Tag Archive | Writers Resources

Twenty-six Days Twenty-six Nights

Twenty-six days. Twenty-six nights.

When I closed my laptop last night I had reached 50,122 words which means I was successful in the challenge to write 50,000 words in the 30 days. ( story needs maybe another 10-15,000 words to complete the story-line)

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Much about what I experienced this past month will forever be embedded in my memory, life lessons, writing tips, inspiration from the coolest sources, and the support of devoted friendships. What started out to be one story line showed yet another additional side-line as my story seemed to begin to write itself. Often veering into uncharted territory for me.

Finding support and inspiration during this adventure was something I never needed to look for, in the most wonderful ways the support was always right when and where I needed it. I have had the absolute delight in many discoveries through this process, and discovering the hidden talents in those in my world has been the priceless gifts that I take away from  the last 27 days.

From the daily support by devoted friends, family, writers, musicians, and complete strangers  new friends, all telling me I could do this, and that I was not alone I became even more empowered. I don’t think I would have been successful without.

  One particular friend who doesn’t need me to name names here  I still want to especially thank. This  friend has been my cheering squad,  doing research, helping me to manage my continuity, and at times my muse. This creative, clever and  generous person even created a gift of a place for me to Storyboard, naming it Toni’s Co-Op Storyboard. (invitations  to other writers will follow soon) 

On another morning I went to said Toni’s Co-Op and  I found this:

Graphics for my book cover…..An amazing gift of friendship & priceless support.

Don’t you think?

The Charles Bukowski poem below I always have liked and often find great solace  in when I am at the literary crossroads. But…. after these past few weeks I say now I know exactly what Mr Bulkowski was saying.

Living it far different than reading it.

I share.

” So You Want to Be a Writer “

By Charles Bukowski

If it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.

unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.

…and there never was.

One final & very personal note from me about writers.

Since going on record regarding my NANO project, and despite that I have written and published for almost 15 yrs. all of a sudden I am being bombarded with questions by well-meaning folk. Things I never was asked of before, nor wold I ever ask of someone else. It occurred to me that these folks just might have never thought about how their questions might be received by me. Often I find these to be unwelcome and awkward questions.

I love these people, please don’t misunderstand. In fact, I love them and their friendships more than I dislike the questions.BUT….since I am thinking they just have no idea how I feel if I don’t tell them. Remembering we teach people how to treat us. 

So, please allow me to say now. 

Top Ten Tips For Surviving a Relationship with a Writer

  1. Never ever ask when the book will be published.
  2. DO NOT ask a writer if they wish they had written a best seller.
  3. Never say you’re thinking of writing a book. Never ever say you’d also write a book if only you had time. 
  4. Don’t call the police if you happen to see a writer’s browsing history. The average writer is not planning to poison you,  hire a hitman, or move to Afghanistan. It’s simply research. 
  5. Leave a writer alone when the writer is actually writing. You have no idea how difficult it is to enter into the zone. 
  6. Don’t pick unfair fights with a writer, writers do get their revenge in print. 
  7. If you do pick a fight, make it memorable. The writer is always looking for material. 
  8. If your writer wanders off at a party, don’t panic. Writers love to inspect the host’s bookshelves and medicine cabinets. 
  9. Buy your writer notebooks and cute pens as gifts. Do not buy flowers. Chocolate is also acceptable.
  10. Leave your writer alone when a REJECTION LETTER arrives. After the deadly silence, screaming, crying, moaning, and muttering have subsided, offer your write a cup of coffee or tea. And a cupcake, preferably chocolate. * And a huge hug. 

And Tip # !! ~ looking for a gift for the writer(s) in your world? Maybe think about how welcome the above ten tips, hand-written in your own script, on nice sheet of stationary, would be to your writer..

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Five (5) Years Ago

Found in my reader this week.

“Setting Me Free”
by Beth Hart
Thank you to Miss Beth Hart
©tjtaylor2013

Uncomfortably Numb

 image negative people
 
Upon returning from my spring break I am happy to realize that it feels very much like coming home again here to WP & this community. To be writing for an entry for Lady Barefoot Baroness seems right. I am going to just admit it, I missed archiving my thoughts & feelings here. I do keep a journal but I find writing here on a blog seems to generate a different perspective.
After a brief few weeks away from writing for blogs, reading blogs, or any real creative writing I feel a sense of relief to be back in the saddle again. In many ways it feels like starting brand new; I am also astonished to learn that even during my absence I gained some new followers. I am looking forward to meeting them, saying hello to old & new friends, and writing again.
This time away allowed me to focus on a deep search of my heart & soul during a time in my life when my world felt it was upside down. I found myself becoming uncomfortably numb to life, uncomfortably numb to that which I am most passionate about, and love. It was time to look inward and reexamine.
(this David Gray tune. “Silver Lining”  is one that has been part of my journey, listening repeatedly to it throughout as I have in writing this post, f you are a long time follower of LBB you know this is how I assimilate life, through music.)
While on this self exploration I graciously gained some new insights and wisdom. And new awareness. I’m not saying I had the foreshadow to incite this act of self discovery on my own to begin with; I began searching only after finding myself looking at the glass of life as half empty. And that glass became awfully heavy. I have gratefully spent the better part of the last month participating in a journey of great understanding and reconciling.
Finding awareness is where my journey’s traveled:

Awareness is:

That which I surround myself with is my choice.

