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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

I'M HERE BUT I'M NOT ALL THERE_IWSG Post

 


The title to this post is the title to the 7th chapter 
to my Amazon Vella submission.


Are you reluctant to try Amazon Vella
or to enter the writing world at all
after this Covid hiatus?

Could the title to this post
apply to how you feel
about trying to write again?


A century ago, Sigmund Freud
called it "reiseangst"

what psychologists now call
"Re-entry Fear."


How about succeeding by
THINKING SMALL?


Try writing Haiku's.

Haiku's are written sparse word
by sparse word.


Thinking small for your Haiku
keeps you in the moment.

You find you can conjure
a mood with only a few words.


Shrink your writing universe
to a population of one:
You


Amazon Vella
has helped 
by leading me to break
my novel
into riveting chapters
each with their own arcs.

What helps you?




Tuesday, April 27, 2021

AMAZON VELLA - What do you think of it?

 

Amazon announced on April 13th a new writing opportunity for US writers

through their Kindle Direct Publishing program called Kindle Vella, 

twisting the word “Novella” for fun.

Should you as an author try this platform?

Kindle Vella is structured with short (500–5000 words) episodes 

and a "Token" payment system that authors receive 50% of the proceeds for 

(though there is no clear information on what a token is worth).


Charles Dickens rose to fame and fortune serializing his work and 

serialization is a a popular and established reader market in countries like South Korea and Japan.

Have you ever wished you had gotten in

at the start of the Kindle Books phenomenon?

Kindle Vella likely hopes to compete in securing intellectual property that has been tested, 

that then can be turned into television series, films, and games.

Kakao, a major South Korean internet company is hoping to acquire Radish, 

one of the largest serialized fiction apps used by independent authors,

 and that has recently changed its payment terms to pay authors 

significantly less for their work for the same reason.


I am doing it because it is the only way I can prod myself into writing Night Seasons.

You must make up your own mind about it
of course.





Tuesday, April 20, 2021

GASLIGHTING and how to survive it

 

Are you feeling lower self-esteem?

Are you feeling growing emotional dependence on the person striking sparks from you?

Are conflicts with that person funneling you down a rabbit hole of 

frustration, confusion, and anger, making you question your perceptions?


You may be being Gaslighted.

When we find ourselves, like now, penned in with people for extended periods of time.

 lies, trivializations, and denial are easier to use to make the unsuspecting doubt themselves.

Are you hearing

"You're being dramatic."

"You're blowing things out of proportion."

"That never happened."

"You're remembering wrong."

You might reply:

"I know what I saw."

"Denying reality does not change it."

"I will not continue this conversation if you continue to minimize my feelings, my thoughts, in essence myself."

"By minimizing me like this, you are saying more about your own deficiencies than mine."

In the end ...

Be kind to yourself  ... 

even if it means walking out of the room ... 

or out of the relationship.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Maybe Someone Needs to See This Today

 


May this new week treat you well ... 

and if not, 

may you play the bad cards 

dealt to you well.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

NO TIME OUT FOR LIFE_IWSG Post

 

Seven months of being homeless has taken a toll on me physically. 

I am still not back up to snuff yet. I come to my new apartment dragging.

And not the fun kind of dragon Midnight assures me.

    

I have begun to tackle NIGHT SEASONS again ... slowly.

Two monster hurricanes one after another, an ice storm coming to chill things up. 

working 10 hours straight on Easter ... 

Sometimes I manage only a paragraph, sometimes only a sentence ... but it is a darn fine sentence. :-)


To inspire myself, I read passages from favorite authors, essayists, or poets:

"Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers." 

- Rainer Maria Rilke


And I remind myself the greatest artists produced their masterpiece one brushstroke at a time.

 I even got inspiration from a scene from a Sci Fi comedy, RESIDENT ALIEN, appropriately entitled

THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT

Where a dejected former Olympian champion 

climbed the wall of an icy fissure with a broken hand and one ice pick to save her one friend 

to the tune of MARCH OF FLAMES:


Where do you find inspiration to keep on when you feel yourself flagging?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

WEEP NOT FOR THE UNDEAD _Women's History MonthTribute (done my way)


I am Margaret Fuller.

You may recognize my name from the adventures of Samuel McCord and that scamp, Victor Standish.

History has me drowned upon this date in 1850 aged forty. 


In 1853, when Captain Samuel McCord met me aboard the cursed DEMETER, I was still all too alive.

Shortly thereafter, I became a unique form of undead. But then, I have always been unique -- alive or undead.

My beliefs (feminist and Transcendentalist), accomplishments and fervent personality put me in the spotlight throughout my life,

but my "last" years, spent in Rome supporting the short-lived Roman Republic, reached an operatic level of passion and poignancy.

As foreign correspondent of Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, 


I argued the cause of the Italian revolutionists in the dispatches sent home.

In Rome, I assisted on the Republican ramparts and in their field hospitals.

I also married an Italian nobleman who was prominent in the Republican cause, and had a son by him. 


