Write Anywhere #65

Have you taken up the Write Anywhere Challenge?

Each week we encourage writers and other creatives to break out of their regular routines to fuel their creativity. Whether it’s a comfy spot at home, a booth in a coffee shop, or more exotic locales, changing your location can have a positive effect on your writing or other creative efforts. This week I took advantage of a perfect summer evening for inspiration.

Write Anywhere #65: Outdoor Concert

Tulsa Playboys Tuesdays In The Park Broken Arrow Oklahoma photo by kristin nador

The Tulsa Playboys swing

Our town has a summer concert series each year at a local park. The price can’t be beat (free!) and the weather was perfect, so I took my folding chair, bug spray, and notebook for a relaxing evening. This night’s concert featured the sounds of The Tulsa Playboys, a western swing group.

Tulsa Playboys Broken Arrow Oklahoma image by kristin nador

I wouldn’t say western swing is my music of choice, but it set the tone for the festive atmosphere and started growing on me. Guitars, fiddles, electric mandolins got the crowd clapping and children dancing.

Children dance, Tuesdays in the Park Broken Arrow, Oklahoma image by kristin nador

Dancing joy

Patches of lawn chairs crowded into the islands of shadow underneath the few oaks and maples. Everywhere I turned people greeted one another, spotting neighbors and old friends, generations of families, waving them down with baseball caps or a Sunday church hat or two, and if you didn’t know the folks sitting near you before you sure did by the end of the night.

Tuesdays in the Park 2013 Broken Arrow Oklahoma image by kristin nador

 

 

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There were pretzels and hot dogs to buy, and the local bank passed out cupcakes for all to munch on. Dogs from Great Dane to Dachshund paraded through the throng with their humans.

 

dogs Broken Arrow Oklahoma 2013 image by kristin nador

doggy friends

The scene made me imagine simpler times, without our digital umbilical cords, when people weren’t passive recipients of entertainment, but had to create their own. Before computers, before movies, television, radio.

As I watched several audience members with their faces deep in their iPhones, I laughed at myself as my Pleasantville fantasy quickly dissolved. But it did give me an idea for a writing prompt. The Playboys belted out Fat Boy Rag as I packed up to leave, and a hazy sunset reminded me that I love where I live.

sunset, June 26 2013, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma image by kristin nador

Where did your creativity take you this week?

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Write Anywhere #64

IMG_1329This week’s Write Anywhere should have been posted last week. I had a minor surgery on my right arm, and I was too lazy to try to type and load this post solely with my left hand. It’s healing fine. Please forgive the delay.

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I love getting around creative people. They don’t have to be writers like me, any type of creative pursuit inspires. I may not have the talent or skill to paint, sculpt, sing, build, sew, or act, but I have to admire those that allow their creative selves an outlet. My town provided an outlet for those willing to brave the heat, and their fellow citizens critique, and it didn’t fail in its ability to inspire.

Write Anywhere #64: Chalk Art Festival

Chalk Art Festival 2013, Broken Arrow, OK image by kristin nador

Chalk Art Festival 2013, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Perfect weather cheered the heart after weeks of tornado outbreaks at the ‘Chalk It Up’ Art Festival in the downtown Rose District of Broken Arrow, and let would-be artists of all ages create their masterpieces along the pavement on Main Street.

listen to the music...

listen to the music…

The acoustic strains of ‘Mr. Bojangles’ from a local band wafted down the street while the crowds watched the chalk art appear. An inordinate amount of funny-looking little dogs pulled their owners along on leashes, and neighbors visited together while waiting in line to place their ballot for their favorite chalk art.

Chalk Art Festival 2013 Broken Arrow Oklahoma chalk artists image by kristin nador

Chalk, there is much…

Chalk Art Festival 2013 Broken Arrow Oklahoma image by kristin nador

art imitating art

Chalk Art Festival 2013 Broken Arrow Oklahoma image by kristin nador

The thirsty clamored for cold bottles of Jarritos from a cooler in front of the Mexican restaurant and kids clamored for balloon animals.

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Street performers did their best to entertain, but the focus was the chalk art.

