“I’m thinking about writing a book, but haven’t figured out what to write about yet.” That’s a statement made to me quite often when I meet people during signings, a writer’s workshop or readings. It has always puzzled me. I guess it’s the ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ thing. Usually something happens that I’m reacting to (good, bad, ugly, whatever) that compels me to write. So my response, which I feel a person is looking for, is “probably the wisest thing to do is write about what you know.” Everyone has an interesting story, if not quite a few. Really. If it’s not their personal story, it’s something they’ve heard or witnessed. Some people have exceptional interpersonal skills and can word weave captivating and unique relationships that are intriguing to read, while others have a gaming mind that can fill us with suspense or terror. There are still others who can inspire us by sharing personal experiences where they’ve gained or lost (either way, learned from) that give us knowledge we can use to enrich and improve our lives. Maybe written emotional purging is cheap therapy we engage in that will indirectly enable others to also derive benefits. Writing doesn’t always have to become a book, though. I’ve completed only two books, but additional personal experiences, causes and concerns or longings have become stories, articles, poetry or even a blog post. After advising an aspiring author to “write what you know,” I follow up with, “ask yourself why you want others to know what you know; to awaken them and hope for deep thought, provide information, education or entertainment? The answer to “why do you want others to know what you know?” will usually drive you in the right topic direction. Try not to throw up roadblocks, such as “nobody would be interested in that” or “there’s nothing special about me or what I know.” I’m always surprised (but not shocked) by what others don’t know. What our brains contain may seem second nature to us but brand new to those who’ve walked a different life’s path. There is so much to know and life to live, how can anyone possibly know and have done it all. So if you truly want to write a book, go for it!! Teach me to maintain beehives or tell me what it’s like to to be a bike courier in New York or if you’ve been married eighteen times, I’m curious enough to want to know how each began and how each ended or if you haven’t lived on land for the past fifteen years, maybe it’s time to drop anchor for a while, steady yourself next to a 60 watt bulb and write about every wind and wave that kept you out at sea. Someone always wants to know what you know. Who? Now that’s a marketing question.
Linda Bergman-Althouse, author of, “Save Them All“
Dinah, from the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter says Hello!
Ansel Adam’s Photo
Art is both love and friendship and understanding: the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of things. It is more than kindness, which is the giving of self. It is both the taking and giving of beauty, the turning out to the light of the inner folds of the awareness of the spirit. It is a recreation on another plane of the realities of the world; the tragic and wonderful realities of earth and men, and of all the interrelations of these.
– Ansel Adams, in a letter to Cedric Wright
Ansel Adams was photographer and environmentalist. I went to see an exhibition of his work a little over a year ago and was really impressed with it. The extend of his trips and the ordeals and sacrifices he went through just to capture with his lens the beauty of God’s creation inspired me to look more in detail and try to capture its beauty in my own photography. His deep love for what he photographed obviously made him aware of the great need to protect it.
I love the arts and tried my hand at a few of them (painting, photography and writing) but the one I fell in love with the most were the words. Words to me are the vehicle to express my thoughts, views and feelings towards life and to those great questions every one has. I never knew to what extend the words I wrote would touch so many hearts and everytime someone tells me how much it means to them, I just can’t help it but I’m almost moved to tears. To me it is a gift from God to be able to read and then write the way I do. I don’t pretend to know it all but in my ignorance I’m always looking to learn more about so many things. One of them is how to better live my life and how to share it with others. We writers work alone but we are never quite lonely. My mind is usually between my world, and my situations and what I have learned or heard from you; it is at that moment of my writing that all those experiences merge and create the words you read here or on my books, and I believe that is why we have a connection.
Another reason why I fell in love with words is because when I can’t say what I feel, it is in my writing that all of that gets its way out of my system. To me writing is like breathing, something I can’t be without. I wish to continue sharing my words with you in the many different ways my spirit moves me and may you blessed, enlighten, and inspired to do the same with whatever gift God has given to you. May it bring you the joy that words and writing brings to me, and may you be able to touch many lives with it.
Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life
Al doblar la curva del río, entre la espesura de hayas, hay una gran piedra plana, redonda, semiroída en uno de sus cantos. Sentado en ella, apoyado sobre la cagiga milenaria puede contemplarse el río. El agua juega y arremolina espuma entre los surcos de las rocas enmohecidas. Un hilo de luz se asoma por el techo de hojas y, desde arriba, dibuja un arcoiris en la orilla, un manto multicolor que envuelve al hada del arpa, que danza y deja bailar sus dorados cabellos al sol, rodeada por un séquito de diminutos duendes, numerosos y curiosos, que se acercan y rodean la gran piedra plana. Algunos, de nariz arrugada, son feos y se esconden detrás de los árboles. El más bello se acerca y mueve los labios. No me habla, pero le escucho y, mientras se acompaña de suaves movimientos y ademanes delicados, me explica que lo veo porque soy niño. Se llama Particular, respondiendo a mi pregunta y continúa explicándome que él es el duende que me corresponde. Sí, de acuerdo al carácter de cada uno nos acompaña uno u otro duende y, por un instante, suspiro aliviado de que no sea uno de los que se ocultan tras las peñas. Con gestos elegantes se da prisa en aclararme que no somos niños siempre, que luego crecemos y es natural que así sea, pero que perdemos el alma niña y nuestro espíritu queda enturbiado por el tiempo. Después, un día, cuando contamos el secreto desaparece finalmente el hechizo.
Aún resuena el eco del duende en mis recuerdos. A la entrada del río, hoy, un cartel de grandes letras se anuncia: “Se Vende Finca Particular”… Lleva ahí tantos años como los que yo anduve fuera del hogar. Ahora sé que no existe riqueza alguna capaz de comprar lo que ese bosque esconde. Y si lo hubiera, andaría igualmente sobrado de ignorancia al desconocer el verdadero valor de tesoro tan incalculable.
…Hoy espero al otro lado del puente y, desde la orilla, a veces veo llegar algún niño que regresa por el camino vecinal, junto al río. No parecen ni tristes ni alegres… Son sólo niños, verdaderos niños que el río contempla a su paso.
*”Es una Colección “Son Relatos”, (c) Luis Tamargo.-