Story by Senses: Touch

I enjoy participating in Instagram writing challenges and recently I have started to follow the group #writerfriendschallenge. The first time I came across them I was intrigued by the themes, structure, and writing socials. This month there is a theme about telling stories by senses. This week was about touch. The host of the group shared her interpretation about the theme and shared fifty words to describe touch and I was instantly hit by inspiration. It was like a huge light bulb went off and I heard myself saying ‘Hello, here I am!’ Here are those words:

Arid, Abrasive
Bitter, Balmy
Course, Chunky
Damp, Dry
Etched, Even
Frigid, Fragile
Gritty, Gossamer
Hollow, Harsh
Inflated, Itchy
Jagged, Jaggy
Knotty, Knitted
Level, Loose
Mild, Metallic
Narrow, Neat
Ovenlike, Oily
Parched, Padded
Quick, Quiet
Rough, Rutted
Smooth, Scorching
Thorny, Tough
Uneven, Unbreakable
Violent, Vicious
Wiry, Wrinkled
Yielding, Youthful
Zippy, Zapped

Are they not great words to describe touch? I shared with the group after someone said that touch must be something important in my memoirs. I honestly never thought about it but at that moment I said, absolutely! The words were perfect for certain areas of my memoir, for example: The smooth and crisp table cloths we placed on the tables of the main dining room overlooking the glacier-fed lake for dinner service. The frigid temperature of the walk-in fridge always had the hairs on the back of my neck tingle to get the tiramisu for the chef to garnish to place the dessert in front of many thousands of guests served. Our uniforms could never be wrinkled or uneven, they were a reflection of the type of service provided at the prestigious hotel. I was a person who happened to be in that particular burgundy skirt, white frilly blouse, and burgundy vest that was worn by many people before me and would be worn by another young woman leaving home for the first time to work for a luxury hotel on top a mountain where she would find herself.

I am having fun with the words today! I love how one writing prompt can spark a flurry of words and inspiraiton. With that, I will head off to my work in progress and get back to the story.

Thank you for being here with me today. To find out how what working for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies is like, my debut memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, please click HERE. I share my expriences about my small world being cracked open to a new world of hospitality where rules are broken and no one to answer to for staying up late to spend time with a summer crush.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

When I’m in my flow I can…

Let’s get back to the writing prompts. I’ve been knee-deep in revisions and trying to find a place to live. The rental market in Victoria, BC is down right horrific. I don’t usually display my dark feelings so randomly, however I’m feeling the pressure of moving without any glimpses of hope. Deep down I know everything will unfold naturally as it will, but damn! It’s hard being patient while floating around in limbo land.

So to keep me in check and to listen as creativity is whispering sweet stories in my ear, I have picked up my writing prompt cards that I bought from Danielle Pope, a lovely woman who is a great inspiration in her commitment to creativity.

The writing prompt cards shares: When I’m In My Flow I Can… (Write for 10 minutes – write in poetic point form, list it out) I’m going to hit the timer and let the words flow across the page as this is my gut feeling.

When I’m in my flow I can do anything. I sit down at my laptop and sometimes it takes a bit to settle into the flow of things. I fidget with my pens and note pads on my desk, I straighten and re-straighten books that are piled on the floor next to my desk. I stare out the window and watch the grey squirrel run across the neighbors fence. It stops and looks around, what it sees I am not sure. It scurries off again. I look back at my laptop and I put my fingers to the keyboard and feel the flow of the words emerging. These days I am working on revisions for my WIP, but I am very aware of the stories that are lingering around within me, waiting to be written. As I am revising a chapter about the time my friend and I were canoeing at Lake Louise I remember when I sat in the canoe, and a story came to me in  a blink of an eye.

What if there are lake creatures living deep down in the frigid lake bottom? Are they friendly, could they be mermaids, how did they get here, how do they survive, maybe they take people from the canoes, but that’s not right we would have heard about mysterious people disappearing. Well that can happen, it’s a story that’s the beauty of it, make it all up the entire world of mermaids or a versions of mermaids that somehow live in the bottom of the lake. Did the founder of Lake Louise, Tom Wilson, maybe know about the magical creatures, did the person that told him about the lake in the last 1800’s know there was a mysterious energy about the lake and that’s why he told Tom about the lake, did the creatures need food and they prey on humans? What’s the story behind the lake?

