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Posts Tagged ‘Writer Resources’

December 4, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Carved Door

2voices1song.com

Hello there, readers–

For those who come only infrequently to Claudsy’s Blog, I’ll bet you thought I’d forgotten you, left you out in the cold, or slipped away without leaving a forwarding address.

Wrong!

What I did was get a website where everything I do can come together in one place. Meena Rose and I now collaborate on a website labeled Two Voices, One Song.

Over there you’ll find  Claudsy’s Blog, Claudsy’s Calliope, and much more. The rooms there are spacious and attractive. We can branch out into fiction, reviews, profiles, inspiration pieces, poetry, travel, etc. It’s like a department store for readers.

Why did we do this? We both felt the need to expand and test our wings in other skies. We also had some fun doing it.

Right now we’re coming out of NaNoWriMo. For those who’ve never done it or seen the insanity it brings, know this; very little else gets accomplished during November. Couple NaNo with the November PAD Chapbook Challenge over at Poetic Asides and you have manic novel writing episodes leavened with poetry created to someone else’s tune.

We’ve moved into the bigger holiday season, which means we’ll be posting more regularly than during November but not as often as in months previously.

There are also other reasons for the slowdown. We’ve both got major projects in the works right now and the push is on.

We so enjoy having friends and neighbors drop in for a look-see. Please come whenever you like, stay as long as you like, leave us a note if we’re not home to let us know you popped in for a visit. We certainly don’t mind. We do return the favor and visits.

Now you know why you see nothing new here. Several of you have stopped by to see me here and found me gone. I hope you’ll move your viewing pleasure to the new digs. I’ve missed seeing all of you. I think you’ll like what you see there as much or more than what I presented here. Try it. You may really like it.

The address is: 2voices1song.com/  You can’t miss it. It’s the big place on the corner of Dreams and Motivation.

A bientot,

Claudsy

 

Taking a Step Back

August 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Courtesy of BJ Jones Photography

Ever wonder why we use this expression this way? I know, you’re asking “What way?”

I say, “Every way.”

Think about it. What is a “step back”? Something leaps onto the path we’re walking. We step back; from startlement, fright, consternation, you-name-it.

We make use of this step to re-evaluate, to make a split-second decision whether to fight or flee. We need to know what we’re facing before making a leap of our own. This may be our only chance consciously to decide.

This stepping-back behavior for decision making permeates nearly every corner of our lives. We may or may not realize it at the time. On some occasions we don’t have the leisure to recognize the process or the maneuver.

“Let’s take a step back and look at this situation.” How many business meetings have paused after a similar statement while those in charge review options, repercussions of those options, or the people, places, and procedures involved in those options?

I dare say that few meetings get to an end without some variant of these words, especially interdepartmental meetings. “Shall we table this and regroup after everyone’s had a chance to take a good long look at it?”

See what I mean?

The question of pausing to consider plays a role in individual lives as well. It can be as minor as “cantaloupe or honey dew” while in the produce aisle of the grocery store or as monumental as “chemo or radiation.” Each decision event has impact; large or small.

“Shall we make it illegal for citizens to grow some of their own food?”

This pause has happened–is happening in Washington–at least according to the media. I don’t bring this up as a political statement, but rather as a demonstration of how vast an impact such a question—such a pause for consideration—can make. One question can force an entire country’s population to reconsider many things impacting their lives.

You might ask why this is on my mind right now. That’s a valid question.

I’m in pause mode because I made a major shift in my mindset throughout this summer. What and how I write has shifted; not because I didn’t like what I was writing before, but because I like writing in this new way much better. My approach to both life and writing was in need of an evaluation.

With the shift in my writing, my attitude about life and how I was living also shifted. That change warranted a continued attitude adjustment in my writing. I got to that old “chicken and the egg” portion of life.

Priorities became more pronounced. Life paths suddenly had the full light of purpose shined upon them. How could I not stop to consider or ponder my direction?

The Step became necessary to fully appreciate where I’ve come from and where I’m going. More importantly, I discovered some of the why’s in my life, and those always necessitate a pause. Hence, I arrived at this doorstep.

I have no clue where I’ll travel on this new path. I’m only sure that the ride will be memorable. I’m looking forward to new discoveries.

With Two Voices, One Song I expand horizons and understandings. With my poetry I explore new audiences while enjoying those who’ve willingly been here all along. With my newly acquired thrill of flash fiction I can grow faster along channels of fantasy.

Claudsy’s Blog and Claudsy’s Calliope remain corner stones which anchor my new forays into the writing experience. I’m so grateful for all of those who’ve encouraged me to explore, whether through poetry and photos, flash fiction, or other genres. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow as a writer.

