Inspirational Pictures

I have not done an inspirational picture post in a while, and since it is Wednesday, hump day, why not? These, I took around my home. I gave them titles to inspire you.


Photo by MAD

Photo by MAD


Photo by MAD

Photo by MAD


Photo by MAD

Photo by MAD

I hope you enjoy these and wish that they inspire you to write/create.

Acceptance is Transformation

Following my earlier post about core topics on my novels, I decided to write today about the core theme in Ramblings of the Spirit. Although there are many themes throughout the novel, these are driven by one core theme – acceptance. I mentioned before that change is transformation, but before transformation takes place, acceptance must be present.

Acceptance just as change, is never easy. This is because when we come to the point (at a place in heart and mind) to accept, we have fought a battle (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually). If we are to receive growth and transformation, we must let acceptance in. Acceptance is very personal and different for individuals . Why? Because it draws from all the above mentioned (four) areas and prepares the person (the whole) to undergo transformation.

In Ramblings of the Spirit the theme of Acceptance is shown through different characters, but mostly through Dinorah Sandbeck, the main character. At one point or another in our lives, we will undergo change and transformation, and in between, lies acceptance. The battles that we fight in the four areas of our whole persona are fought at once, whether we realize it or not. Acceptance becomes the vehicle, the bridge towards transformation. When we learn to accept, we open these four areas to receive, and to receive what fits us at the moment of transformation. Acceptance does not equal resignation or giving up, on the contrary, it keeps us going so we can be transformed. When we accept, we view our situation with the eyes of understanding, knowledge, physical strength, and spiritual discernment – all leading to transformation.

I leave you with an excerpt from Ramblings of the Spirit (Book 1 of The Dinorah Chronicles). It is a good example of the senses and four areas engaged during transformation.

“The run there cleared my thoughts. I was ready to handle the consequences, for better or worse. The water was cold so I sat by the dock. The water had a purifying effect on my soul, always did. Every time I visited the lake, I felt renewed. The sound of the water hitting the canoes was relaxing, and the scent of dead leaves was intoxicating. I abandoned myself to the kiss of the sun and the coldness of the dying grass. The sky was crisp blue and a few clouds seemed to dance on it. All this magnificence surrounded me, and yet I felt so tiny inside. My heart was shriveled with pain, the pain and fear of …” – Dinorah Sandbeck.


Cover for Ramblings of the Spirit

Cover for Ramblings of the Spirit



Blogging versus Writing

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Бесе...

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Беседа), 51.1 x 61.3 cm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I want to talk/write about the distinction between blogging and formal writing when you are a writer/author or work as a freelance writer. I say distinction because blogging and writing share many similarities as well as differences. I guess the question that I want to address here is, “Do you write as you blog?  No, I don’t, and I hope the answer is no for many.  For me, blogging is more about having a conversation, similar to the conversation you would have with someone at a coffee shop, for example. You let your guard down a bit, enjoy your coffee, the company, and talk about what is going on with you, your work … but also, listen to the other party, and share his/her interests.  When blogging, I may start a sentence with the words and, or, and I may use the words ending in ally with or without disregard, and tons of adverbs, depending on what I want to convey, and the mood.  It doesn’t mean that I advocate sloppy blogging. It means that I feel comfortable enough in the conversation to let go of some rules of writing and talk to readers of the blog as I would talk to a friend in casual conversation.

When writing a novel or working on an assignment, editing becomes the friend. It has been said that there is a conversation between an author and the readers of a novel (and there is); however, that conversation happens in the mind, between the lines, and certainly, after my friend “the editor” has meddle in the conversation.

Another point to consider is the purpose of the blog. Blogs that are formal, informative, and cater to a specific group of readers, should follow the applicable sets of rules, very different from conversational blogs that aim to grow a community, start a conversation, and share among bloggers/readers. I follow the same conversational rules for social media. I’d rather say “see you later gators,” than say, “I will see you later, alligators” – just to give you a common example. If I was writing an instructional, informative, or “formal post,” I would follow suit.

One thing that I find no need or excuse for in blogging or any other social media outlet, is bad etiquette, bad manners, personal attacks, improper use of language, and sloppiness (laziness). But to each its own.

As a writer/author or as a reader, how do you feel about blogging and formal writing? I would love to hear your opinion.

What’s in a Name?

Spanish Language Wikipedia logo

Spanish Language Wikipedia logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Short answer – Nothing and everything.

Why? Naming something, whether a character, selecting your author name, or naming a website … unfortunately gives an impression to the person who happens to read it – positive or negative, maybe even neutral. Some authors opt for using a pen name because their names are not “suitable” for the genre they are writing, or because they prefer not to use the real name.  As an example, I will use my own. When you read my author name (Maria Antonia Diaz), you may (or not) assume that I write in Spanish, when I don’t; so far inspiration has come in English, but that doesn’t mean anything because one day, I may sit down and write a novel in Spanish (translations do not count here). Perception of a name depends on many factors – personal, cultural, social … you get the idea. Fame adds another layer. As an example, I will mention J.K. Rowling (famous) and her recent pen name of Robert Galbraith (not famous, at least until he became J.K. Rowling and the book started selling hot, hot, hot).

Recently, I was reading about the importance of obtaining the .com for your author name if available, and how to forgo another domain (.net, .org …) if it was already taken. The reason given is that people are conditioned to search for a .com first, and the mind makes an association with that first name (the .com owner). In addition, people will land on the .com first, and it may not be to your best interest if the association with the already taken domain is not a positive one, especially after so much work and dedication crafting your path. The author’s opinion was that it was better to obtain a .com by tweaking your name, or by choosing some important point/feature from one of your novels to drive attention to your work. This was when panic hit. I realized that I had never bother to see if a .com was available for my author name. After so many years of research and work, how this simple point escaped my attention? If I was so serious about my path as a writer, how something so basic eluded me? The answer to that had to do with how I viewed my two work-related domains, as an intricate part of me, the author. That was the wrong answer. Why? Because readers don’t make that connection, I do.  You can guess what happened next.

I found out that the .com was available, and I grabbed it. In addition, I decided to build a separate website as an author. It is in the making. I could have done that from the beginning, but Inkspeare was the name for this blog, and it is how it developed. Changing the name of it at this point, would be a mistake. This takes me once more, to the importance of thinking your author name and its developement, not only well, but separate from your other online personas/entities. You might view yourself as one and only one, but this is only your perception, and not necessarily translates into the reader’s perception. As far as readers concern, they don’t care about your other jobs, sites, or online entities; they just don’t make that connection that you have internalized.

If you are contemplating a career as a writer, a long and serious one, think about separating the author from your other online personas that do not relate to you as an author, and which readers will not make a connection with, because in reality, it does not pertain to your name as an author.  In the long run, it will be easier for you, and less confusing for the readers. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have many readers now because you are setting the foundation for your future as an author.

So what’s in a name? Nothing and everything.