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That Weird Writer Friend

I am that weird writer friend, the one who sends out cards (and will even to people they don’t know!). Recently, I leveled up my game.

In my defense., I’d been thinking about it for a minute or two. And I did message her before doing it. Essentially, I created a character to write a letter… to a character that entrances and bedevils my sister from another mother. If you’d like to see what they’re up to, Rie posted about it on her blog which you can find here:

If you’d like to learn more about Jo and her companions, you can find them on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, to name a few (I originally had links but spaced and lost them! Oh no! Look up Rie Sheridan Rose, you’ll thank me? She has lots of different types of stories, including Jo’s escapades. Want poetry? She writes it. Horror? Yup. Fantasy? She has you covered!)

If I had a nickle for every card I wrote, it’d be a lot of Nickles! This one was different– Ive written poems in cards, or short short stories for kids. But creating a character to write to another character was a new one for me. Not sure what made me do it, bit I’m glad I did.

And extra happy that I have writer friends who roll with it!

Poem A Day

Is not going well
I’m sorry to say

The pen dried up
The paper burned
in an imaginary fire
My chisel for the tablet
Cracked in half

Or maybe

My imagination failed
I didn’t get the memo
The kid ate my poem
(The dog turned up it’s nose)

Or maybe

New habits take time
A little grace extended
To self is rare indeed
And it’s time to

Begin again

Happy New Year-ish

So i have made lots of goals for 2021. Not resolutions, just a nod to things I want to do differently. I started most of them in December, at the very end. I just couldn’t wait.

One thing I’m trying to do is submit my work, my writing more. I enjoy writing, and I have several stories that need homes. I wrote 4 or 5 last year and while not a huge amount– it is still an accomplishment I am proud of. I’ve sent 2 stories out, hopefully to find a home.

I’ve started journalling creatively for 10 minutes before going to bed. It helps with story generation, and also working things out. A fire kitten may be making an appearance in a story soon.

One of my dear friends, my sister from another mother, challenged me to a poem a day writing challenge for the year. I don’t consider myself a poet, but it doesnt say anything about GOOD poetry LOL.

I bought an undated planner and am using it to tey and work out a story I am working on. The story has a lot going on and will probably be longer than most of my writing. I tend to do short and sweet, this needs room to breathe.

So that’s what I’m getting into for 2021. How about you? Any wild crazy plans? Or slow and steady wins the race?

Flash Fiction excersize

From the Rose Metal Guide to Flash Fiction… i took a class that uses this book.

Thought you might get a giggle out of this. I enjoyed writing them.

Describe a favorite place, encyclopedia style, but lie.

San Francisco has always leaned a little to the left. They can not help it, as they are on the left coast. This makes them susceptible to rocking and rolling, which can be seen in the way the streets rise and fall, always drifting to the left where the Bay is.

San Francisco is known for the Bay and its cable cars. The two perform an intricate dance, an admirable work of wonder. The tracks & lines are laid carefully and precisely so that when the cable cars make their loop, the end up going under the Bay into the Bay Area Repeating Train tunnel to loop around and start their route over again. Visitors often forget to jump off the old-fashioned trolley cars, going under the bay for a view that is beyond compare. Sharks are often caught peeking at these out of reach snacks.

Lumbar street is the spine of the city. Unfortunately, it is a crooked, cobbled street that the cable cars cannot access except at its cross streets. Tourists must trundle up and down its steep incline on the power of their own two feet. Those who have tried to ride down on bicycle or skate board have found themselves at the bottom of the bay after a wild ride, facing off with hungry, hungry sharks.

Write a second version, as a blog, Instagram Post, travelogue, etc.

