children, writing

Using bullet journals to unlock writers block

Bullet journals are known as planners for creative personalities. Daily tasks, appointments and goals are released from the confines of stoic leather backed planners and cold digital apps. Instead, designs, boxes, pictures, and color explode onto the pages of bullet journals in a creative but orderly fashion, providing the perfect path for tracking life’s assignments.

Though I am a “creative”, I scoffed at this new phenomenon thinking it was just another way to waste time in order to doodle. I admit to being a bit of a free spirit when it comes to tracking my to do’s. Little sticky notes work just fine, thank you.

Recently, however, my attitude did a full 180 degree turn. My writing enthusiasm was at an all time low. I just couldn’t seem to work my way out of the dreaded writer’s block corner. So I started looking through the upcoming themes of magazines I’ve written for in the past. As I scanned themes, the idea of nature studies and bullet journaling collided in my head. Could I use this bullet journal trend to create an interesting article on nature studies? Hmm? Perhaps.

Of course, this required a shopping trip. I would need to research and try out the idea before actually writing the article. I would also have to enlist the help of my 15 year old son to be sure this was not just an adult idea that kids would hate.

We both chose our topics of research, mine mushrooms, his coding. Of course coding, right? Each day, we sat and created our journals together. Talking and drawing and coloring in ideas. I won’t go into detail about the how’s as there may be a magazine article to enjoy about that.

All, I can say, is I can’t wait to write about the process. I also can’t wait to share all my new found knowledge regarding mushrooms. I had no idea there were so many kinds.

Now, I find myself thinking of other ways to use my new found research process to keep track of things I’m interested in. Who knows, I may even decide to make lists, set goals and keep a calendar. Pfft. Naw. Just kidding.

children, writing

Striped Socks and Flamingo Pink Shoes

So this morning I woke up with an old Sunday School song in my head.

This is the day,

This is the day

That the Lord has made

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

I am often struck by the joy of the Lord in the early moments of my morning. This song made me not only glad, but caused me to pull out a favorite pair of pink shoes. I wore them to church. Though I fell short of all out dancing, I did a lot of tapping of my toes and hand raising. I came home and decided to post the little story below. I’ve been working on it and thought you all might enjoy it. It’s not a Christian story, but it certainly reminds me of the comfort & joy we have in our ABBA Father, God.

Polka dot striped socks with flamingo pink shoes By Joleen Steel

Polka dot striped socks with flamingo pink shoes

Dance me down the sidewalk

Prance me up the lane

Silky ribbons flying 

Twirling around my mane

Leaping up the park steps

Whooshing past the trees

Glittering sand is flying

Circling around my knees

Dancing, prancing, twirling, stopping

Listening to the jazz band play

Toes are tapping, jazzy snapping

Flamingo shoes on a sunny day

Polka dot striped socks with flamingo pink shoes

Dance me up the boardwalk

Prance me through the crowd

Silky ribbons sailing

As we ride the merry-go round

Galloping round the circle

Up and down we go

Unicorns and horses fly

Around the lighted show

Galloping, prancing, sailing, flying

Slowing down, it’s time to leave

Feet are jumping, heart is thumping

Flamingo shoes on a lovely eve

Polka dot striped socks with flamingo pink shoes

Waltz me down the glowing path

Turn me round and round

Silky ribbons blowing

Drooping to the ground

Reaching up to get a hug

Watching stars fill up the sky

Head is dreamy, moon is gleaming

Trying not to close my eyes

Waltzing, turning, reaching, dreaming

Wrapping arms around you tight

Ready to go home to bed

Flamingo shoes on a sparkling night

Polka dot striped socks with flamingo pink shoes

Sway me down the hallway

Tuck me into bed

Silky ribbons falling

Beside my sleepy head

Looking out my window

Lamps glow in the street

Tomorrow we will dance again

But now we need to sleep

Swaying, tucking, looking, sleeping

Shoes are sitting out of sight

Dreaming of tomorrow

waiting for the morning light