Monday, September 11, 2017

My Best Ideas

What do you think of when you sit down to write a post? Do you think of things you did today or yesterday? Or do you remember things you did a long time ago, maybe even when you were a kid.

Hand holding a wooden pencil writing on a tablet with pencil shavings on the page.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Fact or fiction which do you prefer writing about?

Facts and actual events are easy for me to write about. As most of you know my stories mostly come from my life, anything from a trip to Wally-world with my wife Cindy, not so successfully capturing gophers, the time we drove across country with the kids, even when we left New Mexico and ended up sleeping in a U haul with our little dog Dixie, or the time I lost my little Brother accidentally on purpose, it was Not like the movies, because I knew where he was all along. This may be a lot of examples, but my point is that real life is completely full of stories that you can share.

If you get stumped on what to write, just reminisce on things you have done in the past, or even what you saw the last time you went to the store.

Fiction is a lot of fun too, I haven't written a lot of fiction but what I have written takes a lot of imagination. The Words for Wednesday challenge gives us a list of words. The first one I participated in was especially easy for me. The words reminded me of an incident my Dad had told me about that happened to him. I simply began writing a story based on his experiences, and all the words fell into place. That was one of the easiest fiction stories I have ever written.

Todd and Tammy was really a lot of fun for me. A lot of the instances were based on areas familiar to me, and even some bad experiences I have witnessed, or that people close to me went through. No one I know was actually ever held hostage, or anything like that, but letting your imagination run wild based on facts can and will turn into a good story.

I'm not claiming to be an expert but my best ideas come from things I have actually seen and done, and other times those ideas come when I let my imagination run wild.

Descriptions in your story can be based on actual things you have seen. For example a piece from A Burst of Light I described Tammy seeing her baby for the first time like this. "Tammy looked down at the face of her newborn angel, she was the most beautiful thing Tammy had ever seen, her reddish looking skin had a sericeous quality, covered in little downy hairs that Tammy thought strange but cute at the same time." I have two sons from my first marriage that I don't talk about here, their choice not mine, but I was actually in the room when my youngest son was born.

This description is how I remember feeling and how he looked first time I saw him. Even though I didn't know what sericeous meant until the morning I wrote that post, I do remember him being covered in that downy hair, and how good looking a baby he was. Just goes to show we are never too old to learn something new and apply it to things we have experienced.

The best thing you can do is to read your story out loud to yourself before you post it, I have had to reword a lot of sentences after reading a post out loud, add a word, or remove extra words that don't sound the same out loud as they do in my head.

Rereading my posts and editing them before I publish them hopefully makes them more understandable to you.

How many times have you written something that you think is going to grab your readers attention and then nobody comments on it? I think this is common with a lot of us.

Have you ever written something in jest or as a satire? But rather than coming off as such it was taken seriously. Or have you written something you are serious about and it is taken lightly? What I'm getting at is sometimes your best idea comes off completely different to your readers than what you intended.

I don't have an answer for this other than to just keep putting yourself out there because you are the reason your readers keep coming back. Fact, Fiction, Satire, Poetry, or whatever you enjoy just keep doing it.

We sometimes need to step away for a break, I know I did due to my health for an extended time, and that's OK. But all of the kindness and laughter my friends here have shared with me over the years brought me back into the fold.

Thank you to all who have stuck with me for so long, and Thank you to all of my new friends for giving me a chance.

One last thing; As an example of things to write about, I really didn't have an idea for a post when I started writing this one, but I ended up writing a post about writing posts. Did you notice that?

61 comments:

  1. Only when I have taken pictures, do I have any clue what my blog will be like before I write it. Your last week's blog about the doorbell was brought out when I read your post!

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    1. Hey Sharon, I love it how we play off of each other, meaning reading someone's blog post gives you an idea for one of your own. I have gained ideas for one of my own in this exact same way. This just goes to show that we are actually paying attention to one another, this is a big part of blogging I believe.

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  2. I always write my posts the day before I post them. I began writing about my past, but lately my posts are more about art and painting.

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    1. Hey Stephen, I love the detailed descriptions you put into your blog posts, the art and painting posts lately are really impressive to me Seeing the transition of an idea of yours going from thought to masterpiece.

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  3. Reading a sentence out loud is a good tip for writers. The words do have to roll off the tongue.

    I can also identify with writing something you're proud of only to have no or few comments on it. Who knows why that happens. Right with fires, floods and hurricanes going on in our country I think people's attentions are either where than reading blogs, and rightly so.

