Ben made a lighter out of paper last night. With this new Wood Stove, he has seen his dad use a lighter, and the mechanism fascinated him.

This morning my right arm was feeling limp in it’s socket. Sad to say. I was diagnosed with Tennis Elbow earlier this year, although I do not play tennis. I would love to play tennis, if only for the adorable little tennis dresses, but I do not. I am simply a middle-aged woman, new to farming, gardening, tending animals and carrying heavy loads that I’m not used to, and my right side is bearing the brunt of it and acting elderly. There.

For the last week, I’ve been wearing my little elbow brace and it helps, but it makes those muscles feel like they are atrophying from lack of use. And this morning, that made me think of Writer’s Block, and how grateful I am for a community of fellow writers who all work hard to get something on the page every day to keep those writing muscles working. Physical Therapy is to Tennis Elbow as NaBloPoMo is to Writer’s Block.

Writing prompts are excellent for helping us remember what is locked inside our brains waiting to get out onto the page.

The other thing that keeps us in our prime as writers, is simply engagement. The act of being awake and alive and alert to the prompts that pop up on their own in our lives every day.

What does it mean to be engaged, in love, and preparing for marriage? It means paying attention like your life depends on it, and everything you have and love is wrapped up in that package. And somehow, along the line, sometimes we forget that everything we have and love is still wrapped up in that package. Doing what we did at first, brings that spark back.

Watching our children closely, like we did when they were newborns and their every new expression was photoworthy… makes everything our kids do as they grow and develop a treat of curiosity to witness.

Being intentional in our appreciation of the world around us, looking up and out, for cues, for exquisite moments of joy, or expressions of courage and dignity to capture in words, makes our writing leap onto the page. It’s not so much about us, as it is about all there is around us that stands tall waiting to be noticed.

It is a delight to be on this journey with so many of you.

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