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





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 #49

By Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

I’m a master at the two-fer. I love to multitask, to combine offers, to kill two birds with one stone. Sometimes this is to my detriment, particularly when cooking is involved. But sometimes it works out well, as with this week’s Write Anywhere venue. I had another purpose, but writing wiggled its way into the itinerary, with some interesting results.

Write Anywhere #49: Farmers’ Market

I arrived at my local Farmer’s Market, a train station in its former life, mid-morning on Saturday and the heat gave a light sweaty sheen to all in attendance. My goal today: to purchase all the groceries I needed and save money. I wanted to prove wrong the idea that healthy and local is expensive. With the exception of two items I did it.

But the Farmer’s Market is more than a frugal shopping destination. It’s a people watching paradise. The vendors sell their wares: everything from fleece rugs to goat milk to birdhouses to  Greek pastichio. The customers run the spectrum: reserved retired couples in matching t-shirts, groups of mothers in maxi-dresses pushing babies, old men in birkenstocks and bandanas, cyclists loading their backpacks with the market’s bounty, all seeing and being seen. Dogs of every type wag a greeting to one another as they walk their owners past the tables loaded with splashes of tasty color.

Tomatoes, squash, herbs, garlic bulbs, potatoes, green beans. All the makings of something good.

The farmers’ market is also a great place for dialogue. Listen to it. Participate in it. People love to talk about their passions.

The farm couple crafting goat cheeses and butters shared excitedly their best-selling herb flavors. A farmer in overalls unloading his Ford F150 demonstrated the proper way to thump a melon.  A sweet lady told me how she makes her beloved fleece throw rugs and was proud when I asked permission for a photo.

I took my bag of groceries with an order of pastichio and found one of the few shady spots under a tree. A few bites, a few words in my notebook, a few more bites. The breeze carried the music of the market: voices, barking, the cicadas buzz, the rhythm of tires crossing the railroad tracks.

As I relaxed on the bench, I noticed a booth over on the far side of plaza: the local news radio station was running a remote broadcast. None of the market patrons took notice and the three radio station employees looked lonesome in their booth. Then a thought only a writer would have popped into my head: “I should go over there. They might have free pens.” How to explain the workings of the mid-century brain…

I chatted with two nice ladies who identified themselves as producers while a local garden expert took to the airwaves. The ladies asked why I came to the market and I shared my shop local experiment. Their eyes got big as they said almost in unison: ‘Would you say that on the air?”

Before I knew it I had a microphone in my hand and I was on the radio! I wished Keeper Hubby could have heard me, because weird things like this seem to happen to me and I’m not sure if he doesn’t think my imagination is working overtime. But you never can tell what will happen when you get out of your regular routine and Write Anywhere.😉

Where did you write this week?

Question: Do you have a farmers’ market or roadside produce booth in your area? What’s your favorite summer fruit or veggie?

**Important News: Week #52, the one year anniversary of the Friday Write Anywhere venues, is coming up fast. Stayed tuned for interesting things like hashtag virtual parties, surprise giveaways, and announcements on what is happening for year two of kristin nador writes anywhere. Make sure you’re subscribed in email or RSS feed so you don’t miss any of the fun. Share this post by clicking the Facebook, Twitter or Google+ sharing button below and tell all of your creative friends. Thanks for your support!

Write Anywhere #41

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Keeper Hubby was in the Army for 5 years and in the Marine Corps for 4 years. I’m familiar with the military life from a family perspective. I’m familiar with the stress, the loneliness, the worry, the hard work it takes to keep a family together with a parent/spouse’s long-term absence. I’m familiar with the happiness and relief when said loved one returns from deployment.

I am not familiar with the loss, grief, and hopelessness those whose loved ones make the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe and free experience. I have much empathy for those families, but I can never begin to understand what they go through. This week I tried to understand in a small way.

Write Anywhere #41: Memorial Day Remembrance

Flags on Memorial Day 2012

I attended the Memorial Weekend tribute at Floral Haven Cemetery here in my community. The Avenue of Flags is a tribute they present by flying veterans’ government issued casket flags for the families that request it each Memorial Day.

Flags blowing in the hot wind

Each flag has a metal tag identifying the person the flag represents. That floored me. I never knew the flags stood for a person. I thought they were just decoration to commemorate the holiday. This year there were 3,053 flags.

The tinkling of the name tags against the flag poles in the wind combined with a baritone voice reading the name of each veteran over the loudspeaker floated over the area in an eerie somber chorus.

The park was filled with people enduring the hot wind of the highest temperature so far this year. Groups gathered at a patriarch’s final resting place, happy and laughing like a family reunion. Others trekked around on their annual scavenger hunt, searching for their loved one’s flag. I spotted a man carrying two 2-liter soda bottles. He poured one out into the ground. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing until he stooped down to wipe clean the grave marker at his feet.

Preparing to change the guard during Tomb of the Unknowns re-enactment

They have a reenactment of Arlington National Cemetery’s  Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns by the Cadets of the Starbase Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. The ceremony was silent save for the cadets punctuating the ritual with the tap of boots.

It was a very moving experience. I sat on the bleachers they set up for viewing and took a few notes. It’s appropriate that these young people are part of the re-enactment: people forget that war is fought by the young, and the young are the ones that do the dying. If old men in the halls of government around the globe could remember that.

I realized I couldn’t write anything that would express what the remembrance really means. Instead, I decided to make a list.

