"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WOTW: Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis:  noun, inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, a transparent membrane in the eye; also known as pink eye.

I found myself researching this condition this week as my eye was hurting and a little bloodshot.  I am now reassured that I am not suffering from pink eye.  I believe my symptoms were due to eye strain.

It all began while playing a video game with my hubby.  The strain of looking for both danger and treasure started to tire my eyes.  My right eye, especially, started watering and I couldn't keep it open.  By Sunday evening my eye was killing me, and I was a little worried.  I have good vision and I care deeply about my eyes.  I use them daily for reading, knitting, crocheting, beading...  The list goes on and on.  I dread the day when I may have to wear reading glasses in order to do the things I love to do.

On Monday, I started limiting my screen time in an effort to help my eyes.  I only read in the morning before leaving for work, instead of my usual 3 or 4 times a day.  I avoided the computer and my tablet at work as much as possible.  When I got home, I stayed away from the video game and left the TV turned off.  My eye felt a lot better by Tuesday.

I am beginning to wonder if the increase in screen time in my life is affecting my eyes.  Could the use of my Kindle for reading be straining my eyes more than a paper book?  I have turned the brightness down significantly on my Kindle, and that seems to help.

Do you use an e-reader or tablet?  Have you noticed any extra strain on your eyes?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG: I am a Writer!

This is my first post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Visit the link to join in the fun or to visit other blogs from the list.

I recently read a great book by Jeff Goins, You Are a Writer. The book is very encouraging and gives some great advice for beginning writers. Basically it's like a pep talk.

Probably the best advice the book shares is the need to proclaim your writer com. The author writes that it is important to admit out loud that you are a writer. So here goes.....

I am a writer. Even though I did not win NaNoWriMo.....again......for the fourth year.

I am a writer. Even though I fear that I will never finish a manuscript.

I am choosing to focus on the positive. This November, I wrote the most words I have ever written during a NaNo. I believe I can complete my current novel by the end of winter break. I love writing and have a lot of new ideas to share with the world.

I am a writer!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

WOTW: Sisyphean

Sisyphean:  adjective, used to describe something that cannot be completed.

I love when my obsession with reading blogs teaches me new vocabulary.  The other day, while reading a knitter's blog post about the many projects she wants to complete before Christmas, I encountered the word 'Sisyphean.'

The origin of this word is in Greek mythology, where Sisyphus was a trickster king whose eternal punishment  was to roll a boulder up a hill in the underworld.  Each time he did, the boulder rolled back down and Sisyphus had to start again.  The impossible task.

Completing a novel can sometimes feel like a Sisyphean task.  Do you have any Sisyphean tasks in your life right now?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Writing Motivation (Writercize)

This week, Writercize asks about my motivation to write.

What prevents me from writing?
1. Reading
I love to read so much that it often interferes with my writing time. This year I even started a Pinterest board to keep track of all the books I have read. During NaNoWriMo this year, I only allowed myself to read books about writing. This kept me more focused and inspired me to write.  However, it also made me want to start revising before I had finished the first draft.  I did manage to sneak in one non-fiction book this month also, since it was research for the novel I am writing :)

2.  My Crafts
I love to create.  I knit, crochet and bead.  In the evening, when I am sitting on the couch, relaxing after work, I usually pick up a project.  Sometimes it's my writing, but more often it's a knitting or crochet project.

3.  My Daily Routine
I have yet to put away time in my daily routine that is sacred and only for writing.  I work 40 hours a week, maintain my house, cook meals and spend lots of time with my husband and elderly kitty.  All of these responsibilities take away from my writing time.

4.  Internet
I almost forgot one of my biggest distractions: the internet.  I love to read blogs.  I can spend hours just staring at Pinterest.  I am a member of more than one social network.  Sometimes I can't use the computer for writing because there are too many ways to be distracted :)

What motivates me to write?
I have always loved to write and have kept a journal of one type or another for much of my life.  I used to rely on other people's prompts and searched out lists of new and interesting ideas and story starters.  Then, one day I realized that I had some of my own story ideas swirling around in my head.  I discovered NaNoWriMo and decided to give it a try.  Now I can't stop the story ideas and I feel a need to get them all down on paper, even if they never get published.

