Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's your yearly project?

Do you have a yearly project? One of my friends once told me that she chose a topic each year and made a project out of it. Throughout the year, she read about and studied it for the sheer fun of it.

What a great idea.I've decided to try my hand at it. By New Year's Day, I'll pick my topic and let you know what it is...

Want to join me? I'll blog about mine from time to time throughout the year. Let me know if you'll do the same and I'll stop by. Make it fun... It's recreation, after all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Process


As I approach the new year, I always set new goals. I can't help myself, but often my goals are about sales. That's important of course, but I've found that, as writers and artists, we tend to produce much more than we ever sell.

Many of our products (books, stories, paintings, photographs) never find that new owner. We may set out with higher aspirations for them. As we move on to the next piece, however, we realize that most of the previous pieces were merely practice. They are our best work at the time, but through the process of producing them, we learn and improve our skills for the next piece.

So, this year, I'm going to concentrate on the process and the quality. I imagine the rest will take care of itself.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All



Taking a break to celebrate the holiday. Hope you find warmth, happiness and joy in everything you do.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eliminate "Very"


Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain
I'm with Mark on this one. Eliminate "very" from your writing vocabulary and your writing will only improve. There is no difference between "red" and "very red" and no difference between "fast" and "very fast." Or should I say that the difference is only in your mind. You think in terms of the difference, but your reader doesn't know how much faster a car becomes in your mind when you say "very fast" rather than "fast.

So... try it out. For a chapter or two in your book, avoid using "very." It's one good way to tighten your writing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Growth....


Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. --Ronald E. Osborn
Writing is not easy. Even more difficult than writing is putting your writing out there for others to see. That takes real guts.

Writers, artists, musicians, actors... ask anyone who creates something from nothing and they will tell you that sharing their creations takes great courage.

We grow every time we share our work.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Five things to do if (gasp) the words won't come...

(let your creativity soar)
So okay - there you are in your room with the shade down and the door shut nd the plug pulled out of the base of the telephone. Yo've blown up your TV and committed yourself to a thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Now comes the question: What are you going to write about? ~~ Stephen King

Here are five things to try if the words don't flow...

  1. Take a walk. If you are merely having a slow-brain day, the walk (oxygen to the brain) might bread up the log jam.
  2. Take out a clean sheet of paper and write anything and everything that comes to mind. This may get the words flowing.
  3. Make a list of subtopics to your main topic. Limit each item to one or two words... just an list of ideas to get you started.
  4. Write in another area (e.g., write a poem, write a shopping list, write a letter to a friend, etc.). It just might convince you that you are still good at writing.
  5. Work on your book or story anyway. commit yourself to writing a certain number of words. Be knid to yourslef and know you can revise later if it's not your best work.
Have a great day!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Always remember this: ... the moment the hero announces what he thinks is going on, the cat's out of the bag. ~~Larry Ferguson
Suspense is not only important in mysteries, thrillers, adventure and suspense novels, it's important in all writing. Don't give away your story in the first line or in the middle. Save it to the end. Create a reason for your audience to turn the pages.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Create -- Move Forward


Remember that it is far harder and more painful to be a blocked artist than it is to do the work. ~~Julia Cameron
How much time do you spend thinking that you are blocked, that the channels to your creativity have huge barricades in front of them? When this happens, we think little of ourselves and we experience angst that we'll never create another good story, drawing, painting, or whatever.

Usually, I've found it much better to just push ahead whatever the result. To do this, I try to remember that not everything I write or every photo I take needs to see the light of day. Sometimes it's enough to just keep creating. A good motto... keep the best, forget the rest!

Have a great day creating.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Frozen

The Sunday Creative - December 5 - 11


* frozen *
definition…adj. 1. treated, affected, or crusted over by freezing 2. subject to long and severe cold 3. incapable of being changed, moved, or undone: fixed 4. not available for present use 5. expressing or characterized by cold unfriendliness


No matter how hard he tries,
that gull can't get anything but "cold unfriendliness"
from that ceramic owl.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Holidays to all of you!

