The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, March 15, 2013

Things Learned From Our Four-Legged Friends...

        This evening Jean Ellen Whatley did a book talk at Abode Coffee House. I'd heard her speak at an earlier event at one our local Humane Societies, so I figured this would be the same.

        It wasn't.

Jean Ellen Whatley at a book signing at the Humane Society in St. Louis

        Focusing on the things she learned from Libby, her mutt and travel companion during her 8,600 mile trip, Whatley touched on not being bitter...loving with abandon...the importance of taking a risk...and not holding a grudge.

        One of the things I remembered since, darn it, I didn't bring a notebook to jot things down she said was, "The barrier has no bite." What she was referring to--initially--was the fact that Libby was eager to get at a cat in the neighboring yard, but unbeknownst to the canine, the battery in her electric-fence collar had died months ago. Libby was holding herself back for no reason.

      Isn't that what many writers are afraid of? We worry that if we submit something, it will be rejected and we'll get an email telling us "no" that's full of nasty comments about our writing style. When there is a panel of editors choosing selections, I assume they're groaning and moaning (and not for good reasons) over my story. I worry that my face will magically appear--a vaporous image floating in the air--as they laugh at my serious moments and frown during my humorous ones, and then they'll recognize me when they see me on the street, and then they will whisper about me and...well, you get the idea.

      The biggest barrier that's keeping us from taking a risk is ourselves. And if we don't face our fears, and take a chance on chasing our dream, we'll have regrets. 

       This came at a much-needed time for me. Right now I'm in the middle of a bitter loop that keeps playing, nonstop. Creating ways to splice in new film takes time...But I'm working on it.

        As promised, I'm giving away a copy of Jean Ellen Whatley's Off the Leash. I stirred around the entries from my thousands of thirteen followers, and came up with the name of Lisa, who writes in the buff. Speaking of risks, she's embarked on a business endeavor, and has hung out her writing shingle.

        The book is signed, and has the coolest note. (I'm tempted to tear off that page and keep it, so Lisa, you'd better send me your address quickly so I can box it up and send it off fast.)

        What writing advice do you have? (We all need a little help from our friends occasionally, after all.)


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Take a Break...and Zentangle

       When I am writing my fingertips off, I do weird things.

        I will "role play" a movement, to see how my rolls roll, so I can describe on paper how my character rolls.

       I drink a lot of water/tea so I have to void a lot, so I can avoid getting stuck permanently to the couch in front of my laptop.

       And sometimes I take a break from writing and Zentangle. What in the he** is Zentangle, you ask?  Google it. But be prepared. If you're a doodler, you'll become addicted...quickly.

This a piece I did for my son.

This is another view of the same piece. (My son's a musician.) This one looks much lighter---
blame the photographer (me).

How about you?  What do you do when you take a break from doing report cards writing? (Not that I need any more tools in my "task avoidance" toolbelt...Seriously.)