Monday, March 9, 2009

Refilling the Well—Caution: Don’t fall in!

Today my guest is Magdalena Scott, author of several anthologies, and The Blank Book, her first single title Romance. Today she talks about how she recharges her creative spirit.

If you’re a writer, maybe you’ve been there. It seems as if you’ve used up all your words. You’re empty. You need to refill your "well" so you have new images to work with. Julia Cameron, in The Right to Write, encourages writers to take Artist’s Dates. Those are great—but I do Artist’s Dates solo. For a recent Saturday’s trip to the well, I had help.

More than anticipated, actually.

My husband and I drove the hour or so to Kentucky Flea Market in Louisville. The serious shoppers were pulling wheeled carts brought from home, to fill with new and exciting stuff. (One lady was pulling hers along with the wheels in the air and the metal screeching along the concrete floor. That was pleasant.)

I mostly watched people. The one purchase I considered for myself was a sign that said, “AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.” I bought my cousin’s birthday gift, then called her immediately and told her. She gave me some grief over that, since her birthday is in December. Now she'll wonder all year...

When we finished the flea market, we did some other shopping. It was a nice outing—saw interesting people and stuff, had a yummy meal.

That night, the dog and I went out into the yard so he could take care of business. I thought business was finished, and was ready to head back to the house. But he saw a rabbit, and took off. Although he only weighs about forty pounds, when he moves like that, suddenly extending the retractable leash to its full length, it's all I can do to stop him. And this time I hadn't seen the rabbit in time, so I wasn't ready. Off he (and the leash) dashed for the rabbit, and down I went into the iris bed. One knee definitely collided with a geode. (These are knobby round rocks.) The rest of me was splayed all over a four-inch PVC pipe, other geodes, and the limestone cistern cover.

Do you know that a cistern is another type of well? Yep. I was so fortunate that:

A) No bones were broken, and as I’m writing this a few days later, the soreness is almost completely gone; and

B) I didn’t fall into the well.

I wonder if the dog heard my stated plans for the day—refill the well—and was trying to help out?

He’s just that sweet.
Magdalena Scott lives in Southern Indiana, where she does a marginal job of being a wife, mother, and writer.

She’s in the process of reinventing herself (results: marginal), and blogs about that, and whatever else comes to mind, at (Sometimes her dog also blogs there.) Her website is

Magdalena has written an anthology, Ladies of Legend: Finding Home, where four women from different backgrounds find purpose, love - and their future - in a town intent on preserving its past. She has published her first full-length novel; The Blank Book--What would you do if you could write your future? Her work is published through Resplendence Publishing and is available in paperback and e-book format available on Amazon and Fictionwise.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Welcome, Magdalena! I'm so glad you could be here. :-)

Magdalena Scott said...

Sia, I'm tickled to be here! Thank you so much for the invitation!

I rode my scooter over which was...well, a little messy. But I'm here! And no broken bones again!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I have some nice warm muffins from the oven, Apple cinnamon, Blueberry, and Lemon. A good pot of coffee and tea if prefer.

Pull up a chair and tell us how you recharge...

Kim Jacobs said...

Magdalena, my dear, was it really the dog? I seem to recall that you had a "toe" incident not so long ago, as well... By the way, how it is? :) Refilling the well, what a perfect post! Sometimes my well gets to full and it spills over, so I have to organize all my abundance with sticky notes and chart paper, as you know. Hey, we all have our quirks!

Sia, wonderful blog. I'll have to stop by more often. Thanks for the blueberry muffin and the coffee!

Unknown said...

Morning Magdalena! Morning Sia!

I guess I recharge my writing by taking time for myself- be it taking photos, working with said photos or making other artsy graphics on the computer, watching a favorite movie- Little Women or Steel Magnolias or get the picture. I listen to music, read. Anything to open up that well so I can scoop out fresh ideas- after all, they do come from everywhere.

Have a great day!

Magdalena Scott said...

Yummy! Muffins and coffee!

Maddie and Taryn, thanks so much for stopping by.

Maddie, I look forward to hearing how it goes with your chart paper. What a wonderful organizational tool! You'll have to post pictures on your blog.

Taryn, you do such interesting things to recharge. I loved the picture of sweet tea you created and posted on your blog one day.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Taryn and Maddie, welcome and yes, please do stop by again.

Taryn, I love photography and you're right it does help refill the well and refresh. I find I have several creative things I like to do and yes, they can get used up or stopped up so when one does, I switch to another one. It seems to help with my writing when I do that. Kind of like coming at it from a different angle.

Unknown said...

Hi Sia and Magdelena!

Thought I stop by and look around, glad that I did. What an interesting blog! How do I recharge my well---I should say sleeping since I get to do that so often, but really the best ideas come when I'm relaxing, watching a movie, you know--vegging.

I'll be back to visit, thanks for having me!


Devon Matthews said...

Hi Magdalena, and nice to meet you, Sia! Mags, you're always such a hoot. I refill my well during quiet time by drifting off into the ether and just letting my imagination run wild. That's when those long dialogue sequences play out in my head. Now, if I could just figure out a way to record those as they're happening. The other day, I was at the kitchen table, so far gone in my head, hubby walked in and was standing right next to me, bent down so he could stare at my face. When I finally came back to earth, I realized he was there and it startled me so much I screamed.

Magdalena Scott said...

I have to admit, I haven't thought of photography as a way to refill the well. Hm...maybe I should try. As long as, you know, I don't drop the camera into the well...

Dottie, nice to meet you! Hey--I am a huge fan of sleeping. It's one of my favorite hobbies, but I don't do it as often as I used to, darnit. Like you, I've been recharging some by watching movies. There is a great Miss Marple series I'm jazzed about these days.

