Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Christian, Craft, Family life, humor & fun, MG & YA, Reading, Short stories, Writing and Poetry, YA

Writerly Things 2/27/2020: Reaffirming Goals Traci Kenworth


Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Writerly Things 2/3/2020: Reaffirming Goals

Traci Kenworth

Okay, so it’s February and some time’s slipped through your fingers in regards to your goals. That’s okay! It’s fine! You can always reaffirm your goals at any time. I like to take stock on things when Feb. hits to see how I’m doing.

Faith.

I’ve been trying to make more time in the morning to talk with God. Or pray, however you want to consider it. It was hard at first but it’s becoming easier. I still worry he’ll point me in a different direction than writing but every morning he helps me to realize snippets of stories, titles, characters etc. Sometimes I wait on him before writing my blogs to help me decide on what topic to post on. He always lends me an ear and insight.

Family.

I have been able to spend more time with them, a priority for me as they grow older. It’s not always easy to make that time but we try the best we can. We’ve been able to go out to eat, watch a movie, and spend time talking about things that aren’t really important in reality but to us, they are part of us. Our favorite shows, food we like to eat, sometimes politics, or religion. The list goes on and on.

Writing.

You knew I’d get around to it, lol. I stumbled getting back into writing over the holidays, I do admit. I’ve been faster at returning to the short stories and poems. The edits have been going slower but then edits are meant to, to catch things. I feel frustrated that I’m not moving faster but then health concerns have forced me to focus on them and pull away from what I love. I’m doing better in some areas but in others, not so good. I hate to lose more time at this point as I’ve lost so much already. The reality is, I feel as if time is slipping away from me and I’ll never get it back. That I’ll miss my chance, my opportunity. That hurts. It’s like a withered part of me that dies a little each day. I fight back as hard as I can, but the truth is that other things take me away from writing. Errands. Driving to dr. apts. Etc.

Things have lightened up now that I’ve got my other website up and finished. I do still have three to run but it’s a little easier to spread the focus then concentrate just on the one. Plus, it helps me work faster. Yes, I like to have more than one project to juggle just as I like to do the same with reading. That way, I always have something to turn to while I’m considering what’s gone before. Writing is the same.

Websites

With the websites, I plan to continue with the links on Loleta Abi as three links for each subject, and five on Traci Kenworth. These lower numbers help me to be able to catch up on nights when I’m behind. Like I said, a lot of time has been spent on A Dash of Seasons lately, to get that in shape and where I wanted it. I’m going to be adding some stories to the site and bring in some hacks. We’re working on the other areas such as beauty, fashion, video games etc. The humor & fun will stay but they’ll be other areas in addition. I’m having fun with the humor & fun bits. I have a bit of a comedian in me, I guess. Jesstyn is going to add another cartoon to the mix and changing that post from Fridays to Tuesdays. We’re doing a bit of a switch around as her days off have recently changed and Friday is now a work day.

On Loleta Abi, I hope to bring some of that humor & fun in. Not sure how yet, but we’ll see. It’s been running a bit behind the other websites so I’m exploring options on bringing more romance in. Wondering if I should continue the He Said/She Said bits or find new stories to add. This is all about the writing after all and I’ve noticed most writers have stories/poems on their sites, perhaps both, if not excerpts of their books from time to time. I’m not at that point yet, but hopefully, in the future.

On Traci Kenworth, I think everything is going well. From the links to the poetry to the book reviews. Book reviews have been some of my biggest blog posts across the blogs. I enjoy doing them. I’m trying to see how to improve on them. I still don’t like to rank them with stars unless I’m posting on Amazon or Goodreads. There’s something just so impersonal about that to me. I like to tell the parts that affected me and maybe others will feel the contagiousness for that and pick up the book to read. I do want to bring in more YA readers though and I’m hoping not only the books do that but whatever else I can cook up.

Two Drops of Ink.

As you may or may not have heard, I’m now a monthly contributor to Two Drops of Ink: a Literary Community. I’m excited to work with Marilyn Davis and others. I had been hoping to join another platform to increase my exposure to readers and this was unexpected but much appreciated. I still will find my way to do guest posts here and there. I enjoy doing that as well. I’d actually like to expand that area. There are a lot of writing sites I’d be honored to post for.

Personal Health & Exercise.

This has been a crisis area for me so long. I am feeling better in some areas but I’m also out of control in others. I need to start exercising, walking, dancing, yoga, something! I also need to reduce my portions of food. This is really hard for me, to be honest. I just get SO hungry with the bipolar meds and when I ask about it at my drs., they just shrug and say it’s hard. Yeah, so help me! And then when I see my family dr., or my diabetes dr., they can’t understand why I can’t keep things on the healthy side. As someone else recently said, fruit & veggies are expensive. And when you’re on a budget, it’s even more of an invisible product at times. In the summer, I can do better when I go to the farmer’s market but in the winter, it’s just a no-go.

