Tag Archives: Shakespeare

A Creator of Words

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to Live.” – Albus Dumbledore

  

This past weekend, I skipped my writer’s group meeting so that my husband and I could take our kids to see a showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in theatres. I know, I know, skipping a writing meeting is generally unheard of.

But… Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was showing in the theatre. That hasn’t happened since 2001!

Now, my kids have grown up with a mother who absolutely loves all things Harry Potter, so this was not the first time that they have seen this movie. Nor was it the second, third, fourth, or… you get the idea. But it was the first time they were able to experience it on the big screen.

And they were amazed.

The first time I saw this movie was the weekend that it was released. My husband (then fiancé) and I were joining part of my family for a movie night, and at the time this was the only interesting kid friendly movie showing. I had never heard of this Harry Potter and his magical world and just needed something that my (under ten) siblings could agree on. They are now in their 20’s and probably do not even remember going. Later that same weekend, I drug my mother and another younger sibling to see it. After that, the rest was history.

We immediately went out and purchased the first book. As in the next day. A few days later, we bought the second. And so on. The movie had been spectacular, but the books were/are better. By the time the series was fully released, I had babies of my own. My son has his own collection of the books and the movies, and I have a collection of the books saved for my daughter for when she is able to read them on her own.

Now, I am sure there is someone out there that didn’t care for the series, but I haven’t met them yet. As I am also aware that there are plenty of people who liked the series, read them, even watched the movies and that was that. It was just another book/movie for them.  I have read or listened on audio to the series more times than I care to share with you.

Everyone is different. There are those who fall back on Shakespeare, Austen, Fitzgerald, Tolkien; there is a creator of words out there for anyone and everyone. You just have to be willing to find who speaks the loudest to you. Me, I’m just a Rowling girl.

One day, one of us might become one of those authors for someone. One never knows.

Who/what speaks the loudest to you? Let me know down in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time,

~AJP

The Magic of Creativity

“I have seen landscapes… which under a particular light, made me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge. Nature has that in her which compels us to invent giants, and only giants will do.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

I found this quote in an article I was reading about the creative force and I loved that last line in the quote. It reminded me of my youth when my family lived in the country. I would walk to the very back of our property and sit on a big wooden table with a spiral notebook and a pen and I would write. There was something very peaceful about it, and very inspirational.

The land that backed our property had a small pond surrounded by some wooded areas and hills. It was lovely. I don’t know how many times I wished I’d dared to climb over the fence and walk under the trees and to the pond. Of course, I didn’t. That was trespassing and would have been wrong, and if I’d been caught, my mother would have tanned my backside. But that pond and those trees were like a foreign land to me, and I often found myself daydreaming about magical places and wishing I could visit them.

One time I woke up in the dead of the night because something woke me. I didn’t know why but I was drawn to my bedroom window where I saw the largest full moon I’d ever seen. It was winter and the grass was all brown. I looked towards the back of our property and something pale caught my peripheral vision. I turned and looked to the left of the window and saw movement. It was fast. As the blur got closer, it slowed, and I saw a pack of what I at first thought was a pack of coyotes until the pack got close to the electric fence that separated our house from the back of the property. The leader stopped and sat down and I saw my first wild wolf. He was gorgeous. He sat for a while. I don’t know if he knew I was there or not. The pack joined him and then, as if called by something or someone, he turned and loped away, the pack following. There were at least six total. I have never forgotten the magic of that night.

There is something so visceral about Nature that it requires one to create something magical. I became a mermaid on my very first visit to a beach with crystal blue waters so clear you could see to the bottom. I spent as much time as I could in the ocean and if I hadn’t had to eat or use the necessary facilities, I would never have left the water. To this day I still feel as if I left a part of my soul in the ocean there at Playa del Carmen, and that trip inspired several poems.

What is it that sparks the magical/divine force of creativity within us? What gives us the inspiration to create something from nothing? We are magicians, sorcerers, gods. To crib Shakespeare, we have witchcraft in our lips, or rather, in our imaginations. We give birth to whole worlds complete with people, animals, nature, and everything that goes with it. How do we do it?

