FREE AT LAST

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FREE AT LAST

I am free at last,

My spirit rushes through me,

Like whistling wisps of air,

Swirling through the trees.

And as I leave the earth,

Spiraling so high,

I reach out to touch the sky.

As I blend into a windy world,

Brushed with blue-lit hues,

The timeless winds, rush to me,

To breeze my fears away.

And I find to my surprise,

My spirit’s restless wanderings,

Like a windstorm running through me.

Until, at last it gathers force,

Like a rolling thunder moves,

The heavens to explode,

Into electric rhythms,

Beating in mid-air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life’s Folly

Woman in flood alone

 

 

 

 

 

For in pairs it seems,

We often move

Together,

But we live and die alone,

To think our safety lies

In others,

Is life’s folly we soon,

Discover,

For when we die,

It seems,

No others care to follow.

 

 

 

Muse: Toil and Trouble

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It seems we muse best when lonely,

Or depressed,

And only then, in pity,

We condemn our troubles,

Which appear to multiply,

Then double!

Yet, out of all this woe,

Our toiled and troubled spirit,

Seems to flow,

To fetter out the best,

Leaving all the rest.

QUOTES THAT SHINE A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

 

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“The wound (in your heart) is the place where the Light enters you.”
Rumi

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Oscar Wilde

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
Albert Einstein

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
 Friedrich Nietzsche

 “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
 Robert Frost

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas A. Edison

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
 Eleanor Roosevelt

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
André Gide

Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.
Bruce Lee

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
Bil Keane

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
 
Mahatma Gandhi

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
Dr. Seuss

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama XIV

The Spirit Animal Award Nominations

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I am deeply honored to have received a Spirit Animal Award Nomination; I take these kind acts of recognition by other bloggers very seriously and with gratitude. I was nominated by https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com  For this award.  Thank you so much!  If you have not seen his wonderful blog, please visit him.

The rules of the award:

*Thank the blogger who nominated you, and link back to his/her blog.

*Post the award picture on your blog.

*Write a short paragraph about your blog and what it means to you.

*Answer this question: if you could be any animal, what would it be?

A dolphin!  I love swimming deep in the ocean, remembering my long ago life as a Mermaid 🙂  The ocean and the life within it has a constant pull on my animal spirit, bringing me back to it mentally and emotionally. 

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What does my blog mean to me?

There are other blog sites but there is nothing like the wonderful camaraderie that is found on WordPress.com and lest I forget, the writing talent here is far and away the very best that anyone will find any where else – superb!   And, I am so grateful for everything I have learned and continue to learn from the wonderful and so very talented bloggers here WordPress.com.  I thank all of you so very much. 

*Choose and notify ten nominees:

http://learningfromdogs.com/

http://sofiakioroglou.wordpress.com/

https://cassiellensecretstory.wordpress.com/

https://anotsojadedlife.wordpress.com/

http://yesterdayafter.com/

http://aviewtoabook.com/

https://waywardspirit.wordpress.com/

https://lisalancaster.wordpress.com/

https://amirhoseinghazi.wordpress.com/

https://ireadnovels.wordpress.com/

THE LIFE HE LEADS

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The life He Leads

Is far removed

From where he goes

Within his head,

He tends his garden

And stooping low

Thinks of those who use to be

But now are gone,

His thoughts travel far

Back to ‘42

Oh, that was a year

Wasn’t that what mama said?

Two babies in diapers

One in short pants

And they was always

A-hankerin to be fed

There was a wreck in ‘52

He lost one baby and mama too

On a city street

Their life’s blood bled

He squints his eyes, shuffles inside,

Stands before their pictures,

Side by side and thinks tomorrow

Maybe he won’t get out of bed.

 

Copyright @1995 Kathy Lauren Miller

 

The Importance of Story Setting by Gordon Chaplin

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“On Saturday afternoon Billy Buck, the ranch-hand, raked together the last of the old year’s haystack and pitched small forkfuls over the wire fence to a few mildly interested cattle. High in the air small clouds like puffs of cannon smoke were driven eastward by the March wind. The wind could be heard whistling  in the brush on the ridge crests, but no breath of it penetrated down into the ranch-cup.” –John Steinbeck, The Leader of the People. (1937)

Gordon Chaplin writes: Now that is powerful writing. So there’s the setting of the story. I’ll never forget it, though its characters and plot have faded in my mind and it’s only through the setting that they can be recalled. The setting never gets in the way. It is the way of the story.

