Midlife Reflections #8

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Time heals all wounds” they say but a lot of us cling to the past which makes it quite difficult to move forward in life.  Memories of the past is like a double edged sword.  Many of the experiences we hold so dearly are often ones of joy, love or laughter that was shared with family, friends and loved ones which can never be replicated.  Others are of fractured memories that bring sadness, pain and loss that we try so hard to forget but to no avail.  Often times when we’re in a different setting, we encounter a similar situation or experience and expect it to follow what had happened in the past.  When it doesn’t live up to the hype, to our expectations, the end feelings leave us disappointed, discouraged and depressed.  Or when it brings about the same feelings of sorrow it just fuels our doomed outlook on life.

It’s truly hard to move past these things and I for one can admit that I find it challenging to do so.  But everything that we experience makes us into who we are and really does help us to become stronger.  Time really doesn’t fix things, it just add more to our already full plate and lessens the degree of our greatest or most horrible past memory.  It really just finds a way of taking us out of our comfort zone and pushing us beyond our limits.  Whether we bend or break is all up to us.  I for one take it by its horn and wrestle it aside.

So if you find it hard to find happiness in life or just trying to make it day by day, take solace in knowing that you’re not alone.   We’re all grinding it out the best way we can.  There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for all of us, it’s out there waiting for us to discover it.  If things are not going your way or your ready to throw in the towel, take stock in where you are right now in life.  You’ve made it this far, just think how much further you can go.  It hard to stay positive but if you just have a tiny spark, it’s all you need to start that fire in you to go out and take action!

Liebster Award

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I am truly honored and appreciative of the fact that I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Haylee.   I had stumbled across her log one day and was pleasantly surprised by her posts…most especially her poems.  They are simple, profound and touch on life experiences that we all encountered at some point in our lives.  If you get the chance, check out her site: stumblingaboutourworld.wordpress.com

You’ll be pleasantly surprised as I was.

Questions from stumblingaboutourworld:

1.  What is the most extreme thing that I’ve done?

When I was in college, I hiked along the entire ridge of Diamond Head.  Which I’m glad I did because now they do not permit anyone to do so because of the dangerous conditions.

2. Out of all the places I visited, which did I like the most?

I really like Hawaii (also known as the “Big Island”) . I got the opportunity to see an active volcano, walk on solid lava, got to go to the top of Mauna Kea, experienced the black sand beach as well as the green sand beach and saw many historical Hawaiian sites.

3. What is on of my favorite memories?

The birth of my daughter Chloe and my son Conor.  It truly was an experience that surpasses anything and everything that I encountered or will encounter.

4. Why did I decide to start my blog?

It was on the advice of my literary manager but in the end it was my passion for writing and sharing my inner voice for the world to see.

5. What is my favorite book or book series?

“Writing Movies For Fun And Profit or How We Made A Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!”  by Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon

6.  Do I have a post (one of my own) that you favor over others?

The one that I liked best was a post called “Our Special Gift” :

midlifemaniacalme.me/?s=our+special+gift

7. If I could go anywhere in the world and take one person, who would it be and why?

I would go and see Japan with my wife because she is my everything – the love of my life, my best friend, the foundation of our family, strong, smart and a fighter.

8. If I were given $500 today, what would I do with it and why?

If given a $500 today, I would spend it on a dinner for my parents because of all they’ve done for me.  They’ve taught me the values of life, helped shaped the person into who I am today.

9. What inspires me to write?

It’s just a passion that I’ve had for the past 27 years.  The joy I get from writing anything totally frees me and lets my inner voice be heard and shared with both strangers and all of my blogging colleagues.

10. What is my opinion on the advancement of technology?

I think that it’s great.  A lot of what we do and see whether it be writing, seeing something is all instantaneous.  It’s truly convenient.

Nominees:

I had a hard time trying to determine what blogs I was going to nominate because I follow so many great ones.  The ones that particularly stuck out were the ones that touched me, inspired me, made me laugh and provoke thought.  These blogs are written by the people who provide encouraging words and have the gift of prose.  They really don’t need my help in sending people their way because so many people have found them already.  But on the off chance you haven’t stumbled across them, please check them out..you won’t be disappointed.

anotetohuguette.wordpress.com

comicallyquirky.com

peacefrompanic.wordpress.com

priyasingh91.wordpress.com

realtimelove.wordpress.com

Questions For The Blogs That I Nominate:

  1. What made you decide to start a blog?
  2. Which one of your own posts do you like the best and why?
  3. What inspires you to write?
  4. What have you learned from following other blogs?
  5. How has blogging affected your life?
  6. When do you like to do your writing – day or night?
  7. How do you decide on what blog you want to follow?
  8. Has your blogging experience been so far?
  9. Who is your biggest influence in your craft of writing?
  10. Would you recommend blogging to your family and friends?

