LAUNCH YOURSELF

An Idea

Are you ready to “Launch” yourself? You’re writing and writing and writing and writing. But, are you accelerating your efforts? Are you contributing to the future? Are you getting yourself out to the public?

Yes, your writings and your books are your passions. Now it is time to launch yourself and let others see you, not only as a writer, but as a person who enjoys life and all life has to offer.

You volunteer to help assist students in a writing class and give direction to their writing interests. You take time to work with them, learn their names, and find out some of their passions. You are contributing to their future.

You work with a group at a library to set up writing sessions, critique groups, or suggest new ideas for non-writers to read more. You are pushing yourself forward into others’ lives.

You spend time with people who make you laugh. Writing is a tough world and writers forget there are fun times out there. Enjoy everyone.

Build up your relationships, based on honesty, respect and love. Cultivate your friends through conversations and always make certain to follow through and touch base more often.

Keep yourself in shape. Readers will see you, not just as a writer, but remember your tidbits on health, exercise, and sleep. Sleep gives a refresh to your mind, body and soul.

Give a big smile to all you meet; strangers, old friends, and new friends. A SMILE can say a thousand words and costs nothing to give and priceless to receive.

You can launch yourself every day with new happenings and sharing through the written word. A new blog or an email to keep in touch with your readers and make new readers.

Make time for meditation to relax mentally and physically and live in the moment. Tomorrow is another day and you have to launch yourself every day. This isn’t hard;you just make a launch part of your daily life.

Have a GREAT launch, and happy writing.

My FriendTrip

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Yes, I did make the trip to West Virginia to visit my great friend.  Left in the rain and returned in the rain, but only found relief from the pollen in West Virginia.

Pictures. I promised pictures and…..my camera broke, my cell phone did not take any seeable (if this is a word) pictures, and my friend took all the pictures. Now believe this…..she lives in a valley with mountains all around her home, plus the airlines, which send planes all around. She has a dial-up service. So, I suggested she get prints made, at my cost, and have them sent to me. When I get them….you will too.

A lifestyle change. Farmland all around. Cows, horses, goats, sheep, black bear, deer, dogs, cats, and a stillness which stirs the soul. You do not know the names of roads; only by cousin …..lives here, down a bit, is aunt….. or uncle…..

We went to breakfast at Kalico Kitchens and not only is breakfast served, but the trained Rin-Tin-Tin in Hollywood a couple years ago. Yeah, right. The food isgreat and served by a perky lady, but the main point is conversation.

We went into an art show. All of the portraits and scenes were done by fellow residents. Beautiful art work. Then she had promised her daughter’s Girl Scout Group an hour of exercise by me. All of the girls, 10-11, showed up and after about thirty minutes asked if we had to go the full hour. We had a great time and I loved sharing a few exercise tips.

Saturday morning, we headed out in her van for me to see where she was born and the history in her area. Sometimes were were on state roads, and some on lay-over roads. These are small roads within counties. The road is one vehicle wide and if another vehicle approaches, each pulls over to the side of the road to let each other pass. She is a great driver, but sometimes my heart climbed out the window.

I saw places where mines used to be; places where mines exploded; and places where miners lived with the cinder block foundations still in tact but no homes. She showed me we where she was born, and she is a coal miner’s daughter.

Any place we stopped, no car doors got locked, and people came up to us with smiles and answers to any of our questions. They accepted us and even asked me about life in Atlanta

We sat outside her home at a pond she’s made with gold fish and frogs. The bullfrogs were in mating season and did they ever grunt. She has a garden, but must bring a lot of her plants and food plants up on her porch. Even then, the deer come up and eat whatever they can.

We visited an Amish community where she buys her cheese, crackers, and some meats for sandwiches.

There are so many state parks and visitors streaming in and out. We saw many, but the one which stands out is New River Gorge. This consists of a bridge  completed in October 1977. We did not drive over, but stopped at the park and looked at the span of this huge….huge bridge. Every year on the third Saturday of October, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, hosts Bridge Day. This events lures hundreds of parachutists and others to go off  876 foot high….I was grateful to look from a distance.

Then Sunday, before I flew out, I attended church with my friend. A small white painted church with a membership of 69 at the present. Everyone knew everyone, guests were given a formal welcome, and all participated in the service. Songs played on the piano and sang, made me feel like music had never left the church. They give more, do more, and have community throughout their church. Some Sundays, they have early church and then Sunday School. Why? Because their pastor is a Circuit Pastor. She and her husband work in different areas to make certain everyone has an opportunity to go to church. With all the introductions, I felt I’d been to their church forever. Thank you, my dear friend.

I wanted to attached pics to show all of these beautiful places and people. Please hang tight. They will appear.

Thank you, my dear, dear friend. I love you as my sister.

Are Your Characters Aging With Grace?

Two friends

Here we are with all the grace you can imagine. When Patricia talked to us about the aging of characters, we became ecstatic. And, why not? Take a good look at us. We are looking at each other, not the camera. Are we worried about our hair styles? No, just glad we have hair. As one gets older, priorities change. Life becomes more precious and the color of lipstick doesn’t matter. If we have teeth, great; but we can always take them out at night and replace clean and bright in the mornings. Ohhhh, guess you aren’t interested in all of the aging points, but you might be to make changes for your characters.

