“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, September 30, 2016

Oh oh

Good thing I’m not Stephen King’s student, because of me, he'd kick the furniture. 

This phrases “Some people say,” drives King nuts, and I have used it. 

That ends today.

Jessica Lahey teaches writing and grammar.  She had stated that she couldn’t get her students engaged until she gave them a copy of King’s On Writing.

In an interview with Stephen King Lahey says: “In On Writing, you identified some phrases that should be excised from every writer’s toolbox: “At this point in time” and “at the end of the day.” Any new irksome phrases you’d be willing to share? (Mine’s “on accident.”)

King: “Some people say,” or “Many believe,” or “The consensus is.” That kind of lazy attribution makes me want to kick something. Also, IMHO, YOLO, and LOL.

 (I don’t’ know that those abbreviations mean, so guess I’m home free on that one.)

In the introduction to Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, E.B. White recounts William Strunk’s instruction to “omit needless words.” 

Kings books are voluminous, states Lahey, how then, does he make his writing concise? What words are unnecessary and which words are required for the telling?”

“King: It’s what you hear in your head, but it’s never right the first time. So you have to rewrite it and revise it. My rule of thumb is that a short story of 3,000 words should be rewritten down to 2,500. It’s not always true, but mostly it is. You need to take out the stuff that’s just sitting there and doing nothing. No slackers allowed! All meat, no filler!”

“The best thing—maybe the only thing—is to tell the student that telling the truth is the most important thing, much more important than the grammar. —Steven King

“Lahey: If your writing had not panned out, do you think you would have continued teaching?

“King: Yes, but I would have gotten a degree in elementary ed. I was discussing that with my wife just before I broke through with Carrie. Here’s the flat, sad truth: By the time they get to high school, a lot of these kids have already closed their minds to what we love. I wanted to get to them while they were still wide open. Teenagers are wonderful, beautiful freethinkers at the best of times. At the worst, it’s like beating your fists on a brick wall. Also, they’re so preoccupied with their hormones it’s often hard to get their attention.”

I have wondered why while my seven-year-old Grandson has picked up language and English grammar, even with all its irregularities, dare I say, perfectly, yet, in school we spend 12 years studying English Grammar. Then some of us go on to College and take “Bonehead English,” because we still haven’t gotten it.

Did those years of studying form and substance only serve to muddle the English usage waters?

King says that, “One either absorbs the grammatical principles of one’s native language in conversation and in reading or one does not.” If this is true,” asks Lahey, “ Why teach grammar in school at all? Why bother to name the parts?”

King: When we name the parts, we take away the mystery and turn writing into a problem that can be solved. I used to tell them that if you could put together a model car or assemble a piece of furniture from directions, you could write a sentence. Reading is the key, though. A kid who grows up hearing “It don’t matter to me” can only learn doesn’t if he/she reads it over and over again.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I'll Hold the Umbrella

Well heck, I didn't write a new blog post. I was so busy with www.wishonwhitehorses.com I forgot to write here.

I missed me.

I looked onto http://www.bestddamnwritersblog.com and found I didn’t write anything last week. And that was the week I decided I needed a new shorter URL to support this blog. You can tell my head has been somewhere else--like looking at properties and houses.

So, what do you want to talk about?

Writing? Yes. Blogging? Absolutely. Being happy? Oh yeah, that too. Selling your writing? Hahahaha.

You know there are a zillion people trying to tell you how to blog or what to write or to use hack headlines to get attention.

I'm not going to tell you any of those things. I going to tell you to put your butt on the chair and write from the heart and put it out there and let the world judge it. However, if you like what you have written, if you love what you are doing, keep on doing it, no matter what people say.

I love having you stop by. I love writers and all those people who put their heart on the line in their blogs.

I will post more here in a day or two. I promise.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Please Tell Me

Don't be afraid. Jump in.
Do you like informational blogs with a video that has the script on screen and reads it to you?

Do you like videos rather than plain content writing?
I’m baffled.

I’m curious as to what people really want, or what promoters think we want.

