Writing Tip of the Day: Stop and Smell the Roses

I’m no poet.  I never had much interest in being one.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t admire a poetic turn of phrase.

Sometimes, writing a prose novel becomes an exercise in accidental poetry.  The writing is really coming to you and then all of a sudden a phrase finds its way into your fingers that makes you pause.  You realize: Huh, not bad.  That actually sounds real nice and clever.  It sounds like the real deal, but it doesn’t feel like the real deal purely because it felt like an accident.

I like stumbling upon a great sentence (whether or not it’s an accident), but on certain days, no matter where I stumble, that great sentence is just too hard to find.

On such days I recommend the stop and smell the roses method.  Sometimes it’s good to just stop and spend an hour or an afternoon or a day finding the perfect few phrases.  Not the right phrases.  Not really good phrases.  The perfect ones.  We prose writers may not be poets, but we are still writers, and prose doesn’t have to be the opposite of poetry.

That’s not to say you are writing junk on every other occasion.  Nonetheless, do you always work on the wording like a true madman?  We can say that we do, but we know that great poets can spend weeks or months or years on a poem of a few lines.  Do we devote the same energy to each word of an 80,000 word novel?

If you’re bored with your story, if you feel like a change of pace, of if you just want to try it out–take a few hours and pick a moment that needs a bit of linguistic majesty.  Then prove to yourself that you can find the perfect words.  Regularly doing this might make that accidental stumbling a bit less accidental.

