Posts tagged ‘Creative process’

I’m a little bit famous

…Okay, just kidding. But my friend and writing critique partner, Kelly Liberto, did interview me on her blog today.

Stop by here to check it out, then see what else she’s up to.

While you’re here, please check out what’s under my flash fiction tab! I’ve been writing and not blogging lately, but I’ve not been too much of a slacker. 😉



Simple Woman’s Daybook: Pouting about diet Coke


For Today: February 2, 2015

Kodiak, Alaska weather right now: 27 degrees right now, mostly clear (but dark!). Expecting to get sun and up to 39 degrees today. Sunrise at 9:15 AM, and sunset at 5:48. (Total of 9 hours, 59 minutes of visible daylight)

Outside my window…

…it’s dark, of course. It’s my second week up early to write! Though, we did notice yesterday that it was pretty light out at 8 AM when we took the dogs out. In Alaska, that’s big. Also, someone’s already up in the house behind ours. I can see their kitchen lights on. Hello, fellow early riser!


I am thinking…

…that I’ve got a lot to do today. Hope I get some writing done after this so that I get some progress done on my manuscript or my edits for my critique partner.

I am thankful…

… that I got to Skype last night with College Girl, my daughter who is off in that far-away land of Texas doing such things as going to college and working.

I am wearing…

…pajamas—the light pink plaid ones—and my oversized red writing jacket. What’s a writing jacket? It’s a huge flannel jacket you wear over your pajamas because you live in Alaska, and it’s a little chilly in the house in the morning.

I am creating…

…a novel! Yes! I actually wrote on it over the last three days. And figured out a major plot problem.

I am going…

…to head over to the church this morning, and borrow some clothespins, which I will attach to hangers to demonstrate essay-writing to my tutoring student. A thick plastic hanger will be the theme of the essay, with thin metal hangers being each paragraph of the essay and the clothespins being the different facts, observations, stories, evidence to support the topic sentence of each paragraph. Writing that out helped me figure it out!

I am wondering…

…What the new subplot will do to the rest of my novel.

I am reading…

Defenseless by Matt Lenz: A first-person novel about a man working to solve his wife’s murder when police seem unwilling or incompetent (haven’t decided which yet).

A quote from this book:

(He’s jumped off the dock into the lake to avoid being caught trespassing as he hunts for the murderer’s getaway truck)

“I found a rhythm and kept at it for two or three minutes. My breathing raced, and I knew I couldn’t keep it up for much longer. The sound of a motor came across the water, and I stopped. I tread water and turned until I could see the lights of the estate and boathouse. A small boat pulled away from the dock. It was the flat-bottomed boat, and a man with a powerful searchlight stood in the bow, swinging the beam in a wide arc.”

I am hoping…

…to buy a new water bottle today. I left my other one at the movie theater, and I’ve given up diet Coke. Pouting about both things.

I am learning…

…a little bit about dyslexia for a tutoring student of mine. Lots of backwards letters, but no other real problems, though.

I am pondering…

…a morning schedule that has me writing first thing, followed by work-out, shower, Bible study, and daily chores after I take Rich to work.

In my kitchen…

…I ate pretty badly yesterday, Super Bowl Sunday and all, so I’m trying to decide whether I should go make some sausage biscuits or stick with cereal. Either way, I’m pouting about the whole no-diet-Coke thing, even if I’m glad I’m past the fatigue and simmering headache, and don’t want the aspartame anyway. It took about a week to get past the physical complaints, maybe another week to get past the pouting?

A favorite quote for today…

…“A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol.”

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A peek into one of my days…

…Fox News in the background, Nikki and Harley attacking each other in joy at getting out of their dog kennels for the day. A good-morning smooch from hubby. Thanks for taking the dogs out this morning, Babe! Yep. Off to a good start, even if I’m pouting about diet Coke. J Good morning, all! Blessings on your day!

Please, join the fun at and link up your blog!

