Sunday, September 04, 2016

The Worth of Cringeworthy According to Louis C.K.

Comedian, writer, producer, actor, actor, Louis C.K. on Charlie Rose talking “cringeworthy.”

L C.K.: Cringeworthy…a cringe is a…it’s repelling away from something, “Ehh, I don’t want to think about that.” To me, it’s fun to take a deep breath, which is the opposite of a cringe…and walk in and see what’s in there. There’s all kinds of stuff in there.

CR: That’s exactly, that’s the essence of you.

L C.K.: I think so. 

CR: It really is.

L C.K.: Look if you can take people, take a whole zone of their thinking that they’re scared of, and you can make them take a breath and go in there and then have a good time, I think that’s positive. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jiggery-pokery and Elections and 2.0 US Fluid Ounce Pours

It’s been a dark week, a dark month, a dark year for news. Countless writers are covering current stories—some with intelligence and sensitivity, many without—and after I absorb what I can, my eyes wander and my mind leaps at the chance to follow.
While perusing news-lite this morning I came across the word “rejiggering”—think it was in the Huff Post—and that made me think of jiggering, meaning a person or thing that jigs, and before you picture someone dancing wildly, remember that to jig means to manipulate or alter something in order to get things done (often illegally). I’m still not sure what the re- adds to jigging. But it seems to imply someone who jigged now rejigs, or alters something slightly, illustrated by an example in an online dictionary: “…rejiggering his stump speech,” and, although I’m still not sure he needed to rejig his stump speech, instead of just jigging his stump speech, both are appropriate for this and all election years.
Which naturally leads me to imagine drinking something measured in a jigger—1.5 US fluid ounces, although from my bartending years, even using the jigger, the hand-pour lingered so the end result was more like 2.0 US fluid ounces.
Which brings me to jiggery-pokery and we all know there’s a whole lot of trickery going on in general but especially during election years.
The final straw (or definition) for my morning investigation of rejiggering was when Google offered me “jigger bugs.” I know of no one who wants to be reminded of jigger bugs, or chigoe fleas, parasitic sand fleas found in Sub-Saharan climates. These nasties burrow so deeply into feet they must be surgically removed. If you need more information you can watch the video on YouTube. I would rather reach for my jigger and pour a generous 1.5 to 2.0 US ounces of something strong and well-aged. I take mine neat, and, while I’m at it, I’ll make mine a double. At least before I face another jiggered or rejiggered Trum—(oh weaselheaded idiot) I mean stump speech!
Which leads my feckless mind to thoughts of Scotland and my ancestors and their imaginative facility with insults. Stay tuned for next week’s exploration of “Cocksplat!”
I will add this postscript: “butt pepsi” and “steaming Klingon” are trending.
Remember to practice your words and expand your vocabulary this week and beyond with a bit of rejiggering!
Cheers! Sarah

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Help, I'm stuck on the page! -- 10 Tips to Get Your Pen Moving Again~

1) Breathe!  Slowly, deeply, it’s all okay and normal and you will be fine, truly. (And repeat.)

2) Put the story structure info away—in a drawer, in a trash can, in a virtual trash can—and don’t look at it again. When it causes anxiety it is no longer useful. Shred any piece of paper that tells you that there are rules for writing a novel. 

3) Know that finishing is difficult for your creative self (and mine and everyone’s!). Resistance can swell a bit when the end of a draft (or even “almost-draft”) nears. 

4) Know that you are the perfect person to write your story. It lives in you and it will live through you.

5) Do a 5 minute free write using this prompt: “I am afraid to write this book because…” When you are finished, remind yourself that your fear connects you to your characters. If you write, "I am afraid to fail," ask yourself, "who in my story is terrified of failing?" Your fear is a doorway into your characters and your story.

6) While you're writing, write a 5-Minute-Vent using the prompt: “I am allowing my inner gremlins, tricksters, furies and fear-mongers the next five minutes to have their say, here goes…”  Now transcribe what comes through until their time limit is up. Then, close the vent respectfully yet firmly. Skim what you’ve read to be sure you hear their message. Let them know you hear them. Remind your inner voices that you will give them another “hearing” tomorrow if they need to speak.  Also remind them that you (grown up, integrated, whole you) are writing this book and you are the perfect person to write this book. Remind them that they can relax and take time off because you will be okay and their messages are “early" survival alerts and misguided (not to mention a use of energy that you really want to tap for writing your novel!!!).  Let them know that when you are finished with this draft, you will want their PRODUCTIVE energy to serve you during edits (and you will invite them to the page if they remain constructive). 

7) Move to a very short writing session for your story--remember Anne Lamott's "shitty first draft" and I add "
messy, fast, and hot."

8) Remain ever-curious about your story and your story world and the characters who inhabit the world. 

9) Let me know how this goes.

10) Treat yourself to dark chocolate or your version of dark chocolate. Give yourself a pat--gently--on your heart (I'm serious). Have faith, you are a writer, and you are not alone.

These are just a few of the tips I share in my writer's workshops.  Let me know if they help; I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday's Writing Tip: Put Words on Paper & Give it Up

Put words on paper, forget whether the putting is easy or hard, and don't believe the voice judging shitty or brilliant, give it up and stay curious around what happens—we writers are never really in charge, we are channels for flow. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Writing Without a Net: It's Worth the Risk

"Growth demands a temporary surrender of security." ~ Gail Sheehy

We are always writing our story. At our core we write to understand, to change, to evolve. 
When it comes to creativity and writing, there are no guarantees that we will become rich, famous, or even remotely well-read. We can use our fears to stop us from taking creative risks; or we can use our fears to connect us to our characters and our story. That is our choice. 
Wishing you creative risk~S

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Inspiration to Write & a Smile from Robert Benchley~

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by then I was too famous."  ~Robert Benchley

Friday, February 26, 2016

Writing Wisdom from the Miraculous Mary Karr

"Don't approach your history as something to be shaken for its cautionary fruit...Tell your stories, and your story will be revealed...Don't be afraid of appearing angry, small-minded, obtuse, mean, immoral, amoral, calculating, or anything else. Take no care for your dignity..."    ~Mary Karr