the writing process blog hop

A big ALOHA to all who dabble in the written word…writers and readers alike.

A movement is afoot…The Writing Process Blog Hop! 

From what I gather it’s an effort to encourage more interaction among those who plug into the Internet. Writers like me hope our stories resonate with folks who seek inspiration, compassion, information, relaxation or just want a good laugh.

Claudia Anderson at http://humoringthegoddess.com/ provides all of the above in her blog, a perspective of life through the lens of middle-aged eyes. There’s a little something for everyone…soulful words…kindness and generosity…practical tidbits…bouts when she kicks back… and best of all…humor, both upright and downright. Let’s just say if you enjoy my writing, you’ll go crazy for Claudia’s. It was this goddess who  invited me to join others in stirring the pot, so to speak.

So let me get right to it…

What am I working on? 

At the moment? Nothing.

I’ve dabbled.

There’s a rather melodramatic memoir of life with my mother written before I began hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul, back in 2010. I mistakenly submitted it to an artsy magazine in North Carolina. Or was it South Carolina? Either way, I got my manuscript back with a nice note suggesting I send it to a more appropriate publication. A nice rejection, but still…a rejection.

A short article I wrote for an online magazine never got a response. I was incensed when my wittily crafted tale about financing my hairdresser’s retirement to Belize did not garner the editor’s immediate attention. “Her loss!” I thought to myself, and moved on.

Even a joke I sent along to that old tried and true, Reader’s Digest, drew a blank.

Throwing my hands in the air, I turned to blogging…first on Google, then Oprah, finally landing on WordPress where I’ve happily remained until now.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ll take a stab at this one, not having compared myself to other writers in my…genre.

I prefer reading and, therefore, writing…nonfiction stories. My best work comes from what I experience personally. Whether I’m reading or writing, I draw from my own perceptions and personal experiences. Much of it has to do with my upbringing and how it influenced my life as a child, and as an adult.

I’m pretty sure most nonfiction writers subscribe to my methods. Only a few, however, probably write with tongue-in-cheek humor like me. Claudia Anderson being one of them. No small wonder then that we’re ga-ga over each other.

Why do I write what I do?

Why do most writers write what they write? Because of their passion for it! That’s why.

When I began blogging it was as though the thoughts in my head were constantly on the march, warring to be free. Unable to contain them any longer, I finally gave in and allowed them access to the outside world. From the dawning of one day to that of the next, I felt gagged and hog-tied to my computer. Most of the 1,000+ posts I have written on WordPress were published in the early years of hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. Only recently have I been able to return to the land of the living.

Just a few days ago, one of my sister-in-laws, a faithful follower of my blog commented…”You’ve not been writing much lately.” A sure sign that I’ve finally said most everything that’s been bottled up inside my head these many, many years.

How does my writing process work?

Simple. I sit down at my laptop whenever I can spare a minute and just…write!

I’ve no magic formula, no set schedule, no hard and fast deadlines.

Writing for me is…sheer pleasure! Whenever I can spare a minute or two…or 30 or 60…I sit and type. Words clamoring to escape confinement spill forth…like children let out at recess.

One day, however, I will set about to publish an e-book or two. Something that’s near and dear to my heart…my daughter’s foray into the professional world of dance…what it means to grow up Hawaiian in America…the ups-and-downs and downs-and-ups of growing old. 

My hope is that you’ll want to...keep reading what I write!

Jennifer Soames, a Kinesis Myofascial Integration specialist, has graciously agreed to join in The Writing Process Blog Hop. Having published an E-book on her specialty, I am certain you will find a lot of good information which she’s more than happy to share. Whatever the focus of our writing, we all have a story to tell. Jennifer’s is that of helping folks live healthier lives. A topic which affects all of us. See my previous post where I write of Jennifer’s having done wonders for me. https://hugmamma.com/2014/08/26/happy-fascia-happy-me/

Jennifer Soames Bodywork Maple ValleyJennifer Soames, LMP, KMI/BCSI Is a Board Certified Structural Integrator, Licensed Massage Practitioner and author who has helped hundreds of people with chronic pain and limitations in their bodies. She is passionate about educating and empowering her clients to be an active participant in their own healing and transformation. (Photo/bio from her website.) http://instridebodywork.com/about-jennifer/

365 photo challenge: mountain

Mount Rainier over Tacoma, Washington, USA.

