We have had a king-sized bed for more than twenty years. I had to teach myself to fold those huge sheets alone because there was rarely anyone capable of helping with this chore. I will try to explain how I do this.
When the sheets come out of the dryer, the pillow cases are easy enough to fold, of course.
The flat sheet is a bit trickier, but still quite possible. I find the top edge of the sheet. You know, the one with the extra thick fabric about four inches wide, sewn down. That is the top edge of the sheet. I find one corner of the top edge, then run my hand down the side to find the corner of the bottom edge on the same side. I then bring the bottom corner up to its matching top corner then keep those two corners tightly grasped in one hand while following the top edge along to the other corner. Once I find the other top corner, I repeat the search down the side for the other bottom corner. Once I find the other bottom corner, I match it to the top corner. Now the hard part is done. You have the king-sized sheet folded in half, bottom to top. Once you have this done, fold the two sets of corners together with the top edge out. From there it doesn’t really matter how you fold it and it is now a quite manageable size. I try to end up with a folded bundle about the size of a sheet of printer paper.
The fitted sheet is the hardest one to fold. It might be easier to practice this method using a twin sized sheet. Once you have it mastered the same method can be applied to any sized sheet. It is similar in theory to folding the flat sheet, but you put the corners over your hand like a mitten. One corner tucks into the other until you end up with a square about three foot in each direction with the four corners all tucked inside each other. Again, what you do from here is up to you but you want to end up with a folded bundle of a size similar to what you got when you folded the flat sheet.
Place the flat sheet on the tale first, then stack the fitted sheet on top of that and put the pillow cases on the very top. Now your sheet set is ready to go into the linen closet. This might be a good time to mention that when folding sheets it is very important to fold with the side you want facing up when you make the bed on the inside. This likely doesn’t matter unless you want to have troublemaking the bed with these clean and nicely folded sheets.
Now the benefit of folding the sheets as instructed with the right sides in for the fitted sheet and the side you want up in on the flat sheet, is that it make making the bed alone much easier. When you are ready to make the bed and have stripped off the dirty sheets, stuff all the dirty sheets into one of the dirty pillow cases. This keeps the entire sheet set together through the laundry process. Now that the bed is ready for the clean sheets, unfold the fitted sheet until you have the four corners tucked into each other and put that quarter sheet down on one corner of the bed. I usually put it at the head of the bed on the left side, but the process works whichever you corner you choose to make first. Unfold the sheet so that top half of the bed is covered with the half sheet. Now carefully unfold the rest of the sheet to cover the bottom of the bed. Walk from one corner to the next out your hand into the corner pocket then lay it at the very corner of the mattress and press firmly while the other hand slides the pocket off the hand that was holding it and wraps it neatly over the corner of the mattress. Repeat with all four corners. The flat sheet is done basically the same way, but when you get the sheet unfolded to the one quarter size, make sure the top edge of the flat sheet is in the proper corner of the bed where you want the sheet to be after the bed is made. Make sure the fold lines up with the center of the bed. I usually put it about six inches down from the top edge of the mattress, but if you like plenty of sheet to tuck up around your ears while sleeping go ahead and line it up with the top edge if the sheet is still long enough to tuck under the mattress at the foot of the bed. Unfold the first fold across the bed, smooth it out and walk from side to side to check that there is the same amount of over hang on each side. Once that adjustment is made, you are ready to unfold the final fold and smooth the flat sheet over the rest of the bed. Now if you plan to tuck the foot of the blanket in, go ahead and put it on now using the same method as we did for the flat sheet. If you don’t plan to tuck in a blanket, go ahead and tuck the foot of the sheet in under the mattress then add the blanket and you are done making the bed.
