Author Archives: Stephen Pickering

Fiction Writer’s Resources

I’m spending most of my time and focus on writing a novel right now. So, hence this.

“Words to Use instead of Said”

http://www.spwickstrom.com/said/
This was the top result when I googled: what are some words you can use to describe dialogue besides said


I created an “Alter-Ego” Twitter (@ottersransom) for solely for my artistic endeavors. My main personal account (@Pickering) which I’ve had since 2007 just seems to messed up and cluttered.
I got this next resource from googling: what’s a good hashtag on twitter for fiction writers and novelists

44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know

Uses of the Word Wry and Wryly

“To her friends in law or medical school she would declare wryly: I’m downwardly mobile.” – Best American Short Stories 2016, “Gifted” by Sharon Solwitz, p. 241

“She applied and was admitted to art school and earned not only her degree in design but the love of her department head, twelve years older than she was, but trim and sweet-natured with a warm, wry delivery.” – ibid, pg. 241

How to Find Your Calling and Follow Your Bliss

“In Tonio Kröger, the young artist moved out of the world of what had to be done. In the Magic Mountain, Hans Castorp stepped away from the world of what had to be done and followed the fascination of his nature. That is the adventure. ”
– Joseph Campbell, Collected Works, II.1.7, “Thomas Mann and James Joyce”, ‘Absorbing the Monstrous’, 5:23 mark in the audio lecture.

The key here is to discern what is the fascination of your nature. When you have found that, the “World of What Has to Be Done” simply has to take a back seat. It’s a psychological shift. Doesn’t mean you don’t pay your bills. Doesn’t mean you don’t run your errands or attend social functions, but it does mean those things are no longer your priority. You’re priority is your fascination. You follow that as long and as hard as your inner nature tells you to. And then when the inevitable need to take a break comes, you do your secondary items.
Stephen Cope has a nice phrase: “What lights you up?” I think Bob Proctor says something like “What winds your stem, what gets you jazzed?” And then really it becomes a psychological problem rather than a practical one because when you change your psychology, your consciousness, into one of making your fascination the centerpiece, the most important thing in your life, you initiate your subconscious, the doorway to eternity, and this infinite resource goes to work for you 100% of the time, even when you are running errands, paying bills, or attending social functions. And then everything starts to happen. You’re riding a wave. Your wave.

My Favorite Bob Proctor Quotes

I could listen to this guy 24×7. There’s almost nothing this guy says that doesn’t “Light Me Up.” And by the way, that’s a very simple, yet enormously effective way of discerning your Dharma and following your bliss. Start to notice the things in your life that “Light You Up.” Those are clues, the keys, the signs showing your the way as to why you are here.

  • In absence of clearly-defined Goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia, until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”
    [Youtube Link to Bob saying it] – {Actually this quote is from Robert Heinlein, but I hear Bob say it so much as part of his talks, and it resonates with me so much in terms of changing your Psychology as to what is the centerpiece of your life.}

The Essence of the Marie Kondo KonMarie Decluttering Philosopy

“When you pick up an item, feel it and think, ‘Does this make my heart skip a beat?'” – KonMarie, [Youtube Video Link]

“In the KonMari Method even the contents of a drawer that is hidden away should spark joy in you.” – [12:08 Mark in NHK Video]

“It is very important to choose what you want to keep rather than what you want to throw away in tidying.”  – [10:36 mark in NHK Video]

“The Goal of my tidying method is not just to reduce what’s in a room and remove clutter. My criterion is whether or not, you, as its occupant are comfortable being in that room.”
– [2:42 minute mark in this Video Link]

“Keep only things that bring joy,” she writes. The rest should be thanked and then discarded. – The Japan Times

“Anything doesn’t make you feel happy, get rid of.”  – Marie Kondo, [Youtube Link]

“If you’re not sure, ask yourself if it’s suitable for you. Does it create the image you have of yourself? No? Look back over the memories you shared with it and say, ‘Thank you.’ You’ll end up with only the items you really like.” – Marie Kondo, [Youtube Link]

“It’s paradoxical, but I believe that precisely because we hang on to such materials, we fail to put what we learn into practice.” – pg. 101 “The Life-Changing magic of tidying up”

It may seem rather drastic, but I’m convinced that letting go, at least once, of anything that doesn’t bring you joy is the ultimate way to experience what it’s like to surround yourself only with things that do bring you joy.
“It might come in handy.” Believe me, it never will. You can always manage without it.
– pg. 21, “Spark Joy”

The Key That Makes the KonMarie Method Work Better than Others

The Indians addressed life as a ‘thou.’ I mean trees, stones, and everything else. You can address anything as a “thou,” and you can feel the change in your psychology as you do it. – Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth, Ep. 3, The First Story Tellers, 25m 32s

Holding an old pair of Eddie Bauer Khakis, asking not just my conscious mind, but also my “feeling body,” whether they “spark joy,” I suddenly realized that this method allows you to take the time, that it puts you in another state of mind. I walked into my closet, just now, on about “Day 3” of  my “KonMarieing” adventure, and that’s the exact thought that popped into my head along with a very calm, opening of the heart feeling:

“It allows you to take your time. It puts you in another state of mind.”

I think this is the key why this method works whereas many others don’t.

We’re so used to rushing in every area of our lives: making appointments, phone calls, paying bills, getting this or that done by the end of the week or month. It puts a stress on the subconscious, on the soul.

And you would think that a project like “decluttering” would also demand such a sense of rushing and stress. And when I first started, I found myself almost spontaneously trying to rush, thinking,  “Oh I’ve got to get this row of clothes done in the next hour!”

But here’s the special key: Hoarding is a psychological problem, not a time one.

So the part of her program where you actually hold each and every item allows you to slow down and bring calmness into the picture. It becomes a ritual. Your spirit is invited to the party. A transformation of consciousness occurs. This is the essence of a ritual. And a ritual like this, one that’s sincere and from the heart, allows the hoarder to break the psychological bond. And that’s freedom.

You can feel it.

Although not large, the space I live in is graced only with those things that speak to my heart. My life-style brings me joy.    – KonMarie, “The life-changing magic of tidying up,” pg. 31