Tag Archives: Writing

Wild Fires

” When you’re evacuating from a wild fire it’s hard to decide what to take with you.”

My ability to write provides a path for expression about my life experiences. I am often moved to write when my feelings about a thing run high. Maybe a part of being a writer is the need to chronicle your life.

I thought we had been lucky and avoided the fire season in our section of Southern California. But as it often happens, the fires have their own secret plans. We were evacuated from our home a little over 10 years ago in the middle of the night so this time we decided not to wait until the evacuation order to get packed. Experiencing an evacuation does that to you. You know it can come suddenly, with little warning, and you must go. There had been no evacuation orders yet but we were busy gathering a few mementos and family photos, our wedding album, videos of our kids growing up and my son’s bar mitzvah, a small photo album of my son’s wedding, a few precious notes from my daughter, our kid’s baby shoes…It’s hard to decide and remember what to take with you. My son and daughter in law had to pack up all the equipment in their car for my little baby grandson, just in case. It’s not just the fires but the threat of power outages. Some medical equipment he needs requires electricity. We talked about them coming to our house or her parents depending on who loses power. If all of us lose power they may have to go into West LA to other family. We can see the smoke in the air and hope the Santa Ana winds die out soon.


This post is for One Liner Wednesday hosted by Linda G Hill and the monthly post for the Insecure Writers Support Group, #IWSG , Co-Hosts: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

 

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

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.

 

So Honored

I am very excited to win the WEP (Write..Edit..Publish) Bridges 2017 Writing Challenge Blog Hop with my short fiction post The Final Transition!

There are so many talented writers who participate in the WEP challenges and everyone is welcome to join in. The next challenge will be in August so come over and check it out.

 

Bastei Bridge by Thomas Wolf

The Final Transition-WEP June Challenge

The Final Transition Ceremony was planned for the first full moon of August. This was the law of the New Order. Anyone above the age of 55 was considered a detriment to society. It was thought The Olders no longer had anything to contribute and we unable to adapt to the new ways. The Olders gathered at the stadium that led to The Great Bridge. Those who crossed it were never seen in this world again. Sarah found herself thinking how quickly her time had passed. She was an artist and had created many unique pieces of sculpture. It was her 55th birthday and she was in her studio when the patrol came to get her.

“It is your time, they said, you must come with us.”

The Olders walked silently down the road that led to the bridge. They appeared resigned to their fate. Sarah walked with them but her feelings were not of resignation. What was the matter? She knew her transition time had come and what was expected of her. As she continued on silently she also knew she was not ready. As the group walked on she slipped out of line and down a small gully at the side of the road. She quickly hid behind a large boulder waiting for the procession to pass. She remained there, afraid to move for what must have been hours, until she drifted off into an exhausted sleep. When she woke up she realized she had to get moving or risk capture. She saw a small trail that wound up into the mountain and felt compelled to follow it, not sure where she was going but knowing she was running away from the end that was planned for her.

Sarah climbed higher and higher along the narrow winding mountain path. She was grateful for the full moon’s light that kept her from stumbling over rocks or veering too close to the edge.  When she glanced over the side, she saw the steep mountain side dropping away into darkness. Looking down made her light-headed and her legs wobble a bit, so she kept her eyes trained on the path ahead. She did not know how long she had been walking when it started to get light.

The trail forked, with a smaller branch curving off to the left into a craggy opening. She decided to explore it to see where it led. She needed to find a place to hide and rest. The opening led into a  passage. She could hear water running somewhere. As she walked toward the sound it became louder. The passage opened behind a wall of water. Sarah stepped through and found a small path along a ledge behind the falls. She picked her way carefully along the slippery ground until she came to a wide outcropping. The falls thundered down into a river gorge that ran under a bridge.

Multnomah_Falls_Bridge by Jake DeGroot

“No, it can’t be….. The Great Bridge?” Sarah said, her spirits falling rapidly like the water. Did I come all this way for nothing?, she thought to herself.

Sarah realized she could not remain where she was and she couldn’t go back either. So she climbed down the path at the side of the falls. She froze when she saw some people approaching. 

A woman approached first and spoke, “Don’t be afraid, you are not in any danger here.”

“I don’t believe you. I can see The Great Bridge,” Sarah spoke with voice rising.

“You are mistaken. We are helping The Olders to escape to our world.”

Sarah, feeling her apprehension growing, said, “What did you say? Escape to your world? Where do you come from and why do you want to help The Olders?”

“We come from another galaxy but our planet is similar to yours. Some of our ancient explorers discovered Earth.”

“Another galaxy, ancient explorers….,” Sarah mumbled not understanding.

“Let me explain,” replied the woman.

“We discovered your planet when life was just beginning and planted our seeds, our genetic material. We have continued to visit over the years to watch your development. Our societies have shared a similar value. We valued youth over age. Several years ago we were conducting experiments on prolonging youth. We developed an anti-aging vaccine. We thought it was successful until it went terribly wrong. It altered our genome so that our people die in early adulthood. When we lost our ability to age our culture lost its perspective and wisdom. We have learned that true wisdom is only gained with life experience. We share a genetic ancestry with you and hope we can repair our genome with part of yours. The Olders can contribute greatly to our society.”

As Sarah listened she found herself questioning the motives of the strangers. “You would not need to relocate all of the Olders to obtain their genome,”she said.

“The Olders would help persuade our people that we need to repair our genome so we can age. They would bring a living example of the gifts of ageing to our people and the perspective that is missing from our society. They could mentor our youth who have lost their parents and never experienced the benefit of grandparents,” the woman replied.

Sarah noticed a beam of light coming down behind the strangers. “What is that golden light?” she said.

“What you see is the gateway between our galaxies,” the woman replied.

Sarah was startled awake by the knocking on her front door. She must have fallen asleep in her studio. What a strange dream, she mumbled to herself as she opened the door.

“Your time has come,” the patrolman said. They escorted Sarah to the bus that would transport her and other Olders to the stadium for The Final Transition.

The Olders walked silently down the road to The Great Bridge. “I can see a bright light ahead, ” a woman shouted. ” It is the end of us, ” another woman cried out. Sarah smiled and said, “No, it is just the beginning.”


Featured image ‘Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland by Thomas Wolf on Wikimedia. Image ‘Multnomah Falls’ by Jake DeGroot on Wikimedia.

Word count: 998

Full Critique

 

 

Just For Fun

“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”
― Margaret Atwood

I enjoy writing on my blog. But is it something tangible and am I a real writer? What is a real writer?  It is someone who produces a tangible product like a book or published article. I am writing therefore I am a writer even if I never sell or publish any of it. Writing on my blog or anywhere else is not a job or career and I don’t think I want it to be just now. It is a form of creative expression and sometimes I get on My Soapbox about an issue. A description of my blog writing matches these synonyms for hobby:

Amusement, relaxation, divertissement (ooh, cool French), play, interest, leisure activity, sometimes whimsy, but also art, craft. It is way of being creative for me. Fun.

JustJotItJanuary is being guest hosted by Rosemary Carlson. The prompt word, “tangible” was provided by Prajakta at An Armchair Perfectionist.

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