All of this came to me as I’m sitting in a canoe facing the Victoria Glacier as my friend is softly paddling us around the lake and I’m gliding my finger tips along the glacier fed lake that hundred of millions of people have visited. Of course the sea creatures could feed off humans, but only people who have bad energy, the magical entities only want positive energy for the earth.

I am in the flow. I can see clearly that I was where I needed to be at that time and place, being idle, letting the creativity have fun. When I am writing, I am in the flow of the here and now.

The timer has stopped and I’m filled with excitements about remembering a moment that sparked my imagination. For this I am truly grateful

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Ready, set, write…

 

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This is what makes sense in my life…Write for 15 minutes – prompt, answer, prompt again, answer.

Are you ready? The timer has started.

I recently heard that blogging is not as it use to be about five years ago. This maybe true, but for me blogging makes sense in my life at the moment as blogging gets me here on the page and that is what makes sense in my life. Writing makes sense in my life. Why? The list is ever-growing. I’m here to tell a story and yes I should be spending this fifteen minutes on my work in progress that I want to finish editing and revising by mid-march, it all makes sense to me. The process of writing, the process of sharing the writing, the process of learning more about writing, promoting, marketing, all of it makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense to me is the procrastinating that settles in when I’m not looking. All of a sudden three or four episodes of whatever Netflix original has gone by and I wonder why the hell I feel so tired. Because I’ve been wasting precious time on something that does not fuel my soul, it feeds the ego and the old behavior of what feels comfortable. If I’m going to change and I’m going to go after what really matters in life, then I have to do something different. That is the truth.

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This is what makes sense in my life. That I’ve been bouncing from place to place. I mean I’ve been guided to beautiful places in Canada, I’ve flown across the country from the east coast to live on top of one of the most beautiful Canadian rocky mountains to work and to experience life, this was to add to my creative life, this makes sense to me. The fact that I was with a company that transferred their employees to other beautiful resorts and hotels was a blessing, that made total sense to me. At the time I took it for granted, but deep down I knew that I was in the right place at the right time and I went with the flow, it all made perfect sense. I knew I was a story-teller from the start, I knew I was here to share this talent that has been given to me, a gift so precious that it almost seems like a secret that I shouldn’t share, but why would I think that? Anyone else who has the gift to tell a great story hasn’t held back, look at J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts, my goodness they keep writing and keep sharing, why wouldn’t they? Why wouldn’t I?

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What makes sense to me is that I am procrastinating from time to time and the excuse of my full-time job is really pissing me off – it’s no excuse, it’s the old behaviour wanting to sit on the sofa and numb the creative being into Netflix submission. That makes no sense to me what so ever, so what am I going to do about it? Get off the sofa, go into my writing room that I’ve been manifesting for most of my life yet don’t spend as much time in there as I have fantasized about, and write, or at least spend time there to give my writing room my energy, to keep giving it time to settle with me, to idle and let the words flow and be with the creativity as it should be. That makes sense to me, to spend time with those who support me and strengthen my abilities as I would do the same for them. Creativity has supported me for this long and it’s time for me to support the talent that has been so graciously loving me. I’m tired of hearing myself be upset hat I didn’t spend time with my writing, so it only makes sense to me that I continue to fight hard to be with it, stay away from the distractions that numb the senses, and go for it, go for the truth and be here on the page!

Well that was a quick 15 minutes – nothing a good rant onto the page won’t fix, or at least have some eye-opening moments.

What makes sense to you? Ready, set, write.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

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I’m Getting There

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I didn’t write a lot last week, it was an unexpectedly busy week at the hotel life or should I say it was a week of procrastination that I wasn’t involved with and could not avoid at the same time. Sound weird, well it was and it feels strange to be this far away from writing, but you know what? I’m here now, with you words being tapped onto the blank page and I feel like no time has passed, well except that I’m behind on my word counts, but you get what I mean. I’m back where I am to be, right here and now.

