Grist For The Mill

One of the most common questions writers get is:
Where do you get your ideas?
What inspires you to write?

 

Image from:
Wikipedia
GristMill

 

A friend of mine asked me this VERY question a few weeks ago.  For myself, ANYTHING can inspire me:
–A conversation overheard as in: Lunchtime Conversations
–Something I read as in my Books category
–Even a conversation with a friend as can be seen from this VERY column.

 

Usually if I use a conversation I’ve overheard or one I have with a friend I will mask the person, either I won’t mention them by name or I will create a false name.  The ONLY time I have used someone’s real name is when I refer to them at Wisdom and Life as in:
Google+ Mentions and Several columns in Friendships.

 

In one case a street name in Madison Connecticut inspired me to write a short story that is in my eBook:
Random Acts: Stories of Redemption

 

There is no clear answer to what inspires an artist to create, whether that artist is a painter, a writer, a photographer.  Anything and everything can be grist for the mill.  I think it’s one of the reasons some artists find the question challenging.  It’s almost like asking them why do you breathe?  Being an artist is who we are and we can no more turn off the flow of inspiration then we can stop our breath.  Just like being a writer, myself, I simply cannot turn off the editor in my head when reading.  A writer is who I am, and my ears and eyes are always scanning my environment whether I want to or not.  I may not be consciously aware of my scanning, but when it comes time to put my fingers to the keys on my computer, my mind drifts back to my day.  And with Wisdom and Life I’ve said it before and I will repeat it now:
What I write at this blog is I’m CONVINCED divinely inspired.  I may be tapping the keys, but the words are emanating from the somewhere else.  Perhaps The Akashic Record.  Perhaps from the Divine.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

 

Change in Plans

On Wednesday last, I wrote a column for Wisdom and Life that was scheduled to publish on Friday suggesting that I planned on cutting down to once a week.  However, I had a change in heart on Thursday night and reconsidered.  Just that I thought briefly about cutting back to once a week and ACTUALLY had a column scheduled to publish on Friday is telling.
Pencil

Honestly, though?
I think it was a momentary belief that I felt overwhelmed because I let myself fall behind in my routine.  I simply need to get back to the point where I stay at LEAST two weeks ahead.  I haven’t been able to do that recently because I’ve been playing catch up for over two months.  I’m hoping within the next week to be able to get back to that place.  Seeing as I have ten days off from work if I write consistently for a few days I SHOULD be back in step.

 

I can’t NOT write for this blog twice a week.  I still have positive news I feel a need to share; which is why I felt an emptiness, which is why I knew it didn’t feel right  when I THOUGHT I decided to cut back.

 

So have no fear!

My schedule will continue at twice a week:
Monday and Friday.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

 

Blog Care

Something a bit different today.  This column is directed at bloggers.  One of the things I’ve started doing recently is doing an automatic backup of my blogs to Google Drive using UpdraftPlus.  Check Updraft out on G+.

Image from:
UpDraftPlus
UpDraft

With UpDraftPlus, you can schedule a backup to many outside sources.  I decided on Google Drive only because I use Google for just about everything:

–Mail
–Social
–News
–Doc Storage

 

Since I’m on Google ALL the time, it seemed to be the best tool to use.  I highly advise all bloggers to find an auto backup tool to use.  The LAST thing you’d want is to come to your blog at some point and find that it has been damaged, that you’ve lost it or parts of it.  If you can set up an automatic backup, then that’s one less thing to worry about.  There are many auto back up tools to choose from.  You simply have to search them out.

 

If you haven’t done so yet, what are you waiting for?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Water Wheels and Writing

Writing has become something I love to do again and I’m writing every day.  As a result, I’ve found that the editing process has dwindled.  I find that I’m not make grammatical errors and my choice of words has increased as well.  Some of the columns I write for all of my blogs now are written a few days before they publish.  I no longer agonize over the little things in my writing.  The only thing I STILL do worry about is the structure, where a thought will go, where a line in the column will go.  Not so much spelling or grammar anymore.  I can’t help but think of my friend, Jason and his analogy to a water wheel.

