Posted in journaling, journals, writing inspiration

In Our Own Words

I have never kept a diary. I’ve written about this before and, though I have made attempts, each diary peters out after a few entries. I do keep a little health journal with dates and procedures and questions for my doctor (How do I balance the need for Vitamin  D with the risk of melanoma?) but at the end of the day, it’s not very exciting reading, even for me, and it’s my body being discussed.

On my desk are a number of writing diaries and my beloved sprint journal. Every time I go away to retreat, I bring my retreat book. I begin on Day 1 with what I want to accomplish overall, record a work plan each day, and end with a summary. It is helpful, but it’s not something I revisit, and I can’t imagine my work plans making it into a panel in the Life of Ramona Museum. (A made-up thing I joke about with my family. Don’t ask about admission. It involves chores.)

But I have come to realize that I live in interesting times. All times are interesting, of course, but this is the only one I’ll be living in, so maybe I have an obligation to record this time in my own words, through my own world view, so the future can have an honest, first person account.

Why me? Is it hubris—conceited—to think that some future generation might learn from and value what I think, what I feel, what I fear, what I hope? I am not famous or extraordinary. I’m just me, just Harry…I mean, just Ramona. There won’t be any Museum of Ramona. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s hubris to value my time in the world. It is my responsibility as a storyteller.

And yours.

I see and hear my friends lamenting these difficult times and the ones ahead. There are many ways to bring about change, many ways to fight it. This is one. Tell the truth of what’s happening and what it means to you. History is not only recorded by professional  historians, but by everyday people: soldiers, settlers, housewives, orphans, artists, survivors.

Anne Frank kept a diary. Think of the illumination her words have brought to the world. Did she have any idea of her legacy? No.

If today is a day that worries you and tomorrow is one you fear, write about it—to yourself, to a friend, in longhand, on a tablet. Your thoughts and feelings are part of our national consciousness, and our nation’s conscience.

Be heard. Write your story. Be like Anne Frank.

buildings-fall-empires-crumble-people-come-and-go-only-stories-last-forever

Posted in writing inspiration, writing prompt

101 Years Ago Today

On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany and entered World War 1. The Great War. The War to End All Wars. President Wilson, who campaigned with the slogan “He kept us out of war,” asked Congress to approve the war declaration with a new slogan. The United States should make the “world safe for democracy.” On July 4, 1917, American soldiers marched to the Marquis de Lafayette’s gravesite to pay homage with the phrase “Lafayette, nous voilà” – Lafayette, we are here.

The Great War. The War to End All Wars. Make the world safe for democracy. Lafayette, we are here.

The above phrases are an important part of world history. The impact of the first global war is still being examined and discussed. A century later, we still have war and democracy may be in peril, but as long as we remember Lafayette and the soldiers inspired by him, as long as we read the stories of soldiers, there is hope that global wars may be history.

World War 1 and America Writing Workshops

WWi

 

 

Posted in writing exercises, writing inspiration

40 Days of 3 Questions – Day 40

Congratulations! If you are here, you’ve completed 40 days of 3 Questions. I hope the questions made you think about writing, your career, your goals, and yourself as a writer.

If you posted your responses daily or haphazardly, I thank you! When I started the project, I knew I would be away several times during the 40 days and would be unable to respond to individual comments. I did read every response, and many of them made me think about my own place in the tribe. It was gratifying to see the shares, and enlightening to read your answers.

If you answered the questions privately, so did I. Never ask a question you’re not afraid to answer, right?

The final set of questions is for you, but also for me. I may do this project again, or one similar to it, next year. Let me know what worked, or what I missed.

Day 40 Questions:

  1. Why did you answer 3 questions for 40 days?
  2. Were you looking for anything in particular about writing or yourself as a writer?
  3. Did you find it?

Thank you for participating in this project.  My final message–not questions–is a request, or a command. You can take it either way.      Write–your way, for your reasons. No one else can tell your stories, and no one else will do it for you. You can. I hope you will.

Namaste.

thank-you-for-answering-my-questions

Posted in writing exercises, writing inspiration

40 Days of 3 Questions – Day 39

Welcome to 40 Days of 3 Questions!

For the next few weeks, meet here every morning with a notebook or document to answer three questions about writing, about your status quo as a writer, or about the writing life. You can answer briefly and go about your day, or you can use this as a warm up exercise before your regular writing schedule. Whatever works for you, works for me.

Day 39 Questions:

  1. Why do you write?
  2. Why do you write what you write?
  3. What other artistic or creative outlets do you pursue?

You may post answers in comments or keep your thoughts private–your choice!

And here is today’s pretty picture:

art-it-matters
Truth.
Posted in writing exercises, writing inspiration

40 Days of 3 Questions – Day 38

Welcome to 40 Days of 3 Questions!

For the next few weeks, meet here every morning with a notebook or document to answer three questions about writing, about your status quo as a writer, or about the writing life. You can answer briefly and go about your day, or you can use this as a warm up exercise before your regular writing schedule. Whatever works for you, works for me.

Day 38 Questions:

  1. What writing “rule” would you like to blow to smithereens?
  2. Why do you hate this rule?
  3. Do you reject this rule or respect it?

You may post answers in comments or keep your thoughts private–your choice!

And here is today’s pretty picture:

cop car
Never convicted!
Posted in writing exercises, writing inspiration

40 Days of 3 Questions: Day 37

Welcome to 40 Days of 3 Questions!

For the next few weeks, meet here every morning with a notebook or document to answer three questions about writing, about your status quo as a writer, or about the writing life. You can answer briefly and go about your day, or you can use this as a warm up exercise before your regular writing schedule. Whatever works for you, works for me.

Day 37 Questions:

  1. What’s the most daring (to you) story you’ve ever written?
  2. Why is it so daring—subject, style, switch of genre?
  3. Do you think of yourself as a brave writer, a safe one, or in between?

You may post answers in comments or keep your thoughts private–your choice!

And here is today’s pretty picture:

horse
This daring horse is leaping across candles on my fireplace mantle.
Posted in writing exercises, writing inspiration

40 Days of 3 Questions: Day 36

Welcome to 40 Days of 3 Questions!

For the next few weeks, meet here every morning with a notebook or document to answer three questions about writing, about your status quo as a writer, or about the writing life. You can answer briefly and go about your day, or you can use this as a warm up exercise before your regular writing schedule. Whatever works for you, works for me.

Day 36 Questions:

  1. Do you feel like you have to reinvent the wheel every time you begin a story?
  2. What writing lesson have you learned that you never have to relearn?
  3. What writing lesson still gives you trouble?

You may post answers in comments or keep your thoughts private–your choice!

And here is today’s pretty picture:

owl in ice
Owl Who Slipped on Ice (I warned him it was slippery. Did he listen? No.)