LAUGH A LOT

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 Laughter cures. Problems are more manageable when you have a smile on your face. This makes things look smaller and when problems shrink, life looks a little better. A smile on your face also makes others wonder what you have been doing, or what you are planning. Stop for a few seconds and look around you. This could be at your friends, co-workers, family members or strangers. How many of these people you see are smiling? Everyone has so much stress in their lives, they have forgotten how to smile. No, not the little attempt, but a big lip-smackin smile that covers all of the face, eyes included.
Then you have to be able to laugh at yourself. When this happens, other people will either join in or shake their heads at your behavior. Laughter has a way of helping other people see a different side of life. Even babies enjoy watching laughter and soon are able to do this on their own. They learn their own voice, the wave of their hands, and the happy face of their mother, father, brother, sister, and even the dog. Soon, the baby learns of the noise that comes from their mouths and the fun begins. Giggles are another sound that a baby learns and practices quite often.
As we grow older, we forget about a lot of the practice we’ve had and all of a sudden — no laughter. We become dull, uninterested in a lot of life, and wonder what has happened.  WE FORGOT TO LAUGH. What’s wrong with laughing at every thing we can. It is a healthy attitude that gives us a full life and we are lucky .
Have you ever noticed a pet respond to laughter? They do, just as other people respond to our positive attitudes. You have a new pet and it listens to your speech and mannerisms. Oh, yes they do. When you are happy and smiling, your pet feels the warmth and gives back in their own way. They are attentive and become attached to the routine you established with them. They are some of our best friends.
Still, there is another area of life that needs smiles, laughter and hugs. How about our grandparents, aunts, uncles, or the older generation of our families or friends. Loneliness becomes the better part of their lives and  we can brighten their days with a smile and laughter about ‘the old times.’ When there is laughter, there is no age limit and one size fits all. Do yourselves a big favor and Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything. It’s free, non-fattening, great stomach exercise, increases the lung capacity and makes everyone feel better.
Happy You. Happy Laughing. Happy Times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A CHARACTER’S JOURNEY

Two friends“Hey, Ethel look. Patricia has found us again. Thought for a while she’d forgotten where we were.” “No, she’d never do that. She just gave us a vacation,” Edna said, and smiled at her friend. Yeah, these two ladies have become characters that push me forward and give me ideas. But what about YOU?

Your characters now have names and are ready for action. What kind of growth or failures will you create for them? These actions will be determined by the genre of your story. Do not forget their education and clothes for the time period you choose. Take another look at their mannerisms. Is a female character always touching her hair, making certain not a strand is out-of-place? Does this mean she is prissy, self-centered, or trying to get attention. A male character might have a habit of jingling coins in his pockets. Would he be nervous, bored, or is this his way to show off? His career and his clothes tell who he is.

All characters will display their good and bad sides–tempers, smiles, thoughts, craftiness, tediousness, playfulness, serious or obsessiveness. How about a character who never tells the truth, but exaggerates every small detail. Keep these attributes in mind as you begin your story.These are not all of them, but a few to think through as you imagine your own creativeness. Now, think about how you will make the changes needed for your characters to grow? No, not age, rather how to mature and change their outlook on life, love, and living.

This is where the fun begins for the creative writer–be the character. Yeah, you read right. How do you think actors get their parts right for movies. They study, research and play with the character. They have no idea about the character until they get the script in their hands. Of course, it might be a famous person from years ago, but they still need to know the character they become for the movie. Take a character in your story and be that character for a few days. You can reverse roles from male to female. Observe all the people you meet until you feel comfortable with the people who might portray your characters. Study their movements, their facial expressions, their mannerisms, the way they handle different situations, and see if they fit your character or characters.

Make certain you look at all the people you see. No, really look, and be that person for a day. You will see so many sides of a person in such a short time. If you can’t remember everything, take a few notes, and then hit your computer for YOUR story. As you begin, you will find your creative side ready to tackle your characters.

This is what writing is all about–CREATING. Have fun with your characters and your story will begin to come alive on the page. And, if you have a hard time stopping, just do what your characters want.

HAVE FUN.  CREATE.  HAPPY WRITING.,

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.

WRITING RETREAT IN THE GLASS CAGE

unicorn danceThe doorbell chimed and I led the other three writers out the back door to our remodeled back porch. We replaced the outdoor screens with windows, installed a fireplace for cool days of fall, cold days of winter and a waterfall for spring and summer. What shocked them, was a glass cage attached in a corner. Inside was a table, small desk, bookshelves, and all the amenities of the whole porch without intrusion.

“Ladies, welcome to my glass cage. I can see everything and hear nothing. I can be in tune with nature and all of her seasons. Before you leave, you will see the twilight turn into darkness and watch stars sparkle. We all have something different, which represents our writing too. Have you heard from the mystery ladies?”

Heads shook.

“Well, let’s get started. Each one will read their allotted pages and stop. Then say nothing until all of us make our comments or suggestions. Then the writer can address our points.Fair to all of us.”

The evening moved at a fast pace and each writer got good comments and many laughs went around the small table.

“Since this is spring, our treat will be Angle Food Cake with a yogurt topping of your choice; both small in calories.”

‘Hey, we need to let our minds run free and encourage our brains to work better,” one of the group spoke. “We write for our stories and use our imagination, but we have to plot, form, and follow. What if one of us picks a topic and then all of us write whatever comes into our minds.”

Raised eyebrows came, but pens and notebooks began to fill the table.

“The topic for this evening is ‘what wakes you up at 3 a.m.’ Be creative.We have ten minutes and then we read.”

The evening ended in giggles, smiles, laughter, and  whole lot of positive thoughts.

“Guess we are back to Paris next week and maybe our new friends will be with us. They might get a jolt at the way we are improving our retreats.”

As they started to leave, the promised stars shone into the Glass Cage.

“Good Night.”

Are Your Characters Aging With Grace?

Two friends

Here we are with all the grace you can imagine. When Patricia talked to us about the aging of characters, we became ecstatic. And, why not? Take a good look at us. We are looking at each other, not the camera. Are we worried about our hair styles? No, just glad we have hair. As one gets older, priorities change. Life becomes more precious and the color of lipstick doesn’t matter. If we have teeth, great; but we can always take them out at night and replace clean and bright in the mornings. Ohhhh, guess you aren’t interested in all of the aging points, but you might be to make changes for your characters.

Your story begins with the characters in their early twenties and progress for thirty years. Your characters need to change to make the setting realistic. The clothes, hairstyles, music, adventures and even love scenes. Authenticity can be sexy and let the inner beauty shine through. Let your characters be active in different ways.

Dress trends change each year and your characters need to change. Readers feel themselves as part of your story. If your characters are stylish, great. If a forty-five year old continues to dress as a twenty-year old. You begin to have problems. Take a good look at hair-styles, music and everything life has to offer in the early to not-so-early part of their lives.

How can you do this?  On the internet: where else. Plug in the year ask all the questions you need to know about life, styles, politics, music, housing, and even sex.

Yes, your characters have love and sex from early ’till…….Oh, the feelings are still there, just a little different. In the early stages,  experimentation is at high peaks. Later, your characters know all the positions and enjoy the warmth and closeness of their relationships.

Let your characters grow with the story and the reader will grow with them. Hey, look at us. See our smiles, our faces, with all the wrinkles and the new sparkles in our eyes. Go with the flow. Experiment new phases of life. Be happy. Show these traits to your readers and your characters can be nine or ninety-nine.

One lady explained:  love in the morning, love in the daytime, love in the evening, love at night. This never goes away. Enjoy.

Good night readers.