Posted in blogs, Craft, Family life, humor & fun, Links, Links, MG & YA, Muse, Reading, Uncategorized, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Finding the Inner Truth/Beauty in Yourself by Traci Kenworth


Finding the Inner Truth/Beauty in Yourself

Traci Kenworth

The taunts and cruelty growing up can cause you to lose faith in yourself. To not want to be who you are. Anything special, anything unique, you work to do away with. Because that would make you different. And different is bad. Or at least, that seems to be what we’re taught. Keep the formation. Don’t step out of line. Dream these dreams, not those.

It can be a daunting reality for a lot of kids. If there’s one thing, I think school’s get wrong: it’s that. We’re not all meant to be put in a binder together. We’re not all meant to follow the same path despite how much easier it would be for the higher-ups. Being different is good. It brings other perspectives to the table. It can show us a path forward in life that we should’ve taken all along.

So, what do you do years down the road when you look back with regret at some of the things you wish you’d done but didn’t? Dreams have a way of passing us by if we don’t grip them hard and run with them. Things change though. Sometimes due to finances, sometimes to personal problems. Or through no fault of our own. We wake up one day and look back and wonder if we’d chosen a different way, where we’d be.

We can wonder and wish all we want. The fact is life happens. That career we wanted since we were old enough to decide, didn’t pan out. The marriage we hoped for fell apart. A lot of times I think it has to do with letting other people’s perspectives influence our own. We don’t think we’re good at something, so we turn aside. If we’d stuck it out longer maybe the pegs would’ve lined up.

Still, there’s always a new start. One day you might decide to go back to one of those dreams, make a living at it. You could ignore all the naysayers and just do what’s best for you. After all, no one has to live your life but you. No one has to decide what you will be, what you will find. Uncovering that inner beauty of something we’ve always wanted to do takes time.

It doesn’t shortchange us. We weren’t supposed to pursue the path before that moment for whatever reason. It doesn’t make it wrong or silly to try and recover the dream. It makes us fulfill a promise to ourselves maybe. We let our children grow and now it’s time to rediscover something for our benefit. Maybe you always wanted that mechanic shop. Or a trip to Europe. You can do so at a later date. Nothing wrong with that.

In your pursuit of dreams, things get overturned. When you’re young, it seems you have all the time in the world. All the energy. All the faith. As the day ages, you lose some of that enthusiasm. There are those sent to talk you out of an idea for whatever reason. Holding true to what you want and believe takes a lot of determination. It takes a lot of perseverance, but you can do what you set your mind to.

Only you can hold you back when it comes down to it. You promise yourself one day. Well, one day has arrived. Dig down deep and find that core, that strength that was always there. Waiting. Find the foundation, discover the new road. Life can be anything you want it to be. Sure, you might be starting down the end road in life. Your finances might not be where you want them to be. A few kids, a few grandkids later might seem like time to retire.

Don’t give up on yourself. Take that moment. Pursue that dream. And find the inner beauty within, that truth that was always meant to be. Have a great week, take care, God bless.

Some products you may be interested in. I may receive a small compensation for the advertising from the seller.

Some blogs around the web you may enjoy:

Come swim with me in Jupiter’s moons,

roam the red rolling hills of Mars

come back to rest against blue earth.

Welcome to a repeat of the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful Culinary A – Z and a reminder, not only of the amazing variety of food we have available to us today from around the world, but delicious recipes to showcase them. Carol also introduces to cooking methods and kitchen equipment that assist in creating meals for all occasions.

Welcome today it’s the letter D …I have some exotic fruits for you and some lovely recipes I hope you enjoy!

  • Chris the Story Reading Ape: The Teritary Principles of Plot: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2022/08/03/the-tertiary-principles-of-plot-plans-gaps-crises-by-september-fawkes/ In storytelling, the primary principles of plot include goal, antagonist, conflict, and consequences. You can’t have a great plot without those elements first. The secondary principles of plot build directly off the primary, and they include progress, setbacks, costs, and turning points. As you likely guessed, the tertiary principles build off the prior two sets, and they include plans, gaps, and crises. Chris, always has such interesting posts! Check this out!
  • John Howell.com: https://johnwhowell.com/2022/08/02/30535/ In Keith’s words. “Using this photo (below) as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph (If you are curious about what we were photographing, it was the sun beginning to set over one of the domes of the mosque adjacent to the Taj Mahal. Click here to see my effort). Either put your offering (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before Sunday evening UK time. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.
  • Story Empire: https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/2022/08/03/characters-and-diversity-part-3-physical-ability/ Hello SE friends, Gwen with you today, and together we will venture further into the theme of diversity. In June, I wrote about including racial diversity in your stories. Here’s a link to that post. In July, I focused on financial diversity and offered suggestions which you can read here. Today’s topic is PHYSICAL ABILITY. Just as in the prior two posts, I will write from personal experience and invite you to share your experiences as well.
Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Family life, Links, Links, Muse, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Are We Haunted By Our Pasts? Traci Kenworth


