Time to Write Now By Julaina Kleist-Corwin

About Writing Plus

Book, Book, and Blog Updates

I’ve been busy preparing  my new book, Captivate Audiences to Create Loyal Fans, for publication, which didn’t leave much time for posting. The cover is done, thanks to Michelle Rene Goodhew at  https://mundusmediaink.com/

I worked on a short glossary of terms today and added a new essay by P. C. Chinick, author of the Red Asscher series click here.

Hada’s Fog will be next on the publishing list. My Beta reader is waiting for me to finish editing the last 8 chapters.

I’ve posted re-blogs from ALK3R on my other blog click here. He is a master of finding unusual and beautiful photographers’ work.

 

What are you writing now?

 

Julaina Kleist-Corwin

Editor of Written Across the Genres

Author of Hada’s Fog

 

 

 

Using Trance To Get Ideas For Novels And Poems By Mary Mackey

The following post is re-blogged from Mary Mackey’s site. To read more, click here.
mary-mackeys-scene-for-postUsing Trance To Get Ideas For Novels And Poems

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 05:00 AM PST

Mining Your Unconscious Using A Simple Trance Technique

Your unconscious is packed with ideas, metaphors, visions, plots, dreams, colors, characters, emotions—in short, everything you need to write a great novel or collection of poems. But how do you get to it? How do you step out of the social agreement we call “reality,” and dip into this incredibly rich resource?

You could go to sleep and try to mine your dreams, but even if you dreamed an entire novel, the moment you woke up, you would forget most of it within seconds, because you hadn’t processed the ideas into your long term memory. Worse yet, when you dream, you are not in control, so you can’t do specific things like talk to one of your characters or work out a specific plot problem. Granted, some people manage lucid dreaming, but lucid dreaming is not a practical writing technique for a number of reasons. For example, you cannot always go to sleep when you need to.

Many years ago, I started looking for a technique that would allow me to be asleep and awake at the same time. What I came up with, after much trial and error, was a form of creative trance that allows me to delve into my unconscious whenever I want to, get the material I need for my poems and novels, bring that material up to my waking reality, remember it, and write it down.

Developing this technique wasn’t easy. Besides relying on my own imagination, I drew on many sources such as self-hypnosis, theta cycle sessions, neurophysiology, Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, and the Surrealist technique of Automatic Writing.  As you might expect, I had many failures, but in the end I came up with a deceptively simple technique, which has proved extremely effective. Since I taught myself how to use creative trance, I have written many novels, collections of poetry, and screenplays. Better yet, I have avoided writers block.

I’ve used my creative trance technique weekly, sometimes daily, for many years. As with all things that are visionary and out of the range of ordinary consciousness,  it can’t be completely described in words, only experienced. So, since I cannot sit down with you and personally guide you through the process step by step, I am going to give you a chance to get a feel for it by taking you into the heart of  my creative process as I worked on my most recent novel The Village of Bones.

The Village of Bones is Historical Fiction which has visionary elements, but even in my novels which are purely Historical Fiction (such as my bestseller A Grand Passion, the story of three generations of women involved in ballet), I created most of the original storyline in a voluntarily induced creative trance.

Unlike A Grand Passion, The Village of Bones presented a special problem. On one hand, it was meticulously researched historical fiction firmly based on archaeological evidence, yet at the same time, it was set in Prehistoric Europe in Goddess-worshiping cultures that were filled with myths, visions, and prophecies.

With this contradiction in mind, I put my phone in Airplane Mode, sat down in a comfortable chair, picked up a pen (I find computers get in the way), opened my notebook, closed my eyes, took several deep breaths, and counted backwards to ten, imagining as I did so that I was walking down a flight of stairs. By the time I got to the bottom, I was in a light trance. The word “light” is important. I was neither awake nor asleep. Instead, I was poised on the threshold between my conscious mind and my unconscious mind, ready to move in either direction.

On this particular day, I had some work planned. Sabalah, my main character, was in big trouble. She was caught in a storm, her boat had turned over, and she was drowning. As she struggled to stay afloat, she going to have a vision of the Sea Goddess that might or might not be a hallucination. There were no surviving statues of this particular Neolithic Sea Goddesses as far as I knew, so my task for this afternoon was to envision the Sea Goddess so I could describe her.

I started with the Goddess’ name which I had created the previous day: “Amonah, Amonah, Amonah,” I silently chanted. ”Come to me”. A vague, shadowy form began to materialize behind my eyelids.

