Posted in a bit of seriousness, Colleen's Weekly Poetry Challenge, Family life, Uncategorized, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Beauty and the Person by Traci Kenworth


Beauty and the Person

Traci Kenworth

Beauty touches every human being whether we realize it or not. Oh, not the makeup but the part of us that shines within our souls. There, we’re all unique. Growing up, I spent a lot of time running from who I was. I was convinced if I could just find the right concealer, the right lipstick everything in my life would change. Nowadays, I don’t usually wear much makeup. Instead, I hope that who I am emerges through it all.

Pieces of the same girl remain but not the whole. I’ve lost fragments here and there. Everybody does. It doesn’t matter if you have freckles, braces, or a big lump on your face. You’re still you. Still loveable. It took me a long while to realize this, to believe it. They’re right when they say that some people’s heart blares through in opportunities presented to them. Those are the real heroes. The ones that can reach out to the hurting, the vulnerable.

The essence of who we are, what we’re willing to give to make ours and others lives better begins to develop when we’re just a small child. We learn certain responses get us rewards. It’s not until we break free from what’s expected of us however, that we truly develop our individuality. Who we’ll become is important because when it’s all said and done, what you make of yourself inside that soul is what counts.

We want people to be proud of us. Sometimes, that happens easily. More often, it takes work. Even a person so far gone from the grid can turn their lives around. It might take a lot of time and more road than we have, but you can get there. I’m not proud of all the decisions I made in my life, but I stand by who I am and the two children I raised. They gave me a better future because they made me fight to find that truth, that hope inside myself.

Just the other day, I saw the truly awfulness we can be inside an old lady at the store when she thought I’d cut in front of her in line. I’d been waiting over twenty minutes for my meds, and they called me. She considered me a bastard among other things, shaking her fist and flipping me off without even letting me explain. I have never been confronted by an older person like that before. Oh, I’ve seen mean, yes but not such hatred. I don’t know why it was there, only that it shocked me. And that she could get others behind her in a place that wasn’t even the line to attack me as well, I just know that that isn’t how I want to live.

All pruned up and ready to assault another person because I think they’ve offended me. I was in the process of having my order stapled up when she started her rant, and I heard them call for security. I took my order and headed out, wishing her a good day. It was hard to say that after everything she’d said to me. It reminded me of my past and other times I’ve run up on such cruelty. You never see it coming. It’s like kicking a dog. That poor animal doesn’t even realize what they’ve done to harm you. They don’t get it. Don’t live like that, please. It’s not good for anybody. Least of all, yourself.

Put your good into everything you do. It’ll win you peace. Not to mention, less wrinkles. Why are we so concerned with the outside of our person when it’s the inside that houses who we are? We store our love there to be showered on others. We hold on to the wisdom we’ve learned, the fun we were offered. Life is meant to share there not bottle it up. When we stop giving a piece of ourselves to those around us, we start to die, I think.

We’re not meant to be hermits, left to our own devices. That’s what makes me so sad when elderly people are shut off from their loved ones later in life. We all need each other to stay alive, to hope, to find a reason to go on. It’s easy to give up when you think no one cares any longer. There’s nothing to bring you back. Don’t exclude anybody from gatherings if you can help it. You just might change a life, open their heart. They might’ve been kept from others for so long they forgot what it was like. How to participate.

That goes for younger participants as well. You never know what teenager is isolated and needs to be drawn back into the fold, to feel someone cares. They might be getting less and less from the emotional stage of their time in school, in sports, whatever. A job they took might not be working out. Dreams they have might’ve been put on hold for financial reasons. Find a way to make them believe again, to make them soar.

It’ll come back to you tenfold. All this time we’re here on Earth could be used for something better. To help others. To bring them back to life, to spark their dreams again. It’s never too late for anyone. It just takes a helping hand. That reaching out and bringing things back to the beauty and person inside themselves. We’ve all got a reason for being a reason to go on. It’s in that face next to you, in that hand you hold. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Live. Rejoice. And let those dreams grow. You won’t regret it, and neither will they.

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Some blog posts you might like:

Enjoy your Labor Day, everyone! God bless!
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.

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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 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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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 a bit of seriousness, blogs, writers, Writing and Poetry

The Three Types of Premise


Writing
Image via Wikipedia

The Three Types of Premises

Traci Kenworth

 

As stated in How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey, premise is a statement of what happens to the characters as a result of the core conflict of the story. Today, we’re going to discuss 3 types.

