#weekendcoffeeshare: Being a Writer is More?

#weekendcoffeeshare: I have Lost my Impulse
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

The Daily Post sponsors the #weekendcoffeeshare. If this is something you’d like to do, whether it be weekly like it’s supposed to be or the way I do it, once a month. You can get the lowdown about it at the link above.

In the past, I have written this post dialogue style as if I was speaking to you face to face. Be that as it may, I began to dispute the intelligence of this format. After all, who am I to presume what you will say or, for that matter, what you think when, in actuality, we have not had the conversation at all.

My ruling is I will write the #weekendcoffeeshare more like most other bloggers write theirs, my thoughts alone and leaving your response for you to fill in down below in the comment section.

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If we were to have coffee together…

…I would tell you how I feel about the less -spoken-about aspects of being a writer, those tasks I would rather ignore.

Most of the writer’s blogs I read have touched on the many facets of being a writer. I cannot say I have read them all, thinking I do not need to know everything right this minute seeing that I have not published for years. I have defended the belief I need to hone in on the writing itself until I have a final draft to send to an editor for the last time.

A short while ago, maybe five or six weeks, I began to ponder on the thought of me never getting anything published again other than the dribblings in this personal blog. The speculation was disquieting, to say the least. I am pretty sure I can do better, so I proceeded to do just that. That was when I wrote an article for an editor’s blog, Word Bank
Writing & Editing
, owned by Jeri Walker.

Sure, it is just writing still, but it was published on a blog that gets way more traffic than mine does. Additional, it had to meet the approved of an editor I admire.

After that small but significant milestone, I started visiting the social media sites more that I signed up with a long time ago. I cannot say I am enjoying these jaunts but I am trying anyway. This is the more I was hoping to put off for as long as possible. I do not do well with “small talk”. Oftentimes, I find it exceedingly trite and drudging. Yet, according to all those writer’s blogs, I must try to participate to get my name and work known. I know I will have to do launches if I ever get a book published. I know I should be available for book signings. However, this will only happen when a book is published. It is not an ongoing activity.

Another prospect or more I should consider, according to all I have read, is my own domain site. I cringe with detestation and panic at the notion of having to try that again. I had a good host site that even had 24/7 help by phone at no extra cost, yet I ended up with a site that, eventually, would not show up for anyone. I went through so many hours, both day and night, trying to fix it, endlessly speaking to representatives at the host site trying to get it to work. Can I go through that again? I have serious doubts.

An aspect [another more] I have not read about yet but probably will come across it eventually, is public speaking. I have been on stage but it was always with a musical instrument in my hands. It just sounds way too preposterous to me. I cannot imagine anyone wanting me, of all people on this planet, as a speaker for any kind of event. Yet, there have been a couple of writers who advocate this for their readers of their books about writing, exclaiming all writers should be able to speak well in front of an audience. Who are they kidding? Themselves maybe? I know some writers are extroverts. Still, I have a sneaky feeling most of us are introverts, at least to some degree.

When I took that mail course from Writers Digest at the turn of this century, it never entered my head that I would have to do anything out of the realm of writing other than book signings in order to make any progress.

Now it is your turn. What is your response to this? Let me know in the comment section below.

“You need three things to become a successful novelist: talent, luck and discipline. Discipline is the one element of those three things that you can control, and so that is the one that you have to focus on controlling, and you just have to hope and trust in the other two.” ― Michael Chabon

 

#weekendcoffeeshare: New Momentum Tactics

#weekendcoffeeshare: I have Lost my Impulse
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

The Daily Post sponsors the #weekendcoffeeshare. If this is something you’d like to do, whether it be weekly like it’s supposed to be or the way I do it, once a month. You can get the lowdown about it at the link above.

[Your dialogue is in purple.]

[My dialogue is in teal.]

§

If we were to have coffee…

We are back at The Sisters’ Diner. Although Starbuck’s was great fun, the price of a cup of coffee there is a little steep. The diner does have flavored creamers, plus they have tea too. Yes, I have switched over to tea.

After the waitress takes our orders, you ask, “Why did you order tea? I thought you were a die-hard fan of coffee.”

New Momentum Tactics“As you know, I have been fighting digestive issues for some time now. I read an article about the benefits of tea, and especially of green tea, although regular tea is supposed to help too. That is what got me going on the tea kick. As it turns out, I like the effect of the caffeine in tea better than the caffeine in coffee. I still have a little trouble with my digestion but it is nothing like it was before”

You give me a look of disbelief.

