Archive for the ‘Writing practice’ Category

Dismayed isn’t the right word; neither is disappointed. Disgusted is more like it.

With summer heat approaching, Dave and I went to our storeroom over the garage to retrieve our fans. I couldn’t believe it when I saw them… they had not been stored in garbage bags, and upon looking at them, I knew why. I had NOT cleaned them before I put them away last fall.

Years ago we did not have air conditioning… on purpose. We built a new house in 1977 and did not install air conditioning; I was afraid our boys would not play outside if we had air conditioning. Finally, in 1994 we installed central air. Then, the next year (1995) we sold that house. The air conditioning in our next house died our first summer, thus we purchased two AC units in two years.

We were accustomed to using several fans. We still use fans to help circulate the air in our house. Many people use ceiling fans. We only have one. In several rooms, we still use oscillating fans. Currently, we use six fans. Every fall when we finish using them, I ALWAYS clean them and store them in garbage bags.

In 1985, after our house fire in December 1984, we purchased all new fans. They were easy to take apart and clean. As each fan died, we replaced it with whatever kind we could find. Most have been easy to clean. Over the years cheaper construction has become obvious in the noise produced and in the ability to dismantle and clean the fans.

My task now was to clean the fans. One purchased last year would not come apart at all, and another could only partially be dismantled. This is when I realized I have never used our air compressor. Our son, Randall happened to be home (he and his family live 2 houses from us); he gave me an air compressor lesson so I could blow the dust from those fans. Then, I realized Dave has been helping me with one of the other fans, using zip-ties to hold part of it together. I’ve never used zip-ties, either. Randall helped me find them and showed me how to use them. And, I thought with all my years of experience, I could clean the fans myself.

With Randall’s help, mission accomplished. The 1995 air conditioner was replaced in 2011 and with 6 auxiliary fans, we are good to go for 2013 summer heat. I’ll bet I will clean the fans before storing them this fall, and this time I’ll know how to do every step of the process.

I like to learn something new every day!


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I’ve added a new category to my blog for “writing practice.” Over the last few months I’ve added many categories, but this one is a little different. Everything that I write that is some form of writing practice will be assigned that category, in addition to any other applicable ones.

I’ve become a fan of Natalie Goldberg. She promotes writing practice, I like that.  Sorry, Natalie, I just can’t spend hours every day in writing practice. I also am not very good at writing longhand in a notebook. Words flow from my mind through my fingers to a keyboard.

Her latest mantra is “Shut up and write”… silence… we don’t have enough of that, I agree! Some of her writing workshops are done with participants in complete silence (even for meals) for a week or so, except for sharing what they have written. I don’t know if I could live with that, but I understand where she is coming from.

Thank you, Natalie, for giving me the courage and permission to practice.

REFERENCES (in publishing date order):

Goldberg, Natalie, Writing Down the Bones, Freeing the Writer Within, Boston: Shambhala, 1986, 2005.

Goldberg, Natalie, Wild Mind, Living the Writer’s Life, New York: Bantam Books, 1990.

Goldberg, Natalie, Thunder and Lightning, Cracking Open the Writer’s Craft, New York: Bantam Books, 2000.

Goldberg, Natalie, Old Friend from Far Away, The Practice of Writing Memoir, New York: Free Press, 2007.

Goldberg, Natalie, The True Secret of Writing, Connecting Life with Language, New York: Atria Books, 2013.


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