WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR

I don’t know about all of you, but this past year was full of surprises that crossed different avenues for me. I RETIRED!!! Never thought I’d give up my Silver Sneakers(R) Exercise Group, but after eight years, needed to let go and give the group some new instructors and new choices. They are still in full force and have added new members. Sometimes, it is the right thing to do and help the members grow and learn new moves/exercises.

Thought, this would give me an opportunity to dig further into my writing, which I have done, just not as much as I wanted to accomplish. The ideas are there and my fingers try to hit the ‘write’ keys. Some days are better than others.

Been hitting our little library a lot and going back over some of the old books again. Got interested in reading the classics and older books. Jeffery Archer had a new book out, “This Was A Man,” and I could not just get this without going back over his other novels. It was the seventh book in a series and I needed the background information. Still working my way through the series.

We had our annual meeting and good attendance. Found out our CMA, Office Manager, is being transferred to a new property and we have a new CMA coming in to keep our place in order. Will not know for a while, as he starts this coming week. New opportunities, I hope.

I find myself at ends, but not for long. It takes a while to wind down after working all your life and at times two jobs. Still, I find new avenues to travel and include my writing. I am thinking of doing some volunteer work with The Atlanta Humane Society. Since we have a “NO PET” rule at our Condo, figured this would give me something new to volunteer and give myself a pet for a while. I’d been there to an open house months ago, but couldn’t work and do this type of volunteering. I’ll let you know how this goes.

I had a quiet New Year Eve celebration and watch all the crowds gather at Underground Atlanta for the annual Peach Drop. It was cold, windy, and a little of the sprinkles falling down. NO, not the white kind that stick, only the wet, uncomfortable drizzle. Then learned this would be the last Peach Drop at Underground. Guess it has been sold, so have no idea where or what will happen–upset a lot of attendees.

My wish for you this new 2017 is to be happy and share your happy thoughts with friends, neighbors, and yes, even strangers. Be Inquisitive. Be Inspired. Be Kind.

I’ll see you in a week or so. Until then, keep yourselves busy and have fun.

PATRICIA

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.

Do You Journal?

images_028I did for a long time and just stopped. Why? I kept asking myself this for a long time and did a search for my old journals. Oh, boy, did I have a shock when reading through them. I had opened myself to a wide stance and held nothing back. It took me three weeks to get through all the old books. I found I had made lists: WRITING, PUBLISHING, FRIENDS, FAMILY, FEARS, HAPPINESS, and I could keep going and going. My writing at time was illegible, some times shaky, and sometimes printed. I tried to study all of these emotions and thought… that was then, this is now.

I put away the old journals and looked at writing in my new notebook. No, not the fancy ones, but a plain old, one subject, College ruled notebook for more space. I needed to think about this and think I did. All day long, my mind strayed back to the list. Is this the same list I want to use or have I changed and need something different?

I decided to try a new approach to journaling, and asked myself why do I want to journal? The first thought rolled off my fingers onto the keyboard in this simple statement: I need to help me with areas of my writing life. Then I stopped. Yee gods, this could take a whole lifetime. So I took this one step further: the craft of writing, the publishing of my work, how do I write, when do I write, and what can I change to become a better writer? Within these three words, my writing life, I opened up a Pandora’s Box, but to my benefit. Sometimes, we need to step back and see where we need to kick ourselves. Yeah, you get the picture.

I can write about the high and low periods and what feelings these give me. I can tell myself about a new book I want to write and jot down some thoughts. I can pick out names for new characters and let them sit and gather strength. No one will see these feelings, except me. This gave me a boost to keep plodding forward. Hey, I might even write about my day and make certain the bad feelings get their fair share.

Then I thought about when I would journal? Late at night or early in the morning. I nixed the late at night. My mind is worn out, used, abused, and tired. Early in the morning my mind would be waking up, struggling for light, and maybe still in the not quite awake period, and give me an insight to my feelings.

I will not put thoughts into my head, but take what thoughts are there to capture in pen, pencil, or on plain paper. No computer. No keyboard. Just the mind and  heart moving your writing instrument over the paper. Who knows? I might write from top to bottom, from right side to the left, from one corner to another corner. These are my thoughts and my notebook. Free thoughts are always the best. Will I give myself a time limit? Yes and no. Yes, if the day looks filled with exercise classes, deadlines, and research. No if this is an ‘off’ day, OR whenever my thoughts start to wonder. Then, I’ll know it is time to cap the pen, put the pencil down, and close the notebook. Will I read what I wrote? NO. NO. NO. This is a process that comes later. I want my thoughts to be free and flow on their own will.

How about you, my Blog Friends? Do you journal and would you share some of your areas of journaling? If you don’t journal why not take up this as a new project to benefit YOU?

I’d love to hear some of the answers as to why you blog, when you blog, and any particular area you push your mind into. NO!!! I do not want to read your journals. These are private and personal. These are your thoughts. No extra eyes here or no extra ears here.

HAPPY WRITING. HAPPY JOURNALING. HAPPY YOU.

 

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.

WRITING AS A HEALING TOOL?

energyNow, you have a chance to use your writing as a healing tool. Does this mean you need to journal every whim you feel? No, but let’s take a look at what we can do to help ourselves survive as a human being and a writer, at the same time.

Our brain helps us, as writers, engage in new characters and ignite relationships with characters. These relationships can be positive or negative, and we have to decide which it will be. As positive writers, we push our characters forward and make steps to improve their lives. Then with the negative, we give our characters a glimpse of the downside of their lives. We are the controller of characters. As writers, we can heal the past.

Open a 3-ring, notebook and begin with an original trauma you cannot put to bed. Free write. Do not stop and read. Forget spelling, punctuation, or any other format. What you want to do is write how you feel. You might have 5 or 50 pages. You might write for an hour, or two, or three. Do not count–just write. Once these feelings come out, you can name them, and see how they take on a different attitude.

Skip a few pages and write these findings to another person. This is your invisible partner and you can pour out all of your feelings from what you have learned. Let your sub-conscious dictate your words and feelings. Do not go back and change or erase. Let your free write take over your mind and paper. Yes, you heard right…a pen or pencil. No keystrokes allowed. There is something interactive between your head, heart, hand, and pen. Let go and give your hand and pen permission to write from corner to corner, across the page, turn the book upside down and write. There are no rules, just writing.

Another part of the notebook is for editing. This is where you put distance between what you wrote so you can vent your frustrations. Put your censor in a box and lock the lid. Read again and label each feeling with your own choice of words. Keep writing. Once the words appear for the labels, you will be surprised at the difference you have for any troubled parts of your life. Each day, you can conquer a label.  These labels are your ‘gut’ reaction, which comes from deep within. Do not change, but if you want to add something try a different colored pencil or draw a picture.

This is YOUR notebook, YOUR feelings, YOUR labels.

Next time, we will see how creative writing cam come from what you have discovered about yourself. Close your notebook, smile, and know you have traveled a long road in a short time. You have conquered the hard work, and now your creativeness will flow.

HAPPY WRITING.