Image
From:
Chatfield Hollow/CJP Photos

 

Jason used to tell me that when we write regularly, the wheel is always in motion, an easy flow.  It’s when go away from it that we have to expend too much energy to get the wheel moving again.  It’s that way with anything we do, the more we practice, the better we get, the looser we get.  It’s why when I began Wisdom and Life in 2010 I made sure to have something publish five days a week.  Doing so was my way of greasing the wheel.  I needed that extra effort to keep my wheel from freezing up, from rusting, from locking up again.  It seemed to have worked as I’m now at the point where I don’t spend as often editing anymore.  I may not be writing five columns a week at Wisdom and Life any longer but I now maintain three blogs, so I’m writing as often as I did when previously.

 

My wheel is in constant motion and I plan on doing my best to keep it that way.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

We Write to Understand

I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind.  If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it.  We do not write to be understood; we write to understand.

 

Cecil Day-Lewis
Awakened Mind
Page 50
David Kundtz

AwakendMind

I love that I have so many resources for Wisdom and Life.  There is seldom a time I’m at a loss for what to discuss at this blog.  What writer’s block?  At least with Wisdom and Life that is.  My other two blogs I sometimes have a challenge with.

 

The above passage by Cecil Day-Lewis resonated with me the moment I opened Awakened Mind to page 50 and read the quote.  I’m sure those of you who call yourself writers can also connect with what Lewis is saying here.  Clearly, when I wrote fiction, I wrote to understand.  I wrote to release the negative.  I wrote to lighten my load.  I wrote to understand what caused me stress.  I can’t say all the writing I produced helped me understand.  It did however, help me get past the challenges I faced while growing up.  So in that respect, I suppose writing DID help me understand.  Now after over twenty years of NOT writing fiction and as I call my writing now:
Short little bursts of inspiration, I’m still writing to understand.  Only now I’m doing my best to understand my place in this spiritual world.

 

I stopped writing fiction as many of my longtime readers here are aware, because I lost interest in what I was writing.  What was it that I wrote?  Mostly dark fantasy.  I think the reason I gravitated to that genre is that I went through a dark time when I wrote fiction.  You know what they say?  That we naturally gravitate toward what we know.

 

Now as I look back at when I stopped writing, it was around the time I graduated from Southern Connecticut State University.  I finally found a job that fulfilled me:
Working at RJ Julia Booksellers doing what I was meant to do, being a book advisor.  And fulfilling my prophecy of working full time at my local library doing the same thing.

 

I no longer needed the darkness around me because I no longer felt the darkness around me.  I pulled myself out of the dark hole and started to see light, started to see the positive.  A number of years later I felt so much light, so much positive energy around me that I had to share it.  That’s when Wisdom and Life was born.

 

Funny.  It took until this very moment as I sit here pounding out these words on my keyboard for me to understand the relationship between my writing THEN and my writing NOW.
That even THAT is connected.  That I wrote dark fiction because I was in a dark place and now I write positive life affirming content because I found the light.

 

So as it turns out, this column wound up being prescient.  I’m still writing to understand.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

The Flame is Burning

Image from:
Wikipedia

Fire.JPG

As with The Secret enhancing, growing, creating a stronger faith in me, reading Still Writing by Dani Shapiro, last month lit a fire under me, reinvigorated the passion I have for writing.  At one point before discovering Law of Attraction, (LoA) I never would have thought my faith could grow any stronger.

 

I found out differently.  I discovered that LoA is simply another path to spirit.

 

There had been a time when writing burned out for me where I  could no longer feel the itch.  Thankfully I recovered and the fire is once again stoaked.  After finishing Ms Shapiro’s book last month I’ve found the flame is now burning brighter than it has in many years.

