Do you ever get writer's block?
I usually suffer more from "life happenings" and procrastination more than writer's block, but occasionally, writer's block rears its ugly head. This usually happens when I'm three quarters finished with a novel and am trying to get it to connect with the ending I have in mind.
If you find yourself facing an empty page or white space on your computer, here's what I do: step away for a set amount of time (it's handy to use the timer on your phone) and go for a walk . Often you'll think of what you need to write when you're not staring at the computer.
The trick then is to write down the idea or dictate to your phone so you don't forget it. Then get back into the chair and write!
Photo credit: Emma Matthews on Unsplash.com
Sophia, the main character in "The Essence" and "Unexpected Impact" has a hard time throwing pretty wrapping paper away in the trash. But recycling isn't always the best option. Here are her tips: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1) Most wrapping paper is recycling contamination.⠀
Unfortunately, the shiny, laminated paper is, in fact, not recyclable in most circumstances. Including it in the bin with other paper products can make an entire load unrecyclable.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If wrapping paper is metallic, has glitter on it, or has a texture to it, it is not recyclable.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2) But don’t worry, there are eco-friendly alternatives:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3) Love those shiny papers? Make a game out of seeing who can unwrap with the least damage to the paper. Then fold it and use it for crafts or for next year! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Have a fun and happy holiday! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I just finished reading My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. It's a well written, fictionalized account of the life of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton's strong, capable and intelligent wife. The book is a veritable who's who of the revolution and early years of the nation. It was delightful to read about the lives that touched hers -- like the Marquis de Lafayette, George and Martha Washington, James and Dolley Madison, Aaron Burr and more.
Reading the book makes that time period come alive, revealing insights into the challenges faced and the character of this extraordinary woman and her family.
I highly recommend reading it!
Have you read it? If so, what did you think about it? Feel free to leave comments.
It's Teacher Appreciation Week! Somehow that got me reminiscing about the handful of teachers that inspired and fueled my love of learning.
Sometimes we don’t like the teachers that challenge you – like the English composition teacher that forced me to fix my backward sentences.
Or the US History Teacher that challenged a quiet introvert to crawl out of her shell and debate historical impacts on current events.
And last but not least, the writing professor who said it wasn’t crazy if your characters followed you around and sometimes took charge of your stories. (Okay, it still sounds a bit crazy, but it's a common writing phenomena .)
Anyway, I wanted to thank them and all the dedicated teachers out there. A good teacher can really make a difference!
A big thank you to you all – wherever you are!
Do you have a favorite teacher that inspired you? Thank them in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
I just enjoyed reading The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. The characters are well drawn, odd yet believable. Bits of humor added to the winsome way the story is told. Are you a Shakespeare lover? Do you have sisters? Then you'd probably like it.
A book makes a thoughtful gift -- at holiday time or anytime. And eBooks don't need wrapping or shipping, so they are great for last minute shopping!
But how do you actually give someone an eBook?
How Gifting Works
Sample gift e-mail
Dear [Giftee’s name]:
[Your name, as listed in your Smashwords profile] has given you a gift of the ebook "Unexpected Impact" by Nancy MacCreery on Smashwords! To pick up your gift, please click the following link, or copy it and paste it into your web browser:
If you already have an account on Smashwords.com (we'll prompt you to log in, if necessary) you'll have instant access to this book. If you don't have an account on Smashwords, you will be asked to create one — don't worry, it's easy and free!
We hope you enjoy your gift!
The Smashwords Team
Here's how to read Smashwords ebooks!
Step 1: Click to the book page by clicking on the book title above.
Step 2: You'll be prompted to log in to your Smashwords account. If you don't yet have an account, you'll be prompted to create one. It's quick and free to create an account. Sign up, click the hyperlink in the e-mail and you're in.
Step 3: Once you're logged in, your gift will be saved for you and you will be able to click to get your book (or click to your Library to find your book) and click the download format you prefer.
Step 4: Read! Here's our FAQ on how to download Smashwords ebooks to any device: https://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq#Reading.
We send a copy of the gift e-mail to you as well, so that if for some reason your giftee doesn't get the e-mail, you can pass it along to them yourself.
Thanks for reading this! Good luck with your holiday shopping!
The inspiration for Haiku can come from anywhere, even a walk though a familiar neighborhood.
I hope you enjoy these brief vignettes of summer.
They are fun to compose -- try adding yours in the comments.
Burnt grass, faded spots
Flowers hold their dying stalks
August heat hits hard
Lean back, feet in the sand
Red skin tingling and warm
Setting sun ends day
Sliver green patterns
Make reflections dance
Across the peaceful water
I remember reading the book Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer. it was a dramatic book (best read on a hot summer day ) -- in it, privileged people paid for adventure. They made poor decisions and brought things along that were unwise; sadly, lives were lost. But beyond that, what struck me was the trash. Everest was not treated as a pack it in, pack it out environment; garbage and empty oxygen canisters accumulate by the trails.
So what's this got to do with space?
Well, a recent announcement by SpaceX* indicates that two private citizens, who have not yet been named, approached SpaceX about taking a trip around the moon, and have "already paid a significant deposit" for the cost of the mission. What an adventure! That rocket will take them even higher than Everest.
I hope that space doesn't become totally cluttered with debris.
What do you think about it? Do you think Sophia would do well in space?
Let me know if the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
I've got a blue button on my hair dryer.
The instructions said that when you push it, negative ions* come out in the air.
I have no idea if it really works, but even so, in the morning when I'm drying my hair, sometimes I push the button.
And I smile. :)
It's automatic -- I don't know if I'm smiling at myself because I'm pushing a button that does nothing, or if it really works.
It doesn't matter.
Bottom line, I always feel just a little better.
So, look for your blue buttons of happiness. They're out there!
Have a great day,
*It's a bit backwards, but negative ions are supposed to make you feel better. They are also produced by waterfalls, which might be why most people find falling water so refreshing.
Valentine's Day focuses on love, and especially romantic love.
So for those who aren't in a romance, it can be depressing. It was for Sophia. One Valentine's Day, she was newly divorced and working at a new job where she hadn't had a chance to make any friends yet. She walked by the receptionist only to see candies and vases of flowers. The woman in the cube next to her received a dozen roses. Then the guy on the other side spent hours talking about what his girlfriend was going to do for him (a bit too loudly so she couldn't help hearing).
So she wrote this post -- something for all of you who don't have a special someone, or whose special someone isn't around or isn't the romantic type.
It's also good to read if you're just looking for something uplifting . She titled it --
Things I love that have nothing to do with Valentine's Day.
1) Sunsets over water
2) Sunsets just about anywhere
3) Cherry tress in bloom
4) Birds chirping
5) Daffodils in bloom
6) The way babies smell when they've just had a bath
7) Going for a long walk in a quiet park on a warm spring day
8) And last but not least -- Pushing the publish button on a blog post!
Thanks for reading -- I have a hunch that she didn't get them all -- what would you add?
Insights on writing, characters, humor and other tidbits from the author of the "Scoops and Schemes" series of novels.
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Nancy's books are available for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers. Find retailers here.