Tag Archives: creative

Define Yourself as a Writer

My passion and enthusiasm leads me astray. It will get to a point, though, that I must rein it in and tie it down, despite the ‘no fences’ rule. I wear several hats, of late, and it is no wonder that confusion plays it course upon my condition. I love my company and I love the people who have discovered the amazing way collaboration works. Supporting one another is truly the way to become better at what we do – it is the way to widen your perspective, cultivate new interests, define your goals – all of which allows us to plant sign posts with remarkable achievements along our writing life journey. But, if I do not write, I begin to feel discouraged, frustrated, sad… I need to write. It is as vital as air and as soothing a sunshine upon my face.

I read a great post shared by someone who walks the talk – she supports and encourages and I am so lucky to call her friend and confidant. The Writer’s Digest article talked about the October Platform Challenge… we all know how I love a challenge! So what better way to get myself out of a rut than to revisit the deepest part of my creativity. I am going to rediscover my muse and drag him/her screaming to the surface.

Day 1 Challenge – Define Yourself as a Writer 

This exercise is to identify and lay claim to all the things that make you a writer. Own it.

Name (as used in byline): Linda J. Pedley

Position(s): Owner/President of Dream Write Publishing Ltd * Co-founder/Director/Treasurer/Member/Volunteer of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County * Business Management Coordinator for my day job at the Alberta Federation of REAs * Freelance Writer/Editor * Published Author * Artist & Illustrator * Truck Window Photographer

Skill(s): Creative writing * non-fiction writing * poetry * editing * book design * blogging and web site content writing * social media promotion and platform building * newsletters * business document writing including business plans, reports, business case proposals, government position papers * individual-team-community builder * teaching and mentoring * color and design * photography * art composition and basic lesson plans * computer use

Social media platforms (active): Facebook * LinkedIn * Google+ * Twitter

URL(s): wildhorse33.wordpress.com  / dreamwrite10.wordpress.com  / dreamwritepublishing.com  / strathconaconnect.com 

Accomplishments: BA General – Sociology Major/Political Science Minor from the University of Alberta * Author of several published novels: YA adventure series – A Journey of Brothers/A Journey of Truths/ A Journey of Desires, Power Struggle, Ode to the Bard – My Writing Life, and An Elizabethan Affair * Co-Author of Your Lifetime of Stories and From a Solitary Drop * Contributing Author to several compilations and/or anthologies including Christmas Chaos and Writing Prompt Journey * Awarded the Pride of Strathcona community award in Arts, Culture & History for our writers group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, in 2011 * Awarded the Pride of Strathcona community award in Arts, Culture & History in 2012 for personal work in this category * Certificate in Article and Short Story Writing from Long Ridge Writers Group in the US  * Certificate of Participation in Writer’s Camp at Humber College, Toronto in 2004 * Effective Communications Certificate from Grant MacEwan College * Publisher of over 60 books and 5 years in business with Dream Write Publishing – a creative option for today’s writers to see their work in print.

Interests: Writing – all genres * art appreciation * travelling Alberta and driving in the mountains in my “Sunshine” Toyota FJ Cruiser * truck window photography * all things Shakespeare * coffee with close family members * sharing interests and good times with good friends * horses * spending time with my daughter watching favorite TV shows, drinking wine, or collaborating on work projects * drawing * computers * reading and having lots of books *

In one sentence, who am I? Linda J. Pedley is a writer who works her day job to pay the rent while dreaming of the things she could do if only she could just focus on the passion of creating and working page-deep in books every day.

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Remember, Remember

November… is all about the “remember.” It’s about remembering it’s still fall although winter sometimes imposes its icy cold hand over our land and our windshields. It’s a nice rhyme for those given to poetic urges when golden mantle is now carpet and barren branches reach toward a still blue Alberta sky. It’s about remembering to tune up and retread and retire… all those things that you might not have gotten to by the end of October. While the weather holds you batten down the hatches and stack the wood in preparation for what’s inevitably next…

Yes, there is the infamous “Remember, remember the 5th of November… of gunpowder, treason, and plot…” Guido Fawkes’ notoriety is forever in our history with his attachment to the foiled Gunpowder Plot of blowing up British parliament and all who were in attendance. Who knows what effect the successful completion of such a plan would have had on the day, let alone what might have transpired and what effects might have filtered down through history.

