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Posts tagged ‘craft of writing’

Morning Coffee . . . how we create – how we write – how we don’t self edit our work because that’s the death of it

10364033_10152476299144176_4680787522175960798_a1011253_10203243524002060_658622034422461467_nLawd, y’all — I am behind in my posts, but insomnia has ponked me upside my peahead most undeliciously . . . so, again for now, until I can gets me shits together, I will post here the last Tuesday’s and today’s video from our Morning Coffee series. We’re moving into more “themes” here instead of random chaos, but for me it’s always about chaos – haw haw!

 

Hope you’ll join in live on Tuesday mornings at 10 ET, but you can catch us on YouTube – muwah!

Today’s ‘show’ – creating from random words – how we create – how we write – how we don’t self edit our work because that’s the death of it – and Papito joins me in my closet.

 

Last Tuesday’s “show:” where I was completely low-key – I was! believe it or not – my insomnia gripping me harder that night and thus that morning the shadow of it was all over my personality – I was actually subdued! Dang! We chatted about writing/creating about Place – Home- Geography.

 

Y’all join in now, ya hear! :D

 

 

Five lies, out of many, that we tell ourselves . . . .

askyourdoctorLIE: I’ll start on that manuscript as soon as I finish this Facebook update.

REALITY: Haw haw haw! You’ll start on that manuscript as soon as you stop sniveling and whining and carrying on about how haaaaarrrrd this is and about how you aren’t appreciated by so and so and such and them and whositwhat. You’ll start on that manuscript as soon as you kick the ass of Fearsome Monster—and Fearsome Monster is difficult to kick the ass of since every time you kick it, YOU are the one who feels the pain. Right? Right. Riiighhht.

Oh, and for some of you out there *Kat gives the personal trainer evil eye* insert “exercise” where starting on manuscript is written. Yeah.  Uh huh.

LIE: If I fit into these jeans comfortably, I’ll stop losing weight. Or: All I want is to fit into my jeans comfortably. Or: My jeans shrunk! No wonder I can’t fit into them comfortably.

cartoonREALITY: If you have any kind of eating disorder/disordered thinking about food/weight, then I am on to you. Oh, I know you mean it when you say it, but I also know those jeans will fit comfortably and then the mind games start up: Well, if they fit comfortably, then what if they fit a little looser ; well, people are telling me I look good, I better not fail them! I better keep this weight off! And in fact, I better lose a few more pounds for a “Safety Net” so I won’t look as if I am failing by gaining it back. If my jeans fit comfortably, I then forget that they once fit tight and I think the “fit comfortably” is now “oh, my jeans should be looser” so I have to lose weight to make them looser and then I may forget how they fit after—you see the circuitous crazy-ass-psycho thinking here? Please god, make it stop, y’all! For those who think their jeans shrunk—I’ll give that to you once, and then after that, LIE LIE LIE!

I’m sure there’s a writing metaphor in there—I’ll leave that to you.

well, sheee'it

well, sheee’it

LIE: Once my novel is published, I will be forevermore happy! I will never want for another thing! I just want to see my book published even if only I read it and maybe a friend or family member or two!

REALITY: HAW HAHAHAHAHAHA HAW HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasping for breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, okay, right. It ain’t happenin’ – you will have that book published and then you will want something else. And then something else.  And then maybe something else. Will to! Will to! WILL TO!

*See Above Lie about fitting jeans comfortably – hey! I found a way to tie it to writing. WHUPOW!

LIE: I don’t care!

REALITY: Yes you goddamn do.

It's easy to be sucked down - but then again, I wonder what's in that hole?

It’s easy to be sucked down – but then again, I wonder what’s in that hole?

LIE: I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for so and so’s: weight loss, publishing contract, award, accolades, rise to the Kindle Millionaire list, cash flow, new baby, face, body, legs, breasts, lips, ass, writing, husband, wife, dog, cat, house, car . . . .

