Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write by Gayle Brandeis. I’ve had this book for a while on my shelf and so I grab it (finally) and open it up. I’ve spent the last few months working, writing, living, and not writing this blog. So I figured I’d come back to my blog today… with a fresh start.
The first entry of Fruitflesh just happens to be my favourite so far. I hope the author will not mind me posting this entry. I find it extremely inspiring.
Page 13: Fruitflesh Meditation: Mango
Hold a mango in your hand, Notice how solid it feels, rooted firmly in its own skin. The flesh inside is incredibly sexy—moist and slick, saturated with shades of sunset and intense, ambrosial flavor. The mango is wild but centred, its seed supportive as a spine.
Slice off a wedge of mango. Bend the fruit back, like a neck arched in pleasure. Explore the sweet flesh with your tongue, your teeth. Devour the fruit until your whole face is slippery with its juice.
Let your writing be like this feast—bold, sensual, unapologetic. Enter into it fully, with your whole body, without hesitation.
Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Whenever I read this first passage, I want to dive into writing the way I would dive into eating this fruit. Messy, dripping, sticky, sweet. There’s no stopping to wipe my fingers because the next bite just saturates my fingers all over again. There’s no point. I have to go through from start to finish enjoying the process without stopping. By the end, there’s a gooey mess all over my hands and face. And when it comes to the end, I feel that same disappointment as when I have to stop writing. Real life. And, with the fruit, the process of cleaning up the mess.
Here’s another article that you should keep under your belt when you’re writing. Keep in mind those emotions that usually grip us at — what could seem — strategic moments in our daily lives making our own stories an interesting roller-coaster ride in themselves. Try to remember some of those key moments in your life and put them to paper to use in your stories to keep emotions real and alive.
I love these kinds of articles that jog your mind. My reaction is always, “Wow. I was so busy writing my story that I forgot that using emotion is crucial to any story.” Readers either want to relive emotions they have felt before or want to experience emotions they would hope never to have to go through and live vicariously through another so that they can get that understanding without hurting themselves.
In short, a reader wants to lose themselves in some other story! Anger, sadness, frustration, elation, love, apathy, fear — they want to feel all of those things through your characters.
It’s a another part of show, don’t tell — let your readers feel, don’t tell them how they should be feeling.
Well, folks, I’m off to write some notes and must remember to do this in my own writing.
Here is another very good article by Margie Lawson on adding descriptive power to your writing. These are the kind of articles to keep in your repository to remind you that writing is a powerful vehicle that can be used to enter the reader’s mind.
Burble. I like the way this word sounds – like a babbling brook. It is a word you read or write down but not necessarily a word you would use in every day language. It’s a combination of gurgle and bubble, and sounds like a phonetic description of the sound that comes out when someone is excited and bubbling over with words. When you read this word, you have to stop and enjoy the sound it makes in your mind. There are some words that do that to me, and this is definitely one of them!
— Go to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/burble for the full definition.
There is a really good book called The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, in which she mentions that one of the important things to do is to set an artist’s date with yourself, at least once a week. It is a book about reigniting the inner artist in yourself. Simply, it means that it is important to take time for yourself, to awaken the side of you that you might put away in front of others, family, loved ones.
I read this somewhere recently: “There are two kinds of people in the world – those who walk into a room and say, ‘There you are!’ – and those who say, ‘Here I am!’ ” – Abigail Van Buren
I had a good chuckle when I read this. This isn’t about that.
Now, Putting Yourself First is important in the “You put the breathing mask on yourself first so that you can help the person next to you” kind of way. Many people live for the sake of others: Doing things that other people think is right for them; and helping others whom they think need help, and so on. Things to do, places to be, people to see… you know the motto.
Essentially the body and mind need time to re-assimilate to its surroundings and that means with little things such as, getting back to nature – we live in such a technological world now that it is hard to tear away from the mobile phone, the laptop, the iPad, or the TV. The body needs to rest to revitalize itself.
The mind also needs time to recuperate from all the external messages that it receives – and frankly, there has never been an age where we are bombarded with constant information on a daily basis. (There are days when I just keep going and going and then suddenly I hit a wall and think “OMG I have just reached my point of OVERLOAD – and I literally have to stop.) So step away from the techno babble and just relax with a book, or take a drive in your car to the country, venture a stroll in the park, or just sit and do nothing but daydream.
It is all about keeping the balance within yourself because if you don’t – your body and your mind will tell you anyway. I always think that when I hear people saying (or myself thinking or feeling) – I’m tired, I’ve had enough, I don’t feel like doing anything – that’s when you know that you have reached that point and need to Put Yourself First.
The body is like a barometer and if you listen to it carefully, it will tell you exactly what it needs.
It’s Saturday morning and I have my coffee in hand and writing.
I recently joined a site called Goodreads.com and am featured as an Author on that site (yeay!) I am really beginning to like that site and I find it exciting to see so many authors, books and readers that are featured.
If you are interested in reading, paper or e-format, that is the site to begin listing the books that you’ve read, or written, and connect with other readers or authors. The site will recommend your next books based on what you like to read.
I have been so busy, and going away, that I need to catch up with my writing. I did some this morning and also had to put time aside to do a bit of marketing. I definitely find the writing part much more enjoyable than the marketing part of it. However, the marketing part of it also gets me in touch with other writers, and sites. Anything to get me away from writing.
So, I’m going to keep this one short and get back to writing my second installment this morning. I may be back later to update my Ten Paradigms of Writing. Today’s will be A Paradigm Shift of… Putting Yourself First.
Don’t you find sometimes that there aren’t enough hours in a day?
I have not been consistent lately with updating my writing blog. I have to be honest: I was overdoing it, overloaded with work, and just got to a point where I felt completely drained. I went to Costa Rica (with the love of my life) for a week and just took it easy.
We arrived in San Jose and rented a car and drove 4 1/2 hours to Tamarindo. We experienced the country firsthand from the road. Costa Rican drivers are a little crazy and pedestrians walk on the road: a dangerous feat, especially at night. But, we made it to our destination in one piece without taking out any Costa Ricans on the way. The resort was welcoming and like an oasis in the Costa Rican night.
We rested, did some house hunting, and read by the swimming pool. In the evenings, we strolled along the beach watching surfers take advantage of the last waves. The weather was tremendous; the food was delicious; the people were gracious and friendly. It was the perfect environment in which to unwind.
On Saturday, we left early, deposited our rental car at the local aeropuerto. (See photo below.) We waited patiently for our plane. It would take us to San Jose, to avoid us having to do the drive back.
(Does it look like a field? it is.)
We got into our plane (below).
You’re thinking “What’s that?” Well, okay, I’m just kidding. We got into this other plane… (See below and please note the dog lying on the walkway to the landing strip.)
And we were off to San Jose. The flight took 45 minutes compared to what would have been another 4 1/2 hours of driving. We were relieved — and so what if it was a single propeller plane? The flight was safe and secure and we got to see some of this…
We followed the same path that we had taken by car and landed safely in San Jose – rolled our suitcases a couple of (short) blocks to San Juan Santamaria airport. It was right next door to the other smaller airport.
Everything was so easy!
So, for now, we are back to our reality… and look forward to doing this trek again soon!