RESEARCH? YES. NO.

more work
Yes, I believe we all do research to a certain point. We need to know the place where our story takes place and the surrounding area. Or do we?
As creative writers, we create, and in fiction we can make our characters our own. But does everything have to be accurate? Our creativity can come alive in a make-believe place. This is the place where our characters will live, love, argue, be torn apart by some event, meet again from our  own creative thoughts.
I enjoy making up my village, town or city.  I can name the streets whatever seems right to me and my characters. It can be in the mountains, by the ocean, a hot desert feel, and the stores are from creative imagination. It is like making a blueprint for your surroundings.
Sometimes, making up the place the characters become alive. Not the cookie-cutter characters. It is like you are giving them freedom to be who they are. Soon they realize this and watch out. Their actions and spontaneity are off the page. They like being unleashed.
They are in a new place, meeting new and different people, and they love the independence you give them. As a writer, you create emotions and your characters show your fingers which keys to hit. Go with them and see your story take twists and turns. The writer has an idea of who, what, when, and where the story/novel should go. When it takes off on another path, our characters run with the story and it is hard to keep the fingers moving so fast over the keys. (Don’t worry. You can edit later.) Let them have free rein to romp, run, and roam. Your story has changed because of the freedom you are giving your characters. You are writing fiction.
On the other side, Non-Fiction research is necessary and important. You need to know all the facts you can, and still give the characters a chance to show themselves as real people in a period unfamiliar to others.
HAPPY WRITING.  HAPPY CREATING.  HAPPY CHARACTERS.
                                            HAPPY YOU.

 

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WHAT? A TIPSY TUESDAY?

images_080While gathering thoughts for Monday’s blog, I thought about the magic wand. If it worked once, why not again.  Waving the wand in my mind, something incredible happened. Monday disappeared and Tuesday popped up on my computer: the day, date, and time. Where did Monday go? How could I lose one day?

The wand, the magic pen, took over my life without notifying me of this change. I started out and the cold, wind, and rain hit me in the face. I wanted to take you on a Monday journey, but all I can offer is a “Tipsy Tuesday. No, this is not induced by any beer or wine or whatever. This is a Tuesday.

Why do Tuesdays come at a writer in full force? Full force of what? Nothing. What do I do with a Tuesday? Come with me and let’s get this mysterious day out in the open and full of new ideas for a writer.

Think of this as a way to stretch your imagination and writing skills to another level. Have you ever thought about screen writing? No. I am a fiction/non-fiction writer. No movies for me.

Oh, really? You dream of a movie of your book, your book gets published, you write your book. When you began your novel or non-fiction novel, movies did not have a part in your writing. Then you went to the theatre and watched something similar to your writing.

How can this be? With the help of a Topsy Tuesday, you started your writing from a movie that controlled your mind. No. You are not copying, but using the feelings of something you write conveyed into a movie. What movie have you seen lately? Can you picture your story on the screen?

Go back to your movie. Check a copy out from your library or if lucky, you have this in your library. Watch. Watch. Watch again. Look for the emotion of each actor. Feel the tension between every one. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Can you see your writing in each scene?

If not; you need to go back to your written pages and read from the beginning. Are you conveying all the emotions, feelings, and actions of your characters? Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Picture your characters in the movie running through your head.

Maybe you need to go back and find the areas where . . . Oops, here’s this Topsy Tuesday. The magic wand, the magic pen stopped for a reason.  Be thankful for the starts and stops of your writing.

This could be the time we need to step back and take a look at our writing, but in the form of verbal reading of our work. Whisper. Talk with venom. Listen to our written words. Do not hesitate to digest all and delete…..(no. no. no.)

Hold tight. Revise. Research. Be willing to delete some words, sentences, paragraphs, to get to the heart.

Okay. I promise not to raise the Magic Wand or Pen on a Monday.

Happy Writing, any day of the week.

 

 

SENSUOUS SATURDAY

BlogWhat has your Saturday done for you? For some this will be a chance to relax from a brutal work week. Others will be busy catching up on chores. Still, you can bet there will be some who grab the opportunity for thrilling moments, and sweeten their life a little. A take a chance attitude.

With the arrival of the Dogwood Festival, you know it is Spring in Atlanta.  This annual festival is held in Piedmont Park, the center of activity for families, guys, gals, dogs, cats, roller blades, frisbee actions, but for this weekend NO. The park is filled with artists from all over the country, smells of barbecue, grills with the biggest burgers and long hot dogs and music. There are so many different forms of art, which include sculpting, one-of-a-kind statues, pottery, clowns, and people – plenty of people.

