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by Joy
Rated: 13+ · Book · Writing · #932976
Impromptu writing, whatever comes...on writing or whatever the question of the day is.
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Marci's gift sig
Thank you Marci Missing Everyone *Heart* for this lovely sig.

I've been blogging all through my days without knowing that it was blogging; although, this isn't necessarily the only thing I do without knowing what I'm doing.

Since I write on anything that's available around me, my life has been full of pieces of scribbled paper flying about like confetti. I'm so happy to finally have a permanent place to chew the fat. *Smile*

So far my chewing the fat is on and off. *Laugh* Maybe, I lack teeth.

Feel free to comment, if you wish. *Smile*

Given by Blainecindy, the mayor of Blog City
Thank you very much, Cindy, for this honor and the beautiful graphic.

*Pencil* This Blog Continues in "Everyday Canvas *Pencil*

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August 25, 2012 at 11:56am
August 25, 2012 at 11:56am
I came across a plaque on the net, which I am going to paste under this entry. At least some of its rules, we all use already, but it doesn’t hurt to reinforce the positives that we do. *Smile*

Its link is:

In case the plaque is too difficult to read, I’m writing what it says.

The Only 12 1/2 Writing Rules you'll ever need

1.If you write every day, you get better at writing every day.
2. If it's boring to you, it's boring to the reader.
3. Get a writing routine, and stick with it.
4. Poetry does NOT have to rhyme. Poetry does NOT have to rhyme.
5. Resist stereotypes, in real life and in your writing.
6. Writers read. Writers read a lot.
7. Make lists of your favorite words and books and places and things.
8. Tlhere doesn't always have to be a moral to the story.
9. Always bring your notebook. Always bring a spare pen.
10. Go for walks. Dance. Pull weeds. Do the dishes. Write about it.
11. Don't settle on just one style. Try something new!
12. Learn to tell both sides of the story.
12 1/2. Stop looking at this poster. Write something!

It does have a sense of humor, doesn’t it?

While we’re at it, let me share something of a list that I started doing a while ago.

I have notebook, in which I describe the gestures and sometimes the actions of people I see. I leave a line between entries.

A couple of examples to this is:

She took a long noisy sip of her iced tea, then tossed back her head, laughing at the noise she just made.

The corners of his mouth turned up in a smirk.

You get the idea. These help when added to the dialogue tags. But, if you decide to do your own list, I suggest you use these sparingly. I recently read an Indie E-book where the writer had a gesture attached to every single dialogue tag. No kidding!

It is a good idea to be gentle when we’re using our lists. *Wink* *Smile*

August 21, 2012 at 1:48pm
August 21, 2012 at 1:48pm
Who’d have thunk!

This morning, to clear my head, I surfed the net (I think that rhymed).

Anyway, first I read an article in Writers Digest about the new book by Robert Haas WRITING 21ST CENTURY FICTION, about to be published.

In it, the author says what I have firmly believed (for myself) for a long time. That is, to stay away from the popular that sells, the flavor of the times, just to get published, but to concentrate what comes from the inside and reflects human truths, “moving beyond what is easy and comfortable to write what is hard and even painful to face.” Then he says to get over the trends and write 21st century fiction by “becoming highly personal.” I believe it, but it is so difficult to do. My question is how would I or any other writer know that we are not lying to ourselves when we are writing of our "highly personal truths"? Maybe the answer is somewhere inside the book, but I won’t know it until it is published.

Then I followed a Twitter link to an interview in Paris Review of summer 1982, with James Merrill (1926-1995).

I had no idea that this poet used a Quija Board to “channel” his poetry, the board made by him on a cardboard. Because during those years when James Merrill was tinkering with his board I was very busy in my life doing unrelated things, I didn’t get a wind of this trend, and we didn't have the internet then.

Poets have always done strange things, and I’d fear to irritate a dead poet, but this Quija Board thing made me chuckle.

From The Changing Light at Sandover by James Merrill, published in 1982. In this book, he talks all about his ventures on the Quija Board.

“Correct but cautious, that first night, we asked
Our visitor's name, era, habitat.
Ephraim came the answer. A Greek Jew
Born AD8 at Xanthos. Where was that?

Now that I have written this, I hope and pray the spirits don’t break my already idiosyncratic laptop. *Worry* *Laugh*

July 28, 2012 at 2:12pm
July 28, 2012 at 2:12pm
For some time, I have been following a learned writer on Twitter for inspiration. I started following him--Frank Delaney--to read Ulysses with, through his weekly podcast sessions.

Frank Delaney is a writer with an Irish background and understands the Irish feeling better than I ever can on my own, and reading James Joyce by myself has always left me with the feeling that I missed something, even though I might have enjoyed the book completely.

