There are few things I love and admire more than words. Even used independently, a single word can evoke as much emotion and strength as when strung together into sentences: Surprise! Believe. Heartbroken. Bravo! Yes. No. Goodbye. There is power in words.
In the hands of a skilled writer, a carefully chosen sequence can paint a world as artfully as Monet, Gauguin, da Vinci, or Renoir. Of course, I would be remiss not to mention the beauty of words when given cadence. Like Baryshnikov, Astaire, Kelly, Pavlova—words have a flair and a style unique to their artist. The right words never lie flat on a page; they dance!
One of my favorite “writer stories” comes from the deGroot play called PAPA. One evening, a group of betting friends challenged Hemingway with writing a short story in ten words or less. On a paper napkin, he wrote, “For Sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” His powerful words—which in the true essence of a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end—won. Who can deny the beauty of a sentence, well written?
“In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.” A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean.
“The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world.” The Long Valley by John Steinbeck
“As Sonon strode through the evening forest, his black cape parted the sea of frigid air, leaving ice crystals swirling behind him.” People of the Black Sun by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear
“On a hill by the Mississippi where Chippewas camped two generations ago, a girl stood in relief against the cornflower blue of Northern sky.” Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
“See, normal hearing aids usually have a part that wraps around the outer ear to hold the inner bud in place. But in my case, since I don’t have outer ears, they had to put the earbuds on this heavy-duty headband that was supposed to wrap around the back of my head.” Wonder by R.J. Palacio
“They found Seth Hubbard in the general area where he had promised to be, though not exactly in the condition expected. He was at the end of a rope, six feet off the ground and twisting slightly in the wind.” Sycamore Row by John Grisham
“Aiden Lynch slid down the steep creek bank, dirt crumbling beneath his bare feet and dust rising in a cloud behind him. He eyed the muddy trickle of water at the bottom and decided not to drink. Strange how a person could be so particular about drinking muddy water when he had come down to the creek to eat dirt, but nothing else made much sense in his life anymore, so why should that?” The Devil’s Paintbox by Victoria McKernan
“As I stepped out of the cabin, whiteness blinded me.” Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
“When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.” The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Each passage paints a world vastly different than the others, doesn’t it? It’s in the beauty of their words that we see the life within their stories. Artistry comes in many forms, but words are what touch my soul. They are as vivid as paints on a palette, as fulfilling as drink and nourishment, and as entrancing as the beauty of dance.
Words define us, even when we’ve not spoken them.
Originally posted at Romance Ninjas
So proud of BLACK LIGHTNING for winning GOLD at the Literary Classics International Book Awards! Here is what Literary Classics had to say:
Ten year old Samuel’s father disappeared years ago, and now his mother has passed away. With no one to care for him and no place to call home his aunt vies to adopt him for all the wrong reasons. Samuel’s prayers are answered though when his mother’s will puts an end to that notion. Now he’s living with his Grandfather. Still grieving, and experiencing feelings of abandonment and insecurity, he dreams his father will someday return for him. His Grandpa Tate’s interaction with the Apache natives leads him to learn of the legend of black lightning. Samuel and his friend make a grand discovery and together they rebel against the rules and face possible death in the Last Land. A talisman given to him by his father becomes a critical element for his survival.
Fantasy combines with tribal lore to offer an exciting spin on an entirely compelling story which will entice young readers. Author K.S. Jones weaves an enchanting tale of lore and legend combined with a sci-fi element that will enthrall young audiences. With well-developed characters and a magical component, Samuel’s journey is one that will not soon be forgotten by youngsters who enjoy reading fantasy or science fiction books. Recommended for home and school libraries, Black Lighting has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
It seems Twitter has taken the world by storm in the past two years, perhaps rocket-fueled by the unprecedented amount of presidential tweets. That’s not only good fodder for writers in general, but for comedians, lyricists, and dramatists. However, Twitter has a purpose for writers in many other ways, too. Have you ever participated in a Twitter Pitch? I have not, but I plan to engage in pitching very soon. Writing a twenty-five word pitch describing your 80,000-100,000 word novel is a lofty goal, so I’m taking an online class in hopes of learning how to succeed at it. Does that make me less of a writer? I’m not sure, but anything that teaches me how to write using less words with more meaning sounds good to me.
