Friday, May 31, 2013

Photoshop - Believing is Seeing

Have you ever seen a photoshop picture? They can be pretty realistic can’t they? 

I was thinking about writing and how we embellish the truth, make up stories, color it with vivid imagination and call it fiction.

How come people can take beautiful pictures and get away without telling others that the photo is photoshopped? Is photoshopped even a word?

“Photoshop is the leading digital image editing application for the Internet, print, and other new media disciplines. It is embraced by millions of graphic artists, print designers, visual communicators, and regular people like you. It's likely that nearly every picture you've seen (such as posters, book covers, magazine pictures, and brochures) has either been created or edited by Photoshop. The powerful tools used to enhance and edit these pictures are also capable for use in the digital world including the infinite possibilities of the Internet.”

With today’s technology, there are numerous things you can do with photoshop. I’ve seen pics of elephants walking on water, I’ve seen clouds turned into a monster storm-looking thunderous cloudburst, I’ve even seen Jesus in toast, clouds, trees, you name it, all thanks to the artists who can work photoshop.

If a writer took someone’s work and twisted it, and worked it into a totally different story, I do believe a lawsuit would ensue. But with pictures, it seems the norm to take someone’s picture and embellish it to their liking, put a caption on it, and maybe the original photographer doesn’t even recognize the pic as his/her own!

Now I’m not talking about someone re-inventing the Cinderella story, I think every writer has dappled with that tale as well as Snow White and many other fairytale's passed down through time. But when I see Lord of the Rings taken and re-invented into a “similar” story, boy it grates on my nerves!

We’re writer’s and we have our very own creative genius in our brains. We can create stories that might be general matches to other stories like say vampire stories. They should and WILL all be different from what is on the shelves now.

I’m so glad that photshop hasn’t found a way to doctor MY work, although, sometimes it does look like it needs a doctor. I’m just saying, as a photographer, a person works their tail off to capture beauty, the same goes for writer’s , we work very hard at our words so that we capture the beauty to tell a riveting story. A doctored pic to me says the photographer is too lazy to capture the REAL beauty and has to embellish it to make it shine.

If you’re a writer, you will not settle for anything less! You will make your work stand out and preferably stand alone. Sure magazines abuse airbrush, novel covers need a tricky photo to grab you, but writer’s? They walk along with only the English language (or whatever you speak) to carry their words.

Don’t photoshop your writing. Remember, you’re an artist of a different caliber. No technology is going to assist you in making it better. Use your talent accompanied with your mind to airbrush and dazzle, with WORDS!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ Grace


Darkness seeps in like a creeping fog,
drawing my energy to the pit it came from.
Sweeping my essence off the floor trying
to carry my spirit below the surface of my soul.

I stand firm with my faith as my strength
desires to be pulled in an upward flow
from an unnamed force; beckoning me
to come and be one with the Holy Grace.

I see the light shining in the far off place
I outstretch my hand in hopes that someone
grabs hold and pulls me into the warmth so
I can be free once again right where I belong.

He never left my side the whole time, standing
where I last saw Him with bright eyes shining.
Singing to my soul with the voice of an Angel
His embrace is all I ever seek in the looming fog.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Quotation Saturday


“The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.”
― Nicholas Sparks

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”
― George R.R. Martin

“here she is, all mine, trying her best to give me all she can. How could I ever hurt her? But I didn’t understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.”
― Haruki Murakami

“But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.”
― Natsuki Takaya


“It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

The marks humans leave are too often scars.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
― James Baldwin

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
― Lance Armstrong

“One word
Frees us of all the weight and pain of life:
That word is love.”
― Sophocles


You speak an infinite deal of nothing.”
― William Shakespeare

“I would rather a romantic relationship turn into contempt than turn into apathy. The passion in the extremities make it appear as though it once meant something. We grow from hot or cold, but lukewarm is the biggest insult.”
― Criss Jami

“The bottom line is, insults only hurt when they come from someone I respect.”
― Kresley Cole

“We should be careful of the insults we fling at others, lest they return and land at our feet, newly minted to apply to those who had first coined them.”
― Alexander McCall Smith

Friday, May 24, 2013

Obsession vs. Addiction

Obsession vs. Addiction

Am I an obsessed writer or am I addicted to writing? I had to do some research on this one. Let’s see what I discovered.

Obsession – the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc. – Yes, I’m an obsessed writer.

Addiction - the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, *as writing, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.  YES, I’m addicted to writing!

* I took out, as narcotics, and replaced it with as writing.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – A disorder characterized by repetitively repeating actions over and over, compulsively.  Meh!

