A Writing Wonderland and Onward!

 On this week’s episode of The Write Focus:

We have three rules for our writing wonderland.

What keeps us going? Family and friends / kin and kith … more than you  even realize.

Always remember :: writing is a solitary business.

After discussing each of the above, we introduce our next episodes.

It’s a Writing Challenge, all through April.

We post daily from Write a Book in a Month.

Remi Black will check in daily with her project stage, daily word count, and cover by Deranged Doctor Designprogressing word count as well as her speculations on writing in general and the writing business in particular.

Each of the April episodes is running less than 10 minutes. Listen briefly every day or hoard up several episodes for when you fix a quick dinner, drive a short commute, or take a brisk walk.

Lessons for writing happen along the way!

Each episode in April will conclude with the two quotations from professional writers (Hemingway! Heinlein! Atwood! More!!!) that opened and closed her day’s writing sessions.

April 1 :: No Fooling

April 2 :: Change of Plans

April 3 :: Stick with the Plan

April 4 :: Nix Distractions

April 5 :: Watch for Warnings

Listen on the following sites. Bookmark your favorite to come back daily.

Podbean: The Write Focus (podbean.com)

Apple podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-write-focus/id1546738740%20

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/4fMwknmfJhkJxQvaaLQ3Gm?si=0GFku2PbShWXiDhRp7JaDQ

YouTube Channel Writers Ink Books – YouTube

Join us!

Resources

Amazon links are given because it’s easy, and for no other reason.

Purchase Write a Book in a Month at Amazon here.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0848MWXGD

Also mentioned in the first 6 episodes (March 31 to April 5) ~

Patty Jansen’s Self Publishing Unboxed Amazon.com: Self-publishing Unboxed (The Three–year, No-bestseller Plan For Making a Sustainable Living From Your Fiction Book 1) eBook: Jansen, Patty: Kindle Store

Purchase Think/Pro at Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Think-like-Pro-Advent-Writers/dp/1983248266/

The Think/Pro planner for writers can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Think-Pro-Planner-M-Lee/dp/1983248673/

Spring Renewal ~ Wildflowers

Our poetry series is for poets who love trying new techniques. Visit our site on every 5th  (5th, 15th, and 25th) to see which poem has inspired a lesson in thinking and writing.

Wildflowers :: 4 Requirements of Songs

Dolly Parton’s “Wildflowers” is structured around an extended metaphor.  The song itself has a catchy tune, one of the best by Parton. Find the lyrics here. View a video here: from YouTube.

 

Music with Poetry = Country Music

Country music is the venue of poets who love to play with music, much more so than rock and pop, which may occasionally dip into the tropes.  More than rock, which usually depends on a guitar riff or other elements, country music is known for its strong use of imagery and figurative language. 

Here are four excellent examples of the imagery and figurative language that elevates country music FAR above other genres.

Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”
https://youtu.be/zI-GGnzSQa4
Kathy Mattea’s “Standing Knee Deep in a River”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfZ0e5Y5svU
Dixie Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9NG7cLNzbs
Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdsJI8Wc2D4

Dolly Parton is one of the great performing songwriter/poets. 

More than any other communication, poetry should speak clearly and from the heart.  Music-driven poetry should also provide strong lines and powerful imagery.  “Wildflowers” fits these four requirements.

Strong Lines

An extended metaphor keeps everything tied together. 

The persona is a wildflower.  Unlike other flowers, she refuses to wither.  She has a dream she is determined to pursue, so the wild mountain rose uproots herself from safety and security.  As she says in her refrain, “When a flower grows wild, it can always survive. / Wildflowers don’t care where they grow.”

Powerful Imagery

Parton’s imagery strengthens the extended metaphor into a powerful message.

Wildflowers that remain in the safe but crippling home garden die in the sun.  Rather than become strong themselves, which is the nature of the wildflower, the garden flowers allow themselves to be kept weak.  The sun truly will burn up a plant, but I wonder if this is Parton telling women not to be wholly dependent on a man (sun > son).  She is not anti-man; after all, she “hitched a ride with the wind . . . HE was my friend.”

She presents that men who try to stifle women and women who CHOOSE to be stifled are all weak.  As she writes, the weak and stifled lack a strong independent nature:  The flowers that don’t pursue dreams (these garden-rooted weak women) are “content to be lost in the crowd / . . . common and close . . . no room for growth. / [while] I wanted so much to branch out.”