I first read Steinbeck’s Cannery Row in high school, too, and was mesmerized by its mythical setting among the sardine canneries of Monterey. The book was published in 1945. When I found myself in college in the bay area in the seventies, I made a pilgrimage. The setting sets the stage for what comes next and almost determines it.

In the next paragraph we encounter a black cypress tree full of white pigeons so we know we’re somewhere near the California coast. The hills around the ranch-cup are “washed with lean March sunshine. Silver thistles, blue lupines and a few poppies bloomed among the sage bushes.” The poppies are another giveaway. They are the California state flower.

“Jody plodded up the hill toward the ridge top. When he reached the little cleft where the road came through, the afternoon wind struck him and blew up his hair and ruffled his shirt. He looked down on the little hills and ridges below and then out at the huge green Salinas Valley. He could see the white town of Salinas far out on the flat and the flash of its windows under the waning sun.” Not too far away is the Pacific coast, where Jody’s grandfather, who’s coming to visit, lives and looks out, dreaming of his days as a pioneer leading the people west across the country. He can go no further.

*****This guest post on Writer’s Digest is by Gordon Chaplin. Chaplin is the author of the novel Joyride and several works of nonfiction, including Dark Wind: A Survivor’s Tale of Love and Loss and Full Fathom Five: Ocean Warming and a Father’s Legacy. His latest novel, Paraiso, is now available. He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City and Hebron, New York. Visit him at gordonchaplin.com and follow him @Gordon Chaplin.

 

Three Secrets to Great Storytelling!

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3 SECRETS TO GREAT STORYTELLING as presented on Writer’s Digest. I found this article by Steven James helpful in forming the structure of scenes.  (this is a re-blogging from 2014 but I thought it deserved a revival now, because it is simple, straightforward, and to the point.)

As a novelist and writing instructor, I’ve noticed that three of the most vital aspects of story craft are left out of many writing books and workshops. Even bestselling novelists stumble over them – Steven James But they’re not difficult to grasp. In fact, they’re easy.And if you master these simple principles for shaping great stories, your writing will be transformed forever. Honest. Here’s how to write a story.

Secret #1:  CAUSE AND EFFECT ARE KING.

Everything in a story must be caused by the action or event that precedes it.  As a fiction writer, you want your reader to always be emotionally present in the story. But when readers are forced to guess why something happened (or didn’t happen), even for just a split second, it causes them to intellectually disengage and distances them from the story. Rather than remaining present alongside the characters, they’ll begin to analyze or question the progression of the plot. And you definitely don’t want that. When a reader tells you that he couldn’t put a book down, often it’s because everything in the story followed logically. Stories that move forward naturally, cause to effect, keep the reader engrossed and flipping pages. If you fail to do this, it can confuse readers, kill the pace and telegraph your weaknesses as a writer.

Secret #2:  IF IT’S NOT BELIEVABLE, IT DOESN’T BELONG.  

The narrative world is also shattered when an action, even if it’s impossible, becomes unbelievable. In writing circles it’s common to speak about the suspension of disbelief, but that phrase bothers me because it seems to imply that the reader approaches the story wanting to disbelieve and that she needs to somehow set that attitude aside in order to engage with the story. But precisely the opposite is true. Readers approach stories wanting to believe them. Readers have both the intention and desire to enter a story in which everything that happens, within the narrative world that governs that story, is believable. As writers, then, our goal isn’t to convince the reader to suspend her disbelief, but rather to give her what she wants by continually sustaining her belief in the story. The distinction isn’t just a matter of semantics; it’s a matter of understanding the mindset and expectations of your readers. Readers want to immerse themselves in deep belief. We need to respect them enough to keep that belief alive throughout the story.

Secret #3: IT’S ALL ABOUT ESCALATION.  

At the heart of story is tension, and at the heart of tension is unmet desire. At its core, a story is about a character who wants something but cannot get it. As soon as he gets it, the story is over. So, when you resolve a problem, it must always be within the context of an even greater plot escalation. As part of the novel-writing intensives that I teach, I review and critique participants’ manuscripts. Often I find that aspiring authors have listened to the advice of so many writing books and included an engaging “hook” at the beginning of their story. This is usually a good idea; however, all too often the writer is then forced to spend the following pages dumping in background to explain the context of the hook.

IN CONCLUSION

By consistently driving your story forward through action that follows naturally, characters who act believably, and tension that mounts exponentially, you’ll keep readers flipping pages and panting for more of your work.