Anything Can Happen Friday: Carpe Scriptum Verbum

I write every day. I have a computer full of non blog stuff. And that’s the issue: I have a computer full of stuff that just sits there…

So I entered a writing contest.

You have no idea how hard it was for me to do that.

You know that the scariest moment of my day is when I hit “schedule”. There is not a day that I press that I do not have second thoughts about. But I’ve established a pattern and now it’s all part of the process- write, tag, schedule. Done.

Now I have to expand. Now I have to get my other work out there. It’s my carpe scriptum verbum.

So I picked my least polished piece of creative non fiction- seriously it was a battle for the least polished– I dusted it off a little, paid an entry fee and sent my essay off into the void that is known as wait and see publishing hell.

Then I sat at my desk and blew a sigh…relief, gratitude, fear…

It’s done. My first piece is sent off to judging…

And now I’m finishing up the next piece to be sent off…

I needed to be proactive- the writing is fun and easy. Doing something with it is hard.

Do I need to do anything with my writing?


But can I really say I’m a writer if it just sits in my google doc file?

That’s debatable…

For now, I’m choosing to send it off. It was time to shake things up a bit.

Author Bio

One of my book clubs is obsessed with finding out about the background of an author when we are reading a book. The first ten minutes of the meeting will be spent going over where they went to school, where they lived, what their family situation is.

I could care less.

I like to read a book for what is in between the front and back cover. I like the words included to tell me the story. I do not like to research the author afterwards. I don’t particularly care if the school in the book was similar to the authors school, or that the main character and the author both had two sisters. If I wanted to read the bio of the author I would have gone to their Wikipedia page and looked myself.

As a person who fancies herself a writer, I know that I bring things from my real life into my work- write what you know, as they say. I also know that when I’m writing fiction, I may not tell something the exact way that it happened, I may embellish or detract or just use one part of something. I might combine two people that I know into one character. And I guess I just wouldn’t want someone delving into my backstory and trying to figure out who did what to whom, so to speak…I want my words to be read as I created them in my head, not as a reader reading into anything that I put onto the page. And obviously, there are things I TOTALLY make up if I’m writing fiction, or I might overhear a conversation, or see someone on the street. My inspiration is everywhere- to try to figure out where I got an idea from seems silly. If I write a book, read the book– don’t dissect me personally.

Now I freely admit that I used to know a lot about the Bronte sisters (please don’t quiz me now though- I barely remember which one was Acton)- but that was only because they were the focus of my senior project. If you are studying an author I get that you must read about their lives and dissect them.

Do you like to read about the authors of books that you’ve read?


Do you finish a book and go “Next”?

Why or why not?

I would love a little background info on you-

What do you owe?

I recently read “Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr. Doerr also wrote Pulitzer winner “All the Light we Cannot See”. These books are very different from one another in tone, genre, storytelling, etc. I thought both of these books were brilliant. I think Doerr is an exceptional author.

I know people who have read both of these books. Some are like me and thought both books were great. More people I know, however, didn’t appreciate Cuckoo as much. They were disappointed that it wasn’t like All the Light. They assumed the new book would be written the same way as the old book. They were disappointed in Doerr.

Do we, as readers, have the right to have expectations of an author?

Take me, for example. I wrote a post a few months ago. One person commented that it wasn’t “fun” and they read me to have “fun”. They were basically disappointed in me because I tried something different on my blog.

Do I, as a blogger, owe you, the reader of my blog, anything?

Do you expect me to write the same thing every day, in the same way?

Or do you accept that my writing and my blogs will evolve over time, as I evolve over time?

Do I owe you anything?

I hope that my writing is slightly different every day, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. My hope is that I am consistently learning, and consistently growing. I hope my posts are different that they were last week, last month, last year, ad infinitum. I will be very sad if you tell me that my posts are the same- that you can assume the next words that I pen every time you read my posts…

I also need to occasionally visit the other side of the box. I did bloganuary to try something different- to see what it’s like writing from prompts. FYI- I don’t think it’s blogging- I think it’s answering questions and those are two very different things. I’m also working on a side project with another blogger that will take over my first Friday’s of the month.

Sometimes you need to try something new.

If fact, I think everyone should try something new every day when it’s possible. With writing, it’s possible to expand a little every single post…

But to the original question:

Do you have expectations of the writers that you read?

Do you see how I compared myself to a Pulitzer winner?

Bloganuary Day 10: What five things are you grateful for today?

As you know, at the end of every day I write down my best moment of the day, my worst moment, and something I am grateful for. I started this grateful shindig a few years ago and I think it’s the most effective way I’ve found to concentrate on the little things, and how wonderful life actually is. I truly believe that it’s the little moments that make us.

