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From Seren Chickadee~ Tweet Songs from the Heart (and Other Poems)

You can find this book on Amazon.

Published September 2014

 

 

 

 

I hope your little ones enjoy!  Sincerely, BG

Cliche Check

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
           -William Shakespeare 1564-1616


I want to tell you about my "stage" encounter today.  Our granddaughter got to play a part in her first grade play.  She was the witch in "Hansel and Gretel."  And though she's very shy in public normally, she did a great job!  She pulled it from deep with in, and "she rose to the occasion," and played a fine witch "if ever I'd seen one."  (Though I would have preferred she not play a witch.) 


So, what else prompts this post?  You guessed it: Cliches.  They are everywhere.  "All the World's a Stage!"  This one is a famous one, and it has quite the message to go with it (read above).  Why am I talking about cliches this week?  It has to do with Monna's  writing prompts that she posts each week from Writing.com


So this is your cliche check from "Be a Better Writer."


As a writer, our stage is the page.  This is where we shine (or try to). You are acting, enticing, and creating art on your page with your words.  That's if we do it well, and we all want to.  Our public performance is what we write on the page. 
 

When we write, we desire to say something inspirational, and compelling. It's good to find a fresh way to do that instead of using tired and overused phrases.  Sometimes, we use them because it feels "like old home week," and we're sure that everyone will understand.  It's always a good idea to write your way, your style, but in a fresh and "eye opening" way (sorry, it's addictive).
  

Experiment with your words, and your writing.  Leave it sit for a bit and then come back and edit, or put it out there and let the critics "have at it."  Sometimes, critique is a great way to get input to help you understand your mistakes.  Welcome some of it.  You don't have to accept it all.   Consider the critique, and then go from there.  Staying stuck isn't helpful for developing your skills.

It's almost curtain time.  Write from your heart, prepare your work and lead with a smile, and show the world your stage.  Enter with style, and then exit with grace. Here's to your encore.


About the writing prompts: This past week we had three prompts to choose from and I chose to write a 20 line poem using 5 cliches (it was more..."a little overkill perhaps").  Here is my entry on Cliches:
(I did change two words)

Clichés

 

Clichés are helpful

In their place-

When slow and steady

Wins the race.

 

When grass is greener,

Love is blind.

Don’t judge a cover,

Bide your time.

 

No guts, no glory,

No love lost.

Blood sweat and tears help

Count the cost.

 

Get off your high horse

Eat your words;

A party pooper’s

For the birds.

 

Cute as a button,

Hard as steel;

Don’t burn your bridges,

Keep it real.

 

All talk, no action,

Wakeup call.

Just keep it simple-

That is all.

 

Have a great week!

Sincerely, BG

You are more than welcome to join in.

Be sure to check out the other entries:

A Cat’s Life – Lawrence Bousquet

The Antique Carriage Ride

Furry Little Felines – Ryan Biddulph


	

There are “No Writing Emergencies”

 

My daughter informed me yesterday that there are “No Writing Emergencies,” just as there are “No bag emergencies.” (She sells bags.)

Does she not know that there is?  (lol)

So, when those writing emergencies come…(for me, they are emergencies), and the flow of words is hitting you on the head with a sledge-hammer, warning you to “PAY ATTENTION,” what do you do?  You haven’t a notepad, recording device, or “Ctrl S” in the nearest hundred miles to save those precious thoughts?  You aren’t able to capture words, or put them on pause or slow, and your inner voice is telling you to run to the nearest laptop or notepad.  What do you do?

Does the wind blow those thoughts back your way again?

“Oh, winds of word where dost thou blow, if not within thy humbled soul?  Remain close by… for I dost fear thou musing call I shall not hear.”

Ok, Shakespeare I’m not… but in my pondering, I’m wondering if this is the results of “blow back.”  The words not blowing back to you in the winds of word, and giving you unintended repercussions because you’re not writing them down.  You may get glimpses of them here or there, but usually if they aren’t written down, or recorded, then those thoughts are gone-   lost to the winds, and given to the next one who picks up on them.  Or perhaps, within those glimpses you may recover a bit of something, and use it a different way.