Image via Wikipedia

It’s probably taken me the last 24 hours to climb a “mountain.” Not just any mountain, for it felt as though I was scaling Mount Rainier, what with the monumental effort I had to exert to get to the summit. My friend Sylvia, and perhaps other like-minded seniors, will understand how ominous it is to undertake any task that involves technological lingo.

Reading the book and writing its review for my previous post “the daughter’s walk”…spokane to nyc, were easy. Figuring out the remaining components required to publish my post on Blogging For Books and retailer Amazon.com was excruciatingly painful. My back still aches from the stress. But my mind is still doing cartwheels and handstands from the phenomenal exercise it got. I’m positive I grew trillions of new brain cells that are building new networks even as I type.

Through the many hours that I labored to copy and insert images from Blogging For Books to my blog with the corresponding URL links, and then go through a whole other process with Amazon.com, I probably racked up enough miles for a frequent flier’s trip to Europe, or maybe even Australia. But just as journeying to either destination would require a lot of preparation, so too it was necessary for me to jump through hoops to get everything perfect for publication of my review on Blogging For Books and Amazon.com.

Lesson learned? “Free” doesn’t really mean “free.” Getting a free book required not only writing a review, but having the wherewithall to publish it on 2 other sites besides my own. That is certainly a “no brainer” for someone with the wherewithall. But even though I’m a couple of months shy of my blog’s one-year anniversary on WordPress.com, I still don’t know it all…technologically speaking. I know just enough to publish my posts, and include some pictures. Except…

i did just climb…a “mountain”…so take a hike…alzheimer’s…hugmamma. 😉 

(Note: So now that you know the “behind-the-scenes” story, won’t you read my post “the daughter’s walk”…spokane to nyc and click on “rank my review.” My arthritic back thanks you…as do I!)   

justin bieber…huckabee rival?

Image representing Mark Zuckerberg as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Adults are apt to dismiss the young members of society as not having anything of substance to contribute. But I think that’s definitely changing. No longer can we admonish them with “children should be seen and not heard,” as was the golden rule in my younger years. Not that those approaching middle-age were ready to relinquish power without a fight. It’s more that upstarts like Bill Gates and Paul Allen at the tender ages of 13 and 15, respectively, began turning our world on its ear when they sought to create what became a global power, Microsoft. Others followed in time, Google founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and Facebook’s creator, Mark Zuckerberg. These of course are the more prominent among the brainiacs of their generations. I think it’s safe to say these young men who were probably considered “still wet behind the ears” by their elders, grabbed the world’s attention, never letting go.

I personally have witnessed the power of those younger than me. My 25-year-old daughter continually teaches me about life, its radical highs and lows, as well as its moments of calm and serenity. The tables have turned, where I taught her, she now teaches me. Although sometimes I wonder if she hasn’t been giving me lessons all along, ever since she was a babe in my womb.

As I’ve made my way through this, at times overwhelming, internet adventure, 20-year-olds have reached out to help me. Blogger Scriptor Obscura was the first to regularly “like” my posts and leave comments. More recently, author B.C. Young agreed to be interviewed about self-publishing, sharing insight into an area that’s still evolving. In turn he invited me to share a fictional piece of my own on his blog, introducing me to his readers. More than anything this young man gave this senior writer a “hand up.”

Thanks for giving me my first break, Ben. It’s heartwarming to know that there are published writers, like yourself, who will give a hand up to those of us still struggling to have our words read in printed form.

“mahalo”…thank you…millie aka hugmamma.

Yesterday when I volunteered at the office of the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association, Trevor Barnes, the assistant director, shared encouraging words of support when I expressed doubt that I even belonged among such an elite company of published writers, as per the bios I viewed on PNWA’s website. Trevor assured me that there were thousands of members like me, just looking to write something that would someday be published and read. I left the office with hope. And I got that from someone in his 20s.

One Less Lonely Girl

Image via Wikipedia

So when I saw the following I felt inclined to share it. Why? Because quite simply I was shocked to learn that the young pop idol, Justin Bieber, had something going on under his blonde, mop of hair, than just hip-hop lyrics. I think you’ll be as astonished as I was.

“Go Ahead, America, Leave It to Bieber”
by Joe Queenan (Wall Street Journal, 2/26/11)

Justin Bieber got slammed good last week when he opened his yap about abortion in Rolling Stone. Some people objected to his views, others scorched him for the way he phrased them, still others questioned the very notion of a 16-year-old boy offering his opinion on any serious moral, political or legal question.

