Yesterday, I wrote a post about learning how to fish. I had lots of great feedback on the post. I trust I get better with each one. I wish I could duplicate it for today’s commentary but for the moment, that’s not possible.
I apologize but right now, I can’t. Sorry but I’ll pick up as soon as possible. Right now, I’m under the weather and definitely not feeling well. This past Monday, I received a vaccination. Normally, people have minimal reaction to this particular vaccination. But, oh no, not me!
My arm has been ballooning up at the injection site. It is red and sore. All day yesterday and last night, I’ve felt like I’ve had a fever even though I haven’t. I realize my body is fighting the live form of the virus the vaccination injected into me on Monday. It doesn’t make me feel better.
Logic in this case is of no help at all. The analogy I can make is this. Just as I have been learning to fish in writing blurbs and other marketing material, my body is learning how to fish in fighting this bug coursing through my blood stream. I just hope that when I’m feeling better, I can return to my blogging and maintain the quality that Leah and others have been teaching me.
For now, I hope I can make it through the day. Be well everyone and be safe.
This is Richard Verry, signing off and yearning for my bed so that I can sleep it off.
For the last couple of days, someone who many of you know, alright, my friend Leah Hart, has been teaching me to write story blurbs. At first, I didn’t understand the term ‘blurb’ in the context of my books. Even that, she had to drill into me.
It’s been a hard road for me and fraught with stress and frustration. I woke up this morning feeling like I was back in grammar school and earning a failing grade on my assignments. Crap! I even went into work this morning telling the story and describing my feelings. Normally, a ‘B+’ or ‘A’ student, I felt I had earned nothing more that a ‘D’. It was agonizing.
Part of me kept saying to myself, “Just write the damn thing for me. I’ll then use it as a model for the future.” And yet, she held back, probably shaking her head in her own frustration over my lack of progress.
I believe I’m good at writing stories and plot concepts. I also know that I suck at marketing, selling and that talent one has in getting someone to buy. I’ve met a lot of people over the years who could sell snow to a polar bear. Me? I’ve never had that talent. Which is why I hire people to help me.
Yet, I am aware enough that until I can get a major publisher to pick up my contract or get a movie producer to buy the movie rights to my stories, I have to do much of it myself. As much as I struggle in learning this talent, I know I need to do it.
I need to fish rather than have the fish handed to me. I can’t help wishing it could be different but for now, that is not to be.
So, I’m back to school and studying the techniques Leah and others have been trying to pound into my head.
OUCH! That hurts. I jest as I rub the back of my head. It does hurt and I’m not too shy to say it. It does and I appreciate those that help me fish. Thank you Leah. Thank you to all of my mentors, whether I know you personally or whether you’re one of the hundreds of articles I have read on the topic.
This is Richard Verry, reporting to you live from the single room school house all alone and with lots of homework to do.
This morning, I read a post on Facebook by my friend Leah Hart about an experience she recently had. In that post she revealed that two days ago, she had a terrific idea for a new novel. At the time, it was crystal clear in her head and she knew exactly what to do to write it.
However, she’s also a terrific wife and mother. At the time, her young children were ill and needed her mothering, which she gladly supplied. Family first. I get it and I agree completely. After tending to her children, helping them get through their discomfort, she took a moment for herself to write down her ideas.
Those ideas are now what I call ‘vaporware’. In tending to her children, the story idea didn’t get a chance to imprint itself onto her brain, and the brain did what normally does. It cleaned house.
Our brains are wonderful organs. They capture and store significant amounts of information. Information that we use each and every day. It also stores memories, experiences and all sorts of stuff so that we can learn from our mistakes and improve our every day lives.
The trouble is, our brains also have only so much capacity. Granted, some brains have more than others. Still, it’s a fact that if we don’t use those thoughts and apply them to our lives when they first bounce around in our noggins, then our brains are trained to clear them away to make room for new stuff.
It sucks. I know all too well. I have been a victim of this phenomena many times over.
I used to keep a notepad on me all the time to write these notes down for followup later. The result as you might guess, page after page, notebook after notebook of ideas that clutter up my home and rarely get referred to. So, then I tried using a white board. I have it prominently mounted in my home office where I do the bulk of my creative work. As I walk by, I can glance at it and recall at an instance, just what that idea was. ‘Better’. That board is so full of notes that it’s hard to see the white behind the black of the dry erase marker. Now, it’s almost a chore to keep it up to date and if anyone knows me, I hate doing chores. I do them, but I hate it.
With the advent of the smart phone, ‘Siri and Ok Google’ where speech to text has evolved to be practical, I began using the ‘speech to text’ features of my smart phone to capture and write down ideas. Much better and almost doable. I have my phone set up so that as I dictate my notes, those notes are written down and uploaded to my cloud account.
