HIIT your writing and watch it improve!

The story line isn’t written on the wall. Unlike the Biblical account, no matter how hard I stare, no hand appears to write Dan out of the tar pit he’s gotten himself trapped in, again. Sheesh!

This is for those of you, if you’re like me, who struggle, at times, to get collect the right words from that pile of scrabble tiles tumbling inside your cranium.

You type, think, type, backspace, type, stare at the wall; time slips past and the hands of the clock have suddenly moved alarmingly close to quitting time. For me, that’s when the rest of the household gets up. It’s that dreadful wormhole again! Sucking time and productivity into an eternal vacuum. There’s no fix for it, no way to simply remove a filter and shake it out. It’s lost, forever.

Those who know me, are aware that physical fitness is a huge part of my life. I devote a great deal of time to developing the three key physical fitness elements: strength, cardio, and flexibility.

Recently, an idea came to me, as I waited for that magic hand to reveal the ‘golden nugget’.

I decided to incorporate a technique I’ve often used in my workouts, into my writing. Some of you may be familiar with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Simply put, the idea is to go hard for a brief period of time, and then continue exercising, but at a slower pace. This has proven, and I’ve benefited personally, to be a more effective and time efficient way of exercising than traditional forms. The ratio of time spent going hard to slowing down, are dependent upon fitness levels and goals.

I thought you were talking about writing, not running, Bierman. I am, well now I am.  I’ve discovered, for me, at least, that the same principles can be used in writing life.

No more staring at walls or scratching my head, trying to squeeze out the next sentence. These days, I write and read, in intervals. I’ll work on my WIP for fifteen minutes to half an hour, and then switch to reading blogs for about ten to fifteen minutes, before writing again.

I find reading the excellent work of others, and their different approaches to wordsmithing, very stimulating. It gives me a chance to ‘let someone else take the wheel.’  

No matter how much you love to write, and I do, creating something out of nothing can be mentally draining. This method allows for a break, while keeping your creative side working in the background.

I read blogs because they are short, and I can finish them within the allotted time frame. Blogs also give you the chance to read material from different authors, thus stimulating your brain to a greater extent.

You may have your own preference, such as Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media platform.  I would advise against reading a book, as it can get intertwined with your work, and it should be something you can finish within the timeframe.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have any techniques that you use, please share them here.

Happy writing!  

Now, what about that ‘k’?

This past Wednesday, I decided to extend my sincerest wishes to my American friends to the south for a peaceful Inauguration Day.

I fired up my Word Press account and pecked away at the keyboard, like a barnyard chicken. At the completion of the task, I proofread my piece and hit “Publish.”

Pleased that I was able to send mental and digital ‘vibes’ of goodwill, I proceeded to go about my day, when something caught my eye.

I’m sure my sister and her family down in Ohio could have heard my best Homer Simpson impression of, “Doh!”

That would have been accompanied with the echo of my hands smacking my forehead. How could I have missed such a ridiculous typo?

You see, the opening line was supposed to read: I would like to convey my sincerest hope for a peaceful transition of power and healing for the nation of the United States.

 In actuality, the ‘k’ must have decided to take its March Break early, because it read: I would lie to convey my sincerest hope for a peaceful transition of power and healing for the nation of the United States.

A bit frustrated with myself, I was glad that it had, at this point, only received a single view. I quickly grabbed the ‘k’ off the beach chair, and yes, I drank the brat’s mimosa. The AWOL letter was stuffed back in place.

Satisfied, I went into the kitchen where my grade-schoolers were munching on their cereal and contemplating yet another “delightful” day of COVID-style homeschooling.

It was about twenty minutes later that my phone ‘pinged’ an incoming message. It was from Mom and she’d noticed the missing ‘k’ and suggested I change it. Was she that one viewer? No, too early, she would have been doing her Bible reading around that time.

My head ached with another smack when I realized that I’d forgotten that my blog is set to share on Facebook and Twitter once published. She reads my posts on FB. I went to the computer, but of course, the post had been graciously retweeted and was now out in Twitterverse.

I corrected the post on FB and sent out a corrected retweet explaining that it was a typo and that I was sincere in my wishes. Of course, I knew that people are intelligent enough to realize it was a simple mistake, but it was still somewhat embarrassing.

I’ve clacked out the above sentences in the hope of producing a knowing smile on your part. I also wished to demonstrate how easy it is for the eyes and mind to be fooled. I think most of us are so accustomed to reading and writing, that our brains know how most words are spelled, so we read them that way.

You can’t always rely on spellcheck either, because it may not catch the proper context of the word. Hence the need for a second pair of eyes when you are ready to publish.

There are many words in the English language that seem completely illogical in their spelling.

