Dreadful in Red

Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we’re opened, we’re red. – Clive Barker’s Books of Blood.

I don’t read horror very often. It’s too graphic for me. I am interested in the plots, the characters, plot twists and how everything builds to the conclusion. But, horror for me is too close to reality I guess. After all the horror that works best is horror we believe really could happen to us as ordinary, everyday people living in the ordinary, everyday world.

Could you come up with a plot for a horror story? How would you pull it all together, building up to the final, dreadful ending?

Why Do Men Make Themselves Undesirable?

Conversation was interesting. He talked on and on which was good in this case. But he hardly looked at me. Kept looking out the window away from me. It was strange. I always look people in the eye when I talk to them. A few times he asked what I thought about him/ where I wanted to go from there with him. He’s the same guy who sent me two digital photos of his cock and then apologized. So he is looking for a commitment for sex but trying to pretend he has more to offer. Meanwhile he didn’t bring me so much as a flower or offer to buy me a second coffee or say anything complimentary about me. Couldn’t even look at me during the conversation. There was nothing about him or his actions that made me want to jump into bed with him.

These are my real comments about a date I went on last night. This was a man I had tried to meet 3 times before this but each time something happened. Once he was late and I had already left. The other times he did not show up but had valid reasons. Anyway, last night he was there. Said he was nervous and talked almost non-stop. But I was glad for that as I didn’t feel any romantic interest right from the start and it was easy to sit back and listen rather than try to fill in empty spaces.

No romance. He didn’t even look at me when he talked, just short glimpses to test if I was still there I guess. I think the one thing that shows the character of the date was when he (fiddling with his own glasses) turned to look at my face for a moment and asked me if I wear glasses. They were on my face, not hidden by hair, and I had been wearing them the whole time as mine are not reading glasses.

As a date it was not a disaster. A disaster would have been something aggressive I think. Or something where I left with coffee or something spilled all over me. As a date it was sad, a sad excuse for romance or passion or even mild human interest. Each of the men I have tried to meet through dating have been the same kind of story. They don’t really put any effort into the whole thing but like a spoiled little boy they still think they have every reason to expect a treat at the end. As if treats are just handed out automatically to every spoiled boy who actually shows up.

Being that I am the treat I don’t see any reason to give myself away to spoiled boys who can’t offer at least a little romance, show a little real interest and see me as a person rather than a tool or a candy treat. I think every single woman in this day and age has a story or nine about the same kind of behaviour. So lets write them down and post them to your blog of choice. Women tend to not say too much when they really feel let down by other people. Maybe that is why men think their behaviour is perfectly acceptable and can’t be bothered to even try to make themselves seem desirable any more. Write about it and post your link here so we can share stories back and forth.

Good luck on any and all future dating endeavours.

Storytelling

What the ear does not hear cannot move the heart. — Cape Breton saying

March 25th I am attending a local Storytelling workshop. I’m looking forward to it and I really like Joanne, the woman who does the workshop. Today I looked up storytelling to find out a bit more and see what we might be doing in the workshop, just curious. There are a vast amount of resources for storytelling online.

From Wikipedia: Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images, and sounds often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture and in every land as a means of entertainment, education, preservation of culture and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot and characters, as well as the narrative point of view.

Storytellers of Canada

Storytelling Toronto

Vancouver Storytelling

Ottawa Storytellers

National Storytelling Network (USA)

International Storytelling Center

Society for Storytelling (UK)

Australian Storytelling

Professional Storyteller Network

World Storytelling Day is March 20th. Great timing for my workshop.

Digital Storytelling and Digistories

Old English Words

I Bequeath Thee has a dictionary of Old English Words. Go through the list and pick out words that attract your inner ear. Say the words out loud then for your physcial ear. Could you use those in your regular writing? A dearth of them in the midst of  overmany words would be barely noticeable.

Want more? I found the Modern English to Old English Vocabulary.

Leavetaking

How can you resist an old word like leavetaking? I found this posted to the FanFic blog which in turn has it as a post from Teitho FanFiction as a writing theme.

So, with leavetaking in mind, write about taking your leave of something. It doesn’t have to be sad or angry or upset in anyway. There is no way to make change without choosing something to leave behind. Just like the old eggs and making omelette thing.

Writing Amidst Chaos

It’s funny how many other things you can be doing while writing a post for your blog. People reading the post will imagine you calmly typing, maybe nothing more challenging than a coffee cup to distract you.