I usually put the folded set of sheets into one of the pillowcases and fold the pillowcase around it before putting the sheet set away in the linen closet. This is my way of keeping all the pieces of any given sheet set together without having to worry about digging through or having any of the parts come unfolded. This may not be anyone’s idea of the perfect way to fold sheets, but it is my way and it works for me. (1,019 words)
I know a person, who shall remain nameless, that is always negative. Her spouse tried to reach me by cell phone today, and my phone had died, so I didn’t even know they had tried to call. There was a 20 second voice mail on my phone when I got enough charge to turn it back on. I listened to the message and realized it wasn’t really a message so much as not having disconnected the call after the voicemail picked up. In the background I hear my name and that I hadn’t answered, and then I hear the negative person say, something to the effect that I was probably doing something I wasn’t even asked to do instead of what I was supposed to be doing. Now if I call someone during the work day and they let the call go to voicemail for whatever reason, I assume they are busy and can’t answer the phone right now. I do not automatically think of a hateful negative response that was in no way called for as to why the person didn’t answer or what they might or might not be doing instead of answering my call. There was no reason for this person to offer such negative and hateful comments. I’m not sure why they didn’t just call the land line when I didn’t answer on my cell. I had already told the person who tried to call not an hour earlier that my phone was all but dead, but for some reason they insist on calling the cell phone at least part of the time.
I am always hearing negative comments about how people who look like them don’t get treated fairly. Yet this person never stops to consider that perhaps the way they treat others has more bearing on the way they get treated than the color of their skin. One time, we went out to lunch as a group of four to a nice upscale bistro. The front of the small interior of the restaurant was crowded and loud. The hostess seated us in a spacious table in the very back of the dining area and I was glad for the peace and quiet that table afforded as the busy tables had young kids and were too noisy for my tastes anyway. But no, Miss Negative decided right away that we were seated in the back because of the color of their skin. We were looking over the menu to see what we wanted to order and she kept making comments like, “I don’t see anything that sounds good, we should just leave and go somewhere else.” We all had no problem finding any number of yummy sounding offerings from the menu and said we were ready to order. Finally she calmed down and placed her order. The food did take an extremely long time to come out, during which we heard a steady stream of negativity coming from her mouth. She had no idea how miserable she was making the rest of us, it was all about her. I for one was glad we were seated in the back so nobody could overhear her constant ranting.
The food finally came and right away she starts looking for something to complain about. One of our co-workers had ordered fruit as the side item. It came out on the plate with his sandwich like any other side item might have. She jumped on that saying how the fruit should have been in a bowl so the grapes didn’t roll around all over the plate. She made some comment about not wanting to bring us any spare dishes probably thought we would steal them. Then the bill finally arrived and they put cash down to pay for all of our meals. There was some change due to come back, but apparently the wait-staff at this place was no better at counting change than those who work fast food, because she gave us at least ten dollars too much back. Miss Negative was complaining about that too, although the waitress was very thankful when she pointed out the mistake. Once we left she grumbled about how she should have just kept the extra for the terrible service we got and how they treated them so bad. Honestly, we were all happy to get out of there and get back to work. The only one who had behaved badly during that lunch was Miss Negative herself.
There are so many other examples of how negative this person is on a very regular basis, but this is enough negativity for today. (770 words)
Lu Ann Barrington is in her mid to late fifties. Lu Ann was a recent widow after being married for 36 years and when she got the money from her husband’s life insurance, she decided to use it to open her own business so she could be surrounded by people who enjoyed the same things she did and earn a modest living while doing it. She opened her store only after she had paid off her house and car and put money in her retirement account. She was nervous about spending the money to start the store but felt she had done what she could to ensure her financial future by cutting her expenses and paying off her debts. She didn’t know if she could make it work, but she hoped she could if she started small. She was confident she could teach others to quilt, knit and crochet, she just wasn’t sure she could make a living doing it.