While doing that, I came to realize that it wasn’t only reading Joyce, but it was Delaney’s in-depth look into literature and writing that made me follow him. I also enjoy this writer’s sense of humor regarding earlier writers as in this tweet. “Today, 1791, James Boswell published his Life of Dr. Johnson – with, of course, Johnson safely long dead.”

I haven’t tweeted at or bothered FD in any way and he doesn't know that I exist unless he checks his follower list, but I kept some of his advice in a word file. And some good advice it is.

Then I thought why not share a part of it in my blog, as some WdC writer may use a thought or two. Because the tips on writing are already tweeted for the whole world and there’s such a thing as retweeting, I don’t think this will be a copyright infringement.

If you wish to follow him yourself here’s his twitter page. Frank Delaney’s fiction is also sold in Amazon.

Here are a selection of Frank Delaney tips from the last two months in Twitter.

• Make your chief secondary character totally unpredictable. He/she will keep you and your novel on your toes.
• Give your protagonist your partner’s most irksome habit
• Looking for a title? Try a large old cookery book –because recipes have wonderful phrases and are often self-supporting metaphors.
• Looking for titles for your book? Try songs from decades past. Vaudeville, music-hall, operetta are rich in arresting and unusual phrases.
• People who are cheap can be more interesting than people who are not.
• "What is our most interesting emotion? The most compelling? Love? Jealousy? I'll put a bid in for remorse."
• How do your characters relate to their shoes?
• Don’t describe voices. You may have to read the audio book.
• Want to write a novel about a writer? Show us what the writer writes. It lets us into the writer’s mind – and is a shortcut into your own!
• When you describe a pair of hands, you describe the whole person.
• Take your protagonist to the doctor; you'll learn a lot.
• This is useful: List the scenes that will be most demanding to write, and schedule them for when you know you’ll be at your most rested.
• Repetition- of words, catch-phrases- reveals personality, but don't use it too often.
• Still can’t write? Begin drafting the story of your life as a biographer might. The objectivity (and the narcissism) will shake you up.
• Pace in fiction is like color in painting- disturbing if it's not right.
• It might be non-fiction, but it's still a story- so tell it.
• Looking for energy? Write a dinner scene for multiple characters and make one of them truly offensive. It’ll galvanize all the others.
• Be obsessed to uncover and read every fact that has been written on the subject.
• Great Research Sources: the archives of small-town newspapers anywhere in the world since printing began. All human life is there.
• Plot Driver: Imagine the best thing that could happen to a character you love. Write the opposite for them and enjoy the dynamic!
• Build confidence by being objective. Pretend someone else wrote your text and make yourself its kindly but rigorous critic.
• Be careful using dreams- they're often boring.
• Don't bother using your novel to slam an enemy: it'll be less readable than you think- and who cares?
• When inventing characters, give yourself the parents you've always wanted.
• Experts make great characters- Who doesn't love an expert?
• “Evil” is an anagram for “vile”-and also, for the adjective, “live.”
• Can’t find your way forward? Switch the point-of-view: e.g., write in the first person if you’re in third. It’ll loosen up everything
• Try and make us wonder what's happening to our protagonists when they're not on the page.
• Research Tip: “Never research one fact at a time: twin it with another, related fact and see how they help each other.”
• Secondary characters quite like appearing more than once.
• Make your major event happen at exactly half way; that's when the book starts turning for home.
• Make every chapter complete- and a cliffhanger.
• If there’s a fight, we have to feel the blows.
• When did you last steal from someone? And what was it? A pen? A diamond necklace? And why did you do it? Now write about it.
• Who was the last person who stole anything from you? Did you know them? If you did – recapture your feelings at the theft. Now write it.
• Who is the person you most dislike in your life? Study them and ask yourself why you dislike them. Now you have an interesting character.
• Make one of your characters very irritating – e.g., someone who only speaks in questions. Always. Never changes. Just - Questions.
• Potent Memory Dept.: What was the first food that you truly loved? If you have a meal scene, have your characters answer that question.
• Writing Tip: Take your three primary worries and give them to three characters. Watch how they address or resolve the problems.
• If your protagonist is about to tell a major lie – have the second untruth ready because he/she will need it. A lie has only one leg.
• Writing a historical novel? Choose a tangential figure – a prince’s accountant; a gunslinger’s daughter. Make theirs the worthwhile life.
• The Golden Rules: Are we (a) grabbed; (b) held; (c) rooting for someone? If we’re not – you’d better rewrite!
• Writing Tip - names of characters: If you haven’t given your protagonist the best name possible, they’ll tell you if you listen carefully.
• Writing Tip: It's all right for the characters in a novel to be optimistic or pessimistic. It's not all right for the novelist.
• Writing Tip: The simpler the style the brighter the light – but light, especially when bright, has complexity at its core.
• Writing Tip: In theory you shouldn't need italics for emphasis; your syntax and composition should do it. In practice it adds punch.
• Writing Tip: Try this: Make one chapter happen entirely inside; the next entirely outside; the third inside and outside.
• To check if a strand of your story works: Pull out the chapters of that strand: Tie them together as a single tale: See how it hangs.
• Writing tip: Lose the “-st” bit – i.e., “whilst” and “amongst” are great-grandma stuff – you’ll sound prissy.
• If you say somebody is boring – we’ll be bored, unless you amuse us with their boringness.
• Writing Tip: Suck out a difficult bit of draft and write it as a separate story. Then slide it back into the main text. Note the new energy!
• Don’t murder all your darlings – those great phrases are part of your talent.
• Short sentences generate tension; long sentences generate a mood of reflection.
• One detail – of a character or a room – is often enough.
• Make sure we have somebody to hate.
• Make us feel lonely when we’ve finished reading.
July 18, 2012 at 10:21pm
July 18, 2012 at 10:21pm
Do your typos act as prompts? Mine might do, although I never follow up on them.

