Sunday, November 27, 2022

Wild Writing


"Bear with me, I want to tell you something about" why I consistently sign up for writing classes online. It's for exactly what I am experiencing now. I am typing, letting my fingers dance emotionally across the keyboard. There should be music in the background, but my cd just ended. Set the timer for 15 minutes and take off ......

This is a new class for me - 27 Wilder Days and Wild Writing. I have been observing Laurie Wagner operate her writing classes online now for several years. She believes in just letting the pen flow, never allowing it to leave the paper. Writing Courses Online, Online Writing Course, Laurie Wagner ( This is my first class with her, watching a video daily, $27 for 27 days.

She reads a poem and then uses “jump off lines” to prompt the writer. I like to do exactly that process. Read a poem once, twice and then pick a line or two and begin writing. I used this process for warm-ups in the memoir class I taught at the senior center. 

Today Laurie read a poem by Paul Hostovsky, Coconut, and the first line above is a quote from that poem. Here is a link to the poem: Coconut by Paul Hostovsky - Your Daily Poem

As I wrote, I rattled on about my day and specifically about the vintage bookmobile that is in the finishing stages. It is Charter #155351 with Little Free Library. I will keep you informed as to how to follow me on their app and also where I will be parked and giving away children’s books.

However, between now and Christmas I hope to sell at the Heart of the Hills Farmers Market my wooden crafts and lighted wine bottles to support the purchasing of books and trailer travels. My top priority is book gathering and giving, so the craft making will be limited. I am enjoying the wooden trees and angels. Perhaps that process can be transposed to creating other products after Christmas.

Blessings to you this Thanksgiving weekend,



Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Life Coach Needed!


I wonder if everyone has projects on the shelves, in the drawer, plastic tubs in get the picture, right?

Is it possible to start something new and not finishing (or even starting) the previous impulse.

So what would a life coach say? 

Convinced that I am a scanner, a multi potentiate, a seeker of all things and master of none, I need a life coach. 

Life coach


  • 1.a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.

Personal challenges - aaaahhhhh yes, that is what I have given myself as I start something new, caress the possibility of being a reknown ______________. It's not going to happen. I flitter and flub, set aside and move on to the next "challenge" or is it the next "gotta try this before I die" project.

And so I begin listing the interests around my house that would take time, months, years of instruction to learn. I can go room by room and tell you what is sitting, waiting for me to dive we go..... special order as I shuffle through the house......

1. weaving looms and bag of threads

2. wine bottles galore to be painted and lights for the insides

3. craft paints in a myriad of colors for my online video library from Painting of the Month

4. more painting to-dos with numerous paint-by-number kits

5. Peace Corps book to finish

6. Native American flute collection to play

7. embroidery of vintage trailers for pillow casings

8. dulcimers to sell

9. dehydrator to use for ??? (never used)

10. Ninja blender for smoothies (never used)

11. jazz books beside the piano to begin studying that genre

12. fiddle to practice for weekly lesson

That's enuf! I am exhausted just listing my interests. I am setting it all aside except for the fiddle and the piano and perhaps, the book which needs hatching! It's percolating as I type with chapters written.

I have a new vision, a new plan, a new project and it is the most worthwhile project I could imagine.

I am pumped up and ready to literally "roll out the driveway."

I believe that a separate blog will be opened for this new venture.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Epictetus and Seeking

Epictetus - Greek Stoic philosopher (c. 50–c. 138)

Seeking that tranquil way of life is difficult for me. I consistently sign up, enroll, add another experience to my life.....consistently and without shame.
I am trying to calm down, to breathe before I commit, to spend 
part of each day in pure relaxation with a book and my feet up.
Sometimes I do just that.....and the day is going, going, gone, and my feet are still up!
For example, I want to sign up for the following:

I am curious as to the possibilities because it is a totally foreign genre to me. Like I don't even paint except following a video, step 1, step 2, step 3....turn off the computer, and then rerun. 
What makes me think I can do this?
And so I shall ponder a bit more and see what develops as I overreact to online classes. In the meantime I want to promote Epictetus. What an amazing philosopher from so very long ago. Makes me turn to Ecclesiates in the Bible.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Dandelion Discourse

Inspired by Anne Schneider's Alphabet Soup, I have written the following short poem. Yesterday at memoir class I used Anne's poem as a prompt. The ladies wrote stunning short poems and how I wish I had copies of each to reread.

This came about during our seven minute write and then I rewrote it this morning. I am sharing it with my Story Circle poetry group as a submission for October. 

Dandelion Discourse

Taraxacum Officinalis, Greek

Scientific Name for Dandelion

Means disorder, remedy

i eat dandelion greens, no,

i don’t but

i’d like to try and capture

the blowball

from the dandy 

spit them off the end of my

tongue as the fuzziness

makes words

stumble upon each other

spitting with pphhtt and thutt 

my tongue pushes the tickles 

out about, then sucking through

the stems, hollow as a straw 

we kids pieced them together-

worn as necklaces

never sipping anything through them.