Max and I are sharing this Christmas triptych I put together a couple of years ago...

Enjoy the Season!



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Better Writing - Finding Solutions


Sometimes there is no perfect answer. You just go with the most logical solution and hope for the best. ~~ Max the Quilt Cat
At times, I search and search for just the right word or the right action for my characters and nothing comes. I used to spin my wheels and devote way too much time to looking for the absolute right solution.

In life, I have found that this quote often helps in many situations, not just in writing. Logic plays a huge role in our lives. In other words, don't worry yourself into a corner. Just ...go with the most logical solution and hope for the best. Often, that relieves the log jam in your brain.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Creative - Obsolete

obsolete

1.no longer in general use, fallen into disuse. 2. effaced by wearing down or away. 3. to make obsolete by replacing with something newer or better; antiquate.

This old school building stands abandoned. A group started to renovate it for use as an art center, but funding became impossible.




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the winner is....


The Blog Jog is over... and I've pulled the name of the winner for a copy of my book.. And... The winner is G-A-I-L of Familiar Spirit blog. Congratulations. The book will be on its way to you as soon as I receive your address.

Thanks to all for stopping by during the Blog Jog.

Have a wonderful day...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Jog November, 2010 - Welcome to Writer's Creative Studio

Writer's Creative Studio combines my love of writing with my love of photography. Please enjoy both while you are here.

This has been a busy week. I just completed the launch of my new book, The Zen of Max (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps).



Anyone who leaves a comment on this blog post before Tuesday will be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of The Zen of Max. I'll announce the winner of the drawing in my blog on Tuesday, 11/23/10. Enjoy your visit and please follow the blog and come back often if you are so inclined.

Thank you for stopping by Writer's Creative Studio. Please explore all this blog has to offer, then jog on over to “Karlin Sloan's Good Business” http://karlinsloan.wordpress.com/ If you would like to visit a different Blog in the jog, go to http://blogjogday.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blog Jog Day is Sunday. It's not too late to join in.


First of all, thanks to all of you who participated in the Book Launch over the past few days. I appreciate your help and I appreciate those of you who dropped by to wish me well... The book is launched... Now onto new business.

Sunday, 11/21/10, is Blog Jog Day. It's a great opportunity to explore blogs and to receive discounts and special services from some of the blog hosts.

If you have a blog and would like to participate, it's not too late. You can learn more about it here: Blog Jog Day. If you participate, you'll be visited by many unique visitors and will provide more exposure for your blog.

If you would like to be included in the Blog Jog, please e-mail Carol at chipanugget@gmail.com

Stop by on Sunday, 11/21/10, for Blog Jog Day. I'll be giving away copies of my new book, The Zen of Max (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps)

Have a great day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Zen of Max -- A Book Launch

This will be a departure from my usual posts, but I have some exciting news. This week is the launch for my new book, The Zen of Max (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps).




From Monday through Wednesday of this week, we've had a wild and crazy book launch over at Max's blog. Today, I'm introducing the book to you... and some of Max's friends might drop by as well. So.... welcome to the first cross-species Book Launch.

Above, see the poster I'll be using for book signings. I was going to save it for those events, but I couldn't resist showing it to you.


This weekend, I'll be introducing the book at a two-day book fair (10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday). The event is part of the ArtWorks Festival on Highland Avenue in Melbourne, Florida. The Book Fair will be in the Eau Gallie Civic Center and will include 45+ Florida authors. Should be fun. If you're in area stop by.

The Zen of Max is the memoir of an ordinary cat with extraordinary wisdom, love and compassion... and a few quirks too. It tells of his life (and mine in the process) and boils down every dilemma to Lessons Learned.


If you want to purchase a copy of the book, and I hope you do, CLICK HERE A portion of the proceeds of the Book Launch will go to the SPCA of North Brevard. So, don't hesitate to buy several -they're small and they make great gifts.

