Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What are your Five Writing Strengths?

What are your Five Writing Strengths?
I was asked this a few weeks ago in person and then saw it in writing on a blog so I guess I need to actually answer this one since is has now approached me from different directions.

What are my five writing strengths?!

Hummm... Good, good question. I'm going to have to think about this for a few moments. Please, go listen to music and come back at a later date.
Just kidding- or am I?

This is not to gloat, but to make me actually think about the finer points that I feel are my strengths. Yes, I realize that I seems to be coming from my finger tips alot right this second but this is about me after all...
So here goes:

1.)  Voice (no not like a vocal thing, silly even though I have been told I have a great singing voice. hee hee)
I have been told that I have a unique child-like voice. I am not sure if that is a compliment or not. I think it has to do with all the children/young adult literature I have read over the 35 or so years I have been reading. Possibly it is because my three favorite authors are L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott and J.K. Rowling and I tend to read their books every year without fail or maybe just maybe I am just an old child at heart and I like writing in that point of view. I am not sure. I really think that this can be a strength if I were to write children books.
But, I do want to learn to write better in an adult voice consistantly.

2.) I Love to Read
I am a prolific reader which gives me the vocabulary and imagery to carry this out in my own writing. Now, I know above I said I read alot of YA/Children books; but don't get me wrong, I know how to gobble up a good book by classic authors and obscure writers of all ages and do so atleast 25 times a year. I would love to read more, but who can read more than that while also going to school,studying for classes and caring for a family?  If you find someone who can pull this feat off then kudos to that person for their awesomeness (that was my son Devin's vocab tapping into my brain.)

3.) As Bill and Ted would say: I am a most excellent Speller
My pet peeve is misspelling words and so this comes to me naturally while I type to fix errors when they come along. This is helpful in my eyes because then I don't have to go back over my writing to edit spelling so much. Now, don't get me wrong- I am known to stall when asked to speed demand prompt writing because I can't handle not correcting errors as they come along.
What I really need is someone who will be my editor on sentence structure especially comma splices. That is not a good trait as a writer and I unfortunately am a chronic splicer with my own writing.

4.) Magnificent Memory
It has always helped me to draw into experiences that have come from my past, someone else's experiences and then they flow out onto the page to fill out a characters personality.

5.) Creative Tap is Constantly Flowing
I don't know if this is really a strength when the tap turns on at 3 a.m. and I am sleeping without pencil and paper to be found on my night stand, but I really don't know of any writer that doesn't have their creative juices flowing either early dawn breaking or late into the candle burning night.

The writing I have been complimented on by professors are those that happened to just come to me without really trying and when I am not pressured to write like for an assignment. 

One time for an American Literature class I had to write a Comparative Essay. I had done all the reading, researching and note taking I needed weeks in advance but because I had over-prepared, the creativity was fractured to say the least and  my writing well was bone dry. Not a single word would come out of my finger tips that was good. I had crap for a paper and everyone knew it especially me!  I started writing a letter about how like Bartleby I was shutting down on writing the paper and that it was becoming a monomaniacal point in my life. Just writing that letter as part of my intro started the rest of the writing flowing and by the time I got to my comparative and analytical argument I was on fire.  But, I didn't take out the personal flowing letter to the Professor so I ended up with a B plus instead of the deserving A as she put it because everything after that intro was superior scholar writing. 

I guess I really do need an editor to shut down the stupidity of what I don't know is good to keep in and what is crap to take out.

Morning Inspiration = Universal reminders

This dreary, soon-to-rain morning has found me in my snuggy warm bed reading prior status updates from the Timeline on Facebook. After writing a thank you to all my wonderful FB friends who have truly helped make my life a little fuller (yes, I realize that they are only words, but the words that some have given have uplifted, helped me to continue transitioning to another state and continued to foster the relationships that we have held (for some,) over the decades.  I happened to glance at the bar on the right of my screen when one of the titles caught my eye- it was on the  "Products/Service" column. The product was called "Rumors of Water"  I really need to check this out of the library or just buy it. I've read so many wonderful excepts from it.