REALITY: I’ll give you this one, that you really are happy for them,  but with a caveat: though you may be truly happy for this person, there is a tiny part of you that may feel like shit on a big fat ugly ass stick that you have not accomplished these things or do not have these things and may never have these things or most certainly will never have these things or may always want want want and never have have have. And meanwhile, someone is envying you for what you have, and on and on it goes. What I will tell you if envy hits: Own it.  Own up to it. It just could be the thang that spurs you on. But when envy turns to Jealousy, when you are being eaten alive by it, then it’s time to take stock—it’s time to consider the realities: can you have it? Do you really want it? How much will it cost you (not just in $)? And how do you pull yourself out of your Green-Eyed Monster’s Ass?

Hey! He has more seeds than I do! BASTARD!

Hey! He has more seeds than I do! BASTARD!

I always say: A teaspoon (or even a tablespoon) of Envy is a great motivator. But Jealousy is destructive and negative and big ass ugly.

Also, I will tell you: Sometimes going to that person and congratulating them and really meaning it, feeling their happiness, feeling good for them, will make the envy lose some of its power—you face the demon of your own lacking, your own wanting and can’t (or not yet) having.

What lies do you tell yourself and do you or will you recognize the reality?

(*and folks – The Lightning Charmer is now on sale at Amazon and at Bell Bridge Books site. The “official release date” is November 1, so it should be going up for sale at other places, like Nook and bookstores and wherever else books go to find their ways to wonderful readers’ hands. I thank you all for your support. I *heart* you dearly*)

The Lightning Charmer cover

Today at Writer Unboxed: The Isolated Author (by lil ole me)

I am at Writer Unboxed today. If you are not a member, then get ye over there and check it out. Not just for my ramblings today, but for all the kickass offerings there. A wonderful group! They’re on twitter and Facebook, as well.

I was on a panel yesterday in the beautiful city of Hayesville, NC, and was reminded of how much fun blogging and blogs and bloggers can be – I promise to do better here. I do! I do! I do! *grins at you every so sincerely*

At Writer Unboxed today:

_______________________________________

2f95c122-b7f3-4ea9-8afb-ed71deb90477_zps0f985647Today’s guest is Kathryn Magendie, the author of five novels and a novella published through Bell Bridge Books—most recently The Lightning Charmer coming out this month. She’s also the Publishing Editor of The Rose & Thorn (which just recently closed its doors after fifteen years), and former Personal Trainer. She lives in a little log house tucked within a cove in Maggie Valley, Western North Carolina—where all the wild things are.

Of her post today, Kathryn says…

Thoughts of the “isolation” of this job came to me when I realized most every character I write is lonely. Then I recognized that I, me, myself, lil ole Kat Magendie, was deeply, incredibly, sadly, lonely. Well, danged if I didn’t feel right pitiful. I then read other WU posts, other author’s FB updates and Twitter feeds, and realized that feeling of isolation is shared—we’re all at one big banquet table, but the banquet table has partitions so that even though we’re surrounded by people, we’re still eating alone. I allowed myself to feel pitiful for about a week, and then I decided it was time to do something about the isolation. We’re much more than we appear to be, we band of writers, we.

You can find Kathryn on Twitter and Facebook and on her blog. More about her books here.

The “Isolated Author”

We can see the clichéd “isolated author,” one who writes in her fuzzy socks, a bottle of vodka—make that a healthy smoothie, yeah—by her side, creating micro-worlds where tiny-in-our-peahead-but-oh-so-much-bigger-than-life characters frolic and play and bring joy and epiphanies to all the land of readers. Farther pan out and see the writer hunched over her keyboard, ever more pan out and see the study she sits in with books and pens and pencils and chapstick and good luck charms and crumbs littering her keyboard and lap, and farther still to see her little log house, and outward we go ever outward to the Moon. And there we’ll stop a moment and consider just how tiny this author is. Just how inconsequential, miniscule. All the scurrying and living and loving and being around her is muffled and dark because all she experiences is: “tippity tappity tippity tappity tippity tappity *slurp munch* tippity tappity.”

The truth is, the more an author puts herself out there (But of course I mean you guys, too—we’re genderless in the World of Writing), the more isolated she becomes. The more public her life, the more private she must be. It’s an insidious endeavor, one she doesn’t recognize until it is almost too late—when the crazies visit upon her *picture here the Harpies from Jason and the Argonauts, feasting upon the sanity laid out in bounty upon the table until there’s nothing left but scraps of rational thought.*

FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE

Work-out Writer: Start off wild, uninhibited, and then exert that CONTROL . . . .

