A Big Thank You

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So, today I want to take a moment to thank you, my readers.  When I created this blog it was with the intentions of sharing some of my writing, and my views on writing.  I have come a long way from that start, changing my views on this little place on the interwebs that is mine.  I started sharing more of who I am and my personal journey with writing.

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All of this because of you, my readers!  As of today I am officially over 100 followers, and I have only you to thank.  Thank you for the follows, the awards, the thoughts, the comments and taking a bit of time out of your day to check in to my blog!

Toast

 

Here is to the future!  To inspiring others, sharing in the dream and the journey!  May you all find a little bit of inspiration here and share it with someone else!

Camp NaNo Wrap-Up

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Well, tomorrow is the last day of Camp NaNo! I have not yet made the personal goal I set, although I have more than finished my word count! I plan to keep going and wrap up this Camp Session, just like every other NaNo I have participated in, writing till the very last minute! This round has been full of writing hardships, but just like every other time I have learned so much about my writing and what is more, my writing has improved!
NaNo is all about getting words on the page even if you don’t know what to write, you should sit and write “I don’t know what to write” until you start writing! Every word counts, and while it may at first seem silly, you never know later what will be the most useful piece! Some of the things I never intended have turned into my best!
I have seen so many people quit NaNo, and it makes me sad! The point isn’t in “winning” the point is in “Writing!” Every single word you get out is one word more than you had written before. It isn’t about having a final draft, and sometimes it isn’t even about having a usable draft! It is about getting words down, exploring this challenge called writing, and knowing that YOU too, can do it! It is in exploring and seeing where an idea can take you!
Well, my friends, I have writing to do, ideas to explore and I want to see just how many words I can make and try to finish my personal Camp NaNo goals!

 

What about you? Have you found this Camp session to be an enlightening one? Have you made your personal goals? What about the word count you set for yourself? And if you gave up, why?!? It isn’t about winning or losing. If you even got ten words on the page, then you have ten words more than you had and that makes you a winner by NaNo standards! Happy NaNoing! and good luck!!!

Weekly Inspiration: Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I saved this post for today as it goes hand in hand for my start of the week theme of Inspiration.  I have to say, I like to think that I could inspire others in my own little way and so this award is a particular honor to me!

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Much thanks goes out to Wordsmithing Ain’t Easy for nominating me for this award!  If you haven’t yet checked out her blog you really should!  She shares all kinds of book reviews, odds and ends of what is up and coming in the book world and her own dabblings in this journey we call writing!

 

Well, true to form we all know I wont follow the rules of a “bunch of work” but I truly love the spirit of sharing other bloggers, so here are some who inspire me!

 

I can’t post about anyone who inspires me more without mentioning Dreamland’s Insurgents.  Not only is he a great writing companion, he always inspires me to think and often look at something just a little differently!

A Writer’s Touch hits my list, because of the very thoughtful posts.  She has inspired me to “dig a little deeper” on my own blog.

Amber Skye Forbes for the personal way she approaches her writing and the thought and consideration she puts into her responses!

Black Coffee Poet who has totally changed and shaped how I look at writing and for which I am eternally grateful!

Book Reviews & Poetry which has some amazingly inspiring poetry!

Creative Mysteries for an open and honest approach that always gets me thinking.

Maggie Madly Writing whose blog I come back to day after day!

Saphir Drachen’s Writer’s Blog is another that I come back to day after day, enjoying the humor!

 

I am sure there are many more out there, and many more to come who will inspire me in this writing journey!  I can’t thank my readers enough!  So I hope that you find these blogs as wonderful as I have.  What are some of your favorite blogs on the interwebs?  I would love to read them for myself… please share them!  Who has inspired you the most on your blogging journey?

Adventures in Vlogging

So, this week I have something a little different and new I am trying out.  I am going to share with you my adventures in Vlogging.  Depending on how well this goes I may make more, but we shall see.  I hope you enjoy this and find it inspiring in your own craft.

My Personal Writing Creed/Code/Declaration/Manifesto

And in case you want to read it, here it is in all it’s written glory!

So, I am going to start this vlogging journey with something of my… personal writing creed or whatever I am going to call it.

My writing journey has come a long way from where I got my start in high school dabbling in poetry from some assignment that came about after translating some Olde English Shakespearian play. (The Taming of the Shrew, which incidentally is my personal favorite!)

