Archive for the ‘Where Are You Stuck?’ Tag
Amy’s Own has been published! To see if you are intrigued by the story and like my style of writing, the first 3 chapters are available for sampling here.
Amy’s Own may be purchased as an ebook through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, and as an ibook through Apple’s iTunes. Print books may be purchased from Amazon or directly from the author.
To all who shell out the $2.99 for the ebook or splurge and spend $14.99 on a print copy, I say thank you, grazie mille, and l’chaim!
Please feel free to share you thoughts, comments, and criticisms. Leave a comment here or email katwardphoto(at)msn.com. I look forward to hearing from you…
17 March 2012: It’s been a while. These past months, in addition to shooting headshots and writing for Hometown Pasadena (thank you, Colleen!), I have been immersed in helping organize a book festival for Pasadena, CA.
LitFest Pasadena was scheduled for today, Saturday, March 17th. I have time to sit in front of my computer because even though our winter has been quite dry, a weekend storm decided to dump a lake-full of rain and plunge the temperature into the low 50’s (way too cold for us thin-skinned Southern Californians!). We have postponed the event to May 12th as the Old Farmer’s Almanac states that rain has only fallen once in the last ten years on that day, and it won’t be too close to the massive, size-of-a-little-city event that’s called the L.A. Times Festival of Books, which is in April.
Fingers crossed for date #2.
The upside is that in having a deadline for LitFest, my partners and I at Lovely pubs, our new indie publishing company, have finished our first products.
Lori Bertazzon already has her Where Are You Stuck? self-help workbook that’s selling and going strong. Her husband, Kevin Bertazzon, in addition to ISMS: A Faery Mobster Story, now has his graphic novel Too Bubbly printed which looks amazing and is laugh-out-loud funny; and I have finally finished—and printed—my novel Amy’s Own.
A paperback copy is ready with your name on it!
Amy’s Own is $14 plus shipping, which runs $6. If you have any questions, you can email me at katwardphoto(at)msn(dot)com.
I’d like to make this post longer, but my brain is fried, and not in a tasty grilled cheese kind of way.
I’ve been having the time of my life finishing the book and working on LitFest, but it’s been heaps more work than I thought it would be, and this here almost 1/2 century ol’ body of cells is not what it once was. Time is a creepin’ and a sneekin’ up on meh! So, I’m hunkering down for the rest of the weekend in hopes of recouping some essential vigor. I’ll be in touch…
What a difference 24 minutes makes (and 15.46 miles). From procrastination to proliferation; from unfocused to driven; from stuck to inspired—thank you South Pasadena.
After eleven years of living in the Hollywood flats (south of Sunset Boulevard), I felt claustrophobic in the mishmash of my neighborhood. Initially, I loved being in the thick of it. Going through a divorce with an 8-month-old baby in my care, the apartment I found was affordable and in a building with great neighbors (mostly Latinas, every one of them generous and friendly). I like that I was raising my daughter in the “real” world of haves and have-nots, with all colors and cultures. She was also exposed to the world of the homeless who talk with themselves, shout out to the ethos, huddle in doorways, sleep in boxes, or stop to say “Hello” as we sat eating outside at Baja Fresh. She could see that they were different, some even scary, but also that they were people; people without homes, without comfy beds that had sheets, blankets and pillows, without their own bathroom, kitchen and a sofa for lounging (everything that she had).
Initially, this world spurred on my writing. Late at night as I looked out my window, the city lights reflecting off the low clouds creating a yellow-green hue to my world, I wrote diligently. But years and years of police sirens, ambulances, car horns, loud drunks and party-goers were wringing out my last nerve—my hand had to constantly hold the t.v. clicker so I could raise or lower the volume depending on how expressive the neighborhood was feeling. I began to feel bland and uncreative; too many hours spent like dead weight on the couch. Down to a cellular level, I was aching for something else.
