7 Bullet Friday – Quotes, quotes, quotes…

Blogging Update: I now have three regular posts on this blog. Monday – Butterfly of the Week, Friday – 7 Bullet Friday, and now Wednesday – Quote of the Day. In addition to posting a Pinterest pin daily on the My Dreaming Butterfly Facebook page, I’m also creating an original “pinnable” quote using my own digital butterfly art and quotes that I’ve scavenged from reference books and websites (I discuss my favorite resource in today’s last bullet). Of course, I’ll still post updates on the progress of my first novel in the Dragon World series and short stories as they come. But, I’m getting myself in the habit of regular posts, and like any regimen, it’s starting to feel natural. Joy!

What I’m obsessed with this week: Quotes, quotes, quotes… I’m surrounded by books of quotes marked by post-it flags and spending countless hours pouring over websites. The hardest part is choosing which quotes to use first.

My favorite dream interpretation this week:
Butterfly
1. Because of its mysterious transmogrification from a caterpillar, the butterfly is a universal symbol for intense transformation, usually for the better.
2. If the butterfly is in the egg stage, the coming change is still but an idea.
3. In the larva stage, a decision needs to be made.
4. In the cocoon stage, you are working to make your dreams a reality.
5. An adult butterfly flying in the air indicates sharing, or the need to share, your ideas with the world.

My favorite Abraham quote this week:
“We want to speak about freedom: This is a Vibrational Universe. The only Source that flows is the Source of Well-Being. And, physical and Nonphysical, we are all free to allow that Well-Being to flow to us and through us or we can pinch it off. It is our call — every time…” —Abraham
To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php

My favorite writing prompt this week:
“Drunkenly, you accidentally pour vodka into your pet’s water bowl. As a result, your pet breaks the number one rule: do not speak to your owner… Ever.”

My favorite writing quote this week:
“There’s always something to write about. If there’s not, then you need to live life more aggressively.” –Min Kim

My favorite from the inter-webs: GoodReads isn’t just a good starting point to find the most-loved books in any particular genre, but it’s a great source for quotes from famous authors on any number of subjects: art, love, fear, inspiration, dreams, purpose, wisdom, passion, and more. It’s soon to become my go-to research for the butterfly illustrated quotes I’m posting on this blog weekly.
Check it out at: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes

7 Bullet Friday – Fear and Time Travel

A thought on Fear: I personally have allowed fear to hold me back from doing a number of things, including this blog. I read a blog today called “The Biggest Killer of Creativity” by guest blogger Allison Maruska and it inspired me. She mentions her anxiety of publishing her novel and that her fears were that it would be both criticized/ridiculed and also completely ignored. The only thing that I would add is what I tell everyone (including myself, every time I’m afraid to put anything out into the world): for any creative endeavor, there is someone who will connect with it and appreciate it. What we need to look past are those it won’t connect to (those that never see it and never will) and those it connects to in a negative way (the criticizers and ridiculers). We shouldn’t expect to please everyone. Our audience, our focus, are the people who will love it and be inspired by it. And when you think about them, the fear fades away to a dull murmur in the  background.

What I’m re-reading this week: I love time travel stories, they simply fascinate me. So, I’m re-reading the trilogy and between-the-books novellas in Rysa Walker’s CHRONOS Files series. We follow the adventures of sixteen-year-old Kate Pierce-Keller as she navigates the world of time travel and learns about her family’s legacy of meddling in the course of history. It may be in the Young Adult demographic, but the only thing “young” is the protagonist. The story arcs and time travel conundrums and consequences are given in all their complexity and the characters all have the depth of adult fiction. I’m excited to dive back into these!

My favorite dream interpretation this week:
Superhero/Heroine:
1. A male superhero represents a super intellect; thus to dream of seeing Superman, Batman, Spiderman, or whoever indicates that your mind is particularly sharp right now, and if there is a project you’re working on that requires a quick, agile, and insightful intellect, this is the time to concentrate primarily on it. Female superheroes such as Wonder Woman or Supergirl indicate a heightened supportive mind – and thus the dreamer’s intuition is operating at a very high level. Therefore at this time the dreamer should definitely believe in his or her hunches and go with them – no matter what the intellect tells you.
2. If the dreamer encounters both male and female superheroes, then both faculties of his mind are especially sharp right now. Use your intellect, but when in doubt, follow your heart.
3. If the superhero or heroine is flying, or performing a rescue, then your mental and/or intuitive faculties will save you from an uncomfortable situation.