What prevents you from writing?  What motivates you to write?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

WOTW: Fastidious

Fastidious: adjective, very attentive to detail

This week, as I was working on my current NaNo novel, this word popped into my head. It really wanted to be a part of my story. It called to me, "Hey, why don't you use me in your description of that new character? I know that I am the perfect word to describe him. I mean exactly what you want to say."

The only problem was that I could not pull the definition of 'fastidious' from my brain, so I turned to the Internet. Guess what? Fastidious was exactly the word I was looking for to describe the new character. Maybe it's a sign that I should trust my instincts more. It's definitely a sign that I should listen to the little voices in my head.

Has a word ever demanded to be used in your writing?

Friday, November 23, 2012

WOTW: Gratitude

Gratitude: noun, the quality of being thankful.

This is a word that we think about a lot at this time of year in the United States. The Thanksgiving holiday gives us a reason to focus on gratitude.

This year I am thankful for new traditions. My husband and I went for a hike at Silver Falls State Park on Thanksgiving morning. It was amazing. I have visited this park many times and I always have a feeling of awe when I go there. We enjoyed it so much that we have decided a Thanksgiving hike will be part of new tradition. We also changed our Thanksgiving dinner tradition this year. We are both vegetarians and usually we try to modify the traditional turkey dinner to fit our diets. This year we had lasagna, garlic bread, vegan Caesar salad, and sweet potato pie. It was the best Thanksgiving dinner I have had in a long time.

I am also thankful for my supportive husband, elderly cat, beautiful old house and a fun job that allows me to live the life I enjoy.

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WOTW: Startitis

Startitis:  a condition where a person feels the need to start many different projects without finishing current projects.

I first read about this condition on this wonderful knitting blog.  I have a very serious case of startitis.    I love to start projects, but hate to finish them.  Usually this strikes my crafting life.  I knit or crochet something but when it comes time to put on the finishing touches, like a button or a strap, I freeze.  I put the project aside and start something new.

For the last few years, since I started NaNoWriMo, startitis has suddenly struck my writing life.  I finally have some real writing projects, and none of them are complete.  The first novel I started writing is almost finished, but I froze and put it aside to start something new.  I wrote it during the month of November.  For many months after NaNo, I continued working on the story.  Then I got close to the end and realized I needed to add another character in order for the protagonist to get the information that she needed to succeed.  I immediately put the novel aside and started thinking about what I would write for next NaNo.  Now I have 4 books in progress.

I am beginning to wonder if I have a fear of finishing projects.  A completed project is a big responsibility.  Once you finish a knitted purse or a novel, you have to take the next step and figure out what to do with it.  What if I am so terrified of the next step, of doing something with my writing, that I never finish a project?

I have decided that this NaNo is the one that will change everything.  Since I am collaborating on my novel, there is a higher expectation of completing the work.  For the first time, I have someone who is really excited to read what I am writing and to help me edit and revise.  I am hoping that this motivational push will help me finally reach a writing finish line.

Have you ever suffered from startitis?  What helps you to stay the course and complete your projects?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

WOTW: Branding

Branding :  in my worl, branding is promoting your product, building a theme that connects all your work.

This week, I read this awesome post on The Writer's Dojo blog.  It really made me think about my branding.  I have one profile for both of my creative blogs: crafting and writing.  I am now seriously thinking about clearing my Blogger profile and adding a bio to the right bar of each blog that is individualized to that topic.  This way I can brand myself differently on each blog

While researching more, I found these great definitions:

"To understand branding, it is important to know what brands are. A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with, by identifying the name, logo, slogan, or design of the company who owns the idea or image. Branding is when that idea or image is marketed so that it is recognizable by more and more people, and identified with a certain service or product when there are many other companies offering the same service or product."