The reality is quite different. The phone rings. There is a kid telling you “The party is ready” when there was no party planned. Another kid is asking if they can rip up bread and throw it for the birds, only they brought the bread into the computer room with them and sesame seeds are now scattered over the carpet. Something crashes, anonymously. The party kid is now asking if you want to see how the character in their computer game looks naked. In between you spare a few brain cells to ponder things like the over due bill, the odd noise your car started making this week and the fact that your Mother will be visting, one of her bi-montly spot checks on your life.

Writing is never easy and the stuff that happens while you try to write doesn’t make it easy to keep writing. Meditation sounds good on paper, someone wrote that no doubt. But, in reality it can be hard to catch and keep your focus to write while life goes on all around you.

Saying “no” helps sometimes. Don’t take on too many things and cram your time into a tight schedule. Tell someone “no” and don’t let them tell you how much spare time they think you have.

Write things down. You never know when you will be interrupted mid-thought and lose your train of thought. Keep a notepad handy to jot things into so you can come back to catch that train when you come back to write.

Plan a writing schedule. Look at your life and your committments. Find a time when you are likely to be able to focus on just writing. Don’t answer the phone, let the messages pile up for your writing time. Unless Johnny fell down the well, all those calls can be returned when you really do have spare time.

Good luck.

Would a Writing Coach Help?

Bev Walton-Porter publishes The Scribe and Quill. You can find more about Bev, her writing and her writing coach services on her site. I’ve known Bev over 10 years and have admired herself and her accomplishments that long too.

Thanks, Laura, for having me as a guest on your blog to talk about writing coaches and why a writing coach can be beneficial to your readers. Although I’ve only addressed a handful of questions here, readers may e-mail me at scribequill@gmail.com for additional information.

Q: What is the benefit of hiring a writing coach?

A: There are many benefits. First, a writing coach can help you stay focused and on point with your current project or goal. Next, a writing coach can help you over those rough spots when you’re stuck in a rut or aren’t sure which avenue to take next. In addition, a writing coach is someone who encourages and supports your efforts, yet offers concrete suggestions to assist you in reaching the next level on your creative journey. My coaching philosophy offers a balance of creativity and productivity that is adjusted to meet each client’s specific needs.

Q: How do you choose a good writing coach?

A:  I think it’s important to know something about your potential writing coach, such as what experience they have in the writing/publishing community. Also, while it’s nice to work with a professional who has years of experience under his/her belt, I think it’s also important to work with someone who matches your personality and who shares the same vision for your progress and success that you do. You may choose a writing coach who has over a decade or two of experience in the writing/publishing community, but if he/she doesn’t sync with who you are and what you hope to accomplish, then I believe you’re missing an important part of the equation.

Q: How do you find a writing coach?

A: There are two important parts to this equation. The first part of the equation is locating a writing coach. The second part of the equation is finding a writing coach that best fits your personal style.

You can ask friends/colleagues for referrals, you can approach a professional and ask if they’ll mentor you (for an agreed-upon fee, of course) or you can research writing coaches online.

Once you locate a potential writing coach whom you think might fit your needs, you should consult them and see if they fit your style on both a personal and a professional level. One writing coach does not fit all, shall we say.

Q: How did you become a writing coach?

A: Moving into the role of writing coach was a natural progression for me since I’d been teaching online writing courses since 1997. I was already working with writers one-on-one to help them brainstorm ideas, develop their work and polish completed projects, so it was a short jump to adding “writing coach” to the services I offer.

Again, thanks for having me as your guest, Laura. It’s been a pleasure!

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Bev offers one-on-one coaching services through e-mail, instant message and telephone starting at $15 for 30 minutes and $25 for 60 minutes. E-mail scribequill@gmail.com for more info.

To view Bev’s publishing-related resume, visit the link below:

http://www.scribequill.net/BevWaltonPorterCV.pdf

BIO:

Bev Walton-Porter has been a professional writer, editor and instructor for 12 years.  She is the author of Sun Signs for Writers (Writer’s Digest Books), Mending Fences (Whiskey Creek Press), and Hidden Fire (Whiskey Creek Press). She is also a co-author of The Complete Writer: A Guide to Tapping Your Full Potential.  Bev is the Director of Education for Author School. She is a client of the Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency in New York City.