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


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.