As far as I know, I’m not moving out of these digs here. I’m merely refining the edges, smoothing out the throw rugs, and adding the occasional knick-knack.

Until we meet here again in a few days, a bientot,

Claudsy

Vacation’s Purpose

July 2, 2012 2 comments
Cover of "The Vacation"

Cover of The Vacation

 

Each year millions create an almost migratory herd, like so many waves rolling toward a shore called “vacation.” Each traveler has in mind a personal calling toward whatever destination reaches in and takes hold of the heart for that season. How many can resist that pull?

 

My writing partner left this past weekend for vacation with her children. Since that particular blog is on vacation this week, I’m left with additional and unanticipated hours of luxurious time to delve into new studies, new avenues of knowledge exploration. I could spend the extra hours working on some of my long projects, but they’ve already been delegated to regular work hours.

For now, I can download seminars and listen without guilt, soak in new knowledge to add to those bits I’ve stored away, and investigate hitherto unknown streets that branch off the cyber highway. There’s a lot of territory to roam in only a few measly days. What if I get lost?

No fears. Fear is the little mind killer. That has become my motto of life.

Learning new software applications will get an hour here and there. A new book will have a half an hour of my time each day. An hour long seminar each day isn’t too much to do. And a couple of hours devoted to my writing course will pay off handsomely in a few months. (I’m rebuilding—not revising–my YA novel.)

The finishing touches on my first book of poetry are happening today. It will go to beta readers within a few days, as soon as I get them all lined up. Once it’s out to readers, I’ll concentrate on the second book. I have all of the photos, thanks to Sister and that trusty camera of hers. It’s begun, but now I must implement the outline for the epic poem.

Did I mention that I just had two more poems accepted by Four and Twenty Short Form Poetry? That drives more incentive to send out more poems and create a few more just for outside submission. Surprises like this one I can handle without difficulty.

So far my week is starting out pretty well. Speaking of poetry, here’s the one I did yesterday for Poetic Bloomings Prompt of Write a Resting Poem.

 

Restlessness

 

What gentle rustlings

Probe mind’s nooks

While sleep hangs

Suspended, waiting?

 

What probings shake

Awake memories

Long forgotten

While slumber paces?

 

What shakings loosen

Ponderings, dry eyes,

And weave weariness

Into strain’s distress?

 

These rustling, probing

Shakings serve to

Alert, with useless

Restless wonderings,

 

Leaving behind

Confusion’s legacy

Of sleepless nights

And fog-filled days.

 

Oh, to sit beside the

Stream of Forgetfulness,

Dipping toes into sweet

Thoughts of Easement;

 

To feel Zepher’s breeze

Linger on naked skin,

While Pan plays his

Lullaby to needy ears;

 

To rest within a cradle

Rocked by Earth’s pulse,

Removing all care, worry,

The better to nurse from Peace.

 

Some may see my planned week as anything but a vacation. That’s fair. For me, who has the occasional full day up in the mountains or along a lake shore, my definition of vacation tends to differ from that of others. A day to do nothing but read a new book or an old favorite is a mighty vacation indeed.

Enjoy your own coming holidays, everyone, and leave a comment here telling of your own vacation plans. Or, do you have to wait for get a break from routine? Don’t be shy. Everyone wants to go somewhere. Feel free to share.

A bientot,

Claudsy

Previous Post

June 30, 2012 2 comments

I escaped to my poet’s playground this morning and got to compose in the sandbox with my paints.

Here’s hoping you enjoy this playtime effort. I’ll have more poetry tomorrow, and more postings during the week.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and come back for the holiday week refreshed and energized.

A bientot,

Claudsy

June 19, 2012 7 comments
A Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope)

A Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my other blogs got lonely today. In order to keep it from gathering dust, I wrote a piece that talks of obligation, creation, writing, and put it all in a package that takes its inspiration from the manual on poetry.

Calliope is one of my several personalities. I figure if you’re going to go to all the trouble of having more than one persona, you might as well give each one room to spread out.

So, if you’re bored, have time on your hands and just want to see something different that you get over here, pop over to Calliope. The fare over there has a different flavor than Claudsy’s Blog; at least, most of the time.

Enjoy yourselves. Comment if you desire.

A bientot,

Claudsy

Want a Good Time?

June 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday two new postings were placed on display at Two Voices, One Song. I should apologize here for having neglected to keep everyone posted as to new offerings over there at the house.

You’ll find new poetry, new essays and profiles, discussions on philosophy and brainstorming sessions as Meena Rose and I work through a book that she’s writing.

Please take the time to explore the many rooms of Two Voices. You’ll find plenty of new Flash Fiction to keep you reading for a while. Enjoy yourselves, Please. We like drop-ins over there, too.

