Tag Archives: Writing

Updates and my word for 2017

It’s been a busy start to 2017.  Besides the ‘normal’ – and extra concerns of – daily/weekly family things that go on, and trying to keep up with my writing, I’m attempting to figure out a level of activity that I can handle and in which I’ll make progress. It’s time to push past my comfort zone a little more — and not panic!

It’s also time to get back into writing book reviews here on my blog, however brief they may be. I’ve been reading a lot more books, as you can see if you scroll down on my bar to the right, and I want to share some of them with you. For almost all of them I write a short blurb on Goodreads and also on Amazon.  I also will be setting up a new page – books I read in 2017 – to keep a recorded count and maybe introduce you to books you haven’t read. Have you checked out my 2016 reading accomplishment? I read 219 books! Only 38 of them aren’t picture books, but 219 total! I’m happy about that. 

This month I’m working on Storystorm ideas and have twelve so far. A couple I have are more than just a phrase or title; they’re more-rounded story ideas – and I think they might be worth developing.

I’ve joined 12×12 in 2017 and feel very upbeat about it this year. I know I have to work harder to get anywhere with my drafts and manuscripts, so that is going to be where “pushing past my comfort zone” comes into play.

Now that the busyness of the holiday season is past, this week I will happily reconnect with my writing coach. Starting tomorrow I’ll also be meeting with my new writing/accountability partner once a week for brainstorming, sharing, and encouragement – apart from the local writers group that usually gets together each week.

Hopefully, I haven’t set myself up for failure as I aim for progression this year. That is my word for myself in 2017. PROGRESS. It can be used as either a verb or a noun. I heard it for myself as a noun, PROgress, but in order to make PROgress I have to proGRESS.   😉  For me it feels like a push and coaxing along.

What is YOUR personal word for 2017? What are your writing and reading goals?

Don’t forget to enter my January 18 draw HERE for a copy of The Man Who Was Thursday. (I plan to read my copy of it this week, by the way, as it was recommended to me by a friend more than once — which is likely why I bought it more than once!  lol   🙂  )

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂  

 

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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!  🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR! What are your goals for 2017?

happy-new-year-stars

It is already day three of 2017! I must still be recovering from the busyness of Christmas to make me so late writing here. (Unfortunately, we all know that doesn’t have to be the case.)

christmas-bells

Briefly … we got all our shopping, mailing of ‘away’ gifts, baking, and preparations finished on time – Yay! – minus mail-out cards that I didn’t do. On Christmas Eve we had six family members come by, then on Christmas day seventeen of us met around Dad’s dining-room tables (two tables end-t0-end) and enjoyed a delicious dinner to which all eight households had contributed. Gifts, desserts, and clean-up followed that. Afterward, my sister and family went home to enjoy their own time together, and my daughters and families and my dad all came to our house where my husband and I hosted another round of gift exchanges, snacks and an enjoyable evening get-together. It was a busy family day. Dad and I then went back to his house for sleep and the start of my week there. On New Year’s Eve nine of us got together at Dad’s for games, snacks, and fireworks. Now this week I’m home where I have so much to do!

new_year_icon_55464The rest of this post is about my goals for 2017, decluttering what remains of past creative interests being one major project. I love to sew but rarely get to do that anymore, so I will pack up the huge collection of beautiful fabric to sell – what I know I’ll not use myself. Most was part of the online retail business I had for a while that had to be set aside. Now I need to sell off the greater part of it to reclaim my space. Know that feeling? 

lots-of-fabric

Along with that I have lovely sewing embellishments and crafting supplies to liquidate. Life circumstances can change one’s plans a great deal. I had hoped to sell most things through my business; now I’ll let them go at even lower prices. 

craft-suppliesAs yet I have not managed to repurpose the room I had for my publishing. That room is planned to be my writing room; however, there is much to pack up and get rid of first, including the antiquated duplicating machine I used. It will be set out by the road during Spring cleanup and hauled away if I can’t sell it cheap. 

writer

I have started 2017 with several goals involving decluttering and selling off things, thereby reclaiming and repurposing space for writing and living. It means I have to get busy! There is so much to do here it can overwhelm me in short order, so I have to focus really hard on one little thing at a time. I don’t want to be paralyzed by the hugeness of my goal to free myself from things I no longer need or use. It’s going to take serious effort as I can become exhausted simply by the enormity of the project. Months ago my daughter introduced me to a minimalist website to help me simplify my life, which I’ve yet to take on because it seems like even more to do. 🙂 I think minimalizing is a great idea, though; who of us needs to have all the things we accumulate! Here’s the link if you are interested in looking at what is offered. http://my.becomingminimalist.com/  

My underlying goal for which all the aforementioned is aimed is to write, write, write. I’ve signed up for Storystorm (the new name for Picture Book Idea Month) hosted by Tara Lazar for the whole month of January. It’s no longer only for picture book writers. Next week I will be renewing my membership in the year long 12×12, hosted by Julie Hedlund. I still have manuscripts to bring as close to perfection as I can, and then start the process of submitting them. The one I sent out late in 2016 has not seemed to hit the mark (the publisher will contact me by the end of January if interested), so after January I will have to revisit that manuscript and find other places to send it. (I could do it now but, obviously I have other things to do.) I’d love to have an agent, so in order to be ready for that search I have to prepare several other of my stories to completed as-good-as-they-can-be manuscripts. 

Another of my goals is to set up much better records of submissions, rejections and all that fun stuff. Oh, and I must not forget the many books I want to read!

So, my goals are:

  1.  declutter and reclaim space through selling and getting rid of things
  2.  set up a writing room – through decluttering and getting rid of things
  3.  write, write, write – which includes submissions, and well-written manuscripts to prepare me for an agent
  4.  set up organized records for my writing
  5. read, read, read

Yikes! Although that seems like a short list, for me it’s a HUGE undertaking. Can I do it this year? I can try. There are twelve months in which to make my best effort. I didn’t even mention that I have specific plans for my blog this year, and I still want to learn to draw much better. Whew! (now I need a nap)

pooh-nap

It’s your turn. Tell me … what are YOUR goals for 2017?

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!  🙂