We shouldn’t lose hope.   Word association, or picture association… could help you to coax the muse back.  Try relaxing or taking a walk, and pray for Providence to re-ignite your flow of words.

I’ve read recently (don’t remember who) about a writer who writes on a daily schedule even when the muse isn’t flowing, so that he will catch him when he is.  I thought it was a great concept.

In a world of children, and grandchildren, we do have to make sacrifices.   Sometimes things are placed on hold to formulate a more necessary connection with our precious ones.  We would not want them to feel that our own pondering should take precedence over family, and sometimes it is a great conflict to calm the storm of your worded soul and look at things more realistically.

How do you feel about it?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

Sincerely, BG

Imagination and Inspiration

I don’t know about you, but I love quotes.  They speak to me and saturate my soul like color saturation on a painting.  Full saturation of a color gives it vividness, the same as vibrant words spark inspiration for brilliant ideas and concepts.

 

Quotes to me are a great, and yet simple way, to keep profound ideas before me to spark creativity.  Our vast imagination, spurred on through words, music, art, dance, exercise, or hobbies, may find inspiration knocking at our doors.  Just like the quote above states…

“The World is but a canvas to our imagination.”

                             -Henry David Thoreau

 

I have yet to read one of Thoreau’s famous books about “Walden Pond,” but I will do so soon.  Though I don’t agree with all of his philosophies, I can appreciate some of  his quotes.   Thoreau has quotes that really touch me.  Here’s another that I love:

 

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

                           -Henry David Thoreau

 

I want to live fully, and make the most of my time, essentially.  I’m now in my 6th decade of living, and it’s time to put the rocket boosters on.  I can no longer dilly-dally.  I have to find where imagination and inspiration reside.   For me, I like words and concepts which are meaningful, and uplifting.  I find many of those qualities in Thoreau’s quotes.

I love to write with soft music in the background, and look at art with both vibrant and pastel colors.  I used to quilt, and enjoyed the different colors of fabric coming together to make a scene, or proclaim a message within the quilt.  Again, more saturation of color.  Just a sample of the working of my canvas.

Here are some other ideas:

One friend of mine makes art journals, and delves into them deeply making lovely creations.  Another friend spends time writing beautiful stories and memories in journals.  Yet, another friend paints colorfully elaborate analogies (pictures are worth a thousand words), and her sister has taken on speaking at Toastmasters’ groups to inspire people with the spoken word.   They are all very creative and are living in a way to find creativity for themselves, and sharing it with others.  And all the four, do other things as well.  They quilt, sew, crochet, knit, sing, and do many others things.

My blog tagline in the past was “Live to Inspire.”  I still feel to do that now.  Finding ways to inspire others also inspires yourself.  You know,  that “iron sharpens iron” quality.

So, when saturating the colors on your canvas, what techniques are you using to set your imagination and inspiration on fire?

 

Leave me a comment.  I would love to know.    We can all glean from each other.

 

Sincerely, BG

Developing Your Writing Style

You have this post you’re working on which you feel is skillfully crafted with each brush stroke of your best word paints.  You are sure it is your “Michelangelo” in words. It is bright, and so picturesque that even the blind can bask in its colorful essence when read aloud.  After a while, your flow of creativity ebbs, and you decide to let your piece sit for a day to dry.

When you come back the next day you discover that your vibrant colors have dulled through the drying process.  So, now you have to find another way to liven up your artistic word creation. You tweak, add more word paints, while also adding a bit from an old blog post-which you felt was phenomenal.  Then, you find at the end of the day that you’ve created a neon sign that’s garish, and seen flashing in a galaxy light years away.

I give you permission to laugh at this one.

We all have these days with our writing.  That’s why we work at it to develop our skills and style.  We may feel that we know exactly where we are going with our post, and then end up at a stop sign on the other side of town.  We’ve read all the best posts, studied all the best books, but what we haven’t discovered is our own style.  That’s why writing is a craft.  You have to work at it and build upon it.  There are some who naturally put pen to paper and come up with a “Michelangelo.”  But when considering this master craftsman himself, look at the amount of time he put into his creation of David, and the Sistine Chapel.