My favorite Abraham quote this week:
“Every time you say, ‘I appreciate that. I really like that. I applaud that. I acknowledge the value in that.’ Every time you do that, you spend some of your Energy, and it is the spending of the Energy that creates a vacuum, so to speak, or an attraction, so to speak, that draws more and more and more and more.” —Abraham
To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php

My favorite writing prompt this week:
“The ghosts haunting your house wake you up because something is scaring them and need your help.”

My favorite writing quote this week:
“A day will come when the story inside you will want to breathe on its own. That’s when you’ll start writing.” –Sarah Noffke

My favorite from the inter-webs: DailyOm is a beautiful website with daily inspirational posts and horoscope posts for every sign. But my favorite part of this website is their courses. So far, I’ve taken two (“Way of Story Writing Course” by Catherine Ann Jones and “A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back” by Stephanie Bennett Vogt) and am looking at a third (“Overcoming Creative Anxiety” by Eric Maisel). Not only are their courses high quality, but the cost is really affordable ($10-$40). The topics cover: art and writing, meditation and relaxation, nature, home and garden, relationships, and many more.
Check it out at: http://www.dailyom.com/

7 Bullet Friday – Cozy Mysteries and Strawberry Sundaes

  • Facebook Update: I’m focusing on the My Dreaming Butterfly Facebook page this week and have decided that a daily post will help bring more traffic to the page. My idea for an easy daily post is to use inspirational, butterfly themed Pinterest pins. So, I’ll be working on that over the weekend. This project may lead to creating my own butterfly themed art quotes, but I’ll keep that idea in the background for now. Ideally, I’ll be able to add quotes to some of my existing butterfly art and maybe some of my pieces going forward will work for this idea too. Hmm, thoughts bubbling, juices flowing…
  • What I’m reading this week: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen is currently playing on my Kindle. “Our heroine, Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg… She’s gate-crashed a wedding… She’s making money by secretly cleaning houses… And she’s been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen. Everything seems to be going swimmingly until she finds a body in her bathtub… and someone is definitely trying to kill her.” So far, this cozy mystery is loads of fun. Wonderful narration, I’m loving the British accents. A good lessons in obstacles and overcoming them.
  • My favorite dream interpretation this week:
    Driving:
    1. The need or desire to throw all the dreamer’s energy into a particular goal.
    2. The feeling of having no choice as to how to proceed in a given situation – in short, of being “driven.” If the dreamer is not the drive, he should consider who is doing it.
    Astrological parallels: Aries, Capricorn
    Tarot parallel: The Chariot
  • My favorite Abraham quote this week:
    “It doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing with their vibration, it only matters what you are doing. You cannot desire something—and notice that it isn’t coming—without offering two contradictory vibrations that won’t let it come..” —Abraham
    To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php
  • My favorite writing prompt this week:
    “I inherited a gift people would die for. A gift many would die to protect. A gift, I didn’t even want.”
  • My favorite writing quote this week:
    “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand in a box so that later I can build castles.” –Shannon Hale
  • My favorite from the inter-webs: It seems like we have a day for celebrating everything from apples (Oct. 21) to the letter Z (Jan 1). So, of course there’s a website that will let you know all the celebration possibilities and the particular days they fall on. For example, today (July 7) is not only Chocolate Day and Strawberry Sundae Day, it is also Tell the Truth Day and Global Forgiveness Day. I’d like to think they planned for these last two to happen together. So, tell someone the truth, forgive them and yourself, and then go out for a strawberry sundae and a bite of chocolate to soothe any remaining hurt feelings.
    Check it out at: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/#

Save

7 Bullet Friday – Bringin’ ’em back

  • Blogging Update: My life got a bit busy over the past year and my Butterfly-of-the-Week project fell into the abyss of my to-do list. So sad… The good news is, my overall schedule is feeling more open now and I’m pleased to report the butterflies are coming back. I’ve included a few of my favorites from earlier posts below. This weekly post was born from the CreativeSprint project based on the Skull-A-Day book(s) by Noah Scalin. I’ve participated in two of the 30-day CreativeSprint challenges and plan to join the October challenge this year. Using Noah’s book,”365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life!” I’ll choose a prompt, give it a butterfly theme and post it weekly. For the majority of the prompts I plan to use Photoshop to keep developing those skills, but there may be an occasional “real life” project.
         
