Archive for the ‘#openbook’ Tag

Tools of the Trade   4 comments

Jan 18, 2021

What software do you use for your writing? Bookkeeping? Artwork? Calendar?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”c479dee328bf48b1860f810b73480cb2″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/c479dee328bf48b1860f810b73480cb2” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20rel=</span><!– end InLinkz code –>[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”c479dee328bf48b1860f810b73480cb2″]https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/c479dee328bf48b1860f810b73480cb2

Writing

I write in Word, but I used to use an open-source word-processing program and will return to that when I no longer get a special discount as part of my day job. Microsoft is very proud of its software, but I don’t agree with monopolies, so I’ll do what I can to encourage its competition. Open Office is accepted by Amazon so it’s a win-win.

Bookkeeping

I currently use Excel. That will go away when that special discount goes away (this is not expected to happen soon, but sometime in the next decade). Open Office has a spreadsheet program, so I’ll probably switch to that.

Artwork

I prefer Paint.net, although sometimes I create drawings in Paint. You really can’t beat Paint.net’s photo editing functions and I mostly use it to create the collages that become my book covers.

Calendar

I frankly still prefer a hard copy calendar I can write on, but since teleworking which has made a transition to working digitally complete, I am now using a digital copy of an open source calendar that I post notes on various dates. I don’t like notifications that pop up all the time and so I flag my future dates on Sticky Notes so I see them whenever I open my laptop’s opening page. As I remove the sticky note, it reveals the photo behind it and I kind of enjoy that process.

Posted January 18, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , ,

Not Touching It with a 10-Foot Pole   5 comments

Is there a genre you’d never attempt to write? Why?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”ba04be053dbe4fbe8bbd2992969344f3″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/ba04be053dbe4fbe8bbd2992969344f3” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”><script async=”true” src=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js…“></script></span><!– end InLinkz code –>[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”ba04be053dbe4fbe8bbd2992969344f3”]https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/ba04be053dbe4fbe8bbd2992969344f3

Never Say Never

It’s something my daughter learned as a dancer — never say you can’t do something. George Takei shares the story of being asked to do an episode of Star Trek involving a sword. He’d never fenced in his life, but he wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to act, so he said he could fence and then ran off to a gym to have someone teach him. My daughter has played a wide variety of musical styles because she’s not said “I don’t know how.” My son was asked to step in as a professional bass guitar player this summer. He didn’t play bass, but he’s a guitarist and the keeper of his sister’s bass, so he spent a week learning how to play bass and then played at several outdoor venues this summer. He also didn’t used to be a singer, but decided to teach himself how to carry a tune last year and now he can and does sing. He’s even sung lead for the band and had the (admittedly somewhat drunk) audience clap for his performance.

Tearing a page from the book of my talented children, I am in a constant quest to teach myself how to write genres I’ve not written before. However, is there a genre I would never try to write?

Erotic fiction

I’ve attempted to write romances and I’m getting better at it. I’ve learned to add elements of something else in so it doesn’t feel so bogus. I’m just not a “they lived happily ever after” kind of writer and that’s my major stumbling block to writing the genre.

But I also don’t write sex.

Why?

My Christian faith is the most important thing in my life, although it is not always front and center of my writing. It infuses every part of my character, so it can’t help but shine through, but I am not writing Christian-genre books for a Christian audience. This means I reference sex (and other bodily functions) and the Christians who appear in my novels aren’t always as pure as the fresh driven snow. I’ve taken some heat for this from judgmental reviewers who feel that humanity has no place in “Christian” literature, but again — I’m not writing Christian-genre books. I am a Christian who writes novels and has some Christian characters in otherwise non-sectarian books.

But there are limits and describing sex is a boundary for me. First, I don’t think it’s necessary for me to write it. There are other authors who can fulfill that market. I’m happy to let them do it. I don’t want to write books that I’d be ashamed to have my pastor’s wife read. Jennifer is a realistic Christian who isn’t one of those upset by my portraying Christians as flawed sinners saved by grace, although I have known other pastors’ wives who held a more Pollyanna-ish view of the world. Still, I suspect she wouldn’t be down for a sex scene. I don’t even need to ask, actually. I know she wouldn’t be down for a sex scene. I like it when my Christian friends say they enjoyed my books, but if a sex scene existed in my book, I’d be embarrassed if Jennifer said she was reading it. So, yeah, not writing it.

