Writing

I read a short burst on Instagram this morning. On writing.

Basically, this author recommended, that to get the creative brain functioning and prepped for writing on her wip each day, she would first write something else. Anything else.

It sounded like good advice. Take the edges off as it were. I kept sailing through Instagram and the thoughts were still burbling at the back of my subconscious.

Eventually, I thought, dang it. I’m going to try that out. So here I sit, writing absolutely nothing of import, just getting the writing side of my brain functioning.

I’d like to attribute this post to her. Sadly, apart from hitting the little heart at the bottom of her post, I didn’t make a note of who said it. I went back and scrolled through, trying to locate it…when I saw a gorgeous cat photo – said cat was sitting on a park bench on what looked to be a foggy morning, wrapped up in a cape and marked #JediCat or something similar. As soon as I hit the heart at the bottom of that photo? I realised that I was about to fall back into the never ending hole that we all know and love to lose time too.

Swiftly, I shut Instagram down.

Made a coffee – Mocha of course, toasted a couple of crumpets – one lemon butter, the other breakfast marmalade, and hot-footed it down to my writing cave.

So yes – lady author, whoever you are, thank you for your advice. I’m taking it.

#FirstMorning #AmWriting #WritersLife

So, new beginnings…

Book one has been close to being finished so many times. Then the other day it hit me, if my two leads changed sexes, then it would be so much better!

It would, I know it would. The whole book would be so much better. Yet I’m not going to do it.

I’ve realised that if I keep amending and tweaking this book, then the rest of the series will never be written, let alone published. So, regardless of my latest brainwave, I’m going to hit that published button soon.

I’m in the process of doing preliminary edits. Then it’s off to the editor, and then the hunt for beta readers and building my mailing list will begin with a ferver.

So, wish me luck, and watch this space. I’ll be updating my process as I go, because, lets face it, you only release your first book once.

Hugs and kisses, Trixie.

Writing challenges… pffft.

If realised that I don’t have writing challenges. No. I have time challenges, and in addition to that, exhaustion challenges just to spice things up.

I have read that it’s easy to make five or ten minutes to write. Well I’m sorry/not sorry but five or ten minutes of writing per day is just not good enough. It doesn’t do it for me. Doesn’t scratch that particular itch you get when you’re fanging (stop auto-correcting me dammit!), as I was saying FANGING to sit and just WRITE.

blank business composition computer

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I’ve popped in here to say pfffft to the writing challenge of writing any old hoohaa to get words on the page. Because it’s not enough.

Want an analogy? Try this on for size then… five or ten minutes of writing is like opening a box of your favourite chocolates, having that divine aroma waft up and smack you in the back of the nostrils only to discover that, horror of horrors, the box is empty.

Okay, that’s enough whinging from me for one day.

Oh, in an aside, I got over 5k words typed the other day in two and a half hours. I know right? Blew me away too. This girl was on FIRE BABY, and there was much happy dancin’ to be had.

Later my lovelies. *muah*

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Electronic Etiquette and Seasons.

Just as you know that there are only so many seasons in a year, there are also only so many summers in your lifetime. How many summers do you think you’ll get to enjoy in one lifetime? I’m fifty-six now, which means I’ve only seen fifty-six summers. Only thirty-six of those were as an adult. So, when you put that into context with your phone/text/email/internet life, what’s more important too you? Enjoying your summer? Or spending all of it on the phone?

The rules around etiquette are changing. As a society, we all need to be careful about what’s acceptable and what is not.

Back in the day before mobile phones, there was usually only one phone in the home. It was fixed to a wall or sat on top of a telephone table. The telephone table generally held the local phone book, yellow pages, notepad and pens and pencils. There were even instances of homes that didn’t have a phone at all. At one point, there were also no answering machines. So if someone rang, you were completely oblivious to the fact, until you met up with that person, or a letter arrived informing you.

Public phone booths dotted the landscape and were a common piece of hardware in every shopping centre. These were for making calls though, not accepting them.

