Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Writer = Multiple Personality Disorder

How else to explain why so many of us feed our muse a toss salad of EVERYTHING, from impressionist art to learning how to build booby-traps out of twigs and gum.  We're just trying to nurture all the folks-and their stories-within us.

Today, I fed mine electromagnetic field basics, mixology and French lullabies.  How did you feed your mental hitchhikers?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WIP Thursday: Another Kind of Super Power.

This little fella can be seen making the rounds on Facebook.  The image and intent make me smile, but also reminds me of how I want my son to be and how I try to be.  Underoos and all. *smile*

I also think writers can take something away from this pic.  In childhood, we are so brave and confident in our imaginings.  Time and experience takes that gift away from most.  But writers-writers still posses that gift.  Even with a adults understanding of the worlds harsh realities, we still allow the magic of imagination into our lives and then we send it out to others, hoping they can also share in this magic.

I believe having a imagination is a super power.  I dare anyone to disagree.   And I think believing in yourself is the strongest ability of them all.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Needed Reminder...

"She found him standing out in the square, staring up at the night sky like he was about to howl at it.

He was taller than she remembered, broader in the shoulders too. His once enviable dark mane was now cut so short it followed the lines of his scalp. And even if she hadn’t seen his shoulders slump when he turned away from the stars, she knew he’d become a whole lot older than he was suppose to be."

~~~Chapter 1: Just Howling at the Moon.  Ghost Mountain.

Just reminding myself that I can write when I wish to.  Now just to sit down and make more pretty words...


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

IWSG Wednesday: Not Alone And Never Could Be.

Yes, reading does this.  But writing... 

Writing is one of those lonely vocations, is it not my fellow members of The Insecure Writers Support Group. The initial act done, for all intents and purposes, alone with ones works.   But I must contend, are we really alone then?

As a child, some may call them imaginary friends.  And some medicated individuals call them "the voices in their head".  But we writers know these apparitions as our characters.  Part us trying to understand ourselves, part amalgam of those we want to better understand, and if we are lucky our characters grow and become something of their own. 

I don't know about you, but when a character begins to break free of the mould I originally made for it, it begins to stay with me.  At least it sometime feels that way.  During quiet times (when my life and my two year old allows me) characters visit me as passing thoughts.  And when I write, I feel like I have become a passing thought in their lives.  Someone among them, but just out of the way as to not get in the way of their lives.

So alone?  No, not alone while I write.  And of course, I have all of you when I leave their company.

Now don't forget the coffee, or neglect the cookies and donuts, on your way out of today's meeting of the IWSG.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

WIP Thursday: Trust Instinct Not Opinion

Like knowing something was up with a client and yet I could not put my finger on it just then.  I believe this.  Feeling that something is wrong in general should always be heeded, no matter the situation.  Feeling something is wrong means something is wrong and its time to go to work.
Now when folks start giving you "exacts" about you or others personal works (or personal issues), I have found it's usually just their own personal opinion.    We do not have crystal balls or read minds.  Only the writer (or client) really knows what their story is or wish it to be.   


Thursday, June 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday on a Thursday AGAIN!

Unless you are a writer and sitting your ass down is a paramount move towards completion.  Happy "ass sitting" when ya can, folks!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Insecure Writer's Support Group in Session.

I have done a handful of things that have yielded great reward over the years.  Working in the Mental Health field, loving my husband, becoming a mother...  None of these things were or are always easy.  The best things never are.  And I did not pursue these things to be rewarded.  That came as a happy side effect.

But writing...

Once I get past the procrastination and excuses, the act of writing (and art) feels as easy to me as breathing.  Far easier than the other rewarding choices in my life.  So why do I not pursue the act of creating, the way I do my more difficult vocations?  Something so self rewarding and so easy for me, if I just cut the procrastinators bull shit and pick up my pen and lay fingers to keys...

Because, maybe writing is just for me?  And I have a hard time giving myself a chance at good things...

I see that.

Okay, well thanks Insecure Writer's Support Group for the therapy session.  We have found yet another case of "Own Worst Enemy".   Free cookies and coffee on your way out...


Thursday, May 30, 2013

WIP Thursday:Getting More With Less.

More and more I am drawn to simple stories, both on and off screen, involving the not so simple complications of the human heart and head.  Don't get me wrong, a great bash-up, blow-up, special effects wonder still gets me rolling.  But give me a handful of well crafted characters, sitting on a June bug lit back porch just talking like folk, and you'll have my attention. 

I figure, if you can't strip a story of it's "special effects" and continue to find interest in its characters or plot, you need another story.  

