Write Anywhere 083: Montana Mountains

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Do you ever wish you could get away from it all?

One of this year’s many challenges has been to keep on task with my Write Anywhere goals of finding interesting and inspiring places to stir up my writing creativity. Finances, Keeper Hubby’s health, as well as my own aches and pains, have kept me home at times when I would have liked to go out exploring new spots and practicing my writing and photography skills.

I love the challenge of going other places for two reasons: it helps me be present and focused by making specific times for creativity, and it helps me push down the symptoms of panic disorder that would prefer me to lock myself away. Sometimes that’s hard to deal with, but my creative voice is more valuable to me than the discomfort I deal with when I make myself vulnerable by getting out in public venues.

I didn’t expect the situation to change much through this year and had resigned myself to that fact with more than a hint of frustration. But at the end of fall sweet Hubby made it possible for me to take a much-needed caregiver’s break to explore a fascinating place with some of my favorite people. Continue reading

Write Anywhere #77: Comedy Club

by Kristin Nador/ @KristinNador

The days are new now. The children are grown and flown, and going from a four-bedroom house to an 850 square foot apartment in a different state, life’s pace has changed. It’s the beginning of the second act. I feel like it’s a season for trying new things, for being braver.

I’ve been missing Write Anywhere.

if you’re new to this blog, Write Anywhere is a challenge I give myself as I discover new and unusual places to write and get inspiration. I visit a spot, look for ways it inspires my creativity, and share my thoughts. I invite readers to join the challenge and find their own Write Anywhere places and spaces. Whether it’s writing, photography, painting, music, or any artistic expression, taking yourself out of your regular routine and looking at things in a different way can spark new ideas and take you along creative paths you hadn’t considered before.

Continue reading

9 Questions Before You Become A Blogging Statistic

'Blog', courtesy of cortege9, Wikimedia Commons

‘Blog’, courtesy of cortege9, Wikimedia Commons

Are you tired of blogging?

I am.

I know that’s sacrilege to admit on your own blog. The stress of moving, illness, and the fact I haven’t posted consistently has me questioning my commitment to blogging.

Am I really getting a return on investment of the time I put into blogging?

Shouldn’t I be focusing on ‘real’ writing?

My blogging journey started almost three years ago. I researched for three months before taking the plunge, thinking about my goals for my blog. I didn’t want to start something new and shiny, to later run out of steam. (I have a tendency to do that.)

I liked sharing and meeting new people. Researching and writing about creativity, blogging, and social media fascinated me. And I loved sharing my write anywhere adventures.

But lately blogging has felt like a burden, a deadline that looms over me and highlights my penchant for procrastination. I’m considering taking a break, or a complete reboot. Should I start over? Will anyone care?

Continue reading

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 #58

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Wow. It’s been a strange beginning to the new year. I spent the last 2+ weeks doing things I didn’t expect to be doing this year. I’ve been going to physical therapy three times a week to help treat a chronic medical condition. It’s hard work but slowly helping.

In the midst of all my appointments, one evening I heard a giant boom in my garage. Ends up the garage door spring split. Metal expanding and contracting in all the weather extremes is not good for garage door springs, it seems. My garage door stopped working. With my car inside. I couldn’t get it out for three days!

When I finally got the garage door repaired, I started feeling weird. By the next day, I knew I had the strep throat dear Keeper Hubby had two weeks before. Then it was off to the doctor for a diagnosis and antibiotics. The waiting room was filled with definite and probable flu cases. I was glad I had a flu shot but wishing I had a surgical mask, a necklace of garlic, and whatever else it takes to keep flu away. Fortunately my illness stopped at strep throat. I took care of Keeper Hubby while he was down for the count, and when he recovered he went to work out of town. I had to take care of myself for my bout with the sickness. That made the week seem more lonely. Don’t you just want somebody there when you’re sick, if not to take care of you, at least to feel sorry for you? 🙂

During that week spent in bed with juice and kleenex as well as the next, I wrote. A lot. I’m now the vice-president of my local writers’ group, which puts me in charge of acquiring speakers for our meetings. I want to do the best job so it’s been a whirlwind of meetings, phone calls, and emails networking with people to find great speakers. Lots of emails. Did I say a lot of emails?

Add to that a deadline to complete all the writing I wanted to submit to the state writing organization’s annual writing contest. This was my first year entering, and I entered eight categories. That meant eight separate pieces of work. I got behind because of the previously mentioned sickness, but I made it before the deadline. It was a lot of writing, revising, writing, and more revising crammed into just a few days. Total word count:14490.

Why give you my sob story report? Because sometimes when you’ve had a few weeks like this, you need a break to clear your mind. So for this week’s Write Anywhere, I didn’t do any writing at all. But it helped tremendously with my writing. Strange, huh?

