Today’s prompt: If you could be completely honest with no regrets, what would you say and to whom?
Why is it easier to be honest hiding behind a screen than in person? Because the reaction isn’t always what we expect. But there’s no good in that. I can hide behind my screen and write who I’d be honest with and what I’d say, but that isn’t fair to whomever I’d write to and it isn’t fair to me.
I do write honestly, for myself. Letters mostly. Usually with a specific person in mind. Usually without the intention of sending them. I tell people how I feel, what I think they did wrong, all the things I couldn’t think to say or wouldn’t have said in the moment come out. And that honesty is great because it gets things off my mind, but it isn’t really fair.
For that, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you won’t get to read those letters anytime soon. But I’m not really that sorry, though, because sometimes it’s most challenging to be honest with yourself. That’s what those letters give me.
In an attempt to get back to writing, I’m going to participate in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). I’ve got too many ideas bouncing around in my brain and started as drafts. Starting today, look for posts from me daily. If you’ve got ideas about what you’d like to see me write about, comment somewhere and I might just use your idea if I don’t like the prompt.
Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
Words are important. We make them up; we combine them; we pull them apart; we mush them with other languages. We use them to express concrete and abstract ideas. Words differ based on your language and your culture and your education. Words are magic.
A kind word spoken at a funeral can move total strangers to tears. Generous praise can encourage coworkers to go the extra mile so you don’t have to. A funny word (or perhaps a few) can be used to relieve the tension after a long week. Written words can transport the reader to a new time, a different place, an exotic culture, a fresh point of view.
And then words become actions. A written letter becomes a platform for discussion. A story becomes a lesson.
We underestimate the people who use them. We underestimate the value of historians and artists and writers. All the people who use words to create value. What’s a story without a title? What’s a painting without a name?
Words are important. Take the time to choose the right ones.
Today’s Writing 101 assignment was to pick some stories you’ve read recently and share them with your followers. Unfortunately for me, I’ve been super busy the last few days and haven’t had a ton of time to spend just reading the other blogs. But before I got busy, I did have the opportunity to find and follow a few blogs and that’s what I’m going to share. Enjoy!
This started as a draft two years ago, apparently. Our challenge yesterday (because I’m continuing to not do well with the blogging daily) was to “mine our material.” So here it goes with the starting a new post from an old draft (which is in bold).
Today’s Daily Prompt is to write about a time when you were left to fend for yourself in school, work, or at home.
I remember junior year in high school I started taking AP classes. These were the first college level classes I had ever taken. Now, all my life, I was in the advanced classes. Pre-AP, Honors, all that jazz. If there was a regular class and more challenging class, I was taking the more challenging class. And, honestly, it was fine. I never really had a problem with it. Most of the time, I was bored because pretty much anyone could take Pre-AP classes. Anyway.
I remember my AP English class junior year and my teacher told us she was going to “throw us into the deep end, but we’d be okay.”
Evidently, that stuck. It’s now my senior year in college and I still remember that day. I remember how scared I was when she said that. And I had a fabulous internal visual of essentially drowning. I’m a strong swimmer and that’s never really been a thing I was concerned about, but you know how it is in the movies where someone slips in the water and is flailing around and can’t breathe? Yup. That’s how my first AP English class felt. And how senior year felt. And how college feels basically all the time.
However, we did make it. All the way to graduation. And now all the way through the third year of college. And the first five weeks of my senior year. And while I’m terrified, I know I have a support system that is going to continue to help me, and I’ll be just fine.
Today’s challenge was to write about how your writing might change if you changed your blog from public to private.
I think my blog would be even more informal than it already is. And I think it would include more personal topics than it does, because my audience will have changed from the whole blog world to just me. As it is, I do a lot of writing for myself, and I can see a difference in my tone and my voice when I write with the intention of keeping it to myself. I think it might be an interesting experiment to see what people think of other things I have written, but that might be an experiment for a much later time.
