Writing 101, Day 5 and 6: “Let Social Media Inspire You” and “The Space to Write”

On day five we were shown five “Tweets” , told to chose one and write a response to it. Here is the one I chose:

It’s true, at least for every serious writer I’ve ever known…well, there may be a few narcissists out there, but you can’t go by what they think anyway, can you?

I don’t think any of us feel entirely adequate: that’s why we take classes like this one. There is always someone else who seems to have an easier time putting words to page.

My mother can write a poem, and a good one, at the drop of a hat. She makes up poetry for her answering machine, and people call just to hear her message. A friend of mine once said calling my mom was like calling Dr. Seuss!

On our birthdays, we know we will get an early morning call from Mom,singing a birthday song with new words written just for us. Mom figures she’s a decent poet, but nothing special, although we’ve all tried to convince her other wise.

I wish I could do what she does. I can write poetry, but very rarely does it all come out at once. When it does, I almost always have to go back and fix it. I get bits and pieces, which leads me to the Writing 101 assignment for day six: The Space To Write.

Here are the instructions:

Where do you write? Do you prefer blogging on your laptop in a coffee shop? Are you productive in a quiet room, door closed, away from civilization? Today, describe the space where you write. Or, if you don’t have a dedicated place, what is your ideal setting?

Consider these questions to shape your post:

  • What are your writing habits?
  • What equipment or supplies do you use to write?
  • What do you need and want in a physical space?”

I write on my laptop at my desk, in what is my office/craft room/music room. The desk is an old double school desk a friend gave me years ago.

My desk

My desk

My habits are often haphazard, as they depend on what else is going on. In order to write about homesteading, one must DO homesteading, which means you are sometimes at the mercy of the homestead. Additionally, with schedules constantly changing, finding a specific time to write is nearly impossible. We have decided to switch regular school lessons to the afternoon, after Ed goes to work. That way, if we need to work on something together in the morning, we don’t have to worry about interrupting school. Also, if we need him for an extra curricular lesson, (like Archery, or Driver’s Ed) we can do those in the morning, when he’s home. Another advantage to afternoon lessons is that we don’t have the constant interruption of his running in and out.

All that means is that the best time for me to be able to write, at least for right now, is between seven and nine in the evening. Usually though, I try to open a blank document in the morning, so that if something comes to me, I can run in here and write it down.

Sometimes things come to me in bits and pieces, and I have to put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. (Thank God for cut and paste!) Sometimes, when I sit down to write, it’s all in my head, and sometimes, I just think it is, until I sit down. I suppose none of that really makes sense…unless you’re a writer.

Writing 101 Day 4: The Attic Window

On day four, we were shown four images and asked to pick one. This is the picture I chose:

It is a picture of an attic window. It leaves me feeling a little nostalgic and melancholy. The picture reminds of me of a couple different places; both homes where the second story was one large room with closets running the length of the long walls. Had those closet walls been removed, the image would be similar to this one.

Both houses were built in the 1920s or earlier. One of the houses belongs to my grandfather, and my sister lives there now. It was home for me when I was a teenager, when my room had a view similar to the one in the picture. It was a little more sophisticated, but not much. It’s my niece’s room now, and it was my mother’s before me. I’m not sure exactly when it was built, but I do know that it was used for a school house in the early 1930’s. Now the house needs some work.

The second house belonged to my children’s paternal grandfather. The house was built by his father around 1920 on the family’s homestead in south central Kentucky. It was a great old house. Unfortunately, it was lost in an auction several years ago, and I have no idea what kind of shape it’s in now. It needed work then.

Although I love our place, I would have liked to found one of those old farm houses with the attic windows just like this one. On the other hand, I’m kind of partial to Queen Anne Victorian houses too.

On a personal note, Ed and I had our second wedding anniversary today. Poor guy is in bed with a head cold!


Writing 101 Day 3: Treasure

On Day three of Writing 101, we were given a list of words and told to choose one. I chose the word “treasure”.

The expression, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has been around in one form or another for a long time, probably because of the truth of the concept. It basically means that what one person finds useless, another might find valuable.

I like junk. If I see something “free” on the side of the road, I have to at least slow down and take a closer look. I have done some excavating in the old burn pile on our place, and found quite a few treasures. When he found a small, old tractor or lawn mower tire in one of the junk piles left on the place, my son told Ed, “You know, Mom is going to want this.” He was right, and I think I have an idea of what to do with it. I’ll share it with you when it’s finished. I keep tin cans, toilet paper tubes, glass containers, bottle caps and whatever else I think might be useful. I think I probably told you about the time I picked up a used windshield wiper turned it at an angle and told Ed; “Look honey, it’s an eyebrow!” He just calmly said, “No baby, it’s a windshield wiper.” Its taken some time, but he is starting to come around. Here are some pictures of some of my repurposed junk.

We found this in the side of the road a few years ago.

We found this in the side of the road a few years ago.

same dresser  painted and decorated with ribbon and scrapbook paper

same dresser painted and decorated with ribbon and scrapbook paper. The bottom drawer needed some work, so Ed has it in the garage

rub made from old sheets

rug made from old sheets

tin man, dog and flower

tin man, dog and flower

God tends to favor one man’s trash too. The scripture is full of examples of the Lord choosing the most unlikely, least qualified individual to serve His purposes. Jesus himself was the “stone the builders rejected” who became “the cornerstone”(Psalm 118:22, Matt 21:42, Eph 2:20, 1 Pet 2:6). I take great comfort in knowing that God sees the hidden beauty, the buried treasure in us; just like I see in a old piece of junk along the side of the road.


Writing 101: Things I Like

Today’s assignment for Writing 101 was:

“Today, write your own list on one of these topics:

  • Things I Like
  • Things I’ve Learned
  • Things I Wish”

So here is my list of things I like, in no particular order:

Having all my children home together.

Music of all kinds, but particularly those pieces that, without words, stir something so deep that they bring tears to my eyes, and I don’t even know why.


Playing piano and guitar (I don’t do either one very well, but I’m learning)

Jammin’ with family and friends.

Big dogs.

Strong black coffee


Books. This is not the same as reading. I love physical books, especially the old ones. I love how they feel in my hands. I love sitting amongst bookshelves, taking in the smell of old books. There is something comforting about that to me.

Junk, aka Antiques. Discussing the subject with my dad a few weeks back, he said, according to my step-mother, “If it’s in the house, its an antique; if its outside, it’s junk. We know where I got my love for junk.

Repurposing said junk. I love picking up something that most would consider trash, and turning it into something useful, beautiful, or just plain fun.

Musical Theater, particularly from the 1930s and 40s. Love Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy!

Being able to go outside my house, pick something growing out there, whether planted by me or by God, come back in and use it for food or medicine.

Hanging out with God’s people.


Exploring book stores and junk stores with Ed.

Wood stoves

Baking, although that’s kind of on the shelf now. I have promised my daughter that I will bring it back for the holidays.