Returning to Familiar Place

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Each time you write something, part of you grows. You’re training your artistic muscles to find your voice.” ~ Pen Densham

Last week was busy, filled with all good things for a writer who seeks to take advantage of every opportunity to advance her knowledge about  the craft of writing and publishing.

BK Loren WSI attended an author presentation on Tuesday evening which left me hungry for more knowledge from multi-award-winning American novelist, memoirist and writing professor, BK Loren. She has been the recipient of several prestigious Pushcart Awards, the Dana award for a work in progress, the Colorado Book award and the Willa Award. She regularly teaches at the highly-touted Iowa Summer Writing Festival,  Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Chatham University and the Taos Summer Writing Conference.

BK Loren was a presenter this past summer at the annual “Day for Writers” sponsored by the Steamboat Writers Group. Last week she returned to town to spend time with creative writing students at Colorado Mountain College (Alpine Campus).

Since I am in the final revisions of my first fictional piece of writing I particularly appreciated her advice on how to advance a story through emotion, and listening to the character to determine obstacles and what actions they should take in the story. After all, Loren says “literature is the study of the human heart.” And I believe writers must craft a story that leaves an opportunity for the reader to get to know what they feel in their own hearts that attracts them to a story.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I am very grateful I was able to return to a familiar place inside a creative writing class with Dr. Lindsey Royce. I had taken a course from this CMC professor a few winters ago where I learned to understand the words of Pen Densham.

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. 

 

Finding a Good Fit

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Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”
George Carlin

hAPPYNESS IN SOLE

Today on this Thirsty Thursday, one day of the week All Things FuIfilling is dedicated to good news, I’d like to share an architectural wonder that perhaps has greater meaning than what was intended by the firm who created it.

I was drawn to an article about this holy place since the building of churches goes way back to the first generation in the history of my family’s five generation construction business.

There is a house of worship designed and built by the architectural group, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, in Borgloon, Belgium that takes seeing religion from different perspectives to a whole new level.

The good news is that there are many kinds of religions throughout the world. If you live in a truly free society, individuals get to select the religion that best aligns with their own principles and values, or we can opt out of being a believer of any sort.

Images in the article I’ve linked to this website tell the rest of this story. Put your Sunday shoes on, any kind will do, and take a few minutes to enter into this unique church. View the images and you will see what I mean. To learn more about the construction of the structure, visit this website.

That’s all for today! See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. We will be sharing an upcoming educational event that is good news for independent publishers or for people who are thinking of writing their own stories of any type (faith stories, memoirs, fiction, non-fiction or creative writing through the form of poetry, song lyrics or screenwriting).

 

Stimulating-Creative-Energy

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If we look for it, there is good news every day of the week, not just on Thirsty Thursday. So the good news for today is – “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ Maya Angelou

Back on December 29, 2014 I posted an article on All Things Fulfilling about Jonathan Lehrer’s book called Imagination. If you missed the blog, you can go back and read Spinning Yarns.

The blog was about my decision to take a creative writing course because I had read so much evidence including Jonathan Lehrers book, called Imagination on the importance of seeking out opportunities to use our creativity.

Everyone-Has-A-Creative-GiftIf you are a person who has never explored the creative aspect of your brain, it’s never too late to discover your creative gifts. It’s been said that creativity builds more creativity. To use some popular buzz words, our imagination is a renewable resource. I’ve noticed in myself that once the right side of the brain gets triggered, one thing leads to another as the creative energy is stimulated.

Neurologists say certain conditions are conducive to stirring the imagination. If you are interested in learning more about how creativity works, there is a minute and a half video that explains what scientists have discovered about the array of distinct mental processes that happens in the brain when we fan our flame of creativity. It’s fascinating. Listen in!

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Wrap Up: Writing Process

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First Step: “Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.” ~Melinda Haynes

Last Friday I gave a presentation about independent publishing and my newly released memoir to the Yampa Valley University Women. As a way of concluding my presentation, I mentioned how much I loved every part of the writing and publishing process –

  • the creative

  • the daily discipline of writing

  • bringing the voice of my stellar character alive for the reader

  • the end result of the feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction for having done it

Having a regular writing routine is easier for some than others, but for me I am a very disciplined person, so regular writing was not difficult. Authors have their own ways of motivating themselves to start, stay on task and seeing a project through until the end.

Inspiration-to-writeHere is an interesting article that I came across that speaks to tactics that some very well-known authors have used to tackle the problem of how to be successful in finding time to write. http://bit.ly/1fPjdd0 .

