Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Write as Fast as You Can

It's the middle of May and the days are flashing by. It's still colder than usual with a few beautiful and a couple of hot days thrown in.
It occurred to me lately, as I am trying to finish some work, that for a writer, the writing itself is what is important. It fulfills us.
Maybe too many writers get slightly hung up on whether or not they are or ever will be "published."
As though some company somewhere is the measure of your worth. I suppose it tries to be that. But keep in mind, that publishing companies have their own agendas. They are not there to stroke egos - they are there to make money, pure and simple. If there is a topic or trend that is hot, then that is what they want. Of course, they are also looking for good writing. Looking for topics their readers want and will buy, because readers are important people.
So, writer, press on! Go on your way doing the best you can, to the best of your ability. Hone  your craft. Understand how to tell a story that people want to read. This is your job. If at some point, your work gets published, then hooray! Good for you! But don't let the fact of being unpublished throw you or deter you from working.Unless you want to quit. No shame in that, either. Or maybe sometimes, you've said all you are going to say. Fine, good, sayonara! Be happy.
Writing is the thing you love, or have loved. Joy in it. Give it your best.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Erin Go Bragh

St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland and is buried in Northern Ireland - before Ireland was divided. It seems that there is peace there now, for which I am glad. The years of terrorism from the IRA and the response from militant Protestants were hard years. So many innocents were killed from the bombs laid to make political points. By and large, Ireland is a modern, peaceful country, both North and South. I lived across the street from a Catholic family who were quite well off and sent their children to private schools. At the time I lived there, things were quiet, but then in the late sixties it seemed all hell broke loose with IRA involvement. Northern Ireland is an area where many citizens have Scottish heritage. But of course they are Irish, too. This is hard to explain, sometimes. Northern Irish are Irish, but they are British subjects and have British nationality, unlike those in the Irish Republic. As far as I know, this didn't bother anybody, North or South - unless they were involved in political activity.
So, I lived in Belfast, a lovely area in an attached house with a good sized garden. My father worked as a foreman in the Belfast Ropeworks, which is now defunct. It was near the Harland and Wolff shipyards. Most of the family on both sides lived nearby, either closer to the shipyards or like us, slightly out of town in a suburban setting. I have a lot of happy memories of my childhood. In spite of the fact that most of the time, World War II was raging around us. There was some bombing and the town was full of "Yanks." My cousin married one and became a war bride.
I have gone back once but now all my aunts and uncles have passed away and some of my cousins also. Nevertheless those who are of the next generation still live and work there. Maybe I will get the opportunity to go back one more time. To see the Mountains of Mourne which sweep down to the sea.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Martin Luther's Legacy

Well, time certainly flies like a bird or maybe a jet plane - a rocket ship? Anyway, Martin Luther King's day just passed, and I thought I'd make a comment. When I was going to Hunter College in the early 1960's, I started attending in the evenings and that year, (I'm not sure whether it was 1958, 59 or 60) the evening newspaper staff including yours truly, hired an ancient bus and trucked on down to Washington DC to support Martin Luther King's march. I'm not sure if that was the march where he gave his famous speech or not, but I do remember walking with the others in neat, orderly groups. We were all dressed as though we had come from work, our usual garments.

Our old bus had broken down on the way so I think it took us about 10 hours from NY to get there, but get there, we did. I'll never forget the faces of those African American riders on the bus - we were a mixed group. They were so grateful for the support, because in those days, it was a time of real racial inequality, unlike the manufactured riots of today, which are political stunts on the backs of people in real misery.

Peaceful protest - it was a beautiful thing. I just wish we had more leaders like Martin Luther. I think he would have tears in his eyes today at how the progress he started has been damaged. But I know there ARE many community leaders who are like Martin Luther King, who work tirelessly to make things right in a peaceful way. They just aren't out there on the news or the Internet promoting themselves for gain.

I hope people ask themselves, when they see these individuals, who benefits? Who are the real leaders?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

I have missed a few posts due to various things. We walked in the Turkey Trot again. It was snowing on us and that was a cold walk indeed - but it did stop and we got back to have the traditional dinner. Kelly helped out by doing the turkey and everyone brought something. I produced a pumpkin pie but forgot to put sugar in it, which apparently really confused our Mexican guests who didn't know what to put on it. (I threw mine out and so did everybody else.) Well, we had apple pie and cookies anyway.
Unfortunately, Art did something to his back while putting the leaf in the table and has been in pain ever since. The problem is that at our age, it is dangerous to move at all! To prove this theory, I slid down a driveway doing a corkscrew motion and thus also became a casualty with a strained/broken foot.
Anyway, we are dealing with it and it didn't stop us from having a very nice time at Ed's where we gave the kids their Christmas gifts. It was a little early as it had to be held on December 13th. However, I guess the kids don't care when they get gifts!
It feels a little odd, though, to have our Christmas over already while everybody else is running around and Christmas carols are still playing. At least I don't have to shop for presents - something that, at this time of year in the stores, must be like the running of the bulls at Pamplona. Hallelulja.
We will have a Christmas dinner, though. Then, on into 2015.
I've been studying meanwhile with a group under Michael Hiebert and Yvonne Rupert, two writers who are sharing their expertise on the Writers Village University. So much to learn! I hope I can really put it to use. It's easy to say you know something and totally different to use it. Come on, brain, wake up!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Zombies are coming