I decided to click on it to see what it was all about. This seems to be a wonderful book on writing.  I read the various statuses and decided to click further onto some of the links that were listed on the page. What I found was a treasure trove of various blogs from people who like me are trying to feel around the world of writing. My favorite blog that I happened upon is called DRGT / Just Wondering... wherein a Christian woman writes about her life, her emotional experiences with her aging mother's decline and wonderfully sensitive things about following the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Now, mind you, this is not a blog from an "LDS" woman but then again aren't we all Christian who believe in Christ and siblings in the truest form and does it matter that she may believe a tiny bit different than I do about saints, how many Heavenly beings are one or that we believe that the Gospel is continued on in this life through a living Prophet? NO! what she writes has touched my heart. She has lifted my spirits and has deepened my love for the Gospel through her words and pictures.
I savor the shot in the arm of the "grandness" as my Aunt Claire likes to say of what I feel deep inside of my soul from reading her blog.

I am always in awe of people who can truly write and take you along on their journey as if it is their own. This is what this beautiful woman Diana has done for me, I truly hear her voice and it echos in my mind as a reminder of what is endearing about commonalities we have in our lives with others.
It is a reminder to me that we are all from one Heavenly Father, whatever you man call Him, that we are all His children and that we all have an Elder brother who died for us. The differences are not important focusing on since it is the commonalities that are the glue. We all love, feel heartache, trust, savor, sleep, eat and eventually pass on from this life. We need to continually focus on those universal humanistic truths and find something in everyone to connect with. This is one of my goals of the year- to find the good in everyone and focus on those good traits even those I may never see eye to eye with and to be positive with the world and life in general. Optimism is not a blinded following, it is a choice to step forward and try and make the world a better place.

One of the songs that always reminds me of this universal truth is:

"Heal The World"

There's A Place In
Your Heart
And I Know That It Is Love
And This Place Could
Be Much
Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You'll Find There's No Need
To Cry
In This Place You'll Feel
There's No Hurt Or Sorrow

There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

If You Want To Know Why
There's A Love That
Cannot Lie
Love Is Strong
It Only Cares For
Joyful Giving
If We Try
We Shall See
In This Bliss
We Cannot Feel
Fear Or Dread
We Stop Existing And
Start Living

Then It Feels That Always
Love's Enough For
Us Growing
So Make A Better World
Make A Better World...

And The Dream We Were
Conceived In
Will Reveal A Joyful Face
And The World We
Once Believed In
Will Shine Again In Grace
Then Why Do We Keep
Strangling Life
Wound This Earth
Crucify Its Soul
Though It's Plain To See
This World Is Heavenly
Be God's Glow

We Could Fly So High
Let Our Spirits Never Die
In My Heart
I Feel You Are All
My Brothers
Create A World With
No Fear
Together We'll Cry
Happy Tears
See The Nations Turn
Their Swords
Into Plowshares

We Could Really Get There
If You Cared Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
To Make A Better Place...
From the Iconic words of Michael Jackson - what will you do this year to Make it [world] a better place for you and for me?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rambling Thoughts of a Sick Woman at 4:30 in the Morning.

We gather around the sparkling, heavily-decorated, star-topped evergreen boughs on the cusp of self-discovery. As children we sat on pins and needles with anticipated joy with the hopes that we would get the presents we wrote down in our letter to Santa; You know the one you agonized over for days (if not weeks) before you put it down on paper in ink with cute little drawings of Santa and miscellaneous other christmas trappings colored with red, green, yellow and white pencils.

This year contains a house of teenagers, young adults and lets be honest- old fart forty-ish stick in the muds- are we sitting with excitement? That's where the cusp comes in.
If your one of the old farts, did you buy all the gifts and nothing is a surprise or just shockingly, did something get placed under or on the tree that was lovingly chosen especially for you from the one who never shops?!

If your the young adults- the ones who live in dorms, studying their brains fried and eating Ramen Noodles to make it by until the next paycheck— will you get something fun and exciting that will make you feel like your younger self- sitting and playing with gifts all day? This is the question: at the end of the day, will we, feel elated that Christmas came or will we feel disappointment in what we received and let it cloud the rest of the holiday? This most definitely will be the deciding angst for the two teenagers sitting amongst the gathering- the ones who will feel the most disappointed and show it a thousand times brighter than the rest. They are the ones who want the biggest, the fastest, the newest of all gadgets and for some reason, always the most expensive gifts of all. The ones where only a few gifts are bought but many were dreamed about.

So here we sit believing that this year will be different than in previous years; where we were slightly let down by the uneventful realization that we are no longer children— we can no longer sit idly by knowing that Santa will bring us that one amazing gift that gets our juices flowing until next November where we start anticipating again. We try to forget this old wounded knowledge and convince ourselves that this is the year of unconditional belief— that we still know Santa exists and joy will be had by all...

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!  ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836