Archive for the Category » Inspirational «

Happy Father’s Day…..

Dear Dads and Grandads,

As you sit with your children or grandchildren today, eating Bar-B-Q or enjoying a picnic or having a traditional Sunday dinner with all the fixin’s….

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Look across the table at the little ones….now picture them torn away from your family/parents and segregated (by gender) and placed in concentration camps.  YOU don’t know where they are, you may not able to find them…ever.  Picture your six year-old daughter or granddaughter in a cage, alone, with 100 other little girls. Hard to imagine, huh?

Put ethnicity, skin color, legality aside for a moment. LOOK at your kids and picture them in concentration camps, locked up, defenseless…..alone. 

How does that feel?  What would your precious children be thinking? Feeling?  What level is their terror?

 

One news report stated that in order to get the children away from their parents, ICE told them the kids were being taken for ‘showers’.  That sent a chill up my back….at the German Camps the human line that was to be exterminated were told that was the line to go to the showers. But instead of water coming out of the nozzles, deadly gas was released.

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Read your history….this is how it all started in 1938 in Nazi Germany.

‘Once in power, Hitler moved quickly to end German democracy. (Sound familiar??) He convinced his cabinet to invoke emergency clauses of the constitution that permitted the suspension of individual freedoms of press, speech, and assembly. Special security forces — the Gestapo, the Storm Troopers (SA), and the SS — murdered or arrested leaders of opposition political parties (Communists, socialists, and liberals).’
(credit: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/1933-1939-early-stages-of-persecution/)

Who’s next?  Your Jewish children? Your Asian children? Your Muslim children? Your Catholic kids?

My purpose, with this post, is to make the food STICK in YOUR THROAT!

 Is this our America?  A country built on the backs of Irish, Chinese, Japanese, Native Americans, Africans, Germans, Jews….all immigrants. With the exception of the Native Americans, there isn’t a person who lives in this country today who cannot trace their lineage back to ‘the old country’. We are all immigrants! Even our Beloved Leader, Herr Trump.

(I thought to myself: Gee, maybe I should apologize to my followers for digressing so far off my mission…to write about writing. But, no, I can’t. The idea of little precious children being placed in camps with an excellent possibility of never seeing their parents or siblings again STICKS in MY THROAT.)    

Motivational Moments…for Writers and their Partners #38

 

This was just tooo good not to share! As a writer, I will tell you that it’s good, no, great advice if you are involved with a writer.

Okay, all laughs aside….seriously….if you are the significant other to a writer you are one of my HEROES!!   When we are writing and you try to talk to us,  we are not being rude by not answering you, we don’t mean to be neglectful, we don’t mean to hurt your feelings.  We simply don’t hear you.….when we are deep into the zone we aren’t even in the same room or house with you…we are in the world of our story, if we are lucky.

writer
This, in fact, is one of the questions I ask the authors that I interview. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long? And they have all reported back that yes they get lost in the story and in their characters.

So if you give the writer in your life some slack, bring them a cup of coffee but don’t speak, quietly close the door to their ‘writing space’  you are a true supporter to that writer.

 

A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.”– Sidney Sheldon

My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.”
– Anton Chekhov

“I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.”
– Edgar Rice Burroughs
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: International adventurer, writer, Tal Gur.  June: Manning Wolfe

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Did you like this tip?  See all 37 tips for writers in the book, How to Write Creatively

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Honoring All Veterans, Fallen and Still Fighting!

Our politicians could take a page from the young men and women who are, TODAY, fighting for our country or defending smaller, weaker spots around the globe. Brave, honorable, honest, with integrity, they are making the world a better place.  Giving selflessly of their time, dedication to country, and sometimes their lives. 

I would like to honor and name the people in my family who have served.

Gerald Guyer  (WW1 Normandy)
William J. Woods (WW2, South Pacific)
John W. Cable (WW2, South Pacific)
Jack D. Borden (B52 Bombers/23 years USAF)
Doris B. Gill (US Marines) 
Jack Henderson (USAF Enowitach Bomb testing)
Robert Berry (Navy Seal. Korea, Vietnam)
  John W. Sugarek (US Marines, Vietnam)

 

 

 

 

 

For more stories

Just Published! I WANNA BE a WRITER, Journal and Handbook

‘A stunning new journal with more instruction and extra tips about writing fiction, stage plays, and poetry.’ Midwest Book Review

The newest in a series of Journals/Handbooks. For new and experienced writers alike, this Journal offers more instruction,
tips and more hand-picked quotes by other authors, actors, playwrights, philosophers, and poets. Meant to inspire the creative mind.  A handy size that will fit in a backpack or tote.  

