My Writing Tools

MY WRITING TOOLS

Every writer has their own sacred tools. Tools to create, to bring those words rolling around in our heads together, and to bring a story to life. I have seen a few other bloggers do a post similar to this, and I have loved each one. Here are my writing tools!

The Lucky Writing Sweater- I can’t decide if it screams hipster or just plain ugly! Ha-ha!

The Lucky Writing Sweater

Either way, this sweater has magical powers. I am not sure why, but it seems like when I am wearing this sweater the words flow and I can write and write and write. Also I finished my first manuscript wearing this sweater!

The Laptop- This is my enormous (annoyingly enormous) laptop that has been with meDSC_0085 through thick and thin. That keyboard has written hundreds of thousands of words.  Recently, my poor lap top it has been debating retirement (an early retirement). I’m  afraid if I don’t retire it soon it will throw in the towel. RIP laptop. Without you, I could never have gone as far I have.

The Cup of Coffee (or Tea in this picture)

This is my official writing cup. DSC_0077When I bought it, it was a real battle. The Make It Happen motivational mug or Wonder Woman mug? I’m not sure why I decided on just one. Why couldn’t I get both of them? (* sigh…life’s regrets)  I even went back to the store the next day and the Wonder Woman mug was gone. Tear, Tear. Anyway I do love the “MAKE IT HAPPEN” motivational reminder as I drink and write.

The Writing Journal

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Inspiration doesn’t always come when you are on your laptop. Inspiration hits me throughout the day, anytime-anyplace.I like to keep a journal handy to write down any thoughts, ideas or inspiration. The random papers underneath, and inside are when I didn’t have the journal on me and just wrote thoughts down on whatever I could get my hands on.

All About that Grammar- There are about a million rules in the English Language…and I have a lot of questions! Keeping a Grammar and Usage books around has been handy. Also, to be a good writer, you must be a good reader. I always keep a good book nearby for needed inspiration.

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 And this is just a cute picture I had to add! This is Branson, my sister’s dog I love to pieces!

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What are your writing tools? I would love to hear about them!

 

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Writing Update

Writing update! 

Last week ended on a high note with lots of writing and editing done. For several weeks I was frozen at this one spot in my second book, but finally the words started to flow. The inspiration flow all started with research on the meaning of flowers. Haha..yes, flowers. The two books I am working on are right now are set in the 1920’s, and the second one involves a serial killer who leaves a certain flower by each victim. For the longest time I really wasn’t sure which flower to use, so I got to work looking up the meaning of flowers.

During the Victorian Era people spoke through flowers, which I find fascinating (but I’m so glad it doesn’t really work that way today!). Flowers, colors of flowers, leaves off or on…it all meant something. A red rose meant I love you…but a deep red rose meant “bashful” or “shame”. A thornless rose meant “love at first sight” and you better hope no one gives you an orange lily…it means they pretty much hate you. (How sad! What if orange lilies were your favorite flower?). Some other interesting meanings I found: one of the meanings of the herb Dill is lust. Hmm.. just doesn’t scream lust to me! And Bachelor Button, as the name suggests, means “celibacy”, “single blessedness.” Pretty interesting stuff. Kind of strange that it got the writing juices flowing for me, but there you have it!

Other Updates: 

I am getting a new computer. At the beginning of February I did my taxes. I bought a certain tax system, downloaded it onto my lap top. Apparently it was too much (too depressing?) for my lap top and right after I pressed send (thank goodness!) the screen turned into a mess of black, blue, orange, green, pink, etc. lines. Then it went black. =( My poor laptop. The good news is after letting it sit for a day I figured I would go ahead and try to turn the thing on…and it actually still worked! The bad news is I could no longer get on the internet. BIG SIGH. It has been interesting using my phone as my main source for access to the internet; I only attempted to write one or two blog posts through my phone (haha…that was fun!)…so thankful for friends and family who let me borrow their laptops for blog writing. To make a long story short, I should have a new computer by the end of the week. Yay!!