Pasadena Garden by Diggers Garden Club
Artist Jennifer Frank introduced me to a woman who had raised her kids in South Pas. They had attended SPHS (after paying tuition for the Sequoyah School for eight years, I was doggedly looking for a free high school). I met her while walking in the Arroyo. That very afternoon, she called me up and told me of an apartment for rent right across the street from her house. I wheedled and charmed the landlords (had to; bad credit) and got just what I needed—a bigger apartment that doesn’t share a single wall—finally a quiet night’s sleep versus my neighbor washing his dishes at midnight, dumpster divers right outside my window, or tenacious helicopters with search lights. Best of all, a tub length shower versus an upright, coffin-sized stall shower and a 10 minute drive to my daughter’s school! I suddenly had an extra two hours on my hands five days a week. Divine.
With my time, I have edited my friend Lori Bertazzon’s self-help workbook Where Are You Stuck? (very little money, but an absolutely thrilling endeavor); have a local professional copyediting my novel Amy’s Own and have started this blog loosely based on my current novel Keeping Sane, and Other Aspirations.
The biggest ego-boost has been meeting (again through Jennifer Frank) and being hired by Colleen Bates of Prospect Park Media, a small publishing company in Pasadena. Colleen authored the outstanding guidebook Hometown Pasadena. She created a website of the same name and, after doing a few freebie posts, I was hired to write about local events, kid-focused fun, new shops, charity fundraisers and do monthly interviews. I get to go to businesses, use my photography skills and write up stories. I get to read books, be introduced to someone’s artwork or music, formulate questions and conduct interviews. I am having the time of my life.
I stay up until two in the morning, sleep five hours and awaken with the alarm to get my girl ready for school and don’t miss a beat. One day when she was off on a Sequoyah School camping trip, I stayed up all night, not going to bed until 1 p.m. the next day—I was so amped with ideas, I couldn’t wait to put them all down on paper. I was walking on air. Well actually, I was walking on Oxley Street. My new street lined with California Craftsman bungalows and endless trees—where I can walk in the quiet (even at midnight), and let ideas germinate, words gush and adrenalin pump.
Thank you, Hollywood; you did me well, but I have to let you go.
Now, my spirit is excited, my mind humming, my writing hand aching, and my composition books are filling up. Hello, San Gabriel Valley.
*Thank you to Petrea Burchard and her blog Pasadena Daily Photo
for inviting me to guest blog this piece; she’s a wonderful photographer with an intriguing eye. I recommend checking out her work.
Blogging on my day-to-day experience doing the Where Are You Stuck? workbook by Lori Bertazzon.
(The first part when writing about the word-of-the-day is to just free write; purely an emotional response.)
Michel Keck at michelkeck.com
Day 2 word: Resistance
I’ve always thought of resistance as a good thing. The oppressed resist their oppressors—the American Revolution, Arab Spring, Libya. Blacks and women resist racism and sexism. We have to resist to achieve equality because the world will not just offer it up, especially when “they” consider you outside the norm, a member of the “other.”
And then, there’s resistance to change. Trust and believe in my talents and abilities? Resist! I resist truly believing in myself, which then handcuffs and paralyzes me.
When resistance is a societal reaction, great! When the resistance is within me, to me, FOR me, then I need to address it and change.
Lori says resistance is information. Okaaaay…I’ll take a look at that. Harrumph.
(The questions posed next in the workbook ask us to respond objectively, to be our own observer.)
Did you find any beliefs contrary to what you thought you believed or contrary to what you want? Resisting myself, resisting my belief and trust in my talent is definitely contrary to what I want.
Where did that old belief come from? Society as a whole taking the macro view; my family when looking through the micro-lens. My family was supportive of my art, but I received the strong, silent message that creating art was not a career of. Art is admirable, but it’s not a career. So, when I feel drawn and compelled to create, I feel like a failure from the very start—like I have to drown my joy, dreams and desires just as I’m about to jump gleefully and giddily into the world’s greatest waterhole.
As a teenager, I had rebelled via my depression for so long, but didn’t really get a lot of pleasure from my art. I then put it away for years. Then, when I reconnected to writing and it truly was the time to rebel (not through depression, but through creating art), instead I towed the line.