 

Control . . .

Control . . .

Wild

Wild  & Free . . .

Workout WriterYou have to find the Way that works for you. But if you are at a weight or goal plateau/finding yourself obsessing over the same danged ole paragraph or two or three over and over again. Wondering, “Will I EVER fit into those jeans I love, run that marathon, lower my cholesterol, feel healthier/write this goddamm book?” Then perhaps you can consider  finding your wild and free, flailing and flinging  yourself on the treadmill/your words on the page; and then, when you are sweaty and all fired up/have your crappy ass first draft, you exert that CONTROL.

Work-out:

When someone asks me what I do to keep in shape, I will simply say, “I do treadmill aerobics dance for an hour, and then I do about thirty minutes of mat work.” That’s my process, I say.

But there’s so much more to that “process.”

Children play with abandon, but they often have their own "rules" and process - there's PURPOSE to their play - be like that.

Children play with abandon, but they often have their own “rules” and process – there’s PURPOSE to their play – be like that.

On the treadmill, I  jump, skip, hop, kick out my legs, run full out for nuttin, and in between those high-energy aerobics moves,I tone it down a bit to let my heart rate lower. What I’m doing is uninhibited and free—I don’t over-think it; I do what feels good, what feels happy, whatever comes to mind without a plan. Does this mean I am “out of control” on the treadmill? Not exactly, for I do have to maintain some control or else I could injure myself–I have to Pay Attention. However, for the most part, I’m all over that thang, sweating my ass off. I am at the edge of my endurance, and the endorphins are KAPOW WHUPOW! A little chaos is good; a little wild jittery is wonderful.

This is a good example of what I do on the treadmill, except I do not turn around backwards because I don’t feel that’s safe.

My goal is to stretch that leg even more - but with CONTROL!

My goal is to stretch that leg back even more – but with CONTROL! I had no flexility even a year ago.

DSC_0033When I am ready for my mat work, I’m nice and warmed up. This is when I exert the most CONTROL in my workout. I use dumbbells or my body weight or a ball or some other “device” to challenge my body to the very edge of its endurance, but with CONTROL. The stronger my body becomes, the more control I have over it–repeat that to yourself.

An example would be: Lying on mat, holding ten pound dumbbells in my hands, I do chest presses while also keeping my legs lifted from the mat (as the photo above shows, except with or without ball, and using the dumbbells)—as I do my chest presses with my legs lifted, I’m working many muscles at once, and I am very careful with my CONTROL. Without control comes chaos—injury! And during my mat work, I do not want chaos—injury—or flailing about.

As my body grows stronger, as I challenge it to do more and more, and different, workouts, I can see the progress of my hard work. Things I didn’t think I could ever do before suddenly have become “easier.” My flexibility is better—this coming from a girl who had practically no flexibility.

No one is looking at your workoug and if they are? So what? Stay in your own zone--ignore everything around you but your body and what it is doing. No one sees your manuscript--only you! Stay in your zone and have fun

No one is looking – and if they are? So what? Stay in your own zone–ignore everything around you but your body and what it is doing-have fun! No one sees your manuscript until you want them to, so stay in your zone, and have fun!

That wild abandon paired with the CONTROL of my mat work creates the health and body I want to have—strong, flexible, heart and lungs healthy, higher endurance, etc. I feel confident, and proud of my accomplishments. And I want to do more, more, more, because it feels so danged good.

Writer:

When people ask me, “What is your writing process?” I always say, “I dunno. I just sit my ass down and write.” But of course  there is more to my process than that.

The first draft of my work is written with abandon, wild and free, without over-thinking it; whatever comes out of my pea-headed black holed brain is fine with me; let it come on! It’s fun, my endorphins are high, I’m feeling GREAT! Does it mean I have zero control? Nope, for the more I write, the better I naturally do the kinds of writing that will mean less work later on. Meaning, I have a grasp of grammar and punctuation “rules” even if I break them; my work comes out, even in draft, with paragraphs and dialogue and narrative and in chapters, automatically. My very first novel was almost all narrative-aw lawd! It was  a HOT MESS! Well, so what? Look at what’s happened since then: four published novels, a novella, and one set to be released in September. GO FOR IT, y’all!