Rules for Nominees:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  1. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a whole lot of images you can use for your 2017 Liebster Award.
  1. For the 2017 Liebster Award, I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  1. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
  1. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  1. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  1. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!) (info)

 

My 2nd Anniversary

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I can’t believe it, just had to pinch myself.  It’s officially been 2 years since I started this venture of blogging…didn’t think I’d last a year let alone two.  It somehow feels more like 3 or 4 years but time really has a way of making things seem longer than what they really are.  Nonetheless, I am plugging away and putting myself out there for others to stop by and peruse my musings.

I can honestly say that this truly was a journey, one that I was a bit skeptic at undertaking; it kind of felt like homework to me.  One where I would be critiqued by not one, not two but countless of others who would find aspects of my work unappealing.

I hesitated for a moment thinking “Am I crazy?! I don’t need to deal with this!”  But at my manager’s behest, and her unbridled positive enthusiasm, I decided to “Go for it!”

Even though my blog site is still a work in progress and I haven’t found a niche, I’ve found this venture to be both therapeutic and phenomenal.

I used to be afraid of what people would say about my writing style, my stories, my poems and even my rants and raves.  Just putting myself out there without regard of what negative feedback I may get is somewhat liberating.

It’s as if this blog site was my personal diary; a place where I can let my inner voice run wild.  A place where my ideas and feelings can paint a picture that was somehow hidden deep within my somnolent consciousness.

Every post written, every word chosen enabled me to create my art with unbridled pride and joy.  AND sharing myself…giving some semblance of positivity, inspiration and insight into how I see the world is invigorating.   I’m lucky to be able to do this of my own volition.  I love what I’ve done so far and eagerly look forward to what I come up with on my next post.

Let Your “Inner Voice Shine Through

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In my opinion, one of the best things about being a writer is showcasing our inner voice through our pieces of prose to the world.  Our writing style, our choice of words and our descriptive passages all reflect our artistic expression hidden deep within.  inner6

Everyone’s writing style is unique; it can be eloquent, serious, humorous, wordy, concise or simple.  The fact that we get our point across to any and all readers, in whatever fashion our voice dictates, is truly amazing.  AND the painstaking years that it took just to get us comfortable in writing is a feat in itself.  AND the tremendous courage it takes to put forth our laborious effort for strangers to read.  inner7

That’s why I enjoy reading other people’s work; I love the fact that they took the time to share something that was on their mind.  I’m able to get a semblance of their personality through their choice of topics and words.  It’s like meeting a stranger and getting to know them through their writing.  The more I read, the more I become familiar with them.  inner3

We as writers share a piece of our soul in the hopes of bringing to view something that we feel has value and get a sense of self-satisfaction from doing so.  Our reasons for exhibiting our work can be therapeutic, informative or for entertainment.

I’ve known a couple of writers, however, that were quite hesitant to impart their work for public viewing for fear of crucifying comments or lack of praise.  They toiled over their piece but found it difficult to take it to the next step; in the end, they abandoned their desire for writing.  It was a sad loss because I felt that they had something of quality that was worth sharing.

inner1We need to lose all inhibitions and accept the fact that there will be some people that’ll like what we write and others that’ll hate it.  It all comes with the territory of our craft and shouldn’t be a factor in deterring our passion for writing.

The joy we get from putting pen to paper,  the dedication to honing our craft, the anticipation of producing something substantial from a mere thought and the gratification from seeing the final product are qualities that strengthen our passion.  In the end, our devotion to writing should outweigh all reactions, whether it be good or bad.  So let loose, face your fears, WRITE and let your “Inner Voice”shine through.

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Our “Special” Gift

I always marvel at the fact that we, as writers, can conjure up practically anything we desire with our writing.  We come up with the most creative stories, the most enticing screenplays, the most eloquent poetry and the most humorous prose.

 No two stories, poems, blog posts or screenplays are alike.  Yes they may have the same idea or premise but the way it is executed on page and presented to the reader is very individualistic.  Our inner voice comes through our choice of words and how we arrange them and the reader is fortunate to choose which voice he or she best relates to.aa8

 We really have a gift if you think about it and we choose to share it with others in hopes of educating them, inspiring them, entertaining them and even provoking critical thought among them.  Our passion has no bounds.

 The world, our experiences, our family, our friends and random conversation overheard is our muse.  We get a spark and it gestates in our subconscious mind until it is ready to flow freely onto our computer screens.

AND some of the stuff that we come up with is totally mind-boggling.  As writers, we choose to ignore the plausible and go with what our inner voice is screaming at us to write.  Just imagine if we put limitations on ourselves and our creativity, you know how boring our concepts would be.