Are you willing to let your old belief go? Yes! …but, that’s a bit scary; not sure I can.
Claude Monet's "Water Lilies: the Clouds"
How could you positively flip that old belief? What belief would you like to have? I resist the conventional definition of what having a “responsible” career means. I believe that my talent of writing is a gift and an asset to myself and society as a whole since it is unique to me, and no one else has my particular “voice.” I believe that focusing on my writing and helping other people’s quality art works emerge into the public forum and receive attention and recognition is a worthwhile and necessary goal.
Is there anything keeping you from believing it (i.e. fear, block, resistance, negative thought, low vibrating energy)? Hell, yeah! Scared to death of failing. Big talk about following dreams, yet I’m almost half a century old, got 5 cents in my pocket and nothing I’ve created so far has ever been thoroughly realized. Fear, blocks, resistance, the whole lot—they’re hanging on tight!
Take a deep breath. Now, let all that go. Read you new belief.
End of day 2…
© 2011 Article by Kat Ward
For those of you who were interested in my posts about the Where Are You Stuck? A 21-Day Writing Exploration workbook, I have decided to share my experience with you as I do the book again.
Please feel free to comment with any questions, observations, and to purchase a workbook of your own!
The first pages of the workbook are about free-writing. Page 1 simply asks, “Where Are You Stuck?” To which I replied, “Everywhere!”
No, actually, what I came out (as I wasn’t aware of what I was going to say or where it would go) was my worry about my new endeavor—into the publishing world—failing, like all my past efforts into anything. And failure usually means that I make no money, or not enough money. And, I can’t wash off the big loser “L” on my forehead—which I see every time I look in the mirror.
Page 2: What do you want or desire for your life?
Kat: I want to succeed in my new endeavor, while also not forgetting and succeeding in my own writing (editing Amy’s Own and to finish writing Keeping Sane, and Other Aspirations). I want to trust my instincts, follow my instincts, while also honing my “be rational and practical” skills that are questionable. I want my new endeavor to be so different and out of the box that it catches fire and I figure out a way to make it sell, getting recognition for the creative parties involved. I want all my creativity to finally generate substantial monies so that I can support my family.
Page 3: Write about any person, place, thing, fear, block, resistance or negative thought you feel is an obstacle to having the life you want.
Kat: Uh, yikes.
I fear that I am ignorant of what I need to know and what I should know before I dive headfirst into my new business. I’m afraid I will fail (again!) and be broke (even more than usual!).
I’m afraid that I’ll become discouraged and feel hopeless if I come upon too many roadblocks, and then I will doom the project.
I’m afraid I won’t see what I need to see to be smart and make the “right” decisions.
I’m afraid that if a crack shows in my enthusiasm, that I will feel like this is all a waste of time (and I’ve wasted so much of my time in years already), and I will fall into depression and doom the whole project, and be broke (even more).
Now, I need to go back to these three pages and circle words that jump out at me (for any reason, don’t overthink it). At the back of the workbook are one and a half pages of words with blank spaces where I can write “my” words. Then, I will go and cut out 21 words to cover my twenty-one days of the workbook and put them in a jar. Once that is done, I shall blindly pick a word and that will be the word I write about on Day 1.
See you in a few….
© 2011 Articles on Where Are You Stuck? workbook by Kat Ward
Aaaah, finally. We had champagne (okay, Kevin had chocolate almond milk). Lori made a toast. I made a toast. Kevin drank a huge goblet of chocolate almond milk. Hugs all around. Lots of smiling. Repeat.
Lori Bertazzon’s self-help workbook Where Are You Stuck? A 21-Day Writing Exploration has finally arrived! The boxes are full, the books are inside; I can actually hold one in my hand.
My first “Edited by” credit. My friend’s year-long journey that began with her questioning her ability to even write a book (sound familiar, writers?). Our hours and hours of face time, home writing and editing, emails back and forth. Her husband Kevin’s impassioned designing, page by page, all thoroughly thought out. It was a great ride—I had a complete and utter blast.
