Amassing the Arsenal.

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Once again I have been motivated to write by something I heard on the radio, a passing comment made during a documentary about playing bass guitar.

While on the surface one might ask what has a guitar, or playing music, got to do with writing fiction, or writing anything for that matter?

I agree that it is a valid question, because when you play music you usually play in front of an audience. You may practice alone, or with a small group of musicians, but when it comes to getting your art ‘out there’ you seek an audience. It is a public performance.

Whereas, for us writers, we have a rather insular art form in comparison. We write alone, proofread alone, edit and re-write alone. Sometimes we may ask someone to read our work, to give feedback or to help proof it. But generally writing is a reclusive business. When our work is complete, and published, it is read by one person at a time.

Well, that is generally the case. The author may give sample readings, a few paragraphs, chapters, or a selected portion of their latest novel during a promotional tour, or at a book signing. Reading or writing clubs may share a session, as may students, to analyse and critique your work. But these are rare examples. It is not customary for authors to perform on stage, reading aloud to an audience.

So where, and how, I hear you ask, do I associate the comments in that radio broadcast about playing bass guitar to writing.

It is quite simple. The remarks were about perfecting ones art. The presenter spoke of how nice it is, and I quote, ‘To hear someone who knows what they are doing, doing the thing they do so well’. The presenter then said that when a musician ‘let’s rip in a one mad burst, it is a magnificent thing to behold’.

I shall not argue or decry those observations because I wholeheartedly agree. When a well-practised artist performs to the height of their ability it is a truly wonderful thing indeed.

But it is getting to that peek, reaching the level of talent and knowing when to use it to perform. That is the key to becoming excellent in your chosen field.

Before we can even consider getting up onto that stage, and baring our artistic soul to the world at large, we must have ascertained the required skills and built up the confidence to stand there and strut our stuff without the slightest doubt, without the possibility of making total fools out of ourselves.

To reach that objective we must practice, and all practice is, is building up your creative arsenal, amassing the skills and techniques that will make you a creative force to be reckoned with.

If you are new, or relatively new, to the world of writing and publishing it is wise to remember that it is a very lonely and frustrating world at times, at most times.

If you are planning or writing a novel, you are biting off a huge chunk of optimistic expectation, and while I do not want you to stop, or for my words to put you off writing, I do ask you this. Have you built up your arsenal of skills and talent to the level which you feel confident of standing before a crowd reading your work out aloud? Could you perform your work to an audience?

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I have been writing for some time, and I am working on another novel. Yet at this moment I do not have enough of it written to the standard that I would feel comfortable reading it out aloud, reading it to a critical group of spectators.

So, I carry on writing other works at the same time. I write poetry because that hones ones skills at manipulating words to create imagery.

I write Flash Fiction, I find it focuses the mind to explanation with the fewest words possible, challenges me to build quick twists and plots into a short paragraph or two.

I write Short Stories, sometimes these are expanded versions of my Flash Fictions or taken from the inspiration of a poem, either mine or someone else’s.

I also write Articles and Essays, which I suppose this ‘Rambling’ is. They also present their own ordeals and criteria. So everything and anything I write is practice. I am still amassing my techniques. I am continually building my own arsenal of experience and skill.

Watch out, because one day I shall unleash it all in that mad burst of artistic showmanship. But not just yet, because the whole point of a skill is knowing when to use it and when not to.

I am not yet quite ready to get up on that stage………. not quite, yet!

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Thank you for reading this Rambling.

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Have you read any of my short stories? You can find them at  

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Microfiction: Writer

An surreal view of true life (at least for many of us Writers).
Nice post by Brandon Scott.

Coolerbs Writes

A microfiction that describes the process I went through to write this microfiction. A self-referential piece called:

Writer

Writer Picture

No words, no words. I have no words to describe it. I just have this burning feeling like I’m wasting time.

It does not seem to care that I’m exhausted. It does not even care that my hands are sore as I write this. My head is dropping in a desperate attempt to sleep. My eyes slip closed with every pulse of my heart. Yet, the hand on my shoulder just squeezes tighter, and I don’t have much of a choice in the matter.

It’s as if every finger-fall is forcing another word out of me. Like a chain of connected, yet impromptu, creation is springing forth from my head. It swirls faster and faster now; a basin spilling over the edge. A caffeine drip directly into my nerves. My back straightens…

View original post 140 more words

Subject Matter

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I have written, in the past, about things that have inspired me as a writer, places, artworks, the weather, and many experiences, both good and bad.

