Happy New Year!

As we welcome 2014 with open arms, minds, and open hearts, let us not forget that there is time for us yet to make a difference. This difference may be in our own lives, or in the life of another. Remember to keep it positive and influence family and friends to become better than their past selves.

Happy New Year!… to you and yours. May it be filled with close family and loved ones, friends, and plenty of fun and laughter throughout the year.

Out with the Old … In with the New

Last year, 2012, offered so many eye-openers; an emotional roller coaster of sorts. The year began with a kiss to my fiancée and continued on from there with me trying to find new ways of keeping our relationship together for the sake of our daughter. After seeing my fiancée run out of the house many times to go party and hang out with friends, I knew that she was and had been dancing and flirting with other men. It was only a matter of time before she suggested the idea of having an open relationship. She came clean about a number of lies and events that she once thought that I believed; that was sometime around the one-night stand that she went out for, I think.

Now, after nine years of working on our relationship, which has included our daughter for the passed three, she’s unable to understand why I no longer want to be a part of the relationship after the 100th time of her saying: I’m sorry. I can and will change. I feel like I’ve fallen for it too many times already; I know I have. On top of that, I also learned that she’s been spreading lies to her friends and family about me for the passed couple of years, and offered to pay me to move out; though she phrased it as: $1,000 to go start new wherever you’d rather be. With all of the emotional stress of working to save our relationship, trying to teach her how to be a lady and a wife, how to cook, how to play the violin, learn the French language with her… and so much more, also did not work out. Trying to imagine myself with someone new after being with the same woman for over nine years did not help matters.

I’m currently unemployed, which has been the norm for the passed three and half years, at least. I have a few hobbies in mind, and a background in writing. Coming out of the muck of 2012, I’m finally able to write, again; in sentences that make at least a bit of sense, anyway.

For 2013, I have a couple ideas in mind that will likely help with my mental and physical health, that also may turn me into an author of a novel or two, a photographer, and maybe even an entrepreneur.

I will finish reading through my Bible, which I began during 22 hours of Christmas day that I spent alone, contemplating the meaning of ‘Family’. I returned Christmas night soon enough to spend a short amount of time with my daughter before telling her good night and to offer the idea of sweet dreams.

Now it’s the first day of the new year and I have plenty of work to do that will keep me occupied in becoming someone more. I have writings that range from ideas, to nearly finished novellas and screenplays for television series that were canceled shortly after I finished writing them. Still, I’ve been going over the idea of sending them in to find out what the producers and/or chief editor thinks about the ideas, so that I may get some added feedback from a reliable source who knows the industry better than anyone else. It could prove useful.

There are still many blog entries that I have yet to write in order to help my fellow bloggers and fellow authors. I will address several topics that I consider to be of importance, that will offer some insight to your writings, and hope that they prove useful to you and other writers.

Here’s to procrastinating…

Now, back to work.

Wave Good-Bye

Another year has come to an end. It seems that we survived the supposed end of the world that was scheduled for December 21, 2012, though the Mayan calendar ending did not necessarily mean the rest of the world would.

So, we’re all now waving good-bye to 2012 and getting ready to welcome another great year with family, friends, co-workers, and all of our good habits.

May 2013 bring much love, peace, happiness, and fulfill so many dreams that have yet been ignored. Remember to hold your resolutions close this year, as every year before, and work through them one step at a time.

Sing it with me…

Na-Na-Na-Na, Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey, Hey, Hey! GOOD-BYE 2012!

Happy New Year!

Exampled by Professionals

“‘I was replacing the joists in the floor when I noticed a slight depression—it appeared to be filled in with the foundations of the house,’ Colin Steer told the London Telegraph. The discovery has led Sheer to explore the history of his property, located in the city of Plymouth, near the south coast of Devon, England.”

It doesn’t take a professional proofreader to notice the error in the paragraph above. Many writers pride themselves on writing quality fiction, but when it comes to writing nonfiction, the main rule of thumb is to have all of the facts straight before getting the piece published.

In the paragraph above, the article’s author, Eric Pfeiffer, a reporter who blogs for Yahoo! News, decided to switch the home owner’s name with another that had come to mind, likely out of Sheer brilliance. It wasn’t enough to see the owner’s name in the previous sentence, apparently.

This is one of the many errors found in the work of a writer. There are many other errors out there which are just as tragic when it comes to progressing a story, in fiction as well as nonfiction.

As with this error, which was likely unintentionally made, it takes more than spellcheck to get the job of writing — and editing — completed to a result of satisfaction.

