As I write this . . .

January 1, 2012

Writing Resolutions for 2012

Filed under: General Info — aawriter @ 3:53 pm

Today is the first day of the new year. Like everyone else I know, during this past holiday season, I ate a little too much, partied a little too long and still somehow managed to send up prayers and wishes for everyone to have a better year in 2012.  2011 taught me a lot, but I covered that in my last post.

What kind of resolutions do writers make for themselves in the new year?  Are they like many others who resolve to lose weight, treat others better or just simply don’t make them for fear of not being able to keep them?

This writer has just a few, but hopes they’ll be inspiring to those who are holding the pen in their hands in preparation of writing their first creative words in 2012.  Here we go:

Remember that writer’s adage about applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair? Well, I’m going to live by it in 2012.  I did this in 2011, but here’s the difference: The words that come out of my head, across my fingertips and down on paper will be for my inspiration.  While I don’t intend to be selfish, the fact of the matter is that we all have only so much writing time and energy. I can guarantee you that at least 60 per cent of mine for this past year was for the benefit of others.  That will change in 2012.

In a 2011 edition of Time Magazine, best-selling author Nicholas Sparks said that “the experience of writing a failed novel is painful. It’s a terrible period of time I never wish to revisit.” When he was initially asked what his favorite writing mistake was, this is what he said: “I thought I had most of the story in my mind, and I got two thirds of the way through. It was only then that I realized I shouldn’t have started it at all.” As writers, we’ve all been there at one time or another. Personally, my work on two separate manuscripts this past year taught me the true meaning of Nicholas Sparks’ words. I resolve to have every manuscript worked out to the very end before typing the first letter of the first word.

My second resolution is to keep a daily journal.  For those of you who know me personally, you know that I already journal – twice a week. My personal experiences in my new surroundings this past year, have taught me the value of writing down these events, incidents, or whatever you want to call them on a daily basis.  They make for excellent satiric humor – especially if one takes the “high road,” but is surrounded by such ignorance that no-one even understands what “high road” means.   To those that contributed to these experiences during the past year, I want to thank you. My tongue and writing quill have become razor sharp, and the “evil twin” characters in my manuscripts have never been more believable.

Thirdly, walk away.  That’s right, it’s just that simple. We were all taught this by our parents, but as a writer when someone or something begins to tap your writing or creative energies too much or too often, walk away.  Because, here’s the deal: most of these people aren’t going to use what you’ve given them anyway.  If they are other writers, artists, etc., they are going to interpret it on their terms, let it percolate for a little while, and then probably discard it because they’ve over-analyzed it. As a writer, you’re better off not spending your energies on other creative souls who will do the very thing that comes naturally to any observer – subjective interpretation.  Many good ideas have gone down the drain simply out of being beaten to death.  In short, give them a little, but not a lot.  And in the vein of furthering good ideas, I submit my next resolution.

Number four: Keep a notebook of all story ideas. We all do this to some degree. But how many times do we actually access this “file?”  Here’s my solution:  I keep the back panel and three rings of a huge binder hanging on a pegboard wall in my writing area.  I have deliberately removed the front panel for easier access and to visually remind me, every time I glance that way, that I have many story ideas … just waiting.  This works.  Not only does it affirm your creativity, but it can also serve to summon your muse if you find yourself in a writing drought.

Finally, put all of your 2012 writing goals on a vision board that actually has a chance to catch your eye as you write. Notice I used the word “put,” not “list.” A list becomes robotic, but “placing,” “putting,” or “picturing” your writing goals on a vision board has the effect of being anything but robotic.  Mine includes my passport as a special reminder of how I’m going to celebrate “the end of the story.”

I’m sending all of you my very best wishes for a truly successful year of writing in 2012.  And, in the meantime, as you’re subjectively interpreting my Writing Resolutions for 2012, I’ll be applying the seat of my pants to the seat of the chair and . . .

November 20, 2011

Respect …

Filed under: General Info — aawriter @ 11:40 am

As I write this, I’m reminded of the legalities of writing about subjects, issues, and personal matters of other people.  You know, the very things that writers “borrow” in order to create believable characters.

Recently, I’ve been absolutely amazed about what liberties some writers take to develop a manuscript or sell their work.   Notice, I said “some” writers – not all.