 Every day I thank God that I’m able to write something that at least someone, somewhere would enjoy reading.  I might not be the most creative, eloquent or concise writer but I write how I feel and that’s all that truly matters; I think that this is the common thread that is prevalent among all of my fellow peers.

 Writing is our craft, our voice…and our desire to share it with the world regardless of the outcome is admirable don’t you think. aa4

 When I started as a writer, I came across a poem that really spoke to me.  Unfortunately it was written anonymously and I lost my only copy of it.  But I remembered a portion from that particular poem that I took to heart and I want to share it with all of my fellow writing colleagues – all you screenwriters, poets, bloggers, story tellers:

 “Writing is a gift

given to few,

Don’t ever give it up

or you won’t be you”

A Writing Dry Spell

Did you ever have those times when you had a dry spell with your writing?  Whether it be for your blog, script, story, essay, correspondence letter or note to a friend, your mind’s well was empty.  No topics are in play, no words come to mind, things just don’t flow freely from pen to paper so to speak.

It’s like you struggle just to get a cohesive sentence together; every brain cell is squeezed to spew out the words needed to bring forth a sentence.  AND the kicker is that it’s really not what you want to convey.  You just put something down for the sake of having something substantial to work from.dry1

All of us as writers hit this dry spell throughout our careers, it’s inevitable and just plain sucks.  During these times I just don’t feel like a writer and I truly feel as if I failed.  Don’t know why, but I just do.

 “Why does this have to happen?!”   

Our minds are capable of doing and creating so much more…so why is it that our minds fail us?  Is it just a way of our brain telling us that it’s going on a short vacation so we can’t write until it gets back?

What do we do in the meantime?  How do we continue on with our craft if our mind isn’t cooperating?  Not writing anything makes me feel empty and having to endure this drought is challenging.  Often during times like these is when I start to worry…has my mind’s well of creativity gone dry?  Will I ever come up with another idea or story ever again? dry9

So many questions with no immediate answers.  My confidence gets put through the ringer and then some.  But luckily for me, I’ve been through this rodeo and I know that I just need to ride out the storm.

My mind eventually regains its composure and my creativity resets itself.  My brain becomes cognizant of all the new ideas and stories and starts to file them in my intellectual storage file; the amount of information is so overwhelming that I’m faced with another dilemma…which story to work on first, too little time to get all this stuff out and words constantly oozing out just begging to be put on page. 

Guess that’s a better situation to be in than a writing dry spell but either way I’ll gladly endure both as long as my passion for writing remains constant.

Fade Out…

That’s the two words most screenwriters love to see and say out loud. Why you may ask? Basically it means that all your hard work toiling in front of the computer and pounding away on that keyboard has finally come to an end. The story that had been pining away inside of you finally came out…every character, every dialogue, every scene, every nuance that was worked out in your mind’s eye is now all within your computer.

You lean back in your chair, prop your feet on the desk, stretch your arms and take pride in your creation. Your “baby” has finally come to life. You think it’s a work of art, a complete perfection, the “best damn story” that was written in all of history.

Your mind drifts off to what might be as a result of completing this “amazing script.” Delusions of grandeur pop into your head, and rightfully so. It’s good to think that. It gives us a sense of self-confidence…realists see this as false hope. But who cares! You created something from nothing and that’s no easy task.

Once everything settles, reality sets in and you soon realize that this is just the beginning. The real work comes into play. You’re going to have to do a ton of rewrites…WHAT?! But you thought it was perfect, how can you improve on a masterpiece?! This is your “baby” we’re talking about.

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Sad to say what you thought was impeccable, now has a bunch of flaws. Parts of the story doesn’t flow well, terrible dialogue, nondescript scenes and useless characters are the defects that stings the very fiber of your core. What you once thought was great, has now been reduced to ashes; remnants a novice’s attempt lay at your feet.

You start to question your credentials as a writer and think how can this possibly be fixed. Doubt creeps in; stress and anxiety soon take over and all your creative juices are all out of whack. You’ve just made the possible something completely insurmountable.

Don’t really know if other writers go through this, but I’ve experienced this numerous times. At the moment I’m about to throw in the towel, an epiphany of why I write hits me like a lightning bolt. I take a deep breath (actually several), grit my teeth and press on.

My love of writing will outweigh any type of insecurities that I have. I look at it as if I’m polishing a diamond in the rough; my story has the potential, I just need to add a few key elements to bring out and display that passion that I had while writing it.

After completing my first rewrite, I’ll take a break and then come back to it to do a second and a third rewrite. For me, anything after three is overkill. Once my script’s done, I lean back in my chair, prop my feet on the desk, let loose a gratifying smile and bask in the satisfaction that I was able to endure the true writer’s journey…FADE OUT.