Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Computers and Writers

This is exactly what I have been saying for years. The Internet is a major distraction from writing. It's too easy to find alternative ways to procrastinate these days. A computer contains so many different ways to procrastinate that it distracts from our purpose. But we all must struggle on. And so we shall! (Here's the article for any procrastinating NaNoWriMo's.)


Monday, November 1, 2010


NaNoWrimo (National Write a Novel Month; NaNo for short) starts today. The purpose of the challenge is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I have actively participated the past two years and completed the challenge. I hope to participate again this year and make significant progress on my novel.

Also, during November there is a Poem-of-the-Day Challenge on the Writers Digest website. If you want to join the bandwagon but can't dedicate the time for 50,000 words, consider doing the poetry challenge. I would like to do this too, but I don't know if I will have the time given NaNo.

The best thing about November is the spontaneous spring of writing communities and support that occurs this month. All the writers who are invisible the rest of the year, appear out of nowhere ready to prove once again that our creativity is stronger than our need for sleep! There really is a strong sense of community in November that you don't often see other times of the year. That helps most writers a great deal.

Anyway, I wish all participants many happy muses this month! I'll check in over the course of the month.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spontaneous Overflow of Emotion

Ever notice how dreams can take everything you know, shake it up and provoke very strong emotions from the resulting situations in the dream. I woke from a dream the other day and felt the emotions from the dream, long after the memory of the dream had faded in the daylight.

That's the kind of emotion which tends to spontaneously overflow into creative writing. I had a story idea based on the dream, or at least a scene between two old characters, but I didn't have the time to write it and the emotion passed.

Do you think it is better to write in the passion of the moment, or to write with a clear head, reflecting upon the moment?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why Doth the Sheeple Sleep?

I think there is a lot of confusion on just what net neutrality means.

The average person typically shies away from having aspects of their lives regulated, and that may also be part of why net neutrality is so close to ending. However, allowing the FCC to regulate Internet service providers would help preserve net neutrality.

I believe that is the best option, because if ISPs are left to do whatever they want, we will be paying for access to Internet packages like we do cable tv packages.

This recent article by the New York Times explains a lot about net neutrality and how the ISPs want an end to net neutrality so they can change additional fees for Internet service. They would also basically be able to choose which websites have priority and which websites have lower available bandwidth.

If there are so many individuals in the US who would have to pay more for Internet if net neutrality ends, why is it that a few corporations have made it this far?

Why doth the sheeple sleep? Wake and voice your opinion before corporations decide that what's best for their pocketbook is best for you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Subconscious Inspiration

I don't usually remember most of my dreams, but recently I had a dream that I actually remembered upon waking. In this dream, the main character was being framed for something they didn't do. Off and on, I have been working on a new setting, and although the dream didn't directly reference the setting, all of the details fit smoothly into this setting.

This was a setting for a game, not a story, but now I might have to write a story based on this incident in my dream because the dream was really intriguing. I want to know how the hero clears his name! I guess I'll have to figure that out myself because I don't normally have repeat or consecutive dreams.

Have you ever been inspired to write a story because of a dream?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Far From Boring...

The most amazing thing happened to me the other day.

My fiance brought me to his company picnic (which I expected to be somewhat boring). He works for a small company with maybe 20-30 employees, most of whom I didn't really know due to some recent turn-over in staff. I brought a book with me to read at the picnic because the owners of the company are extraordinarily fond of long volleyball tournaments. I am not.

I was reading when one of several "new guys" at the company arrived with his girl friend. She ended up asking about the book I was reading. Come to find out, she is also an aspiring writer, she lives in the area, and she is my age!

Almost all of the writers I know who are around my age, live far from me. Also, for the most part, the majority of writers at the writing conferences I have attended are 50+ years old. So I was really excited to meet another writer my age.

Needless to say, that company picnic turned out to be far from boring. (And I think I only watched the volleyball game for a whole 3 minutes that day!)

It's really quite amazing where little coincidences and connections will sometimes happen and completely change everything.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kidnapped By Life

It is said that a person must experience life in order to be able to write about it.

That said, my life has suddenly exploded with experiences. I just got back from a cruise! It was amazing. I am also now engaged! My fiance proposed in a little chapel at the tallest point of the ship.

Over the next few months I will be moving and helping my sister move. Also, my brother who is in the navy who I haven't seen in two years is coming to visit in July. And of course, I need to plan my wedding - tentative date: March 19, 2010.

I foresee lots of exciting experiences ahead - which I will hopefully be able to incorporate into new writing material when I have some down time again. So until you hear from me again, happy writing!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Don't Judge a Day or a Book or a Person By the Cover

When I woke up today - actually I didn't want to wake up. I was short on sleep and wanted to keep sleeping. But I had too much to do this weekend. It was the morning of the poetry group I joined. I usually find them inspirational and like attending. The hardest part is waking up early on a weekend.

