Tag Archives: writing

Small success feels good!

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Although this graphic looks like it is only for enormous success, I feel that the really small step
that I took yesterday to eat a healthy breakfast instead of a tasty one is very worthy of celebrating.

My mood was good all day, even though it was Monday and I have a lot of trouble getting “started”
on Mondays after the couple of days of relaxation. Tuesdays are good for the most part because I
try not to schedule too many errands so I can devote myself to writing. It is incredible that this
morning I was done with shower and dressing early but have spent the last 5 hours trying to
schedule an upcoming cruise that I will be taking with my daughter later this year. I guess I had
forgotten that looking at dates and cost comparison plus the regular interruptions mean that my
unrealistic expectations that it would be done in a flash were not correct.

I am trying to read and write more regularly but it does take some discipline. I am very pleased
to see that my efforts have culminated in a few more visitors to this blog which is really a kind of
drafting place where I am a bit more unreserved in the topics that I share.

This morning I found out that someone who I thought was a friend has sold his property and
moved out of the country. Upon hearing this news, I was a little disconcerted because I was not
aware a drastic move like this was in his mind. When I asked myself a few more questions, I
realized that we were “friendly” because he worked on pools and I have one but I don’t know a
single thing about him or his wife because we met only on a professional basis. That is when it
became clear that true friendships are hard to come by, especially as we get older.

So if you have friends you care about, share things with them and make sure you let them
know how you feel. Life passes by and each person that touches your life should bring meaning
to it and vice versa.

 

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Reading helps with writing!

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I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I knew that writing was important
because every morning when I was a child, my parents kept asking about whether or not the
newspaper had been delivered. I began at about age 4 to look out the window and when I
saw the paper delivery person arrive, I would announce this news to the family. I can
remember that my parents couldn’t wait to get their hands on the source of news! That’s
why I knew that telling stuff in writing was a good thing.

Fast forward almost 60 years and I can definitely say that I have been writing one way or
another all of my life. When I was in my 20’s, I wrote a short story (humor) and sent it off
to an agent who proceeded to tell me that it was good but that in its current presentation,
it would not be bought by anyone. So for a fee of only (whatever it was at the time, I can’t
remember), they would edit and submit it to several publishers. I sent in my money but got
nothing but rejection letter after rejection letter. I gave up and don’t know what I did
with the story which was a loose version of an autobiographical incident that took place in
my own life. The agents, of course, strongly suggested that for an additional fee they might
be able to revamp the story and make it ‘sellable’. I was not so sure.

In the last 10 years, I have written and published a local on line magazine which I stopped
working on in March. In a way, it was a pity to end it because there were some very worthy
journalists who contributed each month, but it had become a heavy responsibility and I found
I had no time to write or develop the themes that have been dancing in my head for years.
Now I have a little bit of spare hours each day but I find that I can distract myself with
all manner of occupations before I eventually find my tush on the chair. I try to look at
this situation objectively instead of taking aim at myself and my writing habits.

Last week I had to renew a 600 page book at the library because I was not able to finish
reading it in the 3 weeks they loaned it to me for. The story is fascinating and it moves
fast but I rarely take the time to read during the day, saving it for bedtime when I know
that as soon as I put head to pillow, I fall asleep! Today, I will try to visit the recliner
I purchased a month ago (but used only 5 times so far) and read for an hour to advance in
the story. I find that when I am reading, I can actually work out some of the details that
are holding me back in my own stories.

Reading helps my writing because I can experience for myself the way another author
transports readers from one place to another. I am hoping to write more frequently
and more easily about universal things that interest all of us. It is true that every story
has been told. It is equally true that we can all tell the same story in a different manner.
Just ask any family with lots of siblings and they will each remember the same incident
in a different way.

I came across that lovely sentence by Steven Aitchison quite by accident. One click
usually leads to many clicks and hours wasted spent searching one thing or another,
but in this case, it was a good find.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy musing!

