Author, Bengal Cat Pictures, Hyperbole, M-P, Writing

My Hyperbole of Life

I wear one million and one hats. I have eight million books, six thousand notebooks, and about a billion chores.

Let me explain.

Hats

Hats = roles played in life.

So maybe one million and one is a little exaggeration, but I think we’ve all been there.

Think of all the titles you have, not just a work title, but also titles of see (insert your name here), they’re the expert, your role in your family older generation and younger generation. Most of us have a role as someone’s child, sometimes labels that also include parent, cousin, aunt, uncle and all of us are some relation five times removed from our mother or father.

We have our role with friends (and once again our titles of expertise within our group).

Some of us have roles as parents, or volunteers, or community leaders, environmentalists or hobbyists, sports positions or… as you can see the list goes on and on and on.

That’s what I call a hat. If you had a hat for each role and title your closets would be brimming over with headwear.

Notebooks = Organization

Every hat you have comes with its own needs and supplies. As a writer mine usually come with a physical notebook to keep track of lessons, vocabulary, characters, etc.

Basketball and baseball

If you play sports then your notebook is all the equipment required, the information about all the games and the contact info for everyone involved.School song book

If you play an instrument then your notebook is your instrument, your sheets of music, your rehearsal time, and your schedule and contacts.

If you’re a little organizationally obsessive like me then you keep a line of notebooks ready to go for each committee or group to which you belong. A Saturday night writer’s group means: grab the blue folder on the way out the door. Or on a larger scale, going to an Anime convention means grab the yellow folder and the over-flowing garment bag packed with costumes, trinkets and smaller organizational bags.

Bookcases

Eight Million Books = a whole lot of books. Those I own, referenced and shelved and dusted. Sorted into read and ready to read. The eight million includes a pile of library books, recommended books, research books and loaned books.

One Billion Chores = just about everything else. With only a billion to do, I’m probably on the low end of the scale. There are always dishes to do, clothes to wash, gardens to weed, tables to dust, items like a car (or the random appliance breakdown) to fix and have serviced, carpools to drive, and papers to sort.

I’m not about to get into a contest on chores. I keep my life fairly stream-lined.

Despite all of the above, I also add lots of things in my life that don’t fall under a category of hyperbole.

I will and do write or edit two thousand words a day.

I spend at least an hour a day playing with cats. If I don’t the cats will find most vexing ways to get attention.

This year exercise is no longer allowed as a maybe. Email and social media are always checked every morning and always replied to.140608 -  - medium-12

I love to hear from people, to listen, and respond. Out of the trillion things above, my relationships whether person-to-person or from the ethereal internet will always gain my attention and a response.

~lisa

 

 

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Bengal Cat Pictures, Bengal Cats, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convo: New Year

New year, new life…

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Loki: I don’t like any of the changes around here. Hear me scream.

Kuri: It’s not that bad. There’s a fantastic new playroom.img_0019

Me: That’s not a playroom.

Hiyu: Why would you tear out a wall and set up ladders and tarps if not for us?

Me: Rainbow Hill has been wanting a makeover for quite some time now. Best face forward for its travels through the space/time continuum.

Kuri: It’s not about us?

Hiyu: That’s very selfish of the hill. And why are you suddenly gone so much?

Me: I’m not gone that much. I’m still mostly at the keyboard.

Loki: Not all the time. First the dog leaves and then you keep going in and out. What’s more important than us and writing your books?

151208-6D-8556Kuri: And tuna. Tuna is important.

Me: I do go out a little bit more. In order to write about life, one occasionally has to live it.

Hiyu: So what is the soon-to-be-great author doing now?

Me: Volunteering, hiking, photography and helping The Hill make all of its changes. I’ll tell our readers more about it in other blogs. This one is all about you guys.

Kuir and Loki over the dragonHiyu: And so it should be.

Loki: Can we play another game? Catch the red laser dot?

Hiyu: I like catch the feather.

Kuri: Let’s use the playroom before it goes away. Dibs on the highest ladder.