Then comes the “mat work” of my manuscript. Where I exert the most control. Tweaking, editing, rewriting. I look for repetition, for too much internal dialogue/monologue, for ‘tic words,” for things that seem out of character or voice or POV. I read my manuscript a gazillion times and in different formats, such as, Kindle Fire, regular Kindle, my computer, printed out, let my Kindle Fire read it to me.  I am concentrating on the work with CONTROL. I know the rules so I can either break them, or tweak something to make it better.

Once I allowed myself to know my process and to OWN IT, I’m betting that each novel I write will become “leaner” and stronger, because I am exerting that control better as I become a stronger more flexible writer, willing to take some chances or try something different.

This wild abandon paired with the CONTROL of my re-writes/edits creates the kind of novel I can be proud of, one with which I am confident. And I want to do more, more, more, because it feels so danged good.

(Consult your doctor and your good sense before you begin this, or any other high energy workout–in fact, consult your doc before you begin any exercise program. I always say this–bears repeating. And don’t compare yourself to others, not to me, or anyone else, you hear?)

Just Do It

Just Do It

Just do it

Just do it

Work-out Writer: When it’s like sex

breath -- breeeaath -- breeaaatth -- BREATH

breath — breeeaath — breeaaatth — BREATH

Workout: You anticipate the workout, what it will feel like, how good it will be. Your brain flirts with the idea of what you’ll soon experience. You dress in what you know will entice you to the gym, put you in the mood. You hop on the treadmill, and begin slow, slow, slow, warming up, your body begins to Pay Attention, something exciting is about  to happen. The music pulses in your ear, the beat just quick enough to cause your synapses to fire off, your blood to move, your heart to quicken. Arch your back, feel your spine tingle, mouth slightly open so breaths can essss-scaaape.

As the music pulse upbeats, so do you, a little faster, a little more intent, your breath begins to pant, your body oh so aware—you oh so aware of your body and what it can do and how it is feeling–hyper aware, hyper-aware, oh hyper-aware, and the world begins to go away as you only feel the sensations, hair flying, body flying, pulse of the music rises, heart-rate thuds against your chest, shoes pounding, pounding, pounding, your body moving sweat-sweat-sweat SWEAT-SWEAT, moving moving moving, faster faster faster, breath breath breath BREATH BREATH BREATH, HEARTBEATHEARTBEATHEARTBEAT DSC00089PULSEPULSEPULSETHROBPULSE—KAPOWIE! OMG! PANT-PANT-PANT– That is the BEST feeling EVER—OMG OMG OMG!

You and the music pulse pull back, heart rate and breath slows slows slows slow. You wipe the sweat from your face. The world comes back to you once again. You step off. You can’t wait to do it again.

Writer: I told GMR that it seemed my newest book The Lightning Charmer felt like one big sex act. At first I thought it was because I allowed myself to have a little fun with 007writing sex scenes–and in varying “situations” of the words– in that book—more than one, more than two, more than three, more . . . anyway . . . .   But as I read over my drafts, I realized it is also about the pace of the book. Much like the workout above, there is the teasing, the flirtation, the slow build up, until the pulse quickens, faster faster faster—omg omg pant-pant-pant—and then slow slow slow, ahhhh. While I am feeling this, my hope is my readers will, too. I don’t do outlines, for my works comes, so to speak (teehee), more organically. But whereas the Graces books sort of meandered along in their family saga way, TLC mimics a more plotty kind of thing, a pulsing breathing book, that is, at least to me, sexy and throbby with longing and breath and building up to something wild, and then the release . . . release . . . release . . . .

And writers,while I’m thinking of sex: are your sex scenes organic, natural? Do they make you want to go have sex right then and there? Or do you maybe giggle a little or roll your eyes? Is your character maybe just a little out of control, on that exquisite edge–oh yes, oh yes, OH YES! . . . ?