Whether you're a kitty, dog, etc., or human bean, please leave a comment. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers. ~~ Logan Pearsall Smith

Subtlety sticks with a reader. I know that my most powerful reading experiences have been when I walk away from a book... then a light shines on a single passage and the meaning touches me in an unexpected way. That's the gift of subtlety.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sunday Creative: Lonely


lonely
1. lone; solitary; without company, companionless.
2. remote from places of human habitation. 3. standing apart; isolated



Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm Rounding the Corner in the Race with Myself


Sorry... it is certainly way past time for me to post. This is my first post of November. There are times when I rule my schedule and times when it rules me. Lately, it's the latter, but I'm gaining on it. Another few days and I'll return to my usual busy schedule in stead of this crazy one. But, it's all my own doing.

I'm working on my NaNoWriMo book word-by-word this year. Hopefully, by mid-week I'll be able to write in great chunks as in previous years. Although last year I did have a marathon of 10,000 words to write on the last day.

Just wanted to stop in to say... keep writing everyone... or keep creating whatever it is you create. I'll be back with you in a couple of days...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Choose a Great Subject


Choice of the subject is of cardinal importance. One does by far one's best work when besotted by and absorbed in the matter at hand. -- Jessica Mitford

It's NaNoWriMo time. On Monday, those of you participating in National Novel Writing Month will embark on your journey to put 50,000 words to paper in a coherent manner in a mere 30 days. Good luck to all of you.

The subject of your writing will make all the difference. I've found if I love the topic, the writing will flow. In years past, I've started with no idea and no plot, I've had a partial outline and winged the rest, and I've had a full outline. This year, I'm trying something different. I have a topic and no outline. It's a great topic, so I hope that the quotation above will hold true and having a good subject will bring out my best work....

What are you doing on Monday, November 1st? Join us in the NaNoWriMo challenge. Visit http://www.nanowrimo.org and get involved.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Creative: Dynamic

dynamic
adj: of or relating to physical force producing motion: energetic, forceful

the wisps of the contrail are not dynamic,
but dynamic would describe the blast of the shuttle launch that created the design

Monday, October 18, 2010

Recharge Your Creative Batteries

I attended the World Wide Sketch Crawl on Saturday. This is one of the sites we sketched. Did you know about this event? I didn't either until this year. Anyway if you want to organize the event in your area, here's the main website.. http://www.sketchcrawl.com

The reason I'm blogging about this today is that I'm no artist, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process and the camaraderie of the event. I spent some of the time photographing the event, and I did try my hand at some sketching too.

About 20+ artists in this area met at the Art and Antique Studio and off we went. Throughout the day, we spent time at each of several locations within walking distance of the start.

Luckily, it was a beautiful day. And it was an interesting feeling to realize that artists all over the world were sketching also. What a nice feeling of connectedness. If you ever need to recharge your creative batteries, try participating in a group activity. It brings out great ideas and enthusiasm.

Thanks to Susan Stone for bringing this idea to Brevard.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Savor It


I try to catch every sentence, every word you and I say. ~~ Anton Checkhow
I was reminded this week that savoring life is a good thing. Taking time from the endless "to do" list to "...catch every sentence, every word you and I say," will only serve to enrich life and our expression of that life.

Too often I find myself jumping from one item to another on my list. The list only matters to make it through our lives. Creativity and the expression of creativity are what sustain us. Don't forget to take the time to catch it all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Literacy Builder Blog Award

Something a little different today. I was given this award by Helen Ginger of Straight from Hel. Thanks very much. Helen is a freelance novel editor and blogger. If you don't follow her blog, Straight from Hel, be sure to check it out.

The rules for the award are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Display the award logo on your blog site.
3. Tell us five of your favorite words and why you like them, (add as many as you like).
4. Pass the award on to three bloggers you feel are excellent literacy builders, and link to their sites.
5. Contact the bloggers you’ve chosen and let them know about the award.

