Continuing the Change

What’s the point of all this? What am I trying to do with the blog? Why do you read it? Why do people like the posts they do? These are the questions I am trying to find answers to.

I would like to answer these questions to make the blog better.

I started with a name: Word’s Mean Stuff and  a first post (this one). A few weeks ago I added four main topics that would be my focus: Writing, Creativity/creating, Independence/ability, and choice. Starting last week I reemphasized to myself that this blog is part of what I want to do.

This blog is part of what I want to do. It is not just a Friday afternoon check box. It’s part of a larger process and purpose. Last week I decided that I really should go back to having posts written out in advance and thought out better. I am a writer/artist not a Jr high school student doing an essay because he has to. I am someone with something to say.

But, I’m not the whole equation…

I’m really not. I write this blog, but there are also the people who read this blog. Every week the likes and follows trickle in. I feel validated. I feel good. But, I need to do more. I am going to do more…

Right now is one of those points where I need to do some serious thought and better develop what I am going to put here. I have always wanted to lift up and support my readers. You deserve more than I have given before.

If I’m going to give more I should ask more.

I should; if I’m going to give more, I should ask for more. Don’t worry I’m not asking for cash, or signups, or emails, or even likes. What I’m asking for is input. I’m going to ask you, writer to reader, what you would like to see here.

I can guess (or try to guess) by looking at the blogs and profiles of the people who follow, or like, or make me feel good. I should and will do that, but that gives me my interpretation of what you want.

Going that way it’s my thought and interpretation based on what I see. What is lacking is the chance for you to answer the question. What would you like to see here?

So, this is what I am asking dear reader. What would you like to see here? What would you like to have talked about here? What can I speak to that speaks to you dear reader?

So, that is the question and I’m going to leave it at the question for now. I will be working on the answer as best I can, and I hope to hear from you… Comment, email, what ever feels best to you dear reader. That’s what I’m going to ask, and I await your answer.

I await your answer and seek my own.

That’s it for today dear reader. Until next time,

Let’s make it better together.

It’s not the words…

It’s not the words…it’s the moments.

One of the things that has been doubly cemented for me this week is that in story and in life it doesn’t really matter what your words are, or what your actions are, if you’re unwilling to stick with your reader (and your life) through the moments.

There are a lot of ways you could describe the moment someone meets their true love, or the moment they choose to kill. There are a lot of ways to say you (or your character) are happy, sad, scared, or any other emotion; but none of those words, ways, or styles really works if you’re not willing to put yourself (and your character) in the moment.

In real life it doesn’t matter if I say ‘I love you’ to my wife; what matters is that she feels loved. (Ok, yes I need to say the words, but if I say the words and she doesn’t feel loved then just saying the words doesn’t work…)

This is what hooks us, the moments of emotion; the moments of success, failure, fear and fun.

What are the moments you remember in your own life? I’d be willing to bet they’re the significant moments; the highly charged moments. We don’t really remember the lukewarm times. We don’t really remember the boring and plain (unless it is so boring and plain that it causes us discomfort and then we remember the discomfort).

In writing and in life, if we want something remembered (or read) then we need to create those moments. That is the hard part.

We remember the moments because they are intense.

This is where it gets hard as a writer (or any living person); because, to succeed in what we’re writing and doing we have to put ourselves into those moments. If we want to write that moment, the moment that the reader wants to look away but can’t, we have to put ourselves into the moment first.

No we don’t literally have to try to kill ourselves. But, if we want to write about a character who’s about to commit suicide we have to be in that moment with the character in our minds and on our keyboards.

It we want happy we have to create happy, and be in that moment. If we want scary we have to create scary, and be in that moment. And then, we have to expose that movement to someone else.

As writers we usually share what we’ve written (sometimes we wish people would pay us for stuff we wont write, but that doesn’t usually work). Even non-writers aren’t immune, if you want to share a moment with someone else (If you want to say I love you and have your wife/husband/child/whatever believe you) you have to expose part of yourself. Sometimes this means you have to share something you didn’t want to experience in the first place.

I can’t tell you how to do it. I can’t live your life for you, or write your story (I have enough trouble on my own!). But, I can tell you that if you want people to read/remember/live it, if you want someone to remember your moments, you have to be there for those moments yourself. You have to experience those movements yourself, at least in your mind.

This is a challenge, but it’s what you have to do to get through.

That’s it for today dear reader. Until next time…

Be in the moment (and be glad you’re not stuck there all the time!).

Just a short one today

I really do try to publish here once a week (actually I’d like to publish here twice a week but I have exactly 37.286 too many projects for that at the moment). I really do try to to have something worthwhile to say every week (there is something in this one I promise). Unfortunately there are those weeks where you have a new class to teach, two writing deadlines, a house to clean, a doctor’s appointment, and for some reason the dog is on fire…(note: no dogs were actually harmed in the making of this blog post!) When those times hit we have to make choices. We have to do the things we have to do to make the things we want to do possible.

That’s kind of where I’m at this week. I can (and you can) do amazing things, but sometimes we need to do the stuff that makes the stuff possible.

I’ll be back next week with something good.

Until then Dear reader,

do the good things you do. And if you can’t, then do the things you need to do to do them.

Family is family (even when they’re different…)

I’ve had a couple of major things come up this week which I don’t really need to go into here; however, they are making it really had for me to do the post I would want to do today. So, I’m digging out something I first wrote last August when my wife and went to visit family in California…

It’s a funny thing dealing with families of different sizes, (or shapes or whatever other descriptor you want to put in…). For most of my life growing up I had been in a one child family; usually a one parent, one child family. My wife is the oldest of nine kids. We have rather different family experiences. Just the size of the families makes our experience different no matter what other factors are similar or different. Consider the example of going to a restaurant.

The two person family goes to the restaurant…

In a two person family experience you go to the restaurant and find out there is a wait…. You wait maybe fifteen minutes and then are seated. In five or ten minutes you order and a bout a half hour later you’re done, pay and go on your happy way. the whole thing took maybe an hour.

The eleven person family goes to the same restaurant…

First you have to get everyone together… that takes seven and a half minutes. In the process you’ve remembered something you forgot and get growled at for ‘adding’ another two and a half minutes.

You go to the restaurant and find out there’s a wait… you wait an hour and a half for a big enough table to open up. No problem, there are menus available so everybody figures out what they want while you wait. The table opens up and you are seated.

Even though everyone figured out what they want it takes twenty minutes to figure out what to order and another fifteen to order it. It takes longer to get your food, do at least in part to the goofs in the order (not really anyone’s fault it’s noisy and there’s a lot to write down/ remember).

It takes 45-60 minutes or so to eat because people are talking and then another ten minutes or so for the one who was really talking (in fairness 15-20 minutes of all that was trading parts of meals…). Then you figure out the check, pay and mosey to the parking lot…

Don’t get me wrong…

Seriously, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying big families are bad; it just seems like things take a lot longer to plan/organize/do (of course if you need somebody to help you move you’re probably set!).

Where ever you stand on gay marriage, inter racial marriage, adoption, abortion, or a host of other issues family is important and every family is unique.

The importance of families is underscored by the fact that brotherhoods, sisterhoods, fraternities, sororities, gangs and other simulations of families tend to sprout up where intact family units are hard to find (Note: an ‘intact’ family unit is a topic for another post).

That’s it for now dear reader. Till next time…

Call your mom / dad / brother / sister / child / whoever would ya!!!