Are We Haunted By Our Pasts?

Traci Kenworth

Sometimes what we write comes from within. Something in our pasts, a memory trying to break free. When we stare at the words, we’ve written we realize there’s a familiarity there. Considering what it might be, we wonder: where did that come from? Did it touch upon the time we fell from a bike on the gravel and skinned our knees, too eager to get home to Mom’s apple pie. Or was it even deeper? The unpleasant memory of a relative who assaulted us? My whole life, I’ve learned about forgiveness. Sometimes, that’s hard.

There were those in my family who couldn’t understand why I could “let” my ex get away with what he did. Simply, it was because I prayed and gave it to God. Not that I didn’t get angry about the events of my marriage and the days following after the end. The hurt. The realization. Tears. How could I not have realized what or who I’d married? The remembrance of his words telling me to slit my wrists like his girlfriend’s husband did, to prove my love to him. That was the last straw for me.

When we’re writing a character or a scene, we often don’t realize where or when we’re going to take them to a place where we ourselves have been. Things happen unconsciously. The good thing is because we’ve been there, we can identify. We can add the details that are true to the scene. How far we push the memory depends. We can go deep. Or we can just outline the events. Sometimes that’s easier for us to handle. The pushing helps us to relive what we went through and perhaps to release the pain. However, it can also trigger memories. We have to decide how far things go for our own comfort.

            Sadness sometimes evades my writing where needed even without me realizing I’m going there at times. I want to turn away. To put those memories to rest. But I realize, by telling my story, by relating through the character’s perspective, I can help others who’ve been through the experiences. That’s the thing about books. People think we pick them up and their words go away when we’re done. And granted, that happens with some books. Others pull us in, they get inside our skin. They transform us and our circumstances. They help us. We see others familiar with our pasts and relating to what they’ve been through. Books hit us in our guts and help to root us in healing and going forward.

            We may think we’re nothing like some characters. That we couldn’t do or say what they have. After the book is finished and out there, we stumble when we realize we may indeed have a streak or a pinch of them inside us. We wish we were as brave or adventurous as them. That we could have life turn out differently for us, if only. Sometimes, that’s crippling. Others, we realize that even if we knew, even if we could change things, the biggest turnover would be in our character. I wouldn’t change who I am now for anything. Not that I’m perfect. I’ve done and said things, horrible things, but I’ve also been at the pit of violence and made it out along with my children.

            They know me. They accept me for who I am. Flaws like everyone caused me to change, to grow, to learn better. I’m still striving to get better. To be a kinder, gentler person. Sometimes, my mouth betrays me. I swear way too much at times. I wish I didn’t. I pray that God would help me to tame my tongue. But as I age and settle into who I’ve become, I give myself a break. An allowance. Forgiving others is hard. Forgiving ourselves is even worse. We think we should’ve seen things. And we did. We just didn’t know to pay attention. If only can cripple a soul if you let it.

Our pasts judge us. They weigh us down. Nothing quite condemns our actions as we ourselves do. Moving beyond that takes mercy. For ourselves, for others. We don’t necessarily have to let that person back into our lives but holding on to that cliff of unforgiveness can ghost us. Moving on may be difficult. At the pinnacle of despair, I didn’t know how or what to do. For myself, for others. My illness forced me into a darkness I didn’t understand or know how to battle. I gave up. Only to find a peek of myself again.

Guiding myself back to health and life beyond has been one of the hardest challenges I had to face. When you hate others, you can bottle that up and beg God to take it from you. When you hate yourself, sometimes it feels like there’s no end. I couldn’t understand how a miserable wretch such as myself deserved to live. A conditioning I’d learned over years of abuse. I had been weak. I’d let myself be fooled and disgusted with myself, felt drained. Near death. It was my children who pulled me out at that point. Just remembering them. Journaling about them while in therapy. Their smiles, their hugs. They were my world.