I tend to rush my typing sometimes, and on flows my typos. I don’t know why my fingers don’t obey my brain, but I guess they, too, have their own way of thinking. Surely, I go back and fix them, but with each typo, a light bulb flashes inside my brain, making me laugh.

If I had the time, I’d come up with at least a small narrative for each booboo. Sometimes I unite the meaning of the word with the typo and a totally different idea emerges. Like the first one on the following list: public pub lice

Here are a few of my typos (I can’t believe I made) that may have been prompts.
* I separated them for meaning. Usually they are without the space in between their parts.

Pub lice *Right* public
thing king *Right* thinking
prod duction *Right* production
Ache ever *Right* achiever
sop oiled *Right* spoiled
surly *Right* surely
hum man *Right* human
come mented *Right* commented
rec check *Right* recheck
rot ration *Right* rotation
rock king chair *Right* rocking chair
imp lament *Right* implement
in flue nice *Right* influence
poll it tics *Right* politics

If you’re into prompts, I guess anything serves. *Laugh*

June 11, 2012 at 5:51pm
June 11, 2012 at 5:51pm
WdC teaches. No kidding. The information is given in tiny doses, and you don’t even recognize you are learning, because mostly, you learn by doing. I must say, Writin.com is the Montessori school of writing.

We have some newbie writers here who, one day, will become great writers. I so believe this. I know in my heart of hearts quite a few WdC authors will make this site very proud. That is, even more proud than WdC already is. Some of our newcomers are already established writers, and their work attests to that. Still, even the pros need a place to experiment their craft. Beginner or experienced, what is better than finding new avenues and discovering new genres and ideas?

I remember beginning writers of several years ago who were novices. Some of them are moderators today, and their writing has advanced to become way better than some Indie writers who are flaunting their published books all over the internet.

Speaking for myself, I have learned a lot here, and I’m continuing to learn. Each time I start writing something new, it feels like I know nothing, but then the ideas flow, and something, good or bad, comes out. I have become faster in thinking of new angles, too.

If you are wondering why delight is pouring from my every pore, no, it has nothing to do with imbibing. *Laugh* I don’t drink or anything, but I have always appreciated this site, and June is the month of my WdC b’day, the eleventh, and that idea alone makes me act like the town lush. *Rainbowl* *Heart**Rainbowr* *Gold*
June 4, 2012 at 9:05am
June 4, 2012 at 9:05am
Quoted from alfred booth, wanbli ska . Thanks Alfred. *Smile*

"Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates."

PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning - any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other "picture" art posted on my profile.

You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee, agent, student or any personnel under your direction or control.

The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Post entry addition:

According to some this may not work, since by being a FB user, you have already ceded some of your rights. But it wouldn't hurt to try.

June 2, 2012 at 11:00am
June 2, 2012 at 11:00am
Now that the eye doctor told me the macula in my eyes have started weakening, I am reading as much as I can. Shouldn’t that be the other way around that I should not read as much? Not for me. Tell me not to do something. I’ll do it. Oh well, que sera, sera.

On the subject of reading, for every two or three modern-day books, a good chunk of them e-books by indie writers, I decided to read one classic either one I had read decades ago or one I haven’t read.

As the understanding of good writing evolves like any other living concept, huge differences exist between the now-a-day and much older writing. For one thing, not one publisher would accept the oldies without making major adjustments in the presentation of the stories even if he loved the characters and the plot. Today’s *accepted* writing grabs the reader from the start and doesn’t bore him to death with ornate paragraphs and descriptions.

