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I didn’t know it was a diet book…

26 Mar

Welcome to my first book review! I picked up THE WRITING DIET by Julia Cameron several months ago and stuck it in my TBR pile. When I finally read it, I found out that it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was. Clearly, I didn’t actually read the title when I picked it up! This book is so much more than a diet book. Cameron gives us some wonderful writing exercises that truly help get your creative juices flowing. Some of the exercises were corny, but I have no doubt that they have seriously helped some people unblock their creativity. I will definitely be referring to some of these exercises in the future. She gives some especially good advice about journaling and free writing. Even if you’re not looking for a diet book, if you feel a little creatively stifled, no matter what form your creativity takes, I encourage you to check out THE WRITING DIET.

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Falling off the wagon

7 Feb

Every year I start out with the best intentions.  I’m going to eat better, exercise more, make more time for the things I love, the list goes on and on.  I try to narrow those intentions down to a few resolutions which inevitably end up being more than I can possibly attempt to change, but I forge ahead, confident that THIS year will be different.  This year I will stick to my resolutions.  And for a few weeks everything goes just as I had planned.  Then something happens and I fall off the wagon.  I’m sure you can relate.  You vow to eat better and then it’s Super Bowl Sunday.  Something always comes up to derail whatever change you’re trying to make.  This year is no different.  But, this year I’m going to be different.  It doesn’t matter that I’ve fallen off the wagon for nearly every resolution I made last month.  What matters is that I’ve decided to get back on the wagon rather than giving up and waiting for next year.  I’m going to keep getting back on the wagon and I hope you will too.

Happy New Year!

19 Jan

I’ve been away for a while.  Had a lot of STUFF happening that has kept me far too busy and is likely to continue for a while.  I missed writing and one of my (many) New Year’s resolutions is to make more time to write.  Hopefully my public announcement will inspire me to keep this resolution, or at the very least, shame me into it.

While I was away, I added some ideas to my future project file and my current project is still sitting there, judging me for not putting more words on paper.  This year I have been inspired to attempt to write a play for a friend who is working on opening a community theater.  I think it will be amazing even if my play is not.

I made a list of goals this year because I thought I should try something new instead of just flying by the seat of my pants like I usually do.  I wanted to share some of them so here goes:

This year

I want

  • to post at least once a week
  • to review a book once a month
  • be fearless when it comes to my writing and sharing it with others
  • to find balance

Wish me luck and I will be wishing you success with all of your 2011 goals and resolutions!

Happy Writing!

Ouch

1 Sep

I recently discovered WU thanks to Facebook and Writer’s Digest.  If you’re a writer or wanna be you must check it out.  Today I was looking at some of the posts from July and stumbled upon this post

Wow.  Ouch.  I found myself cringing as I read because, much as I hate to admit it, I am “that writer.”  My family has been hearing about my novel for a year without much progress.  Oh, I’ve managed to write a little bit here and there, but I have no consistency.  Realistically, ‘here and there’ isn’t getting the job done.  What to do?  Finding daily writing time in my already packed schedule is a daunting idea.  Since I’m not lucky enough to have a flexible schedule, that means something else gets bumped.  How do I choose which hobby(ies) gets shelved to make room for writing?  Not sure how I will decide, but something’s got to go!  I’m making a commitment to myself right now to figure it out and stop procrastinating.  Wish me luck!

Happy Writing,

m

I have a confession to make

31 Aug

I have a confession to make.  I have been toying with the idea of basing a “bad-guy” character on a co-worker.  I usually try not to base characters on people I know.  I would hate for a friend or family member to have hurt feelings should they read my work and figure out I used them as inspiration.  But, in the case of my co-worker, I was willing to make an exception.  Two things struck me as I pondered this dilemma today.  First, I actually like all my characters, even the bad guys and gals.  Second, in order to base a character on this particular co-worker, I would have to understand her, figure out what makes her tick.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m not feeling mature enough to want to understand her.  Understanding her would mean that I could no longer simply think of how horrible she is; I would be forced to see her as a whole person. 

Maybe that is the lesson to be learned.  I want my bad characters to be loved as much as the good.  I want the reader to care what happens to them.  For now, I’m giving up basing a character on my co-worker in favor of writing a character that the readers will love to hate.  It’s much more fun to let my imagination run wild.

Happy Writing,

m

In the garden

28 Aug

Gardening is a recent addition to my many hobbies, as in this summer.  I thought for sure that two of my rose bushes were dead from neglect.  Then, I looked out the window this afternoon and saw these:

  

Yes, those are weeds choking out my poor, almost-dead rose bushes.  I said I liked gardening, not that I was good at it!

Anyway, perhaps I could write a character named Rose who survived childhood neglect and abuse…  Too corny?  I guess I’ll put that idea in the “maybe” pile and see what else I come up with. 

Happy Writing,

m

Update:  I was so embarrassed about the state of my poor rose bushes that I dragged my husband to Lowe’s and picked up some fertilizer and cedar mulch.  Here is the new and improved rose bush (bush #2 is still in progress):

    

Walking

28 Aug

Walking seems to be a very popular topic lately.  For several months I have been seeing articles and reading books that discuss the benefits of walking.  Some are focused on physical health, others are more interested in how walking impacts mental health.  I even found one written with writers in mind, The Writing Diet

Last week I came across a book at the library called Fitness Unleashed.  It’s basically a book for dog owners about getting fit and healthy with your pet.  I checked it out and skimmed through it when I got home.  I found some useful information, but let’s just say I’m glad I got it from the library rather than paying for it. 

A few days ago I read a post on Writer Unboxed about walking.  All this reading about walking had me thinking.  I used to walk my dog, Mia, while listening to my iPod.  I viewed those walks as exercise, which made them seem like work and, obviously, made me want to avoid them.  So, recently, I started walking Mia without my iPod.  Suddenly, I had time to pay attention to the plants growing in my neighbors’ yards and in the park where we walk.  There are apple trees in our park!  I’m sure I knew they were there since we’ve been walking that park for nearly four years, but I was surprised and delighted to become aware of them now.  I also found that our neighbors have cherry trees, pomegranate trees, and tons of beautiful flowers and I wondered how I never noticed them before. 

 Something else happened during these walks.  Characters spoke to me, sharing their stories.  I worked out some challenges in the novel I’m currently writing.  I felt more clear and creative than I had in quite some time.  And, I no longer dread walking the dog. 

I hope you find your inspiration.

Happy Writing,

m