On to the meat of the matter...

Five Favorite Words and Why:


chocolate (because I can only read about it)

finished (because it always feels good to complete a project)

yes (because I'm not fond of rejection)

propitious (because a good friend used to use that word every day and it brings back good memories)

waterfall (because it's the perfect description of what a waterfall does)

I nominate:

Mason Canyon of Thoughts in Progress a great destination for authors on book blog tours

Debi Ohi of Inky Girl a super resource for writers

and

Carole Anne Carr of Carole Anne Carr blog. She's a writer of children's historical fiction and her blog offers info and thoughts on a variety of topics of interest to writers.

Check them out.... and have a great day. Thanks again Helen!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Soar....

For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. ~~Ernest Hemingway

The craft of writing does not come easily. Don't we all know that? I love this quote because it reminds me that it's worth trying to reach what is ..."beyond attainment."

Now, I could have let this quote discourage me. After all, if Hemingway thinks of writing as trying for something that is unattainable, who am I to to think I might succeed? Well, I'm here to encourage you to reach goals that experts say we can't reach... And, have a good time doing it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's Fall


Some people laugh when I say Fall is in the air. In Florida, it's not the smell of crisp air and freshly raked leaves that bring Fall to mind. It's more subtle down here. Yes, it's still in the 80's and yes we just turned off the a/c on Wednesday -- and that's only because there's a breeze. Without the breeze, the a/c would still be humming away.

But, after 10 years in Florida I've learned the difference between Summer and Fall. Today, I feel that subtle difference and it brings to mind bonfires, football games and cider.

Enjoy the season.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's in a name?

My name's Shorty, what's yours?

Names are like the wrapping on a present, offering just a hint of what may be inside the person. ~~ Brandi Reissenweber

Do you struggle with choosing names for your characters? Personally, I hate this part of writing. It should be easy. It's not.

Some writers give their characters temporary names when they start writing, then choose a permanent name when it hits them. I can't do this. Names are very important and do speak to the character's personality. So, I have to go through the process of choosing names before I start writing.

I like simple names. Some writer's choose names that are difficult to pronounce and to spell. That slows me down as a reader. When reading,I have to give those characters nicknames in order to keep from being pulled out of the story by their impossible names.

How about you? How do you go about choosing the names of your characters? Do you have a method?

Friday, October 1, 2010

One month until NANOWRIMO

Okay, a bit of a departure today, but it's October 1st.... That means there are only 31 days until National Novel Writing Month.

Are you going to take the challenge this year?

If you don't know what it is, let me explain. During the month of November, the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in those 30 days. It's a push, but it's doable. I've done it during each of the last three years.

There's a community of support out there for you. Due to the pace, it's a wonderful lesson in moving forward in your writing. There is no time to stop and edit or even correct spelling errors. The theme is to just move forward. It's okay to work up an outline before November 1st, but no actual writing is done until 12:01 on the morning of November 1st.... So what do you think?

In 2008, more than 120,000 from all over the world participated. If there's an interest, I'll post a NANO progress report post each week and you can comment on your progress, frustrations ans successes. To read more about it, go to http://www.nanowrimo.org ... If you participate, feel free to become my buddy. My online name at the NANOWRIMO site is Lou B

So, there you have it. If you say you can't do it because you don't have an idea for a 50,000 word novel, that never stopped me. In fact, I still have to settle on my book idea and outline for this year.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Leave out the dull stuff


My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip. ~~ Elmore Leonard

Leonard has it just right. No matter how well you write and how much you love a certain passage in your book or story, if it doesn't move the story forward, readers are going to skip reading it.

It takes real talent and brutal honesty to delete a passage that you love. If it doesn't work for the current story, there's no need to hang onto it.

