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 #78: Kentucky Horse Park

I’ve discovered some things since moving to Kentucky. They call it bluegrass, but the pastures of Kentucky are bright green. A hot brown sandwich tastes pretty good considering it’s the bottom of a turkey sandwich with a pile of gooey stuff plopped on top. Drive-thru liquor stores are open on Sunday. And two things folks in the Lexington area are very serious about: Wildcats (college humans of the athletic variety) and Horses (large animals of the fast variety).

When some Tulsa friends stopped for a visit while traveling, they mentioned they might like to see some of the famous Kentucky thoroughbreds. I don’t usually think of myself as a horse person, but thought it would make an interesting outing, nonetheless. We were happy to include them on a trip only ten minutes from our home to a place full of horses and history.

Write Anywhere #78: Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park

Continue reading

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

Write Anywhere #38

I love making time for creativity. Sometimes it is spur-of-the-moment and sometimes there’s an elaborate plan, but carving out space for creative pursuits always pays off for me. I hope you’re inspired by these weekly Write Anywhere venues as well. This week I went to one of my favorite places. If nature inspires you, I think you’ll like it, too.

Write Anywhere #38: Wichita Mountains

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, near Lawton, Oklahoma

After the encouragement of a weekend with writers at the OWFI writers’ conference, I drove about 1 1/2 hours south of Oklahoma City to the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge to explore and write. People are surprised that there are mountains in Oklahoma. They aren’t huge, like the Rockies, but they are mountains nonetheless. Other mountain ranges in Oklahoma include the Kiamichis and the Arbuckles. The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge became part of the National Refuge system by order of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, two years before Oklahoma became a state.

I am writing what I hope will become a novella with the Wichitas as a setting, so I needed to do research in the area. It was the perfect time of year to visit. I took over 100 photographs, so I tried to pick the best ones to let you get an idea of what a beautiful place it is.

The mountains makes you think of ancient things

The drive to the top of Mt. Scott is scary in a tiny car that blows in the wind, and I was  impressed with the many motorcycles and bicyclists tackling the mountain.

Beautiful birds danced on the wind.

A wildfire in September of 2011 burned almost 50% of the refuge’s acreage.

The rocks in this creek continue to bear the scorch marks.

The wildflowers were at the peak of their bloom.

Off the beaten path…

Prickly Pear Cactus bloom

I think this is a Mississippi Kite. He watched me with wary eyes as I tried to get close to the tree he perched in.

This lone buffalo decided to entertain me.

A Prairie Sunset

Shot gold, maroon and violet, dazzling silver, emerald, fawn,
The earth’s whole amplitude and Nature’s multiform power consign’d
for once to colors;
The light, the general air possess’d by them–colors till now unknown,
No limit, confine–not the Western sky alone–the high meridian–
North, South, all,
Pure luminous color fighting the silent shadows to the last.

-Walt Whitman

The scenery inspired many notebook pages of writing. As I drove home at the end of the day, I felt at peace, satisfied, and productive.

Where did you write this week?

Question: Have you ever gone mountain climbing?

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Write Anywhere #37

Have you ever had a creative moment sneak up on you? I was driving home after a hectic day and I almost missed it. On the side of the road a female mallard waddled along in the grass. Behind her were 14 (!) tiny yellow balls of fluff scurrying as fast as they could in a perfect line. I would have gotten a photo but there was too much traffic to pull over. It took me back to one of my favorite childhood memories and this week’s Write Anywhere venue.

Write Anywhere #37: Duck Pond

Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

my favorite childhood book

Make Way For Ducklings is one of the first books I remember reading. I would check it out over and over from the library. I think that’s why I have such a soft spot for ducks.

I’d do almost anything for a duck. You can read about it in my short story Duck Tales, or The Ballad of Peeps (tissue required).

This day I took off the stress of the previous hours, grabbed my notebook and headed to our neighborhood duck pond.

There’s an inviting pond-side bench.

Duck demanding his Cheerios payment

This guy came running when I sat down. His frustration at my lack of bread/cheerios was obvious.

The tall guy is pretty cool, yes? We only ever see one of him. But he seems to like hanging out with the ducks.

This is a duck-friendly neighborhood. We are blessed to live here.

We love our ducks!

The pond is a nice place to get a little writing done.

Where did you write this week?

Question: What was your favorite childhood book?

Write Anywhere #36

Did you try something different to jumpstart your creativity this week? Sometimes we wish we could get away from it all, go to one of those artists’ colonies, a cabin in the woods or a house on a lonely beach (that’s my choice!) to help us focus. But it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to adjust your perspective.

For this week’s Write Anywhere venue I set aside an hour one afternoon and walked five minutes to get a grasshopper’s view of life.

Write Anywhere # 36: In A Field

I took my camera, notebook and a seating mat to an empty field not far from my house where the wildflowers and prairie grasses still have a foothold. It was a perfect sunny afternoon to explore.

I took my carry-along cushion, stepped carefully around the flowers and through the grasses to find a pretty spot.

It was a windy day, and the field seemed to swell like the sea, moving in green waves.

Grasshoppers, butterflies and moths danced above the mini-prairie, as well as a few irritating little gnats. Though I’m not of an age that makes sitting on the ground comfortable, it was easy to sit and write in the middle of a field with only the soothing whisper of a southern wind.

I love to escape the constant hum of technology that seems to follow us wherever we go now. Wide-open expanses full of life helped me open my mind and empty it of the troubling distractions of the everyday.

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover and a bee, and revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few. – Emily Dickinson

Is this how the prairies were before the concrete came and starting taking bites out of it?

This reminds me of Laura Ingalls skipping down the hill on the opening sequence of ‘Little House on the Prairie’.

It was fun taking a grasshopper’s perspective for a moment.

Where did you write this week?

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