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The strange things we do…

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I’ve been house and pet sitting for a couple of days. I didn’t really know what to
anticipate except that I was looking forward to spending a couple of days on my own
with little responsibilities and lots of time to devote to my writing.

As I did yesterday, I have spent most of my day doing things that make it difficult
to sit down and write. For example, I took out the garbage from the disposal shed
and brought it outside where the carting company has not yet shown up to remove it.
I am worried about that because in the urban area where I live, a fine is issued if
garbage is placed outside earlier than the regulations call for or if the area is not
properly cleaned after the garbage has been picked up. This lack of removal has made
a very good excuse for me to go to the window and check out the situation. While I’m
at the window, I might as well look and see what is going on in the world and thus use
up a few more precious minutes that I could have employed writing.

It is raining, so every time I let the dog out for a short run to relieve her bladder,
I need to devote a few minutes to open and close doors, make sure she is dry before
letting her into the house, making sure I pick up her “deposit”…you get the picture.

Then of course, there is the distraction of getting breakfast, lunch, making coffee, tea,
taking a shower, making the bed, sweeping the floors, setting up the food and snacks
for the cat and dog…

It is just after 1 p.m. I have had my lunch and my tea. I am now all set up to begin
to write but find that I am cold so I will have to get up and look for a sweater to wear.
That means spending (wasting?) a few minutes on that and pondering life afterwards. I am
feeling sleepy all of a sudden, the light rain on the window and the slight chill in the
air conduce and seduce me to take a place on the comfy couch like I used to when I was
in high school. There is something about cold, rainy days that invites introspection but
is not a good companion to actual writing. Well, at least I was able to complete this
blog entry.

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Work cut out!

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“Oh boy”, my colleague exclaimed after she heard my boss’ instructions to me, “you’ve got
your work cut out for you!”

I didn’t give it much thought at the time, I just began my day like always, prioritizing
the many tasks that would have required someone else many more hours to complete and
got to work. I have always been like that, efficient and a hard worker, rarely whining
and never knowing when too much is too much. As a child, in order to stop my mother from
complaining when she arrived home to a messy house and sink full of dishes, I would do my
chores and others that were left undone by my siblings. Peace at all costs was my motto
and something that has been part of my life for as long as I remember. I blame no one,
I have learned over the years that we are all responsible for the life we live.

The last couple of months have seen me drop projects that take up too much of my time.
Surprisingly, after the first few days of guilt, I find I am quite comfortable saying
no and meaning it. Unfortunately, I have not yet become comfortable with the “extra”
time and instead of filling it by sitting down and writing, I look for ways to distract
myself from that daily goal (read: laundry, clearing out closets, reading the paper,
going on FB, etc.) and at the end of the day, find that I still have not advanced very
much on my essays. One of my goals for this year is to write for AARP with a focus on
age-related issues but I need to really focus.

I am glad that at least for the last few days, I have taken 15 minutes to write some of
my musings into this blog. It is a step in the right direction.

Have a great day and keep doing good work!

Another month begins!

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writer-605764_960_720My last post here was on February 19th! It seems like such a long time ago.
By this time, my friend has been cremated and brought back to his original
home in Spain. His brother came to our little town to partake in a simple
ceremony used to remember a friend who contributed so much to our community
in the time he lived here. I will miss him very much but I hope to be
inspired and energized by his passing without having achieved his dream of seeing
his film on the big screen to make sure the same does not happen to me.

I write in my head all day long, but then “real life” gets in the way. If I don’t
do the dishes, will anyone? I am at an age and space in my life when I no longer
have the tremendous physical demands on my body or on my time but I find that I
procrastinate more than ever…and yet I know the stories are in there, I just have
to FOCUS, SIT and WRITE…

Image Bing.com public domain picture

A quiet Sunday morning!

