1. https://twodropsofink.com/2019/06/16/how-to-find-the-extraordinary-in-a-world-of-ordinary/?fbclid=IwAR1ZMQCZzbVOuusjlrLmgKXJlyHG2rCFozKmHCS7VoM6mucn877RZRfAR3g ““Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Or show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.” ― William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
It seems that parents are charged with offering sage advice as if giving birth somehow imparts wisdom. Writers too fall into the trap of giving advice, or being entertaining or enchanting their readers because they write about extraordinary things.
But in the simple acts of ordinary life, we can find the extraordinary and unusual, and that is the distinguishing characteristic of an excellent parent – or writer.
Where Do I Find the Ordinary?” Check out a blog I wrote for Two Drops of Ink!
2. https://killzoneblog.com/2019/06/tips-for-the-well-mannered-writer.html “I love Project Gutenberg. This site has an ongoing project of digitizing works from the past that have fallen into public domain. The works are then made available—for free download—in Kindle, Epub, or text format. You can also read the books online. There are man classics of world literature available, but it’s the small, quirky, period books I find most interesting. If you write historical fiction, Project Gutenberg offers a treasure trove of research material from the 1700s on.
Via Feedly, I get an alert on their latest digitized titles. Many of them don’t interest me, i.e., titles like The Fern Lover’s Companion: A Guide for the Northeastern States and Canada and A Treatise on the Origin, Progress, Prevention, and Cure of Dry Rot in Timber.
But every now and then a title catches my eye and I go in for a peek at the text. The other day it was The Woman and the Car, published in 1909, and described as “A chatty little handbook for all women who motor or who want to motor.”
3. https://megdowell.com/2019/06/15/12-reminders-for-people-who-gave-up-on-their-works-in-progress/ “1. You’re not alone, and you’ve done nothing “wrong.”
2. Sometimes ideas aren’t meant to grow into full stories.
3. Some stories are meant to be told, but not by you.
4. Growing beyond a story is a sign of maturity. It’s OK to move forward.”
4. https://megdowell.com/2019/06/16/why-the-blank-page-is-so-intimidating-and-how-to-fill-it-anyway/ “It’s happened to just about every single one of us at this point. You decide you’re going to write, you sit down at your computer or in front of your notebook and one way or another you open to a blank page and …
It’s like the simple act of staring at that untouched page has erased every idea and ounce of motivation you possessed only moments before. Is it magic? Is it a curse? Nope. It’s just all in your head.” Have a cup of tea. Go for a walk. Watch TV or better yet, READ something. It’ll get things going again. It might take a little while, but an idea will pop up/or a fix for what’s going on with your story.
5. https://jamigold.com/2019/06/conflicts-and-goals-how-do-they-work-in-romance/ “The concept of goals gets even more complicated if we’re talking about stories with multiple protagonists. As a romance author, I’m going to explore this from a romance point of view, but the same ideas can apply to any multiple-protagonist story (or sometimes even a single-protagonist story with a layered character). *smile*
In stories with multiple protagonists, the characters can have very different goals. So how do goals—passive or active—work with a romance or multiple-protagonist story? Let’s take a look…”
6. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2019/06/goal-oriented-storytelling-tension/ “This is the third post in my four-part series on ANTS, my framework for understanding what a story needs to keep readers engaged. Previously, I’ve covered attachment and novelty. Now it’s time to look at the big reason why stories have a plot structure: tension.
Cultivating tension is usually one of the first and most important skills a new storyteller learns. It’s why your mentors and editors are always yelling at you to add more conflict to your story. Let’s take a quick tour of what tension is and what it needs to work.”
7. https://zojestage.blogspot.com/2019/06/connecting-with-readers.html “It’s generally accepted in publishing that it’s best for authors not to read reviews – and in the modern world that has come to specifically mean “reader reviews.” In the age of the internet, everyone has an opinion. People are willing to berate a book with the same zeal as a toaster oven, indifferent to the reality that who-the-hell-knows who made the toaster oven, but the author will suffer the real-world effects of someone’s hatred – whether that’s in damaged feelings or damaged sales.
Pic by Story-eyed Reviews
To make the internet even worse, we authors are often tagged in these reviews. Sometimes it’s obvious from the outset that the author should proceed at her own peril, but sometimes it isn’t. Thus, we authors find ourselves with a finger hovering over a link, debating whether or not to click it.
That’s where I was a short time ago, looking at a Tweet I’d been tagged in, wondering if the description of BABY TEETH as “a wild ride” held more positive connotations than negative. I took the risk and clicked on the link…”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2019/06/occupation-thesaurus-entry-professional-athlete/ “Overview: Professional athletes play a sport for a living. They make money off of ticket sales, medals and top placements they receive in sporting events, endorsements, corporate sponsorships, grants, merchandising, book sales, and by working part-time jobs to cover the bills. While most athletes don’t reach the millionaire level of fame and fortune that star players do, many can make a living as long as they stay healthy and on top of their game.” Angela and Becca always have great stuff on their blog. Check out their character builder over on their One Stop for Writers site as well!
