Is it just me, or does every writer have favorite writing things?
Whether pens, notebooks, a keyboard or special mouse, or even your favorite writing t-shirt, I (Nita) bet you too have a preference for certain accoutrements of the profession. Here, I share mine. Full disclosure: these are affiliate links which means, if you buy anything by clicking through, Write Now Columbus will earn a teensy, itsy bitsy commission.
My long-time teacher Natalie Goldberg extolls the benefits of a “fast-writing pen.” My favorite is this Pilot Precise V5 rollerball. I prefer purple.
I also keep this assortment of colors on hand to match my mood.
Back in the day when I attended Natalie Goldberg workshops at Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico, we sat in rows of chairs, sometimes 60 or more of us in one room with no tables. We wrote in our notebooks on our laps. I didn’t think much of it until I brought a floppy notebook to a workshop. The ones I had preferred were out of stock at the office supply store. I never made that mistake again. Nat uses “cheap notebooks” and I can too. But if I have my preference, I want something sturdy with rings that don’t bend when I look at them the wrong way.
Notebooks from Carolina Pad fit my fussy requirements and come in wide range of collections from inspiring sayings to fun designs my current favorite, “Forest Friends.”
No surprise. I also have a few in the “Puppy Paws” collection:
And, I keep a copy of this around to write in when I need inspiration and instruction! 😉
Whether I’m in a library, coffeeshop, hotel, or the community room of a grocery store, I’m not great with the touchpad on my laptop. Wireless mouse to the rescue.
My original Logitech mouse had a place on the back where you put the USB receiver. That automatically turned the mouse on and off. I put off replacing it because I knew I would lose the (now much tinier) USB receiver if it wasn’t somehow attached to the mouse. Yes, I could leave it in the laptop. But at home, I use the mouse that’s hooked into a docking station with other devices and I need all (two) USB ports for other things. That tiny USB receiver would be lost in no time. But Ed recently found this Logitech mouse that has a tiny space inside to store the USB receiver so I won’t lose it.
So many colors! Not for the vegans or vegetarians, of course. But I grew up on a farm and have not yet let go of my attachment to fine leather (or the occasional good steak).
I haven’t purchased this metal one, but it looks cool and it too comes in several colors .
Before the pandemic locked us in our homes and threw us onto zoom, we didn’t know we needed a webcam, but now we can’t live without them. I love the built-in speakers in this one and the easy way it tilts.
I don’t yet own this shirt, but I should!
That’s a short list for now. Tell us your favorite (writing) things in the comments.
When I wrote the March essay one month ago, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was fresh and horrific news. I expressed my hope that when I wrote the April essay, I could write how the whole thing had been a terrible April Fool’s joke.
Sadly, that isn’t the case, but the unmitigated resolve displayed by Ukrainians, is so reassuring. Of course, there’s not just fighting for show. They’re fighting for their very existence. They’re standing up to the Big Boys, and it gives me hope that Good can truly conquer Evil.
Besides the incredible loss of life, shocking destruction and sorrowful circumstances that have befallen Ukrainians and others impacted by this aggression, there have been additional deaths and injuries stemming from the war.
“Additional deaths and injuries”
Just hours before I sat to write this essay, the Pope asked people to appreciate the sacrifices of the journalists killed covering the invasion of Ukraine.
Pope Francis spoke to journalists aboard a plane returning from Malta. In the U.S. News & World Report story, he said he was prepared to travel to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, to express his condolences to “their fallen colleagues.” However, he noted, no decision has been made on the feasibility of such a trip.
“Your job is a job for the common good. They have fallen in service of the common good of information. Let’s not forget that they were courageous. I pray for them, I pray that the Lord rewards their work.”Pope Francis
It is incredible to me there have been and continue to be journalists, photographers and countless others in supporting roles who risk their lives to be our eyes and ears in the midst of danger and peril. As I sit in comfort of my suburban home, enjoying the freedom of living in the United States, I am forever grateful to them for their dedication and sacrifice.
It’s magical to me the same day I planned on writing about the bravery of news gatherers and their teams, the Pope expressed his support for them, too.
As a journalist, I am proud and humbled to be among those to receive Papal consideration.
(c)Tami Kamin Meyer, 2022, all rights reserved
by Tami Kamin Meyer, Editor
I would be remiss if I didn’t begin this message with a note of love and deep concern for the people of Ukraine, Europe, and frankly, the world. Just when it started to feel like the most burdensome aspects of COVID19 might finally be lessening, even just a bit, our world has been rocked by a virus of hatred, violence and greed.
Both Nita and I hope for a peaceful, speedy resolution not only to the horrific situation in Ukraine, but to all conflicts worldwide. Yes, a lofty goal for one short month, but who would have thought we’d be where we are now just one month ago?
A few words about WORD
And now…an exciting announcement to hopefully lighten the mood. In a recent essay, I shared my excitement at being named the Producer of WORD – Live Literature & True Tales, at the Nest Theatre in Columbus, Ohio. WORD seeks and supports local stories, and has been a recurring show at the Nest since 2107.
WORD will unfold quarterly in 2022, with the first night of storytelling set for March 24 at 7 pm. WORD is a community-wide event that provides an opportunity to connect with one another through true stories from diverse voices throughout Central Ohio.
The theme of the March 24 event is SPRING FORWARD.