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On Friday night after I got home from work, I wanted to write using one of the writing prompts I stocked up on from a friend, but the cards were in another room and I was pretty comfy on the sofa. It was a long day at the hotel life. I was wearing my HR hat for most of the day which I love, yet it can be a bit emotionally draining. Either way I had fun and now my true self is like, ‘um, come on, let’s play!’ So I searched on-line for some writing prompts and I found 365 writing prompts, perfect! I don’t know why, but this was the one I was drawn to, well I have a niggle of why I chose this one:

Closed Doors: What’s behind the door? Why is it closed?

I think I will start the timer for ten minutes and see what happens. Are you ready? I challenge you to write with me, explore the closed-door.

msytery

The door is closed and I want to know why. A part of my mind, the darker side, the part that I don’t usually let out most of the times has stepped up and taken the mic. It wants to speak up and tell a story. What kind of story, I do not know, but I do know. Deep down I know how I can slip into the dark side of things, I think the worst case scenario and run with it, let it take over my entire self and let it live as it wants to, as it was intended. I’m a good person, yet there is a piece of me that is very aware that I can be dark and mysterious. But why is the door closed? Where is this door? Why am  I seeing a door closed? Maybe it’s a character that sees the door closed and when they look in the peep-hole they can see very clearly what is happening behind that closed-door. Is it a murder, an affair, and loving moment, a celebration?

door

There is a man at the door with his hand on the door handle. He knocks first and says a name, Miranda. He knows she’s behind the door. He can almost smell her soft scent of vanilla, she is a baker in a small boutique bakery and she always seems to smell like cookies. He loved that about her, but she didn’t. Behind the door, Miranda is in her bathroom trying to scrub the smell of sweetness off her skin. She uses a fresh bar of soap and rubs away. She hears the knock at the door and she stops suddenly.

Miranda?

She faintly remembers the voice on the other side of the door, she walks through her living room to the front door. She turns the door handle slowly, she is cautious, she wasn’t expecting anyone. She opens the door even more slowly and sees a man at the door, he is someone she has seen, but doesn’t know her.

Can I help you? Miranda can feel her arms numbing from the hard soap on her skin.

I was going to ask you the same question. 

The timer has stopped and I wonder where this story will end up going? It’s fun to let creativity take over and have fun. Just let go of the day and let it all be right here and now. Did you’re closed-door have a story? Set your timer for ten minutes and have fun.

Until next time, keep on typing . . . .

typing

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to thinkwritten for the 365 writing prompts that you can find here

The Story I’m Meant to Write

Thirty Day Writing Challenge ~ One Writing Prompt at a Time

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I’m working on my 2017 blogging goals and to kick start my goal, I’ve chosen thirty writing prompt cards as part of a thirty day writing challenge. So here we go;

The timer has started (I’m using my iPhone timer, simple and reliable).

The Story I’m meant to write…

The Story I’m meant to write is of my experiences, my writing life experiences, which means my life experiences. They say, write what you know. I know what I’ve experienced, the stories that I was a part of, the loving times and the hard times. The times where I lived through my stories, my characters so I wouldn’t have to deal with my life, a life that seemed boring and deep down I knew I was meant for something else. I wanted to share the stories that came to me, the stories that inspired me, the TV shows and movies that I loved and gave me sparks of inspiration, glimpses into what I could create, the sky’s the limit, just write what comes to you and keep writing was the theme singing in my heart. I didn’t question if the story or idea was happy or sad, I just wrote it, people need to read something to get their mind off their own troubles, that’s why I write or watch a movie, TV. The story I am meant to write is of right here and now, what I know, the troubles I’ve had with men, oh dear, how I’ve had a journey with men. I started out with a great boyfriend and in the middle I ended up with a few men that I could have done without, but if I didn’t then I wouldn’t be with the man of my dreams, the man that I cherish, the man that is right next to me, every step of the way. I am so lucky. I don’t regret my choices, I may say that I could have made a different choice, but again, it would be a different universe, I would be in another time and place if I didn’t stay with the man that said he loved me but really he didn’t know how to love me the way he wanted to or I would let him. You see, that man betrayed me and I could never forgive him, even though I said I could. Deep down, my true self knew I deserved better, and my change in attitude towards our relationship reflected the way we parted. In the end it was all for one experience, one moment in time, one moment that I can say I lived through and share right here and now. This the story I am meant to write, the little snippets of life, those crazy little times that seem so right at the time, but the next day you wonder what the hell you were thinking. I wouldn’t be here, in Victoria, BC, living in a beautiful part of the country, working at a hotel that has provided me with so much and so many stories that I have a life time of books to write, or short stories, plays, or/and screen plays. I have so many ideas and it starts with getting to the page.

