My Journey to Become a Writer 03/15/2024 Post #75

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I can’t believe it’s already Friday.

And how can it be the middle of March?

Time flies.

As I write this I’m participating in Quiet Fridays with L.A.Writers’ Lab. Each week we meet for about an hour to write together. Al Watt opens the session with a question and answer period and then provides a writing prompt. Today’s exercise was:

As your protagonist write for five minutes: “The greatest hero in my life was…”

Here’s my response:

If I’m thinking about my manuscript alone, I’d say the unsung hero in my story is Libby Miller, who I called “Grandma Woody”. She also happens to be the antagonist at the beginning of the book, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, since she did lots of multi-tasking in her lifetime.

I loved going to my grandparents’ farm, and especially enjoyed my grandma’s cooking. She’d load down her counters with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cookies, pies, beef and noodles, chocolate cake, and numerous other family favorites. Milk and sweet tea were always on hand. She kept a clean house and a manicured yard with flowers and food growing in abundance. Her grandkids sometimes looked like they were growing straight from the dirt, too – she’d send us off to the tub/shower to be scrubbed by a bar of Zest.

Grandma Woody had all sorts of skills I wanted to learn; but was too shy to ask about. I wanted to be like her in knowing how to run a home and spread out a feast that would bring family and friends together. I loved to listen to the stories that were passed around her farm table.

The catch that came with all of her hospitality was that she could be kind of crabby at times. There was one Spring when my mom used a powder puff to make pretend bunny prints to where she’d hidden our easter baskets. Grandma Woody found those trails sometime before dawn, and went after them with her vacuum cleaner, exclaiming such things as, “Heavens to Pete, who did this!” and, “For Pity’s sake, where did these come from!”

Good thing her Hoover had headlights.

I didn’t like how she’d get bent out of shape if anything was put out of place. Her tendency to get upset would flare when we grandkids came in from the barn with straw in our hair and pig smell on our clothes.

Looking back on those days, I have to laugh at the way that I tend to like things to be immaculate, too. My grandma taught me to take my shoes off at the door, and she also taught me to keep the floor swept. More importantly than that, when she fell and broke her hip and femur, she showed me how much fun a person can be if they will be willing to break the habit of always having to abide by a daily To Do List. The less she could do, the more helpful she became, sitting still, no longer in a hurry, growing in grace and dignity even as her body began to decay.

In her one hundred and one year old frame, she showed me that what I’d focused so much of my attention upon would someday waste away. That shift in perspective was profound for me.

Every afternoon my grandma would have what she called, “Three o’clock chocolate time”, where she’d indulge in a miniature Milky Way – maybe even two sometimes. I remember there were days when she’d hand me scraps of molars, when they’d become lodged in the caramel.

That probably sounds gross; but I was awed by how her smile grew in beauty, despite her teeth beginning to crumble.

What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?

I participated in Quiet Friday and did Day 75 of the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab.

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been seventy-five days already. The daily discipline of journaling and also publishing these daily posts has been a great outlet for me to express my thoughts more regularly, rather than letting them build to the point where I’m overwhelmed if I don’t get a chance to write.

Today I’m still working on getting my house in order. My landlord’s son came up to help me get rid of a groundhog and then helped me move my couch from the garage into the living room. I needed that gone, because I’m about to get a pretty big lawn mower. I’m laughing, because it’s the stand-on kind, so I feel a little more like a Mall Cop riding on it.

Last year I was so thrilled about having twelve yards of fake yard from Hobby Lobby, and now I’ve got enough to keep me busy for a couple of hours per week. It’s greening up today after our big storm. I’m certainly ready for consistent sunshine.

In order to work on the house, I’ve had to set my writing aside somewhat.

The theme of my manuscript seems to be people wanting a place to belong. Being here, having so much stuff out of place, and having been displaced so long, I feel like it’s important for me to settle in some. That process is helping me mull over the desires of my characters and make them more specific. So I may not be writing as much; but I’ll consider sorting through boxes to be research.

Thanks for reading what I’m writing,

Jody Susan

The weather change reminds me of how we used to get my mom outside on days when it was warm:


I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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