Monday, April 1, 2013

Anniversaries -- Inspirational Mondays

My inspiration for this month comes from the one year anniversary of the AtoZ blogging challenge I started in 2012. Although I will not be taking part in it this year, I am forever in debt to the shear luck I had in finding it in 2012. Last year I challenged myself to write twenty-six 600-1000 word stories all in the month of April.

I had no idea where the stories would come from or if I would even be able to finish what I started. I did finish. At times I was writing into the wee hours of the night, but I did it. And I am all the better for it. You can see a link of the stories on the side there. The whole challenge got me going and helped me find my writer's sea legs. From there I was able to springboard to more stories. I'm still writing and plotting and know it's a long haul.

I find the anniversary quite inspiring. It reminds me of where I started and where I thought I was headed. And I am not disappointed. Thinking about it allows me to dream the dream again. 

It has gotten pretty quiet around here (my blog), and it probably will remain that way. I just find I prefer to write instead of blog. I will probably keep the once a month schedule on the first Monday, but wh
en I have stories to show I will. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Do Sweat the Small Stuff (Inspirational Monday)

In trying to improve my writing, I've been focusing on details. My mind naturally deals in platitudes and generalities. This was my pitfall as I wrote. So I've been retraining my mind to look for the small stuff.

I read in my current study of the craft that you must pull the reader outside their mind and into yours. I can't try to make connections with their experience, I have to make it so they make connections with mine. This can only be done with rich and vivid details.

For example I can say that Texas is a great place to live. This may be true but it does nothing to relate that feeling to the reader. For that I have to fall to the details. I have to talk about sitting in and old wooden Adirondack chair and watching my two Australian cattle dogs running around the back yard chasing squirrels up the pecan trees. I'm amazed by the sixty degree weather as I sit in the backyard with the sun warming my face. Sure the summers in Texas can be brutal, but is there a better way to spend January anywhere else?

The other thing I get out of focusing on details comes from the wide open possibilities it opens. When I focused on how great Texas is as a place to live, I tend to look for things that fit that mental state. I'm cornered into a box and that's all I'll see. Where as if I start with details, it can go in any direction.

So I'm inspired by details and the fact that now that I'm looking for them I see so much more of the big picture.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Writing in the New Year (Inspirational Monday)

The first Monday of every month I like to blog about something or someone that inspired me to write or continue writing.

Today my inspiration is new beginnings.

I've been self-educating over the last few weeks on the craft of creative writing as a way to get better. I am still writing as I do this. I have four 3000-4000 word short stories that I popped out since the holiday break started. It's exciting to get stuff done.

I have no intention on publishing them myself. Some of them may end up as submissions to places if and when I clean them up a bit. I did it more as an exercise.

It feels like a rebirth. I'm looking at my writing in a new light, a new beginning.

The other thing I plan on focusing on--again from the standpoint of developing my craft--is observation. I was always a naturally keen observer, it's what gravitated me to the sciences. But now I want to focus on the details. It is something that is missing in my writing. The finer tune has escaped me too many times. Therefore one of my exercises is to sit and write observations I make in random settings. Such as a grocery store, or at the bus stop.

I've been watching other people--not in a creepy way--and I find it fascinating. The other day I saw a woman doing the same thing I was doing. She would look up, roam her eyes around the room, and then write in her notebook. She did this repeatedly. I couldn't help but imagine she was doing the same thing I was.

Best of luck in the new year!