Susan Sarandon at the premiere of Speed Racer ...

Image via Wikipedia

The apoplectic response to Mr. Bieber’s comments is not fair. As of Tuesday, when he will be exactly one year short of the age when he can legally vote, drink or kill Taliban, the diminutive Canadian has every right to express himself on any issue he feels passionately about. The idea that youth somehow disqualifies him from speaking out on issues is the very thing young people–now grumpy old Bieber-Bashing Baby Boomers–fought against in the 1960s. After all, Justin Bieber is at least as smart as Susan Sarandon.

But the worst thing about all the Rolling Stone kerfuffle is that it has drawn attention away from other opinions Mr. Bieber has offered on major issues of the day. And in his clear, articulate, reasoned analysis of these issues, Mr. Bieber has shown himself to be that rarest of creatures: the precocious youth whose opinions must be heeded.

It’s Mr. Bieber, for example, who was the first person to warn that spiraling commodity prices would lead to unrest in Bahrain and Yemen. Interviewed by the BBC in January, he said: “Once you see that disconnect between pork belly futures and 30-day wheat, look out! When food prices spike–and this goes all the way back to the days when Mark Antony had to import grain from Egypt–there is no way to put a cap on civil unrest back home. Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, maybe even Iran. It’s the domino effect.”

Mr. Bieber’s comments did not go down well in the futures markets, where copper and tin immediately tanked. Who died and left this punk in charge? Why should anyone care what a celebrity of any age, gender or height cares about anything important? Don’t you have to be at least as old and gray as George Clooney before anyone starts taking you seriously?

Gaga on The Monster Ball Tour in Toronto

Image via Wikipedia

Generally speaking, this anticelebrity bias is justifiable. Sean Penn is an idiot, Madonna a dope, Christina Aguilera a nitwit. Lady Gaga never says anything that isn’t stupid, obvious or self-serving, and Martin Sheen should have spent less time protesting in the streets and more time in the home parenting. As for Bono, who definitely seems like a sincere, well-meaning sort, exactly how much wisdom can one impute to a man who wrote the music for the Spider-Man musical?

But in Mr. Bieber’s case, the animosity and condescension are not jusfified. Mr. Bieber, after all, was the first person–not the first celebrity, but the first personto warn that Ireland’s economy would implode because of a bloated real-estate market. More recently, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he was way ahead of the curve when he suggested that cash-strapped states like Illinois and California should simply threaten to default on their debt if it was the only way to get unions to come to the negotiating table.

“Trash the muni market and you’ll see unions fold like a cheap accordion,” he says, “Just look at the yield curve.”

Not everything Mr. Bieber says is astute or prescient. He was wrong when he told a Japanese TV reporter that 3-D TV would take off last Christmas, and he seriously underestimated the ability of Apple’s competitors to respond to the appeal of the iPad. His forecast of a 4.5% GDP growth rate for the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter was way off base. What’s more, he has a lamentable tendency to express his views on topics where he has no expertise whatsoever; whether the Knicks gave up too much to sign Carmelo Anthony, whether learning a second language can help stave off Alzheimer’s, why the next pope should come from Bolivia. But for every target he misses, he hits at least one bull’s eye. And when he speaks out on issues that pertain to the world of music, he is wise beyond his years.

Mike Huckabee's band at the Lincoln Day Dinner...

Image by IowaPolitics.com via Flickr

“If Huckabee doesn’t stop trotting out that stupid bass guitar,” Mr. Bieber told Rolling Stone, “he has no chance in hell of winning the Republican nomination. The American people are not going to elect a president who plays the same instrument as Sting and Flea. Not now. Not ever.”

i have to chuckle…but i also have to…wonder…if out of the mouths of babes?…hugmamma. 

(note: who the heck is “sting and flea?”)

a fantasy becomes reality

Great news! My piece, “Long-Held Secret” written specifically for publication on the WordPress blog, The Time Capsule, is out.

