What makes good literature?

An extremely good conversation in my literature class about intelligence (Inspired by Ted Chiang’s The Great Silence). We talked about other species that fall under the definition of intelligence, which is “the ability to understand and apply knowledge.” parrot.jpgConsidering Alex the Parrot and Koko the Gorilla, and other species: crows are problem solvers and remember faces. We discussed dogs, cats, and others. Is love, as an abstract idea, understood and applied by animals? And then – is intelligence found in showing love?

This is what good literature should do. Teach, delight, and create wonder.

Read The Great Silence here

What’s So Scary?

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“Don’t be afraid of failure.  The reality is that most people successes rise out of the ashes of their previous failures.”

From a new documentary on Netflix titled Creativity. The narrator is talking to the creator of Game of Thrones. The creator is talking about how many times he’s failed.

I started this to say – what are you afraid of?

Then I wanted to ask – what if there was no such thing as fear? What would you do? What could you do?

I want you to think about that. What if fear was not in the human range of emotion or thought?

 

Writer Wednesday: Can the Can’t!

cantI don’t like the word “can’t.”

I don’t like people telling me I can’t do something. I’ve experienced some person  or another throughout my whole life telling me I can’t do this or I can’t do that. For too many years, I believed them.

Now, it just annoys me.

I made a goal to write six short stories in a month. Someone, another writer, said, “You can’t do that.” Their point: writing must organically develop from inspiration, forcing it unnaturally would create work which was unpublishable.

Three of those six stories have already been published. Can’t? HA!cant2

I spend time on photography, just because I like it. Unasked, another person inserted their opinion: “You can’t do that!” They had the idea that a person can only be good at one creative pursuit and I shouldn’t waste my time on another. I took up photography for the pure joy of capturing visual beauty, but I’ve had a number of photographs published now too!

Why are people so wrapped up in “can’t”?

Some people judge themselves based on how they know you. When you change or move forward or do something they never thought you would or could, it changes how they see you and, therefore, how they see themselves.

cant1Others have limited views of what they can accomplish and, therefore, what anyone can accomplish, so they believe their guiding you away from an upcoming failure.

Whatever their reasons, never let anyone keep you from spreading your wings, doing what you want, need, must do to achieve what you want.

Writers must be brave. Depart from the naysayers and live your fullest life. Travel. Love. Experience. Write. Try something new.

Do not listen to the “can’t”!

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What’s New With You?

I’ve been remiss in my posting – which is a social media no-no.  icecreamCan I tell you a secret? I’m really just an introverted writer and I really want to do is:

 

Write!

 

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I had a fantastic time at the Poe Museum reading Eddy. They live streamed it (I didn’t know they were doing that!) and I’ve been invited back, hope to go soon!

 

 

 

 

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In the meantime, I’ll be at AWP.

 

 

 

 

 

But the real news today: my short stories – loving the covers! – are available for .99 cents on smashwords and kindle.

 

So – whenever you need something to do – click the link, read a story, let me know what you think!

Be Joyful!

The Secret to a Joyful 2018

Happy New Year, Beautiful People!

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Reading comments on social media gives the impression many people are feeling quite negative about the New Year. There’s definitely positivity, people looking forward to the celebrations, but I was struck by so many people barking last year stunk and 2018 would bring more the same.

We get what we believe we will!

Someone asked, “What is the new year celebration all about?  If you know me, you know I had to look that one up!

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New Year celebrations began in medieval times when those who honored nature brought green trees into the house to celebrate the coming of another spring.

A number of traditions, beliefs, and myths have come about since that time and we all take part in some sort of celebration. While some love the coming of a new year, a new chance, promises to make and keep, resolutions to make and break, others dread another year. This I’m confused about.

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, joy is a choice! There are thousands of reasons to be happy every day. Blue skies, rain clouds, bird song to name the simplest things. joy3Add to those, a roof over your head, coffee.  Acknowledging how important the little things are is just as important as being thankful for the things you do have.

Many people wander around wishing for something more, something different. They fail to recognize 1. the things they have and 2. the things they can have if they work for them.

 

 

I asked people what they would do if they woke up with a million dollars in their bank account. Many said, pay off debts and travel. What are you waiting for? Do it!

joy5I’m not a millionaire (trust me on that one) and my debts are paid, I refuse to use credit unless I have to. (Consider what you need vs what you want! Decide accordingly.)

When my children were young, I was a single mother with two (sometimes three) part time jobs and we traveled. You don’t need to be wealthy to travel. You need to know the tricks! (Just ask!)

I think most people believe they would have more time if they had a million dollars and, therefore, live their dreams. But accomplishing goals has more to do with organization and time management than having the money to work with.

The secret to joy is not what we have or what we can do. The secret to feeling true joy, no matter what we have or do, is two-fold:

  1. Acknowledge the good things in your life – no matter how small (or big) they are. Some people keep a small book with them and write a note of something they found beautiful and makes them smile. They look at this when they need to be reminded.
  2. Lose the negativity. I mean get rid of everything that is negative, that drains you, that does not support you. This does mean people. I know this sounds mean. Someone told me that those “negative people” were their friends. Uhm, would friends drag you down? would friends stomp on your dreams? Friends want you to be the best version of yourself and will work to support you on that and you will do the same for them.

Remember that old cliche – if you can believe it, you can achieve it?  That doesn’t mean what you want just comes to you – but believing is the start.

If you have a job draining you, start looking for a new one. Hate where you live? Start planning and organizing a move.  And, if right now, you’re thinking, “oh, it’s easy for you to say, I need…..” that’s negative! Whatever you “need” in order to get to where you want – start moving toward it by being positive, by being happy!

My mother used to say wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills faster. So – are you wishing?

Be happy. Not for a moment. Not for a day. But just be happy every day!

Believe in what you want. Believe you will get it; it will come to you, but you have to meet it half way!

Move in the direction of joy, of your dreams, and understand that everything we do is a choice!

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I know a good year is waiting for all of us!

It doesn’t matter…..

I loved The Munsters when I was a child. When asked to write an “artist’s statement” in graduate school – I actually said I wanted to be kicking around in the leaf-blown yard of Munster-like house.

I came across this lovely little clip recently. True wisdom for our age – for any age.

Love each other because you’re human. Understand that we all follow different paths and respect one another.

 

 

What does matter is the size of your heart and the strength of your character….

Random facts stalkers don’t know…

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I grew up in a tough neighborhood. (don’t stereotype me)

I was in a band. (for about 5 minutes)

I was in a few movies. (another 5 minutes)

I wrote my first “novel”at the age of 11. (an angst ridden piece about a girl who is kidnapped because she witnessed a crime)

I was actually kidnapped. (not at 11/that story is waiting for publication)

I always have wanted to own a Munster-like house.

I’ve gotten lost in every major city I’ve ever been (including abroad. Trust me when I say every country/every city has neighborhoods you don’t want to be lost in at dusk)

I keep a lot of random facts as well as insignificant details in my brain. (jokes don’t stick tho)

now the stalkers know – don’t be a stalker….