Posts tagged with “writing”

Write Your Final Fanzine

Written by Laura Brown

Think of a fanzine you might have written. (Maybe you even did write one). After all the issues, the community you may have found, the new things you learned as you published about your favourite TV show, celebrity, type of fruit, grocery store chain, etc. How would you finish it all, a final goodbye?

I thought this was such a great creative writing idea. Writing sort of a eulogy for your creative passion once its wound down. Maybe you ran out of things to say. Maybe you got tired of it. Maybe your opinion about the whole thing changed. Maybe it got to be too expensive. There are lots of reasons a small, self publication, a fanzine, would close down. Would that be part of your final issue, or would you leave it for people to guess at? Leave them wanting more?

You might make a final grand statement, an epic summary of everything you have found and learned. I think I'd try to do that then change my mind when I couldn't make it short enough, or be sure I hadn't forgotten something and then want to write another final issue.

Of course, if you've never written a fanzine this could be your one and only. The one and only fanzine about wilted lettuce... giraffes... bicycle lanes... the evolution of Sunday shopping... there really is no end to the range of ideas and topics. They don't even have to take themselves very seriously.

Oh No by Mammoth Island

Have You Ever Written in a Book?

Written by Laura Brown

I have written in a book. A book I owned not one borrowed from someone else or a library. Also, not a book I was going to trade in at my local secondhand bookstore for more secondhand books. So, I didn't feel it was defacing the book, but it still felt as if I were breaking some kind of cultural barrier.

Quoted from the Amazon book description of "The Reader in the Book: A Study of Spaces and Traces" by Stephen Orgel.

"One of the most commonplace aspects of old books is the fact that people wrote in them, something that, until very recently, has infuriated modern collectors and librarians. ... The underlying question is at what point marginalia, the legible incorporation of the work of reading into the text of the book, became a way of defacing it rather than of increasing its value-why did we want books to lose their history?"

I made notes about what I was thinking as I read the book. I made wonderful notes I wish I could read again now and be inspired by what I thought years ago when I first read the book. But, I gave the book to someone else to read and they didn't value it the way I did. It's gone. I don't even know if they read it cover to cover as I did, or just humoured me when I said how wonderful I thought it was.

Beyond that sad little story, I think people who write in a book are those who did find more inspiration, more to explore, in the book than the people who read it (maybe even loved it too) but did not leave any notes. Leaving a note, making that decision and acting upon it to crack into the pristine pages of a book... it takes guts, for lack of a better word. Writing in a book, leaving a mark is one thing, quite a thing for some. But, that's just the start. Your personal thoughts are there, exposed, for as long as that book is still around.

A book has to be burned to be destroyed. Throwing it into the garbage is not a final end. Someone could still pick it out, clean it up a bit and read it. Composting, is closer to an end, but that takes time. Quite a lot of time and you're not going to be there to guard the spot where its composting for as long as it would take for that book to break down. So, your thoughts will be there beyond the time it takes to jot them down.

Knowing and thinking about all of this, would you write in a book? I still do.

750 Words

Written by Laura Brown

Inspired by The Artist's Way morning pages. An online group who write 750 words (three pages) each day. Writing is private, not published, intended to help people get into the habit of writing every day. Registration required for the site. Community forum and blog posts. Asking $5 a month for membership which includes features to inspire writing.

Where Would You Love to Write?

Written by Laura Brown

This was part of a quiz about what type of author you would be/ are. I loved this question. Which answer would you pick?

Choose a place to pen your masterpiece.

  1. A busy train station where you can sip iced coffee while people-watching
  2. A secret garden full of wonders you’ve never seen before
  3. A cozy coffee shop interior while gentle rain falls outside on a cold gray day
  4. Your bedroom—you feel most comfortable there.

Although the train station was high on my list and its my bedroom where I usually do end up writing - a coffee shop on a grey and rainy day was my most preferred place, by far. I love a rainy day and looking out the window while working on something creative with a delicious (still at least warm) coffee is pretty much perfect in my books.

Source: What Type of Author Would YOU Be? - Underlined

Do You Still Write With a Pen?

