November 2 2017

Why Do I Write?

I write to express myself.

I write to be heard in a world where getting someone to listen, really listen, is increasingly difficult.

I write to remember, the past, the details, to preserve them for myself and my descendants.

I write because, with words, I can paint a picture my hands could never draw because my skills as a traditional artist are rudimentary at best.

I write because mastering the written word to make it tell the story I want to tell gives me power. Only I can write that story, because, only I, am me.

I write because sometimes I don’t know what I think until I write it.

I write because it helps me feel as though all the years I spent inside of classrooms, (first in kindergarten and all the way through high school graduation and then through all the years it took me to get through college to the point of earning a degree), were worth something.

I write because it gives me the chance to express how I feel without being interrupted as I might be if I was speaking to someone. I can get my thoughts down without anyone negating them. I can tell a story once and have it read hundreds of times. That is the power of the written word. The spoken word is only as good as the attention of the person you are speaking to, even with their full attention, what you say may soon be forgotten. Not so with writing. It can be read and reread as often as needed until it is remembered or understood.

I write to discover myself, to learn the wonders of my mind and how it thinks.

I write because I can. I have that ability, that freedom, that choice and that is how I choose to spend my time.

I write to fulfill the expectations of God who has been nudging me to write for many years.

I write to improve my writing, as a musician must practice his instrument of choice in order to learn how to play it and then to play it better and finally to master it.

The idea for this exercise comes from the book, Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg. This is an affiliate link. If you choose to purchase this book using the link, I might earn a few pennies, but it won’t cost you any more. I am currently listening to the author read the book and comment about how she wrote it as a 36-year-old and is now reading it as a 50-year-old. Her perspective while she reads it and her comments are fascinating, making me ever so glad I decided to take the easy way out and listen to it instead of reading it because I would never have had the chance to hear what she had learned in those 14 years of further experience. I am really enjoying listening to this audiobook. I speed them up to 1.6 or 1.8 speed and they are still perfectly easy to understand and I get more “read” in less time. Sometimes when my daughter hears me listening like this she teases that it sounds like the book is being read by the chipmunks, but then when I slow it down to regular speed I get bored listening and my mind wanders and I miss some things. So, I speed it back up and listen to it my way.

October 29 2017

31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes Challenge (completed 10/29/17)

This post is part of the 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes Challenge. Scroll down for the links and the graphic showing the prompts for the month.

It will be pinned to the top of the page until the end of the month. Check back for updates on the prompts. I may write several at a time and update just a couple of times a week. I seriously considered not posting any at all until all 31 were written. But that seemed like a long time to let myself possibly get behind. So I will post at least once a week. FiveMinuteFriday posts will be posted separately as they have been. Continue reading

October 16 2017

Invite (Five Minute Friday)

The word this week is invite. So I would like to invite you, if you are reading this post, to take a minute to go back and read another post or two from my blog.

I would also like to invite you to write with me during the month of November when I am doing a new novel for NaNoWriMo.org. I would especially like to invite everyone to help hold me accountable to get my 1,667 words written each day and to strive to write even more so I can actually get to the finish of a new novel.

I would also invite you to check in with me about finishing up the office clean out. There isn’t a lot left to do except to deal with the stacks of paper that I never seem to have room for in the files and never know what to do with.

So, if any of you would like to accept this invitation to be writing accountability buddies, I would love it if you’d email me.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Invite
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

October 7 2017

Story (Five Minute Friday)

Who doesn’t love a good story? I know I do. I love to hear them and read them and I try really hard to write them. That is the reason I am spending the month of October writing prompts for 5 minutes each day. (To get in the habit of writing more regularly) I am also spending some time each day trying to absorb all I can about the craft of writing and the structure of stories.

I have a little over three weeks to get my story planning act together and come up with a really good outline so this year I can and will not only win NaNoWriMo but finish the book. You see while I have won the challenge for the last 4 Novembers in a row, I have never finished any of those stories, YET. I am still learning and practicing the craft of fiction writing and each year I feel like I get a little closer to being able to write a novel worthy of publishing.

I have made a tough decision this year to set aside the Crafty Ladies series of books that I have worked on for the past 3 years and see what I can do with a shiny new idea for a stand-alone novel. All new characters, new setting, new plot…I don’t have the details worked out yet, but I am working on it and I will get there. It is kind of a relief to just have to plan and write one novel this time.

So, if any of you have a great system for plotting a novel or a great book on the craft of fiction novel writing, I would love it if you’d share it in the comments below (or you can email me if you prefer to keep your advice private from the rest of the world who might someday stumble upon my little corner of the blogging world and read it).

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Story
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

October 5 2017

My New Helper is a Keeper

The image and title above may have already clued you in to what I am going to tell you about today. A few weeks ago, I was listening to one of Ann Kroeker’s Podcasts. She mentioned something I hadn’t yet heard of, Google Keep. Since I had no idea what it was, I asked Google, “Ok Google, What is Google Keep?” I got the following answer from Google:

Google Keep is a note-taking service developed by Google. Launched on March 20, 2013, Google Keep is available on the web, and has mobile apps for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.”

Thank you, Google. I went to YouTube and typed in Google Keep and watched a couple of tutorials and was immediately blown away by how powerful a tool this could be. I had to have it! Now! How had I not known about this? Thank you, Ann Kroeker, writing coach for sharing this tidbit! My life is forever changed because I listened to your podcast!

You can listen to it here in about ten minutes start to finish. If you’d rather read than listen, you can find the blog post here: Ep 112: My Best Writing Tools to Get More Done (at Home and on the Go)

I was very excited about all the possibilities, so I went to the Google Play Store and downloaded the Android version right away. I played with it some on my phone and couldn’t wait to get home and see the desktop version of it. It is very easy to use. The only problem I had was accidentally archiving a post when I didn’t mean to, but even that is easily undone.

In the few weeks since I began using the app on my Android phone and the online version on both my desktop and my Surface Pro 2, I have found it to be the one app I would not give up on my phone. Yes, it is that awesome! Did I mention it is FREE?

Continue reading