Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Wrapping up November   Leave a comment

My plan to blog daily did not work out.  As in my daily life itself, I made a plan, not thinking of things that could possibly stop me from fulfilling it.  I assumed my dedication alone would make it a success.  And–surprise!–things came up to stop me from doing it.

However, I feel that the experience was a success.


I have quite a few blog ideas to go that I can’t wait to write about.  Alas that they didn’t get written about in November, but they will.

Writing every day taught me –I can write every day.  It wasn’t too painful.

I had plenty of ideas.

I haven’t written this much since grad school–I think.  And it was much more fun.

I’m really happy that what stopped me from writing was not writer’s block, lack of ideas, or anything remotely like that.  It was getting sick and needing to go back to bed and sleep.  It was making Thanksgiving dinner and celebrating it.  Those are good reasons to not write.  I accept them as valid reasons not to meet my goal of daily blogging without guilting over it.

Happy December, everyone.


Posted November 30, 2014 by swanatbagend in writing

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Why We Love Stories   Leave a comment

I went to the Word and Words conference two weeks ago.  Before I went, I did some thinking about the questions the conference description provided. Why do we love stories?  Why do we tell them?  And how do stories inform our lives as Christian believers?

I wanted to brainstorm first to see if I was resonating with the speakers’ thoughts already.  But I wouldn’t say these questions got directly asked or answered by any of them.

Why do I love stories?  and why does it matter?

I have always loved books.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love a book–the smell, the feel of the paper under my fingers, the varied fonts on the pages.  The rush when entering a bookstore.  The peaceful must of the basement stacks of a library. The glorious realization: a great author has a new book I have not read.

I read to my stuffed animals in the living room. They encircled me and the book of the day.  One of my early memories is the view of a book, wrapped as a present for me, on top of the dresser in my parents’ bedroom.  At summer sunup on my fifth birthday, I was begging for my book.  I can still see my mother’s head rising sleepily from her pillow.

And now I read throughout the day to my children.  It’s probably one of the main reasons I keep homeschooling them.  I just love to read, and we’ve found some fantastic books to enjoy together.  I read the Bible and one other book at dinner.  And I read at bedtime.  Right now the four of us still at home are taking turns with the demigod characters of Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus.  Yeah, there’s a whole lot of stories going on at our house, and that’s how it’s always been.

So, why do I love stories and storytelling?

As I made my way downtown the first night of the conference, these were my speculations:  Maybe we could better steward our time and energy if we didn’t spend them on something as simple as storytelling.  Maybe we should only meet needs, share the Gospel and work to change the world.  Wouldn’t that be more direct?  In a world so painful, wouldn’t that ease more wounds?

And what if storytelling is dangerous?  Stories can lead us to the wrong source; they can propel people toward empty cisterns.

At the conference, however, I was plunged into a gathering in which all loved words, stories, fairy tales.  Nobody appeared to feel the need to defend storytelling.

Aside from a religious pitch or a moral fable or a lecture on what we should do, it seems we can hear stories better.

I think we were made that way.








Posted November 25, 2014 by swanatbagend in literature, writing

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It’s Been Easier Than I Thought It Would Be   Leave a comment

Starting with this project of writing every day in November would have sounded impossible a few years ago.  If you look in my archives you can see that I did not write much in 2011 or 2012.  Only a few months have links.

That was back when

1. I had three students in our homeschool program and one of them was in senior high and

2. I was laboring under the delusion that every blog entry I wrote must be perfectly crafted and amazingly insightful.

As you can see, I have put that goal aside.

I do love my first blog entry from October of 2011, quite fond of it (“I do so love this scene!”) but I have managed somehow to get from that Point A to this Point B, where I’m not afraid to just write.  I am actually using an online thesaurus now (very handy) and revising as much as ever (mostly) but despite a higher word count to mess with, I’m just not afraid any more.


3. About six months ago I realized that most of what I was posting on Facebook would, with a little extra time and thought, actually make a pretty decent blog entry.

So–here I am.  Two and half years later and way more actual writing going on.

A lot less feedback from Facebook friends, but greatly increased satisfaction levels.


Posted November 7, 2014 by swanatbagend in writing

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I’m blogging and I can’t shut up   2 comments

I just can’t stop thinking of things to blog about.

This is so bizarre!  I have spent years trying to think of good article ideas, and now that I’ve started writing a lot more in the past two and a half weeks, as I said I planned to do, the floodgates have opened.

I keep thinking of things I want to write, and there’s not enough hours in the day.

What has opened things up?  I haven’t been like this for years.

It’s kind of fun to ride the wave. Who knows what will come next?

Maybe the novel I’ve always wanted to write will come to me.

That would be great!

Posted December 17, 2013 by swanatbagend in writing

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