They’re still my world. Are we haunted by our pasts? Heck, yeah. There’s not a single person I’ve met over the years that hasn’t done something they regret. Whether it was getting involved with an individual they shouldn’t have to abandoning their families. We may look down on others for what they’re going through but that’s just it. You DON’T know what someone’s going through. Health-wise. Relationship-wise. Morality-wise. Judging someone for their perceived failings is forgetting to look at ourselves in the mirror.

We’ve all been on a journey we wished we hadn’t taken. Now I’m not talking about someone who has obviously done something like murder or rape. All acts are not the same. I’m suggesting that you give your neighbor or your coworker or that person in the seat across from you on the subway some compassion. We all make mistakes. We all deserve to come back from them. Provided we’re sincere. With God’s forgiveness as well as our own. We often haunt our own lives with condemnations more than anything others could throw at us. Maybe that’s how God brings us to our knees. To accept redemption.

Below are some products you may like, I may receive a small compensation from the sellers:

  1. The Batman: https://amzn.to/3LAkpGO Because, who has a more haunted past?
  2. The Unwilling: https://amzn.to/3PwIMrX Who doesn’t love a good book?
  3. Cloud vs. Sepiroth: https://amzn.to/39LHJEo Two of the most legendary characters of the Final Fantasy 7 series in a two-player battle between them.

Here are some blog links you may enjoy.

  1. Kill Zone https://killzoneblog.com/2022/05/tkzs-words-of-wisdom.html This site has all kinds of advice for writers and not just the mystery/suspense writers. Come explore.
  2. Writers Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2022/05/fear-thesaurus-entry-a-secret-being-revealed/

Debilitating fears are a problem for everyone, an unfortunate part of the human experience. Whether they’re a result of learned behavior as a child, are related to a mental health condition, or stem from a past wounding event, these fears influence a character’s behaviors, habits, beliefs, and personality traits. The compulsion to avoid what they fear will drive characters away from certain people, events, and situations and hold them back in life. 

In your story, this primary fear (or group of fears) will constantly challenge the goal the character is pursuing, tempting them to retreat, settle, and give up on what they want most. Because this fear must be addressed for them to achieve success, balance, and fulfillment, it plays a pivotal part in both character arc and the overall story.

This thesaurus explores the various fears that might be plaguing your character. Use it to understand and utilize fears to fully develop your characters and steer them through their story arc. Please note that this isn’t a self-diagnosis tool. Fears are common in the real world, and while we may at times share similar tendencies as characters, the entry below is for fiction writing purposes only.

3. Angel Messages https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2022/05/21/angel-messages-may-21-2022/ An inspirational site!

4. Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog https://twodropsofink.com/2022/05/20/writers-are-you-trying-too-hard/

Especially after a success or two, I become elated and, believing (finally) I really am a writer, attempt to duplicate that last glory. 

I giggle to myself at the puns, murmur self-approval at the turns of phrases, and hear imagined readers’ gasps of delight at my ingenuity. 

Then, a red-yellow warning flare shoots through my brain before I can heap more accolades on myself—Uh-oh, ego ascendant.

The signs are unmistakable. If I ignore that flare, I know it heralds disaster: I’m trying too hard to write. 

5. This is Horror https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/news-round-up-week-ending-20-may-2022/

Out today from author Holly Rae Garcia and Easton Falls Publishing, Parachute, a horror novella

Angela Rodriguez and her friends aren’t sure what they want out of life now that they’ve graduated high school, but they think there is plenty of time to figure it all out. When a trip to an abandoned elementary school leads to a break-in, they discover an old gym parachute. Raising the fabric above their heads, the group expects it to balloon out around them like it did when they were younger. But instead, the parachute reveals alternate universes and terrifying worlds. There’s only one rule… DON’T LET GO. Available in paperback and eBook formats, you can pick up your copy here.

Posted in blogs, Craft, Links, Links, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Pimples That Invade Our Writing by Traci Kenworth


The Pimples That Invade Writing

Traci Kenworth

Pimples can ruin your day. I remember many a day gazing into the mirror, seeing that horrible red invader. It always showed up in the midst of a big event. Prom. A date. The day of your wedding. Always inconvenient. Always hideous. You just wanted to crawl back under the covers and avoid anyone you knew seeing you.