The phrase obsessive–compulsive has become part of the English lexicon, and is often used in an informal or caricatured manner to describe someone who is excessively meticulous, perfectionistic, absorbed, or otherwise fixated. Although these signs are present in OCD, a person who exhibits them does not necessarily have OCD, but may instead have obsessive compulsive personality disorder.

Aha! My discovery led me to believe I am OCPD! OCPD is a chronic non-adaptive pattern of extreme perfectionism, preoccupation with neatness and detail. And I’m addicted to writing, seeing that when I’m not writing, it seems to cause me severe mental trauma. Each day I wake, I go to my computer, not to surf through the web, not to play facebook games, it’s to WRITE.

It has been in my blood since a young age. I began with pen and paper, journals and notebooks and yes, I have many saved notebooks cluttering my basement storage bins. It’s funny, I went through my bins a couple of weeks ago, to see what I managed to bring with me when I left home ten years ago. Lo and behold, I left with not much more than the clothes on my back, a few cherished nic-nacs, and loads of books and writings!

Being the sentimental fool that I am, I cried over the things I didn’t manage to bring with me, but I also cried over the things I DID manage to bring. I think I’ve told you of the time I left home, my son and I, for a safer haven away from a mentally abusive relationship. I left all my once cherished material possessions behind, and moved forward in life, whatever that entailed.

My writing is the only thing, locked up safely in my heart and soul that no one could ever get me to leave behind. Instead I dove in and never looked back. While I have family back home, they all but left me out here to fend for myself, and I’m okay with that, I had to grow up some time.

Now what I do with my time and my life is write. That is the only piece I obsessively control and will never let go of. While material possessions can always be replaced, what you have inside you can never be replaced, only crafted and finely tuned.

So to you my fellow writer’s who can casually use writing as a hobby, my hats off to you. But to you who are addicted to writing; waking, living and breathing the written word, then you know what I mean when I say I’m addicted to writing! As to my OCPD, I love being meticulous and a perfectionist in my writing, so all is well in the written world of words for me.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The WINDS of Change

“The trouble is not really in being alone, it's being lonely. One can be lonely in the midst of a crowd, don't you think?”
~ Christine Feehan

Waving Hi, from the windy state of Nebraska. Sure Chicago can claim “the Windy City” but I am here to unofficially lay claim to the name Windy State of Nebraska! As weather forecasters will lie to you and say, it’s going to be breezy, I’m here to say, 25mph sustained WINDS with gusts to 45mph does not make it ‘breezy’; where I come from (Baltimore, Md.) that is downright WINDY!

The winds have been sustained for more than a week now, I’m sure of that, which hinders any time in the garden even though I’m loving the cool temps. Last week we had record-breaking heat with temps reaching 97 and in some places 100-104! A few days before that we had SNOWFALL and today it is struggling to reach 60!

These crazy weather shifts gives rise to tornadoes and some storm-wreaking havoc. It’s made me think of the winds of change sweeping over my life as well as this lovely state of Nebraska. Living out here in isolation – yes, a closed down turkey ranch with one other house is sheer isolation for me. While I love the beauty, solitude and quietness of the place, it sure can elicit a solid empty feeling of loneliness.

An overly friendly person I am, who sees the outside physical world maybe once every two or three weeks (that being a trip to the food store or church, twenty miles away from my house) can sometimes feel the isolation as smothering. This is where my writing garden comes into play. And to think ten years ago I never TOUCHED a computer, I have now taken up one of my beau’s famed addictions and that is, life on the computer!

In this windowed world, there is no wind! There is a collage of friendships to be had and thus I find myself clinging to the writing world and the sites that have anything to do with writing, and the daily dose of facebook, mind you.

THIS is why I chose to dive headfirst into f2k again. Even IT has taken on the winds of change. Once a free writing course, now a FEE writing course, which will enable serious writer’s to take the plunge into the writing frenzy that they so desire. F2K is the birth of a silent muse. That’s right folks, as your muse lay dormant, f2k can fire up the silence with seven weeks of active writing.

Whether it is making new friends, feedbacking and critiquing others, f2k is the place to put your money where your words are. You’ll suddenly feel the winds of change in everything from writing, confidence, all the way through to a finished short story.

You too will see why I find inspiration in a fallen tree (due to winds), sprouting seeds, flowers bursting forth, the aroma of newly fallen rain (when we get it) and the humming of tractors to the hissing of pivots making their rounds.

Isolation can bring about the winds of change, as well as a lost feeling of loneliness but that is why my only ties to the enormous outside world lay right here…at my fingertips.

“Lingering is so very lonely when one lingers all alone.”
~ Mervyn Peake

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Writing Garden

It’s been a while since I’ve had a post on writing. It’s because I haven’t watered my garden lately and feel since it is spring/summer, it is high time I get to watering.