It works though I do have a funny story to go with it. One day, I was sitting in a café eating lunch, when an idea flashed through my brain. Great. A perfect opportunity to write down my idea. I whipped out my phone and tapped the icon. Who doesn’t keep their phone with them at all times? As soon as I did, I opened my mouth to begin speaking when lo and behold, I saw words appearing on my screen. And I wasn’t talking. Huh? Turns out the microphone was so sensitive that it was picking up the conversation of the people at the next table over. Wow! I thought. How cool is that. I was reading on my phone what they were talking about. All the personal details of their lives were being captured, converted to text and uploaded to my cloud account. I erased them but still ….
Since that day, I am careful to watch what I say, not just to the people whom I am sitting with but also to the strangers at the tables nearby. Word to the wise!
What have I concluded from these experiences my brain captures every second of every day? I get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and write. Many of my best ideas, dialog and scenes appear in my mind while I am in that half awake / half asleep state. I’ve trained my mind that if those ideas are good enough, to get the hell out of bed and write it down.
The scene, dialog, whatever won’t be perfect and will need editing. But, I’ve captured the idea and I can use it productively.
So, in the evening and right after dinner, when I seem to be checking out, my eyes drooping and it’s obvious I am looking for my bed, just know this. My day started at 4am and it’s been very productive. By 8pm, I’m tired, run down and ready to shutdown for the night. It sucks some days but that’s the way it is.
And oh, btw way. I started writing this about 5am, about a half hour after I woke up with an idea and I saw Leah’s post. Oh, shit. What was that idea that I had at 4am anyway?
With the holidays winding down and I recover from a bad cold and too much food and drink, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the people who have helped me on my journey this year.
First off, thank you to the love of my life, Janet. She has put up with a lot of my shit this past year. Even though she grumbles and frets, she knows that I’m no slouch and what I have been trying to do this past year is for her benefit, as well as mine. I love her so much and I appreciate everything she has ever done or will do for me.
I would like to thank my sister Jean for simply believing in me. She struggles to understand and feels remorse when she can’t support me when I ask. I rarely ask anything of her, just preferring her love. Usually, she is the first in line to help yet this past year, I asked her for something that was important to me. Much to my surprise, she didn’t know how to tell me that she couldn’t and it severely distressed and anguished her. Through her tears, I retracted my request. Our love for each other is more important.
Then there’s Leah. I don’t remember how I found her yet this fine lady has found a way to boost my confidence and help me grow. She is putting me on the right path to being a successful writer. I’ve never met her but I almost think of her as family.
Then there are those who I consider my best friends these many years who wish to remain nameless in this forum. I look forward to spending time with them soon. One of these friends has been helping me develop my story-lines. Because of her generosity, she is now a recurring character in the next major novel I am writing. She’s a loving, spiritual person who is working hard on her latest business venture. I wish her much success and try to support her as best I can in this endeavor. Another friend is busy working on her upcoming marriage and I know she is there if I need her. I can’t wait to attend her wedding. It will be the highlight of the year.
I’m also thankful to my employer. Anything that needs to be done, I am willing to do. No problemo. I’ve been jobless and hungry before and I never want to experience that ever again.
As I write this, I am realizing that there are many other people who have helped me throughout the past year. I am grateful and very appreciative to all. In my head, I hear the orchestra playing the ‘Get Off the Fucking Stage’ music as if I was giving a speech at an awards ceremony. You get the idea. So in closing, thank you one and all. I hope I get the chance to tell you in person the next time I see you.
Happy New Year! May 2016 be a great one.
To find out more about me and read my blogs, check out my website, RichardVerry.com.
I would like to thank everyone who in one way or another, contributed to supporting me over the past several weeks. For some, they have been stressed. For others, they have been supportive and offered many suggestions. All have my deepest gratitude. Please have a cup of coffee (or your favorite relaxation beverage on me.)
My thanks extend to those who have recently purchased a book. You lift me up in ways that you’ll never realize.
Thanks for to my mentors and advisers who help me work out plot lines, design elements and similar concepts. I want to particularly thank Helena, Tammy, Pegelee, Peter and Dan. You support me in ways I hope you’ll one day fully appreciate.
I big thank you to Leah Hart (www.creativwriter.com), who worked hard, put up with my zillion of questions and delivered a professional product I am very proud of. You can’t go wrong in hiring her expertise.
Finally, the biggest thank you to the love of my life, who put up with my schedule, the long nights and the hours when I disappeared from her life, even though we were in the same room together. I love you sweetie and will make it all worthwhile. Hugs.
Now, I hope that if you have read this far, you’ll take the extra moment to check out one of my books. There are free samples available for instant download right here on this site. What’s more, I have plenty more in the works. Let me know how you like them.