Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘creative writing’

Getting Creative With Creative Blogger Award

I’m woefully behind in acknowledging a few awards I’ve received. I truly appreciate the purpose of these awards and the generous support from my fellow bloggers.

As I’ve written, I have mixed emotions about accepting awards because the work can be quite time-consuming, and sometimes the thought of answering certain questions causes me discomfort. I’m responding to a fun one today while not officially following its rules.

creativebloggersaward1

Joey at Joeyfullystated nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you, Joey!

This was certainly an apt award for Joey to receive herself. I think of Joey as my RR&R blogging buddy (surprise, Joey). She Rants, Raves and Reveals – I never know what I’ll be reading when Joey scrolls into view, but I’m always entertained, educated and excited by her writing.

Ever think so much could be written about doors? Just see what Joey has to say.

According to the rules, I’m supposed to tell you five things about myself. I decided to focus on five creative things …

Hear the sound of that screeching halt?

I rarely think of myself as creative. Capricorns plod; we don’t create.

But here goes:

I was a child prodigy as a contemporary artist. Remember those springtime wriggly worms that so fascinated me? Mom tells me  when I was about three and she’d send me out to play, she’d look up and find me breaking off pieces of fresh earthworm and ‘painting’ on our front window. When a piece would dry, I’d just break off another and continue my masterpiece.

Look at that HUGE earthworm. I'm not gonna touch it. YOU touch it!

Look at that HUGE earthworm. I’m not gonna touch it. YOU touch it!

When I was a kid, Dad taught me to ‘laugh’ like a loon. I was good at it. Every time we passed a lake or a pond, my siblings would turn to me in the car and say, “C’mon Sammy. Laugh like a loon.”

Loon Laugher on the Right

Loon Laugher on the Right

When I was in the fourth grade, I won the $10 first prize at the American Legion Halloween costume contest dressed as a little old lady. Now I am a little old lady.

Not my Halloween costume, but OLD clothing!

Not my Halloween costume, but OLD clothing!

I owned and operated an Irish Pub with my first husband. Our pub offered Guinness Stout on tap and a menu of authentic Irish fare. Saint Patty’s Day – as you can imagine – was wild! As is so often the case, our restaurant venture was more successful than our marriage. I wonder how the Irish say “C’est la vie.”

Irish saying

Authentic Irish Patrons!

Authentic Irish Patrons!

I took my first dance class (jazz) at age 31 and performed onstage.

Once.

To a recording of Elvis singing Jailhouse Rock.

Hub proposed to me anyway.

In subsequent years, I took classes in ballet, African, modern and – most recently at age 62 – tap. I like jazz best and in my next life I will be performing in Cats during its Broadway run. When that happens, you’ll see a photo.

I’m pleased to pass this award to four bloggers whose creations I look forward to every week – rich offerings that enhance my life.

I do hope you’ll take a peek at their Creativity.

Katie is in the midst of art journaling for International Fake Journal Month, and she has chosen to travel to Italy. Her daily posts are so whimsical and delicious, I’m tempted to try this challenge next year.

Elen is participating in the A-to-Z Challenge for her first time, and her F made me laugh out loud

Raye’s paintings make me green with envy (even when I mistake her figs for eggplant). As if that skill wasn’t enough, her writing stops me in my tracks.

I discovered Sand, Salt, Moon a few weeks ago. She’s picked up a long-lost watercolor practice … paint me green with envy. Again.

Remember, there’s NO pressure with these awards. In case you like rules, here they are:

 The Rules

  • Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
  • Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
  • Pass these rules on to them

Jamie’s Magical Modifiers

I’m in a re-blogging mood this week, apparently because you are writing posts I simply can’t resist.

I made the mistake of re-blogging this excellent post about adverbs and adjectives to my private ‘lessons’ blog (where I file teaching posts I want to save), only to discover I cannot now re-blog it here. Aspiring writers will appreciate this ‘lesson’.

I struggle with the whole ‘show; don’t tell’ concept – not fully understanding or embracing it. Of the many ‘expert’ posts I’ve read on the topic, Jamie’s is the most succinct and specific, and includes the best examples of how to use adverbs and adjectives to spice our writing.

I’ve wanted to give a shout-out to this group of professional writers  – New Hampshire Writers’ Network  – who blog at Live to Write – Write to Live.

While I enjoy all the writers on that site, I salivate every Saturday morning while reading Jamie’s regular Saturday post.

If you read today’s post, please use your time commenting there instead of here. Enjoy and learn !

And the Winner Is …

new Year's 2015 Tangle

What a year it’s been!

What?

No, not 2014.

2015!

After all, 2014 is … so … yesterday.

What?

Winner?

Pick me!

The year is barely twelve hours long, and already I’ve received a plethora of good reads from all of you scrolling through my Reader (it’s ‘almost’ as good as opening the mailbox and having a slew of handwritten letters from worldwide penpals fall into my hands).

Even better – I have something to write about! No writer’s block here!

Can a year start on a more promising note than with reading and writing overflowing my laptop?

It all started with Laurel at Alphabet Salad who suggested we each select an inspirational word for the year.

‘Cadence’, I thought, ‘cadence’.

