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What to Write About? by Ralph Hieb

October 13, 2020 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , ,

I’m trying to think of something to write about. So far no luck.

I can write about anything I am familiar with, but that would take the fun out of this particular exercise.

This writing will be on something I am not familiar with, so I’ll go to the internet and see if there is something I’m interested in.

Well after looking at the internet for a bit I got bored and started to see what was happening on Face Book. This is where I spent the next hour or so looking at what my friends were doing. Not much, but I still checked out their pictures and stuff.

What am I doing?

Oh yeah. I’m supposed to be looking for something to write about. I brought up Word and stared at the curser: nothing happened. I write about ghosts and stuff like that, I know something is supposed to happen. I minimized it and checked on my emails. Nothing interesting there.

Again I maximize Word. The curser just sits there doing nothing. I hoped it would do some writing on its own like in all the paranormal shows. But no, my curser only stays at the beginning of a line.

I minimized Word again. And change over to the internet once more. Nothing there either, but I see I have an unfinished game of match the pictures on Miss Fishers Murder Mystery site. It’s something to pass the time while I try to think of what to write about. After another twenty or thirty games.

I maximized Word again, still nothing.

Change the View?

I’ll go to the living room and watch some television. A good game show followed by a car repair show. I guess then another car show, maybe two.
I have an idea. Maybe since it is October I’ll write something about Halloween. Where at the end of it, the vail between the living and the dead thins.

It is said that ghouls and demons along with other creatures of the night escape from their dimension to walk freely amongst the living. There might be a story there, nah.

I do enjoy sitting on my front steps handing out candy to children wearing their costumes of super heroes and arch nemesis. The kids do not realize that the costumes are a disguise, making them safe from the evil.

Where’s My Muse?

I know, throw in some ghosts. I’ll ask Spirit, she’s my muse and hates being called a ghost. If she can’t help me, no one can.

Okay. Now I’m ready to tackle that super short story. Sitting down at the computer again, I maximize Word. But I am greeted by the lonely curser, the only thing on the page. This is getting frustrating. I know that if I wait long enough some ghost or spirit will type a message or at least unintelligible words on the screen. But still no.

I’m getting to the point of helplessness. What can I do to remedy this situation, go back to see what’s on the internet or maybe read a good book for inspiration? It appears that Spirit is not going to help me.

I have run out of ideas. There seems to be only one course to follow. I maximize Word, watch the curser, still staring at me. I folded my arms and stare back at the screen. This is a staring contest I intend to win.

Ralph Hieb grew up in New Jersey. After spending time overseas serving in the military, he returned home to New Jersey. While attending college he met his wife Nancy.

During the time he spent stationed Europe he didn’t miss an opportunity to travel around. Sightseeing and enjoying the culture are things that he still loves to this day.

Both Ralph and Nancy enjoy traveling to places that they have never been to, though sometimes they like to revisit former destinations. They want to visit Australia and New Zealand someday.

Ralph enjoys reading paranormal novels. He decided that he should try and write one. He is currently writing short stories, but a novel is in the future.

Ralph’s Books

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Books That Helped Me Start Writing Again #amwriting

July 17, 2016 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , , ,

I’m finally writing again after a long hiatus, thanks to the wonderful Speed Writing class I took this year, taught by M.M. Pollard. Here are three of the books that helped me to get back on track.

The 8-Minute Writing Habit: Create a Consistent Writing Habit That Works With Your Busy Lifestyle
(Growth Hacking For Storytellers)
by Monica Leonelle
Spaulding House, 2015

This book was recommended in the fabulous online Speed Writing class taught by M. M. Pollard for OCCRWA, and it’s the method that helped me break a long-standing writers block. I tried the 8 by 8 Challenge, which required me to write at least 8 minutes every day for 8 days. After the first couple of days, I was writing for more than 8 minutes. And now I have a first draft of my novel. Color me happy.

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
(The 99U Book Series)
by Jocelyn K. Glei
Amazon Publishing 2013
I’ve been listening to the audiobook in the car, and I am really loving this book/ I expect I will read/listen to it more than once. Glei includes lots of ideas from other people, to wit:

Featuring contributions from: Dan Ariely, Leo Babauta, Scott Belsky, Lori Deschene, Aaron Dignan, Erin Rooney Doland, Seth Godin,Todd Henry, Christian Jarrett, Scott McDowell, Mark McGuinness, Cal Newport, Steven Pressfield, Gretchen Rubin, Stefan Sagmeister, Elizabeth G. Saunders, Tony Schwartz, Tiffany Shlain, Linda Stone, and James Victore. Plus, a foreword from Behance founder & CEO Scott Belsky.

I’m not familiar with most of these people, but their ideas are thought-provoking and useful. For instance, setting time aside in your weekly schedule for those big projects, and if someone wants to do something else at that time, just tell them, “Sorry, I have an appointment.” It’s okay to make an appointment with yourself. Another compared time to a jar of rocks. If you put the big rocks in first, the little ones will squeeze in around them. If you fill the jar with little rocks, sand and water, there may not be any room for the big rocks.

A similar idea to that last one is…

Eat that Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
by Brian Tracy
Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2007

I’ve only read about 20% of the book, but am finding it quite interesting. The frog quote comes from Mark Twain, who said that if you have to eat a frog, do it first. If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first. In other words, tackle the big, important tasks first while you have the energy to deal with them. Good advice. Too bad I don’t take it more often. Guess I better finish reading the book!

But first it’s time to tackle those revisions!

I’m re-working a sensual Western historical romance called Lily and the Gambler. An abbreviated version of the story was published by Amber Quill Press as a mildly erotic romance. I’ve lengthened the book considerably, revised the plot, and plan to self-publish it some time this year. It really does feel good to be writing again.

Linda McLaughlin
aka Lyndi Lamont
website: http://lindalyndi.com


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Notes from Val’s Desk

May 3, 2009 by in category Archives tagged as ,

It’s been a busy 30 days and the month of May isn’t promising any free time either..…work, family, OCC stuff, craft projects, reading list, blog posts, etc., etc., etc. The shiny magnetic board hanging in front of my desk doesn’t have an available clean space on it. I’ve created so many layers that some of my favorite colorful, eye-catching magnets won’t grip anymore. I definitely feel overwhelmed.

So, in a determined effort to “get a grip” on my time, today’s post will be brief. I removed my favorite kitty-face magnet (the first layer) and six or seven scraps of paper floated down, landing in a random pattern on my already cluttered desktop. The first message, boldly printed on a scrap of neon-orange scratch paper, reads: Print signs for OCC meeting. Here’s another, quickly scrawled on a snippet of pattern tissue: Finish hem on sundress. Number three: Work on event page for June.

Oh, here’s a good one, actually written with a gold gel pen on a glossy scrap of magazine paper: Work on writer’s block! Okay, I have to be honest. This is not the typical “writer’s block” you may be familiar with. This is an on-going craft project using a 4” x 4” cube of unfinished wood.

I think I’ll tackle this one first. But first, I have to get all these notes off my desk…..I need room.

(Maybe I’ll post a picture next month.)

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