Pippa Takes a Walk

 I’ve recently begun to take walks in the morning (when I say recently I mean yesterday). The idea of daily walks has been the focus of my thoughts for a while. Walking is both a need and a want. It’s time I took care of this area of my life.

Earlier in the fall, I took a class on Deep Revision from Katey Schultz and one of the things she talked about was the need for movement. Even when doing things other than writing, getting up and getting physical is important to keep the creative juices flowing.

Walking is good for so many things and I’ve been avoiding it. I have found a yoga class that I really like, but it only meets once per week. I need more than that to relieve stress, to keep my energy up among other reasons. This winter has given us the gift of being mild and I want to take advantage of this.

So, I took some steps:

I found my watch. Exercise is the only time I wear one and I often have to search for it.

I laid out my clothing, including shoes and iPod, to be ready to go.

My alarm always goes off during what feels like the middle of the night. Most of the time I simply ignore it. The snooze button is my frenemy.

I was as ready as I could be when the morning came.

Shoes on, jacket zipped, and flashlight in hand I head out forgetting one thing.

Pippa likes to go outside.

 As long as it isn’t raining or too cold, she wants to be out in the fresh air. The morning air was damp and cool but no rain. She was raring to go.

I stood at the door and she positioned herself in a straight shot for the door. As soon as I opened it, she was outside. I thought she would run off to see what she could see.

Nope.

I started my watch and began my 30-minute walk. She followed me.

She has a collar with a bell which she hates and tries to take off whenever she can. On this particular morning, I was glad she was wearing it. Because she followed me – the entire way.

I took my music but never turned it on. My only music was the tractors, the creek that remained unfrozen and the tinkle of Pippa’s collar. It was quite enjoyable as I walked in the dark.

She stayed with me the entire way. Sometimes she would stop and sniff, do a bit of exploring but soon she would be right near me as I walked. She did slow down as we got closer to home.

 Pippa followed me all the way inside. She needed a snuggle and a nap. It was a long walk for her and she’s not very big. She earned a long sleep.

I wonder if she is part dog.

The walk was amazing for me and stirred the words within. Amazing how that works.

Necessary Things

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Writing is one of those tasks that doesn’t require a lot of things. A pen, some paper and you are a writer. Pretty simple.

Well, not really, if you are anything like me.

If any of you are like me, office supply stores are some of your favorite places in the world. After all one cannot have too many pens of just the right weight and color. Supplies such as post its, post cards, pens, pencils, journals, etc., rank right up there with books. More is better.

Some of my favorite things are my gold Picaso fountain pen with purple ink. I begin each day with morning pages using this pen. I also like composition books for this type of writing. I have sticky notes of all shapes and sizes, paper clips, sticky flags, purple post cards – all within arms reach. Of course, I am currently working on my Macbook Air which I couldn’t do without. These things are necessary for my creativity.

I have other things that help with my creative life. I have various small gifts from friends sitting on my desk. A metal compass to help me keep my direction, a jack to remind me that balance is important, and a amethyst crystal to keep my thinking clear. All of these are necessary as they remind of my journey and to encourage me to keep going. Not to mention a candle to light my way.

What are the necessary things for your writing life?

Journaling Rituals

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I journal everyday or nearly so. This is writing I do outside of my novels or flash fiction. I am able to stay clear headed and focused to be able to write everything else through this writing.

Mornings come early for me, 5:00 am. If I can get up without hitting snooze I count that as a win but it doesn’t happen often. After a few snoozes and taking care of basic needs I head to the kitchen for coffee. This is part of my morning ritual as making coffee is a bit involved and takes 10 to 15 minutes. It is also during this time that I do a few morning chores, just to keep up.

Once my coffee is made and perfectly sweetened, I head to my desk to begin the writing ritual.

I light a candle. This, for me, lets me know its time to focus. I then read a section of whatever book I am currently working on. Right now its this one found on Amazon.  Once my reading is done, then I begin with my journaling.

I’ve told you about free writing in this previous post but that is basically what I do. For this writing I use inexpensive composition books and fountain pens with purple ink. I am pretty sure I have stacks of these books in storage.

When I’ve completed my pages and I aim for about three each day, I blow out my candle.

Writing this way doesn’t produce stories or work toward my novels. This creates for me a space where I can clear the junk out, making the way clear for the words to flow for whatever I am working on at the moment.

Just a warning, it doesn’t always work to get the flow going but more often than not, it does.

What do you do when you want to get your creative juices going?