Sunday, December 9, 2012

Everything in Its Time

My reluctance is perhaps returning - a bit anyway. I have been quite busy - busier than usual for me - posting comments on other writer's blogs. It has left me with a good feeling. Perhaps I am just sad that my blog has no followers. There are reasons why I am not striving for those readers yet.

As I have stated before, mostly I am doing this for me, if not entirely. And I certainly don't want to promote my blog when there are so many things which are not up to par, either for the way I wish, or for the way I think others would like.

One such thing is the link to my website. During my worst financial time, I let my site go down. I just recently paid to get it back up and found my domain to be in "redemption status." I am not sure that I understand what that means, but the end result is that the links fail and viewers can't see my website. I will find out more on this and take measures to remedy the problem. I hope I will be able to maintain the use of the original URL.

With all this in mind, I managed to get over what reluctance I had, and write this post. If you are reading this and are new, I think you can relate. If you are a seasoned blogger, I am quite certain you can. Am I on the money with this or not?  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Creating Life

Well, it's December isn't it? I didn't do so well in November. I tried last week to get another post in, but it just didn't happen. I fear this one won't amount to much, but I need to do it.

That's what life is about most of the time, doing things because I need to do them. Sometimes I find myself doing what I need to because I want to, and my goal is to get there and stay there, but truth is, most of the time I have to look at the long-term effect of not doing what I need to do, and that makes me want to.

It's not nearly as complicated, or deep as it sounds.

I try to stick with my main blog theme as stated in the title - reluctance, and as I have grown to see, and have been sharing with you, I am not as reluctant as I once was, not even sure if I am at all. I simply don't have a lot to say, at least much that would interest you. And everything I write now-a-days needs (that word again) to be interesting to you. I am going somewhere in my writing career, and the only way I can do that is by having readers.

I know I don't have followers yet, and that's why it's so important that my "stuff" grab you folks and keep you coming back. Everything will fall into place in its time, and when that time is near, I don't want to have to look back, trying to figure out where the missing pieces are, only to find out that I had never created them, due to reluctance or any other reason.

One more thing; that part about me, creating the pieces; it's true. Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bigger Fish

I didn't post anything yet this week; not terribly concerned about that. Maintaining an on-line presence isn't nearly as important to me at this time as is daily writing. I am very fond of old sayings and I am currently utilizing the one about "having bigger fish to fry." I don't set out to balance and prioritize things in my life but the sayings and slogans do it for me when I let them.

I just try to do the best I can with everything and when I hit a wall, I back off, and look around; without fail an old slogan, saying,  or sometimes words from a story, poem, movie or song come in to let me see that I can either turn back, go around or go over, and maybe - rarely, any more, but still - knock it down or bust through.

Monday, November 5, 2012

One More Thing

Now that I am over the reluctant part, as well as the "starving artist" anti-creative living conditions part, I am still having some difficulty keeping to my one week minimum blog posting commitment.

Now, it's because I am quite busy, and busy with a lot of writing. I missed a couple of end-of-month deadlines, but it's quite all right because I am rolling right ahead with the projects, using them for mid-month deadlines (at least the ones that weren't themed). Writing is never wasted.

So, as if I didn't have enough to do, I decided to enter the NaNoWriMo event (I think event is a better fit than contest). I am way below the daily scheduled word count but not concerned in the least. I am using the opportunity to write a sequel to "Special" called "Special Times." I like the way it's progressing.

For anyone uninformed November is National Novel Writing Month and in this contest / event you write a novel of 50,000 and over words. As I stated above I think it's a great way for me to get a real good start on my sequel, so it was worth the added strain.

No longer reluctant but struggling to "get 'er done."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Non-existent" Time

I am, honest-to-God, no longer reluctant with this blogging stuff, but where does the time go? I took a late night walk in the park overlooking Lake Superior. It was quite brisk, but really refreshing. The full moon was peaking from behind some horrendous black clouds while the waves crashed into the rocky shore. There was an ore-boat out on the lake, and its lights and size, along with the sights and sounds described above gave me a wonderful sense of relief and power as I meditated, and reflected on my day.

It was as I walked back to my pick-up that I remembered I hadn't posted all week (at least I didn't think I had) and I began contemplating a topic. Even though I planned on coming back to the apartment to work on a project with a fast-approaching deadline, I began looking forward to doing my blog.

In answer to the question in my first line, time does not exist, remember? I believe I talked about that in one of my earlier posts. But it's easy to let the illusion of time back into my life, especially since we use it to to hold ourselves accountable to our commitments.

