Countdown – Happy New Year

English: Bratislava; New Year 2005; FireWorks

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With this poem that I wrote sometime ago I wish you all the best New Year ever.  Cheers and until next year!


5-4-3-2-1 …

New Year

Parties and champagne …

The blackboard erased,

A new count starts

For the everyday man.


Dreams, plans, and dissertations

Things left to the imagination,

New loves, old loves, memories that are gone.


Time anew

The curtain opens

Good days, bad days …

The race starts all over again.


365 … what a big number

265 … today I feel somber,

165 … everything’s fine

65 … I don’t even have a dime

25 … Christmas is here

5-4-3-2-1 … parties and champagne,

The New Year is here.

The Theory of Possibility

Deutsch: Ein Glas Milch English: A glass of mi...

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The Theory of Possibility


I have adopted the philosophy that no one is 100% right – there are many possibilities and sides to a story or to a belief.  This has made me a better person.  I don’t have to judge and I don’t have to shove my beliefs up the throats of others; instead I agree to disagree and to value other points of view.  I am happier now.  I don’t have to turn blue to prove a point; instead, I just express it and let it go to do what it needs to do.

One day, I went to reach for a glass of milk but decided to drink peach juice instead.  It was a change that took a split of a second but got me thinking.  I was sure I wanted milk but instead ended up grabbing the peach juice.  What followed was enlightening, at least to me.  I understood that this world is made entirely of possibilities.  I understood that everything, absolutely everything is possible.  It takes a matter of less than a second for a possibility to become reality.  This changed my view of things.

I will go back to the milk and juice to illustrate the point.  In my mind, I wanted milk and went straight ahead to the refrigerator to get it.  From my point of view it was already something I would do, saw myself doing, but never materialized – it was a possibility.  Instead, another possibility presented itself – the peach juice – a possibility that was not in my mind a few seconds ago, when heading towards the refrigerator to get some milk.  This sudden change puzzled me to the point that I am writing this article.

Going back to the example, the second possibility became my reality, not the first and intended one.  I changed my mind in the split of a second, whether conscious of it or not, but it ended up shaping my reality.  This in my opinion was a powerful message.

Possibilities abound, they are just multidimensional, and so are we when we think of it in that sense.  Multiple realities – can that be possible?  You be the judge – I don’t judge anymore.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! and So On …

Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo

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A Christmas + Wish


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays Everyone

Have a happy, happy one!

Cheer and Joy dance in your heart

Merry Melodies from afar.


May this year bring you blessings

Tons of sweet things, bliss, and great things

May your heart be full of joy

And your home of many toys.


To your neighbor cheer and greet

Make much merry, full of glee

Thank the Lord for all your blessings

Give to others, enjoy sharing.


Start the year in full force

See your dreams take some form

If you are tired take a break

Rest, relax, and start again.


Happy Holidays to All!  Blessings to you all and thank you for visiting, reading, and commenting here at Inkspeare.

Is Free Will Influenced by Our Beliefs?


The topic of free will has been debated for centuries.  Each doctrine, religion, philosophy, or application has its own particular view of what constitutes free will and the ramifications for the human race, and more singular, for the individual.  For argument’s sake, let us define free will as the capacity given to a human being to choose, by using the process of rational thinking.  Assuming this definition to be generally correct, we enter into an already vague understanding of the concept.  For example, what happens when the thinking is not rational, as in the case of a mentally ill individual, psychopath or brain washed individual?  In this circumstance, does free will exists for that person?  Alternatively, let us think about the religious beliefs of someone.  Most likely, that person makes decisions according to what those beliefs determine as right or wrong.  In this case, is free will dominated by religion?  Let us take the case of the atheist who is not influenced by religion but has a defined set of morals, a sense of right and wrong, good and bad.  Most likely, the atheist will act and choose according to those values.  Does it mean that his/her free will is influenced by morals and not by God or religion?

