Writing 101 DAY 3 – Commit To a Writing Practice

Today’s prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

At the mere mention of ‘song’, it conjures up bird song and the dawn chorus. I simply adore waking to the sound of the birds, so vibrant with energy and enthusiasm for another day. I think it must be absolutely wonderful to be able to live life with such simplicity. There are numerous particular birds whose song is music to my ears. I love the sound of the skylark, its wings fluttering away as it soars high in the sky, so far up you can barely see it. It conjures up warm sunny summer days, the gentleness of the breeze as it caresses my exposed skin which just indulges in its own freedom. Freedom from those many layers of clothing that stifled the life out of it during the long winter months. The skylark for me symbolises freedom, liberation and self-expansion, a time with space to stretch and expand into the warmth of the sunshine around me.

My other song is the song of the wind. I love the sound of the wind as it plays tunes through obstacles. I live in a windy place and it is amazing just listening to the different sounds. You get used to the type of wind by the noise it makes. During the winter it can sound angry and ferocious as it hits the windows and the sound of the glass tinkling as it flexes with the force upon it. Any exposed edge will make a tune, a hum or a howl, a fluttering or a whine. In the summer months I lie in the long grass with the insects and just feel the gentleness of the breeze as it moves over me. Sometimes it feels like it has come along to play, teasing me as it creeps up on me and then quickly disappears. I can feel it but I cannot touch it. I listen for every change in tone as it moves through the grasses, gently whispering, telling me stories of ancient tales.

My third song is the song of the sea. How I have cherished the times I have spent sat in the lee of the wind drinking in the sounds of the water moving over the stones. For me it was a place of sanctuary, a retreat, a place of calm serenity. The movement of water over the rocks and pebbles felt like it was washing my troubles and as each wave retreated, the pitch of the sound made me tingle with energy all over. This was a place to contemplate but not to think. The sounds interrupted any though but seemed to encourage gentle contemplation.

So my ideal heaven would be lying of a large warm boulder on a rocky seashore, indulging in the sensation of the warm whispering summer breeze whilst listening to the songs of the skylark the sea.

Writing 101 DAY 2 – A Room with A View

Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

It is really interesting to observe my reactions to a simple phrase – today’s title. My mind works rather like a tree’s visual form. The trunk, just me and then, with merely a gentle prod, my thoughts shoot out along every branch and twig faster than the speed of light. It is no wonder that I have had difficulty even beginning to write!

The thoughts have memories attached, all those places I have enjoyed, flashing through my mind at lightning speed. Along with the memories visually whizzing by there is even more going on. Attached to them are the emotions, feelings and sensations. Ah, it’s all too much mind retorts.

Then a thought strikes me. Yes, this is how I see my world! I am the room and believe it or not, I am the view. As I ponder this, I am watching me view my world. My perspective of this world. It is mine, for only I can perceive it this way. It is all happening at once, this is why my mind cannot handle the concept. I wonder, is this why I have built in filters? So I don’t go on overload!

I notice the emotions that arise as I feel my reactions, there is the gentleness of my breath as I notice the multitude of thoughts begin to quieten. The stiffness in my shoulders eases and there is a gentle lowering of the skeletal structure of the shoulder area, rather like a balloon slowly losing air. I am feeling calmer, stiller and am suddenly, not violently suddenly, but gently suddenly, becoming aware that I feel more at one with myself again. My mind is still engaging in this task but the tension has gone, this experience is one of feeling good. I stop to think momentarily, yikes, there’s that tree again!

Now, where was I?

Yes, I am the room and I am the view. Words almost fail me but this time from a state of ease and sheer pleasure as I indulge in the experience.

Writing 101- Day One – Unlock the Mind

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to handwrite for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up. It doesn’t matter if what you write is incomplete, or nonsense, or not worthy of the “Publish” button.

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

I cannot remember a time when I did not have some urge to write but by the time I had reached for a piece of paper and in more recent years a dictaphone, or mobile phone’s voice recorder, most of the poignancy of the thought had dissolved into the ethers. I may then spend the next 20 minutes or so trying desperately to retrieve it even though I know from years of repeating this habit that it most certainly does not work. I may stand a chance of accessing a diluted version of the thoughts if I just accept that this is the way it is and totally let go of ever remembering any of it. It is as if I then become aware of the thought as if it were a cloud, slowly dissolving but I have caught it and the essence of what was in it, just before it finally disappeared forever.

Now there have been times when I have written things down. Somehow whatever was going through my mind in some way gained momentum, as if it was determined to be remembered. There was a time in my life when I was moved to support different people and short poignant verses would appear. Written on a nice card and given as a gift was quite transformational for them and lifted my spirits in the bargain.

Like most people, I was forced to write reams and reams at school, was expected to write essays about subjects I really did not resonate with and fictional stories where the focus was on the grammar. I can remember leaving it late in the day to do the work of a fictional piece and I chose to write a ghost story of all things. As I began to write, the story began to unfold by itself and for a while I was lost in it. That was until I scared myself rigid! Despite the fact that I knew I had made it all up, the horror thoughts just would not go away and it took me ages to get to sleep that night. I had to leave finishing the piece of work until break time at school, in daylight! I rushed the end of it just to get it finished. After that I had an even greater reluctance to write anything.

Years late I tried again. I purchase a correspondence course and wrote some dodgy short stories. I was then given an assignment to report on an actual occurrence, a news item. The critique was such that it again put me off writing. I had not embellished, sensationalised the news report, not made it appealing. For me that just seemed cruel and dishonest and I decided in that moment that a career as a journalist was no longer a desired destination – I would have to think of something else.

Time moved on and still the desire to write was there, tapping me on the shoulder, nagging me at the edge of my consciousness. Along came another course, this one had a different take on writing. It looked appealing and attainable. It was a daily course that encouraged me to write anything, just anything for a full five minutes without stopping. The point was to just get something down on paper (or screen). It worked, whilst I did the course, which for me was positive progress. And now this, 20 minutes, wow, that’ll stretch me and it has. Now let’s see if I can make it to Day 2!

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