Category Archives: Writing

Surprised

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

 

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
September 6 Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in??
The awesome co-hosts for the September 6 posting of the IWSG are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!
Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?
I did not expect to be able to write very short flash fiction and some longer pieces. It has been heartening to find that I could do it and receive positive feedback. I have written some longer pieces in fantasy and science fiction genres, and have enjoyed it. There are times when I will write something for a blog post or stream of consciousness and struggle with it a bit and think it is not that good. Then, it is surprising when others say they really liked the post. Should we write things because we think others will like it? Or write what we want to say? 
Does anyone else do this? → If I am writing a story that I plan to submit to a writing community blog or even if I am working on a new story which I am not ready to share, I do not want to read other people’s stories from the community until mine is finished. I don’t want to compare my story with anyone’s writing because I worry it will influence what I am writing or make me doubt myself. I have started writing some science fiction and I noticed that The Hugo Award went to all women this year. ( Yay! Actually, I saw it on Art Fix Friday National Museum for Women in the Arts Blog). I did not want to read excerpts from their stories yet because I do not want it to show up in my story in some way.
This rings true for me, how about you?→”If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in, the chances are very high that you will interest other people as well.”-Rachel Carson

No Wasted Words

“No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”-Erin Bow

“No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”
Erin Bow

I was born and grew up part the way in San Francisco. You could buy fresh San Francisco sourdough bread all over The City.  I really love dark crust sourdough bread with some dry Italian salami and a good cheese, a semi-soft cheese like teleme or Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes Station, Ca. Seems like the only place you can get the original sourdough dark crust bread by Boudin Bakery is at Tadish Grill Restaurant. Both Boudin and Tadish Grill have been around since SF Gold Rush days (1849).

 

 


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image of San Francisco sourdough bread and beer by Jon Sullivan on wikimedia, Image of Red Hawk cheese by Frank Schulenburg on wikimedia, Image of Columbus salami by Kent Wang on Flickr. Had to throw in the Image of Humboldt Fog cheese via Sharona Gott on Flickr.

weds

 

High Low

I was feeling very high when I found out I won the WEP June Challenge for my fiction piece “The Final Transition.” A wonderful surprise and the fantastic high you get from receiving recognition for something you wrote. I was not expecting to win first place. It is hard for me to judge my own writing. Many times I have written something and thought it mediocre and then gotten positive feedback. This has encouraged me to take the risk and put my ideas out there. Other times my writing is not given much notice. But you never know if someone is reading and enjoying a post. I have had a few people tell me how they have liked my writing and I did not know it. So as in life, with writing, we have to expect to experience the highs and the lows. Just don’t let the lows get you down.

Here is a great cartoon from one of favorites, Introvert Doodles by Marzi. It was originally posted on Facebook by Quiet Revolution on Thursday, August 3, 2017

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I think I could check off several things on that list and add a few more. A good way to survive the lows is to realize we are not alone, other people feel the same way.  🙂


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is “high/low.” Featured image of City Coaster by Henry Burrows on Flickr.

 

Realm of Dreams by publicdomainpictures.net

The Homecoming

Sarah regained consciousness on the other side of the portal. She was lying on the ground. It took a few minutes for the buzzing in her ears to stop and her vision to clear. She looked up to see the woman stranger looking down at her.

“Welcome to your new home,” the woman said smiling. “Let me help you up,” she said as she reached for Sarah’s hand.

Sarah held the offered hand and stood up shakily. Several other Olders stood around in groups looking dazed. Sarah noticed they were standing on an open plain. As she gazed up to the sky she saw it was azure blue and there were two moons. The sun was as bright as Earths and felt just as hot on her skin.

“What do you call this place?”, she asked.

“This is Ortus.”

“What is your name?”

” I am Nephele. We need to get you all moving. It is will be a long walk to get our city.”

“Why did we land here out in this barren land?”

” We found it was too disruptive for our citizens when Outworlders arrived in the city.”

Sarah and the other Olders walked along with their Ortusun guides. Sarah noticed she did not feel tired. It is probably all the adrenalin pulsing through my system she thought.

After what seemed like an hour she saw some tall structures in the distance. As they came closer she noticed the sleek outline of a towering building.

“This is the Central Ministry. You will be processed here,” said Nephele.

