Shifts in Time

Daylist saving timeThis picture is from The Princess Bride, a must see movie for all ages. But this gentle question really does represent the whole Daylight Saving Time shift. Even not being on a commute-to-work-place schedule, I am affected by the perception of the time change.

I ate breakfast an hour later, which threw off when to eat lunch, and I don’t eat dinner prior to my 6:30 Dancercise class, which was an hour earlier, according to the daylight. The class I attend looks nothing like the link. We’re a dozen women, all over 50, wearing boring active wear and doing our stretches, dance steps, and kicks in a farmers “grange” hall that hasn’t been upgraded since before we were born. But it’s fun. Rock-n-roll for an hour with my girlfriends, three times a week.

The status of my energy is – roller coaster. Jim at jbuss Astrology has been tracking the turbulence in the stars as representing positive changes for humanity and mother earth. We don’t like changes, yet we are all connected, as above so below. We can imagine these stellar aspects affect our personal perceptions. That “how do you feel?” question is a valid one to ask.

I attended a fantastic workshop on Saturday, presented by Donald Maass, who is an icon in the world of books and storytelling, and a really nice man. (He’s even willing to teach us How to Sashay.) From his insights, and the writing exercises he directed us to do, I felt a personal shift in perception regarding my intent to be a writer when I could have pursued a career as a storyteller. The difference is important and both skills apply for a novelist. In each scene we need to ask the primary character, “How do you feel?”

I attended a workshop, years ago, where a young woman enthusiastically presented what she had learned about writing from studying “the dead guys.” I was inspired even though others griped that they had studied “the dead guys” decades earlier and certainly didn’t need to copy classic samples as a writing exercise. But I didn’t study literature in school as I was on the business track. So, even though Delilah Marvelle was still an aspiring novelist when I attended her workshop on “the dead guys” it did create a shift in my perceptions on the writing – and reading – process. Writers are a rare breed and we need to remember that readers have lives we can’t fathom, but we can enhance.

The moral of that story is Delilah Marvelle is now an international brand of stories that readers adore. The catty old bitches whining about writing the exercises Delilah encouraged them to do – nothing has changed in their lives. There’s nothing wrong with that. Life is for living and we are not all the latest and greatest entertainment production company. Delilah is.

Today I read a Writer Unboxed post on the value of being a copycat as a writing exercise, like was recommended years ago, and I think I’m going to add this to my routine. But I’m not going to pick a favorite author or one that is specifically dead. There’s about 100 excerpts included in “Fire in Fiction” because they are examples of good writing. And that’s my thing.

What’s yours?

So, how do you feel?

6 thoughts on “Shifts in Time

  1. Feeling good. I’ve heard that Donald’s workshops are great. But I think every writer gets to the point where you absorb so much about how to write that you have to simply sit down and write – your way, with your own voice, remembering first and foremost that you are writing for yourself.


    1. That’s what made this workshop great as most that I attend are on the business of being a writer – which is not why I write fiction. Don encourages writing for yourself and not to specs or a genre. According to him there’s no reason to hold back your voice. Write your way, even if told it’s over dramatic or cheezy. It was all about emotions, layers, and even got into parallels, symbols and reversals with lots of simple examples and many writing exercises.


  2. Hi Terri! Great to see you at the workshop last weekend. I loved the exercises Donald encouraged us to do — invaluable!

    It’s interesting that you’re on a roller coaster. I’m feeling strangely unsettled. What’s up with that?


    1. There’s some powerful astrological aspects right now, but also my health is still wimpy and there’s a bunch of long-distance family dramas. There’s also a lot of writing business activity and I’ve had no silent days devoted to writing since the workshop. Soon…


  3. I attended a workshop on Saturday, too. It was on Writing a Memoir and was Free! Trista Cornelius, a teacher at CCC, led it. I had fun!
    I do not know if we REALLY need daylight savings time.


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