Saturday, May 30, 2009

Encouragement

"The only person getting in your way is you."

My personal trainer

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Protagonist & the Honey Bees

My mother is one of many antagonists in my life. I use the term antagonist but not in a negative way, she is continually challenging me to become a better version of myself. Through her antagonizing I have learned to be the protagonist of my life. (After all life does not happen while sitting on a couch for long periods of time.)

She seemingly will push me into adventures with little or no warning. For example, some of the adventures include:

• How to pet hummingbird while in flight. (This is truly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen/experienced, mom can walk up to a hummingbird and pet it while is gathering nectar from flowers. She has taught me how to do it but I have yet to master it. Conversely, I am able to get dragon flies to crawl onto my hand.)

• How to make an Indigenous flute. (I made friends with a Fluteman of the Lakota Nation. My mom convinced him to come teach flute making classes with the expectation I had to come make a flute.)

• Aromatherapy. (My mother has always had a nose for smell. So, one day she decided to get certified in it. I am her test subject however in return, I’ve learned about the power of smell and aromatherapy.

The above examples bring me to the latest adventure: typing someone else’s manuscript. Ahhh! My thoughts exactly! I can barely finish my own projects let alone help some else with theirs.

Tonight, I popped in to visit Ma & Pa J, with the intention of explaining that I simply don’t have the time to devote to someone else’s work. Upon my arrival, mother J wasted no time whipping out the manuscript. I stared at the tattered blue jean colored three ring binder sitting on the dining room table. I carefully opened cover to reveal, 250 double space, wide ruled, hand written in pencil. (At this point my ice box of an over busy heart began to melt. Suddenly, I felt like I was in sixth grade, having just officially penned my first twenty-page story about a pirate ship that had run aground. )

My mother explained that the author is 93 years old, he been a beekeeper all his life. These are his stories about the keeping and tending to bees. The pages contain both memoir & science behind bee keeping. I really like it because it so different from something I would normally write. Who am I to reject someone’s story? I’ll leave that to the people in the publishing world. Intuitively, I know, there is a place of this story on a bookshelf somewhere. After all, honeybees are endangered.

I will continue to work on my projects, at the same time, helping some else achieve bring their dream to life. I can’t think of a better way to live.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A letter to anyone who needs encouragement.(the e-mail formally known as when one finds herself in the middle of an adventure, one must continue on..)

This is an excerpt from an e-mail I wrote to someone months ago. I happen to be organizing my files, re-read it and realized that parts of this need to be shared with others.


Dear Friend,
My encouragement to you is: continue to follow your bliss. You are on the path your suppose to be on. If you ever come face to face with the shadow of doubt, shoot me e-mail. I will be more than happy to set you straight.
Understand, I am not just saying this, I am moved by the compassion to help others. Free from any personal motives. I believe that every single person is born with something to create. Blocked creative expression is a derailment to one’s well being. Supporting someone else creativity is equally important. Every artist needs someone to look at or listen to or appreciate his/her creation.

Be well & travel lightly,

HRJ

PS..if anyone does need encouragement, post a comment or contact me personally, I will be more than happy to help! :-)

Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Superhero pick up lines

Here is something for a little laugh....


“Can we just cut through the small talk and jump to warp speed?”

“I am super friend with benefits.”

“Interested in making magic?”

“Is your phaser set to stun?”

“Nice Asimov”

“I’m attracted to your gravitational pull.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quote for the Day (kinda :)

It's almost WisCon, people. That means it's time to psyche yourself for a roadtrip by listening to what I think of as the Death Pixie theme songs: "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield (for lyrics and to listen http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/natashabedingfield/unwritten.html ) always inspires me to write. And then there's "Supergirl" by Saving Jane! (For the purposes of this theme song, Robbie has been made an honorary girl :) The video with lyrics is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpoFAHIeg-o Get up and dance. You know you want to.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Science of Science Fiction

Here's the link to Minnesota Public Radio's interview with Michio Kaku, the author of Physics of the Impossible.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/04/16/midmorning2/


It's an interesting discussion on the possibilities of warp drive, teleportation, and invisibility cloaks, as well as how scientists and writers inspire each other.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quote for the Day

