Category Archives: Main

All general (and sometimes random) posts.

Art Begets Art
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It seems that we writer types, as well as other artists, are always addressing creative inspiration issues. Most common, from what I’ve seen, are writer’s block, distractions (other projects, kids, pets, telemarketers…) and scheduling conflicts. But what about our “other creative self”? Take a look at a few writer’s profiles. This will most likely work with other types, but we’ll stick to writers for this example. Done? Great! Did you happen to notice that most, if not all, mentioned an artistic ability/commitment/interest other than writing? If your answer is “no”, then I know that you didn’t actually check. If you looked at my Twitter profile you read: “Writer, philosopher, entertainer, motorcycle/hot rod surgeon, professional coffee drinker and all-around nice guy.” Now, in my opinion, all but one would be considered creative talents/interests (yes, I consider “being a nice guy” a creative talent at times. Wouldn’t you agree?). To add to that list, I also paint (oils), dabble in photography, re-engineer anything I can take apart, cook with a wild imagination and cut/chip/shave/join/turn wood into furniture and artistic … Continue reading

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Short and Tweet
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Which of the following quotations do you think would get the most RE-Tweets? “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams or “It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.” – Isaac Asimov Well, I suppose that depends on who’s reading your tweets and which one strikes them at that moment. But let’s say that the votes are 50/50. Now which one do you think people are more likely to re-tweet? I vote for the first. Here’s why: The first quote has 88 Characters and the second has 138. Clicking “re-tweet” automatically bumps the numbers up to 101 and 151 (respectively) with the “RT @GRBliss: ” that Twitter inserts to credit the original “tweeter”. Add a few more characters for hash tags – for example: #MyWANA #amwriting #coffee – and you’re now up to 129 and 179 characters. End result: One has too many characters for Twitter! Click the the “oops” photo sitting … Continue reading

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“I Write like…”
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Have you ever wondered if  you were destined to be a famous writer? Or, at least, what writers you would be compared to when you do become famous? I have. Lately, on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, I’ve seen a few posts that started with “I write like…” and I finally couldn’t take it anymore, so I clicked the link. It went to the website called (go figure) “I Write Like“. I also did a search for articles about the site and came up with more than I expected. A few examples are: Wikipedia “Unlikely Words” (Blog article) “The Guardian” (Under Culture/Books/Books Blog) Also listed (#5 in the search results!) was the post that prompted me to finally click to the site: Felicia Wetzig’s Google+ post about the site And a Q&A with the author of the software for the “I Write Like” site: A Q&A with the Creator of “I Write Like”: “The Algorithm is Not a Rocket Science” To quote the official “I Write Like” Facebook page: “I Write Like checks what famous writer you write like … Continue reading

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Write By Numbers
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“By the age of 10 the average child will use up about 730 crayons. That adds up to about 11 boxes of 64 crayons.” Source: “Crayola Crayons – a love affair” – Bob Borson’s blog “Life of an Architect” Do you remember the first time you stayed inside the lines in your coloring book? How about the first time you completed a paint-by-numbers project that actually resembled the photo on the box? Imagine every aspect of your life having such a simple and well planned set of instructions and boundaries. EVERY aspect. Utopia? I think not. Life like that would be a bit boring, not to mention, a little creepy. It would make Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” look like Woodstock. In his article “Why Socialists Don’t Believe in Fun” George Orwell wrote: “Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache. They wanted to produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary. The wider course … Continue reading

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Personal Writing Challenge
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I mentioned in my post “Adversity or Inspiration?” that, with the help of life’s little twists and curves, my writing projects list has increased by a fair amount as of late. That’s a good thing when you consider the flexibility in choices for work each day. But, at the same time, I now have this huge pile of work to finish. A bit daunting when you look at it like that. Needless to say, I woke up this morning, powered up my laptop and became instantly overwhelmed at the possibilities for the day. Instead of sitting here scratching my head all morning, I decided to take a break from my list for the day, but I wasn’t prepared to call the whole day off for writing. TWEET! Choosing one of my normal “break time” activities, I decided to check my social media stuff. I read a few blog posts and realized I was drifting closer and closer to that digital black hole that always tries to steal hours from my work day. WHAT TO DO? Well, I … Continue reading

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Writer’s Voice or Voices?
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I’ve struggled with this thing called “writing voice” lately. It’s not because I don’t understand it and it’s not because I don’t have a pretty good idea what my “voice” in writing would be at any given time. It’s because, after reading tons of blogs and articles on the subject, I’ve come to realize that I have more than one. A little background. From my youngest days I’ve been on stage for one reason or another and have learned the value of finding the proper “voice” for a performance. At about five years old I began singing in my church choir. That led to many years of performing in various types of groups in my lifetime. From Madrigals and the Chamber Choir in high school and college, to musicals, coffee shops, campfires and few attempts at becoming a “rock star”. I was such a great musician and singer that I became a writer, but that’s not my point here. When I was performing Chamber Music, especially during a solo, my delivery was very “traditional” or “proper” (Think … Continue reading

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Adversity or Inspiration?
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“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” — Tom Clancy This is so true. When we begin a fictional journey, whether we are reading, watching a movie or writing, we expect most things to be explained by the end of the story. We don’t like loose ends. But what about reality? Especially when we are put in a position to reflect on our lives. From the time we realize that we have a past, we begin to replay and analyze our experiences. And once we’ve reached our age of accountability, we begin to realize how often our own choices, actions and reactions determine what will happen in the future. The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. – H. P. Lovecraft The unforeseen is what makes it so difficult to live a stress free life and follow our dreams at times. Things happen, and we don’t always understand why the decisions we’ve made didn’t produce the results we had … Continue reading

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Writing – Game on!
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  “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” — Edward de Bono Do you ever find yourself stuck in that “the only way to be a writer is to write” rut? Trying to follow the “write through it” rule when you feel frustrated and creatively stunned? Well, I absolutely agree that, most often, sticking to it is the best way to get through a lag in creativity. But sometimes we find we’ve “stuck to it” for so long that it feels like we’re looking into a bowl of alphabet soup. It’s a well known fact that at least 77% of writers experience writer’s block and 19% experience an absence of creativity and inspiration that leads to the absence of literary creation on their part. The remaining 4% experience what has become known as “denial”. Sounds frustrating, right? Well, have no fear, technology is here… just ask the internet! There are plenty of ways to catalyze writing inspiration, and they’re all easy to find with a search engine. … Continue reading

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A while back…
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I started writing a piece on “charity” that was only supposed to be about two thousand words or so long. However, once I got started, I realized that there was much more to say than what would fit in that few words. As most people who are close to me know, I have a tendency to ramble a bit in conversations, so this is a common happening, even in writing. The original title for the essay was “Charity”. But once I started travelling down that road, I realized that there was much more than “Charity” going on in my head. So many things are connected to the subject and can’t possibly be approached, with respect, if not given their own space and focus. That said, I am embarking on a journey through the social, ethical, and moral landscape that we create when we embrace words like charity and attempt to use them in both thought and practice, whether we truly understand what they mean. Or better yet, whether we are doing so according to the original meaning of … Continue reading

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