Despite the transitory nature of their creations, the artists put all their effort into their pieces. It reminded me about the temporary nature of writing, those bits and pieces, beautiful words and ideas that can float through our minds and wash away, like chalk in the rain, if we don’t capture them in the moment.

I try to keep as many idea ‘buckets’ around as possible: notebooks, phone apps, voice recorder, and pocket Moleskines, but more ideas escape me than I care to admit. The chalk artists inspire us to embrace the moment, and be brave enough to let those ethereal bits go without regret. Maybe they come back when we make a habit to embrace creativity, both ours and others.

Where did you write this week?

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The 50 Books Everyone Needs to Read, 1963-2013

Looking for some good summer reading? I loved this list from Flavorwire, especially since I can choose a great book from every year since I’ve been around on this big blue marble. How many of these books have you read? How many are going on your TBR list?

Flavorwire

The thing about reading is this: it takes a long time. There are innumerable books in the world, and many more good ones than can be read by any mortal in a lifetime. It’s hard to choose — especially if you’re a slow reader. So, to go along with the list of the best albums from 1963-2013, here you will find a single must-read book from each of the last 50 years. Of course, this is by its very nature an absurd undertaking, and many books have gotten the short end of the stick — there’s no other way to do it. The choices here are influenced by the following: the stipulation that any specific author should not be chosen for more than one year, a general focus on fiction over other genres, and the tastes/whims/glaring prejudices of Flavorwire’s literary editor. Feel free to argue in the comments, but…

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Write Anywhere #63

Write Anywhere is a weekly challenge to realize we can discover the fuel for creativity any place we choose. I love finding different places to get inspired and write, then sharing my experience with you on Fridays. Some weeks aren’t as conducive to exploring, with things like illness or bad weather to keep me close to home. But that’s not a problem when the adventure comes to me. Continue reading

Guest Blogging #2 At Oklahoma Women Bloggers

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The ladies at Oklahoma Women Bloggers were so gracious to allow me to guest blog again, so I hope you’ll hop on over there and check out today’s post entitled The Memory Jar. I had a lot of fun writing it, and maybe it will jog some memories for you as well. See you there! 🙂

Steve Jobs and 5 Tips for Being a Successful Author

Another excellent post from author Kristen Lamb about getting a success mindset on your writing journey.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Yesterday, one of our WANA International instructors, Amy Shojai, wrote about the importance of reinvention, and I strongly recommend her class this Saturday (which is recorded if you can’t make the time). Use code: OWFI for $25 off. As authors, we are in a new paradigm that changes faster than we can keep up with it, thus Apple seemed to be a natural segue into the topic of reinvention and excellence.

Yes, Steve Jobs was known as a lot of things, including a tyrant and egomaniac. Yet, no matter how we feel about the man, Jobs remains the poster child for reinvention, and I found some quotes that make great lessons for all of us writers.

Granted, I was inspired by another blog. Last month, I ran across a fantastic post by Tiffany Reisz Wisdom for Writers from Steve Jobs which I strongly recommend you read as well.

Tip #1—Dare to…

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Write Anywhere #62

Spring is here. Each year it calls me outside, in spite of my sinuses’ protests. What better way to enjoy the season and stir up creativity than to visit an event that points you to lovely vernal season skies? Continue reading

Guest Blogging at Oklahoma Women Bloggers

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Today I am guest posting over at Oklahoma Women Bloggers. This is a big deal for two reasons:

  1. This is my first guest post gig. I’m pretty excited.
  2. It’s at Oklahoma Women Bloggers.  Can I just say they’re awesome, y’all!

I hope you’ll stop by and check out my guest post and tool around their site for all kinds of blogiliciousness. See ya over there!

Write Anywhere #61

Have you ever had one of those weeks when it seems all the dastardly forces of Resistance are against you and your writing? If it wasn’t time suckers of the first magnitude (sitting on hold all day trying to find an intelligent being to understand they need to fix an incorrect bill) it was emotional vampires trying to attach their fangs and suck me dry of compassion and patience, and everything in between.

What’s a girl to do? Wear a necklace of garlic? Hide under the covers? I decided to high-tail it to the land of sunshine, laughter, and swishing tails. Continue reading