The real you. This is what happened when life just went south. Any other day, things would be fine. Your skin would be close to flawless. You’d be ready to take on the day. Everything just seemed to work out the way it was supposed to. And then, once again, those pimples would show up when you least expected it. It’s the same with writing.

You’re working along, whether by longhand or key, and you stumble into a crater that destroys your train of thought. What to do? Go around or go through. Choosing to go around could interrupt everything. Pushing through might lead you to a new discovery. Whatever path you follow, you learn to deal with both the rough stuff and the easy.

After all, doesn’t that mirror life? You don’t always have good days. Nor do you always have bad ones. It’s a mixture of both. The ups and downs of the plot points in your story run the same. If characters always had a smooth ride, they’d never get off. Leaving town, getting to know the stranger out on the road, could bring great things for that character.

Red blotches make us suffer humility at times. Even the prettiest girl in high school got them. Lots of cover-up and powder followed those days. However, when it comes to the page, seeing those zits as a growth opportunity for your characters is the way to go. Everyone has problems. Young and old. How we handle them is all different.

Some hide them, some pull them out to get everything out in the open. It depends on the personality of the character. It’s why some run into adventures and others burrow into their hobbit hole. No two characters are alike. That’s what makes the story beat with excitement. It brings our characters to life for the reader. They’re interested in the characters’ reactions as well as the story at hand.

Flaws build character. No one is perfect. And if they were, readers wouldn’t identify with them. They want to share the struggles; feel the emotions your characters go through. A flat, emotionless character might sound like a good experimental character but in reality, readers aren’t going to attach themselves to that type of personality. Again, they want to be part of the journey. When Frodo reaches Mt. Doom to destroy the ring, they want to be right there with him, cheering him on.

The pimples that invade our writing might look ugly at first but if we let them, they can teach us lessons about what’s missing in our characters. Giving them problems helps make them more identifiable. That leads to better writing.

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2. Something for those pesky pimples. https://amzn.to/3HRweGt 
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I may recieve a small compensation for any of the products listed above.

Links you may enjoy!
  1. James Scott Bell on Killzone: https://killzoneblog.com/2022/03/its-crucial-to-know-who-you-are-as-a-writer.html

Have you heard about what Brandon Freaking Sanderson is doing? As they used to say in the 60s, “It’ll blow your mind, man.”

Last Tuesday Sanderson made a “surprise announcement” via YouTube, telling his fans that over the course of the last two years he has produced four—count ’em, four—“secret” novels. Instead of releasing these books through a traditional publisher, Sanderson is running a Kickstarter campaign to sell directly to his readers. The books will be delivered each quarter in 2023. And not just books. At certain levels supporters receive a box of Sanderson swag in each of the other eight months.

When you run a Kickstarter, you choose a minimum goal for your campaign. If you don’t hit it, the pledges aren’t collected. Sanderson set his goal at $1 million.

2. Syl65’s blog for the wonderful poet Sylvester: https://syl65.wordpress.com/2022/03/06/spiritualsunday-8/ Spiritual Sunday

3. Fictional Favorites by John Howell: https://johnwhowell.com/2022/03/05/stream-of-consciousness-saturday-prompt-way-to-go/

Drumming my fingers on the counter, waiting for the orchestrated process that manufacturers a cup of coffee to be complete, the memory synapses kick in before caffeine. That darned bunny was the message relayed to the heart, lungs, stomach, and legs. Mercifully the machine finally delivered the soothing syrup designed to smooth out the peaks and valleys of an overrevved reaction to the torturous memory interruption. “Way to go,” I whispered to the hot, steaming mug of dark frothy deliciousness.

In a more stable condition, the realization that the front door needs to be addressed sets in. Since there is no clue of anything on the Ring doorbell camera, there is only one way to determine if the grey carrot munching talking cartoon of a rabbit is gone. My prayer goes up that he is indeed somewhere else. The door is flung open.

“What’s up, Doc?”

4. Smorgasbord Blog Magazine with Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/03/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-memories-music-and-movies-1986-halleys-comet-hawaii-magnum-pi-top-gun-by-sally-cronin/

In celebration of our time in America and the wonderful people we met and still are in touch with, here is our second year living in Houston and some of the adventures we enjoyed. We actually ended up visiting all the East and West Coast as well as driving across country.. On this trip we wanted to see the once in a lifetime visit of Halley’s comet.

