Friday, May 11, 2012

Tolkien, Rings, Writer’s Tips, and….

Interestingly, all kinds of Tolkien info’ has suddenly come my way.

From GalleyCat’s email Newsletter [and in case you want to sign up and be in the ‘know’ as well go here:

GalleyCat’s email Newsletter said:

Percy Jackson series author Rick Riordan plans to work on a new series inspired by Norse mythology, but his fans will have to wait for the series.
According to Courier Press, Riordan will be spending next year working exclusively on book four ofThe Heroes of Olympus series. The third installment, The Mark of Athena, will be released in October. Here’s more from the article:
Writing about Norse mythology “represents a return to my roots as a reader,” he added, noting that his eighth-grade teacher got him interested in mythology by pointing out that the “Lord of the Rings” books — Riordan’s favorites at the time — were based on Norse mythology.”

Huh, who knew, right?        Wait, don’t tell me, you knew.   Yeah, I am so NOT playing Tolkien Games with you.     [ And I’m Not playing Trivial Pursuit Lord of the Rings Edition again.   Since we’ve not seen the movies recently, and don’t even own the ‘special extra edition’ dvds so haven’t seen those.  Yeah, I didn’t know it was the prerequisite for any kind of real chance.  But now I do.   Phttttttt…….]

And who knew there are Tolkien writing tips?

Well, if you did and didn’t tell me……….!!!!

If you didn’t either then Thanks should go to @JonathanGunson for his tweet

Jonathan Gunson (@JonathanGunson)
'Tolkien's 10 Tips for Writers' Outstanding post by @RogerDColby #AmWriting #Writer

#5 of the tips was especially interesting.  Since I know I often do this.  And from talking with Adriana Trigiani about her writing, know that she often uses writing poetry that she said she doesn’t share, to get her in the writing flow and get her writing going as well.

5.  Poetry As A Road to Prose – When Tolkien couldn’t express his thoughts in prose he “wrote much of it in verse.”  He writes “The first version of the song of Strider concerning Luthien,… originally appeared in the Leeds University magazine, but the whole tale, as sketched by Aragorn, was written in a poem of great length” (346).  If you cannot write the prose in a convincing manner, try composing your thoughts in the form of verse.  It will cause your brain to think deeply about the phrasing, the structure and the literary devices needed to excel in writing prose.  Possibly this is why much of Tolkien’s writing reads in the form of a cadence.  I have personally practiced this technique and it makes a profound difference in the quality of my prose once it finally makes it to the page.

If you are curious about all of Tolkien Tips for Writers check out this blog- Writing is Hard Work -

Isn’t that the truth.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Getting Time

Time is something that most of us seem to have in such short supply.  Yes, some are busier than others.  But then again, is it simply the choices we make?  Or that make us.
With money we all have different amounts we have access to, but then a lot of it is the choices we make about how we handle it.
Is time the same thing?  After all, we all have the same amount of time to start with.  24 hours in a day.  It’s what we choose for those hours that make a difference.

I mentioned in previous blog post about taking a class on how to control clutter.  Yeah, well, I have wrestled some to ground, so to speak, but is still a work in progress.
But there is some progress.  Which is a good thing.  As was mentioned in blog post, seeing progress encourages us to keep going with our projects.
And to encourage everyone Debbie has created something extra to help us, 

12 Month Clutter Clearing Community

Recently she sent out to her 12 Month Clutter Clearing Community 10 steps to start getting what you really want from your time. 
 [See below.  Especially the First one.  Okay here it is in case you might miss it - 

Focus on what you really want in life and remind yourself daily that tending your time carefully is the only way you’ll get it.

I thought it was interesting timing since last night was JRW’s monthly casual get together, Writers Wednesday.  Yes, despite the dreadful weather there were several of us that turned out.
We all made time to gather together and talk writing.  And since as writers we Must also be readers, we also talk reading and books, as well as writing.  [Not to mention Other things.] So don’t ever feel like you would never fit in.
Good Times!

Which there never seems to be enough of.  
Especially as writers, that have lives to manage, and jobs to do.
We often wonder how other writers get so much done - Talking about Maggie! - which as she has told us, and told us in her blog, she makes choices….. So these steps from Debbie are something interesting to look at and think about.
Especially when we are ready to get serious about our dreams.
If that is writing then we are pretty good around here at encouraging that.

In the meantime you might go take a look at Debbie’s blog and sign up for her emails as well.
After all as we get our time, and our life, under control, there’s hope that it will help us get our writing under control right?

