My Top 11 Favorite Anthropology Topics

My Top 11 Favorite Anthropology Topics

 

My Top 11 Favorite Anthropology Topics

Darlene Reilley

 

Archaeology

I started with archaeology and come back to it every time. If I weren’t a writer, I’d be at a dig site, buried in dirt up to my elbows…and I might still do this. Archaeology rocks (pun intended) because you get to ask questions and touch artefacts that people used – as an archaeologist, you’re the link between cultures long gone and the people today. You get to help people understand that our human lineage is vastly diverse – and that people in the past were adaptive, creative, and intelligent. As an anthropologist, I see the world as we do – with individual cultures and perspectives, but I also see the grander total of who we are and the deep past we share. We are so much more than what we think. I’m not just “Darlene – Irish-British-German-American, daughter of immigrants;” I’m also “Darlene – human – homo sapiens sapiens, child of a massive lineage including people who built the Pyramids, who cultivated tea, and who touched the moon.” How cool is that?

 

 

Underwater Archaeology

I chose dirt over water simply because sharks don’t live in tombs…and underwater archaeology is the most expensive field you can get into. Would it be cool to dig and find pirate treasure? Sure, but I can do that on land, too.

 

 

Disaster and Recovery

Some people may think this is a bit morbid, but one of the most interesting research topics is disaster. Catastrophes have a way of bringing out the best and worst in humanity – and we can learn so much by studying them…and try to make sure that the impacts of future disasters are mitigated. For more information on this, check out Catastrophe & Culture: the Anthropology of Disaster, edited by Susanna M. Hoffman and Anthony Oliver-Smith from the School of American Research Advanced Seminar Series.

 

 

Ancient Sumeria

Out of all the ancient civilizations, the Sumerians were the most interesting. Sumerians invented writing. They started tallying their goods on clay bullae – and from the humble beginnings grew everything you’ve ever read or wrote. This is the place where our concept of civilization began.

 

 

Goddess Cultures  

I’ve written whole papers on this topic. And I’m pitching them to publications now.

 

 

Ancient Egyptians

The single question I still haven’t answered from my childhood research lies below the Sphynx. There’s a chamber that Egyptologist (Egyptian archaeologist) Zahi Hawass  and others have looked into…and no one has solved it yet. What is the chamber under the Sphynx? Is it a burial chamber, a preparation area, or what? Inquiring minds still want to know. One of the biggest things that makes archaeologists angry is when people destroy cultural finds…and over the last few years this has been happening in Egypt and other places. As writers, this is good information for novel fodder – if you want to break an archaeologist’s heart and get them worked up, have someone loot a museum. Then you can bring in a specialist and work with international organizations and find the goods…and save the day and unite the romance leads in the book…go ahead, we could all write a version of this and not have the same thing. Run with it.

 

 

Ancient North America & Hunter/Gatherers

Oh, the simpler (more dangerous) times.

 

 

Ancient Greeks

Want a fabulous culture to explore with mythos, diverse sides, several periods to explore, and a historical setting that is one of the best? Take your characters in time or space to a culture similar to Ancient Greece. There’s nothing like it – and they saved a lot of human culture over the years. Between the Greeks and the Egyptians, they pretty much saved a lot of historical records when Europe was in the Dark Ages. I bet there are still caches of knowledge – books, papyrus, or more – in both places.

 

 

Lithics and Stone Tools

One of the coolest things that ever happened in an anthropology class happened in archaeology. Want to create someone who is totally amazing and will wow the students? Create an archaeologist who flint knaps. Here’s a link: http://www.wildernesscollege.com/making-arrowheads.html. I’m not kidding when I say this is one of the coolest things ever – one three-hour class made me want to skip out and drive over two hundred miles to fetch a bucket of special rocks. This is the allure of the dirt…and your archaeologists will never have clean hands – unless they’re attending a function and trying to impress patrons (and even then it will only last until they dig the next day). I have yet to meet an archaeologist who keeps nails painted for more than a day – most don’t bother.

 

 

Biological archaeology – bones bones bones

You knew it was going to come up. My favorite room in any anthropology building is the basement lab at PLU. I created a similar room for my novel. Here is the perspective Gaea took on it:

Zavier was a three-story brick building built in 1937 and rebuilt after the tsunami. My haven was the basement anthropology lab that covered half the floor with ten rectangular tables arranged in a horseshoe around Dr. J’s desk at the front of the room. Two chairs sat at each table. Floor-to-ceiling metal cabinets were stacked with boxes to the brim. When I had extra time, I cataloged the items for Dr. J.