Army Staff Sgt. Travis M. Tompkins, age 31, Lawton, OK

Army 2nd Lt. Jared W. Ewy, age 33, Edmond, OK

Army Specialist Augustus J. Vicari, age 22, Broken Arrow, OK

Army Staff Sgt. Kirk A. Owen, age 37, Sapulpa, OK

Army Sgt. Anthony Del Mar Petersen, age 24, Chelsea, OK

Army Specialist Jordan M. Morris, age 23, Stillwater, OK

Army 2nd Lt. Joe L. Cunningham, age 27, Kingston, OK

Army 1st Lt. Damon Leehan, age 30, Moore, OK

Army Specialist Joshua M. Seals, age 21, Porter, OK

Army Sgt. Bret D. Isenhower, age 26, Lamar, OK

Army Specialist Christopher D. Horton, age 26, Collinsville, OK

Army Pfc. Tony J. Potter, age 20, Okmulgee, OK

Army Sgt. Mycal L. Prince, age 28, Minco, OK

Army Specialist Francisco  J. Briseno-Alvarez, Jr., age 27, Oklahoma City, OK

Army Pfc. Sarina Butcher, age 19, Checotah, OK

Army Specialist Christopher Gailey, age 26, Ochelata, OK

Marine Corporal Jon-Luke Bateman, age 22, Tulsa, OK

Army Sgt. Allen R. McKenna, Jr., age 28, Noble, OK

Army Specialist James E. Dutton, age 25, Checotah, OK

Army 2nd Lt. Tobias C. Alexander, age 30, Lawton, OK

Navy Hospitalman Eric D. Warren, age 23, Shawnee, OK

This is a list of the military personnel from my state of Oklahoma who died in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Phillipines this last year. To them, their spouses, their children, their parents, their friends, their communities, there’s only one thing to write.

I remember.

Write Anywhere #39

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Do you carry your notebook, camera or sketchbook with you all the time? Are you prepared to capture a scene or an idea when it reveals itself? You never know when a creative idea will pop up. Every experience is a potential revelation for your creative self. I found an active spot to get a little inspiration this week.

Write Anywhere #39: Community Festival

Rooster Days is the oldest festival in Oklahoma. In the 1930s it started as a way to help farmers market excess roosters to the community so they could have more fresh eggs available. Today Rooster Days has no roosters but is a fun small town community festival and carnival. All the families, couples, and groups gave lots of opportunities for people watching.

lots of action

The arts and crafts fair offered a myriad of interesting items. If you’re a pink-sequined hat, fudge, wine, and beef jerky lover it was heaven. Artist Daughter and I got a lot of exercise walking several blocks in the downtown area.

Red Dirt Rangers play Red Dirt music at Rooster Days, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

We rested at one of the music stages, where the Red Dirt Rangers put on a great show and I scribbled a few lines in my notebook.

Of course there were funnel cakes. And that’s all I have to say about that.🙂

Where did you write this week?

Question: What’s your favorite carnival food?

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Write Anywhere #23

January has been warmer than usual so far and it’s giving me more chances to find writing spots outdoors. I came across a serene spot perfect for tapping into creativity.

Write Anywhere #23: Gazebo

Cozy spot for writing

A gazebo in nearby Jackson Park offered a little protection from the nippy winds and a picnic table to sit and write. Even if it’s only for 15 or 20 minutes, dropping everything to be present in the moment washes the clutter from your brain and will let ideas come to the surface.

I didn’t work on a writing project but instead did some sensory exercises. I wrote about the sights: sandy-colored ornamental grasses swaying in the wind, trees with branches lifted naked to the sky, a father and daughter peering into the pond together. I wrote about the sounds: the hum of traffic, bark of a dog, the little girl laughing.

I wrote about the goldfish pond nearby that had been filled in to make a sandpit. It reminded me of a memory that could relate to a scene in my WIP and I ended up writing several paragraphs. Taking that small break from the daily routine paid off.

Where did you write this week?

Question: Have you had warmer, colder or average weather for your area so far this winter?

Write Anywhere #20

Holiday celebrations are popping up all over, as they do every year. Early Saturday morning I staked my claim on a bench on Main Street to enjoy a local festivity. (This is a photo-heavy post, but I only do it on special occasions, so I hope you don’t mind the indulgence.)

Write Anywhere #20: Christmas Parade

Start the parade!

I bundled up and found a good vantage point in front of the Main Street Tavern Restaurant. Couples strolled down the sidewalk keeping warm with coffee and one another. Kids dragged their parents to the curb; parents dragged wagons overflowing with kids. Christmas music and the smell of bakery goods wafted out of the open shop doors and combined with the cigar smoke of old men talking together on the corner. The atmosphere reminded me of some of the reasons why we chose to live in a small town. I practiced writing descriptions of the activities and people around me before a siren signaled the beginning of the parade.

It was great seeing candy flying through the air, poodles wrapped in Christmas lights, energetic cheerleaders and cool muscle cars.


not sure what this was supposed to be, hey, it's a small town, we do our best🙂

But I was really there for the bands. Here in Oklahoma we’re serious about our football, and we’re serious about our marching bands. Three local high schools competed in the 2011 Bands of America Grand Nationals and out of all the bands in the nation the Pride of Broken Arrow took home first place. There were several bands in today’s parade.

Bring on the band!

I had an ulterior motive for watching the bands. There is a scene in the historical fiction I’m writing where my main character, a German-American girl, attends a Saengerfest.

Find out about Saengerfest at “Glee”and Getting Your Historical Research Groove On

Writing about the sensory detail of the marching bands gave me some material to work into those scenes. And it was a fun way to make time for creativity.

Where did you write this week?

Question: Do you attend any community holiday celebrations in your city or town?