The other reason is that I don’t cheat on my husband — not in reality and not in fiction. I try not to read books that ask me to imagine having sex with other men. (Brad repays me for this by not indulging in porn). Erotic literature is the female equivalent of men’s pornographic videos and I don’t recommend either party in a marriage cheat mentally. Every marriage I know of that indulged in mental cheating has ended in divorce, often following an incident of actual cheating. The Bible says the body follows the head, so I try to control where my head leads me. Occasionally, I run across a sex scene in a book where I wasn’t expecting it and I read it, but I don’t seek out that sort of literature. (Brad has a similar attitude toward sex scenes in otherwise entertaining movies.)

Rabbit Trail!

Okay, I have to tell this funny story. Many years ago we were watching a mystery set in a monestary in the Middle Ages “In the Name of the Rose.” It was a great movie — a murder mystery. Except, about halfway through, the young monk played by a teenage Christian Slater engaged in full-on sex with a kitchen wench. There was no reason for it. There was no build up to it and no other plot point revolved around it. It wasn’t in the book that the movie was based on. It was just there to garner an R-rating for a movie that didn’t need it.

It took about two seconds for our group of friends (all from our church) to realize what was going on and then our friend Jeff tried to fast-forward through the scene. This was in the VCR days and it just served to highlight the act playing out on the screen.

I believe Brad is disallowed from choosing videos for group consumption among certain segments of our friends because he picked the video that night. He ranks it as one of the most embarrassing times of his Christian life — the time he brought “a porn video” to Christian group night.

Imagination is Key!

Now imagine writing a sex scene and all the time an author spends getting the scene just right. It would be like doing that scene from “In the Name of the Rose” 20-30 times, replaying it in my head, over and over. I don’t write my husband into my books, so ….

Erotic literature is a genre I’m not going to attempt to write and I’m completely okay with that.

What Else?

I also don’t write horror. I admire the few Christian horror writers out there (Ted Dekker, for example), but I don’t read a lot of horror as a genre, so I don’t really want to write it. But I’m not saying I’d never attempt it, because you should never say never so long as it’s not against your moral code.

Posted January 11, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Chasing a Deadline   10 comments

How you keep focused during long writing sessions?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”72a04a5213c04127ac40523e651504fd” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/72a04a5213c04127ac40523e651504fd” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20rel=</span><!– end InLinkz code –>[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”72a04a5213c04127ac40523e651504fd”]https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/72a04a5213c04127ac40523e651504fd

Who says I stay focused?

No, really. I usually have two or three projects going at once. Focus may not be my thing.

Long Writing Sessions

I have them and they’re almost always character-driven. When a character is telling me his or her story, I write it down and sometimes it is so engrossing I don’t get distracted by other projects.

Those are the best times and distractions aren’t really a problem when that’s happening.

Editing, though?

Those are some long sessions as well and those can be distracting. I enjoy editing in many ways – it’s when the characters allow me to polish their stories to my own purposes (for the most part). But there’s those other projects calling to me, so I need to stay focused in order to get the best results.

How do I do that?

Coffee. A nice pot of coffee and a bit of scone helps. The act of getting up to get it actually gives me short breaks that help me to focus for long hours.

Genre- or scene-appropriate music, through earphones, so I can’t hear the world around me. If I can’t hear the neighbors doing something entertaining or my husband watching a movie or a U-Tube philosophy podcast, I am less likely to get distracted from my work.

A timer. Sometimes I go through periods when I can’t settle down and so if I’m struggling with that, I’ll set a timer on my phone. I say “butt-in-seat-fingers-on-keyboard” until it goes off. I also sometimes use the timer to break up my writing sessions so that I don’t wear myself out.

But Seriously?

