Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Favorite Sentence In the Whole Wide World - #WEP #Sharing Blogfest

Read Other WEP Sharing Stories

As humans, we share many things: culture, meals, stories, memories. And grief. Which of us has not secretly begged that THIS THING be taken away, woken in the morning only to remember that life has changed forever, wondered how it can be that people are happily slurping coffee and bickering over who forgot to take out the trash while we are walking about bleeding from invisible wounds.

Then there is the wintry impotence of the near-to-heart. We are powerless, unable to lift the burden of the other, struggling to say or do the right thing, when what we really want is to share that burden, or even take it upon ourselves that the other might go free.

As a writer, I have a love/hate relationship with words. They enthrall me, taunt me,and on occasion lend me their secrets that I might share them with others. At times they pour onto the page and I brush them into some semblance of a landscape. Other times, they stick in the bottle or splash all over, and the workroom looks like a murder scene. But the hardest thing for me to write is in response to someone's grief. Whatever words I use, they mock me, and I can feel my toes curling with embarrassment. "Write from the heart" some say. Well, my heart seems to have failed Basic Composition.

I respect privacy, and so let's just say that something traumatic happened to a member of my family. (Not physical, but emotional.) When he told me, my jaw dropped. Literally. I was speechless. All I came up with was something like "Holy s#&t. I can't believe it. What can I do?" He didn't want to talk, and so things went to Facebook - as they tend to do with the younger generation. I didn't know what to write. Didn't want to use inspirational quotes, or what might appear to be useless platitudes. I searched for something insightful, something to convey all that I was feeling. But someone had done that already.

Among all of the outpourings was one sentence which wrung my heart, made me smile, and served as a luminous illustration of what "writing from the heart" - and true friendship - is all about. And yet it's about as simple as you can get.

"I will gladly catch you if you fall, bro."

Sometimes it is all that we can do.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cool Stuff - Sites You Might Like

Just a quick post with a few nifty sites to check out.

First off is Literature Map. Type in an author, and a cloud of other names will appear, based on similarities or what other readers of your fave author are reading. A fun tool to discover your next book.

Next is NPR's First Listen. Check out music before it hits stores, from popular genres to soundtracks to world music.

Then there's Curious. It's a site dedicated to instructional videos. Learn drawing, ballroom dancing, cooking, or DIY jobs like installing countertops. Best of all, you can upload your own teaching videos - and choose to be paid if you wish.

The last is a bit frivolous. I always wondered how people created certain symbols or artwork on Twitter. I haven't mastered the alt codes but you can find them at Andrea Kalli's Wordpress Blog. Best of can also just copy and paste the symbols.

Hope you have fun with these!