Your story begins with the characters in their early twenties and progress for thirty years. Your characters need to change to make the setting realistic. The clothes, hairstyles, music, adventures and even love scenes. Authenticity can be sexy and let the inner beauty shine through. Let your characters be active in different ways.

Dress trends change each year and your characters need to change. Readers feel themselves as part of your story. If your characters are stylish, great. If a forty-five year old continues to dress as a twenty-year old. You begin to have problems. Take a good look at hair-styles, music and everything life has to offer in the early to not-so-early part of their lives.

How can you do this?  On the internet: where else. Plug in the year ask all the questions you need to know about life, styles, politics, music, housing, and even sex.

Yes, your characters have love and sex from early ’till…….Oh, the feelings are still there, just a little different. In the early stages,  experimentation is at high peaks. Later, your characters know all the positions and enjoy the warmth and closeness of their relationships.

Let your characters grow with the story and the reader will grow with them. Hey, look at us. See our smiles, our faces, with all the wrinkles and the new sparkles in our eyes. Go with the flow. Experiment new phases of life. Be happy. Show these traits to your readers and your characters can be nine or ninety-nine.

One lady explained:  love in the morning, love in the daytime, love in the evening, love at night. This never goes away. Enjoy.

Good night readers.

Are Your Characters Contradictory?

How well do you know your characters? You’ve researched, made sketches, know their background, size, color of hair and eyes. What happens when conflicts arise? Are you certain how your characters will react?

Look at your story and see if your characters have permission for strange behavior. Our characters must surprise and even shock the reader. We want the reader to fall in love with the story, the scenes, and our hero or heroine (protagonist or antagonist). Your characters must show emotion, an unbelievable other side, and get ‘out of character.’

A minor character becomes forceful or hateful toward the main character. If this action is full blown, the female character takes revenge, not at all like her. Or the male character plans a way to get rid of the other person. Or what about a character who thinks she must be prim and proper at all times, and a guy who must be perceived as a gentleman at all cost. Boring. Boring. Boring.

Think about your actions during the day or a few days. Everything rolls around on an even keel until a stressful situation turns your world upside down. You do things ‘out side of your box’ to get back to normal. Take a good look at your characters. How would they react?

Enter conflict. This can be between two characters or one character arguing with his or her conscious. What great behavior antics you can create? Then, the female character hears a certain song or remembers a specific time from long ago. This is something none of her friends know; her other side. From a male character, he may have a past hidden in the sealed files of a court. Each of these characters have issues from the past and surprise the reader. Now, you have emotional involvement with the characters. Next, you need to show reasons for her or his behavior. Do not tell. Show with fear, secrets, choices, motivation, and be in dialogue with them. Let your characters be real to you, the writer, and to your reader.

Surprise your reader and your characters will keep them reading. AND, let me hear about some of your character happenings, ‘outside the box.’

Happy Writing.

Energy and Writing

energy You are at your computer, or have your computer in your lap, or lounging on the sofa with your feet propped on the coffee table. You are intense and need those last paragraphs to roll off your finger tips. Your temples pound, the back of your neck aches, and you can feel your eyes go to the bloodshot stage.

What you need is energy. A movement in your body and mind which transports you away from your thoughts and gives you a boost.Times like these, coffee is not the answer. No tea either and definitely not a glass of ‘whatever.’

Your body needs to stretch and twist. Get off the sofa, get out of the chair, and head to the door. If it is raining, or cold, or ya just don’t wanna, okay. I have a few tips for you and they begin with your stereo, I-Pad, a Shuffle, and even the old-fashioned radio stations. Crank up the sound, get some great beats to the music, and dance. Hey, no one is around and you can shake, rattle, and roll all you like. Grab the dust mop handle and you now have a partner to twirl around.

With all these great instruments giving you energy, add in some neat exercises. Can you stand on your toes and wave your arms in the opposite direction? What about balance? Can you hold up one knee and kick the other knee at the same time? Now, a good stretch and bend.

Are you energized yet? NO? How long has it been since you waltzed around a room? Try the 1, 2, 3 step and twirl. Next, go for the Cha-Cha and swing those hips.What about a dance on Broadway. Kick your legs high and pretend to do one of the ‘can-can’ steps.

No room to rock and roll? No problem. Get on the floor and stretch your body from top to bottom. This means arms overhead and feet pushed out. Roll your head from left – to center – to right and back the same way. Have you ever wanted to stick your neck out, along with your tongue? Now’s the time, but add the roar of a Lion to add spice. Keep stretching until there is no muscle left in your body to push and pull.

Now, get comfortable with your body, take deep breaths, inhale and exhale through your nose, and let the natural movements calm your thoughts. If you want to do an ummm-ummm, hit the sound. Is your mind clear, your thoughts out of reach, and your soul quiet? Listen to your breaths and let life give you the quiet of the moment.

You open your eyes and bingo, a new idea has hit and your fingers are ready to run over the keyboard. Energy comes in many different forms. Take time from your writing to find your own new energy path. You’ll be surprised when new positive actions hit your writing, and at the time you need an extra boost.

Energize yourselves and Energize your writing.

Happy Writing.