Beware The Phantom of the Opera

I will never forget seeing The Phantom of the Opera in live theatre downtown Toronto years ago with my family. I loved it. The rest of them…. they mocked it and continued to mock the show for weeks afterward. Doesn’t it really bug you when someone else just doesn’t get (understand) something you love? Anyway, that was years ago.

Phantom of the Opera Live on Stage or Creepy on Film?

I don’t think anyone, having heard the music from Phantom of the Opera, will ever really get it out of their head again. The story is one which has been told and retold in endless versions and twists since Beauty and the Beast (likely there was an earlier version before then but we don’t know it).

Does anyone remember the Phantom of the Paradise which starred Paul Williams back in 1974? For me that was far creepier than the Phantom of the Opera performed live at the theatre. But, the theatre was meant to be for all ages. The movie was not. It had all the weirdness of a movie made in the 1970′s and then some. I still remember the feeling of being creeped out more than the movie itself.

I’d like to read the original book by Gaston Leroux.

The sad thing about reading books which were not originally written in English is having to trust the translator not to edit anything while they re-write the book for an English reading audience. No one should buy a book which has been translated without finding out about who did the work and how it was done. So much can be changed depending on standards and ethics at the time. I’d like to read the book as close to the vintage version (with all the signs of the times) left intact.

I’m adding Phantom of the Opera to my list of classic books to be read. It’s a long list but I’m getting there, one book at a time.

Discover Your Personality Type & Write Better

The INFP Writing Personality: Elegant Persuasion

INFPs have a natural aptitude for writing. In exploring this solitary pursuit, you can communicate your deeply held values and experiment with elegant, inventive uses of language. INFPs write best when their imagination is unfettered.

Writing Process of the INFP

INFP Writers:

Work best in a quiet environment where they won’t be interrupted. They like autonomy so they can perfect their writing according to their own high standards.

Prefer writing about personal topics. You may lose your creative drive if the subject isn’t meaningful to you. If so, try taking an angle that allows you to write about your feelings on the topic. Look for ways to connect with readers by anticipating and meeting their needs.

Have a keen insight into the nature of things. Their prose often conveys startling images of mood or atmosphere rather than objects. They enjoy complexity and can patiently unravel dense material. They are able to see many sides of an argument and so may have difficulty reaching a conclusion. During the writing process, they may often pause to consider alternatives or to seek connections between seemingly disparate things.

Potential Blind Spots of the INFP

INFPs may:

Strive for elegance in language and may want to polish the work too soon. INFPs tend to write long, meandering first drafts, so you’ll likely need to synthesize and cut material later. Save the search for that perfect metaphor until the revision stage.

Write in purely abstract terms. INFPs communicate their values and personal vision through their writing. They search for the meaning behind the facts, and so may consider the facts themselves to be of marginal importance. This is not true, however, for most of your readers. During revision, add concrete details. Appeal to the five senses. Include statistics. Incorporate other points of view for balance. Make sure your research backs up your conclusions.

Tend to be sensitive to criticism. Nevertheless, consider showing your work to a trusted friend or colleague before you begin the final draft. This feedback may be especially helpful in focusing your work and ensuring that it includes enough facts to sway your audience to your position.

via Discover Your Personality Type & Write Better Content For Your Website.

If you’ve read this site awhile do you think this describes the way I write?

I do. However, there is the danger of perception. Reading horoscopes/ predictions should be a communications science.

Use caution when reading predictions and forecasts. I think you need to read them as a skeptic not a full believer, especially when you want to believe what you read.

The Dangers of Sitting

Sitting requires a person to remain in one place. This can be dangerous for health and safety reasons.

Standing allows for quicker reactions. People already standing can jump, dash or run that much sooner than someone who starts from a seated position. When action is needed sitting down isn’t a great option.

Musical chairs is a game where sitting is dangerous. Players compete for the dwindling number of chairs each time the music stops. Falling out of a chair, being pushed from a chair, or not getting a seat at all, keeps the game challenging. Even getting a chair doesn’t keep you from having someone attempt to sit on you.

There are health reasons to avoid sitting too. Long periods of being seated can cause poor circulation. Break up sitting time with light exercise. Stand up, stretch and walk in place for five minutes. Just five minutes will be enough to bring circulation back to your limbs.

Consider going back to bed for a nap as a better alternative to the dangers of sitting.

Written as a writing test for a website. Posted here as a quick and easy way to get the word count and spellcheck at the same time. What would you write on the topic “The Dangers of Sitting” with 250 words, or less?

What Do You Write on a Postcard??

The first picture Postal Card was Sent as a Joke!

The Origin of the Modern Post Card

In 1840 the British author Thomas Hook made a post card with caricatures of postal workers on it. It was meant to amuse and irritate the workers as it went through the mail. I imagine it did, I am sure he got a lot of attention.

Hook didn’t send it out to anyone else, he addressed it to himself, so he could be sure of having a grin and a chuckle at the end of the process.

From – What Do You Write on a Postcard?

This post has suggestions from humour to writing a mini journal. All good ideas. What do you tend to write on a postcard? Do you only send them when you’re travelling?

Postcards are also a nice way to give someone personal mail (a letter) without having to say a lot. Nice when you’re trying to be nice and send a personal note to someone you don’t know very well.

How would you write a postcard to a Great-Aunt you’ve never met?

Writing About Fat People

BBW stands for big, beautiful woman. Why does a site like the Urban Dictionary post negative definitions like this? (See below).

How do you know what’s humour, what’s serious and what’s over the line?… Substitute something else for “fat” or “black” or “Mexican” and see if it still sounds okay. Changing one descriptive word can do more than just change your perception.

Fat itself is not a bad word. The words around it change the sense of how the word is intended.

How would you write about a fat character?

What are your own preconceptions about people and how do they influence the way you write?

