#amwriting, Reflectionary

Better When Writing – interview at A Sanctified Art

Recently, I was the WholeheARTed Guest at A Sanctified Art, where I answered questions from Lisle Gwinn Garrity that inspired contemplation of my creative process. Thanks, Lisle, for thinking of me! Check out the resources being created by A Sanctified Art here.

SA: When did you first consider yourself a creative person?

MS: From the time I was a little girl, I loved thinking up stories. I would draw (very bad) pictures of the children I hoped to have and invent names and identities for them. I retold myths and adapted adventures of favorite characters from literature. I especially loved Bible stories and would “tell” them on the flannel board I stored under the high old-fashioned bed in my childhood home. A wonderful Sunday School teacher at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, Virginia, gave me permission to expand my storytelling when she developed curriculum for 5th and 6th-graders that taught the Old Testament through drama and the New Testament using puppets. We learned stories, wrote scripts, and acted or performed the stories.

SA: Tell us about how you express yourself creatively?

MS: I experimented with many forms of writing both in school and personally, but I never found a form that suited all my interests until I started writing for church—plays, sermons, and liturgies all felt like lively and faithful ways to use my gifts. Even when I write about my life, as I began doing in blog form in 2004, the most meaningful storytelling happens in dialogue with scripture. I now write prayers especially for pastors. My newest favorite thing is combining words and images using Canva, Prisma, and Instagram.

SA: What is your creative process like?

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MS:
My creative process almost always starts with a text I will be talking to, and I wish I could say that inevitably means I study and pray, but often it means I read the text and go for a walk, or have to run an errand, or find myself waiting at a child’s choir practice or watching a Little League game, and something flashes through my mind. Ten years ago I would rifle through my purse for a tiny notebook, but today I open the Notes app on my iPhone and one-finger type or dictate the thought before I lose it. It happens that way because I cultivate openness and privilege originality.

(Read the rest at A Sanctified Art.)

#amwriting, Knit Without Ceasing, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo

2241 (NaNoWriMo bullet points + Knitting)

  • I’ve written 2241 words! 1063 this morning.
  • At that rate I’ll get to 50,000 on January 6, 2015. Ah, well.
  • Early morning is a great time for writing except for the fact that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and wake up with stiff hands. Adjustments may be required.
  • This morning I realized that if I want to write about a family, and that family lives in a house, I need to have a clearer sense of the floor plan of the house. I decided to save that research and contemplation for later, but it actually matters where and how these people live, so it can’t wait much longer if I am to have a hope of upping the daily word rate.
  • I’ll admit I didn’t write (or blog, for that matter, NaBloPoMo) yesterday. Sunday really needs to be a writing Sabbath for me, because by the time church is over, I don’t have much in the way of words.
  • Some of the most fun-sounding NaNoWriMo meetups in my area are on Sundays, which makes sense for people who work at other jobs Monday through Friday.
  • I did finish knitting a Christmas present. On an unrelated note, I have been knitting like a boss all through 2014, and some of my NaBloPoMo will likely be pictures and descriptions of Finished Objects.
  • This is my day off, and kathrynzj’s, too, but it’s more chore day than Sabbath. We’re blessed to have churches that don’t expect much, if anything, of us after worship, so although we start it late, the rest of Sunday really is Sabbath time around here.
  • This morning she found some unopened boxes, so they await me on the dining room table. We’ve only been here six weeks, and we are definitely still unpacking.

    Most recent (non Christmas present) finished object - I have been knitting baby blankets like mad this year.
    Most recent (non Christmas present) finished object – I have been knitting baby blankets like mad this year. More to come!
#amwriting, NaNoWriMo

Official Start Date (NaNoWriMo)

Here we go!
Here we go!

Today is the day. I did not wake up especially early. It’s dark here! I’m counting on Fall Back tonight to be of help in early writing as the month unfolds.

I’m working through the “jump start” 1000 words I wrote to take to my writing group this past week and moving on beyond there. Today also holds the finish (or the start and finish) of a sermon and some liturgical writing, so it’s all writing all the time around here.

I’m starting on the laptop, although I have a brand new Moleskine, sharp #2 pencils and a package of the those Staedtler pens available should writing block ensue. I’m drinking Starbucks Veranda in my wedding picture mug, so I feel I am surrounded by love and encouragement. At least one other person on the mug is doing NaNoWriMo and another is doing NaBloPoMo – which I guess I am doing, too, although I expect my blog posts to be as much about WriMo as anything else.

How is it with you?