Note: This post is short because I removed all the fluff....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

National Punctuation Day

Yesterday (9/24/10) was National Punctuation Day. Are you as thrilled by it as I am? I was so thrilled with this holiday that I didn't anticipate it until today.

Have we gone too far in naming holidays when we choose to honor Punctuation? After all, what is there to celebrate.... the appropriate use of an exclamation point!?

Why honor something that gives us so much grief. Are there parades across the country where people dress as different punctuation marks? If so, what would you be??

However you chose to celebrate Punctuation Day, I hope you had a great time...

?!;:(,.//-)[]{}"'

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Challenge Yourself

Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. ~~ Ronald E. Osborn
I don't know if you're prone to it, but I fall back on tasks that come easily and must force myself to accept the challenge of the difficult. I guess that's human nature, but I know my writing will always be much better if I stretch to my limits.

Have you looked back on pieces you wrote ten years ago. You should be able to notice quite a difference. The growth in your writing should show. If it doesn't, you may not be undertaking the difficult. Challenge yourself... grow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Creative: Abundance

Abundance:
from the word Abundant meaning more than enough: amply sufficient


There are more than enough catfish in this picture.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Writing... Just do it


Write in any way that works for you. Write in a tuxedo or in the shower with a raincoat or in a cave deep in the woods. ~~ John Gardner
The point is not where you write, but that you write. Many new writers ask their favorite authors about their writing routines. It's not important.

What is important is that you write whenever you can. I feel lost if I go out without paper. Now many make notes on their iPhones or Droids when out.

When the mood strikes, be prepared and .... WRITE!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Subtlety...

Style, like the human body, is specially beautiful when the veins are not prominent and the bones cannot be counted. ~~ Tacitus

Subtlety... don't you just love it when a passage of writing sneaks up on you, when a few minutes later and you say "Ahhhhhhhh... I get it."

There, of course, is a time and place for in-your-face writing, but I like the moments best when the meaning, rather than smacking you in the face, seeps in delicately yet clearly.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rock the world with your writing

The business of the poet and novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things, and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things. ~~ Thomas Hardy
As writers, it's our job to avoid the mundane, and if we can't avoid the mundane, it's our job to transform the mundane into something interesting. It's not only our responsibility to look at our writing and determine how we can say it better, how we can make it clearer, and how we can reach the reader. It's also our responsibility to rock the world of the reader in some way large or small.

How do you ensure that you rock the reader's world?


Monday, September 6, 2010

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot. ~~ D.H. Lawrence
When you have a deadline for your writing, you may have to force your way through a period when you have nothing to say. On the whole, your best writing will come when you have passion for your topic or for your story and you capitalize on that passion by, as D.H. Lawrence says it, saying it hot.

There's nothing better than writing when in the grips of your topic or story.... when you feel the story and all the emotions that go with it. Sometimes it worth it to say nothing for a while and quietly wait for that genuine passion to move you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In one deep sense, novels are concealed autobiographies. I don't mean that you are telling facts about yourself, but you are trying to find out what you really think or who you are. ~~ Robert Penn Warren
How much of you do you put into the novels you write? I suspect we put in more than we think we do.

Writing is personal. There's no doubt about it. Writing that touches the soul has to come from deep within the writer's heart and mind. Don't be afraid to look at what is inside of you and let it come out. It's all part of the process.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Writing with others


Many ideas grow better when they are transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up. ~~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Have you had experience writing with a partner?

I must say, for the most part, I work much better on my own. I have co-authored some pieces, but it always seems to work the best if we divide up the work. I don't know if I just like the control of having my own portion of a project, or if I have trouble processing when trying to meld my thoughts with those of another writer. I think it probably boils down to needing to be quiet within myself when I'm writing.

I do, however, like to hear how my ideas grow better after another person lets them rattle around in their brain for a while. It's intriguing when I write one thing and the reader interprets it in a different way or takes it a step or two beyond my thinking.

Isn't that why we write...to give the reader a jumping off point?