Let Castle Rock Writer’s Conference Begin

Granted, the Castle Rock Writers Conference began last night, and I did attend the session and put out one page for analysis. After, getting some of the feedback from the panel on the one page that I put out there from the Raven Prophecy, I do know that there are some good things that I am doing with my writing, but with the good also comes the bad. The bad is that there is still room for improvement.

Let’s face it, if we don’t improve then we cannot grow. As I have said before, we all need to grow as writers, for without growth we cannot become better writers.

There is more that I will share will share with you all later after, the conference is over. That includes how important voice is to a story, not just to your characters. I hope that you all have a great writing day!

It’s Time for the Castle Rock Writer’s Conference…and other topics

Tonight is the official start of the Castle Rock Writer’s Conference for 2018. I’m so happy to say that at last and to say that I’m ready and glad to be attending the conference once again. This is my fourth time attending the conference and am so happy to be doing so. If you are in the Denver, CO area and want to attend there is still time to register. I have included the link to the conference information.¬†http://castlerockwriters.com/conference-basics-2018/

I will be attending the conference event tonight and then the next day is the start of the actual conference. I know that I’ve mentioned this event on here a lot but it is really a great conference and you learn so much from local writers. If you have registered for the event I will see you there.

Now on to other topics…

This past week, the new television season has kicked off, and I’m so happy to see what stories the shows writers have in store for all of us. Granted, there is not so much fantasy in the lineup for it all realistic dramas. I can live for towards the end of the television cycle year, there should be Game of Thrones coming back (I hope).

In other gears for us writers, we are starting to get ready for NaNoWriMo, for most of us we use the month of October to plan and to get prepared for the 50 thousand word challenged for 30 days. While most of us tackle new projects, there are also a few of us that take on the working with a continuing project. This year, I’m taking one a new project. I know that I probably shouldn’t but I’m learning with each new project, I learn something new about what is possible about the writing process and what is possible with the usage of words.

Granted, as I was doing research for this post I’m finding that there is a lot of prep that writers are doing for this month to include making personal workbooks. While others put so much pressure onto themselves about trying to complete their NaNoWriMo projects, I feel that it should be taken just like any other writing project. That includes no stress and putting no pressure on oneself when they are working on their project.

Yes, we should take the time to plan and or if flying off the seat of your pants is more your thing, then due a little pit of planing and have it take off at the stroke of midnight on October 31, which falls on a Wednesday this year.

I can’t wait for the challenge once again, but my motto is not to stress about it. I mean just think about this for a minute, for when we stress we are putting out our best work. Granted, NaNoWriMo is about writing a first draft, but we should still put our best work and our best lines of writing.

Just also keep in mind, when working on NaNoWriMo, we have an election, veteran’s day, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday. There is one in there that is about taking time for family, food and be thankful for all the things that are in our lives. But before, that we have Halloween and must prework that is to be had. But please, take my word for it in that stress should not be part of the equation.

Breath, write and create. Keep that in mind as you are preworking and writing during the challenge. I hope that you have found this helpful when working on your writing on this day.

The Bert and Ernie Dilemma

For years the question of Bert and Ernie living together making them queer or straight has raised it’s head once again. This time when one of the writers of Sesame Street answered the age old question by saying that they are gay. However, the creator the character Bert, Frank Oz, challenged this by saying that they are not. He stated that he knows for he created the character and he would know, whether it was the case or not. He also made a statement by saying, “It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman [former writer] was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It’s fine that he feels they are. They’re not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.” By answering the question in this way he was challenged for it and ridiculed for his answer extensively on Twitter.

Why should we as writers, pay attention to this issue? The answer is simple in that we create characters every day and granted readers can make their own conclusions about them. But we should not be attacked for disagreeing with the conclusion that was made about a character. Right?

I know that we live in a world, where we must be careful about what we say and write, but as creators we should not have to take the stand that are characters are what the readers want them to be. Back in the ’90’s we had a slew of television shows where male characters were roommates and there was never the question if they were “together” or not. Let’s look at Full House, granted we know that the male leads were all heterosexual but if someone said that they were homosexuals living in the closet it would have been a scandal. The same could be said for the show Friends¬†if it was also the case.

I’m not going against the LGBQ community but what I’m saying is that viewers and readers need to also take a chance when listening to the creator’s words about how their characters were created. But to be attacked for not going along with the idea that others are trying to put on characters is just wrong. But let’s say that this is not about Bert and Ernie but rather other beloved characters such as the smurfs. Granted, the smurfs for the most part are a male society and there is only one female.

No one has claimed that she is being abused by the male smurfs. But if we were to go down that path when talking about the smurfs, there is no putting the genie back in the magic lamp. Now the vision that we have the smurfs has changed. Why would it change? Look at the #metoo movement. That has changed our world to the point that in someways it is being compared to the Salem Witch Trials. The world has changed for the work place and all things that we as writers much take into account. Now it has changed for Bert and Ernie as well and some other childhood characters, along with their creators.