Type 1: Chain Reaction: This is simply a series of events that blast the character toward the finale. For instance: Darla, out on shopping rounds, finds an envelope of money with no identification to the owner (or perhaps there is and she’s just not saying), and no one but her conscious to tell her what to do. So she keeps the money, spends it even. Later, she learns of a young couple with a three-year-old daughter who has cancer lost their money at the store and is unable to pay for their daughter’s treatments. She is torn between what to do. Should she return the funds from her own pocket book, ignore the situation entirely, or admit that she took it and has no way to replace the money? The answer to this puzzle is the climax or solution. Let’s take this one step further and suppose that $5.00 from that envelope landed Darla the winning lottery ticket/ Now what is her dilemma? Will she make the “right” choice?

Type 2: The opposing forces: Love vs. hate. Wealth vs. poverty. Death vs. life. An example may be: a man of Biblical principles, in applying them to his life, finds himself challenged by the very things he believes. When a woman and her children enter his life under a false set of circumstances, he must decide whether to turn them in, part ways, or help them the best he can. Let’s say he learns she stole to provide for her children, he knows the family she stole from, and his conscious impresses upon him to expose her for the crime. And yet, his heart is at war because she did so to feed her children, to keep them off the streets, to give them a chance in life. Which set of values will win out? Will compassion cause him to cover for her and help her to get a new start? Will they all become, in turn, a new family?

Type 3: The Situational Premise: This is where the same problem affects all of the characters in the story. Example: Each character searches for an anchor. It destroys some, but saves others. This type can easily become a snag if the story becomes too convoluted. Because each might have their own story, you could end up telling too much of one’s and not enough of another’s. Your main protagonists become less. The story has to be cut carefully, set into type just so, if it is blossom into a beautiful tale. The story is Bill’s and Andi’s not the entire cast. That’s not to say the story doesn’t apply to all the characters, it just has to be more Bill’s and Andi’s than the town of Montville.

So how do you handle the above types of premises? I find most of my stories to fall under the situational premise. I just love to bring a problem to a town and drop it in everyone’s laps. Of course, my hero and heroine who have the most to suffer must embrace their strengths and bring about the downfall of the villain/disaster. It’s a tricky balance to keep your minor characters just that, but in the end, the story shines because of it.

Posted in #tanka #haiku #poetry, a bit of seriousness, blogs, Colleen's Weekly Poetry Challenge, Craft, Muse, Reading, senryu, Short stories, Writing and Poetry

Three Senryu and a Story 8/6/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Dead windows wait for
the joy of the children once
roomed within their walls

curtains hang
limp with dust as a
stillborn cries

pictures 
decay while 
tears drop

The House on Vasket Street

Traci Kenworth

They’d moved in three months ago. Dreams full. Hopes high. Delaney inspected her face in the passenger mirror window. Her face had filled out. She patted her stomach. Any day now. She glanced over at Keith and the twins in the back street. Life was good.

The moving van pulled in front of the house while they parked in the drive.

Shouted orders came from one of the guys in the truck to his fellow crew.

Keith smiled at her and rushed to unlock the door for the movers while she rested her head back and closed her eyelids.

Had that only been three months ago? It seemed a lifetime as they wheeled her into the operating room. An emergency C-section. She ignored the nurses’ whispers about her paleness. She’d heard too much of that conversation of late. She didn’t need anyone to tell her what she saw when she glanced in the mirror: she’d failed.

She bowed her head over the basinet as the moving van came.

The twins giggled down the hall as their daddy played with them for perhaps the last time in a long while.

She’d failed at marriage too.

Tears scattered on the floor, catching on the frame of a picture.

And then a loving-hand found hers and crouched beside her, his sobs mingling with her own.

“I’m sorry so sorry,” he said.

“It’s me you need to forgive.”

“It isn’t your fault.”

“Or yours.”

They kissed. The movers waited out on the curb.

“I’ll tell them.” He stood and she wandered down the hall to the twins.

Perhaps things weren’t perfect. Life rarely worked that way. But it was time for a new start. She hugged her children and led them downstairs to make dinner for her family.

The End.

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Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs

Writerly Things 6/15/2020: Balancing Things Traci Kenworth


Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Writerly Things 6/15/2020: Things Out of Balance

Traci Kenworth

I’m not sure even how to begin what’s going on in our world right now. There’s the coronavirus. There’s peaceful protest. Then there are the violent and destructive portions. Not to mention the police officers who’ve been attacking black individuals out there. And then sadly, there’s the transphobic atmosphere going on. Just when I thought we’d been hit by enough with the virus that has yet shown signs of “slowing down” despite the warm climate some predicted would kill it. A few more months of summer and then we’ll head down the slope toward winter. Yeah, a GOT reference. Go figure.