Take the word ‘knife’ for instance. I could see Dalbert, quill in hand, at the dinner table, scratching out his latest poem. He gets  a hankering for a piece of sourdough bread and asks “Ada, can you pass me the nife?”

Ada, being relatively modern, wants to try out an abbreviated form of a new slang word she’s just learned, and responds with, “K.”

Dalbert, who just happened to be writing an ode to his nife collection, scratches the letter ‘k’ onto the parchment. He quickly realizes his mistake, smacks his head, covering it with expensive ink. There’s nothing for it, their ink supplies are low, and he needs to sell another goat before he can buy more.

 He shrugs it all off and mumbles, “There is no ‘butterfly effect’ that will come of this.”

I’ve prattled on long enough, you get my point.

Disclaimer: Any spelling or grammatical errors made in this document are entirely the fault of spell check, Word Press, or the author’s rogue fingers. The author takes no personal responsibility for any unintentional changes to the language of English that may be caused. 🙂

Swept towards Eternity

waterfall

Swiftly swept – no say have we; For time’s torrent waits not for thee. Youth flows post-haste – Looks will flee. The soul remains for eternity.

Love is all – the rest’s fool’s gold. Guard thy tongue and don’t let it scold. Warm thy heart’s core – Don’t grow cold. For Heaven awaits with joys untold.

Sunshine Blogger Award

I came off a few long days of work to find a wonderful surprise when I checked the comments on my blogsite.

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I was pleasantly surprised and honored!

The award is given out by members of the blogging community in recognition of their inspiring, creative, and motivational blogs.

I would like to thank Chris, whose informative and motivational blog Living Healthier  and Happier    is full of helpful articles that give great advice on diet, mental/physical health, financial issues, and everyday challenges. I highly recommend a visit, just click on the link above.

Chris has asked me to answer eleven personal question, so here goes:

typewriterold

1. How long have you been blogging?

Two years.

2. What inspired you to start a blog?

I’m working on my second novel, and novel writing is a marathon. I wanted a way to connect with people in a more consistent way. I also enjoy reading the works of other bloggers and have learned so much from them.

3. How  much time do you spend blogging each week?

It depends on the subject and blog length. In general, I devote around two hours.

5. It’s The Sunshine Blogger Award so how do you spread rays of sunshine on your blog?

I try to focus on the positive things in life. People need a break from the negativity in  media, such as the news. There are still so many good experiences, and people, in this world. For the most part, I write about those. If I can make someone smile, or brighten their day in even a small way, my blog has done its job.

6. If you were to impart some words of wisdom about blogging, what would they be?

I don’t mean this in a bad way, but people are busy.  Most readers are probably enjoying more than one blog. What I’ve found is that shorter blogs, with a few impactful  paragraphs and some interesting photos, receive the most positive feedback.

7. What has influenced your blog most?

Personal experiences and ideas that I want to share.

8. What do you like best about blogging?

The connection with readers and hosting guest bloggers. I enjoy giving a boost to others.

9. Describe your blog using five adjectives.  

fun/ unique/ emotional (at times)/ encouraging/ thought-provoking

10. What advice would you give a new blogger?

Read, read, read! Before you type the first words of your new blog, find and follow those of the experienced and successful. Learn from them, like and COMMENT  on their posts. It takes awhile, but if you give support, you will reap the benefits. Do not copy the voice of others, find your own and be consistent in your posts and loyal to your followers.

11. Which blog topics are your favorites to read?

Travel blogs . . . I would love to travel more, but time and resources do not allow for this. I enjoy living vicariously through those blogs!

Here are some inspirational bloggers that I nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I chose them because they are committed to blooging excellence!  

D.L Finn

Fiction Favorites with John W. Howell

Happiness Between The Tails, by DA-AL

Be Inspred . . . !! 

Daniel Kemp

Robbie’s Inspiration

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Fractured Faith Blog

Rest & Chaos

The Indie Spot!

This is My Truth Now

For accepting the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few rules:

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.

• Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.

• Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.

I love to know what makes people ‘tick’ so here are 11 questions for you. I promise, nothing embarrasing. If there are any questions you do not wish to answer, please feel free to give them a pass.

1. What is the most extreme “sport” you’ve done (if any)? 

2. Do you have a favorite travel destination? If so, where?

3. What is your favorite blog topic? 

4. Do you have a prefered time of day to blog? When?

5. Do you drink coffee while you blog?

6. Do you have pets?

7. If you were trying to fix a broken shovel handle and a 500 pound gorilla came up to you with a roll of tape, what would you do? 

8. Do you prefer to swim in a pool or a natural body of water? 

9. It’s Thanksgiving- turkey, some other type of meat, or no meat?

10. Given the choice, would you prefer a spider or a snake in your home? 

11. What type of music do you listen to? 

That’s it! All done! I wish you all the best in 2020! Keep writing those wonderful blogs!