The post will go live at 12 PM Eastern time today.
Here is the link for the post: http://wp.me/p15Plj-gc
Thanks for adding to the entertainment of my site. I appreciate it!
B.C. Young
 

 

 

Since writing the 600 word fictional piece requested by Mr. Young, I’ve added another 2,000 words. My husband, who earned his college degree in English, remarked “I can hardly wait to see where this goes!” upon reading what I’ve written thus far.  So the saga continues, and from time to time, I’ll post a sampling to whet your appetite for the finished book.  The end may be a long way off. You’ll definitely have time to save your pennies towards the purchase. Meanwhile, I’ll have to wrap my brain around the publishing end of making a book happen. Wish me luck! I’ll need it.

 hoping you’ll leave comments for me to read on b.c. young’s blog…and thanks in advance for checking it out…hugmamma. 

please visit…

 

If We All Do One Random Act of Kindness...

Image by heathbrandon via Flickr

Decided to take some very good advice of another blogger, “what’s bugging me today,” and branch out to visit other blogs. Classy Rose, the site’s creator, started the challenge called Random Acts of Kindness,” inviting fellow bloggers to read a new blog a day. Lacking a wealth of technical savvy, I couldn’t figure out how to get on board her challenge. But no matter, I decided I didn’t need to be a part of a group effort, I just needed to subscribe to the message. Toward that end, I would invite you to do the same.

I highly recommend you visit the blog, “I have MS.” It’s a well written documentary of this young 25-year-old, single mom’s debilitating journey with the dreaded disease. With no known cure in sight, she is trying to originate her own path toward a better life for herself, and her child. She is currently contemplating the help of a healer in Canada. John has received acclaim by those who believe he has helped them, in their search for an answer to whatever problem ails them.

“I have MS” also provides helpful information for those of us wanting to live healthier lives. Born out of her own need to fight MS, the blog’s creator has accrued a wealth of knowledge. I’ve commented on her blog that she might consider writing her life story. Its publication might help fund her visit to Canada to see John, and assist in making life more bearable for her family. Now if I only had some real “pull” with Ellen.

You won’t be disappointed by a visit to “I have MS,” in fact you might react as I did…

Raok barnstar

Image via Wikipedia

i came away a little more humbled…hugmamma. 

“this time’s for me,” blogging

A couple of days ago, views of HUGMAMMA’S MIND, BODY AND SOUL passed 6,000! In five months time, I’ve written and published more than 200 posts. I guess that might be the equivalent of a very small book. The benefit of writing a blog, as I’ve acknowledged before, is being read “in the moment.” Middleman, wordpress.com, has been highly instrumental in taking my words from “draft” to “published.” I’m very grateful for the ease with which they make it happen, and appreciative of you, who continue to read my blog.

Writing for me is like a job. I awake, ideas percolating in my brain, before I’ve even washed my face and brushed my teeth. But I get myself ready, hair coiffed and makeup on, oatmeal, green tea and fruit downed, before I plop myself in front of the computer. This is one job for which I need no motivation other than my own. I don’t get paid. I don’t have to answer to a boss, other than myself. But even this boss doesn’t need to kick me in the butt to get going. I’m off and running at the speed of lightning, each and every day. Topics??? They’re in my brain all the time; they’re at my fingertips, in stacks of unread Wall Street Journal papers, in stacks of recipes in a huge drawer. Topics also present themselves on TV, in exercise class, in church, at functions. And of course, mothering is a lifetime of blog posts in itself.

A friend recommended I look into blogging for compensation, in a variety of forms. Looking into it, I was caught up in the whirlwind of gains that could be made from connecting with companies that use bloggers to market their products. Flying hither and yon to attend conferences, visit corporate headquarters, be recognized beyond my own little hovel is exciting stuff. But then I remembered, “Been there, done that.”

I’ve worked for corporations, traveling to headquarters in other states, schmoozing with management, basked in the limelight for programs I’d overseen to fruition. And I got paid to do all this, not enough to be sure, never enough. But while my body went through all the motions, doing all the necessary things to stay in the “rat race,” my brain was lying somewhere in a hammock, bathing in the warmth of tropical sunshine of my own imagination’s creation. Sunday afternoons and Mondays were always the worst for me, knowing I had to get up out of my “hammock,” and get back in the “rat race.”

So for now, I prefer to be the Hobbit, snug and warm in my “hole in the ground,” writing whatever I want, whenever I want, for readers who like reading what I write. It’s like hitting “pay dirt,” every time someone views my blog. So in a way, you’re my boss, but ultimately I’m still my own boss. I can always “pull the plug” on this job. But for now I’ll keep my day job and, of course, the ones I’ve enjoyed for 40 years, housewife, and 24 years, mom.

this time’s for me…hugmamma.