Monday, July 31, 2006

Today, I am going to go find a rock and listen for ideas. I have my journal and it's been a while since I've mined my life and come up with some new topics. I've already thought of a few this morning so my mind is already going in that direction. I find that when I have a list of things to write about, I get up in the morning ready to rush to my 'puter. I may come up with ideas for my book, articles, or perhaps even another book. Today, is not the time to judge. It's time to just let ideas and thoughts come.
I'm looking forward to it. What are your plans for today?
Til Tomorrow~

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Just got back from the Park. I went out there to try and find someplace cool. It's been very hot here and for those os us who do not have air conditioners, 98 is 'very' warm.
Didn't write yesterday. Got in from my art class kind of late and then had to do my pages. They got done. Did them today too. I'm moving along pretty darn good if I say so for myself. I'm past the fifty page mark and even though the rough draft may only be 125-150 pages, I already know of the places I've got to go back and show, not tell. There's a few more scenes too I need to add in the beginning, descriptions, etc. I keep thinking if I get this all roughed by the end of August, I'll start rewriting and hopefully be able to start sending it out in January..after the end of the year returns.
I believe that this book is giving me the courage and knowledge to write about anything. It is trying at times, but I have set myself a limit of so many words per day (or pages) and I do them.
One day, some day I will get my craft perfected if I stay on the course and get on that NYTimes List.
Will write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Friday, July 28, 2006

Up and around early this morning. I wanted to mention this book I finished sometime ago. I think I mentioned it in an earlier post, but wanted to recommend it again. It is titled, "Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home" by Lynn Freed. It is a series of essays on the writing life. I wondered how I'd like it. Once I started reading though I couldn't hardly put it down. I had several ah-ha moments. It is one of those books I will keep on my shelf and read over and over again much like I read Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron's book. I also like Hal Zina Bennet's books. The encourage and teach at the same time.
I did get my pages completed last night before I crashed. It was around midnight. Felt good to get them down. I'm in to a funeral scene right now. Strange how easily the images are coming to me. I guess it is from my vast knowledge of attending soooo many in the past few years. Yikes! In the end, it will be up to the reader to decide how well I've done.
Onward to those pages for today. I'll write more tomorrow. Will be late as I have an art class all day. Fun. Fun.
Til Then~

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Whew! This has been one of those days you wish you could have back so you could do over. From 3:00 A.M. when it started raining and woke me up, I should have known. My son called at 6:50. There was a crisis with his cell phone. To make a long story short, after they disconnected and changed my husband's cell phone number instead of my son's AAAANNNDD four hours later, things got worked out. It was only then I was free to go for my walk, which took two hours, then I went for a hike with a friend. We had a picnic, way, way up on the side of the mountain. It was spectacular.
I have written in both my journals and as soon as I get off here, I'm going to do my pages. Not too worried about them as I already know the scene I'm going to write about, so they shouldn't be tooooo difficult tonight and that's a good thing.
Tomorrow, I hope to get back on my earlier schedule. I also want to do some art things. We'll see. Pages come first.
Til Then~

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's true. I'm up early this morning. Not feeling very well. That's probably because I'm tired. Ha!
I've been working on my pages. I have a small word processor called an Alpha Smart that I like to compose on. I can take it anywhere. It's lightweight and when I write on it, I don't feel like everything I put down has to be perfect. It allows me to create.
This morning, I transferred the three chapters I had on there to here and saved them. I have over 8,000 words, almost 9 and 36 pages. Not bad for me. I'm currently making the chapters short because I know as I go back and rewrite, they will be expanded. Already as I scanned over some of the pages, I see I am telling the story instead of showing it. That will definitely have to be changed.
Last night, before I went to bed, I thought about some information I'm going to have to go back and add in Chapter One, so....
All in a days work. I'm going to keep forging ahead on this project.
I'm also trying to figure out what I need to take back with me when I go. I brought up a lot of stuff I thought I would be leaving, but I am going to need it back in Oklahoma. I'll probably sit down this weekend and make a list of stuff. Ah, the life of a traveling salesman...uh, I mean writer and mom.
Til Later~

