Another Notebook with a Pretty Cover
Posted by Lynn at 10:03 am in Writing

A friend was complaining that his wife kept buying day planners and not using them.  Immediately I knew what was going on.  She was trying to find a way to organize her time.  I recognize it because I have all these pretty notebooks and pretty composition books and pretty journals that are mostly empty.  The journals are sharing space on the shelf with titles like: Write Brain, Take Ten, The Writer’s Idea Book.  The notebooks are everywhere.  They are in the den, under my bed, under my desk.  Small note taking pads travel around in my car.  I even purchased a digital recorder so when the great idea strikes I don’t have to pull off the road and find a pen.  I only have to push a button.  Truthfully I have pushed the button a few times but those ideas are still stuck on the recorder when they should have been transferred to here.

I tend to talk to myself in the car and sometimes I have the whole essay talked out in my mind but once I walk in the door I’m completely distracted and all those elegant thoughts and clever quips fade away like the dream I had last night.  I might remember a little of it but it’s just not the same.  This is the reason why I bought the recorder.  Now it seems I’ve gone from writer’s block to talker’s block.

So now I’m just going to babble.  Stream of consciousness writing.  Going to stop the internal editor, except to correct a misspelled word and hope for the best.

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Blog, blah, blah
Posted by Lynn at 8:56 pm in Writing

Personally, I think I have enough blog entry ideas to keep me going for quite a few months so I really don’t need No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog, by Margaret Mason. But just in-case I’m wrong about my creativity, vast skill for observation and commentary, I decided to check it out.

This slim publication is packed with 100 ideas and recommendations to keep you writing and keep your blog from bogging down in blahdom. It contains 5 chapters with 20 ideas each:

  1. 15 minutes to fame
  2. 30 minutes away from the TV
  3. An hour at the screen
  4. Take your time
  5. Think like a writer

Margaret’s suggestions are even good posting examples: catchy title, makes us laugh, think and want to respond.

Here are a few of my favorite topics:

  1. Reign supreme (what would you do if you ruled the world)
  2. Show some love (write a paragraph on your family or friends)
  3. Use what you have (mine your surroundings, postcards, cd’s newspaper.

I thought just about every topic was viable and universal. If you can’t find at least one idea or topic in this book, then you either need to give up the idea of blogging or get out of the house more. You need a life!


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End of an era, start of another
Posted by Lynn at 10:03 pm in Writing

During a “what am I spending on telecommunications” moment, I decided to ditch my Compuserve account. I replaced it with a free email account and faster access to the internet.

But I miss being 74473,2063.

Compuserve was my first foray into the internet. I had no idea what a forum or threaded discussion board was and I don’t even remember how I discovered the SFmedia section. It was love at first sight. All these like-minded, educated people in love with Highlander. Okay, so it was mostly women but there were a few guys there, too. We would dissect each episode to pieces, examining motives, writing, settings, costumes, historical (in)accuracies, weapons…well you get the idea. I started going to conventions just to meet my cyberspace friends face2face. At some point 4 of us started a round robin Mary Sue writing adventure based on the Highlander world. It was a lot of fun.

A couple of the SFMedia participants were writer wannabes and they dragged me over to SFLit where I found a whole cadre of wannabe writers. They were the called the IMPs, impatiently waiting to be published, and I learned plenty about writing. I learned to critique the writing not the writer, to identify passive voice by picking it up in others, you have about 150 words (1/2 a page) to get and keep the editor’s attention, and more. Several members have published novels and short stories. My big claim to fame was an essay published years ago in the Christian Science Monitor. I have to thank BJ for her crucial editing suggestions.

I still keep in contact with a few of the ex-pats. We exchange emails, attend conferences together and I peer into the blogs of several more to see how they are doing.

And now they can peer into mine as well.

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Just write, Lynn!
Posted by Lynn at 5:04 pm in Uncategorized, Writing

I know I don’t need another book on writing. My bookcase is full of writing books and I feel that my writing toolbox is full, too. I enjoyed reading Stephen King’s On Writing and even though he gave me permission to write, it just didn’t happen. A copy of Unstuck: A Supportive and Practical Guide to Working Through Writer’s Block, by Jane Anne Staw is shelved on the nightstand. I’m a bit more compassionate towards the writer-me but I think I could use a little tough love, too. I tend to talk about writing more than I ever actually write. I found my copy of Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. Although I hoped that accepting “shitty first drafts” would free up my penchant towards perfection, I’m still struggling to ignore that I know there is a better word, description, whatever, that stops my writing like a dropped cellphone call. My right and left brain both agree that I should write however together they come up with enough excuses that Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer’s Block. Period. by Karen E. Peterson pretty much canceled itself out.

Ah, but the desire to write occasionally walks me to the writing section in the bookstore. So what made me break my promise to not buy another book on writing? The Daily Writer: 366 Meditations to Cultivate a Productive and Meaningful Writing Life by Fred White. I like the author’s tone. He’s just talking to me, making observations, recommendations, and suggesting interesting exercises. He’s talking to me about Existentialism, English Literature and art. This book is like having a college professor at my fingertips. Maybe that is the difference. He’s not talking about why I cannot write and he’s not telling me why he writes. Instead, he’s making me think about everything and writing.

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Lynn’s Desk