Tuesday, July 31, 2007

TO WRITE: Being outside
Have you noticed? It's summer! (OK, at least here in the U.S. -- if you're in the midst of winter where you are, just adapt this for your clime.) It's sunny and bright here in Northern California this morning, and I'm thinking it might be fun to walk to the nearly regional park after class today. But the half-written chapter on my desk will probably call me back.

Are you celebrating the weather by spending time at the beach, the lake, the strip of grass outside your door? Are you a forest person, a desert person, a mountain person -- or would you really rather sit in the living room with a book? (That's OK too.)

Personally, while I love the snowy winters I grew up with in Wisconsin -- up to a point -- I get most excited when it's a bit warmer, like this, and I can hike on a forested mountain trail. Watching for wildflowers and animals as I climb beside a gurgling stream with tall pines overhead is as wonderful as it gets for me.

Play with this...
Choose some type of outdoor space and write continuously for 20 minutes, beginning with "In a forest, I am. . . " (fill in whatever word is appropriate for the site you have in mind). This might be a spot you love or hate or are afraid in, one you're near everyday, or one you dream of visiting.

Then consider: How does it feel to write about this location? What can you do to feel well emotionally based on this writing? Does it confirm that you're a contented indoor type who despises mosquitoes, or does it trigger ideas about where to stroll this afternoon or camp this weekend?

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