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shutter the front door

Wood, the way God intended it. In slats nailed to bricks. Today I hung some shutters. 

That, in itself, might not be even mildly impressive to some folks, and I'm not going to hold that against them. But does it garner me any more cool points if I say that I made the shutters myself? I mean, I didn't hew the wood or anything. Didn't make the stain from crushed berries, or smelt iron to forge nails. But I did pull a whole bunch of miscellaneous wood, stain, and nails together into something that more than passively resembles wood shutters. For that, I deserve a Coke.

There was something kind of satisfying about this. I'm not saying I had some profound experience, but I did have a few zen moments. I like this "build things with my hands" stuff. I do it, from time time, and I always enjoy it. I should do it more.

I spend an awful lot of time in front of a computer, and it serves me well. I make a pretty good living, tapping away at keys all day. My income is derived from the word goo that I scrape from the inside of my brain, and that is a career that suits me just fine. But then there are times when I build something, and the sense of "creating" is there, equally as strong, but the flavor is different. 

I think it's good to switch things up every now and then. Frankly, the whole time I was cutting, hammering, painting, and nail-gunning, I had half a dozen stories, songs, taglines, headlines, articles, and other ideas sifting through my brain. The reflex to create turns on that switch in my head, so even though the tools and the output are different, the energy is the same. 

Weird, huh?

Anyway, it's 10p.m. and I'm writing. Which means this is probably, in large part, incoherent babble. I'm a morning person. I don't do nighttime writing. But I wanted to try to keep my streak up, contribute something real for today, and maybe make someone think. That's a good post, if it happens. I like posts like that.

And frankly, I just want to show off my handiwork. I'm proud of those painted slats of wood attached to brick. They're like a coffee-colored, cedar headline, hanging out there for all the world to see. Cool.

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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at


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