Would I hit the button and turn the chair for MY voice?

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Lately I have been going back through past blog posts and reacquainting myself with some of the words I have thrown out into the eternal abyss known as the Internet.   After spending time digesting my previous musings, I have come to a great awareness about the novel I am attempting to finish.  Unless I just keep writing the damned thing and stop editing as much as I’m writing, I’m never going to finish the book in this lifetime!

From two years ago, when I began this blogging journey, to now, my writing voice has changed.  That same voice that was so timid in the beginning has grown and evolved into someone different.  It has gone through that rite of passage to be comfortable in its own timbre.

Looking back on some of my earlier posts, I am so tempted to edit and repost some of those phrases and paragraphs but I would be doing myself a grave injustice.  I would be denying who I was when I wrote those posts and not allowing myself to accept the voice I had when I began.  The same holds true for those chapters of my novel that were written from that less experienced recess of my brain.  While the characters will evolve with my determination to finish the book, those first chapters speak volumes about the beginning of their journey as the cast and my journey as a writer and their director.

chair on the voice

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I’m glad my voice is different now.   It sounds more experienced.  It is comfortable being heard by others.  It has a more believable quality to it because it has faith in its ramblings.  If I were a judge in that chair, I would hit the button to see what my voice has to say next!

 

I’m dancing like nobody is watching (and ignoring the looks of disapproval)

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I started my blogging journey in August of 2012.  I had no real direction, I had no real premise for the project I was about to launch and I had NO idea what large, creaking door had just opened into my imagination.

Since that first string of awkward words I have found a rhythm.  I have found a group of friends with like minds who share the same disease linked to sleep deprivation that I have come to love and understand.  I have found a community of people who love writing, who feed on words and language and who encourage me to feed that literary wolf who hides in sheep’s clothing.  I have found my home away from home.

Today marks another milestone in my blogging journey.   Today my number of followers increased to:

2000

That is such a big deal for me and I just want to thank each and every one of your for your support and encouragement!  I guess it’s time to get writing that next blog post.

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The 6 p’s of success – and no, I haven’t had too much water

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A few months ago, a dear friend and I were having a glass of wine and a conversation about our school experiences.  It took us a while to remember that far back, but we both agreed that we had some professors and educators who really stuck out on the maps of our scholastic journeys.

I wrote an earlier post about my most memorable teacher.  He led my Grade 6 class with great enthusiasm and really encouraged us to think outside of the box.  Nothing was ever wrong when it came to imagination, hence my love for writing.  (If only he had held that same belief when it came to History class and those red x’s on my tests!)

My friend told me about one of his professor’s who had a deep impact on him in a very short time.  It was early in my friend’s law school days when this teacher introduced the syllabus of the curriculum they would be following by writing six capital P’s across the chalkboard with spaces in between each letter.  A baffled class of students who wanted to be recognized for their genius all muttered amongst themselves, trying to be the first to solve the great riddle on the board.

The teacher assured them that this first lesson would be neither covered in the course outline, nor appear on any final exams.  As the relieved crowd fell silent in anticipation, the professor proceeded to tell the eager group of future litigators what great importance these letters would have on their career as an attorney, or any career for that matter.   The teacher filled in each word as the group watched, not saying a word.  When each word had been completed, this is the phrase that spanned the front of the classroom:

“Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor performance”

Blank Chalkboard

That string of words struck a deep chord within many of those students.  Those 6 p’s were vigorously scribbled into notebooks, on the back of ironically unprepared hands unable to find their notebooks and etched permanently in the minds of those students hungry to succeed.  My friend was one of those hungry students, and succeed he did.

All these years later, sitting in a local restaurant having a glass of wine, my friend still remembered that lesson and what an impact it had on him.   I only hope his instructor knew what an impression he had on those students and that he potentially created an entire generation of people who make their p’s a priority.

Got the message, loud and clear…

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It’s a rainy, snowy, cold Saturday and I am home with a nasty chest cold.  I’ve been channeling my inner James Earl Jones when I talk and my boss thought I was a man on the phone.

I did a bit of work around the house to make it a little less drafty this winter and I finally decided the germs had gotten the best of me.  I wrapped myself in a blanket and had been wasting my time surfing through my pictures when I stumbled on this one:

writing

‘Nuff said…..thanks to the spirit responsible for sending the message!  Time to reintroduce myself to the characters of my book and get the bloody thing written!

Turning myself into Elvis Costello

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Elvis costello

I am neither becoming transgendered nor am I becoming a rock star but I am going to fit myself into a frame of Elvis’ mind – Every day I write the book.  Come November 1st, that statement will become my new mantra.  I have idly complained, mostly to myself, that I have not been spending any time with my work-in-progress.  We have severe detachment issues but all that is about to change.

With NaNoWriMo looming, I have made a promise to myself to set a writing schedule and do everything in my power to stick to it.  I am not going to set myself up for disappointment by saying I am going to finish my novel in a month but I am going to write as much as my brain will let me in the month of November.  Hopefully the writing Gods will smile on me and allow my creative juices to flow freely and possibly continue on into December until the full story comes to fruition.

I am excited to get back into the character’s minds and allow myself to become fully involved in the process.  There is a great story rattling around in my brain and it is time to put it where it belongs.

Perhaps I should also heed the advice of another popular Elvis – A Little Less Conversation (a little more action).  Wish me luck!!  And to all of you who will be officially participating in NaNoWriMo – may the force be with you!

 

And now for something almost completely different….

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Back in June of 2013, The Cutter presented me with a fun writing challenge.  He gave me four random things to use cohesively in a blog post.  The result is here.  I, in turn, threw down the gauntlet with five arbitrary topics and he brilliantly responded with this post.

The idea was so much fun to write, I thought I would try it again and offer the challenge to anyone else who wishes to participate.  This is not a recurring challenge and there is no deadline.  It just offers a little something outside the box and gives writers an excuse to deviate from their normal routine.  And who knows?  You could pick up a few new followers in the process.

Here are my five random ideas.   If you like the challenge, I’d love to read what you write – don’t forget to tag me.  And feel free to pick some random topics of your own and share it with your blogging friends.

  • ballerina
  • photo finish
  • movie script
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Chinese Food

Happy writing!

When passion supersedes thinking

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Sometimes I think too much.  I beat an idea to death because I am too stubborn to let the words flow they way they want to flow from my brain.  When that happens, the passion I have for those words seems to die a slow death and is replaced by the perfunctory task of trying to string a simple sentence together.

A few nights ago I watched the movie “Chef” with Jon Favreau.  Although his career path in the movie is obviously not a writer, his struggle to hold onto his passion becomes interrupted and his job becomes a menial task.  He lets too many outside influences tarnish the joy he gets from, not just cooking food but, creating food.

I took a lot of wisdom from that movie, so much so that I watched it a second time.  The underlying theme really struck the right chord in the orchestra of my creativity.  I watched his character peel back the unwanted opinions that had been constricting his imagination and he went right back to the basics, to the thing he fell in love with, and he rekindled his passion for food.

creative writing

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I’m going to wipe my writing counter clean and start from scratch.  I’m going to build the ingredients of my stories and get back to that place where my love for words began.  I’m going to let that passion speak for itself and not pound it into submission.  I am simply going to write.