Recently sent out to Debbie Bowie’s Clutter Clearing Community -

12 Month Clutter Clearing Community

Ten Steps to Adding More Time in Your Day 
Focus on what you really want in life and remind yourself daily that tending your time carefully is the only way you’ll get it.
Identify the tasks that are the best use of your time (your frogs).
Identify the tasks you are doing that aren’t the best use of your time.
Delegate or hire outside help for tasks that aren’t the best use of your time.
Schedule time on your calendar for tasks that must get done by you. Don’t leave essential tasks to chance – just get them done and be done with them.
Identify YOUR time robbers and commit to eliminating them.
If you know you are not good at estimating how long it will take to get something done, double or triple your best guess and act as if that’s the time it will take to do tasks.
Embrace the freedom of saying NO to obligations you don’t really want to do that will eat your time.

Set simple, realistic task goals every day and give yourself time to work on your goals. Remember the number of goals you set for yourself is always your choice.
Step 10 QUICK TIP: if you have a task you know will take less than one minute to do, get in the habit of doing it immediately. This will give you a huge sense of relief and eliminate the mental stress that comes from tasks building-up. Get it done and let it go.
Where can you make time this week to take action? Below, list ways you
can make this happen.
____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
I’d love to hear anything that this TIP SHEET has stirred up for you. I invite you to post your questions and comments or start a

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Tel 804-730-4991 |

And if you need Debbie to help you with your clutter, and / or your feng shui, here’s her info’

Debbie Bowie
12 Month Clutter Clearing Community

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Organization and Being Creative

Being a creative type, ‘sometimes’ things get away from me.  Like time.  And things to be done.  So sometimes things stack up ‘a bit.’
Okay, so sometimes maybe a bit more than a ‘bit.’
I am more of the out-of-sight out-of-mind person, and filer / put-away-er.  I think that has do with creative juices flowing by what I see.  Or maybe because I am a very visual thinker.  My husband wants to put everything away, hidden.  Which is fine if he’s going to be the one to keep track of it / take care of it.  If I’m going to have to be the one to be responsible then that’s not going to work for me.  So trying to find a system that will work for us both is ‘a bit’ challenging.  Add to my side the growing up with much older parents that grew up during the Depression and in very poor circumstances, it makes things very challenging.
No matter what system you have, things have to be tweaked sometimes.  Sometimes a lot.  So I signed us up for local organizer / feng shui expert Debbie Bowie’s How To Move That Mountain organizing class.  We had first met Debbie long ago when she was just starting her organizing / feng shui business and we took an organizing class from her then. [I went to the feng shui class alone back then.]
We keep growing and tweaking things and Debbie has grown and tweaked as she and her business has grown over the years as well.  This organizing class and her new 12 Month Clutter Clearing Community are part of that.
It was the first time Debbie has presented this particular class [How To Move That Mountain] and my brave husband was the only male there.  But since he has been used to working with mostly women, he was hardly intimidated or out of place.  Well, necessarily anyway.  I do think it helped him realize that I wasn’t the only one that had similar organizational issues.  Hopefully.

One of the key points Debbie made early on was that you need to identify what you want 
- what you want your clearing and organizing to give you, what you want at the end.  
Interestingly, women sometimes have real difficulty with identifying what they really want.
I think we are trained to think of others feelings and needs and to put ours on the back burner, if at all.  Which makes it difficult to really think about, let alone say, what it is we really want.

Speaking of feelings, once you start looking at things to clear and get ‘real’ about, feelings come up.  Feng shui has the belief that everything has energy and affects us.  Good or bad [more on that down aways].
Debbie said it is important to let the feelings come, ‘feel’ them, and to address them.  I think of it as honoring the feelings.  She said we are taught to tamp down feelings, push them away, etc…  but that they will still keep coming up.
So it’s better to deal with them.  Even if we have to take breaks in our clutter clearing, it’s important to address the feelings.
Once we understand our feelings about what we are surrounding ourselves with and why, we can begin to move it, move it out, and have the life and things we really want.  And live the way we want.

Another key point, Don’t Start with Paper.
Unless that is the only thing that needs to be cleared.
Paper is a time consumer since you have to handle each piece and then decide what to do with it and then actually do something with it.

Pick the easiest thing first so you can feel you accomplishment.  
Back into the hard things like paper - or a lot of anything tiny.
It’s important to see that you are accomplishing things when you look around.
So pick the easiest and biggest things that will make the most difference right away.  
Always straighten up at the end so it will look better.  So you feel like you actually did / accomplished something for all your hard work.  And it is hard work.
And it gets the energy moving.  Which being a Feng Shui expert, Debbie wants to do as quick and early as possible to get the positive energy flowing around.

