Monday, December 7, 2015

When Dawn and Dusk Merge by Paul Greci

The sun at its high point in the sky taken from my deck.

It’s that time of year up north where dawn merges with dusk.
By Solstice the length of our day will be about 3 hours and 40 minutes (10:58 to 2:40).

Luckily, I’ve come to love all the low-angle lighting that accompanies winter.
Sometimes the forest is pink.
My writing time is typically 5 to 6:30, then I need to get ready for work.

That darkness, at its best, is like a creative blanket wrapped around me.

At its worse it’s a yawn factory.
Taken from my driveway.

Obviously, you don’t need a long winter to be a writer. I guess what I’m saying is that by embracing what you have, you free up your energy to put into what is in front of you whether that is writing, or child care, or teaching, or anything really.

On the surface, it sounds simple, but I think it’s an ongoing challenge in mindfulness to be present enough to fully engage with what’s right in front of you. At least, it is for me.

Taken from my deck.
As a special education teacher I often have to go from meetings with parents, teachers, or administrators, or writing student goals right into teaching. Being able to turn off the previous task, even though it is often unfinished with a deadline attached to it, and focus on the students in front of me is key.

I try to approach my writing-time the same way, by closing the shutters on what is coming next in my busy day.

 For whatever reason, winter brings this reflective side of me to the surface. The black windows I see when I look beyond my computer screen keep me focused, and the dawn-dusk lighting for the rest of the day, helps to keep me in a reflective space.

On the power line just up the hill from our house.
What do you do to access your creativity and stay in it? And/or, what do you do to make it more likely you’ll be more present with what is in front of you?

 In book news, Surviving Bear Island is now available in an EBook and the Hard Cover is having a Second Printing.


  1. Being present is important. Taking a set time does not always work for me so I just take the best time I can get and try and get at least a certain word count. Sometimes I beat it. The set time does not work for me because I have tried it and always end up watching Youtube videos or worse staring into space. My resistance hates structure and I have to be careful about it. I must be..Divergent.

    1. Thanks, Sheena-kay. Three cheers for Divergence!! :-)

  2. I love this, Paul. It's so easy to have lofty goals that crumble in the face of the day to day. Simply showing up is a huge step. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth to get through my work, but I do it. It's what has to be done.

    These pictures are gorgeous, by the way. Have I told you I've convinced my husband we need to move to Skagway for a year? When the boys are in college, we're going to close up the house and just go. :)

    1. Thanks, Caroline. Skagway would be a beautiful place to be. :-) And, so is the Southwest where you live.

  3. Paul, I always love your gorgeous Alaska photos and super congrats on the ebook and a 2nd printing!

    I am struggling with being present and mindfulness now. What works for me is getting out on my bike into the woods and meadows. It frees my mind and that is where I audio record on my phone many scenes and untangle plot issues. Then I head home to transcribe it. This keeps me in the story and I am so glad we are having a mild autumn still so I can keep riding - and "writing" in my head!

    1. Donna, I like the idea of audio recording. When I'm out running I sometimes workout things in the story I'm working on, and recording it is probably better than trying to recall it later. Thanks!

  4. I can't imagine what it must feel like to have so little light during the day!

    Congrats on the 2nd printing of SURVIVING BEAR ISLAND!

  5. I'm fascinated by Alaska. It's so beautiful. I'd like to go there during the summer. Not so much in the winter.


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!