Writing Well

What does it take to write well? I’m certainly not the person to spout forth on this. Yes, it is my goal to write well, to be a wonderful storyteller, to captivate with words, yet I don’t feel even close to that summit.

But climbing towards this lofty goal, I’ve found some guides who’ve made the way easier. These are writers whose commitment to excellence inspires me to better myself. I study them. I listen to their words, their language, their stories. And, in the midst of such explorations, I question who I am, what is my unique voice, how can I take these lessons and build my own authentic way of writing?

Here are some of the writers who inspire me to writing excellence:

Robert McKee, “Story: Substance, Style and Structure” McKee is the dean of Hollywood screenwriting gurus. His book, “Story,” is the Bible for screen writers. Why do I put this book at the top of my list? Because I believe that writing is storytelling, the essence of communication through the ages. Hollywood has spent a century perfecting the art of storytelling and McKee is the master teacher of storytelling through the medium of screenwriting.

Hemingway’s Top Five Tips on Writing Well.” A short yet complete article from Copy Blogger on the principles that guided Hemingway in his writing process.

William Zinsser, “On Writing Well.” The essence of good writing, simple and complete, always an inspiration and practical reminder of the path I must take to achieve writing excellence.

The Hero’s Two Journeys,” a seminar with Michael Haig and Christopher Voegler, two of Hollywood’s most sought after screenwriting consultants. Their seminar explores the roots of symbolic storytelling and lays out specific structure necessary to develop compelling plots.

Carl Iglesias, “The Six Essential Habits of Highly Successful Screen Writers.” An article in which Iglesias lays out the basics of screen writing, a.k.a. storytelling, success.

Stephen King, “On Writing.” Part memoir, part master class on creative writing, this is King’s story of the perils and principles of great writing and he has the credentials to stand behind his words.

Tio Stib, “A Blind Writer’s Guide to Excellent Audio Books.”
My book reviews of great books I’ve listened to, including a wide variety of genres and a list of Pulitzer Prize winners. My believe is that if I want to be the best I must study the best. That’s it for now. Any suggestions on other places to explore for writing excellence are welcome.

Best wishes for your writing success!

Tio Stib Signature

The Campfire

a lone form sits
in front of fire
a sacred glow
on sea of black

as sparks rise
to eternity
I warm my hands
cold nips my back

giant shadows shelter me
dark branches reach for stars
I shiver
then look out again
as time swims into hours

a tiny speck of being I am
no more no less than all
alone
yet somehow one
I know the peace of home

a hint of bright appears beyond
a light begins to grow
moon man crawls up into night
revealing worlds below

in silent silver majesty
on every hill I see
the silhouettes of noble elk
taking midnight tea

the curtain lifts
strange voices shriek
a thousand years unfold
as Nature’s unseen opera shouts
to spirits now and old

with these wild
coyote swoons
I watch Man’s dreams
fly past the moon

Tio Stib, 2015

You might also enjoy: Imagine Water, Dead Horse Point
Tags: Nature, campfire, Tio Stib, blind poet, blind writer, poetry, solitude, traveling, wildness,
wilderness, Oneness, moonrise, wonder, peace, home, tranquility

Tio Stib, 2015

You might also enjoy: Imagine Water, Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point

15649986108_30161cb9bb_z                                                                                    Image by Fred Moore

stone silent sat
the silhouette
in front of screaming sky
gold, orange, red
and brilliant blue
a day had drifted by

time ran lost
through canyons steep
sandstone carved by gods
warm wind echoed
ancient feet
ghosts passed by with nods

as my soul watched
from Life above
the dream below unfold
a gringo Buddha
slowly smiled
at stories yet
untold

tio stib, 2015

You might also enjoy: Promise, Imagine Water

Dirty Snow

Dirty Snow
there are days
sometimes weeks or more
when my spirit knows
that the purity of newness
the first flakes of snow
have been trampled
discolored
covered in ash and fallen smog
and life
my daily exercise
becomes a journey
of hope and expectation
waiting for the magic moment
when sun reveals
a patch of sparkling green
from beneath
dirty snow

tio stib, 2015

You might also enjoy: Weather Systems of the Mind, Seattle Sun

You

You
can never be possessed
only devoured
Delicately
Consumed with abandon
Caressed
Yet never touched

to love you
I must surrender
all desire to own
and release any hope
of forever

then
perhaps
from this gloried chaos
comes oneness

tio stib, 2015

You might also enjoy: Footprints, A Cure For The Valentine’s Day Blues

Footprints

standing silent on the sand
as time drains from my mind
I see a lone heart on the beach
a love that once was mine

you asked for love
you let me in
to see
your wounded soul
you shared your shame
but did I hear
sadly, I said “no”

your heart screamed
did I feel your pain
no,
I hid behind my walls
afraid to love again

I violated sacred trust
your tears a silent shout
and now lost in loneliness
mere words will never count

I know now a larger love
That cries we’re not apart
too late though in my emptiness
I see footprints on your heart

tio stib, 1995, 2015

You might also enjoy: A Cure For The Valentine’s Day Blues, Intimacy

The Ultimate Romantic Gift, or How To Save Your Ass When you’ve Really Made Her Mad

You spent last night on the couch, not because that’s where you fell asleep watching the female
mud wrestling championships, but because “She” the woman you’ve promised to forever hold
and cherish, stomped into the room in the middle of said championships and yelled, “You
worthless pile of bat guano! Do you know what day it is?” At which point She turned around and
disappeared into the bedroom, slamming the door so hard that the car alarm started screeching
in the garage.

