Monday, March 23, 2015

Theme Reveal: Exclamation Points - A to Z Challenge

Theme Reveal

As a writer, I tend to avoid the exclamation point, as a matter of style and form. My theme for the Blogging from A to Z  April (2015) Challenge however, re-images and embraces it. Each day, I will blog about points of wonder, joy, excitement, celebration and yes, things that deserve an exclamation point.

During the month of April, join me for uplifting, inspirational Exclamation Point blog posts.

Back Story

What is the A to Z April Challenge, you may be asking, if you're  new to this blog? Each year bloggers are asked to dig deep into their reservoir of ideas, challenging themselves to blog in a marathon event. The challenge is three fold.

(1) We are asked to blog every day, apart from Sunday for the month of April.
(2) The posts must progress alphabetically.
(3) We are encouraged to visit and comment on between 5 and 10 participating blogger's blogs per day.


Many people go behind the scenes of making this project a success. It is the brainchild of Arlee Bird. We, who have participated, applaud him for bringing us together and inspiring us to dig deeper. I'm sure first-timer's will do the same. He has also enlisted the help of numerous creative and insightful people to help make this event a success. Thanks to all of you in advance.

Readers and bloggers can learn more and find out who else is participating by going to: Blogging from A to Z Challenge Website

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Summer Friends

Remember  those summer times, when you'd find a special friend and swear you'd be friends forever? For me, they most often occurred at the beach. Not just on vacation; sometimes we'd find each other on an extended weekend by the sea or lake.

You'd meet and connect. It could be over the silliest things. You both wore your hair the same way. You loved sun bathing or going out into deep waters, no matter the consequences. Quickly you became BFF's. This could happen at the shore, at summer camp or even at a family gathering. You were inseparable.

Inevitably the dreaded time would come. In your hearts, you knew it would, yet you allowed yourselves to live in the moment. Ultimately, whatever your age, you knew you had to return to your separate lives. Most likely, you'd never see each other again. It would hurt.

Children are resilient. They bounce back. Their summers and weekends are typically just that. With adults it's more complicated. Hours grow into days, which grow into weeks, months and years. Inevitably, we too have to say goodbye, be it of circumstance or choice.

Oh, but for the return of those summer days.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG March: Criticism

If you don't know what IWSG stands for you'd be like me a few months ago. It stands for Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post the first Wednesday of the month. I took a few months off but am back this month to post about criticism. Before we get to that, if you would like to learn more and think this is a group that might be a good fit for you, visit the blog of its creator, Alex Cavanaugh, here.

Most artists are sensitive. It motivates us and enables us to penetrate the surface of situations, seeing the world in a unique way. Sensitivity can lend itself to vulnerability. Artistic people need constructive criticism to hone their craft. Criticism, however, particularly in the age of the internet, comes in many shapes and nameless forms. Before I was published, I noticed how actors took to their criticism. I heard, with great curiosity, how some said they never even read it. I read mine and then I don't for years, only to go back to it and read it again.

My experience has taught me that some people are just vindictive and spiteful. Others are lovely and supportive from their hearts and spirits. When there is a common thread to the criticism or praise, if you're the type to read it, it warrants attention. I go back and forth on the nasty criticism, to those who never look to those who spend all day reading and mulling over it.

I am working on numerous books at the moment. Once again I shelved the tendency to even think about criticism. In the past, I have looked, had high points and low. Now that I've moved on, I'm back into the seat of the writer and researcher, which by the way, is much more enjoyable. I'm feeling thoroughly creative and having fun.

Nike of Samothrace (Winged Victory).  Ca. 200-190 BC.  Marble

How do you handle criticism generally and of your writing or art? I'd love to hear from you...