Still, sometimes, the poetry in the older type of fiction excites me. An example is the novel I just started to read: The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot –a.k.a MaryAnn Evans—first published in 1860. The novel begins with a detailed and beautifully described setting. I have to say I love to write settings, although I think they are more for writers than readers because settings secure the writer’s pen and provide a place to let the story happen. To not bore the readers, today’s writer inserts into the action--in small doses--the background of the story, be it the past of the characters or the time and place surrounding their story. What I usually do is to write the setting for myself and introduce it as I go along.

I admire the intro with the background in The Mill on the Floss because the author put action in his descriptions. It isn’t just, this is situated here that stands there by the…etc. If one has to introduce an unusual setting that the reader has to know about before the story starts like that of an imaginary world, this is a method to emulate.

Here are the first two paragraphs from The Mill on the Floss. It still has a two or three more that continue with the description. The book is free in Gutenberg.org and for Kindle, Nook, etc.

“A wide plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace. On this mighty tide the black ships–laden with the fresh-scented fir-planks, with rounded sacks of oil-bearing seed, or with the dark glitter of coal–are borne along to the town of St. Ogg's, which shows its aged, fluted red roofs and the broad gables of its wharves between the low wooded hill and the river-brink, tingeing the water with a soft purple hue under the transient glance of this February sun. Far away on each hand stretch the rich pastures, and the patches of dark earth made ready for the seed of broad-leaved green crops, or touched already with the tint of the tender-bladed autumn-sown corn. There is a remnant still of last year's golden clusters of beehive-ricks rising at intervals beyond the hedgerows; and everywhere the hedgerows are studded with trees; the distant ships seem to be lifting their masts and stretching their red-brown sails close among the branches of the spreading ash. Just by the red-roofed town the tributary Ripple flows with a lively current into the Floss. How lovely the little river is, with its dark changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander along the bank, and listen to its low, placid voice, as to the voice of one who is deaf and loving. I remember those large dipping willows. I remember the stone bridge.

And this is Dorlcote Mill. I must stand a minute or two here on the bridge and look at it, though the clouds are threatening, and it is far on in the afternoon. Even in this leafless time of departing February it is pleasant to look at,–perhaps the chill, damp season adds a charm to the trimly kept, comfortable dwelling-house, as old as the elms and chestnuts that shelter it from the northern blast. The stream is brimful now, and lies high in this little withy plantation, and half drowns the grassy fringe of the croft in front of the house. As I look at the full stream, the vivid grass, the delicate bright-green powder softening the outline of the great trunks and branches that gleam from under the bare purple boughs, I am in love with moistness, and envy the white ducks that are dipping their heads far into the water here among the withes, unmindful of the awkward appearance they make in the drier world above.”
May 1, 2012 at 3:59pm
May 1, 2012 at 3:59pm
Gotham Writers’ Workshop asked Robert McKee, a noted screenwriter, of:

"What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
A: The best advice my writing professor gave to me I pass along to you:"Convert exposition to ammunition". Your characters know their world, their history, the other characters and themselves. When writing dialogue, let them use what they know as ammunition in their struggle to get what they want. Don't write "Mary, how long have we known each other now? Must be over twenty years, right? Ever since we were in school together? Girl, that's a long time. On the nose dialogue like that always feels phoney and stops a scene dead. Instead, insert conflict and convert those facts to ammunition: "Mary, for God's sake blow your nose and stop crying. Girl, you are the same weepy child you were twenty years ago in school. Time to grow up." The audience's eye will jump across the screen to catch Mary's reaction while it indirectly learns the character history it needs to know...and the scene flows."

I loved the example that explains the meaning in the rule, which we already know and parrot out to each other. *Wink* *Smile*

Happy writing!

April 26, 2012 at 6:12pm
April 26, 2012 at 6:12pm
I didn’t write in my blog for about a month or maybe even a few days more than a month. It happens. I get involved with one thing or another and the priority and importance of things shift. So instead of concentrating on one subject, I’ll write snippets for today.

*Buttonv* Yesterday, in Dr. Oz’s show, he featured 50 Shades of Grey, the book that made most women curious, and those who read it feel sexy. Well, I haven’t read it but from what Dr. Oz and his guests discussed, I figured, right or wrong, it had stuff in it that demeaned women. Today, hubby and I went to Barnes & Noble’s to have tea at Starbucks inside the store and to see what new stuff is on the tables. First, we sat to have our tea. Three women, two of them as old as me—no, I’m not kidding, were reading 50 Shades of Grey. One of them was at the table next to ours. I couldn’t help but think, Is hubby in danger of getting attacked? *Laugh* Oh, the power of television and which thing the flavor-of-the-times show-host comes up with!

*Buttonv* Now that I’m into e-books, thanks to the readability of Kindle (for my easily tiring eyes), I can’t help picking on the mistakes such as typos and stuff like that in them since most of them do not have an editor. Even those with editors sometimes goof. This is for sure present company excluded: that is, Writing.com authors excluded since they have the cleanest texts, really..