I'm coming for your tunnel, chooooo chooooooo

I’m coming for your tunnel, chooooo chooooooo

Or is your sex scene something like this: His locomotive of love pile-drived her quivering dark tunnel of expectation? Okay, I burst out laughing when I wrote that. Haw! You do not want to laugh at your sex scenes (unless you mean for them to be funny). You do not want to roll your eyes. You want your sex scenes to capture your own sexuality, where you Want It Right Then And There, just as your character does. And your hope is, as mine is, that your readers will feel the same way. HA! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that when your reader read your sex scene, they had to put down the book and—well, anyway, that would be the only reason I’d want someone to want to put down my book. Teehee.

Work-out Music of the day: I love my sex by Benny Benassi

Work-out Writer: After the big cussin’ hissy fit, we may see a truth we tried to deny

He was an ass . . . but . . . . was I, too?

Jerkface, sumbitch! Huhn!

Workout: Saturday while on the treadmill doing a new, and particularly high energy part of my workout, some jerkface came over, waved his hand in my face, and then bitched me out for stomping on the treadmill. I couldn’t even respond—I was so furious, a sailor would blush at what caught in my throat and I had to swallow down.  All the rest of the weekend, I was pissed off, and within that anger came a little depression and anxiety: what would I do? That newer part of the aerobic workout kicked my ass but good and was something different, made me sweat, helped control my stress and take down my jitteriness a notch. I kept seeing his face; kept seeing his hand waving in my face; kept seeing me punching his face until it was a bloody-ass pulp (um, yeah, not proud of that thought, lawd!)

I didn’t even look forward to my next workout, for I thought, “It’s all ruined. My joy is ruined. My workout is ruined. Woe is me.”

*woe is wittle me*

*woe is wittle me*

Meanwhile, I’d conveniently forgotten how many people said I inspire them, how they enjoy my joy. I’d forgotten that the addition of this stomping was fairly new, and in a quiet little dark corner of myself, I knew I shouldn’t have been doing it—it just felt so good I ignored everything and everyone else. I was being stubborn. I wanted want I wanted. I didn’t want to give it up cause it was just so cool.

omg - I was being an asshole, too!

omg – I was being an asshole, too!

But, when I allowed my rage to subside. When I stopped thinking, “That sonuvabitch jackass mo-fo, rude asshole!” I heard what he said, not how he said it. And folks, yeah, I sure was being disrespectful to others and the equipment at that particular addition of my high-energy workout. Admitting that made me pull up my big girl panties and acknowledge I was being an asshole, too. I don’t excuse his delivery system, for he had no call for the way he treated me, but hidden in his Big Ass Stupid Face Assholedom was some truth.

This morning, as I stepped on the treadmill, someone said something so positive, reminding me that I wasn’t a bad person, I hadn’t always been so out of control, and I felt my joy slipping back in. Instead of stomping like an over-crazed idiot, I found something else to do that kicked my ass even better and more efficiently, and without worrying about hurting myself, and just as wonderful, I was still respectful of the machines and others.

WHUPOW!

Writer: Sometimes when we’re given critique/edit suggestions from our editors or beta reader, or whomever, that we don’t like, we may be tempted to say “Oh, they just don’t get it; they don’t understand what I’m trying to do; they SUCK! I ain’t listening. If I change this, it ruins everything! If I take that out/put that in/alter that, then what?  Waaaaaaah! Sumbitches!”  We push any rational thought aside, cuss, holler to the four winds of the universe how unfair they are, and how they just don’t get us and our work. Want to smack them three sides to Tuesday. We may want to give up, give in, be depressed and defeated. Put aside the work and walk away.

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you're saying . . ..

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you’re saying . . ..

However, if we still our minds and think of the bigger message, even if it’s embedded in a delivery we don’t appreciate, we may just find some truth in that critique/edit. We can pull on our big girl panties, or big boy undies, and acknowledge how we are being intractable, childish. We can pull back and look at their suggestions/comments, see if really they do have something to add to our manuscript, after all. Then, we find a way to work the manuscript into something that still gives us joy, makes us excited, and works ever so much better to make the work kick-ass.

images (1)

I actually do have a can of this!

WHUPOW! Open up a can of whoopass and get going!

