Excerpts from an interview with writer Joan Wickersham

I came across this interview on one of my favorite writing websites. A few of the lines spoke clearly to me…

Enjoy.

  • “When I am home I tend to become preoccupied with laundry.”
  • “But that boggy, ploddy, stage of blah writing or no writing is just about unbearable while it’s going on.”
  • What’s your advice to new writers?
    “Keep going, and one day you’ll be an old writer.”

http://www.advicetowriters.com/interviews/2015/3/17/joan-wickersham.html

Curation Saturday: Gems from other blogs

1. Alex Markovich shares the products of his photography skills.

alex markovich

https://illustration.art.blog/2018/06/19/illustration-1/
https://illustration.art.blog/2018/06/21/illustration-2/
https://illustration.art.blog/2018/06/30/illustration-3/

2. Virginia puts life in perspective with her Roses in the Rubble.
Quote: “What does it take to stop you? There are all sorts of crutches that keep us from moving forward after our spills (splat) on the pavement of life: bruised egos and empty pockets, tears and fears, maybe sprained hearts too hurt to love anew.”

https://rosesintherubble.com/2018/07/19/character-muscles-crutches/

3. Shape Shifter Fitness keeps me on the culinary straight-and-narrow. Well, he tries to.
Quote [about turmeric]: “The difference it’s made in the quality of Stella’s life by adding it to her dog food has been amazing, and I’ll always be a huge proponent of its benefits for that alone.”

https://shapeshiftpt.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/top-5-new-eat-clean-foods/

4. Cristian Mihai shares his views and expertise on blogging.
Quote: “Accept that you have to add value.”

https://artofblogging.net/2018/07/20/how-to-stop-being-the-invisible-blogger/

Curation Tuesday: More from Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing

From Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You

  • “Do not, for money, turn away from all the stuff have collected in a lifetime.” [For many of us, it’s time to put all we’ve amassed to us.]
  • “Do not, for the vanity of intellectual publications, turn away from what you are—the material within you which makes you individual, and therefore indispensable to others.”  [For me, this requires a daily pep talk. Sometimes, I’m all in. Other times, out of resistance, I drift toward other projects.]
  • “To feed your Muse, then, you should always have been hungry about life since you were a child. If not, it is a little late to start. Better late than never, of course. Do you feel up to it?” [I think Ray would suggest you dive into your closet of notebooks and half-finished works and see what is inches away from being revived.]

I hope a few of Ray Bradbury’s thoughts speak to you as a writer/creator.

Be open to inspiration. Write on!

Curation Saturday: Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing

From Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You

Excerpt 1:

“I needed that approval. We all need someone higher, wiser, older to tell us we’re not crazy after all, that what we’re doing is all right. All right, hell, fine!”

Yep, I guess that, along with the daily accountability, is why the My 500 Words Facebook group is one I’ve stuck with and visited daily.

These folks are in the trenches with me, many/most of us writing to explore, writing to reflect, writing to release, and sure, some folks are writing to publish, which is certainly just as valid and definitely exciting.

And so Ray B [easier to type than ‘Bradbury’…I think it’s the combination/sequence of the letters] found that validation from a revered 89-year-old art historian, Bernard Berenson.

While I’m not a famed art historian, I hope that my comments and content can provide some validation to fellow writers.

Excerpt 2:

“But it is easy to doubt yourself, because you look around at a community of notions held by other writers, other intellectuals, and they make you blush with guilt. Writing is supposed to be difficult, agonizing, a dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation.”

With this excerpt, Ray B draws the contrast between himself [“I believe one thing holds it all together. Everything I’ve ever done, I’ve done with excitement, because I wanted to do it, because I loved doing it.”] and many other writers.

As I write this post, as I consider my age, as I think about how I am not overly enthused by rewriting, followed by rewriting, followed by rewriting…and then marketing, I wonder if I’ll ever get anything published. This is not a ‘woe is me’ proposition. It’s just a moment of self-reflection, of revisiting [probably daily] what is more important to me when it comes to writing.

More from this book next week when Ray B addresses the muse…

 

I should have been writing. Instead…apple cake.

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You know how it is.

You find out that the distance between you and YouTube is just a voice command and a few clicks on the TV remote and there really is no reason to leave the recliner.

Okay, maybe you don’t know how it is. [i.e. you are not a slothful low-life.]

Anywaaay, this recipe from joyofbaking.com was the first to show up on the big screen. Stephanie Jaworski’s demonstration was clear and concise. My version matched the one in the video. Always reassuring. The baking time was within the +/- 5 minutes margin-of-oven-performance estimation. Taste and moistness and ingredient ratios–spot on. Final grade: 91%. [Bravo, Stephanie!]

Ready for baking: 

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More than a few notes:

  • One of the best parts of baking–Wife comes in the front door, breathes in, and announces to the world: “Someone’s been baaaaking!”
  • Liked Stephanie’s idea of making an apricot jam glaze. I went with raspberry. Yep, I’d do it again. Always one to hedge my bets, I glazed only half the cake.
  • I add tons more cinnamon than is called for and included allspice as well.
  • I mixed brown with white sugar.
  • No raisins in the house [my preferred dried fruit]. I went with dried cranberries, which I nuked in water for about 45 seconds to tenderize them a bit. Wouldn’t have hurt if I subbed in brandy or creme de cassis for the water.
  • I’m sure this has been suggested elsewhere in the world, but…the microwave’s ‘defrost’ setting works great for melting butter. Ditto for gently reheating certain delicate leftovers like shrimp.
  • Type of apple used: Winter banana [from our weekly community-supported agriculture box. A shout-out to Denison Farms, by the way.]
  • I cook/bake better when a towel is draped over my shoulder. Go figure. I’m not an Emeril Lagasse fan-boy, but he rocks that same shoulder accessory.
  • Yes, I will continue my socially marginal habit of consuming cake by the manually mangled hunk.
  • Where did today’s inspiration come from? A. Those winter banana apples weren’t going to cook themselves.   B. The apple festival-winning cake in last night’s Hallmark movie. [Hey, call me a wuss, but our current crop of semi-journalistically responsible ‘BREAKING NEWS!!!!’ channels are just plain bad for our health. If I’m going to engage in harmful behaviors, they’ll include flour, sugar, butter and a message to someone that I care about them.]
  • If I had more time, I would have revisited Maida Heatter’s apple cake recipe .
  • Lest you think my life is perfection on a plate, consider this:

Our toothpicks are scattered throughout the pot holder drawer. Really…rounding them up and replacing them in a too-small box, from which they will no doubt roll out within minutes…unfathomable torture.

  • I miss having a dog lurking nearby watching my every move.

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Thanks for visiting. Give this recipe a try. It has ‘comfort on a fall Sunday afternoon’ written all over it.