Anyway, back to my story. I didn't want to get out of bed, but did because I had so much to do. I attended the poetry meeting and it went well, but it wasn't especially inspirational this time. The meeting ended a little early and since I was meeting my boyfriend for lunch at noon, I decided to browse a book sale at the library.

There were thousands of used books for sale. In my opinion most of the books were pretty boring. But there were hundreds of people flocking all over the place and every shelf had at least a few interested browsers. There are certain things writers hear over and over again. One of them was emphasized by this book sale. All sorts of awful, boring books were for sale (along with some interesting ones). But my own writing was definitely and significantly better than some of these books that had found publishers and been printed. If they can do it, I definitely can! Apparently there is a market for pretty much anything and no matter what type of writing you do, there will be someone somewhere who likes it.

After leaving the book sale, I went to wait for my boyfriend but he was caught up with work and would be taking his lunch break a little later. I waited around and he eventually arrived. We wandered through the RiverMarket and finally had lunch at the 3rd place we considered. It took a while to get there from when I left my poetry group meeting. But had the timing been different, the next couple of things probably would not have happened.

When we arrived at the pizza place, we sat down at the table opposite an intimidating-looking man in his late 30's or early 40's who was alone at his table. We went about our business, and apparently arrived just in time to watch part of a St Patrick's Day Parade. I knew there was a parade but thought it was later in the day. Ironically, it was the first parade I have ever seen in person. Then when we were leaving, we learned that the man beside us had paid for our pizza. But he had already left and we didn't even get his name.

It's kind of funny how some days life can throw you inspiration in the strangest ways. I wonder if the man was a writer, too and overheard part of our conversation about my writing meeting. I have heard a couple of reclusive writers live in the city and I wouldn't have a clue what they look like. Or perhaps he was people-watching and was glad someone didn't avoid him - all the other tables around him were empty. I guess I'll never know for sure.

So the lesson for the day is definitely never judge a day or a book or a person by the cover. A bad day can turn good in the blink of an eye. A published book might not necessarily be quality writing just because it is published (and if they can do it, so can I)! And people can be anyone or anything - they are always doing things you might not expect!

Happy Weekend and Happy Writing!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Be Your Own Cheerleader!

As a writer, we must set aside time to write. While everyone else is enjoying leisure activities or doing chores, we squeeze in a few words here and a few words there... Or do we?

It can be so tempting to do disappear in other activities - or even clean the entire house to avoid writing! One way to accomplish your writing goals when the world seems bent on stealing your time is to be your own cheerleader and reward yourself when you accomplish your daily (or weekly) goal. Often aspiring writers will have no one else to cheer them on, so we must find ways to motivate ourselves.

How do you motivate yourself to write?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poetry, Earthquake in Haiti and Relief Efforts

The news has been abuzz today with follow-up stories on the earthquake in Haiti. I wrote a Twitter poem about the earthquake:

Fragile ships
on waves of land.
Houses folded.
Fairy tales
fallen off the walls
& only we
can put Haiti
back together again.

You can view photos of the aftermath of the earthquake here and here.

For the latest updates on the Haitian earthquake relief efforts, visit the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at http://www.ifrc.org/ or follow the Red Cross on Twitter at @RedCross.

In the US, to donate $10 to the Red Cross for the Haitian relief effort, text "HAITI" to 90999 . Or make a donation in the amount of your choice via the Red Cross website: http://american.redcross.org/haiti

It could have been any of us in a natural disaster. What if that was your home shattered and your family injured? If we don't help, who will?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a.k.a. Microscopic Stories

I decided I wanted to write books when I was in the third grade. My class was assigned the task of writing a one-page story using our spelling words. That's when I first realized that I could create these wondrous story-things that I enjoyed so much and share that joy with others.

I was in high school before I started dabbling in poetry. I had always thought poetry was mysterious and confusing, but in the 9th grade, I realized not all poetry was incomprehensible. Some poems were like little microscopic stories, and if I could write pages and pages of stories, I could write a tiny little poem!

So far this year, my poetry seems to have taken on a new life in the form of even smaller poems - Twitter poems. Updates on Twitter are limited to 140 characters, so I only have a few words to say everything in the poem. There is also a fairly active poetry community developing on Twitter. Followers of the Writers Digest Poetic Asides blog chime in on "Poetry Tuesdays" using the hastag #poettues and poets post their Twitter poems using #poetweet. You can find me on Twitter @anahbird. Here are a few of my twitter poems for those of you who do not use Twitter:

Red sun.
Pink clouds.
Purple sky.
Golden star.
stamped with memory
like a fading aurora.

Ohmm -like a monk.
Words tumble from image.
You shroud yourself
in peace amidst shattering chaos.
But photos don't tell lies.

Funny little man.
Tongue tied in knots.
Loud, proud and arrogant.
Defeated by silence.

Like black iron fog.
Tiptoeing upon you.
Stealing the new-found sun.
The gravity of mortality.