Did You Turn Down That Path?

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July 27, 2011 006

So I’ve been having dreams for a while now about “walking the path.” I wrote a poem about it a while back. Recently, I had this “being at the crossroads” dream, and it was so very vivid – my feet hurt as if I’d been traveling and I was exhausted, even though I’d just woken up from a full night’s sleep.

Starting in on my morning routine, I began to fold some laundry.  I brought my son’s clothes into his room, where he was still snug in bed, since it was early.  He said something to me, in a mumble-y, groggy voice.

“Did you turn down that path?” he said to me.

I was really startled by this. His eyes were closed.

I said, “what, honey?”

Even though he was still asleep, he said it this time with some vehemence.

“Did you turn down that path?!?” he asked.

Not sure how he knew about my dream, especially since he was still asleep. But what in the world does it all mean? What path am I supposed to take? Does “turn down” mean to go in that direction, or to reject it? Wonder if there is such a thing as a Dreamscape Linguist.  I’ve got a real mystery on my hands!

The Guest House

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Sunroom 006

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi. Translation by Coleman Barks

Reprints: One Way to Increase Your Income

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Great writing advice from my writing partner, Sue Bradford Edwards’ blog, “One Writer’s Journey.” If you’re serious about earning a living as a writer (and graduating from calling yourself “aspiring writer”), her blog is a great place to learn the ropes.

One Writer's Journey

rewrites incomeIf you make your living as a writer, you have to get a certain amount of work out there to actually make this possible.  It isn’t just word count that matters but also earning potential.  A 500 word all-rights piece for $250.00 may bring in a fair amount right this minute but ultimate earn less than a limited rights sale on a piece that you can sell to multiple markets.

There are two things that you have to do to make this possible:

  • You have to retain some of the rights.  If you sell all rights, the publisher has all rights to the piece.  You can’t use it again.  They, on the other hand, can publish is multiple times without paying you any more after that first check.  Note:  Highlights buys all rights but compensates the author if the piece is used more than once.  To sell a piece…

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Constructive Criticism? Is that Really a Thing?

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July 12, 2011 008

Do any of you other writers out there have this problem?  I’ve had to give up gigs in which I had to critique other writers’ work – including one of my faves, writing movie reviews for Festival of Films.  I fudged it well enough with this post about Les Miserables and this one reviewing Cloud Atlas, but I just couldn’t bring myself to tear down another writer’s work.

Is there such a thing as “constructive criticism” – one writer to another?