Write Anywhere #58: Downtown

Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma

Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma

The weather has also been strange (nothing new about that) and mid-week the January temps decided to tease us with a little spring by rising to the 60’s. I rang up Artist Daughter and told her to grab her camera, because we were going downtown. I grabbed mine as well, and we spent the day snapping photos of the wonderful architecture.

 

Tulsa has a wonderful collection of Art Deco architecture from the oil boom of the early 20’s, and a sunny day and a good pair of walking shoes is all you need to enjoy it.

Buildings in Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma 2013, photo by kristin nador

door of the Boston Building

door of the Boston Building

The Boston Building

320 South Boston Building, designed by architect George Winkler, completed in 1929. The top of the building was designed as a zeppelin mooring, and used for that purpose at least once.

on an abandoned building

on an abandoned building

Art Deco influence, Tulsa, Oklahoma 2013 photo by kristin nador

The Pythian Building, Tulsa, Oklahoma, on National Register of Historical Places

The Pythian Building, Tulsa, Oklahoma, on National Register of Historical Places

The Atlas Life Building, Tulsa, Oklahoma, built in 1922

The Atlas Life Building, Tulsa, Oklahoma, built in 1922

Can you spot the white marble Atlas at the top of the building?

Can you spot the white marble Atlas at the top of the building?

Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, completed 1929

Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, completed 1929

Art Deco influenced details of Boston Avenue U.M.C.

Art Deco influenced details of Boston Avenue U.M.C.

We walked block after block, spotting the Art Deco influences, and discovering treasures inside as well.

Lobby of the Philtower Building, designed by architect Edward Delk for oil tycoon Waite Phillips in 1928. An example of Neo-Gothic and Art Deco influenced design. Also an example of photo bombing by old guy.

Lobby of the Philtower Building, designed by architect Edward Delk for oil tycoon Waite Phillips in 1928. An example of Neo-Gothic and Art Deco influenced design. Also an example of photo bombing by old guy.

Original lobby marble and painted fresco of the Boston Building

Original lobby marble and painted fresco of the Boston Building

Detail of 320 South Boston Building lobby, construction completed 1929

Detail of 320 South Boston Building lobby, construction completed 1929

Some of the security guards were very accommodating, others didn’t appreciate our admiration and asked us to leave. Our final stop shot us full of adrenaline: we were told cameras and strangers are considered terrorist threats since 9/11 and fairly escorted out the door, a platoon of security guards scowling after us.

After an experience like that, one needs good food, and we walked over to the Blue Dome District to find some. And we did.

If you're ever in Tulsa, have lunch at the Dilly Deli in the Blue Dome District. It's yum!

If you’re ever in Tulsa, have lunch at the Dilly Deli in the Blue Dome District. It’s yum!

 

Artist Daughter and I talked about our experience, the buildings, and our photos over lunch. I got a bit of inspiration for a story idea I came up with last year but never did anything with. The story is set in the 1930’s, and I could see using some of these beautiful buildings as a backdrop to the plot. Oh, well, I tried to not write, but that’s what writers do. 🙂

Where did you write this week?

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Start Your Week Off Write: What Paul Simon Can Teach You About Inspiration

Paul Simon in Paris, 2008, image courtesy Cecilia D., Creative Commons

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Singer/songwriter Paul Simon might know a little about writing and inspiration. 224 songs, 17 albums. 12 Grammys. Induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the first recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He’s been writing and playing since he was 11 when he and Art Garfunkel became buddies. He’s now 70, still writing, making music and performing. I caught an interview he did with Wynton Marsalis for CBS This Morning. You can catch it here if you’re interested.

Paul Simon interviewed by Wynton Marsalis

Here are some quotes from the interview:

“You don’t have to create it. It’s already in existence. You just have to reveal it.”

“I really had no concept about inspiration. I don’t think about inspiration. I don’t believe that you need inspiration. I don’t say that I’m going to wait around until some inspiration comes. No, if I’m going to write I have to go to my writing space, and you know, start to write.”

“I’m concentrating on what I can make and how can I do this without lying.”

I was really provoked by his comments on inspiration. You don’t need inspiration? What did he mean by that? Does he mean inspiration is not an illusive magic that writers and other creatives have to be subject or slave to?

To me, it seems he’s saying that writing is what he’s decided to do, and if it’s time to write, he goes and writes. He’s not waiting for the universe to align and the Muse to alight on his shoulder. He writes songs so if it’s time to write a song, that’s what he does.

I’d love to ask him more about that. I imagine every song he writes is not ‘The Song of Silence’ or ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. There are probably a lot of mediocre songs in between. But he writes, and as he said, the good stuff reveals itself. That is inspirational. Don’t tell Paul I said so.

I personally use inspiration all the time. In fact, I have too much inspiration. Every time I turn around I’m getting ideas for writing. I didn’t say they were all GOOD ideas. But they keep bubbling up all the time. My problem is taking action on that inspiration. Getting to the sitting down and writing part. The creating part. The revealing part.

Is inspiration overrated? What do you think?

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