Stay Warm!

There’s some serious snow-age in the east coast. I have a very useful link for you: How to stay warm when the power goes out <– Click me.

A reminder to those whose weather is growing colder: Do NOT put down salt while it’s raining, even if the rain will soon turn to ice and snow. The salt will melt and become useless, wasting your precious commodity.

Also, look out for your elderly neighbors, your pets, and your neighbor’s pets, and the homeless. If you see someone out in the cold, there are hotlines to call.

Thinking of and praying for the many people without power, trying to stay warm and calm. That’s important: do not panic.

Keep your pen on the page and stay warm,
Beth

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Aspiring Authors

Aspiring authors (and those who may already have some work out there),

I’m trying an experiment for a month. For five writers, I will put together a daily email of encouragement/motivation/ideas/prompts/etc. I will also individually cheer-lead these writers and review/revisit/revise goals with those five at the end of each week. This will be starting in February.

If you’re interested, I have three free slots (there are two writer friends I have in mind to encourage this way, and they get first dibs.)

So, if you want a FREE cheerleader and sounding board, email me at bethovermyer@gmail.com with the words “OPERATION: ENCOURAGE” in your subject line. Note that no attachments will be opened or sent.

This is an experiment and also an opportunity for me to give back to the writing community, which has already given so much to me. First come, first served!

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

The Day I Bought Steampunky Gloves

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So, I found an excuse to own pleather gloves that stink like the real thing. Why? Because I had this wonderful idea of being a writer.

Let me back up: I had the wonderful idea of what defined a real writer. Maybe. Read on.

Jo March from Little Women had a hat she wore when she was writing. Depending on what angle it was at, her family would know what type of writerly mood she was in (my word, no hers, obvs) and how well (or poorly) the writing was going. Said I to myself, “Now, that would maybe motivate me, get me in the right, serious frame of mind to be a real writer.”

If you don’t know me from Bob, you might not know how devastatingly insecure I can be. My reasoning was that if I dressed a certain way, maybe the words would come quicker…and better. But props are props. It’s all in the mind. The psyche. The attitude and approach I take with my work.

Cheap tricks can become not-so-cheap. First it’s gloves (which I can’t type in to save Dickens, I’m sorry.) Next it’s a tricorn hat that looks ridiculous atop my messy ‘do. What after that? Hmm? A trench coat for mysteries? A bouquet of realer-than-real-life (faux) blood-red roses? Did you know that on Valentine’s Day, some poor suckers pay an excess of $50 for half a doz of these (well, real) pollen-infested plants that are just going to die after turning their vase water a sickly (and stinky) green? But I digress.

The point is…it’s good to have your head in the game. But some things become crutches or excuses not to write. “Oh, the gloves don’t allow me to make actual physical contact with the keyboard. Oh well. Guess I’ll go watch Elementary.” Or “The hat didn’t inspire me. I’m stuck and out ten bucks. And now I’m frustrated (and poor), so I guess I’ll go watch Elementary.”

Writers write. We flounder. We flourish. We have seasons. But we always jump back into the game, gloves or no.

Just some random rambling thoughts for you.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

The Hemingway Way

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.

Do you take Hemingway’s approach to writing? Zipped lip? Or do you share your struggles?

I’m somewhere in the middle. I share some of my struggles, but I won’t post the how-to books I’m reading on GoodReads. It’s crazy. I think it boils down to pride and fear, fear that people will be like “She had to read a book on how to write? Really? Pfft. I’m not picking up any of her books.” 😦 That would make me sad. Very sad. But I want to boost my “Read” list on GR, so what’s a girl to do? (Well, that comes down to pride, pride at how many books I’ve read.) Le sigh.

As for those who are readers and do not flourish the pen as a hobby or for a living: would you think less of an author if they admitted to their struggles? Would it make them seem more approachable? Or would it make you lose faith in them?