When Bert and Ernie was created and living in that apartment they were just roommates much like the Odd Couple. Ernie was the crazy one and Bert was the strict one. They were the childhood versions of the Odd Couple. Granted, Ernie doesn’t smoke cigars like Oscar, and Bert doesn’t dress in a suite and tie all the time like Felix. But they were created for the intentions of teaching children that people can live together and be friends despite their differences. They were not homosexual at that time, but granted the world has changed, and people’s views of have changed with the time.

However, to take down a creator for defending their views on the character(s) that they created there is a line that has been crossed. It’s not like he did a J.K. Rowling, who has later come out and said that this character should have died or this character is actually a homosexual after I said that he was a heterosexual. Frank Oz has always stayed by his stance that his characters where not and are not gay. But he is right there is more to a person than if they are gay or not. That is what we do as writers, yes, we must take sexuality into consideration when creating characters, but it should not be the defining line about whether the character lives or dies in the book.

We are told that characters are usually defined as they want something and they need something. Granted, if sexuality is coming into the want and need that is fine. But to make complex characters we need to go beyond just the sexuality.

I know that I will get some consideration and criticism for the argument that I’m trying to make, but we as creators should not be boiled over the hot coals for not agreeing with our readers on how the characters should be that we created. We as writers have an image of them and that is how it should be, and our readers can have their own image of them and that is fine too.

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Furthermore, it should be noted that Seasame Street Workshop has responded with the following, “As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”



Cutting the Ties that Binds us

Hello again! Yes, you might say that I took a little bit of a break from this page. But not from writing. The reason is simple for the break and that was life getting in the way. I know that it should not be an excuse, but when life comes with stress then its hard to work on anything let alone writing. But life is getting better and the stress is slowly leaving my life. Thank goodness and blessed it be!

Now on to other things…

We are finally in the month of September, which means fall will soon be approaching to us, like at the end of the week. Fall is a time of bright colors and but it also means that we as writers are starting to get ready for NaNoWriMo. But first, conference time. Yes, at the end of this month, if you are in the Denver or Castle Rock area, the Castle Rock Writers Conference will be occurring at the end of this month. If you want to attend there is still time to register. I hope to see you there.

Further more, before we get to NaNoWriMo and the Castle Rock Writers Conference, there is still much writing to be had. Hopefully, I plan to be doing some more of that in the mere future, such as today. I know that I have mentioned it on here before, but when life gets in the way and chaos ensues it’s ugly head, we as writers tend to ignore the fact that writing is to be our escape from the world, from which we know. I know that I tend to ignore it even though I preach about it a lot. But for once I’m taking my own advice and thinking that I have stories to write and I want to write them.

Maybe this feeling might have come that I just had a birthday, or it could be the fact that I’m once again feeling energized but whatever the reason I’m looking forward to getting back in that writer’s chair and to write away.

But while I took this little break, I realized a few things. Realizing things is not bad, unless you start to dwell on them to the point of obsession. First, I realized I have too many stories in the pot. This is a problem, for when this happens, it’s hard to work on one story at a time. Therefore, what I need to do is write down these ideas in a notebook and save them for later while I’m working on one project at time. This is where focus needs to come into play.

Second, I need the drama and the chaos of life to stop interfering in my creative space. This is also where cutting the clutter and getting of rid comes in handy as well. Third, I also need to realize that I can do anything when I fully put my mind and creative efforts in it. Finally, I need to also let somethings go but it does not do well for me or anyone else that I might care about, and this goes for my characters as well.

Therefore, I know that I have not been fair to you, my followers. I will try to make amends by getting back to posting about writing. But let’s face it as well, we in the writing community have dealing with a lot of drama this year. Granted, this is no fault of our own, but members of the community that have not been very good citizens, neighbors and the alike. Therefore, we all need to have a breather from it and for some the drama was too much and we lost members and others have stayed to continue on being members of the writing community. Each member has made the decision that was right for them.

That’s fine for all since we all have to make our own choices in life. I chose to stay for there is a lot that we can still get out of the community as a whole, but we don’t need the necessary drama that comes from others. When that happens its time to cut the ties that binds us and say, “Goodbye, Felicia. Who needs you?”

In recent years, I have been doing that a lot and for the simple reason that it’s not worth it. It’s not worth being stressed and worrying about every little thing. Granted, I worry a lot about things and it’s not healthy. I really know that now, and as I learn from it, I also know that I’m not done learning, talking about it, or growing from it. Either are others until it gets to be too much and that is when we as writers can write about it or to help others find a way to cope or to give them the escape.

Whatever the path that we chose to live by, there is a reason for it. Sometimes we may find the reason and other times we chose to ignore it or even to question it. I challenge all of you that are writers to ask why you chose to be a writer in the first and to write down their own story of being a writer and what it means to them.

I hope while you are thinking about this challenge, you have a happy writing day!