*Quill* From an actual text, in which the usage of worried…repeats itself in two other places: “B. worried the end of her tongue with her teeth during walk back to the office building.” Not to mention the rest of the sentence construction, how can one worry the end of her tongue?

*Quill* This is from an intro to a book:
The flaw in her plan, however, is that Chuck is a ticking time bomb with a temper that is truly unpredictable, which has dior consequences for all family members involved.
I'll take a Dior consequence anytime. *Wink* I know it’s a typo, but it made me laugh.

*Buttonv* Today’s real rant is about companies that try to make better already very good products, and in the process, cause them to become worse. I used to love Dove body wash. The latest one I have, however, is so thick and creamy that it is like schlopping myself with a glob of cheap cream. I didn’t feel clean after using it. Actually it felt icky and greasy. Can't they leave the well-enough alone!

Second product: To kill germs on my hands I sometimes use a hand-sanitizer. Dial came up with a new hand sanitizer. I bought the thing because its bottle looked fancy. Wrong move! the liquid inside is clear, but when I push the pump on the cap, a foam comes out and glues itself to my skin. Afterwards, my hands feel sticky as if I kneaded a sugary, oily dough. Ugh! Moral:Better stick to the cheap, ordinary kinds of things and don't swoon over sexy-looking bottles...

I just hope no one messes with Dickinson’s Witch Hazel now. I need the good old-fashioned things for my witching practices. *Wink* *Laugh*
March 16, 2012 at 1:09pm
March 16, 2012 at 1:09pm
As part of being human, we want safety. We are afraid to step out of the commonplace where we are used to live, where we feel comfortable.

Safety, however, is a paradox. How can we feel safe if we don’t dare to venture outside of what is customary?

The best ideas are scary. Once we experience the scary, we find that all is safe.

I am uttering all this gobbledygook, not because I am not thinking about the Amazonian jungle or the African Savanna, but I am talking about writing, and I am talking about psyching myself about it. *Laugh*

Before I came to WdC, my writing had been straight-laced nonfiction, mostly research work, with the exception of a novel attempt in 1985 in a novel-writing course and very few poetry and short fiction pieces here and there. Truth is, I have always loved fiction and read non-stop. When I finally got around to writing "the fun stuff" though, most of my work turned into general fiction, with little or none of that occult/horror/sci-fi material.

For example, all three of my NaNo novels mimic real life, and they all feel like they lack something. Except the last one, in which I sprayed a bit of ghost/occult thing. Of the three rush jobs, it is my favorite. For sure, it needs re-thinking and rewriting, to which I am not easily going to succumb.

The good thing is, if it is a good thing *Rolleyes*, I have been reconsidering. I may try the genres in longer works maybe little by little at first. It may be late but what the heck. I write for the fun of it in the first place. Why not try something far out? Who knows, I may enjoy it. *Smile*

March 4, 2012 at 1:47pm
March 4, 2012 at 1:47pm
Yesterday, at noontime where I am (East Coast), I watched drunks on the other side of the world stumble over each other as they tried to walk on the sidewalks of a busy street with several bars. It was after midnight where they were, and though there were several police cars around, they were tolerated.

As a side note, I suspect the word “loitering” or “vagrancy” is a US invention, while the entire world seems to engage in walking the streets, at all times, aimlessly.

Live webcams have turned me into an addict. Placed in any one part of the world, they are the true reality shows and a boon for people watchers. Some webcams are controllable; others, you just sit back and enjoy.

Although I can understand logically what happens as the earth turns, it is a small shock or rather a sense of awe to view the various times of the day or night in the world, when the sun is up where I am or viceversa. Europe is usually 5-7 hours ahead of our time in the East Coast, the same as we are three hours ahead of the West Coast.

Even in the most unlikely places, there are webcams now. Even “Putin” has “put in” (pun intended) live webcams all over Russia as of yesterday. The cameras went online before the opening of polling stations for Russian elections, suddenly making it possible to catch a glimpse of life in the schools, village clubs and other municipal buildings that host the polls. I think this may be the only good thing Putin may have done in his life, giving the people of the world as well as the Russians themselves to get to know each other in a more intimate way.

I love watching the cities of the world or rather tiny pieces of them, like the Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Times Square in NY City, or the harbor of Amsterdam, due to the fact that. I used to travel a lot, but now I don’t because I don’t like the restrictions of the air travel, and also I became too old for the wear and tear of adjusting to jetlag and other taxing conditions. For such reasons, the live webcams are my consolation prizes, and I value greatly the voyeuristic experiences they provide.

There are all kinds of webcams, too, on the web: those that show the action at bars, karaoke joints, places for various kinds of sports, and undersea divers, plus personal webcams like that of a trucker, a bartender etc.

