Archive | June, 2020

Painting a Picture

23 Jun

I’m not artistic!   Not in the way of picking up a paintbrush and doing a portrait or still-life, that sort of artistic; I might have some bones with word artistry, but no way with painting or sculpting.

But lately I have noticed that I am more aware of my surroundings, like my “artist’s eye” has suddenly been enhanced.

My wife and I, and our two dogs, were out walking along the Chehalis Western Trail the other day.  It’s a walking/biking path along an old train track route, and it stretches for many, many miles.  The Olympia leg of the trail is about six miles long, but then it continues past the Olympia City limits and moves through countryside all the way to the city of Tenino about, gosh, maybe twenty miles away.

Anyway, it’s a wonderful thing they have done, the county planners, paving this trail, a safe place for walkers and bikers.

So we were on it the other day, a good day for walking, cool but dry, and we were surrounded by nature, and I was noticing that the “greenery” was actually comprised of many shades of green.  They call our state the Evergreen State, referring to all of the evergreen firs and pines we have, but I think that does Mother Nature a disservice.  Green is an inadequate word, you know.

The dictionary tells us that synonyms for green include: grownleafylushluxuriantovergrownverdant . . .

But even that doesn’t paint an adequate picture. How about different shades of green, which would include jade and mint and aquamarine and emerald and pine and teal and . . .

So I was overwhelmed by the majesty of it all, and my inability to accurately capture a simple forest setting in words.  And yet that’s my job as a writer, to find the perfect words which capture the perfect settings which surround us daily.

It is a sacred quest we are on!

COACHING

Working with other writers as a coach has helped me to appreciate writing on a higher level.  Many of my students just want to tell the story. They are in a hurry to just get the facts down, the bare-bones “outline,” if you will, of a story that has been rattling around in their brain for a long, long time.  Most of the work I do, as a writing coach, is to help my students to “flesh out” the details of the story, to help them to set scenes and paint a picture with words . . . and . . . to interject the emotional component to their writings.

It is a job I love, teaching, a job I take seriously.

Writing?  Not a job at all.  Writing is a passion, one I also take seriously.

Go forth and create!  Paint a picture with words and dazzle the world with it.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

It’s A Thing, You Know!

2 Jun

IT’S A THING, YOU KNOW

So I’m out walking one of our two dogs, Toby, aka Mister Mellow, and he’s on a long leash, minding his own business, sniffing grass, sniffing dog poop, that sort of thing, and I note a woman approaching us.  She is on the same sidewalk, so I guide Toby over into the street.

A mental picture if you will: I’m in the street, Toby on leash, Toby moves slightly over towards the woman, to check her out, new sniffing to be done, and as we pass each other I estimate Toby is about three feet from the woman, wagging his tail, quite happy to make a new friend.

And I hear these words:  “Your dog really isn’t practicing social distancing. He’s supposed to be six feet from humans.  Social distancing is a thing, you know.”

I don’t have the time to relate to you all the things I thought about saying. I do remember thinking this woman is lucky I’m not forty years younger, because my younger self was not nearly as forgiving and calm.

What did I say to her?  “Courtesy and paranoia are things too, you know.  Have a great day!”

Toby, he was pretty much unaffected by it all.

I was amused.

REFLECTIONS

There are seven-point five billion people on this planet.  I was thinking about this the other day.  Every single one of those seven-point-five billion is living life right now. They are facing problems. They are having successes. They are laughing and crying and pondering and fretting. They are living a life which, to them, is pretty damned important. They are tucked into their own little universe, trying to traverse a bigger universe.  They are products of their lineage. Their DNA is wired in such a way as to make them unique among their species and yet quite similar.

It’s amazing we all don’t go to war daily when you think about it.  It’s really amazing to me we get along with anyone.

That woman I met? She obviously had an agenda. She was worried.  She was worried to the point of being a bit “over the top,” a bit paranoid, if you will, and she allowed that paranoia to cloud her thinking.

I’ve been there and done that.

The seventy-one year old Bill sees things a bit differently than the thirty-one year old Bill, and thank the gods for that small favor. I have mellowed considerably over the years. I like to think I’ve grown a bit wiser during that same span. I now have a muffler I can use to prevent my “instant thoughts” from escaping my lips, and that’s a good thing for all around me.

So I felt a bit bad for even saying what I said to her.

But I also felt justified and pleased.

We humans are complicated, you know!

Writers of the world, poets of the world, this is what we do.  We observe. We ponder. We reflect.  And we try our best to capture this thing called life with our words.

A NEW FRIEND

I started following this young woman’s blog the other day. She is fifteen years old and she writes about philosophical questions and dilemmas.  At fifteen I could barely spell “philosophical,” let alone ponder any philosophy.  It gives me hope, reading her thoughts.  Her name is Saania Sparkle . . . you can find her on Facebook if you’re interested, and that should lead you to her blog.

Wishing you all a brilliant day of capturing life with your words.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”