Solitary writing, The Sanctuary, Seal's music, & "My" painting

Photo taken at The Sanctuary, Greensboro, NC.It's "writing day" here. What that means is that I have driven to The Sanctuary, a Creativity & Spirituality Center here in Greensboro, as I do for two hours every Wednesday, where I sit - typically with a group of other writers - and work on my novel. Many weeks it's the only time I devote to this project. I've committed to this level, but so far, have spent less than ten hours total working on it outside this room since I finally began in September. I'm thinking that will have to change soon. It's time to commit more than two measly hours each week. If I ever want to see this novel published, anyway. Still, the regular commitment to come here has been one that pleases me a great deal. And of course you could throw out a whole host of clichés about how you have to start somewhere, and the long journey always has to begin with a first, single step. Writing at The Sanctuary has been my first step.

Today, only one other person came, and he needed to leave early. Which means at this moment, I am surrounded by the most calm, inspiring, solitary, creatively-charged energy I know how to find. When my writer friend left today, I got up and put in an acoustic version of some of Seal's music to play in the background. And then I let myself sit and look at "my" painting as I sipped from my cup of coffee.

Stating that I have a painting is the most misleading sentence I'll write here, for a long time to come. There is an oil painting on the wall here at The Sanctuary, by Phyllis Sharpe, a local painter who works in this space sometimes. I have fallen in love with it. Completely and utterly in love. And? Regular readers of this blog will already know that I'm downsizing, rather than acquiring. New painting purchases for me are not allowed at this moment. Which is a pity, because I can't tell you what this painting does for me. In my mind, everything about it is perfect.

Before Christmas, when I discovered this piece for the first time, I fell so hard for it that I emailed a friend's mom and husband, who live in two other states, telling them all about it. Maybe they hadn't gotten around to finishing all their gift shopping for her and might like to buy this for my friend! Because I know she would love it as much as I do, and I figured if I can't have it for myself, I can at least go visit it sometime. No deal. So for now I get to visit Phyllis Sharpe's painting every week when I come here to write. (Pretty soon I'm going to have to introduce myself to Ms. Sharpe, whaddya' think?)

I considered not even telling you the artist's name, because pretty soon when the word gets out, this glorious piece is going to be grabbed up by some lucky, lucky art lover. But I couldn't bring myself to be quite so selfish. Notice, though, how I'm not telling you what it's called. No. You can see it, very small, in the photo I've included up there at the top of this page, and that is all. This scene is my vision while I sit here writing today.

So yea. About that writing. I have been... truly! It just seemed I needed to get all these rushing thoughts out. Now that I've done so, I'll return to fleshing out some recent discoveries about my novel. I was handling something wrong, and today I've been working on some changes I need to make, concerning one of my characters' reactions to a significant event in her life. The new angle is way more realistic.

Here's a wish for you - that you also have a space where you can regularly go, that recharges your creative and spiritual batteries. The Sanctuary has become such a space for me, and I realize how fortunate I am to be able to write here. I love the people I've met, along with the beauty and feeling that surrounds me here. Whether I'm in the company of others, or alone. If you're in the area and looking for classes and workshops, take a look... maybe you'll find something that interests you too! (Later Note: The Sanctuary is no more, but in its place is The Creative Center, which is differently unique and special and you may also find some creative outlets there!)