Work-out writer: A leaner you; a leaner manuscript

from SHAPE magazine site

from SHAPE magazine site

Work-out: Want an efficient work out? Try interval training. The easy answer to “what is interval training” is, for example, say you usually walk on the treadmill at a steady pace — even if it’s a fast pace — for thirty minutes to an hour. Try adding in short bursts of speed or intensity. You want to raise your heart rate; to go fast/hard enough that you think, “Omg! I can’t go much farther!” then you slow it back down and catch your breath. Do this several times during your workout–get that heart rate going and then slowing it down, up and down, up and down, until you are sweating and feeling kick-ass, and as if your ass was kicked! It’s efficient and effective. Though I do high-energy intervals for an hour, actually you do not have to go that long. It’s all about making it efficient — I’m just insane *laugh*

For a better, more comprehensive explanation, here’s an article in Shape Magazine: Interval Training: Short Workouts That Really Pay Off 

(As I always tell you: please see your doctor before beginning an exercise, or new exercise, routine.)

logoWriter: Want a more efficient manuscript? If we want our manuscripts to be “lean” and tight, sometimes we have to delete. Find those areas that are flabby and develop their muscles. Our manuscripts can become bloated after writing up those first drafts. We’re developing characters, setting, scene, etc. We’re trying to find our way, and the character’s way. One of the “easier” ways to develop a leaner manuscript is to find and delete  “internal monologue” or internal thoughts the character has. I finally figured out that the only “purpose” or reason for these internal monologues in our drafts is to figure out something at the same time the character is – sort of like when we yap to a friend about a problem because we are trying to sound it out, hear it out, figure it out. Most of this can GO. Delete. Get rid of it. Instead of writing along at this steady pace, punch it up! Instead of a long paragraph, or *gasp* page(s), of internal monologue, use action, or dialogue, or cut it down to a sentence or two. Do this throughout the manuscript and you’ve deleted thousands of bloaty words that weighed down your manuscript.

For a better, more comprehensive, explanation of internal monologue, see: The Do’s and Don’ts of Internal Monologue by K.M. Weiland

Don't be afraid to stretch yourself a little in life.

Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself a little in life.

A fit you; a fit manuscript.

Work-Out Writer “tip” of the day . . . Form, y’all

Sampling of Today’s Work-out Soundtrack (and I can see my friends’ raised eyebrows at the choices, since they know I crush on some Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Broken Bells, MGMT, etc, but there ain’t nuttin’ like Pop and Techno to get me jumping round on that treadmill!): Sandstorm, 50 Techno Trance Anthems; Satisfaction, Benny Benassi & the Biz; Sparks (Turn Off Your Mind) Fedde Le Grand/Nicky Romero;  I’m Sexy & I Know It,  LMBFAO (makes me laugh).

abs tight, glutes tight, hold your balance, feel strong

abs tight, glutes tight, hold your balance, feel strong

Fitness Tip: Good posture – your form – is as important in your work-out as the work-out itself. Without proper form, you may set yourself up for injury, and as well, you are not doing the exercise correctly and in the best possible way for optimal benefit. Don’t think of “good posture” as some kind of ATTENTION! military-like snap-to, but instead, stand with feet slightly apart, eyes forward, chin lifted, arms at your sides. Gently lift your chest, as if a light string is attached to your upper chest to the ceiling holding your chest gently up, and let your shoulders gently and naturally fall back –that string attached to the ceiling is gently pulling up your upper chest and your shoulders naturally fall back: do you see? Breathe in and fill your chest and when you exhale pull your abs in — try to keep your abs tight but do not hold your breath. As you grow stronger, you will be able to hold in your abs naturally. When you exercise, you keep that basic posture of chest up, shoulders back, abs strong, eyes forward, chin lifted. Breathe in on the easy part of your exercise move, and exhale (pulling in abs) on the difficult part. It helps to count aloud as it forces you to think about breathing. The stronger you are, the more you practice good form, the more instinctively it comes to you.

Oh how I love thee Strunk & White

Oh how I love thee Strunk & White

Writing tip: The more you learn the basic “forms” of your manuscript, the easier your edits will be. As in: one period after punctuation, each character’s dialogue as its own paragraph, be aware of relying on too many adjectives/adverbs, etc etc etc. The more you write, the stronger your writing will be, and the more you will instinctively write even your “shitty rough drafts” in proper form. I love breaking rules where appropriate, but I had to learn the rules first–do your research, there are plenty of books out there to help you–and learn all you can about punctuation, voice, POV, etc. You’ll be so glad you did when edit time comes–and your editor will love you for it, too!