There were no mobile phones, just as there were no text messages, emails or internet.

In those days, one would plan in advance where to meet up with friends or family prior to the day.

If you rang someone’s home, and they weren’t there, the phone would just ring out. You also didn’t know they had called, therefore you couldn’t call them back.

No one had a mental failure at the fact that you didn’t return their call. People today tend to forget this.

What our current society needs to understand is that just because you have a phone, you do not have to answer it. I know – shocking piece of information right there.

If the person ringing wants to chat – that’s nice, but what if you don’t want too? Likewise, if you call someone, and they don’t want to chat right there and then, respect their wish. Leave a message if you must, but unless someone is dying, or bleeding to death and they have to be involved, leave them the hell alone. You can tell them later, surely?

We need to remember, we are not slaves to our phones. We are also not slaves to the person that is calling.

If it’s important they will call you back, or even leave a message if you have that switched on. The caller also has a choice to send you a text message or an email these days if they so desire.

Which brings me to emails. Emails are just electronic mail. That’s all it is. If someone had written you a letter, then posted it, and it was then delivered to your postal address – how long would it be before you opened and read it. How long would it also take to reply – if replying was something that you felt you needed to do?

The point I’m trying to make here is the same point I’m trying to make with your phone calls.

Put your phone on silent more often. Don’t be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s not a requirement for life. With your head down, you’re missing out on so much around you. Choose your time wisely.

In an aside, I have a friend who, on her birthday just does not answer her phone. She takes a day off from everything and has what she calls, ‘me time’. She lives far away from her family and friends and we all know that she does this on her birthday. Yet we all still call her.

I’m aware of some people being a little shocked by this. “But it’s her birthday and I want to wish her well.”

Yeah? And? The salient point here, is you’re right – it is her birthday, and she has decided that for that one day of the year she’s going to do what she wants. It doesn’t mean that she loves anyone any less or any more.

Do I still ring her? Of course I do. I ring both her home phone and her mobile… just in case she wants to chat. Yet I’m completely okay with her not picking up. I respect that these are her wishes. I also know that she will see that she has a missed call on her phone, and know that I rang.

Choose your seasons and spend them well.

A Kiss

The fire ran through me everywhere my lips brushed your skin.

Nothing I had felt in the past, it seemed, had ever come close to this.

My mind blown.

Later I would reflect upon it. Had I ever known love? Was that what this was?

I’d known passion.

This though, this was electric fire. Coursing through me from every point of touch.

I understood now, all those poets past and present.

Your voice alone was enough to raise the fine hair on the back of my neck, my skin would pebble, and my nipples become taught.

Lust and longing were mixed with a healthy dose of desire, all rolled into one messy ball that would then pulse back and forth through my body.

Finally, I understood why love sent people insane. For this surely is insanity.

How does one live like this, day in day out? Longing for that touch once again.

Parting is such sweet sorrow? Hell no. Parting was hell, there was nothing sweet about it.

Give that feeling back to me again. Let me truly live once more. Take my pain from me, take my shame, I don’t care. Give me love, give me life, for surely the two are one.

Memories? I want none of it. I want only to revel in love. Roll about in it’s sweaty juices, feel that scent of you upon my breath, that weight of you upon my body.

For there is nothing in this world that will ever make me feel truly alive like this again.

Everything else pales into insignificance.

I am lost to you for ever, if you’ll only take me, and give me back my true self once again.

I now know pity.

For those that have never loved.

Never known love.

Never given or accepted love.

Those, I mourn for – let me never be one of those again.

Writing – Day Seven

person typing on typewriter

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RE: Publishing.

Like every Indie before me, I’ve done some major learning, and here’s something that I wish to share with you all.

I was in a panic about publishing. The how, and what’s involved. I had notes that I’d made and advice that I’d collected along the way, but when you know that there will be deadlines involved in your release, well the pressure really begins to build. It’s something that I did to myself – I don’t know if you’ve done it, but I certainly did.