Here's to stripping our stories down to idiot proof.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

WIP Thursday: Well At Least I Posted!

*Making a Blog entry.   YES.

*Doing dishes and laundry.....   NO!

*Reading a later tonight.   YES.

*Cleaning up others messes.    NO!

*Writing more than I am.  And by more I mean at all.    YES.

CONCLUSION:  Need a maid.  Or maybe just better game plan...

How about you all?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday on a Thursday: What Do You Care About?

For the longest time I relied more on my imagination and others experiences and less on my own when making up my fictional worlds and characters. I built stories on experiences I heard of second hand or witnessed from afar. And I copied from characters I had loved and people I'd found interesting over the years. Then I threw all this into big scenes in contrived stories I thought would be interesting to the masses.
One could argue that all these things can be good fodder for the muse, but it doesn't make a good end product.  You need more.  Because whats the point of having amazing stories and insane scenes, when the reader doesn't feel a thing for the 2D characters being drug through said stories. 
People are the stories, or at least this is the notion I care about.  
For me, it was putting more of my own self into the characters and allowing those characters to express some of my own universal concerns, my stories began to breath on their own.  Giving our characters a piece of ourselves bonds us to them, making us care more for what we write--making us better writers.  And in the end giving the reader a character deserving of their care. 
Because in the end, isn't that what we all care about and connect with?  The universal concerns, fears and dreams of all man.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Day After WIP Wednesday...

     I have decided that no matter if my Wednesday Blog is late, by a day or week, I will post regardless.  And if I have no big topic to rant on, ask questions about or report, I will post something on this blog.  Even if it's a photo of my kids big toe, word count update, or a quote of the day I found somewhere on the net, something will be posted each week.
A writing friend of mine once commented that it didn't matter the amount of followers or comments one had, but that you got in the habit of making deadlines.  And blogging is good writing practice.  Well, I am out of practice with deadlines, NEED practice, and if I can continue to bond with other word-slingers once in a while I will sure as hell keep posting.
So quote of the day #1 shot a true path to this target.  Belief that my goal (completion of a WIP) is out ahead of me so long as I keep writing and working on my craft, helps my focus to stay true.
And quote of the day #2...  
...bodes well with #1 for all writers.   We are the only ones to blame if we fail.   My goal at this time is simple, to complete a WIP. No grand notions, just a earnest attempt at a childhood love.   So I write.
Keep writing team!
N. Murray

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday: A Bad Excuse Not To Write.

And that is what I have been doing with myself these past two months, waiting and not doing.

My office space where I write is under construction.  I'm a nester.  I will wait to write once its done.

I don't have my old music system up, so to be inspired by my tunes.  Another excuse to wait.

We had a long trip a long long ways away with family a couple months ago.  I haven't settled in yet.  I have a ever restless two year old and a million and one commitments, Spring is here and house restoration is back in full swing, life is.....

Life is chaotic.  But life will continue on at a imperfect whirlwind pace and will not be an excuse for me not to write any longer.

"If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word."  ~~~Margaret Atwood

True enough Ms. Atwood.  True enough.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Still Tangled. Not Stopped

"There is no royal path to good writing; and such paths as do exist do not lead through neat critical gardens, various as they are, but through the jungles of self, the world, and craft."

~Jessamyn West, Saturday Review, 21 September 1957

And although my jungle seems very tangled and acres deep, I do see a window of light far out ahead, and it continues to call to me.  Good writing folks and good luck.
Now to pull out my machete...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

WIP Wednesday: How Thin Is Your Skin?

Our writing works are our babies, and like most parents we do not like being told our kids have issues. 

Now, I grant ya.  Opinions are like ass........ Well, you know what I mean.  Everyone has their own taste and not everyone is going to like your work.  Par for the course.  But to get a negative critique from a creditable peer regarding that much loved and slaved over WIP????

I have found over the years, my tolerance for criticism to be greatly improved.  Now, personal criticism can still make my stubborn horns flare out.  Just ask the poor souls who love me best.  But I am quite proud of my acceptance of professional critique.  It's something that has grown with age and came early while working in the Mental Health field.  A profession that proves more often than not, there is no "I" in team and no one person has all the answers.

I actually crave writing critique from my peers.  When I am in my writing zone, I get so anxious to get my work right.  I want my "baby" to be the best it can be.  I want help when I am stuck with technical issues and listen to creative opinion even when I do not agree with the other persons view.  In my past profession, point of view was an important key to dealing with my clients.  In creativity, I feel the same.  Even if we do not agree, your opinion of my work gives me another view of it and often helps me mould my WIP.