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Good grief! Where does the time go? I have been up since 7 this morning and it seems the time has just slipped away from me. Goodness.
I did work on my book though. A couple extra pages today. I am finding that if I set my mind to getting to them, it makes it a lot easier. I mist admit however, that today I thought about skipping them. I thought of all sorts of reasons and then justified those reasons. In the end, I came up with that if I didn't do them, I would feel lousy about myself and tomorrow, it would be more difficult to set down and do them. So, I just did them. It went quite well, I thought. I'll probably have to axe half of what I've gotten down, but at least I'll be one-half ahead.
Off to do some art things.
Til Tomorrow~

Monday, July 24, 2006

Well, I made it through the morning without a crisis. That is amazing, however shortly after noon back in Oklahoma my daughter called me with more disturbing news. Those of you who have been reading my blog know the medical problems my daughter has faced over the past month. Today, was her first day back in class. The major part of her illness happened while she was off for summer break, but when school began again, she did miss five days.
Today, when she went in, one of her professors told her the best she could hope for in his class was a D even if she turned in A work from now until the end of the semester, which will end in 14 class periods. Her GPA was 3.95. Over her years in college, she has made the honor roll, won scholarships, and kept her grades up even when we had three immediate family members die in one month. She is not one to slough off.
She asked this professor if there was something she could do, extra credit, reports, anything to help her bring her grade back up. He said, "no". My daughter is afraid because he is such an a**, that at the end of these 14 days, he may flunk her. I told her let him try.
They are supposed to make allowances for medical emergencies and he's not even being reasonable. I suppose he would be happy if she would have been driving on her way to school, had a wreck and died. Good grief! She was passing out, bleeding to death, spent two days in ICU. I guess he thinks she was up having a party. We can show him the $30,000 medical bills if that would convince him. I doubt it would, he's such a ****.
I told my daughter, go ahead, and go to class, do your best work, and after August 25th when she graduates, I'm going to begin a letter writing campaign. I'm going to tell everyone, including the regents, the Tulsa World, the Oklahoman, and the State Board of Education exactly what I think of one of the surveying instructors at OSU-Okmulgee.
Anywho...I have been composing letters to various people all day in my head. Needless to say, they have not been kind. I'm hoping I will calm down after a good night's sleep. I need to remember diplomacy. Right now, I am just an angry mother. I don't care if my daughter is 27. It's not like she planned to be ill.
Will run for today. Did do my pages. How are yours coming?
Til Tomorrow~

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'm on a roll my dears. Another three pages today. Now I'm not arrogant enough to believe they are perfect pages, but they are something and one must have words down before one can edit. I'm trying to get over this perfectionist problem I have. I was raised by the slogan, 'if you can't do it right the first time'. To me it has become a curse.
Over the years, I have heard artists of all disciplines talk about how they have to make mistakes to end up with truly great works of art. I wish I could relax and make those mistakes, but I always feel, when I do, that I'm wasting materials, my time, or resources. It's frustrating and it's a battle I deal with constantly.
When I was teaching, I would tell my students, make mistakes, start over. Believe me, it's easier said than done.
So I've made my mistakes today. Tomorrow is another day.
Til Then~

Saturday, July 22, 2006

This will probably be a short post. Not feeling very well this late afternoon. It took me forever to get my pages completed today, but I did and I know will feel better later for doing so.
A few pages at a time, that's all it takes to write a book. I once heard a motivational speaker say, "if you wrote one page a day by the end of the year you would have 365 pages."
If you want to write a book, but haven't started yet, why not make that your goal? One page or 250 words isn't that much. Really! Try it. You'll be surprised at how much progress you make.
Til Tomorrow~

