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Mentorship

Most writers are great about paying it forward. We gather together, read each others work, give tips and tricks and help when we can. We give (hopefully) each other presents at the same time— a darn good read. I have worked with some really great authors who have both helped me, and whom I’ve been able to help just a wee bit.

There have also been those other ones, and you know who they are. They’re the ones the rest of us slide away from, regardless of their success.

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about mentorship. The Partylite group has a great set up for new consultants. And I’ve been to 2 meetings since signing up a little more than a week ago. It’s great to have someone there to walk you through it, to show you what’s going on and darn it, it’s WONDERFUL to have others literally cheer and clap for you.

It’s pretty awesome.

So is being able to watch someone who has rose high in the ranks as she led part of a party. You can’t pay for that kind of mentorship, and quite frankly I’m feeling kind of blessed to have landed where I have.

But it’s made me think hard. Wouldn’t it be great if we could pop into other author’s heads and see just how they tweaked that little sentence so it rang throughout the text? We already do so much mentoring within our ranks, but it isn’t organized. We can find Webinars, either by digging through YouTube, or Facebook videos, or ending up paying for them…

There’s also the perks. The adds to your kit. Can you imagine what they’d be for a Writer? Sold your Story? Here’s an add…. well, I can’t even imagine what that add would be. Can You?

What would you have as a writers perk?

 

Stupid is as stupid does

When did people get so STUPID? I’m talking specifically about 1 thing, but my gosh it goes across everything.

Parking lot safety. I was taught as a child to wait if a car was backing up. I taught my son the same. He’s 10 going on 11. Are people so self involved that they really think there’s a magic bubble around them to keep them SAFE?

I’ve had women with infants push that baby right behind my car as I was backing out. Whole families, kids holding hands with the adults stroll out of the stores and walk blithely unaware behind cars moving backwards. 

One of them made my son so mad, he rolled down the window and yelled at the woman “my momma would whoop my a** for that!” Cussing aside, he wasn’t wrong.

Are people so used to looking down at their phones that they no longer know how to read real life? Or are they so self involved that they can’t fathom what a blind spot is and the fact that they just walked through it? 

Look twice before crossing. Parking lot or street. Whether your 1, 10, or 100 or any where between…. it goes for you. 

Drowning

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I go to the river often to center myself. It works amazingly well when I can’t make it to the ocean. Recently, I was going through some stuff. I hit a rough patch, and was trying to find my way out. I sat on a bench and prayed: Please God, show me the path you want me to be on, help me get on it. Show me the way.

The water was running rapidly in the distance. Maybe not white water rafting rough, but rough enough. The river is higher than I’ve ever seen it, thanks to the wet winter we finally had.

And here I am praying. Not knowing what to do. Light starts burning through my eyelids and I opened my eyes…. to see the picture above. My first thought was “Not that path, Lord, I can’t swim.”

No, I did not get into the water. I was too scared. And pretty sure that wasn’t my path. In the morning, I was telling the story to Dad, thinking it was just a cute story. He had another answer. “It’s not the water, Wyndie, it’s the light. You’re meant to bring the light to people.”

I wasn’t expecting that. Especially since it makes so much sense. When I write my cards, I call it “sending out my ray’s of sunshine.” People seem to like them as much as I enjoy sending them out.

But the whole situation made me start to wonder: how many times have I felt like I was drowning, with no help in sight…. only to learn later it had been there all along? Sometimes its a matter of interpretation, sometimes we just need a little time.

It was comforting to sit on the river’s edge and talk to God. Even when I thought his answer was something I wasn’t sure I could do. Just sitting and talking with Him helped me sort myself out.

Keep on keeping on, my lovelies.

I’m trying to be back on a more consistent basis. We shall see how it goes 🙂

 

Thank you Terrible Minds

Had a great date night with the boy child, and I owe it to Chuck Wendig.
I get notifications in my email on blog posts by the author, Chuck Wendig. I love his blog, it’s funny, real and NSFW. Yesterday, he posted a flash fiction challenge ( which he does most Fridays) and you can find it here

 When we went in to Strings (one of our favorites…. yummy pasta), I brought in a tablet of paper. We sat down, and for the past month or so, the princeling has been playing on his phone while we eat. This is not ok.

