Writing in KansasWriting in Rural Kansas

Last month (June 2017) my mother would have been 82, she passed in February.

Here is the thing, life is short.

I have first drafts completed of more novels than I care to mention, and screenplays. They are all rough, nothing is edited. At this point I would NEVER actually show any of it to anyone.

Growing up in rural Kansas I did not know anyone that wrote for a living, or even just for fun. Writing? It wasn’t on my radar.

For a number of reasons, I eventually put things I wrote for my art students, and I found it sold. I still did not think of myself as a “Writer”. Yet, I told myself that nonfiction is “practical”, it is not like fiction. Fiction seemed so self indulgent.

I did not pay much attention in my English classes. Why would I need English? After all, I was going to paint!

(I hereby formally apologize to all my former English instructors.)

You probably know where this is going, huh?

I expect things to be a bit wobbly and uncertain for me in the coming months. Natalie Goldberg says to give yourself at least two years of practice writing. Take that time to find your voice and discover what matters to you. I am impatient and hesitant to say I can wait two years. But whatever journey I am on, I am telling myself I am now officially taking the first REAL steps. Be that two years, or twenty. Wherever it takes me, I’m game.

Note: When organizing this weekend I came across the item shown above. If you are not familiar, Nancy Pickard is a respected Kansas author. At some point in the journey of wanting to write, we crossed paths. Sadly I can’t say for sure when, or where it happened. But I do know, this weekend the inscription above was just what I wanted/needed to read!

Blacksmithing Art How To

Why blacksmiths? If you had a weekend to learn anything creative, what would you want to learn?

I asked this question on our Facebook group a few months back and was surprised by the answers. I assumed, and wrongly, that most people would put “drawing”, “painting”, “knitting”and so forth. But no, what I saw were things like “blacksmiths”, “glass blowing”, and “welding”. Things that I myself have been curious about but haven’t pursued.

I decided to begin a search, to find these people in our area of the country. The ones that use materials not always associated with the arts.

This past weekend such an opportunity dropped right into my lap. A group of blacksmiths were doing a demonstration in my small community of Humboldt, KS. Because I needed to work my day job, my husband was kind enough to go take some images and video for me. Admittedly, it took some coaxing to convince him to take time out of his day off, to take a few pics of the demo. When stating my case, I told him it wouldn’t take more than “thirty minutes to an hour tops!”. It wound up becoming more like a couple of hours. Not because they were slow, or he was pokey. It was that he simply found watching them incredibly interesting.

As the opportunities arise, I will share images and videos of other topics that people said they would like to know more about. If you know of any glassblowers, weavers, bookmakers etc.. in the area please drop me a line through this webpage, social media, or just email.

To start things off I would like to share with you a few images from Saturday afternoon with the “Free State Blacksmith Club”. https://www.facebook.com/freestateblacksmithclub


Blacksmiths Art How To

Artist How To Blacksmithing

Artist How To Blacksmithing

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