Wednesday Walks

I’m going to try to blog weekly, after a Wednesday Walk, and will post pictures here….

The benefits of walking are well documented – low impact, almost anyone can do it anywhere with just a pair of shoes, it’s free, extends your life – all benefits worthy of picking up the habit. But many writers and thinkers find walking is an important part of their creative life, too. I find a daily walk clears my head, helps me process things percolating in my subconscious, and feels like an accomplishment, even if not much else has gotten crossed off the to-do list.

Here’s my current favorite walk, taken this Wednesday. It’s a 3.6 mile trek to, from, and around Spring Lake. Right now it’s just what I need. The colors change depending on the time of day. There’s shade for hot days, and sun for chilly days. There are hills and flat sections. There are ducks and geese and squirrels to watch, as well as walkers, runners, and stand-up-paddlers. I find the notes section on my phone is filled with ideas, small and large, that come from these walks. There’s something about the circular nature of the walk – the slow getting to the lake through pale grasses and oak trees, the trail around the lake dodging toddlers feeding ducks and anglers casting for fish, then the long and good trudge back with tired legs. While I can’t do the walk every day, I find the days I do fill me with just what my day needs – “forest bathing” seems like just the right term.

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(Framed view from a favorite bench)

While some days I need to listen to a podcast or an audio book, other days I’m content to listen to the sounds around me. Some days I pass many a slower walker, while other I’m content to stroll and sit on a new bench for a different view.

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(Same view, but with the white cross made of rocks visible on the hill. The cross is fading with time and as the grasses take it over. For 31 years, a combat veteran had permission from the landowners to hike the hill, spray the weeds, and place the white-painted rocks in the shape of an enormous cross. however, when he died at age 96, the landowners would not grant the same access to a 15 year-old boy who wanted the job. It’s slowly reverting back to nature. Story here.)

The view you see here is from this bench.

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I don’t know who Jim Dunwoody is or was, but I thank him for this place with the perfectly framed view.

Another favorite place to stop is this lovely bench under an willow tree. Once, my teen son was injured and couldn’t make the rest of the walk, so left him there to sit for awhile. I always think of him when I pass.

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Where’s your favorite walking place?

My Favorite Writerly Resources

I’ll continue to add to this list of resources, and find it a permanent home on the site:

Workshops and Conferences

SCBWI Summer Conference

Regional conferences –  San Francisco North and East Bay

Big Sur Writing Workshop, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Better Books Marin

 

Blogs

R.L. LaFevers, For Writers

KidLit.com – Mary Kole

Nathan Bransford

 

Podcasts

Inside the New York Times Book Review

New Yorker Fiction

The Guardian Children’s Books

The Narrative Breakdown – Cheryl Klein and James Monohan

 

Software

Scrivener

Freedom

 

Websites

SCBWI

Publisher’s Marketplace

SCFWA Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions – Patricia C. Wrede

 

Books

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron

Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maas

Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, by Christopher Vogler

 

Videos

Martha Alderson’s 27-step plot tutorial on plot and structure

 

For Fun and Inspiration

On Writing, by Stephen King

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

Laini Taylor’s Blog

Pinterest

 

Favorite Local Bookstores

Copperfield’s Books

Book Passage