I can’t help but wonder . . . Are Twitter Pitches the new “slush pile” for publishers and agents? It’s an interesting concept. What are your thoughts?
Originally Posted at Romance Ninjas
In this age of throwaway gadgets and modern technology, the art of good old elbow grease should not be dismissed so easily.
While growing up on our remote California farm, my father rarely, if ever, called a repairman for anything. First, we couldn’t afford one, and secondly, few existed in our small farming community. In fact, on top of everything else my father knew how to do, he became a self-taught television repairman. Back then, one didn’t just toss out the old TV and buy a new one—it just wasn’t practical. Everything from the toaster, to the television, to our washing machine was repaired until it couldn’t be, and then we usually went without for a long time. That’s where elbow grease paid off . . . we learned to fix things ourselves. And if the item was beyond repair, we found ourselves handwashing clothes, having bread for breakfast instead of toast, and reading books rather than watching television.
Although writers don’t usually need to print their manuscripts these days (most submissions are electronic), I still find myself printing pages, or editing notes, or other important things. So last week when my printer stopped dead in its tracks flashing “Paper Jam!” I didn’t panic. A paper jam is easy to fix. However, after a few hours of not finding a single scrap of paper while the printer kept insisting it had a jam, my frustration mounted. I just wanted to print my editing notes so that I could keep writing! I wrote less and less with my thoughts intensely focused on those missing notes.
A week passed with my intermittent bursts of hopeful repair work, all to no avail. So today, as I prepared to drive into town for the sole purpose of buying a new printer, I felt my father’s spiritual presence. I had to give it one more try. Now, two hours and several bits of smashed peanut later, my printer works like new–thanks Dad! With all the incredible technology today, it would have been very helpful if the printer had flashed “Peanut Jam!” instead. I’m just sayin’… Maybe the geniuses of the world are aiming too high.
I’ll admit, I will be rethinking eating peanuts at my desk from now on, or else I’ll keep the scavenging dogs out from under my desk where the printer works. Yes, I’m blaming it on the dogs for dropping that fugitive peanut into my printer.
All in all, I think it’s important to point out that elbow grease still works! Although I must admit, spending forty dollars on a new printer last week would have been much easier.
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT: http://romanceninjas.com/smatterings-3-peanuts-and-jam/
Who are you? An authentic answer only comes from one who knows who they were at the beginning . . .
Who were your childhood heroes? Which authors did you adore? Whose stories drew you in? What person did you most see yourself as when you envisioned your future? I believe pieces of each are who you truly are right now, today.
My parents were my heroes. In all honesty, I am a quinquagenarian who was raised on a farm in a tiny community, so there weren’t many people contributing to outside influence. But even if I had grown up in today’s modern world, I’m certain my mom and dad would still have been my heroes. They were hardworking, loving parents who had little more than values, hope, and a sense of wonder to give to their children: Anything can happen. There are magnificent things no one has discovered yet. What else is up there with the stars? My parents made the unknown and the unimaginable familiar.
I grew up with more than 5,000 books in our century old farmhouse. Bookshelves, floor-to-ceiling, were filled with an incredible variety! Me, nor my many brothers and sister, ever heard the words, “You’re too young to read that.” We had the freedom to pull any book off the shelf and start reading. No permission needed. For me, any book written by John Steinbeck, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, J.R.R. Tolkien, H.G. Wells, or Jules Verne drew me to them like a magnet.
Today, I write in the genres of historical fiction and sci-fi/fantasy. I suppose I should have seen that coming, right? My favorite reading genres are historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy, although I’ll read any genre as long as the story and the writing are good! It all goes back to the beginning.
Now, when questioned with, “Who are you?” the answer comes easily—I am a writer with a never-ending sense of wonder.
Who are you?
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT: http://romanceninjas.com/smatterings-1-who-are-you/