One of the great things about working where I work is that each week we buckle down and produce a newspaper. We spend an entire week gathering news, making advertisements, taking photographs, scanning photos, taking emails and putting it altogether. The incredible thing is, we get a lot of help from the community. That doesn’t happen 100% of the time, but we do get a lot of help from people in the area, such as our local community correspondents in places like Glenside, Conquest, Macrorie, Dinsmore, Lucky Lake, Elbow, Strongfield, Hawarden, Loreburn, and Milden. We even have people from the local care facilities for the elderly, along with the community hall here in Outlook as well as the local schools (Outlook High School, LCBI, Loreburn School) send their news and happenings to us. This helps bring about an aspect of community to the weekly newspaper.
On top of that, there is the news that’s gathered by our news reporter, who writes not only about news, but also agriculture, sports, and other human interest stories. In the winter, we’re kind of lucky to get the results from two of the area hockey teams with the Outlook Ice Hawks and the Conquest Merchants. Our news reporter lives in Conquest and I volunteer for the Ice Hawks public address during home games, so I also take photos (or sometimes give the camera to someone I trust) and keep track of the game and write it up for later.
One thing our news reporter has also done is read and write book reviews about books and authors who are in the area (this has included both of the books I have written). On top of that, we sell books by local authors at the place where I work, and from time to time, there are a good number of people who stop in and pick up a book or two (today someone came in just before closing and bought three, all new on our shelves).
It’s a rare thing to have authors from an area like this get exposure, and more than likely this is one of the only places that they do get exposure. One of the more prolific writers we have is Larry Warwaruk, who has written a good number of books, the latest being a young adult novel called Brovko’s Journey. There’s even a very prolific NaNoWriMo author in the Beechy area who has many of her books in our shelves. That being T. L. Wiens (I only wish I could hit the 87,000 words in a month as easy as she does). There are other authors who have just written their first novel as well. Some who wrote their novel based on night time stories they’d tell their children about fantastic worlds and a fight of good versus evil. Others wrote their novel because they like maps at the front of books. There are other novels that are much more true to life; life as a fighter pilot during the Second World War, or how life dealing with a loved one who is suffering from schizophrenia.
Each story that’s written by these novelists in this area are very different and each story is very different.
But it’s incredible that we’re able to offer so many local authors the opportunity to get their story out there, even if it’s only to a very small population like ours in the Lake Diefenbaker region.
The ideas are there, which is better than what it was before, during the bleak days of winter when I’d truly had enough of this season. I had, for the past several months, wanted to write but just felt really tired all the time. It’s getting better now as the signs of spring are showing. Or at least, the snow is starting to melt. At least, I hope it doesn’t melt fast otherwise we’ll have flooding problems to contend with.
Flooding aside, over the winter months the motivation has been very difficult to get myself writing. I sometimes wonder how someone like Louis L’Amour wrote so prolifically, and why they make it look so easy. Even J. K. Rowling’s sweeping epic of Harry Potter seemed to come out with no problem. Naturally, I know it wasn’t easy. Writing isn’t easy at all. The only easy thing about writing is the sitting down part. Even tapping away at keys isn’t hard. It’s the development of the story and of the world. For some, the world is already there, it’s familiar. We all know what to expect in a western. We are fairly certain of the course of events in a medieval story. But when you create your own world and give it its own rules, then it becomes harder. Add to that the narrative, the characters, the events. All of it becomes more difficult. But, when it’s all done, it become really rewarding. It’s something you can look at and go “I did it, I finished it”.
I’m not far from completing this first book in the Rocket Fox series. I’m looking forward to it. I just hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew with this series I’ve decided to undertake.
I’m really looking forward to that moment when I can look at it all and say to myself “it’s done, I’m finished”.
This really hit home, the above leopard writing meme picture. I posted it to tumblr (from a reblog) but it deserves a place here as well, because there’s an interesting story that happened to me while writing the first book of Black Mask & Pale Rider.
I had just started the sequence with Pania and Martin Derringer, about to enter a dreamwalk. Shani had just been captured by the Huntsman, the mythical creature who is mentioned in so many different cultures and sometimes is want to steal souls (and sometimes, acts like Marvel Comic’s Ghost Rider). I had written the complete dreamwalk with Derringer taking Pania back through his memory so she could see his own early encounter with the Huntsman. Pania also discovers that Martin Derringer is really Thadius Maximus, a former tribune with the Roman Army and a werewolf.