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The timer has gone off. Once again my heart is beating quickly, I get so excited to write, to just sit down and let the words flow onto the page how they may. Where will these writing prompts lead me? I don’t know and that’s okay. I am the vessel of creativity and this is the story I am meant to write.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

woody-allen-and-his-typewriter

Who is your character afraid of?

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks and getting busier as we enter into the Holiday Season. As I continue to work on my NaNoWriMo project, other ideas show themselves, and old ideas reappear whispering strongly, ‘hey don’t forget about me,’ which I haven’t forgotten, I will admit that I have neglected the ideas, letting my ego win the better of me and creativity. I have to be honest here, it’s the only way I can get to the page. When I am writing, I am here, fully and completely. When I am not writing, I can see the string that connects me the page get longer and stretch to the point that it snaps away and I’m left with an empty feeling. The good thing is I am very aware of this sensation and I quickly grab a pen and start writing long hand to get me right back to the moment, pen to paper, words start to flow. My anxiety of not writing disappears.

love-lock

One of my works in progress is about three friends, two guys and one girl. The girl and one of the guys dated in high-school and the first year of university, then they break up over life choices and personality differences that no longer can be ignored. Both the girl and guy fear they will never find such a love again. Then years later the girl and the other guy friend have a secret love affair. After a few months into their passionate affair the fear of the other friend finding out runs deep for both the girl and guy that they end their relationship, with another fear of never finding that love again. Not to give anything away, there are moments of happily ever after, but then crisis arises and that fairy-tale ending is shattered by fear.

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I love writing prompts and The Observations deck by Naomi Epel is great for sparking creativity. Naomi shares the following about locating the fear:

According to Dr. Robert Maurer, professor of psychology at UCLA, fear lies at the centre of all great fiction. Every character is afraid of something – of loss, of failure, of success, of being unmasked – and the drama is to be found in how each character copes with his or her fears. 

fear

In order to give your characters depth and your stories dramatic tension, your must determine what your characters fear and how they deal with it. Think about someone you know or someone you are currently writing about. You can pick a person you see on the street or a character you are creating. What is this person afraid of? Is it fear of being poor or growing fate? Is it fear of being hurt or of hurting another person? Make a list of ten or fifteen things which a character might be afraid of.

Think of the ways your characters deal with their fears. Do they face them head on or run away? Do they drown themselves in alcohol or try to forget through sex? Do they invite trouble into their lives, or create safe but dull existences?

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I use my experiences revolving around fear that shape some of my characters. I use to be the person who didn’t like confrontation one bit. I would avoid any kind of negative conversation just to keep things at a balance. Well we all know this doesn’t work, so through my characters I become stronger. How I wanted to deal with stressful situations, person drama, was now how my characters would deal with it, but then there was a time that I didn’t like how wishy-washy my heroine was and I broke the balance. My heroine stood up fer herself, spoke her mind and she didn’t die of embarrassment (what she thought would happen), and all of a sudden I was becoming a little more vocal when crisis’s showed up and then I was sharing that I don’t mind dealing with confrontation and now employees come to me to learn how to deal with stressful situations. Writing, once again saved me.

woman-walking-away-from-man

Now, what are my characters afraid of? They are afraid of losing their friendship to one another. How will that look on the page? How will they share their fears to one another? Why are they afraid of losing one another? There are so many questions to be answered and that will shape these characters and the story that they want to share. The creative process is great!