So, here’s the pitch. If you are stuck in your career, in your creativity, in your personal life—then this book is the place for you. The process is to clarify where you are stuck, what you want and desire, and what you believe to be your obstacles. Through a process of mining significant words (for you), you learn to truly understand your beliefs in regard to that particular word, how it affects you and your life, then decide whether or not this belief is a positive or negative influence, and if it’s negative, to flip it to create a new belief that will help you reach your goals and desires.
Having worked with Lori privately (she does individual sessions, either in person or over the phone) and completed the workbook (I still randomly pick words when I’m feeling stuck), I can say that where I was a year ago and where I am now—living in a new, wonderful town in a lovely apartment on a beautiful street; getting my first paid writing gig; starting my blog; starting a brand new novel; and actively getting out my query letters for my completed novel—I am so enthused, focused, determined, motivated and inspired. To Lori and her abilities, to Lori and her workbook, I am forever grateful. And thankful.
Here’s Lori in her own words:
We identify where you are stuck or where you are looking for forward movement in your life and what obstacles are based on old patterns and beliefs. Through our conversation I help you identify how the obstacles can be moved through and/or what is creating them. From there we can see which action steps can be taken to move you forward.
The workbook came from the work I do in the consultation. I believe we all have the information we need within ourselves but past experiences may have created negative thoughts and experiences which cloud our ability to see and trust what we know. The workbook helps you get clear and discover what you truly believe about (your) life so you can make conscious choices to change it.
The 3-hour workshop is an introduction to me and the workbook exercise. I offer a 4-week workshop which meets once a week and works through the workbook together. The workbook is an option for those doing private consultations.
Contact information: Lori Bertazzon
Cost of the workbook: $14.95 plus shipping
Thanks again for inviting me to your fabulous workshop! It was really great. And (as it should be) it came along just at the right time. I’ve been really trying to crack a few things to be able to move forward, and today really helped!
Since I started working with Lori, my life has transformed. She’s helped me find a way to reduce my stress and anxiety and to focus on what I want in life. Because of the work I have done with her, I feel more confident, more prosperous and definitely more alive. Every day is a new adventure and I credit Lori with helping me move in a positive life-changing direction. I would definitely recommend her to anyone who wants to let go of old negative patterns and embrace a new more empowered life.
Lori has a gift. There is no doubt about it. Lori’s work has helped me to get in touch with inner obstacles that I was at times not even aware I had (in life and in my work as an actor) and helped me to find constructive and practical ways to move through them. Lori’s knowledge, intuition, and nurturing state of being allows for an atmosphere of trust and fearless creativity. She has a way of unlocking the truth behind every problem, big or small, and her guidance is invaluable. I leave a session with Lori feeling a sense of lightness and clarity. If I could only carry her around in my pocket, I would be set!
THANK YOU for your unbelievable generosity today. Your work blew me away. You were so clear and got right to the point. I really enjoyed watching you work with everyone and I learned a lot today. I was inspired… Your work is very special and you are VERY talented. You really opened my heart, eyes and creative spirit again.
© 2011 Get Your W.A.Y.S. Workbook – Available Now! by Kat Ward.
Image by Jong Soo(Peter) Lee via Flickr
Yesterday, I submitted my 4th post for review to the Hometown Pasadena publisher/author/boss-woman Colleen Bates. She responded, approving of the piece (“lovely job.”), and indicated that she wanted to speak with me about a “steady freelance gig.”
After swapping emails, I can now scribe in the annals of Kat Ward that this is my first official WRITING job.
I AM BEING PAID TO WRITE!
Yee-ha & hoo!
Between physically holding Lori’s workbook Where Are You Stuck? and seeing my “Editor” credit; experiencing Kevin Bertazzon’s ISMS and being asked to help edit his next espisode; and beginning to write blurbs for the Hometown Pasadena website and within submitting 4 posts, being hired!–this has been the best week in like a decade!
Hallelujah and thank you, Baby Jesus!