Tag Archives: #writing

Happy Spring 2021

My little Martisori treasure chest (Image courtesy of the author)

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I am taking a little break from my series of blog posts and readings from my books today to honor a Moldovan tradition — Moldova is where I originally come from — and to wish you a happy Spring!

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Mărțișor — A beautiful Moldova tradition

We celebrate this day by giving little signs of love and friendship to members of our families, friends, teachers, and colleagues. These small tokens are called Mărțișori (singular: Mărțișor). In the picture above, you can see my current collection. Some of them I got from my family and especially my sister — she once brought a whole bag of them for me to share and keep. The other I made myself over the years and kept one from each year’s collection as a token to remember and maybe to reproduce at another time.

Here is how Wikipedia defines Mărțișor:

Mărțișor (mərt͡siˈʃor) is a celebration at the beginning of spring, on March the 1st in Romania, Moldova, and all territories inhabited by Romanians.”

I featured this tradition in my first book, a novel based on a true story of my late father, Mihail Ichizli, The Truth About Family:

” I remembered well how we would all sit together braiding red and white threads into strings, and making little men and women or flowers from the same wool to bind to the ends of the strings. We would give these special talismans, or little Marches, to each other and the teachers on the first of March. Our teachers would have a host of Mărţişori decorating their jackets and sweaters for the whole month.”

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This year’s Mărțișor project

In the past years, I created various designs for the Mărțișori I gave as little gifts to my family. This year, I tried something different and turned it into a little art project. I took a coloring block of postcards and colored only some of the fields with red color, leaving all other white. Then I added one or two Mărțișori on each card.

Here is the result:

This year’s Martisor project/art (Image courtesy of the author)

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Capture your family traditions in a story

We all have these beautiful traditions from where we come from. If you ever considered writing a memoir or a fictional story based on your family’s or your own story, then I invite you to feature those traditions inside. They will add color to your creations and bring light to the whole story.

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If you need help

Sometimes it can be daunting to start a project featuring your family’s or your story. A memoir can appear daunting to write. I feared writing one for many years, although the wish was significant.

A novel based on a true story might get you going. It did help me. The Truth About Family was a blessing to write; it healed many wounds and brought my mother and me even closer together.

Whatever style you choose, here are a couple of resources that can help you:

 

If you would like to work with me to help make your memoir or novel describing a personal to you story a reality, you can reach out to discuss how we can collaborate through one of the channels listed on my contact page.

If you are interested in checking out my experience with writing memoirs and novels based on a true story, then take a look at these:

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Happy Spring

All there is to say now is to wish you Happy Spring 2021! We all need the hope the Spring seems to bring with it in these insecure times.

Here’s the little Mărțișor picture I created for my mother this year. And here it is for you!

Happy Spring and Happy Mărțișor!

Martisor, the symbol of the Spring (Image courtesy of the author)

One Minute Read from the Cheerleading for Writers

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Here is the ninth blog post in a series featuring videos on YouTube, where I read from one of my motivational books for one minute.

In this video, I read from my book Cheerleading for Writers: Discover How Truly Talented You Are.

I am reading from the chapter with the title “S – Show Me What You’ve Got (or How a Writer Can Serve Others Without Putting Too Much Pressure on Herself).”

Here it is if you want to read along, prior, or afterward.

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Excerpt from the Cheerleading for Writers

As with almost any book on writing and its various facets, this one will also address the aspects of showing and telling. But it will approach show and tell from another angle.
During the first three years of my writing career and especially recently, I have come to realize that I joined an exotic species of the working population.

We, writers, want to write books that we would want to read. On the other hand, we also want others to love them.

Or we write motivational guide books to pull ourselves out of initially hopeless situations. At the same time, hoping these books will pull other people out of their miseries too.

What is interesting, though, is that whether others read our works or not, people survive without them. No one seems to need what we do for their daily and most urgent needs.

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A big surprise

Two days ago, I got a big surprise in my inbox. An author I follow has featured Cheerleading for Writers on his blog. This author is the New York Times bestselling author, John David Mann. He is co-author of many fantastic books, including the Go-Giver series with Bob Burg. Here is what he has written about this little book in his blog post titled “NINE RESOURCES TO ROCK YOUR WRITING” about resources he strongly recommends for writers, which include such legendary books as Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird:

Cheerleading for Writers: Discover How Truly Talented You Are, by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels. This little book doesn’t lecture you; it holds your hand, brews you a cup of fresh hot tea, whispers in your ear, and reminds you of all the good things you should know about yourself. It also offers dozens of nuggets of writerly wisdom along the way, in twenty-six bite-sized pieces, A through Z.”

