The Quiet Hours

At last the house is quiet and still. Well, mostly. There’s a cricket outside the living room window chirping incessantly and the Lady of the Manor is in the recliner reading a book and yawning occasionally. Earlier today there was a small family gathering here to celebrate my birthday belatedly (the momentous occasion of my having made another successful trip ‘round the sun again occurred this past Tuesday). The wife served up a nice baked pasta with chicken meal (kinda like a casserole, I suppose) along with Caesar salad, garlic bread and for dessert a choice of chocolate cake with fudge icing, carrot cake and vanilla ice cream. All of it chased down by either sweet tea or ice water. Quality family time followed the eating festivities. All and all a simple, low-key way to celebrate one’s arrival upon this planet.

sign-quiet_hoursNow, I debate how to best take advantage of these quiet ours. I am often torn between the desire to read and the urge to write or play guitar (I did some strumming on one of my acoustic guitars earlier and have the beginnings of a new song). As a working family man this is the common way my evenings end – arriving at the Quiet Hours tired from the long day yet eager to be productive in either reading, writing, rocking or all three. It’s too quiet to play guitar at this hour. Reading more than an hour this late will surely put me to sleep (and thankfully I got a fair amount of reading today pre-festivities). But writing at this hour? Aside from the general end-of-the-day depletion of full cognition, it’s the most opportune time to do so and I could probably eek out a few hundred words before full mental wariness takes hold – starting with this missive.

So that’s what I’ll do, I’ll work on the crime romance novel I’ve been plotting and outlining the last couple of weeks. After all, the wife now fallen asleep as I close this and I know had I cracked open a book I would soon succumb to the same fate here in the Quiet Hours.

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“How to Become a Prolific Writer” | Nicole Bianchi

The powerful process that will help you write more in 2017

Have you ever looked at the bibliographies of prolific writers and wondered how on earth they write so many books?

Do they just have an incredible amount of time to devote to writing?

A motor inside their hands that keeps them typing away?

A writing refuge where they can hide to block out all distractions from the world?

Actually, the answer is much simpler.

These prolific writers usually don’t lead unconventional lives nor do they possess any superhuman powers. Rather they have developed a single habit that anyone can master: setting a daily word count goal and following through every day.

Read on to discover the daily word counts of several prolific authors (some of these may surprise you!), and the best way to set your own daily word count goal and follow through each day.

Click the link to continue “How to Become a Prolific Writer” @NicoleJBianchi https://writingcooperative.com/how-to-become-a-prolific-writer-ba23683675ba

Fight Club’s Chuck Palahniuk Explains His Writing Method With A Disturbing Story | Lowlife Magazine

(Warning: Strong/graphic content) As part of the Q&A Podcast Fight Club 15th Anniversary Special, in which host Jeff Goldsmith sat down with novelist Chuck Palahniuk (Choke, Survivor) and screenwriter Jim Uhls (Jumper) to talk about the 1999 film, Palahniuk was asked, among other things, about his writing method, including his inspirations, habits, etc. In response, he proceeded […]

via (For Those Looking To Write Transgressive Fiction), Fight Club’s Chuck Palahniuk Explains His Writing Method With A Disturbing Story — LOWLIFE MAGAZINE

Brother, Can You Spare Some Prose?

~ Notebook #11 ~

When you’re looking to reincorporate lean muscle to your prose and you turn to the maestros of the minimalist, clean, no frills, straight-to-the-point (and straight-to-the-heart) narrative technique. I have a tendency in daily speech and writing to use a lot of complex sentences (and parenthetical asides) and when I’m not mindful of it, I tend to let that creep into my prose, especially when I’ve not been writing fiction narratives for a good while (an obvious drawback to mostly writing in a nonfiction capacity daily for so many years now).

I’ve been reading both Elmore Leonard and Bob Thurber since the late 90s (starting with Thurber at an online workshop just prior to his entering award-winning publishing success). Both of these authors cite Ernest Hemingway as a major influence on them. Only makes sense that I finally dig deeper into the guy at the top of this literary family tree I’ve adopted, so I hit up my local public library for Mr. Hemingway’s collection, and since I don’t (for some odd reason) own Mr. Leonard’s collection, I grabbed that too.

On my bookshelf I already have a few novels of Mr. Leonard, and naturally I have a personally signed copy of Mr. Thurber’s dysfunctional novel, Paperboy. On my hard drive I have a couple of Mr. Thurber’s collections of short stories, most of which are micro and flash fictions — hence the reason I dubbed him the Maestro of Microfiction over a decade ago, also because he writes with absolutely no fat in his narrative prose — it’s lean with only the most essential nutritional literary ingredients.

If I’m going to attempt to finally re-engage myself in pantser writing, and writing actual first drafts again with little regard to upfront editing (I’m an obsessive on-the-go editor), then I will need to help curb that OCD tendency by writing as plainly and as succinct as possible. Taking a refresher course with these three professors will help immensely.

Who are some of the writers you turn to when you’re needing to recharge your batteries?

“15 of the Best Free Web Applications for Writers” | Nicole Bianchi

~ Words by Nicole Bianchi ~

Once upon a time, the typewriter was the only piece of technology a writer had to make his work easier. Now we not only have computers, but we can also access an endless array of useful writing tools on the Internet. Best of all, many of these web applications are absolutely free!

But it takes time to hunt down these apps (time you could be spending on writing), so I’ve done the work for you and put together a list of my favorites. I hope these web applications will help you with your next writing project!

Read on to discover 15 of the best free web applications for writers: “15 of the Best Free Web Applications for Writers” @NicoleJBianchi https://writingcooperative.com/15-of-the-best-free-web-applications-for-writers-fadea650fda1

“How to Avoid Distractions and Finish What You” | Sarah Cooper

~ Words & Humor By Sarah Cooper ~

My tried-and-true process for getting stuff done

Ever wonder how I get so much done? Me too. That’s why I decided to document my productivity methods so everyone can learn from them. Here’s my step-by-step process for being incredibly productive.

* * *

First, I realize it’s 4pm and I haven’t gotten anything done yet. This makes me panic a bit. However, instead of accepting the panic, or pushing through it, I pile it on by realizing it’s already April and I’ve gotten nothing done this year. Then I torture myself with thinking about how I’m almost 40, and I have maybe only 30 good years of my life left. Then I think about how something horrible could happen to me at any moment — a disease, a frozen yogurt accident, anything — and how mad I’d be at myself for wasting so much time doing absolutely nothing.

READ MORE: “How to Avoid Distractions and Finish What You” @sarahcpr https://blog.sarahcpr.com/how-to-avoid-distractions-and-finish-what-you-start-in-the-age-of-the-f6024684c2b