Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Linky Love for writers, authors, readers

Here are a few places here and there I thought I'd share. There are so many more, so I want to add to this list from time to time as I used to! As you visit these blogs, check out the comments to see other interesting bloggers - this is how our community grows. And new visitors, feel free to join in or lurk or whatever you like.

First off, you can join me on Facebook or Twitter. And any of the links below, be sure to check out their twitter and/or facebook pages. Enjoy . . .

Jody Hedlund always has something wise and wonderful to say to/for writers/authors on her blog.

Kristen Lamb's blog is chock full of tips for writers and has written a book about writers and social media-- she's been discussing the best ways to use twitter and is taking questions for "Dr. Twuth" - teehee.

Also for some really great twitter tips, head over to Nina Badzin's blog. She also writes about family life and writing.

Or you can go to the wonderful Writer Unboxed to read wonderful posts for and about writers - visit their facebook page as well - join us for discussions about writing, reading, writers, etc - they're growing fast!

I loved this blog post about milestones versus goals, written by Tobias Buckell. This was my first visit to his site and I can't even remember how I landed there! :-D

Shelf Awareness - for readers and people in the book business.

Checkerboard Squares by Carolyn V - she has some linky love up so that nabs two birds with one hand.

A Slice of Life by Linda Hoye - such wisdom and beauty on her blog.

Karen G from "coming down the mountain" is having another "BBQ Labor Day(s) Party" where bloggers visit each other and find new friends - I met Karen in this way, and some other great bloggers as well! Join in on Friday.

I love Deb S's blog Catbird Scout- such beauty and insight and poignant expression, good solid writing too boot - she wrote a post that touched me deeply. ". . . Growth requires darkness. Life requires light."

Just found this informatively fun blog: what women write. Right now there is an interview with Agent Kristin Nelson, but scroll on down for more on women and writing and all things related.

Writerhead - with Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, where she asks writers three questions about their "writerhead."

Last, but of course not least, LitStack, for the love of all things wordy.

Now, y'all go do the day and have a nice weekened to boot . . .

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Work-Out Writer: How Bad Do You Want This?

I climbed on the treadmill today with less energy than I wanted. Since at least Monday, I’ve had a dull headache and that weird “impending doom” feeling. GMR teases me about it, but I usually say “Something’s coming,” when I feel this way. That something’s usually geological or atmospheric or combo. I’ve been "right," but maybe as well there are times I’ve been wrong and just didn’t note it—all could be a coincidence. I’m still feeling it today, and danged if some weird thought didn't bomp me in my head: “under the sea,” and now I’m feeling foolish and where was I on this post? I sure need to talk about "distraction" don't I?

Oh yes . . . treadmill, no energy - the old "I don't know if I can do this today" come calling . . .

You think this snail worries about how long it'll take it to cross the road? Does it pause to consider how sucky it is?

During my jog, I wanted to stop multiple times. I didn’t want to challenge myself. I wanted Easy. To go along at this slow steady pace, or better yet, walk, or better yet, jump off and go do something else. I became so frustrated with myself, that I yelled in my head, like a red-faced coach, “HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS? HUH? HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?” And all of a sudden, I wanted it BAD! I was fired up! I was ready to work. I bumped up the speed and tore off on the treadmill.

During one particular song, I pushed off on my leg and hovered in the air before slamming down, and did it again and again. As I hovered there, it felt as if I were suspended about a foot in the air, when in reality, I probably only came up a few inches—but the Perception was I felt myself higher. Does it really matter if I only came up a few inches? Or is the Perception of what I felt I accomplished a just-as-important reality? I like to think the latter, for it inspired me to take it further/farther, to run stronger, to push myself past the point of what I thought, or what I told myself (and this is an important insight), was my limit.


Take what I said above and apply it to your writing life, or your musical life, or your artistic life, or your work life, your home life, your Life. How bad do we want what we think we want the most? How hard are we willing to work for it? How often are we willing to feel uncomfortable? How often are we able to face disappointment and still go on? And how much are we willing to push ourselves past the point where we think we must stop?

And when we push off, hovering in the air, feeling powerful and strong, do we let that wonderful perception spur us on to do more and better and stronger? Or do we say, “Eh, I was really only inches off the ground. No big deal. Other people can jump higher. Eh.” How bad do you want this? Bad enough to sweat and push and sprint and, as well, sometimes to feel pain and set-backs and exhaustion but pick yourself up and do it again. And again. And again. And again. Once again.

I’ll tell you what giving up or giving in gives you: Not a danged thing but regret. And the flipside of that is this: you can work your ass off and still not reach all of your goals, but I can guarantee you’ll have accomplished more than you ever dreamed you could if you do not give in to negativity and fear and doubt, and note I said "not give in to it" not that you'll never feel those things.

You’ll have jumped up, hovered higher than you ever thought you could soar, grow stronger, faster, more determined. Note the accomplishments and savor them, for even the smallest goal reached is A Goal Reached. Why do we disregard even the smallest of goals? They weren’t so small when we were arching towards them, were they?

How bad do you want this?

Photos by kat . . .

Monday, August 22, 2011

Photos/Videos & two comics, no words


[If you missed it (And check out Steph's other interviews - she's a beautiful, positive person to listen to and to know): ] See y'all Wednesday -

Listen to internet radio with Steph Jordan on Blog Talk Radio

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Work-out Writer

Work-out: In my personal trainer days, I used to tell clients to “listen to their bodies” to let them know how much they could do. I now recognize how this isn’t always the case. Sometimes our bodies/minds want to fool us, because it is Hard.

