In the Zone

206713_sxc.huToday was laundry day. I decided to get to the Laundromat in the morning so that I could have the rest of the day to job hunt and write. I like this place because you can drop your laundry off or take care of it yourself. I was conversing with one of the laundry attendants when a tall, white, preppy-looking man walked in. His determined stride and facial expression made me think something had happened. He appeared to be heading in the direction of one of the attendants. It turns out that he was heading toward the back to use the bathroom. He never stopped to ask. The attendant had to ask him where he was going.

Within minutes, he walked out with the same determination as when he walked in. He never bothered to close the bathroom door and he never stopped to say thank you. It was as if no one were present in the Laundromat. Like a zombie he shuffled in and out. Continue reading

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Hot, Hot, Hot

CoolingOffKitty2Baby it’s hot outside! It feels more like August than July in New York. It’s sticky hot. You know when the humidity is so high that it’s sweltering in the shade. This is the second heat wave for this month. I hope it doesn’t mean that August will be hotter.

This cat has the right idea! I felt a little cooler just looking at it.

It’s About the Storytelling

1219898_sxc.huSomeone recently asked me why I enjoyed reading and writing so much. We were having a conversation about books. I was passing on a few I had finished reading. They couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about and I couldn’t understand how they did not read. They shook their head and laughed as if reading were a waste of time.

I’ve told my grandchildren that there’s nothing cooler than reading a book, because “you become the director of the movie that starts playing in your head.” Most people will envision characters and places differently. And if they do make a movie based on a book they’ve read, it makes it more interesting, because they will get to see if there are any similarities to what they envisioned. Continue reading

Taming the Inner Editor

1130414_sxc.huI used to wrestle with an inner editor that wanted to check over my work at all times. Every couple of sentences, it would interrupt and insists on making changes. It took awhile to stop it. I realized that all it did was slow me down and prevent me from writing.

Turning off the inner editor wasn’t easy. It wanted to be on the job at all times. Now I tell it to take a hike until I’m done. I let it know that we’ll have that dialog later, but while I write—it needs to stand on the sidelines to allow stories to develop. If it tries to sneak in, I remind it to wait.

How did I tune out the editor and push forward? It’s all in the mind. Changing my frame of mind was the first step. There’s always a first draft and a first draft has permission to be awful. So I just write. I get it all out, because I know I’ll be able to go back and make changes. Continue reading