Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WRITING QUOTE FOR THE DAY - October 15, 2014

Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait two years
to know whether or not it was funny.
 - Alain de Botton -

I laughed when I read this the other day. I sit each day and work on my book, pounding away on the keys, vacillating between hope and despair, and there's no guarantee that my hard work will even see the light of day. And if it does emerge from the depths of my mind to the outside world, the time in between now and then will be a long time coming. 

Sometimes that time seems like an eternity, which feeds into the despair, that feeling of hopelessness, that it's pointless to keep on keeping on. 

But then hope kicks in. 

I read over a previous chapter, editing and adjusting, and catch myself laughing and pulled into the story, wondering what's going to happen next--the funny thing being, I already know what's going to happen. That's hope right there. If I know what's going to happen, but I get caught up in the story like I don't, waiting with quivering breath for what unfolds.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

WRITING QUOTE FOR THE DAY - October 12, 2014

You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.

~Stephen King

I have participated in writing groups and sat with individual writers and chatted and shared and critiqued, and all of those participations were good. But the best I have received has been from showing up with me--writing and reading. I read various books and am always involved in two to three books at a time. 

I have a pleasure book, one that is for fun, something in the genre I write or not, it doesn't matter, as long as I'm interested and reading.

Then I have a learning book, one that focuses on writing, grammar, punctuation, something of that sort, because my mind doesn't like to retain what I "should" know. Repetition is imperative for me, and not just for writing. I seem to have a retaining problem with anything that's good for me as well.

And then there is the third book, which will be whatever it needs to be, depending on what catches my eye. It could be another learning book or a pleasure book or a mixture of both. 

I carry a book with me, choosing from my selections above. I bring it with me everywhere, so when given the opportunity to read I'm available. I also carry a couple of pens and a small notebook to write in, because there are moments that need to be scribbled on paper or moments when a character whispers their secrets.

I am a writer. Writing is a part of me not just something I do. The results of where my writing takes me are minuscule and none of my business compared to what writing does for me in the moment of doing it. There is something profound, a mental shift, a valve release, that allows me to let out (let go of) some of the crazy that resides in my cranium. 

My most valuable lessons are me showing up with me--vulnerable, open, and willing to write.

Friday, October 10, 2014

WRITING QUOTE FOR THE DAY - October 10, 2014

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
- Louis L'Amour -

I missed the last two days of Writing Quotes for my blog. Was I writing? Yes, I was writing just not here, though it did take a bit of cajoling to get me willing. And, sometimes, that's how it is. I have to convince myself to sit and write. 

Once I turned the faucet on it began to flow, and when I stopped for the day I felt accomplished for having done so. 

I've learned over the years that I need to stick with my effort and leave what I think the results will be alone, because I truly don't know what's going to happen. I just need to know I was part of the happening.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.

- Ray Bradbury -

I read this and know this to be true. But today I sit here not feeling it. I want to write. I want to sit and crank out great words and inspiring scenes and so on, but I'm not. I feel like I'm underwater, dragging a limp leg, desperate for air.

I'm not in the failure or not failure battle, but I am not immersed in old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor at the moment either. I feel lazy and am procrastinating, not writing.

I figured I'd stay with as much effort as I could muster for right now. Write my thoughts on this Bradbury quote and see what sparks. If that doesn't catapult me to where I want to be, then I'll read and try again this evening. 

With the collection of enough moments throughout the day I will have my writing quota and can begin again tomorrow.

Monday, October 6, 2014


You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

-Maya Angelou-

This is my experience. When I'm stuck, with no words to put on paper, I find another avenue of creativity to jumpstart my hiding-words. I play music on the stereo and dance. I pick up my banjo or my guitar and create my own music or play someone else's. I may bake a delight from scratch. Or knit a hat. Or create a card for a special friend.

Sometimes the creativity I need to tap into is a new perspective, like laying on the floor, riding my bicycle, taking a walk, going barefoot in the grass, climbing a tree (an easy one, where I won't break my neck), swinging at the park, sliding down a kid's slide. 

Really, anything that helps me get out of the everyday-box I place myself in. The more I tap into the creative-lines around me the more accessible my own creativity is.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.