"Here's my definition: A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer."  - Seth Godin

Do you think about your branding?  What have you done to create your brand?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NaNo Has Begun!

NaNoWriMo has begun again.  Day 3 is already upon us, and I am feeling good about this book.  My husband and I are collaborating this time around.  He is more of an idea man, and I am the writer.  We are working with one of his original ideas.  He has been reading my work each evening and making suggestions for changes or for what might happen next.  It is nice to collaborate, especially since it means he is much more understanding when I decide to spend hours typing on the computer and not paying any attention to him :)

Usually when I am writing, I start with a very vague plan.  I usually know where the story will start and end, and I have a character in mind.  Then I just fly by the seat of my pants.  This time I decided to plan a little ahead of time.  Since I am collaborating, I wanted to make sure that we both agreed with the plan before I started writing.  Well, on November 1st, when I started writing, I was too lazy to take out my plan and look at it before beginning.  Today I finally took a peek at the original plan.  My main character chose a different name for himself.  The book chose a different beginning scene than we had planned.  Everything is just a little off.

Lesson learned:  Why plan when you're just going to ignore the plan anyway?  Now I can't even imagine my main character having the original name I had thought of, Troy.  It doesn't fit him anymore.  I am pretty sure that his even his race has changed in my mind.  I no longer see a scrawny white boy when I think of him.  I guess my plans have changed :)

Do you usually plan before you start writing or fly by the seat of your pants?  What do you do when the plan changes without telling you?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WOTW: Sapience

Sapience:  (noun). Wisdom

I found this word in Christopher Moore's Practical Demonkeeping, a very clever and humorous book.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WOTW: Degustationary

Degustation:  the act of tasting something carefully, sometimes in small portions.

I found the word degustationary in The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  It is used to describe compliments given over a meal.  When I first read the word, I thought it meant compliments about the food, but I cannot find the exact definition of the word anywhere.  After searching on the web, I've noticed that others are defining the word differently.  One forum suggested that it means a series of small compliments.  A blogger suggested that it means carefully worded compliments.  Personally I find it interesting that so many people are struck by the word and are searching for a definition.  I guess it takes a little interpretation sometimes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

WOTW: Nibiru

Nibiru:  (also known as Planet X)  a planet that is believed by many conspiracy theorists to be headed for a collision with Earth, causing the destruction of our planet.  The collision was originally predicted for the year 2900, but some believe it will happen in 2012.

Zachariah Sitchen was the first person to discover Nibiru.  He supposedly found references to the planet while translating ancient Sumerian texts.  Apparently, the inhabitants of  the planet came to Earth and created humans by genetically modifying female apes.  They then used humans as slaves to mine gold and plan to return for judgment day.

Why am I researching this topic?  Well, I am planning a book, and the main character just happens to be a conspiracy theorist.  The aliens of Nibiru( Nibirians?) may play a big role in this book.  The information on the web about Nibiru is actually pretty interesting.  There are a lot of websites debunking the whole idea.  One of my favorite posts so far is this April Fool's post and it's novel way of surviving the whole disaster.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's NaNo Time Again!

That's right.  I am going back for more NaNo punishment.  I have been NaNoing since 2009 and have yet to win.  I really believe this time will be different, though.  Hmmm, seems like those words sound familiar to me.  I may have tried to convince myself of this before.

But really, this time is going to be different.  For one thing, I will have more support at home.  The original story idea was actually my husband's.   He thinks I will do a better job writing the story than he could.  At first I wasn't sure if I liked the story idea, but the more I considered the possibilities, the more the ideas grow, the more I love this book idea.  Collaborating with my husband means that I have been planning a lot more.  I'm usually more of a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of writer, but this new alliance is forcing me to do more pre-writing work.  I am hoping it will get me the win!

Is anyone else out there NaNoing this November?  How are your plans going?

