First love


In the heart and the mind of a writer there is a first love ,that is that book or writer that made you love writing. It could be someone extremely famous like Stephen King , Jane Austen, probably for most of us writers, it’s someone that we read when we  were younger than the Jane Austens attract like Beverly Cleary, or RL Stine.

But somewhere  in our hearts or in our minds that  first love  holds a place that no one else will ever hold. I’d like to celebrate today first love. I’d like to think about I ever read voraciously and without any facade. I remember reading books like are you there god it’s me Margaret, or freckle juice and enjoying those books. Feeling like I was a part of something other. .I was a smart girl. I was a reader. Then I read a book called then again, maybe I won’t by Judy Blume. That made me want to be a writer, but it was the book that made me feel like my kind of writing was acceptable. Because and then again, maybe I won’t from the perspective of a 10 or 11 year old me anyway was very personal. The main character was a young boy whose father suddenly found himself wealthy and so the boy suddenly finds himself wealthy. At the same time he also finds himself going through what everybody goes through when they are on the cusp of not necessarily adulthood but the next transition between childhood and not childhood. I remember reading this book at every possible moment of the day. I remember not going outside and I grew up in the air when we went outside. I remember friends and phone calls and everything else in this book. It was definitely a first love kind of thing because all these years later I am first of all still looking fondly upon this book and almost afraid to think about the book itself too closely. I don’t want to ruin what we have together with other words. So sweetly think of that boy, his issues with his parents and his masturbatory dream and even now. Having read this book in well over 20 years I still think it’s a story, never mind the writing and I don’t remember the writing well enough to even begin to critique it, but the story at the very least which still resonate with a lot of people. So I wanted to thank Judy Blume, and all the people write the books that make a person realize the creativity is not only ok but it is something to be proud.For that I am ever grateful.

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Goin’ Places


Where do you write?

I have that question in mind because lately I have not been able to write in my home at all . I feel like there is always someone lurking around the corner waiting for me to begin writing so that they can say something , do something or just interrupt me for no reason with a dancing cat video , a problem that has nothing to do with me or something else that is #trending. I , in short , live with the goddamn human equivalent to Facebook just waiting for me to attempt to be productive.

productivity-without-the-internet  So I have been finding it much easier and more work inducing to head to the local coffee house ( I am full of shit here, I wish I could tell you I was heading to a  little hipster spot in the city called “The Beans Talk” or ” Veni-Vidi-Venti” but I am talking about Starbucks . There. I am soulless. ) and there I can usually find the strength and motivation to write something . But at the end of the day I feel like this negates part of the point of being a freelance writer. I a supposed to be one of those people that get to live in pajamas and never have to shower if I don’t want to because I am one of the luck people that work from home. This is not so when you can not , if fact , work FROM home.

How do you combat this? How do I ?

I am trying some tips that I located online .

  1.  Distinguish between your work-space and domestic space.
  2. working time is for work tasks, not chores or entertainment
  3.  You still need “office hours”
  4. track my time to see how much am I really spending on working, and how many breaks am I taking.
  5.  You also still need an “office space”.
  6. Keep your work zone clean and clutter free.

There is a difference between working from home and being at home. Now … If I can get the rest of the internet to leave me alone.

How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com


The advantages of e-books are clear. E-books are immediate. Sitting at home in Pakistan, I can read an intriguing review of a book, one not yet in stores here, and with the click of a button be reading that book in an instant. E-books are also incorporeal. While traveling, which I do frequently, I can bring along several volumes, weightless and indeed without volume, thereby enabling me to pack only a carry-on bag.

And yet the experience of reading e-books is not always satisfactory. Yes, it is possible to vary the size of the font, newly important to me at age 42, as I begin to perceive my eye muscles weakening. Yes, e-books can be read in the dark, self-illuminated, a reassuring feature when my wife is asleep and I am too lazy to leave our bed, or when electricity outages in Lahore have persisted for so long that our backup batteries are depleted. And yes, they offer more frequent indicators of progress, their click-forwards arriving at a rapidity that far exceeds that of paper-flipping, because pixelated screens tend to hold less data than printed pages and furthermore advance singly, not in two-sided pairs.

Nonetheless, often I prefer reading to e-reading. Or rather, given that the dominance of paper can no longer be assumed, p-reading to e-.

I think my reasons are related to the fact that I have disabled the browser on my mobile phone. I haven’t deleted it. Instead, I’ve used the restrictions feature in my phone’s operating system to hide the browser, requiring me to enter a code to expose and enable it. I can use the browser when I find it necessary to browse. But, for the most part, this setting serves as a reminder to question manufactured desires, to resist unless I have good cause.

Similarly, I have switched my email account from the attention- and battery-consuming “push” setting to the less frenzied manual one. Emails are fetched when I want them to be, which is not all that often. And the browser on my slender fruit-knife of a laptop now contains a readout that reminds (or is it warns?) me how much time I have spent online.

Time is our most precious currency. So it’s significant that we are being encouraged, wherever possible, to think of our attention not as expenditure but as consumption. This blurring of labor and entertainment forms the basis, for example, of the financial alchemy that conjures deca-billion-dollar valuations for social-networking companies.

I crave technology, connectivity. But I crave solitude too. As we enter the cyborg era, as we begin the physical shift to human-machine hybrid, there will be those who embrace this epochal change, happily swapping cranial space for built-in processors. There will be others who reject the new ways entirely, perhaps even waging holy war against them, with little chance — in the face of drones that operate autonomously while unconcerned shareholding populations post selfies and status updates — of success. And there will be people like me, with our powered exoskeletons left often in the closet, able to leap over buildings when the mood strikes us, but also prone to wandering naked and feeling the sand of a beach between our puny toes.

via How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com.

