Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Funeral Talk

At a funeral recently and overheard an older woman talking before the funeral began.

"Say something nice about me at my funeral?" the woman said, "my kids don't have anything nice to say about now when I'm alive!"

As preparations continued, she explained to her friend about her philosophy on life. "When we're born, we're given a death sentence. Simple as that. There's no avoiding it. Death is waiting for us at one point or another."

People started to move, so the funeral was about to start. "But I tell you," she continued, "no matter how a person behaved in life, no matter what they did, I've never been to a funeral where they couldn't find something nice to say about them. Not just nice. Glowing! They can go on and on about what a golden person they were. So I don't know what to make of that, if it matters or not what you did in life."

Perhaps I am particularly partial to comments at funerals because I am currently listening to Neil Gaiman read The Graveyard Book.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Inspiration at 70

I was listening to the latest Moth podcast. It was a story presented by Cynthia Riggs called The Case of the Curious Codes. The story was edge of your seat enthralling and intriguing, with a romance woven in. I was inspired by her opening remarks, seeing at any age a person continues to reach out for their dreams.
My mother died at 99. After her death, I was kind of at loose ends and Bed and Breakfast guests suggested that I go back to school and get a degree in creative writing. So I filled out an application form. And they accepted me. And somebody told me that I ought to write murder mysteries. And two years later, my first murder mystery was published by St. Martin's Press. I've now had 10 published and I have the eleventh on Kindle and I'm working on the twelfth right now. Well now, my first book was published when I was 70.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Writing Insights from Josh Fialkov

On the recent Nerdist Writers Panel, Josh Fialkov shared some of his writing habits.
I essentially taught myself to write in the 3 hours of her napping. I've learned to kind of compartmentalize. I will run the story in my head non-stop, I am constantly chewing over the next thing I have to write. Then by the time I am actually in front of my computer. It's typing. It's just process at that point. 
I particularly liked how he carved out this time and focused his writing energies.

More of his work can be found on Amazon.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meditative Writing

Something to try to help connect to the energy of the writer. There was a time when creativity was easy-when we were young, driven by an endless desire to create, and no fear, no judgment, and no internal censor whatsoever.

Meditative writing aims to return you to that time, when finding your voice as a writer was as easy as being yourself, and raw creativity flowed as effortlessly as inspiration.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mind Maps Tool - Text 2 Mind Map

Found this great online tool for mind maps. It is called Tex 2 Mind Map. It is very easy to use, intuitive and quickly puts your mind map up in a graphically convenient way.

Check it out at http://www.text2mindmap.com/

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Training Your Body to Write

I was listening to the Nerdist Writer's Panel talk to Glen Weldon about his new book Superman: The Unauthorized Biography.
He talked about the work habits he had developed and applied to writing this book. I found this almost metaphysical state that he reached in his writing life quite inspiring.
"Book was written on nights and weekends, in close to nine months. I went to The Writer's Workshop and they teach you that what you want to do is get up at eight o'clock and sit down at nine o'clock and from nine o'clock to twelve o'clock and you just stay at your desk and you write. Then you get up have lunch and edit.
"I tried it. You have two years of uninterrupted time to do nothing but write. And let me tell you, it works. There is something that happens. It is like you are training your body to get into this state.
"What I would find is that your body starts to realize that at nine o'clock you're going to being sitting down, so for the first 3 or 4 months the first 20 minutes are just woolgathering or wasted time. But gradually as you train your body you get to this point where you sit down, you start. You're off to the races. Because all the subconscious woolgathering has been going on while you're taking a shower while you're making breakfast as you are preparing to sit down. This was a very useful tool that does not work when you have a day job. And does not work when you have to come home at night and sit down when you've spent the whole day writing. So it's just catch as catch can. Staying up late and trying to work out because that does help a little bit, and just sticking to it." 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Magic Box

This is a story by my oldest son, H. Perlin.

The Magic Box
I will put in the box a talking mouse.
A green sun.
A tasty piece of chocolate cake.

I will put in the box the sound of a bouncing ball,
a flying elephant,
a scream of a wolf.

I will put in the box the first smile of a baby,
a black sea, 
a lion giving a scream.

My box is made of half gold, half candy, and half silver.

The is story reminded me of a TED talk giving by JJ Abrams, called the Mystery Box. He described the role of boxes of unknown content in storytelling.

Although this story reveals its contents, these items are so odd and random, that it is still a mystery about the significance of the things found in the box.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Different Kind of How to Write a Book Book

I have started reading and more accurately using another book about writing, designed to help writers to write. However, this is not a book, as I have discovered about theme, plot and characters. Rather it is a book about developing the habits to get something accomplished. Kind of an Steven Covey type of exploration of The Habits of  Highly Effective People.

The book is called Write-A-Thon, and it was written by Rochelle Melander. I was inspired to get the book by the tagline on the cover: Write your book in 26 days (and live to tell about it). This sounded amazing, a real guide with an endpoint in sight for achieving something.