The Olders were led into the main entrance. They stood in a large hall looking up at the interior of this vast structure. Circular balconies reached up as far as they could see with several doors on each level. In the center was a large chamber with clear walls. Their guides took them to it and, after they were all inside, it began to rise rapidly up several levels. They exited onto a balcony high inside the building and were taken into a spacious hall.

“This is the intake center where you will receive your identification chips and have your health scan.  Once we have determined you are all healthy you will be assigned to your reorientation families.”

“What if some of us aren’t healthy?” a man asked.

“Our medical care can cure Earth illnesses and will have some rejuvenating effects as well.”

“What about the reorientation families?” asked Sarah.

“You will be sent to live with some of our citizens who have volunteered to help you adjust to our society. We see it as a learning opportunity for both the Olders and the Ortusuns. After the reorientation period you will be assigned to your permanent living spaces. You will be matched with a young citizen who shares your talents and you will mentor them. There will be a welcoming ceremony once you complete the reorientation and are ready to be matched. We call it The Homecoming. It will coincide with our Spring Festival.”

Time passed quickly for Sarah as she adjusted to this new world and culture. The Ortusuns did not work as Earth people did. All the work needed to keep the society functioning was performed by machines. They devoted their time to pursuing individual interests, travel, exploration, science, and the arts. It sounded like an ideal life but for the short lifespan of 30 years.

Sarah made friends with another Older that lived near her orientation home. James was an artist that lived in the same section of the city as Sarah. They discovered that they both enjoyed being out in nature and meeting other artists in the community. Sarah found it very easy to talk to James and their friendship developed quickly.

It was time for Spring Festival and The Homecoming. The Olders gathered on the plain where they had first arrived. The ceremony was to take place on the night of the first Full Moon of Coerulus, the largest moon.

A circle of statues enclosed the ceremonial site. They were crowned by flaming urns, and carved with strange animal faces whose eyes seem to glow from an internal fire.

In the center was an ornately decorated dais. The night sky was full of stars. Music was playing with a steady beat that Sarah felt pulsating through her core like the beat of a human heart. Nephele stood to address them.

Mozart_magic_flute painting of stage set by Karl Friedrick Schinkel via Wikimedia

“This is the night of our ancient Spring Festival when we celebrate fertility on our world. This year we are welcoming the Olders back to their place of origin. They bring us the promise of long life.”

Nephele addressed the Olders,” You are welcomed back to the home world of your ancestors, the place of your origin. You are bringing the gift of our genetic seed back to us.”

Some Ortusuns entered the circle and offered each of the Olders a goblet of ceremonial wine. Sarah found the drink pleasant tasting but soon felt the ground swaying, like a boat riding a swell. She looked around and to see James walking off with a young Ortusun woman. Sarah turned her gaze back to the young man who was standing in front of her.  She took his hand and they went out into the night.

It had been four months since The Homecoming and Sarah’s memory of that night was still clouded. As she entered her studio she felt an odd flutter in her belly. There was a knock on the door.

“Your student is here,” announced Alexia her android.

Sarah remembered she had scheduled a meeting with the young sculptor she had agreed to mentor. “Have the student come in here,” she replied.

Sarah could hear Alexia directing the student to the studio. She looked up as he entered the room. She realized she had seen this young man before. It was on the night of the Spring Festival. ” It’s you!” she said as the heat rose in her body.


This post is my contribution to the WEP August Challenge Reunions 

The WEP challenge is hosted by Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim.

WEP CHALLENGE FOR AUGUST, REUNIONS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured image ‘Realm of Dreams’ via publicdomainpictures.net, Ministry building is via Foundry on Pixabay.com, Statue is a Cham pedestal from Museum of Cham sculpture( image altered) via wikimedia, Image of ceremony is Painting of stage set for The Magic Flute by artist Karl Friedrich Schinkel (image cropped).

