Unlikely writing inspiration

During our recent trip to Key West, Florida, we made it a point to visit the Butterfly Museum, the Lighthouse, and the Haunted Ghost tour. We joined groups of people at America’s most southerly point where a little girl gave us the evil eye for enjoying our lime fruit bars. Yes, our tongues had turned green.

One site we visited was Ernest Hemingway’s Key West Haven. We went on a whim. I’m not particularly enamored by his writings. Less so of his multiple marriages and even less so his dance with spirits that I’m sure contributed to his suicide. Nevertheless, I was taken by his life as I climbed the stairs, ambled through his garden, and enjoyed the many five fingered cats that lounged throughout the house and grounds. Hemingway had a full life, had boxing matches on weekends with his pals, and lived passionately doing what he loved. Much of his life focused on the military and his writing.

We had glimpses of the tools of his trade. There were several typewriters on display throughout the house. Photographs and letters written by and to him had places of honor on the walls.

I was very much taken with his writing room. While I could do without the mounted heads of hunted animals, the cushioned chair and ottoman were definitely something I could and wanted to sink into. The writing table and book shelves that lined the room were absolutely enchanting. It reminded me how important it is to take up space as a writer. I often feel as though having a laptop is enough. It can be. But it doesn’t have to be that way all of the time. 

Something moved in me as I gazed at his office. I imagined my own room changed a little bit here and a little bit there. While I have a space, it’s gone through multiple reincarnations, if only in my own mind. With all of my baggage and history with owning myself as a writer, Hemingway has inspired me to take up some more room as I develop my art and craft. He’s again sparked the passion I have for living as a writer.

I’ll let you know how it evolves ❤️



La Pluma y La Tinta: Call for writers to read!

Hello Writers!
The next New Voices Reading Series event at La Casa Azul Bookstore in Spanish Harlem will be on Sunday, October 21 from 4-6PM. I invite you to either sign up to read or be an awesome supportive audience member!

Please email me if you’d like to be a featured reader at theresavarela@gmail.com and feel free to pass this on to other writers who’d be interested.

About the New Voices Reading Series:
This literary reading offers unpublished or new writers & poets the opportunity to share and promote their work. La Pluma y La Tinta began as a writers workshop for Latinas based in Brooklyn, New York, and has evolved into a web portal and “home” for all writers.
Happy Writing!


The Beginners Tips to Blogging Written by a Beginner Blogger

Although I’m fairly new as a blogger I almost feel like an expert. I attribute this state of mind to the multiple blogging sites on how to blog that run across my blogging streams. So I decided to pick out the tips I’ve read and reread several times and share them with you, just one more time. This is in case you might have missed the most important ones.

Blogroll please!

Be Consistent: It doesn’t matter if it’s every Wednesday, Thursday or heaven forbid, Sunday, but it must be there when you say it will. Patterns are important because your multiple readers will wonder what the heck happened to you if you didn’t post your entry. I’m only fairly new to blogging in terms of keeping consistent entries posted on my site.  This has probably shown that I am inconsistent and even worse! Unprofessional! So being consistent is probably the first thing I’ve learned as I’ve read the tips.

Name your blog with your real name: Use your real name unless you want to remain anonymous. I really don’t know how many of us writers want to be that. That’s not our point at all. We do everything else to see our names in print- so it’s okay. It’s not really to feed our egos; it’s all about easy recognition. When I was picking out the title for my first blog I had not yet achieved the level of self- esteem I have developed over the last couple of months of blog surfing. I named my first blog with a catchy phrase. If you happened to be a close friend of mine, you’d understand why I picked out such a cute name. Otherwise, you would have no idea. Unless you noted the picture I attached to it- the one where you couldn’t see my face. That led me to the profound discovery of naming my blog with my name. It’s okay. No one will think you are grandiose. It helps anyone who would like to read what you’ve written. Isn’t it much simpler to tell a friend that they can just look up your name rather than a charming expression they’ll forget before logging in to their laptop?

Find your focus: Maybe I should rename that to “find your foci.” There aren’t many of us that are about only one thing. I have many interests but I find it easier to know what I generally want to write about and let it move in a natural direction from there. I say this only after reading my early blog entries and seeing there was absolutely no focus at all. In the early stages of blogging I would write a blog on a whim, on a thought or on an inspiration. There is really nothing wrong with that- my muse would like me to share with you. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no Julie and Julia. But there has to be some sort of focus. If there is no focus, why would your readers turn their television volume down just to log onto your site?

Be concise: Your readers are writers. They probably want to spend more time writing especially if they are working other jobs to pay the bills, like me. I get sort of glassy eyed if a blog entry is too long. I want to read a few blogs but I also want to make dinner, take the dogs out for a walk (they especially like that too) and play a game of X-treme Fetch (phrased coined by Ginger and Chutney but it sounds more like woof-woof when they say it). Be concise. I think this concept partners with being courteous to readers and can lead to more installments of a topic you’ve chosen to blog. The previous tip on finding your focus led me to realizing that I had to be concise. I’m getting better at it. Note the underlined tips in this blog entry. Most of my entries are told as short storylines. That’s okay because that’s how I happen to think and write but brevity is something that keeps me coming back to a particular blog.

Be Flexible: As a writer you are a creative being. No need to get stuck doing something one way and keeping it that way if you don’t like it. One of the most gratifying things I find about writing is my ability to be dynamic and fun. Change often takes not only my reader, but me, by surprise. No need to be stodgy when it comes to writing. As a writer of prose on my best days, I am sometimes struck with words that come together and what some, okay, basically me, would call poetry. Is there a place for poetry entries on my blog? Of course, it’s my blog. I have a separate blog site for my poetry. I’m thinking about entering my poetry pieces onto my main blog site. As you can see I’m not sure what I want to do. So be flexible, especially if you don’t know exactly which direction you’d like to take. I know that once it’s written and in cyberspace, it’s there, forever, for all eternity but energy changes and so do we as humans, I mean, writers. It’s okay to lighten up.

Blogging can be a scary experience for the novice. I know- I’m one of them. The multiple blog sites that offer help and clarify major points to blogging are welcomed by me. My greater task is to identify what I want to say and how I want to say it. Should my theme be whimsical, nautical or earthy? Only I can decide that but receiving practical knowledge from experts leaves me more time to consider a pink or blue background. Choices, choices…