Poetry for novels?

Is it weird that I am reading a poetry book as part of my novel-writing homework and training for myself?  Or that I can’t even quite remember where I got the recommendation to read this particular book, but that I am still sticking with it, years after the fact?  I’m not one to take recommendations and follow through with them, unless they come from specific individuals or have an extremely powerful and supported argument behind them.  I think this recommendation came from someone I do not know personally, so the argument must have been amazing for the recommendation.  I just remember that whoever it was said that this poetry book was a must-read for writers, because, though it was focused on poetry, it was 100% applicable and important for writers and novelists as a whole, and was even one of the most important of all reads for them.

So, I’m reading it.  I actually started while up at my brother’s in Wisconsin, and pulled out the highlighters and everything with it, treating it as a textbook of information I likely will want to reference in the future.  (I’m not one for writing or highlighting in books, so it really takes good convincing for me to believe it a good and even viable option as my own practice.  Aka it’s a huge deal that I am doing the highlighting, and it shows how seriously I am taking the idea of this book’s being a valuable and important asset in my writing, one I will benefit greatly from referencing further in the future, as well as reading now.)  So far, it has been kind of amazing.  I am extremely grateful for the recommendation, and grateful that I followed through with it.  (I mean, I even went out and found the book and bought it immediately after receiving the recommendation, that’s how powerful a recommendation it was.)  It has already been well worth it, and I can tell that so much more is to come, it will blow this beginning stuff out of the water.

And I am very much looking forward to that.

It has been not so easy to produce a story yet, but I have finally begun the beginning steps in a way that now can lead somewhere rather easily.  Moving forward, I will need to set myself down at table, and actively pursue certain thought processes and brainstorming and writing, in order to start getting into the real stories of it all.  I am afraid of dong that, but I trust that I want to do it… so, I am slowly but finally getting myself there, little by little, baby steps… baby steps…baby steps write a few words…baby steps write a few more… I can do anything!*

*Get that movie reference, and you have a special piece of love from me and my childhood.  😉

Post-a-day 2020

Gratitude in Turmoil

I have begun sorting things out for my first series of books.  And I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I imagine that the assignments will change somehow after tomorrow, seeing as how it was only a three-day assignment.  However, I have so enjoyed doing this assignment, I can tell that it is on the right path, at last for myself with this whole book prospect.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work with this coach, and I fully feel how blessed I am to have the opportunity, especially right now in my life.  It has been an extremely rough few weeks for me – kind of an extra-raw subject right now, after such an amazing high from all the hiking and road tripping from last month – and this is helping me to chug through the low at which I have recently found myself to be.

It really sucks when the body doesn’t do properly what it’s intended to do, but I guess it wasn’t made to live the life I live, anyway, so it kind of makes sense in a way… hmm… I hadn’t ever thought of it that way… I’m going to pursue that casually, now…

Anyway, life has been rough, and this coaching has been a well-timed blessing for me.  Thank you, Life, World, and God for such blessings.

Gratitude here.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

So, it begins…

Today was the first day of writing for me.

I got myself signed up officially with a coach of sorts, and we began working together on Sunday.

By last night, I was ready to go for today with my first writing assignment on the topic that most called me.

Suffice it to say, I was surprised by what topic and book style called most to me.

See, it’s been really cool working with this coach, because she all sorts of coaching, including art coaching.

(Art coaching uses art to help sort out things in one’s life.)

Sunday, through the coaching, I got to write out a whole list of book style possibilities, and then I did an art coaching assignment with them all, in order to find which type of book most called to me… and I was blown away with how low on the list a novel was, and with what was way up at the top.

But, today and tomorrow and the next day, I have a specific writing task to go with this topic, and I will get to re-evaluate after the three-day assignment…, but I’m not sure I’ll want to change the selection – from the assignment today alone, I saw not only how much I have to say for this particular topic, but also how easily it all flows out of me… and almost in a flood of words being released, with style dropped out the window, and the information itself reaching for the page in front of me with an intensity I hadn’t realized was really there, waiting to come forth…

Anyway…, I’m enjoying it so far, and I am excited for the next to days especially, and the next few months as a whole. 🙂

Yay!, for getting things handled that matter to ourselves, right??