Stitches in Time is her brain child. She always loved to sew and do all sorts of crafts, but never seemed to know what to do with herself. She never went to college, never really wanted to even. She married her high school sweetheart and settled into married life trying to be the perfect home-maker. She never really worked outside the home, at least not for pay. She had done a lot of volunteering and being on various committees at the church and helped to organize the occasional bake sale, rummage sale or other fund raising event. She wasn’t without experience, after all, being a wife and mother for so many years had given her wisdom and experience a plenty. Her resume was a little thin, so being her own boss seemed the perfect solution.
Lu Ann wanted to help others develop the love of all things stitched like she had. She wanted a place where they could learn to knit, crochet, do cross-stitch or quilting, or even make their own clothes. She would offer classes for those who didn’t know how or those who wanted to learn more. She would offer the supplies needed to do all the projects that they could think up and give a ten percent discount to those who were buying supplies for the classes she offered. She was best at quilting, so she began by offering basic quilting classes and decided to wait and see what else her customers were interested in learning. She would meet lots of new people and thus would ease her new found loneliness.
She bought a large Victorian house near the business district of the small town, she made the upper level into her living quarters and the lower level was renovated into a store front. The living room now housed the quilting fabrics with the walls lined with notions of every kind. The dining room table was where they hosted quilting classes. There were lots of extra outlets installed and smaller tables around the edges of the walls so the customers could set up their sewing machines and work during classes. The kitchen was condensed to a much smaller version of its original size to use as a break room and the space saved from reducing the size of the kitchen made a great storage room. The rooms in the rest of the main floor had been combined to house the yarn arts area. The walls were lined with cubes to hold the various yarns, and there was a comfy seating area with a sofa and a few overstuffed chairs that customers could hang out and knit or crochet in or for seating during classes.
By living above her shop, she saved time not having to commute to work. She also saved money by being able to sell her house she had shared with her husband and the kids when they were growing up. She had loved the old house but was glad to be away from all the old memories now that she lived alone.
Lu Ann has a very strong faith and hopes having her shop will give her the chances to gently lead others to a relationship with the Lord too. She helps with various groups and tasks as needed at the church she has been a member of for many years. (717 words)
When we were kids we worked. I got a paper route delivering the Indianapolis News six days a week from the time I was eleven until I had two years in when I was thirteen. Mom made us keep the News route for two years so we would qualify to get the scholarships the newspaper offered. Supposedly if you carried the morning paper, The Indianapolis Star, you had to have had your route for two years or more and still have it at the time you graduated from high school. If you carried the afternoon paper, you just had to have had a route for two years to qualify. So we were bullied into keeping our routes until our two years had passed. My brother and I each had half of a sort of rough apartment complex called the Country Club Apartments located near Troy Avenue and Brill Road on the near south side of the city. We had a lot of trouble with people moving out without paying their bills. We always had pocket money and got pretty good at saving a portion of our income, even going so far as to open savings accounts at Indiana National Bank where there was a nearby branch at US 31 and National. If I recall correctly, at one point these savings accounts were paying eight percent interest, unheard of these days.
