From one of my favorite Authors ...


 "I have never felt like I was creating anything. For me,
writing is like walking through a desert and all at once,
poking up through the hardpan, I see the top of a chimney.
I know there's a house under there, and I'm pretty sure that
I can dig it up if I want. That's how I feel. It's like the
stories are already there. What they pay me for is the leap
of faith that says: 'If I sit down and do this, everything
will come out OK.'" 
~ Stephen King ~

When the writing won’t come …

Eat well and stay hydrated.

Stop making excuses and stop being lazy.

Stop your moaning and groaning.


Okay, now that we have the easy part out of the way. 

Yes, it has been a shit day, week, month, year, life, whatever. 

Get over it.

If you’re not writing then change it … Write!


Now, if you have been writing which is more than most then it might be something else. 

If you are not happy with your plot or your character or the way your characters holds his tongue when you’re trying to concentrate on what he'll do next then do something about him.

Change him/her/them. 

Yes, you have this power. You are the writer, the creator. You, and you alone have the power of the pen (or keyboard) and the last time I thought about this I’m pretty sure that meant your story is under your control and no-one else’s.

So if you’re not happy about the way your story is going then change it, change it now!

If you would rather be doing something else then go do that thing until you feel better and want to write again. Writing takes time and effort.

It’s like life, it’s hard.

Yes, writing is hard and don’t let anyone try to fool you into thinking it’s not.

Many people have said writing is hard and here’s proof:

Carrie Vaughn said so at the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2009 when she presented on Goal Setting and Building a Writing Career.

Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven't been told a million times already – that writing is harder, lonelier and nobler and more enriching ~ Harlan Ellison.

A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God ~ Sidney Sheldon

If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do ~ William Zinsser

So that’s how it is. Easy reading is damned hard writing. If you really want to be a writer then get used to it!

Go do some writing.


Writing is hard.

Writing Prompt #7 ~ Write a scene involving a fox, a pig and a snake ...

Writing Prompt #7 ~ Write a scene involving a fox, a pig and a snake ...

photo credit: Steve-h via photopin cc

5 Acres & A Dream: Around The Homestead

I found this really cool website. I love the chicken stories and thought you might too.

5 Acres and a Dream: Around The Homestead

I especially laughed at the story about the Rooster collecting tidbits for the hens so he could get a bit of chicken on the side, er, you know what I mean?

Zak - the farmer

Lost for words ...

Feeling a bit lost for words today.

Anyone have anything to share?

photo credit: Nwardez via photopin cc


 For Me!

photo credit: Phillip via photopin cc

Zak ~ Is hiding

Writing Prompt: #6 ~ Beginners Start Here ...

This writing prompt is for new writers.

Write a story using the words rain, duck and frog.
It can be a children's story or a fantasy.
You can't go wrong with this one.
Go on, give it a try!

For those grown up writers who know everything, you have the challenge to figure out a more intelligent way to use the words: rain, frog and duck. POST your comments (or short stories here) to show us your grown-up-ness.

And for those of you who would like to submit your stories in upcoming blog posts, please submit here: WhereZAKlives.

Zak - the beginning writer

Email Overload...

I'd hate to think that YOUR EMAIL IN BOX 

looks anything like mine but chances are it does.

I have a simple rule about receiving emails. 

For every one email received I delete two

You would think this method would work and eventually you could not obey your own rule. 

ALAS my in box gets fuller every day. Am I not disciplined enough?

Okay, I have to admit it!

I don't follow my own rule, obviously.

From today onwards *I declare I will delete two emails for every one email received - Are you with me?

Zak - the Trasher

photo credit: Unlisted Sightings via photopin cc

 *All text in italics is subject to change with mood ...

Writing ~ Three favorite Authors ...

My three most favorite authors (so far) are:

   Jean M. Auel
   Stephen Donaldson  
   Stephen King

And for help with thinking outside the box:
   Seth Godin

Blog Posting favorites include:

   Jacqui Murray's WordDreams
   A Little Diversion by Donelle Lacy
   This Itch of Writing ~ Emma Darwin
I have a heap more that I like to check out but too many to mention here.

What blogs do you frequent?

Do you have a favorite you think everyone should visit?

Zak - the curious.  

Writing ~ Use Of Ellipsis ... or not!


Oh confessions confessions!

I was doing some editing for a fellow writer-friend (yes, I do have some friends after all) who's about to start submitting his recently finished fiction novel (subject: climate change) when I kept noticing his constant use of ellipsis. 

As I have a passion for ellipsis (I have to confess a love of ellipsis). Just the sound of that word and the look of it, ohhh …. 
In case you haven’t noticed I almost always use ellipsis when posting my titles and I overuse them everywhere like an addiction. Bad bad Zakster!

But lo and behold I was shocked and ashamed to find out today (suicide was a considered option this morning) that I've been using them incorrectly! Arrrrrgggghhh!

Okay, back to reality. It’s only grammar. It’s only something I spend most of my spare time on. It’s okay. It’s okay! It's not okay.

I had to do further research on this, Ellipsis, matter. 

It was like finding out your child has been having sex, or your boss at work has been screwing one of your co-workers (as always you were the last to find out) or you’ve grown a wart. It’s distressing. 

So, I pulled out all stops and starting investigating. 

