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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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blathering and writing

Yes, I'm still alive. :-)

Jeff is forcing me to write a Blathering today, probably because he
thinks it will be good for me to claw my way up out of the zoo that
my life has become lately...and of course he's right.

Looking back at the four years I've been Blathering, it's interesting
for me to see how this little corner of my cyberlife has changed over
time. It began as a piece of fluff, a newsy paragraph, a fun toss-off in
the morning before I started my day.

Nowadays it has become partly a valuable creative writing exercise...some
days the words flow out, other days I sit at the keyboard staring numbly
at the blank screen, not knowing what to say. Getting into the habit
of writing something every day has been a very good experience; I highly
recommend it for everyone, even those that don't consider themselves
to be writers. I also highly recommend Julia Cameron's books (she wrote
The Artist's Way, but I've been reading
The Right To Write)...she
encourages regular journal writing. Here's a quote:

We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act
of living. Writing is sensual, experiential, grounding. We should
write because writing is good for the soul. We should write because writing
yields us a body of work, a felt path through the world we live in.

We should write, above all, because we are writers, whether we call
ourselves that or not.

I've gotten into the habit of keeping "morning pages", an exercise she
recommends. I went to Chapters and bought a spiral-bound journal with
a pretty cover (sun, moon & stars). Every morning, before I do anything,
I write a page about something. Sometimes it's a description of the room
I'm in, a scrap of conversation, a fragment of a short story, what my
plans are going to be that day, the movie I saw last night, a poem, some
lyrics...ANYTHING. Julia Cameron writes three pages/day but I'm trying
to stick to a goal that's easier for me to achieve. :-)

But back to the addition to being a good creative writing
exercise, my Blatherings nowadays
often become a sort of self-therapy. A very PUBLIC self-therapy. :-)
When I realized that was what it had evolved into, I admit to freaking out
a bit and almost pulled the whole thing offline. But then it became
evident that my postings sometimes touched other people, both
friends and strangers, who had been in similar situations or felt
similar feelings in their lives. I love seeing the support, advice,
and encouragement that goes on in Blatherchat.

I have especially enjoyed
following the conversation going on during the past couple of weeks,
when I wasn't around...I get a real kick out of the feeling that the
Blatherchat community has evolved into an independent entity
separate from my inane Blatherings. :-)

Scott Murray has responded in his
Scribbles, by the way,
to my comment about him being a marshmallow. :-) (Warning: Scott's journal
entries are not for the faint of heart or easily offended.)

Annie, I'm sorry I missed your birthday. Here is a belated birthday poem for you:


    A Birthday Poem For Annie

    by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

    In sunlight

    she sings of wilderwood.

    Hands folded neatly in her lap,

    Annie plaits flowers into a chain

    and hides her secret smile.

    In moonlight

    she sings of wildness and beauty.

    Dancing with midnight,

    black leather and teased hair.

    We mortals watch in wonder from the forest shadows

    (clutching our offerings of tea and chocolate)

    ...O Annie, sing a song for us!

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