Writing Gives You Wings

You’ve seen the memes all over the Internet, I know. They tell you we’re a weird bunch. Weird, unstable, emotional, eccentric, crazy even. It’s a cultural cliché that in order to be a writer, you must be a bohemian, jobless, penniless, loner who, at times, indulges in a good-sized dose of narcissism balanced by self-deprecation. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? The thing is, that's not exactly what it's about. And those aren't necessarily the characteristics that make a writer a writer. The thing is: being a writer is hard. It’s really hard. Actually, it’s really, really, really hard. Not just because the craft of writing is challenging, but because of what is required for the craft to come to fruition. Not to mention the thick skin required to withstand frequent rejection. At the Tucson Festival of Books this year, I had the opportunity to hear Alice Hoffman speak during a Young Adult Fiction panel. Near the end of the session, a mother from the crowd stood...
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The Space of the Unknown

The process of creation happens in the present moment. Michelangelo said of his journey as an artist:  “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Alchemists knew this process well—the act of fashioning “something” from “nothing.” Solve et coagula, that is, "dissolve and coagulate" meaning nothing new can be built before we break the old and we make space. Before a project is revealed, the artist may not (and most likely doesn’t) know what the final work will be.  The artist may have a vague idea about theme, or character, or scene, or tune, but the work reveals itself during the process of creation. It doesn’t happen during a planning phase or a crafting session. The artist, the writer is a channel—one who is willing to go into the space of the unknown, into the space of uncertainty, and be present in that space long enough for the work to reveal...
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Synchronicity: Being in the Flow of Life

Each month, I send out a subscriber-only newsletter and I want to share with you a section of the last newsletter.  I include a Q&A that covers a wide range of topics  including writing, editing, metaphysics, astrology, and other similar info.  This month's Q&A was particular poignant, so I wanted to make it available here for you. Stephanie from San Francisco, California wrote: How do you explain synchronicities and what do they mean? What if I told you that your question is itself a synchronicity? Leading up to this newsletter I’ve been thinking about and wanting to write about co-creatorship. The mention of Sagittarius and the planet Jupiter, earlier, starts to discuss this. Not only that, in the second interview installment with M.J. Rose, she mentions near the end the idea of synchronicity as the term was coined and defined by Carl Jung. Bravo Stephanie for being in the flow!   Synchronicities are most often seen as 'coincidences' that appear when we do not expect...
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M.J. Rose on Writing, Reincarnation, and Aromas

In the last post we learned about M.J. Rose and her adventures in the publishing world. In this post, we'll learn more about her writing style and inspiration. What is the one thing that always puts you in the space or frame of mind to write when you’re working on a project—even if you’re not feeling particularly inspired? "I have a talisman for every book…an object that belongs to the main character. All I have to do is focus on it. Right now it’s an old silver and amethyst ring that I believe my character, a 16th century perfumer, wore on his forefinger all his life." How do you approach plot when you’re writing a new novel? Do you use an outline in your process? "I spend a long time on my main characters, creating scrapbooks for them filled with all the mementos of their life. I give about three months to this process not writing a word, but finding my characters in the...
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Experimental Literature and the Work of Sandy Florian

Writing is a self-reflective and sometimes, self-reflexive process depending upon the subject matter. Great writing has the ability to transport readers to another place, time, or planet (or elsewhere) and instruct, inform, intrigue and enlighten. Of contemporary works, there are few that bridge the chasm between fiction and poetry, and even fewer that do so very well. Experimental literature has, I believe, always been on the forefront of every contemporary time period only later to be classified as stylistic bodies of evolving works, “Romanticism,” “Surrealism,” “Transendentalism,” to name a few. When these movements were current, perhaps they had no names, perhaps they were just the next phase of the written word developed by writers who dared ask the question: “What can we try next?” and then proceeded to attempt an answer. Sandy Florian’s work is one such example of the now ambiguous, nameless, 21st-century experimental form. Her works stretch reality, introduce abstract concepts, function subversively, comment on politics and religion, question the...
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Amusings From Vacationland

It's been a long time since I’ve posted an entry here and I’m glad to post to you today!  It’s my first official vacation day of the 2012 year, which is partly the reason I haven’t been blogging. I’ve been writing for Western Art Collector, writing for Gently Read Literature, working on my second book. I have availability on Soul’s Journey Lightworkers each week and every month I’ve been hosting a guided visualization/meditation group to help integrate these intense energies of 2012. I haven’t forgotten about the Manifestation series of entries, and I haven’t forgotten about you, the readers, I’ve simply been stretched very thin.  I look forward to writing here more often for you (and for me) and connecting—albeit virtually—with those that I don’t get to see in person regularly. That said: I haven't actually gone anywhere! I took the day off to write and muse. I'm in Phoenix and the weather today was absolutely perfect—80s and sunny with a cool breeze.  I couldn't have chosen a better day to...
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A Little Phrase on "The How"

I often receive information first thing upon waking.  Information comes from the dream, from the ether, from the higher self still moving back in to body.  It's lucid and fluid and sometimes, almost, just out of grasp.  Words are quicksilver, and the mind, when slow to follow, loses a race against the never ending inner monologue that picks and chooses what it highlights and when, speeding along toward a finish line stationed at the horizon. This morning I woke from a dream.  The week prior had been long and filled with many dreams of people I knew, and places I had been before, some places beautiful and only existing in dream, and some places to where I'd never like to return.  But what remained was a little phrase, whispering into my ear, when eyes were still closed and the new day had not yet officially begun.  A little phrase that came in, lingered a bit, rolling in like fog and disappearing...
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