Welcome to My Monthly Newsletter
As the holiday season approaches, Americans look forward to Thanksgiving, a time when families and friends gather to share a meal and express gratitude for the blessings in their lives and the holiday season start with the big black Friday sale. However, in Australia, I look at the last Thursday of the month as a day for reflection and thankfulness. This day provides an opportunity for me to pause and contemplate my journey in life, appreciating both my triumphs and challenges.
Instead of celebrating Thanksgiving in Australia, I consider the experiences, lessons, and changes that have come my way. My wife’s almost death in 2019 to ALM leukemia. My own experience with death thrice in 2021 (Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) gives me a chance to reflect on my life and what I have accomplished and of what I am grateful for.
As many readers of this monthly newsletter know, life is a journey with its fair share of difficulties, and the last Thursday in November provides me with a designated time to appreciate the full spectrum of experiences that has shaped me.
From an immigrant flight on Eastern airlines on January 2, 1962 to Miami by myself and boarding up for a few years in an orphanage in Washington Georgia to a foster home with six other Cuban boy’s life presented me with an opportunity to either shine or fall.
I choose to shine (OK, dramatic words, but then again, I am a writer).
So I choose on this last Thursday of November to reconnect with friends, my family and I try the darndest to make sure I can make this time even more meaningful when shared with loved ones. Whether through shared meals, meaningful conversations, a small phone call, or simply spending quality time together, this day can strengthen the bonds that tie us to those we care about most.
In Australia I created my personal family tradition by making the last Thursday in November a special day.
My recommendation is that any of my readers do so as well. Make this day a special day by choosing to write a journal entry, creating a gratitude list, or lighting a candle in honour of the past year’s experiences. I know corny, but it is who I am.
In these times of conflict around the world, I still believe in the goodness of humankind, and I hope we can embrace one day to express thanks for all we each have.
Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.
Writing about fiction is a skill that I feel all writers should develop.
Now, that was so easy to say, right?
So how do you go about doing just that?
Well, there are a couple of questions which need to be answered, five, precisely.
First question to ask is: ‘Why do writers, and I include myself here, write?’
Writers write because they have something to say. It’s as simple as that.
It can be an opinion piece, a short story, a poem, a play, a novel, or any variety of written expression such as a blog. Some writers read a lot because it expands their understanding of the world, other may not. When you read to better understand whatever subject, it is that a writer is trying to write about, it opens their mind and expands the possibilities for creative writing. That you read helps a writer come up with an idea for a story. This idea may come from reading something like a simple obituary, or an email or a notice in the post. The mind is as creative as you need it to be.
Second question is—what type of fiction to write about?
There are many types of fiction out there for writers to try their hand at. There’s the ever-popular novel, of course, but there are also shorter works like novellas and even flash fiction. Then there are the different genres of fiction, from romance to mystery to science fiction and beyond. Trying out a few different genres is a fantastic way for writers to find their niche and start honing their craft. My favourite way to write fiction is to author short stories.
The third question is how do you know what to write about?
‘Write what you know’ is usually the best advice for any writer.
But what do you do when you don’t know the whole truth?
Let’s say you’re drafting a book, or a short story, or even a poem about a character who suffers from chronic pain. Do you research how chronic pain works, or do you simply write what you know?
Personally, I do research, as much as possible, and apply what I have learned into the writing. If I suffer said illness, I can write profoundly on it but I must remember that it is ‘my pain’ and it does not mean everyone who suffers from the same infliction suffers the same. We always warranted caution when writing.
The fourth question will be how much of the story will I make up and how much is from my experience?
Writers make up fiction, but that doesn’t make it any less real. Stories are an art form, and much like the artists that bring them to life, fiction is as real as any art. Fiction can be about anything you can imagine. It can be fiction simply by you applying your experiences in an outlandish manner. Say you write about your first love and what you learn from that experience. In your short story (or novel), you could expand on the variables that attracted you to the person or the other way around.
Writing about fiction allows you to explore your imagination, engage your creativity, and express yourself. Stories can be about anything you want. For children, stories can reinforce lessons, such as “The Three Little Pigs.” A story can also give the reader a break from reality. Fiction can be an escape from reality, which can be useful.
The last question is—is it going to be easy?
I can answer that question personally in one paragraph.
Writing fiction is difficult. Mostly, it’s hard because every story will be different. There’s no set formula, no “recipe” to follow, and few people to offer advice. And, like any good recipe, you start with the basics and then add little twists here and there. So, writing fiction is difficult, but also rewarding and fun.
In conclusion, creative non-fiction stories follow actual events, but fiction writers create entirely new worlds with the characters they invent. Fiction writers must research their worlds, but they also have to make their imagination come alive.
Share with me your own thoughts on writing below or shoot me a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a lot of neighbours. Some I know better than others.
You see, there is a small bell over the front door of my store which alerts me when a visitor comes in.
This little bell is not a high-tech security system by today’s standards, but efficient enough to alert me she walked in and that I should look.
She was worthy of my look.
A lot of distinct types stroll in every week. Some are large; some are small. I find aggressive ones and sometimes timid ones, but this time – she was a thing of beauty – something that told me that this is the one!
There was a look at her that stopped me in my tracks. Hair with a sense of multicolour, white, orange, and black that made you melt when you saw her, and you knew you wanted to close in on her and be so close as to feel her.
You could see a fiery, strong-willed, and altogether more temperamental personality than most, and this attracted me to her.
Would you call it attitude?
Was I becoming a deprave? Was I totally out of control?
Oh, call me what you will, many would.
I could not help myself.
It is seldom when you are fortunate to have a neighbour that owns a pet grooming store next to yours that some human walks into yours with one of those beautiful calicos.
My job catching rodents can be so lonely at night (not that is not fun, mind you) so when I watch this human bring her in, it made my day just purrfect!
I hope you have enjoyed this month’s newsletter and now for a great treat. This month’s guest author.
Kate Porter is an American writer based in Rincon Georgia.
She grew up on a small farm in central Indiana where she graduated from Owen Valley Community High School. Her first short story, The Lake, was published in the school newspaper when she was fifteen. Kate went on to study fiction writing at Greenville Technical College, appeared at numerous Comic Cons, book readings, author events and participated in author panels and has been featured as a guest author in several online blogs and newsletters. In 2013 Kate was not only profiled in her hometown newspaper, Spencer Evening World, but she was also profiled in Woman’s.Day magazine. In 2014 Kate was the recipient of the NEW APPLE BOOK AWARD for the Mystery category for her novel, BLACK HARVEST, which also received FIVE STARS from Reader’s Favorite. Kate’s writing credits range from poetry to short stories to full-length books and has recently stretched her boundaries into the area of screenwriting. When she isn’t writing, or percolating her newest story ideas, she and
her best friends are cracking each other up with their silly puns and holding entire conversations using GIFs.
BENEATH A SHINING STAR
THE ANGEL WEPT FOR ME
CHECK OUT THIS AUTHOR’S BOOKS BELOW
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