2. https://megdowell.com/2019/06/04/writers-make-sacrifices-but-make-them-temporary/ “As I’ve navigated my way through the earliest stages of adulthood, I’ve been told time and again that juggling responsibilities often requires tossing things aside to make your juggling more sustainable. Surviving in the real world, in other words, means you have to make sacrifices. You have to give up things you enjoy so that you and the people around you can remain happy.
I don’t disagree with this — how could I? I could list off more than a handful of hobbies and interests I would love to invest my time and energy in, knowing there’s no logical way I could pull it off. Time spent pursuing those small sparks of fascination would take time away from things that are presently more important — like writing, for example. The more time I spend off my computer, the less time I spend writing.
What I don’t agree with, however, are the implications that the sacrifices we make as “real adults” have to be permanent. You can’t afford to choose your dream job over one that offers a 401K and health insurance — this is the reality for many people, especially those my age or close to it — so that automatically means your chances of ever landing your dream job are gone forever? Because you are currently writing a book and don’t have extra time to hang out with your friends every Friday night, you will lose those friends and can never hang out with them again even when the book is finished?”
3. https://romanceuniversity.org/2019/06/18/5-reasons-you-should-mentor-a-creative-writing-student/ “I changed my major in my sophomore year of college. I thought that I had it all planned out-what I wanted to study and pursue for the next four years. I realized that what I was most passionate about was writing because I was always looking forward to the assignments where I could pour my heart out and write whatever I wanted. Now entering my senior year, I have no regret in changing my major to English with a concentration in creative writing. It has been so rewarding and there is no telling where it will take me in the future.
When I tell someone I’m studying English, they assume I want to teach, but I want to do something different with my degree. I want to continue to write, read, edit and publish. In order to do this successfully, I can’t rely solely on my own knowledge. Every writer benefits from having a mentor, and every writer can benefit from being a mentor. Above all, providing feedback toward the craft could change someone’s perspective forever. Having a mentor was one of the smartest decisions I made.” I had a mentor when eighteen for a short while. We lost touch. But I remember how excited he was to read my stories and how much he believed in me. If only I could have kept that in my thoughts over the dark years.
6. https://acflory.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/still-plodding-along/ “Apologies for being a bit slack with posts this last week. I’ve been very focused on the iVokh model, plus work, plus sorting out my new email client, plus hardware issues, plus life….
Ahem, enough excuses! On the creative side, this is the most recent concept of the iVokh’s second, mostly hidden arm. First the skeleton:” I research animals/bugs etc. to come up with details for my creatures/aliens as well.
Some Things More Serious:
https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/06/16/%F0%9F%98%8Djune-16-2019-quote-of-the-day-my-thoughts/ ““Let us be
grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who
make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust”
2. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2019/06/15/i-think-this-week-happened-and-the-next-one-is-coming/ “When this goes live, I’ll still be in the big day of training for my summer job. I’m writing this Friday night, so I don’t know what I’ve done or about to do. This is actually the first day of training and I have something nearly every night this coming week. I managed to avoid Friday night getting booked in order to recover and enjoy a weekend with my son that will include an autism-friendly showing of ‘Frozen’ on Broadway. All of this is on top of tests at school. Needless to say, I’m a little frazzled.”
4. https://scvincent.com/2019/06/18/shadows-6/ “To the small creatures that call the tree home, we are no more than a temporary addition to their landscape. Spiders and beetles wander over our legs or drop from our hair as we rest with our backs to the trunk, feeling the sleepy life of the tree through our spines. Our world is in the darkness and we are grateful for the cool oasis of dappled shade. Around us the earth bakes in the noonday sun that saps our energy, while the birds, butterflies and bees reap the harvest of summer.
On a hot day, there is no better place to be than within the shade of a tree, looking out upon a sweltering world without feeling the heat of a sun that blasts and sears. Yet hiding in the shadows is not always the best option. There are many who seek the safety of the shadows rather than allow their true selves to be seen by the world. For some the darkness is a cloak to hide a nefarious purpose.” Sometimes, it’s hard to pull out of the darkness, the shadows hide us well. But we owe it to ourselves and others to come into the light. You’ll be surprised at how bright you shine.
6. https://stacitroilo.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/learn-from-muse/ “Ciao, amici!
That was as far as I had gotten when this happened…
I am already in my jammies, typing this in bed. It’s one thing for Mr. Muse to be in the house, but it’s another when he’s in the master suite. The master suite! My hubby would not be amused to see him here. But, alas, he’s working.
I’m also supposed to be working. Instead, I am blogging. Or was about to. Hence the interruption.
I scowl at him. “I’m not dressed for company.”
“I’m not company. I’m your muse.”