I had just finished writing the scene where Pania wakes from the dream, horrified that she’s in the same room with a werewolf. And I don’t know what happened, but the next day when I went back to continue on from that point, when I opened the file everything was gone. The dreamwalk, Pania’s reaction, Derringer’s outing as a werewolf. From the point where Shani had been taken prisoner to the point I had finished, which was a good 2500 to 4000 words, was gone. Even the backup on a flashdrive was gone. All of that writing was gone. My one saving grace was after I wrote that, I posted it to a forum so others could keep up with the story that might not be able to download the pdf file. Fortunately it was all there.
But my god, my whole reaction to that was complete and utter dejection. I had suddenly lost the will to write, all because a huge swath of my story was gone. Fortunately, I did manage to get my head on straight, copy and paste the post from the forum and continue on for about 500 words, but I was totally drained thanks to that ordeal.
A round of Wednesday quotes. Not quotes about Wednesday, just the fact I’m posting this on a Wednesday. Only a couple of days left in the work week and a few days left until we hit October. We’ve had warm weather so far, and hopefully that’ll continue into October. On with the quotes.
“Sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.” ~author unknown
“The three greatest mysteries are water to the fish – air to the birds – and mankind to himself.” ~author unknown
“Faith moves mountains; doubt creates them.” ~author unknown
“There is no large or difficult task that can’t be divided into little easy tasks.” ~Buddhist saying
“The most important ingredient in the formula of success is learning how to get along with people.” ~author unknown
“My father is allergic to cotton. He has pills that he can take, but he can’t get them out of the bottle.” ~author unknown
- Tuesday quotables (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
Quotes by writers, some about writing, and some about books (and writing).
“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” ~Neil Gaiman
“It doesn’t matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.” ~Jo Walton (Among Others)
“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” ~John Green
“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” ~Anaïs Nin
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~Ray Bradbury
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~E.L. Doctorow
“A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.” ~Charles Peguy
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath
“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.” ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977
“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” ~Elmore Leonard
“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~Toni Morrison
- Shameless self promotion with a bit of “huh?” (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
Getting a little poetical today, even if there is no rhyme nor reason to it (heh, see what I did there… yeah, yeah, I know, I’m terrible, even for pointing that out). Start things off with a well known one by Robert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost, 1920
Continuing on with something more akin to a proverb. Originally, I didn’t know who this quote was attributed to. Now I can finally put a name to the words.
“It is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.” ~Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Finally, something that could be seen as dreadful and ominous, only because of the individual who wrote it. As well, it’s very, very interesting how this is reflected in our current state of the world.
“The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position within, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” ~H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
It came from a quote, really, and how folklore has helped paint fiction for today’s group of authors, illustrators and scriptors. We all know about elves, fairies, pixies, trolls, dwarves and the like, some in different ways than other people might. This was a fascinating quote I found to describe it all.
“The aspect of folklore which has the greatest relevance for our understanding of beliefs surrounding the British witch’s familiar, however, is that of fairy belief. The close connections between the witch’s familiar and the fairy have consistently been pointed out by scholars over the past century. In 1921 , in a paper for the journal Folklore, J. A. MacCulloch discussed the close links between the Scottish Devil and the fairy men of folklore, and in 1959 Katharine Briggs touched on these links in her comprehensive study of early modern fairy belief ‘The Anatomy of Puck’. In the early 1970s, Jeffrey Russell noted that ‘The small demons that became the witches’ familiars of the later Middle Ages were originally dwarves, trolls, fairies, elves, kobo Ids, or the fertility spirits called Green men, any of whom could be either frightening or funny’ and Keith Thomas claimed that the cunning man’s fairy helper belongs ‘to the same genre as the witch’s familiar or the conjurer’s demons.” ~Emma Wilby ‘Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits-Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic’
It is one of many things that are written discussing the actual folklore that helped develop many of our current superstitions (and, in quite a few cases, our beliefs). One very good example is that of the fairy ring, which was believed to be a sort of gateway between our world and the world of fae. A simple circle of mushrooms or flowers in the grass. And yet, something like that can help current authors to dream up something plausible that’s related to that myth, and yet something so incredibly different.
I guess the main point I’m making is that we’ve got all this inspiration around us to write something incredible (even the recent discover of Higgs Boson) that we shouldn’t squander it at all.
Write, imagine, dream, create.
It’s Tuesday… evening. So here is a small smattering of quotes.
“The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.” ~Confucius
“The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing.” ~Ben Franklin
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” ~Bill Cosby
You know you’re getting old when your back starts going out more than you do. ~Phyllis Diller
The paths of least resistance make man and rivers crooked. ~author unknown
It used to be Tuesday, but now it’s Wednesday. Both the day and the quotes part. Wednesday is a little more lax than Tuesday’s so I’m going to post quotes that I find on Wednesdays instead. On with the quotes!