2nd version different narrator

So, like, I went to San Francisco to see Lumbar Street. More specifically, I wanted to ride down it. They told me there were gnarly wipeouts, but come on! How hard could it be? #Adventure! Especially if I used a long board and rode it down… while sitting on the board. I mean, like, they SAY it leans to the left…and you’ll end up in the bay… but you have to be there. You don’t get it till you get it. #hungryhungrysharks

I went down Lumbar Street towards the bay like a bat out of hell. I even got air! #SweetMoves. I was wearing heavy leather gloves along with all the safety gear #helmetssavelives. I had thought, like, I could use my hands to slow myself down before launching myself into the Bay. Unfortunately, #IamaKlutz. I started to take my arms down from around my knees, the board wobbled and hit a rock, launching me into the air, over the barrier and into the Bay.

Thank you to the Aquarium on the Pier for starting #vegansharks #peoplearefriendsnotfood. Thank you for also calling #caltrans to come fish me out. I am really sorry about the dented BART car #sosorry. And thank you to SF General for the #topnotch care that like, really really touched my heart. And thanks for the tee-shirt #Isurvivedbeingsharkbait

Copyright 2020 Wynelda Deaver

Holiday Conversation Starter

So I’m working on a special treat for my Christmas cards, wanting to “up my game.” It involves Christmas traditions that I love, memories of the holiday and of course my secret talents. Others have wonderful themes that make my eyes turn green with their creativity (I’m looking at you, Drea!).

So i started asking people two questions. 1. What is your favorite Holiday tradition, both from when you were a kid and now. And 2. What was your favorite present as a child at Christmas? These questions work across generations, too.

And it brings you closer to your family. Because in this time of Corona, there might not be a lot under the tree. We can always give of ourselves, tho. The gift of listening. Maybe a secret talent. Maybe just being a voice on the phone.

During World War II, Dad returned home at Christmas time. He brought his mom and sister a roll of… tinfoil like tape. It was used to jam radar devices while flying. My Auntie Mary told me the story, about how he brought it home and they used it to decprate the tree. They were poor– a poor we can’t imagine now. But that tape…. that tinfoil tape made her holiday.

Do yourself a favor and ask questions. Make up your own, or use mine. But ask. Find out about life in the family before you were born. It is the best gift you can give yourself. I have very few stories of my mom’s childhood, because she died when I was 24. Before I knew I needed those stories.

The holidays will be different. But that doesn’t mean they have to be horrible. Wrap yourself in your family’s stories, write them down and savor them. Who knows, Next year, you can turn those answers into a game of trivial pursuit!

Widow’s Walk

(I wrote this in response to a class assignment. It is inspired by a picture by Rob Gonsalves and the journey of a dear friend. )

Widows walk. They walk along the balcony, pacing out the nights. One step after another, chained to a mast that never comes into view. No skips, no hops for the balcony is dangerous. Weeping into the ocean doesn’t count if you are alone.

Widows walk alone, friends and family woefully out of step. They bear the isolation alone, watching the clouds skittle across the night sky, longing, wistfully, for a glimpse of the one who left them behind. They walk, they pace, they shiver and moan. Even among the crows, they are alone.

Widows walk alone into… . They carve out a path made of stone yet soft as sand. Night becomes day becomes night and still they walk their lonely halls of grief. Typhoons, monsoons, tsunamis break over them. The trick, the widows say, is to let them break. Let them rain down on you, absorb the fury and power of nature into yourself because otherwise it will burn you alive. The clouds on the horizon are puffy and white… or are they a sail in the wind… or will they change as they start to come in. Widows walk alone into…

The unknown. Once you are half of a hole (it’s wrong but it fits and oh how that hurts!) how do you become whole while only half of you is there? Once, you were whole all on your own. You didn’t choose to walk this walk, you didn’t ask for this you didn’t want this–never this– game of life that tossed the rules out on you– why did the rook take the queen– you didn’t know you didn’t want you didn’t mean in when you said you only wanted a minute alone youdidntyoudidntyoudidntyoudidnt

But still. Here we are.

Somber as a post.

Knowing.

Widows
Walk
Alone

Copyright 2020 Wynelda Deaver

You can write your own way….

I know. It sounds crazy pants, doesn’t it?

But you can write your own way.

