It’s about writing (comma) period (end sentence period)

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In what could have been described as a clandestine meeting, a good friend stopped by tonight to merely exchange a handful of cash for two spots in my football pool.  We hadn’t seen each other in a while and we fell easily into a comfortable conversation about our writing.  He is currently writing a novel as well and we both have been challenged with individual hurdles and brick walls in the process.

During our conversation he reminded me of a very basic rule that I had long forgotten.  Writing is not about grammar.  It is not about punctuation, capitalization or italics.  Writing is very simply about storytelling.

Deep down, we both know that being able to creatively express our ideas is the basis for the passion we both have for writing.  Being able to use words to introduce characters, describe beautiful imagery or construct interesting dialogue deserves more of our focus than moving commas, changing adjectives or repositioning quotation marks.

RED PEN

There are companies specifically formed to pick out those common mistakes that writers make in the moments they become truly lost in the story.  That is their gift, their job.  A writer needs to remember that his or her gift, his or her job, is creativity – the gift of being able to weave a tale like no other because that story comes from a magical well to which nobody else has access.

The writing is about those ideas that swirl around in our heads at 4:00 am and relentlessly linger until we write them down or record them on the closest available device.  The writing is about those characters gnawing at our consciousness until we give them a voice, until we tell their story.

We both need to realize that our gift is that story deep within us.  And the sooner we stop spending time worrying about how to properly punctuate a sentence we wrote six months ago, the sooner we can free our brains to let that story loose and see where the journey will take us.

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Putting things back into perspective

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Lately I feel like I have been extremely neglectful of a very important relationship in my life.  It is so easy to take a monumental aspect of MY reality for granted because true reality gets in the way.

My blog and I have had a very close bond since the beginning.  Like a true partnership should, my blog allowed me the freedom to truly be myself.  It never questioned my motives or my ideas.  It resolved to allow me any creative indulgence I required and it remained steadfast in its desire to soothe me at the end of a tumultuous day.  It introduced me to minds that functioned much like mine, helped me make new friends and it helped my see things, once again, from my own perspective.

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These many months later, this rolling rock of creative abandon has collected a group of followers who seem genuinely interested in the ideas that erupt from my creative well.  Along the way, the number of like-minds has multiplied.  Although I have been delinquent in sharing my comments on other blog sites, I have been faithfully following and hoping to steal back those  moments when I was allowed to spend my time immersed in the blog world.  Since the inception of Polysyllabic Profundities, I have accumulated 2 shy of 1900 followers.

That number made me stop in my writing tracks.   One thousand, eight hundred and ninety-eight people have chosen to read the very thoughts that pour from my brain to my fingertips and they find interest in those strings of syllables and interpretations.

To each and every one of you I say thank you.  Thank you for encouraging me to continue.  Thank you for agreeing with what I write.  And for those of you who disagree, thank you for making me see things from another perspective.  This is a journey I was meant to have and the footprints I leave behind will forever mark a path I was meant to follow.

 

Let the creative juices flow

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I have a strong penchant for all things creative and I’ve dabbled in many of them.  Since I was a young child, I could always find ways to express myself artistically.  When I was still in single digits I would spend hours at a time at our summer cottage painting birds on old cedar shingles.  I was no Rembrandt but I must say they were pretty good.  My parents were slightly concerned that I was not spending more time outside until they came to the realization that I never complained that I was bored and they didn’t have to find things for me to do.

Exploring that creativity was like opening the door to a new world.  My affection for writing began at the tender age of eleven and that passion has always been my true  love.  Being able to paint my images with words gave me more freedom because the images came from my head and they were an original creation, not an imitation of anything else.

The poetry continued through high school but the writer in me found great competition with the sketch artist lurking in the shadows.  I would spend hours, most often during class, sketching and shading a large collection of pencil drawings and thus continued my artistic journey.  Oil painting, photography, wood carving, sewing and cake decorating are all part of my creative arsenal and I enjoy being able to dive into the bag and pull out a different weapon when the mood strikes.

pansy cake

Tonight, once again, I get to trade idioms for icing and decorate a going away cake for a friend.  I used to make wedding cakes as a side business and loved it.  It was three hours of being able to lose myself in a process that would begin with a blank canvas and turn into something beautiful.  The cake above was a cake I made for my mom on her 65th birthday.  Everything on the cake was made by hand and all edible.

Perhaps my love of words stands above the rest because words are forever.  Cakes will be eaten, pencil and colors may fade, but words and phrases are always readily available and they do not need a time or a place to be written.  They linger in the recesses of my brain and stand ready and waiting, longing for the chance to be freed.

Though we have many loves throughout our lives, we always remember our first true love.  While the writer in me may step aside to allow the myriad of other hobbies to bubble to the surface, those words will wait for me because they know my heart belongs to them.

Family and friends aside, is writing your true love or do you share a passion for something else?

