Some Write It Hot

November 26, 2010

My Father Inspires Me by Ellie Heller

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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My father inspires me. In his love for hobbies and expression of art outside of his work, he has dabbled at many things and, in the process, gained mastery over several. Carpentry, running a B&B, embroidery are a few of his skills. At seventy he decided he really wanted to do more visual art and took up print making. He’s worked with several different methods and has explained excitedly about each. Just hearing him detailing his process and expounding on his ideas you can feel the love he has for this new medium. He has found his niche, his way of expressing himself and he couldn’t be happier or more enthusiastic.

But it’s not his enthusiasm which inspires me. His entering a new world of art became exciting for everyone who knew him. Seeing some of his work win awards made everyone proud, him most of all. His taking up something new, mastering it and then having other recognize his brilliance certain could be why he inspires me, but it’s not.

No, what inspires me is his dedication and perseverance to continue doing his art while going through chemo and relocating at the same time.

Some days I can’t even get a word on paper, my time does not seem like it belongs to me. Yet my father, through the highs and lows of chemo, not only made and entered pieces for shows, he and my stepmother set their house in order and put it on the market, found a new home and moved.

I am both awed and inspired by this man. No matter what was going on he made time to do something he loved. And with his time possibly now counted by seasons, not years, his urging to make sure you find something you love and then make the time to do it resonates loudly.

I have many things to be thankful for this time of year, but having someone so close to me understand and support my need to do something which brings me joy counts beyond measure.

November 18, 2010

Muses by KevaD

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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Where does your muse live? What stirs the salient soul to rise and whisper in your ear?

Mine arrives about the second hour of my 5½-hour lawn mowing duties and buzzes incessantly, a mosquito in my brain. It really whizzes me off. Have you ever tried to take notes while bouncing up and down on a Cub Cadet garden tractor? Trust me on this point. The seat springs only serve an aesthetic purpose.

I think she (my muse has to be female as only a woman could pick such an inconvenient time to get frisky) takes delight in torturing me. Vivid scenes flash through my mind. Characters abound, all talking at once, clambering to the forefront to be heard.

The strongest become focal points. From them tales are told, plots identified, romantic interests are paired, and endings take charge to mold it all into place.

Then a tag line snickers at me as the mower blades mutilate a patch of dandelions, and all hell breaks loose.

Mental outlines fall like bowling pins since the new arrival’s a ten pound rolling ball of excitement for a whole new story concept.

Still, my muse does have a heart. She trims the tag to something easy to remember such as “When Harry met Sally she made him take off her shoes,” or “His first kiss would have been better with a partner,” or “Afraid the parachute might not open, he rode the plane into the mountain” so I can file it away and rejoin the cast for my new novel and get to know them better.

For the next couple of hours I’m more a director seated in the gallery adjusting the actors’ locations on the stage, creating their costumes, drafting the script, and learning the minutia that makes them all individuals.

Lowell has a twitch. Paula tugs at buttons when nervous. Johnson has a big Johnson, when he remembers to put the pump in his pocket.

The trick is memorizing the lines and faces. Once the stage is set I become the producer repeating the play over and over until the last blade of grass falls and I can run into the house to my computer.

It works for me and my muse. Most of the time.

You see, sometimes my wife’s home and at the door to remind me the trimming isn’t done.

Within the gas-powered weed eater lies danger. That muse is definitely male and loves whacking people. He’s a serial killer at heart.

But that’s another tale in another file.

October 8, 2010

My Song By Ali Katz

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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It wasn’t too long ago when claiming Walt Whitman as my favorite poet was a little embarrassing. People gave me funny looks and said things like: ‘Whitman is so 19th century’ and ‘Don’t you think he’s just so… ordinary?’ and ‘Poetry has to experiment, use language in new ways to make it beautiful.’

But, it doesn’t bother me anymore. Truth is, when someone’s words speak to me, whether prose or verse, it’s poetry.

Look at this:

That shadow, my likeness, that goes to and fro, seek-
xxxx ing a livelihood, chattering, chaffering,
How often I find myself standing and looking at it
xxxx where it flits,
How often I question and doubt whether that is really
xxxx me;
But in these, and among my lovers, and carolling my
xxxx songs,
O I never doubt whether that is really me.

My songs are in the thrill that passes through me at the silhouette of a tree on a hillside, or the sight of the wind passing over a meadow. The real me takes time to appreciate the beauty around her.

My songs are in the building of a scene, bringing a character to life, the crafting of a beautiful sentence that says more than the sum of its parts. The real me has a talent that some people actually appreciate.

My songs are in learning, in letting my mind ask questions and seek answers. The real me is a lifetime student of history and science and astounding facts.

My song is in solitude, where the real me comes out to play and enjoys the company.

“Dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.” ~~Leaves of Grass, 1855

Thanks for reading.

Read more from Ali on her Blog, Love Songs or her Website, Passion In Spades

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On Facebook, Ali Katz
On Twitter, @practicalkatz
On MySpace: practicalkatz

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September 17, 2010

Voice By Ali Katz

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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My face-to-face crit group picked up a new member about a month ago. He’s fresh out of college, has been writing for a long time, but never tried to have anything published. The first chapter he presented for crit was a well-crafted bit of writing but typical for a beginner: lots of flowery descriptive passages, no action, no concept of character, not a clue to what the story was about.

One of our older members, who’s been around a while and has a few novels with a major print publisher, commented. “This voice might work for a literary piece, but it won’t fly in genre fiction.”

His reply, “What’s voice?”

People keep slinging that word around. I had to look it up.

Voice is a combination of a writer’s use of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc….Voice can also be referred to as the specific fingerprint of an author, as every author has a different writing style. ~~Wikipedia


One thing I know about voice is how elusive it can be.

Hard to find, easy to lose. Usually, when I feel myself slipping, or more often locked up, I pick up a piece of fiction by an author I enjoy reading and start analyzing paragraphs. Lately, I’ve been reading poetry.

O for the dropping of raindrops in a song!
O for the sunshine and motion of waves in a song!

~~Walt Whitman, A Song of Joys

In a half dozen articles, I kept reading these words: song, poetry, sound, rhythm, color. Color?

A writer’s voice is his song. The magic of words strung together to create an image only he can show us. It’s a living breathing thing that changes as characters, scene, emotions change, but beneath every line lies the unique voice of the individual telling his story.

Can we learn it? We can learn to do it right. Study syntax, accept the rules, learn to use them to your advantage, but your voice is within you waiting to be found. It forms from all you have experienced, all the people you’ve met, all you have read, all that makes you who you are.

So, how do you find it? By writing, and rewriting, and writing again. And, in my case, I write, and rewrite, write again and read poetry. At some point, the words fall into place and you see magic happen. Voila, exactly what you wanted to say, said clearly and beautifully.

I did not know how to differentiate
between volcanic desire,
anemones like
and purple fire
of violets
like red heat,
and the
of her feet:
I had two loves separate;
God who loves
alone knew why
and understood
and told the old

the impossible,

which he did.

~~HD Doolittle, The Master

Thanks for reading.


Read more from Ali on her Blog, Love Songs or her Website, Passion In Spades

Friend me, please:

On Facebook, Ali Katz
On Twitter, @practicalkatz
On MySpace: practicalkatz

Report eBook Piracy to: Internet Crime Complaint Center

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