Category Archives: Writing

Today is my 7th WordPress anniversary! And a gift for you!

It’s amazing to me the length of time that passes over a seemingly short span. In other words: time flies! This morning WordPress announced to me the following:

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 7 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Here is my first WordPress blog post, written January 9, 2010.

In reading it again, although I’d been writing over many years, I see I was still the hopeful beginner I often feel that I continue to be. (Whew! Please don’t base all my writing on that last sentence!) Now I have added experience and I’ve written more – including blogging and stories, plus I’ve been learning and expanding my projects over the years by taking on writing challenges and further instruction. What I’ve learned is … there’s always more to learn. In those early days I did a lot of soul-searching and asked loads of questions of anyone who would listen. I still ask questions as I make progress.

Author Laura Best was the very first person to leave a comment on my blog – on my first post – and she still drops by when she can. I appreciate that. (Thanks, Laura!) If you haven’t yet visited her blog, please do. WordPress is not the first place I blogged, but when Laura told me about it I knew I had to give it a shot. I love it here! WordPress is far better for me.

I forgot to mention when I reached my 500th post; this is my 656th. An added exciting note for me is that I have, at the moment of this posting, 50,000 hits on my Polilla Writes blog! Thanks to you! ♥ ♥

My perception is improving as I gain confidence a wee little at a time. Being shy is a bit of a hindrance; however, in 2016 I gained a huge writing community online, a writing coach, a local writers group through which I now have a writer friend. (We’re in the planning stages, as of today, to meet once a week when possible.) When I considered quitting all this a few weeks ago because of discouragement, my writing community encouraged me and lifted me up so that I’m feeling better than before. Besides, what else would I do if not writing? I’ve tried other creative avenues, but I always come back to writing.

As I begin the approach to my eighth WordPress anniversary, my big goals are pretty much the same – to find acceptance with an editor who loves my stories and a publisher who wants them, and my newest goal … to team up with an agent who can help make it happen. Yeah, I’m not asking for much, am I?  🙂  I wonder if any of those will be in place by this time in 2018, which, the way time is flying, is tomorrow. Guess I’d better get busy!

I appreciate your support, therefore, in celebration of my seventh WordPress anniversary I am offering – to one person who leaves a comment – a book. In looking through my bookcases I discovered I have two new copies of G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. One can be yours. Simply tell me in your comment why you love to blog. OR if you don’t have a blog, why you love visiting other people’s blogs.

Draw date for this giveaway is at 10 PM AST, that’s 9 PM Eastern, on Wednesday, January 18. This gives you time to enter and to pass the word on to others, too. I will post the winner’s name on January 19.

Remember, you have until January 18 to get your name into the draw, but don’t put it off! Enter now!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Wynken, Blynken & Nod (official video)

It’s already the first day of the second week of the new year. It seems 2017 is going to be another quickly passing year, so we must make it count.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m participating in Storystorm this month, striving to have 30 ideas for stories. So far I think I have eight.

After each Storystorm post we are to leave one comment. Comments today include one with a video added. I enjoyed it and thought you might, too. Remember the poem Wynken, Blynken & Nod written by Eugene Field and published in 1889?

Here are the words to the poem:

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afraid are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘Twas all so pretty a sail
 it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Now for the video:

Have you ever written ballads, songs or choruses? If your writing is inspired by music, which songs or instrumentals?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

No Motivation or Willpower? A Simple Solution – a post by Kristi Holl

In keeping with the topic of the struggles of writing, I have another blog post for you to read. Thank you to Heather Wright for telling me about it.

This post is by Kristi Holl who has had her share of struggles in her goal of writing. Even so, she has many published books now, so she’s obviously found something that works.

You may have noticed I quoted her on my Quotes page, too.

My questions to you today are … do you lack motivation to write? Are you low on willpower? Do you wish you could find some way of writing that isn’t overwhelming?

Kristi has a simple solution. To read her post, click HERE to go THERE. It’s very valid advice she wrote in August 2014. 

You may want to leave her a comment, and I hope you’ll also come back here and share what you think of her solution.

What are YOUR writing habits that work best for you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

What it takes to be a “real writer” – a post by Kristen Lamb

I have a few questions for you today.

Are you a writer who keeps having doubts about your abilities, or the possibility of success? Do you struggle with seeing writing as your job or profession? Do you get discouraged and keep wondering what in the world are you doing?

I just read a very encouraging and eye-opening post by Kristen Lamb. I urge you to read it.  She addresses what it takes to be a “real” writer.

Click HERE to go THERE.  

Leave her a comment (bloggers love that, you know), and while you’re at it, perhaps you have time to come back here and share your thoughts about what she said? I very much enjoy reading what you have to say. 

Blessings on your day.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Tips for deciding on names for your characters

Here are a few writing helps for you today, especially for finding names for the characters you are creating in your marvellous stories.

