GREATEST STORY IDEA—LOST!


GREATEST STORY IDEA—LOST!

It’s the middle of the night. Pitch black. The cricket’s chirping fiddle serenade has ceased and the man on the moon has shut his eyes in sleep. After what feels like the deepest sleep you have ever experienced, you sit straight up in the bed with the greatest story idea—ever. Frantically you try to remember the smallest details. Your mind races back to the beginning of the dream to piece together the plot line. Sleep fights the adrenaline as your eyes begin to close. In a haze you convince yourself that you will remember it in the morning.

As the alarm startles you awake and your eyes open and begin to focus, horror sets in because you can’t recall the greatest story idea—ever!

You didn’t write it down.

Keep a notebook or writing pad by your bedside and make notes when the thoughts happen or they will be lost forever.

Monday Writing Quote


Monday Writing Quote

 

“Anyone moderately familiar with the rigours of composition will not need to be told the story in detail; how he wrote and it seemed good; read and it seemed vile; corrected and tore up; cut out; put in; was in ecstasy; in despair; had his good nights and bad mornings; snatched at ideas and lost them; saw his book plain before him and it vanished; acted people’s parts as he ate; mouthed them as he walked; now cried; now laughed; vacillated between this style and that; now preferred the heroic and pompous; next the plain and simple; now the vales of Tempe; then the fields of Kent or Cornwall; and could not decide whether he was the divinest genius or the greatest fool in the world.”
― Virginia WoolfOrlando

The Saturday Morning Blogger – Travel in the 21st Century


The Saturday Morning Blogger – Travel in the 21st Century

James Barrington

Having recently traveled to Maine to visit family, I reflected on the perils of modern travel. As a young man fresh out of college, I was thrilled with the first time I flew out of town on a business trip. The experience of boarding an airplane and being where I was going in such a short time was a marvel to me. That has changed over the years.

Part of the reason for the change has been my outlook on the “cattle car” mentality of the airlines and part of the reason is my own joy at seeing the scenery and taking the time to stop for some of the sites along the way.

I recently read a book that was not particularly well-written, but it was a story with an interesting premise. A huge solar flare, aimed directly at Earth, so completely disrupted electronics that the world was knocked back 150 years in terms of usable technology. Telephones, television, even cars and airplanes were unusable because of the technology that made them run. People fled from the cities, which were overrun by street gangs operating in an environment where they could operate without fear of law enforcement keeping them at bay. People found that they had to farm the land in order to have food to eat. Families began talking to each other again instead of worshiping their PDAs.

The book questioned whether our advanced technology had actually made our society better or worse. It is certainly a question worth pondering.

After having flights cancelled on both out-bound and return legs of our trip; and having luggage lost, pilfered and destroyed by baggage handlers and/or TSA thieves, driving looks like a far better method of getting from here to there. This all happened on an airline we expected better things from. Instead we saw very little in the way of “customer service” and a lot in the way of callous disregard for the people who had paid money and put their lives into the hands of a transportation company. I am grateful to say that every time they picked us up off the ground, they did manage to put us back on the ground safely. It wasn’t always a smooth landing, but at least the airplane didn’t disintegrate into a flaming mass.

What else should we expect from public transportation? Right?

Whatcha Watchin’


Whatcha Watchin’

by Adam Huddleston

 

Last week I mentioned the book I’m currently reading. This week, I wanted to share with you what television shows I’m watching.

The main programs that my wife and I enjoy are “Better Call Saul” (which just ended their third season), “Fargo” (which is about to finish their third season), “The Walking Dead”, “The Next Food Network Star”, and on Netflix, “The Office”.

Literarily speaking, “Fargo” is probably the best written show of the bunch. The dialogue is fantastic, the plot twists and turns keep you on the proverbial edge of your seat, and the overall story telling is simply wonderful. “The Office” contains some of the funniest writing and loveable characters on television. I highly recommend both programs.

What are you watching?

Make No Mistake


Outtakes 305

Make No Mistake

By Cait Collins

 

 

I’m helping train a new employee for my team. Normally we start with the basics of the computer programs and applications, teach them about products, and pray they understand basic grammar so that they can create a decent business letter. Considering some of the notes and emails we get, I’d swear kids are not taught English. But I digress.

