Getting the lead out

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The Daily Prompt had me thinking again this morning.   This is what it had to say – “When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?”

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I vaguely remember the pre-keyboard era.  Either that, or I am trying to block it out because I do remember it and it makes me feel somewhat vintage.  I was the girl who loved to write letters to pen pals, write silly love poems, short stories and crazy plays that could only be created by an 8-year-old mind and acted out by animal puppets.

I would spend hours printing and practicing my ‘cursive’ writing.  (that word plays heavily in my vocabulary these days, but with an alternate suffix and a very dissimilar meaning!)  I loved to write so much that my wonderful penmanship turned into an obsession with calligraphy.  My doodles in high school were never flowers or hearts, but intricately designed versions of the alphabet.  There was something so satisfying about being able to create that type of flare with my own hand.

calligraphy

(image credit)

Now the world is so different.  Millions of fonts can be downloaded with the touch of a button on the keyboard and all of that creativity I used to enjoy has been replaced by technology.  I miss the excitement of buying new ink for my calligraphy pen or having to buy new pencils because I had spent so much time writing that they had all been worn down to little nubs of wood and lead.

Although I began writing my novel in longhand, the novelty wore off when I realized how much faster I could record the ideas on ‘paper’ by using a keyboard.  I do miss the days of the natural flow of ideas from brain to pen or pencil and didn’t have to tune out the incessant clacking of the keys.  Oh, how we suffer now for our arts.  ;)

 

 

An abundance of gratitude

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Lately I have been writing from a place deep within myself.  I have written about issues very close to my heart and the comments I have received have been, not only engaging and warm but, overwhelming to say the least.

I am humbled by the fact that my words have pulled on the heartstrings of many friends and even strangers who have taken the time to comment and let me know that my words hit close to home for them as well.  Some have expressed feeling like I am writing just for them.

Your words encourage me to listen to my inner voice and keep sharing my words.  So this afternoon, instead of digging deep into the well of raw emotion, I simply want to say thank you.   Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting and, most of all, thank you for being the eyes that absorb the ideas that I love sharing.

bottom of my heart

(image credit)

 

A rose by any other name is just how I choose to describe it

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Moon

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
–Anton Chekhov

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There have been times when I have been writing that I feel my words have become too “flowery”, too descriptive.  I love to take imagery and let the reader truly visualize what it is that I am trying to convey.  I am also a big fan of using metaphors to get my point across.

For a few brief sentences, I tried to rein in the flourish in my writing and then I realized I would be doing myself a grave injustice.  I would be writing with another voice that is distant from the one I have come to know and love.  Sure, I could artlessly tell you that the rose petal was falling off, but I would rather tell you that the withered skin of the aging rosebud hung listlessly, clinging desperately to the last breath of life held in the stem.  That is my writing voice, that is who I am when I am being true to my craft.

But it is hard to find the balance between too much and not enough.  When I write, I want the person reading to be able to smell, taste and feel my words.  I want that person to be so immersed in the images that they feel like they have left their physical world and have been transported into my words.  But I don’t want them to get so lost in the description that they feel the train of the story is going recklessly off the tracks.

Perhaps the delay in writing my book was to allow my voice to develop through my blog.  I have achieved a level of comfort here with my words and my ideas and I know that my voice is my own and not a weak interpretation of another.  I don’t just feel like I am telling meaningless stories anymore, I feel like a writer.  And Mr. Chekhov, I will never be the one to simply tell you that the moon is shining.

 (Thank you Daily Post for the encouragement)

Starting 2015 the ‘write’ way

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I was going to be lazy today and not pull the starter cord on my brain.  I was content to let it sit idle and enjoy the distant hum as it sat listless but that would go against everything I want 2015 to be – creative and filled with stories.  And although I am closing in on the end of a 70-hour work week, I still feel like I should at least try to conjure a few words from the recesses of my imagination and begin the new year the way I should, by writing.

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I would like my brain to become so flooded with words and images that they spill over each other to fight for their right to be etched on paper.  I want to feel so full of inspiration I can do nothing BUT write to be able make room for the new ideas being born.  I would like to wake up in the middle of the night and rush to the computer to capture those ideas before they escape and trickle down into the abyss of lost thoughts.

If I can do this every day, if I can play my metaphorical flute and conjure those words like a snake,  writing will become a need, a desire much more passionate than just wanting to write.

Day one – success.   Happy New Year everyone and may all of your wishes come true in 2015!

 

 

Alas, another year has gone by

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The year 2014 has almost tucked itself under the covers, waiting for the sun to rise and shine its light on 2015.   I have never been a big fan of the loud, drunken New Years party.   I have attended my share of dinner parties with friends and enjoyed the company of those I love but I had stealthily left the party as the decibel level and the uncomfortable amount of alcohol consumption increased.  When it comes to the later hours of the last evening of the year, I prefer the solitude of my home, a robust bottle of red wine and a quiet reflection of the year that has passed.

Although some of my evening is spent looking back on the events that shaped my year, most of my time is spent looking ahead without making promises that may be broken.  My New Years Eve is not about making resolutions.

2014 took the best of me when my mom passed away in March but the many months following her death, although emotionally exhausting, were filled with wonderful memories and the yearning to succeed in the things that I was doing that gave her such pride.

candle

My writing and my desire to become a published author are tiny flames glowing in the distance of the new calendar year.  Each moment I sit at my keyboard and weave ideas into paragraphs, that flame will burn brighter.  With dedication, and help from my muse, hopefully that flame will grow into a raging inferno and my mom and dad will be able to enjoy the warmth of the fire I created with my imagination.

