Monday, December 31, 2012

Left Brain Quirks

If you consider artists as quirky, writers are sure to be included. Don't get me wrong. I love my writer friends. Almost every writer I've met at conferences and through social media has been delightful and several acquaintances have developed into lasting friendships. We share common goals but do we share common quirks? Let's see. Own up to your own idiosyncrasy first, keep it in mind, and compare with mine. Ready?

I think my quirk has something to do with the dominant Left Brain side of me. Yeah, that's the scientific/analytic side, not the artistic/creative side. In that case, maybe it has nothing to do with quirky artists--just my dominant brain coming through in a quirky way. See what you think. My Quirk: I play with letters when I'm revising/highlighting. Words that change before my eyes fascinate me. It's a visual stimulationFor a brief instant, it gets in the way of my Right Brained flow during revisions.

Here's what I mean:  I'm changing 'have' to 'leave' and I start highlighting the word to replace it when I notice that several letters are the same.       have → leave = __ave   
These don't even rhyme but my eye tells me I don't have to replace the whole word, just some of the letters. If the letters to change are within one swipe of my cursor, I'll leave the ones that already exist. Maybe it's a fairness issue. Wouldn't want those letters that can stay on the page to get unnecessarily wiped out when they were there first, now do we?

What oddity peculiarity do you confess to have? Remember that quirks make you YOU and you don't have to change them for anyone. Start the new year by embracing the neither good nor bad quirks that make you unique. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Joy To You!

I hope all of you are enjoying the magical Spirit of the Christmas season with friends and family surrounding you. It fills me with gratitude, excitement, and hope (among other things like treats shared with cute little boys and girls).

At this time of year I plan to take some quiet time to look at the positives, recognize acts of service and my accomplishments of the past year. Am I in a better place mentally, physically, spiritually? What needs tweaking? What have I found successful? Evaluation is a good exercise that leads to making realistic goals.

Have a great week and enjoy that new book that could be wrapped under your tree!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review - The Dark Eagles: First Flight

A tale of adventure and freedom. That sums up this debut book from David R. Smith, The Dark Eagles: First Flight. 
Kief loves exploring the rugged mountains on his horse, Natch, with his best friend Tarc. But when he receives a mysterious map on his birthday, left behind for him by his dead grandfather, Kief is thrown into an adventure beyond even his imagination. 
Leaving home to pursue his childhood dream of attending the merchant academy on the coast, extraordinary events unfold propelling Kief, along with his friends and his map, toward the same perilous destiny.

At first I thought Kief would simply be a character who made us like him through his adventurous spirit and heroism. He didn't appear to have any flaws. As the story unfolds, we discover Kief's flaws as he is tested. I liked discovering more about the main character this way. As far as plot, the book seemed to be filled with adventures where Kief always won. Where was the motivation beyond wanting to be the best at everything, the high stakes? My concern was resolved, though it took a hundred pages to do it. Finally there was a cause to fight about and it banded Kief's friends together. I found myself really enjoying the rest of the book. I liked the beginning but it led to everything an adventure story should be. The writing was good and well-edited. The only editing preference I found odd was two spaces between sentences. There was the tiniest hint at romance but it’s geared toward boys. I would recommend this book to boys and girls of all ages from about twelve on up through adult readers. I look forward to the next adventure of the Dark Eagle group. Smith gives reader's a bonus with enchanting sketches, maps, and info. Check this one out!
Visit the website: 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Giveaway and The Write Way of Life

Hey, folks, there's still a couple more days to enter the hardcover book giveaway with one quick entry just for following my blog. Simply scroll down to the previous post below for details.

Have you ever considered the importance of good writing skills for those of us beyond school years? You might be surprised at the ways (and amounts of time) you use them. My husband, an engineer, swears that his most useful college class was Technical Writing with all the reports and memos he frequently writes. As for me, I just wrote a letter to persuade a homeowner to choose my offer on a house out of multiple offers. The relator informed me that sometimes a personal mention of what buyers liked about the home can sway the seller in their favor. Who new? There is a write way of life.

How have you used writing lately besides your work in progress?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Giveaway

Enter the linked giveaway at the bottom of this post for chances to win a hardcover copy of Toby Gold and the Secret Fortune and more! 
A big welcome and thank you to all my new followers. I'll have more book reviews and writing posts this month. Later in January, come back for the second annual Alliteration Contest.     Now for more about Toby Gold.
Read my review of Toby Gold here.
"Unique children’s lit that cleverly tackles interest rates, endowments, fluctuating commodities, bullying and identity." - Kirkus Reviews
 An infant is discovered one night on a commuter train from New York City during a stop in the sleepy town of Wallingford, Connecticut.  The local police are summoned, but are unable to locate the boy’s parents, despite painstakingly questioning each person on the train.  For some strange reason, none of the passengers can remember seeing his mother falling from the train – after falling victim to an assassin’s bullet.
Assigned the name “Toby Gold” by social services, the mysterious child grows up in Wallingford, moving from foster home to foster home, not knowing who his real parents are - or why he was born with such freakish skills with math and money.
Now a teenager, Toby’s money skills are noticed by the wrong people, and thus he is unwittingly sucked into a high-stakes financial conspiracy that puts his life, and the lives of his two closest friends, in great peril.  Ultimately, Toby solves the crime, saves his friends, and even saves his school—all in one harrowing afternoon.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Getting into the Christmas Spirit - A Christmas Memory

Happy December and Merry Christmas everyone!
Today I find myself wedged between déjà vu and looking forward to the future as I contemplate getting into the Christmas Spirit. You see, I don’t plan to hang decorations—they’re all packed away in a far away place. It reminds me of years ago when we moved the week before Christmas. Similar circumstances again. I struggled that year to feel the Christmas Spirit. Shopping or playing Christmas CDs didn't do it for me. It wasn't until I attended a live program of Christmas music with performers decked in red and green that my heart absorbed my surroundings. The music came from singers whose faces showed they loved performing. We connected, like a gift from them to me. They were serving me and they loved doing it. My heart was touched and I dare guess that theirs were too.

What is it that makes it feel like Christmas? It may be something different to each of us. I love music, but it wasn't just the music. Music was combined with love and service through messages about Christ's birth, attended by friends and family. Add them together and you get the same answers I found on focusing on Service, Love, Jesus Christ, Family. Visit the site for Christmas messages and a nativity video, download some Christmas music, or join the conversation about what the season means to you. I recommend it as part of getting into the Christmas Spirit. What gets you in the seasonal mood?