Reality Bites

M.L. Swift:

I like the “reblog” feature on WordPress. With it, I can be as lazy as I want and still provide excellent content on my site. Mondays make for good lazy days.

Over the weekend, Debbie McClure from The Write Stuff Dot Me published an inspiring article concerning Dreaming vs. Doing. Oftentimes as writers, we allow external distractions — you know, life — to interfere with our livelihoods, giving one problem after another priority over our work, yet we still wonder why the hell we’re not advancing in our careers.

Do you know what I mean? Here are a few examples: “This hangnail hurts too much to type; I’d better take a nap,” or “It’s a bad hair day; I’m off to the salon,” or better yet, “My tooth aches; I can’t think.” Yes, the last one was actually a recent concern of mine. Thing is, while they may be legitimate reasons for self-care, the writing doesn’t get done, now does it? So what does work? Practicing the Butt-in-Chair Philosophy — no matter what. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just do it, despite how you feel, otherwise, everything becomes a good reason to remain idle.

She likens writing — or actually succeeding in anything you wish to accomplish — to a baby learning to walk, however, rather than clumsily rehashing her article here, why don’t you follow the teaser below and read it for yourself? Believe me, she does a much better job than I ever could.

Debbie hails from Ontario, Canada, and aside from covering various writing-related topics on her blog, also partners with Christina Hamlett on the site, You Read It Here First, Conversations With Today’s Authors. Pay close attention to the next-to-last paragraph of her article for a sneak-peek of an up-and-comer they’ll soon be spotlighting. Here’s a clue: he likes to hyphenate.

Happy Monday! Give Debbie’s article a look-see and her blog a follow while you’re at it. Oh, and get to work!

Originally posted on thewritestuffdotme:

Soul Full Eye by Artist, Lisa Redfern Soul Full Eye
by Artist, Lisa Redfern

I have to admit, I’m a lover of fantasy. I love the idea of going after the dream, wishing on a star, and clicking my heels three times to achieve my deepest desires. But that’s not gonna happen any time soon. So what am I left with? Reality. I’m left with the realization that I have to do something, anything, to make things happen. No fairy godmother is going to come along and wave her magic wand and make me or my life what I want it to be. Talking about it, planning for it, making lists, researching, none of these things really advances me toward my goals in a substantial way. Oh, they may be necessary aspects of beginning a new project or adventure, but they don’t have the same effect as getting off my duff and actively doing the nitty-gritty work…

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Dave Barry Learns Everything You Need to Know About Being a Husband From Reading 50 Shades of Grey

M.L. Swift:

In a hilarious attempt to understand women, Dave Barry, one of my contemporary literary heroes, actually read E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey and shared his thoughts in Time Magazine online. I bet Anastasia’s inner goddess wishes she had a ball-gag about now. Enjoy the review; I’m sure it’s more entertaining than the book.

Originally posted on TIME:

So I read Fifty Shades of Grey. This is the book written by female British author “E. L. James” that became a huge bestseller, devoured by pretty much every woman on Earth except my wife (or so she claims).

I think I might be the only man who read this book. I did it sneakily, hiding the cover, especially when I was on an airplane, which actually is a good place to read this book because you have access to a barf bag. I say this because of the writing style, which is . . . OK, here’s one tiny sample of the writing style:

“Did you give him our address?”
“No, but stalking is one of his specialties,” I muse matter-of-factly.
Kate’s brow knits further.

That’s right: This is the kind of a book where, instead of saying things, characters muse them, and they are somehow able to…

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NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge, Round 1

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Click to read “Passing the (Olympic) Torch”

I recently entered the 9th Annual NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge, a competition consisting of three rounds, the first of which ended at midnight on Saturday.

1,440 writers were divided into forty-eight “heats” and assigned a genre, subject, and character.

My prompts? Comedy, a family reunion, and a waiter.

The results of the first round won’t be released until March 10th (at midnight—see a theme developing?), but they’ve allowed us to post our stories offsite and link to their forum for feedback. So I created a Short Stories tab with the hopes of adding at least a couple more stories from the competition (as I mentioned, there are three rounds), as well as some of my future endeavors.

Also required of the participants in the challenge: create a one or two sentence (max) synopsis of the story—a catchy logline, if you will. Here’s mine:

What’s the god of wine, women, and song to do when his light-in-the-sandals son aspires to be nothing more than a mere waiter? When you’re Dionysus, you gird your loins, take a swig of Mavroudi, and hope to Hades your father, Zeus, is just as understanding.

If you’d like to take a look, I’d love to have you read. Click this link or enter through the tab up top for my submission: Passing the (Olympic) Torch.

Peace,

MLSwiftSignature

MikeBeach

M.L. Swift is a lover of words who squanders away his afternoons arranging them into sentences which, when combined, resemble fiction. He has written articles for Writer Unboxed and The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, and as a caregiver for ten years, plans a novel on his experience. He lives in the Florida panhandle with his two dogs, Rameses and Buster, and spends his nights fighting a losing battle to reclaim his side of the bed.

What Does a Writer Need to Succeed? Redirect to Writer Unboxed

Hell-Froze-Over-Attribute

Photo by John P.

Well, it’s finally happened. The staff at Writer Unboxed—normally an academic, professional, sane group of folks—have lost their collective minds and put the keyboard in my hands for the day. Either that, or Hell has frozen over. Regardless of the “why’s” and “what-the-for’s,” it’s a sure sign of the coming apocalypse.

While there, I’ll be addressing the Six Things Every Writer Needs To Succeed in my usual, charming, sardonic way. I invite you to join the discussion and see what didn’t make the list. It may surprise you.

Is that four horsemen trotting along the hilltop?

Peace,

MLSwiftSignature

MikeBeach

M.L. Swift is a lover of words who squanders away his afternoons arranging them into sentences which, when combined, resemble fiction. A caregiver for over ten years, he has written several articles for The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, and plans a novel on his experience. He lives in the Florida panhandle with his two dogs, Rameses and Buster, and spends his nights fighting a losing battle to reclaim his side of the bed.

Merry Christmas!

“God bless us, everyone!”
- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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© 1992 – Walt Disney Studios. All rights reserved.

May you and yours have a joyous and safe holiday season. See you in 2015.

Peace,

MLSwiftSignature

MikeBeach

M.L. Swift is a lover of words who squanders away his afternoons arranging them into sentences which, when combined, resemble fiction. A caregiver for over ten years, he has written several articles for The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, and plans a novel on his experience. He lives in the Florida panhandle with his two dogs, Rameses and Buster, and spends his nights fighting a losing battle to reclaim his side of the bed.