Thank you contest


“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

So let’s have some fun!  As a way of saying ‘thank you’ to faithful long-time and new followers here, I thought it might be fun to have a contest for folks to try their hand at a little bit of editing.

What’s that you say?  That sounds more like punishment than fun?  Well, even editors need editors, and I hope you’ll all help me edit my novel before I’m through with this third draft.

Besides, there’s not much, it’s easy, and it might help train our eyes for things to look out for as we write.

Maybe this will persuade you: everyone will be a winner.  Everyone who participates will receive mention and grateful thanks in the acknowledgements.

Wait, there’s more!  The person who finds the most corrections – I count 16 mistakes (with one that could be counted as a 17th) spread out among the four paragraphs that follow – will receive a complementary edit of up to ten pages in any genre.

And here’s a bonus: If someone finds something I’ve missed, or has one or more suggestions for improvement that I agree with, s/he will receive a free copy once the novel is published.

So if you’re ready to help out this editor …

You’ll see four paragraphs below.  Each one is from a different part of the book.  I’ll start you off with a hint: there are a couple of things among the usual spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes that need to be corrected.

Okay, another hint is that one graph has several mistakes in it and another has only two.

The contest runs through the weekend.  Let’s set a deadline of 7:00 Eastern Standard Time (in the U. S.) on Monday morning.  Use the ‘Comments’ feature to post your corrections or send me your email if you prefer more privacy.

I truly hope you have fun with this.  Good luck, and thank you so much for your faithfulness and company!

Continue reading “Thank you contest”

New Feature: The Prompter Room

Like many writers, if not most, I collect sayings, quotes, and thoughts about writing to use as inspiration and/or affirmation.  The current notebook I’m using to compile them is now full, so I thought I would offer a saying a day in ‘The Prompter Room’ in the hope they will serve as inspiration to others.  Most of this collection is and will be about writing in some way, but there are others about creativity in general.

As the collection grows, I will set up a separate page with the same title that compiles them into one document for easier reference. Please let me know if you have some of your own to share with others.  Perhaps, too, we can start some discussions about those that particularly speak to you in some way.

If the title feels a little familiar, you might remember the old children’s television show The Romper Room. I hope, then, this will be a place where we can play and learn and have fun.  The Prompter Room is also a nod to Virginia Woolf’s assertion that every woman needs a room of her own, so perhaps this feature will serve as your room, or part of it, whether you’re a man or a woman.

Today’s quote, the first for The Prompter Room, is something I found in Rollo May’s The Cry for Myth:

If my devils are taken away, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well.’

— Rainer Maria Rilke, after his only session of psychotherapy

Different Strokes

Do you have or utilize different writing/creative processes for the different genres in which you write?

When I write poetry, for instance, I have to start and finish the first draft in longhand. Once I start refining a poem, I can do it on the computer – though it always seems better when I stick to pen and paper – but it always has to start with the physical process of the pen channeling my images and thoughts onto paper. And I need silence. Lots and lots of silence, and no distractions.

When I write fiction, I usually start that same way, but then I can easily go to the computer or go back and forth between the two as I craft the final product. Again I need silence for this, but there can be the (very) occasional and short-lived distraction.

Creative non-fiction is easier for me to compose on the computer, for some reason. And I can work on something with other things going on around me.

I’ve always been intrigued at these differences. So here’s the question: How do you work best in your various genres and why?

Handy Work

This is an exercise that I’ve used to start new writing groups and gatherings. It’s an easy way to introduce folks to each other (when necessary), but its primary intent is to induce the giggle factor and get our whole brain working. Some participants have told me it’s the one time they can slow down enough to catch all the words that come. Here ‘tis:

Take 10-15 minutes and write something – anything – with your non-dominant hand.

Simple! The beauty of this little workout is many-fold. It exercises the side of our brain that we don’t normally use much or intentionally and thus flexes different creative muscles. No one else can see our handwriting. It gets us away from the computer for a little bit. It can be used with pen/pencil and paper or paintbrush and canvas. Doodling and drawing circles works just as well if we can’t think of anything to write, or we can copy something.

You can do this as often as you want during the day, even with actions that don’t involve writing. Try eating with your non-dominant hand. Or pour something into a glass. Can anyone brush your teeth with your other hand?!?  {Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for spilled milk or messy toothpaste – or any other – accidents should you choose to try these suggestions.}

As a start, try writing to-do lists or grocery lists with your non-dominant hand. The more things we try, the better and more comfortable we get with such endeavors. That will and does benefit our writing.  An added bonus — I’ve found that sometimes this little exercise helps when I hit the proverbial ‘wall,’ because it stimulates all kinds of creative ideas.

Have fun with your handy work!