Devon! Good morning! Wow--I wonder if you're doing transcendental well-filling. Did I just make that up? I've been reading EAT, PRAY, LOVE, and her effort to learn meditation is a big part of it. I wonder if you're doing that, if you're so unaware of your surroundings when the imagination is running wild. I hope you'll blog about it at length sometime. Sounds fascinating!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Dottie, thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed yours as well.

Magdalena, honestly I think we do find a form of that meditative state and we don't realize we have really. I've had experience like Devon and yes, I screamed, lmao! My husband said, Sia, I've been standing her for 5 minutes! I have a friend that gets some of her best ideas while in her morning shower. I guess it's finding what works for you.

I'm enjoying this discussion and seeing others methods. :-)

Magdalena Scott said...

I'm jealous, then. I don't go into a meditative state, I don't think., sometimes when I'm out walking, I'll think about a story and it begins to unfold. But I kind of have to shut that down, because I do get caught up in it, and sure don't want to get hit by a car because I've strayed into the road while plotting. Not good.

Tell me this: how does one record one's really good ideas that occur to one while showering? Do you keep waterproof writing materials in there?

Cheryl St.John said...

I am a flea market hound myself and never leave without *something.* We are in a permanant state of remodel at our house, so the perfect brass light fixture is enough to send me into a state of euphoria. Our kids think we're nuts because we take down perfectly good (contemporary) fixtures and replace them with beauties from long ago.

There's just no comparison.

Magdalena, the sign sounds just perfect for you. Have you hung it somewhere? I confess to having nary an inch remaining in which to hang anything.

And collections are a passion. I have something for every season and all days in between it seems.

Magdalena Scott said...

Cheryl! Welcome!

Alas, I didn't buy the sign. I came so very close but--it was more of a "primitive" look than I usually go for. As you know, I live in a house-shaped flea market, a place that is jam-packed with *stuff*. So anything coming IN has to pass stringent tests. :)

If anyone hasn't seen Cheryl's collection currently on display at her blog, you should check it out. Just in time for Easter--it's Bunny World!

Devon Matthews said...

Sia, that's exactly what my husband does to me. I'll be so deep in my head, he stands there and when I continue to be oblivious, he says something and it scares the crap out of me.

Magdalena, I've never really thought about it before. I've done this for as long as I can remember. I'll sometimes space out in the middle of a crowded room. When that happens I hear nothing, except the voices in my head. Sometimes I do it while I'm driving and I end up passing up exits and have to turn around and backtrack. Will have to give it some thought and maybe I'll do a blog post--although I don't know what more I'd say than I've already said here. :o)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article, Magdalena! I'm so glad you weren't badly injured, and I'm really, really sorry for laughing at the mental picture you created for me! I'm afraid my own coffee got a bit spewed on the keyboard! I like the idea of refilling the well; it's something I'm going to have to work on. Thanks for the ideas! And congrats on the novel, and best of luck with it! And Sia, as always, a wonderful hostess. Are those lemon muffins by any chance lemon-poppyseed? If so, toss one this way, sweetie!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Kat, but of course. I wasn't sure what anyone wanted so I just fixed my own favorites. :-)

Now, Devon, knowing you do that while driving? Yikes! What state do you live in? lolol!

I zone a bit and actually driving alone is a great time for me to plot out books or think about characters. Thank god when people look at me chatting away talking things out, they think I'm on a hands free phone. LMAO!

Magdalena Scott said...

Devon, sheesh, you're scaring me! You zone out while driving?!? Maybe part of your brain is zoning out and part of it is completely in control. That's what I'm going to hope, anyway. ;)

Kat, what a lovely compliment to know that you spewed coffee on your keyboard because of something I wrote. You may bring me to tears talking that way. Thank you for stopping by, and for the good wishes.

Please do help yourself to the lovely refreshments Sia made for us. I'm afraid I've just been sitting over here gobbling them and not really offering to anyone.

Judi Fennell said...

Echoing the sentiments that all was well with the fall!

I find taking time from my own stuff and reading someone else's, or just being "Normal Judi" (no comments from the Peanut Galley, please!) instead of "Writer Judi" help immensely.

Best of luck with the book!

Magdalena Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by, Judi! Be sure you have a cup of tea or coffee before you head out. And grab a muffin...

~Sia McKye~ said...

I apologize for any inconvience. For some reason, the comment box disappeared and then when we would click on the comments links it would cause a blank screen. Network gremlins.

Magdalena Scott said...

Wow! That was wild. Good job fixing it, Sia!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Me and my handy dandy wrench--and it ain't PINK handled either--a few blue words, okay, a lot of blue words, and presto, it's fixed. lolol!

Elizabeth Haysmont said...

Ah, yes! How could something 40 pounds in weight have so much energy? I'm four times that (fudge factor implied) and you don't see ME chasing any rabbit, not even in a stew!

Lovely imagery from the stand point of seeing this happening. I am VERY glad you weren't injured. Geology is dangerous stuff, after all! :-)

Be well. Keep writing!

Magdalena Scott said...

Sue, thanks for stopping by! I've been carefully watching for rabbits ever since... Of course, so has he!

Magdalena Scott said...

I guess that's probably our crowd... Thanks so much for everything, Sia! It was nice to be here!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Magdalena, it was my pleasure, I assure you. We'll do it again.

Thank you all for stopping by and reading. A special thanks to those that stopped and commented.

Tamryn, Devon, Maddie, what a delight you all are. Cheryl and Dottie, come again!