I remain peaceful as long as I come back to the truth, of timeless being.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Take It Easy

I was going to write on something entirely different, but I happened to read another blog post just before I started on mine. I am not as reluctant to blog as I once was, and I enjoy the whole blogging-thing more now that I have been able to let go of all the advice and pressure to "do it right," after learning of some of my limitations, and then not demanding so much of myself.

I think I will keep this brief as I have a few works in progress that require my attention. I think I have always expected that this blog would be mostly for the literary community - agents, writers and aspiring writers. Maybe that's why I took it so seriously, and maybe that was the cause of some of my reluctance, but a slight transformation has occurred within me, cajoling me into "lightening up" a bit.

I don't know why I didn't become aware of it sooner, for I have come to see with everything in my life, I enjoy things more when I just Take-It-Easy.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sharing vs Teaching

It seems to me there is an awful amount of blogs out there that are designed to inform, instruct, teach, or otherwise advise some lesser entity about their shortcomings as a writer, thereby offering him or her the opportunity to reach the same status in which they consider themselves to be.

I feel very blessed to have learned that I certainly cannot go through life with the arrogant attitude that I can do without any further instruction, knowledge, or advice, and I am equally blessed and certain that to remain in a state of constant teachability or unreadiness would be a sham used to cover up my indulgence in sloth.

Life has taught me that some of my greatest periods of learning come when I pay attention to what's going on with those who have a lesser degree of experience, knowledge, or training, but who are "doing the deal" (whatever it may be) with enthusiasm, positivity and zeal because they haven't experienced the backlash from a reaction to doing the things I have that resulted in unwanted consequences or results.

To paraphrase, they are like young children able to play freely in an field of clover simply because they enjoy it, and they have already witnessed the reactions of others who have played in the adjoining field, the one with poison ivy. My instructions of "where to" and "where not to" are not only unnecessary, but add a negative aspect that stifles the joy they otherwise get to experience.

I like to think of my blog as sharing, with a strong attitude of equality, and I would further like to think that this attitude will remain strong should I attain some measure of status in terms of financial success.

Another thing to come to mind is that a parable is a great tool for teaching and learning; its basic concept is based on sharing.

Wouldn't you rather read a parable than a set of instructions?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Multiple Reluctance Disorder

Initially my reluctance surrounding blogging had simple origins. When I first tried blogging my priorities were to finish the novel I was working on and then compose a good query letter with which to ensnare an agent. I had already created a website during the "simmering" period between drafts of "Special," but I continued to edit and add to it, so the website became a new priority. I had also begun taking writing contests more seriously, so this too, took a chunk of my time which was quickly becoming quite valuable. The deeper I got into what it would require from me, to obtain support and recognition as a writer, the less time I had. The gist of this is that at first, lack of time was the main reason for my not blogging, or at least it seemed so.

As a then virgin to blogging, I would sit at the keyboard with either too many ideas on what to blog about or none at all. Then I would type, edit, add, discard and start again. This took time I didn't feel I had.

My time beacame even more precious as my living conditions worsened, and I began taking on sporadic jobs which took up more time and payed less, resulting in the need for more work, leading again, to less time for any writing, let alone blogging.

Now that things have improved, I can see that my reluctance is more often than not stemming from one of two underlying causes:

1. I want my blog to be a good example of my thinking as well as my writing.

2. I also want it to be interesting - to anyone - and to say a lot about me, my personality, beliefs and convictions.

Even though I separate these two, they perhaps are one and the same. I also see procrastination and perfectionism in the two, but again, I know that any procrastination on my part is almost always a result of wanting something to be perfect.

I could go on and on, analyzing more of the detailed intracacies of my various faults and issues, looking at the difference in why I am reluctant to blog, now, as to when I first started, but it's really a farce.

It's still a matter of time, isn't it?

At the risk of jumping the gun, I am going to let my engine jump track briefly, so I can state my truest conviction - one that permeates every aspect of my being these days - that time doesn't exist; that Now is all we have, that it is all there ever has been and ever will be. Over and over again in my writing I keep tackling the same subject - time.

Reluctance cannot exist without time, can it?


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fishing Instead of Blogging

At some point I will probably be satisfied by the number of pageviews associated with these blogposts. For now I like the occasional passerby. Maybe there will come a time when people will browse through the "back issues" of my early blog days; maybe not. I imagine I will.

As I've previously stated, some things have finally turned around so that I can stay committed easier, and I may be beating a dead horse here, but as I am trying to make three deadlines for short story contests, at the end of October and mid-November, I wonder as to the importance of mining for words and ideas to make good reading on this page, instead of one in any of my stories.