Thursday, October 6, 2022

Memoir Class at Dietert Senior Center


Today was the first of five memoir writing classes I am facilitating at Dietert Senior Center, Kerrville, Texas. I taught my first memoir class there last spring 2022.

The five-week structure is perfect for implementing Story Circle Network's curriculum, "Older Women's Legacy Circle Memoirs: Piecing Together The Patterns of Our Lives." The commitment of five weeks is pleasing for me, not too long, not too short. I am absolutely thrilled with the seven ladies who are taking the class this fall term 2022

We write at the ninety minute meeting and I also send them home with an assignment. I follow the assignment with an email and additional prompts/explanation.

One of my favorite activities is the chair poem which I learned in AWA, Amherst Writers and Artists.  One poem is placed on the chairs each week, read aloud and then prompts utilizing the poem are given. We write for approximately ten minutes and share our writing as desired. No one is ever called upon to read what they have written. Sharing is always optional!

Today I used George Ella Lyon's "Where I'm From" as the chair poem. I love this poem and I love the results that emerge from the writers, beautiful words and poetry evolve as they did today.

Where I'm From, a poem by George Ella Lyon, writer and teacher

Check out her marvelous website. I just signed up for her e-letter. You will be hearing more from me about Ms. Lyon.......and about the memoir class. I am going to be learning how to be a better writer just by listening to these seven participants!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

I'm Back!

I did not intend to be absent from blogging for this month of September. 

I did not intend to take a break from writing.

I did not intend to not document this past month filled with new and old, tiredness and renewed strength.

However, I did and now I am back! I feel recharged!

I am returning to this diary of sorts that I thoroughly enjoy writing.

And so we are safe and sound in our home, pledging to not be absent from this Kerrville Kastle for such a length of time - four months is too long. Maybe two months is just right for next summer.

All is becoming normal again. Just today I planted mums in the greenhouse and turned the sprinkling system on again. The rv is still being unpacked - never to be filled again with so much extraneous stuff.

Book club has been attended and the fiddle is being practiced. 

I have made a commitment to myself to further my Bible study with Bible Study Fellowship.

I have signed up for a class on transitions and poetry with my journal facilitating group. I have yet to commit monetarily to the poetry therapy training that I plan to begin.

Yesterday I attended a writer's conference at the library and am becoming energized to finish my Peace Corps book. It has been on the back burner now for a year. No one is going to complete this memoir of sorts.  

Which reminds me! I hope the memoir class at the Dietert Senior Center "makes." Classes will begin October 6th as scheduled.

And then there is the weekend coming up when we have reservations made to attend a Vintage Trailer Rally located about two hours away. The 1956 Jewel will be our camper for the weekend. 

Yes, I am back and life is burgeoning with possibilities. Transitioning into another year of retirement.

And I plan to "just be" for part of this year - not always "doing" but experiencing "being!"

Living to relax,

joan  💖

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Setting Everything Aside




                                                  Setting Everything Aside

It’s possible to just let the pen punish the paper so to speak.

Let the pen have its way - the paper is merely a surface.

Let my joy and flitting mind have its way - the keyboard is merely

an instrument.

Time to allow the “what ifs” to emerge into…….


What if I am so successful with this book mobile that

another one becomes driven by another one and

another as many books are given to children who

might never have their own books to read, to turn

pages, to delve into the fantasy that only

one mind can devour from one book.


As with the starfish thrown back into the sea,

“You can’t possibly save all the starfish.”

“But I can save that one!”

Just one more child with a book as a starfish finding itself

in the ocean of joyous reading.


                *      *      *     *     *


Welcome to the Banned Book Nook, aahhh yes!

Welcome to a corner in the vintage book mobile, closet rod removed,

where one can browse the shelves of banned books,

children’s picture books, adult novels, poetry, graphic novels

and more….banned from children and you having access to

decide for yourself what you desire to read, yes?


Parents, decide what books your children should read, not what

other children should read.

Allow the access to be free, the wisdom to be gained by reading

what may be offensive to others, may not be to you, yes?


My Little Free Library is free for all children, free in its accessibility,

free in its boundless opportunity to give all who enter the

option: choose one book, one message, an escape into

words, pictures, diagrams, sketches, photos, silly stuff

pages of colors with no words

                                 pages of words with no colors

                  pages of people with many colors

                                                     pages of people with colorful words..


So different are we that I wonder about the starfish that did get picked up,

tossed to the sea to live and not perish on the sands. I wonder about

the book that will get picked up, tossed into a child’s mind to stretch his

imagination, knowing, of course, that the child will not perish but is given

one more chance to grow intellectually, emotionally and with wisdom

imparted from the pages.              


"Are there any questions?"


(Response written to Margaret Atwood's last line of her novel, The Handmaid's Tale, which is "Are there any questions?"



