Tag Archives: community

Politicizing the Girl

A Woman's Place Is in the Resistance

 

You may have noticed our heroine’s twitter feed has much less to do with writing and much more to do with politics these days, Dear Reader. Fear not, I have not forgotten about writing. I’m trying to pace my outrage and get back to writing.

When I was quite young, my parents were grooming me to go into politics. Specifically their politics. They were stoic Republicans, very conservative Nixon backers, and therefore so was I. In our house, it was unheard of to think for yourself. And hey, I was 9 years old. So I went to the political meetings in my area, I campaigned with my local Congressman and did photo ops with him, and I thought I was doing my part for the country.

When I was 14, I was perhaps the youngest person to intern in a Congressman’s office in DC. Everyone thought my high school class ring was a college one and assumed I was older. I was served along with my co-interns in other offices when we went out to clubs. My Congressman, who knew me from the campaign trail, was a leader in the Conservative Union. He led the way in a treaty with the Soviet Union. While in his office, I learned a lot. The biggest lesson was what he and my parents stood for.

I was appalled.

That summer, Supertramp’s “The Logical Song” was popular and it spoke to my anger and disillusionment. I could not tell my parents how learning what their values were had sickened me. I dreaded going back home after the internship ended. Luckily, I didn’t have to get my Congressman’s approval of the research project I did for the internship program. My position was polar opposite his stated one. (Perhaps it’s small of me to note, but I’ll do it anyway: this same Congressman, who violently opposed gay rights, was later disgraced when he was arrested for propositioning a minor male for sex and left office. He went on to come out and, as far as I know, is a liberal who champions LGBTQA+ rights.)

That’s the history. I could go on, such as talking about my future involvement in campaigns after I left home for college at 16 and was no longer forced to hold my tongue. When Reagan was elected, my friends and I shared a few bottles of cheap wine and formed a small procession through the campus, carrying candles to the flagpole, where we extinguished our candles in a dramatic gesture of dismay for the country. More recently, I campaigned for Obama and helped people who were voting for their first time, young and old, to be prepared for the ballot process. I confess, I teared up with some of them, both nervous and excited to be electing him. Oh, looks like I went on after all. Sorry. Stream of consciousness blogging.

None of this prepared me for what’s taken place in our country, our world, over the last year.

My outrage is too great to let fly here. It seeps through my Twitter feed. I believe we need to stay aware of what’s going on, stay involved in the process however we can, and fix what’s wrong deep down in our country. Hearing others and healing the great rift this election exposed is a primary need for the United States. (Brexit voting shows similar trends and other countries are facing conservative backlashes. A nice way of saying racism and other bigotries are influencing the world in horrifying ways.)

But writing. I got nowhere with NaNoWriMo in November. The election devastated me. I was sick almost immediately and then both my older son and I were hospitalized at the same time. The story remains to be written and it’s entirely escapism, especially for me as the writer. As yet it is untitled. I call it the Historical Romance Trope Novel.

The real issue is getting my head out of my outrage, into my hopes for our world, and into my story world. I’m taking advice from Gareth L. Powell, who wrote a great blog post: How to Keep Being Creative in a Crisis. He writes: Art doesn’t stop for history. In some ways, art is history. That has become my reminding mantra. (Thank you, Gareth.)

Of course, when I really need a kick in the ass, there’s also Chuck Wendig‘s Art even harder, motherfucker!  (Thank you, Chuck.)

I’m going to continue to be politically active. I can’t imagine not being involved to the best of my ability. Keep making those calls. March if you can. But take time to be creative, too. It’s healing, both for you and for our world.

Are you struggling to be creative in this climate, no matter where you live? How are you coping – or ARE you coping? I’d love to hear from others who are doing well, not doing well, or just getting by day to day.