Awareness is knowing that which serves your soul has been in front of you the whole time.

Aware is that something which you fought so hard to stay away from, and then you know you find you did not succeed.
Awareness is forgiving yourself.
Awareness is finding that we had NOT let go of that which held us back from growing. (even though we quite thought we had)
Awareness is discovering that the longer we allow ourselves to hold on to negatives, the more numb we became.
Awareness is a Silver Lining
and….Awareness is sometimes a bit shocking to our sensibilities.
I would like to share this short anecdote I ran across recently. it expresses so beautifully that which I am trying to say and seem to be struggling to find the right wording. I love the analogy.
Please, see what you think:

Around The World
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

The thing that changes is our thinking.
 
But, easier said than done? 
Sometimes.
 

I discovered some new things about myself this past month, and this was in itself was Baroness shattering.

I discovered I am not perfect.

Ha! Like I thought I ever was.

But in all seriousness imperfections are not things we have been taught to appreciate, me included. 

However, I am changing how I think about this 

I have discovered that when I see something imperfect, less than. that my way of thinking has put a negative spin on life. And to what purpose? 
If I strive for only perfect this sets me up for negatives to present themselves.
 
All I have to do is change my thinking. 
 
I feel progress when I move those negative obstacles out of my way.
Feeling Uncomfortably Numb is not progress and while making life changing alterations for myself I had not realized I was becoming numb, albeit uncomfortably-  to intentionally avoid feelings that were negative and painful.
Life and that which we desire in it takes a certain amount of belief and expectations of one another, but it is those very expectations that can be the cause of our Train of Peace to derail.
My own train in fact derailed because of the self-limiting expectations I put on others, myself and my hopes & dreams.
I forgot the very motto or belief system ( if you will) that has hung as a gentle reminder in my home for many years.
” NOTHING you ever become will disappoint me: Everything you have been I celebrate. I have no preconception that I’d like to see you be, or do. I have no desire to foresee you, I only desire to discover you. You cannot disappoint me. Please trust that I see you as your own Beautiful.

We are not perfect, yet we are perfectly ourselves.

Finding the insight that we are perfectly designed just as we are is…well priceless.
I am showing back up in my own life, I am willing once again to let go of all the negatives that I let stand in my way.
  I know we can move mountains with the help of positive beliefs and actions.  
That is what I am doing today;. moving mountains out of my way.
And I am feeling again. Quite comfortably so.
 

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Signature 2013

Flattery or Imitation?

I have noticed a bit of a strange happening across our blogosphere lately, I thought I’d share my observation and maybe incite some dialogue here at Barefoot Baroness. Who knows, you might even blog about the same thing.

And that right there is the rub of which I’d like to focus my thoughts on.

Is this a form of flattery?

When you have worked to create something with that hope that there is original thought some where in your piece, and that it’s also worth sharing. You hope that you will strike a chord in a reader’s heart. Thirdly, you also ask yourself; how much has this been done? How many posts like it are there?  It’s a relative question in my mind.  Once this criteria has been met only then publishing is a real possibility.

But if these three questions needing to be addressed, or any one of them are not met whats does it mean?  You have met the first two; you have your original thought, or the way you present it is different enough. And of course the topic and its contents are worth sharing. Now what about the 3rd point? How often and close to your own blog has the topic been done already?

Or does it matter?

It matters a lot to me, and to some of my fellow bloggers who have been having an ongoing discussion about just this point. I am no doubt going to catch a wrath for writing this, going out on a limb. I am a rebel and I am used to this. That being said, I have to add that I find someone who follows me, and then who creates a post so like my own to not be the least bit flattering. I question why?

I have to wonder why? Is it flattery in their minds? Or is it just imitation?

I honestly feel that after I have developed the idea, creating the post which in my case is always a personal narrative on what my thoughts are, and should not be up for grabs. My work from my outline, research,  the message  &  the take away, all are which I want my post to stand alone on. And to me, maybe most the important aspect is that it is original work. Both in thought & content.

I am not the least bit flattered when another blogger/writer grabs what they like from another’s work and takes off on their own with it.

Imitation is not the best form of a compliment in my mind and heart, and I would think that since most “WordPressers”are writers who are “hip” to the idea of original and innovative work, I tend to believe that this is what they also want. This is not a new concept.  I accept that inspiration comes in many forms, from thousands of places. I  support finding inspiration where you can,  when you can. Your own muse could be right beside you. What or who my muse is can change tomorrow from today. It always does as I go through my  reflective writing about his life.