To talk about the future is useful only if it leads to action now. ~author unknown
“When you live with hope in your heart, in your mind, and in your spirit, you have discovered one of life’s most powerful secrets of success. ~Norman Vincent Peale
Our character is measured by what we do – when no one is looking. ~author unknown
Tell people that you love that you love them….at every opportunity. ~author unknown
- Tuesday (Wednesday) quotes (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Tuesday Quotes (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Quoting the lighthearted (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Quotes for a Tuesday (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- The quotes! (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
From the Bard himself, words and phrases we use in everyday conversation today that we owe to Shakespeare.
It’s Tuesday. I missed last week. But I won’t miss this week even though it’s been hellraisingly (is that a word, even?) busy.
There is creative reading as well as creative writing. Ralph Waldo Emerson
You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments or publicity. author unknown
Many friends will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. Eleanor Roosevelt
Time is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other. author unknown
Our present ecological crisis…has, religious people would say, a great deal to do with our failure to think of the world as existing in relation to the mystery of God. Not just as a huge warehouse of stuff to be used for our convenience. Rowan Williams
More good natured and inspiring quotes this week. Stuff to make you think, but also to make you smile.
The tests of life are not meant to break you but make you. ~Norman Vincent Peale
The trouble with stretching the truth is that it’s apt to snap back! ~author unknown
Busy people do not have time to be busy bodies. ~author unknown
However good or bad a situation is, it will change. ~author unknown
What a man (person) thinks of himself, that is what determines or rather indicates his fate. ~Henry David Thoreau
- Quotes About Love by Gabby (autumnsunshineandgabrielleangel.wordpress.com)
- Henry Thoreau Smells Surprisingly Fresh (bellasugar.com)
- 14 Tweet-able quips by Henry David Thoreau (kylegport.com)
- Quote of the Day: Henry David Thoreau (weareliterarycritics.wordpress.com)
- Minimalist Quotes and Definitions (lapazhobo.wordpress.com)
- Quotes (oceanfulloflemons.wordpress.com)
Originally found at the daily feed, I decided to mention this here because it deals with books and a terrible thing that happens to them, in this case one book in particular.
2011 has been a very tumultuous time. Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, bin Laden’s assassination, Kim Jong il’s death, the increase of fear mongering in the western world.
So, with all of that I found some quotes which I hope make people think, both inward and outward, and some that I hope help to enlighten, brighten and calm.
The separation of the races is not a disease of colored people, but a disease of white people…I do not intend to be quiet about it. ~Albert Einstein
This next is a poem by Samuel Coleridge, and it fits with the turning of the old year into the new year.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sunthaw; whether the eve-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon
~From “Frost at Midnight” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
These two relate to me, because I know this feeling when I try to sit down and write. And it also marks how I feel each time I sit down to read. They also happen to be from two of the first western authors that I began reading when I was 12.
Every once in a while I feel the tremendous force of the novel. But it does not stay with me. ~Zane Grey
For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time. ~Louis L’Amour
- Quotes about snow (examiner.com)
- Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (thefindingplace.wordpress.com)
- Samuel Coleridge (1772-1834) (itsallcosmic.com)
- Inspiring and Powerful Science Quotes (iantimberlake.wordpress.com)
- Quote of The Day (zazenlife.com)
No, not quotes about Tuesday. It’s Tuesday, and here are some quotes. About nothing relating to Tuesday. But, there are a couple of author quotes in here that might be of interest.
Never say what you think – without thinking! ~author unknown
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. ~Mark Twain
Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
When in doubt, just take the next small step. ~author unknown
- Tuesday quotes (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Quotings (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Poetry in Quotes (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Quote of the Day: Mark Twain (weareliterarycritics.wordpress.com)
- A Few Travel Quotes to Ponder (naturalhaven.wordpress.com)
- Quotes, quotes quotes (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Quotes! Not the kind with fingers. (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- 10 Encouraging Quotes to Overcome Fear (socyberty.com)
The one rowing the boat is never the one who rocks it. ~author unknown
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. ~Irish proverb
Autumn is the year’s last loveliest smile. What a wonderful way to describe the richness of autumn, don’t you think? ~author unknown
I’ve finally reached the age where my Wild Oats have turned into All-Bran ~Tom Wilson, Ziggy, Nov. 19, 1999
- Quotables (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Cowboy proverbs (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Quotes about Promises (goodpromise.wordpress.com)
Life is not waiting for the storm to pass – it’s about learning to dance in the rain! ~author unknown
We don’t always see things as they are – but as we are. ~author unknown
We don’t need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful. ~author unknown
Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do. ~Golda Meir
- Poetry in Quotes (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- You can quote me on that… (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Quotes, quotes quotes (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Quotables! (taholtorf.wordpress.com)