Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Quotes of the Week

Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory. Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it.
—Jack London

There is no great writing, only great rewriting.
—Justice Brandeis

Only bad writers think that their work is really good.
—Anne Enright

Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer's a good idea.
—Richard Ford

A word aptly uttered or written cannot be cut away by an axe.
—Nikolai Gogol

It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
–C. J. Cherryh

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. 
—Stephen King

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. 
—Stephen King

Your writing is never as good as you hoped; but never as bad as you feared.
—Bertrand Russell

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
—George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Chuck Palahniuk’s 13 Writing Tips

Here are 13 Tips from Chuck Palahniuk
  1. Set a timer: “When you don’t want to write, set an egg timer for one hour (or half-hour) and sit down to write until the timer rings. If you still hate writing, you’re free in an hour. But usually, by the time that alarm rings, you’ll be so involved in your work, enjoying it so much, you’ll keep going.”
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment: “Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Don’t be afraid to experiment with story forms and time shifts.”
  3. Mull it over: “Before you sit down to write a scene, mull it over in your mind and know the purpose of that scene. What earlier set-ups will this scene pay off? What will it set up for later scenes? How will this scene further your plot?”
  4. Be surprised: “Surprise yourself. If you can bring the story – or let it bring you – to a place that amazes you, then you can surprise your reader.”
  5. Go back: “When you get stuck, go back and read your earlier scenes, looking for dropped characters or details that you can resurrect as ‘buried guns’.”
  6. Spend time with people: “Use writing as your excuse to throw a party each week – even if you call that party a “workshop.” Any time you can spend time among other people who value and support writing, that will balance those hours you spend alone, writing.”
  7. Not knowing is okay: “The longer you can allow a story to take shape, the better that final shape will be. Don’t rush or force the ending of a story or book.”
  8. You’re in charge: “If you need more freedom around the story, draft to draft, change the character names…Or worse, delete a character, if that’s what the story really needs.”
  9. Use different types of speech: “The three types are: Descriptive, Instructive, and Expressive. Descriptive: “The sun rose high…” Instructive: “Walk, don’t run…” Expressive: “Ouch!” Most fiction writers will only use one – at most, two – of these forms. So use all three. Mix them up. It’s how people talk.”
  10. Like what you write: “Write the book you want to read.”
  11. Get photographed when you’re young: “Get author book jacket photos taken now, while you’re young.”
  12. Write about upsetting things: “Write about the issues that really upset you. Those are the only things worth writing about.”
  13. Don’t give up.
--I Love number Six.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Musing

It’s Monday again in Marty’s World. 

The Coffee is very good today. The magical mystery kind of coffee that is excellent for no reason I can think of. Maybe it's because I slept so well. Maybe I am what's different and it tastes better because I am tasting it better.

I love sneaking out of bed before dawn and feeding the cats so they won't bother Brenda with anything but love and warmth as she sleeps in.

My coffee is consumed in my den as I listen to music I love. I also look at beautiful photography and art as I soak in the java. Images that inspire me.

As the sun comes up, the birds outside my window feast in my feeders. In the winter the sun comes directly into my den. The snow makes it brighter still. It's a kind of Stonehenge light. Ancient in some way.

On Mondays, after I have fed my soul a bit with music and art, I open my calendar and plan my week. Some weeks this is a bad idea. But on those weeks I will then open the traffic report and my good humor returns because traffic is no longer a concern and it triggers a Pavlovian counting of my many blessings.  The writing begins.

I usually start by blogging for an hour. Scheduling posts. Select the image that inspired my writing last week. I paste in the writer's quotes I have collected in my wanderings over the last week and a short Scifi film I liked. Maybe make a new comic. This week I will finish a new short story titled, THE TWO DAVES, and a back cover blurb for my next published novel.

Then I will go make something out of wood.

--I'm still counting my blessings. She's awake now...