Late last night as I watched the daybreak in a city seven hours ahead of where I am, the idea occurred to me that some great stories can be concocted from the webcams. Next time, a writer has a dry spell, he/she can start with www.earthcam.com. Why not? They are all live prompts, like ripe fruit waiting to be plucked. *Smile*

February 27, 2012 at 6:37pm
February 27, 2012 at 6:37pm
Out of the blue, it occurred to me to hoard titles: Not other book, movie, or song titles but what I would hear, read, or see that could make a good title for a story or a novel.

Whoosh! My brain was flooded in a short time. After writing down several pages of possible titles for two days, I realized that those titles I picked could also double up as prompts. Anyhow, anything becomes a prompt when I put my mind to it. The problem is in finding that mind, which plays hide-and-seek.

Here are a few of my titles and the stories behind them:

Man on the Roof:
While we were in the car, I saw a neighbor fixing his roof.

Wide Sweep:
The same neighbor's wife was sweeping their driveway while the husband was on the roof. (No, he didn't fall on her!)

Pouring Coffee:
You got it! Me helping myself to a cup. The phrase has caffeine in it, don't you think? In the least, it implies vigor, a Starbucks story maybe, or even something more.

To Make a Day of It:
A snippet from hubby's offer for some leisure activity.

The sign of a Storage Business. When the words are taken separately, their meanings might imply something psychological, or psycho, if you like.

Keys in Hand:
That was hubby walking with keys in his hand, but in a story, keys could mean so many things.

The Knock-off Version:
From Jimmy Cramer's Mad Money talk. Somehow this rings a bell, but which bell I can't say. Can it be the closing bell for the markets? Ahha! Here is another one: The Closing Bell

And I better stop now, before I find myself in a padded cell. *Laugh*

February 22, 2012 at 12:23pm
February 22, 2012 at 12:23pm
Well, curiosity killed the kitten. SM put a funny cartoon on FB about grammar mistakes. Via that cartoon, I made my way to its original website, Grammarly.com, which advertises itself as the “World's Most Accurate Grammar Checker.”

Well, I had to check the checker, as I said curiosity kills me each time. In order not to be biased toward the negative side, I didn’t put any of my pieces in the box where one writes or pastes the work.

In that box, however, I wrote in a paragraph by Faulkner. The site's program graded the paragraph 65 over 100, disliked the one use of passive voice, which IMHO was necessary, suggested better vocabulary use in one place, and said an in-sentence punctuation was wrong. Lol!

There is more. They have a plagiarism detector. It didn’t detect I was copying Faulkner verbatim with punctuation included. *Laugh*

Truth is, grammarly.com is like a flimsy cane to lean on, and nothing can replace learning plus good judgment. I suspect they could be better than MS Word, which doesn’t use semicolons properly, plus a few other things.

Grammarly.com may be used as an unreliable checker, but a checker nevertheless, and what they say should not be taken as the final word of the Grammar gods. *Smile*
February 8, 2012 at 7:17pm
February 8, 2012 at 7:17pm
In one of the recent Dr. Oz’s shows -I don’t know which since I follow them from the DVR tapings-, a psychiatrist asked this question to overweight ladies. I thought the question was excellent for most anyone to ask himself or herself. Not only that though, for us writers, it is a good question to ask to every character we create.

Let me repeat the question: Who in your life told you, you were worthless?
In the same vein, the same question can be asked as: Who in your life made you feel you were (are) worthless?

To reach the proper answer, some introspection and painful recall are necessary.

In the show, most of the answers involved people’s parents. It doesn’t always have to be the parents, though. I think it can be anybody if the character believed their words or actions and took them to heart, or it can even be something like a malicious gossip that got out of hand. Sometimes, even a derision or an nasty implication can be enough because the mind has a way of filling in the gaps.

The idea is the same as the curse, by witches or whoever else, in fiction and visual media. The feeling of worthlessness is a psychological curse for it affects a person’s life and personality. If the person believes in his or her mind that he or she is worthless, the mind will filter out most anything that will make him or her believe otherwise. Resistance and disregard to one’s own worthlessness or, better yet, self-appreciation is the true armor a person can have.

Most of the time, however, being the vulnerable human beings that we are, we build false armors against such hurtful words and actions. In Dr. Oz’s show, the women overate and glorified in their obesity. There can be other false armors that show themselves in various ways such as cruelty, misbehaving, disloyalty, depression, overreaction, and criminal behavior.

Affirmations and positive suggestions can provide some cure for such hurts if the belief of worthlessness hasn’t become a chronic problem. It can still be dealt with when it’s chronic, but it needs a lot of work.

So, let’s not forget to ask the characters we create the telling question: Who, in your life, told you, you were worthless?

January 3, 2012 at 6:36pm
January 3, 2012 at 6:36pm
Writing.com has an official contest "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest, which asks about our new year’s resolutions. This is a wonderful encouragement to writers because just to mull over the idea would help any one of us.