What happens in the case of a child?  Is that child capable of making sound decisions?  Is free will capped by age?  Is free will something that we develop with age?  The same could be said by cultural limitations, socio-economic conditions, and philosophical and existential beliefs.  For example, let us look at destiny.  Are events in our lives already pre-destined to happen?  If they are, what happens with the capacity to direct your own life by exercising free will?  If the concept of destiny assures the confluence of events, places, and people at one particular moment in your life, how does that affect the free will to choose the events, places, and people in your life?  Astrology is another subject in question.  If you are supposed to be born under certain conditions, according to constellations and planet configuration, and according to your birth sign, there are certain characteristics that you share with others of the same sign – where is free will in that?  And if you belief in reincarnation, that presents a different set of challenges as how many lives you had and how does free will fits in each one of them.  A second chance to choose?

Moreover, how about your own personal family beliefs and teachings?  I bet you that if you were raised thinking that going to a ballroom and dancing was a capital sin – and you were religious about it – you would think twice before stepping foot into one.  And maybe this is all free will is, after all.  The ability to steer our lives, the best we can, according to where we are at a particular time of our lives, with the set of beliefs and morals that we have at that particular moment, and choosing the best we can.  Every decision has a set of consequences, and for every consequence, there is a set of events that will be generated and put into motion.  So maybe, free will has been given to us to keep the ball rolling, to keep this planet going – this human existence – until it is time to go where essence goes (or spirit, or energy, or whatever it is you call it).   Assuming that energy is eternal and that it cannot be destroyed (a scientific fact) but transforms, then in that case, is there a need for free will?

Vulcan Logic vs. The Secret

Vulcan (Star Trek)
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This week I am revisiting some articles I wrote sometime ago.

Revisited – Vulcan Logic vs. The Secret

While watching a Star Trek movie the other day I heard Spock say one of his Vulcan logical statements:  “If you remove the impossible, what remains – even improbable, must then be the truth.”  When you look at the statement it truly makes sense.  This Vulcan philosophy presents a good logical explanation which can be applied to mostly any situation.  In our minds there is always a definition for what we consider impossible to be or to accomplish, and for every person this is different, given their current status, beliefs, cultural background, and financial/social position.  Therefore, everyone defines the impossible in their own way.  This presents a curious question:  what is truth for each one of us?  If we define the impossible in a unique perspective to our present situation, then by the same thinking process we must define truth in the same way.  According to Vulcan philosophy, “what remains must then be the truth” – when we eliminate the impossible – even if it is improbable.  This match of the Vulcan philosophy with our human way of defining the truth according to our own unique experience presents another interesting predicament:  logic vs. faith.

As humans we tend to have faith, to believe in the impossible or the improbable.  We put our faith in God, The Divine, and even in ourselves.  Atheists will put their faith in themselves or in some cases, science – for the sake of argument.  Most of us are familiar with The Ancient Law of Attraction, made known most recently by Rhonda Byrne and her bestseller “The Secret.”  According to this law, you can attract anything that you desire – positive or negative – to your life.  What you think, believe, speak and focus on, that is what you will attract.  It will materialize into your life because you are sending those vibrations back into the Universe; therefore, the Universe will respond back to you according to the energy sent.  So if you are a negative and fearful person you will encounter negative and unpleasant situations in your life.  The opposite is true if you are a positive person.  In simple words, it means, “what goes around comes around” – you get the idea.  According to the law of attraction EVERYTHING is possible.  This is an opposite view to the Vulcan philosophy and our human nature.  The Vulcan belief recognizes the impossible (we do to), the Secret philosophy or Law of attraction recognizes that anything and everything is possible.

We can do a reconciliation of this huge gap in beliefs by using the element of Faith to build a bridge.  Faith can be defined as the belief and certainty of what has not yet become.  By believing the impossible or the improbable to become true we are refuting Vulcan philosophy and human nature and accepting the law of attraction.  However if our faith is based on a negative perspective, then the impossible becomes reality.

