This past weekend I attended a natural hair, health and wellness expo. I got to sit in on a workshop and gain encouragement for fitness from Ernestine Shepherd! If you don’t know who she is, allow me to ‘introduce’ you to her. She is the oldest competing body builder in the world! At 78 years young, she’s in better shape than the most people half her age. I looked on in awe as this woman old enough to be my grandmother whipped off her jacket and proudly displayed a six-pack! I thought to myself, “Girl, you have no excuse.”
Me and Bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd!
I’ve been patty caking with taking charge of my fitness for months now. I’ve made small changes, but didn’t really take the steps to go all in. Well, after meeting Ms. Ernestine, I got the kick in the pants I needed to make the necessary changes to transform my body and health. I would love to be just like her when I grow up!
Inspiration is everywhere. When you’re deciding whether or not to do something, it’s amazing how many signs will begin to pop up letting you know you’re on the right track. I can’t log on to Facebook without seeing several stories about fitness and healthy eating. Somehow, I’ve signed up for a 5k in September and I can’t even run a mile without stopping yet. And I got to meet a 78-year-old body builder who told me to email her any time for advice or encouragement. I mean people, the stars are all aligned. I have no choice but to get it in, and get it together.
What have you been putting off that you know you need to do? Don’t leave me hanging out here by myself…tell me about it below!
Check out Ernestine Shepherd’s website here.
So the other day I walked into my living room and the T.V. was on with the sound off. There was a movie on. I think it might have been a new version of The Hulk or something. My sister has a fetish for what I call man movies. Give me a chick flick any day. But I digress. Just as I was about to turn the volume up and change the channel, I began to notice that observing the actors without sound was pretty interesting. I’ve mentioned before how important it is as a writer to be aware of the world around you. After a couple of seconds of watching, I was fascinated by how much the actors conveyed with their body language, facial expressions and the use of props.
Then it hit me: watching the movie without sound was a great way to help improve my descriptive writing skills! I love words. Duh, that’s a given for any writer. However, my love for words causes me to pay more attention to dialogue than action while watching T.V. This also manifests in my fictional writing. I can be really heavy with the dialogue and character introspection. This leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to describing setting and character action.
As I sat there watching my own version of a silent film, I noticed the way the actors broke eye contact when under pressure. That they shifted their bodies away from whomever was speaking when they were angry. Their skin flushed, lips trembled, fists clenched. They would dishevel their hair, flail their arms, sit on the edge of their seat. They reclined in satisfaction or pushed their shoulders back in determination.
And omg, the settings! From over cluttered messy shoebox apartments to the closed interior of a truck cab, the places where the actors had the conversations said as much about what was happening as what the actors actually said. The setting did much to ‘set’ the mood for the scene.
Now, I know for some of you this may be Writing 101 material. But for me, I was ecstatic to find an exercise for helping to make my descriptive writing better. Sometimes a wordsmith just needs to ignore words for a while in order to become a better wordsmith!
What are some of your favorite tips or exercises to help improve your writing?
Want to check out more of my writing tips? Click here!
Photo credit: Just Ard / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Because it’s Monday and if yours are anything like mine, you’re short on time, and could use a little inspiration.
Courtesy of Dumpaday.com
Courtesy of Thumbpress.com
Courtesy of Dougleschan.com
And finally just because it’s so true…
Courtesy of Stylopics.com
Have a fabulous week!!!!
I hope you had a fabulous 4th of July and enjoyed the long weekend. I had so much fun I can’t even think straight. The 4th was spent at a family BBQ replete with good-natured debates, water gun fights and a stellar amateur fireworks show. I felt like a child again as I played with sparklers. I also attempted to channel my inner Martha Stewart by baking a strawberry short cake and decorated it as a flag. The look: meh. The taste: mmmhhh-mmmhhh good.
My sister and her friend, me, my attempt at a flag cake and one of my many lil’ cousins running around at the BBQ.
My good friend/godmother came to visit from Dallas, so I became a tourist in my still sort of new home town. It’s true what they say: everyone should pretend to be a tourist in their own backyard. I had a great time Sunday. We went to church, then had a champagne brunch at the famous and historical Peabody. I must admit that my initial impression of this beautiful hotel was tainted by the ignorant behavior of a hostess that seems to think that the south is still segregated. It put a damper on my experience, but eventually, I got over it. I enjoyed a phenomenal meal, great music and even saw Kathy Bates having an incognito meal at the Peabody deli. Unfortunately, it sometimes slips my mind that I’m a blogger and I should have been snapping pics left and right! I missed out on sharing pics of all of that beautifully displayed food. My bad guys. Everyone should experience the history and class of the Peabody at least once.
At least I remembered to take a picture of the sign…
We wrapped up the weekend by walking Beale St. The sidewalks were crowded with folks strolling, the sounds of blues and jazz music drifted from the bars, and the smoke from cigars and barbecue pits permeated the air. If you’re ever out this way, you have to eat at the The Blues City Cafe. It’s a whole in the wall landmark with the best rack of ribs and the most friendly people you’ll ever meet.
Good times on Beale St.
Have you ever toured your own city? How was your experience?