And now that January 1st is lurking just around the corner, I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year.  May 2015 bring you peace and joy.  May the changing of the calendar year ease the burdens of the past year and bring you prosperity and deep and honest love in all aspects of your life.  To quote Henry David Thoreau ~ “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life”.

It’s time to  start writing our new chapter.

 

 

 

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – Blog Edition

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Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the blogs
Edward Hotspur had his bacon, Angie’s Grapevine had her dogs.
The synonyms were used by Honie Briggs with care,
And Conscious Cacophony, her feelings she would share.

Short Stories was nestled, all snug amongst his words,
While Sethsnap had artistic visions and took pictures of the birds.
Sage Doyle was getting poetic, authoring memorable scenes,
While Drinking Tips was creating, snacking on Poutine.

JannaTWrites newest blog had created such a clatter,
And Moderate Mama’s  comments only added to the chatter.
Away to the keyboard The Daily Post flew on its quest,
Tore open the gates of creativity and posted its newest contest.

The Modern Philosopher, his brilliance did show,
And masterful words from Dianne Gray, were shared from below. (well, Down Under, but it didn’t rhyme)
When, what to YarnSpinner’s eyes should appear,
Ned’s Blog, in all its glory, showing no WordPress fear.

With a well-versed writer, so lively in blog,
I knew in a moment it must be Trudging Through Fog.
More majestic than eagles the stanzas were put,
And I knew in a heartbeat, El Guapo was afoot.

“Now Grammar Ghoul! now Wordy! now Notebook and Leash!
On, Margie! On, Lindau! On, Bad Guy! on, Wine and Cheese!
To the top of the Fresh Press! to the top of the wall!
Now write away! Write away! Write away all!”

As Rarasaur roars before the wild hurricanes fly,
When they meet with Two Sentences, and mount to the sky.
So up to the Matticus Kingdom they flew,
With High Five & Raspberries and a Writer Fellow too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in my Realm,
The Ambling and Rambling of TwinDaddy at the helm.
As I closed my keyboard, and was winding it down,
Unawarebutunderlined was making a sound.

Jill Weatherholt spoke with a great deal of fervor,
And words were carefully crafted by The Mercenary Researcher.
A bundle of phrases HastyWords took from her stack,
And Shouts from the Abyss, the words he attacked.

With their keyboards they created with zest and with zeal,
They wrote just as passionately as brunch for every meal!
It was Apoplectic Apostrophes, the words she did reap,
And, in between writing, they read shrinksarentcheap.

They wrote from their hearts, like it was their favorite job,
And inside of them all lurked a Geeky Book Snob.
The Cutter rambled and wrote to make you think,
While a little Fish of Gold was readied with paper and ink.

On The Homefront took a few precious moments to reflect,
While somewhere during Red’s Rants and Raves their writing they did perfect!
JoeTwo spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Blending a symphony of phrases, responsibilities they did shirk.

The Writer I could be pounded endlessly on the keys,
While My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog kept up the pace with ease.
 You’ve been Hooked had amused us, FortyOneTeen surely did see,
And we quickly lost H.E. Ellis to the feeling of writer’s glee.

Inspiration sprang to its feet, to its words gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a high powered missile.
But I heard it exclaim, as our brains turned to fog,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good blog!”

 typewriter

(image credit: lhj.com)

 

Oprah has a name for this…….

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Not everyone has the opportunity to experience a full-circle moment in their lifetime – that epic twist of fate when something you had spent so much time dwelling on in your past creeps up on you in your present.  I had one of those moments today.

I am a product of the 80’s.  I was never a slave to the hair and poorly-chosen fashion (most days) but the movies of the 80’s live on in my current reality.  I can recite those movies verbatim and I recognize a bit of myself in each one of those iconic movie roles that I watched as an impressionable teenager.  And though there were fleeting moments of seeing similarities between the starring roles and my teenage psyche, I always felt a deeper connection with the weirdos, the poets, the dreamers.

It was this truth that bonded me to Andrew McCarthy’s character, Kevin,  in St. Elmo’s Fire in 1985.  Though his role was meant to be a bit of an outcast, Kevin was the definition of how I saw myself in those days.  He was a creative soul, misunderstood on many occasions but he held true to himself.  Unlike me at the time, Kevin knew who he was and, although he struggled, in the end he wasn’t afraid to be that person.  He wanted to describe what he saw in a myriad of ways.  He wanted to describe life by every little detail and not just watch it go by.  He wanted to write.  And he was going to see his way to his future on his battered Underwood typewriter.

That line stuck with me.  It haunted me, actually, and I have seen that written line in a loop in my head for many years.  Like a headlining banner at a movie theatre,  the words “battered Underwood typewriter” scrolled incessantly around my brain.  The image of that machine, the clacking of the keys, kept me bonded to that dream of writing.  And now that image has become a reality.

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In a moment of complete serendipity, I have been gifted an Underwood typewriter.   I have been given a battered, plunking, beautiful, historic typewriter that could write chapters of its own given the chance.  Its stories are burned into the keys.  Its ribbon holds a wealth of ideas and the rest is not history, but my story.  It is up to me to cajole the remainder of the tales from this relic.  This battered Underwood typewriter could be the one thing that reminds me that I can write and, just maybe, will help me get to the next stage of my writing success.