It is now 1986 and we were very aware that we only had a year left of David’s contract in America and that we needed to step up our explorations. In that twelve months we visited the East and West coasts and made the epic road trip from Houston to New Mexico with a friend to try and glimpse Halley’s Comet: Wikipedia

5. Chris the Story Reading Ape: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2022/03/06/crave-rejection-7-never-fail-100-guaranteed-tips-for-raising-your-r-score-by-ruth-harris/

Are you embarrassed by your pathetic R-quotient?

Do other writers sneer at your R-score?

Has your pile of rejection letters stalled out?

Have your R-levels been diagnosed as too low?

Has too much time gone by since your last rejection?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you must take immediate action.

Here’s some advice for those who feel they are missing out on one of the basic building blocks of a successful author’s career: Rejection.

For those who feel they are not paying their dues.

For every writer who is not receiving an adequate, soul-satisfying number of rejections, try these pro tips to help you pump up your pathetic, wimpy R-score.

Where the Genres Collide March 6 2022 at http://www.tracikenworth.com

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, John Howell, author, Links, Muse, writers, Writing and Poetry

A Little Bit of Rouge There… by Traci Kenworth


A Little Bit of Rouge There, A Little Bit of Shade to Our Characters

Traci Kenworth

Foreshadowing has never been my strong suit. I see authors such as J.K. Rowling that have snuck items in books that the reader wouldn’t have even noticed in the beginning. And then you just look back in awe. How did they think that far ahead? I know mystery writers do it all the time. Sneaking things in that the reader might see as a diversion but are the absolute truth.

How do they know when to do that? I have a hard time figuring out when to add things as you can see. I know I have to slip it in somewhere but where is the question? Do you find yourself in the same boat or do you totally get those details in just where they need to be? Of course, I know the majority of writers go back through in drafts and add what they need. My problem is knowing how much to put in and where exactly.

I’ve read that some writers know the significance of every detail in the scene including the green curtains in the background. Elsewhere, a butterfly could symbolize rebirth. I’m not that meticulous when it comes to framing things. I would love to be. As I’ve said before, adding something in the second book that shows back up in the sixth is just phenomenal talent for some writers.

I know that in school, stories are examined by teachers and students to determine just what that antique doll sitting on the shelf means. What did the author mean by focusing on that sled in the movie? Theories are sought and discussed over and over. I’ve never been a fan of pulling things apart like that. I like to be more subtle. What does the story mean to me? What are the relevant details and how did they fit in that spot? Would I have done something different? It’s hard to say.

In college, further studies of the classics happened. If Beale Street Could Talk. The Catcher and the Rye. Both books to make you think. Especially as a younger person. It broadened your world. Made you see that everyone has their own suckish life but once you work through things, you discovered life is what life is. You make the best of it. It helps to put your own in perspective. Maybe you didn’t have it as bad as you think.

That’s what books do. They help us explore options. What could be versus what is. It’s only in the learning and exploring that we understand what the story is about. Foreshadowing is a tool writers use to set up a scene further in the future. Discovering when and how to add the clue is done differently by every writer. And let’s face it, some of the clues readers discover ended up there by accident.

I know it’s popular nowadays to think that a writer might have broken down every scene with objects that meant something to the story. The chair in the middle of the floor might showcase a kidnapping. A chest might lead a character on to a quest. Sometimes however, a detail in the story is just there. A character needs a place to rest. To discuss options with his or her friends.

I suppose I’d understand the ways writers insert shade into their stories more if I did the breakdowns of stories. Somehow though, that feels like almost an intrusion into them. I like a bit of mystery, a bit of wonder as to where the writer pulled that out of their page. Mystery writer I may never be, but from what I’ve learned while reading and absorbing the story, I can see the value in adding the clues.

It’ll be something I need to observe more in my reading so that I can apply it to my writing in the years to come. How about you? Do you like to tear stories apart and put them back together? Are you like me and don’t like to study every detail down to the author’s name? I just know what I like when I read it. It’s in the pages that we uncover the magic, the talent of each writer before us and how they came to weave their genius into the story.

