Freak Flag

Trends. We’ve all heard it. Don’t write to the trends. Be unique to yourself. Let your freak flag fly. Okay, so, I added that last one, but I think it speaks the message quite well. Let your you shine through.

We all have our areas of special interest: collecting coins, playing the kazoo, scrutinizing commas. (Hey, no judgments!) Whatever it is you love to do—do it, write about it, create lyrics for it—live it. No need to worry that no one will share your obsession with pickles or your fascination with six-legged giant bugs who live exclusively on an island in the South Pacific. (I know, cool, right?)

Not everyone will get it … but some will.

Here is a clip of a dancer who definitely followed his passion. He didn’t worry about the current dance trend, he created his own style, which I’m sure included endless hours of standing in front of the mirror isolating particular muscles.

Not your thing? No problem. But his results? Genius.

Enjoy the clip, and, after you’ve wrenched your back trying a few of his gastric pumps or magical foot slides, don’t forget to dig into your own chest of uniqueness.

Wear your differences loud. Wear them proud! Yeah, baby!

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Gangsta

Rejection. Yes, we’ve all faced it, but if you are like most people, you do what you can to avoid it. Not so when you are submitting to agents. Writing is very subjective. Finding that particular agent for your particular project is an experiment in patience—and self-esteem.

For every yes you get, you’ve most likely received dozens, sometimes even hundreds of no’s. So how do you push forward and keep your head in the game? For me, I have a few tricks.

The first—surround yourself with positive people. There are certain people in this world that have that special light. Find them.

The second—relax, trust, and work your butt off. You can’t get that coveted yes on a wish.

And the third—find ways to pump up your spirits. Here’s a short clip that has recently become my new anthem. No, it’s not related to writing. No, it’s not found in any technical book, but I promise, you watch this thing a few times, you’ll be sauntering all over your house like the gangsta you know you are.

Wiggle, Wiggle

“Shall we make a new rule of life … always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary.”
~ J.M. Barrie via WONDER

There’s this thing that I do with my tongue when I’m trying to stop myself from crying. I open my mouth, ever so slightly, and then wiggle my tongue side to side like some sort of directionally defunct fishing lure. It’s weird. I know.

What I didn’t know is that I do this. Until recently …

Last week I was at the gym pumping my legs in stationary circles while reading. I’ve found that transporting myself into another time or place helps me to forget that I’m actually exercising. It also motivates me. The more exciting the plot, the faster I peddle with apparently the emotions of the characters driving my expression.

The book I was reading was WONDER by R.J.Palacio and, without giving away the plot, let me just say, it’s the kind of story that makes you want to be a better person.

I was at a very emotionally climactic point and could feel the sting in my tear ducts when I sensed a set of eyes watching me. I looked up to see a man grinning my way with a,”Yo, waaat up, babe,” type of expression on his face. At first I thought he must have mistaken me for someone else, but then I felt it–my tongue–wiggling back and forth in my mouth.

There’s nothing like a creepy grin to screech the brakes on my literary world. Within seconds the book was under my arm, and I was halfway down the hall. But later, while finishing that passage in the confines of my living room, I felt myself doing the same thing–tongue whipping back and forth like a sideways pendulum.

I bring this up not only because I’m weird, but because there are just some books so good they can induce asthma attacks, bring forth unknown facial tics, or, in my case, activate the horizontal tongue flicker.

So if you’re ready for a book that will stick with you and, most likely, affect everything you say and do, pick up WONDER. But learn from me, you very well may want to read this alone. The emotions it elicits can’t be trusted.

Destiny

Destiny. Does it come to us? Do we come to it? Does our behavior alter our course? Or does our course alter our behavior?

My latest project wraps its literary head around that very question.

Choices, fate, and a touch of magic. Stay tuned for more …

Magic

I don’t know if you’re like me, but when I finish up a jar or a can of something particularly delicious, I like to stick it back in the refrigerator or cupboard with a note. Please refill.

I know that may sound strange, but if you grew up in my house you’d understand. My mom is a sweets eater. Over the years, I’ve given her numerous boxes of candy only to be handed an empty box back, at a later date, with a note inside or sometimes directions. Please redo or Next time, think caramel.

I thought it was odd, until I started doing it. And guess what I discovered? It works. Yesterday I shoveled down a can of Pringles and, instead of throwing away the can, put a sticky note inside. More please. Today I came back and–voila’! Full can of Pringles.

A word of caution:
This magical event is one of a tricky nature. If you try it too much, the refills go away. So use sparingly.

Daunting

There are few things more daunting than to take an idea, nurture it, feed it, watch it grow to it’s fullest potential, and then … do it again.

That’s right. My last project, the one that fed itself from my veins, my sleep, my conscious and unconscious mind is done. It is sitting in the hands of others who will decide its fate. Now it’s time to pull up my boot straps (okay, more like kick off my flip flops) and begin my new manuscript.

The first word. That first sentence.

Whew. Wish me luck, people. I’m going in.

Thanksgiving

I may not always follow instructions, but come on, these are pretty basic.

Talk about stubborn. Here we are on the dawn of a national holiday–a holiday equipped with directions:

Give Thanks.

And what do we do? Squeeze all the sincere, loving, caring times in by seven pm so that a portion of our citizens can bear this storm and head out to work so the other part can go shopping. Shopping?

Appreciation

Gratitude

Thanks

How about this? Allow yourself one day, even one evening, to sit around with family, neighbors, relatives–friends and just hang out.

Eat, laugh, share stories, create new ones, watch the games, and appreciate the fact that we can do this.

Black Friday is just a few hours away–the crowds–the bargains–the shopping.

Everything you want to buy will be there in the morning, even at midnight,
but the times, they are here now.

Recognize

Value

Understand

Give Thanks

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