This is like seeing skulls all over the place, on tee-shirts, hats, on blogs, I ask people what they mean and nobody can tell me.

What is the fascination with skulls?
Is it the Mexican Day of the Dead that is so alluring? Am I lost in Ancietism (my word) or what?

Are you a writer? A blogger?

Are you playing to the trends or setting your own?
A couple of days ago someone asked me what I blog about. I said “Life, whatever I think about, what I wish for.”

I want it to be informative or at least interesting enough to read. And I guess I am searching for kindred souls. You know what they say that we need a tribe.

It isn’t so much that I am looking for numbers although that seems to impress publishers. Think about it. though, if you have two zillion followers you know good and well that most of them are not reading your words—so I am looking for quality, for someone with which to share.

So, jump in.  Add your sixty-four-million-dollar input.

And maybe I would get some clarification on my questions.

P.S. My new dot com address is http://www.bestdamnwritersblog.com

Monday, September 12, 2016

From the ole Crap Buster

A friends’ husband categorized me as that, and it warmed me for two years.

I’m semi Woo Woo.

I find I am often in the middle. I go to far-out groups, and say, “Okay guys, dampen it a little.”

If I’m in the mainstream group, I say, “I’m out of here.”

Motivated by Caz Makepeace's #Y Travel blog, I am adding my two dimes and a nickel's worth.

I am astounded at how many travel bloggers are out there, and how many travel full time. #Caz Makepeace is one. She travels with her husband, two young daughters, and has a highly successful blog and website.

 I am in awe.

Uh oh, serious mouse encroachment--erased material. I had to begin again.

Double mouse encroachment

Back to the blog: I have traveled a bit and loved it. I stood beside the Parthenon in Athens Greece as a golden sunrise enlivened it.

I climbed the stepped pyramid at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan and stood at what was once called the “Holy of Holies,” that room at the tip top. 

From my lofty perspective, I looked out over what was once a city, the temple of the warriors, the ball court and the Yucatan Peninsula where the horizon was flat as a pencil line drawn across the page of my vision.  

I’ve been to some places, but as you can imagine there is a whole world that I have not touched. I believe as Caz puts it “Travel is not to run away, but toward.’

Perhaps our move to Hawaii was to run away, and that’s the reason we didn’t like it, but I have no regrets. To travel is to rise above and beyond who we are, to experience a new day every day, and to step out of our present conditions.

Imagine sitting in a dandelion-dotted field in Germany, the green so green it brings tears to your eyes,  and you are eating cold pizza from the night before, and it is the best you have ever tasted.

“When you travel, life around you is constantly changing. This means you never get lost in the blur of mundaneness. You’re highly aware of what is happening, how things move from one day to the next, and how to flow with change.

“It’s a mindfulness so easy to tap into, which is why I feel travel is so addictive.´--Caz

Can you remember what happened last Tuesday? I can’t.

Regarding her travel blog Caz writes: “It feels like it’s not very powerful because you’re just helping someone find a good burger, but in reality, we’re helping people create moments and memories. It’s those moments and memories that shape and impact their lives and lead them to new horizons and help them experience JOY.”

Caz went on to talk about Chakras and cleansing, and going to a spiritual medium, and said, ““Believe me when I say that writing this post brings me tears.”

She wanted to write about who she was but in doing so felt vulnerable and felt that people would judge her as being woo woo, or cuckoo and she realized that she was afraid of being criticized.

I realized, too, that here on this blog I have dampened who I was because I feared people would think  I was cuckoo, but in the process I come across lukewarm.

I do not want to be lukewarm, but then I wonder who am I. What do I believe, and what do I want to share?

And blogs can be so self-centered, but then what choice do we have, you aren’t here talking to me. It is a one-way conversation.

As I mentioned before I intend to go to a Tony Robbins 3-day event in November, and I know some people love him, while others have a strong negative reaction.  He is threatening. He doesn’t pull punches. He has been doing his work for so long he can read people and that is scary.

People are going to think whatever thoughts they want so we might as well do our thing and let the chips fall where they may.

"The possibility of having dreams come true is what makes life interesting,"--Paulo Coelho