I use to think my degree of commitment was what kept me persevering over my reluctance to blog, but I now know it's an effort motivated by a combination of things, not the least of which is the certainty that any writing I do will benefit me when I am on that page in one of my stories.

This seems too promotional to me, whereas writing fiction - good fiction - is more like fishing, grabbing someone's interest and running with it. It's fun for both of us, don't you think?


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Actions Speak Louder than Words

My dad was fond of the adage, "Actions speak louder than words." This became ingrained in me as I seem to have always been an observer, noting people's reactions to my actions, and also to the actions of others. Consequences to those actions, good and bad, played a big part in the concretion of my observations relating to the saying, thereby influencing my growing experience.

Having made the previous statements, I won't waste any more words regarding their appearance on this blog, twice in the same week after some sporadic blank spots.

One problem I see with this foundational tool of my life is that, as a writer I deal in words, so if my words aren't speaking as loud as my actions I may have a serious dilemma.

Another of my life tenets that I firmly believe in is that "attitude is everything," so perhaps if I maintain the mindset that my words are my actions, while keeping in mind, still another adage of "quality above quantity," my dilemma is transformed into a paradox, thereby ceasing to be a problem and becoming a mystery.

I like mysteries, don't you?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back on the Beam

Well, it has been a while - a couple of weeks. Commitment is extremely important with writng, and writing is extremely important to me; so for me not to keep up with it should say a lot to anyone reading.

All I can do now is move on. If I haven't mentioned it anywhere previously, I am also committed to taking steps to continually move on. I have had a few positive changes take place in my physical, material world, so as soon as I can ease into a comfortable routine I think I will be able to move on with some steadiness and regularity, taking a few giant steps instead of baby steps all the time.

I have two short story deadlines that I am committing myself to making, and plenty of others which I may or may not make. The two I am adamant about are for the end of September and the middle of October. I may be back at the blogging, but I won't diddle here for long.

It does feel good to be back "on the beam." Those of you who know what true commitment is can understand what it's like to get back to a commitment, if only for the first time and still know that you are in that place where you can and will continue. For me it is sort of a pleasant "high" that comes from the familiarity of having been in that place before, a place that I refer to as "on the beam."

I hope to attract some followers along the way. The time has arrived. Will you join me?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My last two blogs have really stretched my commitment time-frame. I am very pleased that several changes have come about in my living situation that should really benefit my creativity, my ability to keep commitments to myself, my blogging and my writing in general.

Looking to the future, I wonder that when my reluctance to blog diminshes and I find myself banging at the keys to post new blogs with enthusiasm and regularity, will I then need to change the name?

You may think it too soon for such thoughts, but I find when I entertain possible desirable scenarios like that in my mind enough, they become like meditation and visionary practices for me, and I eventually get to live them.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Here, Now

I just finished rereading the introduction on my blogpage. The last line had me wondering. Maybe not exactly wondering, but contemeplating. I may be a reluctant blogger, but I am an avid contemplator. This is one of the reasons why I still agree with the statement, even though I have quite a time coming up with blogs which I feel are worth someone else's time to read.

I never seem to get far away from commitment and persistence, and in writing this I have come to realize how closely the reluctance and commitment are related, and how important both are as well.

This seems to be the case in all things for me, not just my writing. My reluctance to do certain things leads me to a desire for something that I am unaware of until its lack sends me into a deep desire. In other words the reluctance is an essential need which will ultimately provide the passion with which I do certain things. When I reach a certain point, still clinging to the reluctance, the cerebral part of the commitment forces me to put one foot in front of the other and after a step or two the passion takes over. 

I missed keeping my once a week commitment by two days, but I did have most of this blog saved in draft, consequently keeping my other commitment to quality, as I found some grammatical and spelling errors and added some pertinent material.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Keeping in mind the name I chose for my blog, along with some of my usual themes which in some way, shape, or form always include commitment, I decided to write about  my "reluctance," after looking out the window pondering on it. 

I think my original resistance to blogging is a simple parallel to my introverted qualities and lingering initial antisocial attitude. Having broken those barriers the continuing resistance is due more to outside circumstances like time, working conditions, internet availability and such. Granted, blogging is still the least inspirational thing I do, but with persistence - you knew it was coming - I am confident the passion will be there when its time has come.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Two Sides of Every Coin

I don't know that I have enough time at present to put the "umph" I feel I should put into this subject. Commitment is everything for me, so I was once again dismayed to find another week gone by, without an extra post. With that in mind I set out to write. A topic which seems to keep popping up is the irony involved with practically everything in my life. The most important revelation regarding this is my positive attitude regarding many negative things of my current life circumstances.