  • What I’m reading this week: I finished Age of Myth: Book One of the Legends of the First Empire by Michael J. Sullivan on Tuesday. I have to say, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. The second book, Age of Swords will be released later this month and the third may not be released until next year, so I should probably pace myself a bit. The story was well written and narrated. The author painted a vivid picture without getting bogged down in the minutia of detail or repetition. Having multiple points of view afforded a person or place to be described by new eyes noticing different details which gave me a fuller appreciation of places and people. The story lines and plots were woven expertly together and I was treated to an unexpected twist at the end as a hook into the next novel.
  • My favorite dream interpretation this week:
    Chocolate:
    If the dream is positive – such as enjoying some chocolates with a friend or lover – then this is a symbol for happiness and contentment. If, however, you dream of a stomach ache or toothache resulting from eating chocolate, you need to curb overindulgence in foods of any kind.
  • My favorite Abraham quote this week:
    “Matter is the evolution of energy. First there is thought, then there is thought form, and then there is matter. Matter is only thought that has been thought upon by more.
    Expectation is a focus with a vibration that permits the receiving of what you’re focused upon—and, you expect things, both wanted and unwanted.” —Abraham
    To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php
  • My favorite writing prompt this week:
    “You are a psychologist in a session with a patient. Halfway through it, you realize it is you from the future.”
  • My favorite writing quote this week:
    “Don’t say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, Please will you do the job for me?” –C.S. Lewis
  • My favorite from the inter-webs: Are you having trouble finding interesting creatures for your fantasy novel (or perhaps ideas for alien creatures if you’re writing SciFi)? Well, if you want inspiration beyond dragon, gnome, fairy and elf, check out this list on Wikipedia. List list covers creatures from several different mythologies and cultural legends. Unfortunately, scant few link to  illustrations or deeper descriptions. But, if you Google “images of a ___,” you’ll get some interesting artist interpretations that you can use to further fuel your own imagination.
    Check it out at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Imaginary_Beings

Honey/Sheahanna/Chicory, a three-perspectives short story

three-perspectives-cover_web

Honey

Early fall sunshine streamed through the window. I sat tucked in my favorite niche, a window seat built into a dormer in a spare bedroom turned library. My feet were heavy blocks of ice despite the unseasonably warm day and thick wool socks. I angled myself so I could I sit cross-legged and wrapped a fleece throw around my legs.

The house had settled into a comfortable silence with Jim away for a weekend work-retreat. He’d offered to take me, almost winning me over with his, “C’mon Honey, the leaves will be at their peak color,” not to mention his bedroom eyes, but I’d declined. The thought of walking around the resort and the shops alone left a chilly, hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. I much preferred to be alone and by myself instead of alone and surrounded by strangers.

My cat, Mocha, appeared at the open door and looked in at me, her eyes a piercing green against her dark, mottled tortie coat. She started and trilled a meow as if surprised she didn’t have the entire house to herself. I patted my lap and kissed the air, but she turned away with an aloof twitch of her tail and continued on her rounds.

What am I, chopped liver? I chuckled at my joke. Apparently not. If I were, maybe I’d get a bit of affection from my own cat. I sighed, somewhere between a disgruntled huff and wistful exhale, and resigned myself to whiling away the afternoon with the triple-threat combo of romance novel, chocolate and red wine.

My phone chirped, startling me. I looked at the screen. I took a sip of wine, closed my eyes and drew a centering breath.

“Hi Mom.”

“Hi Honey,” she said, drawing out the E. Her voice sounded upbeat, as if surprised that I answered my phone, like getting an unexpected check in the mail.  “How are you?”

“Oh, just fine,” I said, keeping my tone bright. I opened my eyes and turned my gaze out the window. There was a soft breeze shifting through the tree branches that created dancing patterns of shadow and sunlight across the yard.

“How’s Jim?” Mom asked.

“He’s good. Busy with work. It’s nice though. I get to have some quiet, alone-time.” I cast a longing glance at my novel splayed open across my knee and the squares of chocolate, wondering if I could unwrap a piece without dropping the phone. I picked one and fumbled at the foil with only my left hand. “How’s Dad?”

“Oh, fine,” her voice trailed off. “He’ll be retiring this year.”

“That’s great! I’m sure he’s looking forward to it.”

“How’s your kitty? What’s her name again?”

“Mocha’s doing fine too, as anti-social as ever. It’s all right though, it keeps me from bringing home another furry friend. It would be nice to have her lie in my lap once. I’ve never had a cat that didn’t like being held before.”

“That’s weird. I can’t keep my animals off me.”

