Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How Writing Can Change Your Life

From Writerslife.org:

How Writing Can Change Your Life - Writer's Life.org
Paper Tube Daisy
Writing really is a gift, and doing so regularly can be cathartic, therapeutic and truly bring positive changes and benefits to your life and the lives of those around you. It also, of course, can bring great pleasure to the lives of those who read your work.
So how does writing help to change your life for the better?

It helps you make sense of the world
Is there anything more useful than writing things down to help you make sense of them? Whether its a logical problem, or an intense feeling that you can’t quite account for. If you are feeling angry, or overjoyed, or deeply sad, writing things down and exploring your emotions in this way can help you make sense of things and feel much stronger and more equipped to handle anything life throws your way.

Keeps you in touch with your creative side
When we were children our minds were so much freer. We didn’t censor ourselves, we didn’t feel embarrassed or silly for believing in magic. Writing helps us to get back in touch with that childlike self. When creating a story, you can be as imaginative as you wish and can conjure up worlds where magical, otherworldly, impossible things might happen. Being creative helps to make our lives more interesting, more satisfying. Through creativity, we can explore ideas, make connections and find deeper meanings, and writing helps us to exercise our creativity on a regular basis.

Writing helps you remember things
Writing can evoke all sorts of emotions, all sorts of memories. Even if you are not writing a journal or autobiography, looking back on your work, you can’t help but be brought back to the time you were writing it. If you write throughout your life, no matter what it is you write about, you have this wonderful, fantastical, detailed account of your journey that is truly amazing to look back on.

Writing helps you communicate your thoughts and feelings
There is nothing more frustrating than feeling misunderstood, or struggling with emotions, desires and thoughts that you feel you cannot clearly express. Writing helps you to share such things, to explore them, and to reach out and touch the hearts of people who are perhaps feeling the same.

Writing brings joy to the world
Reading is a pleasure that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years. If your writing touches one reader, inspires them, comforts them, makes them look at the world differently, or simply entertains them for a while then you are bringing something positive and wonderful to the world. The more readers you are able to deliver this to, the better!

Writing is rewarding
Writing is something that you have to work hard at. But in doing so you will see fantastic results. Not only will you get closer to your goal of finishing that story, but your writing will also improve. It’s incredibly satisfying to get better at our craft, and the sense of achievement you feel when you finally finish your story is something truly amazing.
Writing really can make such a positive and impactful difference in your life. The more you do it, the more you will learn how to use it as a tool to bring you happiness and peace. Writing helps your memory, helps you feel more positive, and helps you communicate and connect with others, as well as providing you with a sense of pride and satisfaction like no other. So next time you sit down to write just remember what good it brings you, and be thankful for that!

This I can say I agree with. I've definitely felt rewarded in working the long book I have been composing.  It's gotten my creative juices flowing.  I'm still wondering how much longer I can go and what I can do next. I do have another writing project started and want too get more done on that one, but the ideas for the memoir keep coming and I've gotten so into trying to get it done.  
I've gotten so into my writing that I need to find some time to find art ideas for work. I just did the following idea (click here for info).  As with the assemblage, I try to make examples at home so others will get the idea.
And I need to find some recipes to try for cooking class. Since Memorial Day Weekend is coming up, I might try to find something I can do then.

Paper Tube Daisy
For class, everyone chose a color for their flowers
and since I did not find all yellow buttons,
I allowed each of them to paint the buttons
with their desired colors.



Monday, May 22, 2017

More, Now, When, Where--To Be Added

six word memoirs:

As I continue my memoir writing journey, I still get somewhat frustrated about the word count. If you've read my blog regularly, you probably already know about this.  I've been told that that the effort put into the work is what should count and I agree with that.  Nevertheless, I still wonder how so many people have written such works of 70K words or more.  In some such works, I see many overly descriptive narratives. I've tried this, but maybe it's not exactly my style. and in general, I fell like I have don't a have a lot to say compared to those I have read. I know I shouldn't compare like this, but I get fearful of being told mine isn't long enough. I have been told conflicting stories that traditional publishers require a certain number of words, and have heard conflicting posts on just how many words.  And that it doesn't matter how long if you plan to self-publish, but I'm a bit ambivalent on the idea of self-publishing.

