Tag Archives: imagination

Earth And Sea And Sky


My shell art is almost complete.

It took me almost a year to collect enough shells from the bay. You craft-wise people would probably ask, “Why didn’t you simply go to the craft store to get your shells?”

I looked at those bags of shells in the store, and told myself, no. I want shells that represent my new locale. So I went down to the bay every week and searched for just the right shells.

Bruce is not into home-made art. He tolerates my need to occasionally paint, or sew, or construct something…


So my “art” will hang in my office. The walls are getting crowded, and the only reasonable space left is behind the computer.

Which is good, because my shell art will remind me of the sea, how I prayed for forty (yes, literally) years before God answered my prayer to live by the ocean again, how the waves and the wind and the salt air settle my mind on the greatness of my God…

how He has established nature’s rhythms: light and dark, high tide and low tide, the arc of the sun, of the moon, the currents of air and the drifting of clouds,


and below, the swell of the deep.


Never mind that the art is not perfect. It’s there to say, “You are where you’ve always dreamed about. God brought you here.”

You Might Be A Writer If…

  1. You love to go to the mall, not to shop, but to watch people.
  2. You love to hang out in bookstores and wish you could buy every book there.
  3. You love to go to coffee places, not necessarily for the coffee—although you’ll enjoy some of that, too— but because other writers tend to hang there, and even though you don’t know any of them, you gain inspiration from their proximity.IMG_0573
  4. You love to take walks by yourself so you can rehearse scenes out loud. (You also get very good at talking without moving your lips so no one can tell you’re talking to yourself!)
  5. You keep a notebook so you can write down favorite phrases or sentences from a great writer. “It was the best of times; it was the worse of times.”
  6. Anything around you could become a potential novel. Including your chair.
  7. You lose track of time when you’re working at your computer on a scene in your WIP.
  8. You do weird and potentially incriminating searches on your computer for strange viruses, untraceable poisons, exotic places, foreign languages, interesting names, personality disorders, how to elude a stalker, etc.
  9. The sound of rain, the scent of the sea, the touch of a leather-bound book, and the mist tumbling down over the hills all make your imagination kick into high gear.
  10. You wish fervently that you could interview the couple  at the next table in the restaurant.
  11. You’d rather write than do just about anything else.
  12. Rejection stings, and you want to give up. But you can’t. You just can’t.

So there are my twelve “you might be a writer if.” I’m sure, if I interviewed ten authors that they’d each give me twelve of their own.

How about you? Care to share some of your own “you might be a writer if…”?


IMG_0646My twin brother and I shared a bedroom when we were little tykes. He had the upper bunk, but I joined him at 8 in the evening. Because, even though we were supposed to be fast asleep, our next-door neighbors were watching Zorro.

At the age of five, Zorro was my hero. We couldn’t hear the dialogue of the latest episode over the neighbor’s fence and through their picture window, but that wasn’t necessary for a kindergartner. All that was needed to help me fill in the facts of the story were black capes and masks, a beautiful black horse, and lots of horsey chase scenes.

After the program ended, I’d climb back into my bottom bunk and make up stories about my caped hero for another hour or two. (I had insomnia even then.)

A year or two later, my parents started watching the TV program, Dr. Kildare. I was too young to stay up and watch the dashing and compassionate doctor. But through sneaked trips to the kitchen for a drink of water, I got occasional glimpses of my new hero. Oh, I had such a crush on Dr. Kildare, AKA Richard Chamberlain.

From my bunk bed, even though I couldn’t see the program, I could hear the dialogue. After the program, I’d imagine stories where I was Dr. Kildare’s faithful nurse/assistant.

In elementary school, I fell in love with poetry. Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost. (I wasn’t ready for Keats or Tennyson yet.) In my bedroom, shared by my older sister, I composed my own poems late into the night.

In high school I became fascinated by war stories and famous battles. ( I know, it seems like a strange thing for a teenaged girl to be interested in.) My library books educated me about the gruesomeness of war, but also provided me with fodder for some pretty dramatic historical fiction.

I’ve always found the quiet of late nights, coupled with the solitariness of a time when family members make no demands, to be my nocturne.

Just me and my bed, my brain, and the images, situations, conflicts, rescues, chases, and mysteries collected from treasured books and movies and poems. They form die pieces which are cast out onto the mental game board in new combinations, my dreams a sometime-contributor to the pieces.

I hope I have enough time left to type them all out of my brain.

“Imagination is the highest kite that can fly.” (Lauren Bacall)

Fear Not

I guess every family culture is different, but growing up in my family, we kids liked to scare each other.

Nothing gory. It was more of the psychological stuff.

Like discussing the possibility of giant ants that hide under the house and only come out at night. Of course, they’re able to squeeze through a minuscule hole at the back of my bedroom closet, and the only victims are kids younger than seven.

That story, told by by older sister, had me going for several years.

All my older siblings had to do was suggest a possible what-if scenario, then wait for me to imagine the rest.

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(My older sisters on either side of me: the two that filled my head with scary stories!)

Because I had a lively imagination, I came up with doozies that kept me in a constant state of heightened awareness…especially at night.

As an adult, I’ve simply replaced these irrational fears for more realistic fears: Are my kids (grandkids) okay? Will my husband keep his job in this challenging economy? Will we be able to retire in a few years? etc.

God understands that we have lots of things to be afraid of in this world. And we can build up our fears to the point where we fail to acknowledge that none of this is beyond God’s control.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV Bible)

Those who trust in Him have a wise, loving and vigilant Father.

Walk close to Him, listen to Him, worship Him.

Fear not.