Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Story Published - Second Job

I'm always happy to have a story published but this one is especially fine because this is the second story that this market has taken.  Thank you Prairie Journal.  The story Second Job began with an off-hand remark from a friend.  She said her retired parent's went for coffee several times a day and that was 'cute'.  What if...? I asked.  What if the coffee group was the husband's thing but not the wife's.  Then an early version of this story got a boost when a member of my writer's group mentioned bullying within coffee groups.  The rest?  Read the rest at Prairie Journal.  It's the only story at this time under 2016, but my story Forty Pounds is in the list under 2014.  You will find there are many fine stories to read here. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

What to Write?

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?”  Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”   Charles M. Schulz. 

I found this quote while I was going through my files wondering what I would write about for this blog.  My middle of the evening question is a little different than the creator of Peanuts.  I asked, “What could I write about writing now?”

And all I could see were too many choices.  And too many of anything can be its own burden.  When I am faced with too many things I try to remember to be very basic.  The voice said to me “Write about the one thing that you have chosen, because to pick from the possibilities, will take more than one night.” 

One topic, one sentence, one open file with words being typed into it, every day or as close to that as you can make it, that is writing.  Writing is an action word. 


Monday, March 7, 2016

The Workshop Experience

The Workshop Experience

It was mid-point of the workshop and I was struggling.  It is not a good sign when you’ve scratched on the handout – shut up already. 

There was someone that I thought was taking too much air space in the afternoon which proves I can be really judgmental and impatient.  This made it an interesting workshop, if only for me to realize how much irritation I can handle.  And others may not have had the same experience.  While I was seriously irritated by one person, others could seriously have been irritated with me.  I know how this goes. 

The workshop was unique, far more discussion time than many I have been to.  I’m old enough that it takes effort for me to wrap my head around something new.  Some of the discussion was useful, some was not.  We spent significant time on a page of quotations.  But the use of them to examine voice is something that I will consider in the future.  

Eventually we got to several thought provoking exercises.   

#1.  Finish this sentence.  I don’t know why I remember…

#2.   Part A. List the things I was taught.  Part B. List the things I was not taught.

#3.  Create a personal ‘Harper’s Index’. “Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.

In case you are unfamiliar with the index, it is a collection of facts such as average age, or percentage of, or number of times something occurred.   All of it is random and eclectic enough to get the brain cells working.

Our workshop leader assured us that ‘there was a story’ behind each of our answers.  Indeed he stated, there were fascinating stories.  But the best summation of the workshop might have been a fellow attendee statement ‘you can make all kinds of shit up.’ 

On a person note, the moment I decided that I had got my money’s worth out of the day was during the meal after.  I overheard the instructor explain something of his own process that made total sense to me.  I might not have known before but that was the thing that I came for.  So worth it.