When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.
The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
~Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Up at 1:28 am this morning until whenever reading and jotting notes… Sleeplessness is not a gift, it’s a burden, unless you take the time and use it well…
Kurt Vonnegut was certainly never dull…especially when giving advice to other writers. Here are his eight essential tips for a short story that I keep in mind every time my fingers stroke the keys, or my pen hits the clean white page…
- Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
- Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
- Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
- Every sentence must do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action.
- Start as close to the end as possible.
- Be a sadist. No matter who sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them – in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
- Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
For more great articles by Kurt visit Open Culture page. I’m heading for “How to Write with Style” next!
The day is gray, but the sky is white… I sit and watch the silky wisps of snow fall this early Monday afternoon…I experience it as a blessing, the sense of renewal the white will bring as it caresses the earth, creating a sense of a new beginning.
It is silent, comfortable, for a this moment, for a welcome change, I need not go anywhere…I can watch, type, get my work done right here, in front of my window, and let the February snow fall…
“It is never too late for a fresh start.” I read this in a little book I picked up yesterday, a book that was meant to find my hand at that moment, a blessed synchronicity on my own writing and spiritual journey that I started this year on January first. It says to be thankful for New Years, Birthdays, and Mondays, for each is the start of something new, each is potential to experience a clean slate in your life, to start a new path and to give you opportunity to search…or to be found.
stop everything…for just a moment…and consider the invitation.
Do you feel a need for a new beginning?
Know that in any small aspect of your life, a fresh, new beginning is always possible…
Gemini novelist Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) was fascinated in “life with the lid on and what happens when the lid comes off.” She knew both states from her own experience. “When you love someone,” she mused about the times the lid had come off, “all your saved-up wishes start coming out.” In accordance with the astrological omens, I propose that you engage in the following three-part exercise. First, identify a part of your life that has the lid tightly clamped over it. Second, visualize the suppressed feelings and saved-up wishes that might pour forth if you took the lid off. Third, do what it takes to love someone so well that you’ll knock the lid off.
~Via Free Will Astrology
You are Love!!
Check out your inspiration for the upcoming week here...
Image: Francesca Woodman=Haunted Genius