Thursday, April 25, 2013

Story quote: False coaches

Perhaps you, too, have a coach of the interior like mine – bald and cruel, shaking his sweaty pate at your sloth, ridiculing your sentences, professionally contemptuous. Extremely foul-mouthed. A definite misogynist. A voice that reads over your shoulder and snorts with derision at your characters’ dialogue. A voice in cahoots with every other voice that has ever criticized your efforts and ambitions and haircut. He pretends to be all kinds of things: the Voice of Reason, the Voice of Tough Love. But he is a tyrant. He is the enemy of fiction writing. His “pep talks” are actually spells of paralysis, designed to rob you of all confidence and happiness. In order to write your novel, you must get rid of this sadist. Do whatever it takes to shut him up. Chloroform him; drag him by his white Reebox behind the dugout; bury his shrill, censorious whistle. Then return to your green, blank, mercifully silent playing field, and write.
- Karen Russell

(How do you shut up the liars in your head?)

(c)2013 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Celebrations and timing

I've been thinking a lot about celebrations lately. It's important to take the time to celebrate important things, both personally and globally. Yay! You did it! Yay! We did it! You know what I mean.

I have my personal calendar of celebrations, as we all do. I write about some of them here, when it seems fitting. One of my big celebration dates was yesterday, but it wasn't appropriate to write about in the midst of all the fear and celebration happening in Boston related to the Marathon bombing. But I still thought and smiled about it.

Celebration and gratitude are closely related. One reinforces the other. If I feel grateful for something, when I celebrate it I pour more energy into it and strengthen its role in my life and then world. Celebration is a kind of deliberate, public expression of gratitude. It's a way of saying my glass is at least half-full and I want to share. Have a sip!

I don't think I celebrate enough, though I often express gratitude. I think many of us overlook celebration.

This led me to thinking about the things we might celebrate every day, in tiny ways, regardless of the timing. Little parades, tiny hip-hip-hoorahs. I thought I might share a few of mine with you.

So, today I am cheering for:

  • 19 years cancer-free as of yesterday
  • those whom I have loved
  • those who love me
  • health
  • kindness small and large

I'd love to know what you might be in the mood to celebrate. Even if that celebration is just a thought, a smile and tiny cheer.

(c)2013 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Story Quote: On Questions

I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.

—Andre Dubus III

(What are your questions?)

(c)2013 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Video: The World is Made of Stories

But of course, you knew that already.

(c)2013 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

Story quote: Cheating the Muse

Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.
—William S. Burroughs

(What happened last time you tried to fake it?)

(c)2013 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Story quote: Breathing, crying, singing

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
- Anais Nin

(This works for story, too.)

(c)2013 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License
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