Sunday Sessions

SUNDAY SESSIONS IN SILVER STREET HULLEvery Sunday I will be browsing the gigantic entity known as the World Wide Web to hunt down sites I think can be valuable tools for all of you as writers. Each week I will post five sites for you to check out. If you have a favorite site out there that you go to and you want to share as always pass along the information to me and I will include it.  Each week will be different with topics ranging from studio tips to inspirational sites. I am a firm believer in refilling the well of inspiration. I often find myself going to the internet for ideas when I am stuck for something to write about.

1. Studio acoustics and soundproofing basics.

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Some of you out there might be wanting to record audio to add to your chapbooks or to replace them. One of the benefits of making CD’s to bring to shows as merchandise is that it can be a lot more cost effective. This site goes over the basics of soundproofing an area to use as a studio. You don’t need a lot to record a cd. A computer and usb mic will get the job done. Having an area that is quiet makes the recording process a lot easier.

2. RainyMood: Rain makes everything better.

If your like me then you like to have some sort of background sound going on and the TV or radio can bela pluie n'a pas de couleur / no colour for th...distracting when your trying to get some serious writing done. I stumbled over this site today and instantly fell in love with it. The site is simple. It is a continuous recording of a rainstorm. One click and you have a great ambient background noise to get you where you need to be with your writing process.

3. Psychology Today: Creating in Flow.

This site goes over seven different techniques for fighting distractions. With the world we live in today being full of all kinds of sounds, lights and things all screaming for us to pay attention, how do we get focused and just write? If you have a hard time getting down to the nitty gritty then this site is for you!

4. Ted Talks: The Magic of Truth.

If you haven’t heard of Ted Talks yet then I want to know where your rock is and plan my next vacation there. Seriously though if you haven’t heard of them yet then check this site out. This is a video I watched earlier today and my mind is still blown. True it may not relate directly to writing or your creative process, but sometimes watching something cool is just what we need to get back to writing amazingness.

5. Cool Bookstores on FlavorWire

Check out a site that boasts the 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world. I have to agree these are some amazing bookstores. Flavor Wire also has a lot of other crazy cultural things for those of you in need of a little pick me up bonus inspiration.

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These are just a few of the sites out there that I love. I hope you enjoy them and please share with me any sites you think should be up on our Sunday Sessions. As always have fun writing and i hope to read your work soon.



575 Haiku Samurai

Samurai Helmet

Samurai Helmet (Photo credit: JapanDave)

I had the opportunity today to have a conversation with Tazuo Yamaguchi. Taz loves and I mean loves Haiku. He is the host for the Haiku Death Match at Nationals every year and shared some of his wisdom pertaining to Haiku with me this morning.

This might be the moment that you are wondering to yourself “what is this Haiku you speak of?”, or you might be saying ” I love Haiku.” Either way I am going to take a moment to explain the basic form of Haiku for you.

Please understand that the definition I am about to give is based on the English version of Haiku. It is not a set definition, but rather a widely accepted idea of what Haiku means to western culture. Haiku is a short poem usually consisting of seventeen syllables over three lines.

Pretty simple right? Heres the thing though. This is just a guideline for writing Haiku. Traditional Japanes Haiku has many variations and is not even based on syllables. The following is taken from Wikipedia:

“Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.[4] Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji.[5] Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables,[6] this is incorrect as syllables and on are not the same.”

Taz loves Haiku so much that he made a movie and book about it. It is called Haiku: The art of the short story. You can get a copy of it on Amazon through clicking on the link HERE.

Ok my time at the computer is just about up. I will try to post a few more times from NPS. Until then KEEP YOUR PEN SHARP!

Focus On: Fiction and Poetry Blogs

by Elizabeth on August 1, 2012

Did you know literature was an Olympic event until 1948? Of course, all creative submissions had to reference athletics in some way, and many think the quality of the work suffered as a result. That’s why blogging is such a great way to develop and showcase your creative writing – there are no restrictions or limitations beyond your own imagination!

To read the rest of the article click on the link below.

Focus On: Fiction and Poetry Blogs.

Quotes about writing

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway




“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath




“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
― Robert Frost




“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
― Ray BradburyZen in the Art of Writing



“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen KingDifferent Seasons









The Art of War for Writers

   The Art of War for Writers is one of the most useful books I have found that provides insights and advice on writing as a lifestyle. I write this assuming that you are an author. Not only a poet, not only a novelist, but a writer in all of its amazing forms. This book has a lot of useful information about everything from inspiration to publishing. Below are some quotes from the book along with the page numbers you can find them on. If you like what you read this book can be found at your local bookstore as well as on Amazon. Just to make it easy for you I have included the link to the Amazon page to buy it HERE.

