Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Word, According to Humpty Dumpty

In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with Humpty Dumpty...

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that’s all."

Alice was too puzzled to say anything; so after a minute, Humpty Dumpty began again.

"They’ve a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs: they're the proudest -- adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs -- however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!"

"Would you tell me, please," said Alice, "what that means?"

"Now you talk like a reasonable child," said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. "I meant by 'impenetrability' that we’ve had enough of that subject and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life."

"That’s a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

"When I make a word do a lot of work like that, said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Lewis CarrollThrough the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. Lewis Carroll was born on this day (January 27) in 1832.

What's your relationship with words? Do you take charge of them, as Humpty Dumpty claims to have done? Or do you trust in their innate wisdom?

It wasn't so much over the words themselves that Humpty Dumpty claimed mastery. It was over rigid definitions. Are you a slave to those definitions? Or are you willing to free yourself to be as creatively playful as was Lewis Carroll?

Whichever, you'll find 50 words and phrases to jump-start your writing and play with on page 40 of The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, available at and as an ebook for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo readers and apps.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Start Writing...Now!

Don't turn the page.
Stop reading.
Pick up your pen or touch your fingers to the keyboard.
Start writing. 

Available in paperback at Amazon.comor as an ebook for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks apps and readers

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Path That Is Yours Alone to Travel

There's nothing wrong with formal training and credentials. At the same time (unless you're planning a career in brain surgery), they're not always necessary. If you do your homework (inner and outer) commit to your passion, surrender to its demands and find the heart-centered discipline that keeps you moving forward, you will discover gifts, talents and resources (inner and outer) that you never suspected were available to you.

Take my situation: Nothing I have ever done and succeeded at (and made money at) have I gone into with any formal experience or training. In most cases, I didn't even know that were passions until they came knocking at my door!

In conventional terms, I knew nothing about novel-writing when I wrote The MoonQuest, my first novel (now an award-winner), nothing about memoir-writing when I wrote Acts of Surrender: A Writer's Memoir and nothing about screenwriting when I wrote my first screenplay, an adaptation of The MoonQuest, which is in early preproduction as part of The Q'ntana Trilogy Movies.

I have no art training, yet have sold my drawings. I have no photography training, yet two of my photos were published in Toronto's The Globe and Mail newspaper, and I have sold several others. I have no formal training to teach, coach or speak, yet have been in demand in all three areas and wrote an award-winning book on writing and creativity, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write.

Now, I'm launching into the daunting world of filmmaking as director of an epic fantasy trilogy with no directing experience. Am I scared? Absolutely. Will I let my fear get in the way? No way! I spent too many years letting my terror hold me back to relapse into that old pattern.

Bottom line: You do what you feel called to do, you move forward as honestly and confidently as you can, and you know that if you have been called to the task, you have all the support you need. Whatever your passion is, forge ahead....on the path that is yours alone to travel!

• Photo: "The Path" (c) +Mark David Gerson

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