Now this lead me to thinking, how am I ever going to manage this? How am I ever going to manage to publish a book?

That last sentence, really resonated in my head.

I got to thinking – how was I going overcome this. I knew, for me to continue writing, it was something that I was going to eventually have to confront and overcome.

So, I wrote a short story, bought a very cheap off the shelf eBook cover, created another pen name – one that I’m not building a brand around, and loaded it up to Amazon – then pressed PUBLISH.

What I learnt; that it wasn’t that difficult to do. That there was information that I knew about theoretically, but putting it into practise was a different thing entirely. Now I’d kind of guessed that this would occur. But the interesting thing in all of this, was that they were merely small speed humps that I was able to deal with and overcome. Sure, they slowed me down somewhat, but I learned how to overcome them. It wasn’t hard or as difficult as I thought it would be.

I also made step by step notes for when I do publish my brand.

I think the biggest thing that I learned from the whole endeavour was that I could do this thing. That its as hard as you make it, or as easy if you let it be.

That I could do it on a shoestring for the nonce, and pretty everything up down the track, if that’s something that I wanted to do.

The biggest thing that came out of this though was that the exercise took the pressure off.

In the back of my head I’d built up so much pressure on myself without realising I’d done so, that I was beginning to doubt if I was actually capable of it.

The thing I want you to take away from this is, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Writing – Day Six

Today isn’t a day that I get to write as a rule. Saturdays are sometimes chaotic, today a case in point.

Sprinting around the house this morning trying to pull some order out of the chaos, and then in the car and off to work. Throw in some cats prior to leaving and you can imagine the chaos in my home. Kitty litter cleaning, feeding, watering not to mention door person extraordinaire – open the door, close the door, rinse and repeat.

Today though, isn’t just any Saturday. We have an event called the Avon Descent. This is an annual weekend event that fills my little town to bursting, and today is that day. So you could say, that the chaos just continued when I left home.

The town is full of cars. There are people walking down the middle of the road wearing hi-vis gear directing traffic and letting people know where there is parking available, and where each of the different events that are on can be located.

For you see we like to do things big here in Toodyay. So we’re also hosting the International Food Festival at the same time.

Why not? I mean people out in the rain and wind like to eat too.

There are cars towing boats, and trucks topped with kayaks – or towing boat trailers and topped with kayak fittings as most of the boats and kayaks are on the Avon River dealing with a fast flowing white and brown water. I say brown, because I’m pretty sure that judging by the colour of the water this year, half the hills have washed into that water. It’s a muddy orange brown – damn, now I want a chocolate orange. *sigh*

I did manage to fill a lunch break in with Chris Fox’ latest YouTube release, How to Make Character Names That Don’t Suck*, which I found very enlightening. I’m always learning from him. I also decided to replay his video The Creative Gap* and I’m so glad that I did.

I have an on again, off again struggle with my writing. It’s not so much that I get that insidious thing called writers block. No, it’s my ability, or lack thereof in my writing. Let me put it to you thus; I look at authors like David & Leigh Eddings, or Mark Dawson, Chris Fox et cetera – and basically think, woe is me, all hope is lost, I will never get a reader, let alone a single review, why oh why am I bothering – then the wailing and back swatching ensues.

Okay, so that last bit was a tad exaggerated. You do get the picture though. I have little, or no belief in my own abilities, and because of this, I also believe that if I don’t believe in my own writing, then why would anyone else, therefore why should I waste my time and everyone else’s.

Let’s face it, there are sooo many books out there, and no chance of reading them all in one lifetime, so why am I bothering.

Then, like I said, I watched Mr Foxs’ The Creative Gap, and he mentioned in there something like..

“Stop worrying in the short-term on how good of a writer you are…Keep learning… The longer we do this, the better we will become… You will be better in a year, than you are now.”

It’s because of people like Chris Fox that I keep going. I keep learning. I keep writing. I keep adding too my current WIP and I don’t give up, no matter how tired I am at plugging away.