When mom would go grocery shopping, an almost nightly occurrence, we would often beg to tag along. Mom would be in the checkout line and invariably come up a few dollars short of the amount on the register. She would look down at us, at least I know she did it to me, and say, “Can you float me a loan?” We would gladly hand over the few dollars needed if we had it, proud that we could help out. This happened often, and eventually I learned not to carry much cash with me or not to go along at all, or I would suddenly not have any pocket money to spend at my discretion. Mom was pretty cool about it. She kept track of how much she had borrowed from us on a piece of paper she kept in her cigarette case. I did, eventually, get “paid back” in the spring of 1984, when I wanted to buy my first car, a 1974 Dodge Colt Wagon that was a dull chartreuse green. It was $795 dollars and I had part of that amount saved, but mom and dad came up with the amount they owed me from all the floated loans over the years to pay the rest of the money toward the car. Looking back, I’m not sure if floating these loans wasn’t some devious trick to get us to save our money unknowingly. We ought the car and got it home then took it to the mechanic for the once over. It turned out that what looked like just a lot of rust on the rounded insides of the body under the hood was actually rust on the frame of the car and required some pretty serious welding on of additional metal to make the car drivable. Dad was a barber, and not exactly mechanically inclined. I was a senior in high school before I got the Colt and then it took quite a while to get it fixed up and drivable. I had gotten my learner’s permit when I was fifteen and taken driver’s education which I had to pay for myself to the tune of over three hundred dollars. I got my license as soon as I was eligible after turning sixteen. Then mom and dad informed me that they could not afford to pay for auto insurance on both me and my older sister and since she had more driving experience they were giving it to her, so from the time I got my license at barely sixteen until late in my senior year two years later, I was not allowed to drive at all. I was upset, but what could I do? They couldn’t afford it, so I couldn’t drive. It never occurred to me to ask if I could pay the cost myself or even how much it would be. They never offered that option either. It wasn’t like my sister had a car to drive, she could drive mom’s nine passenger station wagon when mom wasn’t using it and that was it. The benefit to my parents, especially mom, was that my sister could drive to the store to grab a few items or pick one of us younger siblings up from an after-school event if need be and mom could get on with making dinner for the family. My sister was likely honored to be entrusted with this added responsibility and mom was likely thrilled at the freedom another driver afforded her. Then I got the car and was about to begin working the summer between high school and college and suddenly me having insurance was a necessity that could no longer be avoided. I had a car and was able to drive myself back and forth to work, pump and pay for my own gas and be responsible for my own car repairs. I loved that little wagon! It represented adulthood, freedom and responsibility to me. We probably never should have bought it. Although the body looked fairly decent and the interior was in good shape, with the rust on the frame members, it most likely belonged in a junk yard. It served me well for a couple of years before the engine gave out and it simply wasn’t worth putting that kind of money into it, so it did end up in the junk yard after all. One never forgets their first car. (965 words)
When I was growing up, I was one of four kids in a family with two parents. I was a bit of a minority because my parents were both my blood parents and still married to each other. All my siblings were full siblings, not steps or half siblings in our family. Both my parents graduated from high school and valued education for us kids. They always expected us to do our best no matter what we were doing. Mom always said as long as we could honestly say we had done our very best it was good enough. We were all good kids and did well in school. The three of us girls were avid readers reading most anything we could get our hands on. My brother read well enough, but never seemed to take to it like us girls did. I can still remember mom yelling at us older two girls to get our noses out of the books we were reading and help her clean the house. This usually happened on a Saturday mid-morning.
Mom had a system for assigning who cleaned what area of the house. She had four kids and areas to be cleaned each week, so she made up a chart and set up a rotating schedule. We each had a turn cleaning each area once every four weeks. We got our cleaning assignments that first week and were told the rules. We had to clean our area once that week and if we didn’t clean it, we would have to keep that area and get the next area to clean also for the next week. Whoever was supposed to rotate into the area you didn’t clean would get the week off from cleaning. This almost never happened, because after the first person messed up by not cleaning and we figured out Mom meant what she said, we knew we better just clean our assigned area each week. I used to like when it was my turn for the bathroom because it was such a small room it didn’t take all that long to clean it and have it looking really good. That chart is still inside the cabinet door where Mom taped it all those years ago, written in red ball point ink on a 4 x 6 index card, a little piece of parenting history err genius just waiting to be discovered.