Therefore, Logic, Human Nature, Faith, or Law of Attraction it is all up to you – what we may call Free Will – but that is another article.

40 Tips from Best Selling Authors

Revisited – I wrote this sometime ago and decided to revisit it as I think these tips from best selling authors are worth reading once more.


As a writer, I love to hear what other writers have to say about writing, especially, best-selling authors.  I sat down, coffee at hand, and listened to many interviews of best-selling authors.  Many hours later, a list of their recommendations was born.  The following list is full of tips, recommendations, and inspiration, from best-selling authors to aspiring writers, although these authors have been published the traditional way, and we all know that the eBook is shaking the publishing world; however, these tips are worth considering.


1.  Write, Write, Write.


2.  Accept rejection.


3.  Send hundreds of queries.


4.  Don’t take no for an answer; keep at it.  Eventually you will get a yes.


5.  It took Janet Evanovich 10 years of trying to get published.


6.  Write every day, even if you stare blank at the computer.


7.  The characters will take life of their own; they will lead you but you still have control.


8.  It is a huge honor to get your book made into a movie; but it is a totally different animal.


9.  Pick a genre and stick with it; at least in the beginning.


10.  Most seemed to have writing on the backburner, and somehow, fell into it as if by chance or destiny.  Some did not even know if they were any good.  Examples are:  Stephenie Meyer, Janet Evanovich, Lalita Tademy and Sara Grwen.


11.  Their backgrounds are so diverse but there is a constant:  they persevered, and they write, write, and write.


12.  Some observe and listen for ideas, others have dreams, others write about what they know.  Sara Grwen saw a picture of a vintage circus and that instance; she knew she would write a story about that, even when she had started a complete different story.


13.  Some used ideas and modified them into complete different stories (careful with copyrights-this author made sure a lawyer handled all details).


14.  They all come across as very content with their lives.  And some of them had hardship or events that lead them into writing.


15.  Christopher Paolini wrote about what he always wanted to read about, but there just was not enough of it (Besinger).


16.  Some seem easy going, go with the flow, while others more uptight, others seem to have fun in the process like Gregory Maguire.


17.  Michel Chabon – “You have to live with the book on your head all the time, even when living your normal daily routine.”  Sometimes he goes away to write for a couple days, or two weeks.


18.  Elizabeth Gilbert – “There is only one way to tell a story and that is to tell it.”


19.   Jody Picoult says – “Ideas come from all over the place – for me usually about an issue that I do not have the answer to.  Characters pop up like mushrooms and take over the book.  I research the subject sometimes months before I start writing.”


20.  Brunania Barry self published 2000 copies, and then hired a PR company.  Took a leap of faith, quit her job, and wrote.  Always knew she wanted to be a novelist.  This book started as a dream.


21.  Mitch Albom weaves own anecdotes into his stories.  He uses a song in every book, kind of his trademark.


22.  Lisa Scittoline – “Try to write something that is inside you, you open your heart and readers open theirs.”


23.  Harlan Coben – “I like to write with heart; otherwise it is not going to work for me.”


24.  Kate Jacobs – “The secret is being persistent and silencing this inner critic.”


25.  John Grisham – Writes mostly legal thrillers, but writes whatever he wants.  He has fun with the genre, he says he does not know where he is going as far as to stick with a genre – “You can’t get to serious, the pages have to turn”.  His style is very disciplined and structured – He writes from 6-12 m mostly 5-6-7-8+ pages a day.  Before writing he has to get his thoughts together.  He makes an extensive outline to follow 40 chapters.  He needs his outline.  Some of his books made into movie, The Appeal/The firm.


26.  Sherrilyn Kenyon – Acheron – “Over, under, around or through, there’s always a way to get where you want to go, you just have to find it.”


27.  Wally Lamb – “Write the book for yourself and let the audience that have to find it find it”.

28.  Anne Lamott – “Writing, just do it.”


29.  Gregory Maguire – “The consolation of the imaginary is not imaginary consolation.”  “Your inventive culture/world should be convincing.  Work this world in your mind, even if you do not write the details in the story.”


