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, 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

Some products that you might like to try. Please note if you buy from my link, I receive a small fee from the affiliate.

https://amzn.to/3EDFYCV
https://amzn.to/3qGOonU
https://amzn.to/3zm8k3p

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 Muse, Reading, writers, YA

Teen Topics: to the tune of Characters 5/4/2021 Traci Kenworth


Teen Topics: to the Tune of Characters 5/4/2021

Traci Kenworth

Over the years, we can grow stagnant. In an effort to try a new spin on things for the future of the blog, I’m going to be trying to do something different. I want to focus less on being a blogger, more on being an author. This decision has come about from various happenings in my life and changes in the world around us. I’m a teen author and want to encourage young people to visit my blog as well as others from all walks of life. I hope this doesn’t disappoint some of you, but I realize it may. I’ve enjoyed the success of the blog up to this point. I simply want to reach out to those who may wish to read me when I get published.

So, without further ado: Teen Topics to the Tune of Characters

This week: bffs and how somehow the oddest friends make the best friends.

How did you two meet?

Lenore: “Class assignment.”

Jori: “Her group bullied me in the hallways.”

What was the deciding factor to bring about the friendship?

Lenore shrugs. “We needed each other.”

Jori: “She seemed so breakable. Like me at times. At first, I figured she was doing an act. Pretending to like me just so I’d do the homework for her. But—she really surprised me.”

How?

“She stood up for me. Knowing it could wreck her world.”

Lenore?

“Well, I couldn’t let them hurt her anymore. I’d been in her position. Not from the school clique but—others.” She wiped a tear away. “I just didn’t want to see her end up in a dark closet. Crying her guts out.”

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Jori: “Her kindness. She’s part of such a large group. Instead of being the queen bee I thought she was, she curbed the others desire to pummel me. At last, I’m making friends with those I didn’t think I ever would. I get to be around a guy I didn’t have a hope of doing so, months before. Even if he never acknowledges my existence, it’s been worth it.”

Lenore: “Give him time. Give them all time. They’ll see what I see. Someone to stand beside me when everything falls apart.

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.

Posted in blogs, Craft, Links, Links, MG & YA, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Five Links 10/17/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Five Links 10/17/2020

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://killzoneblog.com/2020/10/should-a-fiction-writer-use-a-thesaurus.html “In college my roommates and I used to play a game with a dictionary. We cleverly called it “The Dictionary Game.” It was played with a big dictionary and scraps of paper. When it was your turn you’d look through the dictionary until you came across a word no one was familiar with. You wrote down the correct definition. The other players made up fake definitions that sounded right. The object was to fool as many people in the game as you could. You got a point if you guessed the correct definition. You got a point if somebody guessed your fake definition. The person who chose the word would get a point for every wrong guess.

I learned some cool words this way. The one that has stayed with me for over forty years is borborygmus. It means a “rumbling in the bowels caused by gas.”

This still cracks me up. It’s an onomatopoeia, a word that sounds like the thing it describes (although onomatopoeia itself is definitely not an onomatopoeia). And it makes for a great insult: You borborygmic swine! That’ll stop a bad guy in his tracks.” Sounds like an unusual game.

2. https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/2020/10/13/what-writing-actually-is/ ““Let us record the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness.”

—Virginia Woolf, “Modern Fiction”

We write in order to explain ourselves, in one way or another, to perfect strangers removed from us by both place and time. I’m all for fun adventure stories in any genre, all the while understanding that even those fun adventure stories have something to say about the author and his or her time and place and culture and prejudices and fears and anxieties and desires and… as much as I can pry out, all of which will have been pried out, by me, because that’s what I’m looking for as a reader. Your readers will read your work in which you have poured out some measure of your time and place and culture and prejudices and fears and anxieties and desires and… filtered through their own time and place and culture and prejudices and fears and anxieties and desires and…

See how that works?

Why you start to write at all is entirely personal. I hope you’re not approaching it as some kind of “If J.K. Rowling could do it…” get rich quick scheme, but what the hell… that will come through in your writing as well. Maybe you have something to say about… anything… sibling relationships gone wrong, elder abuse, the eternal power of love and forgiveness, why it sucks to be living through COVID quarantine… anything in any combination.

In “Pippi and the Moomins,” Richard W. Orange uncovered that:

‘It was the utterly hellish war years that made me, an artist, write fairy-tales,’ (Finnish author Tove) Jansson told an interviewer after her second Moomin book, Comet in Moominland (1946), came out. ‘I was feeling sad and scared of bombs and wanted to get away from gloomy thoughts.’

Oh, boy, do I want to get away from gloomy thoughts right now. That sounds like a fantastic reason to write in October of 2020.”

3.

4.

5.

Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://www.janefriedman.com/writing-and-publishing-horror-qa-with-todd-keisling/ “KRISTEN TSETSI: In a since-deleted interview on Medium, in answer to a question about your attraction to horror, you say, “I’m one of those weirdos who enjoys the exploration and what I might find waiting for me in the dark, even if it terrifies me.”

That’s all well and fine in fiction, but in real life, standing at the edge of very dark woods, would you step into the trees? And, when standing at the edge of very dark woods (literally, not metaphorically), if there is fear, what is your fear? What do you imagine is in there?

TODD KEISLING: Do I have a flashlight? If so, then yeah, I’ll probably step into the woods.

I used to go on long hikes and bike rides with my dad in the state parks of Kentucky and Tennessee, so the woods themselves don’t scare me. I’m more afraid of tripping over something, falling into a hole or from a cliff, or disturbing a nest of snakes. Yes, I’m terrified of snakes. And ticks. Lyme disease is no joke.”

