Category Archives: Writing

Words

Many of us have read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert written in 2007. The notion of using three words to define a specific period of her life, some have started to seek out three words that relate to their own life. One blogging author finds three words to symbolize her year, both in how she writes and in how she lives.

Just for fun, I decided to try the same thing, but somehow the idea of having to keep three words in mind all year felt a little overwhelming. I’m not sure if that’s because of my schedule or my aging brain!

I chose to concentrate on one word each month, instead. I think what I’m needing out of these words is a shift in attitude more than doing more of what I do, or doing it better. We’ll see if this concept works out by the end of the year.

Somewhere over the past decade, I’ve given up dreaming of what my life could be, or what I want out of life. This year of 2012 is a time for me to examine my dreams and goals in life once more. So I have chosen “Dream” as my word for January, and I don’t intend for this to be just “daydreaming” (as in wishful thinking).

However I apply the word I choose each month, I believe it is important for our mind and soul to actually pursue something in our lives, whether that is change or expansion – or simply staying open to new possibilities.

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou!
Happy New Year!

Zeitgeist

Yesterday’s post was about fresh starts. Here we are at the beginning of another new month, another fresh start, and the last month of 2010.

The NaBloPoMo theme for the month of December is Zeitgeist. In our day by day writing, we are asked to capture the mood of our culture and our life as it exists right now. I started writing the past few days before I even knew the theme for the month. Zeitgeist gave me direction.

I did not intend to write every single day in December, but I felt a strong need to talk about my life and thoughts. I like the self-discipline of writing daily.

According to Wikipedia,

Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and/or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambience, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era

That about covers everything, doesn’t it? So in the spirit of Zeitgeist, I will continue writing throughout this month. I love having a ready-made theme on which to focus my rambling mind. It will be interesting to me to see what I concoct for this blog.

How would you describe the influence of Zeitgeist in your own life? Where is it taking you?

A hui hou!

Remember Typewriters?

One reader sent an email in response to Sunday’s post that has great appeal for me. It makes so much sense, I’m surprised I didn’t think of it myself. He suggested that I start something completely new, and to set aside all the “old” stuff I’ve written.

He said “You don’t need to suffer the discouragement of being rejected. After all, you’re a different person now and a lot more experienced.” How true!

Back in the day of typewriters, ribbons and carbon paper (yes, I’m that old), sliding a fresh sheet of paper between the rollers always gave a sense of new possibilities. There were times I used one piece of carbon paper so long that it was almost in shreds. And a new ribbon with freshly cleaned keys (remember the smell of that cleaning fluid?) made the manuscript look crisp.

There is something cleansing to see a pile of wadded up paper on the floor after numerous fresh starts.

When word processors came into being, there were many articles in writing magazines about whether that would change the way authors write. The consensus seemed to be that it would take away our creativity! There may have been something to those worries.

I loved having a legal-sized yellow pad handy beside me in the car for scribbling down notes as ideas popped into my head. That is still the most reliable way for me to capture those fleeting thoughts. Sure, I have a cell phone that takes notes, and when I’m not near my laptop, my netbook is handy for note taking, but nothing beats the old-fashioned convenience of a pen or pencil and paper.

There is at least one book I’m reading in each room (or in the car or in my purse) accompanied by a small notebook and pen for seizing inspirations.

Sometimes starting a fresh new page is the necessary impetus for many things in life, isn’t it? New curtains, rearranging the furniture, or even a new house brings new energy. Each new semester of school brings hope of brilliant and eager students, although I enjoy most of my “old” students, as well. Fresh soil in my planting beds brings anticipation of new growth.

Perhaps someday, I will return to the “old” written stuff and recognize its worth – or its worthlessness!

As the year 2010 draws to a close, what of the “old” do you need to set aside to allow room for the “new” to flow into your life?

A hui hou!

Writing Hang-ups

As an avid reader, I am fascinated with the many ways words are strung together to create a story or an essay, a poem or a play, a letter or a memoir. Along with my obsession for reading came my own need to start stringing words together. Almost as soon as I could spell my name, I started to write.

I have been writing this “Lava to Lilikoi” blog since May, 2008, and I wrote other short-lived blogs before that. In addition to blogging, I confess that I have written three novels, and have started a dozen others, not to mention outlines on another dozen or so, a memoir and several non-fiction books.

Other than the blogs, I have only had a couple of academic articles published and a self-published e-book of fables I wrote and used in my counseling practice.

I attended the Maui Writers Conference for many years, and the few years after it became Hawaii Writers Conference on Oahu, plus various other conferences for writers over the years. I even teach a “writing intensive” class at the college as one of my regular courses.

But like many people, I love the creation, not the marketing. I’ve put in a valiant effort to get past that hang-up, and I honestly do know what I “should” be doing. So I read and study and read some more about marketing. I subscribe to 60 writing blogs and there are many others I wish I had time to read. All of this is an excuse to avoid marketing!

This brings me to the real reason for this post. I want to start sharing my own journey toward being a published author. By making a “public” commitment, perhaps I’ll finally get off my okole (I doubt if you need to look up the meaning of that Hawaiian word!), and do some productive marketing as well as writing.

If you can suggest any good blogs or if you have any words of encouragement that would help me actually submit my writing to a publisher, please do so! I need all the push I can get!

A hui hou!

Biblioholism?

The subtitle of my blog is “homesteading, food, travel, and philosophy from the side of a volcano in rural Hawai`i.” If you read this blog even semi-regularly, you’ll notice that I have evolved from simply writing a saga about gardening on my acre of lumpy lava to offering you recipes of good food, and occasionally venturing into travel and other philosophical meanderings.

You may have noticed that I have added a post in the early part of each week that concentrates more on the “philosophical” aspect of my life. With each post I write, whether about gardening or food or travel, my thoughts always seem to drift toward how a book would fit in.

As a substance abuse counselor, I know that a behavior is considered an addiction if it interferes with your life and creates a problem. This leads me to wonder if I have a true “addiction,” like some people have an addiction with substances (legal or illegal) and behaviors (legal or illegal). If not an addiction, it is certainly a “dependency.” Anyone interested in a 12-step program for bookaholics?

I started checking the internet to see if there was such a word as biblioholism or if a group existed for bookaholics. Try looking up either of those words and you’ll see how many sites address this very thing. One site I found gives reader comments that complete the statement “You know you’re a bookaholic when…” All of the comments there are true of me, and my favorite is “…when you select your handbags based on whether they are big enough to fit a book.”

No matter where I go, I have a book in my purse. You just never know when you’ll have a couple minutes to read a paragraph or two while you wait for someone to show up, or for your car to be serviced, for instance. And sometimes I carry a book with the sole intent of going somewhere only to read. I have a different book sitting next to each of my reading places, and I go back to read some of my favorites many times.

Another site gives an excellent definition of “biblioholism” that describes me exactly (and probably you, too). “Biblio” means “book,” so this site states that biblioholism is “the habitual longing to purchase, read, store, admire and consume books in excess.”

The only feature of biblioholism that definition doesn’t mention is writing. I do an obsessive amount of that, as well, but I never bother to market what I write. (And that’s another whole problem I need to address at some point.) I write in several genres, usually with several in various stages of completion at a time.

Yes, I also read and write e-books, but nothing will ever replace the feel of paper as I turn each page. When I am forced to part with books, it’s as if I’m killing my children! Rather than give away the thousands of books I have, I simply have more bookshelves built.

Does being a biblioholic disrupt or interfere with my life, or cause a problem? Only when I have to move all these books!

Mahalo for joining me on this segment of my journey!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)