Monday Morning Warm-Up (courtesy Jo Knowles): Share a quote that makes you think and feel hopeful.
One of my friends forwarded a quote to me late last year and it has become my mantra, chiefly the word PERSIST.
I don’t know why, and I suppose I am not the only one, but I am encouraged when I hear about people who are famous for their craft struggling, like I do, to create. It makes me feel more normal and human and less like a talentless hack. I guess in some ways I seek validation in that, in knowing that I’m not the only one doesn’t know what to write after the end of Chapter 1.
The only difference between a failure and a success is persistence. People who persist eventually end up somewhere with something to be proud of.
If you haven’t seen this post at lettersofnote.com, please take a second and visit the site. Austin Madison of PIXAR, who penned the note, wrote:
PERSIST on telling your story. PERSIST on reaching your audience. PERSIST on staying true to your vision… the next time you hit writer’s block, or your computer crashes and you lose an entire night’s work because you didn’t hit save (always hit save), just remember: you’re never far from that next burst of divine creativity.
Work through that 97% of murky abysmal mediocrity to get to that 3% which everyone will remember you for! I guarantee you, the art will be well worth the work!
That gives me hope. It makes me feel like all this hard work, laboring down here in the salt mines will someday be worth it.
Longish snip today, but I couldn’t find a place to cut it that would make sense. This is from one of my favorite stories called Nowhere Man, about a homeless man and a woman named Phoenix– the streetwise angel who quite literally saves him. You can read the story in its entirety here. Thanks for dropping in!
This Friday Reads finds me at the tail end of a great book, The Grapes of Wrath. Yes, I did just call this a great book. I was thinking this morning, as I was driving through the pre-dawn morning traffic, that this story is so wasted on the youth. I have no idea why teenagers are made to read it. I never had to, but I can’t say I would have enjoyed it or understood it better than I understand it now. It’s eerie how it’s so relevant to today – families being forced out of their own homes due to the economy with no choice but to pack up and go where the work is. Only when they get to what is supposed to be the promised land, they find they’ve been sold the same dream as so many others, and there’s only so many pieces of the dream to go around. So much work and sacrifice, sometimes for nothing—and all you can do is keep going. Yes, I’ve really enjoyed this book. It’s been slow going though, since I’m reading via audiobook. At night I follow along with my e-copy. I’ll probably read more Steinbeck.
Thanks again to Jo Knowles, who posts these each Monday. Today I’m doing an archived exercise: Describe your favorite quiet and alone time. Where are you? Inside? Outside? Is it cold? Warm? Is there an animal nearby? What do you see? Hear? Smell? Why does this time matter to you? I’m single and a bit of a loner. While I do get together with friends now and again, I’m mostly at home with the books and the appliances and the heater. Always the heater. It’s where I am comfortable and it is conveniently also where I keep all my stuff. So for me to have a specific time of quiet is a big deal. I’d have to say that this is Sunday morning. My Saturdays can be ragged, but Sunday morning is glorious to me. I’ve had a great night’s sleep, I’ve awakened when my body is ready, I have the day to do as I like, which usually involves a lot of reading and minimal TV. I love a quiet Sunday morning, whether it is sunny or rainy, whether I can hear the birds chirping outside my window or the dogs across the street barking or the neighbor kids outside playing– yeah, I find that endearing. The kids in this neighborhood play outside. On a Sunday morning I’m usually still snuggled down in the bed, all of my electronic dearhearts near to me– phone, eReader, laptop. I might venture downstairs or out for a cup of coffee and a a breakfast sandwich, but until around 2:00, that time is mine. And I love it. What’s your favorite quiet time?
It’s Sunday, which means it’s time for a snip! Today’s snip is from a recent drabble called Truth or Dare. Hope you like it! The entire story can be read at my fiction archive here.
A few weeks ago, I met some friends at our local Bahama Breeze for drinks and a rousing game of “keep the toddler from climbing over the tops of the benches and pulling the hair of the patron behind us.” It was some unexpected cardio and a really good time, because I’ve missed this particular family since they moved to Florida. “So,” my friend S says to me. “I have questions. You read a lot. What’s that about?” I laughed, because I can only imagine what it looks like to people who follow me on twitter or Facebook. I don’t party, I rarely eat out, I don’t drink. I don’t wax on about the latest vampire show or singing competition (except for Criminal Minds or Golden Girls. I stan for both of those shows!). What I do is read. I read incessantly. I’m kind of addicted to getting lost in a fictional world, fictional characters for 300-500 pages at a time. I am a member at Goodreads, and when I stop for the moment or the day, I record my progress. If I don’t tweet anything else, it looks like I haven’t been doing anything but reading all day. And on the weekends, you’re probably right, on that one. Over time I have developed the skill of reading quickly (okay and sometimes if there’s 7 pages of description, I skim. SHHHHHH don’t tell anyone!). So yes, I read a lot. A few books at a time, especially if one is particularly heavy. I need something light to detract from that.
I loved you. All the way until yesterday.
Thanks to Jo Knowles for posting these! This is my first Monday Morning Warm-Up… “Write to the prompt: “I want to write something that will…” One of my fave music artists once said that he wanted to be a part of a song that lived on forever. Even after his career was over or he was long gone, when people listened to that song, they’d know he was a part of it. I think that artists- musicians and painters and sculptors and writers want the same thing, to create something that lives on beyond them and bears the mark of their effort, their talent, their dedication. I want to write something that speaks to people’s hearts, perhaps reminds them of someone or something in their lives. Most of all I want to write something that entertains and brings joy, provides a space for escaping life as we know it and living the lives of fictional characters through my words.
“If you accidentally leave out word, your spellchecker won’t put it in for you.” Dammit! “There is no prostitute for proofreading your own work.”
Do you have one? A what if scenario that hides in the back of your mind, that gives you an “out” if things don’t go as swimmingly as you hoped? I’ve made it clear to myself that I am writing a novel this year. And I will put my best foot forward and everything I am doing right now is in preparation of such. After I write the novel, it will be edited and rewritten and primped and primed and I will seek out an agent for representation and try to find a publisher to publish it. In the back of my mind is the reservation… the what if I don’t? Find an agent? Find a publisher? I think most people would argue that this is not the time to think about those kinds of things– I can’t even broke chapter 1 yet. I’m just not that way. If a friend tells me they’re visiting next month, I hop right on Open Table and reserve a spot at our fave restaurant. I’m a ‘do it now’ kind of person. So I’m worrying about it now… because if I have to break the glass and enact Plan B, I want to be ready. What is the backup plan? Well, if you guessed self publish, you hit the nail on the head. I’m a little concerned about that plan though because: a) If I self publish, my mom won’t be able to go to a bookstore and pick up my book. BUUUUT I could send her a printed copy probably. b) I bounce through Amazon or B&N every once in awhile looking for a good (cheap) read. Invariably the least costly books turn out to be self published. Sometimes I honestly can’t tell… most times it’s glaringly obvious. If I can’t snag an agent or get a book published, what if it’s glaringly obvious that my book is bad. Will I be self-aware enough to know that the thing is crap and […]