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Category Archives: Reading

Week 1 Discussion Questions for the Gunslinger

  1. What is your initial impression of the first line?
  2. What do you think about the gunslingerĀ so far?
  3. What is the nature of Roland’s quest?
  4. What do you think about King’s writing style in the Gunslinger? How is this book different than his others? How is it similar to his other works?
  5. What do you think about the man in black?
  6. What’s your favorite part so far? Least favorite so far?
The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. :D

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. šŸ˜€

While you’re reading during this first week keep in mind that when King started writing the Gunslinger, and there is more than one version–I have the originalĀ notĀ the revised version, Ā someone borrowed that one and never returned it–the atrocity!!!–there were five years between the time that first book was published and the second book, The Drawing of the Three.

The Dark Tower series incorporates themes from various genres, including science fantasy, dark fantasy, horror, and Western. King has often described the Dark Towers series as his multiverse, many believe that it because it links together many of his other books, and quite a few short stories.
The series was mainly inspired by theĀ poemChilde Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning, as well as Ā by The Lord of the Rings, Arthurian Legend, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. King identified Clint Eastwood’s “Man with no Name” character as a major inspiration for Roland, which made sense to me when I found out–the whole time I was reading it in the late 80’s I pictured Clint Eastwood in my head as Roland. šŸ˜€
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Dark Tower Series Read Along Schedule

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. :D

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. šŸ˜€

The Dark Tower is just a little over 200 pages, so if we split it up during the weeks of September, we’ll have just a little over 4 weeks to read the first book. Don’t worry if you read ahead or it takes you a bit longer to finish the book. šŸ˜€

September 1-4:Chapter 1 pp 1-69/70

September 5-11:Chapter 2 pp 70/71-122/123

September 12-19:Ā Chapter 3 pp 123-153; and Chapter 4 pp 154-206

September 20-30:Ā Chapter 5…

September 27-September 30: Final Discussion.

I’m going to post the Discussion Questions soon.

If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.

 

 

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Creativity and Upcoming Creative Projects

Creativity TapCreativity, the act of “turning new and imaginative ideas into reality,” the “ability to perceive the world in new ways to find hidden patterns, to make connections,” “the use of imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” There are more definitions, but those are basics.

To me creativity is about passion, imagination, curiosity, and expression.

We’re talking about creativity all month our women’s group called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table. And I’m also staring 3 projects for the month of September this week.

Like I said before I’m going to re-read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I’m currently reading The Eyes of the Dragon, but on September 1st I’ll start reading the Gunslinger.

I’m also going to work on a projected called the Decorated Page, it’s based on the book with the same name by GwenSeptember Projects planning Diehn. And I’m re-starting Finding Water by Julia Cameron. Not to mention I’m still participating in the #hotandsticky summer novel writing challenge. WHEW! I’m going to be such a busy creative person this upcoming month. Oh, and did I mention I’m trying to finish organizing and cleaning my writing/craft room? No, well I am.

I am really excited about the projects. If you’re following along, participating, or would like to participate please leave me a comment and let me know. Especially if you’re going to be bloggingĀ and/or vlogging about it. šŸ˜€ For me details about the projects I’ve included the video I made for YT (and the group). I hope I’ll see your comments and likes. šŸ˜€ I’m so excited about these projects.

 

 

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you about

the new group on FB that I opened with a few other ladies called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table.

Here is the Intro to the Group:

Destination Me is about all of US. Women. It’s about inspiring and challenging ourselves and others to be creative, to share our thoughts and ideas, our advice with others. It’s about challenging all women, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc to take care of themselves, to nurture themselves, to be creative and to share their thoughts, feelings, ideas, advice, and more. Destination Me provides women with fun, safe place to be creative and to share their creative pursuits, as well as creative ways to bring back or to bring a sense of purpose and vitality that we may have lost or just misplaced due to various circumstances, or that we find we need, along our journey.
This group is all about diversity, acceptance, tolerance, creativity, self-love, self-acceptance, self-care, as well as inspiration,
We welcome all women.

Here’s the link to the group:Ā https://www.facebook.com/groups/DestinationMe/

If you’re interested you should join the group. Ā It is a closed group.

Here is the Intro Video I made for YT:

 

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Ways to get Inspired, stay motivated, and Get Shit Done

get shit doneOver the course of several years, I’ve been refining my writing process, which includes ways to get inspired, stay motivated, and get shit done (productivity). Here are some of the things I’ve found that help me.