Once our orders are in front of us, you doctor your coffee with the French vanilla creamer while I butter a small sourdough roll.

“Was it one of those articles on the internet?” you ask.

I shrug my shoulders. “Yes, but it was at the site WebMD so I figured I could trust what I was reading. Sure, the caffeine is stronger but it also does not make me irritable like coffee sometimes does.” You cock your head slightly sideways as you eat a buttered croissant. “Besides, tea has become one of my new momentum tactics.”

“Tactics for what?”

“I decided I need to make more of an effort to do more of the preliminary work for writing a novel. In other words, I am making a full-blown attempt at being a plotter.” You roll your eyes at me. “Yes, I know, again. Nonetheless, I am determined to write a novel all the way through to that final draft–that is, before sending it off to an editor.”

“So you think you are going to make it all the way through this time, uh?” I grin at you. “And what makes this time different?”

I really cannot blame you for your skepticism. I have one finished first draft and three unfinished ones in addition to the one I am tackling. “For one thing, one of my tactics is to do a better job on the profiles of the main characters. I am using two questionnaires per character, plus I am writing out each profile in prose. I will be doing a questionnaire and a prose for each scene too. The whole idea is to know the story pretty much completely before I even write it.” I take a couple of gulps of my tea. “On top of this, I have strapped a pillow to the back of my swivel chair so I sit more upright when I type. This way I should be able to be at the keyboard a little longer per session.”

“Maybe it will work. Especially the idea about the pillow. You do sound eager anyway.” You sit across from me with your cup close to your lips as if you are going to take a sip at any moment.

“I have already done a lot of research too. Oh, and I am going into a genre that is, in point, foreign to me–historical/paranormal.” I look at you straight on waiting to get your react.

You look out into the middle of the room with your eyes not seeming to be fixed on anything in particular. Finally, you take that sip of coffee and face me. “And what is the point of changing genre?”

“I think I am bored with what I have been writing so I changed it up.” I am happy with this choice I have made. I want you to be pleased with it too but only if you truly believe it is right for me.

You give me a noncommittal smile.

The rest of our chat revolved around hushed judgments about the other customers in the diner. We make remarks about how a man is dressed, how a woman drinks her cup of whatever it is, and how a child is being so unruly. We do not know any of them and, of course, we would not say these things to these people. They are just little bits of perception that we share.

§

Quick note: I have a Facebook Page now. If you are so inclined, stop by and click on ‘like’.

“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” ― Shannon L. Alder

 

#weekendcoffeeshare: I Have Lost My Impulse

#weekendcoffeeshare: I have Lost my Impulse
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

The Daily Post sponsors the #weekendcoffeeshare. If this is something you’d like to do, whether it be weekly like it’s supposed to be or the way I do it once a month, you can get the lowdown about it at the link above.

[Your dialogue is in purple.]

[My dialogue is in teal.]

§

If we were to have coffee…

We’re having our powwow at your choice spot, which I gather is Starbuck’s. After all, there aren’t many places in the US that can beat the variety of blends of coffee and creamer that are find there. Pricey but if we don’t use this place all the time, it can be managed.

We find a table away from the noise of the register and the hoards of people at the counter trying to make up their minds. We didn’t hesitate when we placed our preferences. I knew exactly what I wanted by the time I reached the counter. Chances are you knew what you wanted before you got to the door.

“I wonder why so many people can’t make up their minds about what coffee to get. I mean, most of these people have been here before numerous times.”

“Chances are they’re thinking about something else while they wait in line. Or it could be there’s so much to choose from, making their decisions are almost impossible. Still, they should come prepared, or, at least, step out of line until they’ve decided.”

“Exactly. You look tired. What’s up?”

I sip my coffee trying to find the words that will acutely describe what I’m going through. “I may be more distracted than some of these customers in here. I’ve lost my impulse with my writing. Not writing altogether but for anything that would prove I’m an author of any sort. You know, something meaningful.”

You finger your mug as you look down at the light brown swirls inside. You peer up at me. “You are an author. Your blog proves that. It’s meaningful, isn’t it?”

