March 22 2017

How I use Tarot for my Writing

In October 2015, I was introduced to using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey for writing by the wonderful and amazing Arwen Lynch. I watched her video Character Interview Spread. And it was synchronicity. I knew I had to take her course. I knew I needed to find out more. I’m a visual person so using a visual aid like tarot made sense to my brain (especially since I’m one of those folks who uses their right and left brain in various ways to learn, write, create art, etc.).

I purchased Arwen’s course: 33 Days to Finish Your Book.  And it was worth every dime I spent–though to be honest it isn’t expensive at all. Using tarot and the hero’s journey meant I needed to know more about the actual hero’s journey. So when I signed up the for the course, I also purchased Vogler’s The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, as well as Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and the Tarot Kit for Beginners. If you’re going to use tarot for your writing then you need a basic deck, and the only tarot deck I had wasn’t a Rider-Waite deck, which is  what most people would consider to be a core/basic deck. Since then I’ve accrued several various types of tarot and oracle decks and books.

Why? Well, using tarot cards (along with oracle cards) for my writing has proven to be a powerful brainstorming tool, a wonderful and exciting way to open and increase my imagination, as well as my intuition in regard to my writing. I soon realized I wanted to know as much as I could about using tarot for writing so I also purchased Corrine Kenner’s Tarot for Writers, and I’ve just purchased Kenner’s Astrology for Writers (I’ll let you know how that one is next Wednesday). Along that same line, I have Linda Perfect’s The Storyteller’s Tarot  and Diana Castle’s Writer Faster With Tarot . So…

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January 30 2017

Bullet Journal for Writers, Writer’s Bible, and Novel Notebook

Quite a few of my YT subscribers requested that I go back through my outlining process since I’m revamping my “Witchy Business” book, now titled “The Seventh: The Carolina Witches Chronicles.” The second book in the series is called, “The Curse of Seven: The Carolina Witches Chronicles.” In order to do the book(s) justice, I really need to revamp the outline, not just the POV. Originally I used 1st person POV. I soon realized, while working on a completely different novel, that the “Witchy Business/The Seventh” book needed 3rd person POV. Funny how that works… it’s not always shiny new ideas that tempt us while writing, it can be old ideas that won’t leave us alone that also tempt us.

I took a look at the original outline, including the videos from the outline process, and I realized I had the right idea… at least for the most part, but my antagonist was not thought out enough, nor did I have a clear ending. I need to come up with my last sentence… that sentence just before I have my husband type “The End,” (like in Stephen King’s Bag of Bones”).

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December 5 2016

If we were having coffee… Planning for 2017 Part 1

Snoopy having coffee... Picture from Christmas Card...
Snoopy having coffee… Picture from Christmas Card…

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that this month feels so much more positive than the past two months. That’s in part thanks to my wonderful husband, Mr. Rockstar (David), my family, and my friends (my tribe). Not only have I managed to feel more confident, positive, and grateful, but I’ve also realized I’d let my attitude become one of “what’s going to go wrong next,” of looking at the glass half empty–of negativity.

I can’t help but think that the negative feelings were contributing to things going wrong, breaking… I decided that I wasn’t going to allow the negativity from the past couple of months to spread into December. Nope, not happening. So I started the month out with a positive attitude. I changed a few things up. Started planning out my Spirit(ual) Omni Journal, worked on December’s layout and set up in my (regular) Omni Journal… and I set up things for December in my 2017 Hobonichi (which is for my personal, business, and Patreon planning/use). I wanted positive reinforcement. Needed it. And the best way to do that is to start out with an affirmation, a way to hold myself accountable (got on FB, YT, etc) and stated… No more negativity, it’s a whole new month, a new beginning… I’m going to be positive…I’m going to get things done, going to be happy, and I’m so grateful for the good things that did happen over the past few months… it wasn’t all negative.

Changing my attitude, talking about how it was a whole new month, a new beginning spread… other’s did the same… Happiness, positivity, kindness… those are contagious.

SO let’s talk about what I’ve got going on, what I’m planning (not only for December, but for 2017), and some of my goals. (This is going to be a 2 part post (and video), maybe even a 3 part. 😀

What I accomplished in 2016 so far:

  • With the help of 3 wonderful women, I opened a FB group for women called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table. A place where we are safe to talk about and share things like our creative projects, our goals, our ideas and thoughts about creativity, spirituality, and life. A way to hold ourselves accountable. The four of us (Debbie, Jen, Karen, and myself) all contribute to the DM group… we are similar enough, but different enough, that we each contribute something to the group, and those wonderful women in the group also contribute. It’s become our home away from home. A safe haven to share and converse.
  • With the support and encouragement of several people, I finished NaNoWriMo.
  • With the support and encouragement from several women in my tribe, I opened up a FB group called Omni Journaling with Burgess.
  • With the support and encouragement of several people, I joined Patreon and now have several Patrons.
  • I reached 1000 subscribers on YouTube…
  • I was the beneficiary of several happy mail items… Y’all… that was so wonderful. 😀 And much needed and appreciated.
  • And, I renewed the Hosting for this website and have been blogging much more… I still need to work on blogging more often…
  • Last but not least, I checked several things off my “bucket list” this year.

