STUCK IN THE BLACK HOLE?

Two friends“Here we go again, Ethel. What does she know about black holes? Aren’t they the things that will gobble up the earth?”

“I’m sure she won’t let us fall into nothingness. And no matter what, we will still be together. But, before we get excited, let’s check this out.” Ethel smiled. “She has something to share, I think.”

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” If you believe this then you will never get out of the black hole. But, Aristotle did not go far enough and let you know how to break this chain. I call it a chain, as it has a way of hand-cuffing us to our present lives. Why? Because it is comfortable. What would happen if we decided to change our habits, our lives, our minds? Yes, a lot of chaos would happen, and it could be the change we need to pull us up from the BLACK HOLE.
Stop and think for just a moment and ask yourselves, “What do I do over and over each day that I could change?” Here are some things I thought about:
1. Checking email over and over.
2. Re-organizing files, which don’t need it, but might look neater.
3. Checking online banking balances.
These are daily moves we make without thinking. Just something we’ve done forever and have not made a move to change. No, we can check email twice a day and still not miss anything. Why reorganize the files in the middle of the year. The New Year may make changes for us and then we can decide what to do. If you have an idea of your bank balances and there has been no HUGE expenditure, why look every day.
If you always start out your day with the same chore, do something different. Does your floors need vacuuming every day? Not unless you are a day care center for foster animals. Besides, dust bunnies are company and can inspire your writing. Okay, take the time and watch them hide on a cloudy day and spring to life as the sun shines.
Do you always have to cook a big dinner at night? What about breakfast at dinner? Kids would love this and sometimes I think scrambled eggs or an omelet taste better in the evening than the first thing I see in the morning. Or, what about cleaning out the fridge with the left-over food, mix and match, and surprise even Aristotle.
Okay you do have writing and research to do, but always at the same time? If you need to do research, hit the internet and get most of this done. Don’t flip-flop from research to writing. Do one or the other with concentration and persistence. You’ll accomplish more and feel less overwhelmed.
Switch day for chores. If you always do laundry on Monday, switch to another day. If you get groceries on Wednesday, when the prices change and new ads are printed, why fight the crowds. Go on Thursday when there is fewer people, shorter lines, and more parking. Saturday and Sunday are so different for everyone. Still, experience these two days as usual, and see what you do over and over that you could change.
Have you ever walked through your home, looked at your small book library, and shook your head. “No, I can’t stop and read. My writing comes first.” What if you changed this to, “I think that new book would be a jump-start on my writing,” and sit down and read a few chapters right smack in the middle of the day. You get involved with the characters and feel energized.What happened? You relaxed, enjoyed reading, and now your fingers are ready to hit the keyboard with gusto.

What about the BLACK HOLE? If you make small changes and do something different each and every day, it will fill up with your excitement, your new choices, and disappear.
Happy Changes. Happy Surprises. Happy Writing.

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WHAT IS WEIGHING YOU DOWN?

Great ImageThis past weekend, I attended the GRW (Georgia Romance Writers) Moonlight & Magnolias Writers Conference entitled “On the Write Path” and what a fabulous group of writers and speakers. There was not a workshop scheduled each day that could not help any writer improve their craft.
All of the classes had a little something for every romance writer. Sweet romance, paranormal, how to write great sex scenes without going overboard, and so many more it would take a spiral notebook to name them all. Then a workshop caught my eye – Draw Me a Story. Fascinating, innovative, and I will never look at another picture – newspaper, magazine, billboard, television without questioning every aspect of the image.

Now, I look forward to the 2015 conference, where the hard workers are already getting speakers and planning events. This is what writers do: SUPPORT EACH OTHER.
The whole weekend, I thought of nothing but writing. Then I returned to reality and the world around me. That is why I titled this blog, What Is Weighing You Down? STUFF. STUFF. STUFF. It is as simple and complex as this word.

When we begin our week, or even our day, we think about all the stuff and this suffocates our writing. Yes, we do have jobs, a family, responsibilities, but what about our writing. This is important to us, as writers, and we have a tendency to put our writing last.
One thing I came away with, that I am putting into action, is my time to write. We make appointments for the dentist, the doctor, the hairdresser, the car maintenance, the laundry, the grocery store, the manicure, and I could go on and on. These are important. But, damn it, so is my writing. No, I do not mean to be so abrupt, but we need to look at our writing as a continuous job in process.