Mom was full of parenting wisdom. With four kids, she had a rule that we could each be in only one activity. My older sister and I were in Girl Scouts and the younger brother and sister played Little League. That rule changed when we got to high school. Mom didn’t seem to mind how many activities we were in then as long as we found our own rides to and from or walked. She worked at Stokley Van Camp’s (which later became Quaker Oats) when we were in high school and her work hours, whether by her choice or not, were from 7:30am to 4pm. She was happy to drop us at school on her way to work as long as we were ready to go when she needed to leave the house, and more than willing to stop by the school on her way home from work to pickup any of us who were outside waiting for a ride a little after 4pm. She made it clear she wasn’t waiting around on us. If we wanted a ride we would be waiting and watching for her to pull up and ready to jump in and go. If we weren’t there, that was fine, but she wasn’t waiting on us. Sometimes we had band that went until later and she would run errands while we were finishing up then come by and get us so we could be home at a decent hour to help with dinner or do our chores. She would often bring us back and drop us off for play practice of an evening, then come back and pick us up at nine or ten when it was over. We just had to make sure we let mom know what we had going on and where we needed to be. We had to be flexible enough to be willing to arrive early or stay late. A lot of our extra curricular activities met before school so getting dropped off around 7am was great.
If we didn’t have a meeting to go to we could always sit and read or do homework in the band hall or go to the cafeteria to meet up with out friends. During my freshman year I was not in a lot of clubs and such because I was so tired of doing the same things as my older sister, so if she was in it I avoided it. I was tired of being her little sister and expected to be just like her. I wanted to be seen and appreciated for who I was not because I was next in line after my older sister. I know it got much worse by the time my brother got to high school because there were two of us to live up to. There were high standards to live up to too. The older three of us were all a year and a half apart in age but in school the oldest was one year ahead of me, then my brother was 2 years behind me in school with our younger sister following three years behind him. All four of us graduated from high school in the 1980s, 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1989. The older three of us were all in band together for one year. There is a photo taken of all of us in our band uniforms standing together outside the house. I wasn’t very musical, probably the least talented musically of all of us. I finally joined band my junior year after taking a beginning band class for a semester. I was never good at sight-reading music. I knew the basics and could figure it out if given enough time, but it was a slow painful process for me. I would write the letters of the notes above my music and then write the letters of the notes in permanent marker on the various notes on my bells for marching band and I could keep up that way until I had the music memorized. I guess they needed bodies more than they needed musically talented students. I was willing, able and teachable, so they took me on and let me play. I always knew I wasn’t good and sometimes had to fake my way through performances rather than mess up where everyone would know and hear my mistakes. (1,127 words)
When we were kids, our mother used to breed tropical fish. In the basement, she had built a framework of two by fours into very sturdy shelves for the aquariums to sit on. There were fluorescent lights above the top shelf. Most of the tanks had their own hoods on them. She would get these boxes (in the mail I think). They were brown corrugated cardboard with red printing on them. The boxes were about twenty inches square and maybe ten inches tall. Inside each box was a Styrofoam liner that was maybe three quarters of an inch thick and form fitted to the inside of the cardboard box. There was a lift off fitted lid to the Styrofoam making it insulated like a Styrofoam cooler. She would get boxes of fish inside these foam containers. I think they came in bags like you get when you buy fish in the pet stores, but I can't picture that part like I can the boxes. Maybe I can see the boxes in my mind because they were so sturdy and thus lived a very long life storing stuff in our basement. I think most of her tanks were twenty gallon long tanks. I remember her having silver and black striped angel fish about the size of a half dollar. She had guppies and mollies too. There were orange and black lyre-tailed mollies, black mollies and fancy, fan tailed guppies. She also seemed to have a lot of snails and cory catfish. I don't remember what she did with the fish she raised. As I look back, I assume it must have been one of the many ways she had found to earn extra money, but I don't remember her selling the fish to anyone. Maybe she raised them to sell at pet stores, I'm just not sure about that. She always loved having bright colored tropical fish around. Because we had the fish tanks, I got to be the one to take the turtle home from our classroom tank when our kindergarten teacher went on maternity leave and didn't plan to come back to teach that school year. I think her name was Mrs. Rider. We had this cute little turtle that swam around in an aquarium with fish I think. I don't remember much about the turtle itself, just feeling like the winner of the luckiest kid contest for being the one to get to take it home. Perhaps that is why I was so willing to allow Austin to keep the turtle that our former neighbor, Mary's dog had cornered in her kitchen. We had a lot of work and research to do to keep it because we were unsure whether it was a land turtle or an aquatic turtle. We got Gilligan when he was about the size of a silver dollar. We put him in a small two gallon tank. He grew and grew each time he outgrew his tank, we would put him in a bigger one and he would grow exponentially almost overnight. We finally learned not to be in such a hurry to upgrade the size of his tank. We also quickly realized that Gilligan is a snapping turtle. We should have had sense enough to release it as soon as we figured that out. But, in almost all things, hind-sight is twenty-twenty. Now we have a Frisbee sized snapping turtle in a forty gallon breeder tank, and keeping it clean is a chore nobody enjoys. (582 words)
I spent the next week searching the internet for hat patterns. The criteria for my search was that the patterns had to be easy, use single crochet and most of all be free. I created a binder with various hat patterns but had only found one that looked doable to me without help. So on Friday, the 20th after work, I got out the red yarn from my sister and got to work. The beginning was a little rough, but after a few rows I became more confident and kept going. I kept at it little by little and finally finished it on Monday night the 23rd.