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    • –there is the other extreme, the ditaomlpic reformist and the pacifist, and while Those intents and agendas are good, if they are not kept in check, they can also be tools of oppression in that they protect eitherthe status quo, or the hostilities of oppression/or like today, the apologetics to a hostile agenda hell bent on colonizing and enslaving us all,and when confronted with extreme diligence, who better to confront them than the ones who know very intimately, how their psychology works?So in a way Joyce is correct, the Risk one takes however in joining up with opposing fascists is that, its like the alliance with the far left and the Islamists, you never know, when one will usurp the other and then, turn on you.That whole being friends with an enemy to confront a common enemy thing, it Is risky, but sometimes, sadly, a necessity.I am sure Churchill and Roosevelt were not thrilled to be sitting with Stalin fighting as allies in WWII, but if not for those three allies,where would we be today?As much as the right may hate the left and Stalin, lets face it, if not for the Russians, we’d have a very different world today. Even the Trotskiests (sic) who have debated the ‘what ifs’ relating to Stalin have often concurred,if Trostky would have been the leader rather than Stalin, there is a good chance we’d be living under a world wide Third Reich,who knows, its hard to say. Well maybe not that hard, but point is,sometimes it takes the profane to fight the profane. Sometimes it takes the feminists having to align with the die hard patriarchs to ward off a worse oppressor and worse patriarch,there will always be those who work in the peace networks, and I applaud them, I do think they have a place. But there is, too,a time to draw the line, especially when a civilization is at threat, its One thing, to have civil unrest or even revolutionary change from within because of social discontent,its another, when its a brutal external combined with internal fascist type of forces or totalitarian that are determined to destroy any remnant of the old, not for the purpose of building a better civilization, but in establishing a death zone for the prop up of their tyranny. And too, I also think, there needs to be some understanding between the varieties of fascism, because not all fascist nations were fascist to the degree that, lets say, Hitler’s fascism was, in fact, ironically, the safest place in Europe for Jews to be, was Italy, under Mussolini,not that there wasn’t porgrams, there was, especially in the beginning years, but the society, wasn’t as fascist in mindset as they were in Germany and elsewhere, and there was a lot of resistance to Mussolini and his forces. NOT in anyway saying that it wasn’t horrific, because it was, not in any way trivializing the clerical fascism in Italy at that age,but there were differences. And relevance today is, yes there are nationalist groups and even ones that lean to more fascism, but in comparison to the Islamists, they are not only different but the Islamists are far worse.in other words, sometimes in war and/or conflict or a real threat to survival, I don’t always think its a matter of convenience to stay only within one’s own group or ideology, sometimes allies have to be forged that in times of peace,would be unthinkable. I have debated this back and forth, and yes I do have strong cognitive dissonance on this issue, and I’m not so sure of how I am decided on this, but sometimes I wonder if there is a choice? I know by reading some history Churchill was in no way in favor of working with Stalin, they were not naive of Stalin’s terror or his fascism, which, from the numbers of mass graves in Russia, he wasn’t better than Hitler when it came to the totalitarian state and yes, anti-Semitism,there is far too much evidence of pograms against the Jewish populations in Russia/and Poland. That said too, I think we always have to keep in mind, like in WWII, prior to, that what created the path to dynamic fascism [both Hitler and Mussolini] in Europe was the conservatives, and their fear and hate of the communist-socialists, especially with the knowledge of the Bolsheviks, and the Papacy, that Representative of the conservative and middle class on the political stage [which was in that time a transition from oligarchy and aristocratic rule monopoly of that stage prior to],that fear of communism, that threat, did pave the way for another type of totalitarian regime that was just as harsh and brutal as the communists they feared,and maybe the ‘key’ there is while that fear is no doubt justified, it is essential and imperative that we don’t lose rational or clarity by being swept away by fear.Because its the fear I think that creates or opens the door to the opposing fascisms or totalitarian systems, those forces of strength or how they termed it then, the Cult d Force,that sweeps in and takes over. I mean it would be nice, if it was like in the movies eh, where we, the American people with the liberal ideas all pulled together and fought off the alien invaders and come out unscathed and unchanged,but thats the movies. Mao said, revolution is not a tea party, and though the thugs who lust for blood love to pull that and use that as a justification for their carnage, that doesn’t mean that what Mao said isn’t true. What Mao was referring to however, contrary to how its been warped today, is that revolution brings out the beast of revenge in people and he was Talking about a people who had been under years of brutal oppression, starvation/forced, empire and nationalism [Japan] and the horrid persecutions, tortures, rapes of thousands of women, plus the hierarchy of extreme suffering imposed upon the weakest of the Chinese society, the most vulnerable,and yes, when they rose up it was a horrible and bloody revolution. People who have lived under the iron fist of an oppressor who are unleashed and the violence that comes from that–just like the Italians who mobbed and killed Mussolini,or Ceauşescu in Romania–but then, thats the horror of totalitarianism and brutal despotism isn’t it,it drives a misery in humanity that they come to that place where there is no consciousness but one of savagery.And its been the reformists and the ditaomlpics who have referred to that, it isn’t always about protecting the status quo,it can be, it can be the voice of privilege who dares not sacrifice blood for freedom, no doubt,but there is also that truth, that if misery is driven to the point of no return, it becomes in its own right an absolutism, that violence begets violence, especially the seeds of the generation that follows,which is exactly why, in those regions in Africa and the warlords in Afghanistan, when that is all they’ve known,its a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself. That revolution only for revolution sake…because without an enemy to hate and lust for blood they don’t feel alive. That may be hard for many to understand but I’ve seen that psychology and no, I don’t have the answers of how to resolve it. I wish I did,but in seeking for those answers, I do think, one can be revolutionary against Totalitarianism and brutality without becoming or morphing into that state of being,and I think part of that is staying true to values, to honor, to dignity, human dignity, which in war is extremely difficult to do, when there is no laws to enforce such,when its total anarchy and chaos, and there are no ‘restraints on the darkest of human behavior except those values inside, those internal of which they hold dear’.Unfortunately its in times of war that we really see the true character in humans, but maybe too that is the fault of those war mongers who use war as a means to an ends.And too, maybe its the motive of war, if its self defense and protection of human liberty and dignity, not for conquest or supremacism (sic) maybe those values can be kept in place.But all in all, take Sudan for example, I don’t believe those people who are being slaughtered or those women who are being brutally raped and hacked to pieces in the Congo, which has been officially stated that its on the Equivalent of a Holocaust against Women,I don’t believe they have the luxury of sitting around and debating the merits or ills of war and revolution and worrying about whether the morph into the enemy or whether they’ll create a worse empire,I think for them its just a matter of every day, life and death.And I think for us, it maybe become that way for us too.NatashaDirector of WAMI

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