Simple Woman’s Daybook: Getting Things Done and Goldie


Outside my window…

Horizontal rain gusting—yes, gusting—through the air, manically waving spruce trees, the mournful sound of the buoy in the distance…Typical Kodiak weather in the fall.


I am thinking…

My tutoring and my writing and my workouts, and my volunteering need to work together.


Not doing so well with balance right now.


I am thankful…

For some online tools that will help me find that balance.

Above that, Friends

Above that, Family

Above all: The open arms of Jesus, no matter how out-of-balance I am.


In the kitchen…

A bunch of dirty dishes…see my “thinking” entry. It’s a frozen pizza kinda night.


I am wearing…

Jeans (what else?)

Marbled purple camisole under a gauzy pink shirt.

My blue sweater…see my “outside the window” entry for today.


I am creating…

A suspense novel. Thinking Simple Woman Daybook will get the words flowing again until I can create—

A new blog (which will include the Daybook.)


I am going…

Nowhere, until time to tutor…horizontal rain does not encourage going anywhere, I gotta say.


I am wondering…

Who now has my husband’s luggage? After more than a week, the airline has officially called it missing.  My writer’s curiosity is piqued.


I am reading…

Getting Things Done by David Allen–Learning a lot.

Poisontown by Creston Mapes–This main character needs to get it together. He’s still just kinda tugging at the strings rather than seriously working to unknot what is going on in this town. So far.


I am hoping…

That a phonics boot-camp will boost my tutoring students. A couple hours a day during Christmas break, when they’re not having homework to focus on.


I am looking forward to…

Thanksgiving. To me, it is the perfect holiday, a blend of Christianity and patriotism


I am learning…

Getting Things Done by David Allen came to me at the perfect time. How to be in the ready position like a martial artist, ready to neither underreact nor overreact to the things on your to-do list or in your inbox. How to use the list to free your mind so you can focus your creativity on only on the task at hand. How to cease thrashing around and actually, well, get things done.


Around the house…

I was going to wax poetic about the dogs following me upstairs to my writing room, silent and loyal in their support of my writing.

But no, they’ve abandoned me to sleep in the hallway. LOL.


I am pondering…

What I should be doing next…Finish Getting Things Done, I suppose. So I can get my daily plan of action under control. Writing, I suppose. I need to get the ideas from my extended synopsis embedded into my plot line. Those dirty dishes, I suppose.



A favorite quote for today…

“In karate there is an image that’s used to define the position of perfect readiness: ‘mind like water.’ Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water react? The answer is, totally appropriately to the force and mass of the input; then it returns to calm. It doesn’t overreact or underreact…Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does.”

From Getting Things Done by David Allen


One of my favorite things…

Our cuddly dog, Nikki, owner of the world’s softest ears.


A few plans for the rest of the week…

Take action on my phonics boot camp idea. Finish Allen’s book.


A peek into my day…


Goldie…My writing partner. Before he wantonly abandoned me to go take a nap. 




To join in the fun, head over to Simple Woman’s Daybook

Word Nerd: Poetry Month

It’s a little late in the month of April, which is National Poetry Month. Nevertheless, the Word Nerd inside of me is begging to come out and explore the word poetry.

Simply enough, it comes from the Greek poiein, “to make, create, compose.” One of those words that just rings with the simple, vibrant clarity of truth. We are, after all, made in the very image of the Creator of the Universe, yes?

When we create, we are fulfilling our God-given design. May all we do be as a sweet-sounding poem in the ears of God!

God must like poetry…the largest book of the Bible is filled with song and poetry. Not to mention the poetry riffled throughout the rest of the Bible.

But wait! There’s more!

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.

See that word, workmanship? In the original Greek, it is the word poiema. Yep. Creativity and work are both embedded in the idea of poiein.

Yes, you are–I am–a poem written by the Creator.

Not some hasty glitter-and-glue project.

Not some clay slap-dashed into a shape of some kind.

No. We are each a poem written by the Creator.

May it be even so!