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  2. The Honest Mama Bump Love Bundle https://amzn.to/3u7fAQ7
  3. Boom! By Cindy Joseph Cosmetics Boomstick Color https://amzn.to/3o7sZUC

Below are some links you might like to view:

  1. Pitch Wars https://pitchwars.org/upcoming-release-red-thread-of-fate-by-lyn-liao-butler/ Two days before Tam and Tony Kwan receive their letter of acceptance for the son they are adopting from China, Tony and his estranged cousin Mia are killed unexpectedly in an accident. A shell-shocked Tam learns she is named the guardian to Mia’s five-year-old daughter, Angela. With no other family around, Tam has no choice but to agree to take in the girl she hasn’t seen since the child was an infant. Overwhelmed by her life suddenly being upended, Tam must also decide if she will complete the adoption on her own and bring home the son waiting for her in a Chinese orphanage. But when a long-concealed secret comes to light just as she and Angela start to bond, their fragile family is threatened. As Tam begins to unravel the events of Tony and Mia’s past in China, she discovers the true meaning of love and the threads that bind her to the family she is fated to have.
  2. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2022/01/how-to-use-touch-in-writing/

Touch is a basic human need. It’s the first sense we develop and our first social interaction at birth.

The Power of Touch.

Imagine walking barefoot through a forest. The softness of moss between your toes, the cool slime of mud, the pokes and scratches of pine needles, sticks, and stones.

Think of the kitchen and the intense heat of the oven. Remember kneading and punching bread dough, making deep indentations in the mixture, releasing stored aggression on the dough. (Good therapy.)

Touch has two different systems, factual (location, movement, and pressure) and emotional. Both types are used in writing.

3. Story Empire Blog https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/2022/01/28/what-can-be-done-if-the-desire-to-write-is-missing/

Hi SEers, John is with you today. I hope you are looking forward to a great weekend. I know I am. Today’s post is all about providing some perspective on those times when no matter how much a writer knows they should get to their writing, they just dread it. I have had those moments. It’s that awful time where writing sounds like it will be a miserable experience.

These times may not last long, but while they are there, they become a cause for unreasonable concern about the future as a writer. I mention unreasonable since, like most things that go bump in the night, these concerns under the white-hot light of reality tend to fall away.

So, what kind of white-hot light can be switched on to expose these feelings of not wanting to write to a reality check. The title of this post gives a hint. Some things can be said out loud that will chase the specter of doubt to St Louis. I am suggesting some things can be said when faced with a lack of desire to write. Once any of these are expressed, writing will take on a revitalized characteristic. Some of these are meant to be humorous to show how laughable it is not wanting to write.

4. Robbie’s Inspiration https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/01/27/robbies-inspiration-my-word-for-the-year-patience/

Several people in the blogosphere had selected a word to inspire them for 2022. One of the best such words I’ve encountered is curator shared by Marsh Ingrao of Always Write blog. You can read her post here: https://alwayswrite.blog/2022/01/26/wqw-4-word-of-the-year-or-writers-choice/

Seeing as the bloggers have collective colluded to twist my rubber arm with regards to a wordy inspiration, I have chosen ‘Patience’. I shared my choice with my long suffering husband and, after he’d picked himself up off the floor after laughing himself silly, I composed this poem to keep me on the path of patient virtuousness:

5. Books and Such https://teripolen.com/2022/01/27/light-years-from-home-by-mike-chen-blogtour-bookreview-scifi-family/

Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.

Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he’d been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.

When Evie’s UFO network uncovers a new event, she goes to investigate. And discovers Jakob is back. He’s different—older, stranger, and talking of an intergalactic war—but the tensions between the siblings haven’t changed at all. If the family is going to come together to help Jakob, then Kass and Evie are going to have to fix their issues, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and if their brother is telling the truth, possibly an entire space armada, too.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

The Beauty of Writing by Traci Kenworth


The Beauty of Writing

Traci Kenworth

I was probably twelve or thirteen when I began using makeup. Eye shadow. Liner. Rouge. Lipstick. Any and all of it. I wished in later years, that I’d taken it slower like my one friend in high school whose parents only allowed her lipstick for many years. Of course, I found out from another friend that she ditched that restriction when it came to parties and hanging out with friends. I just thought maybe less was more as I got older.

I guess that’s how we all start off with writing as well. Experimenting to see what worked best. Sometimes, certain words didn’t work at all. I thought you had to be distant from the piece but as time advanced, I learned how close you really want to be with your reader. Almost as if you could whisper to them, “Here, I have a tale I want to tell you about.” That’s what draws them in. It’s what gets them to share the character’s journey.