I moved on, writing poetry as the need struck, sharing my emotional thoughts with the world around me. NaNoWriMo 2011 is where my writing really became “real” to me. Something more than a bit of poetry. I realized that I actually “could” write stories, and maybe some day share them with the world.

In 2013 I took those two pieces of how I felt about writing a bit further. I started to explore my life, and how different aspects fit together after the loss of my wife to cancer.

These elements were key in inspiring what my writing has become now. But… there is one final piece to that key, in the shaping and exploring of what writing is to me. The world of blogging. By blogging my writing journey, and following other bloggers as they share theirs is what truly gave me the desire to give “voice” to my personal writing creed/code/declaration/manifesto!

So, here goes… My attempt to put words to the vast feelings and ideas of my personal writing creed/code/declaration/manifesto:

Writing is a Journey,
An Expression of your Soul.
Words ARE Power,
Writing IS Ceremony!
Words, writing, Spring forth
from the Well of the Soul.
Writing is Discovery,
as we Explore the Intangible.

Write for the Love, Joy and Journey!
Write to explore, discover and share!
Write your path, desires and thoughts!
Write to learn, grow and give!

The creative process is a gift of the Creator, it is an honor and something to be shared. So don’t write to be famous, don’t write to make money, but instead, instead, write because you need to share the words in your heart and soul! Write because you have been gifted by Creator. Write to share the Journey and Power that are in the Ceremony of Writing!

This is just a little piece of how I view writing and I hope that it has inspired you in your writing journey.

Continue reading Adventures in Vlogging

Guest Blogger: Dreamland’s Insurgents

So, the post I have been waiting for all week!  I am super excited to share with you my first ever guest blogger and writing partner in crime Dreamland’s Insurgents.  This is the first in many collaborations between us I do so hope!  But more on that later.  Here is my interview question that I asked him and his beautifully worded response.

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“How Do You View Writing” and share a “glimpse” of your writing process.”

Although I’ve been writing since I was a wee lad, composing fantasy novels on the bus in middle school, it wasn’t until college that I became aware of the process. started thinking about composition, themes, characters, you know, the elements. I wasn’t aware of what I was doing or where it came from, or the effects it had on the writer. It’s not even that I was writing for myself, though, I definitely was writing with the hopes that it would be read. But it was really immature, or rather unripe, like the first few harvests of grapes. You don’t make wine with grapes from young vines. You can’t just crush them up and put them in a bottle, either. You have to have experience, you have to have a process.