Surprised, you watch the referee count down the final pin by ooze covered She Bitch, then turn
down the volume and consider what just happened.

A distant voice stirs in your subconscious. She said something about a day. What’s so special
about this day, besides the mud wrestling championships? Oh. A glimmer of recognition. The big
circle she’s been highlighting on the refrigerator calendar the past few days. The advertisement
for Cirque de Soleil tickets left obviously on the kitchen table. The extra cookies in the sack
lunch. She must have wanted something. Oops! Clarity looms in your limited consciousness.
Today is her birthday! What can you do now? First, go turn off the car alarm, the sound is
driving me crazy.

Much better. Now, since you’ll have the whole night on the couch to consider what to do next.
Let me start the process.

Remember The Love Game, (see previous post). She only expects you to do something nice
for her four times a year, those four sacred days are: birthdays, Anniversaries, Mom’s and
Valentine’s Day. In return, you get clean clothes, cooked food, and, hopefully, some delectable
moments in bed, not to mention the beer she brings you with the week’s groceries. All this for a
few measly niceties four times a year. So much for so little and now you’ve blown it.
Take heart, you’re not the first man to be so stupid, our short sighted history precedes you. But,
do not despair, help is on the way. Tio Stib is going to disclose how you can dig yourself out of
this hole.

First, remember the rules of The Love Game. Remember that women make the rules, meaning
only they really know what the rules are. there’s no way you’ll ever really know these rules.
Women know this, and they like it this way. They like being in control. They like knowing your
ego can be flattened at any moment with “”The Look.”” Yes, women like leaving us eternally
confused by this game. The good news is that most women have some sympathy for the sad
male condition, meaning they will grant opportunities for salvation if men do enough groveling.
So, let’s start groveling.

Face it guys, women like drama. It’s what makes them tick. Part of her reason for stomping into
the living room and raining on your mud wrestling parade was to put some drama into your
relationship. Yes, she was probably really pissed off too, but she wanted to make sure you
damn well knew that. So, how do we get back into The Love Game now that we’ve fallen off the
ladder?

Think Ultimate Romantic Gift. What would this be? What can you give her that will so amaze her
that your current worthless status will be immediately forgiven?
Please pay attention. What I’m about to share is the secret of many happy loving relationships.
There are three ingredients to the Ultimate Romantic Gift. First, it must be Wow! It must be
something so unexpected, so incredible that she can’t believe you’ve done this for her. Second,
it must be a surprise’ something that comes at a totally unexpected time. Something so WOW!
So unexpected that she’s speechless with wonder. And, lastly, it must be something from your
heart. A gift that shows that you really care, not something to make up for yesterday’s screw up.
This surprise gift is “just because.”

Simple, yes? So how do you pull this off?

Start by paying attention. Do your best Sherlock Homes imitation and begin looking for clues.
She’s often quite forthcoming in this way. Listen to what she tells you, read between the lines.
Little thoughts like “ Did you notice Harriet’s new diamond ring,” meaning she doesn’t have such
a trinket. Or, “Sally and George are going on their second vacation in two years,” which is her
way of telling you that you’ve not been on a vacation in five years. O.K., you’ve started paying
attention, you even have some ideas of what might make her happy. Now what?

Remember, the perfect gift is something she really wants and it shows up in her life at the
perfect time. What does this mean? It means you don’t give her a beautifully wrapped box and a
dozen roses the day after she’s sent you off to the loveless desert because you forgot your
wedding anniversary, again. Yes, this may help soften the situation, but remember, she’s
dumped on you because she likes drama and she enjoys watching you suffer. She’s going to
play this for all it’s worth and will not let you off the hook so easily. She wants you to be guilt
stricken, there’s not much else that seems to motivate you.

No, if you really want maximum effect for your Ultimate Romantic Gift, you need to give it on an
unexpected occasion. Not one of those four special days, rather on a day just like any other, a
day when you give her this special surprise “Just Because.”

“Just Because” gifts are the arrow straight into a woman’s heart. That is, of course, assuming
you’ve not totally forgotten the other four special days. If you’ve done that, it won’t matter how
many “Just Because” gifts you bestow upon her. She’s going to think you’re a lazy, self-absorbed
jerk. And, of course, she’s right.

No, “just Because” gifts are for the rare occasions when you truly stop and appreciate how
much “she” loves you and how empty your life would be without her.
Let’s summarize. Guys, if you want to stay ahead and win The Love Game, you need to
remember those four special days, birthdays, anniversaries, Mom’s and Valentine’s Day. You
need to pay attention and listen for those clues she will undoubtedly give you to what she really
wants. Then, to really show you care, and to soften the fall when you inevitably screw up, you
do something Wow! “Just Because.”

You can do this guys. You can win The Love Game.

Drop me a note if you’ve got any great gift ideas. After this mornings crash with the wife over the
proper temperature of hot chocolate, I’m in need of some suggestions.

Good loving!

Tio Stib Signature
INSERT TIO STIB SIGNATURE HERE

Need more help? Check out my book “Remedies for Reluctant Romantics, 100 Ways to Sweep
Love Off Its Feet.” It’s fun; it’s practical; and it’s cheap! Here’s the link-

Remedies For Reluctant Romantics

Winning at the Game of Love!
Romance For Dummies…