Sunday, January 8, 2012

12 in 12 in 2012

I'm setting myself some goals this year. They all revolve around the mantra "12 in 12 in 2012". This means various things. Like for crafts I'm going to learn 12 new crafts in 12 months in 2012. For writing I'm going to write 12 stories in 12 months in 2012. And for my gaming blog it means 12 updates each 12 month in 2012. That's my goal. That doesn't mean I have to write one story a month. Just that, at the end of the year, I'll have 12 stories created and written by me. I guess I feel I need a creative outlet and the mantra does have a nice ring to it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blessed is the nation (poem rough draft)

Here's a rough draft of a poem I'm working on.

Blessed is the nation
That sends its boys to war
Who sacrifice their childhood
And often so much more

For unto peace and safety
That nation can then aspire
While their little soldier boys
Battle through the fire

And if a soldier boy should die
On a battlefield far away
As a blessed nation
Let’s bow our heads and pray

And honor those who serve
And fight to bring us peace
Let our gratitude be eternal
And our respect never decrease

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The lost art of letter writing

I was bored the other night and was flipping through the channels on the TV when I came across a program on PBS. It was a documentary about Dolly Madison where actors were hired to speak parts of the letters she and others wrote about her life interspersed with commentary from historians. Now normally this isn't a program I would be drawn to but I couldn't change the channel. I wanted to know more. It took me an hour or so before I realized WHY I was fascinated by this program.

It was the letters.

The way people wrote letters back then is totally different than the way we write letters today (or should I say emails and/or text messages). They did use a lot of big words where more simpler words would do but there was such an evocative air about those words that made them more direct and intimate than the "short" words we normally use today (which seems to run counter-intuitive to writing advice).

I went to bed thinking about the "history" of letter writing and communication. It seems as time has moved on our communication and choice of words gets shorter and shorter. If anyone in today's world used the kind of language Dolly Madison did in her time we would think that person is a loon, snobbish and "out of touch", among other things.

It also seems that changing our language from multi-syllable words to monosyllabic isn't enough. Now we cut out letters in words altogether. Like: "plz 2 met ya" and "WTF?" and "LOL" and "BTW" etc. What does that say about our ability to communicate and level of civilization? Will we get to the point where verbal/written words are no longer necessary? Will we revert back to grunts and gestures?

As a writer (or a writer-in-progress [which sounds better than writer-wannabe]) I lamented the decline of the richness of language. Yes, the language of colonial America was stuffy and roundabout. But the language of today makes me feel like people are throwing pins when they talk. Sharp and direct. And a more shatter shot approach to see "what sticks".

Back when it took weeks, or maybe months for a letter to get from one place to another it seems you had to think of the words you said (and the delay of decoding the message). Today we fire off an email/text in anger because we can immediately send another one to excuse ourself and explain our intentions. A letter written in anger in Colonial times could take months to be explained and apologized for.

Like I said, I lament the lost art of letter writing and feel guilty at the same time that I am not writing letters of my own to keep the tradition(?) alive. Who would I write to that wouldn't say "why didn't you just send me an email or test message?". I wrote letters to my Grandma when I was a little girl that, when she died, I got back. I didn't know she had kept them and I didn't remember writing them. But I was thrilled to relive the life of my past self, especially when memories of forgotten moments came to life on those faded pages. Those letters didn't have the eloquence of Dolly Madison's letters, but they had the history. A permanent recorded of a era in time. Can you get the same things from "c u 2nite"?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Yeah, I'm really doing well on my resolution. I've written a total of ZERO words. Oh, well. There's just been too much stuff going on and not enough energy or time in the day to get to everything. At least I've been keeping up my gaming blog, but that's not the same. And it's not the writing I would prefer to do. Maybe next month.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2008 Writing New Year Resolutions

So last week I finally decided on a writing New Year Resolution. I'm going to write a poem and short story per month based on challenges from I've already written a poem this month so that just leaves a short story . . . and 5 days to do it in.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How to write a novel in 100 days or less

A friend of mine found this link How to write a novel in 100 days or less and I think the idea is very interesting . . . and tempting. I'm debating whether to try this out.

Of course it helps if you have a novel you're considering writing. So far I've given up on all the novels I've attempted. Even the ones that are still just ideas. You see I'm always thinking "that's not going to be novel length when you're done". Or "that idea has been done too many times before". Or the worst one of all "no one will care about this story besides you". That one's a whopper.

So I think I'll just shift into "Idea Generator" and see if there's something brewing on the back burners I forgot about. Or I'll just have to go out into the world and see if anything new sparks something in my mush of a brain.

Or, on the other hand I just might not do it.

That's me for ya. I get a lot of ideas but have trouble putting them into practice. Ideas I can come up with. Finished stories? Not so much. And with this tempting plan placed before me I also wonder if I should.

Why tackle a novel when I haven't mastered the short story yet? I know the two are not exactly the same when it comes to structure and such, but if I find it difficult to create a well rounded short story why torture myself with writing a novel? But then again I might be one of those writers who struggle with the short story but are really good at writing novels. If I don't write one how will I know? I guess there's only one way to find out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is the short fiction market in trouble?

Is the short fiction market in trouble? That's the question posed in the article. SF Signal asked that of authors and printed their take on the matter. Some of them I agree with and some oe them just seem to be out there. What do you think?