The first time I heard the phrase "by and by" was in the song Broken Halos, by Chris Stapleton. I could tell by how it was used; he was talking about another world, dimension, or time. It was a different place he was referring to, like heaven.
I had to look it up because what a fantastic set of words to describe an unknown space, time, or place for a character in one of my stories. Here's what I found out.
• Dictionary says is means before long; eventually
• Websters Dictionary adds to that with a future time or occasion.
• The Free Dictionary adds even more with the unknown future, especially heaven or the afterlife.
It seems that this phrase can be used relatively loosely since it's sometime in the future, some other place, or the unknown. Sounds like a great place for one of my characters to disappear to for some alone time.
My word doc always fills up with passive voice highlights, and I figured it's about time I stopped ignoring these frustrating little things, or big things, as I found out.
The first thing I learned is that the passive voice is not a grammatical error. Lesson one folks, it's not a grammatical error. It is, however, a style of writing where the reader may not always understand what you’re saying. This confusion is why it should be avoided if possible.
Focus, and I have a love-hate relationship. For most of my life, I’ve jumped from one shiny thing to the next and then wondered why I hadn’t accomplished as much as I’d wanted to. People would tell me time after time to just finish one project. Finishing projects wasn’t something I did very often.
What the heck is idea bouncing? Did I just make those words up? Maybe. What I'm trying is say is everyone should have someone to bounce their ideas off of. For me, it's my son. He loves talking about movies, scripts, reviews, structure, and character. We have great conversations that revolve around these subjects, but we also love to present our book or movie ideas to each other.
Starting on any journey is scary as heck, but when I decided to put myself out there for all to see, I was downright terrified. When I decided to publish my work, so much self-doubt crept in, and the internal bombardment of questions blasted me at every turn. Could I write something that others would read? Do I look like the kind of person people would want to follow? Am I that interesting? What can I even offer to anyone?
The inspiration to write comes from a personal desire to create characters that are in unusual situations and then watch to see if they can overcome the odds. I love characters that are working through obstacles. I enjoy watching them solve the dilemma. I think this stems from having a lot of moments in my life where I've been defeated. I've had a lot of good moments, but I've also had moments where I didn't finish, I gave up, I didn't make good choices, I was the antagonist, and sometimes I came in dead last.
When I think about opening my creative mind, or creative side, a collage of images rotates through my thoughts. Being creative is not something that comes from nowhere like an alien and his probe. Creativity is something I work at. I compare it to building muscles with weights. The more consistently I perform creative activities, the more creative I am.
One of the ways I open my creative mind is by thinking beyond what is seen or heard. It's about using any and all things going on in my life as an opportunity for exploration. When someone is telling me a story, I start asking myself "what if" questions. Most of the time, I ask the "what if's" internally, so the other person doesn't get upset by me hijacking their story.
Woe-is-me! Fear can be a creative killer like no other. Amazing ideas can come with surprising fears. Have you asked yourself why you are afraid of posting your thoughts or writing pieces?
How many times have you created a piece of writing, and in the end, fear takes over? Questions and thoughts pop into your head like, what if my mom sees this? Is my overly opinionated friend going to call me out on social media? If I write about my plant-based diet idea, will I be able to eat my mushroom swiss cheeseburger still? Making this change in writing style will probably be too hard and time-consuming. This is new to me, so maybe I shouldn’t.