 

I write for about two hours every evening and I’ve discovered once again my prime writing time is after dinner say from six pm to eight pm; just as I did in my youth.  I’ve also established a routine where my two gifts no longer conflict with each other.  Where previously I couldn’t write and photograph during the same time in my life which the column The Itch does a fine job of explaining.  I’m now at a point in my life where both gifts are able to coexist.  Kinda odd to say that as this is a new experience for me.  I will ride the wave as long as I can.

 

Writing started out as my first gift.  I actually recall being the fourth grade living in Branford Connecticut on Jefferson and having a Top Secret Book.

 

What appeared in this book?
The beginnings of my foray into short story writing.
One particular story I recall is one called:
Green Island

 

This story about a fictional island off the Connecticut coast housed a secret location where UFOs came and went.  So see, even in my youth I wrote science fiction.

 

Surprisingly, science fiction and fantasy is what drew me away from writing in the 2000s.  I lost interest in everything I’d been working on.  But then you can read about that in The Itch.

 

My flame is burning brightly again, brighter than it has in years; and as with Rhonda Byrne’s, The Secret, I have another outside source for strengthening my writer muscle.  Thanks goes to Dani Shapiro’s Still Writing.

 

Have you found a helping hand to strengthen one of your gifts?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Writing and Right Brainers

Writing.Right.jpg

My friend, Bonita Kay Summers recently wrote a column at her blog called Writing to Understand Ourselves  in which she said:
I have been a writer since I was 8 years old. It wasn’t a conscious choice.

Further on in the column, Bonita says:
What held me in thrall and kept me writing by choice was the amount of personal insight I discovered through the writing process. When I realized this was happening, I began to research right-brain writing techniques and other creative writing methods, with the intent to deliberately tune in to that wisdom.

 

I can SO relate to these two passages because, like Bonita, I have been writing since I could first put pen to paper then as I became adept at typing I started keying in my thoughts.  Writing wasn’t a conscious choice for me either.  I found the exercise liberating, freeing the stress I experienced growing up.  Writing became my release valve. spewing forth all the negativity around me.  Also as with Bonita, I found myself awestruck by the amount of writing I could produce in a short amount of time.

 

I’ve spoken here countless times of being in the Flow where time seems to stop and at the same time speed up.  Bonita uses her column to reference teaching a group of 16 year old students.  She says:
I stood before the class of 16-year-olds, encouraging them to take 10 minutes to write about anything they wished. After the short interval, when they handed in their assignments, the work they produced was self-conscious, and it was apparent that their intent in writing was not about self-expression, but rather on following the rules of sentence structure and grammar. Rather than being excited about having an opportunity to express themselves on any topic they wished, they were reticent, concerned about getting the exercise “wrong”.

 Over the course of the next few days, I introduced this group of high school students to a new way of writing, one that helped them unlock their inborn storyteller. At the end of two short sessions, the writing samples they produced were dramatically different. Each student had lost the cautiousness they exhibited on the first day. By learning right-brain writing techniques, they discovered not only their natural writing voice, but that writing intuitively creates a natural order and structure to their writing. Not only was the material they produced lively and interesting, very little editing was required of the finished work. By the end of our time together, every student knew how to tap into their innate ability to write well.

 

For myself, the above passage so reminds me of being in the flow.  This method of teaching is a wonderful way to lose your inhibitions and if more teachers took this under consideration when teaching, I imagine more students would find their love of writing cultivated.  Some of us are simply born with an innate desire to write and those lucky few that have that gift should teach others just as Bonita as has done.

 

Bonita mentions right brained people and MANY writers and artists are naturally right brained.  Are you Right Brained? Here is a list of SEVERAL brain traits from Suite101.  How many do you identify with?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Writing Saved My Life

A little different column today.  Today you get to peer into my life a bit more.
You get to see what makes this writer tick.

 

Start small. If you try to think about all of it at once—-the world you hope to capture on the page, everything you know…
…you’ll be overcome by paralysis.