2. https://somethingferal.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/going-west-coetan-arthur/ “Arthur’s Quoit came as something of a surprise. The huge neolithic tomb rises from the plateau behind St David’s Head, the angle and ridge on the capstone seeming to shadow the lines of Carn Llidi beyond. The capstone is around twenty feet long and over eight feet wide, supported by a single orthostat that holds the point of the stone around five feet from the ground. At first glance, you assume that somewhere during its five thousand year history, the other two orthostats that would have supported it must have fallen and the earthen mound that covered it been eroded away. There are many such places where this has happened.” Amazing!

3.

4.

5.

Some Things More Serious:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/time-blanket-a-quadrille/

2. https://dlfinnauthor.com/2020/10/10/fiction-in-a-flash-challenge-week-20-pursoot-iartg-writingcommunity-flashfiction-asmsg-writingprompts-poetry-tanka/

3.

4.

5.

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://jessicabakkers.com/2020/10/11/book-review-nightmareland-a-horror-anthology/ “You all know I have a horror bent (especially those of you brave enough to have read the first book in The Armageddon Showdown, Guns of Perdition). So, when I found out my good friend and fellow horror lover, Robbie Cheadle, had stories published in a few anthology series’ called Box Under the Bed, I rushed out to get my hands on a copy of one of the anthologies. Not only were Robbie’s stories terrific, but the other authors told terrifyingly delicious tales that chilled me to the marrow!

Compiled by award winning author, Dan Alatorre, the Box Under the Bed anthology I started with was called Nightmareland. The stories are bookended by Alatorre’s own short story(ies) focusing on Jessica (good name), who tries the new designer drug, Nightmareland, and goes on a wild trip into her own terrifying subconscious. The stories in the middle of these opener / closer stories symbolise her nightmares. Get it?”

2. http://middlegrademojo.com/2020/10/13/happy-book-birthday-who-gives-a-poop-by-heather-l-montgomery/ “As if her book about roadkill (Something Rotten) wasn’t gross enough, Heather Montgomery brings us a book about poop. And just like her roadkill book, this one is stuffed with science and scientists. She writes about Dr. Logan Kistler, an archaeologist that specializes in archaeogenomics and who, by studying mastodon poop, made a connection between ancient wild gourds and the pumpkins we eat today. There’s also Dr. Daniella Chusyd, who trained her dogs to sniff out elephant dung so it could be analyzed to determine why the forest elephants in Africa are declining in numbers.

Even though there is a lot of information about defecation in this book, it’s also a fascinating look at real scientists and how the scientific method is used to answer questions and solve problems. Not only did I learn how important whale dung is to phytoplankton and the overall health of our oceans, I learned how scientists study this subject. Who knew there were so many cool jobs as a scientist?

Heather’s unbridled enthusiasm for all things in nature, even poop, is intoxicating. She makes the science of scat so interesting that you almost forget to be grossed out. Written in a personal, humorous narrative style, I felt like I was riding along with Heather when she interviewed the scientists and I was looking over her shoulder when she did hands-on research. Her detailed description of cutting open the bowels of a dead possum is probably one of the grossest things I’ve ever read.

I highly recommend Who Gives A Poop? Young readers, ages ten and up, will be all over this book like a dung beetle on deer droppings. It would be great for the classroom too!

Kirkus gave it a starred review. “A well-stirred slurry of facts and fun for the strong-stomached ‘poop sleuths’.”

Heather Montgomery has a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Environmental Education. She has published 17 books for young people. Learn more about her at www.heatherlmontgomery.com.”

3.

4.

5.

Good Omens: Season 1. Midnight Sun. Disney Princess Trunk Dress-up.

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

Writerly Things 10/12/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by vishnu vijayan from Pixabay

Writerly Things 10/12/2020

Traci Kenworth

It’s back to the doctor’s today. My stomach is still bloated and painful. The meds my one doctor prescribed, another said not to take as it would interfere with a new one he gave me (for an unrelated condition) so I’m back to hurting. My other dr. couldn’t figure why he’d take me off but said I could take another med which I’m headed to his office to get the script for. Then I have to stop by the eye doctor’s as the glasses I went in for a week ago they forgot to take my card for so my former insurance said I wasn’t covered anymore. Ergh. So have to re-pick out some new frames. Sigh.

As for my house, still figuring things out. The adjuster said we weren’t covered then switched gears when I explained about the groundhogs so some of it might be covered. Wouldn’t you know it, he wants to come out when I’m due in doctor’s office. I’ll have to re-schedule for an evening as I have another dr. visit Wed. And tomorrow, have to pick up my daughter’s boyfriend to take him to work with my kids.

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

Writing desk. Writing Journal. The Writer’s Toolbox.

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

Five Links 10/10/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto from Pixabay

Five Links 10/10/2020

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://stevelaube.com/a-writers-fears-a-prayer/ “Save me from fear, Lord.
Give me courage to write;
make me “bold in our God” (1 Thessalonians 2:2) to write for you,
whatever the obstacles or blockages the Enemy may throw in my way.

Save me from the fear of rejection;
let me write today for your approval first and foremost,
and if I receive it, let me be satisfied with it.

Save me from the fear of inadequacy;
remind me that “all my springs are in you” (Psalm 87:7),
and that you are wholly sufficient no matter how inadequate I may be … or feel.

Save me from the fear of failure.
I know, as Samuel Logan Brengle said, “Fear is a fruit of selfishness.”
I confess my selfishness, my desire to amount to something.
Destroy that desire in me, and replace it with boldness and bravery.”

2.

3.

4.

5.

Research & Fun Tidbits:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Some Things More Serious:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.