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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Journal With Impact: Travel Historical

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“Basically, the origin story conducts our identity….within this story, we know who we are. ….This is where we come from. We came this way. We came by this place.”
                                                                                                              Leslie Marmon Silko

Just as our physical bodies cast a shadow as we walk, historic mirrors can cast a shadow within us—an emotional thread that can twine through time, both real and imagined. It connects an interior map to the external historical details. Which mirror do you hope to understand more or connect with?

For example, an historic landmark can be of value to one individual, or to a nation, or to a continent. The fact that it carries a history makes it personal whether the reaction to it is positive, or negative, or neutral. Sometimes even landmarks can be subtle reminders of a deeper theme, or a key influence. They may be the last witness to an historical event.

Regardless of what whatever detail, or threads, you chose to focus on, the key is to make a personal impact that invades, lingers, and reacts.

Set up a question outline for yourself to help ground your key foundations but be open to the unexpected as well. Here’s one possible way to track traditional landmarks that are a factor in almost every possible location, whether for a forgotten cemetery in a deserted small town, or well-known sites such as the Eiffel Tower.

As you choose your specific historic markers begin by asking these questions of each spot you choose. Watch for both the common links and the unexpected intrusion, or the unusual.

Action Steps:

1. Is it natural?

2. Is it manmade?

3. What is the history behind it?

4. How might different people personally react to it?

5. Is it considered holy ground to some? Why?

6. If so, is it open to anyone to visit or considered forbidden and can only be      viewed from a distance? 

Share: Which characteristics made you curious? Why?

Read deep, marcy

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Journal With Impact: Travel Interview Podcast

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

How can we capture our travel experiences in the midst of crazy schedules and sensory overload?

Kitty Bucholtz, Write Now Workshop, invited me to her podcast for a conversation.

Hope you find it interesting. Please share some of your insights with us too, either through the podcast or video comment links.

And here is the YouTube video link:

Thanks Kitty Bucholtz

                                            Read deep, marcy

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Journal With Impact: Travel Journey

“Thresholds are necessary in the creative process in giving an idea somewhere to go.”                                                                                                                   Tim Wynne-Jones

A portal can be considered a physical door, a road, latitude or longitude, and a heart change. We step through portals daily and cross threshold markers without even thinking about them. But when we plan a concrete travel journey we hope to be enlightened either emotionally, or visually, or mentally. We aim for at least one specific definitive destination. We choose to journey.

What is your dream journey?

A few weeks of complete solitude in nature: a river, an ocean, a forest? Climb a mountain? Trek a pilgrimage walk, or an historical excursion of your favorite author or artist or architect? Perhaps one season to follow a special musical tour or a beloved sports team.

Maybe a family heritage you would like to walk in order to honor or grieve their sacrifice. Trail the Underground Railroad or follow a pioneer path as a remembrance of their courage. Or each year visit a new country to build bridges across cultures.

Take a river cruise or language classes in another country? Or? The possibilities extend beyond our imaginations.

So where would you most like to travel?


What is the lure that draws you to that desire? Would you be willing to follow that dream regardless of how long it would take to fulfill?

These are the questions that help to focus on whether a particular journey is truly a potential reality or a nice daydream. Some heart decisions need to be understood so that the time and cost and effort are clear goals before you even take the first step.

Action Steps:

1.Take a small notebook that you can carry around and begin to ask yourself the basic questions: who, what, why, when, where, and how.

2. Don’t start with the logistics—start with the impulse of your dream. Apply these questions to understand what makes this important to you.

3. Are you willing to wait years or is there a time factor regarding age? What could other limitations be?

4. What reading and research might be necessary in order to have a clear idea of what you are seeking? Are you open to disappointments or unexpected information that could change your entire goal?

5. Journal out as many questions that you can think of to confirm this is your dream journey.

6. Then you start to outline your plan.

Share: What is your first step? How soon can you take it?

Read deep, marcy

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Journal With Impact: Travel Personal Audience

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“We store in memory only images of value.” Patricia Hampl

Personal experience and special audience can overlap in several ways depending on your focus. The details that you choose will become your center factor. For example if you are traveling for the first time with an infant or toddler that is very personal immediately, and memoir fodder, and definitely a special type of how to travel.