Still Writing
Dani Shapiro
Page 15-16

StillWriting.jpg

Uncanny:

Picked this book up at the library last week as it made its way back through the bookdrop.  Having been a writer all my life, I’m always fascinated by what makes writers tick.  As I read this book I feel connected with so much of what the author says.  I felt a deep connection to the passage above as I rarely knew where my fiction traveled when I wrote short stories.  I sat at my computer’s keyboard and simply started placing words on the screen.  Most of the time I never knew how the story would conclude.  That may seem odd to some of you, however it’s how I worked.

 

As another passage suggested:
There was a woman I know (Dani that is) who only wrote at night as she had children who needed her attention during the day. (A paraphrase here.)

 

Growing up as teenager, that became my schedule as well.  Typically, after dinner, I would disappear into my room and into my created worlds of fiction.  I wrote best from around seven to eleven PM. I’ve talked here at Wisdom and Life before about being in the flow.  I can’t tell you how many times I’d start writing at my scheduled time and time would simply melt away.  Next thing I knew I’d look up and two hours would have gone by.  Looking back at my screen in front of me there would be word after word and sentence after sentence filling the once blank screen.  Amazing that was, the first time it occurred.  I’m no longer writing fiction.

 

Having lost interest in that world, I now produce three blogs.  So to coin a phrase, I’m still writing.

 

Writers write:

correct?  I believe I produce more content now that I’m in the blog world than I ever did when I wrote fiction.  Writers lead a solitary life and many of the writers who I call close friends share a common trait:
We’re ALL introverts and a great many of us are right brained.

 

If I didn’t have this gift,
If I didn’t write from an early age and even now,
I don’t want to consider where my life would be at the moment.  As with Dani Shapiro, “Writing saved my life.”  It became my release.  Writing, pounding on that keypad every night helped me pound out the stress in my life as a teenager.

 

I’ve been writing for so long now that its become the source of my life, as much as breathing is the source of my life. Stop one and I may as well stop living.  Writers write!  Humans breathe.  All one in the same for me.

 

Start small:

Excellent advice.  Put one word on the screen then another and another.  Pretty soon your screen will be filled with words.

 

Listening to the voices:

This is why I rarely knew where my stories would go.  I simply followed my intuition.  I let the voices in my head guide me. My characters basically guided me.  They knew better than I where they needed to go.  I certainly don’t recommend following that rule.  It worked for me.  And I’m convinced listening to their voices had a direct impact on my writing today, especially writing Wisdom and Life.  Were it not for my ability to give control over to my characters, opening my mind, letting my characters influence me, I sincerely doubt my divine pipeline would be as clear, as open as it is today.  Giving my characters free reign definitely helped me now.

 

Writing has always been my release.  Dani Shapiro said writing saved her life.  I have to agree.  She also says that writing keeps her centered and when she goes away from it, her stress level rises, things that generally don’t bother her become huge challenges.  I can relate to this too because I feel the same way.  I always have.  When I spend time writing, my life is easy, I’m more joyful.  A writer writes and when THIS writer doesn’t write?

 

Well look out!

Because you don’t know when NOT if he will blow.
Do you want to know what makes writers tick?  Pick up Still Writing.
This is a book that everyone who is a writer or who is friends with writer should read.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over; 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Writing at Starbucks

I visit Starbucks in Madison, Connecticut occasionally to write.  Writing can be kind of solitary and I like to sometimes get out with my iPad and join the world.  I don’t mind the interruptions.  It’s nice to be known.  Anyway while I set up with my iced coffee and began formulating what I planned on writing, a couple of people wandered over and sat down with me.  They recognized me from all the blogs I write on Patch.

 

They told me that even though people generally don’t comment online, that this couple looked forward to reading Wisdom and Life especially.  They wanted to know my favorite topic I write about.  I didn’t hesitate.  Before I told them, I prefaced it by saying:
The last thing I want to do is creep you out or sound macabre, but I get the most of writing about death and dying.

 

They smiled.
We’ve been reading what you’ve been been writing since you began sharing on Patch.  You’re not gonna creep us out. We understand your fascination with the subject.  The stuff you share is far from macabre, is far from depressing.  We think it is enlightening.