Truth be told, I’d rather spend time reading the majority of the time. Unfortunately, things continue to get in my way of such and I have to really work to enjoy stories nowadays. There’s something about sitting down, focusing on that character that’s magical. Like the first time you look into the mirror with makeup on and find someone you don’t quite recognize. It’s all about relating to that person you see. Listening to their secrets. Sharing the possibilities.

The tools of makeup bring out the canvas of one’s beauty just like those used for writing. When we begin a story, we have to learn how to contour things just right, so they enhance a scene, bring out the best in a character, or showcase the genre in question. The more we write, the more we learn. We could also say the same about reading. It should go hand in hand with our works. We need to learn what authors who’ve gone before us have done and improve on our own manuscripts with the things we discover. Of course, don’t copy their efforts. We grow by adapting and trying new ideas.

Imitating is fine at first, but you want to break out into your own path. Much like you want to tailor makeup to you, instead of following the trends and looking like every other face out there. There’s room for you in whatever you do. To shine, to explore, to rise to new heights. I’m not talking author intrusion. Still, you want the story to reflect what you want to say and how you want to say it. Don’t channel Anne Rice or Stephen King. Put a bit of you into the work. What do you believe? What matters to you? Show your characters searching for what they want or putting an end to the thing that could destroy their world.

As you age, you become less inclined to wear makeup. There just isn’t the time or anybody to impress. Still, a small amount can do wonders for your confidence. At least it does for me. I was a lonely girl looking for a way to fit in as a teenager. I didn’t quite make it until my senior year in high school. I opened up. Spoke my mind sometimes. And won new friends. When I think about those times, I realize it was training ground. Everyone at some time in their life experiences awkwardness. The best thing to do is to work through those times. Pick up your pen. Put your fingers to the keys. Write about tragedy, hope, and forgiveness. It heals the soul.

Where Genres Collide

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Five Links You Might Find Interesting:

. https://syl65.wordpress.com/2021/12/30/thursdaythoughts-the-year-to-come/ Syl65's Blog.com Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
2. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/12/30/smorgasbord-book-reviews-december-2021-round-up-contemporary-anne-goodwin-romance-jan-sikes-romance-staci-troilo-shortstories-mae-clair-thriller-jane-buckley/ Smorgasboard Blog Magazine.com Welcome to the last of the book reviews for 2021 with some wonderful books that I can highly recommend.

The first book I read in December was the thought provoking contemporary novel Matilda Wilson is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin.
3.  https://teripolen.com/2021/12/29/www-wednesday-what-am-i-reading-amreading-65/ Books and Such The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m literally starting Bright Ruined Things today, so I really can’t comment on it. It’s been on my NetGalley shelf for months, but I’m excited to finally get to it. The cover gives me a Great Gatsby feel.
4. https://conniejjasperson.com/2021/12/29/writing-drabbles-and-exploring-theme-amwriting/ Life in the Realm of Fantasy I think of writing as a muscle of sorts, working the way all other muscles do. Our bodies are healthiest when we exercise regularly, and with respect to our creativity, writing works the same way.

WritingCraft_short-story-drabbleDaily writing becomes easier once you make it a behavioral habit. The more frequently you write, the more confident you become. Spend a small amount of time writing every day and you will develop discipline.
5. https://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2021/12/traditional-publishing.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email The Blood-Red Pencil Although we now focus quite heavily on indie and self-publishing here at The Blood-Red Pencil, many of our early posts were geared towards helping authors navigate the traditional publishing gauntlet, from completed manuscript, to agent queries and pitches, to landing that much-coveted book deal with one of the large publishing houses.

 



Countdown to a Book

One of the most comprehensive series of posts we ran here was Kathryn Craft's seventeen-post epic account of her journey through the traditional publication process, starting with her realisation that she needed help long before she could even think about querying an agent.
Posted in Craft, Reading, Short stories, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Teen Topics to the Tune of Characters: Heartbreak Traci Kenworth


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Teen Topics to the Tune of Characters: Heartbreak

Traci Kenworth

Can you imagine waited bated breath as your crush focused on his best friend, your current best female friend as well? The torture suffocated her. Oh, why couldn’t he look at her that way? She knew every angle to his face. Every deep lash that shaded those green eyes. The idea of him knowing something, anything intimate about her brought a grimace. All he saw was what every other person saw: chubbiness that rendered her all but invisible.

