Monthly Archives: October 2020

OctPoWriMo Day 27


Today’s prompt is magic/magical, but I’m going with mystic/mystery.

Form: Terzanelle

 help me see the mystery
 far more exists than what I can see
 reality hidden by a veil
 for what exists is more than I see
 I wander along a rocky trail
 how do I reveal the truth I sense
 reality hidden by a veil
 wandering a path from ages hence
 how do I live the truth I reveal
 how do I reveal the truth I sense
 how do I live up to the ideal
 I long to discover my true soul
 how do I live the truth I reveal
 how long until I am truly whole
 and use my power as intended
 I long to discover my true soul
 my life so far has been pretended
 far more exists than what I can see
 I use my power as intended
 for what exists is more than I see 


Brain Dump

elements of fiction
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on

My plan for today’s post was to give you a list of writing exercises to try. Many years ago, I was president of the local Christian Writers Club, and one of the things I used to do for meeting programs (when we weren’t critiquing) was lead writing exercises.

For inspiration, I looked at my writing prompts page on Pinterest. Then I googled writing exercises and found this wonderful collection of writing exercises from David Mamet that, frankly, is better than anything I would have come up with.  So instead, I’m recommending you read it and try some of the exercises. (Keep scrolling down in the above article. It’s partially an advertisement for MasterClasses. But scrolling for the content will be worth it.) I felt so inspired by the article that I decided I’m going to try these exercises, too. The first suggestion is freewriting, which I used to do regularly many years ago when I worked through Julie Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. So that’s what I did. I’ve included what I wrote yesterday, just in case you’ve never freewritten and you think it might need to be good. (It doesn’t. In some ways, it serves as a brain dump, a way to get rid of the stuff that’s clogging your mind so you can get rid of it and get on to something more creative.) Here goes:

I haven’t written morning pages in a while. It is a good exercise to get your writing muscles going in the morning. The idea is just to keep typing, free writing whatever comes to mind, and don’t edit.

Write as fast as you can and let it flow from your stream of consciousness. Maybe steam of consciousness would be a good term—steam powered, or powered from the steam of your consciousness.

Steam reminds me of fog. I remember one really foggy Sunday morning a few years ago where we started to go to church and then turned around and went home after one mile because the visibility was so low I was afraid we’d get in an accident. We don’t get a lot of fog in Arizona.

It is now fall in Arizona. Yesterday the high was 87; today’s high will be 67. I am wearing jeans today for the first time since maybe March.

Tonight’s low will be 47. That means 6:30 tomorrow morning when I take the dog out in the back yard, I’ll have to put a sweater on him and a bathrobe over my nightie.

Ralph (the dog) shivers at 60 degrees. I don’t.

Too many doctor appointments this week—mostly Greg’s.

My CAT scan appointment got rescheduled because insurance hasn’t given approval yet. I thank God for insurance, but I wish they weren’t so slow.

National Cat Day is coming up. This is the first year in 19 years that we don’t have a cat. I miss them (especially Zoe and Cloud), but not so much that I want another.

There’s not much of anything that I want right now, but I’d like a new stereo system. Do they even make them anymore? I’d love a good quality CD changer and a turntable and a radio receiver. Our components have died, one by one. Thirty-two years old.

Christmas will be different this year. I wonder if we could have the kids all come at different times—one for breakfast, one for lunch, one for dinner, one for dessert. They may miss being together at the same time—it’s so long since they’ve seen each other. I’ll have to ask.

Three pages used to be what I wrote for morning pages. How did I do that?

Bible study tonight. I’ll have to refill my water bottle beforehand and make sure I’ve got my book and my notebook. Thank God for Zoom.

I wonder who the new associate pastor will be.

I wonder if we will have handbell choir or vocal choir this season.

Covid sucks.

Ducks. Ducks swimming in ponds. Ducks eating white bread. I remember my father taking my kids to the Cow Pond and feeding the ducks, just like we did when we were kids. Good times.

I remember having swimming lessons in the river through Parks and Recreation. I remember the summer I had tennis lessons for 50 cents a week.

I remember my one and only swimming trophy—most improved. I was so proud.

And I broke the trophy by taking it to school with me in my book bag.

Our school had terrazzo floors. They were so pretty.

I never got to have hot lunch at school. Sometimes they had minestrone. It smelled so good. I was so jealous. About ten years ago I found a minestrone recipe and learned how to make it myself. Desire satisfied.

Three pages. Seems impossible. I have a feeling this will be an abbreviated session.

I wonder if it will still be beneficial. I guess it’s good typing practice. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. All the letters of the alphabet. Alphabet soup. Remember alpha bits cereal? How much fun when a word accidentally spelled itself in your bowl.

Spelling bees. So much fun—so much stress. I loved them but rarely won. I was a bad loser.

Bee stings—not fun. I haven’t been stung since I was small, and then only twice. Why never as an adult? We get a lot of bees in our flowers. If I were smaller, it would have bothered me, but not anymore.

Ice cream cones. Soft ice cream. Vanilla/chocolate swirl. (We used to call it “squirrel.”)

I like sugar cones best. And waffle cones.

I remember the first time being asked to the Fireman’s Fair by a boy (and his sister) and him asking me if I could finish a large soft-serve cone. I insisted I could. I couldn’t.

The Fireman’s Fair was a wonderful event. Carnival games, rides, 50/50 drawings.

Do volunteer fire departments still exist? Maybe only in small towns. That’s all I knew wqhen I was growing up. It’s hard for me to leave a typo, but no editing. Although I did correct some others.

