Connect mind and heart through writing.

Archive for the tag “Writing”

What I’m Learning

Today is my fifth day as a part of the #OctWritingChallenge and it’s giving me brain burn.  Not so much because of the 500 word or the one revising hour minimum commitment I accepted, but more because of the challenge of finding time to physically record the thoughts that dash through my mind; during my daily 40 minute commute, the quieter seconds in the halls as I move among classrooms supporting middle school teachers, and even during the near deafening half hour of cafeteria duty.

What I’m learning is that I possess mental compartments that hold thought buoys which indicate what to write when I get the time to write.  These buoys bob within my gray matter for hours or days and, when linked to a trigger word or image, they lead me straight into a sea of words.  At times my net pulls from leagues below, surprising me with deep revelations that open a door to my psyche while enriching my characters.  Then there are those times that I wade gently in the tidal pools looking for lines that contain fragile but enduring energy.

One current project, a historical adult romance novel, challenges me to link what I know to what I research.  The Universe aids me by providing the people and events I need, to allow me to cast my net into my conjured world then pull in sensually evocative moments, recorded during my journey between imagination and manifestation.

These lessons are making me a better writer who is becoming more comfortable sharing the creative and realistic mixtures in my mind while, hopefully, encouraging others to do the same.

My thought for today:  “Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.”    Amy Tan


Finding an Extra 1,000 Words…

tennessee 070lthe long and winding road

I love writing but sometimes finding just the right words to elicit the desired emotion is challenging.  This blog helped me get on the right road.

Look here for photos like this great one from greyerbaby : http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2013/03/6-sites-where-you-can-get-fabulous-free_22.html

Happy trails to you.


The Pictures in My Book

I revised text to match submission specifications and was sure my imagery would propel readers through a boyish adventure.  While waiting for editors to recognize my shining example of literacy, I decided to request candid critiques from the toughest of judges – children.  A visual arts teacher and I tossed around some ideas for adolescent illustrators, until she caught one that would work.  Her students read the text, selected a verse that spoke to them, then pulled out the pictures.  Would they see the images I had tucked into my words?

In a couple of weeks, I received pictures of squirrels, jet planes, mud puddles, and wind. However the stroller, the element that lent levity and heightened the level of adventure, was absent.  After another read through I realized I had kept the stroller in my head instead of releasing it to the page.  I’ve corrected the omission, the story is now stronger, and submissions should supply a more favorable outcome.

My lesson learned:  Before submitting picture books, ask a range of readers to draw what the text reveals.







Writing In My Sleep

For several weeks I’ve been struggling to revise a poem.  I couldn’t find a way to make the lovers connect throughout the time frame.  One night I snuggled into my pile of pillows and said aloud, “I need a way to link the lovers together.”  I relaxed, my eyes closed, and I saw myself in a workshop with myself (oh how I love the possibilities within dreams), and then all went black.  Upon waking the next morning I had the answer. Their existence was linked by the filigree design of lace.  Perhaps I’ll share the poem after a few more revisions.

Meanwhile, you might want to check out this article, “How to Solve Problems in Your Sleep (Literally)” by Justin Secor (https://medium.com/better-humans/dfb12da75a3d), and then put your brain to work while you sleep.  Let me know what you come up with.

Hurdling the Challenges

What gets in my writing way?  

Mostly a lack of time, depleted stores of energy, and fear-affected procrastination.  None of this is news to writers or anyone moving forward to transformative goals.  Change is challenging and sometimes I’d rather crouch behind the wall than climb over it.  However, in living openly I’ve found a few things that were hidden in plain view on my side of the wall.

What surprises found me?

I learned that those feelings, tucked tightly next to my progress, weren’t slowing me, they simply placed my creative train on another track.  So instead of hiding behind my wall or creating a false façade, I explore the emotions and store those sensations in a place for use with my characters.

If the struggle to get it all on paper, keeps the emotions too alive to focus, I dive into my other writing world, the one that feels more neutral yet gently stokes my inspiration fires.  This is the world of mentor texts, research, artifact gathering, and a day off to breathe.

Then what happens?

My brain resets to my write rail so that I can revise with vigor, seeing new perspectives and able to hear the direction my characters are urging me to take.  The time I thought wasn’t there is reshaped into accessible small chunks, my energy stores are gradually refilled as action pushes procrastination behind production.

Would you like to join me?

If you are in your write mind, select something that’s keeping you on the unproductive side of the wall and find a way to use is to scale your barrier.  Write for yourself or share your thoughts with me.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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