I had a thought regarding the training…why not train from the end result back to the beginning. Sounds a little disjointed, but training from a quality control point of view makes sense. Start with the completed letter and the OneNote documentation package. Step one is read the request and determine what the client is asking. It’s not always as easy as it sounds because the request may be hand written and barely legible or the request rambles. Once you determine the need, start pulling documents that verify the points of the response. KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly).

As I work with the new guy, I’m impressed by his questions. And he takes notes. While this approach may appear backward, but by seeing the mistakes others make, maybe, just maybe, he’ll take the steps to avoid them.

I hear people say “I’ve always thought about writing a book.” Okay, have at it, but don’t start at the beginning of your story. Start by being the editor and analyzing a successful author’s latest novel or story. How did he start the story? Did he provide enough back-story to grab your interest and place you in the action? Or did he begin with the day that was different? Are the characters believable? Is it over researched and over thought? Were you into the action or thumbing through the pages to get to the end? Were there typos and grammar errors? Was there good flow from scene one to the end?

Reviewing another person’s work could give you insight into the pitfalls a successful writer faces and help you avoid making the same mistakes. And, it might make writing and self-editing less frustrating.

Monday Writing Quote


Monday Writing Quote

 

Write.
Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing.”
― Brian Clark

200 Words


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

200 Words

By Nandy Ekle

 

 

I’m starting this goal of writing at least two hundred words a day. Sickness, health, richer, poorer, hell or high water, I’m going to write two hundred words a day, and more if I can wring them out.

I will not worry about cohesion, plot, punctuation, spelling, long sentences, short sentences, or run-ons. There will be at least two hundred words a day.

I may be tired, sick, sick and tired, giddy, depressed, busy with grandkids, busy with grown kids, busy with no kids. I may be so down I can barely drag my self out of bed. On the road, on the high seas, hidden high up on a mountain top. In a crowd, or all alone, I will put down two hundred words.

The purpose of this two hundred words a day journal is to get the words flowing again. Words are like blood cells. They tend to stick together and close up portals where they might flow out and land on the pages. Like beautiful flower-shaped blotches of blood stains, words on the pages are soothing and sweet smelling, even when they’re dark and scary.

So this is my goal. For the next six weeks, I will get at least two hundred words a day added to this journal.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

Whatcha Readin’?


Whatcha Readin’?

by Adam Huddleston

 

I’m currently enjoying working my way through the graphic novel, “Watchmen”. If I recall correctly, this is the first of its kind that I’ve read. It takes a little getting used to (looking at the drawings in each panel as well as the writing), but it is well worth it.

Without giving too much away, “Watchmen” deals with the search for an individual that is murdering costumed heroes from the early-to-mid nineteen hundreds (basically, who watches over those that watch over us?). The story begins with a bang, but then meanders about for a few chapters. I’m about halfway through the story now and it is really starting to pick up its pace.

If you’re a fan of the fantasy/sci-fi genre, comic books, and/or graphic novels, I highly recommend giving “Watchmen” a try.

Killing Trees


Outtakes 304

Killing Trees

By Cait Collins

 

I started thinking about all the junk in closets and cabinets in my apartment. I’ve got a lot of storage in the place, but instead of tossing out stuff, I keep finding a place to store it. One of my big “I can’t toss this out” is the hard copies of my writing. In this day of computers, the Cloud, flash drives, and external electronic storage, why do I need hard copies? Of course I don’t want to trash four or five completed novels and other various and sundry ideas. But I can scan the information to my computer and save the file to my external hard drive or a flash drive.

And what about all those critiques? Once I’ve reviewed the notes and made the updates, do I really need to keep the notes? Of course not. So why am I having such a hard time just filling the dumpster? I think I know the answer. I’m saving my art for posterity. One of these days, some kid will come along and grab a file box and reap valuable wisdom from my work.

You want the truth? Killing trees and packing file boxes is easier than making a decision on what is necessary to keep and what can go to the dumpster or the shredder. I guess that makes me lazy. I wonder if the pharmacy has a pill for that.