The wall opposite the door held massive wood cabinets with roll-out drawers from floor to ceiling and two glass cabinets. Inside the first cabinet were Native American artifacts gifted to the department. The glass cabinet next to it was the reason most people avoided the room and a few were attracted to it—the cabinet of skulls from Australopithecus afarensis to Homo sapiens. Skulls were cool! Where else were you going to see not only what we’re made of, but how? I’m talking Darwinian evolution here—it’s the coolest thing ever. Dr. J. dug all over the world, but before I knew her she was an Archaeologist specializing in Ancient Greece and Ancient North America.

I loved the room because of the cabinet’s contents. The skulls were from Physical Anthropology 101. The plaster copies of real skulls were created for study and given to the department ages ago. The first was A. africanus, found in Laetoli, Tanzania, the maker of the Laetoli footprints and the one they call Lucy, the most famous skeleton anywhere, with broad cheeks, huge eye sockets and brow ridges, and a small skull. A. aethiopicus followed, from Ethiopia, with wide cheek bones and smaller brow ridges than afarensis; the main difference was the sagittal crest—a large Mohawk ridge on his head. Pieces from A. gardhi and A boisei kept each other company—neither was a full skull. A. robustus had smaller eye sockets and brow ridges, a bit of a sagittal crest, but a less wide face and smaller nose cavity. Homo rudolfensis followed, the first who kind of looked like a human skull if you squinted. H. habilis, aptly named the “tool maker” was next, followed by H. ergaster. H. erectus followed, the first hominid to use fire and the guy who left Africa. Then came H. neanderthalensis—short, stalky humanoids who buried their dead and used tools which showed how sophisticated they were. Next on the shelf was Homo sapiens, the first of the modern humans who roamed from 1 million to about 100,000 years ago, and then the Homo sapiens sapiens, modern humans. Next to the modern human skull sat a Gorilla skull for comparison. Through the glass-front case, I saw him past my reflection. I was totally not a Pan.

Two full skeletons stood in front of the cabinet, waiting to greet the students. The male wore a bow tie and fez and the woman wore a bracelet of gardenias and a gold and black woven lei. At the back of the room was a bank of airscreens and behind everything, a solid row of bookcases rimmed the room. A few computers from the last century sat in a cardboard box with other antiques. The Divanitnum Project

 

 

Concept of Deep Past

I mentioned this briefly above, but it can’t be understated – our human lineage is more diverse and interesting than most people give us credit for. I’ve heard it in many ways, but the one I react to the worst is “stupid ancestor.” People think that just because a person is a hunter-gatherer or lived a long time ago, they didn’t have as much intelligence, passion, or heart as we do now. That’s a deadly mistake. Especially if you’re character is a person who travels to another country or planet. Literature is riddled with people who “stepped in” the same fallacy of reasoning –  and paid the price. If you learn one thing from this, please let it be this: people in the past were smart. They created everything from art to literature. Give them the respect they’re due.

 

 

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Moments of Creation: Wishes for Your Work

Moments of Creation.jpg

Dear Writer,

I was going to share a really cool story today to inspire you in your work.

But then something happened.

Something I wish for you to happen.

DarWrites Wordle 2017

Today, the pen met the hand and it was magical.

Full of light and love and a channel of something bigger than me.

Today, I am writing.

But it didn’t happen out of nowhere.

I had to plan.

I had to work my plan.

And from that energy, my writing life was reignited.

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Darlene Reilley 2017

It’s that energy I wish for you – that moment of creation where what you want to say meets what you actually say. I think you know the difference can be a large gulf – and when the two converge, it’s fantastic.

It’s the reason we write.

So go forth, writer, and write.

Darlene

DarWrites Touchstones

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Balance and the Art of Creative Faith

Balance and the Art of Creative Faith

 

Hey, writers. How’s it going? Last week was quiet on DarWrites…mostly because I ended up in the ER instead of writing. To make a long story short, the part-time job caused a foot problem and now I’m seeing my doc way more than I wanted.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. No, I’ve been thinking a lot about you. I know you. I know you hope and dream about this thing called writing we are so passionate about. I know you love it as much as I do. I hope you’re writing. I hope you’re doing what you love and nothing is getting in the way of that.

But…

But sometimes…sometimes you have work and life and dogs and kids and everything including the UPS guy jumping in the way of you and your craft.

