Weed Your Words

CharI’m guest posting today at Rebecca Belliston’s March Book Madness.  Dribble on over to her site to read what I have to lay up about Weeding Your Words. You’ll score a three-pointer if you do. Okay…enough of the basketball lingo. Back to weeds…in honor of spring. In my post, I will introduce several literary weeds and show you how to eradicate them from your writing. Happy weeding.


Bent Wrists Lesson 10: Flickering Insight

Fireplace. For more translations SEE BELOW

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing is hard!  It hurts your wrists and back from hours scribbling with a pen or hunched over a computer.  It hurts your brain coming up with intricate plots that won’t bore a reader to tears.  It hurts your heart when you have to hurt your baby—that character you adore that you have to stretch out on the gauntlet in order to force them to expose themself on the page.

So why do we write when it’s such a painful, grueling process?  There seems to be a lot of us out there that still write.  Are we masochists? Continue reading

I blame it all on Orange Chicken

English: Orange chicken. Photographed in Oakla...

Opening sentences in any piece of writing should be snazzy, jazzy…and just plain awesome!  Not that this one is, but I’m writing this after doing the exercise below, and my brain is tired and sluggish.

I came across this contest at TheAccidentalNovelist where you had to come up with 50 first liners for a story.  I did it (that’s why I’m worn out–it’s a lot harder than it sounds) and entered the contest, which ended last night.   I’m sorry I didn’t find it sooner so I could send more traffic to the site, but the good news is that the contest isn’t done.  Even if you missed out on the first round, you can still check in at TheAccidentalNovelist on Wednesday and enter the next round of fun and maybe earn points and win a prize.  Yea!

Here are my 5 opening sentences I entered: Continue reading

Bent Wrists Lesson 7: Weed Your Words

weedingIt’s getting close to that time of year—Spring—when the war begins.  You know what war I’m talking about, don’t you?  The war against weeds!

I despise weeds—especially the thorny spidery ones I can never pull out without leaving the dang root in the ground.  I don’t know what they’re called (I call them all sorts of names in my head—devil weeds, sarlaac weeds—after that scary monster in Star Wars).  Weeds make my yard look atrocious…and if you don’t fight them, they take over and eventually swallow your house and yard whole (like the Sarlaac)!  Don’t underestimate them.

It’s the same with writing!  Just like weeds clutter a yard, Continue reading

Bent Wrists Lesson 5: Energize Your Writing

Time for another writing lesson!  Today we will focus on IMAGE!  It is the Energizer Bunny for your writing!  Artists deal in color and composition; musicians deal in pretty sounds; dancers deal in movement…but WRITERS deal in the abstract medium of WORDS.

Writing as an art begins when we surrender ourselves to the world of IMAGES.  Images tantalize the senses and call up pictures in the mind.  You, as a writer, must help the reader SEE, HEAR, SMELL, TASTE, and FEEL a scene.

Now, pretend we’re going on a camping trip.  If you don’t like camping, pretend you do and come along anyway.  Wipe that frown off your face!  This is FUN!  It’s a writing camp…and you get to choose where to set up your tent. Continue reading

Bent Wrists Lesson #3: Word = World

McCall 109Okay!  Let’s get down to business.  You’ve learned how to keep your wrists from getting all bent out of shape in Lesson 1—that’s important!—and you’ve gathered how to freewrite in Lesson 2 by leaving your creative droppings all over the wide open range of the page to collect golden nuggets of ideas later on.

Well, now it’s later on!  What do you do with all those nuggets of ‘gold’ after you’ve found them in that mess of chaotic droppings on your page?  How do you start getting down to the business of writing? Continue reading

Bent Wrists Lesson #2: Let Chaos Reign…or Freewriting

Yellowstone--Obstinate Buffalo

How are your wrists doing?  I hope you’re being careful and using the pointers I gave you in Lesson #1…ergonomic helps, wrist flapping…and if all else fails, a good phlegm filled spit to your wrist.  Keep “carp in tunnel” away so you are ready to WOW the WORLD with your writing—or at least, yourself.

Today’s lesson deals with CHAOS!  (Drumroll please…Dum, dum, dum!)

If you want to enjoy writing, you must be willing to pass through the portal of rules into the groovy world of chaos!  Let me explain before you roll your eyes and click to Facebook to see who’s put up another picture of themselves in front of a mirror. Continue reading

The Power of Words

I have always loved writing.  Even as a child, I kept journals and made a few sad attempts at stories, which were pretty awful (but to me, they were the most wonderful stories in the world).  In college, an English professor further ‘opened’ my world to the power of the written word.  I learned that writing had a purpose—to explore one’s own thoughts and beliefs.  Writing is synonymous with discovery.  You learn about yourself—the deepest subject there is—harder even than calculus!  Whew!

Writing can be torturous as you start on the path to true discovery!  But don’t give up!  Persevere!  Writing is also the vehicle which can bring you the most JOY.  When you write and write and write…and then have one of those “Ah Ha!” moments where clear vision unfolds and you truly SEE who you really are, all the time and effort and head banging you went through to get there is totally worth it! Continue reading