So today, I’d like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all fo you out there that keep people like myself from throwing in the towel. It’s because of you that writers like myself continue to carry on in between those uplifting Eureka moments that we have when we write.

*Check out Chris Fox YouTube channel

Writing – Day Five

What happened to Day Four? Is it missing in action? Was it stolen? Did someone forget to press ‘publish’?

Well, whatever happened, it’s been and gone. Writing Day Four is no more and we will just have to put it down to one of Life’s Little Mysteries.

The Art of Writing

I’m almost completely autodidactic; except for those years at primary and high-school where, for the most part I hid in the library reading or under the stairs with books, always with books. Fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, romance, comedy, drama, you name it, I’ve read it with passion and love.

Yet, now that I’m older and have the time, I really enjoy learning about writing. It’s the one thing I can say I’m truly passionate about. Any other non-fiction material, no matter how interested I am, puts me to sleep in nothing flat*. Learning about the craft of writing? I’m in.

People like Chris Fox, Joanna Penn, Jeff Goins, Mark Dawson and James Blatch. These masters of the quill and publishing are where I go to be sustained. They are the ones that keep me from drowning in a morass of blue funk and desperation. They not only help me hone my craft, they keep me going.

I also look at the works and advice of others though and the other day something popped up in my newsfeed, and as per usual, I read it hungrily. Always looking to pick up something new. Anything that will clarify something for me – that usually until that point I was completely oblivious too.

The piece I read was all about using brevity when writing, and I applaud this, even if I find it a little difficult to practice at times.

However, what has been niggling at the back of my brain since reading this nugget, was they also recommended the use of smaller words.

Hmmm. (Or should that be hmmmmmmmmm?) It made me frown, and I read it again, just to be sure.

I realised, that this bothered me greatly.

You see my belief is that if a word, any word, is used correctly in a sentence of any type, then it will be understood. Perhaps not wholly, but in general. People will get a gist of what you’re about.

Why should we dumb down our readers? Seriously, isn’t that what we’re doing if we practice this?

This is largely how words are lost in time. There are some marvellous words that are dropped from the dictionary every year – okay, it’s true that there are also many less than lovely words lost too, however… if words aren’t used, then they simply disappear into the annals of history.

Another reason for using the words that we have available to us is the eBook. Since the inception of the eBook readers around the world, at the touch of a finger, can now look up that elusive word. In doing so they gain knowledge.

Surely this ability to educate on the hop, as it were, is a boon that we should all be encouraging? Not clapping a lid on.

I’m not talking about the works written by sesquipedalian type authors. (See what I did there?) Personally, those books aren’t terribly enjoyable. Books filled with words that require decoding in every sentence certainly interrupts flow and I’m all for flow in the telling of stories.

Let me know your thoughts on this. Open a dialogue and lets see where it takes us.

On Writing Daily – and the real me.

I gave myself the task of writing in here each day to stir the conscious mind and get the juices flowing. Disregarding yesterdays faux pas, it seems to be working – although I have to admit, this morning things were a little back to front.

You see by the time I sat to write this, I’d already hit up one hundred and eighty-eight words of plot points on one of my non-fictions pieces. Andddd then I came in here. So yes, I have it backwards.

I also edited a short story. Just because.

One of the things that I’ve noticed about coming in here and doing this writing challenge though, is that it seems to sort my brain into a better writing mode. If you have a look at everything that I’ve written here in On Writing Daily – and the real me., you may notice that my writing is slightly scatty.

Yes, I’m being kind to myself here.

Okay, it’s very scatty. In short, it’s all over the place. Non-cohesive. It’s also written in the way that I talk. Which isn’t a good thing. I digress more often than a horse changes direction in a carousel.

So, lets settle down and write something a little more meaningful. After all, this is supposed to be prepping my brain for my real work.

*The Moon’s A Balloon, by David Niven would be the exception to that rule.