Creativity is a necessary tool for writers. If you’ve ever watched children at play then you’ve seen creativity at full force. I totally wish I could access my childhood imagination because it was awesome. I was only limited to the boundaries of what I could dream, and I dreamed a lot. I still dream, but most of the time now I find myself chained to day-to-day activities that want to prevent me from dreaming and using my imagination. Though, lately, I am discovering that certain tasks lend themselves well to daydreaming. Repetitive tasks, where the mind just goes blank at the redundancy, have brought to mind new ideas for me to use. Rocking my youngest son to sleep gave me new scenes for the book I’ve been trying to write, and I’ve even found some new stories in actual dreams when I sleep.

We’re all inspired by different stimuli. And whether we invent fairies and giants or rock monsters or the apocalypse, creativity is the force that drives us. Find something that inspires your creative force and let it rage within you.

For creativity compels magic, and only magic will do.

 

Jesi

Back to Writing Basics

Basics

Before computers and typewriters, the basic writing tools were a simple sheet of paper and a quill/pen/pencil. Imagine Shakespeare or Jane Austen as they wrote their first drafts and having to scratch out any mistakes. They didn’t have that quick delete button or that strange smelling White Out to cover up any misspellings or wrong words. Think about how Mark Twain dealt with carpal tunnel -my hand cramps when writing a simple grocery list. Everything they wrote, they had just the basics; a piece of paper and something to write with.

Do you ever go back to basics in writing? You know, pencil and paper. Turning off the hum of the computer and listening to the scratch of the lead as it scrolls across the notepad.

It is not something that I do very often. I find it more time-consuming to put the words on actual paper, then transferring what I have written into a word document. Not to mention the hand cramping from only using one hand (I could use some ambidextrous skills right about now), and sometimes my handwriting can be difficult to read. Oh, and don’t forget the wasted paper, just these two paragraphs alone have used up one side of a sheet.

I think it’s just easier when on your electronics. You get to use both hands, hit the backspace button when you make a mistake, and the much beloved spellcheck! And the most important thing of all, the save button. I can save everything I type onto a flash drive, and those puppies can store a lot of pages.

However, here lately, I haven’t been wanting to stare at the computer after work but I still have things that I need to get written (this post for example). So I seem to have disconnected myself from the laptop for a bit.

Oddly enough, I’ve been enjoying writing things out by hand. At first I was frustrated, I do not generally have time to waste by doubling up the work on a single post. But I found a way to combine old school ways with new school techniques. After I write my pages I then use the dictation button on my device and just read my words out loud. Bam! Time saved right there. Once I got the kinks worked out I found the upside to writing things down by hand… I feel a little more connected with my work. It is coming across a bit more personal even, and that is always welcomed. So It turns out that I kind of dig this whole hand writing with pencil and paper.

How do you prefer to write? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear what you have to say!

Till next time,

AJP

When in doubt…

Shakespeare 

Combing through my bookshelf last night, I came across a book of Shakespeare quotations that my mom bought me last summer. There were a few pages bookmarked that I had liked but the one above resonated with me the most.

Doubt is something that I constantly battle with when it comes to my writing. No matter how many different people tell me that what I have written is good or worth something, I have this little pebble of uncertainty that eats at me. I know that I am not the only one. It is something that plagues us all, whether we are writers or not, doubt just comes with human nature.

How do we overcome it?

I am not sure that we really ever do. There are highly acclaimed authors that still have reservations about each story they write in the beginning. Which is a little discouraging but reassuring at the same time.

We just learn to push past it and ignore the whispering’s of skepticism that slow our writing mojo down. When the doubt gets too loud, take a break and let your designated reader reassure you that you do not suck, that your story is not complete garbage, no matter how much you think you do or it is. 

Remember what Shakespeare wrote in Measure for Measure; Our doubts are our traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt.

Ignore your doubt/fears and persevere, write to the very end, and then write some more. Because that is what we do, we write.

What do you do when in doubt? Tell me in the comments. 

Till next time,

~AJP

 

How To Tell If You Are A Writer The Twisted Writer Way

There is this line I love from the move Sister Act 2. Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Sister Mary Clarence, is talking to Lauryn Hill’s character, Rita, about whether or not she should become a singer. She says, “If you wake up in the morning, and you can’t think of anything but singing, then you should be a singer, girl.”