Friday, July 21, 2006

A late day post. Was going to do this earlier, but frankly was afraid if I started here I'd not get my pages done and currently those pages are priority. Completed my pages. Believe I am getting in a rhythm of sorts. I find myself thinking ahead about what I will put in the next chapter or section. I've got the thing written out in a ten page synopsis, but waiting to look at it until I get stumped on where to go next.
I've got to get back to my medieval. I must confess one of the reasons why I haven't been working on it is I'm very tired. Hmmm. Don't know what that says about my other book. No, it's been a stretch to work on it too. I guess I just feel like I should be making the medieval PERFECT and that is why I'm procrastinating about it. I know I'm going to have to pull the pages out and get on it.
Just going to have to break down and 'do it'.
Will write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Okay, so it's true. I'm an insomniac. Either that or a worry wart. :-) I couldn't sleep so I decided I'd get up and get my 'thinking' work done.
I opened up the windows and got the first breath of morning air. There's nothing like the smell of wet earth, pine, and aspen on a crisp, cool mountain morning. The birds are starting to sing already and the sun isn't quite up yet. I never noticed their lack of singing at night and then their heralding songs in the morning before until being up here this year. Some morning, their little songs annoy me. I'm used to be awakened by the blare of truck horns and the swish of cars not tweets and caws.
I'm continuing to plod through the book. Can someone love and hate a book at the same time? That is the delimma I face now. I am over 3/4 of the way through this book and the author still has not fulfilled her promise. Oh, she finds the other character's journal, if you can call it that, eight crumbled pages in a deteriating book, but she doesn't really do anything with it.
The plot has a LOT to be desired. There is not much dialogue to speak of and even when it is found in the text, there are no quotation marks to set it off from the narrative. I find myself skipping large paragraphs, sections of pages because of the narrative and description. The description does go on forever and I find myself going back and reading it, hoping to learn something from it.
I'm two chapters to finishing. I skipped ahead last night because the 1990's character had driven herself into a state of silence cutting everyone off in her life, buried in grief. I wanted to see what happened to her and the man she was living with. She discovers a horrible secret about him and I am disappointed that instead of confronting him, she does nothing. She says nothing, just goes on as if nothing has changed between them.
It's just such an odd book. I don't really like it because it just seems to be words put down on paper about these two women. Their lives don't really go anywhere. Yes, their lives do change, but their doesn't seem to be anything redeeming, anything satisfying or left for the reader when one finishes. Maybe it's just me.
Anyway, time will tell. Two years down the road, if I remember this book, the author will have done her job--written a book a reader remembers despite the content. I hope some day readers can say that about me. More tomorrow.
Til Then~

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wow! What a day. My mother called me at 4:51 AM. She and my dad are truckers. They were on the east coast and sometimes mother forgets I am two time zones away from her. She called yesterday at 5 A.M. Now, I am an early riser, but typically I sleep until 6:30 especially if I'm up until after midnight. Anywho, I asked her to please check the time zones next time she calls. I've lived with a headache for the past few days.
Am better now and I'm sure tomorrow will be okay. It's just a shock to the system. It scares me when I receive a call that early. I think she may have gotten a little confused because they got lost in NYCity. Mother is a very nervous person and doesn't care for that part of the world.
I started paying attention to time zones years ago. I was assigned to interview a musician over in the UK. I thought I had figured correctly, but instead woke the guy up at 2 A.M. to ask him for an interview. Bless his heart, he agreed, but requested I do it later in the day.
From then on, I checked and double checked. It was before the age of instant Internet info. These days all one has to do is 'log on' and the information is waiting for him. I'm sure this musician is happy about that. Yikes!
I wrote the article and all was far as I've ever known. I know however, that somewhere when time zone issues come up, he tells the story about the 'stupid' writer who called him in the middle of the night.
I've done my book pages. Whew! it's getting pretty emotional. My three pages drained me today. Tomorrow I will be back at it. I'm determined.
Til Then~