Written by Laura Brown

There is, still, something I like about writing by hand that I miss when I'm typing on a keyboard. There is a smoothness to the pen and paper and I like having good penmanship. There is no penmanship at all with a keyboard.

Today I found a note from Perfect Pen, a site selling pens and etc. They say 95% of people write their name first, when they get a new pen. I don't know if its true. How would you find out about that. Chances are someone selling pens and seeing people test them before buying, would know. So it could be true. What did you last write, by hand? I wrote a grocery list. But I also sent out handwritten Christmas cards this year.

I write down ideas for stories or non-fiction ideas for posts to my sites. Sometimes they never become posts. Lots of ideas are written and just don't develop further, or get mislaid somewhere, one way or another. But, I still like writing ideas more than typing them. My brain works differently while writing.  A bit slower and not as directly focused on the idea while I have the distraction of the pen, paper and penmanship. More than likely that changes how the ideas develop. Typing is so instant.

National Ballpoint Pen Day is June 10th. It's the day the patent for the ballpoint pen was filed.

Have you ever gotten into calligraphy, with fountain pens? I did a little of that. In high school I had a fountain pen. It was fun to write with but not as clean as a ballpoint pen. Of course, there have been pencils since the age of the dinosaurs (not literally). Pencils are just not the same, though artists still draw with an assortment of them.

Today, even though it isn't Ballpoint Pen Day, take a look at all the pens you have collected, scattered, around your home. Get some scrap paper out of the recycling and test all your pens. Not many have the option to be refillable and reused now. Or, people almost never seem to do that. Too many freebie pens given away to take the time to recycle them. Unless you have a favourite pen. I did have a favourite ballpoint pen but it was kind of exotic and I couldn't find ink to refill it. If you can find a use for the pens that no longer work, got dried out, or broken, that's great. Most likely the best you can do is get rid of them and have that much less clutter around.

Happy pen testing. Will you scribble something or ring true to the theory that the first thing you write with a new (sort of new) pen is your name?

Like Marketing Campaigns Instead of News Reports

Written by Laura Brown

Jade Walker posted a quote on Facebook:

"It's not the news that keeps upsetting you. It's what's happening that keeps upsetting you." - Dan Slott

I disagree. Its the way the news is being reported, with lies and propaganda (misinformation, or whatever that trendy word is these days), that's upsetting me. How the news is reported does matter. People are influenced by body language, tones in speech, and the words chosen. The news should be reported without bias, plainly, a little on the flat side. News is serious, not a game, an upsell, or a campaign. Editorials were used to give an opinion about the news.

When did all the news reports become so biased. Like marketing campaigns instead of news reports.

There are Times in Life When you Just Have to Kill your Babies

Written by Laura Brown

This quote is about the break between having the dream and living with it. But, you can read so much into a few words.

I’m a fan of writer Ann Patchett, whose book, Truth and Beauty, is one of my favourites. This week, thanks to the website, Brain Pickings, I came across a fantastic Patchett quotation that hit very close to home, especially the last line:

“The journey from the head to hand is perilous and lined with bodies. It is the road on which nearly everyone who wants to write — and many of the people who do write — get lost… Only a few of us are going to be willing to break our own hearts by trading in the living beauty of imagination for the stark disappointment of words.”

The stark disappointment of words is something I know a little too much about. So often the idea in my head, which initially seems so good, falls apart once I begin to try to assemble the words on paper. Suddenly my remarkable idea becomes frustratingly ordinary.

Source: Lindy Mechefske

This quote makes me think about writers having to kill their babies. That was a quote I read about editing your writing. Your words and phrases being taken out of existence. Deleting unnecessary wordage. Editing.

But, I find in life, the idea of editing things or deleting them, or exterminating... there are lots of good words for it... is an important skill to have. All things but in moderation. If you can master that in life you will save yourself a lot of stress, have more space (physically and mentally) and save money too.

Of course, no one should literally kill babies, or other children. At least let them get to adulthood, or the age of 20, and be guilty of something on the extreme side, first. Its ok to be a little dramatic, just not too literal about it.