It looks as if I will have a steadier home base and internet source by Wednesday, so hopefully I will be able to be a tad more consistent with my on-line postings.

When I am able to view the difficulties and obstacles of my life circumstances as more fodder for my writing, the ideas and emotion as well as the experiences themselves, my attitude is light and I am able to write freely. It's just that sometimes I become aggravated when these temporary trials keep me from what I see as being able to move on, missing opportunities to further my career.

As of late, I have realized the extreme degree to which I can remain patient; it's this same degree of patience that "flips," and bites back, causing my aggravation when I miss some type of deadline. The simple knowledge of this keeps that lightness close at hand, keeps my attitude positive if I am willing to allow it to do so. 

In trying to lead into a good closing, I am aware of having much more to say. I need to maintain the commitment so I don't have the option to save now, add more tomorrow and then post. It might work, but experience shows me I would probably find myself wondering sometime next week (or later) what happened to my commitment? Sacrifices are necessary; on the flipside of sacrifice is progress.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

More on Commitment, and Self

If you are reading this, and you find it worthy of your time, that's a bonus for me. My single reason for this post, today, is to be able to say I kept a commitment -  no matter how minimal, no matter how entertaining. I only want to adhere to a standard of mine, another commitment - to write it as accurately and with as much skill as possible.

It will be short - too short for my original purpose, but that doesn't matter. The gist of my blog commitment is for me to make sure I DO it, at least once a week, with a "quality over quantity" attitude.

Thanks. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Even though I backed off from trying to post so much, I still find it hard to make the time for my minimum weekly post. I've alsways told other people, "Making commitments isn't hard, keeping them is." So that's why I am here, to show you that I am. In starting, I found myself needing a title. I had just finished reading another blog and its related comments, the themes of which were focus, consistency, pacing and continuing-on. For me these attributes are intertwined and when I am content with how things are going that intertinement provides for me a satisfied, working well-being. Other times it seems as if everything is all tangled up and I wind up feeling like I am fighting myself. Now is one of those good periods, so "continuing" was the first idea for a title, but something else came back to me. About three years ago, I had been reading about Carl Jung's experience with the I-Ching. The seriousness that was emphasized in my readings appealed to me as I had several important issues going on, deep internal stuff, so when the text informed me about the imortance of the question to be asked, I took it seriously. I don't want to write an information piece, explaining the whole process, but I will say that the I-Ching is an ancient text, and is sometimes used for guidance in making decisions or as a source of insight, inspiration and wisdom. My interest concerned its involvement with synchornisty, specifiacally the use of reeds or coins, in a series of exercises which rely on chance. My question to the "process" had some reference to why I wasn't writing when I knew it was so important to me. I  recorded my findings and experiences over an extended period of time in a notebook somewhere (as if I needed more time consuming projects, I am certain I will embark on an exploratory mission to dig this up). The point to all this is that the vague answer that was revealed was a symbol with a rough translation meaning "treading." At the time this applied to other spects in my life, as well as my writing. It still does, and always will. Its substance for me is just putting that proverbial one foot in front of the other. The simple pleasures experienced while doing the one foot-deal expose themselves in unexpected ways, like now, having the memory of my I-Ching experience to take out and play with, and share with you. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pace and Commitment

Even though my blog has been sitting here, practicing for the archives, I have continued following other authors on their blogs, trying to make positive but truthful comments. A lightbulb came on for me the other day as I was reading a very good blogpost, the gist of which is that I can still find the time to create good quality, positive blogs with useful information that I have to share or that I have found from other writers, and remain consistent in my efforts simply by starting out with a publishing commitment which fits my current lifestyle. I may only make one blog-post per week for a while, but doing so will let me remain loyal to all my commitments in a manner that is acceptable to me.

This is something that I already knew, but had let outside pressures sway me from what I knew works for me. The rule of thumb for me has been: Start with quality and consistency, and you'll pick up speed. Start with speed and poor quality, and the quality rarely improves. I could have put it more eloquently, but it says what I want, just the way it is. It's just another thread unravelling from the adage, "Slow and steady wins the race."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

So Much

The hood release cable on my '86 S-10 broke this morning, so I hooked a piece of stiff wire from a fly swatter handle behind the spring release, then routed it through the channel where the cable runs, and out in front of the grill. It's rigid enough to act as a handle; it works slick. I have a friend that laughs when I do stuff like this. His insistence that everything has to operate exactly the way it was designed irritates me. I could take this quick-fix for my hood-latch a step further (I probably will), drill some holes and with minimal time and effort make a hood release lever much like those on the vehicles I grew up with. There is nothing wrong with having to get out of your vehicle to open your hood; we did it for years.

