Tara's Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Would a heaping dose of hope-in-the-future help you right now?  How about someone in your circles who might be looking for some inspiration?

Stack of books fanned with adds for posts

A whole lot of us are finding just that in a newly published book from my dear friend Barbara Caplan-Bennett. If you have been feeling the weight of all the crises happening in our world, if you are not sure how to find hope in the face of your daily struggles, this is a book worth your time.

Check it out for yourself and then please help spread the word.

NOSEWORTHY, A Memoir

“Noseworthy is a memoir about a woman who faced a difficult choice when diagnosed with melanoma — lose her entire nose or very possibly lose her life. Her year long journey to obtain a prosthetic nose is filled with big challenges and small victories.”

This is a real-life story of courage in the face of great trauma (or as Barbara likes to call it, “the shit show”) and, ultimately a triumph over a life-changing course of inescapable events.  Barbara has been a bright spot in my life for many years. I have always been awed by her ability to keep smiling through the tears and to welcome whatever life throws at her.

I watched her face this battle and come out on the other side with her moxie, her sense of humor, and her love of life still intact. As a writer she has a natural gift for making her readers comfortable and the skill to tell her stories in her very authentic, likable, honest voice.

To Order an Autographed Copy  —  Email    Noseworthy2020@gmail.com

Venmo, PayPal, credit cards Accepted

Also available on Amazon  —  bit.ly/NoseworthyBarbara

 

For More Information  —  Follow Noseworthy on

Facebook:    facebook.com/Noseworthyamemoir

And

Twitter:  @noseworthy2020

The electric fan sits on the floor by the window. It protects me from the heat and humidity that plagues modern society.  In my youth I lived in world where my goals were achievable and my task list was short enough to complete by the end of the week. Here in Los Angeles it was almost always pleasantly warm and dry.  And I didn’t have to Another hot,oppressive dayfight the weather to make space in my brain to tackle daily goals and dreams. I don’t remember having so much to fight for and certainly not so much to fight through.

Now I feel the encroaching world press in on me in ways I never expected. And on top of all the daily challenges, the aches, the tasks piling up around me, the demands of a world grown altogether too connected to handle in any rational fashion, I have to fight through the physical discomfort of an environment grown so hot and sticky that it produces another, previously unexplored, struggle:  distraction. Distraction of a physical nature that Just. Should. Not. Be. There.

But there it is.  It frightens me to think I may have grown so old that my body can no longer survive in its environment. And it frightens me to think that we may have so deeply destroyed our environment that we, as a species, may not survive the very effects we have loaded on our planet and our own backs.

But, I have never been one to sit in my fears for very long. No pouting, pity-party for me!  So, kick up the level on the fan.  Take a drink of cold water. Take a deep breath.  Focus on what’s next.  Focus.  Ignore the ache that sits at the back of my brain that screams at me, “You could lose this time.”  Just put one foot in front of the other for as long as you possibly can and – focus. Say a prayer of gratitude for the cool air coming at me from the fan by the window enveloping me like a Cone of Silence.  (Yeah, you have to be “of a certain age” to understand that reference!)

Just keep fighting to move forward. Enjoy the cool air and ….. Focus.

words-matter

 

I have long been a fan of the short story form.  In fact, the short story form is far harder than longer forms of writing. Making your intention clear in a limited amount of words is not an easy task. There is a long line of authors whose work I enjoy but top of the list in this regard has always been Harlan Ellison.  There are many reasons I am a life-long, die-hard Ellison fan, but chiefly, my admiration is for his ability to select just exactly the right word for every moment in his stories with never a word wasted.

 Here’s a favorite example: 

 “A foot was planted between my shoulder blades and the fist let go of my shirt, and I was booted forward onto my suitcase, which slid a few feet, carrying me as on a raft.

I fell off, rolled over and tried to sit up. Conquest, Slaughter, Famine and Death were staring down at me.”

Quoted from All the Lies That Are My Life by Harlan Ellison

 There is no need to give the reader any more detailed description of the four guys who are about to beat up our protagonist. The phrase “Conquest, Slaughter, Famine and Death” tells you everything you need to know.

 Another master at choosing just the right words is Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, who sums up this thought beautifully:

 “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

 

And another famous author offers clarity on the subject. When asked his opinion on cursing Mark Twain had this to say:

“The English language is a poor enough means of communication as it is. I figure we ought to use all the words we got.”

 Notice here that he did not advise using MORE words than needed at one time but choosing the RIGHT words for what you are trying to convey at that moment.

 

 Words matter.  They can offer great kindness but also great sorrow. They can build relationships or tear down entire communities. Words have weight and meaning and sometimes great consequences. 

When you are attempting to evaluate someone’s character listen very closely to the word they choose to use.  Their choices are not casual. They are a result of a lifetime of attitudes and perceptions and are evidence of the state of their inner psychology. 

 The speaker is telling you something about who he is and how he chooses to participate in this thing called Life.  

 Words matter.  Listen closely.

I recently took a writing workshop from  prize-winning poet, journalist, author and teacher Deborah Edler Brown.  

deborah.edler.brown@gmail.com 

   and

  www.deborahedlerbrown.com   

She calls it “Digging the Well”.  Ms. Brown creates an environment that allows you to mine experience and imagination that you may not have known was available to you.  I found myself writing from the heart in ways I’ve never felt able to access before.  This experience shows me that there are possibilities to explore, not only in writing my non-fiction projects and my songwriting, but in other areas of life that I choose to pursue that I had once thought beyond my reach.  I have seen a very personal, specific example of how many of our imagined limitations are self-imposed.  I will always be grateful to Ms. Brown for that insight.   May your 2010 be a year full of exploration and discovery.


Tara Sitser - Leadership Member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project

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