Three pages, huh? Maybe not.

I remember when I used to write a lot of words at a time—like over 1000. Now I seldom write more than 500 words a day. I’m already up to 830 now. Yay!

As late as August, there were still people who said the pandemic was a hoax. They’d ask “Do you know anyone who has it?” I think now everyone knows someone who has had it. Or died of it.

I made lots of masks. But I wash and wear the same ones over and over. I have favorite masks.

I can’t believe people are letting their kids trick or treat this year. Last year we only got a couple of trick or treaters. I think I’m going to turn off my porchlight and not answer the door this year.

I remember when I used to sew costunes for my kids.  They I worried about the dark nature of the holiday and downplayed it alrtogether.

I’m making sutpicd mistakes and I hate not correcting them.

I’m going to stop at two pages. I’ve already got 979 words, not bad for stream of consciousness. Or stream of unconsciousness—what would that look like?

More fun than a barrel of monkeys. I had that toy as a kid. That was fun. I liked linking them, making as long a chain of them as I could. I’m stopping now.

Monday Morning Wisdom #281

Monday Morning Wisdom #281

You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men. ~Sir Max Beerbohm

OctPoWriMo Day 25


The prompt is breaking the rules.

experimenting with anarchy
stretching the limits
breaking all the rules
transitioning into chaos
disdaining order
defying respectability
today I will not brush my teeth
I will exceed the speed limit
and not come to a complete stop at the stop sign
nor engage my parking brake
I will leave off the period at the end of my sentence
and not capitalize arizona
I will skip my vegetables
and eat dessert first
my rebellion has a time limit
disobedience makes me anxious
back to normal tomorrow


Sunday Trees: Pomegranate


More Sunday Trees.

From the Creator’s Heart #278


Octangling Day 24


I was uninspired by the Inktober prompt, so I defaulted to my zentangle group’s challenge. This is Crux by Henrike Bratz:

The Creative Soul


I’ve been introspective lately, thinking about big topics, such as the presence of God in our lives. I want to be a person who is led by God, and I’m having trouble hearing Him. This would normally be a topic for my Religion and Politics page, but I’m going to leave it here, in the main part of my blog, because it’s also related to creativity.

God is the Creator, and He made us in His image. That means that to a certain lesser extent, we are creators also. We’re cooks and builders and artists and inventors. We make stuff.

I believe my ideas come from God, but sometimes I don’t know what to do with them. I’ve come to a dead stop on some of my books because I know they have the potential to be so much more than they are, and I don’t know how to get them there. I need God to show me what His plan for my work is. I want to catch His vision. I want to plug into His creative power, but I don’t know how to access it. Where is it? Can I reach it with my mind? Or is it deeper still? Is it in my heart? My soul? My spirit?

I’ve prayed about it, and waited quietly for an answer, but it’s been months and I haven’t heard anything yet. And so I wonder.

A book I’ve been reading with my Bible study group mentioned that the soul knows when you’re on the wrong path. I feel like I’m on the wrong creative path and I’m searching for the right one, but I’m so lost. I sensed a whisper that I should define soul, so I’m following a rabbit trail trying to get a handle on it.

Is my soul the same thing as my spirit? I googled the difference between soul and spirit, and one of the articles that came up looked at scripture for answers.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NIV).” The way the sentence is structured in the original Greek infers that we are made up of three distinct parts: spirit, soul, and body.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (NIV).” You can divide the soul from the spirit just as you can separate joints from marrow; they are two distinct things. But they are also intertwined; it takes something sharper than a double-edged sword to separate them. Have you ever tried to sever a chicken leg joint in order to cook or serve dinner? It helps to have a sharp knife, but even that isn’t enough by itself; you really need good technique not to botch it up. Why? Because it isn’t designed to come apart easily. It would not be beneficial to the chicken for her legs to come off with ease. The word of God divides soul and spirit. What does that even mean?

Glory Dy, the author of the article I read, says “The soul is basically our mind, our emotions, and our will. It is who we are as human beings.” When I tried to define soul in my Zoom Bible study on Monday, I said it is our true self, our essence. I’m not sure I have it nailed down.

In contrast, Dy says, spirit is where we experience God. It is how we connect to the divine.

I’m sorry that my post today raises more questions than it answers. I’m not being very helpful today. If you have insights on the soul and/or the spirit, please feel free to share in the comments.

More thoughts on soul vs. spirit.

OctPoWriMo Day 23


The prompt is gratitude.

face mask; Covid-19
In All Circumstances
Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).
All right, God. Because You say so.
Thanks a lot for this scourge that has killed hundreds of thousands 
of people worldwide.
I can sincerely thank You for the people 
who call their elderly neighbors and say
“Is there anything you need?”
I thank You also for the doctors and nurses and orderlies
who work long hours caring for the sick.
For the grocery clerks who stock the shelves
and who gather customer’s orders.
For the people who conscientiously wash their hands
and wear their masks.
For the people who lost their jobs
and don’t know where their next meal will come from.
For the people who don’t know how they will pay their rent.
For the children who can’t go to school.
Thank You also for the people who died alone,
whose loved ones wanted to be there to comfort them,
but weren’t allowed.
You see my tears and You know I am devastated for them
and angry at You for letting this happen.
But I know there are also blessings that I can’t see.
So I thank You for Your invisible movement through this valley.
I thank You that out of pain and death
You can make life and beauty,
even if I can’t see it now.
It hurts.
But I trust You.
And I thank You.
Even though I don’t know why.


Creative Juice #213

Creative Juice #213

A dozen articles to inspire you this weekend.