Blog Archives

Focused Distraction Is A Creative Technique #IWSG #AMWRITING

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts:  Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman!

Check out our IWSG homepage.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

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Have you ever watched a child in an art room digging fingers in a ball of clay, smoothing water over a shape she’s trying to create with her own two hands?

Have you ever listened to a teen recite lines for a speech or a play, eyes lost on some space on the wall, hugging her arms in while the words slip out just as she hoped?

Have you ever sat at a desk and stared at a blank screen or piece of paper, wondered where to start and why it isn’t starting right now when you have the time, and maybe too much time to think?

Creativity is a beautiful science. Images. Voices. Blank screens of possibility. Puzzled thoughts and making choices. Learning basic formulas and mixing and matching the right ones for you.

This month’s IWSG question asks, “How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

I might have digressed in this post this month, thinking more of what I use to get through the evolution of creativity. I guess in remembering my own journey, I focused on what helped me work through the process, to keep going.

For me, distraction has kept me on track through time. How to use sensations to get past that chunk of clay, the cool water slipping through your fingers. The hugging motion I didn’t realize I used to get the words out.  And when I’m stuck on a thought or a blank screen, I always go to the gym. I solve everything on a stair climber or a spin bike in the spin room. Maybe it’s my busy mind unable to let go. So when I distract myself with other motions, sensations, I free the block. I’m able to start again.

Distraction has taught me to use my eyes and hands, to search with additional senses. Study expressions. Memorize color. Smile at the detail in eye lashes and dimples. Wonder, or wander. Over time my distractions have evolved into smarter, doable things I am choosing to use because they work.

We can’t always control a thought or where we are, but we can change our surroundings and what we see to dream again.

A few last thoughts on creativity by some creative writers:

Have a lovely rest of your week 🙂

Be at Odds with the Odds #IWSG

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!

And thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

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The odds shouldn't scare you.

In the beginning, because there is always a beginning, in my little writer’s mind I wrote for me. I wrote to prove to myself I could form words and craft paragraphs and pages of word paintings. I wrote young fantasy dreams to feel important in my little fun worlds. I wrote for acceptance, adventure and to fly because what 7-year old wouldn’t want to be a bird and let the breeze carry you far above the ground where you could see it all and feel it all so differently?

This month’s IWSG question asks: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

Elon Musk, a brilliant businessman has it right. I wish I had it as right as he does, but we are exactly where we are supposed to be. And today, yes,  my goals have dramatically shifted. Instead of hiding my words, I want to share my worlds with young people. Instead of fearing what other’s may think, I aim to get my novels off the ground and out there and welcome helpful feedback. One thing is still true, I’ll shoot for the sky and hope for the best. I’ll work for exactly where I want to be, selling my books, teaching young kids how to dream and believe, and to do.

Goals shift. We shift. I’ll never give up though and neither should you 🙂

 

The Shadowy Road Not Taken #IWSG #Amwriting

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[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are: Julie Flanders,Shannon Lawrence,Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

And thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

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The best way I know to end 2017, is with a famous poem by one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost (1874-1963). Thank you Wikisource, for posting it so that I could share the inspiring words, too.

The Road Not Taken  (1916)
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost deserves all the praise he received and continues to receive for his literary genius. He summarized a common human question eloquently in the above poem.

Which path do I take, right or left, shadowed or sunshine, less or more work?

Then at the end of the beautiful piece, he reflects on his decision, did I pick the right one?

Looking back at 2017, I  set my goals and picked my road. Not that I can say I picked The Road Not Taken, but I did make huge decisions and proceeded to act on them. I obtained many of the goals I set. Some of them slipped right through my fingers. My life has most definitely changed because of each and every one, and I too, sigh, now that I face another new year.

My list in a nutshell:

  • I am honored to have a short story selected and published by this amazing IWSG group and Dancing Lemur Press LLC. The decision came at just the right time for me. I needed a push. It was a beautiful and amazing push I’ll always be grateful for and honored.
  • I attended a writing workshop in KC and met more than a few talented and inspiring authors. I spoke with three agents and drew the attention of two.
  • Where I fell short is the execution. I think I rushed my submission because I didn’t believe when I pitched my story, one of them would actually want to read the whole entire thing—right then. I guess I didn’t believe in myself.

So what’s next for me?

Frost states it perfectly:

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

This month’s IWSG question asks, “As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?”

  • Could I have done something different?
  • Should I have done something different?
  • What am I not doing, and need to do?

We can all say we would have done something different or would have made a better choice if we had a chance.

The truth? We can’t go back. Experience shines the light on our mistakes. All we can do is dust our hands off and be the person or the writer or the dreamer we aim to be.

Happy IWSG Day! I can’t promise the shadows will fade, but I can say if you love it, keep going.

5 Reasons to Love Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts Gang and Thankful Book Blessings #IWSG

Charles M. Schulz did me a fantastic favor when he created the Peanuts Gang and animated important lessons about the holidays. With Thanksgiving a few short days away, my kiddos and I have been soaking in the Thanksgiving and Mayflower specials.

To show you what these thoughtful cartoons mean to me and my family, I’ve asked my kids to narrate 5 thankful lessons they each learned from Snoopy or any of the characters. Here’s what they had to say 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holidays are the perfect time to reflect on what matters most, to relax, to focus on the good in who we are and what we do. To give thanks where thanks is needed.

In honor of family and dreams worth chasing, I’m also taking time to thank my Writers Group and Publisher. Thank you to IWSG and always being there to support all of us writers, authors and dreamers. Thank you for all the opportunities to help us grow and give us faith in what we hope to accomplish.

Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378 Fantasy Available at: Amazon (US) Amazon (Canada) Amazon (UK) Barnes & Noble (print book) Barnes & Noble (ebook) iTunes or Kobo

My short story The Wheat Witch was picked by the IWSG Contest Judges last January and I’m so honored to have met all the other wonderful authors. So if you’re interested in a great book of stories about fallen heroes and the journey to climb back up, check out Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life. My own story shares what I loved so much about the Kansas farmland. It was a magical place for me growing up. I loved my grandparents so much and especially, listening to their stories on the farm in a time before electricity, indoor bathrooms and refrigerators. I still remember my grandmother laughing about birthday presents as baths in the farm animal watering tanks, or the chores before the sun rose no matter the weather, and how church was the center of social life aside from helping the family and maintaining the farm.

Enough about me and my memory lane. Take a moment to check out other lovely books by my publisher at Dancing Lemur Press LLC. You’ll find all sorts of subjects from natural disasters, space travel, religious devotions and even young adult.

 

 

Author Alex J. Cavanaugh, Founder of IWSG

What was the last Schulz cartoon you watched? Do you have another favorite holiday movie tradition? Any favorite holiday books?

Thank you for visiting me. Have a lovely rest of your week 🙂