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Posts from the ‘Creativity’ Category

Gleanings–from Deborah Chester and Distractions and Miracle On I-40

And I feel that I must now fight off every kind of interruption and intrusion into my inner space, my mind, my imagination, my thoughts, my very being. ~ Deborah Chester, in her blog post: Pressing Forward

I’ve read this blog post from Deborah Chester many times. It helps me to see myself and my choices, and gives me the encouragement to get up and press forward. When those of us who must write as much as we must breathe come to accept that fact, as well as the truth that our writing is a blessing we give the world, we are more willing to choose to turn from distractions and do the writing.

I say all that now that I’ve first bathed the new puppy (and she is sleeping nearby so I am happy) and read emails and just had to peruse the Disney princess banks for my granddaughter’s Christmas. Then I took myself in hand, am ignoring all the chatter going on below, in order to write and pay attention to my own inner space, mind, imagination, thoughts, my very being. When I put it like that, I feel rather heroic.

I think, too, that there is often good we come to when we go down that path of distraction. Sometimes distraction is the wonderful path to discovery. Each day we have the opportunity to sift and sort this out. It’s called a writer living life. It’s a writer’s job.

From Miracle On I-40:

Miracle On I-40 by Curtiss Ann Matlock, revised and expanded edition published in hardback by Mira Books, now in ebook from Belgrave House.

Miracle On I-40 by Curtiss Ann Matlock, revised and expanded edition on special sale, .99¢ at Kindle!

Cooper said, “You know, there’s a lot of kids wonderin’ why they have just about no gifts under their scrawny tree, and mom and dad in the kitchen drinking’ themselves into a stupor in celebration, while stores all over–owned and run by really good people–are all caught up in making’ their entire profit for the year.”

“You can focus on all of that,” she said. “It’s all true, but you can also look at the other side. People go so crazy with spending and decorating and giving gifts–with all the hype–because they need to do it. Christmas is the only time that such behavior is acceptable. Christmas at its heart is a time when everyone, even the most hardened criminal, can express the love that’s in their hearts without feeling embarrassed or threatened.”

Maybe when we can see the situation in a new, fresh light, we can make distractions work for us, not against us. It’s Christmastime. Blessed distractions all over the place!

Gleanings, Maisel, and a bit from Valentine

“Remember: you must hold your own good opinion of yourself…Second place, fifth place, a hundredth place, a millionth. Love yourself anyway and keep rebounding and resubmitting manuscripts.” ~ Eric Maisel

This in in line with the duty to make ourselves happy, and to do that again and again.

I read Steven Pressfield’s Writing Wednesdays post from last week. He put forth that the most important minutes of the day are at the end, when he makes a point to acknowledge the day’s efforts. If there is a mirror nearby, he looks into it and speaks the acknowledgement aloud. I had not thought of the mirror deal; usually I’m exhausted and rushing through a gratitude list of all the things I’ve been able to do that day. I think I shall employ the mirror idea, and the question: What did I really attempt today that made me happy?

It is the principal: focus on what you want, for what you focus on grows.

“Highly annoyed, Rainey thought that the driver obviously did not know the foremost rule of the road, which was that the biggest vehicle had the right of way. She would have moved over to make room for the little red car, but there was an eighteen-wheeler coming up on her left that would, she was fairly certain mow her down without compunction.” ~ Curtiss Ann Matlock, in Lost Highways

The Valentine series begins with LOST HIGHWAYS

The Valentine series begins with LOST HIGHWAYS

I recently decided to start with the first book of the Valentine series and read them all. I’m tickled to find that when I started with Lost Highways, I kept on reading and chuckling through first pages, loathe to let go when I had other things to do. I pass along to you my true belief: the largest vehicle has the right of way by the fact of unchangeable universe laws.

I just got off the phone with a dear person in my life. I read him Eric Maisel’s quote above. It is truth for everyone, not just writers. Go back and read it again.

Enjoy your very self today.

CurtissAnn

 

Gleanings, self-pity and solitude

rain windowFrom Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, by Winifred Watson:

‘ In my life,” said Miss Pettigrew, ‘ a great many unpleasant things have happened.  I hope they never happen to you.  I don’t think they will because you’re not afraid like me.  But there’s one thing I found fatal: pitying myself. It made things worse. ‘

Styles change. The above paragraph, typed just as it is in the book reprinted from 1938, shows the punctuation and spacing style of its day. People and truth, however, never change. Self-pity truly is never any help. In fact, self-pity harms. Self-pity is poison to the soul and body. Do not indulge one sip.

From Living the Writer’s Life, by Eric Maisel, Ph.D.:

“To say that a writer is basically introspective or that she requires solitude in order to think her thoughts hardly catches the flavor of her riotous inner life. What defines the writer more than anything else is her rich, roiling, sometimes light but often dark inner busyness, a busyness made up of daydreams, worries, thought fragments, and elaborated thoughts, an inner reality filled with the music she has heard and still dwells upon, the sights she has seen and still dwells upon, the sentences that form and dissolve and form again, finally becoming the opening paragraph of a book she had no idea she was intending to write.”

I am playing fast and loose with copyright by posting such a long excerpt, however, love and admiration compels me to share. Maisel writes such a long, glorious running sentence, and he isn’t even Southern. He describes the rich inner life exactly. I am reminded of the answer Winifred Watson gave when asked why she had given up writing. She replied more or less: “One cannot write when one is never alone.”

The first thing I had to do when I was faced with not being alone enough for me to write was to quit complaining and fuming in self-pity. Only when I could turn my attention from fussing and fuming, could I see myself clearly; my need of solitude as much as I need air, as well as the reality that I wasn’t getting much of it. I was suffocating. From seeing reality, I could find a way to gather and protect as much solitude for myself as possible. It is awareness of reality, then acceptance of reality, and then action to change what can be changed. Just about anything can be changed, if only our attitude. And attitude changes everything.

These days I guard my solitude, because it is my life.

We writers have busy minds, and we can have a lot of fun in there, if we want to.

 

 

 

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