Thursday, March 31, 2016

31: Taking risks...

Yesterday, I wrote about the day trip I took with my dad to one of our favorite antique auction destinations.  You can read about it here.

Since I'm on Spring Break, and have some spare time, and have a little who likes to watch "Fixer-Upper" with me, and have an upstairs bedroom to turn into a big-boy bedroom for the smaller little, it seemed appropriate to purchase a 'project' piece or two at the auction yesterday.  So, when this metal patio chair came up for bids, I could almost see it in one of Joanna Gaines' bedrooms.  

I bought it, post-haste, for $17.  I could just see it, a better version of its current self, inside the new big-boy bedroom.

So, I brought it home and placed it in the left corner at the end of the bed.  I'm not used to decorating in greys, and together, the light walls with the light chair were a bit too much.  Or, too little, depending on your perspective.  I'd label it "under-whelming."

"Just use the spray paint," my brother-in-law said, "it's so much easier than using a brush." That may be true; he's a painter.  I, on the other hand, have no experience with resurrecting metal patio furniture and little experience with spray paint.  In search of more color and maybe even a titch more depth, I found this product at the local hardware store...

This afternoon, I researched the steps I should take to transform the chair.  I spread a tattered white sheet across the driveway and anchored it with paint cans from past projects.  I sanded the metal chair with high-grit paper and wiped away the residue with tack cloth.  I shook the paint can for over a minute, just to be sure it was well-mixed, and sprayed with patient, fluid strokes as directed. I let the first coat dry between naptime and dinnertime and then added the second coat.

As the sun set, I stepped back to admire the slight shimmer of the {almost} finished product before moving it into the garage for the night.  I felt proud.

Proud that I had a vision for the milquetoast metal chair.
Proud that I honored that vision and bought the chair.
Proud that I did the research and the work to bring the vision to fruition.
Proud that I took a risk to try something new.

And then, I started to connect my garage work to my writing work this month. Because, as hard as it is to believe, it's Day 31.  Day 31 offers the opportunity to reflect.  And grow.

I'm not sure I started many pieces with vision of particular craft moves I'd like to try or mentor texts I'd like to emulate.  On Day 31, I wish I would've been more intentional.

I'm not sure I honored the letter and spirit of the challenge by harnessing the power of other writers in the community as a source of inspiration.  On Day 31, I wish I would've been more of a collector.

I'm not sure I put the time into writing this month that I would've liked.  I wrote mainly to preserve family stories and growing up stories.  I wrote late at night.  On Day 31, I wish I would've been more of a perfectionist.

I'm not sure I tried anything new.  I wrote a lot of poetry, which is how most of my writing just seems to shape itself right now.  On Day 31, I wish I would've been more of a risk-taker.

So, on Day 31, I feel a little like the light grey chair against the light grey walls...

Albeit, I hold this challenge -- and the chair -- in my heart, both as learning experiences, both as 'before and after' experiences, both as 'what is' and 'what could be' experiences.

I should take the risk next time...


Congratulations, Slicers, on a well-written March challenge!

Write on,


  1. I love the transformation of the chair. Doesn't the Internet make it easy to research the how-to of a project when you have a vision?
    Writing to preserve stories is one of the best reasons to write. Your style is uniquely suited to you, you don't need to mine other posts for possibilities. I love what you do with words.

    1. Thanks, Elsie! It's up in the bedroom now and has been in two different spots. I like it in the second better. Isn't that how it goes? Everything is a draft. :)

      Thank you, first, for encouragement this month. Your comments fueled my writing and were like a gift each morning when I checked my email.

      Thank you, secondly, for your thoughtful remarks above. Your words make my heart swell. A few weeks ago we had talked a little bit about All-Write -- I am working on going. Maybe then we can exchange stories face-to-face.

      P.S. I loved your 'by the numbers' post -- it was captivating. I started one that is in my draft folder. Maybe some Tuesday I'll share...

  2. Some of your stories will never be forgotten. Remember the yogurt topping episode from several years ago. Yep, I still remember that one. And the time you prepared the corn for freezing. Like Elsie said, your distinctive writing style is soul satisfying. Thanks of letting me join your journey.

    1. The frozen yogurt - sprinkle story! I hadn't thought about that one for awhile. And the corn one, too. These types of stories are why I write. I'm glad they've found a nest in your heart, too. Thank you for your encouraging words...I'm pleased that you are part of my journey. :)

      Are you going to All-Write this summer? Maybe we can swap stories there!


Hi! I'd love to hear what you are thinking right now, so please take a sec and drop me a line. I'm so glad you stopped by today -- thanks a billion. :)