30.  Jamie Lee Curtis – “I don’t do it (writing) for achievement, it is pure expression for me.”


31.  Debbie Maccomber – She is an inspiration, she was dyslexic and learned to read in 5th grade.  She loves being a writer.


32.  Claire cook – “Just try it; small steps every day take you there.”  It took her 25 years because she was afraid of the big step.


33.  Donald Trump – Think Big and Kick Ass – “Keep your left up”.  “Never ever quit.”


34.  Nora Roberts: “Well, first: there ain’t no muse. If you sit around and wait to channel the muse, you can sit around and wait a long time.”  She says writing is not effortless.  “So I work really hard to make it as fluid as possible, as readable and entertaining as possible.”

35.  Kate DiCamillo does not do research.  Her book just shows up.


36.  Maggie Stiefvater – “To aspiring authors:  read, read, and read.”  She didn’t take any creative writing classes.


37.  The idea of a character of your book writing a book – James Patterson.


38.  Writing under different pen names – Jayne Ann Kretz is (Jane Castle and Amanda Quick); Lori Foster is L.L. Foster.


39.  Age dilemma when writing – addressing age appropriate dilemmas is important when writing your story.


40.  Eloisa James writes 20 pages a day.  She says that writing is hard work, it is tough.


Well my friends, here you have it:  Many hours of listening compiled into 40 tips for you to enjoy, and apply to your craft.  I love tip number 26.































How Music Influences your Writing

English: Part of the Mood Music Group

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Have you ever thought that what is playing while you are writing may influence your mood?  Despite your writing style and your taste in music, there is a correlation between your mood and the music you are listening to at the time you are writing.  It permeates the piece you are creating at a particular moment.  Of course, this does not happen all the time, as a rule, but you can use music as a tool for writing.

Many best-selling authors play a particular cd in the background to write a particular chapter of a book, or scene.  It inspires them to create the mood in the writing.  Next time you are writing a love poem, try some romantic music on the background.  You will see the shift in mood.  If you are writing a chapter where action takes place, play some rock or fast music.

Movie soundtracks are great too.  The shift in music allows you to play with different moods.  Sometimes, the best writing is done in silence, but for those moments when you need a jolt of sentiment, music does the trick.  If you are stuck in a particular chapter of a novel, try listening to music according to the scene – this will help for sure.

There are many ways you can create a mood for writing; music is just a tool that you can use to shake your muse.

Favorite Writing Aides

Screenshot of Shirley Temple from the film The...

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Every writer has its own writing style, schedule, method or modus operandi.  These things influence your output and productivity, and ultimately how serious you take your craft.  There are also those “essentials” that you as a writer, “cannot live without,” and are always present at your desk.  These, of course, are different for every writer.  Among the things that I surround myself with, are these favorites.  They make my writing time more enjoyable, and somehow, more productive – maybe because they are a source of delight and practicality.  Here is my list.

  1. PC and printer.
  2. Plenty of scrap paper to jot down ideas, themes, and anything that may pop in my mind.
  3. Plenty of pens and pencils – Mostly, I type on a PC (my number 1 essential), but sometimes notations have to be done fast or when the computer is not on.
  4. An electronic American Heritage Dictionary, thesaurus, speller.
  5. An electronic Franklin translator (the PC works fine for this, but for some reason, I end up using this one more).
  6. A favorite CD playing – Inspires me.
  7. My camera – for those Blog shots.
  8. A duster – Yes, I hate to type on a dusty keyboard or to have a dusty screen in front of me.
  9. A copy of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann posted on my desk – It provides inspiration and grounding.  Next to it a copy of my own Creed – as a reminder.
  10. A posted copy of Be Yourself by Bruce B. Wilmer – Also for reminding me to keep on going.  Writing can be discouraging at times.
  11. A stapler – I keep hard copy of my articles on file.
  12. Essential books:  A copy of The Writer’s Market, Keys to Great Writing by Stephen Wilbers, How I Write by Janet Evanovich, and Grit for the Oyster.  These books are a wealth of knowledge for any writer, and also inspiration and a pick me up, when needed.
  13. A notebook with my passwords – cannot rely on good ol’ gray all the time.
  14. Owls and Crows – they inspire me.
  15. Finally, my lucky charm – A vintage Shirley Temple doll sitting on top of my desk – she is always ready to listen.  That is not to say that my six felines who come to visit me at the keyboard are the last on the list, they are pure joy and inspiration to me, and numberless.