There were several people in the class that were part of the ‘but I might need it someday’ thought of keeping things ‘in case.’  
The feng shui ‘creed’ to start clearing space is to let it go, into the trash, or to someone else’s home, unless 1) you Love it.  Or 2) you Use it
So -  Love It,   Use it,    or Lose it.

And get it out of the house Right away once you’ve made the decision.  So you don’t take it out of the trash bags or the donate boxes.
It’s also a matter of trust and faith to believe that the universe, or God, or fate, or whatever you believe in, will make sure you have what you need when you need it.  
Once you clear out the space for the energy to flow around like it’s supposed to / should.  [Which also helps clear the path for good creative energies, like writing.  Just a thought.]

I think a lot of people have trouble understanding when they first hear or read about feng shui about how Everything is always ‘talking’ to you.  [Just f.y.i. having characters talk to you when you are a writer is okay.  Sortta.  But anything else, please get help.]
Things don’t actually physically talk - but things are always talking to us in the sense they are always reminding us of something or someone.  Good memories or bad.  Every time we look at it there is that memory.  For everyone that is a reason to figure out if you are happy in your space and with everything you surround yourself with.  For people that are sensitive to things like that it can be a real health reason to look at your space and things and question if you are happy.  And what it is you really want.

What do you surround yourself with?  And why?    What do you want?

Everyone has 24 hours.  
Every day you have to make choices.

Every day you make choices about what you do with your time and energy

As Debbie has prominently listed around her site -

Is What You Are Holding On To Holding You Back?

And for another one of her points - Ask for help.
For more information to hire Debbie Bowie to help you with your organizing or to sign up for her newsletter etc…here’s more info’ -

Debbie Bowie
12 Month Clutter Clearing Community

Is What You Are Holding On To Holding You Back?

Debbie’s book -

Rock Scissors Paper

Check out Chapter Summaries here -

Debbie’s Blog -  
Clear Clutter to Get Your Dream

If you are interested in learning more about feng shui, this is my favorite book -
                Move Your Stuff Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter
Can read first chapter here.

For those that have attended past James River Writers Conferences will remember the Very cute, Very smart, accomplished, etc… Marcela Landres  who edited the Move Your Stuff book years ago. [And will now help you with your book.]

Here’s to better energy flows, for all of us.
Which will make us better writers.  Right?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Poetry in Motion

Poetry in Motion

As a lovely finale to April’s National Poetry Month, last night was local Richmond author, the talented Meg Medina’s unveiling ceremony of the Hope Tree Project at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  
Meg brought together art in many forms with her books she’s written, her milagros project with area high school students [Very talented, as seen by the many varied and different milagros on the trees], and the Latin Ballet of Virginia, that moved in their bright colors to the great beats provided by the volunteer musicians, all showing that poetry can manifest in many forms.  Even the ‘animals’ that were ‘prowling / dancing’ around the dancers and audience as well.
A great evening, but if you missed it, and even though you missed the great motion poetry exhibited, you can see the great, creative, and heart felt, milagros on the trees in the Children’s Garden at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden through July 4th.   
Hope in solid form.
So yes, you should check out Ginter, And the Milagros.

Of course, you should check out Meg’s books as well, including her latest, The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind.
Here’s Meg’s blog so you can check out the pictures and info’ I’ve forgotten or neglected to include.

Speaking of poetry - James River Writers’ April Writing Show was filled with poets and poetry.  Winning poets and poetry.  [The panel had the winners of the recent poetry contest.]
These poets also created in ‘other’ forms as well, visual artist, scientist, novelist, poetry guerrilla …  
Yes, that is correct.  You read that right.  Poetry guerrilla.   

Who knew, right?

And no, I’m not going to explain.  Or tell.   You shouldda been there.   ***Evil grin***

But there’s still time to think about JRW’s May Writing Show - don’t know that there’ll be guerrillas there.  Never know though I guess since that was a surprise the other night!
There will be the talented, and lovely, New York agent, Michelle Brower, back to Richmond to talk to us about how to do a synopsis.  Properly.
And the equally lovely and talented, local author Stacy Hawkins Adams.
So go ahead and plan on coming - info’ here.

You might just come away with nuggets of wisdom like this:
‘Write what you know but try to know what’s beyond your own navel’ - attributed to Sandra Beasley said to be out on book tour for her book, Don’t Kill The Birthday Girl.

And to bid farewell to April, and welcome May, these are from Nature’s Gift Aromatherapy Newsletter - check out the great items over at the Nature’s Gift website   

Aromatic Quotes of the Month
"And she was fair as is the rose in May." Geoffrey Chaucer

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.”  Unknown

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
-  Edwin Way Teale

"Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire."
-  Virgil