Friday, May 27, 2016

Sentence Basics

I've been reading 'How to Write a Sentence' by Stanley Fish, and I've devised an exercise in response to some of the first chapters.
The first step is to write a simple sentence with doer, doing, done to, such as Sam ate lunch.  Then this is expanded to 30-40 words or 100 words.  At this point, it becomes the assignment to make sure that all the added phrases, information, flights of fancy or whatever has been written, connect with any of the first three words.  If and when they don't, it is up to me to fix that. 

A second assignment that I've added is to take a longer sentence from an author I admire (Alice Munro) and pick out the simple three or four words that are at the core. 


The objective is to practice a sentence form.  So far, so good. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Coach Approach to Writing

I serve as my own writing coach, and long before I bring my efforts to anyone else’s attention, I have to get something written.  This is when I have to be self-aware.  Sometimes I have to make a list of the things that are preventing me from applying my fingers to the keyboard.  I follow this valuable advice, gleaned long ago about a different sort of Point of View. 

There are many ways to view any given situation, and no perspective is more correct than any other.  The more perspectives I can see means I have more potential solutions.  Since my view of a problem dictates the solution, and since all views are viable, I try to choose a perspective that offers a solution.  

Why am I not writing?  This title is one that I use often, as I gather my resources and begin writing.  A sample list follows; including some breakthrough thoughts in italics. 

·       Time and ideas are my most common problems; not enough of the first and too many of the later.

·       But it just takes a change of attitude about time.  I will be interrupted, I think, but then it might not happen.  Who says that I don’t have enough time to start or finish something?  There is no time like the present.  (I find that a project started has a certain momentum of its own.  I will return to work on it, even on a day when my time for writing is fractured.)

·       As for the too many ideas, the abundance could be more comforting than alarming, with the right view point.  (I find that if my attitudes are adjusted to something more positive, the excuses will drop away.)


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Blog Number Three - Lymphedema Logbook

Liz's Lymphedema Logbook is the first draft of my non-fiction book, that I am writing blog by blog. I arrived at this project inspired by several things of my life.  First and foremost is the challenge of lymphedema and the isolation involved.  It isn't easy getting the necessary assistance from the health agencies.  It isn't easy managing this condition on a day to day basis. The emotional impact is significant as well.  I have come to my seventh year with lymphedema and I have managed to thrive.  I want to share what I know, because I would have been helped so much had someone shared with me.  If this has the flavor of being a mission statement, perhaps it is. 

The second reason that I set my keyboard to this project is I have a long term goal of writing a book and having it published. 

I believe that Liz's Lymphedema Logbook will be published and even if it doesn't, there will be things that I learn, in this effort that will help with the next. 

So blog by blog and step by step, it is begun. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Duration of Enthusiasms

I’ve taken on some large projects concerning my writing lately.  And one of the things that I’ve discovered is that there is a maximum duration for my enthusiasm.  I am a sucker for variety and the next new idea, so ideally I would have a plan that would provide me with those very things.  Unfortunately the moment I might tire of something is a little hard to predict. 

The next part of this is if slow and steady win the race, what does moodiness and impulsiveness bring you?  If I am going to reach my writing goals, I have to understand my weaknesses but I also have to become stronger as well. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I might be approaching this from the wrong direction.  I do not need a plan to avoid the enthusiasm slumps.  I need a plan to push my way through or discover a creative way to let the project pull me along.  Others have managed this, so can I.  I hope to think of my enthusiasm duration as being on a graph and while there will be ups and downs; I want the line to stay above zero.  Onward.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wildfire Reality And News Story Inspiration For Writers

Fort McMurray's situation is horrifying and tragic.  The reality of that is beyond my comprehension and I feel compassion for their plight. 

As a writer I know that many stories will play out as the wildfires tear through this northern Alberta community.  Will I write of this?  Probably not, but I did use newsfeed from Slave Lake's siege, several years ago, to write Flashover

It was a unique experience as I followed the advice I had been given.  'Use the news for writing inspiration.'

May Fort McMurray write a happy ending to their story. 


Sunday, May 1, 2016

How Blogging is Good for Authors

Blogging is writing.   It is not the-big-important writing, not the-stall-you-in-your-tracks writing, nor is it unimportant.  I have learnt that to maintain a blog, I have to pay attention to words and ideas and then to act.  Whatever blogging goals that I have, private and announced, the call of the blog needs to be answered.  I find that when the key board has been silent for too long, a blog post is a simple way to start writing again.  Writing something has the magic to call more projects to mind.  And fingers to keyboard, the process begins. 

Blogging leads to writing.  There’s a sort of sweep the floor, put away the dishes clearing that happens with blogging.  One little random idea is executed with each blog.  This frees the mind to find another random idea, or to circle back to the larger project that waits. 

Sharp-tailed Grouse
Blogging is more than writing practice.  Blogging is a commitment to that writing practice.  There is a point when something that you choose to do, becomes more than a choice.  It has become a habit.  I am not the only person who has found that blogging is one step on the road to being a dedicated writer. 

Blogging is important to my writing.  I’ve circled this lesson before, but if I set blogging aside, for whatever reason, then it eventually stalls my word flow.  It might not be logical, but the blog has to be on list of tasks.  It is good for the writer.