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Showing posts from August, 2016

A Writer's Wiring

I don't suppose to speak for all who bear this tribal mark of being a 'writer.'  The kinship of those troubled and tortured souls.  No, in this forum I merely seek to speak of my own troubled and tortured soul. To lay bare for you some of the reasons that I turn to the written word to find a solace that your 'real world' cannot give me. A solace it has never been able to provide.

Failed relationships. Failed marriages. Strained and abandoned friendships. All fall out from this otherworldly possession.
I don't blame the writing for the failure. Quite the opposite. I praise it for giving me release. Relief. A purpose. A method to the madness. The words soothe. The worlds created are many times more real than the menagerie I drift through on a daily basis. You see a person. Living. Doing his job. Doing what normal people do.  I assure you, my life is anything but.   It is a duality that only makes sense when I am in front of the keyboard. Or my journal. Pen in han…

Anatomy of the Lunchtime Bloggy Blog

I know. Sometimes I, too, am in awe of the fact that I'm still doing the lunchtime bloggy blogs.  In addition to the joy I know (I hope) it brings you, it fulfills a vital role in my life as a writer--it cleans the crap out of my brain and lets the other ideas for the other stories I'm working on flow more freely.

No. I did not just say that this blog is like a cerebral septic system. I'm sure that was just a miscommunication somewhere along the way. OK. It totally is. But it's the fun kind of poop-thought poop!

Nope. I can't even take that one any further past the line I'm sure I've crossed with some of you. If you're still with me, well done you! You have built up a tolerance to the shenanigans that will somehow make it to the page long before my brain has had a chance to process it and say, "Whoa! Holy Rage Bacon Fatman!! We can't write THAT?!?"

Some of you might be wondering how I come up with the lunchtime bloggy blogs. Others might b…

Coming Back Down To Earth

It's the second Sunday in a row that I've been up before 8. The difference is, this weekend I crashed at about 9:30 last night and just slept. Part of that was because I was tired. Part of it was because I have a huge list of stuff to do that I just really didn't want to deal with. And part of it was because I'm a little down at the moment.

Through recent posts, you may have ascertained that I went to a writer's retreat.  Which is a fancy way to say that fifteen people with a common passion spent one crazy-awesome weekend in a secluded cabin with absolutely no filters. Well...mostly no filters.

I look at some of the posts and if you substitute 'writer's retreat' for 'first hit of crack cocaine,' it probably fits. The hyperbole and intense emotions are probably fitting for either scenario. I'm not sure--I've never done crack cocaine. And, sidebar, I think you can tell someone's general age by whether or not they call it "crack&qu…

Starships Were Meant To Fly

Sitting in a Wal Mart vision center while my daughter gets new glasses, I am struck by something. How amazing it is that I have so many people in my life who are willing to help me reach my dreams of being a world-class, award-winning, best-selling author (there's no point in going at the dream half-assed now is there?).  It's really kind of cool.

And as I get to know these people better, these authors and writers that are fast becoming friends, I am realizing the concept of the rising tide that we've talked about.

Basically, in our collective of writers (both in the Columbus group I'm part of and the Ashland group that I'm becoming more of a part of (I think I'm probably part of the group, at least by proxy, by this point)), we are both the tide and the ship in equal parts. When we are the tides, we raise the ships of our compatriots up--helping them grow and improve and getting ever closer to their goals, whatever they may be.

When we are the ships, in turn, …

Some Lunchtime Randomness

Sitting here in the break room at work. I have a handful of really amazing prompts that are glued in to the journal I started at the NCOW writer's retreat, but I don't want them to be some haphazard 30 minute appetizer. I feel that they are the main course.  I know that the people that wrote the prompts specifically had me in mind when they wrote them and I feel that a little time a care should go in to how I use the prompts.  It might sound a bit silly, but that's the way my brain works. Always has.

I have a bit of exciting news that, by the time this is posted, should have panned out.  I found a FAQ on the inter webs that gave step by step instructions on how to redirect my domain (twistedzen.com) to my main blog (this tasty morsel you are reading here).  The good news about that is, I can keep and continue to use the domain. I have to check my business cards (one of the last things that CS Graphics made) and see if they say "TwistedZen Photography" or "Tw…

Obsolete Distractions

I have been looking for a perfect combo. But to be fair, there are a few things I seek to attain the 'perfect' version of. And to be fair, when I say perfect, I mean perfect for me.

The perfect messenger bag (pretty sure I have it). The perfect back pack. I have 2. One for every day/work and one for travel. Still not sure I've found the perfect iPad case or not, not sure I will. That's not really one of the ones on the quest. 
I have found a nearly perfect digital note-taking solution for my needs (although to be fair, it's actually leading me back to paper...which is ironic and cool at the same time--I'm sure I'll have more to add on that in the future). 
Long time fans of this blog might have picked up on the fact that as I write a blog post, first draft, whatever-I do what writers call "pantsing."  Pantsing is where you sit down with no outline or plan, often with little more than just a prompt and start writing. As a pantser (there was another…

More From the Retreat--Prompt and Circumstance

There are so many things to reflect upon from the weekend. So many things that are truly gifts. I could easily say that I can't repay Carma or my fellow authors for the gifts I got this weekend, but that's bullshit. I know I totally can repay them. I can repay them by bursting from this chrysalis and continue the evolution of my growth as a writer. 

