free the pen, a blog for writers

June 26, 2017

First Sight

Filed under: memoir — freethepen @ 2:00 pm

bigstock-Love-Birds-on-a-branch-56002589It was love at first sight. Go! Write wild! Write without censoring. Write until you are totally spent.

I dreamed about him last night, my first love. He has been on my mind lately. I worked with him on Wall Street back in 1967 for four years. I was only 18 when I met him. Didn’t care much for him but we worked together so we had daily contact. Even after I changed jobs, we stayed in daily contact. I had become friends with his team at work so it seemed inevitable. We were to meet for lunch one ordinary day. I exited my old office building and saw him waiting for me against the Chase Manhattan Bank building. He was staring into the mass of people walking to lunch in his grey suit and skinny tie to match his skinny body. Something in the way he looked, or the way we had kept connecting, or the way he laughed or knew things I didn’t. It is difficult to pinpoint. But suddenly, staring at him waiting for me, my heart took wings, I lost a breath, I felt an unimaginable joy. Love. I was taken over by a feeling of deep and rich love. I couldn’t feel the ground below me or the air against my face. Even if I had known in that holy second what tumultuous events would follow in the next five years, I wouldn’t have given up that moment. I had no idea I was capable of such a feeling. I still treasure that split second even though I have not had any contact with him since 1975 and he put me through hell.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

June 25, 2017

They Said It Wasn’t True, But. . .

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 1:22 pm

bigstock-Happy-Teens-35243588 They said it wasn’t true, but . . . Ever have anyone tell you that you couldn’t do what you wanted? Ever have anyone say it wasn’t true that you had the ability to do something you wanted, but you did it? What was it that you knew you could do when others said you couldn’t?

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

June 24, 2017

I didn’t expect . . .

Filed under: fiction — freethepen @ 1:41 pm
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bigstock-Vogue-style-vintage-portrait-35629610 I didn’t expect. . . What a wonderful way to start a creative free-write. Don’t stop to think. This doesn’t have to be something that happened to you. Be wild. Be creative. Be bold. Let your imagination rip open, uncensored, raw, and moving through you with fierce abandonment. I didn’t expect. . .

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

JanMarquart.com and CanYouFindMyLove.com

June 23, 2017

Your World

Filed under: memoir — freethepen @ 1:43 pm
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hugo We think of the world as being outside ourselves which makes this quote by Victor Hugo rich with ideas for what lies inside us. What world lies inside you?

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

JanMarquart.com and CanYouFindMyLove.com

June 22, 2017

What he said was –

Filed under: fiction,memoir — freethepen @ 2:00 pm
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bigstock-feather-icon-41376454 Starting with a quote like, “What he said was . . .”, allows your imagination to run wild or your memory to recall something you experienced or overheard. Perhaps what he said was funny, annoying, sad, irrelevant to the conversation, or some other interpretation. Perhaps it was a family member who said the comment, story, or advice. There is so much to work with here. Let your imagination run wild.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

JanMarquart.com and CanYouFindMyLove.com

 

 

June 21, 2017

Fiction

Filed under: fiction — freethepen @ 1:52 pm
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dormantfrog This frog will stay frozen until the ice on it melts. Look at its face. What do you think it is thinking? Write out a story about this frog who is waiting for the ice to melt so it can begin its day. What is it wanting to do? What story is it telling? Go wild. Let your imagination go uncensored.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

JanMarquart.com and CanYouFindMyLove.com

June 20, 2017

In the Kitchen

Filed under: memoir — freethepen @ 2:35 pm
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Nana I would venture to say that almost all of us have memories of being with someone in the kitchen. Here is mine:

My Nana was a fabulous pie maker. One afternoon, as we sat at the table gabbing, she started making my favorite pie: lemon meringue. I must have been around 17. I got a pad and pencil and begin to document her recipe as she dropped pinches of flour, sugar, baking soda into the bowl. Each time I wrote down an ingredient, she would add another pinch, then another. It was impossible to get the recipe accurately. I asked her how she knew she needed more ingredients but she’d just laugh and tell me, “I just know.” In a separate bowl she dropped in the egg whites, white sugar and with a wooden spoon began to rapidly beat the mixture. The meringue was always peak-perfect, and not too sweet and not too tart. She worked hard at making her pies. And everyone in the family knew Nana’s pies were the best. In fact, she made them for a restaurant below her apartment and the customers went crazy for them.

I told her that I used an electric beater and Duncan Hines mixes and I didn’t have to guess at the amount of ingredients. Everything was perfectly measured in a box. I told her the next time she came over I would show her how I made a cake.

She sat in my kitchen a few days later. I opened a box of Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix. I poured the dry ingredients into a bowl, added an egg, easy peasy. Right? I got out my electric blender and plugged it in bragging about modern life and how easy it was. Nana watched shaking her head, laughing. She liked doing it her way. It didn’t seem right to be making a cake my way. I started paying more attention to my point about how quickly her egg whites would peak if she only . . . then it happened. Inadvertently, the beaters rose above the cake mix causing the batter on the beaters to fly out in a three-feet circumference. Nana covered her face with her hands as chocolate batter covered her face, hair, dress, and arms.

“I’ll do it my way,” she exclaimed.

I couldn’t argue with her.

Keep your pen moving,

Jan

June 19, 2017

The Power of Smell

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 2:10 pm

moonkissingthesea Neuroscientists say that smell is the most powerful sense we have to awaken memories. Have you found that to be true? The smell I miss is the scent of the ocean air at night. I used to love to drive to the beach at night to watch the full moon on the water and inhale the salty air, fresh and alive. It calmed my nervous system. It brought my mind to a place of peace. It formed around me like a cocoon. I do miss that scent.

What scent do you love? How does it effect you?

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

 

June 18, 2017

Father’s Day

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 1:05 pm

dad&uncle My father is the man on the left and his brother, my uncle, is the man on the right. Today I remember both of them for the jokes they constantly played on me, for the times we had together swimming at Coney Island at night, eating Nathan’s hot dogs, laughing on Sundays during my uncle’s weekly visits, eating, eating, and more eating. We sure loved long meals together around the table laughing, talking, arguing, and sharing our lives. I will always keep those meals close to my heart.

I loved times with dad eating hot pastrami sandwiches with sour pickles at a little deli on Avenue J, thick cheesy pizza, Carvel ice cream on hot summer nights, and going to the movies.

What were your favorite memories with your father? How well did you know him? What would you want to do with him today or what will you do with him today to make more memories?

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

JanMarquart.com and CanYouFindMyLove.com

June 17, 2017

Park rides

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 2:12 pm
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bigstock-fragment-of-wheel-reviews-4705326 I love the Ferris wheel. It doesn’t whip around. It doesn’t make me throw up. It isn’t scary. It is gentle, like floating in the breeze, and lets me see the bigger picture. I get to see where I’ve been living from a different vantage point. I like the view. For just a short time my perspective changes from close up to distant allowing me to step back from my routine and shift gears. It takes me off the earth long enough to do some contemplative thinking. It gets people off my back. It lets me have some breathing time. It cradles me in space and for a brief time, if I want, I can be an astronaut.

What is your favorite park ride and why?

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

JanMarquart.com and CanYouFindMyLove.com

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