Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Moving into Memoir

With autobiographies, which stories intrigue the most? The Hero who solves it all? Probably not. 

Notice the individual who combines heroic facets with loser traits. Or, applaud for the loser who finds winning qualities? The texture of fragility and results intrigues.

When you write aspects of your life story, consider details and ways to mold the great and the gooney. Add habits you'd like to alter as well as your strengths. Show the failures and their potential for choices.

Avoid sharing a one-dimensional approach. Choose to describe your tragic nature, a sensitivity, your passivity, your loyalty, and duplicitous nature. Write about the poor choices and lack of communication skills. Add the anger and frustration you feel to show how struggles evolve.

Reveal your life by showing events and behavior rather than telling the reader what to expect. Encourage your writing to unfold like a camera's view.

Ask someone to make realistic comments about your personality. Embroider them into your presentation.

Add mentors and individuals who challenge your process.

Explain how you master your life through its negativity and opportunity.  

Let the lowlights shine through to accent the positive.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Write into Black and White

By moonlight, we see in black and white. We cannot see colors. There is something fascinating and valuable about seeing the world that way. We see only what is essential. We see form emerging from a sea of blackness. . . . We can look at the world so familiar by daylight and see it anew in the black and white of moonlight.  – Ming-Dao Deng, from The Lunar Tao: Meditations in Harmony with the Seasons

In, The Practice of the Wild, poet Gary Snyder says, "Life is not just a diurnal property of large interesting vertebrates. It is also nocturnal, anaerobic, microscopic, digestive, fermentative: cooking away in the warm dark."

Take several photographs and turn them into black and white.

Write into the darkness of shapes and shadows.

Search for new meaning in the areas of light.

Let emotions arise.

What do you find in the black and white of moonlight?

Find writing ideas and emotions cooking away in the warm dark.

Celebrate the unseen powers of the pen.  
                                             Pay reverence to what's underneath, elusive and uncanny.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Explore Contentment

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”
                                                 -  Henry Ward Beecher

Write about contentment that extends beyond a feeling of happiness.  What makes you feel Alive?

Develop a list of "common" things you enjoy.  Include five or ten.  

What does the sun feel like after a steady rain?  

Cherish a taste of boysenberries just picked from the garden.  

Recall a scent that brings a memory. 

Notice a heron, bluejay or sparrow and write about its movement and behavior. 

Sing a few notes of a song with words of delight. 

Revel in a dark night of stars and moonlight.

Deepen the experiences. 

Reveal how nature adds enrichment to your life.  

Respond to the details. 

Explore contentment in a story or poem. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Memory Montage

Memories by the sea
cling with octopus legs
horizon hugs past the rattle
and whir of life

Orange scents
bloom with gardenias
afloat on breezes

Mask of eagles
hides the emptiness
as mental paths
expand to crinoline

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Rapid Write

After Thanksgiving week, think about these Six R’s for a Balanced Life:

Respect:  Work on self-esteem from your inside out. Share it with everyone. 

Reliance:  Enrich your talents and keep learning with insight.

Responsibility:  Make informed choices. Express gratitude.

Resilience: Don’t let any audience dictate your moods. Stay buoyant.

Renewal: Enjoy moments:  music, laughter, friendships, and fun.

Reverence: Find your dedication to family and friends. Discover your spiritual strength.

Try a rapid write. Start with a different letter of the alphabet. Take 15 minutes to write a wisdom statement extending from six of them.  

Friday, November 25, 2016

Take Aim

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."  
~ Michelangelo

Writing projects require a target, aim and follow through to the goal. When we're energized in a flow, we keep writing. Other times we stop inches from the finish line and feel the frustration of an incompletion. 

How do we learn the timing of when to push or relent?  Often distractions become vital to forward progress. Self-trickery may force us into solutions not considered if we're too focused on the task. 

All writers face times of struggle when the words move in slow motion. They defy us in a spurt, bubble or a trickle from the pen when we want Niagara Falls. We need to understand our process and give ourselves permission to aim lower at times. 

The lower aim might move us into a different direction of productivity. Often a barricade to an unreachable goal enables us to change aim and devise other creative means.  

To disagree with Michelangelo, the low accomplishment might keep us going in preparation for our shot to the moon.  W. Clement Stone wrote, "Aim for the moon, if you miss you may hit a star."

During a writing project, If you feel stuck, take a break and move into a boring area of life like laundry or refrigerator cleaning. Pay bills. Take a power nap. 

Playtime becomes necessary. Force the brain to escape. Walk in the garden and look for elephants in flowers. Soon, ideas will percolate and you'll find a way into the gush of words.

Write about aim. Ponder times you have set goals and discovered ways to reach them you never thought possible. 

How did you persevere beyond doubts?  

When you backed off and let your creative powers take over, what did you learn?