Author, Bengal Cat Pictures, Hyperbole, Rainbow Hill Meanders, Writing

My Hyperbole of Life

Recently a new reader favorited “My Hyperbole of Life”. Now that the Bengals have redone their introductions it’s my turn. Many things have changed over the hill at the year and yet…

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

I still 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, 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/

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Adventure, Friends, I-L, Writing

Imaginary Friends

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Writers of fiction are those who never outgrow their imaginary friends.

We embrace them, coddle them and try to talk (write) them through their problems.

One of the delightful parts of being a writer is that you are never truly alone. The more you write your characters, the more they become a part of your life.

One of the more difficult parts of writing fiction is that your list of friends grows over the years. They get more demanding of your time and they compete with each other.

So now I’m scheduling playdates.

Redwood National Park

Today Jeremy will find out what jungle he’s lost in. Tomorrow Kel will finally get off that cliff he’s been clinging to for over a month. Perhaps on Monday, Sparky and I will figure out where we left off and what he’s supposed to do next.

If I’ve been absent for a while it’s because the fictional playdates run over. Sometimes they run over play time for the menagerie, but never for long. Dog, cats, and bunnies make sure they get their time.140412 -  - medium-13V__C8C4

Sometimes I see actual living people and do things in the real world as opposed to the ones I create.

One of my favorite groups for learning and doing is the Mountaineers. Totally cool people, doing totally cool stuff. I highly recommend them for anyone who wants some time away from the keyboard. https://www.mountaineers.org/

My imaginary friends find me flat and boring if I don’t constantly embrace experience, research and the learning of new skills. They’re always challenging me to take the next leap.

My “real” friends also want time. Since the “real” friends are totally cool, fascinating people, I make room for them too. Every new person I meet adds to the richness of my life.

I fall in love with all sorts of people all the time. I have found that life can be equally as fun away from the computer screen and the worlds that you control.

As for the imaginary friends, most of them have to wait in line. They are given a notecard, a short bio, perhaps a problem or two and then they go in the card box. Some are screaming to get out onto pages of their own.

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Perhaps when Kel is off his cliff and Sparky finds out who “Fire Guy” is, one of them will have their chance.

As to the rest of you who inhabit the “real” world, please feel free to call me friend. I won’t make you take a number or shove you in a box for I know in the “real” world each friend I have can touch my soul and make me fly. And that gives all those voices in the card file a better chance at life.

~lisa

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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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E-H, Exercise, Writing

Five Minutes

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A second, a split second, or a few seconds and one’s life can be irrevocably changed for better or for worse.

 

These instances are a fact of life that happen to all of us, but second in importance in matter of time is the lowly, easy five minutes.

Five minutes can turn a life around. A five minute commitment can dissolve excuses and launch us into the future we want.

150215-TG3-2150353I realize that some of you have your lives completely together, but for many of us the five minute rule can make all the difference. It’s not instantaneous, but it works.

A chief excuse for all of us when we want to add something in our lives comes to down to the time we must sacrifice for the new idea. There is never enough time. We are harried, over-booked, and often too exhausted to take up that which matters most to us (The excuses blog post will be coming soon).

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Examples of applying that extra five minutes to our lives:

Many of us when we want to achieve fitness, so we join a gym, drive there, drive on to the next destination and get in those work-outs. Many resolutions start that way and many fail so try the five minute method.

If the drive there and back takes too much time, decide what you can do at home. For the price of a gym membership (which are great it you use them), you can buy a few things you can use at your house (no commute time) or even some major gym equipment for your house. The problem still comes down to the commitment to use it.

I suggest the five minute increment step. If we think about it, we can all spare five minutes. Start with getting dressed for a work out, walk to your work out space, say hello to it, and then return to your daily life. Less than five minutes. Once you have those five minutes mastered, take five minutes and pick up your weights, sit on your machine, or roll out your mat. Less than five minutes. Make it a routine.

I can almost guarantee that you will quickly become annoyed with this routine. Don’t give up on it. Since you’re already down there, spend five minutes on your intended exercise. Even five minutes a day of exercise is better than none. Your muscles will start learning the expectations. Thus habits are made.

Five minutes is not just for exercise.

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Try five minutes for writing. Show up. Get the computer, laptop, or paper out. Say hello to it. Less than five minutes. Next step set a timer and write for five minutes. Every day, you can afford five minutes of time. Soon the new habit of showing up will extend in five minute increments to the time you need or want.

Try five minutes for walking, bike riding, gardening, reading, or playing with the co-inhabitants of your household whether they are dogs, cats, parrots or any other companion you’ve adopted.

Spend five minutes talking to your significant other or your child or your friend. Not five minutes of multi-processing, but five minutes of sole focus and eye contact and really listening to what they have to say. Let those five minutes incrementally increase. The desire becomes the habit and habit becomes what you really want out of life.

Think about what you really, truly want out of life and then show up. Five minutes is all it takes to start.

~lisa

IMG_4504-smallAs hard as it may be.

 

 

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