I know my blogging this week leaves a lot to be desired, but I’m planning on catching up this weekend. So there’s that. Anyway. Day 13’s assignment was to create a story through a series of vignettes. First of all, I didn’t really know what that word means. But I learned and had a really difficult time forming a story around that. Then it hit me that I never shared my London photos with the blog world, and also, that’s a series all on it’s own. So here we go with this.
Dover Castle: It was cold and misty. But we got to learn about the history there and specifically about World War II and D-Day.
Canterbury Cathedral: It’s really fancy and we got to sit through an evensong service there.
The Globe Theatre: We got to tour The Globe, which is where Shakespeare performed, so that was pretty cool, but we also got to watch a show in the brand new indoor theater they just built.
Les Miserables: This show is a musical in the most basic sense of the world. There was literally no speaking, only singing. That was a shock. But once we got past that, it was okay. Definitely not my favorite of the musicals we went to see.
Sensing Spaces: Basically the coolest art exhibit ever. Artists featured were given rooms and basically told they could do what they wanted in them. The exhibit featured was made of plastic and really long straws and all the visitors were invited to contribute, so that was pretty cool.
Greenwich: It’s a really historical city outside London. We went to different museums and things, but we also got to stand on the Prime Meridian. And it was a nice day, so we got to take pictures outside the museum about time zones.
Hogwarts: When we visited the Universal Studios Harry Potter Experience, the last room we went through was the model Hogwarts that filmmakers used to film the wide angle shots of the castle. I was in my glory all day. In fact, I scared my mom when I wanted her to call me so I could share my stories with her.
Whiby & Whitby Abbey: This was the first stop (I think) on our coach tour/ spring break. It was right on the water (both a river, pictured, and the ocean) and it was a great time to be there. The weather even sort of cooperated.
Loch Ness: Scotland was also a stop on the tour and we took a short break from being on the bus to take some photos with the lake and its monster.
Glencoe: One of the last stops on the tour, and also in the middle of nowhere. We spend the day hiking in the mountains and getting soaked in the mist, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Ambleside: One of the other last stops on our tour and the only night most of us had ever spent in a hostel. The wifi was terrible, so we did some roommate bonding instead.
La Boheme: One of the saddest shows a person could ever see, but also it was in Italian. That was cool, even from the nosebleed seats we were in. And we all decided to get dressed up to go to the opera and as cold as it was, it was totally worth it for the beautiful pictures we took.
Wicked: One of the best musicals ever. I was really lucky because I ended up going to see it twice, and just like with everything else, the second time brought new and different light to the show and that was really cool. It was the last show we went as a group to see and a handful of the girls got dressed up again.
St. James’s Park: On one of the last days we were in London, Lisa, Clarissa and I got dressed up because it was a beautiful day and we had new clothes we wanted to try out and did a photo shoot. We took turns taking pictures of each other in front of Buckingham Palace and Big Ben and also in the park with the trees and the flowers. The experience was unforgettable.
My study abroad experience was easily the highlight of my undergraduate career.
London was an experience and I can’t wait to go back.
To create this story, I went through all the hundreds and hundreds of pictures I took and found basically all the selfies I could find and though they would make for a great series of stories. Or at least a great sum of the memories I got while I was there.
I hope you enjoyed it and if you’d like to see more of this type of storytelling from me, let me know! Thanks.
My biggest fear is the unknown. Not so much not knowing, as not being able to find out. I take great comfort in the fact that if I have questions, I can Google the answer. There are, however, some things to which the answer does not come as easily. So maybe the answer is found in a book. But still there are answers that cannot be found in a book. And those are the hard ones. Finding the answers, or rather, knowing I can’t find the answers for sure, is really the biggest fear.
Today’s challenge was to play with word count, ergo the short read. I’ve found that since I started maintaining a blog, I usually blow word counts out of the water (especially if it’s only a couple hundred). I think it’s good to remember that sometimes short and sweet is valuable too.