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Tomorrow there could very well be a blue sky and songbirds singing

March 27 Writing Prompt: "location, location, location"

I walked up Sagamore Hill with Sammy the other misty evening, and demanded him to sit on the mound of rocks at the very top so I could photograph him. He was king of the hill for that moment. I had almost allowed the grey-veiled day to keep us concealed within the walls of our dry and warm house, but looking over at Sammy, in his crate, I saw my own apathy mirrored in his passive body language. I knew it was time to redirect our early evening. Across the field and up through the woods we went, Sammy with his nose to the ground. Together we climbed. As we reached the top, the silhouette of the trees through the mist calmed me. I breathed in the quiet stillness of the air and felt at peace. The last time we had been here was in a blizzard. Tomorrow there could very well be a blue sky and songbirds singing, and we may even be able to see all the way to the ocean. Location, location, location.

pussywillow branches by Kim

We had an awesome group of ladies around the table Tuesday, even a couple of new faces, and everyone was able to emotionally stir us, with one form or another of creative inspiration; poetry, travel journals, drawings of dreams, movies, books and a story about the discovery of stacks of hat boxes and clothing in an historical building. We made a more organized effort to share. Thank-you to everyone!

Katrina arrived with some of her stunning travel journals and beautiful poetry. It was captivating listening to her read her poetry, and taking the time to slowly absorb the pages of her journals. 

Many of us have different journals for different tasks; morning pages, travel logs, sketches, poetry, bullet journaling, writing. How do we condense our work and pages, and what do we do with the personal writing that we wouldn't want anyone to read? 

I put everything into my one current journal; drawings, thoughts, grocery lists, photographs, business cards, and occasionally words I wouldn’t want anyone else to read. Here is a technique for how I create black out poetry from my stream of consciousness "get it off my chest” writing. There were two separate internal conflicts I wrote about following the loss of my beloved mom. They were written to liberate my emotions, not meant for anyone else to read, so I blackened out most of the words leaving only certain selected ones I chose to expose. This  is what I came up with: "Sitting, I remember mom. I hear her breath. Mom's childhood voiced deep experiences. I needed to collapse into them. Time alone is our friend. I sat quietly with mom."

I first tried this technique after learning about Austin Kleon from a friend.  Austin Kleon writes poetry by blackening out all the unnecessary words in newspapers and magazines. If you follow the link above you can watch a wonderful four minute video on how he does this. Below is a sample of just one of his hundreds of completed poetic lines:

A feeling of flow after settling into the ritual of evening play.” 

The found words in black-out poetry are such a simple way of preventing ourselves from adding in all the extra fluff.  Kim created  the following black-out piece from a paragraph she wrote responding to the prompt…"but something interrupted me” .

Tyler Knott Gregson has a new book of poetry, Wildly into the Dark, Typewriter Poems and the Rattlings of a Curious Mind. The poem below is from his new book and reminded me of a conversation we had about writing.

 Elizabeth, showed us these lovely watercolors of hers that she had printed up onto cards. They make such wonderful gifts.


She also gave me the book, Daily Rituals, a compilation, by Mason Currey, of writers, composers, painters, choreographers, playwrights, poets, philosophers, sculptors, filmmakers, and scientists on how they create. This book has been on my wish list! Thank-you Mason, and thank-you Elizabeth! Kim suggested revisiting Maira Kalman, whose daily ritual is perhaps one we can all relate to.

Robin showed us her art journal and her wonderful example of how a bullet journal can be creative and practical. She also spoke to us about her daily creative rituals. I can’t wait to gather in her studio next week. The drawings below were inspired from a dream she had:

Leslie is preparing for another art exhibition, in June, at the North Hampton Historical Society. Leslie is an historical anthropologist who is passionate about old photos and clothing and letters. All her creations have an ethereal quality to them, bringing bits of the past into our present day. The image below is from a page of her tea-stained journal. She has taken an old photograph and been experimenting with a variety of ways to make changes to it. Her papers and boxes and small journals and drawings are a delight to the eye. 

Heidi and I went to the Cabot Cinema yesterday and saw a beautiful Turkish movie called Kedi,Cats in Istanbul.  I fully understand that not everyone likes cats, but the cinema photography is stunning, and the relationship between Istanbul and its cats is lovely. Watch the trailer, either way, and make your own decision. Perhaps I was feeling especially sentimental having just put our old cat, Romeo down.

We talked about so much more. Katrina mentioned Mary Ann Moss and her online drawing course, The Art of Making and Keeping a Sketchbook, and another online class by Pam Garrison, Painting Petals. We talked about blogs and books and movies and the Morgan Museum where there is an upcoming exhibit in June on Thoreau and his journals. We briefly talked about Danielle Smith watercolor paints and the Moth Stories. Lots of good stuff! 

I went to visit a friend, Meredith,  in her Beverly, Porter Mills studio this afternoon. It was so much fun to see Meredith in her creative space, with her adorable Jack Russell, Ivy. 

Now I need to get outside with Sammy for a walk to see that blue sky from the top of Sagamore Hill before the next snowstorm arrives!

There was a blue sky and we were even able to see all the way to the ocean!

Keep writing and drawing

in your journals