Often ones inspiration comes from a collective of various and seemingly unconnected sources, which the writer mixes and melds into a single work.

Frequently the ingredients of this creativeness have fermented in the mind of the writer over assorted periods of time, before gelling into any particular form.

Yet inspiration alone is not the key to creating a good specimen of work, or even a mediocre scribbling.

We all collect ideas, notions and have basic concepts. We all hold beliefs and opinions which lend themselves to our own mind-set regarding personal viewpoints, even philosophies.

All and any combination of these can form outlines or sketches for future efforts, they can be the précises and plans for the next chapter, a new novel, or a poetic masterpiece.

They can, but are often not!

I hear that writers get something called ‘block’. I have never understood this term, except as a feeble excuse to dillydally.

To write one must write.

That is sit and jot down any and every word that comes to mind, string your thoughts out onto paper. It is totally irrelevant if there is anything remotely cohesive or comprehensible as a result. The fact is that you are writing and by doing so you will inevitably start to create something tangible.

In all probability it will need to be re-worked, re-written and edited. But then what efforts do not?

Now, disregarding the incohesive jottings from a stagnant mind, what of your subject? What, you ponder, shall you write about today?

This should not be that difficult really, you already have a wealth of ideas, many rough outlines and frameworks to choose from, and yet nothing feels acceptable to you at this moment. You could do as I advised above and just scrawl, but you have sat down today with intent and purpose so you are, come what may, going to write something worthwhile, Aren’t you?

Taking the above on-board, it is clear that inspiration from whatever foundation, may not be enough on its own to germinate that much needed seed of for selecting a subject to write about, because your inspirational suggestive is not necessarily that of any particular matter, it could be used within the text, as a plot, or a description of a place.

So even with all those wonderful conceptions and tasty ideas floating on the bouillabaisse of your creative mind, not one single word will you write until you have a topic to adhere to.

I shall let you into a little secret of mine, a way that on a daily basis I collect a whole host of subjects to write about.

  I read and I listen.

I read the papers, not the daily comic style rags, but the more serious broadsheets. I read about business and stock markets, science and medicine. I am not reading these just for the reports, I am looking for the human factors involved.

The same is with the radio, I listen to the interviews and the plays, the documentary productions, literary and theatre reviews. Once again it is the social and personal aspects that I seek for subject matter in my own writings.

Allow me to give a couple of examples by way of explanation.

A few days ago while driving home I tuned into a programme that was delving into the issue of female autism. This report was enlightening enough regarding the subject itself, and was full of stimulating information which I could, and still can, use in the future.

However, one particular statement touched me to such a degree that I knew I had found a wonderful gem which I shall use in the near future.

One of the experts told of an interview with a young sufferer who, upon being diagnosed, said with much relief. ‘It felt as if I had a black spot inside of me. I thought it would never go away’.

That one simple sentence was, for me, like finding a pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow. Those of you who are artistically minded will for certain understand the enormity of such a stimulus.

Another example, which I have already taken advantage of by writing a poem I called ‘My heart’, and posted on the 26th of June 2014, was during a play where one of the lines was about skeletons ‘kissing with their skulls’. I wrote the poem shortly after arriving home that evening.

(I have included that poem at the end of this post, as I am sure you would have some problem scouring the net for a single piece of poetry posted on a social network several months ago. You see how good I am to you)!

These are one way I find my subject matter for the day, or project, or book. It is also why my posts are quite wide and varied, and often seem to be associated or themed for a period of time.

Once I have decided on my subject, I then draw on my inspiration and experiences to create a unique, personal and original piece of work, which I hope that you will enjoy reading.

I also hope that my writings, my blog’s, the flash fiction, poetry, (and very soon), my new novel, does and will continue to connect with your own inner person, much in the way I was touched by the stimulus that enabled me to create my work in the first instance.

Here is that poem I promised you earlier.

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My Heart

My heart is a grave for lovers

Where skeletons embrace ever crumbling lust,

And skulls kiss in breathless anguish.

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Scarlet blood long soaked into the ashes,

Forgotten passions abandon, the cast off flesh,

Sensuous agonies of the soul

Haunt faded moments embezzled by time.

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Rise up from the earth,

Stand upon your tombstone,

Seek your absent self, your withered spirit

Wandering aimlessly in immortal eternity.

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But look not within my heart,

For it is but a grave for lovers.