Never mind the legal consequences of exercising such cavalier and egregious behavior – what about the moral ethics of this?    When writers do this, they earn their alternative names of “liar,” “plagiarist,” and “sell-out.”  And, these are the kinder ones.

In the midst of world crises, both financial and moral, writers continue to craft their words and events into believable stories.  Readers anxiously look forward to the fruits of their efforts.  They hope for carefully woven words that are “sensitive” to protecting the identity of the person the author models key personalities after.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

We all know our readers keep us on our creative toes.  No-one appreciates reading about him/herself in a published work when they had no idea that their former words and actions were being watched and saved for future use.  It’s worse than tacky, despicable or deplorable – it’s unconscionable.  Recent high-profile case in point: Amanda Knox.  Remember that she successfully sued for liable after Italian “author,” Fiorenza Sarzanini confiscated and used her diary entries as fodder for the book “Amanda e gli Altri (Amanda and the Others). In spite of this being heard in an Italian court, Ms. Knox was awarded over $50,000 in damages.  And, rightfully so.

So authors, as I write this, I conscientiously remind you and myself that our words and stories, albeit ever so carefully used and crafted, should continue to be applied with the utmost respect to all aspects of the publishing world – but, most especially, to those of our inner circles and all around us.

For some, it’s an additional layer of “creativity.” For others, it’s only natural.

October 30, 2011

Anne’s Offerings for 10/30/2011

Filed under: General Info — aawriter @ 12:33 pm

LOVE the feedback that was waiting for me this morning!  THANK YOU! Offerings for this morning are as follows:

FAVORITE WRITER’S PROMPT: Morning T’ai Chi exercise.

WHAT I WRITE:   Fiction (El-Hi, Breakout Mainstream, Mainstream Contemporary, Chick Lit); Nonfiction (Americana, History, Creative Nonfiction) Current Title: “Mine, First”

MUSE PRODUCTIONS:  Most popular book genre for 2011?  Romance and Mystery

Character Development:   Did you know that you can make your characters’ personalities more believable by giving them a psychometric test?  Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational measurement. The field is primarily concerned with the construction and validation of measurement instruments such as questionnaires, tests, and personality assessments. Many samples of these tests may be found through a cursory internet search.

Writer’s Money: For those of you who are interested in getting more for your money, you’ll enjoy this newest “movement”:   http://on.fb.me/p8X3c7

Writers for Peace:   (Disappointments) New York Times stringers Thom Shanker and Steven Lee Myers’ contribution to the Sunday edition report  the military’s efforts to build up the troops’ appearance in Gulf after withdrawal from Iraq. More info can be found here:  http://nyti.ms/syZjUc

Writers’ Favorite  Recipe – Frozen Hand Black Halloween Punch:

Ingredients –

  • 1 (.13 ounce) envelope unsweetened grape soft drink mix
  • 1 (.13 ounce) envelope unsweetened orange soft drink mix
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1 liter ginger ale

Directions:

  1. For the frozen hand, wash a disposable glove, fill with water, seal with a rubber band and freeze until hard.
  2. Stir together grape soft drink mix, orange soft drink mix, sugar and water until solids are dissolved. Combine with chilled ginger ale just before serving. Dip the frozen hand briefly in warm water, then peel off the glove. Float the prepared hand in the punch bowl.

Writer’s Health:   It’s known as “writer’s spread” but if additional weight gain were the only side effect, up to a point we could all live with that. And, whether you’re a writer or not, one of the most common side effects of weight gain is high blood pressure, a/k/a hypertension.  Further, we all know that elevated blood pressure can lead to increased risk for heart attack and stroke.  If you’re on medication for hypertension, you’ll be interested in knowing that a new study finds that people who took at least one of their hypertension meds before bed were much less likely to have had a major cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke. The findings are described in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Here we go!

Filed under: General Info — aawriter @ 12:41 am

Welcome Readers, Family and Friends!

Those of you who know me personally are critically aware how much I enjoy writing … on many different issues and topics!  Having said that, those of you who know me even better also know that nothing is “off limits” – unless it’s illegal or can be reported as “abuse.”

So just to get us started, let’s look at a few of the topics I’ll be commenting on in this blog:

Holidays, and their idiosyncrasies

Real World News with all of its joy and disappointments

The Entertainment Industry

Writing/Book World

Health

Politics

Religion

Greater  Good

Okay, let’s start with some suggestions from you.  What’s YOUR favorite topic?

You can email me with your suggestions!

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