Monday, September 30, 2013

GaelSong contest

For the past few years GaelSong.com has had a writing contest on their site. I entered last year but didn't place. Maybe it's because of voting and to be considered the entry needs to be early enough in October to get enough readers and votes. This year I've been thinking about the image and what to write to it since I saw it released. Here's my current attempt. I will change it in the next few days to hopefully make it stronger and more effective.

http://www.gaelsong.com/samhain_contest for the image

The autumn chill arives with the turn of the seasons. As I gaze into the crystal balls I see the coming winter. The change of the seasons and the end of the celtic year mean rebirth. The land will sleep and the owls will watch over us as the cycle turns ever onward.

Candles light the darkness and I reach for an old book as though reaching for an old friend. The key to who I am lies in the pages of those old books. What I want to be and what I could be are on those pages. I know the books will bring me comfort in the cold months ahead. I will need to warm my heart to keep looking forward to the rebirth in the spring. Winter is the perfect time to renew oneself and contemplate where you wish to go. And since the trees are bare and the plants and animals sleep through the long cold months, it's also a time to reflect on our mortality. Not in fear, but in the accomplishments we wish to make before our time is up. If I look closely into the crystal ball, I can see the clock hands and the time when they stop. It doesn't terrify me, this knowledge that my life will end one day, but gives me hope that I will finish all that I desire to complete before that last tick.

My heart is comforted by the old books and the wisdom reflected in the owls' eyes. I remembe the name of the goblet as "forevermore" and know that nothing lasts forever, but our love and passions in those that we care for and care for us. That love of those that have gone before and will come after is what I yearn to keep. Forevermore. Forevermore.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Writing exercise

Qualities of my ideal writing guidebook:
concise, helpful, not condescending, well thought out, enjoyable, exciting, makes me want to write, fun, silly, annoying, confidence inspiring, teaches how to write, explains what writing is, explains how to work at being a writer, teaches how to motivate myself, makes me want to do better, teaches how to make my writing stronger and less wordy, best use of point of view, writing characters, reviews dialogue, helps me with setting, makes me feel like a writer.

Qualities of my ideal writing class:
Friendly, ask for help, teacher is there to be useful, classmates are non-judgmental, a non-hostile environment, learning how to read our own work out loud and to others, editing techniques, ways to use what others suggest, enjoyable, feels more like a gathering than a class

Best student-like qualities:
At the beginning I am very focused and eager to learn, I like sitting up front in a class, I take good notes, know how to listen, am willing to participate, am friendly to others, I don't judge the teacher until I've been in the class 3 or 4 times, when it's a subject that really interests me I am willing to put aside distractions and tend to throw myself into the work, I enjoy a deadline and find it easier when I know I have a limited time to get something done, I frequently re-read my notes to make sure I understand what I learned, if I don't understand something I like it repeated until I do figure it out, I am willing to practice/learn outside of class if it helps me get the material, I try to make friends with my classmates and teacher or at least get to know them, I can focus on a favorite subject, I think we can all be better learners

Monday, September 16, 2013

Honey, belly dance, and browncoats

I read recently that taking a cup of hot water, 1 tsp of raw honey and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon half an hour before breakfast and right before bed is good for helping weight loss. Well, so far so good. I started last Tuesday and have shed 5 pounds. Hopefully that trend will continue, maybe not that fast, but it's still a promising start. I began belly dancing last week and am still practicing my old routines from California. I am also mowing our lawn - it's not that big, but it does take me an hour to complete and in Florida heat, that's a lot of activity once a week.

A couple of women I know have expressed an interest in belly dance, but want to take the class with me. I may consider teaching them the routines I know and maybe trying to choreograph a new one just for them. Have to see what they think and if it's a good idea. Don't think I would charge anything, since I've only been belly dancing for less that a year, but I would be teaching dance again, and they'd be getting some belly dance experience.

Today is Browncoat unification day! Down with the Alliance! I'm a proud Firefly fan and am happy to support anything Firefly. My husband wants to meet other browncoats in southwest Florida and start a movie night for Serenity. I think he really wants to start his own convention. That would be really cool. Ft Myers, Florida has a small convention center right on the Chattahoochee River and they want to bring in a hotel which would help bring in larger conventions. If we started a small one, eventually we could get more and bigger stars. It's worth looking into when the hubby returns from his African jaunt.

Monday, September 9, 2013

New story idea

It's actually a western. I was trying to make it science fiction or steampunk, but I can't see how that would work since everything I thought about sounded contrived. It may evolve over time, but for now it's just a simple western.

The story starts with two best friends who live and work on a cattle ranch at the end of the 19th century. Haven't figured out where or the exact date yet. The one man is the son of the owner of the ranch, the other is the son of the head cowhand. The cowhand falls for the daughter of the local general store but she doesn't know it. She goes east with the ranch owner's daughter to Philadelphia to go to finishing school. The ranch owner's daughter stays in Philly to get married and the ranch owner's son goes out to Philly for the wedding and to escort the general store's daughter home. On the way back, they fall in love. When they return home they get married and the cowhand admits to his friend that he's in love with her.

Years go by and the couple have two daughters. They do have 2 sons, but both die before their second birthday. They live on the ranch so the cowhand sees her all the time and doesn't have a chance to fall out of love with her.

One fateful day, the ranch owner's son has an accident and is badly wounded. They are able to bring him home but he only lives for about a week before he dies. His wife blames the cowhand even though he tried to save him and brought him back. She comes to hate him and there's a lot of friction between the two.

The ranch owner (who has to take back control of the ranch that he'd given to his only son) is worried about nefarious men who would marry his daughter-in-law to gain control of the ranch so he passes half ownership to the cowhand. This infuriates his DiL and more friction occurs.

Her two daughters are very fond of the cowhand and the eldest who is eight has a crush on him. She tends to show off and will sneak out late to listen to him play his guitar.

That's the basic story, and I have to flesh it out more so I can attempt NaNoWriMo this year.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Writing exercise

The prompt: A few weeks before your thirtieth high school reunion, your former class president gives you a call. He teases you about skipping all the previous reunions and then says that your absence over the years - along with your new celebrity status as a famous author - makes you the perfect keynote speaker at the upcoming reunion. Your topic? A quote from George Eliot: "It's never too late to be what you might have been." Write your speech.

It's never too late to be what you might have been. This has meaning to me, since I am now realizing a dream of mine to be an author, but it also has meaning to all of us here - we can all be more than what we are now. We all had dreams, things we wanted to accomplish in life. What is holding you back? Money? You will never have enough even if you are the richest billionaire on the planet. They always want more. Time? You are running out. We're all halfway through our life so what are you waiting for? Your ambition is still there, buried under the excuses. And that's all they are - excuses.

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Those fears keeps us from becoming the best of ourselves. Fear is a great motivator. It keeps us from trying because we're scared of what others will think or say. So what? Who put them in charge? And who are theses mysterious "They" anyway? You want to know who they are? They are people just like you and me with the same fears and misconceptions and excuses. And so what if they don't like what you do? There are going to be plenty of people out there who love you and what you have achieved. Those are the people you want to strive to make happy. Because in turn they will make you happy.

What is too late anyway? It's death. That's what too late is. When we are in the ground or turned to ash what's it matter what we did or did not achieve in our lifetimes? It's gone. The time is up. And you won't care anymore. So it's not too late if you're still breathing. Your dreams are still there. Your wishes are still there, sitting quietly. Waiting for you to do something. Make yourself proud and be what you might have been if fear and excuses hadn't stopped you!