Sunday, January 30, 2011

Don't be a sham!

"The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity." - Ulysses S. Grant

How true is that?  And how often do you find that your friends show their true colors when your life has hit rock bottom?  It's ALWAYS a surprise, isn't it?  You know who your real friends are.  They are the ones that tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it.  The ones that stand by you as you grow (sometimes grow-up even) and change.  The ones that are always on your side, especially when you have to admit that you have done something you are not especially proud of.  And the ones that stand by you as you stop that behavior, or make that life altering change because of it.  They don't leave your side, even if you pick up and move half way across the country for true happiness, or a change of pace and scenery, or both.

And even if they don't always agree with your religion, politics or sexual behaviors, they do believe in you.  And prove to you every day that they want you in their lives.  These are the friends you need to have in your life the ones that you should be cultivating.  NOT the ones that only want to go out and celebrate your good news or have time for you when you have money to spend on them.

And certainly shy away from the ones that only seem interested in what you have to say when it's bad.  They are the worst type.  The ones that are so wrapped up in being miserable themselves that they NEED to feel that they have company, and actually, while they seem to care, they really only want the dirt.  Sometimes even to spread to the rest of your friends, as a way to make their lives seem less horrible.

Look at your friends and who you are spending time with, and make sure they are worthy of you and your needs, and while you are at it, make sure you are worthy of them as well.  Don't be that friend that only has time when things are good, and only wants to be the spreader of gossip.  Be the friend you want to have, and you will be surrounded by the best people in the world.  Oh and this goes for loving others too, you know.  It has to be honest, open and with your entire heart or it's a sham.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Writing Rules For Fiction

I'm in a mood to write.  Usually all the time.  Only sometimes my mood doesn't generate anything worth writing.  My thoughts scatter, and my worldly worries start to invade the 'writers den' I have created for myself.  I also find that sometimes I really have a great idea or a desire to write at moments when it is impossible.  Like at work, or out with friends.  And if that isn't the problem, then it's the reverse.  The time is right but the desire or creativity is just not happening.  Those times are even more frustrating than the former.  I've gotten use to having a pad of paper beside or using the notes function in my phone to jot down things that I know I must remember.  But when the ideas won't come. . . those are the hard parts.  And all the 'stumbling around' on the Internet won't give me any real ideas about my work, but will sure waste a lot of valuable writing time.

So while I'm still a big on the basics:
1.  write every day, even if it's just a few minutes.
2.  write alone without any distractions.  or if you have a writing partner keep the chit chat to the writing or if blocked discuss the characters only, save the friendship for not writing time.
3.  And do not use any favorite distractions like movies, books, music or the Internet to get you unblocked they will only steal your writing time.

Those rules can only take us so far.  As you know, if you are a writer, then you already do all of this and still sometimes can't write.  So if you are in your cozy den, all alone or with your partner, and no distractions and still can't focus, here are some writing rules to think about for your characters:
1.  Let your characters talk to you in your head and LISTEN to them, even if it takes the story in a direction you didn't expect it to go
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Hope this helps me and all of you.  Now get busy and write.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Coincidence or Connection?

Strange things happen to me all the time.  I call people when they are sick or upset and I don't even know it, I just can't stop thinking about them and I call.  Sometimes it's just that they are thinking about me and I pick up on it.  My kids and I call it my 'spider sense', and it's never really wrong.  Sometimes I'm not sure who to call, and I send out a group text or e-mail, but I can tell when something is 'off' or someone needs me and misses me.  It's uncanny.

It happened again to me the other night and it made me wonder about how connected we are.  I've been pretty sick since Wednesday with bronchitis, and so I haven't been at work or on line or checking e-mails or my normal daily routine.  I've been mostly sleeping and trying to get better, watching DVD'S and reading.  And Friday night I happened to walk by my purse and felt that spider sense click on and checked my phone.  I hadn't turned my phone on from quiet mode since my last day at work on Tuesday.  So I didn't hear the text message signal that I normally would have.  And sure enough, a minute prior, a good friend of mine, who I've been missing all week had sent me a message.  Apparently he missed me too.

Something made me look at the phone at that moment, or I would not have gotten the text for hours or maybe days later.  We had a nice talk, and it made me smile to know I was missed.  It also made me realize that our connection is still very strong.

It reminded me that we all just need to be more open to our feelings and trust them more.  "Trust your gut!" my mom use to say, and she was right.  I think it takes a lot of courage to trust our instincts, and our gut all the time.  Sometimes our gut tells us things that are just to monumental to try, but I think if we have the inspiration to do something, the dream of it, then the desire is already there.  The next step is to just do it.  And while in the real world that might take money or time or planning, there is no time like the present to start saving, and planing for that future you want to have.

Live the life you envision.   Trust your gut.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Is On My Mind, But Eternal Spring Is In My Heart

You read those sayings all the time about how lucky you are to be alive, and how great the day is, and to live in the present.  And you know them intellectually, but you don't always feel them.  Even if you know you should.  You wake up and sigh and hope the day will be bearable, even if you don't feel any joy or love around you.  You know it's there and you hope today will be different.  Yesterday was that day for me.

Waking up knowing love was all around me and hoping that somehow my rut would be different.  It was of course, because I spent it in the close circle of people that I love, and miss.  Spending time eating good food, drinking good brews, and catching up is one of my favorite things to do.  And while there were more people than I usually enjoy in one sitting, (more than one or two is more than I enjoy) I found myself retiring quite often to a small intimate room to catch up one on one, with several of the gathered friends, (much more my style) and while we were enjoying each others company it became suddenly obvious that a few were not there but missed by all.  Their presence was felt, and a couple of us even mentioned that we should have called one in  particular.  It was a good reunion, and I hope to have many more opportunities to see them all just like that again.

 Such a good day, that it has carried over to this morning, and I feel nothing but the eternal wonderment and confidence in a day that has just begun.  Like a Spring day, where you can smell the change in the seasons, and feel the love all around you, waiting to hit you upside the head in a sudden burst of recognition.  I'm ready for Spring and all it promises.

Winter is on my mind, but eternal spring is in my heart"-Victor Hugo"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Committed Heart

“Most people fail at whatever they attempt because of an undecided heart. Should I? Should I not? Go forward? Go back? Success requires the emotional balance of a committed heart. When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape. A committed heart does not wait for conditions to be exactly right. Why? Because conditions are never exactly right.” - Andy Andrews.

I found this as I was doing my usual Sunday morning skipping around the Internet for blog ideas, and it hit me as not only a great quote, but probably the one reason my entire life has been such a mess of indecision.  And to make matters worse it's not usually MY heart that is undecided or uncommitted, but rather the others surrounding me.  Which of course effects me in ways I cannot control and  am forced then to abandon or wait for change.

So my wish for us all this New Year is to be able to really feel, take a breath and have a committed heart.  A decision made purely of logic without your heart involved is doomed to failure.  I shall let my favorite band say it for me:
"Let the truth of love be lighted.
Let the love of truth shine clear.
Armed with sense and liberty.
With the heart and mind united in a single
Sphere."- RUSH- Hemispheres