Love and blessings,


WORD NERD CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK: Find the etymology of the word work, and please, let me hear your discoveries!

I leave you with a poem celebrating America, written by Walt Witman, from the National Poetry Foundation website

By Walt Whitman 1819–1892 Walt Whitman

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
(ALSO: Check out my blogs below)

Some Use Words and Clay:

Short Story: God’s Gift of Music:

Short Story Tuesday: God’s Gift of Music

violin scroll

God’s Gift of Music

Flash Fiction by Voni Harris


She took her place at the soloist’s music stand.

He looked over at her from the director’s podium.

The sparks that flew between them could’ve started the stage on fire.

After all, they’d been fighting all day up until time to leave for the concert. Her husband was driving her crazy, but that was no reason to ruin the concert they’d worked so hard preparing for.

She consciously lowered her shoulders and put a pleasant smile on her face.

The argument over how to put the toilet paper on the roll had gone too far, she had to admit. But it was so hard to let go of the anger over his thoughtlessness and inconsideration and male ego and…

She consciously lowered her shoulders and put a pleasant smile on her face. Again.

She lifted the violin to her shoulders and looked up to her husband. He, too, deliberately put a smile on his face as he met her eyes.

On his cue, the rest of the orchestra lifted their instruments. He brought them in slowly and quietly, then signaled her entry into the music.

The song built to a crescendo, when her solo took off flying, supported by the oboes and clarinets. Then the violins came in, sending her soaring even higher.

He met her eyes again and asked for more from her violin. She gave it to him, until the music came to a sudden pause. And took off again in an outpouring of joy that—finally—spilled over into her heart and soul.

Their eyes locked again, as he brought the music back down to earth, gently landing her solo with a last, long, sweet note.

And the smiles between them were suddenly not deliberate, but genuine.

As if it really mattered how the toilet paper was put on the roll.

Česky: Toaletní papír English: Toilet paper Es...

Image via Wikipedia

 The End

Blessings, Voni

More on Creativity:

This is an absolutely undemocratic situation you face. You have no rights here. Your only right is to come to class and be wonderful. You can’t protest, you can’t be absent, you can only work…You must give your entire self in an act of faith. If you have any sort of resentment or lack of clarity, you will find heartbreak. But if you manage to live through four years of this demand up on your inner self, your life will be literally changed.”

 Lydia Joel, head of School of Performing Arts/dance, New York, 1982 Lecture to Freshman

I found this in an article about the real School of Performing Arts in New York, the school they made the TV show “Fame” about. As Hank Wittemore’s article says, the school was about the flame of inspiration, not fame.

I feel so blessed to have a husband who allows me to work at the very undemocratic situation of my writing dreams–without guilt or frustration.

What’s your dream?

Read the article, then get back to work on your dream!

Blessings Voni

Some use words and clay; I prefer paints and brushes…

Some use words and clay; I prefer paints and brushes…

My friend, Sheila, an extraordinary artist, wife, and homeschool mom (she’s extraordinary at all three), posted these words recently, and allowed me to “steal” them to start a discussion here. So…

I wonder what you prefer. What brings the creativity out in you?

Sheila prefers paints and brushes.

My daughter prefers violin and bow.

I have friends who I can guess might say fabric and thread.

Others who might say wood and nails.

For me, it’s words and story. I understand–and explain–the world around me in terms of story, and story comes through words. I even understand God best when He says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1, 14)

But the artistic process itself fascinates me. From the first blush of inspiration, to the blood, sweat and tears of creating something new, to the self-exposure and vulnerability of sharing that something new. Whether the end result is a painting, a house, a quilt, a poem–each part of the creative process is like a diamond to me…

A diamond to hold up to the light to see all the depths of the colors hidden in the diamond’s facets…

Facets I can’t stop looking at and wondering over.

We’re made in the image of God, who is the Creator. (Genesis 1)

So, what brings the creativity out in you?

Blessings, Voni

WRITING PROMPT: What would your main character prefer?

Check out the Bible passages I mentioned above at