Friday, May 22, 2015

Do they know which color they are?

The large, grassy field next to the Duck and Cherry is full of sheep these days. This morning, as Hector, the Wheaten Terrier and I strolled past on our morning walk, I smiled and thought of how happy these animals make me. The new lambs hop, leap on the soft, green grass and bleat with their tiny voices.
Most of the sheep are white, but as you look closer, they have a variety of colors. Some are warm, chocolate brown, others are grey, fading into charcoal. Some have a beige tone,as if they have been suntanning, just a little.

There is no segregation, no separate quarters for dark or light colored sheep. They don't seem to care. They eat and play alongside each other, happy for a good meal, freedom and open space to run around, and plenty of fresh air.

I wanted my children to grow up to be persons who saw hearts and not skin color. Our world has a multitude of different people. Our job is to see others for their personality, what they do, what they are - and not an outward appearance.

Luke 6:45
A good man out of the treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaketh.

When my youngest daughter was seven, we lived in Austria. It was a time when refugees from Yugoslavia fled war and suffering in their country, and crossed the border into a friendlier space. Some of these children went to school with our little girl.
One day she brought several of these children home after school. She wanted us to have lunch together, she played with them, and sincerely enjoyed their company.
Afterwards, she looked at me with her large, blue-green eyes and said, "Mamma, the other children at school say that they stink, but they don't."

Bless her heart. She saw beyond the outer, worldly standard and saw these children for who they were.

The photos today are portraits of our neighbor's sheep. As I said, they make me happy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Whatever Works For You - Writing Habits

My Broom Closet, is a place for serious business. Don't let the word "serious" put you off. I mean, that's where magic happens. It's my little space of creative wilderness, a room where joyful, organized mess comes alive. Thick, white papers turn into water colors and words get together and form stories and made-up happenings, sometimes informative articles.

I have so much fun in there. Getting ideas into working order and seeing an actual result of the ramblings of words and sceneries in my head, is a life that is good for me.

But how to go about doing it?  How does a blank piece of water color paper become a painting that will touch someone else's heart strings, or how does one go about creating a story that someone else will enjoy reading?

How to approach creative flows? The answer is, whatever way is best for you.
Some just start writing. Page one, flip the page, page two . . . and so on. Others have outlines, the plot, the whole shebang prepared and mapped out. Some plot as they go and make sure everything makes sense when they come to the second draft. A list of future scenes and notes with ideas is also a way to go. There are programs for keeping these notes also, for those who do not want to fill a whole bulletin board with post-its.

When I write, I find pictures that I feel resemble the characters, I have photographs of churches and areas, places I have been in my mind, personality traits of people I know, and I use these as I form my protagonist's personality and looks and also the people surrounding the main character. And pieces of papers written on walks with the dog, in church, on the train, as I run around the house - lots of notes. My stories often come jumping into my head as random sentences and it is often a challenge to get them in the right order. So it's a learning process, always a learning process.

You just need a system that works for you - and with you. Time writing is not always writing. It may be spent researching and organizing ideas.

Photo today: My Broom Closet at the Duck and Cherry.