Tag Archives: The MillHouse

Wednesday:) Words With Friends Writing Group~ McKinney MillHouse

14 Sep

“Writing your words down on paper turns those lumps of dark black coal into precious sparking diamonds.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Ah, another awesome day over at The MillHouse with Melissa Cantu and the McKinney Words With Friends writing group. It was such a beautiful day that we sat outside for our meeting.

Oh my goodness, these talented ladies offer such a variety of insight and inspiration to the group. Melissa always has some thought provoking exercises and challenges for us to work on. I especially loves her accountability challenge, where we share three goals that we want to meet in the next three months. Once you say it out loud, it makes it real, and you actually work at it. And you know that in three months, she’s going to ask us how our goals were going. 🤦‍♀️

One of the exercises we worked on today was to, first wander around outside or inside the beautiful MillHouse building, and take a photo of something interesting. Then, we were to write about our photo reference using as many senses as possible. The description or story should be able to let the reader or listener envision the object without actually seeing the photo. Of course, it was fun to see the photo afterwards to see how close our descriptions were.

The ladies scouted around outside and inside for about ten minutes. Some chose a beautiful painting, artwork, or a decorative display. Others chose street signs or nearby buildings. Being the goofy gal that I am, I walked across the parking lot and over by the train tracks for my inspiration. 🤦‍♀️ My story…


A mammoth blue metal box rested at the end of the parking lot. Gross yellow stains trickled down from the filthy black rubber flaps that crowned the trash bin. The bold red DANGER sign was prominently plastered beneath the WASTE CONNECTIONS logo. Connections? I’m not sure what the “connection” was, but it looked pretty dangerous.

As I approached to take a picture of the nearby railroad tracks, an onerous odor stopped me cold in my tracks. Yuk! I held my breath and stepped forward for my photo op. Just as I was getting ready to snap my picture, a strange scary clown with a white painted face and spiked red hair popped out of the side bin. ”Boo!”

Yikes! His glowing red eyes and jeering grin startled me. I fell backwards and landed on my well cushioned bottom.

The clickety-clack of the slow moving freight train on the nearby tracks brought me back to my senses. As I stood up, I saw the white painted face smile, jump on top of the blue waste bin and grab onto the handle of an orange box car. He slid the boxcar door open and stood perched inside the opening with arms proudly resting on his hips, Superman style.

The scary clown didn’t seem quite so scary any more. He gave me a big wave and called out as his silhouette faded into the distance, “Have a nice day!”

How I came up with that idea in just a few minutes, I don’t know. Warped sense of humor, maybe?

See, writing can be a lot of fun, especially when surrounded by other inspirational writers. You should try it. Take a photo or one you already have and tell a story using all your senses and descriptive words.

Wednesday:) Words With Friends and Words Of Wisdom

8 Jun

“Voice is not just the sound that comes from your throat, but the feelings that come from your words.”
― Jennifer Donnelly


You know what is even better than writing and sharing your words? Well, it’s writing with and sharing with other writers. When a group of talented writers get together, the creative energy is amazing.

Melissa Cantu started and facilitates a woman’s writing group that meets every other Wednesday at The MillHouse in McKinney called Words With Friends. Melissa always has thought provoking and creative writing exercises for us to experiment with. Just being around likeminded writers is inspirational.

Today, we started out with a brief quiet meditation with the sound of ocean waves in the background. It’s interesting how a calm mind can facilitate creativity.

One of the exercises was to think of the lyrics to a favorite song and describe the feelings and words that the song might evoke. Then, we shared our songs and feelings. For some reason, the first song that popped into my head was the theme song from the old movie, “Friendly Persuasion.” Pat Boone sings, “ Thee I Love.” Oh my goodness, if you haven’t seen the classic movie from the 50’s, you NEED to see it.

After writing down words, feelings, and emotions about our song, we were to write a short story inspired by the song and words, and where we were in our heads when we were reminiscing about those feelings and thoughts. I chose to write about today, in the present, where I am today, and that contentment transcribed into words.

Then, we shared with the group just the last two sentences of our story. Here are my last two sentences. …

Time is fleeting, but for just a few moments, it’s so lovely to just sit here today, sit in the quiet, feel the soft breeze against my skin, and say, “Here I am. Today is the best day of my life.”

I really enjoyed meeting some new writing friends and sharing ideas and words. Thus… Words With Friends. Thank you Melissa. ❤️

After the session, I wandered around the MillHouse for a few minutes and ran into one of the resident artists setting of for a watercolor class she was teaching this evening.

Cindy Gilstrap is a very talented artist and I enjoyed chatting with her. She teaches a lot of different art mediums and it sure looks like a lot of fun. She can be found at The MillHouse or at http://www.JunqueArt.com

Oh, I forgot to mention that another thing Melissa asked us to write down and share in our writing group was, “What is your Super Power.?” I said mine was FRIENDSHIP. I enjoy making new friends and being a friend. Hey, I guess Cindy is my new friend for today.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.