Wrap-up.

I hope to begin a new project this year, maybe even two new projects. I pushed editing back over the holidays, so I’m just now getting back into that. How are you all getting along with your goals? Are you ready to quit? Or can you find it in you to fight and get back into the spirit. I’m not saying you have to climb Mt. Everest, that’s a great goal, but keep things realistic for you. Try smaller steps to reach your goal.

Have a great week, take care, and God bless! #blogs #craft #family life #writing #reading #websites #editing

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

Writerly Things 2/25/2020: Hearing “No” isn’t a Problem, Hearing “Yes” is. Or rather, the Yes is Hard to Come by. Traci Kenworth


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Writerly Things 2/10/2020: Hearing “No” isn’t a Problem, Hearing a “Yes” is.

Traci Kenworth

We hear “No” so often as writers and as people in general that it’s not a problem. Meaning, we’re accustomed to no. It’s the “Yes,” that we don’t hear enough. Especially, as writers.

No in Everyday Instances.

Trying to get a loan? Hearing more negative news than positive? Part of life, everyone says. Still, it can hurt. No one wants to hear those words, regardless of the circumstances. It’s especially painful however, when we have our heart set on something. A car. A boat. A house. Who doesn’t dream of the perfect dream house? A place to call our own. A refuge. Shelter when the world brings us a hard day. And not getting that car loan could mean the difference between biking to work and driving. A boat comes with its own priorities. Can’t go out on the lake comfortably without one.

No at Work.

You hear from your boss no all the time. Woe be to you if you answer him with a no. “No, I didn’t get those reports done.” “No, I don’t know what went wrong.” “No, I didn’t see that happening.” All those no’s are going to add up and bring the job down around your ears. There are rules to follow and when you don’t get them right, it brings trouble.

No Between the Community and You.

Did you say no to an event you were invited to? Maybe a council meeting. Maybe a political rally. Do you feel like the community at large is upset with you for doing so? Don’t sweat it, sometimes you have to say no yourself. Other things may be a priority. Your son’s little league. Your daughter’s eighth birthday party. Your wife’s and your anniversary. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. Sometimes things come up. You can always read in the paper or hear from your neighbors about the events of these type of things anyway.

No to Church from You.

Here again, other things may come up when you’re asked to go to events at church. Once again, no need to feel guilty. It happens to all of us. Yeah, this is your turn to say no when asked to run fundraisers or commit to another night at church when other things make it impossible to do so. You’re not trying to be mean, just keeping things simple. In this truth, a lot of writer’s fear if they say no, especially to their church, they’re being “bad” people. That simply, isn’t the case. We’d all like to do more things than we do but sometimes it’s okay after a huge workweek, to just stay home and relax.

No to Your Extended Family.

Again, here events arise within the extended family. Picnics. Birthday parties. Reunions. We try and make as many as we can but don’t feel consumed with guilt when you have to say no to a date your family has written on their calendar. It’s not the end of the world. Yes, it may ruffle a few feathers, but they’ll get over it. Sometimes you may have a deadline to meet and that requires a commitment to your publisher. After all, they’re your boss and just like a regular job, you won’t get paid if you don’t finish your project.

With Your Writing.

Here’s where all those rejections come in. One after the other, they hit your inbox. Or P.O. Box if you go by the old-fashioned way. No one likes to receive them, but they serve a purpose, believe it or not. They make you stronger. They strengthen your resolve. They help you to persevere. If you keep moving forward, not giving up, one day, you’ll reach the summit. And that’s when more no’s will hit. You see, they never go away. They just get easier to handle. Your skin thickens. You know if one publisher/agent said no, another may have that yes.

So, there you have it! Yes, it might be harder to get that “Yes,” but once you do, it’ll matter more than all those “Nos” strung together.

Have a great week, take care, God bless!

Posted in blogs, Craft, Family life, MG & YA, Reading, Short stories, writers, Writing and Poetry

Writerly Things 2/23/2020: Editing Lists Traci Kenworth


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Writerly Things 2/24/2020: Editing Lists

Traci Kenworth

After you make it through the first couple months of a new year (or decade), you start to lose track of your intentions for the year if you’re like me. It’s rush, rush to get through the holidays and then you begin to realize HOW many holidays there are when you have a website on recipes, lol. I needed to step back and take a look at things. Once again.

It’s Almost March. March!

Can you believe it? Where has time gone? Another race down the water hole, I guess. I’ve been so busy with dr. apts. the last few months< I neglected to take stock of how things were going. I’m back to editing now. But my lists of things to do seem to get longer and longer each day. The madness has began and I’ve begun to panic! Breathe. Breathe.

I need to remember my priorities. My deadlines. My editing. My stories. My family. Friends. Blogs. Life. Not necessarily in that order. Now, I know it all slips off-track for most of us for a while. The trick is getting it back under control. I fully intend to minimize the number of dr. apts. if I can help it. Although right now, I have to bide my time.

