Monthly Archives: June 2012

Quick Write

 
Ah, the quick write assignment.  I would say it fits into my schedule, but it is Friday and the assignment was posted on Tuesday, school work trumps again.  The assignment is to write about  favorite place, so here goes:
 
I am lucky because one of my favorite places just happens to be minutes from my house and the place I go to most days.  It is Topanga Canyon, the little mountain community where I have spent the last 18 years, but really had traveled to for years before that. 
 
I began going through Topanga on my way to the beach so summer memories are some of my favorite.  Then, in my late teens and early adult years, I frequented The Corral to hear music and enjoy the hippie days made famous in the Canyon.  I had friends up in the Canyon and since I’ve been part of the community via the school, have made some of my closest friends in those who make the Canyon their home.
 
It is hard to imagine that a 7 mile drive from home can transport me to a place filled with the promise of calm, tranquility and scent of sage and lavender.  Topanga is that place.  It is quiet unless you consider the bird’s chirps disruptive. There are often times when my students and I take a listening walk, picking out sounds like the wind rustling through the sycamore trees, a jet flying high overhead, children’s shouts on the playground and dogs barking.  Being able to really hear these sounds and the infusion of quiet is the gift of the mountains.
 
The colors change with the seasons though there are more shades of green that one can imagine.  Flowers poke out with poppy orange, sage silver and soothing lavender bringing bursts of color infusing the green.  The shadows move about during the day highlighting different corners of the canyon and the sun’s rays catch the water sparkling in the creek, of dripping down a granite boulder.
 
Today I noticed the smell of pine wafting up the stairs as we returned from a trip to the library.  I had a surge of memories from Yosemite, the Sierras and Yellowstone, that smell reminded me of so many camping trips, waking in the morning to the pines and sitting around a campfire at night surrounded by a circle of trees.  There are other smells traveling through the Canyon, but besides the trees, my favorite is the hint of the ocean that travels up the “S” curves towards the center of the town.  Knowing that the ocean lies a meer 10 minutes west is a comforting thought.  Where else can you go that offers the best of these worlds?
 
The feeling of peace comes with the breeze, the mist in the morning, the sage scented hills and the quiet.  It is said that there exists a spirituality in the mountains, the Tongva tribe of Native Americans lived in the Canyon for years before being relocated by the Spanish to the San Fernando Mission.  The artifacts and burial grounds provide a spiritual undertone that I feel there.  Meditation comes easily there and many of my good writing ideas pop into my head on my short morning commute. 
 
Topanga is the place I feel is as close to home as I can imagine.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Filed under Life thoughts

Finding Time

I am going to summer camp!  Well, virtual summer camp in the form of a writer’s camp called Teachers Write!  The camp started today with quick writes, lessons and an assignment entitled “How do you find time to write?”  That is perfect for me because other than deliberating about what to write, I am constantly fighting time to set up a writing practice.  This first assignment is filled with good ideas about finding the time to start a writing practice even starting with as few as 15 minutes.  I read the post with more intent this time having found a place to write-my new living room perched in the tree house of a house I am currently living in.  The light, the view and the different seating options make this the perfect writing room.  The assignment is to create a summer writing schedule and a school year writing schedule.  This is the first time that I’ve been in a writing group that was completely made up of teachers and I am excited to get the ideas to keep a writing practice going throughout the year.  The first task is to cut something out of my day to create the needed time.  That is a easy for me, cutting out 1 hour of TV per night will give me plenty of get started with my writing. The next part of the assignment, telling my family, won’t be too hard since all are aware of my desire to write.  In the summer I can write during the morning, but when I am teaching, it will have to be when I get home in the afternoon or evening. So, with this new found time, I am hoping my muse will arrive and inspire me.

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Filed under creative writing, Life thoughts, writing