 

WHAT TO EXPECT:   
How To Begin
How To Develop Exciting Characters
How To Tell A Story
How To Write a Stage Play
How To Write Poetry
How To Write Haiku Poetry

 

To purchase: click here 
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. In December we will be saying hello to English mystery writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Motivational Moments…for Writers! #32

        Discipline!   As you probably know I interview other writers, many of them best selling authors.  A constant theme among all of them is DISCIPLINE!

To be a writer, you must write. Every day. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes or an hour. Write every day.  Even if it’s crap. That’s what re-writes are about.
It’s what’s underneath that counts, which is usually just a fear of not being able to do it, or do it well, or being criticized, or a zillion other reasons not to write today. Or, simply not wanting to write badly enough–no solid motivation. Writers who procrastinate need to ask themselves why, try to get to the bottom of it. Sometimes people can try to make themselves do things they really, deep down, don’t want to do. Writing a book seems to be something everyone has on his/her bucket list, just “because.” If you really don’t want to do it, then don’t.

If anyone told you writing is easy they were lying. Writing is hard work and not for the faint hearted!

Dean Koontz told me in his Interview: ‘ I don’t suffer from procrastination because I love the English language and the process of storytelling, and I’m always curious to see what will come to me next. If you procrastinate a lot, you might be one who loves having written, but doesn’t so much like writing.’

‘We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.’ ~~ Jim Rohnwriting, blogs, authors, creating,writers

 

‘Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.’– Ray Bradbury

Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.’ – Henry David Thoreau
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?     Johan Thompson (South African author)  joined us in April.   June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Like an Animal, You Have to Lay Down and Wait…

Charles Bukowski, writing, creating, writers  I posted this several years ago and it bears repeating:

I had not worked on my latest novel (#9) for several days and I was getting itchy.  I have learned that it’s okay…not to write. 

I have several good ideas rattling around in the ‘attic’ and I am reading voraciously and posting on my blog.  It’s a recurring theme, from me to my readers,  about not forcing it, not to beat yourself up because it is not coming.

Summers are hot and humid here and not my favorite weather so I spend a lot of time indoors.  I spent this summer with the man in my life…poet, Charles ‘Hank’ Bukowski.  God!  I love his genius!  And the best thing about having an imaginary playmate is that they always agree with you.    He wrote this beautiful metaphor about laying down and waiting for the inspiration and creativity to come to you.

And you know what?  This can apply to how you live your life too.  Don’t push it!  Wait!  Be patient and good things will come.

in the center of the action (c)
by Charles Bukowski

you have to lay down like an animal
until it charges,  you
have to lay down
in the center of the action

lay down and wait until it charges
then you must get up
face it, get it
before it gets you

the whole process is more
shy than
vulnerable so

lay down and wait sometimes it’s
ten minutes sometimes it’s years sometimes it
never arrives but you can’t rush it push itfamous quotes, famous writers, Bukowski, Churchill, famous men
there’s no way to cheat or get a
jump on it you have to

lay down
lay down and wait like
an animal.

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we said ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.   September: Dylan Callens and October’s author will be Donna Kauffman. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Interview with the author of The Pacifist, Mehreen Ahmed (part 2)

         Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

MA. Natural beauty gives me the thrill. Nature, more so than human society, inspires my stories. If there is anything I’m madly in love with, it is nature. My first stories were purely descriptive pieces, written during a thunderstorm or sitting in a garden.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

MA. Situations. Because, it is the situation that shapes personality. A character without situation is like a flat stick doll on a piece of paper. They don’t move, breath or talk. It is the situation that makes them choose and bring them to life.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

MA. All the time, which is problematic. I feel like I should always have a godlike grip over the writing process but I find myself slip away, getting caught up in one element of the story or another. It is always a challenge, which I have to contend with, every time I sit down to write.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

MA. Nature is the source of my inspiration and my muse. I get inspired by rain storms, or the rustle of the dry leaves. I get a thrill from walking on the beach on windy days. These are emotions recollected in tranquility, as Wordsworth said. I feel nature is the anchor for all my artistic inspirations.