New Words

 

See Jon Assink on Flickr

Graphic by Jonathan Assink

Our heroine is still here, Dear Reader. Well, I suppose that depends on what “here” means to you. When I’m not overcome (and sometimes when I am) by a problem, usually my health, I get onto Twitter and chat. I read it more than I chat, lurking a bit behind the drapes. Yeah, see those tips of shoes? They’re mine.

Since I’ve posted here, I’ve had everything from a slightly dislocated shoulder and rotator cuff tear to a stroke. My life is beset by doctor appointments, in home therapists, tests, emergency room visits, and of course my favorite: inpatient stays. Exile. I’ve no new words to share in flash, but I promise to get back to it very soon.

It seemed readers felt the fourth part of See How They Fall was a good place to end it. I tried to let it go at that point, but I so feel there’s a concluding fifth part. What do you think? Ends dangle, daring me to tie them up in one part.

I hope you’ve been well and happy, that your family and loved ones have, too. I’m grateful for each of you. Thank you for your encouragement.

Take care!

#NaNoWriMo: No More Waffling

This originally appeared on the #amwriting site a couple years ago, but bears repeating.

No More Waffling about NaNo by JC Rosen

Photo by TheCulinaryGeek

November 1st is just around the corner, a mere handful of days away. For wrimos, Halloween / Samhain is spent in anxious anticipation of the stroke of midnight. Wrimos spending this time alone talk to themselves, coaching themselves to jump through that midnight gate with vigor. Those at write-ins with other wrimos? Well, they experience a group dynamic I like to call hooting crazitude. (Come on. It’s fun to say.)

You – yes, you – can still be caught up in the excitement that is NaNo. Have you been compiling pro and con lists? Perhaps you think you just don’t have time for it. Maybe the idea of writing that much in one month is too daunting to contemplate. Are you in the midst of a work-in-progress and simply don’t wish to step away from it to start something new? Do you sigh and wistfully say you just can’t do it?

There are so many reasons people state to explain why they don’t want to do NaNo. Don’t get me wrong: I respect another’s choice in the matter. A simple “I don’t want to do it” makes me nod and back off. NaNo’s not for everyone. It is, however, for many people who think it can’t work for them.

  • The spirits of encouragement and camaraderie during NaNo are not to be underestimated. Put those on your pro list and underline them for emphasis. Whether you’re in it to be utterly nuts and compile a novel full of “plot bunnies” and challenges (see nanowrimo.org Forums for more info) or you’re working on a more conventionally legitimate project, you’ll find people ready to support you and keep you going.
  • The NaNo Rebels group is going strong again this year. Check out this link about NaNo Rebels on the nanowrimo.org site for official info about the Rebels. If you’re in the middle of a WIP and don’t want to set it aside, write nonfiction, or write in formats other than novel-sized ones, you can participate by being a NaNo Rebel. The goal is the same: 50k new words on your project.
  • Consider setting a different goal for yourself. No one says you have to write 50k words. No, you won’t “officially win” NaNo by writing 20k words. You may write your heart out during the hours you have available, though. You may be pushing yourself in ways you never have in order to reach the goal you set for yourself. That’s NaNo, baby!

The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to push yourself and just write. Gag and tie up that inner editor who makes you go over everything you write as you write it. Just. Write. No matter what, it’s a great exercise for anyone who gets into ruts because of that inner editor. If you need to set a different goal for word count, no matter. The exercise and purpose for it are the same.

So no more waffling! Whether you’re a pantster, a plotter or somewhere in between, it’s time to stock the cabinets with food for easy meals and snacks, get your favorite source of caffeine ready and clean off your writing space. (Trust me, it’ll become cluttered enough during November.)

Write on, wrimo!

 

I have done NaNoWriMo for several years. It’s a huge reason I began writing after a 15-year hiatus. On the NaNo site as JC_Rosen (isn’t that clever?), I’m open to buddy listing. I usually use the #NaNo hashtag in addition to #amwriting during November. Join us! We do sprints. Progress measurement is up to you.

 

 

I May Have Been Premature

Reports of my returned health were greatly exaggerated. In fact the last two months or so have been ridiculously difficult. Seventeen days inpatient over the last month, in fact. More on the way, perhaps. Keeping a good but pragmatic thought.

I pulled out the manuscript to Book 1 and am back into the revisions as time and strength permit. An idea for a flash is brewing, so I hope to write it tomorrow and post on Friday. All in all, positive signs for getting into the swing of things once again. A relief.

By the grace of a good friend, I will have a new-to-me laptop soon! It means I’ll be able to write while inpatient, brain fogged by painkillers permitting. Hey, maybe the fogginess will bring about great stories, who knows? I’m definitely willing to find out.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. Makes this process much easier to bear. I hope you and yours are well and stay that way.

Take care,

JC

P.S. I’m considering once I’m well starting up a writing review blog. I’d be open to most forms of writing and interested in guest reviews. Are there already too many review blogs? What do you think about it? Thanks.

NaNoWriMo Needs You

It was with a heavy heart our heroine read an email from Chris Baty of the Office of Letters and Light, dear Reader. OLL is parent to NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy, the Young Writers group and so many more programs.

Please donate

photo by o5com on flickr.com

Donations this year did not cover the year’s operating costs. Without meeting those costs, they’ll have to cut some of the programs they run. It would leave many writers without the learning and experience they crave. What if it’s one of your programs?

I don’t have much. I usually give myself a little present each holiday season as my family is strapped. This year, my gift to myself was another donation to OLL. Please, even $10 makes a difference. (Although $50 makes one, too!)

And just think: you get one of those cool halos on your profile photo.

https://store.lettersandlight.org/donations

Thank you.

Happy Birthday, #amwriting!

It’s amazing to realize #amwriting has been around for two years. Johanna has been the greatest part of the gift it’s been to our heroine’s life, writing and otherwise, dear Reader. Those of you who use it are a tremendous source of information, encouragement and general joy.

I was already following Johanna when #amwriting was formed. I, like many, misunderstood the tag to mean AM Writing. As I generally wrote in the mornings, I joined in. When I recognized it’s always morning somewhere, I stayed beyond the mornings and saw others bring up the question. The answer that it meant “I AM Writing” made me *facepalm* and continue as I had been, pretending I knew that all along.

Johanna and I built a strong friendship, each reading the other’s writing, each offering suggestions and encouragement which went far beyond writing. That such a friendship could come into my life at a difficult time was a generous move on the part of the Universe. It carried over to friendships with others, too many to name here. You know who you are. (I’m looking at you.)

I’ve learned so much about writing from each of you, whether your own blog posts or RT’s to others you found helpful. Bookmarks followed and I developed a body of information to mine whenever needed. You made my writing stronger. For this, I thank you and #amwriting.

So thank you, Johanna and #amwriting, for your ever-present hive mind and source of encouragement whenever needed. Hashtags come and go on Twitter, but this is standing the test of time. Happy birthday, #amwriting!

Taking the Schedule by Storm

Our heroine has made a discovery which will come as no surprise to you, dear Reader. It seems that just wishing one could recover her previous writing schedule isn’t enough to actually reclaim it. It takes effort and willpower. It’s akin to owning vitamins. It isn’t enough, one has to actually take them to work.

It is my reflection on this rather obvious truism which has brought about my somewhat forceful dive into the early morning waters. I have a couple of flash fictions I began over the last month. I may work on them in addition to the #storystarters I do to press my creative buttons. Beyond this blog post, I have no hard and fast plans for this morning… yet. I feel one coming on, though.

Soon I’ll begin the revisions I’ve avoided on the three novels which have been left to gather dust while I dealt with other pressing matters. Reclaiming time, even just a few hours, is an empowering process. A welcome change right now.

Thank you for your patience and support. I may well have a flash fiction for you this week. Wouldn’t that be a nice difference?