Mocha peeked into the room again and meowed loudly, demanding my attention. I patted my lap again, but she just stood in the doorway staring me down.

“She’s a strange one for sure.” I bit the corner of the chocolate square I had managed to unwrap and set the remainder back in its foil nest. “She seems to like me though. She gives me presents.”

“Oh, like what?”

Mocha meowed again, verging on a yawl. I rolled my eyes and heaved myself out of the window seat. “Mostly voles. But there was a bird, a salamander, and lots and lots of parts. It makes me nostalgic for Biology class.”

“Yuck.”

“Definitely. It was probably my fault.” Mocha led the way down the stairs and to the kitchen. Obedient owner that I was, I followed. “When she left me the first one, I loved on her because I knew it was her way of providing for me.”  Mocha looked at her food dish then up at me. She had plenty, so I fingered the dry nuggets in her dish. She sniffed at her food, then made for the front door. Again I followed, suppressing a sigh. I made a mental note that the next home improvement project would be a cat door. “You know, like some remnant of her wild cat heritage where lionesses hunt for the lion and give him the first bite. I thought she was telling me I was the head of her pride. Now I can’t turn it off. I don’t want to punish her for being a cat.”

I began to open the door, Mocha’s nose pressed up to the opening.

“So, I have some news,” Mom said. I froze. My stomach reacted to the cautious tone by churning the wine and chocolate already digesting there into an acidic froth. Mocha wedged her head into the widening threshold, I released my grip on the doorknob and she slipped out.

“Oh?” I prompted. I reeled through all the possibilities: Mom was dying, Dad was dying, Granny had died, Mom and Dad were divorcing, they were bankrupt and needed to move in with me, I was bankrupt and needed to move in with them. “What news?”

“Your cousin Jessica had her baby!” Mom’s voice sounded happy but reserved. I closed the door and turned, leaning my back against it.

“Oh!” I said, relieved no one was dead or dying or bankrupt. Honestly, I’d completely forgotten she was expecting. “I’m happy for her. Boy or girl? Has she picked out a name yet?”

Mom rattled off that it was a girl, her weight and roughly the time she was born, yesterday afternoon sometime. Harley Rose was her name. The family would be getting together next weekend. I felt the unspoken expectation that I be there so I could meet and fawn over my new cousin. And, that’s when it became real.

Suddenly, my throat thickened and my eyes burned with unshed tears. I swallowed a sob like a chunk of grizzled meat. I was happy for Jess, really. But, an oppressive sense of regret welled up inside me like an icy stream trying to break the surface. It wasn’t so much that I had tried to have a baby and failed. It was that I hadn’t tried at all. And now, the opportunity had passed me by. An only child, with no children. The end of the line.

I swallowed against the stickiness in my throat, tasting acid and chocolate and salt. I mourned less for the child I’d never had and more for the experience of being a grandma that my mother would never have. My heart squeezed at the thought that the baby Mom would rock in her arms would not be mine.

She said something, snapping me back to the present and I gasped a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding.

“What? Oh, no. Next weekend is bad. Jim and I have travel plans,” I lied, hoping I sounded sincere and not too grateful for the fact that I hadn’t told Mom Jim was out of town this weekend. “I’ll send Jess a card. She’s registered at Target, I think, so I’ll tuck a gift card in there too.”

“Do you have her address?” Mom asked, all motherly business now.

“Yes, I’ve got it.”

“Okay then,” she started to say more but a riot of barking cut her off. “Someone just pulled up.”

“No worries, I hear the dog alarm. Go do what you gotta do.”

“Okay, Honey,” Mom sounded rushed. “Call me sometime.”

“Yeah, I’ll talk to you later, give my love to Dad.”

“Okay. Love you.”

“Love you too, bye.” I ended the call and fought the urge to sink to the floor. I stood there for countless moments, my dark thoughts circling like scavenger birds around the festering corpse of the long-ago dream of having children.

I heard Mocha meowing at the door and I sighed. I opened the door and looked down to see her stepping over her fresh kill before slipping inside. I turned to see her walk into the kitchen, the curl of her dark tail the last part of her to disappear.

“Dammit,” I muttered. It was a chipmunk, intact thankfully, laid out like a supplicant on a sisal altar. I set my phone on the entry table and slipped into a pair of Jim’s work boots. I bent down, picking up my welcome mat and its guest as I rose.

