Monday, August 15, 2011

Creative Writing: Part 2, Words: A Writer's Life


Words: A Writer’s Life

Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to become a writer. I didn’t know how I would get there, or reach where I am now, but I wanted to be a writer. I had this nagging habit of being distracted by scraps of paper I’d come across and get engrossed in reading when I had to be doing other things.

Almost all of us who are writers now have gone through such phases in our lives. Anticipation, anxiety, eagerness and an uncanny attraction to words: All the while wishing we could live the life of the Great Writers. Of course, the skill at writing develops along the way, and the more one writes, the more one grows as a writer.

Sometimes it is worthwhile to look up to writers who have made it big time. It is also good to know who to approach for help when doubting one’s literary skill. I don’t necessarily mean the Bestseller Writers who’ve written great literary works and are legends; yet difficult to reach. But right here in our company we have our legendry story tellers and book writers who have a rare talent for ‘writing stories that tell a story’.

Today at Mandy’s Pages, we’ll take a look at book excerpts, why Glory writes, and most of all, what others have to say about your work. Last week we have seen a few writers reach the limelight. This week, I’ve asked them to give an insight into writers that have inspired them and influenced their work; the very reason why they themselves have become credible writers.


Writer of the Week

Glory Lennon

As anyone who knows me can tell, I have no delusions of grandeur. I don’t expect anyone to see a literary genius in me (heaven forbid!) nor do I expect to write the next bestseller and I don’t care if no one or everyone reads what silliness I write. I just like to write.

Don’t get me wrong. I love it when someone, a friend, stranger or foe, tells me they find some enjoyment from a story I tell, but I won’t allow that to get to my head. With all those people out there reading anything online, some are bound to like something I scribble down. I figure the odds are in my favor!

What do I write? Oh, just funny little stories of no great import and somewhat epic novels with no end in sight (see Violet’s in Bloom for proof of that!) I just know that nothing’s going to stop me from writing, not bad reviews, rolling eyes nor wagging fingers telling me to stop splitting infinitives (I guess I really should learn what an infinitive is, huh?)

I tell no lies. I write for me, not my ego. I write to make myself happy, not for accolades. I write for my own enjoyment, for my peace of mind, for my sanity. Some may say they see no evidence that my writing has improved my link to reality and they’d be right, indeed.

But I’ll turn around and say, “Just imagine me if I couldn’t get the voices out of my head!” SCARY!

Glory recommends

A Fool and his wish by John Devera

Humor: The problems associates with growing old by Diane Quinn

WOW!!!

Moving on, Conny Manero has quite an impressive collection of books. I'm not talking about a library of books that we've collected over the years to read or as our favorites. These are books that she has personally applied her talent to. These are stories that she has written; each a tale in itself. Take a look at her work. You will find that she so skillfully crafts her stories around characters we can relate to. And more importantly is her humane side; her unmistakable love for animals.

Here are three of her book excerpts which give an insight into the story-line of each.

Novel Excerpts: Waiting for Silverbird

The audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation as Danielle Hamilton gracefully dropped to the floor, ending a three-hour show. Panting with exhaustion she listened to the crowd, the sound of hands clapping and voices cheering. The show was a success, no doubt about that, and for a moment she enjoyed the satisfaction of it. As the lights went to black and the stage was covered in near darkness she got up, ready to take her bow when the spotlights were turned on again. Noticing the chorus in the wings of the stage, seeing they were applauding her too, she signaled for them to join her on stage for yet another bow, and another and another.


Kitten's Diaries: Chanel's Story

For a while I lived in a cat shelter. Then one day my friends and I were put in cages, loaded into a car and transported to a pet store. On the way in, I saw a sign that read "National Pet Adoption Week".

Being adopted by a family would be nice, but I did not have much hope.

In the cat shelter, I saw plenty of people come and go, but I never got chosen. People walked past the cages, saying how cute and adorable the other cats and kittens were, but they never said that about me. If anything, they frowned at the sight of me.


Voice of an Angel:

When Jack Garrett first heard the otherworldly voice, his head snapped up and he quickly surveyed the street around him. The song, or rather ‘the voice,’ was hypnotizing, powerful, and crystal clear. He listened, recognizing the song as Memories, made famous by Barbara Streisand. He was pretty sure that it wasn’t a recording because he couldn’t hear any accompanying instruments. His eyes swept over the multi floored apartment buildings, looking for a woman singing; but, he couldn’t see anyone.


Now ain't that impressive!


Talking about Book Excerpts, Channel Manager, Heidi Peister's work is worth checking out. She is one who is a story teller in herself, with real life taking center stage in her themes. Her whole life has been one of weaving stories; her main inspirations being her children. Some of her stories are reflected through her book excerpts at Helium.

Novel Excerpts: Children's Fantasy

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Some of last week's featured writers have been tagged. I've invited them to contribute reviews on writers of their choice. I have to admit they amaze me with their spirit and cooperation. Take a look at what they have to say.

Reviews by Jay Maul

Michael Burgwin

The way in which he uses language is as poetic as prose can be. The subject of his pieces are hard-hitting and honest. He pulls no punches, but softens the blows with his wonderful word choices.