7. https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2019/06/18/well-be-waiting-guest-post-by-robbie-cheadle/ “‘We’ll be waiting’ is based on a true ghost story which claims that the spirit of Katharine de Montacute haunts the ruins of Bungay Priory in Suffolk, England. Katharine was forced to enter the priory by her grandfather and is believed to have escaped and run away with her lover. It is believed that she was caught and taken to Coldingham Abbey where she was immured.
Katharine is one of the main characters in my forthcoming book, Through the Nethergate and this is her story.”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
1. https://rachelpoli.com/2019/06/16/short-story-sunday-269-dome/ ““How do you think they can stand being in there all the time?” Tom asked.
Angela shrugged. “That’s all they know. They don’t know what it’s like to not be inside their dome.”
2. https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/let-us-know-peace/ “ Let us know peace
For as long as the moon shall rise
For as long as the rivers shall flow
For as long as sun shall shine
For as long as the grass shall grow
Let us know peace
~ Cheyenne Peace prayer”
3. https://authorsteveboseley.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/serial-saturday-horror-the-photograph-3/ “Last time, the police were continuing their questioning of BIFF KELLER regarding the disappearance of his friend, THORLEY LNGDON. We left if with Biff about to describe a conversation he had with Thorley’s wife.” Steve also tells a good story!
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
1. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/bookreview-poetry-devil-in-the-wind-by-frank-prem/ “Devil In The Wind is an account of catastrophic fire and its immediate aftermath.
In this 21st century, the whole world seems to be on fire. America burns. Europe burns. Greece is reeling after its own tragedy of fire.
And Australia burns, as it has always done, but now so much more fiercely.
In February 2009, wildfires burnt through entire communities, “ I like how the reviewer expressed her own conflicted emotions when dealing with a situation like this in her own neighborhood.
2. http://joanhall.blog/2019/06/04/romance/ “Like my other books, there is an element of romance thrown in. Today, I’m sharing an excerpt of a scene between the two main characters, Christine Lawrence and Vince Green. Christine is a bit reluctant to begin a relationship and she senses Vince may be hiding secrets. Let’s look.”
3. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2019/06/04/teaser-tuesday-ichabod-brooks-the-king-of-nowhere-fantasy-shortstories/ “By popular demand, The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks got 6 votes on the Teaser Tuesday poll. Since these are short stories, it’s hard to pick something that isn’t too much, so I am going to post the beginning of one of the tales for 3 of the 6 posts. I’ve put all 19 votes into a randomizer too, so more Ichabod will be appearing throughout the next 19 weeks. Again, I want to thank everyone who voted. Enjoy!”
5. https://ryanlanz.com/2019/06/17/forget-the-muse/ “Today I wanted to talk about the process and act of writing. What I mean by that is the simple craft of regularly putting pen to paper. As Stephen King famously said, “Amateurs wait for the muse to come. The rest of us get working.” That is so incredibly true. When I was a creative writing undergrad at San Francisco State University, like many young [writing] students, I thought that, when the ‘muse’ came, I could then write the Great American Novel.
The truth is—any professional can affirm this—and I hate to break your heart here: There is no muse. The muse is like Santa Clause; it’s a hoax that we tell beginners to try and inspire them. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But at some point, if you take yourself seriously as a writer, you will have to let go of the Santa Clause Effect, and sit down every day to write. No matter what.”
6. https://blondewritemore.com/2019/06/18/bookreview-amazing-grace-kim-nash-kimthebookworm/ “This book gave me a much-needed smile the night before an important job interview. For most of that week I had been stressing about this ninety minute interview, which included a half-hour quick-fire round of technical questions, and so I had a facial expression similar to that of a bulldog chewing on a thistle.
Locked away in my hotel room with a twelve-hour job interview countdown I decided to put my studying away and….fall into the comforting arms of a good book!
This fabulous book, Amazing Grace, whisked me away to the beautiful fictional village of Little Ollington and let me live out the life of single mum, Grace. She’s picking up the pieces of her life after discovering her husband’s affair with his secretary and she’s still hurting from her mum’s death many years ago.”
7. https://whenangelsfly.net/2019/06/17/book-review/ “Shadow and Friends, Book 8 is an animal adventure storybook for children written by Mary L Schmidt, S. Jackson, and A. Raymond. Uncle Stubby had exciting news for his wife and son about their friend Zippy’s adventures in Florida. Zippy and his girlfriend, Patches, had gone snorkeling and had a grand time. Soon, every squirrel around knew about Zippy’s adventure, and so did Shadow and Max, their two dog friends. The rodent friends and their canine companions decided to go on their own snorkeling adventure, and they took Pilot Squirrel’s Rodent Road Adventures Jet to Miami, Florida. From there, it was a short trip to the Florida Keys where they lounged on the beach, snorkeled, and Uncle Stubby even traveled on a small submarine. They visited Key West and Key Largo and were amazed at the colorful and unique underwater creatures they saw. The friends also played pirate and actually found a treasure chest filled with delectable treats for squirrels and dogs. This had to be one of their best adventures yet.”