Word Count: 991

Full Critique

 

 

 

Insecure Writers Pet Peeves

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

August 2 Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

This is my August post for IWSG. The question is: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
This probably does not qualify as a peeve because it is something that irks me about my own writing.  It is that it is difficult to catch all my own writing errors even when I recheck my posts,(several times), for errors. Many times I will catch them after I have published my post. Yikes. Some people, who have read my blog since the beginning, may be surprised to hear me say this. I did step into some controversy once when I said I thought it was wrong for other writers to point out writing errors to bloggers. You might think this is because I was making errors and resented others pointing them out. It was in response to other bloggers mentioning they had been criticized. There is a big part of me that does not like it when I think others are being bullied and so I reacted. I recently read a post by Kimberly Coyle on The Write Life, How To Effectively Give and Receive Constructive Feedback as a Writer.  and the author pointed out is it better not to focus on grammatical errors,

“Remember you are critiquing the overall craft, not mechanics like punctuation and misspellings.

You’re not reading as a copyeditor, but as a fellow writer looking at the bigger picture. When you hyper-focus on the minutia, it helps the writer improve as a practitioner, but not as an artist.”-Kimberly Coyle

I would agree that especially when writers are starting out it is better not to nit pick their writing unless you are asked to edit. I have been a Beta reader a few times. The first time I did it I was pretty insensitive in a remark I made about a character. It is a learning process to be able to give a critique. I am still learning and hope that in the Beta reading I have done since there is improvement.  Another point from Kimberly’s post:

“If a critique doesn’t resonate with you in any way, you’re not compelled to make the recommended changes. You decide how far and how many of the changes will make their way into your work.Trust your instincts. You, the writer, have the final say.”

This is something I know I would struggle with because I am a new writer. This is where the art comes in too because when you are creating it may not be recognized or accepted. We do have to have the final say about our own work.

In regards to first point about catching my own errors, it makes me aware of the necessity of a good editor if I were to publish a short story or book. I have noticed, in recent years, more errors in published books and articles. I have read this is due to publishers cutting back on live editors for spell check type editing. It is annoying to find errors in published articles and books.


Featured image of Woman from Pompeii fresco via Wikimedia.

 

Anniversary Three

July 29 was the 3rd Anniversary of my blog Notes Tied On The Sagebrush on WordPress.

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 3 years ago.

I have always had trouble tooting my own horn. This seems to be at odds with the fact that I am willing to write and state my opinions on a blog. This may have to do with being an Introvert. Many writers are introverts and find it easier to express themselves through writing. I found this in a post from Introvert, Dear 7 Reasons Why Introverts Are Good At Writing by Gloria Kopp:

“Introverts don’t like the spotlight. In fact, anything we can do to avoid it, we’ll do. When we write, we get our thoughts out without having to put ourselves physically out there. We can express ourselves freely, without being intimidated by a room full of eyes staring back at us.”

So I like to express myself by writing but feel uncomfortable in the spotlight. I will stop talking about it now but just add Thanks to my readers for continuing to visit my blog. ❤


Featured image ‘Allen’s Hummingbird in Santa Cruz, California’ by Shravans14 on Pixabay.com

Writing Lessons

This is my first post with #IWSG the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

From their blog:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

 

July 5 Question: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?

I have been blogging for almost 3 years. I started my blog to see if I had the ability to write something that others would want to read. I was feeling pretty good about my writing then because I had two of my posts published on a couple of well know sites. Images of blog stardom danced in my head. Since that time I have continued to blog about topics that I was passionate about or was experimenting with creatively. For a while I did a lot of Flash Fiction 100 word challenges. I have attracted a moderate size following and made a group of blogging friends. I have come to a place in my blogging/writing where I want to develop more as a writer and attempt to write longer pieces with the goal of improved writing and maybe, maybe getting a short story or short book published. I have gotten positive feedback on several of my blogs/ flash fiction pieces, BUT…there is that insecurity there too. Am I really good enough that other people want to read my stuff and to actually get published?? So I am wanting to find a writing group that writes longer pieces, interacts with each other, and offers feedback. I am open to recommendations and suggestions. I have participated in an online group, Write..Edit..Publish (WEP) and just won their June 2017 Bridges Blogfest for my fictional piece of 1000 words. I will continue to write with their group but I am looking for others, too. So now for my answer to this month’s question:

What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?

Writing 100 word Flash Fiction stories was a challenge at first. I questioned if I could write fiction at all and then that I could actually write a complete story in 100 words. It turned out I could do both. What I learned from the limit of 100 words is that I could edit and hone my writing down and still write a complete story. The required editing helped me see how I can express myself more concisely.


The awesome co-hosts for the July 5 posting of the IWSG are Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan! Featured image ‘Writing’ via Wikemedia.