"Write drunk. Edit sober." --Ernest Hemingway


Okay, I'm not a drinker myself but I still embrace the spirit of Papa H.'s quote. There's a point in this process where it's good to be "drunk," at least in the figurative sense. You have to be able to let go, to brainstorm, to write more than you need, to fall recklessly in love with your characters and follow their tangents and to lose yourself completely in the story without judging what you are creating. And then there is the literary morning after, when it's time to swallow the hair of the dog that bit you and get down to work. That's when you hold the thing at arms length and try to become as objective as possible. You try to read your own work as if it were someone else's. You bring in the tough love.
I think that, as writers, many of us are better at one side of the process than the other. Right now, I find myself rushing to the judgement part of the process on my wip when in fact there are places where I still need to be drunkenly creating. That means my "inner editor" is inhibiting me by critiquing me prematurely. So today I went back to the drawing board on some world building issues that I had never really settled. I got out a big roll of white paper and some markers and I brainstormed and made lists without any lines. I know that I'll sober up and go back to more rational writing soon, but today it was helpful to create without second-guessing.

What about you? Which part of the process comes easiest? Where are you at in your work? Stone cold sober? Three sheets to the wind?
I hope you are writing well.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quote

"Fear of failure can a motivator or an inhibitor. The latter is crippling and ultimately leads to a life of missed opportunities...."

Timonthy Egan, New York Times, 05/06/09

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2nd chakra.....

Today, I was standing in the kitchen talking to a co-worker, we mused about: creativity, balancing work life and being an artist etc. After wandering through the desert thoughts he blurted out., “if you don’t do something creative you 2nd chakra will create something for you and you might not like what you create.” A moment of self-reflective silence passed between us before my reply, “thank you, I needed to hear that.”


Sometimes the universe sends little reminders of what were are suppose to be doing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Best. Advice. Ever.

Okay, this is an old essay so chances are you internet savy folks have already read it, but I just read it for the first time today and thought it was brilliant. If you need to check in with the dream (and you do)...http://www.jennycrusie.com/for-writers/essays/rats-with-islands-how-to-survive-your-publishing-career/ .

I hope you all are swimming rats.

Mirrors, fishbowls, muses and blurring lines of fiction

I must begin by saying that magical things happen to on a daily basis. I’ve grown use to the sweet kisses of the universe. However, as of late, magic and I, have been strangers. Until, a few Sundays ago, when I was having tea with a friend of mine, and I was on a rant and rave about writing, art and my unusually mundane existence. She set her mug down looked right through to my soul and said, “ take the daily encounters and create your stories/mythos from there. You stories will be more real and have some truth even though it is speculative fiction.” Those words gave me chills because there is truth behind them.
As the week progessed, my private mythos (of the stories I tell myself) seeped into reality beginning with one small step on a Friday afternoon. Let me explain:
In a panic, I called a friend to give me a ride over to the Loft Literary Center to drop off a mentorship application. On my way back, I walked past a place I refer to ‘the fish bowl.’ (The dry cleaners in the bottom of the building I work in.) Nearly, everyday for the past two years (roughly), I’ve walked past, trying not to gawk at the handsome man works there. Every time I’d pass him, I would make up stories about him. Never talking the time to step out of my head and say something to him. However, on this particular Friday, this all had to change. I went in, asked if he was an “*artist or musician. “ *(I had to ask this question, it was the lead off question of all the stories I’d ever made up about him….) He replied, “both.” From that moment, I was sold, I knew I had to converse with this person. We spoke for a mere five minutes. However, the short -lived exchange ignited a long lost passion of life, art, love, storytelling and conversation. Six days later this gentleman moved to follow his dream. From this experience I’ve come to the following conclusions:
• How important it is to get out of your own head and to experience life.
• A conversation with a complete strange may inspire your next story.
• Share your art with others.
I’m happy to report that the magic is back. Thrilled that I’ve become passionate once again about my artistic endeavors and life in general. I am enjoying the evolution of myself as a writer/artist and a person in my community.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Quote for the Day

T-shirt I saw the other day:

"Plot. It builds character."

I laughed. I guess you could have a whole chicken-and-the-egg conversation about that one, huh? So, does your plot build your characters? Do your characters make your plot what it is? Both, I guess, in my case...
Hope you are plotting away today!