Finding a way through life with humor

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robin williams

The recent death of Robin Williams has devastated me.  To me, he was the personification of humor.  There are so many of his roles and movie lines that have been ingrained in my psyche.  They have helped shape the person I have become today and the realization that his humor was a mask for his depression is debilitating.

Perhaps his death has made me look back on my life.  Just maybe his struggle has touched a nerve in my reality that has long been buried.  Depression was never an issue for me but the feeling of inadequacy was certainly in the forefront of my brain as a I struggled through my teenage years.  My sense of humor was a God-send.  It helped me extend myself beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone. It allowed me to engage my peers in a way I felt comfortable.   And it gave me a way to reach out to others with the feeling that I had the safety net of laughter.

Many times the person who is making the jokes is trying to keep the focus as far from reality as possible.  They painstakingly go to great lengths to keep you laughing so you don’t focus on the issues they deal with between the laughs.  They diffuse their reality with comedy but the joke, sadly, is on them.

I go to bed tonight with a heavy heart.  I grieve for the man who could not win the battle against his demons.  I solemnly remember the teenage version of myself who was thankfully able to quell the monsters who lurked in the dark corners of my mind and find more solace in the laughter than perhaps he could.

I can only hope that Robin Williams is finally finding the peace that he so truly deserves.  The world will never be as funny now as it was when he was in it.

(image credit: bu.edu)

 

 

Two kisses

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sunrise-18a

In the wee hours of the morning,

her visits often happen then,

the charge in the air is palpable

and sleep is still in my head.

Her message hangs heavily in the air,

the words are always the same.

“Two kisses I will give you,

to help get you through your day.

 One kiss is to give you courage,

to help you save the world.

The other kiss is to help protect you

from the curve balls that life will hurl”.

Her words soothe me and give me peace

in the last moments of my sleep.

And on my cheeks, as I face the world,

two kisses I shall keep.

~~

This was the poem in my head at 4:00 am.  I will be forever grateful for those kisses.  I miss you mom.

(image credit: santabanta.com)

All the signs point to me getting off my ass…..

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Life has a way of making a point in a very obvious way.   But sometimes the message, although completely apparent to others, escapes our attention until we have time to rearrange the pieces of the puzzle to complete the bigger picture.

In an earlier post, I wrote about showing my work-in-progress to a fellow employee who is a writing student and currently working on two novels of her own.  Her insight gave me the kick in the ass I needed to throw some gasoline on my slow-burning writing fire and ignite the inferno in my brain.  Subsequently, some interesting things have happened since then.

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A guest of our lodge recently published a children’s book with a great message for young people and I have had the good fortune of being able to pick her brain regarding the editing and self-publishing process.  As I was telling her about my story, and lack of illustration, another hotel guest leaned in and told me she was an illustrator.  It was the trifecta of information.  It was as if the stars had aligned precisely for me at that moment and given me the swift kick in the ass my mother used to so eloquently refer to.

It’s time to so something with the words I have crafted.  It’s time to see what an editor has to say and it’s finally time to take the plunge and see if I can market the stories that originated in the far corners of my mind.

If I had to name the signs that appeared to me , they would be called Simon.   And Simon says, get off your ass!

For whom the writing bell tolls

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“Better to write for the self and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” ~ Cyril Connolly

It never ceases to amaze me how simple it is to get lost in the world of words.  How easily we become swayed by others opinions can have an enormous effect on what and when we write. We work so hard to keep our momentum flowing that we become exhausted in the process and dehydrate the well of our writing essence.

Although I still have muddied water in my reservoir of ideas, I have been caught up in the impetus of the WordPress world, as well as other writing competitions, and found myself being pulled in different directions when it comes to the content of my writing. There are no posts that I wish I didn’t write but I’m sure if I read back through some of my earlier posts I would find entries that were written in expressions far removed from the inner voices I contend with on a regular basis – posts written to impress others rather than being written for the sake of writing.

An artist is always unique. Whether a masterpiece is painted on canvas, developed into photographs or has a myriad of materials blended to create a single form, no two depictions of an idea will ever be identical. Each artist has a vision that can only be created by their idiosyncratic brain.  I cannot imagine an abstract artist would ever pause to wonder how many people will appreciate their work – they simply have a need to create.

The-Book-of-Life-a-colorful-metal-art-sculpture-by-David-Kracov-that-depicts-a-book-dissolving-into-butterflies

(image courtesy of mayhemandmuse.com)

The same can be said for the art of writing – authors simply feel the need to write.  Each wordsmith is encouraged by the ubiquitous string of letters that form into words in their imagination and the story will then develop a life of its own.  Writing is an adventure and one that each mind should be free to express on a whim. It should be a journey that begins in our mind and flows through our veins until it reaches our fingertips.  It should embody our true creative process and be written for the sole purpose of expressing ourselves.  Our creativity should not be stifled by the boundaries of an audience but should be free to shout at top decibel to all who understand our passion.

Writing for self is writing from the heart.  This freedom with the written word has no structure, it has no defined audience and it allows us to reach deep within ourselves to convey what lurks behind our conscious mind.