Tag Archives: tool

As a Writer, What If I Am Just Average?


On WordPress, I continue to be amazed by the collection of talent. Sometimes an author’s writing floors me with its power, cleverness, raw emotion or beautiful use of language.

I am none of those things. I am a nerd who can correctly string together a series of words. As a writer–as a word artist–I am average.

How then do I expect to compete in the commercial marketplace? The same way an average employee competes in the workplace. By showing up. By giving my best effort. And like a tidal wave, by sheer volume. A dose of self-promotion is important, too. If I don’t market, I won’t sell. (Please don’t stop reading here. The best of this post is yet to come.)

I’ve said this before and I will say it again: throw enough at a wall and something will stick.

Part of succeeding as an average writer is finding my audience. I do that by writing in all the ways that appeal to me–short stories, haiku, flash fiction and novels. (In 2013, I hope to add internet content to the list.) Then I analyze. Of those things I like to write, what are people reading?

I need to look at my statistics. What do statistics tell me about what readers like in my work? Is it my true confessions? Is it self-improvement or how-to articles? Pop culture? Or factual pieces? Humorous stories? The off-the-wall?

Success is finding the match of my abilities with a need in the marketplace.

Ask the reader.

So I am asking you right now. What do you like best about this blog? Why do you stop by? Is there something which you’d like to see more often? Any answer is a helpful one. Silence hurts. So tell me something, anything, that will make this blog a better experience for you. Even if it is what you don’t like. Say, “Fay, dump this. Keep that.” Bring it on. Help me get better.

For me, that’s what it is all about. The best part is serving, helping, pleasing you, the reader.

The next best part is getting good enough to earn a paycheck! But that’s another post for another day.  🙂

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!

A Series of Thoughts on the Power of the Mind, Part 1


Back in May, I read a post on the blog Course of Mirrors called “. . .on awareness. . .” (To read it yourself, click here: http://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/thoughts-on-awareness/ )

The central assumption of the article is that there are psychological laws as immutable as scientific ones. Roberto Assagioli, M. D. has included a list in his book The Act of Will. Assagioli and the blogger Course of Mirrors discuss how the mind (through psychology) affects humans, and specificly the writer.

The mind is powerful. That is why I posted several quotes on New Year’s Eve about the power of preparation. If you re-read those quotes before pondering the postulates I present (how’s that for alliteration?), you’ll begin to see the importance of the mental connection.

So, today I want to emphasize the simple mind-body correlation.

Chris Teo, Ph. D. says:

“Philip Parham wrote about two men who contracted tuberculosis  around the same time. They both went to the same sanatorium. One went home after  eighteen months, fully recovered and healthy. The other man was dead within six  months. The disease was the same but the outcome was different. Why? William  Osler, a famous American physician said: ‘What happens to a patient with  tuberculosis depends more on what he has in his mind than what is in his chest.'”

and

Dr. Robert Good, a leader of psychoneuroimmunology said:

“A positive attitude  and constructive frame of mind all improve our ability to resist infections,  allergies, autoimmune disorders and cancers, whereas depression and pessimism  decrease our ability to do so.”

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/320854

In the post from Course of Mirrors, the author writes:

Having experienced Feldenkreis work — and practices deriving from it  –  after doing a gentle physical exercise and repeating it in my imagination only, with eyes closed, the same physical reactions happen in my body. This  explains why active imagination can affect mind and body at a deep level and change physical symptoms as well as states of mind.

When I hit my toe, elbow or head on an object, I repeat the exact contact and, in my imagination, send the impact back. There remains hardly any pain and the usual swelling is mild or does not occur at all.

Therapeutically, if a tense or hurtful part of the body is listened to and  allowed a voice, the result can be  instantaneous,  much like when you lower yourself at eye-level to a toddler who has a tantrum, and do nothing else but acknowledge the rage, surprise, surprise, the tantrum stops.

What seems like magic, is actually simple and applies both ways: physical activity influences mood and mind,  active imagination influences mood and body.

If researchers, patients and physicians believe that mind set–or use of the mind through thought process or imagination–alone can make a physical difference in our bodies, then we, as writers, should consider how to harness that tool for our work.

So the Story Goes


According to some, there was a large gathering of those prominent in the publishing industry in the year 1880. The guest of honor, John Swinton, was a leader at the New York Times and had a significant career in journalism behind him. Someone offered a toast to America’s independent press. The guest of honor retorted:

“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

End of Day–Response to Song Prompt Bizet Had His Day


Most of September’s posts were prepared in August. Consequently, the inspiration I got from first listening to Bizet Had His Day fizzled as time passed. I made the mistake of thinking I’d remember the storyline 4 weeks later. Wrong. So here’s the newly inspired short story from the early September song prompt. Hope you like it.