So right this very minute I am grateful for:

  1. dog clothes so that I don’t have to look at my dog’s really pale, lightly furry body
  2. E books so that I can find a book to match my mood even if I end up not liking my choice and reconsider ever browsing in a book shop again because I continually browse and buy sub par fiction (for the record, I have never once regretted a non fiction organizing, personal growth or coffee table book that I browsed in a store- those in particular are always my faves.
  3. My new pink cart which I am using as a quasi self care station and it’s just a delight to wheel it from room to room and know that fuzzy socks are right there if my feet get cold
  4. Fuzzy socks
  5. my little hot plate like device that keeps my tea warm as I write

Gratitude Saturday: November 6

Sometime last week, I reached 5,000 followers!

I am grateful to all those who have chosen to hit FOLLOW on their screens!

I am most grateful to the fifty or to people who comment every day, because those are the people who make me look forward to sitting at my laptop each morning!

I know that sometimes my blogs make people mad- to be fair, sometimes I do that on purpose (Sometimes- Sometimes people just get mad no matter what I write…). There’s a lot of hypocrisy going on around us, and sometimes I don’t know how much we see what we are doing. Sometimes there are things right in front of our noses, and we miss it. This includes me. I try everyday to take off my black suede pumas and put on a pair of cowboy boots, or docs, red patent heels or maybe some crocs and take a walk, just to see how different something feels. Sometimes I will write a post from the opposite viewpoint of how I really feel, just to try it on for size. Ever try to spin positive something you think is a negative? Try it. I promise you it won’t hurt…but just might make you think. If thinking outside the box is your goal, anyway… If thinking the same way about everything everyday is your thing, than have at it… Everyone has the right to their own opinion, and to keep that opinion every day of their life.

We have to watch our own egos. Trust me…it may not always seem like it, but I really do try to hold my ego in check. As stated…sometimes I want to shock you into thinking or feeling or doing. But remember- when I use a story as an example of something, that story is true. Maybe my writing might bring out a nugget of something, but I tell you what I see in front of me, what I learned, and how it made me feel. I just might do it backwards, or flip it upside down, but you get it. The story is true, the way I write it is probably to prove a point. The exception to this was my one week experiment which I really had no idea what I was doing but knew I had to try it out. FYI- it shook up something in my brain and now I am writing fiction based on an idea I got from that. And I really like it so far. That’s why you need to think and try new things and did I mention think outside the box?

Ok- speaking of things I did not know what I was doing, I thought that this would be a quick one graph post saying thank you. But why write one graph when you can write a really long post?

I am grateful for all of those who follow, who like, who comment, and even those who don’t like. You are all valuable to me as a blogger and as a person.

Thank you.

PS- looking for alternate word for sometimes- suggestions?

Anything Can Happen Friday: Crosswords

Fun Fact: I do the New York Times crossword puzzle every day. I have a subscription and either at 10pm or 6pm, depending on the day, I receive a notification about the puzzle for the next day.

Monday and Tuesday puzzles are very easy- I finish them rather quickly. But the rest of the week can be any degree of challenging. Suffice to say, I tend to start the puzzles in the evening but finish sometime the next day.

This past week I was working on Sunday’s puzzle. For those of you who are not puzzle fans, in a weekly newspaper, Sunday is the biggest puzzle. So I had 3/4 of the puzzle completed, but I was struggling with the lower right corner. The central clue that I was struggling with was:

76 (across) Posted One’s Thoughts

I finally got 76 (down) Abacus Piece- BEAD

So I knew my word at 76 Across started with a B…

hmmmmmmmm- I thought…What is “posted one’s thoughts” that begins with a B????


And then I was able to compete the puzzle…


Though I have a contact page with my very long email address attached, I rarely get emails concerning WUOTWSO50. Perhaps it’s because my email address takes about an hour to type. Maybe it’s because no one needs to speak to me offline. However, someone looks at my contact page almost every day, yet I rarely recieve anything exciting.

It hurts that no one emails me…

Ok- not really.

But one day I did actually get an email from a real person.

This person said she loved how people got so involved with my posts- how people commented and there was a back and forth and everything was so lively.

As they were a newbie blogger, they asked if I had any tips for creating a compelling blog with lots of idea exchange and conversation.

(before I go any further I want you all to give yourselves a round of applause because it is because of all of you that my blog has this great spirit and energy. If you don’t take part in the discussion, nothing happens- take a well deserved bow)

Where was I? Oh yeah- I promptly wrote the blogger back. I gave them a tip or two that I have learned in the past few years.

Well, when the blogger wrote back to me, they said that they were surprised that I answered them, much less quickly. They were very appreciative of my taking the time out to converse with them.

So first off….


I get that I don’t normally have time for the HOI POLLOI, but I guess every now and then I need to throw them a crumb…

But seriously-

Do I come across as an ogre?

