One Writer’s Story

Motivational Monday Writing Challenge – 7.8.2019

Stacked stones on a log on an Oregon beach.  Photo:  Theresa Duncan

A friend tagged me on Facebook with a quote that goes something like this:  When people throw stones at you, don’t throw them back.  Pick them up and build something great!  This reminds me of the writing life.  You know what I mean – that dreaded conversation.  “What do you do?”  “I’m a writer,” we respond.  An arched eyebrow gives them away before they can say, “Are you published?  Where might I find your work?”

What do they know of the writing life? Probably less than you or I.

Today, let’s remind ourselves of how this dream of “being a writer” came into view and how far we have each come.  Write it down and save it.  Post it on the wall near your desk.  Print it out and keep it in the front of your journal.  Start with the story of you, a writer!

Here is my story.  I hope you are encouraged.

Stacking Words by Theresa Duncan

Stacked stones on the edge of my garden.  Photo:  Theresa Duncan

Sitting in the garden this morning, drinking coffee and smelling last night’s rain, I remember how barren this plot of Earth was when we built our mountain home.  Only noxious weeds and grasses would grow; there was no soil as Gilded Age Copper King Marcus Daly had

denuded the west side of the Bitterroot Valley, shipping timbers to his mine in Butte.  Though several Ponderosa pines dotted the area around our home, no real escape could be found from scorching summer heat.

Building our garden and stream bed of stacked stones began in my mind as a kitchen garden of herbs and flowers just outside the back door.  My dream formed first; then the stones were hauled and the compost was made.  The work took years to come to any kind of fruition, sixteen years so far.  The big pieces are now in place, but we continue to edit the plants.

Stream bed of stacked stones in my garden.  Photo:  Theresa Duncan

Sitting just beneath my upstairs writing desk, this garden hosts varieties of plants and birds that change as often as the seasons.  The garden is like the collection of essays I am writing.  These essays exist as a dream; I stack stones of words upon the page daily.  I write and edit.  Sometimes I just sit with an essay and admire or hate what has happened so far. 

I have made the commitment to keep stacking these stones, word upon word, line upon line, until my collection is complete.  I stack stones, then knock them down.  I move them to different spots, sometimes even to my “Book Cuts” folder, from whence they may or may never return.  Sometimes after

I’ve taken a break, I come back and the stones have fallen, scattering in some incomprehensible way.  What was I building here?  Sometimes I know, others not so much.

Some days I don’t remember the plan, can’t find the words for the scene.  There remains one thing I do each day.  I stack stones, one way or another.

Thanks for being a writer. Until next time….

Happy writing… ~T

At Stacking Stones Writers, I seek to create a community of writers, a place you can go to find encouragement for your passion – writing.  Please follow the Stacking Stones Writers blog to have easy access to all the tips, tools, and ideas shared here.  Thank you!

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