Later y’all.

Find your bliss

There’s more to life than first apparent

Work-out Writer: Do you give up if results don’t come to you quickly? Well, dang it, stop it!

121Samplings of today’s work-out soundtrack: Everybody Talks, Neon Trees; What Does Tomorrow Bring (Extended Mix), Starkillers & Richard Beynon; Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself), Ne-Yo; Hey (Nah Neh Nah), Milk & Sugar & Vaya Con Dios; Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You), Kelly Clarkson

But I don't wanna! Well do it anyway! Huhn.

But I don’t wanna! Well do it anyway! Huhn.

Fitness does not happen over-night. Yeah, yeah, you say, I know that. *eye-roll* DUH, Kathryn.  Well then, smart-ass, why do I see people giving up so easily when they don’t see the results they want after just a few workouts/meal plan changes? Over and over again I see this happen. People want results and they want them in a hurry. Well, guess what? All those layers of bad habits crept up on you a little at a time, so the changing will have to come with time and work and sacrifice/discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Is that in your head yet? Time  . . .  Work . . . Sacrifice/Discipline.

Yeah, I'm sexy and I know it . . .

Yeah, I’m sexy and I know it . . .

You start with what you have and you work to make that the best you are able to with time, work, sacrifice/discipline: best heart/lung–cardio—condition, best muscular/skeletal condition, best endurance, best strength, best whatever it is you want—or all of the above. This isn’t about turning yourself into someone you see in Hollowweird. This isn’t about looking like, or working out like, your best friend-brother-sister-neighbor-someone you see at the gym; this is about doing and being the best YOU. And it is about not giving up and giving in when the going is difficult, or when the results you desire do not come to you as quickly as you imagined. For those who stay the course, they are rewarded–this I can guarantee.

But what's on the other side of this sign? Another path - yup.

But what’s on the other side of this sign? Another path – yup.

Sometimes it does seem as if nothing is happening to our bodies even when we work hard. Folks, I promise you that things ARE happening! You must be patient, you must keep working towards your goals, you must not give up and give in! You must show your body/mind that you mean business so it will be open to change instead of trying for homeostasis, the status quo. For example, I’d often hear clients lament: “I’ve been working out and eating better for two weeks and I look the same! I’m so frustrated I just want to give up!” Well, keep going, I’d tell them. Do Not Stop. Because the reward does come. Our bodies work in mysterious and wondrous ways, and not always in the way we expect them to. But please believe me when I say: if you are truly working out and eating healthfully; if you are truly making healthful changes to your life-style, then it WILL show, the change will come, guaranteed. It is science, biology–we are beautiful biological machines.

I have my eye on you . . .

I have my eye on you . . .

Don’t work out and eat healthfully for someone else. Yes, this may motivate you in the beginning, but you will feel resentment flash up and ponk you on your head until you are dizzy and pissed off. You must do this for you. Aren’t you worth it? Hmmm? Of course you are! Although I will add that becoming healthy for your children’s/grandchildren’s sake is something to consider. Besides, do you want your children/grandchildren to have to look after your old tired unhealthy ass because you didn’t take care of yourself? *giving you the personal trainer evil-eye*

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follow the road and see where it takes you

So, there you are where you are, whatever the case may be. You find a reasonable starting goal and you work towards it, and when that goal is achieved, you find another one, and another one, and you keep building on those goals. The results will come, but they come at a price, and that price is hard work and time and sacrifice/discipline. Stop expecting change to come so quickly; stop expecting the “end result” to come without the work, for when you do not allow yourself to climb up the fitness ladder a rung at a time, you set yourself up for Half-Ass. Isn’t Kick-Ass better than Half-Ass? I think so.

And you writers out there — near-bouts every work-out post I write has a message for writers in it–as does this one.