I’m curious for answers and reasons! Please share 🙂 and…

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

Say Something Funny, Beth

O_O

^ How I felt inside every time a certain relative asked me to “Say something funny, Beth.” Apparently, as a child, I was a comedian. NOT. Did you know that it’s hard to be funny, I mean LAUGH OUT LOUD funny under pressure when you’re ten and only know booger and knock-knock jokes? And puns. Oh, the puns! But that was the request. At night. When I was trying to sleep. Oy vey.

And now as I sit typing this post with no general direction in mind, I wander off the path of humor and look at the flip side of the coin: …silliness. You thought I was going to say something dark and gloomy, didn’t you? I almost did. I deleted it. It’s easy to be silly. ANYONE can be silly. It takes talent, finesse, perhaps even pain to make someone humorous. It has been said that most comedians suffer a great deal in some form or other (okay, there’s the darkness.) It also said that comedies are harder to pull off than dramas, but I digress.

I guess I’m just writing this to say that kindness is so important. “Be kinder than is even necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” Funny people may be funny to alleviate the suffering in others, because they’ve been there and don’t want others to have to experience it. Thank them. Be kind and generous to them. Be kind and generous to everyone, but the next time someone cracks a joke at their own expense, look deeper.

I liked the quote from the new live action Cinderella movie: “Have courage and be kind.” I can think of nothing better to end this random, wandering post with.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

P.S. Happy Labor Day! I hope you’re enjoying a long weekend. If you’re working, thank you 🙂

The Buddy System

Music: Mixed tape (cool stuff, from the Poldark soundtrack to the Galavant soundtrack)
In the mug: Blueberry energy tea
Tea bag saying: Love is an elevated self (whatever that means)
#AmReading: All the Light We Cannot See (though I haven’t read much of it lately)

Yesterday was Writer Wednesday…for me, at least. It’s the day where I get to see at least one of my writer friends. We catch up on each other’s news (“Did the publisher get back to you?” “How goes the first draft?” “Any idea where this semi-colon should go?”), encourage each other, and sometimes (okay, usually) we write something.

When it’s not Wednesday, I still have writer friends I contact on my online writing group (The Critique Circle.) We do pretty much the same thing, encouraging each other, setting goals, catching up on what’s going on. ‘Cause let’s face it: this art thing is a lonely gig, and no man is an island.

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it sure as heck takes a community to nurture and grow a writer. We need that support, those people that nudge us in the right direction. We need to surround ourselves with fellow dreamers…and the people who will occasionally whip our butts into shape.

For my non-writer friends: when you’re on a diet or exercise kick, isn’t it easier doing it with friends for motivation? Or if you’re reading a book, isn’t funner to know someone who’s reading/has read the same thing so you can discuss it with them?

I think if I didn’t have a support system of fellow writers, I’d probably go bonkers and do something really stupid–like maybe quit. So thank you, thank you to those who are willing to come alongside me and be part of my buddy system. Let’s keep each other from drowning in Drafting Land, yes?

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

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Do you have anyone to go to with your writing woes? Your ups and downs? Take a moment to thank them.

Novel Teas and Fiction Flings

I kid you not, this was going to be a party-planning book from a person who has thrown precious few parties. I’ve thrown a Saint Patrick’s Day party, a bridal shower, a baby shower, and a book launch party. That’s it. But this book of party ideas was going to be different and special and oh-so-awesome. It was going to be book-themed.

The problem? I had never actually thrown a Lord of the Rings party (chapter one.) Well, unless you count the time I lit 144 candles on a cake for Bilbo’s 111 and Frodo’s 33 birthdays combined and coulda burned the house down. Yes, the problem was lack of experience…for writing the book, that is. Any idiot can melt a cake.

Some hated person once said “write what you know.” In the case of “Novel Teas and Fiction Flings,” I can see the merit in those words. But when it comes to fiction, IMO, the sky is the limit–unless you’re writing sci-fi/space opera/etc., where things, you know, happen in the sky.

A wiser person once said “write what you WANT to know.” I like that: the only limits are the depths of your imagination and curiosity.

So, someday, when I’ve made it big, I’m going to throw book-themed parties. And then I’ll write NT&FF. Because that’s what I do: write.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth