Tuesday, 13 September 2011

House Hunting and Long Summer Days

As this awful house hunting thing continues in these last dog days of summer I find the poor air quality of the Valley has me moving from the air conditioned bedroom to the sometimes air conditioned office. It's not much of a life.

At the same time my writing feels further and further from me, I no longer feel like it is a part of me and that leaves me with a sinking feeling. I do have timelines and projects that will be ready to go in the future, but for now I do not have my hand in a writing project - it feels abysmal.

I do have a few half completed projects that are like young children calling for my attention and I hate to put them off, for little children shouldn't be put off, they need to be nurture to grow. How am I to become a full time writer and novelist when this is my predicament, I'm uncertain at the moment....Sad but true?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

House Hunting and Writing - Never Should the Twain Meet

My husband and I have been looking for a new home for several months now, it is starting to become a writing hindrance and something that is very frustrating.

I know that many writers, including myself, have many projects on the go and have a desk that can look 'busy' or 'creative'. Well right now mine looks like several filing boxes exploded onto my desktop. There amid site plans, rejected offers (from homes that are overpriced or not quite asthma friendly) and schedules x, y and z is my writing. It's keeps calling to me through the house-hunting din and I keep doing my best to answer that call.

I've tried to have an action plan throughout this process, albeit a messy one and some of if so far has come to fruition, so action plans, while not so creative are not bad things. I was able to send out a novella to an editor as well as a novel, both slated to be edited by Jan of 2012. That is not a bad thing!

Well sleep and duty calls so I'm off to bed and then I hit the ground running for another day on the hunt for a new home tomorrow. Best.... Kim

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I Hate to Write About Bad Weather Days!

I didn’t get a chance to write my regular Tuesday post yesterday and won’t be free on Friday so I thought I pick today to post some thoughts.

Bad weather days are like fair weather friends they come and go thank goodness! My husband and I are in the middle of buying a home and moving to another part of the province. It’s a trying time and one that I really wish was over soon, but patience can bring with it the most enjoyable fruits, so patient I shall be. Today did not start out as a very good day on the house-hunting front and I was so frustrated because I got no writing done. But bearing in mind my patience needed to be with me from the time I got up this morning, yes it was a bad weather day that early, I was able to persevere later on today and my husband and I may have hit gold! We shall see. Because of this fortuitous event I can now get back to my passion – writing, tomorrow. Thank god my bad weather day is almost at an end and I can come out of it with some patience of mind!
         All the best to you writers come house-hunters. I know it sucks, but all the bad weather days will turn into productive patience creators if you can wait out the craziness.

PS. I hope you stick around to here more of my house-hunting musings for the writer at heart next week.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

It's All in the Message


Today's post is a little late and brief. It's a busy time right now. I'll be able to post more in a few weeks.

As I mentioned in my earlier post I had a wellspring of understanding and drew inspiration from that. This wellspring of inspiration helped me through that troubled time and gave me a unique perspective. I was able to refocus my message and strengthen it with those same ideals that had gotten through my most recent hardship. My writing became more and more a part of my lifestyle as I incorporated it into my daily life as best I could.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Metamorphosis

I mentioned in my last post that after being diagnosed with asthma and environmental illness my workplace became a nightmare and I had to be reassigned several times. This was a transformative time for me. In the end I realized that I was in the wrong profession and that the universe was telling me something… that it was time to write again.

I believe it was Nietzsche who said “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”. I felt like my battered and bruised psyche and body were pushed through the eye of a needle and I survived with both aspects of self intact!

The gift I received from that experience enabled me to reach deep within myself and gain a new level of understanding about me and what I was capable of accomplishing. I now had a wellspring of understanding and drew inspiration from this as my writing evolved into something that I was happier with than ever before.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Picking up Where I Left Off

Today I want to go back to my Lizzy books and the ideas that inspired me to move my writing to another level.  I remember I revised and revised my books until I felt I couldn’t revise any more. Then I put them away (it’s now a two part novel) and had to work on other projects for a period of time.

I was away from Lizzy for about a year or so. I had taken a writing course during that time, read some books and went through two moves. I was diagnosed with asthma and environmental illness late in life and going through a terrible time with my boss, but that’s another story. By the time it was all done I had gone through a kind of metamorphosis and I think my writing was stronger from the changes that life had presented me.

That growth period afforded me with new experiences that enabled my writing to become richer and more dynamic. I also realized that I shouldn’t shun but embrace my poetic side and let that part of me become a feature to enrich my writing. I now feel that my writing is less forced and more natural now that I am able to accentuate my strengths not neglect them.

While I'd love to write more I have a cold today and colds are never good for asthmatics, so it’s time for me to say goodbye. I’ll continue my thoughts on Tuesday. A great weekend to all of you out in blogland!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

New Routines Aren't Always a Bad Thing

I know I keep shifting back and forth from my writing chronology to the here and now, but it's just like flashback writing it's it? I hope you'll appreciate and find some merit in my flashback style.