Sometimes, you try to pull words from air but all you get is a need for tea and echinacea. Let’s be honest…sometimes stuff happens. And then you find yourself not writing. Thunder strikes and your dog crawls onto your lap and you find yourself comforting a 90-lb Labrador instead of writing…and she climbs on your keyboard [Yes, Harley, I’m talking about you]. And sometimes days drift into weeks which blend into months and the next thing you know, it’s almost October and the dog pulled the cord out of the computer and the screen blanks because you meant to plug it in, but never got around to it. And you haven’t written.

At that moment, do you still consider yourself a writer? Even when you aren’t writing?

Yes, you are.

Because in that time when you’re doing the dishes, walking the dog, listening to Barney for the hundredth time, you, my darling writer, are percolating.

And like a delicious cup of coffee, even with the dog shivering on your lap, you too will be ready to attack your work again sometime soon.

And it will pour out of you, onto the page, or onto your computer and water will spill over the dam and crack the foundation wall and then a flood will commence. You’ll realize at that time, you were waiting for the right words. For the right time. Honor that time, my friend. Step up.

Now go, write.

 

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Writer’s Challenge: Create Your Inner Sanctuary

Maybe you’ve just started writing. Maybe you’ve been writing for forever and need a new tactic. With this challenge, you’ll explore what you really want as a writer – from the inside out.

create your inner writing sanctuary darwrites.jpg

I dare you to take two hours or more this month and create your own inner writing sanctuary. Make it as simple or elaborate as you want. Examples: a writing cave, a mountain chalet, a castle in the clouds, a dragon’s lair. Choose one that suits you and your writing style. Keep in mind you’re going to level up in skill – and so will your sanctuary.

Need inspiration? Check out my post Sanctuary on Chris Weigand’s site, Faith, Inspiration, and a Cup of Tea.

Write on.

Darlene

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An Inner Sanctuary

 

Today I’d like to share with you a guest blog on Chris Weigand’s site, Faith, Inspiration, and a Cup of Tea. In this article, I talk about how to build a sanctuary in your mind. Writers, this will be a helpful tool for you to take your work to the next level! One of the things I do in my retreat is work through scenes. My challenge to you: create a place in your mind where you can explore! You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you want to!

For more details, check out my guest blog here: Sanctuary.

Write on! Darlene

 

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Star Hero Review

Star Hero Review

 

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Author: Susan Grant

Title: Star Hero

Series: Star Series

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Star Hero, a Star Series Novella, in exchange for a fair review. When authors send me a book, they know that I will take my time getting through it and will look at the pros and cons before rating the book. That said, I’m human and try to be impartial, but I try. As a Book Dragon, I claim responsibility for this review. May the powers of the Book Dragons be with you. For more Book Dragon info, check out my post How to Read Like a Book Dragon.

 

Photo courtesy Susan Grant http://www.susangrant.com/books/star-series/star-hero/

About the book: This is a novella – officially book 4.6 of the Star Series. It has a sexy Marine, a scrappy K-9 dog, and an awesome Starpilot. Both Bang-Bang, the K-9, and Lukas are orphans who found a home with the Marines. Now they’ve met Starpilot Carlynn, their world has changed. Carylnn goes missing on a mission and search and rescue is necessary. Will the Marine and his K-9 find their Starpilot?

Oh, and this isn’t the first Grant book I’ve read – let’s be honest, I’ve read the whole series and loved it. I recommend starting with Star King.

 

About the author: Susan Grant is a fantastic Science Fiction Romance Writer. She won the RITA award for Contact. When not writing award-winning books, she flies commercially and was an Air Force pilot.

 

The blurb:

A Marine serving in the galactic frontier, Lieutenant Lukas Frank has a lot in common with a street dog named Bang-Bang; they both started off as scrappy orphans fighting to survive–and beat the odds. Things change when Bang-Bang leads Lukas to starpilot Captain Carlynn Riga. The tough war hero learns what it means to surrender–his heart. Lukas’s struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, threaten to tear the three of them apart, but nothing threatens them more than when Carlynn goes missing in action. Now the rugged, emotionally scarred Marine and his K-9 partner must find Carlynn and bring her home, or risk losing everything he has finally found worth fighting for.

– Susan Grant, Star Hero

 

Breakdown:

The first go through, I read books for fun. Then in the second dive, I go into details. My first run through happened in one night. The deep-dive took a few days.

 

Pros:

You know that anytime I read a book with a dog as a main character, I’m going to love it. And he is and he’s adorable and I felt for the scrappy puppy and was happy with his story and growth. The main characters – Carlynn and Lukas are developed characters with backgrounds: Carlynn is from a huge Italian family, and Lukas is an orphan. Grant did a cool thing by echoing Lukas’s upbringing as an orphan through the eyes of Bang-Bang, his K-9 and best friend.