If you are interested in sharing a true story relating in some way to the theme (which is purposely vague for personal interpretation), please reach out to me immediately at Wordnesttheatre@gmail.com. When I say immediately, I do mean that! We are under a tight deadline for garnering interest and securing storytellers, so if you have any interest, please email me there. I will respond with an FAQ detailing info like length of stories, the perk you receive as our Thank You for participating in the show and more.
Our goal is to have our slate of storytellers set by mid-March, so time is of the essence. Please share this message with anyone who might be interested in participating. We are seeking a diverse group of storytellers, and appreciate the assistance in spreading the word about WORD.
If you would like to be support Central Ohio storytellers by attending the March 24 WORD event, tickets are $10 and are available www.nesttheatre.com. The Nest is located at 2643 N. High Street, with free parking available in the back lot and nearby streets.
My involvement with the Nest is separate from my contributions to this newsletter, and I appreciate Nita’s support in allowing me to mix my passions together. Like a Reese’s Cup, but without the calories or carbs.
I close with a prayer that when the time comes to pen the April essay for this space, our world has regained some semblance of peace, tolerance, and joy.
(c)Tami Kamin Meyer, 2022, all rights reserved
The Fragilities of February
Guest Post by Tami Kamin Meyer
I write this essay cozy on my couch with my three dogs. Mother Nature coats our streets, cars and powerlines with layers of freezing rain. Several inches of snow are expected in the next day, wreaking havoc on people’s ability to drive, travel and even walk safely.
Although I am not a winter lover, I admit this unfriendly weather is ideal for my work as a freelance writer. Being temporarily quarantined at home, this time due to sleet and snow, affords me the delicious opportunity to read articles I’ve bookmarked, conduct research on story ideas I’m working on and even dally in Thesaurus.com.
In my mind, February is winter’s last attempt to make our Midwestern lives miserable. If the gray skies and frigid temperatures of January didn’t cause you to lose your mind’s last marble, February’s hostility seeks to finish the job.
February acts like a bridge
But one of the greatest joys of February, which acts like a bridge between the cold of January and the increasing mildness of March, is that it is the shortest month. February is like the stuffing of an awkwardly-flavored Oreo. You don’t want to eat it, but it gets forced down your throat, anyway.
Likewise, those delightful writing-related tasks I enjoy but don’t often have the time for are akin to being the Oreo of my freelance life. One side of the cookie represents the creating, thinking, researching and writing I do. The other half is comprised of the marketing, hustling and self-promotion I do to acquire opportunities to create, think, research, and write. Finally, the stuffing is composed of the activities I undertake to expand my knowledge base or sharpen my brain, such as crossword puzzles or researching pending legislation on a matter of interest to me.
When I write, I bring all those experiences and knowledge together. I create what I hope is a delicious, captivating and unique ‘cookie’ of creative expression.
In the meantime, I will make more coffee and heat the oven. It’s time to ‘get baking.’
WORD is the Word
Guest post by Tami Kamin Meyer
As I type this, I (Tami) am beginning my second week of Omicron. At least I think it’s Omicron. Despite “enjoying” a myriad of symptoms for at least a week, the results of my pharmaceutically-administered COVID test read “negative.”
Despite the uncertainty of the test, something “positive” did happen to me in December, something writing-related. I’m extremely proud to share it, so I appreciate this venue for spreading the news.
A bit of background
I have been involved with The Nest, an improv comedy theatre in Columbus for nearly three years. My wonderful, longtime boyfriend and I used to attend shows there, and we created many fond memories. It was his Christmas gift in December 2018 of the first level of improv comedy classes at The Nest that led me to me to become a part of that incredible community. It has since become a huge part of me, too.
Unfortunately, just two weeks after I began my first class, in May 2019, I found my dear Brad dead in the shower of our Manhattan hotel room. We had traveled to NYC to celebrate our sixth anniversary of meeting (and dating, because ours was that rare ‘Love at First Sight’ story that began the moment we met).
Despite the unspeakable shock I was in following Brad’s untimely death, I returned to my improv class its next meeting. It was incredibly difficult to open the same entrance door to the Nest that Brad and I had walked through multiple times to see improv shows, but I persevered. I had to. Brad would have wanted me to.
Heads turned when I walked into the theater turned classroom. Everyone knew what had happened in my life just a week before. Our teacher, who happened to be someone from the local improv scene Brad and I adored, embraced me deeply. I cried. He cried. Others came up and touched my shoulders in a show of support. It was a deeply touching moment forever etched in my heart.
Fast forward to December 2021, and the exciting news I received from The Nest.
One of the longest running shows at The Nest is actually not improv-based. It is WORD Live Literature & True Tales. As a writer, WORD is one of my favorite performances at The Nest because it focuses on real stories. Storytellers are invited to share a true story with audience members based on the show’s theme. I myself have presented at WORD three times, so I know it both as a presenter and attendee.
And, in 2022, I will be producing its quarterly incarnations! Just as exciting is the woman chosen to host the show is my closest “Nesty,” as we improvisers at the theatre are lovingly referred to. Brad would have been so happy for me and proud of me, so this means just that much more to me.
In the February issue of WNC, I’ll reveal the theme of WORD’s March show. Storytellers will be invited to volunteer to present at the event. Hopefully, so many folks will volunteer that Jodie and I will have to narrow down the number of storytellers chosen to perform (storytellers will know well in advance if they are being asked to participate).
If you have any questions about WORD, or The Nest, or writing, or even Omicron, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to hear from you!
In the meantime, here’s to a sparkly, exciting, productive, joyful and HEALTHY y2K22.