Now you all may say I am eating sour grapes here and maybe so.. not sure I’m ready to give you this though….. just not sure.

I am at a stand still in terms of what to think or feel when I and others I follow work hard on posting original content and  topics only to find the next day that a reader has used the same topic, if not the same copy.

I do not mean to be unkind here, in fact I would beg to differ. I am not an unkind person, so this is difficult to write because I am certain someone is going to see themselves and have hurt feelings. This was not my intent. It is just not okay to be reading someone’s else’s blog the next day, and have it strangely smacks you between the eyes…. leaving you saying to yourself, “”But that is what I just said!”

Flattery or Imitation?

I’m curious…  what do you think?

©tjhelser2012

Night Writer

I’ve come to find out that I’m doing things at night when I should be asleep. Things that I’m kind of amazed to find in the mornings. It’s not like I don’t remember what I’ve done exactly, just that I’m not aware of the full realm of what I’m doing at the time.

For instance writing. I find that I’m writing much about things I’d maybe not have shared had I been myself. I’m not looking for excuses, frankly there is nothing I even have to feel bad about. I hope. What I’m finding though is that sometimes I’ll start a piece with a very clear goal in mind, a vert distinct tale I want to tell. I’ll be passionate about the piece as I’m writing, getting carried away with the text of my feelings. Before I know it I look at the monitor and there are a hundreds of zzzzzz’s across the page.  I read further before the zz’s  and there is some very distinct feelings being shared about topics I’d normally keep private. I think it’s absolutely hysterical that it always seems to be the letter Z that my fingers fall asleep on.

That’s not too bad, right?

I could live with that. No biggie, just drag and highlight, hit delete. No biggie. And it’s quite noticeable even to these lethargic eyes of mine that  I can even get by with any spelling or grammar errors thanks to spell checker. So there are ways my fanny is covered when I’m spending my sleepless hours night writing.

What gets me in trouble are the sentences and paragraphs that I ramble on while discreetly nodding off over my laptop.

I’ll begin with a good idea, know what it is I want to say. Even know that there will be a learning curve to what I am trying to express during the hours of my exposition. I’ll even be able to write for several hours without ever feeling one bit of drowsiness.  But then it happens. I wake up after catching myself starting to drop my chin onto my chest. Finding line after line of Zzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

And the embarrassing parts. The rambling on’s about nothing that resembles what I was writing about, and not even that anything that makes any sense. I’ve taken the time to read a few lines, or what I can read. It’s Night Writing and looks like someone else has taken over my fingers. With a story of their own to tell.

I’m working through a writing program called “Writing Life Stories” by Bill Roorbach. I belive what is happening during those minutes or hours (I’ve no clue of how much time is passing) of Night Writing is that the last lesson is still planted firmly in my mind. Sometimes I will have dome the work that day, and sometimes all I was able to do was that day’s reading assignments. My Night Writing is an obvious extension of that day’s lesson.

Rambling on about “scaffolding” and ‘generic disclaimers” comes from what I’m learning in this writing course. It’s obvious since this terminology is not mine and is the Instructors. I find that I will have started a piece with a goal towards expressing a day spent with my grandson, and when I come back from the Night Writing I read the words of a rambling student regarding the scaffolding of any story written, let alone mine.

It’s obvious the lessons are sticking, but this Night Writing could be dangerous. Rambling on with a keyboard during an altered awake period is like writing drunk ( I actually would not know) Things that are not always in my consciousness are definitely there in my unconsciousness and while my brain would normally show some restraint with my finger tips, during Night Writing this censorship is not in place. And because so anything could come out.

It’s a good thing I have yet to post one of these Night Writer examples. a good thing that publishing has not taken place until I’m conscious of what I am doing. Thankfully I am able to edit and censor what should not be shared, and what is junk.

I’ve heard stories of people with chronic insomnia like myself who have done some pretty strange things during the time they should be asleep. I’ve read and researched this phenomenon that can take place, of actions drawn out while the body and mind should be asleep together. Not working against one another.  There are all kinds of weird and even some real dangerous actions taken by people who are not sound asleep in a safe environment. With the three stages of sleep it’s easy to see why this can happen, yet that does not make me feel any lighter. Or any better. It’s still a creepy feeling to wake up and find words you don’t remember writing. It’s a very weird sensation and despite knowing that it was me that wrote everything there I still find myself looking around for some culprit who worked their way into my writing. And into my night.

But alas there is no one else around and I have to face up to that it is I that is doing this alter ego writing. And I find other stories, other memories out of the times of Night Writing. So maybe it’s okay, and maybe since I’m able to articulate some of that which is in my subconscious this is a healthy thing.

Maybe there is some good reasons and outcomes for those times of Night Writing,   I’m learning even more about myself and the life around me.

tjhelser 2012