It is becoming more common for reporters to simply Vlog (video blog) about an incident, and one of the reasons appears quite obvious.

If you would like to have some proofreading fun, see if you can spot the other errors in this piece of writing.

Full article: Medieval well discovered beneath couple’s living room | The Sideshow – Yahoo! News

In an article by Justin Hyde, for the Yahoo! Autos blog Motoramic, it’s obvious that the appearance of the vehicle likely took value from his writing when he wrote the following bit.

“But after leaving office and some changes in his personal life, Schwarzenegger seems to be exploring the world of high-end machinery again; we caught him earlier thisy month checking out the field at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. ”

Professional writers should know better than to begin a sentence with a conjunction when it comes to professional style and quality, but some just do not seem to mind a bit.

Spellcheck would have been useful here. Unless it also suggested to include the word ‘making’ so readers are not meant to believe that Schwarzenegger left changes in his life, or perhaps that he left his life altogether, it would have only corrected one of the errors shown.

Full article: Arnold Schwarzenegger gets the keys to a $250,000 Mercedes Unimog | Motoramic – Yahoo! Autos

Someone may need to suggest to Yahoo! News, or their blogging department at least, that proofreaders and editors would likely help in situations similar to these. So many other articles have been published with a variety of errors included that it makes it hard to believe that these ‘professionals’ should be considered professionals at all.

Perhaps it is meant to demonstrate that the quality and style of a writer are allowed to be less than professional once the writer has made a name for themselves.

Fare Thee Well, August

After finding some more popular blogs on the internet prior to June, I also ran across one or two that caught my attention that were written by people just like me. I found myself blogging by the beginning of June. It distracted me from the everyday happenings that I didn’t want to think about and deal with as I should have. It was my escape.

Come the end of July, having been a blogger for a little over a month, I had found so many writers who write interesting material and I felt as though I had become one of them. The world was at my fingertips, quite literally. Many of the bloggers I read were setting goals for themselves, or simply running on a random schedule due to a load of life being delivered on a constant basis. I still wanted to join in the writing fun.

I decided by the first of August that I would also set a list of achievable goals and get busy writing. I found several interesting topics and did some research, took necessary notes, and only got a little actual writing done. I feel horrible for not having completed the list of simple goals that I created for myself.

Unfortunately, life got in the way of my writing and I was unable to concentrate on thoughts and topics long enough to write anything of use. Though I feel that I have offered better quality posts during the month, I feel bad for having been pulled away so many times by so many distracting matters.

September is just around the corner, and my fingers are still able to push the keys on the keyboard in front of me. Just the same, they’re able to pick up a pencil or a pen and jot down notes and thoughts. Since I have a list of goals already in place, I will be working toward the goals that I have not yet achieved, while making each entry that I post of the best quality that I’m able to muster at that time.

There are four entries about writing that I have not finished along with three entries that are not personally inclined nor benefited from. I will also do my best to include on-topic images that follow the theme of the entry, so long as I’m able to find something suitable.

I have learned this past month that I am an overly-analytical, optimistic pessimist. Yes, I understand how confusing that must sound. It was recently pointed out to me that I have a tendency to constantly expect the worst of any given situation, even those that I feel I’m able to control, no matter what ground I have to base my ideas upon. My life has surely not been an easy one. The direction has shifted so many times at the hands of others that I am unsatisfied with how everything has turned out and come to be. I feel at times that there is very little reason that I should be optimistic about my life. It seems no matter how hard I try to make things work, some stray wire causes the whole package to blow. I guess I’ll work on that, too.

There are many other things that usually demand my attention when I sit down to write. Many of them should be considered just as important, or more important, than my writing, I feel. I should not simply put them off without thinking about how much those things matter to me. I realize this on a recurring basis.

During the month of September, I plan on making a few changes to become less pessimistic, more optimistic, and more opportunistic, in an ethical manner.

A third of the way through the month, I received an e-mail with the subject line: ‘saw this and thought of you’. It was an inspirational e-mail with just a single image inside. The image reads: “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” …a quote from Robert Hughes. This e-mail may not seem much to some, but being the first of its kind that I have received, I wanted to be sure to include this with a ‘Thank you’ to the fellow writer for the inspiration.

I would also like to thank all of you who stop by to read what I have to say. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, view what I’ve written, ‘Like’, and share your thoughts in a comment. Even if you’re one of the silent readers who are unable to like an entry or make a comment, thank you for visiting.

Here’s to September. May it bring many well-written words and meaningful, memorable moments.