Monday, October 8, 2012

WOTW : Mediomania

Mediomania:   (noun)   a type of insanity where a person believes that they can communicate with spirits.  It was common in the late 1800's for mediums to be diagnosed with this affliction.  Most often these mediums were women, and the diagnosis could mean being locked away in an institution for the rest of her life or surgeries including, but not limited to, hysterectomy.

I recently learned about mediomania while reading a very interesting book, called "All Will be Revealed" by Robert Anthony Siegel.  It reminded me of the many ways that men have attempted to control women throughout history.  It really saddened and angered me to read about the institution where the female character in the book was placed.  I have no idea how historically accurate it was; I have had a hard time finding much information about mediomania on the web.  I think it would be an interesting area of research, maybe a future project?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Long Time, No Write

Well, it has been a while since I have written anything here.  Ignoring my new blog already.  Shame on me. 
Update time:
1.  Camp NaNoWriMo was a definite failure for me.  I was way too busy and failed miserably in reaching my word count.
2.  It was not a total loss, though.  I did plan my new novel and I got a good start writing it. 
3.  I am thinking that November's NaNo might be 50,000words completing my two novels and my memoir.  That could be an interesting, schizophrenic month.
4.  This is my first attempt at mobile blogging from my Kindle Fire.  I hope it works.
5.  WOTW will return tomorrow.
Sent from my Kindle Fire

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WOTW: Flibbertigibbet

Flibbertigibbet:  (noun)  a frivolous, flighty, or excessively talkative person
          Origin:  late Middle English: probably imitative or idle chatter
          (definition taken from  New Oxford American Dictionary)

I first met this word during the 2012 A to Z Challenge.  Just recently, we encountered each other again in Steve Hockensmith's Dawn of the Dreadfuls.  I find that I really enjoy this word and could even use it to describe myself occasionally :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

How's the Novel?

From Family Guy on the Fox Network

Yeah, the novel's not going so well.  I am way behind on word count.  June suddenly became a very busy month for me.  I have to take an online class, and projects and plans keep popping up everywhere.  I will keep working and see what happens.  If nothing else, I have a really good start and a pretty good plan for where it's all going.

Monday, June 11, 2012

WOTW: Rill

Rill  (noun)  a small stream; a shallow channel cut in the ground by running water

I found this word in It by Stephen King where it was used as a verb, "He could hear running water somewhere close, chuckling over stones and rilling between them."

According to Merriam Webster, in verb form the word means "to flow like a rill."

Sunday, June 3, 2012


One song that is inspiring me to keep writing for Camp NaNo.  My book is unwritten, and I am the only one who can write it.  I have already fallen behind unfortunately; I have only written 80 words and spent most of the first day of the challenge planning instead of writing.  I am usually not a planner.

Word of the Week (WOTW)

logy (adj) dull and heavy in motion or thought; sluggish.
   ORIGIN mid 19th century; of uncertain origin; compare with Dutch log meaning heavy or dull
Definition from The New Oxford American Dictionary

I discovered this word while reading It by Stephen King.  He uses it when explaining the factors that lead to the frequent flooding in the town of Derry.  One of these factors is "the entire area's logy drainage."

WOTW is something I will be posting every week.  I will be choosing words that are new to me or that interest me.  This one is definitely a new word for me.

Monday, May 28, 2012


I am participating in CampNaNoWriMo this year.  This will be my third attempt at writing 50,000 words in 30 days,  and I am hopeful that this time I will actually have my first win.  I really think that June will be a better month for writing for me.  November is a little bit crazy!  The book I am planning is a re-imagining of the Arthur/Camelot legends that centers on a young descendant of Mordred.  I am really excited to write it and have been reading Le Mort d'Arthur by Thomas Mallory to prepare and do some extra research.

Anyone else participating in CampNaNo?


Welcome to my new blog.  I am not fully sure where this blog will lead me, but it will begin as a place for me to share my journey as a writer and my love of language.  Hope you enjoy.