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Posting late again today. Went on an 'artist date' today so that has thrown me a little behind. Had fun though. Oh, the artist date? For those of you who haven't read Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, it's a time when a person (an artist) takes herself out and does something to feed her creative soul. Today, as odd as this may sound, I went and purchased some fairy cards and glitter. Why fairy cards you may ask? The colors on them are simply incredible. Deep blues, purples, pinks, then inlaid with silver and gold. They are simply beautiful. I plan to use them in some project one of these days.
I saw a butterfly done with the glitter, so I had to have some of that too. :-)
I have been a good writer and working on my novel. Yesterday, I went above my word count, so that made me happy. I've not completed my count for today, but it is next in line on my 'to do' list. It is going to be a difficult next few pages. I am mining a certain emotional experience in my life and giving it to my character. Should be interesting. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.
Til Then~

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hello All!
It is getting ready to storm here. With each rumble of thunder I wonder how much longer I can leave my 'puter on. Will make it through this post, for sure.
I just finished writing another poem for my poetry class. I am enjoying it and learning to, yes even after all these years, appreciate the writing craft more. I am mezmorized by words and how using one word over another can change the meaning of what I write. When I first started my writing journey and I would hear writers talk about how they puzzled over one word for hours, I thought, good grief, just use a word and get on with it. As time went on, there was a day when I found myself spending hours looking, searching, waiting for that "one" "right" word to make its appearance in my brain so I could put it down on the page.
Today, there are many instances I could relate that I use one word and come back and change it later. Changing words, rearranging them, making our meaning more clear is what we as writers do. I love words and am truly obsessed with them. "That's what makes you a good writer," my mentor says. I'm not sure about the 'good', but I'll take the writer. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Can you?
Til Tomorrow~

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Today turned out to be a good writing least production wise. I went out to the park and churned out the words. It feels so good to be writing again. I wrote a couple poems. Hopefully have one or two that will work for my poetry class I'm taking. Wrote down several more poem ideas and even an idea for another book.
Now, I know. I know. Just because I churned out the words doesn't mean that anything I wrote will be worth using. I'll settle for a sentence at this point.
After I finished reading Eric's book, a few phrases he had written kept running through my mind. "Write first. After that, do anything you want. Just get the writing done first."
Truer words were never spoken. From my own experiences, I know if I don't write, am not stubborn about it, then the writing doesn't get done. I feel guilty about NOT writing and no matter what else I do, I don't feel good about myself.
But let me have written for the day, good, bad, or ugly, and I can lie on the couch and do absolutely nothing and feel wonderful about it.
He also encouraged writers to make a new commitment to their writing and themselves. I did just that.
Sure, I've always written, but I kept thinking as I was reading through the book--am I committed? Am I committed to writing bad stuff as well as good and knowing that it's okay? I am now. The bad has to come with the good, other wise there's no finding the incredible.
How committed are you?
Til Tomorrow~

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hello All~
Up and around early this morning. Getting ready to head out on my walk, but thought I'd write here first.
Finished up a Writer's Paris. I will be reading it again sometime in the near future. After finishing that, I started "Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home". I'll find the author's name and pass it along tomorrow. Anywho, fascinating read. It was a questionable start, but now that I'm in to it, I'm almost 3/4 of the way through. She talks about her family, her life as a writer and the why of her writing.
I've been struggling with several pieces I wanted to write, but didn't feel comfortable because they involved my family. I feel as if I have permission to write about them now.
I am excited about all the possibilities this affords me.
Must run. I'll write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hello All!
Another day, another eight miles. Yes, that is how far I walk each day. I need to to burn calories. Ha! The other day I started off on my walk and felt like something was wrong. It was. I had forgotten my glasses. Duh! No wonder I couldn't see the dial on my iPod.
A friend anf I were talking about our lives and losing things. She told me about her latest catastrophy. She said she set about looking for her glasses because she had lost them. She said she looked everywhere and the strange thing was she knew she just had them. Forty five minutes later, after she rallied the family to help her look, her daughter pointed out she was carrying them in her hand.
I feel her pain.
Been there. How often I have been looking for my glasses when they are right on top of my head. I've gone to the store, picked up something and became so comfortable carrying it around, I get up to the checkout stand and forget I have it. I've lost keys only to find they were where I looked the first time.
Sometimes, coming up with writing ideas can be just as frustrating. Because we become so familiar or comfortable with our lives, we miss seeing the things (ideas) right in front of us.
I've argued about ideas that have popped in to my head. "Oh, that's silly." "Everybody knows that." "Who would want to read about that?" Then I kick myself when about six months later, I pick up a magazine and read an article written about the very thing I didn't think anyone would be interested in. ARGH!
It's the everyday things that interest people, so pull out a pad and pencil and get to jotting down the 'little' things that happened to you today. Tomorrow, they may be fodder for your novel.
Til Then~