“Alan is going to be so all-over-himself at this one,” Scott said.

She hung on every word, rewarded with a blink when she lost her balance when he glanced her way. Darn. Why did she always spaz around him?

The female friend, Lenore drew his attention back to her with a snap of her gum. “That’s his problem. He gets too overwhelmed by a girl.”

“Not his problem. He just puts his bar to high.”

Lenore huffed. “Not with Arlene.”

“Well.” Scott shrugged.

It’s now or never.

“A hard one to figure,” she added.

Scott swung to her. He frowned. “What do you mean?”

She colored. “Just, anyone could see that one had a problem.”

“You may be right.”

“Of course, she’s right,” Lenore said.

She exchanged a grin with Lenore.

“Are you two saying you knew something was up with her? Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Like any of you would’ve listened,” Lenore retorted.

She gazed at Scott. “You mean, you didn’t notice?”

He shrugged. “Well.”

“Admit it.” Lenore nodded.

“Okay. She wasn’t the best apple in the bunch.”

“More like the meanest beehive ever set loose.”

She burst into laughter. Scott followed. They shared a grin. Her heart nearly paused. The only thing that saved her was Lenore’s gesture.

“Here, he comes.”

Alan always looked like his wheat-colored hair was caught in the wind. He surveyed each of them, a hint of suspicion in his gaze. “What’s up?”

Scott curled a hand over his mouth. “Betty Rocklin.”

He took a step back. “You heard?”

“That she put you through the meatgrinder in gym?”

“Damn. I never catch a break.”

Posted in Craft, Short stories, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Teen Topics To the Tune of Characters 5/31/2021 Unconditional Love by Traci Kenworth


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Teen Topics: To the Tune of Characters 5/31/2021

Traci Kenworth

Unconditional Love

Jori glanced around the bedroom painted teal with flower bordering. She swallowed hard. How did she luck into this? A queen bed shoved alongside one wall with gold sheet sets matching the white and gold bedroom set.

“Do you-like it?” the woman said, a hand to her husband’s arm.

No, not woman. Her new mom and dad for that matter.

She’d never had either. Her twelve-year-old self attempted a half-smile. Her voice rose scratchy as she spoke. “Sure.”

Behind them, the lovely interior of one of the wealthiest residents in Backwater, Tennessee caused her to step back. What if she broke something? Would they toss her out? Send her back to the orphanage? Or another foster family? Her hand curled around the suitcase they’d brought for her to put her things in. Her things. One pair of pants. Two shirts. A pair of shorts.

The woman-mom waved her inside the room. “Make yourself welcome.”

“Check out everything,” her dad said.

Taking a deep breathe, she inched into the setting. This couldn’t be real. She didn’t deserve this luxury. As if to hit that message home, two shadows appeared behind the parents. One boy. One girl. The boy smiled. The girl frowned. What a joy it must be for them to get a new sister, almost grown.

Her mother opened the closet. “We got your sizes from the- We hope you like them.”

Inside, every color of dress shimmered.

“The dressers are filled too. If you need anything else. Let us know.”

Her dad nodded. “You’ll be given an allowance to manage. We expect some chores. Same as any family.”

And if she didn’t do it to their satisfaction?

Her mother patted her arm. “Don’t worry. We won’t throw everything at you all at once.” She glanced at the rest of her family. “Let’s give her some space. To sort through things.”

The girl lingered behind the others. She flashed her teeth at Jori. Go ahead. Just relax. She’d be there to set her straight, that look said.

Jori cringed. Well, she couldn’t expect it all to be pudding could she?

Posted in blogs, Craft, Family life, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Writerly Things 10/21/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay

Writerly Things 10/19/2020

Traci Kenworth

Update: The adjuster was out, and he said it’d take a week for the insurance to get back to me. They will send the money, if any, to the mortgage company who decides whether to approve project or not. Been through this before. A lot of contractors don’t want to work with mortgages because they don’t get paid, they say. I had a hard time getting those funds with the mortgage company before this and they ended up keeping the money while I refinanced back then. Thus, I lost my back porch back then but managed to squeeze the money out for roof repairs.

As for health, this doctor wasn’t able to help me either so sending me back to family physician who passed me off to urgent care back when all this began.