Thursday, August 15, 2013

“The List”


            I keep a list of possible writing topics on the front of pages of a spiral notebook. I draft my poetry, personal narratives, and short stories on the remaining pages. When the papers become full of scratched out revisions, I move onto a new spiral. And I transfer the topic list, adding new ideas and deleting the ones that I’ve already tackled.
            My brainstorming list changes gradually. With some notions, I plan to write a story—only to have it evolve into a poem. I’ll mentally outline one concept into a poem, and when I sit down to write a nice narrative develops. A few of my subjects have transferred from spiral to spiral over a couple of years. Uncertain on how to approach these themes, I simply keep them on the list in the hopes that one day my muse will guide me through a dog’s life or how to walk away from lifelong dreams.
            When I cross through an issue on my list, satisfaction fills me. That bold stroke means I’ve accomplished another goal within my writing. Many of my friends who write strive for perfection within each creation. They struggle laboriously over word nuances and prefer to place within their blogs pieces approaching perfection. I admire their tremendous skill as they weave   texts together with flawlessness. My purpose for sharing my writing, though, doesn’t center around hewing brilliance out of a rough diamond, but instead focuses upon practice, practice, practice.
            Today, I’m pulling out a pretty purple spiral purchased at a sale at Target last week. I will sit down with my favorite pen in hand and transfer my list, and possible add a few more ideas into the mix.  

Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

“Trigger Finger”


            Over the last couple of weeks, my ring finger on my left hand developed a horrible, and painful, tendency to pull down at the joint and stay stuck in this position. A quick Google search let me know I suffered from “trigger finger.” The first step to treat this malady depends on resting the finger through splinting it, and dosing up with Advil to reduce swelling.
            Obviously, this ailment curtailed my ability to write—either by hand or computer. When I attempted to type, the one finger or one hand approach frustrated me tremendously. I decided to utilize my time off from writing by feeding my addiction to Fringe until I watched the final episode. The stack of novels on my bedside table dwindled as I waited for my finger to recover.
            Yesterday, I removed the splint because I simply couldn’t cook with it on. Although the finger hasn’t reached total recovery, I believe I will now be able to spend small amounts of time back with my spiral and pen or on the keyboard.
            I grin as I press each word onto the page. Writing daily means so much to me, and to go ten days without journaling made me feel lost and a little depressed. I found out that exercising my skills as a writer leaves me calmer throughout the day.
            Funny how easy it is to take for granted the little joys of life. I never thought about how important scribbling my thoughts across the page had become until I’d lost my ability to write. Although my finger hasn’t reached full recovery, it has triggered a new need in me to luxuriate in the time I now have to devote to my craft.   
Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman