Write On!

We writers, all of us, and our readers, sometimes take our words for granted. If I know one thing, I know how much our words matter. Each and every word, whether it’s surrounded by thousands of others in a book, or part of 140 characters in a tweet. Our words have the power to show our love and air our disdain. Our words can touch the hearts of strangers everywhere. They can bring loved ones closer. The words we choose to put on paper can drive a wedge, dig a hole, or take us to the moon.

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I hope this week you’ll choose to write something to make a difference. It’s your choice, and mine. We can write in a journal, we can write a letter, yes, a real letter to someone. We could send a birthday card with our own words of life inscribed with our signature. We could post a new blog, follow our friends, like them, and make our own comments on Facebook.

We have the power. We have the heart. Honor that writer inside you. Don’t let your muse hide out any longer.

As the master once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  Look at what he did. Listen to Bob Dylan, our newest Nobel Laureate. Go ahead, write a song.

Pen to paper, fingertips to screen, or clickety clack on your keyboard.

Do it today, do it this week. Write again next week. And the one after.

If you’re really serious — and courageous — you’ll share those words inside your heart.

I bet you’ll be glad you did.

Where I live in Napa, California, we are celebrating Napa Writers Week. In the rest of the state, it’s California Writers week. The state’s yearly commemoration came about many years ago through the efforts of a few eager California Writers Club folks and their contacts in the CA state legislature.

This week is Napa’s first Napa Writers Week, thanks to the commitment of our County Board of Supervisors. On behalf of our Napa Valley Writers and all the writers in the community, I took the idea to my district supervisor. He was all for it. And there we go. Napa Writers Week. You could do the same where you live. It’s a fabulous way to honor the writers in your community, including yourself. This coming Saturday, our indie bookstore is hosting a local celebration of local authors at Napa Bookmine.

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I Am Not a Genre

For most of my life, I’ve struggled with labels. I think I’m not alone in this.

Either I’ve been boxed in by others, or I’ve boxed myself into this label or that. I’ve been guilty of boxing others as well. Inevitably, at just the right time, if luck has it, the labels slide off into the muck and mire of true life.   And when we are lucky, we get to choose our own silky ribbons instead of another unforgiving box.

“What genre do you write?” asks a writer when we meet for a glass of wine.

“Uh, well, I write fiction, poetry. Non-fiction. Sometimes, memoir, sometimes flash fiction, I’ve written a bit of creative non-fiction, some travel stuff. Once in a while, for kids,” I reply, pretty sure I haven’t supplied the politically correct answer.

“What about you?” I ask my new acquaintance.

“Oh, I write fantasy,” she answers.

Fantasy? Fiction? Is fiction fantasy? Fantasy is fiction? We‘re all making up stories.

Stories are one thing. People are another.

Conclusion. I am not a genre.

Define genre. A noun.

‘New Oxford American Dictionary’ at my fingertips: a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style or subject matter.

There are numerous synonym citations at www.thesaurus.com:

style               sort                species

category            

kind                variety

In www.dictionary.com: a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry.

My favorite, seen here at www.urbandictionarycom: an

unnecessary 

label attached to music, movies,novels, etc. giving way to discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudice.

While I was reading and thinking and writing and pondering, a friend called asking me to pick up and bring to her the pain medication she’d forgotten at home that she desperately desired. Yes, I know I’m labeling her as a friend. Let’s not get too carried away here. She couldn’t leave work; she was in a lot of pain.

I’m in the car, sitting at a stoplight, looking around.   A truck heading into the intersection to my right catches my eye. Big dark maroon truck. I don’t know if it was a Dodge, or a Ford, or a Chevy. One word printed on the sides and the back screamed right at me:

D E F I N E

It was a sign. A sign, I tell you.  How often have you seen something like that and not known it was a sign?

You may not know that I’ve been blogging off and on for years, may not have seen much of it. I don’t have millions of followers. Yet. Some of my older pieces I’m not really happy with any longer. Typical of most writers.

During the past few years, I’ve created and followed my own internal blogging labels. Genre labels. One page for poetry. This site for essay. This one for non-fiction. That one for travel stories.

Ad infinitum.

Ad nauseum.

So, loyal readers, soon, I pretty much won’t be doing that. I’ll be here.  In one place.   www.writerpaints.wordpress.com. If I change my mind later, I’ll let you know.  If you want the addresses of the pages that have come before, just ask.  I’ll be happy to pass them along.

My intention is to review the old posts on the other pages. The ones I don’t outright delete,

I’ll retrieve  and

dress them

update ‘em

redraft and/or revise

and

perhaps…

include them here.

I feel better already.

Oeuvre and out.

WriterPaints

WriterPaints