It’s the same concept with your manuscript. A good novel/story does not come from rushing through it with the desire to “get it out there as quickly as possible.” That “shitty rough draft” deserves time and work and sacrifice/discipline. Start with what you have and build on that. Write it, and then edit edit edit, until you have a Kick-Ass story/novel, instead of a Half-Ass story/novel. What’s your rush? Slow down. Don’t expect the end result–something you’ll be proud to have your name on–to come to you easily and quickly. Give it the attention it deserves. One rung at a time.

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DSC_0051Work-out tip of the day: If you aren’t listening to music while you work out – please do try it! The tempo keeps you going, the music distracts you, it puts you in a great mood, and motivates you to work harder.  There are iPods and iPod Shuffles (the small iPod Nano), and if you do not want to invest in that, there are all kinds of MP3 players out there. Load ‘em up with energetic music and Have Fun!

Professor Dawg says, "Woof!" - that means, write it all good and all, y'allses

Professor Dawg says, “Woof!” – that means, write it all good and all, y’allses

Writing tip of the day: Do you really need to write “started to” . . . ? It started to rain; she started to cry; he started to run—you could just have the action itself: It rained; she cried; he ran.

Later y’all.

Layer the paint. Snap the images. Taste taste taste. Work your asses off.

It only seems I was relaxing one earlier summer – but the work is always there . . . I am most always working- see the unfinished manuscript? That was done and then another began . . . on it goes

I am an impatient person. Now that I have that out of the way, I will also tell you that despite that fact, I understand that I must often corral this impatience, especially when it comes to Goals and Dreams and Desires.

All y’allses, I would lay bet that most all of the time when you hear of “Over-night Successes” those successes were fashioned from much hard work. Take the musical group The Black Keys for example. They slogged along ten years before bursting out of the gate. It would seem they obtained their “fame” in a blazing flash of light, when instead, if you’ll excuse the cliche, they’d been burning that candle at both ends.

A photographer may take hundreds and hundreds of shots just to find that one perfect “money” shot. The photographer, unless very lucky at that moment, doesn’t sit and wait for the perfect shot and then *click* – there you go, la tee dah. No, the photographer hunts and looks and snaps and snaps and snaps that shutter countless times, over and over and over, and then within all those moments the photograph finds The One Great Moment that snatches up his/her breath and the world stops spinning until the breath is released. There. There. That’s it.

A painting may have layers upon layers of paint, as the artist searches for the image he/she has dreamed, desired, lost sleep/weight/friends and family over. The one that finally has the artist putting down the brush. And even then, the artist may eye the

I took shot after shot after shot of the Blue Moon and still couldn’t get what was in “my inner eye*

painting with imagination and doubt. But rarely will the artist slap some paint on the canvas and call it a day.

I used to think if I were a good cook, it would mean that my instincts would be so keen that I should be able to throw things in the pot and magically they would taste good. It wasn’t until years later I learned how the greatest of chefs actually TASTE their food – taste the ingredients, taste along the way, taste at completion. KABOING! Why, who knew? One must taste the elements, taste along the way, and then taste the finished product to make sure it turns out how it should be: Tasty.

Read the above and insert words to make it about writing. Yup, in my early writing life, I used to think that if I were a Great Writer, or even a Good One, whatever I slapped onto the page must be genius right then and there. That re-writes meant I was not a Good Writer. Rewrites and revisions meant I lacked. Oh dear lawd in the highest of clouds! How wrong wrong wrong that was, and is, and forevermore shall be! Rewrites and revisions are the heart of writing. I can’t tell you how many times I go through my novels, time after time, layering that paint, snapping image after image, tasting tasting tasting TASTING, until I have it as Right as I can right it.

Giving up? No. Not an option. However, there is the: maybe I need to try a different path; one that doesn’t take me to a *see sign*

Take all that above and insert words to make this about many goals: weight loss and/or becoming fit, that big promotion at work, the Dream you’ve been Dreaming. Sure, there are always exceptions to some of these, and some people find Luck propels them just where they wanted to be with the snap of a finger (though I’d wonder still how many years they’d spent working towards their goal before Luck slapped them upside their heads). But, y’allses, nothing comes without the hard work – or maybe I should say:

Nothing STAYS without the hard work

Enter the magical gate, walk the magical path – then work your ass off.

Layer the paint. Snap the images. Taste taste taste. Achieve.

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