Goals for 2017:

  • 2000 subscribers on YT
  • To blog every day, at the least every other day.
  • To grow my Patreon page
  • To make enough of a passive income that I am supporting my creative life myself (supplies like notebooks, pens, camera, lighting, watercolors, washi tape, etc.; Website Hosting, increasing the internet speed so I don’t have “weak connection” anymore, books, tarot cards,  a tablet selfie stick, etc…).
  • To make enough income from my creative life that I do not have to work outside the home.
  • To clean and organize the attic, my craft and art supplies, and the kitchen cabinets.
  • To paint our bedroom wall and draw/paint a mural on the wall.
  • To follow my path spiritually… to learn and grow spiritually.
  • To finish the Witchy Business Novel and the Broken novel, and to have at least the first round of edits done.
  • To write every day, at least 500-1000 words per day.
  • To draw/paint every day.
  • To be more organized and have more focus.
  • To practice kindness, positivity, and courage on a daily basis.
  • To have a regular schedule: bed by midnight, up by 8AM.
  • To be healthier (which includes 10+K steps per day, eat healthier, etc)

 

My list goes on…

And I’ve started implementing things this month to help me accomplish things in the new year. I’ve created a Spirit Omni Journal, which is a Stalogy 365 A5 Notebook. I’ve started setting up my new Omni Journal for next year, which is an Enigma from Taroko Design.

Here is the video where I talk about this:

 

 

 

November 9 2016

My (updated) Writing/Creative Space for NaNoWriMo

It was dark and stormy night, no… no, it was a small and suffocating room, no… no. It was a room that needed to be rearranged so that I no longer felt closed in and suffocated.

The last thing I probably should be doing at the beginning of the second week of NaNoWriMo is rearranging my writing/creative space, but I couldn’t take it any longer. The longer I was the in the room trying to write the more closed in and suffocated I felt. Not only by the disorganization and clutter, but by the way the furniture was arranged. I love the view from my desk… I look out of the window and I see the sky, trees, (the neighbor’s houses), and our bench that sits beside the wisteria bush I planted last year. It makes me feel good, but the rest of the room–it didn’t make me feel good.

I kept thinking, I’ll get to it after NaNo. I moved a few things around before NaNo, but that wasn’t working either. Books. Shelves. More books. The little table that I loved but couldn’t really use and didn’t really fit in here. Art and journal supplies. Books. My typewriters. The antique dresser I modge-podged that I use for storage for things like my hats, gloves, craft paper, etc. The small antique writing desk my Aunt Jan gave me. The damn file cabinet that I just can’t seem to find a proper place for… Well, I finally, with Mr. Rockstar’s help, figured out how to arrange it so it was more open, and it was efficient, but pleasing to my eye.

Let’s face it, I’m in here more than anywhere else in the house, except for maybe when I’m sleeping… If I had the recliner in here I’m sure I’d fall asleep reading quite often, which is in part why it’s not in here (the other part would be because I really don’t have room, not until I can move the dresser somewhere else (it’s an antique that belonged to my husband’s uncle and eventually will go in the room my son is in when he moves out).  Instead of putting the picture in here individually, I thought I’d create a gallery. Hope you enjoy. 😀

November 6 2016

Real Life Tips for NaNoWriMo

The-Secret-Of-Writing-QuoteThe most popular bit of advice given in regard to writing are:

  • Writer’s write.
  • Just write.
  • Put your butt in the chair and write.
  • Write one word at a time.
  • Keep writing…

Each year I participate in NaNoWriMo (and NaNo’s Camps) to keep myself motivated to write everyday. Developing the habit of writing everyday is one of those crucial aspects of a writing career that is essential to success. Recently I heard someone say “If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer.” I think it’s important, as a creative person, to remember that there might be days when you don’t feel like writing, or being creative in general. When depression, anxiety, or life’s curve balls happen and the last thing you want or feel like doing is writing (or being creative). But if you want to thrive and survive as a creative person you have to find a way to get past those, to not only survive them but to thrive.

I love reading and writing. I also love drawing, painting with watercolors, coloring, writing in my journal… the combination of words and art help soothe my soul, they provide me with a healthy way to reduce my anxiety, stress, and help to keep the depression at bay. I’ve also noticed that journaling about my writing process, as well as my day, help keep me focused (and believe me, that’s hard to do since I have ADHD). When a shiny new idea pops up and tempts me to quit what I’m currently working on to go work on that shiny new idea, I just jot down the shiny new idea into my notebook, then go back to my current project.

When I’m afraid that I don’t know what to write next, or the fear of the blank page sends my anxiety into overdrive, instead of freezing and letting that fear overtake me I take a walk, read a chapter in the current book I’m reading (right now I’m re-reading the Stand by Stephen King), take a bath, get a cup of coffee or a bottle of water, eat a snack like cashews or a banana–during that time I’ve cleared my mind. The ability to write isn’t as super power. It takes commitment, diligence, resilience, and determination.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given in regard to writing is two parts:

  1. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” ~Stephen King
  2. “Just write, and keep writing until it’s finished.” Miss Franklin, my 9th grade English teacher.

King also said, “Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.” I firmly believe that. If you don’t understand the basics of storytelling, of a book, how can you write one, especially a good one.

And when it comes to the actual writing, if you don’t write… you won’t have a book, and you can’t edit a blank page, can’t publish the book you don’t write… And the first draft isn’t going to be perfect, or as Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” I remind myself of that daily. I also remind myself that the worst thing I’ve written that day is better than what I didn’t write. Letting go of the perfectionism is one of the best ways to survive  and thrive during NaNoWriMo. Turn off your inner editor when you’re writing the first draft. It’s called the Fugly First Draft for a reason.

Here is additional real life tips for NaNoWriMo:

Category: #amwriting, ADHD, Art Journal, Creativity, Depression, Fear, Goals, Inspiration, Life, Motivation, NaNoWriMo, Productivity, Uncategorized, Writing | Comments Off on Real Life Tips for NaNoWriMo
October 25 2016

My Favorite Writer Resource Books

Books. I love books. All kinds of books. As a writer, I’ve found myself more and more drawn to what are known as writer resource books. LIke I said, I love books, but the ones listed below are some of my favorites in regard to writing.

Books like Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers,” which explains the Hero’s Journey in great detail. Or “Nail Your Novel: Why writers abandon books and how you can draft, fix and finish with confidence,” by Roz Morris, or “The Wonderbook: The illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction,” by Jeff Vandermeer, which has great pictures/illustrations  that are inspiring all by themselves,  but it’s a great resource as well.

Stephen King’s “On Writing” and “Secret Windows,” are great writing resource books, and since King is such a prolific author that when I read that he got rejection slips in the mail it motivates me to keep writing. 😀

Since I’m using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey for outlining my novel here are a few books that I’ve found helpful: “Tarot for Writers” by Corrine Kenner, and “The Storyteller’s Tarot” by Linda Perfect.

Now if you’re looking for an interesting and fun writing resource, one that is filled with good information and will make you laugh and keep you interested, check out Chuck Wendig’s “The Kick-Ass Writer.” If you’re into suspense or mystery then check out Carolyn Wheat’s “How to Write Killer Fiction.” If you’re interested, “First Draft in 30 Days” by Karen S. Wiesner is a pretty good read as well.

And for those of you who aren’t into outlining, especially if you’re a pantser, you might want to check out Chris Baty’s “No Plot? No Problem!” or “Ready. Set. Novel!

And once NaNoWriMo is over, you’ve finished writing that first draft, and you’re ready to edit your novel, you can check out “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,” by Renni Browne and Dave King.

I have quite a few other books, but these are some of my favorites, the books that I prefer to read and that have helped me. 😀

Hope this helps.

Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing: https://youtu.be/V90tAWykxVY

Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel: eCourse Info: http://tarotbyarwen.com/17242-2/

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner: http://amzn.to/2cC5xI2

Rider Waite Tarot Deck: http://amzn.to/2dfPRvb

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck in Tin: http://amzn.to/2d16J9M

My Writer’s Bible: http://jonelifish.com *Note, if you use the code: “Burgess10” you’ll get 10% off your purchase (coupon is good for all merchandise except for Custom-Made Traveler’s Notebooks).

Colored Index Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTqLRM

Dry Erase Calendar Board: http://amzn.to/2cPr17o

Shakespeare Tarot Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTrnXj

Lord of the Rings Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ct75Xk

The Hobbit Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ditJTQ

The Witches Tarot: http://amzn.to/2d16VWA

**** This post contains  some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!

Thank you!

Category: Books, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep, Reading, Writing, Writing Resources | Comments Off on My Favorite Writer Resource Books
October 24 2016

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I have plans

And those plans include:

  • Finishing my outline for NaNoWriMo
  • Cleaning the rest of the Writing/Art space
  • Finishing my storyboard
  • Making a video of my updated Writer’s Bible
  • Writing a corresponding blog post about my updated Writer’s Bible
  • Making a video about my Jonelifishes and what I use them for
  • Writing a corresponding blog post about my Jonelifishes
  • Writing a blog post about How to Win NaNoWriMo
  • Making a video about my tarot cards
  • And more…

So here’s my coffee chat video:

Category: #amwriting, Around Here, Books, Bookshelves, Coffee Chat, Creativity, Journal, Life, Living a Creative Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing | Comments Off on If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I have plans
October 21 2016

My NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet Journal

This past April I worked really hard on creating an improved NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet Journal in a Master Leuchtturm 1917. I wanted the bullet journal to be easy to use, to be easy to read… I wanted it to be functional and pretty. 1 out of 4 ain’t bad.

Since then, I’ve changed things up in regards to my NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet journal–several times in fact. Here is my updated version of my NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet journal:

I’m still working on it, and since we basically have 10 days left before NaNo starts I still have some time. Sunday I’ll be showing a flip thru of my Omni Journal, and Wednesday, which is Writer Wednesday on my YT channel, I’ll be showing  my updated Writer’s Bible. I really need to go back through my Writer Omnibus and organize things better as well (to be frank, I probably won’t get to that before NaNo starts).

It always gets crazy busy when I have a good idea and I want to start working on it. For example, I’ve been thinking about making tabs and putting them in my NaNo/Writer Bullet Journal, as well as in my Project TN. I’ve also been thinking about cleaning out my desk completely (that means a big trash bag and a few file folders will be needed). But do I have time for any of that? Yes and No. I could make time. Instead of writing this blog post I could be cleaning out the drawers in my desk. Or I could be making tabs. Or I could be folding the white clothes or doing the dishes. I could also be working on the last parts of my outline for NaNoWriMo. I will be working on my desk drawers on Monday while my coffee chat video saves and then while it’s uploading. And on Tuesday, I think I’ll work on the tabs. Tonight I’ll fold the white clothes while I’m watching TV.

During NaNoWriMo I’ll be using my NaNo/Writer Bullet Journal to keep up with everything, but I’ll warn you now: My writing/craft/art room will end up creative chaos, our clothes will get washed but I can’t guarantee they will get put up after I fold them (though I will try), and we’ll most likely be using paper plates and eating easy to cook/make/throw together meals. One of the great things about my husband is that he’s pretty laid back. As long as we aren’t starving, as long as the bathroom and the kitchen are clean (and he’s not a stickler for rinsed off dishes being in the sink until  one of us (usually me) can get to them since we don’t have a dishwasher), he’s okay with things. He’ll help me fold clothes, do dishes, etc., especially if he hasn’t worked a long day.

Category: Bullet Journal, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep, Outlining, Planning, TN, Travelers Notebook, Uncategorized, Writer Bullet Journal, Writing Life | Comments Off on My NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet Journal
October 21 2016

Self-Care: Taking a Break Does a Mind/Body Good

With NaNoWriMo fast approaching, not to mention the prepping for NaNo, along with my other projects: The Dark Tower Reading Project, the Decorated Page, and Destination Me…When I first started this blog post the title was Self-Care for NaNoWriMo, but once I started writing the first sentence of the post I realized it was about more than that. Self-Care is about more than getting enough sleep, eating healthy, getting exercise, and taking time for yourself. It’s also about knowing when to take a break, taking a break when your mind or body needs you to. It’s also about making sure you take time to nourish your creativity, to refill your well. (Thank you Julia Cameron.)

Taking a break for your mind might mean taking a break from the writing to go for a walk and clear your head. And hey, the fact that walking also does your body good–well, double points. 😀 And if your body is screaming at you that you’re thirsty, well then get up out of the chair and go get some water. 😀 That five minute walk from the chair to the kitchen  and back is good for both your mind and body. People talk about the cues that your body send you, and oftentimes in the past I have ignored those cues. Instead of taking a break to eat lunch I just kept writing–hell, I might not have even realized that hours had gone by until my stomach growled, or I got a headache from not eating… The truth is, once I get in that zone I forget about everything else. That’s part of the reason why I keep a large cup with a lid and straw full of water or juice on my desk, why it seems like I drink so much coffee–most of the time the coffee gets cold before I am able to finish it. But the first two cups of coffee, or my ADHD medication as I tend to think of it, those go down quick, and they’re so delicious and necessary, but so are the ounces of water that my body needs.

I have a busy schedule, and I do have a lot going on and I get a lot done (some days), but I don’t manage my time very well. That’s something I need to continue to work on, especially with NaNoWriMo coming. Managing my time includes making sure I take some time for myself. Time for walks, to get out of the house, to pamper myself a little so I can give myself a pedicure, or try that new face mask that’s been in my bathroom drawer for months, or just veg-out on SyFy movies while in my pajamas for a few hours on Sunday morning. Staying busy, especially with creative projects like writing, reading, art, etc helps lessen the depression and anxiety.

So what to do about self-care for NaNoWriMo? Like many other writers during the month of November, my aim will be to write at least 1667 words per day. From reading about other authors, some famous like Sai Stephen King, many aim to write at least 2000 words per day, while others aim to write a chapter a day, which for some genres is about the same thing.  If I aim for 2K a day then I’ll have 60,000 words by the end of November. And if I participate in words sprints at least once a week, say a few of the 20 minute word sprints I could add to that day’s word count, maybe even write enough during the word sprints to add another 1000 words for that day’s total. That would be an extra 4000 words for the month. Now we’re talking 64K for the end of November. But I have a bad day or a day when I really need a break and I only write 1000 words instead of the 2K. I’m still ahead and I’m not stressing over it. I’ll get the words written, and the best way to make sure I can do that is by taking proper care of myself.

Eat healthier snacks and meals. Drink more water. Take walks every day. Do my stretches and meditation in the mornings. Write on!!! 😀

 

October 19 2016

Outlining Using Tarot and Hero’s Journey for NaNoWriMo Prep

Last year for NaNoWriMo, and this year, I’ve used Arwen Lynch’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel, which is an ecourse (I’ll leave the links to everything below). With Arwen’s ecourse you use tarot cards and the hero’s journey to plot out your novel. I know, I know… You’re probably thinking WHAT? Tarot cards? The Hero’s Journey? But it’s creative, intuitive, imaginative, fun, and it works.

Using the Tarot cards helps open my mind to possibilities, as well as sparks the fire of my imagination. I look at a card and instead of just seeing what is on the card I also see an image in my head of the character, or the setting, or an event. I see the possibilities of various different scenarios from the image on the card. As I work through the scenarios in my head of what I see when I look at the card I find myself imagining my character as the Hermit, or the Fool, sitting in front of a field full of wild flowers or a beach or an old castle… I see the antagonist with a knife in his/her hand, or kidnapping the protagonist. I see those possibilities and as I narrow down things in my head and then on paper, I know what is going to happen next in my novel.

Using my Writer’s/NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal, I’ve been creating the basis of my outline for NaNo, then taking those basics and going a step further in my Writer’s Notebook for that novel. It’s a process. It’s a process I wasn’t sure I’d ever actually be able to follow through with–I’m a pantser at heart, y’all. But with this method, I can outline the main points, the hero’s journey, and then write by the seat of my pants the rest–like the scenes, which I don’t outline. It gives me structure while still allowing me to be free, to use my imagination, to not feel boxed in by an outline.

Here is my YT playlist for last year’s NaNo Prep

And here is my YT playlist (so far) for this year’s NaNo Prep.

And here are the supplies I’m using thus far:

Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing: https://youtu.be/V90tAWykxVY

Arwen’s Course Info: http://tarotbyarwen.com/17242-2/

Tarot for Writer’s by Corrine Kenner : http://amzn.to/2cnPEJx

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner: http://amzn.to/2cC5xI2

Rider Waite Tarot Deck: http://amzn.to/2dfPRvb

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck in Tin: http://amzn.to/2d16J9M

My Writer’s Bible: http://jonelifish.com (If you use the code Burgess10 you will get 10% off anything in her shop except the custom order TN’s).

Colored Index Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTqLRM

Dry Erase Calendar Board: http://amzn.to/2cPr17o

Shakespeare Tarot Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTrnXj

Lord of the Rings Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ct75Xk

The Hobbit Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ditJTQ

The Witches Tarot: http://amzn.to/2d16VWA

Midori A5 Grid Notebook: http://amzn.to/2e8ag87

Clairfontaine A5 Red Notebook (Lined): http://amzn.to/2eTw9cl 

**** This post contains  some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!

Note: All items have been purchased by me with my own money. Any items sent for review will be clearly noted here or in the video. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Category: Creativity, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep, Outlining, Planning, Writer Bullet Journal, Writing, Writing Life | Comments Off on Outlining Using Tarot and Hero’s Journey for NaNoWriMo Prep