Right! 😀

Post-a-day 2020

Beginning with the past

I have begun writing.  And I mean for a book.  It was bizarre at first, wondering what on Earth I would use to start off things.  But, rather than titling the page “What to write first?”, I switched it to “What to write now?”.  It seems simple enough a change, but it was a transformative effect on my brain.  The idea of first suggests importance, that something is the most important, and so should be shared first.  The idea of now, however, just means that I can write about anything at any time, and I just happen to care about what’s on my mind right this minute.  It might change in an hour or a day, or even five minutes.   But, for right now, what’s on my mind?  And that is the question I answered.

And it actually surprised me somewhat, what came up and out.

I have begun writing, I believe, the backstory for the main character of this story.  She is, in essence, a copy of myself, but with certain subtle and not necessarily intentional differences.  An intentional difference, of course, is her name.  However, I have found that, while when recounting something in my own life, I feel a need to be precise and exact, when recounting that same something in her life, I can pick whatever words the person said that still express the same idea.  I do not have to go back and forth with myself, trying to recall if the person used the word “normal” or “real”… I can just pick the one I want to use.  because I am not writing nonfiction here.  I am writing fiction.  It is based on my own life, of course, but the key words here are “based on”… and boy, do they give me so much freedom and ease.  I don’t have to get it right.  I can choose how I want it to be.  And that’s really, really cool.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

What’s next, my dear Watson

I can feel it… my daily life… it is time for it to change.

I’m not sure yet how that is going to look, but I can tell with my whole being that something is about to change… and somewhat drastically so…

My life will not be quite the same as it has been lately…. and it will be a spectacular improvement, I can just tell…

What is it???

What are you, change???

This “What’s next” is slow to start, but will be big rather quickly, it seems…, and I am looking forward to it with delight…

Tomorrow morning, I will get myself to work on whatever this happens to be…, and we shall begin to discover what’s next.

P.S. Dearest World, would you kindly allow me to sleep really well tonight and to wake up refreshed in the morning?? These late-night storms have been waking me like crazy the past several nights, and I could really use a solid night’s sleep. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Crazy Reads

Man, I love good books!

I usually do not read scary or sad books, and, though I wouldn’t say it is exactly scary or sad, the book series I am presently reading is definitely intense.

I mean, it’s totally rough, and has me rather on edge at night, and wondering if I might not start carrying a hammer in my bag, too, wherever I go…, but it is not at all focused on the terrible stuff, but on the genius at work within the minds of everyone researching and brainstorming to figure things out and solve various problems that arise, connecting puzzle pieces of the various mysteries throughout the story… or is it really just one big mystery?

As it stands, I love the writing style and the story outline and slow but satisfying piecing together, and it is difficult for me to stop reading the book.

Shoot, even in the opening lines of the book, I was totally hooked.

I am a fan of this book and this series so far.

What’s more, I feel like I have learned valuable tidbits for life from the various characters, and especially the one who shares some points of struggle with me in my own life… yeah.

Reading this book has definitely been more than just reading a story – it has helped me to evaluate parts of my own life and my own thinking.

Perhaps that is one of the signs of a truly great book… the reader does not approach life in quite the same way after reading the book as he did before reading it.

I’ll keep that in mind for my own books.

Post-a-day 2020

Just do it

I did it!

I started work on creating my first book, and I started work on producing the first edition of the online women’s magazine I am starting!

I came up with ten (10) plot ideas for the book, as I said last night that I would do today, and I even really like certain ones of them… like really like them.

I got on the phone with a friend whom I want to be a secondary voice on moving the magazine forward with me, and she helped me organize out certain bits already for it.

I sent her the general outline I had of everything this evening, and she will look at it tomorrow, and get back to me on her response to it either tomorrow or Friday.

I compiled the contact list for the various contributors who are confirmed, and whom I am considering bringing on to the project.