Hiyu: Not if I get there first.

Me: Wait…no…oh, dear.

Happy New Year!

~lisa

The last sunrise of 2015 over the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier

From my favorite city to yours.

 

 

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Bengal Cat Pictures, Blogging 101, Rainbow Hill Meanders, Writing

Writing Prompts

As I embark on my last week of Blogging 101, the assignment is to pick a writing prompt from the WordPress Daily Post. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts

I think the assignment is evil as I obsessively  peruse the prompts. Pick just one? I don’t think so. Make a list while I’m there and keep them in a file for when I think I have writer’s block. Absolutely.

Assignment: Pick a prompt and make it your own. As if.

Here is a selection of my favorites:

Create a word exercise. Oh, I love making up words and I love stretching existing words into new uses. This is not always the best trait in a writer, but the amount of fun I have is worth the occasional censure. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/flangiprop/

“Flagiprop  /fla dz prop:/ verb 1. to save a conversation by inserting a completely random and intriguing subject. noun 2. a strange term or word used to revive conversation”

120303 -  - medium Sneaking cat pictures in here. Who would I like most like to write my biography? Easy answer: most definitely a group effort by the Bengals. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/your-life-the-book/ ?

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My favorite prompt of the day is a writing exercise. You’ll see my answer in a post later this week.

Write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/final-trio/

This writing prompt is a little like the flash fiction contests held by my favorite writing blog by Literary Agent Janet Reid. She’s amazing. I do so wish she represented my genre.

If you have reached the querying stage for your book or want to look ahead at the process, then I highly recommend following Query Shark http://queryshark.blogspot.com/ blog

Also check out:http://fineprintlit.com/agents/janet-reid/ Such a wealth of amazing information.

Finally the last prompt: Is the glass half-empty or half-full? https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-glass/

Obviously the answer is how you look at it. My feeling is, if you put on the right lens, the glass is always overflowing.

~lisa

Sculpture pictures from Porter Sculpture Park, Montrose. South Dakota
Sculptor Wayne Porter http://portersculpturepark.com/

2015-SX50-9970

 

 

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Bengal Cat Pictures, Conventions, Writing

Writers Anonymous

brass dragon

Writers are known as solitary and elusive, but they exist among us. You’ve probably seen one or two of them without even realizing it.

Writers, otherwise known as those who write, live in more diverse habitats than the ubiquitous crow.130427-scan070

While a secluded ivory tower without any distractions or restrictions on their time haunts their dreams, most writers live out in the social sphere. Many are happily disguised as normal “non-writer” people.

These writers among us, who work and play next to us, also go to parties, play sports, watch television, and sometimes even own animals other than cats (or owls).

Overall most keep up a good façade that hides their inner nature. Most writers don’t want you to know how much they study you. They mine their daily social interactions looking for nervous ticks, rhythms of speech and the archetypes into which you fit. The world, outside of the ivory tower they crave, is their playground.

Another secret (& I know I must be breaking some secret code in telling you this) is that writers congregate. They join critique groups, writing clubs, support groups and type furiously at speed writing tables.

Even more than that, writers by the hundreds will go to writing conventions. They seek each other out, springboard off of each other’s energy and somehow bring a little more magic into the world.

This week is the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference. http://www.pnwa.org/

And I am going in…

~lisa

IMG_4504-smallLoki

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Author, Bengal Cat Pictures, Hyperbole, M-P, Writing

My Hyperbole of Life

I wear one million and one hats. I have eight million books, six thousand notebooks, and about a billion chores.

Let me explain.

Hats

Hats = roles played in life.

So maybe one million and one is a little exaggeration, but I think we’ve all been there.

Think of all the titles you have, not just a work title, but also titles of see (insert your name here), they’re the expert, your role in your family older generation and younger generation. Most of us have a role as someone’s child, sometimes labels that also include parent, cousin, aunt, uncle and all of us are some relation five times removed from our mother or father.