I'm beginning to like these free writes. I can see their purpose; my creativity seems to flow from them. I think the key for me is allowing myself to let the writing come, not to force it. I get a spark, an idea or a phrase and then I sit with it for a little while, maybe an hour or even a day, but then the writing just flows. I am getting in the habit of trusting my instincts and myself. I think it's working. In the beginning it took practice and work, but wow the payoffs are tremendous!

I would recommend a free write to anyone who wants to get the creative juices flowing, a cliché I know but it seems to work! Like most I was hesitant and skeptical at first, but now it seems so natural. I also have to say that even though I don't use all of my free write material in my short stories and novels, it has merit in the energy and flow that it creates. Writers need to write and the enemy of writers block can be freed by this kind of writing. 

Cheers, now it's time for bed!

Friday, 12 August 2011

And Then the Pieces Came Together

I found that once I had my ah ha moment that night outside The Gardens and could then go to my special place for inspiration in my mind's eye or in person to recharge my creativity the ideas just flowed. It wasn't always that way though. There were periods of time before I got that inspirational spark, periods of time when my subconscious was mulling over the ideas that I got from so many different areas of my life. Then in a matter of a few months those percolating ideas just fell into place much like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

I needed that extra boost, that small spark of inspiration that night walking along Sackville Street to help my psyche, my subconscious make all pieces that had been swirling around in my head for the past year fit together. From there my ideas just took off and I've not stopped writing since!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Inner Places Need Inner Exploration & Outer Connection

So I found that special spark...that place in my imagination that held new ideas emboldened by my magical walk back to my car past the park in the pale moonlight that fate filled night when Lizzy was born.

I would soon find that I needed to keep my creative juices flowing to my inner place, the one I imagined in my minds eye, by finding an outer real world inspirational place to go to every once in a while. Occasionally I went to the Public Gardens and imagined Lizzy there with Fred having deep and meaningful conversations about life, as we know it and saving the world! 

But fortune is not always as kind as we would like or anticipate, so we, adaptable humans that we are, find new avenues to help encourage growth and inspire us forward on our journey. I was fortunate enough to find new inspirational places when I couldn't get to the park. I was able to go for long walk on nature trails close to me home and transport myself back to that first night or other magical moments I stole while in the gardens.

I hope this kind of inspiration will work for other budding creative writing artists out there. If you find it doesn't work at first, give it some time and allow yourself to grow into it!

Friday, 5 August 2011

An Off Day

          Hello to Bear and anyone else out there in blog land. It's an off day for me. You know, its the kind of day where you realize near the end that you may have been better served had you stayed in bed all day. Well, today is shaping up to have just that kind of blah day quality. I guess every writer has one of these kinds of days.
         I like to be as positive as possible, but today I got none of my writing to dos done and it was a HUGE frustration for me. I feel so very unorganized and unproductive. 
         Now, with that said, this is a short post and hopefully things will get better come next Tuesday. For those budding writers out there like me, remember this. You always have down days, but never forget to keep writing!
PS – now that I’ve actually written something today I may go do some reading and even if the stars are in their most opportune alignment, go and submit a short story. Cheers. Kim

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Freewrites and Thunderstorms

         Today I hope you bear with me. I wanted to do a freewrite exercise. Oh, and by the way, sorry this is late, I was dealing with thunderstorm warnings late last evening and decided that an intact computer (albeit shaken, but not fried) was better and my post would have to wait until today.
         My writing experiences have been so varied and my writing style has changed since I first started writing my Lizzy books. I have written and re-written Lizzy since she first came to life back in 2001. As a novelist I guess I was afraid to give my baby wings. Now it is her time to move out into the world and hopefully empower some young girl to live a more authentic life and be true to herself and live strong in the notion of what it means to be a girl.
         I’ve thought about Lizzy quite a bit these last few days. I am taking a writing course. I wanted to bring out my descriptive writer side more. I love to write poetry and want to be able to bring that into my writing and strike a balance to bring more imagery to my prose, but like I said it seems to be a balancing act, to writer prose that will flow and not disgruntle the reader, especially if I want Lizzy to make it out there in the big wide world. I want those young girls to be empowered not put my novel down .
         Anyway back to the reason why I’ve been thinking so much about Lizzy. My inspiration for the opening of my first novel in the series came when I was walking back to my car after a long day of walking around the boardwalk of the town where I live. My friend and I did an all day shop and then it was time to drive home. I was parked by the Gardens and as I walked by it struck me that this place could be such a magical place at night. What wonders could go on here? I took a shapshot in my mind’s eye, dropped my friend off, then when straight home and began to write. It was a wonderful experience and the Gardens have been an inspiration for me ever since. So, after this experience I would advise anyone wanting to write more to try and find a magical place, a third place for them to live in and get comfortable when they write. You don’t have to go to this place to get your inspiration. I live too far away from the Gardens to visit on a regular basis, but I keep them close, in my mind’s eye to sit with the image whenever possible and then I just write!
PS - This is a free write so please forgive me if I have a type-o here and there. 

