Aries Fire, the Vernal Equinox, and the Beginnings of Re-Mojo-fication

I don’t know about you, but for me, the past several years have had their fair share of challenges.  I suspect that many of us could say the same.  If I step back and take a look around, I see a lot of very tired, very stressed, very worn-thin folks.  That sounds pessimistic, I know.  Maybe it’s my age.  Maybe it’s the fact that this past winter was a particularly rough one here in the northeastern part of the US.  Can’t say for sure, but I still suspect that the Tension Meter is a bit higher than usual now.

Again, I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, I have been finding it difficult to regain my mojo after the grind of those challenging years.  Almost as if I’d used up all of my Picking-Self-Up-By-The-Bootstraps energy and was left flat and apathetic.

However, sometimes Mother Nature provides just the right energy and environment to give her children a gentle nudge, if they are paying attention.  Today is one such day.

With the Vernal Equinox, we have equal day and night.  In other words, there is balance.  It is a symbolic reminder for us to stop and check in with ourselves:  am I in balance?  And with the Sun moving into Aries, a Fire Sign, we are also given an extra spark of motivation to DO something about it if we are not.

Now, like many bloggers, I have a dream to be a “real” writer someday.  I have a manuscript that I have been working on for many years, and I have been sending out queries and attending conferences.  I’ve also been reading about the changes to the industry and learning about the different paths to publication.  At first, I was determined to go the “traditional” route of finding an agent who would sell my story to an editor.  But in all my research on the writing world today, I am learning that perhaps a different approach is best.

There is no doubt that e-publishing and self-publishing have completely changed the landscape for authors today.  And it’s the savvy writer who takes advantage of these new opportunities.  I’ve come to realize that the traditional route is going the way of the dinosaur and that a new route may be best for me.

Sooooooo. . . . I have found my Aries spark of fire in the decision to self-publish my book this year.  And I would like your help.  I will post the first chapter of my manuscript in the next post here, and I would gladly welcome your feedback, comments, and constructive criticisms.

Thank you, WordPress Family, for this venue to share thoughts and words and ideas.  I look forward to any comments you might have, and I look forward to reading all of your wonderful blogs in the months and years ahead!

Advertisements

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru

 

In 2007, I had an idea for a story.  I got to wondering about reincarnation.  You sometimes hear people joke about who they were in a previous life, and they invariably say someone famous.  So I got to thinking about the current lifetime of a previously famous person.  What would that be like?

I began to research not only the publishing industry and creative writing, but also Peru because I wanted to set my story partly in Machu Picchu.  Even if I never ended up writing my story, I really enjoyed learning about this sacred site.  I mean, llamas, magical stones, a city in the clouds. . . what’s not to love?  Someday, I hope to get there in person.

I’m happy to say, though, that write my story I did.  Five and a half years later, I’ve completed the manuscript for a middle-grade novel.  With fingers crossed, I now begin part two of my journey:  the search for an agent and editor.

 

In Praise of Grammar

I may be dating myself here, but I remember diagramming sentences back in junior high. . . and liking it.  The logic and organization of it appealed to me, and I loved the challenge of untangling the grammar puzzle.

No doubt I am in the minority on this one.  But bear with me while I make the case in support of grammar for all Wisdom Warriors.  In my opinion, proper grammar facilitates learning by ensuring that ideas are expressed clearly.  And isn’t it the job of the Wisdom Warrior to learn?  Plus, I like the idea of holding myself to a higher standard for communication.  It’s easy to cut corners and be sloppy, but a real Warrior would “do the right thing, do the thing right.”

Here, then, are a few rules to help you walk the Grammatical Rice Paper without tearing it:

  1. COLON.  Poor misused and misunderstood colon.  I rarely see this guy used correctly.  In general, what comes before a colon must be a complete sentence.  What comes after it can be either a list or another complete sentence.  Therefore, when you see something like “This product contains no: blah, blah, or blah” you have just witnessed Colon Abuse.  The phrase “this product contains no” is NOT a complete sentence.  It is, however, easily corrected by writing “this product does not contain the following” instead.
  2. APOSTROPHE “S.”  Apostrophe Abuse makes my skin crawl.  There are a couple of easy rules for Happy Apostrophication.  Use an apostrophe “s” to show possession, as in Ted’s phone.  You do not need to use an apostrophe “s” if it is a possessive pronoun, though (e.g. his, hers, its,  yours).  The only time to use an apostrophe “s” with the word it is when you are writing a contraction for it is or it has.  For example, you would write “it’s a nice day” or “it’s time to go.”  But you would NOT write “the dog chased it’s tail.”  That would mean “the dog chased it is tail.”  And you do not need to use an apostrophe “s” with plural names, capital letters, or numbers.  So “she was popular in the 1990’s” is incorrect.  You simply need to write 1990s.
  3. QUOTATION MARKS.  In general, periods and commas go inside quotation marks.  In some cases, this rule can make your sentence look funny, but it really is the right way.  If I were to refer to the book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, I can’t write it the way I just did here.  I would need to put that comma directly after Hallows and inside the quotation marks.

Happy Writing!

Pop Culture Friday Fun!

On this date in history, the first Harry Potter film debuted (2001) and “The Sound of Music” hit the boards on Broadway (1959).  In honor of two of my favorite pop culture phenomenons, start a story using the words wizard, nun, and mountain.    What can you write in less than three sentences?

Happy Friday!