We have our role with friends (and once again our titles of expertise within our group).

Some of us have roles as parents, or volunteers, or community leaders, environmentalists or hobbyists, sports positions or… as you can see the list goes on and on and on.

That’s what I call a hat. If you had a hat for each role and title your closets would be brimming over with headwear.

Notebooks = Organization

Every hat you have comes with its own needs and supplies. As a writer mine usually come with a physical notebook to keep track of lessons, vocabulary, characters, etc.

Basketball and baseball

If you play sports then your notebook is all the equipment required, the information about all the games and the contact info for everyone involved.School song book

If you play an instrument then your notebook is your instrument, your sheets of music, your rehearsal time, and your schedule and contacts.

If you’re a little organizationally obsessive like me then you keep a line of notebooks ready to go for each committee or group to which you belong. A Saturday night writer’s group means: grab the blue folder on the way out the door. Or on a larger scale, going to an Anime convention means grab the yellow folder and the over-flowing garment bag packed with costumes, trinkets and smaller organizational bags.

Bookcases

Eight Million Books = a whole lot of books. Those I own, referenced and shelved and dusted. Sorted into read and ready to read. The eight million includes a pile of library books, recommended books, research books and loaned books.

One Billion Chores = just about everything else. With only a billion to do, I’m probably on the low end of the scale. There are always dishes to do, clothes to wash, gardens to weed, tables to dust, items like a car (or the random appliance breakdown) to fix and have serviced, carpools to drive, and papers to sort.

I’m not about to get into a contest on chores. I keep my life fairly stream-lined.

Despite all of the above, I also add lots of things in my life that don’t fall under a category of hyperbole.

I will and do write two thousand words a day. I do spend an hour a day (minimum) playing with cats and walking the dog. Exercise is no longer allowed to be a maybe. Email and social media are always checked every morning and always replied to.140608 -  - medium-12

I love to hear from people, to listen, and respond. Out of the trillion things above, my relationships whether person-to-person or from the ethereal internet will always gain my attention and a response.

~lisa

 

 

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Bengal Cat Pictures, Exercise, I-L, Writing

I Want…

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Wanting, needing, desiring are all part of human nature. From the time we are born, we want and need to be fed and sheltered. “Want” and “Need” intertwine.

As very young toddlers, what we want runs into a resounding “No”.

For most of our developmental years, we’re taught need and want are different.

You need to do your homework. You want a shiny new bicycle. Later…You need a job (to pay your bills), and you want a shiny new car.

There’s a general consensus of what people need, but when you ask people what they want you’re likely to get two different types of answers.

Answer 1: World peace, the end of genocide, the end of disease and hunger, eternal youth, the end of global warming, clean air and education for all.

Answer 2: Car, boat, diamonds, the newest game, the newest of anything, losing weight and looking better.

I propose taking this want down to a personal level, but beyond the material.

What I want should start with the question of who do I want to be?

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Yes, Who do you want to be? What do you value most? Are you living in harmony with those values?

Do you know what they are? Have you thought about them lately? Do you know the path you need to take?

If you aren’t already trying to attain them, are you willing to make the five minute commitment towards them? (See post of February 16, 2015 if you aren’t sure how the five minute commitment can propel you to success.)

There are many ways to clarify what is most important to you and many books written by many people on the many paths one can take to realize those goals. If you check your library or book store you will find a barrage of suggestions and ideas.

I have a few suggestions of my own, but first the traditional questions:

If you had a week, a month or just a few months left to live, what would you do?

How do you want to be remembered when you are gone?

For the religious: What accounting of your life do you wish to make to your god or religion? What would you like your divine judgment to be?

My own take on the long list of questions to ask yourself includes the following:

A pari of bengals

What do you value most? How do you do your part in what you value most? Make a list of the values first. Maybe you wish to live your life with integrity, authenticity, honesty, perseverance, living in accord with your religious beliefs, money, success, fame, or maybe you wish to find eternal life in what you pass on to the next generation.