There was a time, back in the Dark Ages, when all I could think about was writing. I’d wake up and want to write. I’d stay up late because I had to write. I’d had a bad day and needed to write about it to get it to go away. Who needs a therapist? Writing is great therapy! But I didn’t think of myself as a writer. Not until my dad died and I realized, that’s what I wanted to be. Only, isn’t that what I had been all along?

So, I thought I’d give you a list of symptoms ways to tell if you are a writer in the style of a Twisted Writer.

1. If you hear voices in your head and you talk to them, you might be a writer. Or crazy. Possibly both.

2. If the voices talk back to you and have long conversations and you type those conversations down, you might be a writer trying to prove you aren’t crazy.

3. If you have ever been told that you live in a fantasy world and you smile and tell them “I know, I created it, wanna come play in it too?”, you might be a writer.

4. If you see the word “writing prompt” and your heart starts to beat faster, you might be a writer. If it doesn’t, what the heck is wrong with you??? How can that NOT make your pulse race? Word prompts are sexy beasts!

5. If you joined a group that hears voices too and call themselves a “writing critique group”, congratulations! You have found your “tribe.” You might be a writer, or living in an asylum. Look out your window. Are there bars across it?

6. If you have ever thought about writing someone who’s ticked you off into a story and then offing them in some sick and twisted way, you might be a retaliating writer.

7. If you walk into a store (perhaps Wal-mart) and thought “that was a nightmare,” you might consider writing a horror story.

8. If you REALLY love anything geeky, trendy, or weird and you write a story about it, you might be writing fanfic. (Please take ten steps back and away from the keyboard. No! Don’t grab that pen and paper! Put it down right now! Don’t you write another sentence! Crap. Another 50 Tones of That Somber Color book just hit the shelves.)

9. If you see incorrect spelling, punctuation and/or grammar in a book and you want to correct it, you might a be Grammar Nazi. You should think about being a copy-editor.

10. If you have ever read a horrible book and thought “I can write better than that,” you might be a new writer. Go find your tribe and bleed ink.

11. If you see something really funny and say, “that’d make a great story,” you should sit your butt down at a keyboard (or use paper and pen if you’re a traditionalist) and start writing.

12. If you sit down to write at your computer for an hour and find yourself wasting 45 minutes on social media and 15 minutes actually writing, you are definitely a writer. And procrastinating. Stop and get back to writing or I’ll send AJ over to hurt you. She may be little, but she is fierce. (Why yes, that is cribbed Shakespeare.)

13. If you have ever written a scene where the character is having a drink and thought “that sounds good” then stopped writing to fix yourself one, you might be a writer. (And on your way to becoming an alcoholic-remember, writing while drinking is NOT a good habit-funny as hell the next day, but it does not help your writing.)

14. If you have a cat that laid on your keyboard and deleted your entire story, you might want to back up the story in a lot of different places. You’ll thank me later. And if you kept the cat, you might be a cat-loving writer.

15. If you have ever put your character in time out, you might be writing angry. You might need to take a time-out, too.

16. If you keep an online journal and make it public, you are a blogger. Claim it, own it, wear your colors proudly. Tell a saucy tale, make a little stir, customers appreciate a bon-viveur…(sorry, couldn’t help the Les Mis outburst.)

17. If you go to a movie and spot the plot holes, you might be a writer. If you write about it, you’re a movie critic, and I have a few words for you about a certain movie you didn’t like.

18. If you wake up in the middle of the night and find your spouse at their laptop typing madly while talking to themselves with a wild look in their eyes and hair all a-mess, you might be married to a writer with a deadline.

19. If the sight of a blank page makes your fingers itch and a nerve over your eye begin to twitch, you might be a writer. You might also be freaking out. Breathe. A blank page is easily fixed.

And finally,

20. If you wake up in the morning and all you can think about it is writing, you’re supposed to be a writer.

Neil Gaiman, in an interview while filming the BBC television version for Neverwhere, said that he was the only one who could tell the stories he had to tell. In the introduction to his short story compilation Fragile Things, he said:

“Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds’ eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas-abstract, invisible, gone once they’ve been spoken-and what could be more frail than that?”

To be a writer is to have people and worlds and conversations living in your brain that only you know. And you are the only one who can tell them and tell them as only you can. If you don’t write them, no one else will, because no one else is you. When you are gone, your stories are gone as well. Don’t let your stories go unheard.

You are a writer; tell your stories.

Write them into life.

I-am-a-writer