It wasn’t perfect but I was planning on donating these hats to homeless people or something and figured it would be warm and welcome even if it weren’t quite perfect. The next one would be better. My friend Ruth had brought me a bag of yarns she was decluttering on Saturday and they were all variegated. I was excited to get started on my next hat. I picked a pretty pasted variegated yard with no wrapper, but it felt like the red yarn, so I figured it was fine. I decided that since I had used the K hook like the white hat pattern had called for on the red hat and it came out big, I should use the H hook that this pattern called for and see how that turned out. There wasn’t a whole skein, so I figured I was going to call the hat done when the yarn ran out. I worked on the 3rd adult hat all that week and finally finished it just after work on Friday. Hey! I had made two hats from start to finish in just a week! The pastel hat was a bit snug, but looked darned good to me.
So Friday night the 27th I started the next hat, this time with a Red Heart rainbow colored variegated yarn and since the H hook had made the hat snug, I decided this one would be with the I hook. That is where I am now, crocheting the rainbow hat. Over twenty years since I first attempted to crochet and I now have two rugs and three and a half hats as my claim to crochet fame. (2,341 words)
My goal for this year, well one of them anyway, is to become a year-round writer. For the last two years, I have been a November only writer. I want that to change. Today, February 28, 2015, I stumbled upon the website, http://goinswriter.com/my500words, and decided this was just the challenge I need to help me become a year-round or daily writer. I know I just have to make myself do it and that a challenge is the way to get that habit started. I am giving myself a break, and letting the idea soak in for a day before I have to start. Besides, it is a 31 day challenge and tomorrow is the first day of a month, March, with just that many days in it, how convenient! So beginning tomorrow, I will write 500 words a day. I know I can do it. I have done it during November before. I have written as much as 5,000 words in a day during the panic mode I call NaNoWriMo, err November. I love the rush of writing as part of a massive group in November. I have joined a few regular writing meetings this year in an attempt to keep from putting writing on a shelf only to take it down again when NaNo time comes around.
So, I have no idea what I will write about each day, but have a few writing prompt sites saved and a book of prompts in my Kindle library. I actually have a short story in progress that began as a writing prompt a few months ago. Maybe if I ever finish it, I will have the nerve to post it here. Not feeling confident in my writing capability, is part of the problem. Feeling like nobody would want to be bothered to read anything I have to write about is most of the problem. I'm not sure what to do to get over all of these feelings of lacking when it comes to writing. I DO know that I won't get better if I don't actually write, and if I don't get better I will never get over the fear of letting others read what I have written. I have this blog I created a fairly long time ago, if you are reading this, you have found it. I'm not sure how anyone would find it, because I haven't shared it with anyone until today. Today after signing up for the My 500 Words challenge, there was a place to link your blog as a participant, so I did it! My blog, Lighthouse Life Lessons, is blog number 1,854 on the list. I feel safe that it is so far down the list, that nobody will bother reading it, but I feel better knowing I was confident enough to link it there and someone just might bother to read it. I am assuming no one has ever bothered to read anything I have written before because there have been no comments on any of the posts. That makes me happy because that also means there are no negative comments. No news is good news, right?