    Ramble writing is my favorite way to write a blog post. My blog usually follows what's going on in my life both physicality and inside my head. Some blog entries I work on for days and others I knock out in a couple of hours. I'm not sure if people can tell the difference. I like to think they can't. LOL

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    1. Hello Jean, I go back to some of my earlier posts and can see a huge difference in my writing, not so much the style but the use of words and some sentences that just don't roll of your tongue as you mentioned.

      Ramble writing is a lot of fun to read, and much easier to write. I have found that sometimes the posts that you knock out quickly and have very little editing for are usually better received that those that you agonize over for days.

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  4. I noticed that. Writing a post about writing posts is a good thing.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Hello Sandee, I noticed that when I reread it the first time, a post about writing posts, I thought everyone may get a kick out of that. ;)

      A great day to you my friend.

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  5. Good advice all around, Jimmy. I haven't been blogging long but I've definitely found it easiest to write about true events. My biggest issue would probably be to narrow my focus to a single topic. I post two days a week on a schedule to help me keep writing, but sometimes even that is too often when I don't have a good idea! And I'm finding that writing poetry on a regular basis is really a hard thing for me. I had to really work to grind out today's poem. But it's exercise for the brain! I think you did very well with the fiction and I enjoy your sense of humour in your non-fiction posts.

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    1. Hi Jenny, You are doing very well with your blog. I have noticed sometimes when I write a post that due to having more than one subject, that I can actually break one post into two different ones.

      I appreciate your kind words and I am really glad you joined our little group, I'm looking forward to watching your blog grow.

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  6. I did pick up on that.yes. I never know what I'm going to write about...sometimes I think I've got a whole lot of nothin'..you know, a throw away post. Surprisingly most of those do better than anything else I write. I love WFW.....the challenge is good for my brain.

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    1. Hello Delores, Most times I don't have a clue either, I sure didn't when I started this one haha

      WFW is a fun challenge, I won't have any idea until I see Granny Annie's words on Wednesday...

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  7. I think my favorite posts are those that are just written for the enjoyment of writing them, like a friendly conversation, not trying too hard. Your blog is just a friendly place to visit. I remember your long break, glad that you're back :)

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    1. Hi Abby, I agree with you in that just sitting down and writing a post just for the fun of it always comes off the best.

      I am so glad that you didn't drop me during my break, I do appreciate you sticking with me through it.

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  8. It always surprises me when what I consider a really good post gets very few comments & vice versa with mediocre ones!!

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    1. Hello Fran, I always wonder if somehow between my brain and the blog post to the reader, if the meaning completely changes sometimes. The main thing is we do come out with more good than mediocre ones.

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    2. Lol, I just read fishducky's comment after I published mine.....we've had the same experience I guess!

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    3. I think we have all been there Bijoux.

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  9. I often think of blog posts I should do when I'm out and about. Sometimes they make it to 'print' and sometimes I just forget about them.

    The funny thing about comments.......I swear to you that what I consider my dumbest posts end up getting the most comments!!! The posts I think are the most interesting get the fewest comments. Makes no sense!

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    1. Hey Bijoux, I can relate to that so much, I have thought of more posts while out running around that have never made it to my blog because I completely forgot what they were haha.

      I want you to go to the Wally World link and see if you recognize a commenter that I noticed.

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    2. You mean my old name I used on Blogger?

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    3. Yes, You were using that one when you first started following my blog :)

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  10. What I hate is when people write fiction as fact. Like stand up comics talking about bits that actually didn't happen to them. If you're going to lie, then don't tell us the truth later.

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    1. Hello Adam, Fiction based on truth is still fiction, but when it is stated as fact is another story. Most fiction stories should read to sound true which makes it a good story but we still know it is fiction. Ok did I confuse you as much as I did myself?

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  11. Words for Wednesday is a fun challenge isn't it? And you have been rocking it.
    I mostly write about things which have happened. Stretching into complete fiction is difficult for me.

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    1. Thank you EC, I have enjoyed the WFW challenge so far, and as for fiction it is fun to write but I don't think I could pull it off all of the time.

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  12. I'm with Fran. The posts I think are killer get few and half hearted comments while those I am hesitant to publish for I think they are lame, get an enthusiastic response. Reading out loud is a great idea. I am guilty of run on sentences--like above:)

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    1. Hey Patti, I am right there with both you and Fran on that. Run on sentences and or any other grammatical errors I believe that I should add a disclaimer on my blog apologizing for up front. I just may do that haha

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  13. Im always starving for something to write about. Mine are spontanious and usually just happened. Sometimes a childhood memory will pop up and I want to share a story about it. My life can be pretty boring and then I just write about food or something. I rarely have anything scheduled.
    Lisa

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    1. Hey Lisa, This is what I like about blogging, you can be spontaneous with your posts, nothing has to be planned or on any subject in particular, your blog is all about you and this is what makes all of our blogs great.

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  14. Sometimes I have so many posts at a time that I have to spread them out. Other times I have to force myself to think of something before my followers give up on me.

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    1. Hello John, it's funny how you can come up with so many posts at once then next thing you know you've posted them all, good thing is there is always more to come.

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  15. Great post, a post about a post! My post are basically about what takes place in my life, what I do, where I go and what I make. Writing a story from my head would not be good! lol....thanks for coming by the blog, stop by anytime.

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    1. Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed my little post about posting haha, I enjoyed my visit to your blog and will definitely stop by again. Blogs like yours that tell about yourself is a good place to be, sometimes you have to write a story from your head just to mix things up a bit ;)

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  16. I've run out of stories from my past, i should have led a more exciting life. When I write satire someone always takes it serious...maybe due to poor satire writing.

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    1. Hey Joe, I remember the comparison post you did not long ago of the exact same satire post from two different times. The differences in the comments were amazing simply posted several years apart and the first taken as satire while the second taken seriously. I don't think it's poor writing on your part, I believe as you have pointed out it all has to do with the mindset of everyone right now.

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  17. I never have a plan more than two or three days ahead. Things happen and I think, "I've just got to tell that story!" I make a few notes about details, then write it in 30-60 minutes on the day I plan to publish it.

    When I work ahead and set a post to publish a few days in the future because I'm going to be busy, I lose a feel for the immediacy of the tale. It's not as fun to write or respond to comments.

    I salute you for your fiction. I can't do that at all.

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    1. Hello Val, you make a very good point on setting posts to self publish, I have only done this once or twice and you do lose the anticipation that goes along with publishing your stories normally.

      Thank you Val I do appreciate you.

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  18. Rereading my posts and editing them before I publish them hopefully makes them more understandable to you.

    I can't tell you how many times I have edited and proofread a post only to casually look at it again months later and find glaring mistakes. It drives me crazy.

    As for writing fact or fiction I use to a lot of the latter but it just ain't coming anymore.

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    1. Like you I don't think I have ever caught all of my mistakes before publishing, because looking back on earlier posts I normally find more than I want to.

      I know you have been wanting to try at some fiction stories again, the right one will come along for you and surprise you by almost writing itself.

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  19. These days I'm stuck for a post more often than not, which is why I have the Monday, Wednesday Sunday themes going and if there's anything interesting enough I'll do a Thursday post. Most things are family related and I did promise them in the beginning that I'd keep them out of it, their wishes of course, they prefer their privacy, so that doesn't leave much to write about.
    For my stories, I type them out on wordpad and I can read them through a dozen times and they'll seem fine, so I print them out and read them again and that's when I find things that need fixing or re-writing. I have hard copies of all my stories and each is covered with additions or crossed out pieces, arrows that show where I should move a sentence to a different spot.
    Sometimes the stories come easy, sometimes they'll take a while, most of the time I can dash off something in just a few minutes. When I'm really stuck, I'll turn the words into a crossword puzzle. I'm working on one of those right now.

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    1. Hello River, I don't imagine too many of us actually print out our stories anymore, that is not a bad idea to have an actual printed copy.

      Doesn't it feel good when a story just sort of flows out and takes shape easily, I don't think we all have that happen all of the time but it is sure nice when it does happen.

      Turning the words into a crossword puzzle is an interesting thing to do, doing this can help get the words flowing at times I imagine, sometimes even in a different direction.

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  20. You did great getting your thoughts together for the post you wrote about writing posts; having no idea where it might take you! Well done!

    I used to write brilliant posts in my head in the middle of the night only to not remember them in the morning.

    I'm in a bit of a blog writing slump myself. When we had the corgi, I wrote a lot about him. But he's gone. When we lived in Prescott Arizona I wrote a lot about the quail (I miss them) but we moved. I can write a lot about grandson but I'm also trying to respect privacy. I lead such a boring life I really don't know what to write about these days. I know I'll get out of the slump eventually; in the meantime enjoying commenting on friends' blogs :)

    betty

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    1. Hello Betty, I remember when you were posting more on your blog, I suppose we all were at one time, I'd rather see you post when it is something you feel good about as opposed to feeling like you have to. I think when you force yourself to write sometimes the quality of what you are trying to say is not there. Sitting down when you really don't know what to write and just starting with your thoughts can sometimes get the words flowing into a post before you know it.

      I am very happy to see you commenting on our blogs, it's nice to have your input.

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  21. I have an ongoing document on the computer, called Titbits, on which I record ideas or even full length posts that I can edit at will. It's useful if the brain has one of it's lapses! All my stories are filed that way so I can alter them at will or simply copy and post.

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    1. Good morning Valerie, Having your ongoing document is an excellent way to keep your stories and ideas together, as so many of us have mentioned it is easy to have a good idea for a post and then lose it by the time we get ready to write it, I have almost considered keeping a notepad in my pocket to write down these ideas when they pop in my head.

      Keeping your stories filed this way gives you a chance to work on them as you see fit, it works well for you my friend.

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  22. I can totally relate to this post, because as you can tell from my blog, I tend to write about people I know, things I've seen, or things that have happened. Occasionally, I get to talk to famous chefs or writers to really confuse people. What I love about your posts, is that almost always, you have the fantastic skill of adding humor. The other thing I love is that they are authentic and easy to read. I'm so glad that you blog with us! Hugs...RO

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    1. Hello RO, You have such a variety of subjects going on with your blog that it remains interesting all of the time, even though sometimes a subject may not pertain directly to me there is always one in every one of your posts that will, I like this about you.

      I am truly honored with your words and I am really happy that you chose to join our little group here, Thank you.

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  23. I'll often write a post which I think is funny and readers think I'm being serious. At the moment I have so much going on in my life I just can't focus my mind on one thing to write about. Sigh.

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    1. Hello Joey, Once things settle down a bit you will be right back on track my friend.

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  24. My blog started out as a record of memories and present-day stuff so that our son can read what his parents have done in the years ahead. We both wish we had known more about our own parents. We know a lot but always wish there was more. Little did I know when this blog started in 2008, that everything was out there for the whole world to see, and it was such a surprise when that first comment came in. I have loved meeting people from everywhere imaginable, a big bonus in blogging. When I write it is about life in general, sometimes boring stuff, sometimes not so boring, hopefully ;) I enjoy your posts very much Jimmy, about life with Cindy and the many stories you write about. And by the way, whenever I pop in I keep trying to ‘follow’ and eureka, after all this time, I was able to sign up today.

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    1. Hello Denise, Your blog is a joy for a whole world of people to enjoy. I know your son is proud of the memories that you are documenting for him.

      I am honored to have you join our list of followers, Thank you.

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  25. I, too, try my hand at both non-fiction and fiction (and find the latter more difficult). Either way, I agree that reading your story out loud is a useful way of evaluating it.

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    1. Hello Bryan, Isn't it amazing the difference in the way a story sounds once you read it out loud, in that you see mistakes you otherwise missed.

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  26. And isn't it funny how writing something makes us smarter? It's a bit like reading something, but more intense. :-)

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    1. That's a good way to look at it, the more we write the more we learn about the subject we are writing about.

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  27. Writers have to write. The more you do, the better you get. And you my friend a great writer.

    Remember way back in the day, when my blog was almost all stuff I'd written? I had many years head start because for most of my life, when something of note happened (good or bad), I would either write it down in a journal, or on a piece of paper, a napkin, back of a sales receipt, etc. Many years later, when I started "blogging," I had more things to write about, then I could ever use.

    A good example would be my crazy experiences in Marine Corps boot camp. While everybody else was writing letters to their loved ones, I was sending myself a running account of what happened each day in a letter. I don't remember if you've seen my stories from boot camp or not. (boot camp page link under my header photo), but that is how I could tell those stories in such detail, even though they happened in 1968.

    I'm wildly ADD, and to just sit down not knowing exactly what I'm going to write, usually doesn't work. I don't know how this got so long. Sorry!

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    1. Thank You Pat, I do enjoy writing sir, and I appreciate you being one of my long time friends.

      I do remember reading your boot camp stories a while back, it would be interesting to go back and re read them again, it is amazing the details we can recall from when we were younger, and it feels good to share those memories sometimes.

      I have no problem with how long of a comment you write Pat, you are a good friend and I do enjoy when you have time to stop by.

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    2. Thanks Jimmy! I TRULY appreciate your nice words, and feel the same way...

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  28. It varies with me. I've blogged daily for almost 12 years. When I first started, I couldn't write the stories fast enough. After I'd written a thousand or so entries, it started getting harder.
    Now I sit down and start typing. Sometimes they work and sometimes they sit there like a cold biscuit. It's the nature of the beast.

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    1. Isn't it nice when one just seems to write itself, in that the words just flow and fall right into place.

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