I carried the mat to the back yard and stood before the drainage ditch the briefest of moments before flicking the mat and sending the carcass tumbling down. My chin trembled as hot tears rolled down my cheeks. I sucked in deep shaking breaths, forcing emotional composure. I would have to battle those demons at some point, I couldn’t avoid Jess’s baby forever, but I had bought some time to construct my armor. So, for now I would return to my window and smother my sorrows with chocolate and wine.

Sheahanna

Finally outside her den, it took a while for Sheahanna to regain control of her energy. Scratching on a tree trunk helped. With her claws still in the bark of the tree, she pulled a long stretch, easing the last of her tension. It was a relief, especially after a frustrating episode telling the Master to make the opening. The Ground Dweller’s noises had stirred in the depth of her being, waking the instincts of her predatory ancestry which dozed just behind her consciousness.

Sheahanna slipped quietly around the perimeter of her territory, making fresh marks along the way. Members of her former pride had tracked her here and she wanted to make sure they knew this was her region.

Soon, she was within sight of the Ground Dwellers’ habitat. She found a suitable vantage point hidden beneath the branches of a shrub. It would not be long now. The Ground Dwellers and Tree Dwellers were busy this time of year when the trees shed their leaves and fruit.

Watching the stone wall, she saw her target emerge, pausing a moment at the entrance of its burrow. Her sharp eyes tracked the Ground Dweller as it darted to the top of the wall and ran along its rim. She followed, creeping slowly, staying low to the ground, careful not to disturb the thick blanket of fallen leaves. Watching her prey forage, Sheahanna’s body stiffened, masking her racing heartbeat and breath. Her muscles coiled and uncoiled. She alternated shifting and planting her feet, preparing for the inevitable chase.

When the Ground Dweller called out its chirping song, she charged. Her instincts took over and her focus sharpened to the fine point of her quarry. She countered every twist, turn and dart. Through a lucky pounce her claws struck home. She seized the opportunity, sinking her teeth deep into its throat and with a sharp twist, snapped its neck.

Sheahanna waited for the last beat of the Ground Dweller’s heart before releasing her death grip. She licked the blood from her lips and preened herself, basking in the glory of her kill. Collecting her trophy, she carried it back to her den. She placed it prominently at the opening and called to the Master, excited to share her most recent prize.

Chicory

It is dark and warm in the borough. Chicory removes the food from his cheek pouches, tucking the morsels beneath the soft nesting. Leaving the nest chamber, he follows the long corridor out to the burrow entrance.

The afternoon sun is bright. He cleans his paws and whiskers while his eyes adjust to the light. It is a happy day. Food is plentiful. It is the time for gathering.

Chicory hears the songs of his clan and answers with his own call. He follows his trail back to his last mark, resuming his search. He sings a territorial song when he locates a new piece of food.

He hears the predator warning song from his winged brothers in the trees, but it is too late. He must evade.

Run! Turn! Dart! Twist! Jump! Spin! Run!

Fear fuels his flight but it also blinds and confuses him.

Pain burns through his hindquarters. Struggling for freedom, he screams.

The jaws of the predator clamp around his throat. The futility of resisting settles in and Chicory surrenders.

In that moment, he is released from his physical body and blends with the consciousness of Earth. From this new perspective, he understands his purpose, though brief, is an important instrument in the symphony of existence. The complex interplay of the flora and fauna – the movement of the land, water, and air on the surface – the rotation of the sphere on its axis – the orbit of the planet around its sun – the movement of the sun around its galaxy’s bright center. From this place of knowing he sees that although his physical life was small and finite, his consciousness is massive and endless. He chooses to live the small life again.

Instantaneously, he is in a warm dark place surrounded by the fluttering of several heartbeats, a seed in a fertile garden, growing, expanding, and waiting patiently to push forth into the light.

***

This short story is based on the prompt to write the same story from three different perspectives. I submitted this to my writers group in December 2010. I revised it and resubmitted to my group again March 2017. What I’ve submitted for this post is culminated from all the feedback I’ve received. If you have any thoughts or comments, I’d love to hear them.

May you face your fears and open your heart for all the world to see. It’s only when we open our hearts that others can be welcomed in.

