Bye, bye 2020

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What the year 2020 has taught me:

  1. When I pray believe the prayer has been answered and act like it.

2. Don’t force myself to write everyday. Do it naturally and it won’t feel like a chore.

3. It’s OK to take time to sit and read. I enjoy it.

4. People that don’t wear masks in public are not idiots. They have their reasons. I’ll keep wearing my mask because I have my reasons.

5. I don’t need a long “to do list.” I just need to get things done, little by little.

6. Travel is not a faded dream. I can travel locally and make it adventurous.

7. Deactivating my Facebook account was the best thing I could do for myself.

8. Self-publishing is an option.

9. Fasting from the news frequently is good for my bodily and mental health.

10. Because of the pandemic and lock down I have found some awesome podcasts, books, websites, Youtubers, Instagramers, Spotify playlists, TEDTalks, newsletters and blogs.

11. Shopping online has its perks.

12. Walking in the park and talking to the trees has been a great relief for me. Better than therapy and free.

13. My Morning Pages (journaling) has daily rewards.

14. My “Side Hustle” making my own incenses and lotions makes my friends happy and it makes me feel good.

15. Whatever the question LOVE will always be the answer.

16. Yes, tell people you are a published author because you will be!

This is my last post for 2020. I will see you all in the New Year 2021. Stay well and safe.

Quote: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. The way of life is wonderful; it is by abandonment.” -Emerson

A Tree Tells A Story

Photo by cminorwriter

I went to Griffen State Park in Leesburg Florida to take a walk. I wanted to get some fresh air and clear my head. While walking along a path I came upon this tree stump (pictured above). As I started to walk away I turned around to look at it again. What is this tree’s story? I thought. How did it end up here? What happened to it that caused those holes?

For the next few days I thought about the tree. I thought the tree was a good representation of my life so far. A life where I’ve lived through some stormy times. A life where I landed on my side but still managed to keep going, keep thriving. A life that had dreams with holes in them.

I’ve come to admire this tree. Its a surviver! It sticks out on the pathway for all who pass by to see. It’s a tree that has its own beauty.

Tell me, what do YOU see in the tree?

Writing A Newsletter

One thing I’m learning as a beginner writer is that you have to promote the book you’re writing before it’s written. I started writing my newsletter this week. I’ve title the newsletter “My Thoughts In Writing.” I’m using Tiny Letter (www.tinyletter.com) it’s less complicated than Mail Chimp.

The newsletter will be a monthly edition. This way I’ll have time to write about the books, articles, newsletters and blogs I read. I’ll add any writing tips I come across that will be helpful to the beginner writer.

I’ve constructed my email lists, for the newsletter distribution, from Instagram followers, Facebook friends, business cards and phone contacts. I inputed the information into Google Sheets and then copy and pasted the emails into Tiny Letter email format.

I plan on sharing chapters from my memoir. This will be a good way for me to get This way feedback from my writing. I will also include quotes in my newsletter. I find quotes to always be a good source of inspiration.

Quote:

“For tens of thousands of years storytelling circles provided the magic of telling others about our own experiences, and in this way we literally built bridges between our consciousnesses. The stories we tell each other not only entertain, but allow us to see that we are not, after all, alone. This is how we create the mysterious bonds that connect us as couples, as lovers, as friends, as family members, and as participants in a community or a nation.”

Hal Zina Bennett, author of Write From the Heart: Unleashing the Power of Your Creativity.

It’s About Damn Time!

Arlan Hamilton

I finished reading Arlan Hamilton’s book “It’s About Damn Time.” Here is a brief introduction: 

“In 2015, Arlan Hamilton was on food stamps and sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco airport, with nothing but an old laptop and a dream of breaking into the venture capital business. She couldn’t understand why people starting companies all looked the same (White and male), and she wanted the chance to invest in the ideas and people who didn’t conform to this image of how a founder is supposed to look. Hamilton had no contacts or network in Silicon Valley, no background in finance-not even a college degree. What she did have was fire determination and the will to succeed.” 

I wanted to read Arlan’s book because I had been following her progress on Instagram (arlanwashere) and learned that this black gay woman broke into the Silicon Valley against all odds. 