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This poem and many others can be found in my book ‘Shadows of Emotion

SHADOWS of EMOTION is available for Kindle / eBook or as a Paperback

  1. UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadows-Emotion-collection-deep-poetry/dp/1500510319 

USA.  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=shadows+of+emotion 

OR simply paste this  ISBN-13: 978-1500510312 into your searchbar

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Once again I thank you for reading this Rambling, Bless you, Paul.

Showcasing your work to the world

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I do not know why you write.

I am uncertain most of the time why I write.

Oh, I do not mean the writing I do as a job, My books, my novels and such. I know why I do that, it pays the bills  and keeps the wolf from the door… at least for now.

The writing I’m speaking of is this type, these Ramblings, my ‘Wild Geese’ travel blog, social media posts….all that hoo-ha. I certainly do not make any money from writing this stuff.

Sometimes, I think my posts simply evaporate into the ether of the net, floating around in cyberspace, like an errant satellite never to been seen again. That is, until twelve years in the future, some lost soul in Outer Mongolia ‘likes’ the post.

Hey… that’s two ‘likes’ in twelve years, for an absolutely brilliantly written essay regarding a major social event which touched everybody’s life at the time.

But don’t worry, because at the same time I posted a snapshot of my cat licking its tail, that got ten thousand ‘likes’ and half a million ‘shares’ in three days.

Does that mean I am now going to join in with the massed hordes of cat picture posters and give up writing constructive and entertaining articles?Dead cat 2

 

Not on your life. (Besides, my cat died last month

 

That lost soul in Outer Mongolia may have be the Dalai Lama on a pilgrimage, or a young American backpacker, one who is destined to become the president of the United States at some point.

Who knows?

What I am trying to say in my usual rambling manner, is I am a firm believer in the quality of those who ‘like’, ‘plus’ and ‘follow’ my writings.

I do not write purely to amass great numbers of ‘followers’ or ‘subscribers’ to my Blog’s or other media posts.

Yes, it is nice to see your numbers growing, it shows your work is appreciated. Which is one reason I use social media.

Yet, I would rather my work is respected by those who value the content and not just because the accompanying image caught their eye.

Another reason I write, is to introduce my books to those who may not know of them.

You see it takes a long, long time to take an idea of a story and turn it into a published book.

That is many months, if not years of hard graft. After which, it is an absolute shame to see it languishing on a shelf collecting dust, or hanging in cyberspace waiting to be downloaded by the Dalai Lama after his pilgramage and meeting that nice American chap.

Therefore, I mention my books on many occasions during my writings. I think it is the right thing to do, knowing when you, yes YOU, read them you will enjoy them, (so what are you waiting for….go buy one now.)

Then of course, there are the other reasons for writing. The main reasons for writing. 

Some find it a form of catharsis, allowing them to expel worries and anxieties. Some see it as sharing, a social form of interaction. For others it becomes a need, almost an addiction. Often it is a combination of all and more. The overwhelming must though, is the need to share, to have someone, somewhere to be reading our words.

Right now, it is possible that my novel, ‘The Abduction of Rupert DeVille is being read by someone lazing on a hot tropical beach in a faraway land, where the azure blue sea laps the golden sands of paradise, or by your sister as she sits, legs tucked beneath her, on her favourite chair sipping a hot chocolate and nibbling on digestive biscuits.

Who knows?

The main thing is that someone, somewhere is reading something I have written at some time.

Even if it is on a mountainside in Outer Mongolia.

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The Potala Palace

 

The point which I am attempting to convey, is to get the quality and quantity of people we, the writers and authors, need to read our work, we have to reach out and show our writing to the world.

With that in mind, I want to introduce to you to CQ International Magazine.

Okay, so many of you will know about the magazine, many however do not, while others have seen, but not looked, not read it and difinitley not showcased their work in it.

To keep it simple, CQ Magazine is a global, online periodical which is free, yes I said FREE, to read. It has built up a regular, loyal readership base in eighty countries.

CQ International Magazine is dedicated to promoting the indie world, that’s writers, authors, poets, artists, cover designers, ilustrators, musicians, designers, modlers, artisans, painters, sculptors, just about every artistic medium you can think of… and then some.

Recently, CQ International Magazine has launced the C-club, a simple, annual membership, which gives its members the opportunity for free promotion and marketing of their work in CQ International Magazine and to benifit from associated marketing.

Find out more by visiting the CQ Blog at, https://cqmagazineblog.wordpress.com/

Read the current edition of CQ International Magazine Here 

CQ SummerFantasy