Thursday, August 5, 2010

Staying Active

Hmmm…I knew the days were about to stretch out before me. I was determined to avoid a future of chair breathing exercises and day dreaming so tap pity tap my fingers translated the next heading into, Activities. Since writing is entertainment and I have hopes of becoming a children’s picture book author, I entered, Daily Writing (2 hrs.).
I took a deep breath; sounded good. So I moved on to consider other ways of extending my interest. Perhaps I could combine writing with my enjoyment of others. Often friends have suggested that a writing group might be just the right formula. So Writing Group was my next entry. I looked up, pushed away from my computer. This is getting a bit serious, I thought. It was time for a break. I headed for Peet’s Coffee. After grabbing a cappuccino, I sat down and sipped the steaming coffee. Just before I gazed into the bottom of my cup, a reference to the Senior University at California State University at Long Beach came to mind. It offers a writing class. I recall my sister mentioning that she attended a forum of those who completed the spring class. Their readings were excellent. What better way to improve my craft and enjoy the comrade of other writers? When I returned home, the sound of my keyboard echoed as I typed Writing Class.

What next?

As a teacher I am aware that reading and writing are reciprocal. I often used mentor authors to teach my students the craft of writing. So why not be inspired by other children’s authors.

Reading quality literature and the experiences of fellow writers was the obvious next step. I decided to create a list of award winning children’s picture books and research books about the writing process. Writing Down the Bones is just one example. Reading appeared as the next entry.

I took a week end trip to visit my dear friends Judy and Robert in Los Osos. Judy is an “ancient history” expert who has a wide assortment of drums. She learned the art of drumming over the years and participated in drumming circles at spiritual gatherings. Robert recently joined a local drumming group. So when I walked into her living room I was surrounded by an assortment of drums. Scenes of the movie The Visitor flashed in front of me.

I recall smiling as I watched the main character tentatively pick up a drum and begin his rhythmic journey. All I had to do was express an interest and my hosts encouraged me to drum while offering their tips about drumming. An evening with these dear people convinced me that drumming was another activity I could explore. When I returned I added, Drumming Lessons. Now I’m on a roll.

When my interest in signing with Intervac, a teacher’s house exchange surfaced, I decide that I wanted to travel to Paris first. Then my dreams shifted to the South of France. I couldn’t image going either place without the very basics in French. A course is offered through the Senior University. French Lessons followed.


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