The line that moved me: “For the first time since he found himself alone, he fell asleep without feeling afraid to wake up.”

My favorite line from Bang-Bang’s perspective: “His Tall One had wounds, old wounds, that were on the inside, where Bang-Bang was not able to lick them. But he could protect his Lukas, a d look out for him, which he did every waking moment of every day since they first found each other.”

[I love that!]

This book tackles PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, which impacts not only soldiers, but their loved ones as well. It’s an important topic that needs to be discussed more in fiction – and Grant does a good job of showing the effect of PTSD not only on a character, but on the character’s relationships.

When I go through a book, I process the pros in yellow, things I loved in pink, and questionable things in orange. Looking through my notes, there are tons of yellow and pinks.

As a writer, I would turn to this book to learn the elements of fast-paced romance. It’s a great example of how to create a page-turning novella.

 

Cons:

No books are perfect. The action scenes were effective, but I hoped for more of them – yes, this is a novella, but I was hoping for at least one more scene where they could engage the enemy. The pacing was efficient – it felt like there was one beat that needed a bit more. Oh, and I’m not giving spoilers, but I was able to guess the ending…

 

Overall:

My rating: 4 stars

yellow-star-hiyellow-star-hiyellow-star-hiyellow-star-hi

Would I read it again? I did – I read it twice…and will read it again!

Link: Star Hero

 

A note to Science Fiction Romance Writers: More pets, please! You know I love them!

 

 

 

 

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The Power Within

The Power Within

The Power Within: A Poem for Humanity

Darlene Reilley

 

You speak of equality.

You speak of generalities.

But you only see

The pigment on me.

 

I stand here to say

I am more than the color of my skin.

I am more than you think I am.

 

But there’s something else.

So. Are. You.

 

You are more than the color of your skin.

You are light eternal.

The spark itself that creates existence

All you see, touch, hear, and taste.

You are more than history.

You are more than present.

You are greater than the sum of all ages.

You are the sum of over 200,000 years of evolution.

You are the height of knowledge.

You are the sum of all your ancestors.

Millions have died so that you may live.

 

Generations have fought and bled and wept

So that you may have the present

in it’s imperfect state.

 

You, my darling, are

the reason

the meaning

the hope

and the being.

 

So when you’re

Texting

Poking

Snapchatting

Facebooking

Twittering

Bickering

Ignoring

Hating

 

Please keep in mind

We all are the same

Beneath the skin.

 

I speak to you of anthropology,

A big word that encompasses all of humanity

And with this, I’d like to share

A glimmer of knowledge.

 

This is the call of my people

The call of those who stay up all night

Trying to perfect art

The workers in the coal mines just trying to get by,

The street cleaners

The day laborers

The muscles

The artists

and the brains.

 

Without each and every one of you,

This world is not the same.

 

So when you’re going about your day,

Please keep in mind

That today is the last day for some

And speak with love in mind.

 

Please fill your dance card

With love and light and sounds

That make you happy and keep your inner spark

From burning out.

 

Only you can prevent depression.

Only you can help a stranger in need.

Only you can make this life worth living.

Only you must believe

 

That while we vary slightly from sea to shining sea,

Beneath the hair,

Beneath the freckles,

Beneath the skin,

We are all humanity.

 

Go with the day and celebrate

Your call to shining arms

Because you are

The sun amidst the stars.

That spark of life that made us all

Is deep inside of you.

Please, my friend, be gentle,

And be honest, and be true.

Remember you are larger than what you think you are

You are the inside of a shining star.

 

 

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Write from the Heart

DarWrites Logo 2017

Logo by Turtledesk

Write from the Heart

 

Hey, writers. A lot has happened since my last post. One of the things I am most proud of in this writing life came to a close…but it opened a new chapter in my writing.

Life’s like that.

You see, in 2010, I started a freelance writing business called Reilley Writes. From then until this last week, I wrote articles, copy, resumes…pretty much anything that would earn a wage. I saw it as a way to put my education to work for me…and to stretch my knowledge. With each project, I leveled up in skill and content.

And then last week after a heart-to-heart with my mentor, she suggested I close down the freelance side of business so I could focus on what I needed…my writing. And after hours of soul searching, deliberation, and a very long pro-con list, I made the leap – to write what I really want.

To write from my heart.

