Bubble Love?

What a glorious day! The day we live in our bright shiny bubbles.   We love our bubbles.  They are safety and protection, and then suddenly they burst.  We weren’t expecting it, and we weren’t ready for it…but nonetheless, we have to deal with it.  Then we get hit with that one more thing that throws us completely off-balance.

If you’re wondering what brought this on… I won’t go into a lot of details, but my friend told me last night, (after she’s been hit with many other things) that her washer died.  I feel bad for her,  but, she is taking it all in stride.

I thought to myself,  I should send my hubby over to help her, and her hubby, fix it (though we live a thousand miles away).

I could just see it…he (my hubby) would be over there in a jiffy, and would take every single piece off of her washer until he figured out what was wrong with it.  And this picture (left), would be him in a second.  Nothing would stop him from getting the job done.  No height, angle, or anything, would stop him from his mission.  I have to say, I have a bit of admiration for his stick-to-it-ness.

Anyway, that is what a lot of us need these days…the will to stick to it… and complete what we start.

That’s how it is with our writing.  We think we’re going along just fine when our bubble pops.  We get a negative review, or a snide comment on our written piece, or whatever it is, and we do take it personally.  It’s our baby.  Don’t mess with “this mama” sort of thing.

But then, after we settle down for a bit, we look it over and see that maybe somebody might have a better idea or two.  Then, we dig in, take it apart, redo, rewrite, re-purpose, overhaul, and re-whatever else we have to do to make it better because as any mama knows…nothing is too good for our babies.

So, wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, stick with it today…and learn to dig into what you love.  Don’t give in, and don’t give up.  Make your baby shine.

Just a little lesson my hubby taught me… for those days when I want to say, “Go Away World!”  He helps me see things for how they are.  Bubbles are not forever.

Now let’s implement his lesson.  We’ll all get there.

Sincerely, BG

 

Be sure to check out Monna’s New Writing Prompts for today…

It may be just what you need!  A little writing fun.

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

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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)

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

Please comment, like and share.

 

 

Be A Trailblazer

Be a Trailblazer

As a writer, I want to leave a trail of words in your hearts; something that will bring your back to how important words and analogies are so that it will spark something new and creative in your heart.  Actually, my Facebook Fanpage is Trail Words... it’s supposed to mean words left behind which touch your heart.  I want a heart to heart connection with others and to blaze a trail with my words. Of course, that connection can’t happen with everyone, but even if there’s none, maybe something I say will resonate with you so that you find a place where you can either climb to a higher road, or take a simpler path that is perfect for you.

Your choice. Your life. Your trail.

There’s two reasons for me writing this post today. First, my friend, and writing mentor, Monna Ellithorpe, gave us a writing prompt last week which propelled me to this point. (I’ll add it later.)  For a while now, I’ve laid down in the middle of my trail rolling in the dust, and something has to change.  Sometimes when we don’t know what to do we just stop, drop and roll…(if I may borrow that phrase) and you know yourself, that puts fires out like nothing else.

Then, this morning I picked up a book to read, I came across (again) the above quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson…

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

A quote for which I’m very fond.

A subtle connection, however this quote has been important to me for a long time.

Another poem from childhood by Robert Frost entitled “The Road Not Taken”:

 

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

   -Robert Frost (last two stanzas of the poem)

 

No two paths are alike. We are all different.

Everywhere I look in my life there have been subtle references to trails, paths and roads…

Or maybe that’s just the lens I’m looking through.

The whole premise of the post is to get you to travel “your road.”  The road meant for you.

Survival specialists are discovering, and teaching, new ways to find and mark trails for themselves and for others.  Isn’t this for your survival?  Finding your own trail.  Marking it.  Skipping on it.  Jumping on it.  Weeding it.  Pruning it. Remodeling it, and then peacefully living on it.

However, it’s not only for your survival… it’s also for your joy.  If you aren’t content and joyful about what you’re doing then will your really throw your whole heart into it, and do it well?

The missing (mission) element?  Do it not only for you, but for others.  Purpose, that is living on purpose, is bigger than ourselves.  We don’t give to life only for our enjoyment…but also for the enjoyment others.

Even though there are times when my children may call me a recluse ( I am at times), I do understand that life is unimportant without others.  I need people on my trail.  I want others to see lovely things that can inspire them and bring smiles and laughter.

And, on those dreary days when I am down… I think about the sometimes…

Sometimes, we have to clean our glasses. Sometimes, we have to wash our windows.  Sometimes, we have to sweep our path. Sometimes, we have to enjoy what we have until our path is clear, and the rocks are excavated, so that we can dig out that relaxing stream next to our trail to draw others in.  Who wouldn’t want to stop and rest next to your trail?  That is, until they build an even finer one of their own.

It isn’t always easy.  When you know that you know what you know, and where your trail is leading… keep knowing, and keep growing, until you know something else.  No one says that your always have to follow the same path.  We live in a complex world and sometimes your trails change.

The important thing to remember is to leave behind bread crumbs for someone else to find you.  They may only want to stop for a visit, or just look on for inspiration, because they have their own trail to blaze… and when we blaze trails next to each other, we may ignite into a bonfire for the world to see.

Here’s to your trailblazing.

My piece from Monna’s writing prompt…

“Let me tell you how it really happened”

Keep Moving On

It had occurred within a dream,
A lovely path, for me it seemed.

I traveled it- with twists and turns,
With bumps and dips, and weeds to burn.

Where was the green on nearby hills?
No beauty here- no flowered frills.

Only a road with downs and ups.
This dirty path, a bit too much.

“Relax, said God. “Keep moving on.
This dirty road will help you some.

Rough roads appear before the smooth.
There’s tests in life. Come on, just move!”

I tied my shoes, and traveled on
This dusty road from dusk till dawn.

I stopped to rest, and spied a bud,
A perfect bloom thrust forth in mud.

Now looking past the dirt and grime,
This lovely bud came forth to shine.

Just like our hearts…beyond the stains,
Beyond the dust, beauty remains.

Some days are dark. Some days are grim.
Some days we think our chances slim

To find a way, or stay on track;
To find the sun when clouds are black.

Open your eyes to what you see
Inside your heart… your destiny.

Blot out the clouds when they turn dark,
And go within for hope to spark.

That gleaming path you fell upon
Sometimes looks dark. Keep moving on.

Your dream is bright. You’ll find your bud
Come shining forth in hope and love.

Be Genuine~

Sincerely, BG