End of Day

 by Fay Moore © 2012

 

The maestro is talking to the concert audience about the credentials of the solo pianist. The musician is about to play “Bizet Had His Day,” a popular composition with the annual subscribers.

 

“. . .attended Julliard. . .frequent guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Washington National Symphony, among others. . .guest appearances on Broadway and television. . . .”

 

Enthusiastic applause erupts as the performing artist walks on stage to the piano and seats himself. The house lights dim while the musician adjusts the back panels of his tuxedo jacket, ostentatiously flipping the fabric up and over the piano bench. He places his toes on the pedals, stretches his arms in front of himself to unbind the fabric of his sleeves from around his wrists and levitates his fingers over the keys. Once the audience is still as a midnight snowfall, the showman begins, playing with passion and flair.

 

 At the conclusion, the audience explodes, the concussion of clapping reverberating through the hall as the soloist leaves the stage, after taking multiple bows. Off-stage he is patted on his back repeatedly, congratulated on another fine performance. On his way to his dressing room, he passes the make-up staff clustered around a snack table exchanging gossip, jokes and plans for the evening. He backs up several paces and calls out to the retinue.

 

“Hey, do you know where there’s a jazz club?”

 

He’s caught them off guard, and they stare at him blankly like a herd of heifers. Finally, a heavily tattooed one states there’s a club three blocks away. The pianist thanks him, gets directions, then goes and changes his clothes. When he passes the make-up staff again, on his way to the exit, the entourage doesn’t recognize him: he’s dressed in stained jeans, a long-sleeved, half-zipped hoodie and a knit cap pulled low over his hair and forehead. He looks like the maintenance man.

 

 Once on the street, he pulls a harmonica out of his pocket and presses the instrument to his lips. He plays the blues in time with his slow strut up the urban street. When he reaches the closest intersection, it is choked with pedestrians, out enjoying the temperate fall evening. Some are walking home from work. Others seek a late dinner at one of many sidewalk cafes and pubs dotting the boulevard.

 

The pianist is hungry. He shoves his hand into his pocket and extracts his wallet. It’s empty. No cash.

 

“Damn. I’ve been picked by some stage hand again.”

 

He sounds more dejected than angry. He should know better. It’s for this very reason that he’s quit carrying a credit card to performance venues. He’s tired of the hassle of reporting lost cards. He’s learned to leave the card in the hotel safe and just carry a few bucks in his wallet. Most of the time, he stashes the wallet somewhere in the dressing room. Tonight he simply stuck the wallet inside one of his shoes. Big mistake.

 

 He pivots on his heel, and starts to retrace his steps. His hotel adjoins the concert hall. He rolls his tongue in his throat, mimicking regurgitation. The thought of hotel food nauseates him.

 

 The proximate noise of table conversation, the laughter of bar maids, the clink of glasses and flatware hook him. He rethinks his options. The well-lighted street is full of people. Most seem in good spirits: walkers are unhurried, diners are outside, those waiting in line for a table are talking animatedly with those around them. It’s a jovial vibe.

 

 He positions himself under a street light, pulls the knit cap from his head, and places it on the ground in between himself and the sidewalk traffic. It’ll do to collect money. He plays his harmonica with eyes closed, wailing notes lilting softly over the thoroughfare. He plays from his soul, undisturbed by repetitive clinks from a mounting number of coins thrown in the cap by passersby. It takes about an hour to accumulate enough money to buy dinner. In the time he’s been playing, the dinner rush passes. Tables open up at each eatery.

 

Carrying his cap like a money bag of old, he finds the jazz club, goes inside and claims a table. He piles the coins in dollar stacks in front of himself before perusing the menu. He meets the waiter’s sarcastic smile with a wink. He orders an Irish beer and a bacon cheeseburger.

 

 His plate is set in front of him during the best saxophone riff he’s ever heard. The waiter keeps silent, but asks with his eyes about another beer. The hungry street performer hands the waiter his empty glass. He bites the sandwich to find the burger is cooked perfectly. The bacon is crisp, the cheese sharp, and the sandwich hot. While he devours half of it, the jazz ensemble’s performance sizzles. Great music, good eats; it doesn’t get much better.

 

It’s the day’s end he’s been dreaming of.

Bot-Bombed


When I first saw the term bot-bombed, I gathered it was a bad thing, but hadn’t a clue what it meant.  At ryan2pointo.wordpress.com I learned the damage a bot-bomb can do to a business. For authors, the bot-bomb damage becomes relevant when we have books to sell, and we need accurate tracking of  site traffic to gauge ratios of sales to traffic, etc.

Ryan Tracey of ryan2pointo.wordpress.com discusses the tools out there to fix the problem if you get bot-bombed. He also explains why bot-bombing may happen.

http://ryan2point0.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/ive-been-bot-bombed/#comment-3151