One of the things that triggered this change was a post I wrote in July 2010 – I found it while going through the DarWrites Vault for this week. We all change. The cool thing is, no matter what, your writing will always be there for you, just waiting for you to finish it.

I think the best thing any writer, or person for that matter, can do is do whatever is in their heart with all the love and passion and talent they have. I think if you follow that nugget and write what you know and love, you’ll be in a good place. So that’s what I’m going to do. I hope you do too.

For your reading pleasure, a copy of “Write What You Love and the Rest Will Follow” from DarWrites Vault.

 

 

From the Vault

July 27, 2010 at 3:23 am

Write What you Love and the Rest Will Follow

 

“Do everything you can to secure your dreams. Take the basketball to the basket. Take a chance and go for the layup. Believe your dreams are worth it.” Darlene Reilley

They tell you to write what you know. They tell you to write what you love. And then they tell you to find a market if you want to be a professional about it and sell your work there.

You want me to send the manuscript I’ve toiled over, lost sleep over, ached and broken nails over to a stranger? And you expect me to trust this human? To know what it needs to live happily out among strangers for the rest of its life?

Call me silly, but my manuscripts are kind of like my children. I want to make sure they are handled with tender loving care and by the best out there. So you plot and toil and hope that everything will come out right. You hope that there is a hero out there to defend and protect your manuscript. And hope that you are tough enough to handle anything that the world throws at it.

“I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve

Write what you know. I’ve made lists of things that I know and I’ve made lists of things that I am interested in. The latter outweighs the first. Mainly because when I learn something I’ve already exhausted my thinking on the subject, at least for now.

Life is a process unfolding before me and I want to write about what’s coming next. So I write about what I love. What I am passionate about. Starting with the things that you know is great, and if you find a market that allows you to share the knowledge with others that is great. Terrific. Amazing. But sometimes you just have to follow your heart and hope it leads you where you are meant to go.

Link of the day: Don’t Pet Me, I’m Writing. This blog is funny and informative. About wine and writing.

So I’m taking the advice of the author I read this morning. I am going to follow my heart and let it lead me where I should go. I am going to tread my own path and find my way through the jungle. Because in the end you have to follow your dreams.

So follow that voice inside your head and let it takes you where it thinks you should go. Trust your gut and know that it’s right.

Til next time.
Write on.
Darlene

Written by darreilley

 

 

 

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The Space Between Words by Heather Sargent

Hey, writers! Please welcome hybrid writer Heather Sargent to DarWrites! Heather specializes in weaving poetry and prose – her work is really cool and I think you’ll like her advice on “The Space Between Words!” Take it away, Heather!

The Space Between Words by Heather Sargent

The Space Between Words by Heather Sargent

I’ve been thinking lately about how words matter. Or should it be how much words matter? Not just words in general, but the choice of words and the order in which they are arranged. Lately, it seems, people hang on every word, analyzing it for its truest meaning. As writers, especially poets, this is a familiar struggle. Every word has a job, every syllable must work for its space. Today, I want to talk about words, the arrangement of letters and spaces that create a structure to frame our thoughts and in so doing, create a way for us to communicate them to others.

I am reminded of two books I read last year for grad school. The first is For Want and Sound, by Melissa Buzzeo. Without going into the purpose of the book, because that is not the point here, I want to talk about how she questions the sentence. In the introduction, Rob Halpern asks an important question: “How is one to communicate a sentence whose subject wants more than grammar allows?” I thought about this while reading Buzzeo’s book and found myself wrestling with questions of my own and wrote an annotation that was essentially my questions in a poetic structure – which is absent here.

I am haunted. Undone. But I don’t know why. Can a sentence hold a story? Does it have its own agenda? Is it not still bound by rule, contained within some structure? The story follows a breeze. Or is it a storm? How do you hold the wind? the story? How do I tell you? the meaning? the measure to which the poetry has entered me? It has changed me. Can you see? Within these lines, these sentences.

Is it there?

Or is it like a deconstruction of post-structuralism? Within which there still lie rules. Say the same sentence, in a different language and the sound separates. Say the same sentence, by different people even the same person on another day and the inflections separate. We bring in our own emotions of the day, that moment, different from every other day. The sentence can only be the same once.

And in this same fashion, even as it is written here, it is different than I wrote it then. It was poetry then, separated by lines where something breaks, as Jenny Boully notes in her book, The Body: An Essay. The purpose was different then too, I wrote it then as I pondered what a sentence can contain. I reshape it now for you, so you may consider the same but not get caught up in where the line breaks for me. We each have our own ways of making meaning and I want to open a door for you to explore a room as you see it, not one of my construction. This thought brings me to Boully’s book, the second book I was reminded of, which I mentioned just a moment ago.