Do I appear to be the type of person who wouldn’t resond to someone asking a question?


Do people just not respond to inquiries or questions?

Is my down home folksiness an anomoly is the rough and tumble world of competetive blogging?

So I must ask the questions:

  1. Why do people look at my contact info and then not email me?
  2. If someone emailed your blog contact something generic or innocent, would you respond in a timely manner?

Reading and Writing and Writing and Reading

One of my blog friends (R. Douglas) made a comment to me a few months ago, and it really stood out. He said that he often wishes to write for readers instead of writing for writers…

I began to think about that. When I write my blog, I know that most of my audience are fellow bloggers- other people who put their thoughts into words and hit publish. When I write my blog I know that I am writing to writers…I also know that there is instant feedback…

What would happen if I wrote my blog and disconnected the comment section?

How would that change my writing?

When I was working on my book, I found it hard to tell a story.

I found it hard to write for readers.

I like a lot of dialogue. I don’t like description. I don’t like a lot of deep prose paragraphs…I don’t like doing the things that appeal to readers…

However, in my blog, I write to you as I speak. I may not be as blunt as I am in real life…(trust me: I am blunt in real life and I can’t hide my emotions), but you are getting 100% me…

Aside from my poor grammar and lack of editing skills, I like writing for writers…

But how do I bridge the gap from writing for writers to writing for readers?

As I work on a memoir (yup- jumping on that bandwagon) I find that I can use the style that I have cultivated in my blog- I don’t have to rely on the traditional aspects of writing- I can rely on my ability to put words on paper in my unique (I hope) way…

But will readers want to read that?

Cause let’s face it: if I write a book I want it to be read…

And I can’t write a book with a comment section that I can reply back to…

But…as I have a comment section, right here, right now…

What do you think is the difference between writing for writers and writing for readers? Or do you think writing is writing and an audience is an audience?

What are the things in books that most appeal to you?

Help a sister out and give me your opinions…

Write it Down

Welcome to today’s version of “How A Book Inspired LA to write a Blog Post”

Today’s book: Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar.

While Akhtar considers this a novel, not a memoir, there are aspects of his real life in this book. Akhtar is a Pulitzer winning author so he has some literary street cred, so when he talks about his craft I listen.

Akhtar goes home at night and writes, with as much detail as he can muster, the events of his day. People, settings, feelings, situations….He will spend about two hours retelling his day.

Talk about a journal…

Is this the only thing besides actual talent that separates me from a Pulitzer? I just don’t take the time to write down the minutia (sometimes, not always) of my day?

Show of hands: How many of you journal? Brain dump? Morning pages? I can’t see you because I won’t Zoom, so tell me who you are.

How detailed do you get when you free write?

I do a brain dump in the morning. I tend to do a combo of things that I need to do that day and I probably obsess about one detail from the day before. There’s usually some reason I become fixated on something and eventually it probably becomes a blog. But I rarely write the whole thing- I did not talk about the smell of yesterday’s heat when I complained about it. I didn’t write down the body language of the guy I didn’t trust yesterday. I didn’t write down how I met someone for the first time and how he referred to me as Sister…

  1. Why didn’t I write these details down, when they are so clear in my mind?
  2. Should I be writing these details down?
  3. Is my lack of detailed notetaking the only thing that separates me from being a Pulitzer winner?
  4. Why have I become so obsessed with Pulitzer winners?

What do you think about writing down your day in detail?

Do you think you would benefit from it? Why or why not?

What do you think about free style journaling? Pro or con?

Write how you feel…

Anything Can Happen Friday: Quotes

I have a little desktop calendar: every morning I flip the page and read my new quote. I love this way of starting the productive part of my day. I read the quote, get inspired, and then I begin to write, first a brain dump and then my blog.

Quotes can be wonderful. But only when they are not misquoted.

On Wednesday I wrote about a quote that had recently come up on my calendar. As the quote was a stand alone, I took it literally. There was no context, nor did I search for one. I assumed the publishers of desktop calendar had done due diligence.

Never assume.

It turns out the quote may, or may not have been, from a satire. If indeed it was supposed to be read as a satirical comment, then the thoughts that one would attach to it would be quite different.

Now, it the particular case of Wednesday’s post, we had a rousing discussion. It worked out as a great starting point for talking about personal satisfaction versus personal responsibility. Turns out many of us know a person or three who has chosen satisfaction over responsibility. And we all know people who have clearly chosen responsibility over satisfaction…

But the real point is, be careful what you share online.

Make sure you aren’t just blindly copying and pasting something.

Make sure you’ve thought about what you choose to post to the world.

I know I am going to be a bit more careful before I blindly add another’s thoughts to my posts.

Just because something looks pretty doesn’t mean you Blindly share

Know What you are sending before you copy and paste