Save

Save

Save

7 Bullet Friday – A bit of fun

  • Pinterest Update: I spend a fair amount of time on Pinterest. In fact, it’s where I gather the writing prompts and writing quotes that I share every week. I also have boards on writing tips/techniques, character development and several boards dedicated to Dragon World and its various dragons. There are lots of other boards too. It seems like every time a new idea strikes me, I’m creating a board for that. So, I thought I’d share a few Dragon World related images from my Pinterest stash.
  • What I’m reading this week: Age of Myth: Book One of the Legends of the First Empire by Michael J. Sullivan. I’m new to the works of Michael Sullivan and I’m not sure how I found him other than I’m trying to read epic fantasy fiction since I’m writing and epic fantasy. He’s written several novels in this universe and this is the first of the “pre-quels.” So, instead of reading his books from oldest to newest, I thought I’d read them chronologically according to the world. The book was slow to start as there are several POV characters and we needed to get to know them and what they want. Once the story got going though, I have to say I’m enjoying the read. I’m at the mid-point and am finding it hard to put the novel away so I can work. I can only hope my storytelling is half this good.
  • My favorite dream interpretation this week:
    Writing:
    1. Dreams of writing letters can mean the need to get in touch with people whom you haven’t spoken with in a while.
    2. Dreams of writing novels, plays or stories indicate that there is a creative streak in you that needs an outlet. Many great authors have received inspiration from their dreams.
    3. To dream of writing and not knowing what you’re writing is a warning that you may be inadvertently communicating messages to others that they are misinterpreting in an insulting way.
  • My favorite Abraham quote this week:
    “Being in love is so good for you. Often when people are newly in love, things that have been bothering them for a long time get better. Something wonderful is calling the majority of their attention, so they’re holding themselves in a better vibrational place, so the stuff they’ve been wanting all along can now zoom in.” —Abraham
    To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php
  • My favorite writing prompt this week:
    “I know the voices aren’t real, but man do they come up with some great ideas.”
  • My favorite writing quote this week:
    “The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike say, a brain surgeon.” –Robert Cormier
  • My favorite from the inter-webs: If you’re at the point in your writing journey where you’re ready to look for editors and agents, a fellow writer recommended this site to me. Manuscript Wish List offer advice on their blog, but the crème de la crème is the editors and agents search feature. Hover over the “Find Editors and Agents” tab and choose the “Genre/Name Search.” Here, you can select whether you want an agent or editor, and the genres for both fiction and non-fiction. This narrows the list considerably and you’re guaranteed to have a professional who is looking for the genre you are writing. You still have to go through the list to get the specifics on each person, but it’s more fruitful work.
    Check it out at: http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/

Save

Save

Save

7 Bullet Friday – What’s goin’ on

  • Dragon World Update: I’ve been diligently restructuring my first draft and have completed Stage 2 of my storyboard. For those of you that follow the Hero’s Journey, this stage involves the hero’s first steps into the Special World and ends with the Main Goal for the story revealed. To get to this point, I’ve had to define the magic of my Special World (it is fantasy after all) and nail down what it is exactly that my main character has to do and why. How did I get so far along on my first draft without this seemingly vital information you ask? Well, when your characters are hiking through the woods and sharing stories of lore around the campfire, you know that she has to stop the “big bad” and you have ideas about mythic weapons but you haven’t had to mesh them together into a plan of action. Now, I need to develop some monsters and tests of character for her to face as she begins learning her fighting and magic wielding skills, so she (and the story) can move forward.
  • What I obsessed over this week: Archetypes! From mythological to Jungian, and from Campbell to Tarot, I’ve been obsessing over archetypes. Let’s just say it was about character development. But if I’m honest with myself, it was all about procrastinating. I’ll share a cool website I found in my “Inter-webs” bullet below, but on my Tarot archetypes leg I found this fairy tale story-generating idea using Tarot cards. It’s so inspiring to me, it might turn into a short story over the weekend. Time to dust of a set of cards and have some fun.
  • My favorite dream interpretation this week:
    Coffee:
    1. A relationship or some other sort of situation is not what it seems. Try to see it as it really is. Other symbols in the dream may reveal the truth and/or shed light on what you should do.
    2. Hot, delicious coffee implies surprising good news on the way, but if the coffee was bitter, it symbolizes disappointment in a friendship.
    3. If you were grinding the coffee, success in love and domestic happiness are on the way.
    4. Spilled coffee implies setbacks.
  • My favorite Abraham quote this week:
    “Rest seems like a nice contrast to overwhelment, but enthusiasm is always chosen over rest. The only thing that ever makes you tired or bogs you down is resistance.” —Abraham
    To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php
  • My favorite writing prompt this week:
    “Ever since he left she’d been falling apart. It took nearly half an hour each morning to find her foot.”
  • My favorite writing quote this week:
    “A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” –Stephen King
  • My favorite from the inter-webs: So, back to archetypes… I found this website while I was on the Tarot leg of my archetype-obsession bender. It’s very well laid out with their own “brand” of archetypes that feel a bit Jungian with a few adaptations and additions. There is fun stuff here like an archetype quiz that you can take to see which top three archetypes make up your personality. (If you’re curious, mine is 49% Creative, 29% Caregiving, 29% Spiritual.) But, if you want to tie it into character development, you could do a little method acting and take the quiz on behalf of one of your characters. If you’re interested in the archetypes of Tarot, myth, astrology, movies and more, their search feature will get you there. Or, you can check out the blogs related to the archetype of your choice. Lot’s of interesting stuff here…
    Check it out at: http://www.archetypes.com/