This curious little book is all about a body with no text. The whole thing is written in footnotes and negative space. The top of each page has varying amounts of negative space which became very loud as I read. What started as a curiosity turned into near obsession as I pondered what was in this space. There was nothing there. Or nothingness. Or maybe nothing was there. Do you see how each of these sentences invoke a bit of a different meaning?

As writers, we might ask what is Boully’s point here? We deal in the realm of bodies of work. Why would she leave this space blank? Is it a placeholder for the body? What is she saying by leaving it out? Is the body not important? Perhaps what really matters is the annotation of the body, which is essentially her work in this book. Or maybe the point is that there can be nothing without the body. Perhaps it matters what is in this space, perhaps it doesn’t, but one thing becomes clear: it forces the focus elsewhere.

What if Boully’s work is a code to better understand the body, but only with the body. Perhaps without the body the work is meaningless, or perhaps meaning less. Out of all the slivers of brilliance in Boully’s work, my favorite remains: “I know now why the line breaks: it is because something dies, and elsewhere, is born again …” Perhaps when the body dies, it can be reborn in the annotations left behind.

When you write, think about your words, your sentences, your body. Consider each of these alone and in relation to each other. Are you stuck in a particular spot? What would happen if you drew a line in the space that stops you and moved on outside of that space? Come back to it later and see if you have answers for what belongs there. Depending on what you write, maybe the answers are not yours to find. Let the work breathe, especially when it steps outside of a traditional genre or grammatical rule. It doesn’t mean it must stay that way. It also doesn’t mean it must conform. Play around with these elements and see what else is there, in the spaces left behind.

 

Heather Sargent is a freelance writer and mother who believes in the motivating power of coffee and deadlines. Her work has been published in the Sasquatch Review and more recently in The Pitkin Review. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College where she was also an Associate Editor for The Pitkin Review. You can find her at: Heather Sargent.

 

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From the DarWrites Vault: Center of the Storm – You and Writing v.s. anxiety

From the DarWrites Vault: Center of the Storm - You and Writing v.s. anxiety

Today, I need a kick in the pants to write. I’m sitting at a laundry facility, wishing I was down in the pool, waiting for words to come. And of course, when you set aside specific time to write, the words should come, right?

Yeah, they aren’t coming.

You ever notice how sometimes it’s like pulling teeth?

I mean you’re going about your day, and then the time comes that you allotted for writing and you’re so excited because it’s writing time and you planned it – down to the coke zero and beef jerky.

And then your time to write comes and you’re here – you’ve been thinking about it all day – and nothing comes.

What do you do?

 

For me, I turned to 2010 Darlene’s advice and found this nugget in the DarWrites Vault. I’m sharing it for you, but for me too because today, I need inspiration. I hope it inspires you [2017 Darlene is going to read this and go write. I suggest you do too].

 

From the DarWrites Vault: Center of the Storm – You and Writing v.s. anxiety

 

 

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” ~ E.L. Doctorow

Writing is difficult under regular schedule. My anxiety level was moving along at a happy green level, and it moved through blue to yellow and on to orange before I knew what happened.

It wasn’t the writing itself that made me fuzzy. It’s that plus the freelance, the job hunt, the write-ins (love em), the chores, the bathroom that still needs to be cleaned…the list goes on and on.

I guess you could say my procrastinator came out in full force this morning. She saw the schedule for the college and ran away screaming, locked herself in the closet and I’ve had a hard time getting her out.

So what to do when you’re full of anxiety and everyone and everything wants a piece of your time?

Take a breath. And focus.

A long time ago in another time and place I read something that stuck with me my entire life. I don’t know where it came from or who said it, but the image it evoked stayed with me the entire time. This is how I remember it.

Take a breath. Focus on your breath, hands on your stomach. Focus on your breathing, and realize that you are one person with only one person’s dreams and hopes. You are one person versus the world. And you need to be the center of the storm. Picture yourself in the eye of a tornado, everyone and everything is whirling around you at speeds out of control. Everything on your to-do list, your calendar, and your cell phone are out there.

You are the eye of the storm and choose what to do. You choose what to bring into your life. It’s okay to say no.

Now open your eyes and realize that you, too, are the center of the storm. Now go sit at your computer and write 1000 words.

Write on,

Darlene

The Drabble Files

From the Vault

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