What moves you? Inspires you?

When does time disappear for you and you enter “the flow”?

The next set of questions from the mundane to the exquisite inquires as to how you reach those goals.

If you want to scale to the top of Machu Picchu, how much exercise and fitness do you need to fit in to your daily life?

Or how much weight do you need to lose to comfortably climb into a raft and face white water, or ride a horse for a day or more without feeling guilty about the load the poor creature is carrying? I, personally, love both these activities, but have over the years have loaded on too much weight to enjoy those adventures. Five minutes a day and then another five. A commitment and a lot of thinking on how to get there, and for me there is a reward well worth the time and work. It’s hard and a large change in habits, but the five minute rule helps me move forward.

If you want to write a book, how much writing time or grammar review, or commitment do you need to make?

If you want to take the challenge of writing a book with the support and company of others dive into National Novel Writing Month http://nanowrimo.org/

Or if you want to learn how to sail, what’s keeping you from achieving those goals? How do you remove those obstacles and follow your dream?

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If you want to make a difference in the climate, in the treatment of animals, in the dire plight of millions of needy people around the world, what small steps can you take to add your commitment to the wellspring of a movement of people who share that drive. Sometimes all it takes is a small step forward.

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It’s worth five minutes a day to ask yourself if what you are doing on that day takes you closer to your dreams. If your work is not what you love, is the pay or experience worth it or do you need to find another path?

It’s worth it to take an hour a week to review and plan and see where you can take those first few steps to launch a dream.

If your dream is already launched (congratulations), what do you need to do to see it through? And what after the celebration of one dream come true, what is the next one you’ll pursue.

I wish all of you achieve your dreams and desires, large and small. I also wish that once you’ve found your crowning glory, you move on to the next quest.

May you always dream.

~ lisa

For those of you who have graduated past the five minute rule. Try the 30 day Challenge. This Ted Talk by Matt Cutts is eloquent and encouraging. Give it a try!

http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days

 

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Bengal Cat Pictures, R-Z, Writing

Silver Linings

Every cloud has a silver lining.

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I firmly feel application of this phrase should not be sought after.

In the Writer’s Paradox, I wrote about seeking out experiences to enrich one’s writing. To smell the air, walk the terrain and hear the birds. I urge everyone to seek after the whispers of beach, forest, town and experience all they can.

When you are told there is a silver lining sometimes it’s true, but hardly ever at the time you are experiencing the event. There are just as many things in life to avoid as there are to embrace. While these events, bereavements, losses, illness and many others can add a depth of knowing and suffering to your writing, do not seek it out.

Unfortunately, it will find you. 120804 -  - medium

Even the most perfect person(s) you know has demons haunting them, secrets not to be revealed, and tragedies striking. Sometimes the tragedy of one might be only an annoyance to another, but it is wrong to discount their pain. Empathy for those who suffer is better than suffering oneself.

That said, there is no place for anyone to hide. Something will happen out of plan. Sometimes the depth or width of an event is beyond comprehension. Sometimes we will never be able to emphasize since such tragedy is beyond us. But we can listen. We can be there.

When the out-of-the-blue strikes you, cope as best as you can, but as a writer keep those feelings, keep the logistics and the story wrapped around you. Set it in the corner of your mind. Someday you may use it. Someday the silver lining may suddenly appear.Redwood National Park

Perhaps my own recent trial would be a trifling to someone else, but for me a long bout of unplanned pneumonia changed me as I wrapped the experience around me. At first there was nothing, but the little pad of paper by my bedside gradually filled up with every silver lining I could find.

When the worst happens, even if you see a silver lining, it is for the person in the center to find it for themselves. Wait. Unless it is you. If you are at the center of cataclysm, big or small, file it away in the writing stock and when the pain has passed embrace the experience and count whatever it has added to your life.

All of life is there for us. Some good. Some bad. And some beyond words.

My hope is that everyone can find a silver lining.

My greatest hope is that you’ll never have to search for one.

~lisa

hiyu

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