Formally Bug Drivel; now Freedom Lover USA ~ 2003 - 2016 : All Rights Reserved ~

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas VS Santamas

Read this link: Nice of her to spill the beans

When will society separate the two holidays; Christmas VS. Santamas?

Please read the linked article... telling a child Santa is dead is just mean AND not the place of someone outside that child's family. I do agree that even if this teacher did state that Santa Claus is BASED upon a man who is dead... all the kids heard was that Santa is dead.

My 14 year old son told me the same thing I thought when I was his age. He tells me he will not encourage his future kids to believe in Santa Claus because he doesn't want to lie and thus possibly hurt a strong relationship he could have with them. I felt the same way... how dare my mother lie to me about a man who comes into my house and leaves presents and yet strangers are bad.

What happened?

Well... I grew up and had a son and couldn't possibly NOT let him believe in Santa because of...

1: my family who kept asking him what he wanted Santa to bring
2: the TV
3: the kids at school and
4: every other form of media or personal relations that made it impossible for me to NOT have Santa in my life.

The fact is... society forced me to lie to my son. Okay... so no one forced me, it's true. But the point is I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't. In one hand I'm a liar... in the other... well... I'm a liar.

Personally... I believe the time will come when we must separate Christmas from Santamas and have two distinct celebrations. One (Santamas) as it is now... the other (Christmas) as it should be; celebrating Christ.

One might think with these comments that I'm religious; I am not. I have my doubts and am waiting for a sign (a neon glow the size of five suns). The fact is however, Christmas is about the birth of Christ (even if it happened in the spring) and Christmas (Santamas) is about partying, playing and being with family in order to make our-self feel better while giving gifts.

I do know that the act of giving gifts is to replicate the wise men giving gifts to the Christ child... that isn't what it means in the everyday society circles. It means spending hundreds of dollars on things half of the recipients don't want. It's discouraging.

... that being said... I enjoyed buying things for my family and watching them open their gifts. Why? Because they appreciated what they received and did not complain about what they didn't get. It's all about teaching values, respect and consideration.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What happens when I can't write

Apparently, I write about not being able to write.

Being an extreme writer makes it hard when I either have nothing I wish to write about or no inspiration to create something new. Everyone comes across a road block in writing... if not now, then some day soon. Life is not a constant stream of monotone voices. Life brings ups and downs and new turns in a river that flows faster than any canoe can manage.

There have been times when I just didn't care if I ever wrote again. This is based off those moments of exasperation towards my writing abilities or lack of imagination. Hell... if I can't be excited about my writing, why would I want to write anything?

So today I am writing in order to remember that I do love writing. To remind myself that I do have something to say about many different things. To keep myself in training, if you will.

Last year was met with very little writing for me because I was dealing with many personal and family trials. I was told to write anyway, but I couldn't quite get my fingers to cooperate with my mind... or perhaps it was the other way around. The truth be told, I should have written anyway. If not in my stories, than at least in a journal. Okay... I did accomplish a little journal writing, but not much. Most of my writing was complaining about not writing.

Stress from everyday life causes me to clamp up at the keyboard or hide in front of the television or sleep longer than I should or visit the mall when I have no cash. Quiet moments are not necessarily better than those filled with noise. If it's TOO quiet, I tend to dwell on subjects I don't wish to write about and I end up further behind.

I am an extreme writer... when I write.

My goal is to write when it's least comfortable... to write when I would rather watch a movie: to write when I am hungry, or tired, or angry, or feeling loved.

What other way do I have to express ALL that I wish to express?

That is... and still have a record of expressing it. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Down and dirty with my muse

My "fiction writing" muse went on vacation about a year ago (give or take) and she hasn't returned. Every now and then she pokes her head in my door to see if I'm still residing on planet Earth. It's frustrating that she's gone on vacation and even more frustrating that I can't seem to coax her into returning.

I have several writing projects on my table, many of which have been on hold over the course of this same "museless" year. They are all fictional pieces, not urgent enough for me to panic over just because I'm not writing in them.

This may indeed be the problem.