 

bbw peoplevia – Urban Dictionary: BBW.

Could you Get Paid to Write?

It’s a bit dramatic to pick up your first ever copy of The Writer’s Market, which ever year you buy your first one. Suddenly you have taken a step into the world where people write and make money from it. This brings the responsibility of expectations. Paid writers should know how to write: spelling, grammar and punctuation. Paid writers should be professional and have a real office (for one thing). What a lot of pressure to perform!

In spite of all that… let this be the year you take that step. It’s kind of scary but exciting too. Make a plan to be a paid writer by the end of 2014. Set that as your goal. You may have been paid small amounts as commissions on Squidoo and other writing networks but take a big step and get paid directly, get paid more and work with an editor at a publication which will judge your writing, possibly make changes and then pay you for it (not a percentage or commission but a real pay cheque for you!)

This deluxe Writer’s Market includes online markets – a great thing for writers who have already had some of their writing published online. Posting to your own site counts too, even if you have been the only one proofreading and editing your work, it is still published (self publishing).

  • Start by getting someone professional (someone who does know grammar, spelling and punctuation) to review your writing work. Get feedback on the common mistakes you make so you can learn from them, be aware of your flaws and watch for them as they come up with you work. Making mistakes is not a bad thing as long as you work on learning from them. Like a word you have trouble spelling, just train yourself to remember the right spelling.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Jump in by looking for a writing market you would like to get into. It might be something you know about from your own personal or professional experience – like a travel agent writing about travel for travel magazines. Take time to plan your method of attack for the market you pick. Choose more than one so you have more options if you get a rejection from your first pick.
  • Decide what you have to offer your chosen market. What does the publication need that you can provide? Study the publication if you have not read it a few times before. Each publication will have topics which are over done and some which just aren’t relevant or timely enough. Find writer’s guidelines for the publication – there are almost always guidelines so keep looking if you don’t find them right away. Or, send a note to the publication and ask for their writer’s guidelines.
  • Craft (and yes, it is a craft) a query letter. Direct it to one publication, one editor (get a name) and give your idea an extra push in some way. Read more about query letters – there have been some spectacular successes and just as many spectacular disasters.
  • Depending on what the publication expected (when you read the writer’s guidelines) you may now begin writing or you may have already written the article/ book/ etc and submitted a sample of it with your query letter.
  • Don’t get scared off or intimidated now. The writing is the part you know, remember?
Writing for children is an extra opportunity if you can illustrate it yourself too.

Pick your Writing Genre and the Markets Too

Just as there are other types of writers – there are other types of writer’s markets and guides to those markets. Look also for photography and graphic artist guides to markets.

Most of all – Best wishes and good luck! I wish you every success in your freelance endeavours.

Don’t forget poets. It may be harder to get paid for poetry but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Time Management Matters

Don’t spend too much time getting advice and suggestions. Time management is an important part of working as a freelance writer. You can’t add more hours to your day so use them well.

Ever Wonder What Happens to your Old Reviews?

I found this online tonight while looking for myself online. I looked up my married name which I didn’t keep for very long. But, I had forgotten I published using it. It was very nice to find my review of this book saved on the author’s site, no less!

myoldreview

 

I don’t know what my original headline would have been. I am quite sure I did save all my old content from the HerCorner site so it will be reposted on this site somewhere. But, here is the text form of the review for those who can’t see the image I took as a screenshot above.

Laura Tripp, hercorner.com
The hardest part of being a freelance writer is finding the courage to put your neck on the line. First, when you open yourself up to write, whether its fiction, non-fiction or a letter to your best friend, you have to open up about yourself to bring life to the writing. Secondly, writers need the courage to publish their writing. If you keep it in a box under your bed, safe from the world, its less scary but you are also stifling your voice. As a writer your voice is a treasure to share. Its a shame to keep it locked away, silent.

That’s why I bought the book The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes. The purpose of the book is to encourage writers to reach out past their fears. However, the first half of the book describes the fears of other, already famous writers. Although these are stories of success meant to encourage its not really that helpful. I came looking for ways to help myself. That’s when I read far enough to get to the second half of the book. Its here the real advice and suggestions start.

One of my favourites is writing before you’re ready. Just start, don’t wait for everything to fall into place surprise yourself into writing. This is something that does work for me. How about using your fear. All that energy generated by your fear of failure, fear of being exposed as a fraud, etc., take it and use it as energy for writing. Get yourself charged up and then pick up a pen, turn on the computer and pour it all out into words. This is something that would take a little mental work but it could work. Could you write in your car, while waiting for your kids at the dentist, in the middle of a packed shopping mall or while sipping a coffee after dinner at your kitchen table. A change of place could bring you a change of pace if you’re feeling trapped by your surroundings, your mood or your fears.

Many other suggestions come up in the book. Each writer needs to read it to find what works for them and which appeals to them personally. There is a lot here for writers of all genres, personalities and skill levels. Here and there are writing tips, for the actual writing. I found this a good experience but I never really found what I was looking for on a personal level. I think my answers might be in a different book, one that covers self-esteem a little deeper. But its a good start at figuring myself out as a writer and it did make me feel inspired to write, create and most of all get my stuff published.

Crossing Lines

I wrote a short horror story and submitted it to Tor just now. I feel kind of bold and yet full of doubt at the same time.

The weird thing about writing it was the moment I felt myself cross the line from sanity into horror. There was a point in writing it where I stopped and had to make myself find a way to write the rest of it, crossing the line from what is reality into what is more than reality. Not like fiction and non-fiction but that thing a nice girl wouldn’t write.

Best wishes to me. Tor says it will be at least three months before I hear from them. Likely I will have forgotten about it all by then. In three months it will be the new year, 2015 and I will be 50 years old. A good time to cross lines.