We have also always honored Remembrance Day on November 11th “…lest we forget.” To celebrate those with eternal gratefulness for their service to our country, to protect and defend us, most often with the biggest sacrifice one can offer – their lives. A day in honor is the least we can do. I do not remember it having to ever be a holiday, though, while growing up. I recall school tributes and moments of silence on the 11th hour, the 11th day, the 11th month while in the classroom. Now, as an employee, we receive the day off as a statutory holiday – not sure when it was instigated, but it is something we all just accept now, as the norm.

My own remembrance in November includes the passing of my mother in 2012 and I’ve stated several places… time has its way of moving on, yet all wounds do not heal completely. I will always pay tribute to this day, November 3rd, as I move forward to celebrate my own life in memory of hers.

And, of course, last but not the very least, considering my desire to write in any fashion – National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo, to those in the know… I remember with overwhelming contentment my connection to words and writing and the craziness that transpires as we heap the attempt upon our already full plates. I remember my love for this obsession and I remember my decision to narrow my focus to be a writer, become a published author, and help others by being a publisher.

Remember, remember…

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.”

~ William Shakespeare

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Hanh quote - Pedley photo Feb 2014

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February 16, 2014 · 3:45 pm

I Read a Quote

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” ~ Victor Hugo

Several days have passed since my last blog, in fact, several days have lapsed again without a journal entry. It is not that words do not live within me and it is not that I do not long to let them go – it is the reality of life, at times, that prevents me from releasing them all too soon. I can go off all crazed like, writing and writing and writing, but in the act I set goals for myself I cannot keep – at least not right now. Lately, my creative self can be found wrapped up in emotional blankets, too content and warm and afraid to throw them aside. I have lots to share, to say, to write, to do… and it is in that confusion of everything there lies the desire to do nothing. The overwhelming all-consuming wish that it all didn’t exist as it has turned out. I am not a defeatist; I don’t wallow in pity and beg for another chance; but I do just keep scraping it all in a pile until that pile is so high it offends me and it has the nerve to eventually fall over smothering me with guilt and shame and sadness. These moments are a part of me and how things happen and how I deal. Thankfully they don’t last long and I am not destined to be someone who succumbs to their self-inflicted wounds. The moods seem to dissipate into the mist that is life. When I come across a quote, such as the one above by Victor Hugo – I pull myself up and go forward. Because in all the emotion and turmoil, I am a dreamer and I am a writer. I know I design my own future by following my dreams and achieving my goals.

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My Own Food for Thought

Or… Aptly subtitled – A short blog post to get me thinking of that longer blog post…

Of late, I would have to liken my blog posts to the simmering of a hearty soup – each time I get an inkling I need to write a blog, content and ideas stew in my mind, mixing and bumping into all the other stuff up there until such time it gathers enough sauce and season of its own to be released onto paper. The only reason I feel it happens in this manner is the fact there are so many other things I have to get done and, although I consider my blogs an important part of my writing journey, they are sometimes given a back seat to other important matters – write or not. But that creative steam is like an assurance or a reminder of something that must be checked and something that must be done. If I could sit and write every day, all the time, the marinating of ideas would not be so long a process as it sometimes seems. Fountain and flow have everything to do with composition and that is why the best advice we can share is “if you want to be a writer, just write…” It gets easier, the more you do it. To me, it even gets easier, in the moment, as I write; the more words I let loose on the page in one sitting without the need to stop and over think the whole creative process, the better it ends up. I still have a tendency to review it negatively – it sounded so much better upstairs – I just have to remind myself that everything is not going to be earth shattering, mind-blowing, or debate discussion inspired…  it might simply be my own food for thought.

