26 December 2015

2015 is ending

It has been quite the year for me.  June was exciting.  I attended my very first Writer's Conference, courtesy of the Bois Forte Tribal Council's Education Division.  I received some good advice, encouragement to continue writing and learned a bit more about the writing world.

Picking the best thing about that conference, it was the workshop itself.  I look at my notes and check over the critiques and the sense of caring from each of the participants permeates my view of the drafts I have slowly worked on these past few months.  While I have learned a lot from various items I've perused on the net, there is no substitute for "hands on" learning, for me.  I think about sitting in the circle, listening to the different teachers-authors who've walked down this very same path I've chosen.  I listened to participants read.  I even read one of my short pieces, in front of strangers whilst being recorded, videoed, whatever.

Course, there were some typical "Millie" moments, such as when I went down to join the class at the Pub downtown.  I knew I should have ridden with someone.  I found the theater from which I had spotted it during one of my sojourns with my sister and cousin for a musical treat provided by an old friend.  I drove around the block, intending to widen my circle.  On my second circle, I spotted a squad car and debated whether I wanted to chance being stopped since the vehicle I drove had reservation plates.  Nah.  Best not deal with such a thing.

Then...whilst waiting for one evening's event, I stood by the window looking out and gathering my thoughts.  You know the feeling you get when someone stares at you?  I was aware that there was a traditional game being played because one of the workshop's people mentioned it to me.  By the time I stood at the window, I was engrossed in my world I had created, making plans, not really here in this reality, well, I don't have to describe it to you now, do I?

Apparently, the participants in the game had been trying to get my attention for quite some time.  Finally, they stopped the game.  These guys didn't take kindly to women watching, I didn't take kindly to being pulled back into this reality.  I rolled my eyes and flounced away.

Now, you might be thinking, why did I flounce away?

Simply put, I know enough about this game, having been raised with my culture and tradition, to know that while women could watch, they couldn't participate.  The incident irked me so much, I was driven to check with an Elder when I returned home.  Told her what happened and received confirmation of what I already knew.  And there are women who are teaching the game.   Ach!  Different ways for different folks.

Now, I think about these two incidents, wondering why they have stuck in my head all these many  months.  Therein lies the difficulty of writing.  Should I or shouldn't I and how to express what these conjure up?  How does one work through the fear that lurks beneath each word that is chosen?  Again, I don't have to describe this, do I?

Having attended the Minnesota Northwoods Writer's Conference, I have gained more confidence in my ability to express what I am pushed to write about.  Here's hoping that more fledgling writers decide to attend the conference workshop at least once.

22 February 2015

Late Once Again

Once again, late with the daily writing.  Been busy.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday was spent dealing with some family issues.  Had a few epiphanies regarding my writing.  Worked those into my World building.  Still letting the Storm Clouds plot simmer.  That is requiring a rewrite because my writing got off track.  A big part of it is revising the way I write.  It does follow some of the things I learned in high school-outline, figuring out what I want to say and how I want to say it.  Still, I’m a “pantser” vs. A planner.  Planning things hasn’t really been my forte.

Think that’s because “best laid plans of mice and men” has dominated my thinking all these years.  Thinking about the “plan for the unexpected” way and its effects on my way of doing things.  I often wondered how does one plan for the unexpected?  Being of a literal mind bent, I took it to mean I had to plan for every eventuality.

Course this way of thinking can, and all to often, does, leave one so caught up in every thing that can happen leaving one unable to do anything.  Which leads one to think about “taking risks” which brings to mind an image of me hopping about on one foot, leaping here and there, seeing “greener grass” yonder, trying to get to that place.  Ho!  Just thinking about that has got me thinking about taking an old lady nap.

Which brings to mind an image of me living a “laid back” kind of lifestyle.  You know the one, where a hammock is strung under the canopy of two trees full of green leaves creating dancing shadows in the bright morning sunlight.  (An image of a tall glass of some liquid keeps trying to intrude.  However, I’m too lazy to even imagine it in my hand.  It fades in and out.)

So now you have some idea of what life’s been like for me since I last posted.  Got so many things going here and there.  I really do want to get the self-discipline to finish the kind of book that I want, no, that you, no, that I want.  Rats.

So many different tips and styles of writing out there in the Big Black Hole of the time-sucking Internet designed to help me be a better writer.  Wait.  That’s not how I should think of myself.
I am an author.

Yep, that’s the image of myself I should keep in mind.  Not this writer business.  Those two images are completely different.  Complete opposites to my way of thinking.  Writer equals slogging my way through a piece of writing, has to be perfect, must get so many words done per day.  Author brings to mind so many different images.  Creative, flights of fancy, worlds, people.  Oh, so many different things to see, to do, to go.

Hmmm.

Hmmm.

Methinks one needs to come up with a word to describe some one who’s in the middle of these two images.  However, with my track record, methinks that’ll take some doing, some planning, some more research.  Another delightful way to procrastinate, don’t you think? Let me see if I can think of a single word to describe this new way of thinking about myself. … … Auth, nope that won’t do. … … …

06 January 2015

V R Janis: Resolutions or Not?

Dear Readers:

I follow VR Janis and really liked this post.  I am taking her advice and posting the quote on my desk top and on my wall.



V R Janis: Resolutions or Not?: Dear Reader, It is that time of the year again, the holidays are coming to a close and we come to the time everyone starts with the resolu...