The boy child loves many things, and storytelling is one of them. In the flash fiction challenge mentioned above, you have to create your own monster. Not a rehash of a goblin, orc  or nessie. Your own monster. 

Thursday night, the princeling asked me why I never write his story ideas. I don’t have the heart to tell him that mommy’s writing is not built that way. I’m not a Tolkien, Martin or Hobbs that can weave large complex stories with ease. I’m light and fluffy with a sometimes dark turn, and I’m OK with that.

We sat down, and I handed the book to him. “There’s a writing challenge and we’re going to do it together.”

His little eyes lit up. When I told him about the challenge, he looked at me and said in a very soft voice… “Goblins?”  

“No, it can’t be anything ever written about before. Not in movies, in books or video games. Completely new.”

He grinned at me and said “oh, that’s easy”. 

As he drew and told me about his monster… I got chills. No lie. Some of his descriptions were chillingly beautiful. We discussed the monster over pasta, then went into what’s in the closet that scares him. It’s doll and stuffed animal eyes.

I was thinking we would do a light, kid friendly minster under the bed kind of story. Instead, my son took my hand and led me into the shadows. I can do dark and twisty with beauty intermixed. I can’t live there for a novel, but I can visit.

I’ll have our story posted here before Fridays deadline.

And thank you, Chuck Wendig, for a great night out with the boy child.

Bye Facebook

It started with me limiting my time on Facebook. Then, 2 days ago, it quit working on my phone. Which is what I used to browse Facebook.

At first it was hard. Still is to some degree. Most of my friends and family are on it, so I like to pop in and see what’s going on with them.

Except…

That’s not what Facebook is anymore, is it? There are a few people who will update with something more personal than Night FB FAMILY! Who still show pictures and snippets of their lives. But for the most part, we’ve become obsessed with memes and shares of new stories that aren’t knews. And really, in a lot of them they aren’t written well either…

So I’ve been taking a bigger break than intended. But I’ve had some nice suprises. I’ve been on WordPress more, catching up with my favorites, passing along links to those who I think need them. Discovering new bloggers. Reading on my breaks. Feeling more connected.

Writing more.

Facebook isn’t evil, but I think it helps to take a step back from it. Otherwise, we might be so busy sharing and tagging that sunset picture someone else took… Instead of seeing the gorgeous one in front of you.
Live well, my lovelies. Obviously I’m writing more too. Hope to see more of you!

When

When did I forget that I love to travel?

Something so simple. And yet it took a phone call with my Auntie for me to realize that… hey. Philly is far away, but… there are airplanes. I can save for a trip out there.

I have flown before. I have flown many a time. I love the leashed energy right before take off. It’s amazing when you burst up into the air. Yet my son doesn’t know that about me. He doesn’t know that while I am afraid of driving in the mountains, there are so many other places I’ve traveled and had fun.

When did traveling become scary? Or is it scary?  Why is it scary, if it is?

When? Why? How?

The change has to start now.

So let it begin.

 

Description

The weather here in Northern California has been… complicated. Today was nice.

Last night it was not.

One major thing that this crazy weather has done for my writing: helped me with description. I’ve always been a little light on description, but the following have popped out of my mouth:

The wind is blowing so hard, I’m glad I’m *not* in Kansas.

There’s so much water on the ground, with the fog coming up around it… it looks like a Lady in the Lake scene— in the middle of a cow field. (It did! It was gorgeous!)

And so on and so forth.

“Oh Shit, there’s a tree in the parking lot” the phrase has a lot of heat behind it, and it was more a large limb than the whole tree. And while the parking lot is LINED with trees, these limb(s) were lying in the middle of the asphalt. My sister understood, especially when I clarified for her. But when we’re creating our scenes, we don’t have that give and take.

So. I am learning to describe my surroundings for my sister. Because it makes it so much nicer for her to have a visual when we’re talking. Just as we need to have visuals for our readers.

So. Take stock, figure out what you can practice your description on. I try to describe things for my siter, and also in my journal. As always, there’s a different flow when you’re talking as opposed to writing, but that just gives us fodder for dialog.