The attitude tone before, during, and after, can be humorous, dramatic, frustrating, frightening, or exhausting. Or possibly all of them overlapping!

There are many personal details and memories for any type of travel we do, but the most personal are the ones that impact or change us in some way we did not expect. And we may not realize or recognize the impact immediately. But something lingers, a small memento becomes an item of value, a memory or feeling keeps coming to the surface. And we might wish we could go back in time and process a little deeper into those moments.

One possible way to dig deeper all along is to develop a general outline that can be organized into three parts: before, during, and reflection. And adapt your note taking to the purpose and style of each adventure—again whether a day trip or a long excursion.


Before. Set up questions for your intended purpose. Just mark a few words. Why am I doing this? Why am I going there? What are my expectations? Why am I taking my dog? What difficulties might I expect traveling with a cello?

Personalize the lure of this travel trip now and what you hope for.

During. Set up a few simple questions that directly relate to your original hopes. Because time and fatigue at the end of each day can become a factor try for one or two word answers or a visual image that embraces the moments. (See action steps)

Reflection. Give yourself a few weeks before reflection. Especially if you are dealing with time zone changes or have an ultra busy return schedule. But then put aside a few hours to read over your notes, look at your photos and mementos, and remember some conversations. Now do a five to ten minute brainstorm technique where you write without stopping, or worrying about sentences or spelling. Just write down everything you can think of that you personally reacted to. Read your notes over and underline the few that stand out or surprised you.

With whom do you most want to share your experience? Why? What has affected your heart?

Action Steps: Daily Notes

1. Again sum up in one word or phrase that reflects this particular day for you: physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

2. If you are measuring your trip/time from a success definition, for example fulfilling your day’s purpose or agenda, then give it a rating.

3. Whether disappointed, neutral, or enthralled write down the insight that gives you that response.

4. What happened today that you never anticipated?

Share: Which of the daily notes will be the easiest for you to keep track of? Which one is more challenging?  

Read deep, marcy

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Journal With Impact: Travel Focus

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“All this time the Guard was looking at her, first through a telescope, then through a microscope, and then through an opera-glass.” Lewis Carroll

What is your own personal angle or curiosity?

In The Travel Writer’s Handbook, 2nd edition, by Louise Purwin Zobel, he lists twelve main article patterns that are often developed in travel magazines and books. Each of them can apply to your own personal journals whether or not you want to share with others. Also for those of you focusing on developing a memoir, note if any of these categories might also fit as an umbrella outline for your book length draft.

Notice too that although the material may have a similar foundation in each of these styles, the main focal purpose is the distinguishing difference, whether generalized or viewed under a magnifying class. These descriptive details will affect which category the content will be best presented. He lists four main categories with a sub- point in each.

“From your own Experience: Personal Experience. Advice travel. Humor Article.

Special Audiences: Who travel. How travel. What travel.

Readers On a Journey: Travel Flavor Article. Definitive Destination. Gimmick travel.

Easy Pegs: Roundup. Historical. Here and Now.”

Action Steps: Trip Exercise from a personal experience.

Choose a location from a day or weekend trip you’ve had within the last few months. As you brainstorm through the questions mix up your methods to discover different aspects from different angles.

1. Cluster/brainstorm all you can remember. What did you see? What did you do?  What was planned? Unplanned?

2. Set scene.

3. If you were to sum it up in one word or phrase what would it be? What specifically stood out to you?

4. Go back through your brainstorming and add in your feeling/reactions etc. Write them in with different color pens.

5. Choose a format: essay or article. Write your outline. Write your first paragraph. (More details in section 6)

6. Draft entire piece. Let it sit for a t least a week. Read it over and add in forgotten bits. Sit another week. Revise.

Or alternate version: Pick a place you’ve been to repeatedly and then tell it as if a one visit combining different insights.

Share: Were you surprised by a detail you didn’t notice before? What detail made it stand out?

Read deep, marcy

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