Cecil Murphey continues to speak to me in UNLEASH THE WRITER WITHIN. The chapters I read today were discussing honoring one's voice and staying true to it.
Murphey suggests, "each of us has a distinct tone and manner of speaking or writing." He talks of an experiment he did with readers at a conference whereby he had attendees read paragraphs aloud and try to determine which he wrote. All guessed correctly which affirmed the importance that, "your voice is your voice." I found this an interesting experiment. Do you think others would be able to find consistency in your writing when read aloud? To hear your voice in all of your work? I'm not sure I am truly honoring my "voice" that consistently yet.
Murphey further suggests too many writers feel they need to imitate others rather than honoring their own voice. I found myself thinking of this...as writers, we want to touch others, to speak to their hearts, make them want to keep reading our work and know our voice. How does one do this? According to Murphey, it is by, "writing with your true voice...write with honesty, vulnerability, and with risk." This can't be taught, he goes on to say. We, as writers, must listen and work to hear our inner voice and then use it in our writing. For, "the true voice is the heart of good writing. It's more than techniques or the ability to write in more than one genre. It's the ability to accept your voice as valuable and to use it."
I believe finding one's voice as valuable is crucial to this equation. It is in finding value and taking the risk to share that value with others that allows us to celebrate our voice and let it speak to other's in our writing.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on honoring one's voice if you are inclined to share!
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Saturday, April 12, 2014
I am beyond excited to announce my first picture book, Bedtime Kisses, will be released soon by 4RV Publishing. Thank you to all at 4RV and the very talented Ginger Nielson for bringing my story to life.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Flowers of the World
Reported by GAK, our very own Angel Gecko
Predatory Petals by A.J. Huffman
Shades of Exaltation by A.J. Huffman
FICTION SHORT STORIES
A Flower Expedition by Joyce Wold
Coming Up Roses by Felicity Nisbet
Flowers that Grow on Volcanoes by Sherry Alexander
The Legend of the “Cry in Your Sleep” Flower-A Retelling of the Legend of Tagimoucia, Fiji’s National Flower by Sherri Alexandaer
Flower Girls Word Puzzle
Monday, March 31, 2014
Guardian Angel Publishing
March 2014 Releases
ANCIENT SYMBOLS, ARTWORK, CARVINGS AND ALPHABETS Bk 2
Academic Wings Author & Illustrator Eugene Ruble
Book Two—Join Professor Hoot as he explores more ancient arts and artifacts. The art, tools, and text represent various cultures and development from ancient eras, including fossils, too.
Lana Tries Yoga
Health & Hygiene Author & Illustrator Roey Ebert Hardcover Softcover
Follow Lana as she tries to capture the sunlight when it journeys to the 4 corners of the earth. The story centered yoga routine is simple for children to remember and fun for children to reenact.
Lily and the Return to Htrae
Wings of Faith Author Lindsay Bonilla; Illustrator Alexander Morris
Lily returns to the darkness of Htrae to take the King’s message from the City of Light. Even though she doesn’t think she can fulfill this mission, with the help of Ruah she embarks on the difficult task of inviting others to the great forgotten city.
Real Mysterious Easter Eggs
Author: Patricia Karwatowicz, Illustrator: Kathleen Bullock
Noah and Isabela take a journey in Great Grandmother’s kitchen to discover the Easter story by coloring eggs Grandmother’s “old-timey-way.” Color meanings help them learn more about who Jesus is and who they are.
Rip the night engine: The Rolling Along Train Series Book 1
Littlest Angels Author Melanie Lutes, Illustrator Eugene Ruble
Rip, the night engine, constantly worries about his passenger’s comfort on overnight train rides. He knows bench seating is not comfortable for sleeping. His cars are redesigned as Pullman Palace cars equipped with sleeping compartments. He finally lives up to his name that means Rest In Pillows.
There's a Lion in the House
Animals & Pets Author Mary Esparza-Vela, Illustrator Jack Foster
A young rabbit loves to tease his older brothers. He goes off into the woods by himself and boasts that he’s not afraid of anything. One night, he hears a lion roar in the house. He tells his brothers, but they ignore him
Friday, March 28, 2014
I was looking through my writing calendar (A Writer's Year: Managing Your Time in 2014) to see what I have and have not accomplished in the past few weeks and started reading some of the quotes (yes, again procrastinating a bit but, what the heck, the quotes are there to read, right?!!).
The first I noticed speaks to my post last week about writing without waiting for a muse or bolt of inspiration. William Faulkner says, "Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good."
Well, that just seems to be the epitome of a "duh" moment, does it not? There are often so many fears which prevent us from writing, but, if we don't, we can't get better, won't have anything to submit and, therefore, will not have any chance of publication. So write, take the risk...perseverance pays!
The other quote that spoke to me this morning is along a similar line. EL Doctorow says...
"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."
I love this comparison. It's like that old saying...put one foot in front of the other. One just needs to keep moving forward one line at a time, paragraph by paragraph and soon...viola...a book is born (or story or article for that matter). Focus on the here and now (what is within your headlight zone), and it will lead to the final destination whatever that may be.
I would love to hear about the process of your writing journey if you feel inclined to share.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Long ago, I started reading Cecil Murphey's UNLEASH THE WRITER WITHIN but haven't gotten back to it in some time. I picked it up this morning to read a few chapters while I sat in the massage chair and found several worthy tidbits to share.
I find I identify with Mr. Murphey's writing style easily and much of his wisdom speaks to my heart. His conversational tone and commonsense approach are quite relatable. In what I read this morning, there were many words of wisdom. For example...
"It's much easier to edit a page of writing than it is to edit a blank screen." He encourages the reader to write first from the heart ("creatively") and "second from the head" so the writer can "edit analytically" thereafter. Well, that seems commonsense though can be quite difficult for some. I read all the time of writers who find it easier to edit as they go. I cannot. It is much easier for me to write first (though it is typically a blank pad of paper rather than screen) and then go back to edit and re-write. How about you?
Murphey talks about being true to oneself and unafraid in one's chosen risks in writing honestly, simply and transparent. He says, "I would rather be disliked for who I am than to be admired for who I'm not." I found this so true as I think many of us, as writers, face those fears of "Is it good enough? Will others want to read it? What if I can't find a home for it? Is it too honest? Too bold? Too this? Too that?" One can't hide from feelings but needs to write from the heart to really make a reader feel something and want to continue reading.
Murphey also discusses the fact that writers, write. Always, without waiting for inspiration. While inspiration is welcome, one cannot depend on it as, "to write only when you're inspired devalues the craft and defies your need to learn and improve." He talks about the feeling that we, as writers, shouldn't feel we are unable to write without inspiration or some outside force. We need to rely on our skill and abilities, our effort and fortitude as writers for, "if you work at your craft and write regularly, you develop whatever talent you have. The more you use what you have, the greater your improvement."
This is so true of all things. Take a professional or Olympic athlete, for example. He/she doesn't wait to "feel like" training; he/she just does so. It is part of who she is, part of what defines her. Thus, we write...because that is who we are and what defines us.