How Do I Write? Let Me Count the Words…

What inspires you?

Recently we talked about how my family always being underfoot has made it difficult for me to be creative, how I need solitude in order to tap into my muse. My muse is an introverted thing, and she needs to be alone in the house with music softly in the background and the scent of lemon wafting from the diffuser, and a cup of black tea with milk and sugar sitting on the side.

My muse took up residence somewhere else during COVID…

But anyway…

Turns out I need to be alone to actually put words on the paper…

But…

In order to be inspired…

in order to find things to write about…

I need to be out and about. I need people, places and things from which to get ideas. I am never going to get ideas from sitting in a room with my diffuser and a cup of tea. I mean, those things might make it into a work, but for the most part, how much can I write about them?

ok- expect a post about my desk sometime in July

I am a sensual person. I am inspired by the things that I can touch, taste, see, hear and smell. When you are a sensual person, you need to be interrupted. You need to be amongst the people. When you are a sensual person who is looking for those ideas, you need to be disrupted. You need some sort of controlled chaos.

Quiet to write.

Distraction to be inspired.

Look at the things that I choose to blog about. I do not get these ideas while sitting in my desk chair, smelling the lemon and drinking my tea. I might read a great comment, or be treated poorly by someone. Run out of toilet paper or talk to my sister. All these things get my brain working…makes me reach for my planner and pink pen and jot down the idea…At the time I write the note I may not know what my post will look like, but I know that I’ve hit on an idea that I can expand…

The toilet paper post of this week- do you know what my note was for that day?

things I did for my family that they didn’t realize

I wrote that note months ago because I knew that somewhere in those words was a blog post. As I sat down to write and thought about that note, the incident from the previous week popped into my mind…

Inspired by chaos and distraction…

Enough about me:

What inspires you?

Where do you get your ideas from?

How do you keep track of the things that you want to write about, paint, photograph, whatever your chosen medium is?

Do you just think of things, or do you need some sort of distraction to inspire you?

What activates your muse?

Discuss

Need to Know

How often do you search things on the internet?

What does your browser history look like?

A few months ago one of my blog friends wrote about pulling up there history and looking at the last ten things they searched. I thought this was an interesting idea, so I jotted it down. Then I watched the HBO show “The Undoing” and watched an episode where the lawyer says that they looked at the profiles and search history of the perspective jurors.

Hmmmm

I have no idea about the legality of this, or if it actually does happen…but would it surprise you if people did look up your search history to see what kind of person you are?

Hmmmmm

So I looked at my browser, and these are the last 40ish searches:

  1. masala definition
  2. Masala powder
  3. specialty cakes- Veneiro’s
  4. Windmill cake
  5. wirelessly connect camera to computer troubleshoot
  6. MNR schedule
  7. Prince Tea House
  8. Segumo Salumeria
  9. Faiccos Italian Specialties
  10. IFC
  11. Hallmark Movies mystery schedule
  12. the next 20 items were all related to different kinds of reading exam tests
  13. the next 7 items were all restaurants
  14. ATT girl says she’s shamed over body image
  15. Film Forum

so…

If you look at my history, what does it say about me?

What kind of person am I?

Do you think this is a good indication of what type of person I am?

How would you describe me based on my search history?

Do you want me on your jury?

Do you want to be my friend?

Would you be interested in dating me?

After you read this post, and after you delete your browsing history, are you going to actively think about what you mindlessly type into the little browser bar?

How much googling do we need in our lives?

What’s the difference between the practical, like finding train schedules and movie times versus the sheer human interest, like why are people body shaming the actress on the commercial?

Does google make our lives better and easier, or does it just give us more to be distracted by?

On a scale on 1-10, how does google factor into your life? Does is make you better or worse?

Discuss

What do you See?

I’m sort of cheating today. My original intention for this post was to give you various ELA (English Language Arts) questions from different exams that students need to take. But when I looked at the questions, I realized that the passages were too long to include more than one example, so I am going to try to do an abbreviated example.

nysedregents.org January 2018

This is a passage from the New York State Regents exam that all High School students in New York state are required to take. I think that you must pass this exam in order to graduate.

If you want to play along, read the above passage.

nysedregents.org January 2018

These are the questions that go along with the exam.

Do you think you can answer them correctly? Let me rephrase that: Do you think that you can answer them the way the New York State Board of Regents thinks is correct? Can you make a case for all the answers to be correct depending on how you look at it? Or that they are equally wrong?

Here’s where the subjective/objective thing comes into play: How much does ones background, feelings, etc enter into the equation when trying to ascertain what the “right” answer is?

Is it possible to have an answer that is more right?

Now let’s jump to the next part of my thoughts:

In a world where we can all interpret things in different ways, how do we communicate with one another?

If Person A looks at something one way, and Person B looks at it another way…how do we learn to understand one another?

My background, feelings, experiences make me feel that something is a certain way. Someone with the opposite background might see something the opposite of the way I see/saw it?

In a world where no one is wrong, how do we move forward?

If no one is right, and no one is wrong, how do we resolve conflict? How do we come to an agreement? How do we fix things?

So while you are reading the passage and answering the questions, think about the greater context. Think about why you think one answer is right and one is wrong. Think about why someone might have a different answer to the question.

I will give you the correct answers on Sunday, and possibly in the podcast that will eventually align with this post.

Think

Discuss

Full disclosure: I chose this exam because this is the exam my daughter and her classmates took and I have a sort of baseline as to how actual students did on the exam.

I Love a Good Oxymoron

What do you think about things that seem to embody opposite qualities?

An animal that is so unique to almost be considered ugly but in that uniqueness it’s totally adorable?

A food that is both sweet and spicy?

A work of art so incredibly genius yet hard to look at, read or experience because it contains so much that is awful?

I love a good contradiction: to me, contradictions add depth where there really ought not to be. And the one I’ve been thinking about lately is thus:

Hard working lazy people.

How do I define these people?

Well, I will use my poor husband as the example. He will decide to mop the floor. First he will get the mop out and ask me to assemble it properly…because…you know…my degree in engineering and all…(not). Then he will proceed to do about half the area that he should mop. Then he will leave the mop and the cleaning solution out somewhere in the house. Like, the solution will be on the floor next to a chair, and the mop will be against the wall in the bedroom.

Hard working enough to decide without nagging that the floor needs to be mopped. Lazy enough to not do the job thoroughly and put the utensils away.

I, on the other hand, am an energetic slacker. When I decide to do something I do it 100%. I have the right tools, I set up a workstation, I have a lot energy when I get involved in a project. However, I really really really need to be motivated to tackle something. I will not normally wake up and say- “Gee- I need to mop.”

I wonder if this has to do with the planner/no planner mentality. I use a planner. I detail everything I need to do. I keep lists. My husband is the opposite- though he keeps a date book he rarely checks it. Maybe he makes one list a year…

We are both self motivated- yet our paths of motivation are different. I need to think about it and know that I can do the whole job in a certain way. My Husband is more impulsive- he gets the idea and just does it.

Neither of us are right or wrong: it’s just how we handle things. Luckily our shared traits have produced our daughter: energetic and hard working. But never fear: she has her own particular brand of oxymoron’s.

What are your personal oxymoron’s? What qualities do you have that seem to be opposite in one way or another?

Do you have a favorite contradiction? A combo that is a little bit (or a lot) odd that really makes you feel something. I know the chocolate covered bacon fad is something I can’t really fathom but there are people who LOVE it…

Think- reflect-

Discuss…