Category Archives: Abyrne’s pound of flesh

Ahhhhhnold says

In my mind I hear him o’er and o’er “It’s not a tumor.”

Then the white coat clad results bearer comes in. Ahhnold is mistaken.

That is all for now.

Crazy is as crazy does

I walked into the market the other day, and front and center was proof that it’s my favorite time of year…Stock the office, I mean, Back to school sales. weeeeee.

I’ve not been writing recently, but that does not mean that I cannot stock up on supplies for when I climb back inta the saddle and do. Composition books, pens, folders, labels, tape, colored marks, stickem notes, near everything office supply related has gone on sale. And, they’ve moved the whole lot to the front of the store so I dinnae even have ta walk far….ain’t it grand?

I don’t have any grubbers in school anymore, but you’ll find me in the aisles for hours picking and choosing items. If the parents, who look at me so impressed for braving the crowd now, only knew that it were all for me? I bet the looks would be different. I’m a happy happy and soon to be fully stocked happy…win-win for me.

Go shopping.

Could you love a purple zebra?

Alphabet week #26 “Z”
July 15, 2016

We made it! Can you believe it? 26 weeks of posts, following the alphabet letter by letter and we have finally arrived at “Z” HOOOORAY!!!

So what does a purple zebra possibly have to do with things we learned in kindergarten that make us great writers? Simple…it’s the reason why our mums never wanted us ta dress ourselves- we were individuals, and showed it in unusual ways. The significance is, that plaid with stripes, or polkey-dots with rainbow checks…no body cared on the playground. We were, who we were, and none of those around us gave a hoot or hollered for us to change.

The same is true with writing. You are who you are. You have a voice, a story, an idea…and complex or simple, similar or completely different from anything else out there…it is yours to own, to share, to write. So do that. Own it! Let your freaky flag fly high and proud. Put leisure suits on coppers and fish nets on camels. Who cares? If you do…then change it. But if that’s your story – TELL IT.

Take ten and regress to who you are at the heart of it all…then be that person for everyone around you. The beautiful thing about the author community is that we can embrace differences. Plagiarism not so much…but differences, oddities, new perspectives – bring it on. There’s room for everyone at the table and if you wanna color your zebra purple, no one is stopping you but you.

Write something amazing!!
Abyrne

Y? Because we like you…

First a quick sorry. I don’t know what happened to last Friday. In my mind I was all done and ready to off for the long holiday weekend. Guess not. I completely missed posting, so we’re bumping back to WEEK #25 “Y” this week instead of finishing up with “Z”.

so ALPHABET WEEK #25 “Y”

Once upon a while ago,  the Mouseketeers would wrap each show with “M-I-C, see ‘ya real soon, K-E-Y, why? because we like you. M-O-U-S-E.”

It was the clear and simple statement of the time and of our ages. (yes, I’m aware that dates me some.) Me, I really liked Annette, but we all had a favorite. Regardless of our favorite though, I think we liked them all and that was pretty true in daily life too unless someone had done you bum.

Times have changed, but for us as writers we need to keep this idyllic mindset at the forefront. Not every reader is going to like us best, not every reader is going to know our name, but someone out there does and they ‘like’ us, our words, and our stories. We don’t have to be the favorite to be noticed, we don’t have to be the story in the #1 spot to be good, worthy, or read. Perspective is a powerful thing and if nothing else, remember that.

Y? Because we’re worth it. In a time when it easy to see what’s wrong, or who doesn’t like or appreciate us…stop to put value on the ones that do. You might be surprised to learn that it’s not the size of your circle that matters, it is the amount of room inside that’s consumed with love and positives. Fill up your world with plus’s and the minus’s really don’t matter any more.

“X” marks the spot

Alphabet week #24 – “X”

When we were little, believing in pirates and buried treasure, “X” always marked the spot, did it not? Now that we are older…the same excited faith should hold true. “X” marks the spot. Do you know what is different?
YOU are the “X.”

 

 

Wherever you go-

-there you are

Alphabet week #23 “W”

Tolkein said it best, “Not all who wander are lost.” This is the pinnacle point of this post…Wander. It’s something we have done since before Kindergarten and has extreme value when we stop to realize and appreciate the usefulness of it. Wandering is the active act of inactive pursuit. Sometimes, this very thing is the grounding moment that is necessary to see clearly what lies before us, or to find our way around the seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Give value to the activity of letting your mind wander. who knows what you might find.

The sun is shining here for a change, I have a cup of coffee in hand, and someone else is ‘on duty’ right now. I believe I’ll take my own advice.

abyrne

Victory is a state of mind

Alphabet week #22 “V”
by Abyrne Mostyn

This week I give you a thought that perhaps didn’t permeate in kindergarten but rather had to be learned through life. Still, it is an important one…victory is not always about being the biggest, fastest, or top-selling author, sometimes victory is the small quiet accomplishment that no one knows about but you. Victory is a state of mind, and a personal metric at that. Sure, there are the best-seller lists that measure public consumption, but what about the endless hours of banging your head against the wall to figure out how the plot works…does that not too represent a victory? Any author who has overcome the angst of that scenario would answer, I believe, with a resounding “Yes!”

Nowadays it seems that every kid on the field gets a trophy because they were on the field…even if all they did was pick dandelions. On the surface I disagree with this. There is a life lesson that is glossed over about the point of competition & playing your best. However, when it comes to the one who overcame, who conquered personal obstacles and demons, even if they were not the star of the team…they too are victors, even if no one else knows it. In those cases, I believe the trophy should have neon lights and sound effects so everyone can know about their personal triumph.

