Sunday, October 28, 2012


Move out of your safety zones and try something new...
I have been listening to successful artists talk about how they got their start, and so many of them talk of the excitement of their early years when no one knew them. There is a freedom about being what amounts to being anonymous when no one knows who you are. You see life and can express yourself with a freedom born of necessity as you seek to find your voice. Hunger and desire to succeed give an edge to your work when you expose your heart and say things that maybe you wouldn't say if you knew you had a huge audience.

Norah Jones was my inspiration this morning as the CBS Sunday morning show showcased her early life. The joy of her early successes as her voice slowly became known in her community was fun to hear. Often we forget that most successful artists had to struggle and work so hard to get where they are. Sure, some get a lucky break, but most folks like me and you have to work hard to get ahead.

So my advise for the folks out there like myself, enjoy the time to write as an anonymous person and let go - bare your heart, share your soul and don't be afraid of people seeing the raw side of your personality. I have a hunch that is what real people want... Throw out the carefully orchestrated words that form a fake front - that's what religion and politics require, don't they?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Herman Melville

Illustration by Paul Lasaine
Today I took the time to read a little about the famous writer, Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick. Did you know that at first, his book was considered a flop? The reviewers were harsh and did not speak well of his writing. It wasn't until almost 30 years later that the book reemerged on the New York literary scene as a success and today it is considered by many writers to be one of the best 100 books ever written.

Thankfully, Google finds interesting people to feature on their home search page with fun doodles, otherwise I would never have known this information. On this past Thursday, October 18th,  they featured Herman Melville as it was the 161 anniversary of his book's first publishing date.

What can a writer take from this example? Write your best and don't be too discouraged if you get some negative reviews. We cannot expect everyone to be able to step into our shoes and enjoy the way we think and communicate. Enjoy the process of writing and let the reviews do what they like. Learn from your critics and hope that your will work will attract some people who will enjoy your words.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Writer's Block

Try adding a new experience to your life!
As any writer knows, the dreaded writer's block will come at some point to interrupt your productivity. That's alright! Your brain sometimes needs a little time to readjust and when it is ready to be creative, you will have a new freshness in your work. It's like sleeping and the dreaming process. I like to think that dreams are a way for our brains to take all the experiences we go through and thoughts we have, mix them all up and kind of reorganize them and throw out the useless stuff. After a few nights of good dreaming, I feel so much more clear-headed and ready to imagine. There is actually a little science to back up that theory here on Wikipedia, Dreams for Removing Junk.

When I am waiting for my writing brain to come back online, I use the time to get projects done that I like doing - using creativity but in a different way than writing. Last week, I repainted my bathroom and this week I plan on doing some refinishing of some old wood lamps that I found. I have been looking around in antique stores for an unusual shade for each of them but have not been successful yet. I am hoping to find something glass, maybe green or blue - but that is just an idea. I am also working on a surprise for my daughter's birthday - but I cannot write about that yet since she might read this blog!

Now I realize that I may not be normal. When I look at  sites like Grammar Girl, she recommends totally different ways of attacking the dreaded writer's block, most of which involve more writing.

I guess my point for this post is to to encourage you to stay creative when you feel that the words are not flowing. You will still have fun and the writing will be more enjoyable when you get back to it.

Feel free to comment if you have a different method of getting the words flowing again.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Morning Glory

Today is the first day of October and I have a new story brewing. Imagine if you were walking along on a regular sunny day like today and you notice a penny ahead of you on the ground. Normally you always walk past pennies and don't really give them a second look, but today it catches your eye. Sure, you walk on but it nags you that maybe you should have picked it up. You argue with yourself that pennies are not worth much anymore and maybe some kid will be happy to find it....but yet, is it wasteful?

Some things in life don't have much face value but their value depends on other things. For instance, this morning glory is a weed with little to no face value in the plant kingdom. I can work hard to plant other flowers but this viney flower will thrive and it is quite a challenge to keep it from overtaking my garden. But I like it. It is one of the first flowers I remember my brother planting when we were kids. I love the heart-shaped flowers and the deep purple blossoms that only open in the morning and then shrivel away. Even their black seeds are cool, housed away in that round little pod.

Back to the penny. What if there is something about it that makes it different or rare? How valuable could it be? Actually, there are some very rare pennies out there that were made in 1943. The story is that the U.S. Mint switched from bronze planchets to zinc-coated steel for cents in 1943 because copper was needed during World War II. By error, some bronze planchets made it into the hoppers at all three Mints, were struck and released into circulation.Would you believe that one just sold for a million dollars?

So go ahead, just walk past that penny now!