People standing up for what they believe is right and fair are all good. That’s what America is about, expressing free will. Everyone has a right to a better life. No one should be harassed. However, those that are destroying businesses and looting? They’re not there to support anything. They’re there to take. What isn’t theirs. There’s no rights for that. They should be arrested. Just because there are protests going on doesn’t give anyone the right to go in and steal. Set cars and buildings on fire. What if there are people in there? Is murder excused? I don’t think so.

All of this gives me some things to think on. I hope others do as well.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Family life, writers, Writing and Poetry

Writerly Things 4/6/2020: Writing & Confinement Traci Kenworth


Image by Mircea Iancu from Pixabay

Writerly Things 4/6/2020: Confinement and the Writer

Traci Kenworth

We spend so much time practicing our craft, when we look up days could’ve gone by. If we’re not interacting with a spouse or kids even longer. So why is the confinement to our homes bothering us so much?

When We’re Forced to do Something.

Put simply, we resist. We start getting the itch to get outdoors, to see someone. We want to spend time with our friends or extended family. We go out of our way to talk to neighbors even over the smallest thing. Yeah, confinement has the opposite effect of what our officials are trying to do. It makes us want to get out more.

So how do We Combat the Rebellion?

First, we stop looking at our circumstances as imprisonment. We are with family. Maybe we didn’t spend so much time together before the shelter went into place but now’s our chance to rectify that. Get to know one another again. Play some games. Watch some TV together. Listen to some music. Compare notes to how things are now to when they were children to when you were children. Get everyone involved in the discussion. Ask grandparents to tell their stories. It’ll set off a chain reaction of interest and research.

Maybe you didn’t know much about WWII. Listen to what happened to your elders. Again, research. Learn as much as you can. Regroup and inform others what you’ve learned. Try to find documentaries or movies on such. Feed your mind further by reading about the subject. Everything can be a learning project.

Discover Where You Came From.

Research family roots. Make it a family project. Divide up ancestors and see what each can learn about theirs. Bring the info together, study it. Decide what fits and what might not apply. Don’t be too hasty to discard a fact though, just like a puzzle, you might find the piece fits later down the line. Start a chart. Record from your immediate family members back to as far as you can. Do you know about one branch of family more than others? Make a priority to learn something new about the forgotten side.

Call other family members up or visit on the pc or a smartphone. Talk to them about growing up, what they remember. The more details you can put to each family member the better. Some families kept Bibles. In them, they recorded family history. Ask if anyone has them. If you could get a peek inside one, it could save you years of research.

What About the Younger Generation?

Do you know your children’s favorite song? Band? Movie? And so on? Do they like anything beyond sports, band, the theater? Are they maybe into the high school newsletter? Makeup? Fashion? Creative writing? Have you spent time talking to them about what they’re into? Now’s the perfect time to open up a channel that might not happen again in today’s busy lives. Listen to what they’re doing. Where they want to go.

Help them dig into info on the subjects dear to their hearts. They’ll remember in later years that you were willing to try to see their viewpoint. Don’t judge them or try to change their minds. Just let them go and discover what they will about it. If they fail, they’ll learn there’s something better out there then what they thought. And they won’t look back with hurt that you didn’t care enough to allow them to try.

I get it. Parents want to keep their kids from getting hurt. But controlling them isn’t the way to do it. You have to let them go and experience what they will in life. They’ll respect you for it. Come back to you for advice. Listen to what you have to say on a subject. All because you took the time and didn’t push. Open up a conversation today. You won’t regret it. Take care and God bless.

Want some good TV? Try this and this.

Movies? One and two.

Books? One and two?

Cleaning products? One, two, three.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Family life, horror, MG & YA, Reading, Writing and Poetry, YA

Book Talk 3/27/2020: Additions to YA Traci Kenworth


Image by Dennis Larsen from Pixabay

Book Talk 3/27/2020: Additions to What I’m Reading in YA

Traci Kenworth

Hood by Jenny Elder Moke. I know, a short, short list of additions. I’ve got so many in the rotation right now, trying to keep up.

