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My Books With Links update 12/11/12

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Lessons in Writing Fear & Love

In helping a young author learn to write emotions, I gave a simple assignment: write the emotions of a woman who just saw the love of her life walk through the door. Next, write the emotions of the same woman who just saw a stranger with a gun walk through the door. In neither description can you say “love” or “hate/fear,” and you must show without telling.

To be a good teacher, I also participated in this little lesson. We both had the same outcome: writing the emotion of love was almost exact to writing the feeling of fear. I found that quite interesting. It certainly is a fine line.

if u can write

 

 

 

 

 

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author

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Presenting in DC

Last week I was excited to be given the opportunity to attend and speak at the National Council for Literacy convention in Washington DC. This came very last minute, down to the days, but I made it. For those who don’t know, DC is clear across the country for me. Thanks to Frontier airlines, I made the trip for $244 round trip, which meant I could drag my son along. Perk!

I spoke on Saturday at the convention to a small group from Vermont;  they were wonderful, friendly, and quite receptive. I then had the privilege to hear another group speak. It was fascinating to hear about so many literacy programs in the k-12 circuit. All-in-all, I was honored to be there to represent the High Desert Chapter of the California Writer’s Club DCB Memoir Project.

111The Dorothy C Blakely Memoir Project challenges seniors at a local high school to take on the task of picking a senior citizens, conducting interviews, and writing their memoir. They are given a once monthly class, put on by the HDCWC, to teach interviewing skills, point of view, and creating a memoir among other things. The memoirs are critiqued over the course of the program, until the final draft is turned in. They are then edited, and selected for publication. Not all memoirs are published. The HDCWC then takes the selected memoirs and  creates a cover, creates a template, and finally creates an anthology of the memoirs. The seniors graduate as published authors. In 2014, this project was recognized by the National Council for Literacy, and was presented as a literacy project in Washington DC…which I presented at.

This is a wonderful program, and I’m grateful to be a part of it. I love teaching.

Fun fact: Most the students who participate are NOT aspiring authors.

Tania L Ramos, RN

www.HDCWC.com for more info   To see last year’s memoir: AMAZON

 

Shattering Two Souls

Its funny what perspective can be gained from writing characters. Are they insights into our own souls, or are they pieces of coal that a character turns into diamonds? I’d like to thank these characters for one of the best scenes ever:

“Don’t buy into it. Don’t buy into ‘a soul is half whole until it finds its other half.’ Two souls wander the earth until they find their perfect match, and then and only then do they become whole and know how simple and easy loving can be.

Bullshit!

A person is whole. A soul is whole. There are no halves. One does not give 50% and think that they can get 100% from that. Love is brutal. It’s a big huge pain in that ass that breaks your soul. It breaks your heart from being so afraid that you’ll lose it at any moment. And only when you have been truly shattered can you pick up the pieces with her. You pick up the pieces, yours and hers, and you put them together to build something new. Something that isn’t half you and half her, where you take sides, but something that is beautifully put together, where you don’t know where she ends and you begin.”

“I’ve been shattered for two years since she left. Since I let her leave.”

“Boo hoo. Two years. Is she dead? are you dead? Do you still love her? Of course you do,  you’re shattered! You lucky bastard!”

Shattered_Glass_by_intothewest

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author

Copyright @TaniaLRamos 2014 No reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the author.

Spring Girl

Thought I’d share one of those 4 a.m. poems. I’ll let you figure out what its about, but damn!

Spring Girl

Spring is a place to live so free
The fields of gold, the hurting tree
The spec of a girl with eyes blue as the sea

Summer sun burns so unfair
Words and snickers also there
The spring girl with the burnt brown hair

Fall drops pain from its fingertips
Shunning and bruising wicked tricks
The spring girl with the rosy pink lips

Winter shatters and freezes out sin
People are cruel again and again
The spring girl with the pasty pale skin

Retrieved from: http://vi.sualize.us/face_hair_eye_face_woman_picture_a3WK.html

A season turns like a wily fox
Laugh at your joke, throw your rocks
Stare at the spring girl in the pretty wood box

Copyright @TaniaLRamos 2014

Tania L Ramos, RN, Author

The 4 a.m. Poet

Every day we live, we learn. If you think you know everything about yourself then you are most certainly wrong. Opinions change from day to day, and one simple bad experience, or one wonderful great experience can sway you in an entirely different direction.

