Wednesday, May 16, 2018


I came across a paper I'd written out from a class I took on writing. The idea of the paper is to get you thinking before you actually start writing your story. I find that this type of guide helps get the creative juices going so you can make notes about each of your characters and then start writing. I hope this helps you like it does me.

Writing 101

  1. Have a game plan: How many chapters?
  2. Use action instead of introspection to move story along.
  3. What are four or five moments that will occur in the plot?
  4. Can you think of at least two complications for each of these?
  5. Will complications push characters in ways to make them uncomfortable?
  6. What additional settings will these complications demand?
  7. Which character will be the protagonist?
  8. Which character will be most affected by the inciting event?
  9. Does this character have at least two major problems or anxieties in his life?
  10. Which offers the most for conflict and drama?
  11. How does this problem affect other characters? How will they react?
  12. Focus on the senses: images, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings.
  13. Identify story’s central idea.
  14. Solidify our character’s (protagonist) conflict with the plot.
  15. Decide the book’s focus (romance, mystery, historical, etc.).
  16. Ask: Why is this character behaving this way? Why would he be bitter (angry, sad, longing to go back, etc.) about his past?
  17. What if he makes a radically different decision at a crucial point in the plot?
  18. Start with these details: create characters, their lives and history, their likes and dislikes, family and friends. What do they look like?
  19. After this, begin your outline.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Ideas and Writing

Since I lost my file on the book I had started, I’ve decided not to try and re-write the story. Maybe it was fate (if you believe in that sort of thing), but I’ve decided to go back to what I know. After all, isn’t that the best writing?

I’m starting notes about my story and maybe a crude outline this afternoon and will be working on that for the next period of time. I’ll continue to keep you up to date on my progress. But for now, I have only got a germ of an idea and have to sort it out in my head. Hence the notes and an outline.

I’m excited about getting into a story after my hiatus from writing. I think I’ve grown and am ready to write a solid work from my own experiences. I wish each of you well as you work on your own activities, writing, music, art and each of what are your talents.

Until next time, keep using your talent. It gives you purpose, productivity and a sense of self-worth.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

Mothers come in many shapes and forms. There is the traditional mother and there are step-mothers, mothers with adopted children, mothers with animals that are like children (I personally know one) and many other ways to be a mother.
To all these people, or mothers, I wish you a happy mother's day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

File Corrutped!

I'm very upset today because my entire manuscript (not complete - 46,000 words) was on a thumb drive and when I went to retrieve it, the message was "File corrupted - unable to open."
Needless to say, I was beet red and ready to delete my computer! I've tried many different ways to recover this file, however, it seems it's a lost effort.

So much for back-up!

I don't relish the thought of starting over, but the one good thing is it'll be a complete re-write. Maybe the second time will be better than the first...who knows? I feel honored to be in the company of people like Hemmingway and others who have lost manuscripts. But it's a crummy club to belong to.
Time to stop and whining get busy! Either I start again on this or I start a completely new story. We shall see!

Thanks for listening to my rant!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Extraordianry Butterfly

Butterflies go through a “complete metamorphosis.” There are four stages to adulthood and depending on the type of butterfly, it may take anywhere from one month to a whole year.

 Stage One: A butterfly starts very small as an egg. It incubates and gets ready to hatch into a caterpillar.

 Stage Two: The caterpillar only stays at this stage for a short time and all they do is eat. Instantly, while they eat, they start to grow and expand.

 Stage Three: This is the coolest stage of a butterfly’s life. As soon as the caterpillar is done growing, they form themselves into a chrysalis. From the outside, the caterpillar looks as if it’s only resting, but inside it is rapidly changing. The old body parts are undergoing a remarkable transformation known as “metamorphosis.” After this is finished, it’s now ready for the final stage of the butterfly.

 Stage Four: When the caterpillar is completely changed, an adult butterfly will emerge. At first, both wings are soft and folded against its body and the butterfly is, as yet, unable to fly. After resting, it will pump blood into its wings in order to get them stronger and able to flap. The butterfly will usually master flying in about three to four hours and then off they go to give the world around them beauty and elegance.

 This cycle is much like the stages of growth in my life after my crisis and when I found hope through Compass House. I started out very small like the egg. My thoughts were “incubating” or changing as I started to grow.

Soon, I was like the caterpillar, where all I could do was eat (or seek and gain knowledge and understanding). This growth caused the most amazing change. This was an inward change, not seen by others. I was experiencing that “metamorphosis” where my entire thought process was rejuvenated. I became an individual who was looking forward to life. It’s really the best change because I was getting ready to become a butterfly. A shimmering example of my growth from beginning to now. Emerging from my cocoon and flapping my wings, I’m getting ready to explore my world while I allow those around me to see a new, positive and confident me. This is truly a “complete metamorphosis.”

(Compass House is a member of Clubhouse International, a place where those with a mental health diagnosis can go to experience hope, acceptance, non-judgment, empowerment, diversity and friendship. Compass House can help a person find dignity and growth at any level of their potential. It also helps fight the stigma that surrounds a mental health diagnosis. People from all walks of life have experienced symptoms of crisis, but because of this stigma, it prevents them from seeking the help they need. These people suffer greatly without some kind of uplifting assistance. This what Compass House is there for.)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

New Beginnings

My blog has been silent for quite some time now. I have spent this time learning about myself and how I can write about these experiences. So far, the story is germinating in my mind and I believe it will begin to reveal itself to me in the next few months.

So many times, as authors of science fiction and fantasy, we shy away from writing autobiographical stories. Unless, of course, they are included in our main genre. I hope to break away from my usual writing and find a new voice that will embody the essence of what I have experienced.

So, to all those who are still listening to this blog, I wish you well.

Working Title:   A Long Walk Through Hell

Mental illness is a topic that, unless you're writing non-fiction, has been portrayed as some crazy person attacking people and trying to kill them or some such ideas. The idea that a toned down version where people are portrayed in a more sensible vein sounds boring. But anytime anyone experiences the pangs of acute anxiety, the highs and lows of bipolar disorder, the personality break of schizophrenia or the desperation of terrible depression there is a big yawn and the reader waits for the big scene where there is a desperate break from reality so there can be an adequate resolution.

I say there is a balance that can be reached where the story doesn't have to be outrageously overwritten or mind-numbing boredom on the other side. What I'd like to write about is a journey from crisis to self-realization from our protagonist. Of course there will be at least one antagonist and a few non-believers to the character.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, the story is still germinating. But I think I'm ready to at least start sketching it out.