Since college I've taken a number of writing classes and my favorite form of writing is definitely Freefall, a method coined by W.O. Mitchell. I sit down with an idea and simply write whatever is on my mind without any thought given to spelling, punctuation or grammar. I found this to be the best way to capture what is on my mind (and heart) without judgement and in doing this I sound like myself and don't freeze. Plus, I have learned that everyone has something of value to contribute. The things I have learned may just help someone else.
I'm often asked how I plan something as simple as a blog post, and to be honest, I don't. I simply sit down and write about the first thing that comes to me. It isn't time-consuming nor is it intimidating if I just write like me. Sometimes something I'm working on, a photo, or a recent conversation is the catalyst for the post. Other times it's a quote or poem or recent experience that inspires me.
There are also many ways I find out about opportunities to publish what I write. It can be a magazine that I admire, or the suggestion of a friend but the first thing I do is purchase a copy of the publication to see the type of articles printed and then decide if I'd also like to write for them. Initially I approached this the same way I approached gallery representation by trusting my instincts and just taking the leap. I always figured they could always say 'no' but found that more often than not I've received a happy 'yes'. And I try not to take it personally. Sometimes my work is not right for right now, but that doesn't mean it's never a good fit. I believe in the old adage 'Try, try again'.
In our digital world it's all so much easier. Many publications (and galleries) have their submissions guidelines and contact email on their websites. Publishers require a query, a short introduction into the article I'd like to write (which I usually do first so it's ready to go), and I've found that writing an article (typically around 1000 words or one typed page) takes about half an hour. Then I leave it for a day or two before proof reading. I guess the essay writing course I had to (begrudgingly) take in college has come in handy.
Pussytoes, Catsfoot, or Life Everlasting was one of the first wildflowers I introduced both of my daughters to as they are not only so tiny and cute but oh so soft. And they really do feel like a kitten's toes, though they are very strong and persistent. They love open fields, are a perennial herb, and were commonly used to mix up a gargle or mouthwash for throat problems as well as a diuretic to raise blood pressure. Sometimes the gum from the plant stem was harvested for chewing and the plant was also tied in bundles to be used like mothballs.