writing

81301 Coffee in Durango, Colorado

High Altitude Coffee

Writers who write first thing in the morning, even if before sunup—especially before sunup—often get their initial boost of wakefulness from coffee. I come from Seattle, so you’d think I knew something about coffee. Why Seattle has a reputation for coffee, I don’t know. All I remember from growing up was Mrs. Olsen, a Scandinavian, …

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S is for Shakespeare

My first experience with Shakespeare was a good one.  It was Hamlet. As a fifth grader much of it was over my head, but the ghost carried the day. Black and White, the film adaptation starring Lawrence Olivier sparked my interest. Recently I ran across video about Shakespeare, the first having to do with original …

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High Altitude Coffee writing

“J” is for Journey

Life is a journey, not a destination. Ralph Waldo Emerson A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. Joseph Campbell …

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"I" is for Imagination

What if? What if I had super powers, could fly, and bullets would bounce off of me? What if I solved crimes that stumped the police? What if I had a lavish expense account, stayed at the top hotels, had a lot of hot sex, and a license to kill? What if I was on …

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"H" is for History

In 1961, author Irving Stone wrote a fictionalized biography of Michelangelo called The Agony and the Ecstasy. He was making the circuit to promote his book. He appeared on an afternoon talk show where he described his research into the life of Michelangelo. His aim, he said, was to be as historically accurate as possible and …

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"G" is for genre

A genre is an expectation. Certain things are supposed to happen. Take the romance genre–there’s suppose to be love, lust, and seduction, and a happy ending. Won’t work if at the end a bunch of vampires appear on the scene and kill the happy couple. “The end.” Some friends suggested I join them at a “healthy” restaurant …

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"F" is for Fable

There are lots of “F” words out there–some used more often than others–some might say overused. The first is find. Finding the book. We’ve all been there—looking for that special book. You know, the one with the cool characters, with the compelling plot, and the captivating setting—that’s story we were hoping to find on the shelf of the bookstore, or available on …

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"E" is for Elegance

“E” could be for English, which is a language of elegance. In one sense, English is my third language, as it was the third language I learned, but it is my primary language now, so it is my first language. Over the years I have come to appreciate the elegance of English–rich in shades of meaning. Roots that …

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“D” is for Determination

How do I determine if I have enough determination? What deters me from showing full determination? It is to my detriment when my determination flags. Lack of determination derails me; it derails my writing; it derails all those lofty goals that I hold out for myself. Determination is illusive. I can’t order it up at …

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