Chuck Palahniuk, too, asks “Okay writers, it's a new year. What are your 'writing resolutions?” in:

The idea in the contest and Palahniuk’s question got me going. If I were to come up with a few resolutions, what would they be? Mind you, resolutions can turn into scary monsters to steal away from one’s life and family. That would be the last thing I would go for. So in my half-hearted way, while not entering the contest, I’d probably answer the question as:

I could resolve to finish at least the first draft of anything. My writing is full of half-cooked ideas. My computer weeps incessantly because of those. So are the flash drives those ideas and half-done work are stored into, not to mention the shoe-boxes filled with notes that never see the light of day. If I can only do this, I won’t need other resolutions.

I would also like to try slightly different ways or genres than what I usually do.

I don’t submit much anymore, well, not at all, except for posting stuff here in WdC. Only because I don’t think anything I have is really “finished.” It would be nice to finish a thing or two, then act on it.

Having said all that, I’m afraid of making resolutions. What I have up here is only wishful thinking, not resolutions. If they were resolutions, I’d beat me on the head at the end of the year or while trying to accomplish what I set me out for. I’m big on keeping my promises, even those I make to myself.

There is also this other thing: I like reading more than writing, which takes a lot of time.

One resolution I made several years ago and have kept up to now is to write every day. I guess it is an ongoing one and, sort of, makes up for all my writing ills. On the days when I can’t be near a writing apparatus, I compose something inside my head. This comes in handy in waiting rooms and similar places, even though it might make other people in the place to wonder about the faraway look on my face or the frown that comes from not liking an idea. If people wonder about me, so what? I am not the only one who talks to herself, and who says I have to be in the loop for anything! *Laugh*
December 27, 2011 at 1:40pm
December 27, 2011 at 1:40pm
Finally it happened. I dreamt of my muse…compliments of Jane Eyre.

Since most everything written nowadays is occult, gore, cheap sex, mayhem, and murder, for my bedtime reading, I decided to go back to my teenage favorite, Jane Eyre.

Last night, the second night I was reading, I dreamt of my muse, a tall thin wiry guy whose energy far surpasses anyone I know. He wanted to tell me something, but I shooed him off. That is, I caught him in a net and physically threw him out the door. Who needs a buttinsky, right?

Well, this buttinsky managed to come in through the window, all tied up in rope--my earlier doing--and claimed his territory by bugging me.

“Leave Rochester alone! He’s no woman’s hero,” he proclaimed as I went at him, beating him with my slipper.

“Don’t put a Rochester in your books. He ain’t real.”

I stopped then. Rochester, not real?

“Rochester fooled Jane. He hid a mad wife in the darkest section of his castle. He’s the most selfish, most twisted character. And you think him a lover? Phooey!”

Well, I woke up…factually speaking.

Yes, the muse had a point, but we, the lovers of the world, love our faulty love objects, don’t we! Wasn’t it the same with The Beauty and The Beast? At least, Beast was a rung higher than Rochester; he didn’t have a hidden mad wife.

For argument’s sake, I thought what if the tides were turned and I hid a mad spouse in my castle? Of course, in my case, the castle would be a split level and I’d have to hide my mad spouse in the wood shed, but knowing me, I most certainly wouldn’t be able to get away with it.

Even Rochester wasn’t all that successful, but the end proved his means, and Jane took him back…willingly! Of course he had to suffer for it by becoming blind and having a face with burn marks.

Yet, can you imagine Jane’s life after marriage? I can just hear her screaming. “Rochester, don’t walk up the stairs alone!” “Rochester, that is the closet not the bathroom.” “Rochester, let me cut your meat. You’re making a mess.” etc. etc…

Poor Jane! Poor lovers of the world!

My muse was right.

Tonight, I’ll go back to reading occult, gore, sappiness, cheap sex, mayhem, and murder...willingly. *Wink* *Smile*

December 27, 2011 at 1:40pm
December 27, 2011 at 1:40pm
Finally it happened. I dreamt of my muse…compliments of Jane Eyre.

Since most everything written nowadays is occult, gore, cheap sex, mayhem, and murder, for my bedtime reading, I decided to go back to my teenage favorite, Jane Eyre.

Last night, the second night I was reading, I dreamt of my muse, a tall thin wiry guy whose energy far surpasses anyone else's that I know of. The muse wanted to tell me something, but I shooed him off. That is, I caught him in a net and physically threw him out the door. Who needs a buttinsky, right?

Well, this buttinsky managed to bust through the window, all tied up in rope--my earlier doing--and breaking the glass and some part of the window frame. He, then, claimed his territory by bugging me.

“Leave Rochester alone! He’s no woman’s hero,” he proclaimed as I went at him, beating him with my slipper.