The weekend was about writing and one of the things that helps writers is to have a writing prompt. There are books of prompts. There are web sites of prompts. There are countless rabbit holes in the warren that is Pinterest of writing prompts. There are no shortage of places from which to pull prompts. 

One of the cool things that happened this weekend, though was that each of us got our own set of personalized prompts. Carma had created prompts based on what she knew of us (and I have to say she was fairly insightful with mine). I can easily see using this again and again.
One of my 'personalized' prompts was to use this as…

NCOWS Writer's Retreat Review Part 2: My Humps My Humps My Humps

I am still riding the high that comes after an event that one later recognizes as life-altering.

Dude. It was just 15 people partying in a cabin all weekend, how life altering do you think that really is?

Short answer? Very.

Prior to the retreat, I had spent less than a few hours engaged in conversation with any of the other attendees. I mean, sure, I had gone to other work shops, talked about writing, and done the thing where you give a vague but still slightly interesting answer to the question, "so what are you working on now?"

This weekend was not like that. Not only did I have to answer that question, but when I did it was met with, "And then what happens?"  It's a completely different conversation because I know that there was genuine interest. Not only in what I was writing, but helping me make it better.

There was a breakout session where we had to throw an idea out in to the ring. Something that we had an idea for but hadn't really fleshed it out. W…

NCOWS Writer's Retreat Review Part 1: Rage Bacon

I don't even know where to begin with this post. For seriousness.

If you have been up to speed on ye olde bloggy blog, you will know that this past weekend I participated in a writer's retreat hosted by the North Central Ohio Writer's group.

Here are the bulleted high points that I want to make sure I talk about, or at the very least so that I have them as triggers for future random meanderings.

OverpackedWhat Happens In Loudenville Stays In Loudenville (except the shit I talk about here)The Salon/DiscussionsLove Pancakes/Rage BaconThe Ball Shrinking Terror of Reading Works In Progress To People Who Write Way Better Than YouPrompt ThisWriting, Because That's Why We're Here. Right? Write.Best Role Playing Session Of My LifeEight A.M. Twerk-up CallOn Finally Owning The Title of Writer

To say I overpacked for this weekend would be an understatement. Not a terribly huge understatement mind you, but still something of a captain obvious moment. I didn't know what to …

Obsession and Retreat

I am a writer. Not sure I'm an author yet. I'll get in to the differences (in my mind) between the two at some point in the future, but suffice to say that the first time I wrote just for me that wasn't something that was a school assignment and kept doing it, that was when I knew I was a writer.

So, about age 7.

Last August, about 37 years after I knew I was a writer, I took steps to actively seek out and become a part of a community of writers and authors.  Needless to say it has been an amazing year for my writing. True, not a single word has been published anywhere but this blog, Facebook, or Instagram, but that doesn't change the progression.

I know my writing has grown. And that has made all the difference.

This weekend I am going to a Writer's Retreat. A weekend filled with activities where other writers and I will be sequestered in a scenic cabin to grow the craft. And there will be some writing. Oh yes. There will be writing.

It may seem like a natural pro…

You Should Read This Book

I will be the first to admit, Romance Novels aren't my go-to genre.  However, a series of recent events has softened that stance somewhat.

You see, I've always been a fan of the paranormal and supernatural storytelling.  And that's where this comes in.  I fell in with a rough and tumble crowd of writers a year ago. They had one underlining purpose to the group, to elevate each other. It was actually pretty cool. And through that group of writers, I met another group of writers. One of whom is the very talented Monica Corwin.

Monica writes paranormal romance novels among other things.  She just released a new book, the second in her latest series.  In the interest of that whole supporting fellow authors thing (especially ones I know personally), I pre-ordered her second book. And I also ordered the first book (which we'll get to momentarily).  I will be completely honest, I wasn't sure if I would read them--they were romance novels at heart.  But I did read them, an…

It Could Have Been Better

Some of you may know this (although I'm not sure why you really would), but I have T-Mobile as a cellular carrier and on Tuesdays they do this cool thing where they give you free shit.
Last Tuesday they gave me a free ticket to see "Suicide Squad" Friday. So, I got the ticket. I didn't realize until I got to Marcus (way too early) last night that it was on the UltraScreen. Bonus!
Now...I will be honest. I had no expectations for this movie. I really wasn't moved by screen caps and the trailer for Jared Leto's Joker, who seemed to be pivotal in the trailer.  It just really wasn't on my radar. I liked what DC did with the whole Suicide Squad story arc in "Arrow" but I wasn't sure how it would translate to a feature film. I think Warner Brothers and DC do and AMAZING job with their small screen work but haven't been really too much in to their feature films.
So -  did I accurately set the tone for the amount of fucks I gave for this movie? …