Writing Month

National writing month has rolled around. Seems easy enough, write two thousand words a day for thirty days. What could possibly go wrong? Yeah, that. I could write two thousand trite, cliche words and accomplish nothing.

I’d love to write about going undercover for a month but that would blow my cover and I can’t afford that.

I could write about the difficulties of an older woman returning to the workforce after years of raising children. I probably should write about how the electronic systems are not designed for older people. Never mind the older part. It’s the been out of work for a while part that creates the problem. Yes, I really should write about that but it’s still to fresh and painful. It shouldn’t be. I got the job but the electronic online employment forms were more stressful than the interviews.

So I think I’ll just go back to my old standby, Writing Down the Bones/Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg. I’ll open it to an exercise. Open a new blog post and just let it fly. There will be no editing. There will be only writing.

Welcome aboard. Keep your chair backs and trays in any position that pleases you for this trip.

Dry Spell

I’ve been struggling to write lately. I’ve been struggling with a lot of things. Odd for a person who is pulling things from old notebooks. Nothing seems right in those books. So today I may get a little more personal than usual. I’ve been feeling braver lately.

We are the stories we tell. Stories make it sound like I’m talking about fiction, tall tales, and lies. But I’m talking about the dialog, the conversations, that we have about what is happening in our lives. We don’t write letters anymore. We ‘tweet’ life in 140 character bits. As a whole, the tweets sometimes form a story. Sometimes they link to the whole story on another site…if anyone bothers to click on through. Facebook is better at telling the stories of our lives but even there status updates are being replaced by sharing ‘memes’. Sharing a picture with a quote on it does not ell much about your own life. Status updates have limited writing space. Blogs were designed for writing copious amounts. I’ve read lots of good stories on blogs and everyone of them makes me think I should be writing more.

The stories of my life seem like nothing. I read about people who were political prisoners in Tehran, who helped other women in Afghanistan, and my life seems so small, insignificant and boring. Have I done anything with my life? It doesn’t seem like it but maybe that’s not for me to decide. Perhaps the real trick is to just tell the stories and let the readers, all three of them, decide if my life has an interest to them.

©2014 Nancy Sparks

Alone with My Purpose

We are not alone. We are never truly alone. What we do affects others. What we do causes ripples. What we do may be a small thing but it can spread. One small gesture can spark hope in someone. One small gesture of defiance can start a wave of change.

We are not small and insignificant. Not really. We are not too small. A grain of sand may seem insignificant until it is in your eye then it becomes very significant. Where is our significance? Are we looking for a single big even in our lives to make us significant? I think we shouldn’t. I think we are significant every day of our lives.

Yesterday I was significant in loading furniture at my neighbors garage sale. I was significant taking down the bulletin board at school. I was significant when I delivered boxes to the teachers. I was significant when I was empathetic and comforted a friend with legal issues. Did any of these require significant effort on my part? No.

We all have a purpose in this world. We have took past the everyday bills, jobs, school activities to try to see that purpose. What is the purpose? Perhaps we look too far when we try to find the next big invention as our purpose. Not to say that inventing isn’t your purpose. If you think your purpose is inventing and it is what you are driven to do, then it is your purpose. However, if a lofty goal or purpose overwhelms you and leaves you immobilized, then it’s probably not the right goal. Something is trying to tell you that you’re heading in the wrong direction. Maybe not heading, since you’re immobilized, more like pointing in the wrong direction.

So who am I to talk? I haven’t found my purpose yet. Maybe it’s to make waves. Whatever that big goal is, I have yet to find it.

©  2013 Nancy Sparks


Forgiveness always sounds good. Does anyone ever really forgive? Forgetting is hard. I’m hampered by the belief that everything is recorded in our brains. So not only do I believe that I can’t forget an incident, I believe that I can’t forget anything. That doesn’t mean that I can remember everything. It just means that eventually, with the right keys and stimuli, anything can be retrieved.

I hold grudges. It takes me a long time to ‘make nice’. I spend a lot of time being mad as hell. I’m passionate. I’ve got a big mouth when I’m not shy. I jump into conversations when it’s none of my business. I’ve got things to say and no one to hear them.

I want to change the world, be a driving force, but then I fall apart because I don’t know how people do these things. I still feel like I’m seventeen, stumbling my way through the social scene. I must have missed something. Everyone else knows the steps and I’m just stumbling through.

© 2013 Nancy Sparks

The Red Plaid Boots Become Purple

I’m a mom who wears red plaid boots. They are my favorite shoes. They are black with red plaid tops. They are a part of me being me and wearing what I want to wear. So how did I get from red plaid to purple plaid? Quite simple actually, red plaid was already taken as a name. Trying to find find the name for a blog is not always easy. Ok, it’s never easy, not if you want a unique semi-witty blog name. They are often trite and predictable. While ‘Random Thoughts of Weirdness’ sounds clever, at least for a few seconds, a quick web search will dispel that illusion quickly. Witty to boring in a single search.

So that’s how I got from ‘Oh! I’ve found my unique name.’ to ‘Oh darn, it’s taken’. My red plaid boots suddenly became purple. Plus, I really want a pair of purple boots, plaid or otherwise. I wasn’t quick enough at buying the pair that I wanted and now they don’t have them in my size. So I’m still looking for the perfect pair of purple boots. Along with those red plaid boots, I like wearing purple or blue nail polish and a black leather jacket. I make salsa, deviled eggs, sweet tea and am working at playing bass guitar. You’ll rarely see me without a notebook and a pen, preferably a fountain pen.

This isn’t one of those ‘photos of food in my kitchen’ blogs. This is just me typing up the random paragraphs from my notebooks. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. It’s mostly bits of fiction. It’s me looking at the world around me me while pretending that I’m someone else. When I write about a neighbor, it’s not really my neighbor. I’m writing about the imagined neighbor of an imagined character. The ‘I’ that’s speaking isn’t always the ‘I’ that’s doing the writing. Sometimes I’m just writing while people watching. I’m making up stories about people in the mall. I’m letting brain run rampant.

© 2013 Nancy Sparks