Chronicling the journey of writing

S.N. Goenka Passes Away

September 30th, 2013 | Posted by Veronica Louis in Inspiration - (1 Comments)

by Veronica Louis

S.N. Goenka


S.N. Goenka, the principal teacher of Vipassana meditation, passed away yesterday at his residence in India. He was 90. My heart weeps for a man who has helped me realize the most important changes of my life. His discourses were always selfless and enlightening. He was all about love and advocated that truth was universal − that it belonged to everyone. He also clearly explained just how everything was impermanent, and has the characteristics of “arising, passing away… arising, passing away.”

He sought to help others find their own liberation. He helped me find mine.

This week is a sad week for the world of Dhamma, and the whole world over, the world has just lost an extraordinary being who touched the soul of many and showed them how to come out of their misery. He never professed to be a guru, nor a prophet. He was a teacher and he simply taught what he knew and led by example.

My heart weeps and smiles at the same time. Goenkaji led a full and exemplary life. He was liberated.

May he be happy, peaceful, liberated. Liberated.

When It’s Not Meant to Be

September 30th, 2013 | Posted by Veronica Louis in Inspiration - (0 Comments)

by Veronica Louis

Painting of a stick figure looking out a window

Painting: Joyce Quansah

For the past few months, I had been actively pursuing a “dream” writing job for a “dream” company. I spent months researching and preparing myself for the whole interview process. And come interview day (a two hour text-based chat through Skype) I was more than ready as well as high on anticipation. The interview had gone really well, and the next step was to complete a few writing assignments.

When I found out a couple of weeks ago that there was a hold put on hiring for the position, my heart sank. Sometimes, you believe so much that something is meant to be that you can almost taste it and feel it with all your might. So when things fell through, my confidence took a hit, and I fell through. I was so attached to the idea of getting this position that my vision had narrowed and could only focus on that one thing. When that prospect fell apart, my vision blurred and I found myself disoriented. (more…)

Does Turning 30 Suck?

September 10th, 2013 | Posted by Veronica Louis in Turning 30 - (0 Comments)

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by Veronica Louis

Three exclamation marks

Image: Veronica Louis

I recently came across Elmore Leonard’s writing rules and thought that he was right on the money. The recently deceased novelist wrote many books that were later adapted into film such as Get Shorty, Be Cool and Rum Punch (Jackie Brown). Leonard overall, encouraged authors to show instead of tell, to remain invisible and to rewrite if the writing sounds like writing.

My favorite suggestion? “If proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” That’s right, in the world of literature rules are meant to be broken.

The ten rules are described in detail in Leonard’s New York Times article Writers on Writing; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle

A Summary of the 10 Rules

1. Never open a book with weather.

2. Avoid prologues.

3. Never use a verb other than ”said” to carry dialogue.

4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb ”said” . . .

5. Keep your exclamation points under control.

6. Never use the words ”suddenly” or ”all hell broke loose.”

7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.

10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Daily Prompt: Can’t Drive 55

Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO!

by Veronica Louis

Sand Castle

Photo : Brent Hathaway

Hello. My name is Sanjie. I’m five and I like to draw and I like to talk a lot. My mommy says I talk too much. But I think it’s good to talk because talking makes me get better words and get other people to tell stories to me. And there’s a lot of stuff in my brain and I like to talk so that they come out of my brain and I can share with my mommy what’s in my brain. And I feel better when I do that.

I like going to the beach. We go to Plattsburg beach each year. Mommy says we were going there since I was a baby. But I don’t remember. My favorite thing to do is to go in the water. Mommy always puts the yellow jacket on me. She says it keeps me safe. But it’s hard to move around like I want in the jacket, in the water. It’s like I’m wearing ten sweaters with no sleeves.

One time I went in the water. And when Mommy wasn’t looking, I left the yellow jacket on the sand. And I was swimming ok. But when my feet did not touch down, I was not swimming ok. I was scared. My feet couldn’t touch anything. And I swallowed water. And my head couldn’t stay over the water line. So I just stopped kicking and I went down. I wasn’t scared anymore… there was nothing I can do. I was sad. (more…)