Well, I mean the Halloween zombies. I think they are having a parade in Flemington and will be appearing in a race before their big event on Oct 31st when they will be going door to door. They do get around for people who are actually dead! Blame it on Michael Jackson who sang that wonderful song about them. We once had that as our music for a Zumba class. I was disappointed that it was only once that that happened. Imitating a zombie walk is quite easy for someone of my age. We usually had salsa type music which, if you have ever tried it, really shakes your booty and other parts.
OK, now we plunge into the pre-holiday race to the end of the year. I am taking on a writing course while (naturally) working on something else fairly intensive. And actually wondering if I can fit in NanoWrimo. I'm not sure what makes me do these kinds of things. I don't think I was always like this. But everybody else these days is multi-tasking like mad so I would feel left out if I didn't at least try to exhaust myself and have a nervous breakdown.
We also usually participate in the Turkey Trot, a local run for charity. We walk, of course, since running is far, far in my past. Not that I ever actually got the chance to run except for one little race at my school, which I won. And that was the end of my racing career. Might as well go out on a big finish.
Do people ever get to sit around anymore and just chill out? I'm not sure. We live in an area where there are many McMansions which have lovely front porches. I've never seen anyone sitting on them. I imagine the people are sitting on planes commuting and sitting in cubicles somewhere afraid to leave early because the boss is still there working late. Such is life today.
Anyway, I'd rather be busy myself rather than doing nothing. So bring it on, Holidays, Zombies, Turkeys and whatnot. I'm getting ready.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer is Gone....Almost

I haven't posted here in a while. My new laptop is running Windows 8.1 and I am running from 8.1. I think it takes a bigger brain than mine to handle it. I could not get into this blog to post anything. Don't ask me why....many things seem to happen and I have no explanation for them. I only hope to just go on.

Anyhoo, as somebody said, here it is Labor Day weekend. It is rather strange weather - both hot and cold. More like Cape Cod, when the sea winds kick up in the evening. Wish I was there but haven't been able to go this year. I'll count my blessings, anyway. We are planning a Florida trip next year again so our vacations seem to be transitioning from summer to Winter, due to Art's aversion to the cold.

As for writing, I have things to work on but finding time to do it is becoming critical. I simply can't be in several places at once and it's really starting to bug me! Anybody got that space / time thing solved yet? Let me know if you do. I always fantasized about having a robotic twin who could enjoy doing mundane chores for me. One way to multiply yourself. And who knows, maybe the limited robots of today will in the future achieve this. I really miss the Star Trek episodes - they had that thing down pat.

I do hope to allocate writing time some way. I always want to have the perfect setting, quiet and me in the mood. But I need to get over that if I'm going to write anything. There is no perfect time - get over it and just BICHOK, which I am told, means "butt in chair, hands on keyboard.". That's all you need. Well, this seems to have turned into a pep talk...for me. I need to get back to poor Zee, still making his way through the forest and still to meet the challenges of his lifetime.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer is here

The first hurricane of the year (at least that made the news) is Arthur and has brought a little rain and a little wind, going out to sea. This weekend is supposed to be very nice, following this. Today is July 4th. Happy Birthday, USA!
I see I haven't posted anything since April. I am working on a continuation of the Skydean story because it seems there is still more to that. I was wondering if I should write a prequel but there were some difficulties to that, once I thought about it. More consideration might provide an answer. I'm not sure how well prequels work, anyway. I don't think the Star Wars ones were any way as good as the original, not that I'm comparing myself to them! Once time goes by, as it did in that case, things change. The audience changes, too.
I'm very aware of the changes that time bring right now. That's what happens when you get older, I suppose. I now see new generations discovering the same things, making the same mistakes, and hoping the same hopes. Learning the same old things that the previous generation spent years learning. Too bad we can't know these things earlier. If we closely studied history, maybe. But I digress and am getting farther from the point. If I have any point!
For me, wondering what to write about is a big deal. I understand that some people have hundreds of ideas swirling in their brains and they just need the time to put them all down on paper. How I envy them! But there must be lots of us who just slog along and hope to get somewhere some day. I think the slogging is the important part, really.I am not going to get anywhere by studying the dust on my computer keys, am I?
There was a saying during WWII - a song, I think, that the singer was coming home "On a Wing and a Prayer." That sort of describes writing.