Writing—So Easy a Caveman Can Do It

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Sodanie Chea Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Sodanie Chea

Recently a Facebook friend shared a post with me regarding Indie Musicians versus Indie Authors. It appears our culture has a fascination and reverence for the Indie Musician whereas Indie Authors face an immediate stigma. We authors have to continually prove ourselves, whereas musicians don’t (at least not in the same way). My friend seemed perplexed, but to me it’s very simple.

We’re not even going to address the flood of “bad” books. Many writers rush to publish before they’re ready, don’t secure proper editing, etc. But I feel the issue is deeper and it reflects one of the many challenges authors face and always will.

People give automatic respect to a musician because not everyone can play an instrument or sing. Simple. It’s clear that artist can do something many cannot.

As writers, we have an insidious enemy. People…

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How I show her how to love.

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In the middle of a crowded airport food court in Kentucky, I thought about my daughter. The one who doesn’t exist yet. The one who might never exist though I’ve already written her countless letters and etched her little notes on the edges of my diary pages.

In the middle of a crowded airport food court in Kentucky, I thought about my daughter and I thought about shoes. How one day, I might use the topic of shoes to inch my way into a conversation with her about great love stories.

When I lived in New York City, I remember calling my friend up one night on the commute home from work. I’d been struck on the subway by (what I thought) was a really amazing plan.

“So I could go to Good Will or some place like that and buy a bunch of shoes. I could get a…

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The perks of being nature’s kid

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I have always found solace in the little joys of nature. I remember walking in our garden one morning  and coming across a spider web drenched in dewdrops that were glistening golden in the mild morning sun rays. Years after, I still smile at the memory of it.

In spring, the owlets would call out in a roll of sweet tittering sounds (that they do only in the breeding season) from their nests in the tree hollows in the evening. Listening to them soothed me in a way I cannot describe in words. It felt as if things would always get alright, and all the stress would lift from my heart instantly. I would collect fallen white flowers beneath the medlar trees during my evening walks. The flowers filled the air with their heady fragrance, the likes of which no artificial air freshener can mimic. In the mornings, I would sit at my study table and watch the flocks of chestnut tailed starlings feasting on wild red berries from the tree outside the window. Sometimes, I would follow the songs of black hooded orioles in the yard and find the striking birds flitting through the trees. I remember being roused from my afternoon nap once by the piercing cooing calls of a couple of crow pheasants.

Now that I’ve moved to a new city where my college is, I no longer get to stroll in the garden back home except for a few days every year. But at times, the magic of the wilderness creeps in here, too. Whenever I feel low, I sit on the window ledge and watch the wild parakeets among the royal poinciana trees, and feel a bit of my worries dissolving. After quiet a long stay at another place, I once returned to my terrace apartment to find the royal poinciana in the field below ablaze with flame colored flowers. I found myself thinking of love and passion…of the love I harbored for someone and which I wished to show.

In summer last year, when I had visited home, I heard soft chirping coming from the veranda. I followed the sounds to discover a nest of magpie robin hatchlings in the old electricity meter box on the wall. All I could think was, I live in the best place in the world!

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The next morning, I trod through the front yard, soaking my bare feet in the dew-covered grass. I halted in front of the night jasmine tree, inhaling the subtle scent of the flowers that had made a white carpet on the ground. I collected a few to keep sniffing at while I continued exploring.

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We are all blessed with the ability to discover joy in the greatness of the small things around us. So breathe, look around, become an observer, and I assure you, you will find a reason to smile for a while even in the darkest hours of your life. Being in sync with nature has benefits you might not even know yet. A ray of light, however feeble, still manages to light up a part of a dark tunnel for a few moments. So take what you have got, and make the most of it.  Listen to the music of the rustling leaves and the birds around you, and whistle along with it. Here’s to a wonderful life with all its perks and peeves. Cheers!