HELP! I LOST MY WORDS

Yes, it has been a while since my fingers crept across the keyboard. I still can’t run them over the keys because I lost my words. Instead of writing, I’ve been on a wild journey. Picture yourself trying to remember where you ‘stored’ something of great importance to you. Why is it we always try the refrigerator last? This time I went straight to the fridge and search every storage drawer, every shelf, and yes, I did not forget the freezer. Nothing but food and containers; no papers.

This led me to the closets and corners of each room. Nothing, but I did get things pulled out and taken to Goodwill, dust bunnies no longer laugh when I open a closet door. Instead they try to hide or race out to unknown places. The extra hiding areas I’ve developed are now empty and again, no papers or words. The only peace I find is reading others words. I became so desperate, I go to bed with a book, and wake up with the same book. Thank goodness, I’ve finished two. The words are familiar, but I still have problems putting them on my own paper.

The book I am writing came to a complete STOP. I”d read everything from beginning to the point of no words and begin again reading the same material. At least I have made some revisions and feel better about those, but it’s not the same as writing new ideas and moving the story forward to publication.

The harder I try to get words out of my head and onto the keys of my computer, the harder it is to remember what word I should use. So, to help me out, I began to take pictures with my camera. I am not a picture taker, but managed to get some decent shots of familiar people, objects, and places that might bring back the words I need on the tips of my fingers and not hidden in my head.

A friend told me to forget everything and not work so hard at nothing. “Go out for walks, hit the coffee shops, and listen to others. No, not snooping, just listen to the words.” And then, she suggested we take in a matinée of a silly movie. I got caught up in the show and never realized I was laughing until the end. Something clicked and I wanted to get home and write. Maybe. But the silence almost destroyed the progress in front of me.

Now, I can once again find words with my CD’s. Music gives me energy, energy makes my fingers move, and soon words appear on the page. That they all do not make sense, so what? The delete key works, the backspace key backs up, and the music keeps playing.

When we stop because of worry or the need to do things ‘more’ better, it freezes our ability to be free. So, I’ve made a promise to myself, when things get out of whack, go for a walk. I’d love to run, but those days are over. My knees told me this, and I follow these requests.

May your weekend be filled with friends, fun, flowers. I am now back on track so see you soon.

Happy Writing,

P E PATTERSON

 

Advertisements

Little Bowl-Big Bowl-Super Bowl

Say Hi to my great grandson, Emery. He loves to pose for pics and this was taken a couple years ago at a Thanksgiving in the North Carolina Mountains. Didn’t even have to ask twice…once and this is what my camera showed. His arms are up into a football touchdown, but I did not get it all together. Hey, I tried.

Here we are ready for Super Bowl 2017 in Houston, TX. Know matter where we are from, our age, or sex, the TV set will have a lot of eyes watching the screen.Some of you may have had the opportunity to see this Super Bowl in person and what a great experience. We all want OUR team to win, but what I want most of all is a fair game, neat umpires, and a safe ending to the fourth quarter.

All of this suggests, Spring is on the way, and what a funny winter pattern we have had. AT lease, here in Atlanta, we’ve encountered spring, a little of summer, wet weather, tornadoes, and pot holes!  With all the cold, icy roads, and then heat, the pavement is an obstacle course.

I am still in the process of retirement. Some days leave me with so much time and other days night gets here before I want it. Still, attending classes for Yoga and Pilates and love both. Instructors are great and members friendly. Meet with my friend Kevin every couple of weeks for our writing sessions. Getting comments, suggestions, thoughts from a male writer has given me more to revise and think about. Did have a female writer/editor give me a few suggestions on revising parts of a novel. She has had a few novels published and has made some great finds.

Know I shouldn’t push forward, but Spring sounds so great. We are having a lot more farmer markets spring up in different parts of town. Look forward to seeing what all they bring to their tables.

I’m walking more and enjoying every minute. Still careful which direction I go, but meet a lot of walkers. I’d love to get a walking group together and see how we can work through everyone’s different ideas. I tend to walk and look at the world through a writer’s eye. Thoughts for a new story or to clarify something that has been bothering me. Others, see a walk as a way to communicate with the people they walk with, talking and stopping, and questioning everything. Something to think on. Any suggestions or ideas?

I want to thank all of you for your comments on previous posts and I have followed a lot of your writings. Please continue to follow me, add comments, and I am always open for suggestions.

Also, you may have some new ideas on books you have read. I made a note of a new author, Ruth Ware, and finally got a copy of her book, “In A Dark Wood.” Quite a thriller, and she also has a book out “The Woman in Cabin 10.” I think it is a great idea to promote new women writers and even the older women writers. Not meaning by age, but how long their work has been on the shelves.

May each of you enjoy the month of February and have a beautiful Valentine’s Day.  See you next month or maybe even the end of February.

Happy reading. Happy writing. Happy you.