Before I go on, I want to be clear about what was happening. As I thought the word “Amonah,” I didn’t believe I was conjuring up a real spirit, channeling a mystical force, or having a religious experience. I believed, and still believe, that  I was simply unlocking the resources of my own consciousness and my own imagination using the very practical tool of creative trance. I don’t claim to know where these visions come from, but I am convinced that under the right conditions,  anyone can have them.

The form grew brighter and more distinct. I saw a woman walking toward me across the waves. Walking on water. Interesting. Since question/answer is the key to this technique, I settled down and began to ask myself questions.

“What color is her hair?” I asked myself. “Black, brown, blonde?” Suddenly the word “seaweed” came into my mind. Instantly, the woman’s hair turned green.

“What kind of jewelry is she wearing? Diamonds, topaz, garnets?” No, she’s wearing pearls, and something else, something reddish, something like . . . coral!

“What color are her eyes?” For a moment her eyes shifted back and forth between brown and green. Then, suddenly they glowed.

“Skin color?” All colors. No colors. She’s a Goddess. She is all of us.

“What’s she wearing?” Not skinny jeans for sure. (Odd thoughts sometimes interrupt the flow of the trance). Long dress. Yes. She’s wearing a long dress. Wave-like. Blue of course like the sea.

“What does she smell like? Wind, salt, kelp?” Like flowers.  She smells like flowers. “What kind of flowers?” Roses.

“How much does she weigh?” She weighs nothing. She’s a spirit.

For a long time, I sat there asking specific questions and waiting for answers most of which came in the form of wordless images. For some reason, I never could figure out how tall She was. My unconscious wouldn’t give that one up. But by now, the Sea Goddess Amonah looked real to me. I could see Her distinctly right down to the coral rings on Her toes.

Slowly I began to count backwards from ten to one, moving out of the trance as I climbed back up the stairs toward waking consciousness. On every step, I paused and made myself visualize Amonah again, and  I commanded  myself: “Remember. Remember.”

This final command to “remember,” is perhaps the most important part of a creative trance. If I couldn’t carry a complete image of Amonah back into the waking world, I’d have to start all over again.

When I got to ten, I opened my eyes just wide enough to see my notebook. Grabbing my pen before the last bits of trance faded away, I quickly wrote everything down paying no attention to grammar, spelling, or logic. I even wrote down the silly bit about the skinny jeans.

The result was not something I could use immediately. What you get out of your own unconscious is raw material. After creativity comes craft. So over the course of the next year, I polished this description of Amonah. Now I worked wide-awake, using all the techniques of novel-writing that I had learned over the years. I read the passage out loud over and over again. Searched for better words. Took out commas and put them in again. Here is the result which appears in Chapter One of The Village of Bones:

A woman emerged from the wall of crashing waves and walked across the sea toward Sabalah. Sabalah abruptly stopped crying and stared at the woman, stunned. This was impossible! . . .The woman kept walking, stepping over the waves as if they were furrows in a field of wheat. Her flowing dress was blue as a summer sea; her hair long and green, twined with seaweed and pearls. Her skin was dark and light at the same time, her eyes so bright, they glowed like the last flash of the sun when it falls into the sea at midsummer. . . . A sweet scent suddenly filled the air like the perfume of roses blown across water.

“Don’t be afraid,” the woman said. “I am Amonah, Goddess of the Sea,” and water is my path. I can walk above or beneath it as I wish.

Sitting down beside Sabalah, Amonah let Her feet dangle in the water. They were bare except for toe rings of rose-colored coral. She must have weighed nothing, because the end of the mast didn’t tilt the way it would have it a flesh-and-blood human being had sat there.

The Village of Bones was created from scores of similar visions, as were all the poems I wrote that year, and even part of one of the screenplays which I co-wrote with director Renée de Palma.

Using creative trance is a gentle, pleasant way to create the raw materials for a work of fiction. It is not like meditation because your goal is not transcendence. It is not like many forms of self-hypnosis because you are not trying to lose weight, stop smoking, or change your behavior in any way. It is not like prayer, because you are not seeking a closer relationship with God. Creative trance is a tool, a key if you will, that lets you unlock the riches you already have stored in your own unconscious.

Yet its power should not be underestimated. So let me leave you with a warning: If you decide to go deeply into your own unconscious, you have to be ready to deal with what you find there. Creative trance is not therapy. If you are upset, unhappy, depressed, or anxious, wait until you have a calm mind and specific writing goals and can set firm limits on what you will accept from your unconscious.

When you are in a creative trance, you should always be in control. If your Goddess appears before you with a hairdo made of snakes, you should be able to instantly turn those vipers into cobwebs and seaweed. Nothing you experience should harm you, scare you, or make you uncomfortable for more than a few seconds. A creative trance should be enjoyable from start to finish.

In The Village of Bones, the Goddess Earth gives Her people six commandments. The First Commandment is: “Live together in love and harmony.” The Sixth is: “Enjoy yourselves, for your joy is pleasing to Her.”

(An earlier version of this essay appeared as a Guest Post on the Visionary Fiction Alliance Blog on October 10, 2016).

 

 

The post Using Trance To Get Ideas For Novels And Poems appeared first on Mary Mackey.

 

Karen Cioffi Teaches Power Blogging

Karen Cioffi head shotI just finished a four week on-line class with Karen Cioffi. She offers a tremendous amount of information and is available one-on-one support for any questions about blogging and the class assignments. I benefited from learning new terminology and new ways to use WordPress as well as how to improve my posts for SEO (search engine optimization). The title of the class is “Become a Power-Blogger and Content Writer in Just 4 Weeks” and the link is http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/classroom/KarenCioffi_BecomeAnSEOWriter.php

The Weeks at a Glance describes what is offered each week. Karen is a multi-award-winning author, freelance writer, editor, and manages Writers on the Move (a marketing group).

“In addition to this, Karen’s website, Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing (http://karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com), was named Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012.”

Scroll down to see when her next Power Blogging class is scheduled. I’ve been blogging for years and yet, I valued her information.

Check it out.

 

Julaina Kleist-Corwin

Editor of Written Across the Genres

Blog To Print

blogger wordpressI started blogging in April, 2009 on Blogspot. In April 2013, I created a WordPress Blog.This year 2015, I updated the WordPress Blog to a self-hosted version. Through all the changes, I kept the ID: timetowritenow.

I had heard that it was possible to have a blog made into a printed book. I’ve found the link which is below. I plan to make my first blog into a book which would cover the four years of posts before the change to WordPress.

I experimented with the registration and information for creating the book. There’s options to save what I have selected so far and I have the option to change anything I’ve already chosen. The cost will depend on what extras I include, but I’m sure it will be under $50. The amount could be lower if I use less fluff.

Check it out at:

http://www.blog2print.sharedbook.com

 

Jill's Closet in Norman in the Painting Paranormal Mystery

Jill's Closet In the rough draft of my paranormal mystery, Norman in the Painting, I used the workshop exercise Jessica Barksdale suggested we write at her retreat this summer. Here’s the scene:

Jill opened the double louvered doors that revealed shirts, short skirts, and blouses from college days organized by color, a pair of Dockers, two pairs of jeans, and a full length suede skirt. She brushed the sleeve of the pink running suit she wore with parts in the material that had worn thin. “This is so me, not what’s in the closet.”

Her Siamese cat, Rocky, meowed behind her. “I didn’t see you come in. Did you think I was talking to you?” She stooped to pet the cat. “My problem isn’t organization, Rocky. There’s not much to organize.” She frowned at the jeans. The last time she wore them, she had walked to Eve’s Treasures hoping to see Norman again. The denim had felt restrictive. Her poor legs had a headache by the time she returned home. “I need new clothes.” She took the long suede skirt off the hanger, rolled it up, and threw it into a corner.

“That was Viv’s idea. She told me never to wear short skirts because my legs are too skinny.” Jill didn’t like to admit that her sister had style. She couldn’t ask Viv to go shopping with her. She’d force her to buy what she didn’t want and then she’d ridicule Jill for the clothes she did choose. “She’d make fun of me until the day I die. Then she’d be happy to pick out my burial outfit–probably a long black dress with rivets down the front, a chain belt, and she’d put a whip in my hand to protect me in the underworld.”

Rocky meowed an answer and she bent to pet him again, but the phone rang at the same time thunder roared over the top of the house. The cat sprang out of the room.

That excerpt needs polishing and Jill needs a wardrobe and style consultant like Hella Tsaconas. Since Adriane Nichols’ blog inspired Jill to study her closet as step one in personal transformation, Hella’s blog could save Jill’s uncertainty about her clothes, i.e. symbolic about her life.

I’ve been writing novels for many years, I have files full, like a bulging closet, but I’ve never written about blogs in any of the scenes. Hella, I’ll be interviewing you for a scene where you can take Jill shopping as you do with your clients.Thanks Adriane Nichols and Jessica Barksdale for helping me keep up with the times in my writing.