Have you given any thought to what you surround yourself with to inspire your writing?  Can you improve your surroundings, and will it make a difference in your writing?  For me, these things fuel me up and give me pleasure.  What sparks your Muse?

To Creed or Not to Creed

What is a creed?  The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as:  “a statement of beliefs or principles.”  The origin is from the Latin credo – “I believe.”   In this fast-changing, high stress, quick-consuming world, the need to reaffirm our beliefs, our truth, is necessary to achieve the goals that we have proposed to ourselves.  Goal setting, planning, ambitions … all that is good, but in order to achieve our target, we must know what we want, why, and marry that to our belief system.  Anytime that there’s a “glitch” between the “wants” and “our truths,” the balance is off, and somehow, we don’t feel quite centered.  The harmony has been altered, and our focus, shifted.  The result is a deviation of our initial intent.  The goals that were set in excitement soon become out of target, far, or simply unattainable.  We lose our steam, our “mojo,” and the path that we were heading towards, soon disappears.  A feeling of discontent and emptiness hovers like a cloud over us, and sometimes, we ask to ourselves:  Why do I feel this way? – What’s wrong with me?  Not knowing the answer, we just accept the feeling of emptiness and we carry it around with us, until it blends in our soul.  I know, I was there once.

To answer the previous questions:  Nothing is wrong with you.  Simply said, “You are out of balance.”  Your “wants” and “your truth,” are not in perfect alignment with your self.  This is why writing your own creed is important.  It serves as a reminder, a beacon, to where you are headed.  This is the destination that you mapped:  your dreams, goals, desires – all those things that make life worth living, and that are personal and different for everyone.  Put your creed in writing; carry it around in your pocket or your wallet.  Read it every day as a reminder of your goals.

Before writing your creed, think of what you believe, who you are in the core, and what you want.  Visualize yourself with your trophy, in balance.  Then, write it down as if it already happened.  It should be no longer than a paragraph, short but very clear to you – so you can easily read it every day.  That is your creed.

What you believe, you become.  “And the word became flesh…”  (John 1:14)

Writing – The Dream Approach

Adam Elsheimer - Jacob's Dream - WGA7493

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Much has been written about dreams and their meaning.  There are many sleep clinics, and studies have been conducted on the subject.  Most people remember a dream, and for some, dreaming is as frequent as brushing their teeth.  While some hardly pay attention to their dreams, others, take them seriously, and analyze them, in search of guidance from the subconscious, or the universal mind.

However we happen to approach our dreams, one thing is certain – they are unique to each individual, and they paint a unique portrait.  When we dream, our subconscious is opening, unguarded, and we are honest with ourselves – there’s no hypocrisy in our dreams; they are rooted deeply.  They represent our goals, our fears, our preoccupation with daily events, or what we truly think.  Sometimes, they might appear meaningless or bizarre, or the result of a movie we had seen.  However, when you dig deeper, at your reactions and behavior in a dream, you can always find a piece of truth embedded.

For writers, dreams can be a bountiful source of inspiration.  One segment of a dream can become a best seller novel.  A great example of this is the novel Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  Writer’s block can be fought with a good dose of dreaming.

So, next time you “hit the sack,” make sure to place a piece of paper and a pen under your pillow.  Your muse will be thank you for it.