Kaleidoscope #837


The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
― Gustave Flaubert

 

Below is the original photo used to create this image. I found this lovely white bloom outside of a restaurant in Bon Air, VA.  No special lighting or retouching, just a snap from my smart phone.

 

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Kaleidoscope #836


Blessed are the weird people:
poets, misfits, writers
mystics, painters, troubadours
for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.
― Jacob Nordby, Pearls of Wisdom: 30 Inspirational Ideas to live your best life now

 

Below is the original photo used to create this image. This is a royalty-free image from Pixabay.

Kaleidoscope #834


…what I enjoy in a narrative is not directly its content or even its structure, but rather the abrasions I impose upon the fine surface: I read on, I skip, I look up, I dip in again. Which has nothing to do with the deep laceration the text of bliss inflicts upon language itself, and not upon the simple temporality of its reading.
― Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text

 

 

Below is the original photo used to create this image. This is a royalty-free image from Pixabay.

7 Butter-Flyday – Godspeed January

January Recap: January was a tough month again, obligation-wise. But, I’ve managed to get my Monday and Tuesday nights free from extra-curricular activities and the stress level on getting my writing done has been reduced to a low hum. My boyfriend, Greg Smith of Agile Writers, put on the 2nd Annual AWCon18. We had a fantastic group of speakers that were enjoyed by all and everything went smoothly. This above all, showed how much time and work went into the conference beforehand, a lot of the physical prep happening in January…

Writing Update: Progress on my 2nd draft of Dragon World Book One: Tree Dragon has been going smoothly. I’m averaging about 8 pages a week, with totals at the end of January of: 117 pages and 36,382 words. For those of you that follow the hero’s journey for plot development, my heroin continuing to explore the Special World. She’s soon to cross the next threshold into the Discovery Stage by way of the Main Goal turning point.

Kaleidoscopes on etsy: Hello my dear Kaleidoscope fans! I’m now offering a selection of kaleidoscope images on my etsy page for digital download. In honor of PANTONE’s color of the year for 2018, Ultra Violet, I have five each of my Oil Slick and Purple Leaves images available. These are high-res enough to print 24×24. And the best part, they’re only $7.50 per digital print. I plan to add Pansy and Redbud prints soon. But if you’ve seen one on my blog that you really love, let me know and I’ll create a listing for you.

What I ‘read’ this month: Playster broke my heart in December and told me that the novel I was smack in the middle of, Small Favor by Jim Butcher, was now part of their Premium Collection and I had to bump up my membership to keep listening. As it turns out, the majority of books that I wanted to listen to were premium reads. Groan. So, I revisited some of my favorite listens on Audible until I got close to my renewal date with Playster before biting the bullet and leveling up my membership. Here are the six books I completed in January.

My favorite Abraham quote this week:
“Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.” —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:
“After years of gentle persuasion, your best friend since childhood finally agrees to seek professional help for serious psychological problems. To your dismay, as she begins to improve you slowly start to realize that you are her imaginary friend.”

My favorite writing quote this week:
“My inspiration tends to come from two words. The two most important words to a writer: ‘What if?’” –Beth Revis

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7 Butter-Flyday – 2017 in Review

2017 was by far the busiest year I’ve ever had. I have obligations almost every night of the week (either writing or dancing) and many creative projects that have kept me in a constant state of productivity. I can honestly say I’ve accomplished more in the past year than I have in the past five years. Or, at least that’s how it feels.

Writing Recap: For my second draft of Tree Dragon, in addition to drafting a complete story board, I’ve written 101 pages (32,094 words) of my novel in progress. Also, four short stories were posted to the website.

Reading Recap: I’ve  gobbled up 43 books (Audible and Playster), some of which I’ve noted in my weekly/monthly 7-Butter-flydays. I’ll list my 2017 reads in a separate post.

Blogging Recap: While I strive for consistency, my blog suffers when my life gets busy. (So say we all.) I’m proud to report that in 2017 I’ve posted:
– 133 – Kaleidoscopes with quotes
– 24 – Butterfly Quotes
– 23 – 7-Butter-Flydays
– 9 – Butterfly of the Week

Top Blog Posts: Here are the top seven most viewed blog posts from 2017:
Breathing Underwater, a short story
7 Bullet Friday – A bit of fun
Schrodinger’s Pocket, a short story
Quote of the Day – Don’t cry because it’s over…
Potato Dreams, a short story
Honey/Sheahanna/Chicory, a three-perspectives short story
Quote of the Day – Success begins…

Movies Recap: I didn’t blog about this, but I did see a fair number of movies in the theater in 2017. I thank my boyfriend, Greg Smith, movie critic and writing coach extraordinaire. Thanks to him, I saw 33 movies. I’ll list these in a separate post, most likely ranked in order of my favorites. Check out Greg’s websites, Reel Heroes and Agile Writers.

Travel Recap: I didn’t travel much in 2017, but when I did, I went places:
– Shawsville, VA – my home town. I got to visit four times last year.
– Chicago, IL – July, 2017 for a family reunion
– Buffalo, NY; Glens Falls, NY; Philadelphia, PA – December, 2017 the holiday visit tour. Greg and I visited his family before the craziness of the holidays set in.

Closing Thoughts: My goals for 2017 were high and for the most part I succeeded. I intended to move forward on revising my novel and that’s going well. I hope to finish the second draft by May 2018 or so and then prepare it for a beta read by the end of the year. Another goal was to blog more regularly. I’ve managed to get a good start with a daily post and hopefully, when my life evens back out again I can start layering on my regular posts again.

Best wishes for a bright, shiny happy New Year!

