bluebell“Without play, learning and evolution are impossible. Play is the taproot from which original art springs; it is the raw stuff the artist channels and organizes. Technique itself springs from play, by testing the limits and resistances of our tools.” -Stephen Nachmanovitch (qtd. in Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Rico)

Yesterday I had a bad day. I discovered that instead of losing weight this week, as I expected, I had gained 1.2 pounds. I let my discouragement get to me. I did a lousy job of writing and felt stuck. About 3:00, when I had finally finished grading my English 101 papers (which were splendid, by the way), I realized that my uncle’s graveside service was beginning in Dryad, and I wished I was there — a 2 1/2 hour drive. Not possible. I drove home instead, and I went to bed. I slept for two hours!

A good dinner, my 13-year-old home safely from her field trip to Wenatchee (I picked her up at 6:00), a jigsaw puzzle. Bed by ten. Slept all night. This morning I sat down at the computer and instead of editing, editing, editing (which is what I usually do when I’m stuck), I tried to imagine what else might happen. In an abandoned house a child’s toy, a carved horse, appeared. A character I didn’t know was in the scene scooped it up and stuck it in his pocket.

This is why I write.

2 replies
  1. Carolynne Harris
    Carolynne Harris says:

    I loved your blog, so honest, everyone gets the idea of gaining 1.2 especially when you think you’ve lost 1.2 – When I think I’ve gained I often lose – that’s how life is too.
    I love thinking about a what could be found in an Abandoned House – You think of the best things to think about.

    • awritersalchemy
      awritersalchemy says:

      “You think of the best things to think about.” Okay, I’ll make it a writing exercise. What do you imagine finding there?

      I had fun with this, by the way. I went on-line and found images of Zuni carved horses.


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