Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

How Do You Write During a Crisis?

April 8, 2020

Writing can be lonely work in the best of times.

As we’ve entered the national emergency collective state, the news about COVID-19 has become pretty much all anyone can think about. It certainly made concentrating on this blog, not to mention my fiction writing, hard to get started.

And then I realized that what I actually wanted to talk about hasn’t changed much at all.

Even though I’m no longer young, I’m very lucky and grateful to be healthy and able to work at home.

What this ordeal has made clear to me, though, is how deep my lack-based thinking goes. My house is paid for. The pantry and freezer are full. My spectacular bride and one of my sons are with me. How I can look at my fully-stocked pantry and fixate on the fact I didn’t buy an extra bag of rice?

You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? This is a moment when we are all forced into stillness with everything, including our fears. But it can also be an excellent opportunity to learn how to take better care of ourselves and each other.

And those are lessons that extend to our creative process.

If you find yourself at home now with hours of time that could be spent writing, but you can’t seem to get started…it’s all right. You don’t have to.

I’m going to say that again, you do not have to write. If you want to, great. If it makes you feel good, by all means, do it.

But if you’re too scattered, distracted or unfocused, as I sometimes am, give yourself a pass. After all, our very foundations are being stress-tested right now. At this moment, we are certainly not in a position to force ourselves into productive shapes.

Consider Not What You Want, But What You Need
We do not have to create. We can find space for more. We can re-read a book we love. Watch a movie. Binge watch Netflix.

More than that, we can check on elderly neighbors or bake a pie (well, my wife would probably chase me out of the kitchen for that one). We can donate to our community food bank or watch a whole season of reality television in an afternoon, because it makes us laugh and keeps us sane.

Several of my friends, including one who now lives in Florida, sit in our respective houses and text each other every weeknight during the televised game show Jeopardy, answering the questions as if we were still going to the local pub for trivia. It’s not the same, of course, but we all enjoy it, and it’s the fastest half hour of the week.

We can use these moments, if we are healthy, safe, secure and lucky enough to have our friends and all of those other things, to get clear on what really feeds us. And then to give it to ourselves with no strings attached.

Then later, whenever we’re ready and that beam of sunlight finally breaks through, we can write.

Stay safe.

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Gentle Readers, my books have all garnered some terrific reviews. You can see all of them by using the Amazon link below. Check them out. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now;

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You’re invited to visit my author’s website, BROKEN GLASS to hear the remarkable radio interview about my novel “Blood Lake” on The Authors Show, or see my three local television interviews. You can also like my Book of Face page, find me on Goodreads, or follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Do You Need an Occasional Writing Break?

May 27, 2016

beach at sunsetI think we all need some time to reflect.

I published my sixth book in four years in May, and I'm already 12,000 words deep into book number seven.

As I promised my lovely bride (46 years in June) I’ve taken a break from writing. Not in any dramatic way … I still intend to finish that next book before the end of the year … but I’ve cut back on the number of minutes I spend each day on the task.

Don’t for a minute think it isn’t a task. If you’re serious about writing … at least about writing anything good … you need to treat it like a job and work hard at it.

However, skipping a few minutes a day let’s me concentrate on the house, the yard, my family, my wife (not necessarily in that order) and it’s a good thing to do … even if it is temporary.

I know (and, more importantly, my bride knows) I have so many stories to tell there may never be enough time to get them all down. But every so often I need a break … we all do.

Let’s call it recharging the batteries.

So, as we head into this Memorial Day holiday weekend, I thought I’d just dispense with all the writing blather and pass along something entertaining.

Last December I read an interesting article in Rolling Stone about the 20 greatest singing duos of all time. I didn’t agree entirely with their list, but that’s irrelevant.

I did find three duos from the past whom I thought made some fantastic music. I thought I’d share them with you here (actually, I just wanted to hear them again myself).

The three I like are Simon & Garfunkel, the Righteous Brothers, and a special favorite, the Everly Brothers.

Enjoy the videos, and have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend.


Boy, does this one bring back memories!

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews, and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. My latest, BLOOD LAKE, was just published. Look for it. You might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow
some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

**********

Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Where Does Emotion Come From?

December 23, 2014

Beautiful sunset over field with green grass. HDR image

About this time every year I start getting nostalgic.

Usually, it’s just a reaction to exhaustion after trying to get all the holiday things done around the house.

It’s tough getting ready for company, while keeping my lovely bride from throwing things in my direction when I’m late doing my share of the housecleaning.

Sometimes it’s just a nod to my own mortality, the specter of which raises its head more frequently the older I get.

Often, being the morbid sentimentalist I am, my nostalgia segues into thinking about folks I’ve lost … or people the world stage is simply less vibrant without.

One of the latter this year is Maya Angelou, an author and poet who was considered one of the most important writers of her generation. She died in May 2014.

I was a great admirer of her writing, having read her first powerful novel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings while I was still in college.

I also sat in rapt attention while she read her poem On the Pulse of Morning, at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in January 1993.

I didn’t write about her before, which isn’t that surprising. While I’ve mentioned authors here before, there are a lot of folks I appreciated whom I’ve never mentioned.

You might remember an author I did write about … one of my favorites, Ray Bradbury, who passed away in 2012. I actually wrote several blogs about him.

I’ve lamented with friends about others I didn’t blog about, and who weren’t necessarily famous, including my friend John Kolmetz, who died last November at the age of 85.

Yet, John was an interesting man.

He began running marathons when he was 43. I doubt he could have explained it. It was just something he wanted to do. I met him several years after that so, for me, he was always running.

He ran in every Detroit Free Press Marathon (and quite a few others, including Boston) for 37 years. He finished his last marathon in 2009 at the age of 80. The man had heart.

I regret I didn’t keep in touch as well as I should have. He was definitely worth it. I’ve seldom met such a gentle soul, with the possible exception of my dear father-in-law, who turns 98 in January … or my own late father.

I don’t know why I get this way every year.

I suppose such nostalgia is a normal thing. As humans, we spend time thinking about the things we’ve done … or neglected to do. We reminisce and we lament our own shortcomings.

We’re all guilty of wishing things could be back again to simpler times, or that things we’ve done wrong could be done over.

Sometimes we just wish we could talk again to a favorite person.

Each of you Gentle Readers … each and every one of you … have had such moments yourselves. If you’re also a writer, that’s a good thing … those moments are something you can use.

I can tell you about fabulous authors or interesting people and give you pointers about showing, not telling, when you write. I can do that and more all day long, but I can’t put heart into your stories.

It’s easy to look up references to put facts into the things you talk about, but emotion comes from within.

If you fancy yourself to be a writer, my advice to you … use your memories. Embrace them. Talk about them often. Write about them. Your memories are a significant part of who you are, and what you have to say.

To write what you know, write what you feel.

It works.

Happy Holidays!

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My books have garnered some terrific reviews. You can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below.

buy now amazon

You’re also invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

**********

 
Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.
 


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