Friday, April 30, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

Earth's Energy

One of my favorite things to do for enjoyment - and to energize my soul - is to spend time amongst the multitude of trees that are so prevalent in the Pacific Northwest.

Last weekend my husband and I had the opportunity to do a bit of nature walking, just thirty minutes from our home. What a treat it was to see this doe and her two fawns. It was just this sort of encounter that inspired me to write The Tale of Willaby Creek nearly a decade ago. The energy of Earth, and that of her creatures, has always been like a sacred ingredient to my happiness. When I'm in that mindset, I'm more likely to be at peace, and also more likely to create something I value.

You'd think that knowing my affinity for nature I would always make time to spend time in the out of doors. Unfortunately, days slip by, one by one, each day looking much the same as the next. 

As I mentioned in my blog post last Friday, I'm just now slowly getting back to my "normal life," after taking a break to regain my passion to create. For me to fully do that, I must carve out regular chunks of time to walk amongst the tall timbers that grace Washington State.

What activity helps you maintain your passion to create?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Whimsical Word of the Week

Philocalist (n.)
a lover of beauty; someone who finds and appreciates beauty in all things.
Example: Being a philocalist, the artist was able to create collages from what others might consider refuse.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Bibliophile's Corner

When You Trap a Tiger
by Tae Keller

Flap Copy Description:
When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni's Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, logn ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal - return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmomi's health - Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem!
With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice...and the courage to face a tiger.

My Thoughts:
Tae Keller, author of When You Trap a Tiger, is this year's winner of the Newbery Award for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Needless to say, I was anxious to read it for myself; I found it to be an extraordinary novel with universal appeal. Exquisite dialogue, unique magical realism, and heartfelt characters are just some of the components of this award-winning book. When You Trap a Tiger is one of those rare novels that will literally speak to readers of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. Congratulations, Tae Keller!

Click here to learn about the author, Tae Keller.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

Vintage Photo - Public Domain
Spring Break with My Family

After an extra-long spring break it feels good to be back on my blog. The reason for my hiatus had to do with reconnecting with my family who are based in Arizona. (Thank goodness for the Covid vaccine!) Two of my family members have been battling health issues; it was heart-warming to see them both on the mend.

In the last decade of regular blogging, I've rarely taken much time away from Writ of Whimsy - other than my annual summer break. However, due to the pandemic, it had been fifteen months since seeing my mother, and twenty months since seeing my other family member. After receiving my first dose of the Moderna vaccine (allowing two weeks to make sure I'd be 80% protected), it was a good opportunity to spend quality time with my loved ones.

Since March 2020 I've prided myself with being able to persevere through the challenges the pandemic has foisted upon all of us. It wasn't until I learned of the health issues of my relatives, that I felt myself beginning to waver, and coming to the end of my strength. Being prohibited from travel, dining, etc. is one thing, it's another thing to know your sick loved ones are struggling. 

Thankfully, the time spent in Arizona has rejuvenated my heart and soul.

Seeing my mother look so good, after a two month health struggle (unrelated to Covid 19),  was a relief! Her little Shih Tzu, Teddy, is never far from her side. 😀 
It was most generous of my mom to loan me her brand new car to travel from Mesa to Tucson, so that I could see my son, Kevin.

Speaking of Kevin, here he and I are sharing a lunch in the University District of Tucson. Kevin had relocated to Tucson just prior to the onset of the pandemic. In 2009 he received his Bachelor Degree from ASU in Tempe, so he is accustomed to the warm desert heat. I, on the other hand, am not! It was so good to see him.

When my son, Brian, learned I'd be in Arizona, he and his girlfriend, Caity, decided to fly out from  New York City. (Fortunately, they'd been lucky enough to get fully vaccinated in March.) Since I'd never met Caity, it was a very special time with the two of them at my mother's home. They continued on from Mesa, to also see Kevin in Tucson, and are now enjoying the Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona. (They're hoping to visit Michael and me in the Pacific Northwest sometime this summer.)

You might be thinking: I thought this was a blog about writing. 

It is. 

However, I also use it as an online record of my journey as a writer.

What I've realized since the beginning of 2021 is that it's not enough to survive, each of us must thrive - especially as writers, and other creative types. Worrying about my family members, most of whom are many miles away, had taken a toll on my internal peace. I was no longer creating, I was producing. If you're someone who enjoys creating, you know what I mean. It's not what I want to do, or who I want to be. If writing is not fun, I will no longer do it. 

I hope that day never comes.

Wishing you joy and peace, as we slowly integrate back into normal life!