You might not get published. You might self publish and not sell enough to make money. I know those are the dreams, the goals, the reason many park but in chair. But it’s ok to write what you want, what you enjoy. You don’t know where those secret little scribbles that you only share with your very best friends (If them) will take you.

Sometimes those secret scribbles take you in a direction you never knew existed.

Sometimes it’s where you hone your voice, cut your teeth on the truth your soul wants to release into the world. This is art. Our art. Shouldn’t we be writing what brings us joy and makes us giggle or touches our own heart first?

And sometimes…..

You find out that those secret scribbles that you never knew where to send have a place in the world.

So. Go forth and write your own way.

Who knows where it will lead?

Writing Cheerleaders vs. Coach

I have many cheerleaders when it comes to my writing and I adore them. They give me the lift of a bit more confidence when I need it. They have cheered me on when I doubted that I could write a sentence, let alone a coherent story. They have been invaluable in my getting to the point where I’m currently at.

And yet even as I’ve been writing stories that I am so proud of, I haven’t been submitting them. Don’t have time to edit, or find markets, weekend was busy, blah blah blah. There’s a ton of excuses and I’ve used many of them. I don’t know why…

So I called someone who I know doesn’t really put up with bullshit. During the conversation, I told her off the bat I don’t need someone to tell me I’m great, I have that confidence. I need someone who can kick my ass. We talked about what I needed to get done, how I needed to change the conversations with myself, and lots of things. Including making a dream board.

I had a lot of goals for that first weekend. I made not a one of them. So I messaged her, told her that and what my new plan was.

Crickets.

Not a word.

I’m sure she thought I was just going to stay stuck in my ways. I considered it.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I hit each and every one of my goals for the week. Made the dream board, checking in with her, got an “awesome!” Out of her and kept moving forward. My stories are submitted, I’m up to date in class and am working on my next submission.

The cheerleaders are invaluable. I wouldn’t be writing without them.

But I wouldn’t have submitted them if I hadn’t had the courage to ask someone to step into the role of coach. She’s not a writer, probably would never to think to read what I write if it wasn’t by me. But she’s tough enough to hold me accountable and not accept any excuses.

Thank you

Wyndie

It’s been a while

But never fear, I’ve been writing. I’ve been writing many many words.

I started back at WVU (Writers Village University). Now, you may not have heard of WVU, so let me tell you a little bit about it. It is not an accredited university, it’s a peer run site. And there are times when you sign up for a course and no one else does.

And then came the MFA program. It’s a certificate program. You have to not only do your assignments, but also leave feedback for others, and it’s a specific type of feedback. No “great job, bye bye”. And the classes themselves, doing your own work, taking the works of others and internalizing them and applying them….

My God, how I’ve grown.

I had begun to believe that I only wrote light and fluffy. And I was fine with that. Light and fluffy has a place. Even if I sometimes slipped the leash and wrote dark and twisty, sunshine has a place.

Just because someone seems all Pollyanna does not mean that they do not notice the world as it is, or cope with the shadows. I had a problem admitting to those depths in my writing, in shying away from the deep dark and twisty. I have these diametric opposite parts of me, and I wasn’t willing to admit to them. Or try and see how they work together.

I’m ready and willing now.

And with the help of some fabulous facilitators and a group of peers who are ready and willing to help… I’m very close to being there.

Thank you, WVU.

Redirection

So I received another rejection the other day. This time, it didn’t crush me. It just made me go hmmmm…

The first paragraph was pretty boiler plate. But the second, oh the second…. it broke it down. They liked the story, but the ending didn’t hang right for them BECAUSE there wasn’t enough setup and/or foreshadowing. It depended too much on those things being inferred.

Sometimes, it feels like you’re banging your head against a rock to get through the publishing door. This time, they told me how to move the rock, roll it away.

I know what I have to do. I know what specific things to ask my beta readers. And I know that in my editing I probably need to add words. Instead of tightening, I need to expand…. bring the reader with me.

I can do that.