How are things for you at home? Safe, I hope. We are hanging in there. Watching the birds more. Enjoying nature. I hope to get a grill soon to celebrate the warmer weather. I haven’t had one in some years, An indoor one but it doesn’t cook them as good as the outdoor ones. I prefer charcoal to gas as I’m not sure how to operate them. They have faster charcoal briquettes now.

Not watching much TV right now. Working on blogs and trying to find time for writing and editing when I can. It’s tough going. Searches for items we need can take up some time when out and about. I still have to get my daughter to work as she’s in retail. Groceries are starting to come back slowly. They are limiting purchases of some items which I can’t blame them since everyone went berserk for toilet paper etc.

The pets are doing well. Watching birds. One just ran into the house. Not the window mind you, but the actual side of the house. Everything looks calm & peaceful outside but appearances can be deceiving. However, I’m going to choose to think the best of us today. Be kind to one another, take care, and God bless!

In the meantime, could you use some cleaning supplies: one, two, three, and four.

Some pet supplies? One, two, three.

Baby supplies? One, two.

Young kids? One. Slightly older? One. College? One.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Family life, Writing and Poetry

Writerly Things 3/23/2020: A Glimpse of the Normal Traci Kenworth


Image by Jo Wiggijo from Pixabay

Writerly Things 3/23/2020: A Glimpse of the Normal

Traci Kenworth

Today, while out and about, I caught a glimpse of the normal. At least, what normal used to be. People being sensible with their grocery shopping. Their carts not overflowed. Their attitudes not belligerent and cross. They seemed as though they were hitting their stride in the new reality.

Grocery Shopping.

Of course, while grocery shopping hasn’t returned to its pre-crisis levels, I did see more items stocked on the shelves. We were able to manage to get toilet paper, water, and meat. Something we previously weren’t able to find. I still haven’t been able to locate the kind of cat food my cats like, but they still have some for now. I was able to get a few veggies as well. I felt a sense of relief and encouragement from today’s shopping as I’m sure others did as well. Soap is still a hard find as well. Luckily, we got a few before everything flipped topsy-turvy.

Bills Still Arrive as Usual.

No slow in their pace despite the craziness and the uncertainty. I see some places are saying they won’t shut customers off right now with the mess if they can’t pay their bills. I’m not quite sure they won’t do a hike in the payments though afterwards. And who’s to say mortgages are going to be fair afterward? I know some countries have postponed payments. Still haven’t heard this in U.S. but it’d be nice. Especially if more layoffs occur.

Thankfully, there’s a Trickle of Money Coming in, Not Enough to Pay All the Bills Though.

We’re working to keep what we can taken care of. My ex stopped paying support last month not sure if because of the coronavirus or he’s injured or laid-off. I still have to talk to Job & Family Services and see if they can look into such. Last time, he stopped paying for a year. It was longer in the years before that. It’s part of the obstacles of life. Dive from one bill to another, hoping to keep ahead. I’d hoped to be able to do some work on the house this year, but these hazards will make my credit tank just when it was coasting upward. It aggravates me that someone else can sink my credit just like that.

Monetizing Sites.

This is why I hoped to monetize my sites and have that form of payment coming in as it would help us not to have to depend on his income so much. But alas, it’s slow going there too. I don’t even know if I reached my three qualifying buys for Amazon yet. I know I have at least two. It’s like trying to blow smoke into flames, slow, slow-going. I sold $21 on one Affiliate, but you have to reach $300 before they pay out. That’s going to be a long-time coming, lol. I sold 9 cents on another site. Still another, I made $1.10.

Pets.

 They were one of the last members of the family I saw people buying food for and now their shelves are pulverized. I managed to snag some litter today. My son said he saw a warning to keep your cats inside as they were bad for the eco-layer. He said they said that cats kill more prey than bears and wildcats combined. That’s hard to believe. I don’t let our cats out anyway. A couple years ago, we had a couple cats die due to some stuff the one neighbor used on their lawn beds. We had almost lost a third to the same substance but got the last to the vet in time. The others lasted mere hours.

I See More Cheer on Faces.

I think now that people are getting the items they need and the store doesn’t have all bare shelves anymore, things are starting to settle down. Smiles are starting to come back out. Pleasantness is noticeable. Days ago, everyone was rude and liable to cuss. Even drivers are starting to behave better as if they realize too that it does no good to rush, we’ll all get their sooner or later.

Have a great week, take care, and God bless!

Some craft books if you’re of mind: one, two, three.

Books in YA: one, two.

Books horror: one.