#WednesdayWisdom ‘Dark and Stormy’ #1linewed #WWWBlogs #JaneEyre

If you feel as if you’re in a tiny fishing boat, alone in a vast, dark and stormy sea, and there’s nothing you can do to help yourself, look around, do something for someone else to make you feel better.

And the best thing is it works.

Your own troubles will seem less dark, you’ll feel good about helping someone else, and who knows? Perhaps you’ll be someone else’s distraction from their own dark and stormy feelings. Trust karma.

Jane helping Rochester after falling from his horse.

Jane Eyre knew all about the positive effects of helping others:

My help had been needed and claimed; I had given it: I was pleased to have done something; trivial, transitory though the deed was, it was yet an active thing, and I was weary of an existence all passive.

These are Jane’s reflections in Chapter XII, after meeting and helping an unknown gentleman who had fallen off his horse on a cold, dark afternoon in January, when the days are very short and dark in Yorkshire. Jane had offered to take a letter Mrs. Fairfax needed posting to Hay, which was a two mile walk away.

Jane had been feeling sad and lonely after spending the first winter months at Thornfield, and yet, a kind gesture led to a second kind gesture and her first meeting with Mr. Rochester.

Jane overcame her passivity and ventured out of her comfort zone, to help others, and in so doing she opened new avenues by meeting the man who would change her life.

If she had satyed at home wallowing in her loneliness and misery, they would probably never have met. Mr. Rochester probably would have had no interest in meeting his ward’s governess under normal circumstances.

Don’t don’t overindulge in your own problems, if you can’t do anything for yourself, do something for someone else!

Image from Pixabay

#MondayBlogs ‘Write from the heart’ #WritingTips @BathFlashAward #FlashFiction

I was recently browsing the Bath Flash Awards website when I came across an interview with this edition’s (March-June 2019) Flash Fiction Award Judge, Christopher Allen. You can read the whole interview here.

It was the final question and answer that has mesmerised me all weekend. I quote the question and answer here:

  • Any final suggestions for writers entering our award?

Yes. Write from the heart. Edit it and edit it and edit it. Have other people read it. Ask them if it has an emotional impact. Did it make them feel something? Write something you think the world needs.

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So much advice in so few words, a true ‘flash answer’ to a complex question.

My thoughts on this priceless and concise advice:

‘Write from the heart’

Inspiration is entwined with emotion. Whatever we write should spring from passionate feelings about an issue. That’s an easy one to fulfill. Most of us write stories about people, places and events that are meaningful to us.

‘Edit it and edit it and edit it’

First drafts are necessary, but also messy and too long. Most of us need to ramble to ourselves to get to know our characters and understand their thoughts and actions, and yet those ramblings need to be carefully edited, more than once, thus the repetition, before they can be shared with readers.

‘Have other people read it’

We all know and appreciate the invaluable task of alpha and beta readers, friends, agents, editors, proof readers, and an array of generous and professional people who are usually acknowledged by authors in their books.

Ask them if it has an emotional impact. Did it make them feel something?

Words need to go beyond an aesthetic use of language in order to make an impact on the reader. It’s not only about organisation, expression, wording, pace, and grammar, but about the inspiration and feelings conveyed in the writing.

Write something you think the world needs.

Finally, the most important attribute which distinguishes good writing from outstanding writing, the content or message of the text.

Is there an intention beyond entertaining readers? And secondly, is the idea worth writing about? Do readers need to know or think about the characters or issues in your flash/novel?

Christopher’s answer is great advice for writing, a haiku, a birthday card, a flash, a letter, a short story, a novella, a novel and everything else.

If it’s worth writing, it’s worth doing it from the heart.

My twenty-word flash conclusion:

Write with passion about a meaningful issue, edit, aim for emotional impact, edit, share and test, edit, publish. Start again.

And now, let’s finish that flash/novel and start the next one…

 

 

 

#AtoZChallenge ‘L’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘The Lightest Touch’ #NPM17 #amwriting #poem #inspiration

This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.