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The next step

We all need a little cheering up and holding our hands from time to time. I am super happy that this little book can provide such comfort to writers. So I invite you to read Cheerleading for Writers and discover what it can do for you. To look at the book and buy it on Amazon, click on its title above or this image below:

 

If you want to see where else you can buy it, then go to the book’s page on this website here.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to my page, Optimist Writer, on ko-fi for $5 a month, and besides supporting what I do, you will also get access to all my motivational books, which I share there once a month or each time a book is out. Right now, you can get access to four of my books there — one upon subscription or one-time support and three in the posts solely for subscribers. Cheerleading for Writers will appear later this year or sooner upon explicit request from the subscribers.

I wish you a beautiful, cheerful, and also gameful day!

One Minute Read from the Gameful Writing

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Here is the seventh blog post in a series featuring videos on YouTube, where I read from one of my motivational books for one minute.

In this video, I read from a parable Gameful Writing: Seven People, Seven Stories, Seven Lessons Learned (Book 4 in the “Gameful Life” series).

I am reading the extract from section 3 (“***”) of chapter 5, “Torben.”

Here it is if you want to read along, prior, or afterward.

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Excerpt from the Gameful Writing

Torben finished reading the blog post and reread it. The blogger was right. It was time to play. It was time for him to pack all this stuff and move back to Odense. Maybe without letting Karina know. But he would call just in case to make sure she still wanted him to come back.

But first, the pre-quest. Torben felt strange, he realized. He still wasn’t sure about the writing thing. He could find other ways to spend his time. For example, the pre-quest, or the side-quest, as the blogger called it. Never really a gamer himself, Torben was still wondering, how just one article, or five if he was honest, had moved him to speak in terms of a game player. In Lily’s slang, as he realized, and as it seemed this blogger’s too.

OK, let’s get my favorite cup. Torben went back to the kitchen and took out the cup he wrapped in paper towel before reading the last Gameful Writing blog post.

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The next step

If you want to find out more about these seven stories in one about turning writing or anything else in life into fun games regardless of the circumstances, then I invite you to read Gameful Writing. To look at the book and buy it on Amazon, click on its title above or this image below:

If you want to see where else you can buy it, then go to the book’s page on this website here.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to my page, Optimist Writer, on ko-fi for $5 a month, and besides supporting what I do, you will also get access to all my motivational books, which I share there once a month or each time a book is out. Right now, you can get access to four of my books there — one upon subscription or one-time support and three in the posts solely for subscribers. Gameful Writing will appear later this year or sooner upon explicit request from the subscribers.

I wish you a beautiful, gameful, and creative day!

Here is Why You, Writer, Need Cheerleaders

 

(Image courtesy of the author)

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Beginning something new can be both daunting and exciting. We, authors, face the beginnings with each new empty page.

Finishing one page might be super exciting, but suddenly we meet the start of another, empty one.

We all might have heard the brilliant wisdom by Nora Roberts and other prolific authors, “You can’t edit a blank page.” But how do we start filling in those blanks?

Any creative excitement can flip quickly into nervousness and even despair, especially when we love what we do — the bigger the wish, the bigger both the excitement and fear of both succeeding and failing.

Cheerleaders remind sports teams of excitement. They help the athletes to “reframe” nervousness into something positive and fun. They remind them and the audience that something big and amazing is about to happen.

The stories writers create are big and amazing too! Each of them is unique, be it one of fiction or true events.

Thus, we, writers, need cheerleaders too.

We can be our own cheerleaders, and there are many great tips on how to do it. My favorite approach is to turn life into fun games.

But sometimes we also need cheerleaders from outside. Our family, friends, fellow writers, agents, publishers — they all have the ability to be such cheerleaders too.

And I have one in the form of a little book for you. Its title is Cheerleading for Writers. I am thrilled that it has helped many authors on the way and that some acclaimed and even a New York Times bestselling author have appreciated it so much that they wrote a review.

I invite you to read this little book and get powered up in your epic creative writing journey.

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Where you can find this cheerleader

To take a look at the Cheerleading for Writers, read its reviews, and buy it on Amazon, click on its title above or the image below:

If you want to see where else you can buy it, then go to the book’s page on this website here.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to my page, Optimist Writer, on ko-fi for $5 a month, and besides supporting what I do, you will also get access to all my motivational books, which I share there once a month or each time a book is out. Right now, you can get access to four of my books there — one upon subscription or one-time support, and three in the posts solely for subscribers. Cheerleading for Writers will be added later this year or upon explicit request from subscribers.

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Enjoy being cheered and feeding your hungry pages! 😀