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7 Butter-Flyday – So long September

September Recap: I feel the need to start gathering some synonyms, because I have a feeling every monthly recap is going to begin with X-month was “busy”… Usually, my day job doesn’t interfere with my writing, blogging, art etc. But in September, our usual staff of eight went down to six, so I’m actually picking up some overtime. Good for my bank account, but not so good for getting anything done during my lunch break. The Salsa Rueda group that I dance with performed three times in September. I had a blast, but it did impact my usual weekend work time. My Butterfly-of-the-Week has been put on hold for now and I missed a couple 7-Butter-Flydays. It looks like I’ve finally reached my maximum obligation capacity. On the writing side of things, I’ve completed around 50 pages and 14,500 words of the 2nd draft of Dragon World Book One: Tree Dragon. For those of you that follow the hero’s journey for plot development, I’ve finished with the ordinary world stage through the crossing of the first threshold into the special world. Hopefully, October will be a little kinder to my schedule, but whatever may come, the novel will go on.

What I’m reading this week: I’m enjoying Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. I’ve read Storm Front, Fool Moon and will start Grave Peril on tomorrow morning’s commute. I actually found Jim Butcher through a non-fiction book called The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester. She is a prolific author in her own right and Jim Butcher was one of her students and wrote the foreword to this book. She uses examples from her fiction as well as from Butcher and others as writing samples and I found her book very helpful. But after reading his foreword, I knew I wanted to read his stories. And after Storm Front, I was hooked. What I love most about the Dresden Files series is not simply the urban fantasy Butcher has created but his mystery noir, dark sardonic yet completely vulnerable voice through which the stories are told.

My favorite dream interpretation this week:
Dancing
1. A universal symbol for joy.
2. If the dreamer is feeling good about life, that feeling will continue. If things aren’t going well, then that should shift very shortly.
Astrological parallel: Pisces.
Tarot parallel: The World.

My favorite Abraham quote this week:
“Rather than wanting to hold to the past longer and slow things down and stop the aging process — just revel in the power of now! You can’t stop time, and you won’t stop the recycling process that is taking place upon this planet, nor would you want to — but you do not have to suffer the moving through time. Every moment can be more wonderful than the moment before.” —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 characters from one of your abandoned stories find out that you have given up on them.”

My favorite writing quote this week:
“The more you try to pin a word down, the more you realize that it has its own cape, sword and little hat.” –Roy Blount Jr.

My favorite from the inter-webs: Here’s a classic tool for writers. You may have this one bookmarked already, but if not I highly recommend it. Thesaurus.com gives you a few more levels of synonyms than the built-in thesaurus in your word processing software. Now that I’m working on a Mac for half of my writing time, I’m finding that the thesaurus that comes with my Office 365 Word is even less helpful. Thesaurus.com will color code your synonyms, highlighting those that are most similar in definition darker than those less exact. Also, you’re more likely to get up to four or five pages of results which is helpful if the word you’re trying to find is close to the word that’s stuck in your head, but not quite. Hope you find it as helpful as I do.
Find it at: http://www.thesaurus.com

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7 Butter-Flyday – The Name Game

Names in Writing: I recently read an interesting post by Philip Athans on the blog, Fantasy Writer’s Handbook, where he discusses the capitalization of a common word being used as a proper name. As in: the Tower, the Witch, the Magician, the Chancellor, the Mountain, the City etc. I’m guilty of this myself in my WIP. And, that’s okay if I’m using it as a placeholder until I come up with something better. He goes on to say that to elevate a common word is a missed opportunity for creative world building. And, I agree. Looking back on my choices of the Alchemist and the Sorcerer, the Broadsword and the Amulet, I realize that these were cop-outs on my part, choosing the easiest solution. But all is not lost, now I have a new world-building challenge to name my characters, cities and weapons in a new way that adds depth, meaning and magic to my world.

What I’m reading this week: Private, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. “Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily – and his staff of investigators uses the world’s most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.” Readers are given three intense and unrelated mysteries. Forensics are used to prove guilt for the largest case of the three and it’s not overly technical. We’re in Jack Morgan’s 1st person POV with other POVs in 3rd person close, which is a technique I’m hoping to borrow. Patterson and Paetro work so well together it’s hard to tell there were co-authors on this novel. The prose is crisp and fast paced. The narration is strong and all the characters, even the minor ones are memorable. The writing style paints a vivid picture with very few strokes, keeping our focus on the story. Well done.

My favorite dream interpretation this week:
Clock:
A symbol for time passing.
1. If you dream of watching a clock ticking, with the hands moving steadily, this is a warning that you need to stop wasting time.
2. Winding a clock or watch indicates that you are taking control of the situation.
3. Hearing a clock strike indicates that the time has come for some positive action.

My favorite Abraham quote this week:
“You are the vibrational writers of the script of your life, and everyone else in the Universe is playing the part that you have assigned to them.” —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:
“Having lost a bet, he was now tasked with turning a class of school girls into secret service agents.”

My favorite writing quote this week:
“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” –Jane Yolen

My favorite from the inter-webs: So, perhaps you’ve found that you have a few capitalized words that are common in your work. Where to begin though? If you need help getting those juices flowing, there are lots (and I mean lots) of random names generator websites out there. Even though the results may not initially be right for your world, they may spark inspiration that will lead you on a name-making journey. I’ve cruised through a few sites and the most prolific one by far is Fantasy Name Generator. The creator is obviously fond of role playing games, but there is so much more. Hovering over the “Fantasy Name” tab, you get a drop down list 5 columns wide by 26 items long. Yes, that’s 130 different random name generators from Alien Names to Zombie Types. I could write forever on the possibilities, so you’ll just have to check it out.
Find it at: http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/

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