Guest Bloggers

Brad Yates Inspires Action

Note from Marlene: I have been helped and inspired by Brad Yates and his Tapping Videos. I hope you enjoy reading about his New Year’s Eve experience in Paris. Guest Blogger Brad Yates: Walking with a blind man From time to time we hear stories – or see videos – of differently-abled people doing remarkable things.  We may find these stories to be inspiring… and sometimes we might even find them challenging, as we confront how we may have allowed lesser hurdles than theirs to limit our lives.  We can allow ourselves to be shamed by these, or let them serve as wake-up calls to stop making excuses.  Naturally, I’d guide folks towards the second option. Most of the time, these stories come into our awareness in a fleeting way, and not a personal one.  More often, it’s someone we don’t know and will likely never meet, making it less…

Guest Bloggers

Alison Luterman and Patience

  Guest Blogger Alison Luterman writes: January 2018 Happy New Year! A few weeks ago I read something on-line about the concept of a “word for the year” and being a sucker for all things woo, decided to try it. Someone had used the word “Delight” and her career exploded into a lovely confetti burst of rainbows and candy canes. Sounds good, I thought. I’ll take “Delight” too. But wait! It turns out that you can’t just choose a word willy-nilly. It’s more like the word chooses you. The next day as I sat scribbling morning pages it came to me in a sickening flash of insight: my word is Patience; unsexy, old-fashioned Patience. Not the ever-popular Abundance or Adventure or Sex Goddess, (even those are all very good words and you’re welcome to them). But as soon as I saw my pen writing “Patience,” I knew: It’s what I…

Guest Bloggers

Corral your best time of day for maximum creativity

Rebecca Lawton posted “Ring-fence” on her blog in August 2013.  If you are struggling with your writing, or finding a routine that works for you, this might help. Ring-fence What is this malaise? This lack of focus and ennui combined with a skimming restlessness? My mind won’t settle on anything for more than an instant. The piles of paper around me are growing, escaping my recycle bin. I can’t seem to force myself to get to work on them or anything else. Those short stories I was revising religiously every morning? Not today. Today my mind is a cloud pushed by the wind. It could have been a regular workday with a schedule I knew from experience to be effective. Usually I rise between 5:30 and 6:30 AM, head for the meditation chair, sit for 20 minutes, then concoct morning chai for the household. Next I’m off to my writing…

Guest Bloggers

Revision: When the really big ideas show up.

Today’s Guest Blogger Rachael Herron has this to say about revision. I’m back in the middle of revision of a book, and I’m finally swimming in the water I love. What I adore about revision is this: I know the world. I invented it, after all! When I open the document, I’m right in the middle of something I understand. It’s much easier, for me, to drop in for hours and rest on the page. It’s also easier to come out of, to shake off. First drafts remain torture for me. So many of you love the first drafts, and I can admit that sometimes, the writing of new words is glorious. You surprise yourself with a turn of phrase that you’re pretty sure is genius and has probably never been said before. The plot bends and a tree you wrote about comes to life and points a branched finger…

Guest Bloggers

Does your book concept have legs?

Today’s guest blogger, Jerry Jenkins, has written a thorough article, “How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps.” I love lists, so of course I was intrigued to find out more. And I love it when writers talk about passion. Listed below are a few of Jerry’s steps about writing a book, excerpted or paraphrased from his comprehensive list (link at the bottom of this post). Where to start… What each step entails… How to overcome fear, procrastination, and writer’s block… And how to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Establish your writing space. If you dedicate a room solely to your writing, you can write off a portion of your home mortgage, taxes, and insurance proportionate to that space. You can also write in restaurants and coffee shops.  Assemble your writing tools. Try to imagine everything you’re going to need in addition to your desk or table, so…

Guest Bloggers

How to catch the ideas that flit by.

Today’s Guest Blogger post is from one of my favorite authors, Rachael Herron. Rachael writes: A comment by David Sedaris on a podcast gave me an a-ha moment recently, and I wanted to share it with you. I’d always wondered how he got his essays so brilliantly specific—filled with the kind of particulars that put you right into the spot where he stands. From Me Talk Pretty One Day, “For the first twenty years of my life, I rocked myself to sleep. It was a harmless enough hobby, but eventually, I had to give it up. Throughout the next twenty-two years I lay still and discovered that after a few minutes I could drop off with no problem. Follow seven beers with a couple of scotches and a thimble of good marijuana, and it’s funny how sleep just sort of comes on its own. Often I never even made it…

Guest Bloggers

Trust your intuition for creative writing.

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray inspires our writing to flow from a dream-like state of consciousness and to trust our intuition. Suzanne writes:  How Do We Allow Creativity to Flow? When we get lost in a good book it’s because the writer got lost in letting the story come through as they wrote. I remember the first time when I got on a roll with my writing, where I knew I was writing something good. I stopped and looked around the room to see where it was coming from because I knew it wasn’t coming from my everyday self. Since then I have come to understand writing comes from a dream-like state of consciousness of allowing what wants to be written to unfold. It doesn’t involve thinking or trying to figure it out but rather feeling and sensing what wants to be born and following that golden thread. All creativity comes…

Guest Bloggers

So, what is a story?

Today’s post is by Lisa Cron, author of Story Genius and Wired for Story. We think in story. It’s hardwired in our brain. It’s how we make strategic sense of the otherwise overwhelming world around us. Simply put, the brain constantly seeks meaning from all the input thrown at it, yanks out what’s important for our survival on a need-to-know basis, and tells us a story about it, based on what it knows of our past experience with it, how we feel about it, and how it might affect us. Rather than recording everything on a first-come, first-served basis, our brain casts us as “the protagonist” and then edits our experience with cinema-like precision, creating logical interrelations, mapping connections between memories, ideas, and events for future reference. Story is the language of experience, whether it’s ours, someone else’s, or that of fictional characters. Other people’s stories are as important as the…

Guest Bloggers

Go With The Flow

What do you call it when your creativity just seems to flow? Alison Luterman had an epiphany: I was singing in a little pop-up chorus this past month. It was a tricky classical piece, and the other women were all looking intently at their sheet music. I don’t really read music, so I ignored the paper and gazed at our teacher, trying to meld my brain with hers. Okay, I know this is going to sound woo-woo, but that night in chorus, watching the teacher’s hands on the keyboard, hearing her sing the parts, my body understood the music on a level my mind couldn’t. In Interplay we call this “ecstatic following” and we often do it as a group in dance. I remember being introduced to the concept and having an immediate suspicious reaction to it: “Ecstatic following– you mean you surrender your critical thinking? That’s how we end…

Guest Bloggers

Writing Success Revealed by Thonie Hevron

  Guest Blogger Thonie Hevron’s interview reveals her writing successes. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience? Keep working. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I used to have to light a specific scented candle but I’ve outgrown that. I had to write to classical music, but I find it distracting now. I won’t drink wine while I am working or anything but water or coffee. Pretty boring, I’d say. Sometimes, those quirks become excuses for not putting my butt in the chair. No quirks, no excuses. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher? I’ve done both and each has plusses and minuses. Self-publishing has more author control. I recall after my first book, By Force or Fear, came out, a reader said he found very few editorial mistakes. That was one of my goals. Editing…