When I was growing up, just a few feet from the back of our house, all these wonderful meadows and woods sprawled out and upwards. I'd go for long walks by myself, with Cyrus, or Sarah, but mainly with our labrador, Dusty. We'd walk for hours. Since I've been back home, I've been doing long hikes in that same area. It might be one of my favorite places in the shire. I've been listening to audio books and also, just listening to the sounds of the valley. I've come up with a new idea for a young adult series of books based around these woods. More on that...once I write it. For now, the novel is in chapter 7 and moving along slowly but surely.
In Brenda Ueland's, "If You Want to Write," which is a helpful book (albeit a bit archaic), she says this about nurturing the creative spirit: “I will tell you what I have learned myself. For me, a long five or six mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day.”
I also love this one: “So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering."
And so I do. (And, as someone who has not had the luxury of writing full-time until now, I am grateful every day for this little carved out space. I only hope I can keep carving it out.)
Rules for Walking:
(First you will encounter a great oak. Here, you must listen carefully and lay down your worried brain.)
(Then, you must rub the soft dark bark of the manzanita tree three times for luck.)
(When you come to the reservoir and see the stones, practice gratitude (and also worry a little and then stop worrying.))
(When you can see the mountains of the valley, think of yourself as a real animal.)
(Where all the low hanging oak branches drop their grandfather's moss, get just a little lost.)
(When you climb down to the creek, this is surrender and dissolve. Also, remember the dog you had growing up, throw a stone in for her.)
(Think of everyone you love and blow them a kiss.)