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Creative Construction

Even if you don’t think you have one – every writer has some routine that can be called their creative construction process. There are certain things every writer will do every time they sit down to write and while there are some actions that are universal to every writer, there are others uniquely possessed by a few. We are our own best characters, building upon our journey with such mindful cautions that often we are tagged as overly obvious or obsessed. For me, it’s hard to pin point just once process although the most obvious is something I would call avoidance void dance.

I will be going along great guns, blasting words here and there like tampered cement – noisy and repetitively irritating to everyone but me, but it allows me to get right to the root of the project, quickly. Then – it’s like I hit a road block, and I don’t get all worried and wary about it – right away. I let it go. A couple of hours. A day; then another, and another until a week has gone by and there are no words posted where I should be posting. I avoid the obvious – that I’ve neglected my writing life commitment by justifying “I’ve been writing other places, you just don’t see them!” And it’s true, but that doesn’t put a post where people expect a post – so I dance around the issue wasting another couple of days, knowing in the back of my mind “I’ll get there” when in reality I thinking so hard on what I want to write that nothing creative is coming to me. I avoid the obvious “you got nothing” and move on to something else somewhere else, just to keep in practice.

Well, here I am pulling out a draft that was sitting idle awaiting its blogging debut, adding to it desperately hoping to come up with some coherent cohesive coordinated composition, all the while knowing that down deep inside is the real piece that’s waiting to be written.  And it most assuredly won’t contain all these seemingly forced alliterations… It’s just “write” there being all patient and prosed for the time when I let my guard down, relax and just let the words flow. It happens – and that’s this writer’s creative construction process.

When I want to write on demand – give me a prompt or a topic or some words to direct me – and I’ll give you an imaginative piece. Did it yesterday – three pieces on three different prompts to the tune of about 3,000 words. Yes, I was catching up but the great thing about it was that two of the pieces are part of a continuing story that I have going and I’m thinking, movie…

Got a process? Don’t force it and just go with the flow. Keep on writing.

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A Character’s Prerogative

Subtitle: I’m Late

As a writer I am forever creating new works that introduce characters who fit the plot, the genre, and the setting. These characters, oft times , invariably sit upon the tip of my tongue, or rather, the tip of my fingers, just waiting to spring forth and live out their own story, as I type. Others still, are loath to show themselves and come out of hiding only as I coax them to the page. No matter the personality, thought must go into the type of character I choose to represent each story because each will require a developed set of traits that allow little quirks and habits to make them seem more real. You must also, give them an endearing quality so they are more apt to create a relationship with the reader, and then give them a suitable name – to fit the situation and time and, of course, for ease of calling.

There are loving characters that show every emotion upon their paper sleeve, often giving in too soon to their affections for lowly wanton desires; there are those who are withdrawn and depressive that keep to themselves and usually end up unfulfilled unless they realize their shortcomings through an epiphany, of sorts, appropriately placed during the last dregs of a long middle story, having already been beaten and prodded and poked to that realization. Modern day stories require the with-it, happening fashioned characters that are the epitome of slick, sassy and smart. Step back into history, to bring forth a player from the stages of Shakespeare’s London, and one must research the very…

“Alas, I am a player, and I offer to thee my humble servitude.”

“You interrupted…and… If indeed I called you forth, you would therefore, be late.”

“I interrupted not – you brought me forth, and hence, therefore I am arrived – on time.”

“Matter of argument – besides, I did not call you forth. I was merely writing about the characters I may call upon to tell their stories during my writing journey. So, what is it you want?”

“Master is somewhat pointed with a mere player. Perhaps, I shall forsake thee and run through my sword to maketh a point.”

“You always were the dramatist – now, in words you might understand… begone!”

 “O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die.”

“Nice try. Besides, it’s been done and you certainly don’t look like a Juliet.”

“I could be.”

“Out, out, damn player.” If you let your imagination run away with you, sometimes you must be rigid and hold to the course of your writing. If a character does not fit the personality or does not seem real then, perhaps, you will lose your reader to those superficial qualities. When readers involve themselves in your work they often relate to a character, finding similarities in their situations, recalling memories of things that happened to them in likeness to the events of the story. A character’s situation can bring to light similar feelings, which may be happy, sad, anger or anguish…

“Oh, woe, what am I to do?”