 

Patricia

 

 

WILD WEDNESDAYS

When I started to blog, I gave myself a list of ideas to jump-start my creative side. Sometimes, it is hard to look at a blank screen and come up with all the ideas you’ll ever need. Okay, some of you can, but not this writer. I need a little shove in the imagination, better yet, a big push or all you’d ever see is pictured below:  the tools, a blank piece of paper, and no words. So, decided on a few titles and since Wednesday is the middle of the week, known as HUMP DAY, thought why not make it a “wild” day. Anything can happen and I let my imagination run wild. So far, I’m still at the beginning of the race, but there is a lot of open space to cover.

Here’s a question for all of you…..What would you do with all this white space? Gotcha thinking, right?  Don’t stop, keep those thoughts and gather more as you stare at the blank screen. Hold on…I see a tall guy walking my way, kinda like the “Marlboro” Man, but he walks past me and may be on his way to see you. Shot down before I begin, but the picture stays in my mind. This is beginning to paint a romantic notion on the lenses behind my eyelids.

No. Yes. He is turning back towards me. Hey, its Wild Wednesday and my day for fun, frolic, fantasies. I watch him on his horse galloping in my direction, he reaches down swoops me into his arms, and I am now sharing the saddle with him. I look down at the ground, dirt being kicked up by the hooves of the horse, and I can’t keep my breakfast in side.  Oops! So much for fantasies. Lesson – never fantasize on a full stomach. Down I slide to the ground and the man and horse ride over a hill.

It’s still Wednesday Lots of wild ideas are continuing to roam in my head. Not only is it Wednesday, it is winter and snow covers the ground. I can’t remember the last time I was on a sled. No, not the kind behind horses, but the kind where you are on your stomach and can guide the contraption with the small handles. At least the hill is not high and the ground close, so here I go. First time down was a blast, walking back up the hill with the sled was not a blast. Still, the top of the hill in view, the excitement of sliding down again was worth the climb. I’m back on my stomach, the small handles in my hands, and my confidence up. This time, I push forward as I get on and the sled and snow connect. I am going faster and faster and cannot remember how to apply the brakes. I pull the handles and nothing happens. I push the handles and nothing happens. The downward speed picks up and I whiz by in the emptiness of the snow-covered hill until an evergreen tree appears out of nowhere. Yeah, we connect. At least it was a small evergreen tree, kinda like a table top Christmas Tree. I fall off the sled and land in the cold, wet snow just in time to see “Marlboro” Man ride up beside me.

Without speaking, I find myself back in the saddle beside him and I make a promise to keep my mouth closed. Of course, I did not and asked him about the sled. “We’ll climb back and get it.” Short answer. At the bottom of the hill, he got out of the saddle and the horse took off toward the barn. No brakes on this animal, but I wrap my hands in the silky mane and pull back. Maybe too hard, as he comes to a full stop and I slide out of the saddle, and to the ground. Then the horse lowers his head and pushes me to the side,  before heading into the barn.

Okay, this Wild Wednesday is finished and I never even got a hug from the tall stranger. But, I did learn. . . I am not one for the winter, outdoors, and animals, both beast and man. Maybe next Wednesday will be the ‘wild one’ for me.

Let me hear from you about any of your Wild Wednesdays.

images_120Keep Writing.

2017 STARTED OUT WITH A BANG

I can’t remember getting highway and road temperatures with the news until yesterday. It got downright cold and windy, but warm and toasty inside my condo. Didn’t really see all that much snow around here, but in other counties, they got 3-5 inches. Snow isn’t bad, it’s what it covers —ICE. The cold weather, snow, and hills are for the young. Yes, even the young at heart, but not the actual actions. Went out this afternoon to check on my car, thought about going for a short drive to rev up the motor, but the cold impact on my chest kept my breath from behaving as normal. So, came back inside and stared out the windows. Don’t get me wrong, I love the cold weather, snow, and being bundled up, but need a little more to keep warm.
So, here I am writing to all of you and hoping all of you have had a beautiful New Year Week. I received an email from my friend, Kevin, and he and his wife have gotten a third grandchild from their daughter and son-in-law.  Guess the wait was worth it….little girl, and since she was born around Christmas/New Years, her name is EVE.  We have not met for our critique on writings as the baby was expected at any time. Now, we can make a date to meet, relax, and I can find out more about the new little girl.
I am so surprised at myself…..thought retirement would be a blast. Now, I find myself waking up without the alarm, yeah at the same old-time, not getting done what I used to have accomplished by ‘going to work’ time, and getting bored. No, I have plenty to do, writing to revise, writing to get done, and even the closets have had two or three changes. Can’t do more than that or I’ll have nothing else to do. NO, just kidding. I have learned something else; when you work, you become more efficient with everything you do. When, there is nothing pushing you, I tend to drag my feet.
I find myself at the Library quite often researching for new material to read, new ideas to incorporate into my own writing, and getting to know the staff. They are a great group of librarians and representatives of the Buckhead Library. Now, I have the time to enjoy their expertise, instead of running in, searching, running out and oh, yeah, checking out the books. Then, I get to have the time to sit and read what I bring home.
What do you find yourself doing in this beginning of the New Year? I would love to hear from all of you with just a short note. You can send a message as a comment to my post or as an email to wildwriter521@gmail.com. Promise to put some comments and notes in my post and give you some feedback. Your suggestions and comments are important to me.
Be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. Thank goodness, our church starts later and hope the ice will have melted a little more. Although, at last report, the roads will still be at or under the freezing temps.
May each of you experience joy and new avenues during 2017. Be open and receptive to different opportunities. Who knows? You may find new friends, new roads to travel, and be fulfilled with gratitude to all you meet. Indulge in the unknown. You just might be surprised.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Patricia.

