30 January 2013

Nuggets of Goodness

On top of signing up for another session of 21 Moments, I found another nugget of goodness today. Thanks to Larry Brooks for posting the video on his blog. I dare you to not smile when he chastises Robert Frost.

BTW, today is the last day to register for Christina Katz'a February session of 21 Moments. Interested but still not convinced, read Christina's 21 reasons to participate.

23 January 2013

A Moment: The Moment It Is Loud Enough

Below is text from one of my 21 Moments this month. Something that really struck me in the heart.  (Now to translate that feeling into my other writing.)

Hope you enjoy.

The Moment It Is Loud Enough

Not any music will do.

Notes, flat, sharp, or accidental, clash, harmonize, emote. You feel it vibrate in your bones.

Truth and angst scream along the staff, knocking down anything that stands in its way. You feel it in your heart.

Bass thunders pushing the air out of the lungs, you must struggle to inhale. You feel it in the words that rush out with your exhalation.

Guitars. Horns. Drums. Cymbals. Strings. Piano. Pounding voices, shrill and deep and in between, call to you. 

Tears swell. Fears rise and fall.

You can’t hear yourself. You can’t see for the sound. You are blind to your physical yourself, but see into your soul.  

Hate loves. Love hates.

You are trapped. You are free. Transfixed in a moment of space, you are gone.

A drought of doubt. A shower of sound.

An immersion of music.

Not until after, with a raw throat and ears that ring in the deafening silence, will you know. You can’t, you couldn’t, know before. Because the flood of sound keeps you from noticing anything else.

In that moment of unknowing, nothing else matters.

In that moment, it is loud enough.

16 January 2013

21 Moments, Mind Maps, and Me

I signed up for a writing challenge, 21 Moments, with +Christina Katz. In the month of January, I commit to writing about 21 moments, using (or not depending on my Muse) the excerpts that Christina sends to my inbox every morning as inspiration.

I'm a little behind where I wanted to be on this 16th day of the challenge, moment #14 is waiting for me in Scrivener.

This 21 Moment challenge opened up a pathway for me to write anything. And I mean anything. On the practical side, I used one of the moments to list my projects and what each one needs to be complete, and another moment to sketch out the business side of my writing endeavors. On the less practical, one moment relates how I hate how my family is subjected to one person's selfishness. Another, about how I didn't let someone shine in the glow of a compliment. Moment #8 was taken over by a character, giving me a sliver of insight into his hell. These non-practical moments are real, raw and unedited.

But on those days that my brain hasn't engaged, and I stare at the blank screen, wishing the Muse would do something, I think of a topic and mind map.

Inspired by +Sylvia van Bruggen, I've used mind maps a few times, but I'd let the tool fall to the bottom of my toolbox. A recent post by +Tami Veldura inspired me to pull out mind maps again.

So now, when I'm stuck, I grab a pen and put a word in the middle of a sheet of paper (yes, I'm using old school implements - I'll try using digital tools soon) and record all that I can think up associated with that word. Then, once the page is at least half full, I start writing my moment. The words from the map find their way onto the computer screen, making me and my Muse happy.

But that's not the end of the mind map. I've started a dictionary of sorts, placing the mind maps in a 3-ring binder for future reference, future stories and moments, or just plain inspiration. (Or a blog post.)

With apologies to Christina, as I'm NOT following the letter of the 21 Moments (that in itself is a breakthrough for this Follower-of-all-Rules), I'm glad I signed up for the challenge. I'm pleased with my progress, how I rediscovered a tool, my enjoyment of getting a moment recorded, and the catharsis of the more personal moments.

For any writer, non-writer, want-to-be a writer, or any one looking for a way to Not to waste time on the internet, head over to Christina's site and see if 21 Moments is for you.