Some people go to all lengths to motivate themselves. I consider myself fortunate. All I have to do is sit down to the computer put my fingers on the keyboard, and pour my heart out. I don’t second guess myself until it is all out on the paper – it’s that easy! Then comes the editing part. Well, if I must be honest ….that’s a different story.

Do return tomorrow. We are going to switch gears.  I have “twin issues” on my mind that I will share with you. This blog brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com,

 

Spinning Yarns

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The key to a healthy society is a thriving community of storytellers.” ~ Franco Sacchi

Yesterday our blog was about New Year’s resolutions, and the need for Americans to add PLAY MORE to their list of priorities for 2013. “Play more” means something different to everyone, depending on our own interests and hobbies.

growingbookLast fall I enrolled in a creative writing course, just for the fun of it. I enjoyed it immensely; it was enlightening. As a result of the class, I feel as if my brain has been fertilized and my garden pot of memories has sprouted and grown. I have thoughts that would be rewarding to share with others, in a way that never occurred to me before. Funny, how that has happened.

I made a decision for myself this morning.  Creative Writing II has been added to my “to do” list this winter. I have an independent publishing project I’m pondering; I wish to work through it, with the guidance of a skilled writing professor.

Finding inspiration is not always easy, but, researchers say that the more we create, our minds become more open and receptive to invention, ingenuity and artistry. I suppose this explains why “mad scientists” who come up with one great idea to patent, often go on to explore and invent other key concepts to copyright. Authors, after writing one book, often find the motivation to continue, and write a second.

 Imagination How Creativity WorksImagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer addresses how many factors in our lives  nurture creativity.Click for more info & ordering

There is an interesting review in Psychology Today magazine that both questions and validates what Lehrer says in his book. To read the article, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/W7A4xh.

There is also a good article for writers and artists on how to stay inspired. http://bit.ly/YlZKaS.  Many people who live long, fulfilling lives attribute satisfying lives to the fact that they never stop growing and learning. Is there something you have always wanted do but haven’t dared to? Perhaps 2013 should be the year to pursue it.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Film Friday: Adaptation

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It has been a busy week on All Things Fulfilling. I feel as if I have been knocked over by a self induced hurricane this week. Between daily blogging, my creative writing course and other business meetings and commitments, I am glad it is Friday. It was a delight to be part of author Mara Purl’s blog tour this week also. If you missed out, scroll down to read my interview with Mara about her second book “Where the Heart Lives.”

At lunchtime today, local writers from the independent publishing networking group that I started a year and a half ago here in Steamboat, will be presenting their books and will talk about the independent publishing process with the Yampa Valley University Women. Another group I belong to. 

This morning as I start my blog writing, I feel exactly like Charlie Kaufman in the film Adaptation. Here are his words and also my thinking.  

“To begin… To begin… How to start? I’m hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That’s a good muffin.” 

Too bad I am not a coffee drinker, hot tea will have to do as a substitute. I will take that banana-nut muffin, though, sounds good!

Speaking of the film  Adaptation, my creative writing teacher says that it is a good movie suggestion to pass along to others. The movie is  directed by Spike Jonze.  She says, it is well worth watching.  “Interesting,” she said “how the screenwriter creates a story out of a person who has a passion for orchid collecting.” For information on this movie, Click here.

This is not a newly released movie. It hit the movie screens back in 2003. It is an adaptation of the book “Orchid Thief.” It won an Oscar and many other film awards.  Actors include Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, just to name a few of the cast. 

Sorry for the quick blog, today. Have a fulfilling fall weekend, everyone! Please return on Monday for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Writing Fictitious Scenes

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Keep your face to the sunshine, and you can not see the shadow.” ~ Helen Keller 

Who likes to think of sad and unhappy times? Joyous moments, positive thoughts, fulfilling feelings are much better. Is there value in clinging to images that make us feel anything other than good and healthy? 

In my creative writing class yesterday, we were given an assignment to write an elegy. Do you know what that is? I didn’t. Think of the word eulogy. Composing an elegy is very similar in nature. The teacher said “write about significant loss or death. Nothing funny; make it serious.”  In her words, “no rhymes!” In my words,“Don’t use expressions in writing that makes a frown turn right side around.” 

Last night, I worked a little on my elegy. Wow- that is difficult for me. I am not used to that way of thinking. It is like having to transition my stream of consciousness into something backwards. An analogy would be trying to make water flow, in a river, in the wrong direction. 

I feel as if  I don’t have that much to draw from compared to a lot of people. I have been so very fortunate – the really bad times in my life have been few and far between.  

 I suspect I’ll have to dig deep within to come up with a good piece of writing. If I can’t find it inside, I suppose I can make something up –  creative writing is what you decide to make it, isn’t it? Can it all be fiction? I’ll ask my teacher.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com