My Daily Word: Foolish

•July 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

This weekend, I came across a great quote from Anne Rice.  It said:

“To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.”

How true.  I don’t know what she said before or after that, but I would personally extend that sentiment a bit.  Many people write, but there is a big leap of faith that must be taken in putting it “out there”.  There is no risk of embarrassment if you keep your writing to yourself.

For those of us who might fall into the fearless category (like me 🙂 ), we risk being embarrassed, criticized, corrected, and much more.   I don’t know why I seek to be “heard”, but even negative comments are a form of acknowledgment.

Well, that’s really as philosphical as I can get on a Monday morning at 9 am.  However, I have a new plan to stretch my inner writer each day.  Like my favorite comedian, George Carlin, I love words.  I love the English language.  So, today I begin something new, which I’ll call:  My Daily Word.

Thinking along Anne Rice’s words, I started researching phrases that involve foolishness.  In a very stream-of-consciousness way, I came across that old adage that we are our own worst enemy.  Very true.  As writers, we have many enemies:  writers block, procrastination, the internal editor, the dirty laundry, the Lord of the Rings DVD’s which keep calling my name.  Well, you get the idea.

So, My Daily Word for today is represented in a senryu poem.  A tongue-in-cheek look at ourselves…no matter what you do for a living.

I found the villain
he’s closer than I thought
my breath fogs the mirror

Have a brilliant day, and keep writing!

Eternally,

Lynda Gail Alfano

Oh, No! (Gasp) – The Synopsis Approaches

•July 14, 2009 • 5 Comments

Yes, my writerly friends and family, it is the bane of my existence…the dreaded synopsis.

Yet, it isn’t the actual writing of the synopsis that seems so dastardly.  It is the frustration that the format of a synopsis is like a contemporary painting…open to interpretation.  For an industry that in other areas is so regimented, why is the style and length of the synopsis so varied from agent to agent…and publisher to publisher?  Why can’t they all just get along?

Recently, I lamented this frustration to a new writer friend, Teresa Frohock.  I discovered her blog while searching for critiquing ideas.  I have enjoyed her humor and insight, and especially her “lunch hour links”.  After researching this topic, today she has posted a great blog on writing the novel synopsis.

Thank you for the topic, Teresa!  (Sigh)  Now I have to haul out my synopsis, which originally began life at a whooping 10 pages.  After much sweat and tears, I’ve managed to massage it down to 6 pages.  As it’s written, I’ll never get it any shorter.  So, Teresa, I am going to use the technique you mentioned, and rewrite it in three Acts.

Those who know me personally, know that I love movies…and I love to quote them.  As a new blogger, I think I’ll continue to spout off my favorite quotes as I come across them.  Teresa, you now have the distinct honor of being my first quotee!  Here’s my favorite line from the post writing the novel synopsis:

“Well! many authors exclaim, how can that silly agent-person possibly experience the greatness of my novel with one lousy page?”

Boy, isn’t that the truth?!  Not the silly agent part, but the part about the greatness within us.  Isn’t that what we want?!  We want someone to come along…and even through the rough edges…can see that spark of greatness withinus.  And the thought that we have to convey that latent spark in under 300 words – is terrifying!

Keep writing!

Eternally,

Lynda Gail Alfano

Senryu Poem – Eternal Pride

•July 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I recently learned about a form of poetry called senryu.  It is similar to haiku in that it is unrhymed and 17 syllables or less.  The difference is in theme.  A senryu is supposed to be a bit satirical or ironic, and to be about human nature or human artifacts.

Artifacts?  That’s right up my alley of interest!  🙂

I was looking through my personal photos from my trip to Egypt, and one really stuck in my mind.  The Sphinx, which of course I wrote about earlier.  But this time, I focused on the face of the Sphinx.  There are certainly some interesting stories about how the great statue lost it’s nose.  Yet, I can’t help but think of one particular old adage when I look at the massive chip in the stone features: “cut off your nose to spite your face”.

So, here is my first (and hopefully not too lame) attempt at a senryu poem about spite.

Profile of the Sphinx

Profile of the Sphinx

rigid with cold pride,

yet spitefully nosing

into the sharp sand

by

Lynda Gail Alfano

New Poem – Sphinx Meditation

•July 1, 2009 • 6 Comments

I finally found my old files from my January 2007 trip to Egypt.  The trip of a lifetime.  So many experiences to share…including a very spiritual experience in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid.  But I’ll share that story at a later date.

Today, I’m just going to point you toward a copy of a poem that sprang from my mind during a meditation my tour guide led as we all sat in between the great paws of the Sphinx.  I felt profoundly lucky that our group did receive permission to enter the Sphinx enclosure.

Meditating next to the Sphinx in Egypt

Meditating next to the Sphinx in Egypt

That’s all for today.  I need to spend my afternoon trying to figure out how to redirect my domain name to this blog site.  My old website has lived out its usefulness, I’m afraid.

Eternally,

Lynda Gail Alfano

Poem – The Beacon

•June 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Check out a recent poem I wrote.  Click on My Poetry in the column at the right.  It was my first attempt at poetry in…probably 20 years!

It is likely an obvious poem.  The word choices and phrasing are all chosen to illustrate a “cycle of life”.  My inspiration for the poem came from helping a friend deal with a life-changing problem.  And don’t we all have those….life-changing problems?

In a score of years, I’ll be facing both “empty nest” and probably “menopause” at the same time.  That should be exciting.

But enjoy the poem.  It is short, but every word has meaning and clarity.  The photo I’ve included with it was taken by my very talented sister Judy.  This particular picture of the Boca Chita Lighthouse in Florida was the photo Judy used on the cover of her first annual Calendar.  She’s working on this year’s calendar already.  Check out her calendar and her many beautiful galleries at:

http://www.janthinaimages.smugmug.com/

Eternally,

Lynda Gail Alfano

Immortal Diva

A Writer…At Last!

•June 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I recently finished my first fully polished and critiqued manuscript!

My heart soared with a surge of energy as a huge smile broke across my face. Goosebumps tingled across my arms as a feeling of pride rippled like waves across the ocean. For just a moment, my mind was amazed at the accomplishment and wondered if anyone else had ever felt this way before. Of course, many have. It is the exact moment a writer is first born.

Like an infant leaving the womb, so came the next question: What next??

I kept comparing my feelings to those I felt after giving birth to my first child. Those joyous hours in the hospital as nurses rushed around caring for my son: changing his diapers, bringing him to me, taking him back to his little plastic cradle, checking him over and over again. Then, came the moment. THE moment. You’ve tucked the little cherub into that brand new fancy car carrier and buckled yourselves into the front seat. Then, we looked backward at the infant carrier, and it hit us.

We had absolutely NO idea what to do next!

Now, I sit again in front of my laptop, clicking in and out of various portals of social communication. I’ve checked my website, various emails, a Twitter account, and my writer’s Yahoo group. I’m toying with the idea of a Facebook page and wondering what the heck anyone would want to know about me in the first place. I’m looking backwards at my manuscript all tucked up safely in it’s blue digital folder, and it hits me.

Now what?!

Well, I guess it’s like a child. I gave it life. I fed it with characters and plot, and nurtured it with constant editing and polishing. Now, it is ready to graduate and enter the big wide world all on its own. It’s success and survival will undoubtedly leave the safety of my fingertips…of my ability to control it.

A broad smile crosses my face again as power surges across my soul.

Oh, how I love a good challenge!

Eternally,

Immortal Diva