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

MA. Yes, I do. The Pacifist. It is a romantic novel based in the gold rush period in Australia. It is one of the most romantic times in Australian history, in my view. The book is about an orphaned child with great expectations. He doesn’t want to remain in poverty anymore, so he strives to change his situation. With some very interesting consequences.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

MA. In 1986, while I was in Canada and had seen snow for the first time. I was so thrilled to see the first flakes of snow that I sat down and wrote my first introspective piece, A Winter’s Tale. It was published in the Sheaf, the campus newspaper of the University of Saskatchewan.

Q. How long after that were you published?

MA. After that I published at least four journalistic write-ups for the Sheaf. Then I moved towards writing nonfiction academic articles and academic book reviews, which were published in peer review journals. In 2011, I went back to writing fiction. Since then I have been writing and publishing regularly.

Q. What makes a writer great?

MA. I think it’s the passionate exploration of the human condition. The better one does it, the more successful one is. Without passion and without its proper execution, a writer cannot be great in my measure. My son had asked me a question once pertinent to this issue. He asked ‘how well do you think you represent the human condition? Do you do this better than Shakespeare?’ It gave me something to think about.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

MA. An accomplishment and a great sense of relief. Every time a book is done, I feel that I have reached another milestone. Parts of the processes itself are nerve-wracking. Working with an editor is sometimes difficult, being asked to change pieces of my cherished work. I understand the necessity but sometimes it’s frustrating. Also, I’m very anxious during the first couple weeks after my work is released. You just never know how it’s going to go.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

MA. I’m deeply touched by the misfortune of the most vulnerable in our society. I think this takes precedence over anything else in all of my books. I have known many refugees, and orphans. I feel their pain. I know their plight. I express their sorrows through my writing.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

MA. I like writing literary fiction. I don’t think I want to move to any other genre. Not anytime soon, anyway.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

I love my characters as my own. They are my flesh. They are my blood. They are my other world.

Did you miss Part I of this fascinating Interview? Click here

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?     Johan Thompson (South African author)  joined us in April.   June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.
                                                                                   
                                        
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Interview with International author, Mehreen Ahmed

TS. World Traveler, Mehreen Ahmed’s new book The Pacifist stirs the imagination and the heart. Come with me while we peek into her writing and traveling life.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

MA. I enjoy bustling street-side style cafes, preferably with lilies and gardenias hanging over walls but I usually write in my bedroom. My dream workplace would be sitting on a beach with the waves crashing in, or a mountain resort where I could see the impressive Himalayas spread their majesty across the mysterious land. But enchanting cafes are also good working places.

 

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

MA. I’m very messy and so is my desk. I have books scattered all over the place. My tea mug is a permanent feature on my desk, alongside the laptop and little notebooks. Sometimes I try to arrange scraps of rolled papers that spill over the laptop before I write. I suppose that could be considered a ritual.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

MA. I also sing. I took singing lessons as a child, something  my family encouraged me to do. I started singing when I was five. I had a private tutor who came to my family home once a week to give me lessons.

Q. Could you tell us more about the places you have lived?

MA. I was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I had a very happy childhood. I come from an aristocratic old family in Dhaka. Because of
this, I had the good fortune of going to private schools, which is a huge advantage there. However, during the 1971 civil war, we became 
refugees for a while. We were in Khulna then, and I was in grade 5. As  a child, I saw some of the worst atrocities imaginable. Still, Bangladesh is incredibly beautiful and I loved it there. But after I received my first degree at the University of Dhaka, I decided to continue studying abroad. That’s when I decided to move to Canada.

I lived in Ottawa and Saskatchewan between 1980 and 1992. Saskatchewan was very cold. But I loved the snow. I could appreciate, “The big sky” of Canada and the northern lights from the flat prairies more so than anywhere else. However, I’ve also visited other places in Canada namely, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto. Walking through the snow was never easy and I fell down frequently, slipping on treacherous slush piles. Once I remember, I lay there on a blanket of snow, just watching the night sky from that angle. I was in no hurry to get up as I didn’t want to miss looking at the sky from this perspective. The good Canadians looked over 
me in concern as they passed by. But I reassured them, smiling, that I was just fine. I have visited Italy, Vienna, France, Switzerland, and Spain as well.

