Posted in blogs, Craft, MG & YA

Seven Links 7/6/19 Traci Kenworth


Seven Links…7/6/19

Traci Kenworth


1. “One of my great movie-going experiences was watching Psycho in high school in an auditorium during a storm. The place was packed. The mood was right. And at various points in the film people in the audience screamed their heads off, which greatly added to the atmosphere.

I’m glad my first exposure to the movie was not on TV. I got to see it uncut (which is more than we can say for Janet Leigh after the shower scene). But more important, I got the full effect of the suspense without commercial interruption.” I remember that seventeen-page scene in Whispers. It was excruciating to read (in a tense, good way).



4. “I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When my peers were playing war with toy soldiers, I’d stay in my room and read and write. Every summer, I’d go to the library and check out a pile of books.

And every day after school, I’d sit and pour my heart into a notebook.

Call me weird if you want. But since you’re here reading this, I’ll bet you’re a little odd, too.

And that’s perfectly fine.” As I’ve often said, writing got me through the dark years and saved my life. It gave me back whole to my family.

5. “You are a writer.

If you’re reading this blog because you’re jotting down a story, even if it’s just on a napkin right now, then you get to call yourself a writer.

A writer. An author. A scribbler. A storyteller.

Maybe that’s all you are. Maybe that’s all there is to be.

But maybe not. Maybe there’s more that we, as writers, can aspire to.”

6. “Think about the Bronte sisters. Neither parent was a writer, though both were said to be extremely literate. All three sisters, plus their brother, played games of imagination as children, possibly cultivating their creative side while dreaming up fanciful places. My earlier post, Are Writers Born or Made, would point to this as their “trigger” moment—assuming the desire to write was dormant inside.

We also have brothers Alex and Evelyn Waugh, known for Islands in the Sun and Brideshead Revisited, respectively. Their father, Arthur Waugh was a biographer (Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning), as well as a literary critic. Evelyn’s son, Auberon went on to become a writer, followed by his grandson, Alexander—a literary dynasty!”

7. “We all start our writing stories that we’d want to hear. How do we take it beyond that? To what the reader would want to grab hold of as quick as possible? Patience and rewriting. Who would have guessed that readers wanted to read about a Hobbit and a hole? A trip through a closet? A boy who lost his parents and finds out he’s from a wizard family? Families fighting for an Iron Throne. It’s obvious that the writers of these books care about their characters. They were the first readers. Every author is that for their story. Does it mean that it’s publishable? For some, yes, for others, no. But that’s what rewriting is about.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “A human with two different sets of DNA is called a chimera, and it’s more common than you might think. Most chimeras don’t even know they have this strange phenomenon going on inside them.

You could be a chimera, and so could I.

As we go along, take note of the interesting tidbits you could twist into a plot to add conflict.

Without any help from the scientific community, the process of becoming a chimera occurs naturally. Numerous books and movies explore chimerism using a killer who’s had a bone marrow transplant or blood transfusion. But are these characters based in fact?” Very interesting. Might spark an idea.

2. “The first stop of the afternoon was a familiar one; we had made a point of visiting the magnificent Sueno Stone on our last trip to the area. It is the tallest carved Pictish stone in Scotland and shows scenes of war and conquest… with the usual Pictish wholesale hacking off of heads. In this case, not one of our pet theories about the symbolic ‘removing the head’ psychologically in order to access the higher self, but the more graphic depiction of the slaughter and decapitation of the conquered. Not for nothing is Sueno’s Stone also known as the Battle Stone.” Her adventures always look so fascinating. And what a scary time in history!





7. “Not often, but sometimes I return to my teen experiences to help connect with a past emotion. It helps me get into a deep point of view by remembering something that happened. Since Young Adult Science Fiction is one of the genres I write in, this is a cool trick. But I also use it for my adult science fiction.

I vaguely remember my mother’s words when she tried to soothe my first teenage love-gone-wrong.

Puppy love. He didn’t deserve you. He lives too far away. 

There were a lot more comments ranging from sympathy to aggravation on her part. For my part, I was just miserable.

How did it happen?”

Some Things More Serious:


2. “So, this was certainly a weird couple of months, huh? I didn’t expect to take such a long hiatus – or even a hiatus at all. Mental health is a funny thing and it’s odd to me how I can feel restricted and depressed about some things I love to do such as blogging and writing. I can’t explain why it happened or why it took so long for me to get out of my funk, but I guess that doesn’t matter now. I’m back with my July 2019 goals.