-Mark Twain-

When I'm traveling and drive through a town, one of the first things I scan for is a bookstore, preferably a local one, not a big chain. I love the feeling that overcomes me, when I step across the threshold and behold the smell and coziness of books, all kinds, all stacked.

My mind quiets and any tension I may have from living in the outside world lessens, and I am comforted. Once settled, perusing the aisles and running the tips of my fingers against the book's spines, thousands of whispering voices fill the air, as if the books themselves cannot contain the stories they possess and have to give themselves away.

Mysterious, indeed. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014


It is impossible to discourage the real writers--
they don't give a damn what you say;
they're going to write.
- Sinclair Lewis

I hesitate to say I am a real writer, but I do write and I am real . . . so maybe that's all that's needed. Plus, I'm not capable of not writing. 

I've tried to let go of my writing, when my mind was overwhelmed with negative thoughts, telling me I'm going nowhere, writing nothing worth reading. Then I'd find myself writing in my head, while waiting for traffic to move or in the grocery store line. Words would collect and painted a picture of different realities, simultaneous with my own.

I decided to stop stopping myself and just write, because the writing doesn't care if I get it on paper or not. The writing persists in my mind, opening doors to other worlds and people, each wanting their story told. 

Today I write and am a real writer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, 
that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come 
down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit 
in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.

-Harlan Ellison-

My experience with writing is one of consistency and perseverance. There are days, when I sit and the story unfolds like it was waiting to jump from my mind to the page, eager and willing. 

And then, there are days where the opposite is true; the story isn't there, or only partly there, but either way it is definitely not eager or willing to reveal its secrets to me. Those are considered work days for me, where I convince myself there is usefulness in showing up and doing the work regardless.

For me, writing is a part of me, something to be acknowledged, and sometimes even reckoned with (internal sparring), and I feel better, always, if I sit and write, whether a work day is ahead of me or a willing and eager story jumping from mind to page.


Charlotte clambered from the two-door sedan, stumbled alongside the car until she reached the front, then propped herself with one hand on the car's hood. Her vision blurred the longer she stood, and her head swam. Too much alcohol, she thought and repositioned herself.

Her boyfriend, Morris, chatted with the police officer who had pulled them over. How he could look normal and appear put together was beyond her. Their muffled voices sounded distant, like she stood several feet from them, but she didn't--less than a foot.

She watched and swayed, repositioning herself every few seconds, while she wondered if she needed to throw up. She should have stayed home, watched a movie with her roommate, and went to bed early. Now she'd be hung over for class. What did she have tomorrow? It was on the tip of her tongue, but the closer she got to remembering it the further it moved from her grasp.

Movement flashed at her peripheral. She jerked and saw Morris step back from the police officer with his hands up.

What was he saying? She couldn't make it out, but he looked scared. Panic bristled the hair on her arms.

Then the ground vibrated and split the pavement open into a monstrous hole. The police officer disappeared, swallowed by the black earth that now flared bright red.

Charlotte screamed and scrambled backward, which meant going no where, her hands slippery on the car's hood. The ground heaved and buckled. She fell sideways onto to the gravel, flailing.

She saw Morris stumble and fall. Half his body hung into the gaping whole.

"Charlotte! Help me!" he said and reached for her. Fright widened his eyes. He grunted and clawed the ground to get a grip.

She crawled on her knees toward him, reached her hand out, and brushed his fingertips with hers. The ground rocked and rumbled, and the hole swallowed Morris further. Only his head and arms showed now.

"Charlotte! Help me!"

Hesitation and fear grappled with her mind . . . her decency. She reached out, but her fingers were further away from his than before. She would have scoot forward, closer to the hole, to help him. I can't do it.

Bile rose. She vomited in the space between her and Morris. She shook her head and inched backward instead of forward.

"Charlotte! Don't leave me!" Morris's eyes panicked, mixed with anger and fear.

"I can't," she said. "I'm so sorry." Morris plunged below the threshold of the broken earth, gone into fiery flames. Charlotte screamed.

What's wrong with you? You should have helped him? Despair, regret, and relief bomb dived her system, and she pushed herself up, crying, hyperventilating.

Before she could run, the ground gave way beneath her. Her long, blonde hair raised to the sky, and she plummeted into the red, molten glow of Mother Earth.