open your own doors.  
Use your passion.  
Learn to satisfy your personality.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Spring Refresh

Good morning.  Are you sitting down?  Do you have a good cup of coffee?  I hope so because this is gonna be a little long and maybe a little deep.

I know it's been months since I wrote a post, and I'll be honest, I'm not gonna apologize.  I've been working on some personal growth.

At the beginning of the year, I did something I've never done, I picked a phrase to lead me through the year - "Inward Acceptance."  When I picked this phrase I really didn't think it would impact my life that much.  I was wrong.  It's five months later and I'm in such a different place.  I've been exploring a lot of things, so of which are a bit more personal than I want to share here, but good things have happened and are continuing to happen.

I dropped a lot of things and opened myself to my own talents and started telling the world I'm an artist.  This was a HUGE step for me.  I've spent several months drawing, painting and working on things, beyond my card making comfort zone.  This was such an intricate part of my "Inward Acceptance."  The art has done well and is growing slowly.  Check out the art on my website - Inked Inspirations by SLMP.

I feel that my art now has roots and I'm ready for the next two things on my list - writing and photography.  Honestly, it's more like one thing as they are so interwoven.  I started working on writing a few weeks ago and a friend gave me some amazing advice - "Be true to your voice, avoid writing for the reader."  If you're wondering what that is supposed to mean, stick with me.  She went on to explain that if you write for the reader your work will sound forced and your authentic voice will be lost.  No one wants to lose their authentic voice!

I started this blog because I missed writing, but it was starting to seem like I didn't miss it enough to actually write regularly.  Turns out, I've just been forcing my voice, trying to write for the reader, rather than just writing.  I lost my authentic voice.  It's time to get that back.

Beyond the writing is the other facet of my creativity - photography.  I've been taking pictures for over two decades.  Yeah, go ahead and do the math.  I'm 39 and I've been shooting since I was in high school.  I've lost touch with my camera.  It's sitting in a cabinet and it might even be a little dusty.

In October of last year, I started digging through my archives and started a photography blog - Stacy Petersen Photography.  I've taken some amazing shots and I crave this hobby in the nicer weather.  It's time.   Time to dust off the camera bag and start wandering around with my camera again.

So that's it.  That's where I've been and where I'm heading.  Back to me, my creativity, my soul.  I hope you'll come along, but if you don't enjoy what happens along the way, don't feel guilty if what I write doesn't fit your life anymore.  Go find your authentic voice.

Live life, enjoy food, make art, travel, journal, photograph it all.