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another busy and very interesting day. I walked to town and spent six hours there. It was strange. I went to spend some time meandering. I found it difficult to slow down and take my time. I wanted to rush here and there.
My first stop, after I purchased a coffee, was a park bench along the river. From the corner of my eye, I saw a white and tan spotted bird dog pacing behind a fence across the way. He whined periodically and I tried to ignore him, but felt him staring at me.
An older couple passed. I watched them. They approached the fence where the dog was. The man picked up a ball and threw it over the fence. Off went the dog. After a few more throws the couple went on their way. I watched the dog and could see him watching me. I finished my coffee and ambled toward the fence.
As I approached I saw a sign. It read, "This is Joe. Please do not feed him as he has a huge bowl of water and food up against the back of the building. Different food makes him sick. You may however play ball with him. He loves to play ball."
At my feet was Joe's ball. I picked it up with two fingers and gave it a throw. Joe chased it down, grabbed it, brought it back and threw it over the fence at me.
Joe and I enjoyed each others company until he got wore out.
As he rested, I ambled on down the Riverwalk looking for something else to do.
More adventures to follow tomorrow. :-)
Til Then~

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I am writing this late I know. I went out to the park today to work on my poetry assignments. I did the fifteen minute writing and read some more of the book. Also, took Michael's advice, started a journal for poetry ideas. I must say I was resistant to add some events to my list. I pondered them for a while before I actually wrote them down. It seemed strange to me, almost like writing them down would make them more real or make me face the reality of the events. Even after I wrote them down, I stared at them. I have yet to write the epiphanies. I've had too many and frankly I thought if I had to face those, I might go crazy.
To Suzanne, Mark, and David-thanks for writing. Over the years, I have learned poets must stick together. Sometimes we're the only support we have. We are certainly the only ones who understand one another. :-)
A book I might recommend is 'A Writer's Paris', by Eric Maisel. It is a lovely look at the writer's life and time spent in Paris.
Well, I'm off to post at BNU my responses to the First Lesson.
Tomorrow, I am going to walk through the small town up here, write, and pretend I'm in Paris.
I'll let you know how it goes and the insights gained.
Til Tomorrow~

