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

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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.

Writing Day Three

Well, if you read yesterdays blog, then you’ll be more than aware I was dealing with a migraine.

I was still dealing with it this morning. Until this year, I’ve never had migraines last for more than twenty-four hours. I’m wondering what fairy I inadvertently killed without knowing it. Having a migraine for longer than twenty-four hours is not a picnic that I’d give to my worst enemy.

So, much like yesterday, today will also not be a writing day. Which kills me. I had so many fab things I wanted to write yesterday until that headache hit the ‘beyond belief epic’ stratoshere.

I may go in and dabble, but that’s all it will be.

In an aside, I did dream that I was metaphysically trying to save two of Harry Potters friends who were unaware that they were about to be attacked by a zombie-witch (I know, right?), but I couldn’t remember the word for removing them to safety. The only one I could remember, was defenestrate, and I knew that wasn’t right. So I screamed out to Harry, and just kept screaming out his name. Who knows if he answered the call. Did I mention it was a weird dream?

Happy Birthday Girlfriend

Today is my bestie’s birthday. It’s a day that she really doesn’t like. Why? Because her phone rings off the hook and she cannot get anything done.

For most of us, when it’s our birthday, we get congratulatory wishes via parcel post, Facebook, Twitter and the odd card in the mail.  Then, there’s either a meal somewhere at a local restaurant, or a barbecue at home with friends and family.

Unfortunately for my friend, she moved away and lives in a small town in WhoopWhoop* hence the gazillion phone calls.

So I do the usual thing on her birthday. I call her home phone. That rings out. I call her cell. That too rings out. So I send a text.

That’s just sucky. I think I’ll hit Amazon a little later and see if there’s something on there that I can send her that will cheer her up. Sure, it won’t arrive today. But as friends we’re cool like that. It’s not about the gift. It’s about the message it conveys.

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*Not a real place. Australian slang for ‘the middle of nowhere’.

Writing Day Two

In the wee hours…

It was dark, and I awoke with my head in my hands. Head throbbing in the way that makes the world around you cease to exist. I slept again.

Once again with my head in my hands, it was still dark. This went on for awhile. Then I realised, migraine.

Groaning, I rolled over and reached for the open top drawer of my bedside table. Hand pawing everything closest too me, hoping for the touch of encapsulated tablets and the sound that the little crinkly open flaps make when you touch them, heart slowly sinking as I think of the long walk out to the kitchen cabinet. That walk in the dark that would be painful to take.

Surprised when my direst thoughts were interupted by the crinkly sound that I’d given up on, entered my dull brain-pan. Popping two into my hand, I reached for the ever present water bottle, and took only enough to get the tablets down my gullet.

Falling back on the bed, I willed myself to go back to sleep. Willed the tablets to kick-in, ‘please, oh please.’

Wanting desperately to make myself more comfortable, but unwilling to move.

What felt like hours later, I fell back to sleep.

Awake once again, my head thumping, just not as bad as last night. I realise, there’s not much hope for writing today. So I make some notes, and pop on here because, once started, I want to continue.

Here’s yesterdays progress.

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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

Thanks to the Universe

As the fire is puffing and growling its way through the wood, banked safely in its ring of stalwart rocks, the staccato voice of many frogs roll like waves in the background. The sound too-ing and fro-ing along the creek as the frogs each call out to their mates. Almost challenging the sound of the crackle and snap of the wood, as it slowly gives in to the flames.

The warmth of those flames heat my bare face, as the wind chill tickles the back of my neck – trying desperately to find a way in.

Yet still, it’s a peaceful night.

The glory of the milky-way above, shouts loudly into the silence of the dark night, daring all who look up, to deny if they can, that there is beauty to be had everywhere. You just need to look.

Peace steals through my heart and settles my soul, even as the chill of the autumn night bites at my ankles.

A car purrs down a road somewhere in the distance. It’s so far away that the sound it makes is negligible.

I take a deep breath.

In.

Holding it for five seconds and then release.

The crisp night air fills my lungs and as I release it, my mind becomes unburdened with all of life’s current concerns.

I send a grateful thanks out into the universe, for all the joy and companionship today has brought me.

Trixie Vardon

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