You’ll find everything you could want there for the asking. Look into all the rooms.

I hope you go that often. It’s an exciting place, all things considered.

Go to: http://2voices1song.com/

You’ll notice it’s now a freestanding website. Those who like Flash Fiction will have a great time. I posted a new one in the middle of the night that’s first up on the roll–a fantasy piece that leans toward the dark side. Have fun.

June 6, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s Poetry Day on Two Voices, One Song today.

Don’t forget to look into the Library posts while you’re there to see the chat Meena and I have on Sisyphusand his plight. Join the discussion, if you’d like, please.

Sisyphus

Sisyphus (Photo credit: Amaury Henderick)

If you haven’t been to the site yet, take the time to look around, drop in comments where you will. Enjoy yourself.

Claudsy

Expansion is Good for the Writer

May 31, 2012 10 comments
Extension and definition

Extension and definition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obviously this is the last day of May, but it’s also the day before the launch of a new website called “Two Voices, One Song.” My friend, Meena Rose, and I have created a new joint venture. It’s a blending of philosophies, perspectives, and visions, which I hope all of our regular readers will enjoy.

We’re inviting our readers to take a peek inside this new space before the rush of tomorrow, to have a look at the rooms within our freshly built abode.

Does this mean that Claudsy’s Blog will cease to exist or be abandoned like an old toy in favor of a new one? Not for a long while yet, is the only answer I can honestly give. It does mean that I’ll only be posting here every other day, instead of daily, as is now the case.

Meena and I are blending as much as we can of who we are as people and writers to give readers a far better look into our minds. Among the rooms at “Two Voices, One Song,” you’ll find regular brainstorming sessions between us while we work out problems with pieces of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. You’ll find regular pieces of finished fiction/non-fiction, as well.

Memoir entries centered on travels we’ve made, and understandings or thoughts we’ve taken away from those travels, will show up in the garage each week. Discussions of philosophy will take place in the Library, even while meditation is offered in the Garden. For those in need of writing prompts, there is a large selection from which to find just the one to stir the imagination and the Muse.

Along the way, we’ll have links to places we find worthwhile, engaging, or instructive. We urge every visitor to take advantage of these offerings and to offer feedback in return.

Profiles and interviews, stories and articles, poems and projections all come together there for savoring by the reader.

In the meantime, I’ll be having regular posts here as well. If I do fiction there, it will show up here. The same holds true for poetry and questioning pieces.

And while Claudsy’s Blog will migrate much of its content to the new site, Claudsy’s Calliope will do the same; as will Trailing Inspirations. This co-mingling of content and perspective feels like the proper thing to do right now, in this surge of creativity that was fostered at the beginning of May.

Please enjoy a tour of “Two Voices, One Song” and see if what you’ll find there will be as suitable to you as my offerings here. Once you’ve been there, leave me a comment here. Tell me your thoughts on this coming attraction.

I’ve come to enjoy seeing all of my visitors here over the past many months. You’ve made my daily postings so much more than they were when they came fresh from my cranium.

Thank you all for sticking with me and what I might bring to the table. I’m looking forward to having you visit for a long time to come.

Until I see you again on Saturday, a bientot,

Claudsy

PS: Flash Fiction Friday erupts from the Kitchen with a story from yours truly tomorrow on “Two Voices, One Song.”

Happy to be Sad

May 19, 2012 6 comments
Writers Museum

Writers Museum (Photo credit: estorde)

For the past few weeks I’ve been part of a group that started out calling itself SAD (Submission A Day.) The name has since changed to J2BL. Strange, isn’t it?

The point was for each member to submit a piece of work each day, to always strive toward publication in whatever venue desired. We have member writers of all sorts, and we’ve had great success in our latest endeavor. We recognize that some cannot manage that kind of time table and it’s okay that they only submit once a week, a month, or whenever they can.

We cheer each other on, congratulating the member for each submission, and cheering but supporting when a rejection comes in, because it means that the writer sent something out, took a chance, and is willing to do so again. (We’ve decided to use rejection slips as wallpaper in our office areas to stimulate new growth in our craft.)

We share resources, new venues and their needs, successes (that’s when we celebrate), and all other aspects of this industry we love and can’t live without. Along the way, we help each other. Ours isn’t a competition. It’s more a team effort where each team player is given whatever is needed to succeed. When a member gets an acceptance notification from a publication, it validates all of the members.

In the past week or so, our efforts have steadily come climbed into the higher acceptance zone, which gives everyone a boost in morale. Sure there are still rejections. Those will never go away, and I’ve received my fair share since we started the group. That hasn’t and won’t change.

