Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Well, my first writing class was last night. In spite of the chaos of my life, I managed to be pretty calm and confident as I went to class. How sad that it's been about twelve years since I've taken an honest to goodness class. I wasn't sure if I should take notes or not and wondered what the important parts of the lecture were. Luckily, I managed to take down three full pages of notes, but I'm not sure if they will make sense tomorrow.

We have four books to help us along this journey of authorship, wether we become published or not, only time will tell. This is a university class I'm taking advantage of by the way. My instructor informed us that we will be reading the short stories of Hemingway. WHAT? I have to admit that I've never been partial to Ernest Hemingway's writings, so I imagine that it will be a big learning curve for me. Of course my taste seems to lean a bit more to Jane Austen, Charles Dickinson, and let's not forget the estimable Diana Gabaldon.

I know that to be a good writer, one must read, and read a lot. Variety is just as important and quantity, and I will have to break out of my comfort zone. I will be introduced to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, something I've never read before, and hopefully will stretch my literary horizons. Do you think I can get through the first 40 pages tonight? I better!

The writing assignments will stretch this little Mormon girl, and will have me go down paths that I've never really ventured. Luckily, being who I am will influence what I write and something will come of it that may be worthy of reading. At least I hope so!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Finding literary moments

Tonight I dropped off my children at Grandma's house to spend a couple of days with her. Summer is always fun when it comes to juggling babysitting and work, activities and responsibilities. We somehow always make it through to the start of another school year, but while I am in the midst of it now, I wonder how I'll survive.

Driving home in an all but silent car, I had a few moments to look at the sinking sunset and ponder on how I would write about it. I started to compare the dropping globe to fire, splashes of color, intense heat, just to mention a few. Next I began to construct in my mind a few sentences that might just do this marvelous miracle justice.

I turned my head and paid attention to my driving for a brief moment (I promise, I'm a safe driver!) and my attention was caught by a car, a pretty nifty BMW model, from Montana. What caught my eye especially were the items loaded haphazardly in the rear seat. There were some boxes, bedding and a picture frame pressed up against one of the passenger windows. I began to wonder what on earth had brought all of these items, singularly unimportant, but together an odd mix, in the back seat of a rather expensive car. Perhaps I should say that the bedding and boxes didn't look all that new, and the frame was rather abused....so one could start to get the right picture. The dichotomy of the situation made it humorous and I began to weave "stories" in my head of how this car, speeding north toward home, came to be the transporter of such treasures.

Two small instances in a very short amount of time made me wonder what else I am missing that could be literary for me? Something to stretch those long dormant writing muscles?

I start my writing class on Monday night. I have been excited, but now am getting a bit nervous. Will I be up to par, can I compete with those young writers that don't have a decade long gap in their writing? I only hope it will be like writing a bicycle, muscles remembering the how to peddle and balance, and a story will develop into something worthwhile.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why am I blocked?

Disclaimer....just in case. ☺ All the images I that are not mine, link back to the site where I found them!!

During an hour while waiting for my daughter's dance class, I decided to pull out my well worn Moleskine. Inside were notes and ideas for my stories, scenes that are crystal clear in my mind, jotted down to remember later when I sit down to my laptop. It felt as though I was suddenly entering a world of my own making, and there was an excitement, the same type I get every time I sit down to write. Then it hit me. Where is my conflict, where is it going, what is missing?

A couple of posts ago, I had written about letting my ideas simmer. I'm getting a little impatient. There is a missing piece that is keeping me from moving forward and I have known if for some time. I can almost touch it, taste it, but it remains elusive to my stretching fingers. How do I get past this? There is a huge rock in my path and I've starting looking at all the angles to get around it, but right now it doesn't seem to be offering any suggestions. Grrrr....all for the creative process, right?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Authentic, wet, but wonderful

Yesterday, as I had been insisting on for some time, we went to the Scottish Games put on by the Utah Scottish Association. Many of you may know about my obsession, (perhaps unhealthily so) with all things Scottish, and this was the perfect venue to drown myself in something I adore.

