Getting Comfortable

I’m getting comfortable with my writing routine.

Poets & Writers http://www.pw.org

Here you can get a weekly dose of writing prompts and recommended books on writing.

Poetry Prompt

In the introduction to an issue of Ploughshares edited by the late poet Jean Valentine, who died in December, she says: “My dreams were very important to me right in the beginning. I had a teacher in college who said ‘You could write from your dreams’ and that was like being given a bag full of gold.” Inspired by Valentine and her award-winning first collection, Dream Barker, write a poem that begins with an image from one of your dreams. Allow the internal logic of dreams to guide your lines.

Self-Portrait Poem

Most people spend at least a few minutes a day in front of a mirror, whether while brushing teeth at the bathroom sink at night, or involved in a focused morning makeup or hairstyling routine. Spend a more intensive amount of time in front of a mirror and write a self-portrait poem as you study your own reflection. How has your face evolved over the years? Do your features seem more or less familiar the longer you look? Are there particular elements of your face that remind you of certain people or memories?

My Gear

I found a pen that works for me. It easy to grip and doesn’t slide too quickly across the page. Z-Grip Ballpoint Retractable pen. https://www.zebrapen.com

JBL Go 2 Bluetooth Speaker http://www.jbl.com

The speaker is compact and I can carry it anywhere I go and has a great sound.

Insight Timer http://www.insighttimer.com

The Insight Timer has a desktop and phone app that I use. I like the music selections and I can choose how long I want to listen from 5 minutes to three hours.

Spotify http://www.spotify.com

I like the Indian Chill, Coffee House, Workday Soul and Mello Cello for writing. I have others that I follow for reading.

To keep myself motivated and going I now have an “Accountability Partner.” We talk once a week to make sure that we are still following our goal list. We provide support and remind each other what our end goals are. We do not discuss personal or political issues.

Meetup Groups

I joined Motivating Writers and Virtual Writing Get Down groups on Meetup.com http://www.meetup.com. I am taking advantage of every tool that I can to keep writing and to complete my memoir this year.

Trust

I’m reading the book “Trust” by Iyanla Vanzant and in it she has one of her favorite scriptures from the Bible that she learned in Proverbs 4:23-27 (New Living Translation):

Guard your heart above all else,

for it determines the course of your life.

Avoid all perverse talk;

stay away from corrupt speech.

Look straight ahead,

and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

Mark out a straight path for your feet;

stay on the safe path.

don’t get sidetracked:

keep your feet from following evil.

I interpret this to mean to stay focus on your task and not to get caught up in what does not work for you or sustain you.

I’ll keep writing, no matter what, will you?

My Sources of Inspiration

Made with Collage Factor app

I’m starting off 2021 with what worked for me in 2020. I found books, workshops and podcasts that stirred me inside and kept me motivated to write.

Books I read in 2020:
Limitless by Jim Kwik (http://www.jimkwik.com)
‍The Book You Were Born To Write by Kelly Notaras (http://www.knliterary.com)
It’s About Damn Time by Arlan Hamilton (http://www.backstagecapital.com)

Those who inspired me in 2020:

The Michelle Obama Podcast

http://www.twitter.com/michelleobama

Women and Money with Suze Orman

https://www.suzeorman.com/podcast

Live Fearlessly with Anita Moorjani

https://www.anitamoorjani.com

Ignite Your Yoga Practice with Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts https://www.chelsealovesyoga.com/bio/

Photo by Karl Solano on Pexels.com

I’ve signed up for the FREE “7-Day Ultimate Clutter Clearing Challenge Transformation” with Denise Linn (http://www.deniselinn.com). You can join in at http://www.experience.hayhouse.com.

Anita Nipane (http://www.digginet.com) teaches profitable and efficient self-publishing tactics and strategies to help you be a successful author and content creator. You can get here FREE eBook “5 Secret Strategies of Kindle Publishing” at her website.

Follow Me:

Instagram: cminorwriter http://www.instagram.com/cminorwriter

Twitter: cminor17227017 http://www.twitter.com/cminor17227017

Quote by LadyGaga:

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time.”

From Loren M website; Writing about…Writing https://wabouw.wordpress.com/author/lorenemacri/

Music & Writing

Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitu0101ns on Pexels.com

I was reading Austin Kleon’s newsletter (austinkleon.com) and in it he had an article by Valentina DiLiscia https://hyperallergic.com/author/valentina-di-liscia writing how Curator Ikechúkwú Onyewuenyi hopes to rouse a new generation of writers with “Chez Baldwin,” a 32-hour-long Spotify (www.spotify.com) playlist based on Baldwin’s vinyl record collection. What a collection he had! I’m still working way through the playlist.

James Baldwin photographed by Allan Warren. 

According to the article this is the music that author James Baldwin would listen to as he wrote.

James Baldwin’s house in Saint-Paul de Vence, France 

“Looking over pictures of Baldwin’s house in Provence, I latched onto his records, their sonic ambiance, as a way to fill the space but still allow room for this emptiness, for differences. In addition to reading the books and essays, he produced while living in Provence, listening to the records was something that could transport me there,” Onyewuenyi said.

If you get a chance listen to the playlist or make one of your own. I find music is helpful when writing.

Bye, bye 2020

http://www.artvee.com

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.

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