A couple of reading/ “philosophical” sources came together in my mind to make sense of the writing process. The first was John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction. He was the author of the infamous Grendal, a novel told from the perspective of the villain from the old-English epic Beowulf. Gardner was not only a skilled writer, but a passionate believer in his craft. In The Art of Fiction he calls writing “vivid and continuous dream.” When I read that, it spoke to me. It called my attention to the fact that when I wrote, even more so than when I read, I was absorbed in the story. I don’t think there’s been any neuroscience done on writers during their process but I actually suspect if writers were hooked up to neuro-scanners (whatever you call em) during the writing process we’d see the same parts of the brain firing up that we see in people who are dreaming at night.
The second source that brought my attention to the craft in a good way was Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels. Many writers and readers are familiar with these incredibly well-written stories. The main character is Morpheus, king of dreams. His story, a classic hero-quest, weaves through tales of Shakespeare and other writers and artists. Dreams in The Sandman are an integral part of stories, and both work to keep humanity sane and in a state of constant wonder. The sanity and the wonder are the same. There’s no distinction between the dreams we have at night and the dreams that are our hopes and plans. They’re all stories.
If people don’t sleep, they go crazy, just like if they feel hopeless, feel no purpose, they sink into despair. It’s a matter of dreams, which is to say, it’s a matter of stories. When you write, when you daydream about the future or other people or places, you’re telling yourself a story, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. It’s the storytelling mechanism of your brain.
So that’s how I view writing – dreaming, simply and profound (like any good truth). The process is much the same. If you’re not conscious of your process, writing can be as disjointed and difficult to follow as any fever-dream. If you’re aware of what you’re doing without disturbing the dream’s manifestation, you’ve got a lucid dream, and if you can put that on paper, you’ve got writing.
My process is still developing from this point. Before college, I “just wrote,” and it was easy, every time I sat down I wrote. Fantasy novels, for the most part – one in middle school, one in high school. Nothing you could call “good” by any stretch of the imagination. A lot of borrowed material. What was original was still very much governed by the morals, values, assumptions, etc. of our culture in general. You know, with movies and mass media, even books (and ebooks I think might make this worse), they stand in for our dreams, they make us dream according to the agenda of our society. I won’t go into my antagonism towards those consumer-dreams, but I think that’s there.
It took me a long time to begin feeling confidence in my own dreams. Or even longer to feel interest in other people’s dreams, which might be of equal or even greater importance. As a writer you have to be able to believe other people’s dreams – you understand people better, you can feel greater empathy, you can write more diverse characters. But in order to trust in that, I had to make a break with so-called “reality,” the shared reality dominated by money, and feel the microcosm of dreams in myself and others.
So when I sit down to write, I have to have an image, or a personality, or a setting – I have to feel it, I have to have a desire for it. A desire of it. A desire in it. I have to have enough to suspend my belief for *this* reality and immerse myself in *that* reality. It’s like self-enchantment. I need to put myself in a trance. That other reality sort of channels into and through me onto the paper, where I can tell someone else’s story. It doesn’t matter if that someone else is a 30-year-old male writer (ostensibly myself) or someone wildly different: an orc living in a swamp, a 22-year-old clone in the year 2050, a plastic bag blowing down the street. I have the potential to be anyone or anything – my presumptions about reality show through anywhere, but anything is potentially up for grabs.
My biggest challenge in writing is not losing the dream. Staying immersed, not letting myself get off track. Worse, few non-writers seem to understand the value of this trance, as members of tribes long ago knew not to disturb the trance of their local shaman. For a really great instance of this trance being broken, look at the poet Coleridge, who wrote maybe the best poem in English, “Kubla Khan,” as the result of a dream. 54 lines long, it was intended to be 200-300 when he first woke up, but he was interrupted by “a person on business from Porlock.” To hell with anyone “on business”! Business is the anathema of dreams, and now business has the ability to interfere not only at our door, but from phones, texts, television, computers, “alerts” of a million kinds. 90% of my writing process is just fending off business and all its mindsets.
I used to revise as I went, but I think “revision” is its own kind of business. Now I try to leave it for the end. Often, to resume the trance (because who can write a novel in one sitting? no one who wants to eat), I will go back and read what I’ve written, and now more often than not the reading itself will start the trance back up. I will experience the reality of the story again, and resume writing. Sometimes I’ll pick at the language and make small changes as I go, but it usually serves to put myself back inside the narration. The trance we right isn’t necessarily the spell we need to cast for a reader to participate, just like the dream we experience at night can never be the dream we tell our friends in the morning. We need to translate, too, but translation is a sort of work, a sort of business, the business of putting the dream on the page in a state where another reader can be put under its spell.
Thank you so very much Dreamland’s Insurgents for taking the time to share a bit of your views on writing and your process!
Well everyone, what about you?  What do you think of his ideas?  How are yours the same?  Or different?

My Interview Question Answers

So tomorrow I have a guest post on my blog, and since it came about from an idea… I will get it rolling! *grins* The idea is simple really, it was to look at two writers views on writing and their processes. It was to show the difference in every writer, and to be a bit on the silly side. But as we both looked at the question, it became apparent that silly was not how we wanted to answer. So I will start with my answer, which is a bit shorter and less eloquent than his, which you will get to see tomorrow!

 

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My answer to “How I View Writing” and a “glimpse” of my writing process.

I have always loved stories. More often than not lived in a land of make belief and fairy tale. I don’t think anyone has ever truly caught me without a book in hand. To this day that is true, and now with ebooks, I am never far from several as they are even on my phone!
I truly got my start with poetry. Pouring out my emotions to the ever forgiving page. But eventually a need in me grew. To craft such amazing stories as I read became a need in me. The need to share with the world a joy in the escape reading had given me.
In writing I have found almost a greater escape. There are worlds locked in my mind I could never have fathomed before I started the craft of writing. I meet my characters much as any reader would. They slip in and use me to tell their tales. I have no control of the stories they share, as they are unique to each character that tells them.
I guess therein lies my process. I meet the character and then hand over the reins so to speak. I let them tell their tale, I just give them voice.

 

What about you? What is your view of writing? If you were to show the world a glimpse of your writing process what would it entail?