I reached out on social media for contributors (without saying what specifically the reason was) in a couple areas that were lacking contributors.

And now, my brain is going almost nonstop, just chugging along with considerations regarding the magazine.

It is a good kind of busy in my brain right now, and I think it is definitely helping keep me away from thoughts of the intense citrus smell in my room right now – and the accidental addition of isopropyl alcohol to the steaming mix over the burning candle – due to not only the dying roach I found downstairs this morning, but the live one I found crossing on top of my swimsuit an hour ago in my bedroom… and that is currently trapped in my painting water jar downstairs…

Yeah, so, moving on…

My task for tomorrow with the book – I think I need to give myself a task every day for the book – will be to come up with five (5) more plot ideas that seem particularly crazy and out of my typical comfort zone of writing and style (think zombies and goth and erotic romance novels!… :P), and then to flesh out at least two of my plot ideas, including one of the crazy ones.

Yikes – tomorrow will be a silly one for the book! 😛 Haha

I’m excited, and I can hardly wait. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Book-book

I have been thinking so much lately about writing my first book…, but I keep not writing it.

I ponder and giggle and sigh over various ideas I would like to include, but I never sit down and start putting any of them together.

And it suddenly hit me just now clearly what my main struggle is with writing this book:

I’ve got all the details – they come to me all too easily, and almost all the time – my struggle is that I don’t have the big picture, the main story and plot.

And it practically paralyzes me, leaving me to do no work on it at all, and instead worry more and more about all the time that is passing without my writing this first book.

Hmm…

So, I guess I need to start working specifically on ideas for a main plot tomorrow… I will take out my writer’s book, start reading it, and then start a list of at least ten ideas for general plots for a book.

They don’t have to be good or likely at all – they just have to be.

I can do this. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Books and movies

Today, I finished reading the book (well, listening to the audiobook, anyway) Crazy Rich Asians.

I had read the book, because I had enjoyed the film, and discovered that it was based on a book, and that there was actually a whole little series of books, and that it was written by a man…, and my interest was piqued… especially by that last fact.

I had just recently been to Singapore a couple times, so the film easily held a little warm spot in my heart, especially since they go to eat at one of my favorite places in the world to eat (the hawker stand when they first arrive to Singapore).

At long last, I got hold of the audiobook, and dove in, and, though it was different from the film, I enjoyed it.

I mean, I knew it would be different from the film – books always are different from their film counterparts.

Except, perhaps, The Princess Bride… that one is purty darn near exactly the same…, though it does have slight differences still…

Anyway, two things came from this, but I’ll wait…

Whenever I finish a book, I let goodreads.com know, and it adds to my list of books read.

It also sends me an e-mail: You finished [fill in the blank book]. What’s next?

And then it gives a brief bit about the book, including the first few reviews on it, and then info on the author and how to follow him on the website, and, finally, other books that people who read this same book also liked/read.

On this e-mail, I saw part of a review that interested me, and so I clicked and was led to the full review, which I read.

The writer of the review and I had very different impressions from the book – I very much enjoyed it, and she was somewhat annoyed by most of it.

I easily disregarded the review, knowing full well that I often disagree with most reviews I see of books.

(Also, I almost never accept film recommendations, because people seem to have such terrible taste in films and in film quality…)

I have certain people I trust with book recommendations, and I rather distrust most others in the world for a book (or film) recommendation.

But this got me thinking more on the book…

There are probably loads of people who dislike and have terrible and ugly things to say about just about any book, right?

As JRR Tolkien wrote in the beginning of the 1976(?) edition of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, there will be always those who dislike things he likes, and also who dislike the way he told these stories.

(He said a lot more, but that is the most relevant part in this conversation.)

As I thought about the film’s being so different from the book, I found myself wanting to talk to the author, Kevin Kwan, and to ask him how he felt about that all, and what his thoughts were on it…

Is it not basically a group of individuals declaring that your story was good, but just not good enough?, I thought at him in our mental interview within my own mind.