The Year of the Writer!


In 2014 , I will make everyday better, everyday stronger . I will push to the end of my book and write every single day.

This is my resolution. 2014 , the year of the writer. 

Why social media is a good idea for writers


It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This is a very good article … and the picture is FANTASTIC!

 

 

 

Live to Write - Write to Live

real life social mediaThe Internet is a gift and a curse.

Social media in particular can be a writer’s best friend, or her doom.

I am old enough to remember working in an office where I had to share a clunky desktop PC that only displayed pixilated green type on a black screen and was not connected to anything other than the electrical outlet. I remember a world before ubiquitous email, incessant social media updates, and text messages that follow you everywhere.

Though I sometimes recall those less technologically bound times wistfully, as a self-employed writer of the twenty-first century, I know that I could not do my job without the Internet. No way. No how. I work with almost all of my clients on an almost 100% remote basis – conducting all our business via email, Skype, conference calls, and cloud-based document and project management services. I do my research on the…

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How


I am stubborn to the point of self-destruction at times. I am admitting that right out. I have tried very hard not to read a single book about writing because I do not (did not) want any part of my writing to be someone else’s words or thoughts. I think that a lot of writers may do this but this is ridiculous when you think about it. I think that if your doctor said to you, “I never cracked a book, I just kept cutting people until I figured out how to stop killing them” you would flee, possibly screaming, into the street and never look back.

I know that writing and medicine are not the same animal, but the same can be said of politics. Tina Fey, who I love like good food, said that politics and prostitution are the only professions where people try to convince you of how inexperienced they are as a virtue. I think that writers can sometimes be said to feel the same. I want, basically, to be talented and not taught. The problem is that the idea is idiotic, not to put too fine a point on it. I am not saying that you can’t be good if you never get instruction but the honest to god truth is that you can’t write unless you are taught something. How to read at the very least.

I love Stephen King. I want to admit that out right, as well. I think that he is one of the great writers and never-mind the bullshit that people say about anyone and anything that is popular. I think that the man is amazing, not because his writing is amazing but because it is not. Not always anyway. There are exceptions in his writing, Under the Dome is one. Misery is another and I think that the story “The Boogeyman” is almost perfect as a short (very short) horror story. I have it on audiobook and the combination of the writing and the reading by John Glover make it something I listen to like music, and like music I can recite it by heart.  I love the characters decent into madness as he tried to explain the truth that is impossible to accept and that you as a reader have to wonder if he is just a as the character himself states “ another goofy”. Perhaps, you wonder, he is a murderer and can’t admit it , like ( spoiler alert) another character in Strawberry Spring or if he is just trying to make sense of what makes no sense; all three of his children dying before they are three. I love this story and think that it is wonderful.

So you would think that knowing that one of my favorite writers was writing a book about writing (oh my god this sentence is going to sound crazy) about writing called “On Writing” would have sent me into mad gales of happiness. I would have been standing on the corner at 8:59 am waiting for the Barnes and Nobel to open and allow me to plunk my money down to find out how he does it.  You would, as I am sure you have gleaned already, have been very wrong. I saw that book as something terrible almost, like a magician telling his secrets and not just his but everyone’s. I did not crack that book, not once and I was high-minded about it. As you know when you have decided that you are doing something because it is the “right and proper thing” you are always right, right? Yes, and that is how people become terrorists. They decide that they are perfectly legitimate in their thoughts and words to the contrary are just jealousy, lunacy or some other y.

When I knew that the creepy and amazing Chloe Grace Moretz was set to play Carrie White  and the sequel to “ The Shining”  was coming out ( all near Halloween , also) I decided to read or reread some of my favorite King novels and among the books that I found was  On Writing at my local half off book store. I bought it because it was practically free. I am a sucker for a deal. Then I laid it aside and read my other books again. It wasn’t until I was reading someone else’s book, one about goal setting, and it was mentioned that I decided that it was time to at least try the e book.

I have to say that, while I am not done with this book, almost but not quite, I could kick myself for waiting as long as I did to read it. It is not the best book on writing, I can see that, but it is genuine and genuinely written. I think the things that make this book an actual good novel as well as a decent instructional manual is that it doesn’t think that it really is either animal. It is a memoir, it says that on the cover, and it is that. It is also a bit of a novel , telling a story inside it that is one that I had personally seen without having heard it outright until now; that there is a very damaged man that wrote many of my favorite books. One that has Daddy issues, was a drunk and a drug addict, has been broke and broken several times in life and that has never gotten completely over the abandonment of his father or the death of his mother entirely.

I say that not to tax Mr. King with anything just to say that most of that is true for most people and the idea that we have to be perfect to be great is not only foolish but dangerous. I myself have been fond of saying about my sexual self that I know where all my desires come from and I have decided that I don’t care and just enjoy the orgasms. If we are waiting for perfection to do our great work we will be waiting a very long time.  I know of a woman doctor who had her children while in medical school, on purpose, and when asked why she would do such a thing when she knew how hard it would be see said simply “when would it have not been hard? When I was an intern? A new doctor? I knew I wanted kids and that I wanted to be a doctor, and that if I waited for the perfect time to do either I would do neither”. That sums it up for me.

So I am reading On Writing and while I am not gaining any burning insights so to speak I am being reminded of those things that I needed to be reminded of, and well. That writing is for writing. Not for money or fame. You write because it is what you are meant to do. That you will not always write the best but you can try to write something that you would want to read. Have a goal in mind. Even if the goal is modest, having it will help you to accomplish. I myself have allowed Steve’s own to suggestion to be mine for the start. 1000 words a day. Which is satisfied today with what you are reading. Not long and not perfect but I hope honest and entertaining.