First off, it rained. No, let me rephrase, it was a veritable downpour of cats and dogs, and we were drenched within minutes of entering the festival. But, stalwart family that we are, we pushed on, seeking refuge in the performance hall, where we were lucky to hear the group Molly's Revenge. Talk about a Rock Star attitude with a set of bagpipes!!! It was a lot of fun!

Second, my goal of the outing was to see men in kilts. Luckily, I was blessed by seeing many men in kilts. Unfortunately, there was no Jamie from the world of Gabaldon, but I did make due with the tall men throwing cabers around the field! My husband is more than welcome to find a Utilikilt if he would like and wear that, so I may indulge in some Highland fantasy. Wait, that may have come out wrong....or not. There is something about a man in a kilt...not a skirt, but a genuine kilt that is so yummy!

Lastly, I have determined that I am hopelessly lost when it comes to my obsession with Scotland. I shall begin saving my pennies in hopes of wandering the hills some day and truly immerse myself in all that the culture has to offer. I'm not quite sure why this particular place calls to me where others don't. I suppose I could yearn for Sweden, because so much of my heritage hails from there, but it doesn't call to me. Forget the haggis though...I'm not sure the romanticism quite takes itself that far....

Friday, June 12, 2009

I've sat down to blog a couple of times today. For some reason, the idea I had, escapes me the moment I open the post. I guess I could try to be witty about some of the things I've dealt with today, but they seem to fall flat as I try to articulate how funny they have seemed. I guess they weren't all that funny. Oh well. ☺

Saturday, June 6, 2009

One of my favorite quotes

A few years ago, I stumbled upon this quote and taped it to my computer monitor at work. After leaving that job, and all the baggage that was associated with it, my little quote was dropped down into the box of paraphernalia that represented two and half years of my work life. The box was put out in the garage, and really never looked at. You can image the feelings I must have harbored from that job, if some of those things didn't make it to my next one! The box has sat in the garage for two years now. I've moved it as I have needed access to other boxes, but have never pulled it out to go through and organize what was inside. That is, until today.

My sweet husband has been working like a mad man, moving sheet rock to the basement and clearing out the garage so we can house his project car, a Volvo circa 1970. He brought in a couple of things for me to go through and one of the boxes that landed on my kitchen table was my E.G. box. (E.G. are the initials of the place I worked before.) Inside were some things that should have been taken care of two years ago. The box of instant oatmeal was past it's prime for certain and it made haste to the trash can. A half used box of business cards soon followed, as well as instant hot chocolate mixes.

What I found after clearing away some of the "stuff" that I never really needed, nor should have ever boxed up, was something that I should have pulled out sooner than today. It was a white box, that held a Christmas gift from a dear friend. Inside, wrapped in red and green tissue were a couple of items, that standing alone, would never indicate their importance, but together, represent the good things that I learned while there. A wine glass, a glass pickle, fools gold, and a moist towelette. I don't drink wine, but the glass itself is pretty and reminds me to toast the success in life. The pickle represented customer service. The towelette, that we all make mistakes. I don't remember what the fools gold stood for, but it was there. It was nice to reminisce about these things, but they aren't the things that stood out to me the most. It was my quote. Sitting in that box, amidst the tissue paper, was this two inch paper with my quote on it. I could have easily thrown out the quote with all the tissue paper, but I didn't. I looked around the box, for anything else that might have been there, and found this little reminder:

"Knowledge is like a garden; if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested."--Guinean saying

I love this quote, because it reminds me to keep learning. Have I stopped? Have you? I'm taking a writing class this summer. Oh, I know that I'm probably biting off more than I can chew with my new job (and I LOVE it by the way!) in the Registrar's office, family responsibilies, church callings, etc., but I'm going to do it anyway! Why? Because someday when I have enough words written to actually say I have a book, and the story comes together, I will be able to harvest. The cultivation is my current pursuit, but someday, with any of my projects, I want to have the opportunity to harvest all that I can. Wether it be with my attempt at writing, being the mother to my children, the wife to my husband, or any other task I hope to accomplish someday...I want to reap the rewards of my garden.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Red White & Blue

I came across this swap today as I was surfing bloggerland. It looks like a ton of fun! You get matched up with someone else in bloggerland and get to know them! Check out the website for more info!

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