Where Is Your Creativity?

Do you ever feel like you are in a big dark hole and struggle to find your creativity? Hey, don’t sweat it, because we all have gotten lost in this intense struggle. Instead of digging yourself deeper into the hole, get yourself on the outside and try something new. Seeing things from a different viewpoint shakes up the brain. What about using the brain for push-ups of your mind. Forget the errors, the typos, which will be caught at revision times. Notice I made that plural and just write. Yep, it may come out as ‘crap,’ but even that can be turned into useful material. Your mind is working and nothing should stop the flow.
Okay, you learned about a friend getting  an agent, and you are still struggling to find one. Wish the friend the best and close your mind to all of your self-intended jabs. What you need is to block out the noise or the chatter of social media and hold onto what means the most to you. You matter the most and the creativity is what you want to give to your readers. You cannot create and not write.
Look at your writing as an escape from the everyday world and play with all the ideas that swim in your mind. These ideas could take you away from your story at the moment. Don’t rush the ideas away, rather play with them for a while. That funky little gift shop might be just the place to visit. No, I don’t mean walk through, but meander and look at all the creative ideas non-writers have made. As you leave, your mind is running in circles and you have thought about one of the items and a story you could give it to make the scene come alive. You’ve sparked your creativity.
Your creativity is a gift and is yours to use daily, not just when you think you need it. Creativity is a relationship with yourself and the world you want to share this with. Let your imagination run wild. Do not try to reign this in, rather give it more new things to see, to do, and a lot of extra rope to turn many corners and you never know what you might pull back inside.
Now for some personal news—August 4, 2016 was my last day as a Silver Sneakers® Certified Instructor. I retired.Hard decision, but a necessary one. Our class had been together for eight years, regular members, new members, but eight years and lots of life changes.  If I remember how to download, here are a few pics of the last day.

Look at all the smiling faces. I’m honored.

Dolly, Russ, Patricia  Last class before retirement.JPG

Thanks for everything and the flowers are great.


The Crirtique Girls Are Back

Two friends

Yes, we are back and ready to tackle a few more critique items. We’ve been together for so long, we think alike and wanted to read what other ideas we can incorporate into our critique process. This will give us more points to ponder and a lot more ideas to argue back and forth. This is what happens when you get a great critique partner. You never want to give up the trust and ‘idea’ bopping with each other. So, what’s next?

Let’s look at setting. Does the story give enough description to paint a picture for the reader. Do you feel transported to the time and place? Did the characters convince you of the era and did they behave in a manner consistence with the era? Or, was there so much description, you, as the reader, forgot the story?

Characterization is another point to check. Do the people seem real? Are the facts accurate and consistent? Did you get a sense of family, friends, job and worries? Did you feel the emotions and values of each character? Did you have to read many flashbacks to bring you to the present? Did the protagonist grow? Let your critique partner know about these areas.

Dialogue can present problems if the conversations do not seem real. Do you see the personalities of the characters by the words they use? Can you feel the conflict and attitudes in their choice of words? What about power or sexual, political or social areas of their lives by the words they fling at each other.

POV – Oh yes, you know these abbreviations – Point of View. This gives the reader the knowledge of who is writing the story. Can you see when the POV changes or more added? Most novels are written in third person POV. A lot of short stories and memoirs are in the first person. Whichever one you use, STAY in that POV.

As a reader, do I get the feeling you are telling me a story? I don’t feel any sounds, hear any sights and never can I smell what time of year this is, taste any of the traditional foods or get arms wrapped around me in a spontaneous gesture. Show me, the reader, the feelings I should get from the characters. And, watch out for adverbs and adjectives full of inflation. I need to read your story and see what brought this on, how the character acts and makes, me the reader, feel and why.

One last area – spelling and grammar. Forget those “!” points. This is telling. If you need to scream – just do it. If the character gets excited, have this character jump up and down, run in circles and play in non-territorial areas.

Turn your characters loose on the pages and let them roam, skip, jump, dance, laugh, love and not always at the most convenient times. Let them run across the pages so fast, your fingers cannot keep pace. Enjoy your writing. Enjoy your story. AND, do not forget your critique ladies will be back and check. When we last talked, we felt this might be a good home for us to keep.

We know our names, but how about you blog readers creating new names for us? Until next time, happy reading and great critiquing. (Oops, got a couple of gerunds in on the last try.)