When a piece of writing is not important enough to the writer, it usually doesn't get finished. It sits patiently in the computer hard drive waiting for someone (specifically the author) to open the file and start adding words to it. These stories are either not strong enough to make themselves heard or the author is not driven enough to make them work.

Some stories are so strong, they scream at the author day and night. They can not be ignored even when it is wished; they live independently and only need the author for the purpose of placing the words on paper. Some stories are not necessarily strong but the author is a true writer through and through and will not give up until physically incapable of writing.

My situation is a mixture of some of these elements. I have a story that lives and breathes on its own inside my mind... but I have snuffed it out for the time being. Other life events have taken over: healing from the death of a family member, splitting up with my fiance, moving to a new state, searching desperately for a new job, placing my son into school, hoping I can make it in a completely different area, leaving my family as I go on my journey and dealing with the disappointments of not writing when I should have been (which in turn makes me not write even more).

I have not come to the point in my writing career (and I do call it a career since I have been at it for some time now) where writing is like breathing. I can continue without writing stories... it is not part of my blood yet.

I hear other writers claim they can't help but write, that they are incomplete without writing something, anything, every day of their life. They claim that the story screams in their head and they are drawn there no matter how hard they struggle. It is life to them.

It is not life to me... not yet. I know it's there. I can feel the call in the far reaches of my mind... I hear the plots of my stories tickling at my brain. They remember when I was excited to write about them; they remember my passion.

Waiting daily for that passion's return may be a lost cause - at least, if I continue the way I am now. Writing daily with that passion is what needs to happen. Until then, I shall continue to write non-fiction awaiting the moment when I can find... no... MAKE the time to write those wonderful science fiction novels, fantasy novels and adventure novels that sit quietly... waiting for me.

In the mean time... I pick up my book called The Pocket Muse and try to jump start my own muse into sparking something of interest in my writing brain.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

There are many people writing, speaking and arguing about Hurricane Katrina. My thoughts are drawn to this situation from many angles these days... anger, sadness and disbelief.

Many have easily drawn politics into this, while others fend politics off in hopes of getting help for people who desperately need it.

It's easy for me to say... but it's true. If I lived closer, I would allow people to come and stay with me.

That being said... when I think about this further, I wonder if I would be able to open up my home to anyone if they actually started busing people to this part of the country (Boise, Idaho). Where would I put them?

I have about 700 sq ft of which all is taken up with my stuff. I suppose I could have people for a short time (ie maybe a week or two) sleeping on my couch or my floor.

But then I would have to go to work and would feel weird having people in my house that I do not know while I'm not here. Let me preface that I would feel that way about anyone... even the Queen of England or the Pope. Okay... maybe not the Pope, but you see what I'm saying. I do not want anyone to pull the "you don't trust those people because of this or that" card on me. I don't care what your status is in life in any genre... if you are in a bad way and you are honest with me, I will help.

What's strange... I am more willing to open my house to people I don't know than to send a lot of money. Maybe that's because I do not know where the money is going (maybe it's because my trust has been altered during my life time), but if someone were in my house and eating my food... then I would know for sure they were getting what I was offering.

Is that selfish?

A friend of mine told me that throwing money at a problem makes her feel worse, as if she is trying to avoid actually helping. This comment hit home as I often feel the same way. In the same breath she also stated that she does not believe sending money "doesn't" help because doing all that we can in our own individual ways is better than doing nothing.

She said something else I feel might be true in the eyes of many who view these tragedies day after day on their boob-tube:

And for us who don't live near Orleans or don't have a house they can open up, maybe it just makes us feel a little guilty when all we can contribute is money.

I can understand this sentiment and sometimes feel like it is an easy way out of the situation... like I am doing it INSTEAD of driving down there to help. HOWEVER... I also realize this is a silly thing to think because when people send money, it DOES help!! So don't think I am belittling those who have sent money... I am not saying that in any way!

It just seems so little in comparison to those who have offered their homes or their time or even themselves to those who need them.

