I tend to start with a kernel, a vague concept, and just begin to write things down - notes about a character, lines of dialogue, descriptive passages about a place. One idea fires another. I do that for about a year. By then there's a story, and I'll go on to a complete first draft that sews many of those ragtag pieces together.
The moment of grace comes to us in the dynamics of any situation we walk into. It is an opportunity that God sews into the fabric of a routine situation. It is a chance to do something creative, something helpful, something healing, something that makes one unmarked spot in the world better off for our having been there. We catch it if we are people of discernment.
Lewis B. Smedes
How does one conquer fear, Don B.?" "One takes a frog and sews it to one's shoe," he said. "The left or the right?" Don B. gave me a pitying look. "Well, you'd look mighty funny going down the street with only one frog sewed to your shoes, wouldn't you?" he said. "One frog on each shoe.
When I observe Gram, I see how fragile the notion of tradition can be. If I take my eyes off the way she kneads her Easter bread, or if I fail to study the way she sews a seam in suede, or if I lose the mental image I have of her when she negotiates a better deal with a button salesman, somehow, the very essence of her will be lost. When she goes, the responsibility for carrying on will fall to me. My mother says I'm the keeper of the flame, because I work here, and because I choose to live here. A flame is a very fragile thing, too, and there are times when I wonder if I'm the on who can keep it going.
A poor old Widow in her weeds Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds; Not too shallow, and not too deep, And down came April - drip - drip - drip. Up shone May, like gold, and soon Green as an arbour grew leafy June. And now all summer she sits and sews Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows, Teasle and pansy, meadowsweet, Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit; Brown bee orchis, and Peals of Bells; Clover, burnet, and thyme she smells; Like Oberon's meadows her garden is Drowsy from dawn to dusk with bees. Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs, And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes; And all she has is all she needs - A poor Old Widow in her weeds.
Walter de la Mare