A SILENT WORKOUT FOR YOUR WRITING

images_028Yes, you read WRITE. Have some fun with your work and sharpen your skills at the same time. Sound intriguing? Let’s get started.

First you need to use your current WIP or one you just put up because nothing seemed right – or both, but separately. It might help to print out the first five chapters.Why? You are going to critique your own work and you need to be comfortable and have a red, yes red, pen ready for action.

When we write, we use our words to paint pictures. Sometimes, the pictures are cloudy, or we use the wrong color, or stick our fingers in where we shouldn’t. Maybe your reader cannot feel the painted words, or the color does not set well with the them. Whatever, the reason, we have not given our reader a true picture with our words. We can see them, but we need THE READER TO FEEL THEM.

Now, go to your video and pull out a movie. Your choice, but try to get one in the same genre as your work. All set, ready to go? Not quite, until you turn off the sound. I hear groans and why’s all over the place. Because, this is one way to see what you need to write to get the picture over to your reader.

In movies, we always see what is happening. In writing, we need to let the reader see what is happening with words. Watch certain movie scenes and, if any can match some of your scenes, hit the “STOP” button at any time and shuffle through your printed pages. Do you find yourself telling the reader what is happening? If so, grab your red pen  and mark NEED TO SHOW. Then go back to your movie and see if you can put into words what is happening on the video.

This may take several rounds, but once you get a handle on the movie scenes and your work scenes, you can have lots of fun, put new phrases together, and learn the art of showing by painting word pictures.

Now, when you get stuck in a scene or on a scene, grab a video. When you go to the movies, enjoy each scene with the recognition of ‘oh, that’s how they do that.’ And come home and see what you can do to your writing. Even movies have to have a written script, but it is the director and the actors who make the film come alive.

You are now the director, and all the actors of your novel. Make your words jump off the page right in front of the reader, or pull the reader into your novel with your picture words. You can do it.

Happy Directing. Happy Acting. Happy Writing.

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.

 

 

FREE FRIDAY

9776003-audienceDoes this look like we are all standing around wondering what comes next? Might be a great place to introduce to you your FREE FRIDAY.  My computer is still undergoing diagnostic measures, but got a call I can pick it up on, you guessed it, Friday. Since my old laptop is still in the working mode, thought it best to give you some good news.

Sometimes, we all need to just stop, take a breath, relax and look at a movie. WHAT??? I have books to read for reviews, pitches to make, press releases to send out, emails and more emails to answer, and you want me to watch a movie? Yes.

What I want to suggest, is not any movie, but a movie from an indie film. This can be a straight indie film, or a foreign indie film. The one where the sub-titles run at the bottom.  Years ago, when I was among the women at a nine-to-five job, I belonged to a Key Sunday Cinema Club. Wow, this was one thing I hated to give up on retirement. I joined the Winter and Spring groups. After paying for my club dues, I received a ticket for the Sunday morning performance of the movie, about once every two-three weeks. I never knew what would be showing, and this became part of the anticipation. The theatre was packed and everyone seemed to know everyone there. We were handed a card to complete AFTER the film, a small sheet showing information on the film we were to see that Sunday, and then the screen dominated the whole theatre. After the movie, there was a talk about the film, from the Emory University Arts/Film Department, or an actor in the film, or even the producer. The cards we filled out about our likes, dislikes, thoughts, and anything we wanted to jot down. This went to Emory and to the Producer(s) of the film. Each time we returned, we received feedback from our previous show. I’d thought about this since my computer was out of whack and here’s something for you do with your Free Friday.

Go to your library and check out a movie. Make sure it is something you’ve never seen, and that it is an indie film. I’ve kept three or four videos you might like to look at: The Red Violin, Koyla, The Spanish Prisoner, Ponette, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But, look for something that interests you.

Sit back, turn off the cell, the lights, and get involved in the scenes before you. Watch, listen, and if a foreign film, pay particular attention to facial expressions, body movements, lighting, sounds – hey you know what to look for. You are a writer and this is how you should look at the film. Scrutinize this piece of work like you are critiquing another writer. What do you feel? What is the arc? Can you feel the emotions? Is your heart racing? Are your eyes dry? Get into the movie with your writer’s mind, heart, and feelings. This is why I suggest indie film or foreign film. The fluff is deleted and you get the meat of the story.

Now, sit back and see what you can jot down with your pen and paper. Can you see any different avenues to make your characters come more alive? Is there any new movement or emotion you can give your character(s) that will make the reader experience the “oops, I’m this character.” Remember, movies show and show and show. We see everything, feel everything, breathe with the characters. Now, do the same with your writing. Take your reader into the hearts of your characters and let them breathe, feel, and be the character.

Enjoy your FREE FRIDAY, and don’t forget the popcorn.

Happy Writing.