Today I offer you two poems about poetic inspiration. The Lightest Touch by David Whyte, which has in turn inspired me to write a poem with the same name about the same subject, The Lightest Touch by Luccia Gray

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 THE LIGHTEST TOUCH by David Whyte

Good poetry begins with

the lightest touch,

a breeze arriving from nowhere,

a whispered healing arrival,

a word in your ear,

a settling into things,

then, like a hand in the dark,

it arrests the whole body,

steeling you for revelation.

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In the silence that follows

a great line,

you can feel Lazarus,

deep inside

even the laziest, most deathly afraid

part of you,

lift up his hands and walk toward the light.

– from EVERYTHING IS WAITING FOR YOU and RIVER FLOW

David Whyte in 2009 by Eugene Kim

David Whyte, of Anglo-Irish origins, was born and brought up in the UK. He was a marine zoologist, before he started writing poetry.

The lightest Touch is a beautiful poem which aims to identify the fleeting and magical moment of inspiration or revelation, before a poem is written.

More about David and his poetry here.

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I’ve used the same title in my poem and tied to identify the same moment.

The Lightest Touch by Luccia Gray (inspired by David Whyte)

A whisper in my dream,

A fading ripple in the sea,

A breeze when your eyes open,

A trembling leaf just fallen.

A bolt of lightning,

A shadow sliding

Over the waning sun.

The lightest touch,

Like a distant hum

Has finally come.

A sudden surge of light,

Which starts so slight,

Yet grows and grows

‘Till it explodes,

Into words and lines

And other signs,

Later a poem,

Just for them.

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Follow Luccia Gray on Social Media:

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Check out Luccia Gray’s Books on Amazon 

 

My #Gapp_Week 25th July @Gapp_Week

  • What are you GRATEFUL for? Beautiful yet simple things which make life wonderful.

I’m grateful for living in this wonderful planet with such spectacular wildlife. I’ve spent a week in the north of Spain, in a beautiful part of the country. There are beautiful beaches, wildlife parks, reservoirs, mountains…

The sound of the waves breaking at the sea-shore, water rippling in the reservoir, the colours of the plants, flowers, trees and grass, and the amazing animals I was able to see were such a beautiful sight. I feel privileged to live on this planet.

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I’m grateful for meeting up with my cousins and aunt whom I hadn’t seen for a few years. I’m grateful for their friendship and affection, even if we only spent an afternoon having a long overdue chat and a coffee.

Fascinating how close we feel to people we share genes with, even though our lives are very diverse, and we only see each other very rarely, in my case because we’ve always lived in different parts of the world.

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I’m also grateful for the wonderful writers who write fabulous novels which entertain me, move me, and inspire me. Thank you for making my life more enjoyable.

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Claire Mackintosh for ‘I Let You Go‘ a fabulous novel I’ve just finished.

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Jennifer Theriot for Out of the Box Regifted, which I’m currently reading and loving.

 

  • What have you ACHIEVED? Things that you’ve done for yourself .

I’m not sure yet, time will tell, but I think an idea for a new novel has been sown. I’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of it, so I can’t say much now, except that it’s a contemporary suspense with some romance. Inspiration is quite an Achievement! (I hope it lasts)

  • What are you PROUD of? Things you’ve done for others.

I’m Proud of helping my mother who wasn’t feeling too well. It wasn’t much in relation to what she deserves, but it was all I could do, given the circumstances, which are too complex and personal to share.

  • What are your PLANS for next week? Doable and simple, realistic steps towards your goals.

I’d like to write down some scenes and character sketches for the new novel I’ve been ‘seeing’. Those who know my writing process know I ‘see’ my novel in scenes before I start writing and jotting down ideas and the novel starts taking shape.

I’d also like to keep in touch with my cousins, even if it’s only the occasional text message.

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I hope you all have a fabulous week!