Hiking Season is here! YES! Went to Rocks’ State Park in Maryland, which if you are ever in Maryland you should check out. My favorite part is a group of rocks called the “King and Queen’s Seat”; Indians used to hold meetings here years and years ago. By the way…I love hiking, so any trail recommendations, if I am ever in your part of the world?

What I’m reading: The final books of the Sebastian St. Cyr series. I held out until my birthday and got them as a gift. Speaking of this series, I got my little sister reading them! WIN.

I hope everyone is having an awesome Wednesday! =)

A few paragraphs from Book II!

A few paragraphs from my second book! This has a small glimpse of one of my favorite characters: Miss Sadie Bee.

Mercedes shook her head. If she thought about Kale Desmin one more time today she may as well start a fan club for him, complete with jackets and autograph signings. He was such a mystery and one she wouldn’t mind solving…at least in her wildest dreams.

She looked back at Sadie Bee’s dark, probing eyes, wondering if she should confess everything to the cook. It was after all, just the two of them in the kitchen, as it usually was every morning. It was a tradition, almost; Mercedes and Miss Bee would come down earlier than the rest of the staff, drink coffee and talk about whatever random subject was running through Miss Bee’s mind. This morning had Miss Bee sharing how she was certain mice were intelligent creatures. She said, “They got to be sorta smart if theys can manage to get cheese outta a mouse trap and not set the darn thing off.” She glared at the scrawny tabby cat lounging in the corner in a patch of sunlight. “You useless, you knows that?” Shaking her head she took a sip of her black coffee. “Sometimes I sees this one mouse, he be the leader I think, he just look at me…like he’s challenging me. It ain’t natural, that’s for sures.”

Mercedes hesitated. How she wanted to let out her secret. It was like steam trapped in a tea kettle. Sadie Bee could be trusted, but the problem was the entire house (other than Pearl and Mrs. Tyson, of course) hated Kale. Mercedes would have to bring him up in a roundabout way. “I was just…thinking…about Ka–Mr. Desmin,” she let the name hang in the air.

Miss Bee’s face scrunched, the same way it had when she found mouse droppings in the cupboard. “Why would you be thinking on him?”

“No particular reason…” Mercedes started. She drummed her fingers on the table. “But I wonder what his fiancé was like; I wonder if he loved her; I wonder why he left her.” She looked off again, reimagining the pain in Kale’s golden eyes as he spoke of the girl.

Miss Bee grunted. “Child, that man didn’t love her. No man that loves a girl would just leave her stand’n there to be publicly humiliated.”

“But–I wonder about the facts…” -Pg. 27 (Book II)

Hope Everyone is having a great weekend!

It counts

Sometimes there are things we simply cannot fix or change.

I’m thinking of those moments when a friend, co-worker,  family member, acquaintance is hurting. The sparkle in their eyes has been replaced with tears, they don’t smile anymore…it’s like part of them has been stolen, which is partially true. And gosh, you just want to make them smile again, take away the pain and give them sunny skies.

There is a group of personality types out there I’d like to call the “fixers” and “helpers”. Fixers and helpers are driven to, as the name suggests, fix things…if we could, we would make the world have sunshine every single day.Fixers love to see people happy and make people happy; when someone isn’t happy or is hurting, fixers instantly want to fix it, they feel driven to help. Most, if not all of us, have a certain amount of this fixer/helper personality in us…it makes you human to care about another human.

But sometimes there are  things you cannot fix. Sometimes the hurt is so deep, too deep. Or the hurt and pain is something you cannot relate to at all… and you feel powerless. You want to help, but you can’t; you want to take the pain away, but you can’t. The person feels so far, so out of reach, and you don’t know what to do or say.

Today while I was at work printing paper after paper, this thought struck me: You may not be able to “fix” or take away someone’s pain…but you can be there. And just being there COUNTS. Just giving someone a hug COUNTS. Telling someone “Let me know what I can do to help” COUNTS. Even if you don’t see it, your presence counts to someone that is hurting.

People handle grief and disappointment differently…but we all appreciate when our friends and family are simply THERE for us–ready to talk to, ready to give a hug, ready to just sit in the same room with us.