“You are interrupting… but what is wrong?”

“I need someone to tell my story to so that I may find a solution to my… delicate situation.”

“Again… what is wrong?”

“I’m late.”

“I did not call you here and you did not have an appointment, so how is it that you think you are late?”

“Daft writer – I am late, as in I… am… late… and I think I might be pregnant!”

“It is not my pen that poked you there.”

“Smart-assed writer, too, but touché. It is your pen that conjured up that no-good-for-nothing-miserable-lying-clod-character and seduced me to his bed. He said he’d call. Lying bast…”

“Okay, wait a minute. I did not write that story. Are you sure you have the right writer?”

“Yes. I’m sure; you know ‘his denim shirt fell open to reveal taut, tanned skin, wet with the heat of labored work in the hot summer sun. His hand wiped a fallen lock of jet black hair from his forehead, and I could almost taste the salt on my tongue from his perspiration…”

“Whoa, back the hot bus up. Haven’t had the chance to do cheesy romance yet, so, definitely not mine… but, mind if I use that…”

“Wait, you are not Harlequin. Oh, my… copyright… gotta go!”

Your characters are not the only ones getting into sticky situations. You must remember to check all the legalities of writing when you choose to publish your story. Don’t go using another author’s characters – develop your own. Make them real. Check out copyright laws – here in Canada, of course, as soon as you write something it is protected, but it can’t just be a line or an idea. You can’t copyright those. You should also check the names of your characters by doing a Google search – just a first name here and there doesn’t need to be checked. There are a million and one people with the name John, Robert, Anne, Elizabeth, Jason, Jennifer…and so on. But if you are going to use a full name, first and last, check it out before you go inserting that poor being into life altering predicaments. Even if you use the disclaimer that insists “no person, alive or dead, is depicted in this work, and similarities or likenesses are purely coincidental.” It’s just best not to go there.

The most important thing to remember when writing a new story is to not let the development of your character hold up your creative process. It is good story planning to sit down with them before you start the actual story to get to know them, especially if you are planning something as lengthy as a new novel. A character outline or sketch allows you the unhurried task of determining characteristics and based on the descriptions – personality traits, idiosyncrasies, habits, hobbies, physical features, etc. – all will determine how a character will act and react to whatever situation you happen to dream up for them.  

“Hi, there. Time for my story. Am I late?”

“No. Actually, you are “write” on time.”   

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Life Revolves Around Writing

As a writer it is necessary to immerse oneself into all of the aspects of writing and never forget that to be a writer, one must write. Many times it does not matter what you write, but many times it does. If there are things that are sitting on the back burner – creative things stewing away – it may be time to pull them to the forefront and take note of them again. It is okay to intersperse them among the other things that might have to be done on a day-to-day basis – life, for instance – but your writer’s life must be just as important in order for those creative babies to grow and mature and get out into the world.

I, for instance, just finished writing a one page feature advertisement for our Writer’s Conference coming up in April – this is writing – it is a different kind of writing but I feel it keeps me in touch with what is important to me and my journey as a writer. It is not what will be noticed in the future as my “claim to fame” but it is important now. A writer must learn how to mix it up in order to keep in the now and put out there what will be in print and there for all time. Not to go all “shakespeare” on you, but immortality for an artist is caught up in the number of times our work will be appreciated in the future by future readers and art connoisseurs.

The omen the other day – receiving a Business Edge news magazine in my mailbox for the first time ever – was taken to heart as a sign to get out there. I have submitted the piece I read last Tuesday to the writer’s group with a couple of changes, just to generalize the concept for all business leaders in today’s business world. I will continue to work on other things while this comes to fruition.

Along with all the things that I am doing, is something that I am not doing – beating myself up for not writing in my small daily journal, having lost momentum along the way with the move and all. I HAVE been blogging and participating in the Saturday Writing Prompts so I look at the positive, not the negative. I AM writing and that is what constitutes a writer.

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