Perhaps I need to look at the big picture... at the country (even the world) as a whole. Do I expect those who live in New Orleans to drive to California to help if there's a large earthquake? Or drive to Boise to help if there's an emergency of this magnitude here? Of course not. Sending money to help those who can help in person is probably the best I can do at this point. If something happens here or closer to home... then I can offer my help more personally.

If you have the ability to send money... please send it to the Red Cross as they have people who can help the most. Remember... you can specify where you want your cash to go!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Hung by the written word

Oh yes... people can hang themselves on a regular basis when it comes to the written word.

Have you ever written a letter to someone with no intent of mailing it and yet somehow it ends up inside an addressed and stamped envelope... mysteriously making its way into the evil blue box at the post office? Well... that hasn't really happened to me either, but I have written things and sent them forward only to find days later that I should have thought about my words just a few hours longer.

A friend of mine is in the middle of a custody battle and has come across some hand-written letters that have recently been written and sent via "snail" mail to a family member. The letters are coming from a step-child who is not a part of the custody battle but does feel compelled to express feelings and share information that does not do the other parent justice or help that side of the case. Are these letters admissible in court or have any real baring to the case? Only time will tell.

My reason for bringing this up is to discuss how the written word can help or hurt a person's career or personal life. Be careful what you write... double check to make sure you want to place that postage stamp on the envelope or push SEND in your email.

OH YES... I have indeed sent an email UNINTENTIONALLY.

Friday, August 26, 2005

To freelance or not to freelance

So many writing ideas pop into my mind these days, but the most prevalent is freelance writing. I have spent many hours writing fiction, especially sic-fi and fantasy and have stories floating around aimlessly in my head. I wish to share them with others, but my mind turns more and more towards money-making writing.

Yes, I know Stephen King makes lots of money writing fictional stories... and yes... I do realize I need to think positive about my own abilities and work towards being as well known and well liked as Mr. King or the many other famous authors that sit on the shelves at the local book store.

Admittedly however, I am also a realist. I understand that not everyone can gain such fame and although I wish to remain positive in my thinking, I also must come to the conclusion that if I am to make money NOW... I must write something NOW... that others will pay me for NOW. That is not necessarily going to be my fantasy novel which sits respectfully in my hard drive.

I read The Secrets of a Freelance Writer and found it very helpful. The author wrote the book in such a way that I can actually comprehend him. This is a great help... Believe me!! Have you ever tried to read a book where you're pretty sure the author was talking to himself while standing on his head and eating peanut butter and Ritz Crackers? That's just not right!

Today I went to a local book store and bought The Wealthy Writer. "The choice to begin a freelance writing career was the easy part - now how to be successful is the challenge". I'm thinking this book will be another healthy addition to my shelves. :)

If you're at all interested in this book, I do suggest you think about purchasing it from Amazon (use the link below) because I paid $18.99 at the store and it's a bit less with Amazon.

So... Anyone think these books are speaking the truth? They each say I can earn a six figure income through freelance writing. Could it be true? Could I actually become the next financially independant writer? Hmm...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Silence of the Evening

For years, I have tried to determine the best writing environment for me. For years, I have failed at that determination.

Many writers need music to inspire their imaginations and cause their fingers to create stories on paper. Others seem content to listen to the wind hitting the side of the house. So far I have noticed that sounds help on rare occasions and distract during most.

If the television is on I may as well forget that writing was ever a craft. It takes me away from my pleasure in words or my chore, depending upon how I feel that day. It takes me to the “lazy-zone” of my life. When I watch TV, I’m usually trying to escape the stressful events of the day or diminish my sense of purposelessness (is that really a word).

Certain music will also take me away from writing, but then again, ask me on another day and I may admit that it helps. I often associate one of my characters with a song or even a musician. If I want action and adventure or if I want my character to feel the stress of an upcoming encounter, I may listen to Godsmack or Alice in Chains. If I want my character to reflect upon his life and feel the real emotions of happiness or sadness, I may listen to Pavarotti or Enya.

Luciano Pavarotti : Official Web Site

Other sounds that often affect my writing are rain on the roof, wind at the windows, my son sorting things in his room, the cat clawing to get out, trucks driving past, breaks squealing, airplanes, neighbors listening to punk rock, my heart pounding in my ears; the list continues.