But now I find myself remembering more things I feel a need to add. I'm just not sure what chapter to add these things to, or if to start a new one altogether. I see nothing wrong with the latter idea.  It's all just a matter of decisions.
 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Prozac Nation Quotes

With Mental Health Month coming to a close, I decided to share some quotes on depression from Prozac Nation. I think you can see how that book and movie influenced me 🙂


“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.” ― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation



“That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end.” 
― Elizabeth WurtzelProzac Nation





Thursday, May 18, 2017

Merging Your Fiction Writing With Real Life Experiences

From Writerslife.org:

Merging Your Fiction Writing With Real Life Experiences - Writer's Life.org


We are always told to ‘write what we know’ but what does that really mean? If you don’t have any desire to write an autobiography or can’t see how a book about your everyday experiences or the past is going to knock the socks off your reader, how do you use what you know, what you have experienced, and what you are passionate about, in your writing work?

I was told this many times, and was almost certain I was going to choose to write a novel based on my experiences with depression. But as I began writing notes, it began to sound more like memoir, so that is why I went with that.  Having been influenced by another person's memoir on the same subject may have been why I found myself writing my notes that way.

Whether I had chosen to write fiction or a memoir, I was apprehensive of using other people's real names or using their characteristics to define a fictional character.  I've seen this used as a gag on TV shows: Someone is trying to write a story and someone else tells that person to "Write what you know." The would-be writer takes this advice and ends up penning something that leads the other characters to say "This story is about us!" Now I wonder how many real-life writers have had this happen to them. 


Keep your eyes open
Magical, unusual, beautiful and horrifying things happen all around us all the time. Keep your eyes and ears open to them and soon you’ll start to notice things that you can use in your writing to make it more believable, exciting and unique. Next time you go for a walk or sit on a bus, really look at everything, immerse yourself in the moment - and make sure you bring a notebook so you can capture everything that strikes you there and then.
Say yes to more things
It’s hard to have real life experiences worth writing about if you never do anything or go anywhere. Sitting inside on your sofa or staring for hours on end on your computer screen will get you nowhere. So make a real effort to be a yes person and you’ll find your life becomes richer, more exciting and more unusual - all of which are excellent fuel for a great story.

I'm not sure how, if at all,  either of these two above have worked into my memoir writing. 

Be brave
Doing things that push you, that take you outside your comfort zone and that scare you a little will help you find inspiration in your real life experiences. Those things that make us nervous, make our palms a little sweaty, make us get butterflies are usually the things that make for good stories. So the more you are willing to take a leap of faith and to have the courage to simply go for it, the more fuel you will have to merge these experiences into your work.

I guess I was brave to have looked in my old journals (see below) to find out something I wanted to add. There were somethings I didn't want to be reminded of and many of these I already remembered even without looking at the journals. But there was something I wanted to know for sure, so I had to look the journals to know. I now also think some of the things might have worked for a fictional novel.

Talk to people
OK so you might not have a great many stories of your own, but the more you talk to people the more you will learn about them, their lives and the tales they have to tell. You never know when someone might tell you something beautiful, interesting or hilarious so always open yourself up to people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Learn what you can from the. Gather stories and use them to influence your work. The more people you meet the more likely you are to find those with great stories and can use them as the basis for many of your rich and interesting characters too.

The closest I came to this one as far as memoir writing goes is when I recently asked my mom if she thought I could have been considered a precocious child. She told me some thing I was too little to remember for sure--I taught myself to read and was drawing perspective at a young age.  And she reminded me of an ability I had a child--if she or another adult asked me what day of the week a date in the past fell on, I mostly could answer this correctly. I seemingly memorized the calendars that was in the back pages of the old telephone directory (anyone remember seeing that calendar?)  I now think these characteristics would work well for a fictional character. 

