Brain Freeze

Yesterday was -17° F. Today freezing rain is predicted. I do not know about you, but it is too cold and miserable to try to pursue anything fresh and novel. Especially on a Monday. Cabin fever anyone?

So, I am going to repeat a post I did on a now defunct blog. but it will be new for this one.

Writing prompts are a good way to break out of a writer’s block, they can also kick start new ideas and they can provide a fun way to relax with that cup of coffee or tea. One of my favorite prompts, of the ones I’ve managed to collect over the years, asked the writer to create a limerick. While I did not adhere strictly to the form, I think I came very close. Besides, I had a lot of fun working on it and that is what is most important.

A young lass, who worked as a tutor,

Was matched up by friends with a suitor.

His manner were lacking,

She sent him packing,

“I’d rather make love to a computer.”

∞∞

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Tax Time

Well, it is that time of year when we must face the dreaded accounting of our achievements. For those lucky enough to be published in the previous year, that is. Or are receiving royalties.

So, I thought I would pass on a couple of websites that I have found very informative:

1) Thibodeaux’s site

2) Windham’s site

I hope they prove useful.

∞∞

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A New Year

Happy New Year! How time does fly (or not) when you are not having fun. I guess I should explain my lengthy absence from this blog: Total Knee Replacement.

Surgery was in October to replace my right knee which had been causing me severe pain due to osteoarthritis. After surgery, the lack of sleep and the effects of pain medications prevented me from any creative efforts. It was all I could do to place one foot in front of the other.

But now, though sleep is still a little ragged, I am almost completely off the pain meds and am back to working. I am starting out easily, doing a fifth draft of my first book and that has caused the creative juices to again flow. I am also doing more research for my second book.

Hopefully this will be a productive year and I hope all of you the best of wishes in your own literary pursuits.

∞∞

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Where are you?

Have you ever lost a word? Have it go skittering off to play hide-and-seek? At least once a chapter I look for a certain, descriptive word but can’t find it. It seems to know I’m looking and has decided to run off to play instead of doing its job. It just seems to slither under my consciousness and . . .

Slither? Where have you been? I was looking for you two chapters ago. I wanted a word that meant to flow lowly along the ground, but couldn’t find it. I looked everywhere, even in the thesaurus and dictionary. But here you are; I would like to say all shiny and new, but I can’t. Rather, you are wrinkled and ink-smeared. You’ve been hiding out in the graphic novels, haven’t you? Well, let’s get you all cleaned up and back where you belong.

I used to fret when a particular word used to escape me. No longer. I have learned that if I ignore it, use a substitute (like I used ‘sneak’ in lieu of ‘slither’), eventually the little dickens will come out from wherever it has been hiding. Contrite – really doesn’t like being ignored, lonely – missing all its companions, it has finally decided to return and become a productive member of my discourse.

I see it’s time to move on. I will just plug a surrogate word into this chapter until the truant has returned. Or find a more suitable replacement. (Do you think it heard me? I hope so.)

∞∞

 

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Book Two

After  completing four drafts of my first book, I have decided to take a break.

I am now working on book two — A Mother’s Dream . . .

If you would like to follow my word count progress you can do so on my regular website, on the page entitled “Books”.

∞∞


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Replay

A humor site that I visit daily has requested, if we like today’s poem, we should share it on our site; I do, so I am:

 

I Won’t Give a Damn

By Wayne E. Pollard (Inspired by Sara Teasdale’s I Shall Not Care)

 

When I am dead,

And the critics say how great I am,

Though they liken me to Fitzgerald,

Hemingway or Twain,

I won’t give a damn.

 

I will forgive them for their ignorance,

And for their souls, I will pray,

But I will care even less for their praise,

Than they care for my work today.

More of this humor site, Bo’s Café Life, can be found here.

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Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are an excellent way to begin your writing day. Or as an escape from writer’s block. Or as a fill-in between composing stories or books. They not only keep your skills honed, they can inspire new stories. They can also be a lark.

 

I remember one prompt that advised sitting where you can watch people pass by and write what their thoughts might be at that moment.

 

Another one instructed the selection of a random word from the dictionary and to write out its definition. Then you were told to invent a new definition.

 

My favorite prompt was to write a limerick. Though I did not strictly follow the rule for anapestic lines, I still had a lot of fun creating my own version:

 

A young lass who worked as a tutor;

Was matched up by friends with a suitor;

His manners were lacking,

She soon sent him packing,

“I’d rather make love to a computer.”

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Literary Devices

Since this is a short week, I thought I would post a few literary devices that have given me trouble. Also, at the end of each week’s post, I will share a word that I either like the sound of or enjoy its meaning.

 

Metaphor – A comparison. He was an angel in the living room but a demon in the bedroom.

 

Simile – Similar to a metaphor but usually using comparison words such as like, as, so. Her muffins were as hard as hockey pucks. His smile was like a cadaverous rictus.

 

Analogy – A comparison to show a similarity. A nation’s blind obedience to its leader is analogous to herd mentality.

*  *  *

This week’s word: Lambent – adjective. The flickering candles spread their lambent light over the spartan furnishings.

 

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Tax Advice for Writers

After receiving some sage advice, I spent all of yesterday morning rummaging through my receipt folders looking for writing-related expenses. I found one. Fortunately, with my checkbook as a guide, I was able to track down all the pertinent documents regarding purchases such as flash drives, paper, etc., and print them out.

 

Why am I doing this in June? When I haven’t even been published yet? Because I have expectations (let’s make that hopes) of receiving some remuneration before year’s end. Even if I don’t, I will at least have everything set up so I can just plop all receipts immediately into a reserved folder, record the expense into a handy spreadsheet and be ready.

 

Thanks to these websites by these writers:

Daniel Steven

and

Melvyn Windham

I now know exactly which expenses are allowable as deductions. I am sure there are other websites which are helpful, but I thought I would pass along these two. And if I had thought about this in January, I wouldn’t have wasted an entire morning I could have been writing.



 

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Welcome . . . Again

There is an old idiom: Third time’s the charm. I hope so, since this is the third blog page I have created.

 

The first was, well, not exactly aesthetically pleasing. In fact, it was butt ugly. The second was pretty, but I didn’t want pretty. Since the books I am writing are in the genres of science fiction, horror and dark fantasy, I wanted atmospheric. I think I’ve caught it. Maybe. Of course, I may change my mind again. I hope not.

 

Playing around with WordPress has been fun, even refreshing, but it’s time to get back to work. In this blog’s previous incarnation, I mentioned I was temporarily setting aside my current Work in Progress after four drafts, and going on to my second book. It was while I working on this project I realized I missed my first book and wanted to get back to it. So that is what I will be doing. Draft five will be a very in-depth scene-by-scene revision process, so if I am a little tardy in my weekly reflections, please understand I may be under the thrall of my muse.

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