Of course my first stop was Shrunk and White, God only knows why! That didn’t help me. Then I went on to some online forums to see if the majority would/could rule on the matter. The arguments being ellipsis should look like …. 

That is, space dot dot dot space. And, because it was the end of a sentence it was given a period as well. Then some people said space dot dot dot no period required. 

So it looks something like …

Well, I’ve been using it like…

See that! That is, dot dot dot space with no space between the last word and the first dot in the ellipsis. Oh what an error to make! Oh, and I overuse exclamation marks too. They are so cute! Don’t cha … think?

Anyway, I ended up admitting I was WRONG, and others were right or misled and accepted the definition as this:

—Use an ellipsis (three dots, . . . ) to indicate the omission of one or more words in condensing quotes and other textual material. Space before and after the ellipsis and between periods within the ellipsis. If the ellipsis occurs inside a sentence, it consists of three dots; if it occurs at the end of a sentence, follow the ellipsis with a period—a total of four dots.

What do you think on the matter? 

Do you have a strong opinion either way or do you think we should all get over it? 

Should someone rule on this matter?

Why has Shrunk and White not taken a stronger stance on this matter before today?

Zak - the perfectionist and self-tortured soul ....

Oh, and I found a bit more on ellipsis on some other blogs - if you're interested >here and also just around the corner down the street, >here ...

How watching people is great fodder for writers...

Watching people is a great source of inspiration for writing practice.

You know, those guys you saw yesterday casually ambling along the street. That walk you you can't mistake. You know the one, like they own the place.

One held a stubby of beer the next had his hands down the front of his pants scratching at his balls and the other one barely rated a mention, too skinny too ugly. Holidays bring out the best in people. If their best is for story-writing-fodder. 

I find it fascinating watching people. Just sitting back and watching. It can be in a restaurant or at the footy or at the pictures. 

And watching people watching people can be fascinating too, especially to us writers.

Often the buzz of people melt into the surroundings and not a lot of people stand out but somehow there’s always that one memorable person and that person is the one we create stories about. The one  that somehow looks like he’s got a sign in front of him saying, watch me and learn. Look at me, I’m going places. I am somebody but who are they and what do they do? Then they too fade into the abyss that is the background noise…

And that’s when you pick up your pen or starting thumping away at your keyboard. These are the characters of stories. 

That's my Sunday contribution...

How do you get your ideas? What inspires you?

Zak - taking it easy

photo credit: Chaval Brasil via photopin cc


Real Advice For Serious Writers

It seems there is an awful lot of repetition on the internet. Sadly, this mostly comes from people trying to churn out volumes of work in order to stay high up on search engines or to bulk write article content.

In order to become a serious writer you need to be original and that means not mimicking, copying or rewriting every article or idea you see. People want new ideas, different thinking or better still something truly amazing on a subject not regurgitated clap-trap.

If you’re serious about your writing come up with your own ideas. Did you know it's actually easier to make things up than it is to copy and rewrite another person's words. You may think you're saving yourself work but in reality it's a whole lot harder to rewrite than it is to free-write. Chances are you will create a better quality of work and there will be no chance that you will be blamed for plagiarizing. 

What you choose to write about may be simple or common everyday events or happenings but they can be given to the reader with originality and your unique voice.

What are you waiting for? Go write with your original voice.

Zak - the optimist

Writing Prompt: #2 ~ Aint She Sweet...


Okay, so two days in a row, I seem to have a bit of a theme going here. Kind of neat, huh? It wasn't intentional, I just liked the clear photography and thought it would inspire a short story or two...


Writing Prompt: #1 ~ A Matter of Perspective...


You know what to do ~ JUST WRITE!

photo credit: Gustavo (lu7frb) via photopin cc


When You Don't Know What to Write...

Some days I don't know what to write about. It's not that I don't actually have anything to write because I could get a dictionary and choose random words and make up sentences then have them become scenes and from these create whole stories. No, it's not that. It's that everything I think about I don't WANT to write about. I end up walking away from the desk rather than battling through the misery of trying to write something. I guess I'm afraid that it may end up being what I consider worthless.

Today I battled that same dilemma (yet again) BUT today I thought, SO WHAT? What if I write crap? What if it's totally useless and worthless? And then I thought, SO WHAT?!

Writers write because it brings them pleasure. (I write because it brings me pleasure. If I'm really lucky it also brings someone else pleasure but this most times I never know about).

There is an abundance of reasons for writing (or not writing) and all of them are personal and individual. You may write because you are sad and want to sort through your feelings. It may be that you write because you like to listen to the voices in your head and writing them down gets them out and onto the paper. How I wish I had those voices (when I want them). Or, you may be happy and want to share your happiness. We could go on all day about why we write and what inspires us but for most beginning writers and even some of the more fermented writers among us it can be all about: WHAT should I be writing?

To that I say, just write. It doesn't matter if you write a thousand words and burn them immediately afterwards as long as you get something from doing it and you feel good about yourself.

Just go for it!!!

Go on, write.

Right now.

Write anything ~ be brave!

Zak - the brave

PS:  Oh! And if you're really stuck, here's a picture prompt to get your devious writers mind thinking...

photo credit: Funky64 ( via photopin cc

Rainy Days and Saturdays...

It's raining here today and it rained yesterday and the day before and the day before but that's perfect for the writer in me.

Write a story that involves rainfall.

Zak - the romantic

photo credit: laffy4k via photopin cc


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