“Don’t put a Rochester in your books. He ain’t real.”

I stopped suddenly. Rochester, not real?

“Rochester fooled Jane. He hid a mad wife in the darkest section of his castle. He’s the most selfish, most twisted character. And you think him a lover? Phooey!”

Well, I woke up…factually speaking.

Yes, the muse had a point, but we, the lovers of the world, love our faulty love objects, don’t we! Masochists us! Wasn’t it the same with The Beauty and The Beast? At least, Beast was a rung higher than Rochester; he didn’t have a hidden mad wife.

For argument’s sake, I thought, what if the tides were turned and I hid a mad spouse in my castle? Of course, in my case, the castle would be a split level and I’d have to hide my mad spouse in the wood shed, but knowing me, I most certainly wouldn’t be able to get away with it.

Even Rochester wasn’t all that successful, but the end proved his means, and Jane took him back…willingly! Of course, Rochester had to suffer for what he did by becoming blind and having a face with burn marks.

Yet, can you imagine Jane’s life after marriage? I can just hear her screaming. “Rochester, don’t walk up the stairs alone!” “Rochester, that is the closet not the bathroom.” “Rochester, let me cut your meat. You’re making a mess.” etc. etc…

Who was the author punishing?

Poor Jane! Poor lovers of the world!

My muse was right.

Tonight, I’ll go back to reading occult, gore, sappiness, cheap sex, mayhem, and murder...willingly. *Wink* *Smile*

December 11, 2011 at 12:42pm
December 11, 2011 at 12:42pm
About five or six days ago, I cooked a dish of pinto beans. After the dish was cooked, I found a single bean that had fallen on the kitchen floor. On an impulse, not wanting to throw it in the garbage, I stuck it in a pot of soil on the sill in front of the kitchen window where I keep African Violets. I had placed that pot of soil on the sill to use it later for a section of an African Violet which had become too big for its container.

It never occurred to me that this single bean which was designed for eating would take root. But it did, and in two days. Four days ago, I came to the kitchen early in the morning and found that the bean had sprouted.

I am not alien to raising vegetables. About thirty years ago when we lived in Long Island, NY, I had a vegetable garden where I raised Italian beans from seeds in small packets. I know beans are fast guys, but this bean that wasn't meant to be sown had taken root all on its own. In two more days, it became a five-inch stalk. Amazing!

Far be it from me to think of it as a simple bean stalk. The way it's going, it will need the fairytale's Jack to climb it. In the meantime, I put a straw near it for support, although it doesn't seem to need it.

Watching it, the term life force comes to mind. What a strong energy that is!

The Chinese call it qi or chi. Star Wars called it The Force. Some of us call it élan vital, vitalism, energy, spirit, or even soul. Whatever we may call it, what type of an esoteric spirituality we may attach to it, it is what it is, and it is awesome.

a being in green
sprouted from dirt
through shadows, like love

its dream beyond my grasp

to think it will go away
responding to a call
radiating drama

and dreams beyond my grasp

November 30, 2011 at 2:28pm
November 30, 2011 at 2:28pm
What I miss in the English language I learn from CNBC. Just a few minutes ago, the speaker, one of the young regulars on the CNBC’s roster, said--more or less--that the subject at hand is uber local and there is more life to US than on this side (meaning the eastern side) of the Mississippi. That makes it uber local, I guess. Uber local, meaning national, more than local, or something like that.

I know English has kinship with German, but where did this uber come from in the later years? This practice makes me ask, “Warum?”

Uber local, huh…

Well, live and learn.
November 26, 2011 at 11:27am
November 26, 2011 at 11:27am
I can’t believe I finished my NaNo novel. It happened, thanks to the "October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge here in WdC. In the beginning of the month, I fell back because I got busy with other things. Then I panicked, thinking I’d never see the end of this book. So I went at it. There was a day when I wrote 4000 words, unheard of where I am concerned. Then the rest of it came like raveling a knitted item. I even wrote a chapter on Thanksgiving, late in the evening. Another first for me.

The book needs some TLC, but I enjoyed writing it and it gives the message I wanted it to give...I think.
"Rocky Road (2011 NaNo)

As to TLC, in other words revision, I’m really bad at that. So waiting is the game, at this point, as it has been with my other novels. Of all types of writing, I enjoy novels the best, sans the revision. Novels work in (and under) so many different levels.

Writing the NaNo novel meant not writing anything else, minus the reviews. That is why this blog got the utmost neglect.

Anyway, it was a good two months: the first, with the prep; the second, writing the novel itself. I enjoyed this year's NaNo better than the last two when I flailed at the end not knowing how to do the ending. This year I did. Thus the actual writing was much easier.

Well, best of luck to all the NaNoers who are still writing. May all your novels shine! *Smile*


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