That said, I believe that we have to remember to remind ourselves that we know the challenge, and the accomplishment…and thus, our victory dance is just as necessary, just as earned, and just as powerful as the ones given by others who didn’t see the quest until it was accomplished. Don’t sell yourself short because you didn’t make someone else’s list. Take stock of the goal, the path, and the perseverance it took to reach the end…and celebrate.

Cheers to you, whatever you’ve accomplished in the deep quiet when no one else was looking. The victory is still yours – Own it!

Understand your limitations

Alphabet Week #21 “U

We’re nearly through our alphabet, which in retrospect, I think is a pretty good list. And, I think it’s telling of just how much we really do know about being a great writer…even when we are just beginning. This week we are up to “U” and the title says it all, Understand your limitations.

This too we have known since kindergarten. We did not begin on the top of the monkey bars, as the highest swinger, or the King of the mountain on the playground…we worked up to these things pace by pace and became them. We set goals through huge hearts for tiny feet to become better than we were…and then we set out to make it true. This is NOT to say don’t dream, or reach for the goals…absolutely do that every day. This is saying realize the place where you are, the place you wish to go, and the work that is required to bridge the gap.

Those who hit the best seller lists on their debut work, ARE THE EXCEPTIONS, not the rules. For the rest of us, it is a matter of will and work that will one day afford us the prize. Just like when we were small and learning to do what it took to get where we wanted on the hopscotch, in writing too we need to see the goal, find the route, and work the plan…even if sometimes you have to hop on one foot, or jump with feet in different places to make it there.

Throughout our alphabet you should have seen a recurring theme…being great is a measure of more than sales. It is about setting goals, working to reach them without compromising ourselves, relying on the things we know, and learning the things we don’t. It is about perseverance and passion, effort and yes, sometimes rest. It is about being responsible to ourselves and our words at every step of the adventure and looking back over the path one day with no regrets.

Yes, understand your limitations…but understand too you can overcome them if you are willing to see the whole picture, plot a path, and work toward the goal. YOU are the only limitation that you have. Nothing can stop you unless you allow it to. What will you choose?

-Abyrne

It’s “T” time

Alphabet week #20

5/27/16 – “T”

Perhaps no week in recent memory is so easily culled to the page as this one. Of all the ideas we have as authors…the go, go, go of getting words to the page, the thing that escapes us, or leaves us feeling guilty is this weeks topic: Take Time for you. As writers we have learned that to get it done we have to drive and be accountable…suit up, show up, and write the next great book, right? While we’ve not talked about it, there’s an alternate route name for that besides success…it’s burnout.

As many of you know I’ve been dealing with a family situation for the last couple of years now. It has worn me to the bone and taken my will at times. Mostly, it has consumed every spare moment that I have and a few that I don’t. My writing has been moved completely off the stove, there isn’t even room on a back burner. For now, that has to be okay. I know, as with the weeks following a book, that when this draws to a close, I will do then, what I have done before…take a break. The value of self-time and self-love cannot be understated. We need the down times to have reserves for the up ones.

We have understood the value of breaks since Kindergarten…it was then called summer vacation, or winter holiday, or spring break. We looked forward with baited breaths to the final bell that proclaimed us free to breathe for a few days, weeks, or months. We understood then, and looked forward to with zeal, the need for down time and we celebrated the time. As a writer, it’s no different now. We need to cherish, and yes, celebrate the time when we AREN’T writing or driving our business brand to the readers. Call it what you need, but remember that you are worth the personal holiday. Allow yourself to relax, revive, and restart to a bright and busy next day…just don’t allow yourself to let it become the prevailing norm. Work needs doing and words need writing.

.abyrne.

neSSSSeSSSSities

Alphabet week #20 – “S”

For twenty weeks now, we’ve alphabetically dissected the things that we know that make us successful as writers, if we would remember them and apply them. There are boundless things that begin with the letter S to add to our growing equation, but this week we are going to wax poetic on the Simplistic.

At the end of the day, when we look back at everything that is, was, or will be…there are more than enough Stressors out in the world to keep us all in hives for the next decade. Instead, I urge you to focus on the Simple, the mundane, the pieces that are taken for granted and forgotten almost before they come to fruition. Why? Because there is so much attention given to the Sensationalized, the everything else is getting missed…and these are the things that NEED to be part of your writing world to make it believable.

For example, WHY is there a focused one second screen moment every time Batman gets in the Batmobile to show us him clicking his seatbelt? Because even in the movies there are things that are part of every action that are easily overlooked. Would we stop watching if we didn’t see Batman click the belt? No, but the subconscious watcher will…when getting into their own car to do their fast & furious have an unconscious urge to click their seatbelt. Funny, huh? Movies can influence behavior.

Books have the same power to influence action by the small motions that are noted…because they give the story depth and make it seem credible to life, even if it is only the subconscious mind that notes them. Now, this is not to suggest that we comment ad nauseam about every step in a process…that becomes overkill and WILL lose readers…the adage ‘Get in late and get out early’ is a tried and true method for more writers than I have storage capacity to list. Simplistically put, add detail to events that are already in focus, not add events that don’t drive your story to increase word count, book length, or scenes where they don’t belong.

Readers are SMART. They want a good story, told with great attention to detail, but also at a pace that they are motivated to keep turning pages. As a writer, we are charged with maintaining this balance as we entertain.  For week 20 and beyond, remember to see the simplistic and use it to fill out your work.

One other “S” that is always, always, always of value…and it’s from a movie too. When meeting readers, and other authors…remember Annie and complete your ensemble with your best feature. ‘You’re never fully dressed without your Smile.’

Abyrne