Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On a Writer's Walk

In the neighborhood, June 2013 (

"Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

I had a pretty good walk the other day when all along my route a world of words and writing accompanied me, and not just the mechanics of the notecard and pencil I carried in my pocket:

Fallen catawba blossoms poured out like popcorn around a tree trunk--simile.

A deer, white tail straight up, bounding across a yard--poetry.

A mug lying in the road in the midst of a wet puddle still smelling of fresh coffee--mystery.

Rustling in the mulberry tree and the surprise of a squirrel dropping to the ground right in my path--the unexpected.

A mother jogging with her pre-teen daughter--supporting characters/character change.

 Sweet scent of honeysuckle--detail and description.

Two small bunnies, one following the other, across the road to the bushes beyond. "Think we're going to make it before a car comes?" "Dunno' but we'd better get a move on"--dialogue. (Or maybe foreshadowing. See next...)

Awful, stinking roadkill of an opossum--complication (I had to turn my head and hold my nose) and conflict. (Sorry, TMI?)

Honk of passing white van, wave of neighbor--satisfying ending.

"Seeing is a gift that comes with practice."--Stephanie Mills. I find this to be true. I must practice seeing. My proclivity is to walk with my head down, preoccupied with my thoughts, tuned out. I must consciously look up, look around, tune in, see things with a wider vision. And then it becomes a game--what can I see? What new perspective, what unexpected wonder or connection might I make? What new idea or breakthough will surprise me? And then writing is fun again.

What about you--is your writing vision already "sharp" or do you have to practice, too? What have you seen in any of your activities this week that has re-energized your writing batteries?


  1. I've been thinking about storms lately. Last night's roared in with all the lightning and thunder I could have wished for - and luckily, no damage left behind. I did make a few mental notes. Wish it had been safe to go outside and LOOK.

    I need to practice. Doesn't everyone? But I do find myself "writing" descriptions in my head more and more often. And I carry a notebook with me - just in case I have a thought worth keeping. :)

    1. Peggy, glad to know you didn't suffer any damages from the storm. We didn't have it bad last night but strong storms blew in this morning. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who needs practice in seeing! But I sure don't depend on remembering those descriptions in my head anymore--I depend on those notebooks and 3x5 cards I'm always carrying around :-)

      Thanks for dropping by...

  2. This was a great post. You're right, when I'm out on a jog, I doubt I notice more than five or six things--the puffy clouds in the blue sky; that the wheat smells sweet and is getting taller; that the blossoms have fallen off the roadside apple tree; memories of our dog who passed away last fall, but used to sit at the top of a hill, at a bend in the road, and wait for me to get back to her--well, maybe I notice more than I'd thought.

    But in general, I can tell that you and I tackle writing differently. You're the poet! I've been trolling for new ideas lately, but from a file I'd compiled a dozen years ago, with hundreds of ideas in it. I'm now looking at the ideas with new eyes, and seeing which ones still have juice for me. Unfortunately, most do. Too many ideas, too little time. :)

    1. Cathy, your list of descriptions are beautiful--I find myself mentally in your setting. The sky, the wheat, the apple tree. Sounds like a place where I'd love to take a walk :-) And I can appreciate what you say about the file you've compiled--there truly are too many ideas, too little time. But let's see how many we can develop, shall we, and encourage each other to keep on trying...!

  3. "Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it." --Ralph Waldo Emerson." Super quote Kenda and the picture is gorgeous.

  4. I liked that quote too, Kenda. (I'm an Emerson fan.) I love to stroll around Midtown, just gawking, because there are so many trees, and people also love to garden, so I'm always seeing images as I walk. Your post reminds me that I should carry a pocket notebook.