People, no matter their age,  touch, hold hands, become young again. Smiles cover almost every face, not the frown of a workweek, but an awakening of a Sensuous Saturday. These people are pleasure seekers and ready at a moment’s notice. Some sit on benches around the lakes, still holding hands, arms around shoulders, and you hear laughter. In some instances, giggles.

Children welcome the time to be with their parents. You hear shrill laughter and see dads swing their young’uns up in the air or around in circles. So, the mustard gets on clothes, red sauce runs down chins, this is energy of the young and not so young.

From a whole day of engaging, physical, and captivating senses, the day dwindles to a close for most. Still music plays until the closing time. You can be certain a lot of swaying, irresistible feelings spring forward. What can you expect from a sensuous Saturday.

As you return home, you realize what an appealing day you encountered. No rules. No regulations. No questions. No answers. Yet, your mind races backward and you capture the unwritten parts of the day. You cannot wait to get to the keyboard and put some of this in words. As you do, you enter a different life. Not yours, but of the people you encountered today. The gratification of a Sensuous Saturday fills your screen and you are off on another story.

We need to have these Saturdays more often. It does not have to be a festival, but something we need gratification from rather than always be the one to give. If this sounds selfish, I’m sorry to have hit that button. Yet, we all need to let go and give ourselves over to:  a long massage with the candles, oils, and the trained hand of the master of the hour. Hey, guys, this includes you too. Maybe both of you can treat each other. If not, maybe a long, luxurious bath with your own candles and oils. Whatever turns you on, go for it. When you allow yourselves to be sensuous for a Saturday, you will gather more and more information about life, living, loving, and yes, feelings.

So, kick back and enjoy. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will come soon enough.

Hang on to your Sensuous Saturday for the whole twenty-four hours.

Happy Saturday to all of you.

MORE MAGIC ON MONDAY

images_051Shh…I’m looking up more magic to add to  Monday. I see a wishing well, a magic carpet,  and several good luck charms. One thing I cannot find is a magic pen. Why? This has to come from the writer.

You need to find your magic pen and complete your writing. Stuck? It does not matter if you are a novice, just published, or have a stack of books published. We all get stuck. Our minds, brains, hearts, can hold so much before things get hazy and we need to step back, take a deep breath, and relax.

When this happens, can you remember back to writing prompts? I can hear laughs and imagine heads shaking back and forth. What these prompts can do, is shake up your mind and let you write silly. So, consider magic as a release of proper, and a return to fun.

What about your magic carpet? All you have to do is jump on. Yeah. Right. Yes, right. You can conjure this picture in your mind. Look. There it is floating beside your computer. Take a ride and look at things from the air. When you fly upside down, things take on a difference. Or when you slide by all the problems, time limits, and pressures, you can laugh, have a great time, and see a different prospective. Enjoy your ride.

Lucky charms. Remember the bracelets with all the charms dangling around your wrist? What about the 4-Leaf Clover? How about the “he loves me, he loves me not,” without cheating. Let yourselves be a child again and learn how magic works.

Do not jinx your writing by forgetting the child within. Stand back and look down the wishing well. Yes, in your imagination. This well is deep, narrow, yet you can see the gold coins in the bottom. So, grab a few shiny pennies, make your wishes and toss down the well. Who knows what might happen. You have magic and you can accomplish whatever you set out to do. How? By keeping the pen to the paper, the fingers on the keyboard, ideas lighted by a great fire, and never forget the people who are there to cheer you forward. THIS IS THE MAGIC.

Have a great Magical Monday. Create your magic and make your day the best Monday ever.

 

Happy Writing.

 

 

 

WILD (SPELLED WILTED) WEDNESDAY

Two friends“Ethel, I told you we were gone too long. Look at her title. She’s flipped out. Today is Thursday.”

“Let’s wait and see,” Ethel said, slower than usual.

The Wednesday post was so WILD, I’m sure you noticed no post. Here is my apology with a good reason – SLEEP DEPRIVATION. Life gets jumpy and grumpy without sleep. With the change of seasons, which everyone knew was headed our way, the instant change of temps, the loss of rain showers to cool us off, and the pollen, which slips all over Atlanta. It happens every year and I should be used to the change. No way.

My condo building is small compared to Atlanta standards. My condo is even smaller compared to Atlanta standards, but it suits me. However, air does not flow through my unit. I open my windows and the warm air sifts inside along with the pollen. This stuff covers and sticks to my hair, clothes, bed linens, pillows, furniture, floors, and anything it wants. I turn on my ceiling fans. Great, I feel a small draft, very small draft, and can watch the pollen swirl with the fan blade.