Clear Heart-felt Message

Perhaps her “fast and wild” upbringing caused her to “uproot herself and take to the road”.  Perhaps the isolation she felt in the garden “so different from me” drove her decision.

Whether either or both, she “never belonged, I just longed to be gone / so the garden one day set me free”.

Who has not struggled with rebelling against conformity?

Who has not felt isolated from those around us?

And who of us has dreamed—yet hesitated to pursue the dream?  We hesitate, for it requires abandoning our safety net.

When writers connect to audience, their words often provide an impetus for us.  “Wildflowers” wants us to let go of whatever withers us, release the anonymity of the mass blob of the crowd, and hitch our dream to the wind.  We are promised room for growth.  We are promised us.

After all,

“Success is a journey, not a destination.  The doing is usually more important than the outcome.” ~ Arthur Ashe Jr. (1943-1993)

Barbed Wires from a Master Songwriter

One more post in our poetry series about relationships. This time, we’re looking at the broken relationship in Sting’s “Fortress Around Your Heart”.

Barbed wires and high walls and a dangerous chasm protect a heart wounded so many times before.

You can find the Lyrics here and the video is HERE!

Sting is above other songwriting poets for this singular reason >

He never seeks the mundane metaphor that everyone else is selecting.

Continue reading “Barbed Wires from a Master Songwriter”

Creativity: Wake Up

Awaken your subconscious to improve creativity!

That’s today on The Write Focus. It’s chapter 6: One Slice of Advice, all about creativity, from Think like a Pro: New Advent for Writers by M.A. Lee

Between Revision and the Final Edit, give a project a brief sleep to awaken the dreaming creativity.

  • Between Revision and the Final Edit, give a Project a brief sleep.
  • This will reawaken the creative muse for this particular project.
  • After the Sleep, Visit any new Ideas about the Project and Discover how to Work them in.

Additional Topics

  • Why to Awaken Creativity
  • How to Awaken Creativity
  • What to Do while Projects Sleep
  • 10 Creative Sparks
  • Repairs / ReStocking / Re-Considering (3 to Track)
  • Ending the Season of Sleep

Listen on ~~

Podbean https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/210-creativity-wake-up-think-like-a-pro-ch-6/?token=99e9f4c396f6b1dad7c627c7fda9be97

Apple podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-write-focus/id1546738740%20

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/4fMwknmfJhkJxQvaaLQ3Gm?si=0GFku2PbShWXiDhRp7JaDQ

YouTube Channel Writers Ink Books – YouTube

 

Resources

M.A. Lee’s Think like a Prohttps://www.amazon.com/Think-like-Pro-Advent-Writers/dp/1983248266/

The Think/Pro planner for writers can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Think-Pro-Planner-M-Lee/dp/1983248673/

Tony Buzan on Mindmapping

A YouTube episode Tony Buzan (Mind Mapping) – How To Make the Most of Your Creative Mind : Learning Technologies 2013 – YouTube

Book https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Map-Mastery-Complete-Learning/dp/1786781417/

The Creativity Cure by Drs. Carrie and Aaron Barron https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Map-Mastery-Complete-Learning/dp/1786781417/

Chris Fox 5,000 Words per Hour https://www.amazon.com/000-Words-Hour-Faster-Smarter/dp/1548182494/  

Dean Wesley Smith

Writing Into the Dark https://www.amazon.com/Writing-into-Dark-without-Outline-ebook/dp/B00XIPANX8/

                Course Writing into the Dark on WMG Publishing with Teachable Writing into the Dark | WMG Publishing Lectures and Workshops (teachable.com)

John Ingledew How to Have Great Ideas: a Guide to Creative Thinking https://www.amazon.com/How-Have-Great-Ideas-Creative/dp/1780677294/

Writer’s Block, Anyone?

W.Ink Wednesday for Writers

The monster we call Writer’s Block has 3 manifestations,

and we reveal them on The Write Focus.

It’s a 3-part series on this slimy bugbear > that really doesn’t exist.

All 3 episodes available now. Here’s the link to the 1st episode’s show notes, with links to Podbean, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube: https://thewritefocus.blogspot.com/2021/02/writers-refusal-writers-block-doesnt.html

Information for these three episodes come from Think like a Pro: New Advent for Writers, seven lessons to turn anyone from hobby writer to pro writer. Available here: