Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Reality Can Screw With Your Memories

I recently learned that my 8th grade English teacher, someone who had helped inspire me to become a writer, was arrested for allegedly sexually molesting a male student back in 1998. My best friend, who was inspired by this teacher to get a degree in Education, called my attention to the newspaper article about it. We were both shocked. SHOCKED.

This man has not been convicted, so I don't know if he actually did what he was accused of doing, but as another classmate pointed out, his life is ruined whether he did it or not. Being accused of such a thing, whether convicted or not, is a kiss of death in the community. If he did in fact molest this young man, the creative writer in me wants to get inside my former teacher's head and discover how someone could get to that point of committing such a reprehensible act. Was he molested as a young man? Was his heart so shattered and the pain repressed that he felt compelled to act out? What scarring event(s) could prompt such a thing? I don't mean to imply that there could ever be a reason for molesting a child. There isn't. I just like to know a character's motivation.

This instructor had not been out of college that long when he was my teacher. He was young, healthy, thin and had a twinkle in his eye. I had a bit of a crush on him. He was a baton twirler and twirled flaming batons at our high school's football games. The photograph of him in the newspaper made my skin crawl, not because he looked puffy, old and haggard. He did appear that way, but I shuddered because I knew that this sad looking old man was the person who had enlivened and inspired me all those years ago.

Sometimes reality can really screw with your memories. If my 7th grade Social Studies teacher and 10th grade English teacher ever get arrested for some unspeakable felony, I hope I never learn about it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Silencing the Inner Critic

A friend of mine recently told me about the Llewellyn Publishing Web site at: http://www.llewellyn.com. If you click on the Fun & Free link, there are some interesting tidbits, including Web Tarot and Spell-a-Day. Today's Spell-a-Day really seemed applicable to me and creative writers everywhere, so here's a little writing magic for your day:

Silencing Your Inner Critic

Our inner critic can be our harshest judge. It is different from our instinct or our inner editor, since they seek to protect and improve us. The inner critic seeks to take advantage of us and our fears. Before this spell, think about what shape the critic would be. Would it be a person? How about a symbol or mythological figure? What colors would it be? When ready, take a piece of parchment and pen. Now draw your inner critic on it. Next, light it on fire and place it in a heat-proof container. While it is burning, say:

Inner critic gone away,
Not to return another day.
Now my soul is free
To take opportunities in front of me.
For the good of all,
So mote it be.

By: Olivia O'Meir

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

May you feel and share the love with everyone close to you today. That's my focus as the land of Valentine's Days past sometimes featured less than warm and loving feelings for me, particularly one incident now known as "The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre," which involved food poisoning and projectile vomiting. Enjoy all the cards, flowers, hand-holding and other amorous moments, and be careful at restaurants tonight!

Love and peace to you all!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Write NOW!

A friend of mine recently expressed the idea that I had not been working on my creative projects as much as I could lately. She's an astute observer, and I had to agree. I am very blessed in that I have many friends who are not only honest, but they keep me honest as well. She shared with me a paragraph from a book she's reading, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, by Gary Keller, that I found inspirational for jump-starting my creative writing planning time. See if it resonates at all with you:

"The problem for most is that they assemble everything they need to pursue success and then, instead of actually pursuing it, they leave the raft of their salvation on the shore and decide to think about it some more. They hide behind continual inaction while calling it something else altogether - inaction in the form of additional research, planning, preparation, or, more plainly, procrastination. When you are ready, anything short of action is just plain inappropriate. Simply put, top agents know that no action leads to nowhere. And nowhere is not where they plan to be. When you know what to do, there comes a point when it is just time to 'shut up, get up, and giddy up.'"

Can any other writer out there relate to this? I invite you all to shut up, get up and giddy up today on your current work in progress. And thanks be to DeDe for sharing this with me.