Natural Disaster

I recently found this quote from Leonard Cohen that perfectly summarizes where I’m at–despite daily naps, regular feedings, an unbroken writing chain, time with friends, a great connection with family, ways to unwind–in my life.

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And that’s how I feel. Just a little bit off. A little bit unwell. Like I am surviving a force of nature rather than embracing the fact that I AM a force of nature. Continue reading

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Keeping the Dream

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I dare say writing and reading are the key to overcoming prejudice and expanding Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the “beloved community.” As writers, you are a keeper of the dream and can slip it in through the subconscious of your readers. Don’t think for a moment that your job isn’t important.

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Years Don’t Wait for Permission to Start Anew and Neither Should You

I can think of nothing more soul-crushing than watching all of your valuable, non-refundable time tumbling and crumbling away like dead leaves, as Neil suggests here.

“Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.”

Neil Gaiman’s wishes for us all in 2016

(he’s crushed my soul lots, but always for a good purpose in the end)

I don’t know about you, but that image makes me want to vehemently, deliberately, lovingly embrace this coming year and forge something meaningful with it. Not just “try” but DO! Rake all of last years’ dead leaves into a pile and compost them to fertilize 2016’s budding plans!

Here are a few of the tools I’m using in 2016 to make my time meaningful: Continue reading

This Is Not a List

Numbered lists have become very popular on social media. I see loads of lists about writing every day. 7 Writing Mistakes Only Amateurs Make. 15 Ways NOT to Start Your Book. 1 Bazillion Ways to Say What You Would Say a Different Way. Do you know what the numbered list reminds me of?

A fence.

Why stop at the edge of the pasture if your heart has designs for the entire field? (photo courtesy Andreas Krappweis)

Why stop at the edge of the pasture if your heart has designs for the entire field?
(photo courtesy Andreas Krappweis)

The numbers or bullets are posts driven deeply into the squishy, fertile ground of our talent and well-meaning (your ever-lovin’ soul, man!). The skinny strings of text that lead from 1, then 2, then 3, are the wires that keep us in. Sometimes those wires hum with electricity. Sometimes they’re merely barbed. Sometimes the wires are even broken, but we refuse to pass them anyway. Continue reading

Show Your Writer Love. Give Confidence.

In the most writer’s confidence building, even if somewhat material, show of love and support ever, my husband gave me a shiny, new laptop for my birthday. What could that be other than a strong message saying every time I open the lid, “keep writing; I believe in you.”

Writing is important to me. I will write for the rest of my life. Conquering word problems in my novels brings me immense pleasure. Putting words together is so gratifying. Sometimes, dishes and laundry don’t get done because my characters have decided it’s time to do their chores.

And my husband understands that.

A writer’s confidence begins in their home, with their own circle. As their supporters, you may be the deciding factor whether or not they learn the thrill of writing for the first time, or if they continue to fulfill themselves in this way into the future.

When considering gifts for your writing loved one, consider something that shows them you acknowledge their credit as a writer and that you support the cause of the written word through them. Continue reading

Good Things In, Good Things Out with Guest Author Joe Williams-Nelson

If we want to be inspired, productive, and happy, we have to make sure we’re regularly dosing ourselves with inspiration, productivity, and happiness. Our creating environment is something we can impact easily and instantly, and that can have a big impact on our confidence and the quality of work we’re producing.

Good things in. Good things out.

Joe Williams-Nelson, author of Lights, Camera, Take Action: 52 Weeks to a Better Life, One Movie at a Time (Balboa Press), understands the importance of surrounding ourselves with art, mantras, music, and movies that inspire and uplift. But today, she’s going to focus on movies.

Joe's Book

Continue reading