I have Lost My Impulse
by Michel Moreau
https://www.flickr.com/photos/xmaes/

I shake my head and stare at the cravings edged on the table. “Anyone can write in a blog as long as they have access to the internet. That doesn’t make anyone a writer, really. You know that. If I had a strong following, sure, maybe I could say I’m an author of sorts. Even so, I don’t think I could call myself a journalist at the point I’m at right now. Being a journalist would be okay. I don’t find anything wrong with that. Basically, that’s what being a good blogger is, writing articles for the masses to read. If the topics were enticing, it would be kind of fun. Nevertheless, what I write in my blog cannot be considered journalism, by any stretch of the imagination.”

It’s your turn to shake your head at me. You take a swig of your coffee and emphatically set it down. “Did you take one of those writer tests online?” I nod. “Did any of them say you weren’t a writer?” I shake my head. “Do you like writing?”

“Of course, I do. I’m just not all that good at it and probably never will be.” I sigh.

“Maybe you need to explore what type of writing you really and truly are happy doing. It could be you’re on the verge of the kind of writing that suits you perfectly but because you won’t get off the treadmill you, evidently, are on, you aren’t recognizing it.” You sit giving me a canny look as you cup both hands around your mug and sip the brew.

“I sure can’t be a reporter, not with my mobility issues. And the thought of writing a tech. book makes me cringe.” I case the shop and, finally, find a clock. “I’ll need to get going in a few minutes.” I take a gulp of my coffee.

You reach into your bag and bring out a notepad and pen. “Do me a favor and check out this site.” You write http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/. “There’s an article there listing thirty types of writing that aren’t associated with writing a fictional book.”

I stare at the note, then smile. “Thanks.”

§

Have you ever been balked by your own writing to the point where you feel you can’t go forward?

“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

 

#weekendcoffeeshare: Social Media Pandemonium

Remember last month I stated how the #weekendcoffeeshare at Part-Time Monster wasn’t active anymore? I found where it is active, The Daily Post. If this is something you’d like to do, whether it be weekly like it’s supposed to be or the way I do it once a month, you can get the lowdown about it at the link above. From what I read, I do mine a little differently but no one seems to mind enough to approach me about it.

Additionally, the hashtag of #weekendcoffeeshare is used lavishly on Twitter and Facebook. This might get more readers to your blog. 😉

#weekendcoffeeshare: Social Media Pandemonia
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

If we were to have coffee…

I’ve requested to have our coffee-share at McDonald’s just north of the interstate. Since they got rid of the playground area and have revamped the play for actual adults, it’s become a favorite of mine. We drape our jackets over that backs of the chairs that are with a clean table along the front window. No one is waiting in line so getting our large flavored coffees is a snap today.

[Your dialogue is in purple. My dialogue is in teal.]

“Several of the writing blogs I follow are telling me I need to have an online platform, a brand, a presence, whatever they’re calling it this week. I know they’re probably right but this is the one thing I’m not fond of in the twenty-first century of writing.” I carefully take the lid off my container so the coffee will cool down a smidgen.

“It’s the price we pay for the freedoms we have now. I wonder how authors did it before the internet.” You sip your coffee cautiously.

“Maybe they hired publicists. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford one of those. Besides, I can’t see myself attending many book signings at bookstores. Most of the sales are at online outlets these days.”

I give out a yip. I’ve burned my tongue.

“Are you okay?” I nod and lean against the back of the plastic chair. “Have you joined and participated in any of the social media sites?”

“Oh yes, I’ve been on Twitter for a few years now. I also have an account at Google+ and belong to three groups there. I even went back to Facebook, as much as I hate it, and made myself a page.”  Delicately, I take a sip of the caramel coffee blend.

“Why don’t you like Facebook?”

“Things are written there that probably shouldn’t be written anywhere. It often gets rude and cruel.”

We sit in silence for a few moments watching the cars on the road.

You turn to me and say, “Do you know that Facebook has filters now so you can target your crowd a little?”

I smile at your attempt to sway me. “Yeah, I saw that just the other day. I need to investigate that more. Part of my problem is when I read what people write on my timelines and my one page, I’m wondering what they’re really after. So much of it looks like boring dribble to me. Is it a case of me not knowing how to be sociable on the internet?”

You let out a guffaw. “Haven’t you ever been to a cocktail party?” I shake my head. “Not ever?”

“Nope. I have been to some bars, though.”

“I didn’t realize you were the type.” You give me a sideways stare.

“Neighborhood bars with friends. No, I’ve never been a ‘pick-up’ at a bar.” I briefly give you a look of reprimand.

