Between the Lines: This Writer's Journal

It’s All About the Color…Sometimes

My mice died. Both of them!

The touch-pad on my computer and my Bluetooth one.

No, nothing furry or creepy-cute. But, I felt like crying and cursing when my cursor stopped responding to my cues.

Now, I have a cobalt blue mouse. And it matches the keyboard. And the pen.

But, I didn’t pick the blue accessories right away. First, I thought I would pick maroon. My eyes when back and forth in a visual “eeny meeny miny moe.” My husband said to pick the one I wanted. The one I wanted was purple. But, there isn’t a purple option anymore.

So, I asked my middle son.

I knew what he would say, but I asked anyway and more than once. I asked which one he would pick. I asked which one would inspire me to write. I asked which one all the while thinking about which color would go best with my house decor and that I would miss how my purple keyboard coordinated with my phone and my e-book cover and that the maroon would match my favorite tote bag’s liner but maybe too much so as not to be seen at a glance and that I was willing to pay for color instead of the discounted black because I want to be unique and that the blue matches my favorite Ocean Blue Le Pen and…

“The blue one,” he said…again.


“I hate red.”

It didn’t occur to me until I had a color-coordination conversation with my mother the next day why he said he hates red. (Yes, we actually had a lengthy discussion about how I was resigning myself to my color choice and resisting the urge to color-coordinate my other devices. For the moment. While I was talking with her, she remembered she needed to change the cover on her computer from one with pink hydrangeas to solid green to have it match better with the yellow walls. I love my mother, so I proudly embrace any genetic distinctions that link me with her. But, I do think we are slightly as well as delightfully weird.)

“Red is an angry color for him,” she reminded me.

I gasped with agreement. It may be his oldest brother’s favorite color, but that is the only reason why red would be endearing for him. Red is the color his school refers to for angry, aggressive moods.

If my son walked by my office every day and saw that maroon keyboard, how would that affect his mood?

Then I remembered I had a similar thought in the store. Which color would inspire me to write more? I certainly didn’t want to approach my computer with angst every morning because of the color of my keyboard and mouse and pen.

I saw that maroon pen as The Red Pen. The one I stopped using for editing because of the pain and rage it inflicts on others. (It’s also why I will miss my purple keyboard even more.)

There was a logical and ethical decision here and really only one based on my home decor and my son’s feelings on the matter.

There was a color that would inspire and calm at the same time.

So, I picked that one. The color of my favorite Le Pen. The color that reminds me of my mother who loves that pen brand and Ocean Blue, too. The color that reminds me not everything is about what I want, but about what others need. When my son walks by my office, he will sense the calm and the quiet and the peace even if there are emotions raging on the page. He will know his mom is happy if maybe a bit melancholy. Just as a poet ought to be.

Between the Lines: This Writer's Journal, Uncategorized

Just Keep Swimming…

I feel like I’m treading water with my novel. There are some transition sections that require drafting. It’s like swimming pool-laps while editing the drafted chapters and then finding myself in the middle of “What Happens Now?!” Ocean.

So, instead I’m enjoying word-play while writing my poetry in the morning and afternoon between reading sessions, which is akin to jumping in, splashing around for three-to-four-poem stints, and then soaking in the rays.

(This is truly a symbolic picture because there is still plenty of snow on the ground from last week’s blizzard. Any sunshine I am getting is reflected off the snow drifts while I sit in my cozy chair.)

Just keep swimming (a.k.a. writing), everyone!

Between the Lines: This Writer's Journal

Writing Anyway

My head feels like a piece of cracked dinnerware. Anybody else know the feeling?

It can be difficult to write or do anything productive while experiencing a migraine. Somehow I have endured three concurrent days of pain. Yet, I have managed to complete my goals.

How? Although Advil, caffeine, and some downtime have helped, my goals happened because I did one important thing. I kept writing anyway.

I know it’s hard. I know the screen looks funky when an aura occurs. I know the ache from the question mark forming from neck to forehead is real.

Sit down anyway. Get those fingers moving anyway. Write the thing anyway.

Then bask in the accomplishment. Lay down in a dark room. Or sit in your favorite chair and read (or listen) to someone else’s written words. If you have one, invite a furry friend to sit with you. (I am amazed how the pressure from my dog’s nose leaning on my leg eases the pain in my head and stroking his ears soothes the ache in my hands!)

Or just be.


Between the Lines: This Writer's Journal, Uncategorized

Write Anytime?

Most of the time, I can write anywhere. I can tune out the background noise or I plug in my ear buds. But, write anytime? Somehow that’s harder.

I have times of the day when my mind flickers like a burning-out lightbulb. I feel it start about 3:30pm. Sometimes I get a surge at 7:00pm and then I can keep going until 8:30 or so. By 9:00pm, I’m out! That’s true for more than writing. I’ve found myself go into shut-down mode as soon as that hour begins.

I find that my best writing hours are from 9am to 11am and from 1:00 to 3:00pm. Even so, a solid two-hour stint doesn’t always happen. I need to refuel or pay attention to the dogs and cat or answer a question from one of the kids or stop before the next activity begins. (When I started writing this post, it was just before my Bible study. I had to stash my phone away mid-sentence so that I could greet one of my friends.)

But, here is the point. Write. Set that two-hour block aside (and maybe a second two-hour block), but write. Take five minutes to sketch out a blog post. Type or write the one word that begins the poem or summarizes a story. Stop everything and write something. Even if later, you wonder what you meant by that. Then write what it means to you right this minute.

Just write. Anytime!