Have you ever hit a writing slump, where you want to be writing but then nothing happens? You sit day after day tapping on the keys, then you realize nothing really makes sense of what you wrote? That could be considered writer’s block, but wait, no it can’t because you did write it just didn’t sound right or make any sense.

Here in Nebraska we get very little rain. That depresses me because I love the rain and cool weather. My whole body responds and I get a lot more writing done that makes perfect logical sense. When it’s dry and you go from winter and jump right into summer with ninety-degree days, my body shuts down. The sun is scorching the land and my body responds with aches and pains I didn’t feel in the cool crisp weather.

Here’s what I noticed: We recently got out and planted our garden. Seeds sprinkled here, plants positioned there and the garden now needs tending. Miss one day of watering and a droop falls over the plants as if hanging their head low wanting to be refreshed.

Writing is a lot like that; you’ve planted the seeds whether in your heart and soul, or on the blank page. You’re all set to sit down and tap away. Blank, you draw a blank. Water, you need water, you’re in the drooping phase of your writing garden, and you need nurturing.

Slap me upside the head with a wet rag, I’ve decided to spark my muse with a little watering from an f2k session again. F2K WAS a free course, but now it is offered at a ten dollar fee, a sixty day membership with WVU, and a book Pumping Your Muse, by Donna Sunblad, author and member of WVU.

It is free to members, which I am a lifetime member so it is free to me. It looks like a promising session since a lot of the people who signed up for the FREE course, really just came to see what it was all about and soon would leave when they knew there was work involved in writing. Yes people, writing involves work, just as tending a garden.

Writer’s Village University, WVU, is a writing school that I began studying at many years ago. It has helped me tend my garden of writing. Sure I’ve had ups and downs throughout the course of my stay but really there has been more ups than downs.

I am no longer a mentor which gives me hope in a promising course after being told I would be allowed full access to all the classrooms, not just sitting in a lone room, where visitors would pop in, and classmates would dwindle. This session when the class gets low, I can actually roam the halls and visit other rooms and comment and help writer’s as I’ve been known to do in years past.

There is always hope in the Garden of Writing. I’m sure I’ll keep you abreast of what is happening and how it’s all going, so stay tuned…the garden will soon be in full bloom soon.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Quotation Saturday


“Why do people have to be this lonely? What's the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?”
~ Haruki Murakami

“It's not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”
~ Stephen Fry

“If you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”
~ Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

“Not Waving but Drowning”

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.”
~ Stevie Smith, Collected Poems


“I'm lonely. And I'm lonely in some horribly deep way and for a flash of an instant, I can see just how lonely, and how deep this feeling runs. And it scares the *crap out of me to be this lonely because it seems catastrophic.”
~ Augusten Burroughs, Dry

“The trouble is not really in being alone, it's being lonely. One can be lonely in the midst of a crowd, don't you think?”
~ Christine Feehan, Dark Prince

“You're reaching out
And no one hears you cry
You're freaking out again
'Cause all your fears
Remind you another dream has come undone
You feel so small and lost like you're the only one
You wanna scream 'cause you're
You want somebody, just anybody
To lay their hands on your soul tonight
You want a reason to keep believin'
That someday you're gonna see the light
You're in the dark
There's no one left to call
And sleep's your only friend
Well even sleep
Can't hide you from all those tears
And all the pain and all the days
You wasted pushin' them away
It's your life, it's time you face it ”
~ David Archuleta

“Half of the time I don't know what they're talking about; their jokes seem to relate to a past that everyone but me has shared. I'm a foreigner in the world and I don't understand the language.”
~ Jean Webster


“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
~ Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

“The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration. ”
~ Pearl S. Buck

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness”
~ Sylvia Plath

“Lingering is so very lonely when one lingers all alone.”
~ Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

“Outside the window, there slides past that unimaginable and deserted vastness where night is coming on, the sun declining in ghastly blood-streaked splendour like a public execution across, it would seem, half a continent, where live only bears and shooting stars and the wolves who lap congealing ice from water that holds within it the entire sky. All white with snow as if under dustsheets, as if laid away eternally as soon as brought back from the shop, never to be used or touched. Horrors! And, as on a cyclorama, this unnatural spectacle rolls past at twenty-odd miles an hour in a tidy frame of lace curtains only a little the worse for soot and drapes of a heavy velvet of dark, dusty blue.”
~ Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ If


if on scorched land i fall

will someone carry me through

will i find relief  through it all

parched lips will cease to be new.

if on the flaming fire

i search for seeping rain

will someone see the mire

and save me from the pain

if on knees I crawl

can you come to clear my mind

while all along i maul

i seek but cannot find

if all alone i fail

to the Lord i will confide.

on the seas i sail

He will be my guide.