7 Bullet Friday – On a roll

  • Bullet Journal Update: I thought I’d share a couple pics from my new Bullet Journal. I chose the Leuchtturm1917 HardCover Master Slim Notebook A4+ in black with dotted pages. A4 is a bit larger than 8 1/2 x 11 so the back pocket can fit a standard sheet of paper without folding it. So far, I’m doing all right with it. I’m used to a sketchbook size generally but not necessarily for note taking. I’m also trying not to get to “pretty” with it but I can’t help using colored pens. As you can see from the calendar pages below, I’m good at planning, but not so much with tracking…


 

  • What I rediscovered this week: Tangrams! It’s a Chinese puzzle game where you create pictures using 7 shapes (5 triangles, 1 square, 1 parallelogram). In my quest for busy-mind games for my smart phone, I found the free TaniZen app. I’ve discovered it’s a little easier than using the physical puzzle pieces as you can move the pieces over the picture shape you’re challenged to match, and the app gives you hints…

  • My favorite dream interpretation this week:
    Shoes:
    1. Shabby or worn-out old shoes are a symbol of success, while new shoes warn against overconfidence.
    2. If the dreamer is buying shoes, he is embarking on a new journey.
    3. A shoemaker at work hints at new opportunities on the horizon.
    Astrological parallel: Pisces
    Tarot parallel: The Fool
  • My favorite Abraham quote this week:
    “Overwhelment is about you not being up to speed with what you told the Universe that you want. The Universe is yielding to you. You’re just not ready to receive it right now.” —Abraham
    To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php
  • My favorite writing prompt this week:
    “I had never seen a real angel. But in all my many imaginings, I never pictured one with tattoos and blue hair “
  • My favorite writing quote this week:
    “You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.” –Joss Whedon
  • My favorite from the inter-webs: Microsoft Word has been a thorn in my side this week. I’m working with a very large file that has multiple paragraph formatting going on and text wrap around images, etc. In an effort to get Word to “think” less and break paragraphs across pages without adding extra lines, I did a bit of Word research and found these two resources.
    MakeOfficeWork basically goes through each function on the Word actions ribbon and all the action window function giving you a down-to-earth description of what each does. Most helpful in forming realistic expectations of what Word can/should do.
    Check it out at: http://makeofficework.com/paragraph_formatting.htm
    WordRibbon.Tips.net goes into a bit more detail and is project focused. So, if you want to learn how to create a letterhead template, add a background to your document and booklet printing. There is a lot of good information here, but be prepared to wander about a bit (but in a good way).
    Check it out at: https://wordribbon.tips.net/index.html

 

