Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bringing Dessert

This newly published story can be found at Transition but to find Transition you have to start at the home page of CMHASK then click on Get Involved and choose Transition Magazine from the menu.  Choose the Winter 2015 volume and go to page 16 of the PDF file that comes up. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Writing is good for you

It turns out that writing is better for you than thinking.  At first glance, writing doesn’t seem much different than thinking.  Thinking however, can often be somewhat chaotic.  Writing is different.  Writing encourages story lines, structure, and making sense of things.  Writing leads to solutions. 

And it doesn’t even have to be very much writing.  Expressing gratitude, in writing, for a few minutes daily can increase your happiness, and optimism.  Writing about a perfect/ideal future is another winning activity, far and above visualization.   You can even boost good vibes about your love life with affectionate writing.   

Happiness might lie in a little time with pen and paper.  Write and be grateful.  Write and describe your best possible future.  Write and remember all the reasons you care for someone.  Each of these three assignments is a simple procedure but all have been proven to have huge impacts. 

Best of all, the words that you write are permanent.  You can read them later.  You can share them. 



Friday, February 19, 2016

Write Now

I've written about writing as long as I've been actively an author.  Here's an old piece that I want to share.
Write Now
Ever set out to do something?  And nothing happens? As a person who strives for accomplishment but then fails, I have been known to blame the beginnings.  Here are some things I have said to myself;

It wasn’t that good an idea in the first place.  I might chastise myself by thinking if I had thought it through; I would have chosen something else.

Or I might second guess myself.  This one didn’t fit, I need something easier, or more of a challenge.

I might decide that I’m not capable enough. I need a coach to help me.

I need to uncover the flaws I must correct (the plan before the plan). 

 Oh.  It’s a slippery slope. 

Here are my thoughts about beginnings from the perspective of a reformed procrastinator.  The beginnings don’t have to be perfect.  Any action toward the goal is good.  The beginning is one step, only.  It fits perfectly with what I am calling my guiding motto. 

“What do you have? Where are you at? What can you do?  Now.”

Push onward. 




Monday, February 8, 2016

Trained Writer

These words popped out of my reading and I thought this is the term that describes me.  I am no longer a dreamer, I am a writer.  I am no longer a beginner, I am a trained writer.  I have been trained by my efforts and I do know certain things.  I won’t claim to be a polished, seasoned and acclaimed writer, but I have earned the term diligent.  I have been introduced as a diligent blogger.  I am not lazy with my short story writing either.  I work hard at this writing business and as I train myself, I find that I work smarter as well. 
I don’t need someone else to tell me that ‘something has to happen’; I am trained to write fiction that way.  I can recognize certain flaws and I can correct them.  I know when I slip out of tenses, or when I use passive phraseology.  I have trained myself to build stories that have plot, characterizations and settings.  I am trained to edit and to revise and to submit diligently.  
One of the more recent developments in my training has been a relaxed approach to the stages of story development.   There is a process that I go through and I can expect something similar for each story. 
I know that I will fill a few pages before the ‘spark’ of the story arrives.  I know that story decisions will be fluid at the beginning, until I decide who the story belongs to and how they want to tell it.  I know how to gather enough material so the story has weight and warmth.  And because I know these things are part of writing the story, I accept the work involved.  And I don’t get tense about it.   

The biggest reason that I know I am a trained writer is that I no longer despair about all there is to learn about writing.  Instead I find delight.  


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Casting My Net

Apparently I think in fishing metaphors, because here I am at the beginning of writing a new story and I refer to the process as Casting My Net.  I begin by opening a notebook and recording the bits and pieces that catch my attention.  Random dialogue from my own world, phrases and ideas from the world of television or books are written down.  Pondering occurs, mulling as well, and slowly but surely a few decisions are made.  Friendship then, I write.  Betrayal as well, but not as the victim but from the viewpoint of the person who has failed to do right.  Why?  How?  Who are the people involved?  What is their relationship? 
Each of the notes that I make - the fish that I catch in my net - can point me in numerous directions.  Can connections be made? Is this something that I want to write about? 
The fish wiggle, some slip through the net, some I will release, the story is the catch.  I'm getting wet with words as the story ideas flow.