“The essentials of success for a long term writing career… desire, discipline, commitment to craft, patience, honesty, willingness to learn, business-like attitude, rhino skin, long-term view and talent. Talent is the least important. Everyone has some talent. It’s what you do with it that counts.” (11-13)

“A hero knows it takes hard work and a long time to get published; a fool thinks it should happen immediately, because he thinks he’s a hero already.” (16)

“A hero makes his luck; a fool cries about how unlucky he is.” (17)

“A hero recognizes the worth in others; a fool can’t believe others are worth more than he.” (17)

“A hero keeps writing, no matter what, knowing effort is its own reward; a fool eventually quits and complains that the world is unfair. Be a hero.” (17)

“It’s not the will to win that counts, but the will to prepare to win.” (18)

“Write a quota of words every week.” (18)

“Every moment spent whining about your writing career is a moment of creative energy lost.” (27)

“Status, worry, and comparison are ways to madness, not victory.” (33)

“To keep from turning off those who can publish you, you must not be desperate.” (37)

“Take one of your favorite writers, preferably one who has written a book in your genre, look in the mirror, and say, “Behold ____!” Then sit down and write.” (43)

10 Inspiration reminders

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

There are so many places for inspiration that sometimes we forget how to find it. Refilling the well is perhaps one of the most important things you can do as a writer. Most of these may seem like no brainers, but speaking from experience it is always good to have a list to go back to those things we sometimes forget.

1) BOOKS- I really should list this one as print. Books, Magazines, Newspapers, graphic novels could all be included in this one. There is something special about the printed word. The smell of old paper or new paper is akin to fresh baked cookies for writers. Bookstores also have a feel about them that might get you writing all by itself. Check out your local library or comic book store too. You may just find your next character for a piece working there.

2) MUSIC- This one is one of those no brainers I was talking about. Here is something you might not have thought about though. If we are looking for inspiration a lot of times we are looking for something new to get us going. Most of the time when we listen to music we go straight for the familiar, and while this can be a good thing for inspiration why not try something different. NPR public radio or your local college station. Put on an internet radio station of someone else’s and see what it gets moving.
Another great use for music is to create a playlist your character would listen too and let it influence the way you write.

3) OVERHEARD CONVERSATIONS- I love hearing other people have conversations. If you happen to overhear  interesting dialog, jot it down in your writing journal as soon as possible.  Don’t worry about getting it exact. Remember we  are not crazy James Bond type spies, rather we are collectors of ideas. What you write down can serve as a model or inspiration for later writing.  Public transportation is great for this. I had a brief time where i would bring a recorder with me everywhere and then go back and play it for ideas on conversation in my book.

4) MOVIES- Again I want to encourage new experiences. Grab a movie you normally wouldn’t watch. Foreign movies without the sound are my favorite. I turn off the Subtitles as well and imagine what they are saying. One of my favorite movies for inspiration is called Baraka. Look for visually brilliant movies or movies entirely made out of dialogue.

5) QUOTES- There are hundreds of quotes and sites for quotes out there. I use Google for this most often.

6) History. It can be unexpected, but great people in history can inspire you to greatness. Wikipedia is a great source for historical information.

7) PHOTOGRAPHY/TRAVEL SITES- This is one of my favorites. Whenever I am stumped for something to write I go find a picture of somewhere far away and then freewrite about it.

8) Exercise- Motion creates emotion. If your having a hard time with an idea or getting started try moving around for a bit. I promise after you have been moving for a while you will come up with something.

9) This popular bookmarking site is a treasure trove of great articles and blog posts and resources. Stumble Upon is also a great resource that I use a lot. It is a web tool that lets you plug in your interests and then press a button to pull up random websites about what you are interested in.

10) People watching- This is an interesting activity for any writer. The mall is great for this, your state capital, the beach. Anywhere you think your character might spend time will also help you get into the frame of mind you need to finish or start something.

Feel free to add your inspiration ideas in the comments. These are by all means not the only ones I use, but they are some of my favorite. What are yours?

A picture Creates A Thousand Words

Each day I will post something different. This section is for things to get the brain moving. If you have something to share that can be a starting point for a poem, story or tale then let me know and we will post it up.