Some of us are early risers and think clearer early in the morning. If you truly believe in your writing, then it is as important as keeping the dentist appointment. I am an early morning person. My thoughts have not yet coincided with the stuff of today, and I can think of all sorts of positions to put my writers into. So getting up at 5am and writing until 7am fits into my schedule. Yeah, some days the eyes do not open, the pillow feels too comfortable, and then I think about the last scene I wrote and left unfinished. Why? To guide me back to that special place and find the ending or rework the whole scene.
All the other ‘stuffs’ can be worked in during the day, which leaves me some part of the evening to read. A writer does not just write, a writer reads, corresponds with other writers,
And—oh, yes—works on revisions. Sometimes, the revising process is best done in the evenings or at night. We are concentrated on the work before us and not the work we want to do.

I have found dust bunnies love company, so a once a week distraction to them is okay. Football weekends, unless you are one of the addicted ones, can be the time for laundry, and ugh, house cleaning, and grocery shopping. I find during the game, stores are fairly clear of rampage in the aisles

May you find what weighs you down and clear up the downs and add the ups. We all need to make choices, but these are choices that fit you, your lifestyle, your family, and most importantly, YOUR WRITING.

I have pics, thanks to my SilverSneakers® Camera Guy. Now, I need to practice downloading and uploading to you. There is one more to add, but my computer is working against me. Don’t worry, you will get to see the whole group.

SS 57th FIGHTER 10-15-2014 001SS 57th FIGHTER 10-15-2014 003

 

 

 

 

Have a wonderful FALL WEEKEND. Enjoy the start of the cool weather and map out your own way to clean up what weighs you down.

HAPPY WRITING.

 

 

HAS YOUR ‘JOY LIST’ GROWN?

I hope you have been busy adding to your ‘Joy List.’ The more you add, the more you become accustomed to freeing your mind and opening the realm of possibilities you have not begin to try.images_080

I added to mine and feel rewarded with bloodshot eyes, time tables to meet, and yes, the revision pages of my book came in by the editor–more work–then it hit me. Of course, but the end result will be publication and isn’t that one of the goals of all writers? To get ahead and where we want to be, is not just wishing. It is hard work.

I received an email with a request to be a judge in a Romance Writers Contest in Tennessee. I had enough to do, but this is something I’ve never done and was honored they emailed me. I have guidelines to follow, which makes the judging even and straight-forward. But, what writing I have encountered. This is a Paranormal Contest, and there are many, many vivid imaginations to encounter. These contestants have turned loose their Muse or maybe hidden her in the closet, while their fingers and thoughts hit the keys. I am impressed and intrigued by their stories.

Have you ever thought about writing in another genre? One you never thought you could or are you comfortable in your present genre. If so, then what about writing in a different POV. Try something different and your ‘Joy List’ might increase in size. Be inquisitive and shake up your mindset. Remember the Christmas Snow Ball, where you twist, turn, and watch snowflakes fall inside the small ball? Try twisting and turning your thoughts the same way and see what falls out on your computer screen or in your handwritten notebook. You  never know until you try.

This is another thing with a ‘Joy List,’ the more you add to it, the more joy you create for you as a writer and you as a person. You will have more to give to others and share a different side of you..

Take advantage and surprise yourself and others. Soon, this list will become a part of your daily lives and you will experience much joy, happiness, and a new freedom of your mind. Things start to become new, fresh, and a joy to try, taste, or tempt your muse.

Have fun with yourself. Have fun with your writing. Have fun looking forward to something new.

HAPPY YOU. HAPPY WRITING.

Are You Still Journaling?

images_028I hope you are, because letting your mind run wild gives you opportunities to explore your life.

Today, try to focus on a heroine and a hero in one of your books from a shelf in your home or from a story you have finished, or from a story you want to begin.

Now, describe the heroine’s journey and see where you are in her journey.Are there parts of her wanderings you’ve never traveled? Then ask yourself, why? Keep writing and find where you’d like to travel with the heroine. If your heroine is in a different time, say the 1800’s or way in the future, put yourself in her time periods. Write about the clothing, home life, social activities, but do not compare your current life to your heroine’s life. Give yourself permission to indulge in a different time. You need to feel the experiences and capture this in your journal.

No, you aren’t finished. Look at the hero’s journey. Where is he traveling and how? Go along and feel the exhilaration of seeing the first train, ever, and even a first train ride. Then think to your first train ride, Scary? What if the hero you picked had been or is a gunslinger, astronaut, or pilot. Can you picture yourself on a journey with him?

Do not sensor any of your writings. You are on their journey and forget the gender. We have female readers, male readers, female authors, and male authors, and this time we get to see both sides of their journeys.

The next time you are stumped in a plot situation or your character’s journey, remember all of the journeys in your journal.

Have FUN. Travel FAR. Learn a NEW writing experience.

 

Happy Writing.

WHAT MAKES YOU WRITE?