  • Clean up your work area, as well as other areas that bother you and/or need cleaning. A 15 minute clean in your work area, a quick clean of your living areas. A 30 minute clean for important areas. Sometimes it’s hard to work when there is clutter, especially if the clutter distracts you. So taking fifteen minutes to clean really helps.Writing Desk
  • Books that help inspire and motivate you to be creative have really helped me lately. Books like “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, or the one I’m working on right now, “Finding Water,” also by Julia Cameron. Another book that’s extremely helpful with productivity is “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.artist's way
  • Morning Pages are a great way to start your day. They help with clarity, are a great tool to get you in the mood to write, and are overall a great way to putĀ those negative things that are rolling around in your brain down and then let them go–after a while you’ll see that what you write is less negative and more positive.
  • Music. Music is a great way to help you get in the mood to be creative, to write, clean, create (art, etc) and to keep you motivated. I often listen to classic rock while I clean, instrumental music or Rainymoods.com when I’m writing, and various kinds of music when I’m creating art.
  • An artist date. An artist date, as defined by Julia Cameron, is a solo adventure, that includes something fun, playful and are aimed at romancing or wooing our artist within. I like going for a walk in a park, swinging on a swing at a playground, going to for a cup of coffee and reading or writing or drawing, as well as going to lunch by myself and taking a book along with me. Most of my artist dates include coffee and a book or notebook and/or my camera.june 3rd and 4th
  • Candles, Incense…I use these things to help get me in the mood to write, to help cleanse my work area of any negativity, and because they smell good.
  • Journal. I often write a few lines down here and there about what I want to do, as well as use my bullet journal to make a list of tasks for the day, week, month. I jot down projects, and then break them down so that I know what I should start with, as well as making sure that I have smaller goals to start with (which helps me feel better, more positive and less fearful–less self-doubt).june 1st and 2nd
  • Vision board. This can be a physical vision board, one on Pinterest, in your journal using collage, or whatever works for you.
  • Read a book for fun. I often take a break when I feel a bit burned out with writing and read for fun. I now have a goal to read for at least 30 minutes each day just for fun, not for homework or for “working on my self,” but for FUN!
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Space for Writing/creating Art/etc. Whether it’s a corner somewhere, or an actual room, having your own space, a space that is for your creativity Ā helps.amwriting april 22
  • Limit Distractions. Block out a certain amount of time that is just for writing. That means no Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google searching, etc. You and the page (and my cup of coffee or glass of wine.)
  • Get dressed. Get out of those pajamas, those sweatpants, Ā and get dressed. It doesn’t have to be “dress” clothes, but it does need to at least something that you’d wear to the grocery store, to the craft store, the bookstore… It’s a mindset thing. I’m dressed and now I’m ready to go to work.
  • Writing buddies, or “Co-conspirators” as Ms. Cameron calls them. Find others with like interests so you can talk about those interests. For me it’s the #writestuff community, #writetube, FB…I have quite a few writer buddies and it really does help knowing that you’re not alone in your struggles (whether it’s with procrastination, self-doubt, editing woe’s, or trying to figure out whether your book should be in 1st or 3rd POV).Camp nano 2016
  • (and last but not least) Schedule. This has been the hardest for me, yet it really is one of the top things I should be doing, should stick to so that I’d be more productive. I know this. I do, but the struggle has been real y’all. I know that I should block out specific chunks of time for writing, for art, for… and cut the distractions, and Just Write, but honestly, outside forces like Mr. Rockstar’s crazy schedule, which changes at the end of this week finally (he goes back to having a regular schedule instead of rotating shifts), or family, or things that happen, or staying up too late because I had insomnia or was in pain and then I don’t wake up until mid-day (or later)… But today is the start of brand new week, and last week I did better than the week before, and this week I’ll do even better than last week, and before long I should be back into my routine.2nd week of june

One last thing, if you’re striving for perfection then you’re bound to be disappointed, so instead of striving for perfection, especially with that first draft, remember this:

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” ~Marilyn Monroe

 

 

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January Wrap Up

IF we were having coffee right now I’d tell you…

Picture 14

As of right now, I’m still sick, but I’m trying to keep on keepin’ on, as they say.

The beginning of January was rough. I had a meltdown, realized how bad my anxiety and depression had gotten because of the chaos that comes with the holidays (preparing for the holidays and the holidays themselves, along with creative pursuits, and trying to finish a book, maintaining a household, etc….), and decided to do something about it so I re-started the Artist’s Way 12 week self-guided course on the 22nd of January. I also started art journaling/sketch your life/document your life journaling again the beginning of January. AND, I started reading more–my goal is to read at least one book a week.

And if that wasn’t enough, I made up my mind to organize, clean, and purge (get rid of things that I’m never going to use, things that are broken or stained or don’t fit, etc.). So far I’ve accomplished quite a bit, but there’s still a lot to be done.

I’ve read 12 books so far this year so I’m ahead of schedule since my goal is to read 52 books for the year. Not bad. I’m currently reading the Shannara Chronicles: the Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks, All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris, Nail your Novel by Roz Morris, andĀ The Talisman by Stephen King. (Yes, I am one of THOSE people who reads more than one book at a time.)

I’m on week 2 of the Artist’s Way 12 week guided course. Ā And I’m doing well with my morning pages and the weekly artist dates.

I’ve been walking every other day or so, at least one mile. This past week I haven’t felt up to walking a mile or more so I’ve just been getting outside to get fresh air and walking around my yard, which helps even if it’s not as far as I would like to go, it’s at least getting some exercise and fresh air. And since I’ve been sick, my appetite has decreased, which means my protion size has decreased a great deal. I’ve actually lost a few pounds since being sick. (Yay me!)

My Writing!–hmmm, some days it goes well, other days not so much, but I’m still working on it. I feel as if I ought to be writing more, but being sick has really taken a toll on me. I feel exhuasted, achy all over, I can’t breathe, I look like Rudolph, and it’s all I can do some days to manage to write a few hundred words, but at least I’m actively working on my writing.

I’m trying to stay positive. Positivity was my word for this year. So I’m working on staying positive even when things aren’t feeling very positive. I am using affirmations to help… I fine an affirmation for each day and write it down in my journal–think about it all day to remind myself to stay positive. It’s easier some days than others.

 

 

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What Failure has taught me as a Writer

For about two weeks, the week of Christmas and the week of New Year, I was in a funk. I was filled with anxiety, overwhelmed and stressed out, depressed, and I could not write. I didn’t have the time, or when I did have the time I was too stressed out and overwhelmed to write. I sat down at the computer and as much as I wanted to write, I just could not get the words out–and they were there in the dark recesses of my overworked mind, but they were buried underneath the chaos of my life (the holidays, obligations, anxiety, depression, etc., etc.). So I felt like a F.A.I.L.U.R.E.

Writer’s write. That’s what we do. If you can’t write then what?

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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