Monday, September 24, 2012

Reinvention


Life is an ongoing process of reinvention. Certain artists, like Madonna, manifest this more transparently than others. Throughout my life, I've tried to keep things fresh and interesting. Part of the process of reinvention involves my physical look (changing hair styles, clothing, make-up, etc) and part of it involves my art.

Writing new books and songs are ways in which I artistically reinvent myself, and another fun and creative way is through my blog. 

I started this blog four years ago after attending my first writer's conference in NYC. At the conference, I received savvy advice from a few writers I met there (shout out to Sarah and Wendy!), and when I returned home, I dove headfirst into the blogosphere. Even though I posted far more often then (2-3 x/wk) than I do now (2-3 x/mo), I still love my blog. 

I decided early on that my blog would be an expression, not only of my writing life, but of my entire life. Along with funny and political posts, I've written some pretty personal stuff. My hope is that, by sharing deeply personal things, others have been inspired along their paths. 

Over the years, I've changed the overall look of my blog several times. Once again, I felt it was time. These days, there are many choices on how your blog looks. In blogger, backgrounds, fonts, layouts, colors, and gadgets are ways to transform the look of your blog. I took a lot of time and tried out many different things before deciding on this particular look. I also, got rid of a lot of "stuff" (gadgets) on my sidebar.

I'm curious to know what you do to reinvent yourself? Do you take up a new sport? Try something you've never tried before? Travel? Read? Do something creative? Listen to new music? I'd love to know. (I'd also love to know what you think about my new blog "do"!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Inspiring Images

Being a musician, I can't listen to music while I write. For me, it's not inspiring, it's distracting. I get utterly lost in the music and can't concentrate on writing. However, images inspire my writing.

Here are a few pictures that have inspired me lately. I hope they bring a smile to your face, joy to your heart, and inspiration to your soul.

Maybe one will even spark a story.

 

 



Darling Buds of Spring

Leanne Mahanke, Photographer






I took this one.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's "That Time" Again & Awesome Flash Fiction Contest!

It's that time again. The time that comes around every four years. The time where huge distinctions are drawn and friendships and family ties are tested. The time when political ads rule the airwaves and bumper stickers declare our allegiances. The time when we look deeply at who we are and determine what values define us.

I believe this election provides the clearest choice in modern history. The candidates are distinctly different not only in their race, religion, and backgrounds, but - and this is far more important - in their vision for America.

I love politics, but I have to say, I'm a little disappointed this election cycle. Sarah "Moosehead" Palin was far more entertaining than Paul "Blue Eyes/Black Heart" Ryan (or as my fiance calls him. "Captain A-Hole.") Truth be told, I had so much fun during the last election. Of course, I can't take all the credit, after all, Sarah made it SO easy. (I'm a maverick! You betcha!)

This time, however, it's not nearly as funny. In fact, it's downright serious and some might argue, frightening. That's because this time we've got two candidates whose values, visions, ideals, beliefs, backgrounds, and ideas for the future couldn't be more distinct.

Here are a few of the basics: (Links included so you don't think I'm making this stuff up.)

Obama/Biden:

Romney/Ryan: 

Of course, this is just a brief overview, but the choice is chillingly clear. We will either have...
  • An America that believes in equality for all, or equality for some. 
  •  An America that is guided by personal religious beliefs, or by what is best for all Americans regardless of religious (or non-religious) beliefs. 
  •  An America where men are valued more than women, or one where women are equal to men. 
  •  An America where gays are denied the right to marry, or one where they are granted the same rights as straight people. 
  •  An America where women can choose what is best for themselves and their families, or one where the government makes those choices.
  •  An America where healthcare is withheld from millions of people, or offered to all. 
  •  An America where those on welfare are considered "bleeders," or simply people who need help when they fall.
And if the big issue for you is fiscal, then remember this: America has created more jobs and done better fiscally EVERY SINGLE TIME A DEMOCRAT HAS BEEN IN OFFICE. Trickle down economics doesn't work. Or, let me rephrase. Trickle down economics doesn't work for anyone who isn't fabulously wealthy. Although the GOP wants us all to believe the myth that the Republicans are better at all things fiscal, it's simply not true. And, assuming you're not a bigoted, right-wing zealot, I imagine you agree the GOP's conservative viewpoints on social issues are anything but inclusive, practical, or kind. Therefore, if they are not better fiscally OR socially, why on Earth would you vote for the backwards values of the GOP? 


In case you missed the conventions and haven't been following Mitt and Ann's story, here they are talking about how they struggled. Mitt actually had to sell some of his stocks when they were in college in order to pay the bills. (I know, hold back the tears.) I, for one, can't imagine how difficult that must have been. 

So, what are your thoughts on politics, my friends? I'd love to hear them. 

Also, I have a question for my fellow writers: Are you of the mind that you should keep your mouth shut on politics and religion because you may alienate readers, or do you feel life is short and nothing should hold you back from speaking your mind? 

(Obviously, you know how I feel, but please don't let that stop you from stating your point of view.)

Also, writers, don't miss this AWESOME FLASH FICTION CONTEST going on right now over at my friend Suzy's blog with an opportunity to have your query or first ten pages reviewed by agent Anne Bohner of Pen and Ink Literary or editor Vicki Lame of St. Martin's Press. But, hurry! The deadline is midnight EST on Saturday, September 15th.

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