So I may post some of my daily writing here. I might actually get brave and decide that just for the next 31 days, I will post my 500 word offerings here if only to prove to myself and the world in general that I did it. I like having a picture or graphic in each blog post. Somehow, that makes my writing seem more interesting so maybe I should go search Google Images for some inspiring photos I could write about for a few of the next 31 days. (Word count = 614)
This is my second year participating in NaNoWriMo.
Last year I found the site in the wee hours of November 1st and decided that my finding it on the very day the challenge began was someone's way of telling me I should stop talk and thinking about writing a book and get busy writing it. Being as I had written exactly little of nothing outside of some lengthy emails since my college day, I decided to go with some good advice and write what I know. So I did my first NaNo as a rebel and wrote my 50,000 word in the form of a parenting memoir of sorts. So I didn't have to think about plots, characters, or scenes. That was a good thing because all I had to do was write out some of the many stories of our adventures in parenting. I had very little organization. If a story was about one of the kids as a baby, it went in the Infant chapter, High School stories went in the High School chapter, etc. After I hit my goal shortly before Thanksgiving, I put it away needing some distance from anything even resembling writing. Basically other than adding some words to it as an assignment for a writing class, I did nothing else on it. It still sits at about 51,000 words and may never be finished.
The experience I gained last November was priceless. I learned that I could write and get to the 50,000 word goal in the 30 days allotted. I earned that there are so many other writers out there and I am not alone. I learned that writing IS a group sport! I met some fantastic and enthusiastic writers and found some very cool places to hang out and write that I might never have visited were it not for someone deciding to hold a write-in there. I am not the sort of person to go out and meetup with someone I don't already know and spend several hours with them. This seemed very safe, meeting up in public places and in a group setting and I learned so much from those mostly 20-something writers. They didn't shun me because I am older than them, maybe older than their parents even. Many of them are the ages of my adult children, and maybe that is why hanging out with them never bothered me.
This year, I am doing it again. This year, I am going to do it the non-rebel way. I am attempting to write an inspirational fiction mystery novel, from scratch. I search high and low for ideas and read extensively during the month of October to figure out what to write and more importantly HOW to write it. It still left me unsure until late in the day on November 1st what my subject matter would be. I only got there because one of the other WriMos recommended during a Chatzy Write-In that I check out the area of the NaNo website for adopting plots. I read through so many, making notes on any that seemed interesting, several pages of notes actually. Then I found a simple idea that I twisted and expanded on and made my own. I have some ideas for plot and characters, but nothing even remotely complete and not very solid yet. I took a free class on Sunday afternoon called Introduction to Murder that was offered at the library and taught by members of the Indiana Writers Center. One of the things the teacher had us do in class was to write down our opening sentence. What do I know about opening sentences to mystery books? Nothing! But, I dug deep and wrote some babble down, then had to share it aloud with the teacher and the 1 other student taking the class with me. They both loved it and thought I should use it! So after that, my word count stands at 26 words. But that quirky idea of an opening sentence helped lead my story, gave me a focus of sorts to begin planning actual characters and the tiniest thread of a plot. My word count should be 6,668 or higher at the end of day 4, but it is just 26. I am hoping and praying that once my plot is more solid and my characters more real to me the thought will spill forth from my brain painlessly and plentifully and I will be able to catch up and even get ahead in no time. It is not too late to join the challenge. You only have to write 27 words to get ahead of me! Am I worried? Yeah, a little. But the ideas are growing in my head and I had a vision today of turning this one little idea into a series of 7 or more books. How is that for positive thinking and being ambitious? Come on and join me, we will do this thing together. What is the worst that can happen? I could fail the challenge by not getting to the goal in time, but any words I write are more than I had written on Halloween, so I still win don't I? So, what's it going to be? Are you in?
