To Purge or Not to Purge?

In addition to writing I have many other interests. Reading, knitting, canning and painting come to mind immediately. One thing that all of these hobbies share is the inevitable accumulation of stuff.

I can’t imagine giving any of these things up I love them too much.

Now you might ask why not read only e-books? or why not buy only the yarn you need for the project you’re currently working on?

Well, the answer to those questions are simple and and if you are anything like me you know. One does not simply by the yarn for the project they are working on, and to suggest such a thing is ludicrous.

Books are another problem…in that I love them so much. There are currently over 1000 titles saved on my e-reader, but I also have five book cases brimming with books many of which have been read and re-read. I can’t part with them it would be too much like saying good bye to a lost friend or lover. Nor can I convert solely to e-titles despite the fact that my own books are published electronically there is nothing quite like a tangible book and I will forever sit on the fence for this debate.

So I know that to be successful the time will come where I must be ruthless to make any progress at all. Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

What can’t you bear to part with?

Goodbye to 2016

Many couldn’t wait to bid farewell to 2016. With the instruction not to have the door hit it in the ass on the way out, and I can’t say I blame them 2016 was unkind to many. It took many celebrities and artists some before their time, and we even saw a fund me bid for Betty White. Who let’s be honest 2016 knew better than to fuck with.

For me it took friends, relatives and co-workers some through illness others tragic accidents and even one though the unthinkable – murder.

So I understand the sentiments of personalizing 2016 as a villain to be hated and I sympathize with the desire to turn the page or slam the book shut.

However I’m compelled to remember the good because if we only recall the bad and shove the year into a box of memories we only recall a half truth. There were good times to remember as well as successes that should not be trivialized.So while I am pleased to turn the page this is only another chapter to begin anew.

Remember that you are shaped by your experiences good and bad and that the villain in your story is the hero of their own.

Grieving is Universal

Recently a very good friend of mine passed away. it was sudden and tragic and far too soon. That was back in June. Last week I went to a visitation for another friends father. Obviously he was much older than my friend who’d passed away in a car accident but his passing was no less painful.

The visitation last week involved Catholic prayer and was entirely in Croatian. I’m not Catholic and I’m not Croatian, but as I sat there listening to the words I didn’t understand about a religion I know little about it dawned on me. Grief is universal it doesn’t matter what language it speaks or what religion you wrap it in.

It looks the same,  smells the same. and tears through you in exactly the same way. With gut wrenching relentlessness that never stops and never tires.

Grief never goes away. There are many flavours, several shades. It never fades. It is only our perception that changes. It’s our ability to adapt to loss. to grow accustomed to absence. It is only our sheer will that pulls us through each day as we fight not to be swallowed whole.

It is why we often fear death and hate change. One day grief will knock for us all and we’ll have no choice but to answer to the universal call.

Write Something Real

I’m sure every author sets out to do this. So what do I mean? Write something thought provoking, or something that reaches inside you and rips at your guts or tugs at your heart strings. Write something vivid that will leave an impact.

Write what you love, not what people thing you should write or what you think will sell.

Yes, you read that correctly. All writers want to create the next work that takes the world by storm, and if they tell you they don’t then their full of shit, but it isn’t about that. Or at least it shouldn’t be. instead you should write in a way that brings each book to life.

So how do you do that? I’m sure I don’t have the answer, but for my money I’d bet write something real. Something you love. Be bold, be brave and don’t stop until the story inside of you is out in the world.

Paint your characters with vibrant colours. Love your protagonists. Know them inside and out as if they were your best friend. Hate your villains, they are the bag guys of the story after all, but offer redemption because on their side of the story they’re the hero. Create a rich world that you’re sad to see end. If you’re successful your readers will love your hero hate your villain and be sad to see the story end right along with you.

heart book

Taboo a Social Construct

body-1174536_1920Is it something that makes you uncomfortable? The thought of someone seeing you naked. The thought of two men sharing an intimate embrace? Is it something considered wrong or dirty by society?

Maybe it’s something that invokes a thrill. Something that feels naughty or dark. Something you can’t look away from. It could be putting on a show for a lover not knowing if strangers are watching. Maybe you’re the voyeur watching the woman slowly taking off her clothes to entice her lover. sensual-1341605_1280Over time though things that were once considered taboo change. Is it only by exposure that these things become more acceptable?

It may be taboo, but  it’s OK to fantasize about a stranger while your lover takes you. It’s OK to want to be bound helpless and unable to move forced to submit to someone more powerful than you.

Many people feel repressed and unable to accept how they really feel maybe they just want to be told It’s OK to want to walk the edge of what’s socially acceptable, to dip your toes in and test the waters.

Balance

It’s a word we hear often in every day life, a balanced diet a balance between work and play  but what does it really mean and how do we achieve it?

Is balance really an attainable ideal or is it just that – an ideal something we all strive for but never quite reach. Balance in our work and home lives, balance in our relationships, but how many of us are walking around unbalanced?

How many of us are stressed? Maybe burning the candle at both ends?

I’m not good with numbers but if I were a betting person I’d say the numbers were high. So what do we do? Drink less caffeine, and do yoga? Sure if that’s your thing.

What do you do though if you do everything you can to achieve the much sought after balance and come up empty handed?

I am coming to believe we would be far more likely to find balance and therefore a deeper happiness if we looked internally. I think the key is letting go of the guilt many of us feel.

Whether it’s guilt for sleeping that extra hour, or guilt over watching trashy TV. It could be guilt over reading one more chapter when you know you should be doing the dishes that are in your sink, or saying no to that invitation you got or task you don’t want to do.

Only when we let go of all of that, will we stand a real chance at achieving balance.