 

That’s what I think too, I told them.  When I discuss that topic I feel like I could write for days.  I do find it enlightening.  I do take something away from not only writing about Death and Dying, I also feel a weight lift from reading my own columns.  See?  I believe everything I discuss and watching the screen fill with my words, lifts that veil, removes the taboo, takes away the negative and fills my soul with light.  I truly believe that if more of us had our spiritual blinders removed we wouldn’t feel so challenged by losing someone close to us, we wouldn’t feel so angry at our family, at our friends for not reaching our potential, because you understand that the soul is eternal, correct?  Because you understand that we all return correct?

 

We don’t get just one life to get it right.  We return over and over UNTIL we make the right decisions.  We come back again and again, so we can get closer to perfection, so we can move closer to the light, so we can move closer to God. No one ever gets it right the first time, the second time, or even the fourth or fifth time.  We’re never done learning.  If only we all understood this, the anger, the grief, the pressure we put not just on ourselves but everyone around us to find our success, to find our bliss, to find the right relationship, that would all dissipate.  That’s why we continue to incarnate.  If we don’t get it right in our latest incarnation, then we have next time to improve.

 

Some of you consider this an excuse NOT to do ANYTHING in this life.  That is not what I’m advocating here.  What I’m saying is:
We all get more chances.

Here’s the conundrum however.  Here’s why you don’t want to NOT to ANYTHING:
The time you run into a challenge in this latest incarnation?  If you choose to avoid any resolution?  Well, you may THINK you’ve avoided that.  Guess what?
You’re wrong!  You’ve simply delayed it.  For you will see the same challenge at the same point in life during your next incarnation.  That’s not a punishment.  God doesn’t punish. HE seeks more positive ways to modify our behavior.
HE gives us lessons to learn.  By showing us the same challenge over and over we will eventually resolve it. Once resolved we won’t see that challenge arise in future incarnations.

 

If more of us understood this, if more of us accepted this knowledge, death would lose its hold over us, because you see?  There truly is no death.  There is simply a transition.

 

This is why when I write about Transition, the words spill out faster than I can keep up.  You know I feel about what I write; that I’m merely a conduit, that the words are coming to me from the Divine, that I’m merely transcribing what is being channeled through me.  This is clearly more evident when I discuss Transition than any other topic I write about.  I believe it is because I’m being guided to remove the fear, to remove the stress, to remove the grief from those left behind.

 

I said all this to these people while they sat and listened.  When I talk about what is passionate in my life, I can sometimes get into a zone, much like when I write; especially when I understand that people really want to listen.  These people were open to what I had to say and I could tell when they left their spirits were lighter.  My task complete, I returned to the reason I arrived at Starbucks.  Opening my iPad I started to compose my next column for Wisdom and Life.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Cutting Back

Image from:
Wikipedia

A short and sweet column today:

Three months have gone by since I cut back to two columns a week here at Wisdom and Life.  I still believe I made the right choice as I felt pressed to get three columns out every week and I started to get a bit stressed knowing that my readers were waiting.

 

The last thing I want is to become agitated, worried, pressured to write.  This gift I have is too important to leave behind again.  I lost the itch once and I certainly didn’t want to lose it again.  I felt as if that could happen if I continued down this path.

 

In December I started yet another blog that publishes once a week. I’m now writing three blogs so I’m actually writing more now than when I cut back in October.  I’m able to stay ahead simply by writing just about every day.  Fortunately, my other two blogs publish weekly.

 

When I created CJP Photo News, and began publishing on Madison Connecticut Patch I already wrote two other blogs and I initially worried that people would be turned off because I appeared on Patch four times a week with three different blogs.  After reading all the content about promoting small business on Patch, I decided I needed to find another way to do just that.  Thus CJP Photo News came into being.

 

You may say I didn’t really cut back at all as I seem to be writing more as I said myself a moment ago.

 

This is true; however the other two blogs I write are of entirely different topics, so I don’t really feel as anxious keeping up anymore.  As long as I continue to stay ahead of the curve all will be well.  I’m already a month out and I plan on staying ahead now.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris