Tag: Deborah Taylor-French

Freedom to feel alive 

Travel changes POV

The instant I’m in a car, on a plane or boarding a train to someplace new I become all eyes. That is an odd expression, all eyes. Imagine eyes all over my body?  But “all eyes” is the closest to what I can say about what happens to my mind and my experience when traveling.

All eyes, mostly unseeing

All eyes going by all. All eyes swimming by, often rapidly. Too fast for me to see eye color or distinct features , except for eyebrows, eye set or basic shape. All eyes looking beyond and onto where those people are walking. Hurrying to the next distination, the next ride, the next taxi, the next departure. All eyes on the next and next connection. No time for slow. No time to see anyone for more than a second.

The rare and open unblinking eyes of a child, the pleading eyes of a begger, the hungry eyes of a too thin gypsy, the big foreign eyes of tourists, eyes like mouths  devouring every new site, cafe menus, meals, millions bottles of Coca Cola…


The  Cyclops eye of camera lenses and the retangular eyes of a million smart phones and electronic tablets. All fast. Open shut. Repeat. Repeat.

Life swimming by in pairs of eyes

Life is far too short to hate ourselves for not fitting into mental constructs of success or freedom. Yet that seems to flow by on so many faces. Unhappiness. Loss. Obsession with things. Loveless expressions. Fear. Anxiety. Stress. Emptiness. Lack of hope. And those are the faces of life’s winners, those who have made it financially, who have leisure time, who have choices, who eat the best food in the world, who wear shoes better than most people ever see (except in shop windows). Those on holiday from daily cares, jobs,  chores, children and parents. Those lucky tourists! A mass of unsmiling crowds who order too much to drink and eat and leave behind money and trash, the world over all eyes on them.

My English language eyes read every shirt walking by

On my trip in Athens, Greece I kept reading people’s T-shirts. After I scanned a face, the English letters and words gave me ideas and feelings to move through. A brief second of image capture. Of course, some slogans seemed weird or just off. But I madly sot impressions of what compelled those Greeks we saw to wear printed t-shirts. Oh, I saw some that proclaimed, “Princess,” “Just do it” or “Bad.” Many of the shoppers and sightseers where from other parts of Europe, yet I saw few T-shirts with French, Spanish or German slogans.

My favorite T-shirt on a young boy about 11 years old read, “To be continued.” Now I thought that was perfect. Not only perfect for a young boy, but perfect for all of us to wear because aren’t we all in the middle of life “to be continued?”

Perhaps you aren’t right now feeling hopeful we’re looking forward to anything in particular. But wherever you are in your life the amazing thing is you can still be knocked on your heels looking into the face of a child just learning to walk, or suddenly seeing the sky fulsome with clouds get one of those “Gee, life is so much bigger than I make it most of the time.”

Looking forward to what you’re going to write next!

Hint: Please leave a note, we love our readers.

1 thing more toxic than chocolate for dogs

More toxic than chocolate?

Yes, and it’s everywhere.

Please visit my guest blog post on 4Knines blog “One common thing that is more toxic than chocolate for dogs”  Then please comment! Of course, after you comment, I’d love it if you would share far and wide for the love and lives of dogs. After working on this post for about a month I shared it as a guest post so that it may reach a larger audience of dog lovers, beyond my WordPress blog.

If you missed my first guest post on 4Knines blog, then go see my guest blog: “3 tips that could save your dog’s life”

"Hey Mom, what's up?"
Syd the kid

As a writerly treat and encouraging read, I’m sharing Ursula Le Guin’s famous acceptance speech and noting the context. Not a single writer of science fiction nor fantasy genre were honored before her award in 2014. She states that all her fellow authors in those genres were over looked for fiction that fell within the category of “realistic” or “realism.” Enjoy.

National Book Foundation Medal

Speech in Acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

To the givers of this beautiful eward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long — my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for fifty years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality.

Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book 6 or 7 times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this — letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.

Thank you.

Ursula K. Le Guin
November 19, 2014

This text may be quoted without obtaining permission from the author, or copied in full so long as the copyright information is included:

Copyright © 2014 Ursula K. Le Guin, Ursula K. Le Guin Website

____

Readers you will find a video of her Speech in Acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Amercian Letters by clicking this link: Ursula Le Guin National Book or paste this link into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et9Nf-rsALk

Happy New Year 2016

to writers and readers, may your be blessed by art and publication of work written from freedom to freedom.

May all beings be happy.

Deborah Taylor-French

IMG_5950

Clever story hints from Shakespeare

Story hints

“The point of view, or narrative mode, Shakespeare uses in his plays, like most plays, is the third person objective view point. We know that plays are narrated in third person because we do not see the play through one character’s perspective; we do not frequently see the word I appear in the play.” Tamara K.H. on Notes.com

A limited third person point of view

In a limited third person point of view, an author does not have access to his characters’ thoughts. This strengthens the illusion that the acting on stage is similar to our lives. A well-done limited 3rd person play persuades and enthralls with its lifelike believability. The characters try to keep their secrets and pretend to go along with mischief or the follies of friends.

a truly great storyteller
Portrait of William Shakespeare

Shakespeare, a limited third POV?

From a storyteller’s point of view, Shakespeare pretends to have a limited third person point of view, thus drawing in his audience. This approach allows audiences to imagine that they witness a world that stands alone. Yet this master playwright, who holds himself outside of his creations heads, tips characters into disclosing intimate details, foibles, morals and thoughts through cleverness. He causes his characters to lie. Then he makes others find out a lie and force out a confession. Shakespeare’s characters, a points of stress, have an aloud chat with him or herself. An well-known example occurs in Hamlet when Prince Hamlet gives his famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy.

What can I do? I’m not Shakespeare.

I say that depends on what genre you write in. What type of story you want to tell? 

  • comedy = happy endings, people get married, renew love and hope
  • tragedy= a death, a war, a huge loss, etc.
  • history = fact based story
  • myth & fantasy = a mixed bag of hopeful beginnings & terrible hurts

William Shakespeare wrote poetry and plays. He wrote plays in the history, tragedy and comedy categories. He also added bits of fantasy as in the dream scene in Midsummer Nights’ Dream. Of considered a writer’s writer or the best of all English playwrights, Shakespeare’s genius has been lately questioned. Some scholars challenge the idea of one man writing the massive volume of works attributed to William Shakespeare. Other scholars, of course, argue that a single man, named Shakespeare, wrote plays for a theatre troupe he knew well. The plays tend to use character types and one playwright would unite the plays by the talents and strengths of specific actors. Thus  a single playwright wrote all the plays attributed to Shakespeare.

What do you think? Was Shakespeare a rare genius or a name put to poetry and plays written by more than one man?

Tragedy, comedy and poetry
William Shakespeare

Poems of William Shakespeare #free downloads

10 Shakespeare Quotes that you can use in Modern English

November 2, 2015

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Links for Readers and Writers shows up again with interesting non required reading.

Kinks in cyberspace have stopped me from finishing a post

After a frustrating half an hour trying to finish my post for tomorrow, as over and over my last photograph would not load, I quit. For today, I have a writing deadline elsewhere. Plus an intriguing hour to follow my nose to a new area of a city we are visiting. So enjoy A Vase of Wildflowers Monday post for readers and writers, plus visit her blog to see what other lovely topics she cooks up.

Thanks for looking in, Deborah Taylor-French

I love Marc. Marc take me home!
Cone-head, panting to cool down in the exam room

A Vase of Wildflowers

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers inThe Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

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Epiphany: Photo Friday

“An epiphany is a sudden realization of a significant event. At that special moment, a life meaning becomes clear to you —an insight into your personality, a discovery of something you value or believe in, an acute sense of where you are in life.”

Epiphany as call and response

The specific epiphany when a friend became ill and I called her. The question was to respond breakdown without need or fear. Did I answer?

Yes, I answered a literal call for help and felt divinely supported in providing. In fact, I feel so grateful that a strong friend expressed over the phone her needs. How often do we tell each other the truth? How often do we wish we had taken the time to tell the truth?

What a joy to give and feel bigger

There comes a marvelous intimacy when the most important inner need comes to us as the opportunity to give. Giving feels like a jump for joy moment, I feel bigger and more able to give. When people believe in God or have faith, they give from faith. They give from the knowledge that God gives them all good things. They experience the epiphany that God gives abundantly, and therefore, as receivers of God’s love they also must give abundantly.

Watch dog
Loyal, calm, loving and ever protective of his family Simba keeps watch.

So this blog post comes late, with the photograph of a neighbors beloved Japanese Shibu Inu. Many dogs of this breed await adoption so please adopt, don’t shop.

Give to a dog rescue or sponsor or foster a homeless pet

Visit Noahs Dogs to learn about the breed and find the perfect dog waiting for you.