Presently, I live in Australia. By contrast, the landscape of Australia is rugged. The grass is not greener but much scruffier here compared to the tame Canadian lawns; the ones that I saw, at least. The weather much hotter, Australia can also be quite cold in winter, though not as cold as Canada. I have heard that it snows in some parts of Australia, but I’m yet to see it here. I really missed the snow when I first moved away from Canada. But Australia compensates with its warm climate, suitable for swimming and surfing.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

MA. I usually write when I have a thought. Otherwise, I’d just be staring at the screen. If a thought comes to me, I usually pen it down almost straight away. If I get an idea in a dream, then I would jot it down in the morning. I have many dream-like scenes in all my books. A lot of these ideas were conceived in my own dreams.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

MA. Procrastination is harmful as a writer. Would-be brilliant writers sometimes get nothing out because of it. I think it’s important to write something creative each day. Even if it’s just a few lines, instilling a habit of writing is important. I have a difficult time giving advice, though. Every writer is different and each one has his or her own process.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

MA. I discover characters as the story is penned. I have a vague idea of who this person is but I don’t necessarily know how they are going to react until they are faced with a situation in the plot. It’s like I’m getting to know them through writing, not that I have imagined them beforehand.

Please join us June 16th for Part II      To order “The Pacifist” click here
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?     Johan Thompson (South African author)  joined us in April.   June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.
                                                                                   
                                        
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‘My momma always said, ‘Life is Like a Box of Chocolates’….or words (part 8)

An argument was presented to me recently in the film Words and Pictures (movie, 2013 with Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche)famous people, Marilyn Monroe

As the students looked up a word, on their electronic devices, the English, Honors teacher presented the theory that if the students relied on their device of choice they would see only the word that was assigned.  If they used the (paper) dictionary, and while thumbing through the pages to find the word, they would be exposed to other words and mostly likely one or two would reach out and grab them. 
 
I put it to the test. EQUIDISTANT Definition: equally distant <a location equidistant from two major cities>Origin of EQUIDISTANT
Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin aequidistant.First Known Use: 1556
 
NostalgiaA Greek word meaning to Grieve, to Ache
Modern Dictionary a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.            And:

Meritocracy:  A system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement

BUT then one can make a strong argument for ‘Pictures tell a thousand words’ too. Pictures almost always illicit some sort of reaction from us.

Can you look at any of these photos and say that you feel nothing?


The movie
Words and Pictures is worth your time!

 

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    February’s author was Sheryl Steines.
Johan Thompson (South African author) will join us in April.  May’s author will be Cheryl Hollon and in June: Mehreen Ahmed
  
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Motivational Moments….for Writers! #20

Motivational Moments….for Writers!  #20

R U Passive? waiting for your muse to strike and help you write your novel or story?  Back in the day, a muse was thought to be a creative spirit that unleashed your creativity. If you weren’t creative, it was the muse’s fault. 

R U External?  Setting an external reward for completing your daily writing task.  Usually food, drink or an activity such as watching your favorite TV show.

R U INTERNAL?  Ah, now we’re talking!  Writers need to examine their own brains to get that motivation working.  Your pain/pleasure receptors, in your brain, need adjusting if writing is painful.  If your writing causes you more pain than pleasure, waiting for a muse or an external reward is all you have. 

You need to write for the sheer joy of writing. Writing becomes the motivation for writing. Writing becomes your addiction.  Turn off the negative voice in your head that tells you you’re a crappy writer, have no talent…you know the voice I’m talking about.  Reinforce yourself by making positive statements, to yourself,  about your writing.  Take the time to admire that well-turned sentence, page, or chapter that you just wrote!

“Writing is a journey of discovery because until you start, you never know what will happen, and you be surprised by what you do~~expect the writer-ship-left-quote-copyunexpected!” Mini Grey

 

 

 

“As a writer, I speculate, hibernate and marinate.” Trisha Sugarek

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

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