With the ramparts fallen and my husband in jeopardy, I reluctantly decided to return to America, 

despite premonitions of disaster and warnings from Emerson and other Concord friends 

that my socialist leanings and doubtful marriage would provoke public disfavor.

As if I have ever cared what the rabble thought. 


When my boat ran aground just off the New York coast,

I chose to stay with my husband, who could not swim. 

Both of us were washed to sea and never found, (so history reports).

But Henry (David Thoreau) found me washed upon the shore not far from my young boy’s body.

The memorial to me put up by my family reads,

“Born a child of New England, / By adoption a citizen of Rome, / By genius belonging to the World.” 


My genius has never been in question.

Edgar Allan Poe thought me such. He believed that the fallacy in my lobby for women's rights was that

"She judges woman by the heart and intellect of Miss Fuller, but there are not more than one or two dozen Miss Fullers on the whole face of the earth."
 


Poe’s evaluation is echoed in comments by Emerson and Hawthorne — 

though they let slip that their attraction might be more than intellectual

(as it was)

when they both referred to me in print as “Margaret Fuller, the Sexy Muse.”

I now know all the people worth knowing in America,


and I find no intellect comparable to my own except for dear Ada (Byron, Lady Loveless - 

author of the first computer language a 100 years before the invention of the computer itself.)

McCord has his moments, but he is restrained by his Victorian ideals and code that he will not cast aside. I love him for his nobility. 


It will be the death of him.

What will be the death of you? 


I wager your friends know even if you do not. I leave you with a bit of my own verse :

“Let me gather from the Earth,
one full grown fragrant flower,
Let it bloom within my bosom
through its one fragile hour….”

 

Of my past, I neither rejoice nor grieve, for bad or good, I acted out my character.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

My Supervisor Asked Me To Write His Obituary

 


It caught me completely off guard. 

He is soon to undergo major surgery, 
but I had no idea he had such misgivings about it.


 I agreed of course.  But now what?


Have you heard of Dorothy McElhaney?


Her mother was 104 years ahead
of her times by negotiating for a
new farmhouse in exchange
for having Dorothy,
her 2nd child.



Dorothy, herself, was unique
in that she wrote her own obituary
which starts:

“It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. 

Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience.”

And ends

So…I was born; I blinked; and it was over. No buildings named after me; no monuments erected in my honor.

 

But, I DID have the chance to know and love each and every friend as well as all my family members. How much more blessed can a person be?

Deserves a round of applause, right?

To read the whole of it:

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/progress-index/name/dorothy-mcelhaney-obituary?pid=175474599

If you were called upon to write 

your own obituary,

what would you write?

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

THE LAST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE

 

"If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. 

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. 

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; 

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring."

-Kahlil Gibran

One of the last photographs of Kahlil Gibran

"You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;

And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, 

and sound is a diversion and a pastime.

And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.

For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly." 

- Kahlil Gibran

"The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape."


Where will you spend the

last night of your life?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J7F9HTI

In the 2nd tale in the above book,

I detail the last night of Kahlil Gibran, the gangster, Legs Diamond, Whilhelm Murnau, director of Nosferatu,

and Ida B. Wells, the valiant anti-lynching journalist of the late 1890's ...

all at a fateful 1931 New Year's Eve Party.

The Kindle version is only 99 cents. How can you can go wrong?


Monday, March 15, 2021

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING

 

“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

 

1. What am I trying to say?

2. What words will express it?

3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?

4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

 

And he will probably ask himself two more:

1. Could I put it more shortly?

2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

 

But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. 

They will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- 

and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.” 

 George Orwell

 


A SHORT SHARP JAB TO THE HEART

A short simple sentence can pierce the heart of a reader and stay with her as ...


"Perhaps grief is only love persevering."



“Perhaps one did not want to be loved

so much as to be understood.”

― George Orwell, 1984




From the earliest campfires, storytellers have caught up their listeners with the awe and wonder of a finely told tale:

Include a beginning, middle and end. 

Show, don't tell. 

One word: Conflict.

Make your protagonist proactive, not reactive.

Have a central core to your story. 

Know what your story is about.

It is better to be simple and clear than complicated and ambiguous.

Say as much as possible with as little as possible.

Don't write what anyone could. 

Write as only you can: 

"Her voice was the Taj Mahal by moonlight."

'To say goodbye is to die a little."


FINAL WORDS FROM 

HARLAN ELLISON


"I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven't been told a million times already – that writing is harder.

 Lonelier.

 And nobler

 and more enriching.

 When you're all alone out there, on the end of the typewriter, 

with each new story a new appraisal by the world of whether you can 

still get it up or not, arrogance and self-esteem and deep breathing are all you have.


The only thing worth writing about is people. People.  Human beings. 

 Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight.

 If you do not do it, the story is a failure.

 


There is no nobler chore in the universe than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it . . .  slightly,

 so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace,

 the everyday,

 the 'normal',

 the obvious.

 

People are reflected in the glass.

 The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself.

 And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us.

 Failing that, you have failed totally.

 

The trick is not becoming a writer. 

 The trick is staying a writer.

 Now begin in the middle,

 and later learn the beginning;

 the end will take care of itself."