I got myself through this funk and I’m ready to be back. This blog will resume the daily posts among other things and that’s the way I like it. I did think about cutting back, but I enjoy the daily posts and I even came up with more content ideas while I wasn’t blogging. That said, I’ve come up with a plan to cut back temporarily should this ever happen again.”


4. “On Saturday, Michael said I am not a normal mother. Just to give a bit of context to his comment, he had climbed into bed with us at 7am on Saturday morning, and we had a brief conversation about what each of us would be doing that morning. I was lamenting the fact that I was going to the hair dresser for highlights and saying I would prefer to spend the 3.5 hours finishing the proofing of Through the Nethergate. I finished my statement my saying that most women like going to the hairdresser and find it relaxing. Michael then came out with his intriguing comment.

Of course, I needed to probe this statement. In what way am I not a normal mother?

So I asked him “Why do you think I am not a normal mother?” I don’t think there’s such a thing as a normal mother. We all raise our families in our own way. We make mistakes. We grow from them. We get better. We backtrack. And the good news is, our kids love us anyway. (Of course, I realize some mothers like some fathers are not good people, but the majority of us are. We need more of the majority. Faults and all. There’s promise in loving.)

5. “This is another post in my series ‘making your life easier as a writer.’  This one covers how we can set ourselves up for a successful writing session with a little prep work.

We hear a lot about how to ensure easier mornings by preparing the night before (pulling an outfit out, making sure the kids have their school backpacks ready to go, picking up for 10 minutes in the evening), but the same thing goes for writing sessions, too.

I’m an early morning writer, but I think my tips can be adjusted for any writing schedule.

Let family members know what you’re doing.  This is a tip that’s best for those lunch or evening writers, probably.  But one way to help ensure you’re not interrupted is to get everyone on the same page when it comes to your plans.”

6. “Most of us remember the first time we read a real Horror story. But the one author who opened that door and lured so many of us through it is typically forgotten when it comes time to assemble a Horror canon…

The author is Roald Dahl– that Roald Dahl – the one of children’s book fame; author of Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG… and like Mother Goose and the Brothers Grimm before him, we have decided that his stories are for children. But what we tend to forget are the tales he wrote for adults – his much celebrated Tales of the Unexpected – that can effectively teach modern Horror writers how to take simple situations and common characters that occur in our day-to-day lives and lay out a startling, resonating and lasting Horror on the page.”

7. “A lot has changed since my last post. I study dentistry now — started September 2018. I didn’t write the whole year in dental school. Nor did I forget my story world.

When the acceptance letter came in the summer of 2018, I was relived. I had a year off — unemployed — and I wrote, for the most part. Mid-summer, I had run out of steam, stuck at ~70,000 words. (Writer’s block? Motivation loss?)

Once my first year of dentistry finished and summer began, I couldn’t get myself back into writing, but during the year I had plotted, developed my characters, refined backstories and solidified my overall understanding of my narrative.

A month and a half into summer, the spark came. I wrote again. So far I’ve written ~60-70% of the story, but I have a new problem: looks like I’ll surpass my 100,000 word limit. Whops!”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:


2. “Honestly, I have no clue why I’m doing this to myself. I’m hella embarrassed and yet I’ve here uploaded my first ever short story, unedited. At this point, I don’t even know why I do what I do.

A short disclaimer: I wrote this story ages and ages ago, and I didn’t even know how to create a story in the first place. All I wanted was to explore the idea of writing. Also, I had the guts to let other people read my story because I was rather proud of what I had written back then, which in all my senses I find terribly written now.”

3. ““A little trick of mine,” a woman’s nasally voice said next to my ear.

My fighting instinct kicked into full gear. Thankfully, a hand squeezed my shoulder, preventing me from spinning around and kicking the daylight out of my perceived assailant.”

4. “Short stories are not as difficult to write as a novel, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need planning, plotting, analysis and proper set-up. It might not be as complicated as a 500-page novel, but it’s still as intricate to pen them down.

Below I will put some insights as to how to write a short story, with examples from my first ever short story Just a Broken Limb. While I enjoyed my amateurish idea of a short story back then, I have grown to understand how short stories work and how it needs to be written.”




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival. Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister […]”








I write YA as Traci Kenworth. I also write romance as Loleta Abi.

13 thoughts on “Seven Links 7/6/19 Traci Kenworth

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