7 Bullet Friday – Holding Steady

  • Blogging Note: At last night’s Agile Writer’s meeting, I was asked to talk about these 7-Bullet Friday posts. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that this is relatively new for me. Some weeks have been easy and some have been a struggle, I don’t always have an activity of note or have a writing update. But, I’ve found that this type of “bullet” posting is working for me and I’m posting at least once a week. So, if this idea connects with you, I invite you to steal this from me. If fact, apart from the graphic I created, this is not an original idea. So, feel free to mirror this or make it your own by choosing a different number of bullets or a different day and of course the topics that interest you.
  • The music I’m loving this week: I stream an independent radio station based in Charlottesville, Virginia – WNRN. They spotlight local and Indie talent and today they had a live studio session featuring Wes Swing. I bought his album “Through a Fogged Glass” a couple years ago and he’s just released a new album called “And the Heart.” What I enjoy most about his music is the cello. Here’s a link to his website and a blurb from his About page from 2013: “Wes Swing is a cellist, singer and multi-instrumentalist from Virginia. His music is best characterized as alt-cello-folk and has been described as Radiohead mixed with classical and “a rich and lilting soundscape”. In live performance, Wes loops his cello and violin, combining layered strings and lyrics imbued with poetry. His musical journey began as a four-year-old violinist, developing an early appreciation for classical music, and finding his true musical love in the cello while at university.”
  • My favorite dream interpretation this week:
    Airplane:
    1. Escape from the mundane exigencies of the lower world.
    2. Freedom.
    3. The search for higher consciousness. Travel into the higher realms.
    Astrological parallels: Sagittarius or Aquarius.
    Tarot parallel:The World.
  • My favorite Abraham quote this week:
    “For every pleasing thing, there is an unpleasing counterpart, for within every particle of the Universe is that which is wanted as well as the lack of that which is wanted. When you focus upon an unwanted aspect of something in an effort to push it away from you, it only comes closer, because you get what you give your attention to whether it is something that you want or not. It is up to you to focus upon and attract what is wanted.” —Abraham
    To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php
  • My favorite writing prompt this week:
    “These days, daydreamer is a real profession. And it pays well.”
  • My favorite writing quote this week:
    “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” –Neil Gaiman
  • My Favorite from the inter-webs: At some point during the world-building for my Dragon World series of epic fantasy novels, I became obsessed with how my characters would banter and insult each other. In that quest, I found this lovely web-page: The Renaissance Faire Forget-Me-Knot. It’s a little out of date now, but because the information is based on Elizabethan times, the fact that it’s been sitting idle for a few years isn’t relevant. What most appealed to me is The Elizabethan Insult and Curses of an Elizabethan Nature page (linked below). There are random insult generators out there, but with this chart you can cherry-pick what works best for you. There are some other good tidbits about oaths, and how folks of that era addressed each other. Overall, it’s fun stuff and I visit when I need a laugh.
    Check it out at: http://www.museangel.net/insult.html

 

7 Bullet Friday – A Bit Behind

  • Writing Update: So, I finally feel like I’m making progress on editing the first draft. If you’re follow The Hero’s Journey at all, I’ve story-boarded the first stage of the Hero’s ordinary world and her crossing the threshold into the special world. Now I need to work out how she meets her band of helpers and her main opposition (a new character from me).
    I should also have another short story edited and ready to post in the next week or so. It’s a three-perspective story. I’ve gone a bit off the reservation, so I don’t want to give too much away – yet.
  • What I’m “reading” this week: I’ve started an urban fantasy novel by Mishell Baker called “Borderline.” It’s book one of the “The Arcadia Project” series. The setting is modern Hollywood with the underlying magic being Fae. Basically, there is a parallel world and all the creatives on Earth have a Fae counterpart. The Fae provide the inspiration and insight and the Earthlings provide the logic and structure. Our heroine is recruited by an agency that polices the gateways between the two realms. Another interesting component is that our heroine is a double amputee (both legs, one above the knee and the other below the knee) and is suffering from borderline personality disorder. So far, and interesting read that is well narrated. I’ll keep you posted.
  • My favorite dream interpretation this week:
    Beard:
    1. Dreaming of a full, luxuriant beard on the face of a friendly man can indicate luck ahead.
    2. A beard on a woman, however, is an attention-getter, indicating that this dream is an important one and close attention should be paid to the other symbols in the dream.
    3. If a man wearing a beard seems unfriendly and ominous, or if the man is also wearing glasses, then someone important to you is hiding something.
  • My favorite Abraham quote this week:
    “The standard of success in life isn’t the things. It isn’t the money or the stuff — it is absolutely the amount of joy you feel.” —Abraham
    To learn more about Abraham (channeled by Esther Hicks), the Law of Attraction, or to sign up for Abraham’s daily quote visit: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php
  • My favorite writing prompt this week:
    “The Museum of Vanished Things was open twenty-four hours a day.”
  • My favorite writing quote this week:
    “If you write to impress, it will always be bad. If you write to express, it will always be good.” –Thornton Wilder
  • My Favorite from the inter-webs: Like it or not, mostly not, grammar is a part of my writing life. Beyond “there, their and they’re,” I’ve questioned my use of capitalization, when to use or omit a hyphen and why we say the things we do. This blog has a bit of everything, from researching the etymology of a phrase such as “fits and starts,” to the usage of ‘they’ to replace ‘he or she,’ to general grammar rules. It’s become my go-to resource. They even have a fun list of dead grammar rules. You’ll go directly there if you click on the link below.
    Check it out at: http://www.grammarphobia.com/grammar-html

 

Save

Save

Save