Then, it had me wonder, What is it like with reading the various reviews of your books by readers? All those nasty comments and thoughts…Do you just ignore them entirely and never read them, because that isn’t why you wrote them, anyway? You wrote them for those who would enjoy them?

And this idea had me think about whether it mightn’t be a good idea to go ahead and gather together people who love me, and have them tell me how they dislike or do not like something that I have done or created… practice the rejection, so to speak.

Not to experience the suffering, but to learn to separate their unkind words from my own satisfaction and pleasure from the work I have produced… to aid me in learning to love my creations period, with no dependency on what others’ opinions are, good or bad.

My mood is up to me, and my art can be perfect just for me… everything else is insignificant.

If it brings others joy, yay: joy for them and for myself.

If it doesn’t bring others joy, yay: joy for myself.

That’s why I wrote/made/created it, anyway, was for myself, right?

In some way, anything I create must be for myself… it is something I was ready to express, and in this particular form at this particular time… it is for myself that I do it, whether I realize or acknowledge it or not.

Yet, those bad reviews really stick with us… as I recently was called to consider from a quote by Orson Welles:

Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that’s printed about him.

So, I wonder, how can we move past that?

How can we be untouched by the bad reviews?

And, even, the good reviews, too, for, if they suddenly were to cease, would we be saddened?

How can we be self-sustaining in our joy and satisfaction with our own art, and untouched by the opinions of others?

The second idea was about how films are always different from the book, even when the book is spectacular already.

Why must the book always be changed?

Why?!

Ugh.

Post-a-day 2020

Lifelike emotions

I did many positive things today, and they were rather satisfying, both individually and as a whole…

And yet, here I sit, cross-legged on my made-up bed, feeling a shiver go out of my body, both from the chill of cool air blowing directly on me and from the feelings of angst deep in my belly.

Perhaps this sense of injustice, of feeling lost as to what to do to make a difference for this suffering individual (i.e. for myself), is not actually caused by the lack of knowledge as to how I will earn money in the near and far futures, nor in my upset and still not having things worked out enough to find my partner in life…, perhaps, the cause of this belly-deep feeling is really just that I wanted some ice cream (coconut milk, not dairy milk) earlier, but it was already after 8pm, and this whole intermittent fasting thing that the nutritionist really wanted me to do made it easier for me to have some tea, instead of eating anything… until tomorrow morning, that is…

But now, I can’t tell if I really just want ice cream, or if my other concerns are manifesting physically, as well as mentally tonight…

Oh, well…

I guess I will find out if my nutrients were too low for today by being awakened by hunger later in the night… hopefully, my dreams can satisfy everything for the emotions, and I can happily have ice cream tomorrow at some point…

😛

Actually, I was pondering dreams while showering tonight:

Dreams help our minds to handle all sorts of emotions and psychology via our subconscious… and, thinking on that, I thought, upon feeling such dread relating to my disappointment of an attempt to date someone recently, ‘Go ahead: dream about it… that will let your brain handle the desires and attached emotions, and enjoy them all, but then let you move along from them all…’

And then, on a whim, I added, ‘Plus, the dreaming usually ends up a better tale than the real thing, anyway, so go ahead and enjoy it.’ (The real thing being when real life actually turns out successful in an endeavour.)

At that, I had myself wondering, ‘Then why do we bother with the real thing, after all? There must be something to it, if the dreams are seemingly better, yet we prefer to live life itself…’

In the book Ready, Player One, this concept is somewhat addressed – that of preferring a dream world of an immersive, lifelike video game to the real world… (I highly enjoyed reading this one, by the way!*)

I choose the real world, for sure…, but can I say why?

As I mentioned, the dream world has an often significantly improved version of life…, so, why do I pick real life?

My query for the time being, to be ever-present in the semi-passive side rooms of my mind for the foreseeable future… perhaps I will end up inspired by it all. ;D

*Reading meaning listening to the audiobook… it has a tiny fun flair of the reader’s being someone who is actually mentioned within the book itself! (I’ll leave you to discover who that is.) 😉

Post-a-day 2020