Hi Everyone, and WELCOME to The Writing Fairy website. I'm Dorothea Helms, freelance writer, poet, book author, fiction dabbler, writing instructor, keynote speaker, humorist, wife, mother and slave to my English Bulldog, Margaret. My website is undergoing a facelift, boob lift, liposuction, weight loss program ... wait a minute - those are things I need personally. Sheesh. But my website IS in transition after being neglected for a LONG time. My goal is to inspire writers; my method humour (or humor in the U.S.). Enjoy!

Coaxing closet writers to emerge and make their magic known!

Archive for July, 2011

I never thought I’d compare myself to George W. Bush in any way, but as a freelance writer, I may have to declare war on social networking, as it is fraught with weapons of mass distraction for writers. Take Facebook … please. I frequent that site mainly because I love the Scrabble-type and Solitaire games I can access – and they keep coming up with new ones! I’m running two businesses here, and I barely have time to meet my deadlines without seeing things like Lady Jane Solitaire pop up for the first time in Mind Jolt Games. Enough, already.

And how about social networking in general? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ … who can keep up with all those distractions? Then again, this isn’t so different from the other million things that divert writers’ attention on a daily basis. Even before social networking, we procrastinated with all kinds of excuses. Gee, I’ll finish this article once I put in the laundry and vacuum. Or gee, I’ll work on my novel after I take the dog for a walk. Or gee, I’ll start a new story once I lie down on the sofa to rest my arthritis-ridden knee, and while I’m lying down, I might as well put on mindless TV, and hey, there’s a Real Housewives of Somewhere, so why not see what that’s all about?

Yes, TV, the ultimate time-waster. A weapon of mass distraction that continues to dominate the lives of otherwise-productive people around the world. How can I declare war on TV? I grew up waiting to see who Ed Sullivan had on as his guests every Sunday night, what shenanigans Red Skelton and Carol Burnett would get up to on their shows, and whose life Ben Casey would save next. I watched Lawrence Welk with my parents and envied The Lennon Sisters (I wanted to be Janet). Today, I’m into So You Think You Can Dance, Castle, The Mentalist, Bones, Chopped, Master Chef, Top Chef and Project Runway. I slip in an educational show on the Discovery channel from time to time, and I LOVE Masterpiece Theater when there’s an Agatha Christie on, so I do have a little class.

And TV isn’t the only villain – just about everything in life can be a distraction from writing. Cooking, eating, showering, attending meetings. If it’s so easy to be called away from writing, why then, you may ask, be a writer? Don’t be silly. What else would I do?

Why?

The death of Amy Winehouse saddens me. My daughter introduced me to her music a couple years ago, and I have been enraptured with her ever since. We both feel that Amy was a musical genius. As much as I wished she hadn’t used drugs and lived life quite so far on the edge, I also admired her for not trying to be anyone she wasn’t. In addition to being musically fascinating, I find her songs and singing honest to a level that I’m not sure I’ve ever reached in my life. Maybe never will. I admire her for that. She was true to her artistic voice.

I’m reminded of some of the other musical geniuses who died too young: Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison. And even though they made it well past their twenties, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley died young as well. Like Amy Winehouse, they all had a certain “shock” value to their music and performances. They pushed the limits with their music. But unlike artists such as Madonna and Lady Gaga, they didn’t rely on that as a way to mask mediocre talent (just my opinion, of course). Some of you may be Madonna/Lady Gaga fan – different artistic voices speak to different people.

Oh, I’m so sad that Amy is gone. I’ve been looking forward to having more of her music with me in the future. I’m grateful for the musical legacy she left behind. I hope you’re at peace, Amy.

I heard on CBC Radio today that Canada’s crime rate is lower than it has been since 1973. After a lot of speculating on the causes of that, some guy being interviewed (can’t remember his name or what he does) said that the fact that our population is aging has little to do with this reduced incidence of crime.

I say BALONEY to that!

I’m 60 years old, and I have considered making a career change to bank robbery. After careful consideration, however, I decided against it. I mean, really – with high blood pressure and arthritis in my right knee, could I stand the stress, and could I make it to a getaway car in a reasonable amount of time?

Worse yet, even if I managed to make my way into a cash-rich vault, would I remember why I was there? I have visions of the police finding me writing my grocery list on the back of a deposit slip.

And if I remembered why I was there and stole a lot of money, would I remember where the getaway car was, or where I live?

People, people, people – criminals are aging with the rest of us. They’re not some special breed of humans with razor-sharp memories and springy joints that still behave the way they did 20 years ago. Crime has slowed down because criminals have slowed down. Seems logical to me.

And that, folks, is why CBC Radio has never offered me my own show. 🙁

Now I’m hungry for baloney.

 

Every time I poo-poo something, I end up doing it. Damn, I hate that. But it’s true.

I used to have NO interest at all in dogs, and now I’m a canine fanatic.I used to hate modern design, and now I long for simpler lines and buy contemporary furnishings. I used to scoff at people who watch what I call “judgment TV” and now I’m one of them. I love So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, Top Chef Canada, Master Chef, Iron Chef … you get the competition picture.

I used to hate the idea of blahgging, and now … well, OK, I still kind of do. No offense intended against you readers, but for me, keeping a blog is kind of like keeping a diary or journal. Didn’t like doing that as a kid, and I still don’t. Maybe it’s because there are already so many mandatory deadlines in life. Get up for school/work, do homework/freelance assignments, get dinner on the table, get laundry done before someone runs out of clean underwear, dentist appointments, doctor appointments, hair appointments. Sheesh. Do I have to impose more commitments on myself?

The answer is NO. That’s why I was blunt at the beginning of the blagh that I’ll write in it when I feel like it, and not at some regular interval. Is that good marketing? Nope. Is that a way to keep people coming back to the blahg? Probably not. But you know what? It’s reality.

So – that’s my brilliance for the day. As for why I end up doing the things I criticize, I don’t know. I wonder if someday I’ll become the Queen of Blogs. Now, wouldn’t that be something?