The hardest things for me to write about are products and services.  These, to me, are a smaller area of creativity.  So, like any good artist would do… get out your sketch pad.  Remember if you’re drawing a house, don’t forget the front door. This is where you enter.

Start with you sketch… or your outline

  • Consider what you want to say and/or what you want to include.
  • Include major bullet points, and then elaborate on each one. (the “xyz” brand is much heavier than the “abc” brand which makes it more cumbersome to take along.)
  • Give reasons for why this is a good product or service, and include its less finer points.  (I love that the “abc” brand has everything in one place, though it does cost a bit more than the “xyz” brand.)
  • Give personal examples of why you feel this way. (“I used the “xyz” product and found that my hair was the shiniest it’s ever been, and it’s less expensive than “abc” brand.)
  • If you have pertinent information from another blog piece, use it. (If it’s not yours, give credit to the source.)
  • Finish it off with your overall thoughts, and your recommendations. (Throw some creativity into it.)

Now that you have your outline, learn to develop your style as you go.  Go back over your work, and see if there is a defining factor in each piece that you’ve written, then go from there.  You will see, quite often, that the more you write, your style will evolve and change.  It’s good to look at what others write to see how they solve a problem with creativity, and with writing in general.   Look at other viewpoints,  consider them, but in the end, write your way, in your style. Some days you will have to paint over everything, that’s just part of the learning process.

Continue to develop your writing.

There will always be articles and posts that are re-purposed, crafted and laughed at…pick up your brush and paint your words anyway.

Keep writing!

 

Sincerely, BG

 

(originally posted on bgjenkins.net blog on 5/22/15)

Create Yourself Through Writing

 

 

Author, writer, and teacher, Monna Ellithorpe  has recently reactivated her Facebook writing workshop group, “Create Yourself Through Writing.”   This group is open to new, and seasoned writers alike, and leads them to venture through their own writing processes by helping them develop their skills and insights.

The writing group is a closed group where each writer can share what they wish without fear of their work being in a public forum, before they are ready.

Monna includes weekly writing prompts on her website, Monna Ellithorpe-Author.com, for helping writers to get their thoughts down on paper.   Writing is known for being cathartic for such  stress relief, and it can inspire new ideas and processes.  It’s a great way to get in touch with yourself, and the world.

For all of those interested, Click the picture below to begin your writing journey.

 photo Create Yourself Through Writing C 3.5x1.5_zpsqb7jp8wn.png

 

Be sure to join!

Sincerely, BG

 

 

Book Reviews: Why They Matter

Whether we’re authors, or avid readers, it’s important when we buy a book that we leave a review.  You may wonder why it’s so important.  Let me give you some reasons.

Scouring the book reviews online will help us decide if the book is a hit or miss.

Reading several reviews will help customers decide if they really want to spend money on a particular book, or if we want to look for something else.  

Most of us would not want to spend money on a book that ends up being less than the value we expected?

(Don’t forget to use the Amazon “Look Inside” when considering books.)

Leaving reviews not only helps you, it helps the author with feedback, and those suggestions can help to improve the book.  Book reviews help other customers decide whether they want to buy,  and they are also great feedback for publishers and editors.

When reviewing books, tell what you like about the book, and be kind with your constructive criticism.  The purpose of the review is to help other customers, as well as the author.  Please, be diplomatic when giving your opinion.  Be helpful and honest, but not brutal.  The author will eventually be able to tell how well his book is doing by how many returns they have, or in the amount of overall sales.

If you’re reviewing books on Amazon, you will need to write at least 20 words before submitting.  It’s important to leave a review as soon as you finish your book.  If you put it off, it’s more than likely you won’t review the book.  Unfortunately, I’ve been guilty of this myself.  I’ve gotten distracted by other things, and then have forgotten to write a review.  Reviews are a great way to support your favorite, or local author.

When writing reviews,  be aware that Amazon will not allow you to write a review on a book for a close family member, or someone with whom you are closely affiliated with in business.  I’ve learned this one also, the hard way.  A little note may pop up and tell you that you are ineligible to write a review on “this” book because of your close association with the author.  OUCH… Look at the  guidelines on books to see what is, and isn’t permitted.

Watch this video below for a short demonstration:

 

Thank you for reading!
Sincerely, BG

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