Thursday, 28 July 2011

So What Next…

       After what I had experienced as a teen while reading science fiction and fantasy and what I had witnessed with my female science students as a teacher I thought it was time I did something to make a change. I decided to sit down and write.
         The ideas were in there, albeit jumbled up at the time. It took painstaking hours and many late nights at the computer, since I thought I would forget what I had in mind to write, I had to ‘get it out’ somehow. It was out of these incredibly therapeutic writing sessions that my ideas blossomed into what would become the Strange Days series or what I affectionately call the Lizzy Books. A part fantasy, part science fiction series of novels with a strong female lead character, and other strong female minor roles that would make Lizzy’s world surprisingly well rounded and feminine but strong.
         I remember sitting at my computer one night thinking that ‘this is all just a strange dream and these ideas will never go anywhere’, but my homunculus, that little voice inside me told me to keep going, to push onward, that what I was doing would make a difference, if not now then someday when the time was right.
         I close with this thought. I have learned over the years to trust that ‘inner voice’, it has helped me on so many occasions and is the reason why I am sitting here typing my thoughts down at 3am in the morning when I thought for the umpteenth time that I would quit the writing, yes stop and put it aside. To you Bear, and any other aspiring writers out there, trust your inner voice, don’t give up, and don’t forget to read. Hey, who knows you might decide to pick up one of my books sometime.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A Writer Needs to be Passionate About Her Craft!

         I feel that I should start my story with my first full time teaching assignment at a local adult high school. During that time I was surprised how many young women felt they couldn’t do science, as if there were some genetic factor that made them lesser scientists and the young men better ones. This was a problem I had to explore further.
         Earlier on I thought it was due to lack of female role models (there were and unfortunately still far fewer female science teachers than there are male science teachers, I hope the number changes). But as I explored the issue further I found that not only were there fewer female teachers (I remember going to a science teacher’s conference and being the only woman in the room with 10 other men and that happened repeatedly at professional development sessions), but also there were next to no female scientists mentioned in textbooks, or the curriculum. Like my science fiction experiences as a teen, these female students couldn’t find themselves within the text.
         I made one very important connection over the years as an adult high school teacher – role models and images of self in context mattered. I embedded positive female images within my curriculum and I also brought the great “what if” and “why” questions of science fiction into the classroom. The impetus for my life’s work was born in those moments!

Friday, 22 July 2011

I Couldn’t See the Forest for the Trees

My love for fantasy and science fiction took me to so many places in my imagination. These were the rich and colourful places of a child and teen. I had such a vivid imagination, as my mother would often remind me, given that learning disability I told you about earlier. Some things that appear to be a difficulty can be turned into an opportunity, I like to say that it’s all a matter of perspective. My vivid imagination turned out to be a blessing for me. 

I would read so many stories in my favourite genres and not be able to find myself as a young woman in those stories. Sure, there were minor female characters in there somewhere, but in the science fiction and fantasy classics of Heinlein, Asimov, Tolkien and others, strong female leads were hard to find. Since I hadn’t discovered Ursula K. LeGuin’s writing by that point I was perplexed and disappointed that I couldn’t place myself as a strong young woman within in the text in any significant way. Little did I know it then but the leopardess within was crouching with keen awareness, ready to take a grasshopper sized leap when she was ready… but that wouldn’t be for another twenty years.

PS. I have to laugh here. When I put this text through a spell checker I got the correct spelling for Mr. Heinlein’s and Mr. Tolkien’s name and even though I had spelled Ms. LeGuin’s name correctly the name wasn’t acknowledged in the spellchecker, go figure.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Where to begin?

Part of me wants to start writing about the stories I wrote as a child and how they ultimately ended up as secrets in the garbage can. If you want to read more of these details and others I will have them on my website www.kimwelsman.ca.

But my real love for writing came out of my passion for reading. As a teen I had a learning disability that few people knew about. I would read and reread passages because my eyes and brain wanted to skip halfway down the page. It was a task that left me feeling less than adequate when I would find others in class, my family or my friends reading the same passages and be well ahead of me in much shorter periods of time.

I soon discovered short stories and better yet science fiction short stories! I loved science and nature as a kid. I was delighted to read about far off realms in fantastical lands, the stuff of which fantasy and science fiction are made. I knew I had found my reading home and was spellbound to the point that my eyes stayed right where they were supposed to be!

Friday, 15 July 2011

My First Entry

Well I finally did it! I've gone ahead and started my own blog. It was a bit daunting at first reading the fine print here and making sure I wanted to thrive there... or anywhere for that matter.

I want to write about my writer's journey, my travels through my daydreams, fantasies and realities as a new writer starting on her path. I hope you have some time to join me in these experiences...............

...but it would seem I have some catching up to do. I've been writing for myself for some time now and am at the stage where I need to set my babies free so that they can go out into the universe. Only then will I be provided with those exciting moments when I can experience what wonders they send back to me.

My next few posts will be filling in my own back story, with some pictures and other fun stuff. So, hope you hang on for an interesting and fun ride!