Smile. Be kind. Hug a tree . . . If you missed a previous post, visit my archive.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Backstory" Opening Scene

Sometimes new writers overdo this. A small amount may be necessary for your reader to understand what's going on, but that's it. Period. Save it for later with action, dialogue and narrative.

When agents and editors open their e-mail, and read page after page of backstory, I'm afraid that could be the kiss of death for you manuscript. Tread lightly when using backstory. Learn to trust and give your reader credit for the intelligence they have.

Happy writing,


"Tree Lesson's" The Yew"

Lesson's of the Yew Tree

As a tree whose possible life outspans all other trees as well as much of the course of human history to date, the yew is symbolic of the sun of all wisdom. Just as the yew contains the lessons of all the other trees, so it is said, do we contain all the experiences, knowledge, and understanding of our ancestors? The yew tree reminds us of this possibility. It emphasizes the relatively brief span of human life and the short term nature of many of our beliefs and practices. As the culmination of the spiritual journey, the ultimate lesson of the yew is the transcendence of death.

To the Irish, the yew was the tree revered above all others. It is said to guard the doorway between this life and the next.

Yews are commonly found by ancient churches. Many are at least as old as the church, others considerably older. An ancient yew in Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland is now estimated to be around 9,000 years old.

The yew is under the rule of the planet Saturn and because of its connection to bows and arrows, it also represents the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius--the archer.

This lesson was from the book "The Wisdom of Tree by J. Gifford)

Go hug a tree,


Sunday, September 4, 2011

"A Character Worth Knowing'

There is no end of things in the heart.

Someone once told me that. She said it came from a poem she believed in. She understood it to mean that if you took something to heart, really brought it inside those red velvet folds, then it would always be there for you. No matter what happened, it would be there waiting. She said this could mean a person, a place, a dream. A mission. Anything sacred. She told me that it is all connected in those secret folds. Always. It is all part of the same and will always be there, carrying the same beat as your heart.
I am fifty-two years old and I believe it. At night when I try to sleep but can't, that is when I know it. It is when all the pathways seem to connect and I see the people I have loved and hated and helped and hurt. I see the hands that reach for me. I hear the beat and see and understand what I must do. I know my mission and I know there is no turning back. And it is in those moments that I know there is no end of things in the heart. (Lost Light-M.Connelly)

God, how profound it this? If only I could write something so beautiful. I can't tell you how many times I've read this. Over and over again, I read each line, immersing myself in the aura of this character's deep reflective soul. What a 'WOW' opening.