Remarkably, shortly thereafter, I clicked on Sarcastic Muse (thanks, Dan, for that recommendation) and read this quote:

“Art, whatever form it takes, requires hard work, craftsmanship and creativity. As a writer, I know my grammar, cadence, the music of prose, and the art of the narrative.”
F. Sionil Jose as seen at The Sarcastic Muse blogsite

My heart started beating faster, my toes began tapping, I heard music in my head and hope in my soul.

Cadence – what I want my writing to be. The word itself rings with rhythm, gravitas and, yes, even mystique. I would consider it the greatest writing accomplishment to be told I write with cadence.

Cadence – how I want to live this year. Finding the balanced flow that accompanies every moment of our awakening, our doing, our sleeping, our dreamland. If only we pay attention. I am the conductor, the symphony, the audience, the concert hall, the music itself.

Cadence derives from the root ‘cadere’ which means ‘to fall” – especially in oratory tones at the end of spoken lines. The meaning has evolved through time to “a rhythmic sequence or flow of sounds in language” and “the beat, time, measure of rhythmical motion or activity”.

Life is a dance. Everything we do from drinking a glass of water to closing our eyes at night can be done with rhythm, grace, beat, syncopation. Cadence permeates our words, gestures, sounds, thoughts, beliefs.

Curious, I clicked the Urban Dictionary link to see how its definition of cadence might differ from Wikipedia’s, and found this:

“cadence: a girl with an amazing sense of humor and personality; loves her friends and family…”

I will revisit cadence often during the year – continuously striving for measured rhythm in both my writing and my life. In the few days since I’ve adopted cadence as my inspirational word for 2015, other c’s have come creeping into my consciousness, begging to be cultivated, communicated, chronicled:

  •  Curate
  •  Curiosity
  •  Creative non-fiction
  •  Comments
  •  Cascade
  •  Community
  •  Collaboration

Would that I will write of these with cadence in my stride.

The Last I Heard, He Was Slurping a Daiquiri

I have a confession.

100_2427

 

I have committed the ultimate blogging sin.

I lust after another blogger’s muse.

Morpheus Source: Wikipedia Dream (comics)

Morpheus
Source: Wikipedia Dream (comics)

 

In my defense, I don’t have a muse. Every writer ought to have a muse, and we ARE a sharing community, right?

What?

Fine, I might have overstepped on the “sharing” boundary, but honestly I think Kirsten has kicked Morpheus to the curb.

The last I heard, Morpheus was slurping daiquiris and chiding Kirsten for blogging when she should have been working on her novel.

He’s either lying in the gutter in a drunken stupor or Kirsten has committed Morpheus-murder.

Don’t we owe it to muses everywhere to grill Kirsten on Morpheus’s whereabouts?

(Seriously, folks, Kirsten is a talented writer worth a look-see.)

The French Connection

 

Remember that 1971 movie starring Gene Hackman?

What?

You weren’t even born yet? Then skip the clip – I only hijacked the name of the movie for my post title!

 

 

I have my own French Connection. In fact I have two! That’s the beauty of blogging and connections.

Celine Jeanjean, a delightful French woman living in Hong Kong, recently nominated me for a Liebster Award.

Merci Beaucoup, Celine !

You can read her charming post about her own Liebster Award here.

Little did Celine know that one of her questions plays quite nicely into my French Connection.

Can you fake accents?”, she asked me.

No, but give me a romance language or two, and I can multi-mangle with the best tri-linguals!

100_3292

I took six years of French classes and two years of Spanish classes. My young brain had no problem differentiating the two during high school and college. Since then, however, I have had multiple encounters with Spanish-speaking people. Without exception, I can understand what they are telling or asking me, but the only response that comes to me is French!

How is that possible? My brain receives their Spanish input, but spits back only French!

Of course this gave me a woefully false impression of my ability to converse in French, should the opportunity present itself. While we were planning our bike trip in France, our friend Lou – who masterfully bails us out of any Spanish-speaking encounter – asked me about assuming his interpretive duty in France.

No problem!”, I boasted, eagerly anticipating my chance to match his lingual prowess. “I got us covered.”

100_3312

 

The first day we were in Paris, we entered a store where the clerk asked us a question. Hub, Lou and Coco all looked at me expectantly. I opened my mouth and … Rien, Nada, Nothing … No French, No Spanish, No English.

We all turned and sheepishly walked out of the store. My head hung in shame as Lou said, “They spoke French and she froze.”

Of course, we repeated that line daily as we laughed, drank and biked our way through France. And the reality is even when I tried my primitive French, they would immediately (and politely) switch to English.

Thus dashed my high school dream of working as an interpreter at the United Nations; my college dream of becoming an accomplished career linguist; and my Boomer dream of “parlez-vous“-ing through Paris.

Fortunately, although my French dreams are dashed, my French Connections are alive and thriving.

I met Kelli at Forty and Fantastique during the A to Z Challenge. She is fluent in French, accomplished at many skills including piloting and writing, and she is planning a “fantastique” trip to France, which was her theme during the Challenge. This “Q” post and this “On The Fringes” post are samples of her excellent writing style.

I am also grateful I met Kelli because I met Celine through Kelli’s blog on the last day of the A to Z Challenge. Celine’s “L” for Librocubicularists is a must read.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

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