How do these things affect me? I wish I had a set of rules to answer that question or at least the ability to control how it affects me day after day. However, alas, I do not. Mostly, if I hear rain on my roof, I end up lying on the bed or sitting at the window relaxing to it’s pattering at my brain. If the wind hits the house, I think of all the invasions into my life, my privacy and my existence. In other words, I get distracted way too easily.

Why do I bring this up tonight? Quite frankly it’s because I have stuffed Kleenex into my ears to stop the sound of my neighbor’s obnoxious music invading my thoughts, to drowned out CSI that my son is watching and to get rid of the headache that has invaded me so well that even Aleve has no affect. My next choice is Tylenol PM… but just how many nights in a row should a person venture down that highway?

Many things affect the written word and it is my endeavor to look into many of them. If I can control my surroundings, I can write anything. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Paul Bunyan hacking away at my brain

Sometimes, on those rare occasions when my head pounds and my jaw aches, I just can't fathom writing (or typing, as I am now). Today, I feel as if Paul Bunyan himself resides deep in the far reaches of my mind... hacking away at my brain.

Check out this bit of writing on Paul Bunyan. Having this man living in my head isn't my idea of "time-share" benefits I wish to invest in.

As a writer of fiction, we are told to write every day. It doesn't matter if Paul is choppin' on the brain or if you were just laid off from your job or even if a family member has died. Just last year my step-father died and I couldn't bring myself to write anything in my (then current) fantasy novel. It wasn't going to happen because every time I attempted to write a part where happiness was to flourish in my novel, I would end up dwelling upon my own unhappiness.

Friends and fellow writers (often, one in the same) expressed that I should write about my feelings regarding my loss and stop attempting to write fictional stories for a time. Good advice, I do admit... but it was far from easy to accomplish. Life was hard and I felt let down; as if my step-dad had some how abandoned me (which was far from true).

My advice to those who feel they must write every day of their life is to do it if at all possible, but please remember there are those moments when a vacation, even from what we love doing, is necessary.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Writer Beware - Resource

Okay... so this "breaking news" is two months old, but still worth sharing

Breaking News, 6/3/05: Martha Ivery (a.k.a. Kelly O'Donnell, d.b.a. Press-Tige Publishing Inc.) indicted! Other business names used by Ivery include Kelly O'Donnell Literary Agency, O'Donnell Literary Services, Writers Information USAgency, and New Millennium Publishing.

Please visit this site for more information for informed writers:

Writer Beware--Index Page


Life is the written word

Life is the written word - the written word is life.

This isn't really too far off the mark if you think about it. We are surrounded by words everywhere we look and it's a known fact that if you look at something you can not help but read it.

I find it funny how some people think a writing career is worthless or unfulfilling. If you tell your aunt or uncle you want to be a writer when you grow up, you may be faced with rolling eyes or mumbling under the breath... "why do you want to waste your time doing that?"

Really? Who do you think writes all the stuff we see every single day of our lives? Someone has to do it... we certainly haven't advanced so far as to not have to either pick up a pen, type on a keyboard or speak into a tape recorder. Yes... there are a few programs that actually know how to type what you speak; but they are not perfected yet and you still need to proof read to make sure the computer hasn't messed up again.

Some of the first written words:

Science & Technology at Scientific American.com: Relics Reveal First Written Words in New World

Even without paper, humans have been able to find a way to get their thoughts into view. Tablets, cave walls or even the ground they stood upon became canvas. We enjoy seeing our words in print.

And when you must write because your teacher tells you to for a grade or you must write because your boss needs something completed, it is agreed that those writings may not be as fulfilling to some as say... writing your own story, a poem or writing about your day in your on-line journal or hand-written diary. Still... look at what you've done and remember it was you that wrote those words.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

May we each take the moment necessary out of this day and any day we feel the need to remember those who have gone before us in defense of our freedoms. Without them... we would not be "here"... we would be in chains. ~Bug~