I cough, cough, sweat, sweat, and realize there is no zipper on my skin. Rather than toss and turn, I get up and move around. I notice the lack of concentration, a bad attitude, desire to run away, and the need of rest for my body and brain. Sleep. I need sleep.

But, the biggest excuse for no Wild Wednesday, is because all of you helped me, without knowing. A tall good-looking hunk from one of YOUR BOOKS, scaled the outside of my building, sneaked in the open window. At this point pollen and sleep did not matter anymore.

Thank all of you so much. Hey, as writers, what excuse for missing a day, could you find?

Happy Wednesday, oh yes, and Happy Thursday.

“See there Edna, I told you she’d have her reasons, but what a time to leave us out.

 

MAGIC MONDAY

energyIt is Monday. Here is your Magic Wand _____!! How will you use it?

Are you a writer, who dreams about a best selling book, but never gets around to writing this story. Something else pops up and your dreams ends.

You want to write and you can, once you get your desk cleared or a plot starts to form. You have paper, pads, pencils, and pens ready to go. Then you decide to do research on your plot. Your fingers chase the internet, but you forget to write.

Are you a writer, who maintains control over your writing process. Once your “butt is in the chair,” your favorite CD playing, your computer fired up, your mind goes blank. You search for your memory — gone. Where are your thoughts?

All of you different writers, got a Monday Magic Wand at the beginning of this blog. USE IT!!!! (Yes, exclamation points to emphasize how important this wand is.)

Wave the wand over being perfect, ALL THE TIME. We aren’t  and can’t be.  POOF!

To focus your writing, give the MUSE her freedom. POOF!

Look at ALL  your writing possibilities, some you’ve never tapped. POOF!

Then take these wishes from your magic wand and think of your individual wishes.

POOF!

Magic Monday.

(A little late, but took some of the advice and stopped worrying, at least while I was at a musical concert. But, by magic, here is your Monday blog.)

Happy Writing.

 

Magic Mondays

An IdeaMagic Mondays or do you still dread the thought of a new week, the unknowing events that could pop up, or the fast pace you need to keep going?

This could be for everyone: professional workers, stay-at-home moms or dads, the new secretary, the guy at the car wash, or the waitress at the new diner. But, this is important for all of you writers out there. Submissions to get done, books to review, emails to answer, new stories to . . . .and you stop. Your well is dry and nothing seems to come to mind. Don’t hang up. Think Ideas, Ideas, and more Ideas. Yeah. Right. No. This is a Magical Monday and you can gather ideas in buckets. Stop moaning and get moving. Did you dream last night? Can you remember the dream? Did you scribble down the dream? Okay, you can’t read your writing, but maybe one word wiggles more than others. When you were in the shower did something slide into your head and then down the drain?

Remember, it is the simplicity that keeps repeating in our minds, if we let go and hang tight. Do not try to analyze the captions or the pictures. Pull your imagination from its hiding place and put it to work. Do not write and drive, but even a cheap recorder or your cell phone can capture your words. Sometimes, these billboard companies, string out a long line of actions to get to the point. They can make you smile and laugh. See, now you are letting go of inhibitions and making your brain exercise its capabilities.

If you can, or have the opportunity, visit an animal shelter and watch the action and play between the pets, or use the time to watch your own pets. No small kids at home, visit a day care center and catch the antics of children trying to get more than their share of recognition. Or, watch your grandchildren vie for your attention and the ways they make you laugh.

Forget the television, the smart phone, I-Pod, and link into the everyday possibilities. Hey, another area to grab ideas is a Tat Parlor. Everyday, people get their bodies decorated with signs, symbols, flowers, and whatever else happens. Go into a parlor and talk with the artist. Ask questions. You might be surprised at some of the answers.

I don’t have time to do all of this. No, I’m certain we all don’t, but ask yourself what happens on a Magic Monday? You find ideas where you least expect them. You snap a photo, write down a few words, you notice your surroundings, you enjoy life. This is where you can find your ideas for more situations, more stories, more writing.

Get out there this Monday and let your mind wander over different paths. Do not always go to the same place for lunch. Do not take the same route when you drive somewhere and do not stagnate your thoughts or yourself.

Put yourself into the magic, even if it happens to be a Monday.

Find your own Magic Monday, and then bring it to the rest of the week.

Happy Writing.  Happy Dreams.  Happy You.