Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Wind in the Willows

Never read the book, but I'm using the title for this blog post that begins with a wind storm. The second of three.

We have no willows on our lot. In fact the only tree we have is a twig of a lilac. I could sit and contemplate this "tree" from the bay window seat, but what would be the point? It's a twig.

The rain pours down in blowing sheets. The power could give out at any moment. The lights have blinked a few times. And we're not yet into the worst of the storm. I won't go into further detail except to say we could be in for it (then again, maybe not).

There's this story in the Bible about a dude named Nicodemus who comes to Jesus with questions about how to be "saved" and Jesus gives him a somewhat cryptic answer about being "born again." He then goes on to say:

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

And so it is with the "muse" as well. Sometimes there is inspiration and sometimes there is not. (The lights just flickered again.) With that said, there is always wind. It may not be blowing in your favor,but it can be harnessed by you, nonetheless. It's been said like this:

"One ship sails east, the other west, by the selfsame winds they blow; 'tis the set of the sail and not the gail that determines the way they go."

Meaning? It's up to you to move. It's all about how you use what you have. In sailing you can move the direction you choose--even into the wind-- by a technique called beating to the wind.

And it's the same way with writing.

Beating to the wind involves numerous small maneuvers in order to advance into the wind. (There's a lot to it, so if you want to know more look it up on Wikipedia.) In writing you can do much the same. When you can't plow forward by freewriting you can take baby steps.

We've got NaNoWriMo coming up. 

That's National Novel Writing Month; which is November. The goal is to write a "novel" of 50,000 words in length in thirty days. It's mostly a plow-through type of effort, but sometimes you get "stuck" by this thing called writer's block which is really nothing more than not being able to come up with something brilliant to write.

The secret is to write anyway. It doesn't have to be brilliant.

Author Shannon Hale writes: 

“I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

And there are a LOT of things you can do to keep "sailing." Techniques for overcoming "writer's block" abound. Begin with a Google search and then try a few until you find what works for you.

And (LOL) I began this post not having ANY idea what I was going to write. I had one word: wind. I took it from there. See what one can do with just a little wind?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall Into a Good Book at the Fall Home & Garden Show

Yes, that's right, the Home & Garden Show in Portland, Ore. has a Book Booth. 

The NIWA exhibit features more than twenty NW indie authors and will be displaying 170+ titles.

The event runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m, October 6 - 9. 

Admission is $10 to the entire show (and $8 to park), BUT if you're coming on Thursday or Friday, print out the coupon at the bottom to get a discount on admission any day (AND parking is FREE after 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday).

I'll NOT be participating after all this year go anyway and see the other writers (they need your encouragement, too). BTW: It's booth #843.