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For the past few hours, I have been reading and studying poetry. I don't consider myself a poet even though a few of my poems have been published. One thing that has struck me is that a poem is written from an idea, not a theme or topic, but an idea. (Okay I am hearing weird noises. I don't have the radio or tv on, but I hear music.) I'm reading the "Art and Craft of Poetry" by Michael Bugeja. I have also been reading books on poetry written by my friend, Harvey Stanbrough aaaannnnddd getting ready to listen to some poets read their work from the "Poetry Speaks" series. My friend, Robert Ferrier, another poet, turned me on to the series. I am particularly interested in hearing Sylvia Plath read her work. I have been drawn to her for some time now. Perhaps it is because I am trying to understand her suicide.
When I think of Sylvia Plath, I think about my great, great, great, grandmother who hung herself in the barn. She left a suicide note, which I was able to read part of. Its content raged of people not understanding, yet how she couldn't go on with the emotional pain she was suffering.
As I get older and face more situations in my own life, I feel as if I am beginning to understand their desperation. Not to worry readers. I am not out to commit hairy cairy, just trying to understand. My motto has always been "as long as you're alive things can change and usually do in a short amount of time".
Off to listen to some poetry read by some of the great poets--and to find out what the heck that blasted noise is. Will write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wow! What a day! What a weekend! What a life! Many years ago, when "Jaws" first came out, one of the advertising slogans was "just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...." That's the way I feel about my life. Just when I feel it is safe to start living my life again, something else happens and wham, I'm starting all over again. I refer to all the events that happen in dull roars and raging roars. You know the raging ones-ones where you can't hear your own thoughts because there is so much going on in your head. I'm looking forward to getting back to the dull roar. Not quite there yet, but hopefully soon.
This morning, I decided I will be returning to Oklahoma about mid-August. I always intended to go back for my daughter's graduation, but now it looks like it may be for a quasi-extended period. My life gets sooooo bizarre at times, even I don't know what to think about it. I am telling myself it's a learning experience.
I was talking to a friend earlier and gave her my itinerary. Will be here until mid-August, when I will go back to graduation. Plan to come back to Colorado for three weeks in September with said daughter and sister-in-law. Go back down to Oklahoma, help daughter move to Columbus, Kansas, where she has accepted a job. Stay with her for a month. Go back to Oklahoma, (maybe come back up here for a week in October), be in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, come back up here for Christmas, be in Oklahoma for birth of grandbaby in February. Maybe, just maybe, things will slow down in March. (She writes optimistically.)
I've been reading Eric Maisel's book, "Writing in Paris". He talks about writing anywhere and all the time. Looks like that may be where I'm headed. I'm thinking I should use this as a writing experience. It looks like if I can write over the next six months, I will be "super writer".
I will work on that and get back to you. Quiet time would be nice, but if you can't shut up the roar in your head, you might as well write in absolute chaos. (Okay, that may not make sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to me.)
Will ponder these thoughts and write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Friday, July 07, 2006

Another day. I was hoping to get a lot more done than what I have accomplished today. It seems the more I have planned, the less I do. I haven't slept very well in about two weeks.
It seems my daughter is slowly getting better. She still can't be up very long, buuuuutttt she is eating and that is a major improvement.
I talked to my son. He seems to be doing okay. I guess the thought of him being a dad is settling in.
Over the past few weeks, so much has been going on. I have loads of material for books, articles, short stories, etc. Now to find the time to do it all. I'm looking forward to recovering my brain and getting back to work. Currently, while I think about starting a piece all I do is sit and stare into space. Another writer friend told me I was percolating. I told her I was procrastinating and just flat being lazy. She said she would hear no more of it. Ha! She's a good friend.
I know I will fly into gear here soon. Maybe I just need a few days off to refill my creative well.
Til Tomorrow~

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hello All!
I'm afraid this will be a short update on events. I am now trying to catch up on life.
My daughter is now recovering from internal bleeding after the surgery. She is having to take it extremely easy, tires quickly, etc.
My husband and I just learned his nephew's daughter is ill and not doing well. She is 21 and has a three year old. Also, that his uncle was admitted to the hospital this m0rning.
We are trying to find out what is going on. Have the planets aligned themselves against us or what?
For those of you who haven't known me long, five years ago, we lost my sister-in-law to cancer. In the summer of 2004, my uncle and a young student of mine (15) passed away. In March of 2005, my husband's father, brother-in-law, and brother died. Yes, all in one month.
Through this all, I do have good news. In February, I will be a grandmother. I could possibly be too young for such an event, but I'm wrapping my mind around the thought and think it will be okay.
I haven't written much in the past two weeks. That will change soon. I have much to write about.
Take care and keep writing.
Til Tomorrow~