Sometimes you may not feel like you are helping someone at all, you may feel like giving up…DON’T. You ARE making a difference…even if you don’t see it right now. BE AVAILABLE, GIVE PEOPLE HUGS (where words cannot go, touch often can!), AND DON’T GIVE UP…..IT COUNTS.

You are somebody

I ran across this quote and thought it was too good not to share:

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” -Kid President

You can change someone’s life, and it’s not that hard.

Isn’t it amazing after you get a sincere and very specific to you compliment, or after someone gets you flowers for no reason at all, or after someone asks you a question and really listens, you feel recharged…important…a little more confident. Sometimes you feel more daring– you take risks…because you believe you can succeed. And sometimes…you DO succeed…life takes you places you would have never dreamed you’d be. Your life changed because someone took the time to make you feel special, like the somebody you were all along.

Challenge: Compliment someone in a very specific way. Don’t just say they are awesome, tell them very specific reasons why they are awesome. Compliment the barista that always makes your coffee ridiculously perfectly and always remembers your order (which is so confusing you’d think it was some kind of math problem); compliment a family member (sometimes, they are the ones who need to hear it the most). Yeah, this “challenge” is something so small, but small things matter…and lots of small things make a difference.

If you’d like, share your story! Or share a story of when somebody made YOU feel like a SOMEBODY.

Wings, a poem

Wings

A poem by Autumn Komzik

Down, down far below

Was a place I longed to go.

Each day I strained my eyes to see,

A place I only dreamed to be.

A little town, a mountain peak,

Grassy pastures and a crystal creek.

My friends would often come and go

And tell of the wonders down below.

I longed to join them in that place,

But I was trapped in fate’s embrace.

Separated by a chasm far and deep–

I was perched on a cliff narrow and steep.

Make the jump–it was the only way;

It was the one price required to pay.

Below the rocks were sharp as knives

There was the chance one wouldn’t survive.

I looked over the edge and hugged the wall;

I chose to stay and never to fall.

I lived my life always to dream;

I never felt the crystal stream,

Or stood on the top of the mountain peak,

Or laid in pastures grassy and sweet;

I never walked on streets of cobblestone–

I lived up here…all alone.

A life wasted, almost gone by;

I never truly lived, because I was afraid to die.

Make the jump–it was the only way

Not to waste one more day.

Now more afraid not to jump at all

I step over the edge, and take the fall.

The air around me sings,

And I discover all along, I had wings.

-Autumn Komzik

Don’t be afraid of to fail, be afraid not to try.

Peter Pan Must Die

Peter Pan Must Die

Peter Pan Must Die, John Verdon

Book Review
I received this book, Peter Pan Must Die, from the Blogging For Books program, in exchange for this review

The first thing that drew me into this read was the title. Somehow I sensed this book wasn’t about Never Never Land, Tinkerbelle, or never growing old. This book was about a murder. And let me just say…WOW.

Peter Pan Must Die is tells the story of a perfect case–a wife accused of murdering her husband; overwhelming evidence; life sentence; a woman nicknamed the black window– a woman capable of committing a murder…only she didn’t do it. Detective Gurney sets out to find the true killer, in a murder case with twists, turns, and one that leaves the reader wondering…who is Peter Pan (and all of us thinking find him before he finds you!)?

I have to confess though, the reason it took me so long to put up a review on this book was not because it was painfully boring to read. When I decided this book would be the one I MUST review I suddenly realized my only option was an e-book or in my case, a download onto my computer. I thought, “It will be no big deal”. But yes, yes it was! I never felt like grabbing my bulky laptop and curling up in bed and reading from the large screen with its’ blinding blue lights. In case you haven’t guessed I am a huge fan of hard copy books, books you can smell, books you can hold in your hand. I am not an e-book / kindle fan!

Final thoughts on Peter Pan Must Die—if you love suspense then you will enjoy reading this book. I was actually scared for the main character, thinking, “He’s gonna die, he’s gonna die!” The author really brought about a unique and terrifying antagonist…one that you won’t soon forget.

 

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