What has changed is an attitude toward the entire submission process. Whether we’re talking poetry or prose, letting go of a finished piece is never easy for many writers. Each piece is a child. The writer knows, that for that child to be appreciated fully, it must be allowed to roam the outside world. The submission segment of the writing process, for the writer, amounts to putting her small, innocent baby onto the school bus for the first time.

Once the writer has made a habit of seeing a baby onto the school bus often enough, the need to hold onto a piece is broken. And this habit is what J2BL is all about. This is a mechanism to create a submissions habit.

If the past few weeks indicate nothing else, it shows us that we can work as a team to see to the success of each member; to support each other with resources, confidence, and camaraderie. In a world where the term “It’s every man for himself” rings through the streets, our method seems so much better.

I hope for a time when everyone can call such a group their own, to experience the unique closeness of our group, most of whom have never met face to face. I hope that everyone can have someone in their corner, cheering them on, and patting their shoulders when success isn’t instantaneous. Most of all, I hope that everyone learns that life doesn’t have to be a competition, with winners and losers.

This last week, I’ve submitted poetry, essays, and short stories. Today more poetry will go out. I’ve had a short story accepted, and not heart yet on the others. Editor response times vary greatly. Tomorrow I’ll send out something else. Online submissions allow for any day, any time. And for the first time, I’m enjoying the process and the pace. That’s saying something for a writer.

Have a great weekend, all. Relax, if you can. Laugh and enjoy the people you’re with. A bientot,

Claudsy

Writing, Definition, and Roles

May 6, 2012 33 comments
From left to right: Plato, Aristotle, Thomas A...

From left to right: Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m doing something totally different today. This afternoon I had a conversation with a fellow writer and poet. We often have philosophical discussions, and this was no exception. I’d like to recreate a small portion of our talk.

Meena: In my little “boxed” way of thinking:

1. Photographers are seekers, first and foremost

2. Graphic artists are messengers

3. Composers are messengers

4. Singers are channels

5. Actors are mirrors

Me: Yep, I agree about actors. Are writers the interpreters?

Meena: 6. Writers, in my mind, are all of the above

7. Philosophers are interpreters

Me: Ah, okay, I can go along with philosophers. So, let me spell this out differently–

Writers are the philosophers who seek, through pictures, to channel messages and hold up mirrors to their readers, so that interpretations of reality can be seen and appreciated, and a future can be built upon that foundation.

Poetry is the perfect medium in its own way. It’s short, lyrical in form and presents a message, philosophical in method and presentation, and gives the reader an entire picture, however short. And there is music in the cadence and rhythm of the lines that bring home the message.

Meena: I like it. That should be your blog post. I think of ghost writers, for example…

Me: I think on some level it is true. Even the most out-there writers, like early King or Koontz, write about people’s fears and what they’re based on. They give an opportunity to imagine the lengths to which those fears can go. I think ghost writers are even truer for the example. They channel so much of       their client, the messages they gained while working with that individual, and so on. They may be only reflecting the philosophy of the client, but the  wording, phraseology is their own, which makes or breaks the philosophy.

Meena: I suppose as writers we go “I have something to say”… that something is definitely inspired somehow. Poetry is the most compact package as far as  writing goes. It also asks a lot of the readers.

Me: Which is what all messages do.

Meena: I mean… it is a push off a cliff compared to the steady rise of a roller coaster before it crashes down. Longer writing is more like the amusement park ride… a longer experience.. requires different elements to sustain it.

Me: But, in truth, the message itself in the longer piece is buried within all the fluff, description, and other plotting elements. The message is tiny and easily contained in one sentence.

Meena: Not always…. that is the skill of the writer

Me: That’s true, but the essential message can be as simple as, “falling for the wrong person can screw up the rest of your life.” The message is only the seed that becomes the tropical flower amid the jungle.

Meena: That may be the surface message… from that line I already anticipate a lesson on regret, second chances. Choices.

Me: Or on salvation, according to the interpretation done by the philosopher.

Meena: exactly… to me all of that is the message… not the one sentence plot headline

Me: Ah, so we have a difference in definition. Isn’t that always the way? One has to define the emphasis of the message before deciding on the interpretation.

And so the discussion continues at a later date. The question to be answered is whether the roles played by the writer do take on the jobs of photographer, designer, composer, etc., and whether definition of the message can only come after its emphasis has been determined.

Everyone who works with words, in whatever capacity, has an opinion on this question. I’m asking all readers to chime in on this issue.

Does the emphasis of the message determine the definition of that message within the text one writes? Also, does the writer wear all the hats described?

Tell me what you think about this. Let me know if you agree, disagree, or wish to remain anonymous.

Have a great week, all. A bientot,

Claudsy

PS: Tomorrow, I will be having an interview with Walt Wojtanik, writer and poet. Be sure to drop by and see what he has to say about verse, choices, and futures.