Make It Come Out Write

Ruffled Plain

Subject. Topic. Possibilities. Blank document; paper or otherwise. Do it. Don’t do it. Use that word. Use these, instead. Word it differently. No. Reword it. Now, reword it again. Cancel that. Rewrite it. Erase that. No, don’t erase that! It might come in handy later. Erase that, though. Put that idea here. Put that thought there. Move this. Replace these. Insert here and erase… no, don’t erase; just take it out and put it away.

Writers constantly struggle to get their thoughts onto paper, or into an electronic document that will give them the ease required to look past their mind and into what they’ve thought about. This idea and that thought may both seem like good ideas. Excellent ideas they are, maybe.

Once the words have been written and put down on paper or into the document on the monitor in front of them, these ideas and thoughts seem to clash. Maybe they no longer make the perfect sense they once did. Perhaps, the wrong words were used and others should have been used to give the idea or thought more meaning.

The ideas that come to mind seem wonderful to the writer who is about to write them. They would likely seem wonderful to the reader who would enjoy the time spent to read them, if the writer would ever get around to finish writing them.

Writing takes time. Writing well, sometimes takes even more time. No, good writing does not consist of the overly used editing skills that some writers boast about having; that’s good editing. Good writing comes from some place deeper than a pencil or a keyboard, and it is much more than a single edit will help.

Writing well is more about writing from the heart rather than scribbling notes for a grocery list. Good writing is more than words; it’s feeling, too. In order to write something that is well written, words to describe the object must be used. — Bland. Overrated. Too cliché. — To write well, a heart must be present in order to give the words more meaning than a dictionary can provide.

Description comes in handy. Description is also known to hinder a piece of writing more than it helps in many cases. Description is of no use when the idea will not reveal itself long enough to be written; when the thought creeps back into its dark corner.

Perhaps it’s only the imagination of the writer that makes the writing seem less than worthy. Perhaps, the writing actually is less than worthy and should be crumpled into a ball and thrown into a useful waste basket. Or, perhaps, the world would love to read what has been written, if only it were able to be written.

Words and sentences often express thought. Ideas are expressed this way, too, of course. What happens when the words won’t come to create sentences? — A jumbled mess of thought mixed with confusion and irritation; that’s what.

Writing benefits from emotion. It benefits from idea, thought, consideration, and meaningful words that allow a writer to effectively convey an idea to another, through the use of words. Writing does not, however, benefit from loose hairs resulting from an irritated writer pulling them out. Nor does it benefit from the angst that is likely to arrive upon the third revision of the same piece.

Writing well lies within the writer. To force the words will usually result in what feels as failure, because the piece is not written as well as it could be, as well as it should be, written. All is not lost. After all, that’s why the process of editing was created; right?

Many writers find themselves editing more than they write. Other writers find themselves writing and editing here and there, as it’s needed. The whole point, whether it is in a completely raw form that will ultimately need a few hours of editing or it’s in perfect condition as it’s being written, is to make it come out; write.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

The Little Engine That Could - Become the Little Engine That Did

  • 1. …Try, Try Again.
  • Of course, it’s much easier than it sounds. Anger and fear usually set in as a result of frustration. Anger as a result of the task being thought of as a simple one, and failure was the reward for trying the first time. Fear of not being able to accomplish such a task also makes it that much more difficult.
  • When a combination of the two is experienced, those emotions spark up a slew of others; all of which only blur the mind to make the task seem even more impossible.
  • 2. …Give up and let the dust settle.
  • It’s tempting at times, but to give up means to admit defeat. It may not be possible to win every war in life, but it certainly does not hurt to try. The dust that settles will only cover the initial attempt in part. The memory will remain and history will eventually rear its ugly head to bring about the task once more anew.
  • When the chance is offered, be sure to have the proper tools and skill so that victory will result.
  • 3. …Pay someone else to do it.
  • There are surely hundreds of professionals, if not thousands, who would be more than willing to take your project and make it appear the easiest task in the world. Of course, in order to hire anyone else, payment would be expected at some point during the project, and along with it, victory would belong to another.

If at first you don’t succeed and you would like to try again, release the negative emotion that has built up to begin with a clear mind. Remember that failure is a reward in itself, because it shows you that it’s time to sharpen your tools and increase your skill; to ultimately make you a better person.

Yes, someone else may be able to do the project that you have setup better and likely even quicker, but as the proverb reminds us: If you want something done right the first time, you had better do it yourself. Along with knowing that the project was completed to your approval, you’ll also enjoy the satisfaction of having completed your goal.

Image Source: Cliff; used under the Creative Commons Licensing.