Below are a few gems I took from away from her book:

1. You have to look at your experiences and understand them for what they are: an education built just for you.

2. Do the best to showcase what you have, make a case for it, and pitch it.

3. Turn disappointment into power and productivity.

4. Use social media to recruit, connect, and meet investors.

5. Only you can create content from your point of view. That’s your gift to the world.

I recommend this book for anyone who needs some inspiration to get going with whatever projects or products you have been contemplating doing. Arlan’s book is a good motivator.

If you want more information you can go to www.itsaboutdamtime.com

Happy reading!

Kelly Notaras

I’ve read Kelly Notaras book “The Book You Were Born to Write: Everything You Need to (Finally) Get Your Wisdom onto the Page and into the World.” As Kelly puts it “there is only one criterion for being a writer: you have to be writing.” Her book is filled with suggestions for writing. Here are just a few tips:

1. Does the idea of writing a book excite you?
2. Make a weekly schedule for writing.
3. Work on your title and your “hook.”
4. Join a writing group or have a writing partner.
5. Work on your platform (email lists/social media presence).
I now use her book as a guide. I think it’s a good book for beginner writers. You can check out www.hayhouse.com to see if the ebook is still on sale for $1.99.

Poem by Wendy Cope

HE TELLS HER

He tells her that the earth is flat —
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round.

Sometime ago I was reading someone’s Instagram post and they had this poem posted by Wendy Cope. I thought in this time of us all being drowned in a pandemic and many of us divided by our political views and fears; this poem fits snuggly into our lives. No matter what happens between us humans the planet goes on being round.

Poet, Wendy Cope

Octavia Butler

Recently I read an article about author Octavia Butler and where she grew up. The digital article was interactive. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the article and cannot give credit to the woman who wrote it. But, I appreciate the writer taking the time to research and compile the article. I now have a renew interest in Octavia Butler’s books.

I was first introduced to Octavia Butler by a co-worker back in the 1990’s. I gobbled up her books and my mind exploded from her rich, vivid and creative sci-fi stories. In the New Year I want to start reading her books, in order, again. I want to re-read her books for entertainment and inspiration.

Moving and Writing

Promotional Photo

On November 20th, 2020 I closed on my new home in Leesburg Florida. The journey was complicated, financially straining, emotionally wired and physically daunting but, here I am! The photo above shows my new back yard. This view alone, drew me to the home. I thought NOW I can sit, write and read. It is now November 29th and I have not sat to read or write in my new back yard. What have I been doing? I have been unpacking boxes, cleaning, learning how to operate the sprinkler system, the washer and dryer and the garage opener. I had no idea that moving from a mobile home in Orlando to a “traditional” home in Leesburg was such a huge undertaking.

Today I decided that’s it! I’m taking a “me day” and I”m sitting down and writing. I promised myself that I would complete my memoir in a year and it’s already November 29th! Did I accomplish my task? Nope! I was on a distracted mission to get the cable boxes hooked up and running.

It’s evening now and the day has slipped pass me but I am still determined to get back to writing. Maybe tomorrow right after I take a nap on the hammock in my back yard.

Bird Cloud

Photo by Poet Minor

Thanks to Ruth Ayres, Sharing Our Stories (SOS), suggestion from her blog to writer off a photograph I decided to do take this photo I took in SouthPort Park a few weeks ago and put a poem to it.

BIRD CLOUD

I’m walking in the park
looking at the trees
noticing how the wind
rustles all the leaves
above me birds float
in the blue sky
while clouds seem
to gently rise
I look in wonder
how could this be
that there’s a Bird Cloud
floating over me
I take a photo
and I stare
marveling at the beauty
above me in the air…

Written by Cheryl Minor (11/12/20)

Choose Your Hook

Barnes and Noble Book Store

Last week’s assignment from Hay House Writer’s Community was to visit a book store and look at books in the genre you’re writing. We were told to look at the book covers and read the hooks and subtitles and find which ones caught our attention.

I took a drive to my neighborhood Barnes and Noble bookstore. The shelves were filled with memoirs. For about an hour I read book covers. I came away having a better understanding that the hook for the book was very important.

The assignment this week is to write three hooks for your book; list five benefits your book will offer a reader and write five ways the book will provide these benefits. I don’t have three hooks for my book yet, but I do have one. To keep me motivated I created a “mock” book cover in Edit ( www.Edit.org.) I’ll put it in a frame and sit it on my desk.