There are paths in life; some you chose, some you follow, some are pre-designed. For example; my daughter was adamant that she would hate surf school, that she would drown, be left out in the big waves alone, and most likely die. After much convincing, and the promise that she only had to try once then could walk away, she gave it a go. Wouldn’t you know (because I knew) that she loved it!

We just don’t know what we can do until we do.

I for one appreciate poetry, but a poet I am not. My brain thinks in long strands with elaborate situations, much to wordy for poetry. Then I had a two day run with messing up my internal sleeping clock. Day two was quite unique in that I promptly fell asleep at 9 p.m. then promptly woke up at 1 a.m. Wide awake! About 3 a.m. I was able to fall back asleep, but by 4 a.m. my brain was back on. Well, I assume it was back on, though the part of the brain that tells the body its awake was off. I remember 4 a.m. like I remember 10th grade geometry.

aa4But there on my phone was proof that some kind of electrical function was fusing at 4 a.m. Three poems on my phone, all written within 45 minutes of each other. Three very very different poems from heartache to funny to surreal all stared at me at 7 a.m. with the option to “save.” I was amazed; dumbfounded! They weren’t half-bad and one made me laugh. Maybe I’ll be sleep deprived a few more days, because apparently I’m only a poet at 4 a.m.

Tania L Ramos

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My Dream Never Gave Up On Me

Why I became a writer is the equivalent to asking an artist why they became an artist, or why a baby was born a baby, or why a cat became a cat. It just is. In this day and age of people pointing out we are born with certain choices and born without others the answers become clear that we just are.

I have ventured in many different paths since the age of twelve when I realized there was something different about me. While others kids were out playing for recess, I was inside the classroom playing with geometrical puzzles and holding the best conversations with the voices in my head. It just was; there was never a choice. I turned every and any situation into something dramatic, larger than life, and exciting, and the constant march of voices encouraged me all the way. I may have been an introvert, but I was never alone. For the most part, I assumed I was crazy and kept this to myself.

I failed every English class in high school and had to make them up in my senior year. However, I passed (with flying colors) Journalism, Creative Writing, Summer Youth Writing at USC, Poetry, and any other writing program thrown my way. My counselor scratched his head and asked me to explain. “I hate the boundaries of English class,” I told him. “But writing a story comes so easy.”

I blew away the instructors at the USC Writing program–I was only fourteen when I was asked to go. At any prompt they gave, I would have three full pages of a story in an hour, where others had half a page. I was disqualified from so many writing contests because my stories were too long. The other kids wrote short stories, I was writing sagas. In nineth grade I wrote a full length novel … there were no junior high writing contests for novels. Other kids were winning awards and off to competitions, I was nursing the callouses on my fingers after typing my 300th page. I didn’t need competitions or awards, I only needed to write.

One fateful day my favorite senior class teacher told me that becoming a writer would be the same as trying to be a rock star, famous model or actress. “Nobody ever really makes it,” he said. And so I stopped dreaming…but we are what we are. Over the course of 23 years I continued to “closet” write because I may have given up on my dreams, but my dream never gave up on me.

I became a writer because I had no choice. I was given a gift. And it may have taken me nearly two decades to accept that gift as mine, but it was always there waiting for me. There were always voices, characters, stories playing in my head. There was always a jotting down of ideas on napkins, the back of my hand, my blue jeans, my child’s diaper, and even the fog on the shower door.

I am a writer because I am.
I am a writer because my dream never gave up on me.

Photo art courtesy of: Daniel Mariano

Photo art courtesy of: Daniel Mariano

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
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New Amazon Feature Can Help Authors

Here’s a new take on two things already in our author superhero utility belt: the #AmazonCart. This is a new tool, courtesy of the powers at Amazon, that allows Twitter users to add your book (or any other product)from Twitter directly to their Amazon shopping cart. Fancy that! Readers no longer have to leave their Twitter feed and get redirected. Can this new feature help published authors?

Here’s how it works:
Simply post a tweet that has your Amazon link and ask the reader to reply with #AmazonCart. This will not only alert you that someone has put your book in their cart, but it will also directly add your product into their shopping cart. The next time they log onto Amazon your book will already be there.
This appears to be a pretty novel concept. How many times have I scrolled across books that looked interesting, but didn’t want to be redirected, and later forgot what book that was? Oh so many. With this new option the book will automatically be in their cart. I always said Amazon was the devil, now they entice us with these wonderful new resources. Devil indeed.

The down side: The Twitter user must have their Twitter account linked into their Amazon account for this to work. It’s a new idea so I’m unsure how many people have their accounts linked.
What are your thoughts? Is this a method you will try? Do you think it has merit?

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
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