In the end, writing critique is meant to point out flaws based on both opinion and technical fact.   Either way, I have found much truth can be found in ones flaws.  And truth can sometimes be a tough thing to face.

So my fellow writers and creative colleagues, how do you handle constructive critique from your professional peers?   Is your skin thick or thin?

And a shout out to Alex J Cavanaugh Insecure Writers Support Group.  Sign up and check out their blog hop every 1st Wednesday of the month. 


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday: My Pep Talk Rx

                                Prescription best used in life and in writing.
     I see this old slate board every morning (every time) I enter the living room and walk towards the kitchen.  It hangs by the kitchen windows, where it presides over much of my activities these days.  Anyone with a very young tot knows the kitchen becomes your second home (preempting my desk space many days *sigh* ).   Another topic for another day.
I gave myself this Rx many years ago when I worked in the Mental Health field.  The lettering I used often in my daily logs and note taking and the Rx I used everyday when dealing with both clients and the MH system which I worked.  One day at a time.
Keeping this simple message up in my home now, reminds me to stay focused and work on what is at hand and not obsess about things I can not control or whats still so far ahead for both my little family and for my writing.  It reminds me that big and important jobs can become so much more manageable when you just focus on one day at a time.
Good writing folks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Feeding My Muse His Visuals

Old inspiration board from a past story.
I am a visual person by nature.  In childhood I would save stones, twigs and bits of nature found on walks or cuttings from a favorite funny or colorful magazine.  I was drawn to it like other children feel compelled to toss a ball or skip.  I still have some of those bits. 

Over the years I have continued my stockpiling of nature, art post cards, magazine clippings, favorite quotes scribbled on bits of paper, snips of fabric or paper, pictures I or others have taken...the list goes on.....

So she's either one of those creative people or burgeoning hoarder you say?  Maybe a bit of both.  I do know if you follow this blog you are probably much like me in this compulsion--this feeding of our muses I will call it.  Am I wrong? 

Like me, does your imagination spin in some needed or unexpected direction with each new gathered bit?  Do you start new projects by one swatch of fabric or one quote of the day?  Did a painting help you know a characters world better or (in the realm of sound) did a song ever give you your characters soul?

So tell me, are you a muse feeding pack rat?  What things do you pin or tape to your wall or sit upon your shelf.  And if you have progressed like me, what images have you copied and pasted from the net to sooth that ever hungry muse?

For me each new long term project brings a new set of inspirations.  Here are a few of the collected bits I use for my novel, Ghost Mountain.

Good Writing Folks!



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Got Gadgets?

Gadgets.  Aside from our imaginations, gadgets are a part of all writers--all creators--tool box.  It may be something low tech like a paint brush, hammer or pen you most pull out of the box.  Or high tech gadgets like a digital camera, 3D printer (wildest dreams) or my little Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. (Image above created during 3rd attempt using S Memo app.)  And like most of us, the combination of both low and high tech gadgets are whats needed to fully express our imaginings and brings forth our creations.

I started out very low tech (pencil, pen, paintbrush and hammer sort) and stubbornly held onto these creative tools for many years, ignoring the world of high tech like it was the enemy.  Time, high tech positive peer pressure and experience opened my mind to the wonderful would of technology, but I'm still very loyal to my old primitive friends.

The below is a example of one of my high tech gadgets taking on one of my low tech gadgets jobs.  

I often sketch out a geographical map for the fictional world I'm writing about.  I'm a visual person by nature and it sometimes helps in the structuring of my story.  Usually I would do this on the back of a paper tablet or a sheet of print out paper, to be crumpled into a binder or tacked to the wall at my desk.  This would have been fine and I will probably continue such creative planning and nest making in the future. 

But with the apps on my Galaxy Note 10.1 I can more easily share my vision with a wider audience of friends and fellow creators.  And frankly, this looks better than me taking a digital of my crumpled up paper on the wall and posting it.  Then again, I do like old school.  We shall see.  This is a process and I have just started this new avenue.

My second attempt at sketching, using the S Memo feature my new Galaxy Note 10.1. (For you Galaxy owners, I see Omni Sketch and Zen Brush in my near future.) 

So what gadget, low tech or high, helps in your creative process?  What gadget can you not live without.  What new gadget would you love to use or what old gadget do you keep coming back to time and time again?

Good writing folks!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Forward... is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.

~~~Jimmy Buffett

Here's to ticking more off my scavenger list than I did last year.   Let the journey begin!


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