Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Archive for the ‘Imagery’ Category

September 17, 2014 Harsh Reality

I put my baby out into the world and she’s already learning that she needs to step up her game.

I write well, or so I’ve been told. I knew there would be a lot of changes once others saw my work. I just didn’t realize the magnitude. So now, I step back, take a deep breath and do my best to do right by her.

A lot of what I’m hearing sounds a great deal like the copywriting course I started and have yet to finish. Show, don’t tell. Grab the reader’s attention right away. Know your audience. Sadly, I didn’t get this kind of information in the creative writing courses I took. Yet, as it is presented to me, I understand the value in all of these suggestions. Those who’ve already made the Best Seller list can be a little sloppier. But those of us who are just trying to get noticed, and sell a few hundred books have to follow the rules. It’s no different than any other undertaking. You have to prove your value before you get to make a few rules of your own.

Every learning experience has value and builds on those which came before.

The first thing I’m learning is that the birth of a first novel is a long process which is often frustrating and tedious, but it is also a huge series of life lessons. I am being called upon to not only take my writing to a whole new level, but to learn new skills and be extremely cautious about accepting information without running it past several other sources first. I’ve gotten conflicting information on everything from word count to small house publishers to writing style to selection of genre. A year ago, it would never even have occurred to me to know my audience before I even started writing. Now, I’m learning that it’s just as important as it is when writing ad copy or sales letters. Either way, you’re trying to sell something, and to do that, you have to tailor it to the people who would be likely to buy it. It doesn’t mean that your target audience will be the only ones you ultimately entertain, it just means that you have to start somewhere. It makes total sense now. But then, my hindsight was always perfect!

Thinking about how my daughter keeps telling me how much she loves it, could it be that my target audience is really people like her? If so, I’m going to have a devil of a time defining that target audience as my daughter is not typical of anyone or anything. I don’t think I could fit her into a particular group if I had to, unless it was the nonconforming, marching to her own drummer, late bloomer kind of place. Her tastes are eclectic to say the least. As well as I know her, she still surprises me often. She loves Harry Potter and hates Twilight (both of which my initial pages were compared to, and not in a good way!). She’s a Whovian and loves animated movies. She reads Michener and Poe, Rowling and McCaffery and everything in, around and in between. She’s studying Culinary Arts and Marine Biology and makes friends with people from eight to eighty. How in the hell do you quantify that???

What I’m taking out of my initial feedback, though, is this: I need to identify my target audience so I can tailor my writing to their tastes. I need to show, not tell. In other words, what I deem descriptive is not even in the same galaxy as where I need to be. “The house was painted a sunny yellow with white trim and boasted a wrap-around porch.” is clearly a real yawner. Instead, I need something like “Standing on the corner like a cornflower abandoned in a fallow field, the brightly painted walls were framed by posts as straight as soldiers in snowy uniforms which marched all the way around the structure, creating both a cozy place to wile away an afternoon and a look of refined elegance.” Is this my excuse to use 100 words when 10 would do? I don’t know, but I will be learning!!

At any rate, I have to give my brain a rest before tackling this again in the morning. All I can say right now is that I have a lot to learn, and my book won’t be hitting the stands any time soon! But I will persevere.

I forgot to mention that I’ve created an Author page on Facebook. You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor . Feel free to drop by, like it and leave a comment. If you have a page, let me know where to find it so I can return the favor.

My Gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for guidance, even when it means I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did.
2. I am grateful for a good night’s sleep to put things back into perspective.
3. I am grateful for a thick skin which I’m going to be needing more and more if I want to succeed with my writing.
4. I am grateful for patience. Also a valuable commodity with a career which is creative.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, guidance, patience, harmony, peace, creativity, flexibility, prosperity and persistence.

Namaste

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August 23, 2014 Striking out in a new (old) direction

Yes, Virginia, you are what you eat!

Yesterday, when I finally dragged my lazy, unmotivated self out to do some much-needed grocery shopping, it occurred to me in one of those lightbulb flashing, aha moments, that part of the problem with my lack of energy and motivation was directly related to the way I’d slacked off on healthy eating habits. For the last few weeks, I’ve opted for the quick and easy route of dry cereal and dried fruit with a coffee chaser. As my body had been used to either a cup of yogurt or, better still, a veggie scramble and some fruit, I think I inadvertently threw myself into a version of starvation mode. Worse, still, was my hit or miss habit of taking my daily vitamins and supplements. What’s a poor, abused body to do but shut down and want more and more sleep?

Today begins my return to those good, healthy habits.

My shopping trip to Underwood Farms and Trader Joe’s yesterday garnered a great many fresh fruits and vegetables, NO cereal, a bag of raw almonds for munching, and only mini fruit and cream bars from the ice cream case. I also didn’t stock up on a bunch of between-meal snacks as my protein rich diet will find me less inclined to require such things, as will increased movement in the form of gym visits, housework, and (*gasp*) maybe even yard work! Day 1 of the change is going well, so far. I was actually excited to go into the kitchen to chop veggies and whip up my special scramble. I feel pleasantly full and, with breakfast finished, my teeth are brushed and vitamins and supplements swallowed. I also don’t feel as edgy and twitchy as I have for the last few days. (OK, lot’s of “I’s” in there, and really, though it isn’t readily apparent, efforts are being made to use the word less here!) It seems that the “experts” are right about keeping those vitamin and mineral levels elevated.

Hermit mode continues

As the day went on, reading a book and snuggling with the cats, the feeling of needing to avoid crowds intensifies. It’s not people in general which are off-putting, but many people in one place. Not to mention that my usual haunt is a bit energetically tainted right now, so I have to figure out how to better shield myself until the taint wears off. It’s not as if I can smudge the place, as it isn’t my space to smudge. The extra-attentiveness of the cats tells me that, on an energetic level, I’d be wise to trust my feelings. In the last couple of days, Toby and Munchkin, especially, have gone from laying on my lap or stomach to laying over my heart. Scrappy is planting himself closer to my heart chakra as well. As cats (as well as dogs and other animals) are far more sensitive to energetic shifts than we silly, desensitized humans are, I’ve learned that it is wise to heed their changes in behavior, and to watch for signs of what is causing the change. Those changes are easier to ferret out in a more quiet environment, so I have to believe that my sudden and complete aversion to larger groups of people is directly related.

Meditation brings unusual visions

Today’s meditation began with a request that clarification be given for the last week or so of strange, vivid dreams and weird feelings. Almost immediately, an image of a large man wearing jeans and suspenders, and carrying something large over his shoulder, popped into my head. What followed was words like “support”, “strength”, “lifting of weight”. I took these to mean that some sort of financial transaction was coming my way which would “fill the coffers” so to speak, and allow me more freedom to relax and continue pursuing the dreams which are taking rather longer than anticipated to come into fruition. (isn’t that always the case?) Whatever is coming will shore me up for awhile and allow me to fully focus on the things I need to do to make those dreams a reality.

As the day drew to a close, the unthinkable happened. I chose a quiet evening at home over my usual dance night. But all things considered, it was exactly what was needed, and the cats are quite happy with the decision. Let’s hope the week of Hermit-dom is drawing to a close now, but if not, that there will be some serious productivity coming out of it!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a quiet night at home.
2. I am grateful for answers to the questions which puzzle me.
3. I am grateful for nights of quiet, dreamless sleep.
4. I am grateful to my guides and Higher Self who do their darndest to keep me on track.
5. I am grateful for abundance: health, time, harmony, love, prosperity.

Namaste

August 4, 2014 Letting down my hair

A hairy topic…and what’s ahead.  August 4, 2014 Letting down my hair.

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