Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Delay - Again!

Hi All,

I have hit another bump in the road to publishing my book.  My editor who I gave my book to over a month ago will not be done by the set deadline we agreed upon.  They're going to give it to me a week later which puts me a week behind to do a re-write.  A position I did not want to be put in as I try and get the book out in October.

Thankfully, some of the other pieces to my book such as my covers and blurbs are done.  I will give you all a sneak peak in the coming weeks.  I started this particular novel in 2011, it sat for most of 2012 and got a new life in 2013.  This novel has been difficult to get together from the beginning but the day it gets printed will be a good day.  I can't wait to make it available for all of you.

With my novel returning to me in about a week I may have to put my guitar lessons on hold.  It has been fun learning to play the guitar.  I'm so thankful for having played the viola when I was a kid.  The guitar is a big version of my viola but unlike when I was a kid I'm having a hard time getting my fingers to function and hit the frets.  I'm still learning and each time I take the guitar into my hands a little bit of my musical childhood comes waltzing to the present. 

Music has enriched my life so much and most definitely has made a difference in my writing. Music is always playing when I write.  My stories have a soundtrack.  It's no wonder that I mention what I am listening to in my stories or the artists whose music speak to me so deeply at the time of my writing.

Classical music works for a lot of writers. I'm not one of them although I do listen to classical music now and then. As a treat for those of you who use classical music as your backdrop when writing here is a bit of Andre Rieu who I have seen on my local PBS station.  Not sure I could sit for two hours wearing one of those dresses but at least everyone is having fun.

Rock on!
~Maynard



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Writer's Block and Adapting

Hi All,

I had a wonderful lunch with a fellow writer this past week and the topic of writer's block came up along with all the things we do as writers to prep ourselves to sit and write.  Every writer is different and some have a set process of getting into the zone.  They can't write unless they have complete silence, play classical music, have the TV on, write with a special pen in a certain colored ink, certain colored paper or a mug of coffee by their side.

The process in which we write varies and I too have my favorite things that help me get into the mood to write or help let the words that swim in my brain fall onto the page with relative ease.

In speaking with my friend, it came to me that as a writer you need to abandon your steps of process or at least alter them from time to time especially if they don't work.  Making a change or trying out something new is not bad, I think as writers we have to do it from time to time.  Over time you do learn all the things that help you in given circumstances.

My friend told me that she has her set process but it's not working for her right now.  I suggested she break from what she knows and just let inspiration come to her. Inspiration will strike when you're not worrying about the fact you haven't been able to write.

Writer's block is frustrating when you have an idea but can't get further than that no matter how hard you try. I have had writer's block but thankfully not in a way that crippled me.  I think what I suffered was writer's idea block.  How do I get this idea to work?

I don't have concrete advice to help those of you out there dealing with writer's block but here are a few suggestions:

1) Change your typical writing location.  If you always write at a desk try a different location.
2) If you write in silence, play music that moves you whether it's your favorite song or a artist.
3) If you write with noise, try silence.
4) Do you always write while at a computer?  Try writing with a pen and paper.

Not much for suggestions but they do work or at least they have for me now and then over the years. One other tidbit to offer up and that is not to beat yourself up and it's perfectly okay to starting writing and then stop to daydream and then come back.  In those moments distraction your mind is still working on your story.

That's a wrap for today.  I leave you with Karan Casey's Beat of My Heart as your musical treat for the day.

Rock on!
~Maynard



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Writing and the Fear of Sharing

Hello My Happy Readers,

Another week is here and I thought I would share my thoughts on a topic that pops up quite often when talking to people who write. Fear.

I think all writers, even those who are bestsellers experience the feeling of fear.  I was talking with a co-worker who I just learned writes stories as well.  She says she writes but does not let anyone else read them.  She is is the second person I know who does not share what she writes.

I write many things that I don't share either and when you do share your writing, such as writing a book there is a bit of faith going on in doing it. You open yourself up to a lot of criticism which is often hard to take. People write for various reasons, some people are driven by greed and glory others for the joy of letting their creative mind speak. 

I look at writing as a way of allowing a part of yourself the chance to speak.  A part of yourself that is constantly buried but logging all your experiences and weaves a colorful tapestry of imagery that widens eyes and causes jaws to drop. Writing is a craft.  We use language to create adventures and pull readers in to go on these adventures with us.

To share what you write is a personal thing.  It is a trust issue but whatever we write does expose us.  It lets people into our minds and for some that is a scary thing to do. Writing is intimate in that if we do share, we are sharing something very sacred of ourselves. 

As someone who is relatively shy in certain situations, my writing is a way for me to say what I wish to say and express what I wish to express.  It is a form of communication and one that I love very much. It takes great courage to share what you write but it can be very rewarding to take that leap.

So for those that have fear in sharing, when you are ready, share just a paragraph with someone. The gesture will speak volumes and to the person who reads the words that you have crafted, one hopes they realize what a treasure they are in the fact that you trust them so much with something very personal.

That's it for me ladies and gentlemen. Until next time, take care of yourself and give writing a try.

Today's musical treat is Billy Thorpe - Simple Life (1979).

Rock On!
~Maynard








Saturday, September 6, 2014

Digging in the Music Archive

I was recently listening to songs on-line that I hadn't heard in awhile.  The wonder of listening to one song is that it links to another - thank you recommendations!  That was a few weeks ago and I had mentioned Marshall Crenshaw to one of my co-workers and she told me she found a vinyl album of his in her collection.  She dug out her turntable and gave it a spin.

I don't have room to dig out my turntable but in speaking with my co-worker I mentioned how my parents bought me ABBA.  That was my very first vinyl record.  Not sure why my parents bought ABBA for me but they were huge at the time.  The other album they picked up for me was a K-Tel album that had various artists on it - Kool & The Gang, Nick Lowe, John Stewart, Rupert Holmes, ABBA and a young Michael Jackson. I should dig it out and get the track listing. I'm sure it would be a nice shapshot of the seventies.

After these first two albums, the next vinyl albums to hit my collect were Michael Jackson's Thriller, Prince's Purple Rain, Whitney Houston and maybe a Pointer Sisters album but I'm not sure anymore. I'd honestly have to go look because I remember getting them for Christmas from my parents.   When I was old enough to buy my own vinyl albums my music collection took a definite turn!

Getting back to ABBA though, it must have been 1976 or 1977 it might have been later than that but I remember going to the local fair and they had ABBA cranked for all the rides.  I remember one ride that I think they called the Himalayan.  You sat in these cars and rode up and down while it was spinning.  It was enclosed but it spun fast and was slightly tilted.  I still see that ride or something similar show up these days but this song I always associate with the ride.  Enjoy the time warp!

Rock On!
~Maynard