The cable had broken when I was preparing to check the oil, in a parking lot near a local park along the shore, where I like to meditate and just enjoy the view, take in nature. Entering the park immediately following my repair-job, I was struck with the thought of how it parallelled my trying to break into the literary world. Everyone is blogging, so I must blog, eveyone is on Facebook so I must do Facebook, then Twitter, then, LinkedIn, then I have to link them all together, I have to stay connected with this person and that person, get these newsletters and study them and this, this, and this, etc.....Oh yeah, why am I doing all this? So I can be a successful writer. Really? And just where am I with that very minimal committment to write 1000 words a day on that new project? PING! I think I just heard my "have to do" cable snap.

I appreciate the suggestions and sharing that takes place in all these media resources, and am grateful they are there. One of  the best comments I've heard lately came from Barbara Ward, on LinkedIn, in which she stated, "I thnk you have to do what you feel works best for you." I certainly know that I can't tell what works best for me until I try, but for now, it's obvious to me, I can't continue trying to do all of what so many others are saying I "have to do," while experiencing limitations that happen to be unique to me.

I intend to continue posting with a bit more regularity, but I can only do what I can do.   

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Upset with technology (as usual)

 I did some editing on my website: renamed some of my pages and linked a short story excerpt to the magazine which published the complete fantasy. Things were going so well, I tried to do more. I did; I lost the excerpts from "Special." Totally my mistake, so I figure it's a spiritual message to put something else in there, anyway. But then I also find out some of the navigation buttons linking to the description of "Special" aren't working - mistake not mine. I left it, for now. I'm getting overly upset over these things because I'm broke. I've been running on empty for a long time, now.

That's only remotely true. I have a deep cache of wealth and riches, it just don't feed my pick-up's gas tank, or my belly. But, if I just sit here and write a little, they will sustain me - and maybe that will help someone else. If I sit here and write a lot, I'll end up with new and imaginative stories that will eventually impress an agent or publisher. I need to take time and go over "Special" anyway since I want it in perfect condition for The Pitch Conference in NYC next month.

I just realized what I dislike about blogging. I don't dislike the act; I dislike a lot of what I am reading in other blogs. I said something about blogging not coming natural to me. That's not true, either. If I blog about things I feel are important, it does come. What I like writing about is "now."

I am pretty distraught, right now. Aside from my writing, I have some personal commitments, which are causing me some stress due to my living and financial situation. By themselves, these factors are causing me to be quite irritable. What I find most disconcerting about the feeling is that their importance wanes compared to my need to write and edit more than I am currently doing - and READ. I've been on the same book for over a month (77 Shadow Street); of course, I know I read other things, but still, I know what is a good pace for me; I just haven't had the right kind of reading time.

Some reflection that has been taking place regarding this book and how long it is taking me to read it. I want to comment on my previous statement and I wonder if anyone else can relate to this fact; I have been aware of a question in my mind as to whether I am finding 77 Shadow Street less appealing as I normally find Koontz's books, because of my erratic current, lifestyle conditions, or is the reading going slow simply because I don't find the book that appealing. For a long time Koontz's books have been slam - bam reads for me, riveting right from the start. This story didn't strike me that way. The phenomenal thing which I am aware of, though, is that I knew my reading pace had slowed down, and when I grabbed his new book, instead of snapping out of my funk or rut, I ignored it. One of the things I love about Dean Koontz is, once I start a story of his, I can't ignore it. Normally, as I am sitting here typing about this, or if I were telling someone about it, I would be
wondering what was going to happen on the next page. I'm not. I do like the way the story is formatted. Maybe I don't, because the p.o.v. in my story Special changes with the characters, just like with Koontz's characters in 77 Shadow Street. I don't use the italicised scene subtitles to point it out like he does.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lost as usual

Well, this was certainly not how I intended my first blog to read, but then my other attempts, which I had thought would be published, and which I thought were great stuff, never made it to the published internet, for one reason or another. I will save and publish this one only because I am stubborn and committed to getting it started, because as anyone who knows me has heard me say, "you can't get from here to there without taking the first step."

For the most part, I find rants very unproductive at their least, and very damaging at their worst. My present mood is "rough" and I know what can result from that when I speak or write.

With that said, I will keep this brief, and repeat that my motive and intention with publishing this initial segment is simply to be one step away from where I was ten minutes ago.