Writing Exercises and Prompts just might become my new favorite app on my smartphone. One of my main problems with writing consistently is coming up with ideas of things to write about. This could solve the problem on the go!
Now I will have no excuse not to write, because it is on my phone, it is always with me,. It generates "random story ideas, plots, subjects, scenarios, characters, first lines for stories and more" so I don't even have that as an excuse anymore. For those without access to a smartphone, there is a website also: http://writingexercises.co.uk/index.php.
You can just keep having it generate new ideas until one sparks your inner writer to action and the writing flows. So what are you waiting for? Go to the website or download the app and get busy writing already!
Thanks to Kristen Lamb, I am writing this blog post today. I recently found her blog and have been reading the entries as time permits or rather as the need to avoid actually writing myself hits. Tonight, I was going through my overly-full email inbox and was caught immeadiately by the subject line, "Writer Victory!—#1 Voluntarily Submit". Now as a writer, I can certainly use a victory, so of course I had to stop and read it to find out what the victory was all about.
Read the blog here:
She says, 'Today, we will discuss V, which stands for "Voluntarily submit."'. Ok, Kristen, after reading this blog post, I too will "voluntarily submit" to writing because now I am inspired to share this blog post with others so they can gain inspiration too. Click on the picture here to read the entire blog posting. Loved the graphic and wanted to grab your attention. This will inspire me to write when I normally would have talked myself out of it.
So, those of you reading this, is there anyone reading this? Take a second to comment and tell me what inspires YOU to write, or do whatever it is you do to express your creativity?
Probably my absolute favorite new place to learn is the Indiana Writers Center. I asked for and received a membership for Christmas. I have always wanted to write and publish a book. I decided that this is the year I am going to do something about learning how to write a book. So, far I have taken lots of different kinds of classes there. There is a good discount on all their classes for members and I have met some wonderful writers there. I am still exploring and trying to learn everything I can about writing, structure, etc. Perhaps as my confidence as a writer grows, and I have no doubt that it will with every class I take, I will feel comfortable posting some of my writing here. If you have ever wanted to be a writer, but don't know how or where to start, this is the place! Check it out and maybe we will see each other in a class one night. (Thanks for the gift of knowledge Austin!) http://www.indianawriters.org/
I only discovered Trade School Indianapolis this year and have taken 3 classes through them so far. They have some very interesting and unusual classes to offer taught by real people like you and me. If you have yearning for learning and live in or near Indy, you should really take a look at the most recent class offerings. It is always in the back of my mind that maybe someday I could teach a class for them, but I want to get a little more experience taking their classes before actually offering to teach one myself. The best part is that no money changes hands. You sign up for the class and choose one of the instructors barter request items and then bring that to the class as payment. The list of requested items varies greatly. I have taken post-it notes, dark chocolate and AAA batteries in as payments for the classes I have taken. Part of what keeps me from teaching is thinking up things to request as payment. Anyway, have a look and see if anything on the class list sparks you! http://tradeschool.coop/indianapolis/
The Indianapolis Marion County Public Library is not a new place of learning for me but one of my oldest and most treasured friends from early childhood. When I want to learn something new I always check the library to see if they have a book on the subject. What some of you may not know is that they have a plethora of classes available for FREE all around the city. They even have an extensive selection of computer classes. I have taken classes on all sorts of things through the library over the years. I have learned about Diabetes, how to knit, about genealogy topics of all kinds, about German cooking and foods, about how to archive my photos, research my house, write my life story, download eBooks to my Kindle app on my smartphone and on my Nook Color wirelessly. So do yourself a favor and go to their website and look through the offerings under classes and events. You just never know what you might learn if you do! http://www.imcpl.org/