Research your past
Talk to your relatives about your history, ask them to share their stories and really explore your memories of what it was like growing up. The places you’ve lived in, the holidays you went on as a child, how you felt on your first day at school. You have a whole life’s worth of experiences in your past, so take your time to think of them and see how they could influence your writing.
I've been doing this one, well sort of. My current treatment on antidepressants wasn't my first.  It had been years since I first did so, then left suddenly. During that time, I'd been asked to keep a journal and had three of them. The other day, I went to find them in my storage shed to see what info contained in these journals I could use. 

There was one thing I remembered before evoking at the journals. Turns out I remembered the date incorrectly (according to the date of this detail in the journal), but decided not to try to correct it. I'm probably the only one who remembers this one particular incident and if no one else knows for sure, then I see no reason to be too factual. In this way, I'm kind of fictionalizing some facts. It has seemed to work better this way. I have noted in my prologue that some events have been jumbled or combined, but are true and accurate for the most part. This, I presume is what a "fictionalized memoir" is.

Immersing your real life experiences in with your creative writing can be a wonderful way to explore your past, to really get in tune with the world, and to create some meaningful, beautiful, real writing that feels true to you and will connect deeply with your readers.

So next time you sit down to write, think about how you can use your past, your present and the people you meet each day to help make your writing even more special and unique!
I'm definitely taking all of these ideas into consideration if I ever should write a novel.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Words for Wednesday #3


Here are this week's prompts. Click here for more info and to see others' contributions this week.






This week's prompts are:

  1. agile 
  2. blast 
  3. cacophony 
  4. desire 
  5. eager 
  6. flirt

And/or

  1. ground 
  2. hidden 
  3. injury 
  4. jealous 
  5. kindliness 
  6. lament

And this week an image as well which you can use or ignore


Looking out the window, I saw the cloudy sky with a strange man's image hidden somewhere among the cloudiness. I could not tell much about this mysterious man, but some things seemed to be that he was not the jealous type or the kind ridden with lament over some lost desire, nor the one to add an insult to this sort of injury. Rather, he seemed like someone agile, with an eager desire to flirt. I could see that there was some hidden kindliness in this mystery man's face. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Discovering New Favorite Authors

We all have that/those author(s) we had to read in school and just maybe ended up enjoying and calling them  favorite authors. Being from California, I had to read at least one John Steinbeck book in high school (I live only about 40 miles from his hometown of Salinas). We just may want to read more of that author or re-read what we've already enjoyed. 


Wallace Stegner

Sometimes however, we may just find a favorite author that we never heard of. One day last year, while scanning my library shelves for something to read, I saw some books by an author named Wallace Stegner (picture above).  I'd never known about him until then and no one I know seems to have heard of him. But once I read a collection of short stories by this author, I decided to read more of his work.  To date, I've read the following books of his: 

Collected Stories
Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs
Angle of Repose
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
The Spectator Bird (currently reading)


And at home I have a used copy of this one, found at a local thrift store:
All the Little Live Things

I've enjoyed all the ones I've read so far and am eager to keep reading more. I definitely recommend his work to those who have never heard of him and/or who are curious now that you've read this. Sometimes when you discover a writer you've never heard of, you find someone and something you like to read.  FYI, Angle of Repose was a Pulitzer Prize winner, and The Spectator Bird a winner of the National Book Award.

Coincidentally, I discovered another author named Wallace--Wallace Thurman (below). To date I've only read one of his books, The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life, a novel from the Harlem Renaissance era.  I enjoyed this one as well and recommend it to those who don't already know about it. Again, no one I know has ever heard of this author.

Wallace Thurman



And I like to read poetry as well, and I recently discovered the poet named Wallace Stevens. Gee, what is it with the name Wallace?  I read The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer.
Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens.jpg



And this is just the tip pf the iceberg of new favorite authors.  I'm sure I may just find more little-known authors that I will end up wanting read more of. How about you? Have you discovered anyone knew to you that you found yourself really liking to read?




Sunday, May 14, 2017

Something Begging To Be Told


Yes, that pretty well says it about everyone.  

I still have yet to work more on my new story even though I have the idea in my head.  Still finding more to add to my memoir, and I want to find some old journals of mine with info that I know I can add to it.