“Okay, think of social media sites as bars of different types. You’re still going to get a lot of the dribble you were talking about but if you scout around, you’ll find some interesting conversations.”

I raise my eyebrows and give a sigh. “So I have to spend more time with it, right?”

You take a swig of coffee before answering. “Yes, but you can do other things while you waiting for intelligence to arrive. Work on your WiP. Visit some blogs. Just peek in on the social media site every so often.” I peer at you with concern. “You’re an introvert so this takes a little more practice is all.”

People are starting to breeze in for lunch. We watch some of the characters who waltz in, making funny comments about them. Soon our coffee is gone and we leave to continue on with our day.

§

What’s your take on social media sites?

Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience. ~Walter Lippma

 

Hump Bear and Bleak Days

I wanted to kick about two unrelated topics with you this week. Both are of a personal nature. Neither one has anything to do with the other.

Here goes…

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Hump Bear

Hump Bear

Marble is our one male cat inside. You can read more about his past here. Being fixed, it would stand to reason that some of his desires no longer exist. At least, that’s been my logic. After all, if you don’t have the equipment to do the job, you aren’t going to be spending a whole lot of time think about that activity. Right?

Well, I guess Marble is different. He still spends time contemplating sexual activities despite having the surgery done. No wonder Miya and Nutty run from him all the time.

Back this last fall, the teddy bear husband bought me when we lived in Cookeville [one town west of us] ended up on the floor. Neither husband or I thought much of it at the time. It was dusty and I hadn’t thought about it sentimentally for years. After all, husband and I have a good relationship without the materialistic attachments.

Marble eyed it laying in the middle of the floor and decided to latch on to it. A-okay by me.

That’s how it started out, but I think he might have gotten too fond of it.

He’s been humping the silly thing.

At first, it was a sporadic occurrence. Then it became a daily activity. I would just shake my head as I walked by this spectacle. So I’ve got a strange cat. What else is knew? However, as of late, this cat is humping that poor bear several times each day. Does he need a therapist?

My poor little teddy bear has become Hump Bear.

§

Bleak Days
Image provided by Stuart Anthony
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuant63/

Bleak Days

Most people around the globe peek at the weather, online, on TV, or in the newspaper. I consider it an obsession our society has had for a while. The same can probably be said about how we keep track of time too.

Here in the U.S., we’re having our cold months right now. In Tennessee, this time usually isn’t all that cold, though. Especially if you compare it to the northern states. The highs were reaching up into the fifties [Fahrenheit] until right before New Year’s Day. Yes, jacket weather but not cold enough to bring out the wool.

When the colder weather finally hit these mountains I live in, I felt a little apprehensive, although not about the temperature. I had been going through so melancholy and the thought of it turning into actual depression wasn’t something I wanted to deal with in any shape or form.

I started making plans that would, hopefully, keep the deep dark blues away. All this is, is preparing to do spring housecleaning in January. I’d forgo any intentions of getting serious writing done on my WiP in exchange for a clean house with a fresh clean springtime smell to it to chase away any depressing moods.

Believe it or not, this activity works for depression. At least it does for me. I remove everything from sight that reminds me of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Anything with black, rich orange, roasted brown, rich green, or rich red gets tucked away where I can’t see it.

I take a damp sponge to all of the walls, making sure I get the base boards. I spray Windex all over the windows, wiping them with a paper town. I deep polish wood furniture. I move furniture to vacuum and, with some pieces, rearrange so the rooms look a little different.

I even buy air freshener in one of the tea fragrances and spray the rooms afterward.

I made all these plans two days before New Year’s Day in preparation to ward off that nasty mood of despondency I thought sure would hit me January 2nd.

Although, it didn’t hit. It didn’t touch me. In fact, I don’t think it even put one foot in my yard outside. I woke up, greeted with a mood of smiles and wellbeing even though, looking out the window, it was clear that the days hadn’t changed. It was still gray and dismal out there.

As I waited for the coffee to brew, I gazed out onto the backyard, really not paying attention to anything that was out there because I was trying to figure out why I felt so good.

Did a giant-sized brick wall of gloom crumble for me in the middle of the night while I slumbered? Did I receive some divine wisdom that put all things right for me during one of those dreams I never remember?

Is it that the other shoe hasn’t dropped?

While I wait for the answers to these questions, I’m going to enjoy my days.

§

How are your first days of the new year going?

“When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.” ― Shannon L. Alder