Have a Little Whimsy
It’s Father’s Day today, and in my dad’s honor, I invite you to bring a little whimsy into your life. My dad (in fact, both my parents) have always encouraged me to not only notice the details of the world around me, but also to notice the story potential of those details. We are the kind of family who sees fairy doors in tree trunks and signs of magic in a seashell.
Years ago, my dad and I brainstormed a series of artworks that would bring this element of whimsy into otherwise “normal-looking” landscapes and still life settings by introducing small details that told an entirely different story from the obvious one. I still think about some of the ideas we came up with. He mentioned to me the other day that he was working on a project that was “whimsical.” Maybe he’s playing with some of those long-ago ideas. 🙂
Meantime, I thought I’d share a few more images from my Instagram account in the hopes that they might inspire your whimsical side:
The woods suddenly fell silent. No bird sang. No breeze whispered through the naked branches of early spring. I felt like someone was watching me, and turned to look behind me. When I turned back, the dragon was only a few feet away. It’s wedge-shaped head hovered at eye-level and swayed back and forth like a serpent’s on a long, sinewed neck that stretched away and up into the boughs of a huge oak. It made no sound, but I had the distinct impression that it was assessing me with the eye of a connoisseur. I only hoped that it wasn’t a culinary connoisseur.
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One must be especially careful to avoid falling into portals. The most common kind of portal appears in the puddles that form after a spring rain on cool, gray afternoons. With a surface like glass, these puddles appear harmless, but one wrong step can send you tumbling into a world that is not your own. It’s best to sidestep all such possible portals with care … just in case.
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They were an unlikely pair friends. The cat was young and slightly wild. The gargoyle was ancient and thoroughly domesticated. Despite their differences, however, they enjoyed each other’s company greatly. At night, while the rest of the household slept, the two stayed up, telling tales in the moonlight and occasionally venturing outside to create tales of their own. It was on one such “adventure night” that they first met the grimvar, an unpleasant fellow who was, nonetheless, very well connected in the local fae court.
Books I’m Reading:
I haven’t actually started reading this yet, but I wanted to share it now because it’s FREE for a limited time. Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is and What You can Do About It is the latest from Steven Pressfield and apparently picks up where The War of Art left off.
Sounds a little harsh, but I have to admit that Pressfield has a point. Though we may wish for magical powers or a fairy godmother to make us wildly successful authors, the truth is that it’s a battlefield out there. You have to earn your reader’s attention. Every time.
From the author’s site:
Recognizing this painful truth is the first step in the writer’s transformation from amateur to professional.
“When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy. You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs—the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of view as writer/painter/seller to the point of view of your reader/gallery-goer/customer. You learn to ask yourself with every sentence and every phrase: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is she bored? Is she following where I want to lead her?”
I’ve downloaded my copy and look forward to reading it soon.
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My Favorite Blog Reads for the Week:
- Short Stories: The Novelist’s Workshop by David Corbett
- How to Learn to Write by Reading by @monicamclark
PUBLISHING & MARKETING
- What’s Your Genre? A High-Level Overview for Writers by @brooke_warner
- Blog Authorship: Tools to Keep Your Blog Content Safe from Plagiarists and Duplication by @roserose_s
THE WRITING LIFE
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Sundry Links and Articles:
Summer Solstice & The Full Moon
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this Monday night (June 20th) is the first time since 1948 that these two events have fallen on the same night. While I’m not an avid follower of astrology, I do believe in the affect of the full moon and observe solstice and equinox celebrations. This moon is sometimes called the Strawberry or Honey Moon in reference to the time of harvest for these luscious summer treats. (It also apparently has a pinkish or golden glow due to something in the atmosphere.)
If you are so inclined, the full moon is an excellent time in which to set intentions and also to release any feelings, fears, or doubts that might be holding you back. (Perhaps you’d like to banish some of your inner critic’s hurtful snipes.)
The full moon is also obviously a time of magic and possibility – a time when portals may open more easily and dragons may indeed walk among us. You never know!
Finally, a quote for the week:
Here’s to noticing the whimsical in your everyday world, and finding ways to share that magic with others through stories.
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.