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What are your current characters afraid of? What are you afraid of? How do you get through to the other side of fear? What lies beyond the fear? For me, it’s the truth about writing, how it fills me up with joy and peace. How I love to tell a story and share with others. I am so grateful that creativity has chosen me to work through, so I better not ignore or neglect those ideas any longer. Time to get back to the writing.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

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It was the road to…

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There are times when we all need a little nudge. I have been reading Firefly Creative Writing, a wonderful writing community based out of Toronto, Ontario. They have created a creative and safe space to share your voice. It’s also a passion of mine to create such a space and community where we come together and share our voice through writing and other creative mediums. If I lived in Toronto I would have applied for their latest call for writing coaches.

The other day, one of the coaches posted a a writing prompt (picture above) this image grabbed me, shook my imagination. So many imagines came to mind and a feeling of longing gently nudged me. It was suggested to take five minutes to write what came to mind with the partial opening line, It was the road to… This is what my creativity and imagination came together and flowed through my pen.

It was the road to my lover’s ranch even though I wanted to be so far away from this town. This town has held me back so many times, too many times. I chose this dirty, small town over my hearts desire, to move to LA and write movies, that’s all I wanted to do. I was good at writing stories, most of the time I wrote myself to another life, but this road, this dirt, crumbling road kept hauling me back to Noah’s ranch, I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t stay away from his touch, the only touch I knew, the only touch I wanted. But the page took me away from Noah, he use to tell me that I was happier when I was day dreaming and writing my stories, he knew me so well when I didn’t know myself, he pushed me to write but wanted me stay and tend to the cattle. I hated those cows, but I loved the silence in the early mornings. Five o’clock and pitch black, only the hum of the land to move to, I would sit down at Noah’s great grandmother’s writing desk and type as fast as my fingers would go. I wrote my first script at that writing desk, I think his great grandmother made it herself, she was still alive when I first met Noah, she was about a hundred and one years old and she didn’t look more than sixty. She told me her secret was sex, sleep and a little whiskey from time to time. I tried her remedies as much as possible. Noah and I had an amazing sex, he knew every inch of my body and I loved to explore his body. I would have the best sleeps after our sexual escapades. For the whiskey, we had our fair share of good blends over the years, but Noah’s younger brother, Kyle, died suddenly from alcohol poisoning and Noah quit drinking the moment he found out. He wanted to pay tribute to his brother and staying alive and making smart choices was going to be Noah’s homage.

I love the creative process.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

creative

Having Fun

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Do you ever imagine yourself in a movie? Change your name, color of hair, eyes, job, the car you drive? It’s like playing make believe and I love to let my imagination have fun. Julia Cameron calls this make believe person our Cinema Self.

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Our Cinema Self is really an expression of our vein of gold – a mock-up version  of a larger, grander self that is straining to be born. All of us have a self that we live with as our normal, everyday self. That self is probably bigger than it used to be and smaller than we wish it would be. In other words, there are many days when we wish we could be larger than we currently are. ~ Julia Camera

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When I was younger, I would put myself into almost every TV show that I watched. I was the new girlfriend for Ricky, from Silver Spoons (maybe one of my first major TV crushes). I was the troubled teen to be saved on the next episode of The Fact’s Of Life. I was the girl who broke up Kelly and Zack because Zack wanted his cake and eat it too. My imagination was on the run and I let it. The possibility to write my way into and life was and is right at my finger tips.

It’s all relative, we say. On the days when we feel relatively large, we take risks to expand our lives. On the days when we feel relatively small, we retreat to the safety of a smaller version of ourselves. Like Walter Mitty, from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, we daydream about what our lives would be like only we were able to live as our larger, more cinematic selves. ~ Julia Cameron

Julia gives us a little help to bring out our cinematic selves:

  • What kind of car does Cinema Self drive? Perhaps several? Is it a classic Mercedes convertible sedan, a vintage Volkswagen bug, a ’65 Chevy truck?
  • What is Cinema Self’s “signature” article of clothing? A bomber jacket? Carole Lombard pajamas?
  • Where does Cinema Self live? Town? Country? Both?
  • What three adjectives are usually used to describe Cinema Self? Charismatic, childlike, adventuresome?
  • Who plays Cinema Self in the movie One star or several for different ages? Yourself or an established cinema presence?

Have fun everyone!

Until next time, keeping on typing. . . .