Taking a Break for the Summer

So it is with a heavy heart that I make this decision to take the summer off of blogging. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but one I feel is the right one for now. I won’t go into details, but my life has had some minor and major turns in the last few months, and because of that I have had to refocus a great part of my energy into the web design area. I look forward to this new endeavor, but it leaves me little time for other things, especially now my son is on summer break. It basically comes down to spending time with him, or spending time writing blog posts. And even though I enjoy writing these posts, my son wins every time.

On the plus side, I hope the time away will rejuvenate me and allow me to come back with a score of ideas for new posts. I think a break would do me good in that area since I have been struggling the last few weeks for good ideas to write about.

I hope you all have a fabulous summer. Keep writing if you can, even if it’s a few minutes a day. I plan on doing some fiction writing at least a little here and there when I get the chance. I find that if I give writing up entirely it makes me a very unhappy person to be around.

So I’ll see you guys again sometime near the end of August after my son starts school once again. I know it’s a long time between now and then, but I’m hoping to see you all again. Until that time, have a wonder summer and happy writing to all!

Evernote: A Great Way to Keep Track of Notes and Information

Image from Evernote website https://evernote.com/evernote/

Image from Evernote website https://evernote.com/evernote/

I’ve been using Evernote for a few years now. It’s a free software that can be downloaded (there’s a premium addition that costs a little, but the free version works for my needs), and I have found it invaluable to help me keep track of notes on characters, world building items, notes for blogging, and even notes for my web design stuff. I can also paste images into a note or website address. Heck, I’ve even used Evernote to write and store snippets of scenes so I can keep them in a safe place until it’s time to put the snippets in the actual story.

Evernote is great because if I have a stray thought I want to make sure I keep, I open up the program (though usually it stays open in the backdrop) and just type the thought real quick and get back to work. I also have the Evernote app loaded on my phone, so if I am away from my computer I can jot that urgent piece of information down and I am good to go. And the best part about Evernote, is that it saves everything automatically. No need to hit the save button!

Granted, I’ve had the program installed on my computer for awhile, but it hasn’t been until the last few months that I’ve really put it to use and I wonder why I never used it as much before. Maybe I’m taking more notes and they are more on the fly than before? Maybe since I’ve gotten back into web designing my head is everywhere all at once and it’s hard for me to keep track of everything? Don’t know exactly, but without keeping notes, I’d be totally lost by now.

So if you are having a hard time keeping track of notes or are looking for a good note taking software, I highly suggest this program. I love it and am glad to have it as a tool in my writing tool box.

TRUTH BOMB: Sometimes (okay, lots of times) I Want To Quit

Cynthia D. Griffin:

A fabulous post! Ever feel like quitting writing? Well, this post will put it in a new perspective .

Originally posted on Myndi Shafer:

quitterLately I’ve been asking myself this question:

What would happen if I were to quit writing?

I think every writer gets to this point eventually (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). The new shiny has worn off. The over-the-moon-I’m-so-in-love-with-what-I’m-doing feeling goes away. Inspiration dries up to nothing more than a brittle bag of bones that if you shake together real hard might amount to a paragraph or two. And we’re not talking Hemingwayesqe brilliance that makes up for the scant word-count. We’re talking shaky drivel that makes I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGR look like soul-stealing genius.  

And so I ask myself, what would happen if I were to quit?

Life would immediately become simpler. I wouldn’t have to structure my days so intensely. Family time wouldn’t feel so urgent because writing wouldn’t be putting any demands on our schedule. I could cook and clean and play when I want…

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My Top 5 Writing Blogs

writing-forward-blogAs a writer, I find that one of the greatest resources available to me is the internet. It’s so much easier to do research nowadays. Instead of making a special trip to the library, I can just hop on the cyber-network and learn what I need within a couple of keystrokes. The internet is also good for something else too… learning writing skills and reaching out to others who share my joy of writing. In that spirit, I am always browsing cyberspace for new outlets in the writing field. In my search, I have come across a few blogs that stand out to me that always seem to have great information and usually inspires me too. So without further ado, here is my top favorite blogs. Continue reading

The Benefit of Being a Writer

We choose to become writers for many reasons. We do it just because we can (or want to), we do it because we love stories, we do it because we have a need to release the emotions inside, we do it to let the voices whispering to us out, and we do it as a challenge to see if it can be done. Those are just a few reasons. And some of us start writing for more than just one reason. But mostly I think we write because we are seeking answers to the complex world that we live.

Let’s face it, life sucks. Some days suck more than others, and sometimes whole years don’t need to be talked about at all. Many people fall back on things to help get them through those hard times. Things like alcohol, drugs, other people (usually the wrong people), copious amounts of time dedicated to escapisms like television, books, gaming, ect. and god knows what else. But as writers we are lucky, because writers have an outlet to work out some of those hard times.

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Book Spotlight: The Emotion Thesaurus

emotion thesaurusHave you ever been stuck in a scene and your trying to describe a certain emotion, but you’re sick and tired of using the same emotions over and over, or tired of the heated gaze and clinched fists being the sum of your character’s physical show of anger? Well, guess what? Some smart ladies Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi came up with a nifty cheat sheet of 75 different emotions you can dive into and get a whole list of physical cues to break up the monotony of those glares and fists.

On each page of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression there is a definition of the emotion, a whole list of physical cues, some internal sensations, mental responses, cues of acute or long-term effects of the emotion, a may escalate list (of different emotions the original emotion might cause), cues of what may happen when suppressing the emotion for too long, and even a neat little writer’s tip box to enhance the emotion in other ways.

Is that cool, or what?

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The Dangerous Trap of Forced Writing

There comes a time in every writer’s career, when you look back at a piece of work and realize how truly bad it is. Wait. Did you just say that happens to you all the time? Well, isn’t that funny, because that happens to me all the time too. It’s like the work done before (even if done just last week!) becomes an immediate target for all your ridicule and disgust. But the truly loathsome stuff, happened back in the beginning of your writing career. That’s the stuff that gets burned or stuffed in a locked drawer never to see the light of day again.

There is a defining moment, though, when you realize that your approach to writing was all wrong, or perhaps your understanding of how to write was all wrong. You go back to read a project to discover a most horrifying truth… the piece is a stumbling piece of disastrous plot, unbelievable characters, graceless dialogue, and just overall forced writing.

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