Short Stories: Dead Fish

Elizabeth McGrath

She is a writer who touches upon the human psyche, searching it's depths to answer the eternal question: Is there such a thing called a soul? If so, what does it look like?

Poetry: So She Dances

Chelsea Crawford

She is a young and exciting author who is full of insightful inquiries that keep her stories fresh, like the human spirit: always seeking new ways of looking at the world around it.

Flash Fiction: Death On A Cruise Ship

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Review by Alexandra Heep

When I thought I could not swim in the Creative Writing pond, Melissa Bickel embraced me into the school of poetry fish. In the beginning she held my hand; then let me swim free. She is part of the reason I ventured out trying to express myself with an audience.

Melissa has been with Helium for a long time. While always encouraging others, she never seeks recognition for herself. Let this be one time she can have the well-deserved spotlight on her.

Songs: Cowboys

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Reviews by Darren Horton

Alistair Marquise

Alistair has a great imagination, and one that I admire. He creates characters, places and situations that are both original and brilliant (and usually quite unpleasant, too). His Flash Fiction is expertly crafted and his style and ideas are unique. I often think to myself, I wish I’d thought of that.

Flash fiction: A mysterious woman

Rachel Howells

I always get the impression that Rachel seems either amused or bemused or downright annoyed with the ridiculousness of life. Most of her articles leave me grinning, and those that don’t leave me grinning, leave me thinking. Rachel writes both funny and serious with equal jaw-dropping, talent.

Humor: Great ways to annoy coworkers

Jay Maul

Jay writes the best stories in a style that is often purposefully vague, relying on his skill as a writer and the imagination of the reader to interpret his poetic, almost dream-like tales. Not many writers are so eloquent when describing something ordinary or something brutal.

Short stories: Home

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Reviews by Elie Hutcheson

Alistair Marquise

I enjoy Alistair's vivid descriptions and colorful characters. I like his work because it keeps me intrigued. He is a very versitile and talented writer. I have read many stories written by Alistair and the only constant in his writing seems to be that there is no constant. Each story is it's own unique piece.

Glory Lennon:

Glory's draws her reader in with down to earth characters and realisitic adventures. I like her work because it's unpredictable and well written. The main thing that pops out to me about Glory's writing is the relationships between the characters. Her dialog is also captivating. It seems so natural, and flows so evenly.

Diane Quinn:

Diane makes me laugh. Her brand of humor never ceases to bring a chuckle to my lips. I like her writing, her stories and articles are well written and unique. What makes the so unique is her own unique perspective and the addition of humor. A good laugh gets me every time.

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With that, friends and writers, concludes my blog post for this week. Next week I will feature writers and writing styles exclusively related to poetry. Should you have an idea, review or style of poetry you'd like to talk about, drop me a line. You know how to find me.



6 comments:

  1. Another great job, Mandy! Wonderful to see Glory's smiling face with a well deserved feature. I'm honored that you, Glory and now Elie continue to recommend my articles.

    Do you need any other CW recommendations? I should contribute and will get on the ball if you need help.

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  2. I love how you so faithfully comment on my blog post. Thank you Diane.
    Next week's is exclusively on Poetry. Different styles of poetry; freeverse, villanelle, sonnet, haiku, etc...

    Fell free to pitch in with any feedback you think connects with poetry. Article / writer reviews.. or just a comment on a particular poetry style that you like. I'm giving it a wide angle approach.

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  3. Mandy, ANOTHER winner! Amanda, you just keep getting better. I am impressed! Featuring Glory HAD to happen, she is one of my favourite writers, and is a natural writing genius!
    This blog is excellent and very enjoyable reading. I really like reading your style and angle on this stuff! Keep up the great work, and know that you have the attention of THIS very dedicated reader! ~r

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  4. Raymond, you make me blush. Thank you.:) Its really rewarding to see everyone enjoy 'Mandy's Pages'. When I start out at the top of the page, I'm blank. But when I put everyone's contributions together, it just seems to take a form of its own. Writing does have a life of its own. Words flow automatically.

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  5. Love it, thanks for including my recommendation.

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  6. I got a tip today that I was mentioned somewhere on Mandy’s pages. There was no way to know if this was a positive or negative mention, so my heart immediately dropped. Whenever I catch word that my name has been spoken of somewhere, I tend to think in Dorothy Parker’s words: What fresh hell is this? I fully expect to be ridiculed, my words dissected, my creativity slowly ripped apart and tortured by a mind much cleverer than mine…

    So imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to read such lovely words! However, I can say with all honesty that Darren Horton’s humorous writings are better than anything I write. He has written some of the funniest things I’ve ever read, such as: http://www.helium.com/items/2024005-my-childhood

    He is also an amazing poet. This is a favorite of mine: http://www.helium.com/items/2017675-drinking-to-excess

    Mandy, thank you for creating such a motivating and inspiring blog for all of us aspiring writers.

    Cheers,

    Rachel :-)

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Amanda Dcosta - Writer, Helium.com