Tag Archives: Writing

Where’s My Grammar Police Badge?

solecismI lovingly refer to my mother as the Comma Queen.  She’s my proofreader extraordinaire, when I can contract use of her services.  She is in very high demand, you know.

Making my own grammatical blunders always makes me cringe.  However, it happens. Sometimes, I know it before the words ever trip off my tongue, but I am unable to stop it.  Sometimes, I do it on purpose to drive someone crazy…what?  It can be fun!

‘Til next time,
Jessica

 


What’s Eating My Brain?

TYPEWRITER - STOCK PHOTOHello!  Long time, no blog.  I know, believe me.  The absence has been felt.  However, I’m back.  In part, thanks to my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions, but mostly because I missed this too much not make it a part of my life.

Things I’ve discovered since starting my new job.  A job in which I talk with people all day long eats my words if I don’t nurture them carefully.  For too long, I’ve come home exhausted and unable to string together a coherent sentence. (Hopefully, that is better now.)  This will stifle writing like…well, like forgetting how to talk will stifle a conversation.

However, this did not stop my creative drive. At.  All.  In fact, without the wonderful outlet of the written word, the need to create got a little manic sometimes.  Drawings, paintings, quilting, crocheting, playing music, Legos (of course) all stepped in to take over, and I’ve produced some really great stuff.

I missed my words though.  Like most of us who are driven to write, it is more who we are than what we do, and when that part gets locked away for whatever reason, it feels, for me anyway, like a wound that won’t stop aching.  During the  “wordless time” whenever I tried to write, the ache got worse because if the mocking cursor on the blank screen drew anything out of me, it was disjointed. Reviewing what I’d written was more painful, because the form (rambling though my style may be) was shoddy and little sense could be made from the pitiful scraps I was trying to sew together.

This being said.  Please bear with me as I try to find my voice again. I feel a bit like Peter Pan with his wayward shadow.  It is out there somewhere.  I. Just. Have. To. Find. It.

I’ve also been left with stacks of really great art, and no idea what to do with it.  I may be turning to all of you for some advice once I get an idea of how to part with these pieces…if I can part with it.

Art is a funny thing.  I feel deeply that it is meant to be shared, for what good is a vision no one else sees.  Why put pen to paper or brush to canvas unless you want to share your vision with someone else.  Right?  However, as an artist I feel particularly vulnerable whenever I let someone look at my pieces, much less go home with them.  Luckily, I’m convinced I’m not alone in this. (Thank you Amanda Palmer for The Art of Asking.  I’ll tell you guys more about that one a little later.) I also need to part with some of this so I can make room for more new pieces. (My house should not overflow with stuff.)

Life ate my brain for a while.  I’m sorry.  I think it is better now.  I hope.  Maybe?
‘Til next time,

Jessica


Neil Gaiman Talks: What ifs, Why fors, and Hows

Have I mentioned lately that I love Twitter?  Well, I do.  I find some of the greatest stuff there!  For example, today I haven’t even been on Twitter, but I got an email from them with tweets I may be interested in.  (You know the one I’m talking about).  Typically, I just delete the email and move on.  Really, I get too many emails (especially since I started applying for jobs online, 30 emails a day with results from job searches!).  This time the title Neil Gaiman Follows the Guiding Light of Instinct caught my attention, and I opened it up.  My mom may read this and see a bit of inspiration from him in the story I just gave her to edit (it is based on something her sister told her that scared her when she was little.  Oh yeah, she’s thrilled to be my editor on this one). Seriously though, I love reading his stuff.  The Ocean at the End of the LaneFragile ThingsStardust, Smoke & Mirrors…really, I haven’t found anything I didn’t enjoy.

This New York Times article delves into a bit of why we like to be scared by horror and frightening stories, they discuss his Carnegie Hall performance that is coming up the end of June, and his creative process.  His thought process as a kid reminds me a lot of myself.  I was always thinking of “what-if” scenarios…then torturing my sister with them.  When I asked if she thought I could scare someone in 2,000 words or less she didn’t even pause.  She interrupted me with a resounding “Yes, definitely!”.  If anyone would know, she would.  I practiced on her for our entire childhood…maybe I still use her as a guinea pig.  (Sometimes, I wonder why my family puts up with me.  I just gave my mom her childhood boogeyman to edit for me…hmm…best not ponder this one too much.)

TheTruthIsACaveInTheBlackMountainsThe Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains has been released in a special edition with the Eddie Campbell artwork, and, for those of you lucky enough to attend the Carnegie Hall performance, you’ll get to hear him read this to music by FourPlay string quartet and see the artwork.  You can purchase an edition of the book with illustrations by Eddie Campbell as well.  (Since not all of us can score tickets to Carnegie Hall…)  If you are attending this show, please email me or comment to tell me about it!

Did you ever play the “what if” game?  You know, making up terrible scenarios and stuff?

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Don’t Protect Yourself From Your Art

Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa (Photo credit: ama_lia)

 

This quote struck me as terribly true today.

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time. ”
― Lady Gaga

Sometimes you have to shine a light on things that you’d prefer to leave in the dark, and you don’t realize that you’ve been hiding until you get there.  I’m really fighting the urge to expose less, and not dig quite so deep when I’m writing even when I know the end product is so much better when I do.

Recently, I saw Lady Gaga on The Graham Norton Show, and I was incredibly impressed by her.  She was very intelligent and full of grace and generosity of spirit.  Her attitude toward both her fellow guests and her fans was really beautiful, and listening to her discuss her motivations for creating her costumes was fascinating.  I had to admit that I’d dismissed her as gimmicky, in spite of her amazing talent and voice, solely because of her fashion decisions.  Some days you learn about being a better person in the most unexpected places.

‘Til next time,
Jessica

 

 

 

 

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Look What I Found, Advice from Two of My Favorite Writers

Don’t Run From Who You Are: Writing Advice From George Saunders & Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed posted a link to this on her Facebook page today, and the post is great. The writing advice is better. There are no words to tell you how much I would loooooovvvvve to go to a talk, workshop, signing…whatever with these two writers.  There are a couple of collections below that I highly recommend.

Tenth of December by George Saunders

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Who do you admire?

‘Til Next Time,
Jessica

 


My ideas usuall…

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living. – Anais Nin

Jessica's iPhone Pictures 3.25.13 542

Robbers Cave State Park, Oklahoma