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sabbath-observation

I usually observe Sundays by spending the day quietly, reading, writing and enjoying
the lack of obligations I make for the day. Although I don’t write in this column on
any specific day, I do write another blog every single Sunday and have for the last
eight years. It is a commitment and although I consider myself a writer (without any
books published or money stream generated by the activity), I find that I spend very
little time actually writing than I do researching or finding ways to not do any
writing because I am second guessing myself all the time.

A friend of mine passed away recently. His dream since I met him 15 years ago was to
be a filmmaker. He went so far as to lay out the entire script every time we met up for
coffee or a chat. Finally, one day, I asked him why he didn’t just go ahead and make
his film already, on a low budget if need be, but do it already!

He and I shared a birthday so I could understand some of the traits that made him unable
to just go ahead and film something (procrastination, paralysis by analysis, etc.) and
I eventually gave up on expecting something from him to really materialize on the big or
small screen. Still, his death was a blow to me and all of us who knew him because he was
only 62 years old. The saddest thing for me is that he died without every externalizing
his script, without making a family, without a circle of real friends who knew the deep
personal anguish he was living on a daily basis.

I feel sad today, but in a way his death has caused me to think about getting down to
business and really pounding out my novel, the book I want to read, the character I want
to create that will make people fall in love with the story. And of course, I still
want to continue to live, take care of my plants, my pets, my family (not necessarily
in that order) and of course enjoy all the things my life is offering me. I am the only
one responsible for making sure my work and thoughts get out there. They may never be
best-sellers but they need to be out there and read by others, not in my head and heart
and dying with me.

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There is more time than life…

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The above is a loose translation from Spanish that older people use
whenever they are deciding how to react to news of delays, disappointments,
etc. I never really “got” it when I was younger but now that I am 60, I
do find that I understand exactly what it means. If I want to do something,
I’d better get going, there is more time left in the universe than life left
in me…truer words have never been written!

I began this particular blog a year ago with a view that it be private (although
I shared it publicly right from the start) and hold some of my deep feelings
about my inability to lose weight for the last decade or so. I was hoping to
log in and write every single day and while I do have thoughts on the subject
every single day, I have not been successful at sitting and writing here each
day.

My life is about words. As the editor of a monthly community newsletter (a job
that makes me no money but requires a great deal of commitment), I am always
looking around my town for possible sources of interesting material. Most
days, I see a plethora of items but something holds me back (probably the fact
that I don’t follow my own advice “sit in chair and write”) and day after day
I find that I rely on the same old items to keep the magazine going.

Food for thought. Is ADHD my ‘label’? More food for thought.

*image bing.com clipart

Let’s get started!

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computer

I blog once a week without fail. On this blog, however, I try to write a little something
every day which has been a challenge because I often forget my commitment!

I have already been at work since about 8 a.m. and I have produced and translated my
Sunday blog but today is November 1st and it is the beginning of Nanowrimo…I feel
like I’ve already written for today but of course, it is not for my 50,000 word
novel…let’s see what the rest of the day brings. I have a busy one, and not just
for writing, life can get in the way.

Best to all!

It’s Monday!

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Monday, Monday!!! The day I do my laundry…and this day what a lot of laundry it is. I
love laundromats because my first passion is writing and laundromats have lots of stories waiting
to be told. Unfortunately, there are no laundromats near my home and the stories remain in my head,
unwilling to come out when I summon them.

I wonder how long it takes other people to write good paragraphs. I try to discipline myself to
write every single day but sometimes the routine of the day keeps me away from my writing instruments.
I am trying very hard to stick to writing here regularly both as a practical thing and also to keep
myself motivated and inspired with my food choice.

It is the middle of the afternoon. I have done more things today than I usually do on Mondays and
that makes me feel good. I long to drink my coffee in a few minutes and while I would love to
have it with one of the scrumptious pumpkin muffins I just made, I promised myself no four consuming for the next few weeks.

My task for today is finished, I feel better already…now to the laundry!