Blogs Need Maintenance as Do Stories.

Sometimes, one or the other has to take priority. A lot of times when I’m short on a blog, it’s because I’m working on my stories or editing. I AM a writer, after all therefore, I should spend some time writing. In the midst of it, I know the blogs sometimes suffer but I do my best to make it up the next week. I’m sure you all know what I mean if you’re writers. Or artists. Or doing blogging of any type along with another craft. If an artist didn’t spend time at his or her kiln, beautiful pieces would not be made.

If a quilter ignored their creation, they’d have nothing to show for their efforts. All of this is why most people we know think we sit at home, on the couch, eating cheesecake. Nope. Far from the daydream. Instead, our butt is to the grindstone, pounding out stories on the keys. My daughter draws in her spare time. She had a new cartoon go up over at https://www.adashofseasons.com called Retribution. It’s doing really well. She, too, has to prioritize. She works a forty-hour week so she, like many of you, is not always available to do what she WANTS. Instead, she has to focus on what she HAS to do to help support us.

So, Thoughts Tuned to What Needs Done.

A whole heck of a lot! I don’t know how or where I find the time to squeeze it all in. I mean, I’m given the same 24-hours that everyone else has. Do I use it better? Not always. There are days I’m efficient and days I downright suck. I imagine it’s the same for most of us. We do what we can. No guilt. Or at least, don’t pay attention to the guilt. It’s meant to derail us. Don’t let it.  Pick yourself up and get back out there. Take up the chant. Grab your seat or if you have one of those desks where you stand or run, do that. You can always, always begin again. It’s never too late. Unless you quit. Even then, if you come back at it late, you can still make progress. So, don’t get disheartened. Cheer up. Hugs. There’s the weekend ahead and a brand-new week to start ahead of us. So good luck!

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Family life, humor & fun, MG & YA, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry

Writerly Things 11/4/19: Countdown to New Year, What Have You Accomplished?


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Writerly Things 11/7/19:  Countdown to New Year, What Have You Accomplished?

Traci Kenworth

I’m doing a review of what I’ve accomplished this year.  How about you?

Books Read.

I’ve read approximately forty books so far this year.  My goal was fifty so I’m hoping to meet or pass that. Next year, I want to read seventy-five. I like to challenge myself to do more. Reading is something I enjoy and it’s also a great study for craft. I try to absorb as much as I can as I go along. I’ve read some good books, some so-so books, and some that just didn’t resonate with me. I will post a list of books before the end of the year. It’s nice to look back and see how far I’ve come.

Craft.

Let’s see. I’ve been studying setting and its presence in a story. It is very important to not let your characters live in a white space. On the other hand, don’t bang the reader over the head with details either. Instead, dig deep. Go further. See through the character’s eyes. What catches their eye? What do they ignore? You’ve got to know all the details, but keep them to a minimum. Sort of like a hand in poker. Don’t show everything.

Websites.

I’ve learned to juggle three, though with the holidays it’s kind of hectic and I’ve needed to slow down some. I had enough recipes to give me downtime as far as Halloween for four days. Now, on Halloween night, I’m back to making Jack O’ Lantern Stuffed Peppers, Spooky Tacos, Black Widow Lemonade, Purple Punch, Snake Calzones, Halloween cookies, among other items. The peppers and rotisserie chicken for the Graveyard Enchilada dip have to both cook about five hours each on high. Meanwhile, I’m baking the calzones. The other items will be made in the order of time it takes to get closer to eating and our party. I’ll be posting items and pics on Sat. hopefully, if not, Sun.

Unfortunately, another reason I’m lacking with the website this week, is dental work. I’ve been down a couple days. I’m on meds and pain killers but the pain doesn’t go away all together and it’s hard to eat right now. Though, I’m SO hungry today, I don’t care, lol. I hope to juggle better in the days ahead as I’ve developed a schedule for the other website. Halloween is the only month we’ll post recipes more than a few days in a week. The other months, we plan to rotate some columns. Only Sun. (recipes) and Fri. (the Cartoon Holiday Bash) will be regulars. Others will be 2 x a month or only once in a while.

This’ll cut pressure down on us and give us a breather while we grow the other website. So far, we’ve been banned on Facebook because we used Halloween names for some recipes that included bloody, poison, and toxic, lol. I never liked FB much anyway but I can still post to my tracikenworth site. The only problem is FB won’t allow me to post the link, so I put it in the pics, lol. I hope people will copy and past the link into the search bar and follow us that way.

Family Life.

We took a chance on a website. The cats are popular. Especially our cat-dog, Callie, who will fetch her toys for us. Her toys include toy mice, balls, straws (yes, she steals our coffee straws from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, lol), and sometimes confiscating the other cats’ toys. She even buries her toys in nests around the inside of the house. They’re all indoor kitties. Cartoon Girl is exploring options for her future as is Video Game Boy. Me? I’m hoping to get my work published and sold.