If you strive for authenticity in your stories, you might also want to consider the accuracy of the names you choose for your characters in certain time settings. I found a name/age calculator that could be of help to you in selecting a name that was/is used in the time frame of your story. It sets a wide range but focuses on the median – the midpoint when the name is most commonly used. GO HERE to find the NAME/AGE CALCULATORThis calculator is based on American names and notes that names before 1940 are estimates.

I also found a site that helps you select a name according to themes or qualities of your character. GO HERE to find NAME THEMES.

If you are looking for a unique name, perhaps from mythology or the Bible, or even a musical name for your character, GO HERE to find UNIQUE BABY NAME IDEAS.

To help you come up with a character by name and personality GO HERE to THE CHARACTER NAME GENERATOR.

I hope you have fun with these and find them to be helpful.

I’ve added the above links to my Writers’ Helps, Quotes & Workshops’ page. Look under Writers’ helps when you need them for your stories.

Do you have any suggestions for coming up with suitable character names that are not listed here or on my Writers helps page?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Writing, researching, & more waiting

I was talking to a writer friend today. She writes novels and is published. I haven’t completed the one I started six years ago during NaNoWriMo. She doesn’t write picture books. I am waiting/hoping to get mine published. It’s a waiting game no matter what you write.

She reminded me to not compare myself to other writers. I needed that reminder – again – because I have been thinking about my picture book submission earlier this week, and that many other writers submitted their manuscripts around the same time. Mine will get read but I will be astonished if it is accepted. Why? Because, I thought, the others will be better stories or more suited to the publisher’s interest, than mine. Through the process of elimination mine will be rejected. I thought, but I don’t KNOW. I’m waiting. My friend is waiting, too, for the next step in the progress of her latest novel.

She said if she were to compare she could be insecure because of my writing. WHAT! No way! Because, she told me, I write multiple stories in one year while she writes a story in about three years.  hmmm  My reply to that is it takes longer for her novel because of the length of her in-depth story and all the research she does for it. No matter if it’s world-building or just capturing a moment or incident, it all takes time and effort to create worlds or scenarios and scenes. It’s all writing. It’s all creative expression. It’s all work. And it’s an exercise in patience – definitely not one of my strengths.

I think writing a good novel (one that gets publish ) is an amazing and exciting accomplishment. I’d love to do that, but I don’t yet know if that is within my abilities. For now I am concentrating on picture books because that’s more where my passion lies in my writing. I have to stop comparing. I have to be who I am as a writer.

Look at this fabulous image I found on Twitter:

writing-research

 

 

 

 

She’s a history professor from the future. She said to just carry on as if she’s not here.

Researching your topic is a very important part of writing your story. Even for the picture book I recently submitted, I researched what the characters would be interested in eating. I like things to be accurate.

I am usually very visual, so as I write a story I see it unfolding before me like a movie. I’ve been told that is quite common to writers. I hear what the characters are saying and what is happening around them, and often what they are feeling and thinking. In fact, here’s another oddity about me — in real life I often see the words people say to me in conversation. I see the words spelled out before me, in my mind’s eye. I wonder if that is an advantage for me in my writing … or if I am just strange.  🙂  

Questions for you:

  1. Do you visualize when writing stories? Do you when people talk to you, the way I see the words spoken to me?
  2. Do you research for your stories, or do you not bother much with the little details? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Writing and waiting

It’s been a hard summer for me as far as writing goes. I’ve been in a funk, a writing depression, a walled-in place of little inspiration. I realized I was/am experiencing burn-out from a combination of things, burn-out exhibiting itself as low-grade depression and writer’s block. That’s no fun!writer's block

 

 

 

… until a week ago, on August 23, when inspiration hit!

I was talking with one of my daughters about a frustrating, exasperating, tiring situation that’s ongoing (not as a caregiver) and that affects a few of us in the family. Pausing to consider it a moment, I said … “hmm … that could be a story for a picture book!” Shortly afterward I sat at my desk and wrote a very rough first draft of that story idea. I don’t have a satisfying ending for it yet, mainly because there has not been one found for the real-life situation, so that’s something I’ll have to dream up as is fitting for a picture book. I’m happy, though, because it is my August draft for 12×12.

And writer’s block was moved aside.

That’s always good news. Other good news happened today, too.

I’ve got some manuscripts which I haven’t submitted anywhere yet. It’s hard not ever hearing back, or getting rejection replies, so I think I was just not ready to chance it again. In 12×12, members were offered a special opportunity to submit to a publisher looking for new work, with the promise ALL would be read and our work would not be left in the ‘slush pile’. This evening (Aug 30) I took a chance and submitted the story I wrote in February. I did it! It’s gone, I received email confirmation that it was received, and now my wait has begun. If they are interested in working with me I’ll hear back within five months. If not … *sigh*

waiting quote

 

 

 

 

 

In the meantime, I have to get out my other work and get more of them submission ready. And continue writing new stories, of course. That will help fill in the time while playing the waiting game. I need positive creative distractions to keep myself writing.

How are you at waiting? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