Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Time for a Break

April is a busy month for many of us, for many reasons. Here, in my little sunny, sandy part of the world, I've got lots going on, including moving house and finding my way back  to creativity and to the novel I've really missed working on.  

To that end, I'm taking a bit of a blogging break. I'll still visit you all now and then, but I probably won't be posting new stuff here again until the end of April, the start of May. 

We here at The Shellshank Redemption wish everyone a warm and wonderful April/Spring!

(And to everyone participating in The Blogging from A-Z April Challenge 2015 - good luck and have lots of fun!)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Motivational Monday


EVERYTHING YOU WANT
IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FEAR.
(Jack Canfield)

I've got some "scary" things coming up, one of which is moving houses. Granted, we're just moving down the road so most things will stay the same in terms of local restaurants and activities, etc. 

But I'm still feeling this element of suspense, of excitement, of second (or third or fourth) chances to do something new, to do something different, to reinvent not only my space but  also how I live in it. 

I'm starting to imagine my fears - all of them! - as walls. Big, solid ones made of dusty red brick. Long, meandering ones made of stacked river rocks. Gray stone monstrosities covered with trailing vines and eye-blinding bursts of colorful flowers. But no matter what they look like, I still need to either climb over them, get around them or plow through them to get what I want, to live the life I want.  

Let's do our best to not let fear stop us from . . . well, anything.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Motivational Monday


AS A WRITER, 
YOU MUST BE DETERMINED TO BE THE 
EXCEPTION TO ANY STATISTIC THAT SAYS YOU WILL FAIL. 

YOU MUST BE WILLING TO SEE THAT BLEAK TRUTH,
AND REFUSE TO LET IT APPLY TO YOU.

THERE'S A LOT TO BE SAID FOR VISION AND TENACITY
AS KEYS TO SUCCESS.

DON'T FOCUS ON STATISTICS RIGHT NOW.
FOCUS ON YOUR WRITING.
(Janet Reid)

It feels like every time I turn around, some sales stat or publishing poll is telling me it's too late for this, my writing won't sell, that won't work, I'm too old, etc. And to be honest, I do let it get to me now and then.  

But there's a difference between being realistic, facing that "bleak truth," and letting it distract us from our dreams, from our goals, from what we truly believe is part of our destiny here on earth - imagining, creating, writing. 

Focus, people. Focus. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Motivational Monday


A FINISHED PERSON IS A
BORING PERSON.
(Anna Quindlen)

Finished?! I'm nowhere close! And I hope I never am. 

How about you?

Let's keep dreaming and creating. Let's keep growing and learning. Let's keep challenging ourselves, this week...and always.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Motivational Monday


BEING A WRITER IS A 
GOOD OCCUPATION IF YOU WANT THE WALK
BETWEEN THE KITCHEN AND BATHROOM
TO BE YOUR DAILY COMMUTE.
(Lauren DeStefano)

Do you know how many times a day I go up and down the stairs in my town house? A lot. So much so, you'd think I'd have "buns of steel" by now. But, alas, no. 

I'm not complaining though. It's still one of the best commutes ever. No construction, no traffic accidents, no snow. I can do it wearing pajamas or shorts and a t-shirt. If I want to "carpool" or need some company, I can grab up one of the tortoises. 

But we all know that writers travel so much farther and further than that. We're sitting at our desks but our minds are somewhere in a dystopian future. We're staring out the window but our minds are visiting a murder scene set back in the late 1800s. We're pouring our third cup of coffee of the morning but our minds are watching two lost souls find happily ever after at their neighborhood's new dog park.   

Whew! No wonder I'm so tired at the end of the day. I put a lot of miles on this old imagination of mine. But I'm still up for another trip...or two...or two hundred. How about you? 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Undertow - 101 Fiction

For all those suffering winter woes and dreaming of warm, sandy shores - "Undertow" (101 Fiction, March 2015 Issue 7) will make you reconsider your next vacation destination. Remember, a beach can have a lot more than treasure buried beneath it . . . .

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG: Music, Anyone?


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At the risk of sounding like a big old fuddy-duddy . . . I rarely listen to music anymore.

I grew up in the days of cassette tapes, making my own mix tapes, and listening to the three radio stations that played that moment's popular and/or somewhat alternative/rock artists and songs. I tuned in to those countdown shows to find new stuff. I blasted my car radio or my "boom box" and sang along to everyone and everything from Billy Joel and Bryan Adams to Meatloaf and Def Leppard to movie soundtracks of Footloose and Dirty Dancing.  

If you look at my playlists on iTunes now . . . it wouldn't be all that different. Okay, I do have some new stuff on there - really! - but not much. I have no clue how to come up with more modern soundtracks for my writing. This is where you all come in.

How do you listen to music now? 

Where do you find new artists and songs? 

Who are some of your current favorite artists? Songs? 

Please help me find my way out of my time warp! (Or, I suppose, we could all just watch Dirty Dancing and mouth along to every lyric and swoon as Patrick Swayze reminds us that "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." Sigh.)