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A not so simple question. One that does not fit every writer. Some writers get up and can’t wait to hit the computer keys. Their minds overflowing with thoughts or dreams from the night. Some don’t wait for the computer, but find themselves scribbling down bits and pieces from a pad beside the bed. Others carry a notebook or use the napkin at the restaurant. Compulsive? Nope. These are writers who know writing is in their heart, head, and are helpless to do anything but write.
Others, write, but only when the mood strikes them. A television show pulls them away from writing. They want to write, but become bored with the same characters day after day. If they decided to write something different, they feel guilty leaving their characters hanging in a scene. Or, they have so many stories started and cannot finish one. Still they want to write, more out of habit than from their heart.
How can we get back to the conscious desire to connect to our writing? I asked some of my writer friends to help me out with this blog. No, I will not use names, as a matter of privacy, but I did get some great suggestions.
1. When was the last time you really enjoyed writing? Take yourself on a backward journey. Do you remember what you were writing: poetry, short story, novel, or an article? Were you writing with a pen, pencil, on notebook paper, in a small journal, or on the computer? Can you picture yourself and feel the joy? Then go back to whatever method of writing you were doing and start this same practice today. Not tomorrow. Today, when this is fresh on your mind.
2. Stop trying to write. Yes, we are told if you are a writer, you must write every day. Do not believe everything you hear. What will happen if you miss a day or a few days? Nothing. Your characters stay the same until you change them. The setting won’t blow off the paper and the hero/heroine will still get their chance at love. In fact, you might have some new ideas.
3. Take yourself to a quiet spot. Leaves the kids at home, do NOT bring your cell; well, okay bring it for emergency uses but leave it off. Take a long walk and notice the different trees, flowers, paths and other walkers. Be observant of everything you see, hear, and feel. No, don’t write them down, keep them in your memory. Plant these images or feelings deep, and they will be there when you need them later.
4. Be gentle and remind yourself this is your ‘catch-up’ period. You can push yourself only to a point, and then the well runs dry. Take some deep breaths and relax. You need to revitalize your writing experiences. Your ideas will begin to flow again and the frustration or boredom will disappear. You will be energized to keep ‘going and going and going’.
See which of these fits you and your writing. Maybe all. Maybe none. But somewhere in your writing, you will come up against the dry spell. Hey, not to worry. Relax. Smile. Walk. Energize thoughts, and you will not be able to find a pen, paper, notebook, or computer fast enough.

HAPPY WRITING TO ALL

P.S.I’d love to hear your ideas, too.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

images_063This is a “be kind to yourself” day. Even when we relax, we always have our computer close by. Why? We are writers and we write. It’s like being naked without a pen, pencil, notebook, or a scrap of paper. Hey, even napkins work.

But for today, let’s not worry and get our calm back. Take a deep breath, Avoid the short breaths and make the inhalation come from way down in your abs. Do this slow and feel the air circulate through your body to your nose. Then, exhale back in slow motion and feel the air return through all parts of your body. Didn’t know you had such great lungs, did you? Try again and again until this becomes a part of your daily activities. You can do this as you write without any problems. Well, maybe a couple: you might find yourself breathing in new ideas from way down or new thoughts about a revision. Kinda fun, right?

How long have you been researching, writing, or revising? Are your fingers cramped? Is your butt numb? Are your legs crossed and your feet wrapped around a leg? Get up. This is a no-brainer. Get up and move around. Stretch your body. Roll your shoulders up to your ears. Release and let your shoulders relax. Get those legs uncrossed and stretch up on your toes. If you are wearing shoes, let your toes play. Run them like you are on a beach and in the sand. Don’t these ten little ‘piggies’ seem happier?

Now, for the best part, tighten every muscle you own in your body. Yes, every single muscle and make certain they are tight. Start with your scalp and keep going downward. You will feel muscles you never even knew existed. Why? Because writers tend to think with the brain and forget about all the other parts that keep the brain thinking.

Get up. Walk around. Stretch your arms over your head. Bend from the middle downward and remember you should be doing your deep breaths all of this time. Ready for some fun? EEKS! There is more? The best is last. Find yourself a straight-back chair, not the roller at your desk, and stand in front. The calves of your legs need to almost touch the chair, ALMOST. Begin your deep breathing, push your butt back, your back is straight and begin 20 squats. YES, TWENTY. This will feel so good, you will go for twenty more.

Okay, before you crumble into your soft chair by the desk, ask yourself? Don’t I feel better? Aren’t my nerves a little more calm?

Wait? I even hear new voices. My characters are alive and well. Heck, a couple are even laughing. Not only have you invigorated yourself, you have given your characters a reason to come forward and workout with you.

May you and your characters enjoy June 1, 2014. We are in the summer mood. Who knows, maybe your stories will take on a more relaxed attitude and you can continue the kindness to yourselves.

Write. Write. Write. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. Be Kind To Yourselves.