When I was in Oregon, I jogged a rather difficult path with my son. It surprised me how much trouble I was having, because I thought I’d been doing The Difficult Workout on my treadmill. It wasn’t until I returned home that I recognized what I had been doing. Before my trip to Oregon, I'd be on the treadmill and whenever the end of a song came, I’d stop, take a drink, stretch a bit, and then hit it again. What I noticed once I returned from Oregon was that as a song began to end, my body began to tell me to STOP! I saw how I intently watched that little indicator to see when the song would end, and could actually feel the tension in my body urge me to STOP.

I didn’t stop that time, or the next, or next, and soon my body began to adjust to the idea that I wasn’t going to let it get away with it. There are times we must push through when our bodies/minds tell us it wants to slow down or stop—not to the point of exhaustion or dangerous over-working, but that you’ll need to figure out for yourself -- what is your truths and what is your justifications/excuses.

Writer: Some days I just ain’t feelin’ it, you know? Some days I whine that I haven't even been noticed by the New York Times, much less on their best seller's list. Publishers Weekly, why hast thouest forsaken me? Oprah, well dang, that's a long shot of a mil to half of one. Little Indie Bookstores I touted so hard, why ain't my books in your stores? Oh sigh. Wah Wah Wah Woe.

Well, Kat, suck it up. Sit your arse down in the chair, fingers to keys, and write. Timed scheduled writing isn’t going to do it for me, but that's just me. If I have to watch the clock, then I’m going to be ever aware of that clock ticking: 15 minutes of writing? Okay – tic toc tic toc tic toc. The work also isn’t going to be done by my whining about how haaarrrrd it is to be a wrriiiiiitteer—um, maybe it is sometimes hard, but the jobs I had before were soul-suckers, and which would I rather be doing? Tic Toc – let me take a wild guess here: writing? Duh! Yes! Time to stop whining and time to stop my “mind/body” from telling me I caaaaann’t. Books aren’t written by rolling our eyes and sighing about how writers are full of angst and woe-is-me. Royalties aren’t paid to writers who aren’t producing books. The work is done by doing the work. There will be "off days" and I'll respect them, but I must find my truth versus my excuses.

Work-out: Sometimes I want some chocolate, dammit. Sometimes I want to sit on my ass and do nothing but eat that chocolate and feel depressed and not do a danged ole thing. Some days feel sucky.

I don't know if I could ever run a maratttthooonnnn. I'm tired of not eating what I waaaant toooooo. How come she looks so good and young and dewy and she doesn't hardly do a thing and I work my ass off to stay in shhaaaaape (though maybe she is working her ass off, how do I know, huhn). But when I sit on my ass and gobble down an entire box of chocolates, feeling sorry for myself and the state of Everything, what happens is I feel even worse than before. My body is bloated and sick from Chocolate Overload.

I’m sluggish, tired, cranky. Better I’d gone for a walk in my beautiful calming cove and then treated myself to just a few pieces of that chocolate, savoring every bite and feeling happy I ain't doing so bad for a 54 year old -it's fruitless to compare myself to a 20 or 30 year old. It's fruitless and stupid to compare ourselves to Any One Out There: say that loud and say it again and again and again and ever more again: Don't compare yourself to others. Carve your own path. And, geez, you don't know who is comparing themselves to You and wishing they had what you had: just sayin'!

Writer: Sometimes I just want some chocolate. Sometimes I want to sit on my ass and do nothing but eat chocolate and feel depressed and not do a danged ole thing. Some days feel sucky. Well, guess what? So do thousands of other people, and if thousands of us sat our asses on the couch and ate chocolate and did nothing, who’d write the books/newspapers/articles/blogs? Who'd take care of business? Who'd make my supper, GMR? (haw!) This business isn’t always easy, but ask yourself: Is this what I really want to do? Am I ready to be in this for the long-haul? Do I love writing more than my right arm? Am I ready to sacrifice? Can I handle the rejection without breaking up and breaking down? Sometimes this is the easiest best job in the entire danged ole world, and other times it sucks like a big fat suckity sucky britches—but I love it more than my right arm. And, see "soul-sucking jobs" comment above. And also see "comparing yourself" above. Then get back to work.

Work-out: At the end of a grueling work-out, find time to stretch those muscles, and then just as important as the work-out and the stretch comes the quiet moment of reflection. Time and distance from wants and needs will lift us away as we respect our bodies, minds, hearts.

Writer: When the writing day is done, find a moment to reflect on this writing life. Calm the voices, the rejections, the expectations, the harried hurry and the long-ass frustrating waits, and remember just why you love this life so much. The raw beginnings of it, when it was just you and a white space of whatever in the world you wanted to say to anyone who would listen, even if it was only your own ears. Find that joy in quiet reflection. Give yourself a big ole break, okay? There isn't a one of us who can tell you how to do this life and why and how much. We can only find our truths and learn to ignore our excuses/justifications--and they can be sneaky.

Relax. It'll all be okay. Your journey will not be mine and mine will not be hers his yours. Calm. Calm.

Work-out: Night comes. Time to rest the body. Rest is as important as movement. A good night’s sleep prepares you for the next day’s challenge. Let go and sleep sleep. Be grateful for the body that carries you from day to day. Keep it healthy and strong and then give it rest.

Writer: When lying your head upon your pillow, writer, remember to give gratitude for what you have accomplished. This business is so much about looking ahead to what we “should” accomplish, or what may come, or what we hope will come, that we must remember what we did achieve, hold on to it, let it come with us into our dreams. “You Did This! Good for You!” Sleep. Dream. Going to sleep with a heart of gratitude will ready you for the next day’s challenge.



Update: here is the 'clip' of my fun time with Steph Jordan's "Living in Color." Stephanie is a HUGE supporter of writers, musicians, artists, and etc.

Listen to internet radio with Steph Jordan on Blog Talk Radio

photos  Taken by Kat (or kat's bff's or GMRs)