Tag Archives: creation

When Life Throws You a Curve Ball


It’s crazy. Just when I have plotted out my life for the next umpteen months and settled back to work the plan, Life throws me a curve ball. It shouldn’t surprise me.

Enough seasons have passed through my earth-bound existence that I should know better than to think any long-term plan will play out exactly as I have envisioned it. It must be the optimist in me, for I keep planning.

Or maybe it’s my insanity. You know the old definition of lunacy: doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different outcome.

However, my recent roadblocks are just that–little obstacles. The unanticipated hiccups don’t really change my plans. My destination is still the same: write books. Now, I will have a few detours through unfamiliar neighborhoods. That can be a good thing, right? It adds color, dimensions, flavor to my collection of life experience.

I’ll stop rambling and be more concrete.

I make my living by farming. I make hay, cut wood, and grow vegetables for selling. This year I planned to add the sale of landscaping stone to my product line. Due to another hiccup in my life plan, my way of making a living was to be more important than ever in 2013. But. . . .

Karma has other plans. I have torn my rotator cuff. I am scheduled for surgery soon and will be convalescing for six months afterward. No farming this season. No farming means no income.

Thankfully, there is nothing wrong with my brain. So I have to ask myself, is the Universe clearing a path for me to write?

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I’m Off My Meds Again!


Listening to advice from friends, I am going to start other blogs to carry topics unrelated to writing, instead of clogging the space here. Since my favorite off-topic interest is off-the-wall stories in our modern or pop culture, the first new blog is called “I’m Off My Meds Again” and can be found at http://www.offmymedsagain.wordpress.com. It’s MY platform for MY craziness. If you love the world of abnormal, bizarre, whacko things, then you’ll love this space. If crazy talk isn’t your cup of tea, stay away!

A Series of Thoughts on the Power of the Mind, Part 2


Two psychological laws from a list in Robert Assagioli’s book The Act of Will are:

  • Needs, urges, drives and desires tend to arouse corresponding images, ideas and emotions.
  • Urges, drives, desires and emotions tend to and demand to be expressed.

It’s the demanding to be expressed that struck me. As an author, how do I use that law to good advantage? Then it struck me.

How often have you experienced writer’s block? The phenomenon is a blocking–a failing to express, if you will–of ideas to continue the telling of a story. It is getting so far in your tale, then hitting a wall. Nothing more comes to mind.

The two psychological laws above suggest a solution to writer’s block. However, you, as writer, will have to become an actor. How so?

The next time you are stymied on where to go with your storyline, try this. Stand up and act out the role of each character, one individual at a time, in their actions, feelings, needs, urges (especially urges), and desires as you have written about them up to now. Become the person (obviously, you want to do this in privacy to keep your friends or family from locking you up). Get inside the person and feel the motivation. What are they thinking? Feeling? Smelling, hearing, tasting? Use their body language: stance, posture, expressions, gestures, ticks. Do this for each person in the story line. Be uninhibited. Get into it.

If you truly become the character and incorporate the ideals, zeal, passion of the persona in your role play, then, according to the psychological laws, the urges, drives, desires and emotions of the personage will demand to be expressed. A pathway will open down which to take the story. The character will lead YOU by the hand. Just follow–and write it down!

Feed Your Head


No, this is not a reference to the newly legalized pot smoking that’s going on in Washington and Colorado.

Tyler Durden says:

Isaac Newton, the father of classical mechanics and progenitor of nearly every technology we use today, was easily one of the top 10 most influential minds in all of human history… Yet as accomplished as he was, Newton credited the brilliant scientists and philosophers who came before him, acknowledging that his insights would not have been remotely possible without the foundations laid by great thinkers– Archimedes, da Vinci, Descartes, etc. No doubt, all great ideas flourish by expanding upon the works of others.

GodfreyKneller-IsaacNewton-1689

As writers, we have our own influences; those whom we revere and those whom we emulate in style or content. It’s the ‘taking in’ that gives the creative brain the puzzle pieces to connect to make a picture. The creation coming from the mind of an author is a bit like compost. A myriad of articles go into the bin to churn and percolate. Then out the other side comes a rich, aromatic, fertile product. It is a by-product of what went in, yet it looks nothing like the original articles that created it.

Today’s task is simple. Feed your head. Give it something to write about tomorrow.

Throw Enough at the Wall. . .


. . . and something will stick.

I used that quotation in yesterday’s response to Rarasaur. Immediately, I knew I had to share a motivational thought with you.

Having several irons in the fire can be a good thing, providing you are continually working to complete the projects. Eventually, you will finish a project, then another, then another. As a writer, this means that you will end up with several salable items.

This tactic only works for folks like me whose brains like to jump from one thing to another to avoid boredom. It won’t work for those who start things, but never finish them. You have to finish the projects. It’s finishing them that brings a pay day.

Rarasaur has a good method. She has a list and a concrete goal for each item listed; for example, creating one idea a day for thirty days for a book project. At the end of a month, she will have thirty possibilities to consider for her next writing project. Of the thirty on her list, one is bound to seize her imagination.

You may want to try the “many irons” approach to see if it works for you. The key to success is devising your own method to complete the projects on your list.

Music as Muse


First, this blog writer never assumes that what is espoused here is the be all, end all for all people. On the contrary, I espouse what works for me–for the moment, when I am in the mood and not being lazy.

That said, I thought I’d share how my muse works to spin a tale from music. I use YouTube links for songs because:

  •  it’s easy to access for everyone
  •  it’s easy to replay the songs over and over
  • lyrics are provided
  •  the YouTube channel deals with the copyright issues

I listen to a song three or four times in a row. The first couple of times through I read the lyrics as the song plays. Inspiration can come from either tune or lyrics.

If I know the song, I sing, too. The point is to turn off the conscious part of my brain  and turn on the subconscious part. I integrate as many senses (hearing, feeling, speaking, dancing) while listening as I can. The more visceral the music experience becomes, the more likely I am to get images in my head.

(This ritual beats soaking my bare feet in a tub of fresh chicken blood under the desk; I read one famous author does that when writing.)

Then the writing starts. More than half the time I get halfway through the story and hit a wall about a conclusion. I repeat the listening ritual, and the end comes. I write it.

As I’ve said innumerable times, I have an active imagination. In my subconscious mind, stories are everywhere, under every leaf, around every door jamb, behind every melody. In any given day, a complete novel floats through my head. The problem is my memory doesn’t hold a candle to my imagination. So in the time it takes me to say, “that’s a cool story,” it’s gone for good.

Oh, well. I guess I can’t have everything.

Right now I am enjoying writing short shorts because I can capture them on paper before the music drifts away.