Tuesday, August 23, 2022

From Idaho to Texas

The trek to Texas from Idaho with my new-to-me 1975 Chevy truck and 1968 vintage travel trailer is nearing departure. The trailer wheels are being repainted and new tires put on as I write this. The trailer will be my bookmobile, my Little Free Library on wheels. The exterior will be white/yellow to match the truck and have decals of dots and jamajoan’s bookmobile, free books for all children.

The Little Free Library gave their consent to my idea so I shall register with them and use their app to post my location. I hope to attend festivals, farmer’s markets, parades and small town celebrations throughout the year.

“Where to find the books?” you ask. I will scour thrift stores, garage sales and hopefully the word will spread that jamajoan’s bookmobile will gladly receive your children’s books. 

How could this possibly fail? What could possible go wrong? 

The truck may need maintenance; we have a backup truck to use.

My challenge? How do I keep track of who gets what and how often can the same child visit and receive a free book? I am not concerned. There will always be folks wanting to trade books too, don’t you think?

And what could be more delightful than a child frequenting the “library” seeking literacy.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Nature Cures


Spending the summer in a state park can be quite invigorating. For the first time ever, I have spent time (and money on bird feeders) sitting and watching the pine siskins, chickadees and hummers. I am aware that just sitting is not my default. However, I am learning to sit and watch, maybe have coffee, not always necessary.

I don’t have to be on my phone or iPad.
I don’t have to be reading a book.
I don’t have to be holding a camera.
I don’t even have to be journaling.
I can just be!

And as I spend these moments in observation and reflection I am discovering a peace in existing, also a piece of existence. It is ok to sit and sift thoughts. 

Not particularly earth shaking philosophies, but definitely a way to simmer and store the best part of life’s joys without always doing and processing. 

Yes, this summer 2022 has been looking inside while outside with fluttering wings, shivering limbs and clouds of glory over all.
It just requires a lawn chair and a willingness to be! 

Jill Badonsky, author of “The Muse Is In” says that meditation is to “ quiet the incessant chatter of the mind, relax the body, and tap into a flow of inspiration, intuition, and imagination” (p. 57).  That all sounds like a big order of tapping. However, the mind is capable of taking one on unsuspecting journeys when stilled and only prompted by nature’s gifts. 

It’s free for the taking!
♥️ Joan

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Junior Ranger Program

 The above photo captures part of the Jr. Ranger room, Farragut State Park, Athol, Idaho.

I am spending 3+ months volunteering in this room. Dave and Ava are back at the trailer in our lovely site on Volunteer Row Rd. Actually, today Dave is rewiring the new-to-me vintage trailer, preparing it for our trek Labor Day weekend back to Texas.

The program has been established for four years and is very well done. Activities such as water coloring, sensory bins (sand), touch and feel feathers and bird nests, deer bones to hold and explore……oh, so much for children of all ages. The bat corner is getting a small table on which the kids will be able to put together a bat skeleton, complete with intestines and lungs. This was one of my requests. Other suggestions have been honored, but not all!

My responsibilities include directing the children and parents through the self-guided “This or That” multiple choice worksheet on mini-clipboards, answer questions and check out backpacks loaded with activities and fishing rods/tackle boxes. These items can be borrowed for 24 hours to folks camped in the park and neighbors in the community. 

Since I have my hotspot on my phone which connects with an iPad, I keep myself entertained between visitors. As I contemplate this blog there are nine adults and teenagers in the room.  The boys are answering the clip board questions. I will give them a badge and patch if they complete the circuit.

They were such pleasant young men. The joy in meeting and greeting our future generation is rewarding. Yes, they completed all requirements  to earn a badge.

The interactions between parents and children is also interesting to observe. This is definitely a family room!

Before I sign off, excuse me as I pour some water in a tiny paper cup. The cutest five-year-old is water coloring as mom instructs, “Dip the brush into the water, then the paint. He is smiling as Dad sits down beside him. Little Boy says, “I need more juice,” (meaning water on the brush).  Big Sister is stamping her activity book documenting activities experienced here at Farragut. Now the two-year old is water coloring too, per Dad’s instructions.

All will receive a badge. I reward ALL participants that work at their levels of competency.

(to be continued)

Monday, July 25, 2022

Maybe a My Little Library (on wheels)

Here’s an interesting little free library with wheels. 

I have contacted the main office of hoping they will approve of my vintage trailer becoming a little free library. Since they are a non profit organization it would make me a nonprofit business under their umbrella. We’ll see how they respond.

In the meantime I am beginning to clean and take apart the trailer to make room for the shelves Dave will build when we return to Texas. Access to his shop of tools will make the renovation process easier.

I have a new-to-me “old” truck which I hope will pull the trailer successfully from N.Idaho to Texas.

It’s a bright yellow and white 1975 vintage Chevy.

It would be great to match the yellow and decorate the trailer in polka dots - kinda like Lopshire’s

Can you see how exciting this project can be? Parades, library visits, local author programming….and more ….tantalizing the young reader to become a bibliophile!

Wild Writing

  "Bear with me, I want to tell you something about" why I consistently sign up for writing classes online. It's for exactly w...