Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Swiss Miss

I'm Swiss by osmosis -- and by paying many Swiss francs many years ago to earn that nationality alongside my name.

I'm not that patriotic, but I do recall that August 1st is a Swiss National Holiday.

Instead of shvitzing in this heat upstairs by the computer, I should be out there somewhere, on a hillside, lighting fireworks and marching around with Chinese lanterns.

When I was about 12 years old, I visited my great-uncle and great-aunt in Geneva, Switzerland. It was August 1st and off we traipsed somewhere in the city's outskirts, I believe, to stand on a hillside and watch the glorious colors as the sky lit up with fireworks.

Funny thing about that? I was not even Swiss then! And now, here I am Swiss, and not lighting fireworks. What's wrong with me!!!

The Right To Write

Many of us suffer from writer's block. We didn't truly know we were writers until we had the urge to write and nothing was happening. That has happened to the best of us and has given us a syndrome: writer's block. "I really wanted to put something on paper, but I've been suffering --- from writer's block." "I think I have what you have -- writer's block." "I have so much to say, it just doesn't want to come out." Sound familiar?

A stagnant time. A brain lull. A quiet...because the disquiet and the need to write about it isn't there.

I own several books that have writing exercises meant to open your mind. Have I used any of these books ever? Nah...they just sit on the shelf and wait. Once in a while, I open them and just read some of the writing prompts because: 1. they are ridiculous or 2. they are often funny.

A wonderful Web site, www.writersdigest.com offers a section of writing prompts. Some of the ideas are so creative and would make wonderful assignments for school kids. Here's the latest prompt:

Hollywood producers are making a film based on your life and have put you in charge of casting. They want it as realistic as possible, so they ask that you pick actors and actresses who look the part. Who would you pick to play your family and friends, and, more importantly, who will play you?

Now, I want to tell you about my friend Randi. She wrote a wonderful post about her writer's block. What is the key word in that previous sentence: "wrote"! Someone with writer's block wrote a post, claiming that they were suffering from writer's block. Huh? Not only did she write a post, she wrote a funny post, which is often her style, and a wonderful and creative image accompanied that post.

Guess what, Randi? Your post about writer's block inspired this post... Now what do you have to say about that?!

If you think you suffer from writer's block, don't try too hard, and don't announce it to us; just step back for a while, go about your life and something no doubt will inspire you. Whether that's tracking the mundane activities in your daily life, whether it's writing about family and friends, pets, and professional people; whether it's skipping through your blogroll and peeking in at others' posts, something is sure to stir you. (my previous post was inspired by my looking through a Talbots catalog) And guess what? No doubt soon enough you'll have "something to write home about" and I'm guessing the ideas will just keep coming!

Today's post has been brought to you by the letters W R I T E and by the exclamation point!