I grew up in a small Alaska house where everybody did everything in the main room because the rest of the house wasn’t that warm. I learned early to concentrate even when there is activity around me. I can watch television and write at the same time — depending on what I am writing. I can handle the noise of my family — and in fact, miss it when it’s absent. Distractions are a part of life and sometimes that neighbor doing something entertaining is the kernel of a story idea, so ignoring them might not such a good thing.

Writing takes discipline, but it also takes observing and interacting with life. Sometimes I write for 12 hours straight with only bathroom breaks and maybe making a second pot of coffee. Other times, I write for an hour and then let life draw me away to reality. I let the story dictate what level of discipline I need to exercise in any given day. Right now, I’m trying to write a minimum of a 1000-words per day so I can finish the rough draft of “A Death in Jericho” before the end of January, but I recognize that too much focus on an enjoyable activity can look a little like obsession, so I won’t sweat the word-limit more than absolutely necessary. If I finish the rough draft by February 7, I’ll consider myself well-rounded.

Who Is Leading the Way?   10 comments

Who’s the boss, you or the story?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”57aa628972d4484081561b419ab3298b” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/57aa628972d4484081561b419ab3298b” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”><script async=”true” src=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js…“></script></span><!– end InLinkz code –>[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”57aa628972d4484081561b419ab3298b”]https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/57aa628972d4484081561b419ab3298b

Definitely!

I know who is boss and it sure isn’t me. Discovery writers need to be honest about this. We are not in charge of the stories we write. We follow the story to where it leads and record what we observe. Maybe we can make suggestions to the story, but we don’t really write the story. The story evolves in our imagination and we are often as surprised as our readers at what emerges as we chase our characters through the world they are sharing with us.

Hopefully, that spontaneity speaks to our readers as fresh and not disorganized. Orderliness is a function of editing and in that phase of story development, I am in charge. My characters have told me what they want me to know, but I don’t always have to share what they’ve told me. I can sometimes rearrange the story to my liking in this phase. I know I have to be careful not to mess with my characters’ stories more than they will tolerate, but other than that, I control the edit process, but I cannot deny that the story is in charge in the first draft – absolutely and don’t piss off Shane or he’ll stop talking to me and then where will I be –halfway through a series with a star who has abdicated his story-telling role. Oh, my!

And, may it never be so.

Posted December 28, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , ,

Jason Breen   7 comments

We usually interview our good guys and gals when we do character interviews. How about we do an interview with our favorite bad guy?

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”2588a950e99846ee826085d02560c2e6″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/2588a950e99846ee826085d02560c2e6” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20rel=</span><!– end InLinkz code –>[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”2588a950e99846ee826085d02560c2e6″]https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/2588a950e99846ee826085d02560c2e6

A Hard Prompt

I don’t really write a lot of bad-guy characters. In Transformation Project, the Big Bad is a world gone crazy in the grips of ongoing terrorist attacks and my town doesn’t know who might be the perpetrators (that’ll come later in the series). I figure my characters’ various reactions to society going off the rails is conflict enough and so I don’t really need a particular bad guy. But I do have characters who act in awful ways because … well, let’s ask Jason Breen why he is the way he is. Here’s an interview Click Michaels did with Jason. For his own safety, Click probably shouldn’t run this on his radio broadcasts.

The whole book series is premised on the idea that a small town in the Midwest must cope alone when terrorists attack major cities, shattering the communications and supply grid. It’s now January in Emmaus and things are looking bleak for the citizens of the town.

Jason Breen is Marnie Callahan Delaney’s father which makes him a shirt-tail relative of the Delaney family who are the main focus of the series.

The Interview

CLICK: Jason, thank you for talking with me today. As the town’s unofficial news source, I’m trying to get to know the residents and I’m curious about you. Tell me something about yourself.

JASON: Well, thanks for talking with me. My bark is bigger than my bite, I tell you. Let’s see — I own Liberty Trucking. I’m the father of two — used to be three. My company keeps the town supplied when we can find anything out in the world worth bringing home.

CLICK: That fascinates me. You’re a marauder?

JASON (Laughing): I prefer “provider.” I can get things the town can’t and it gives the town plausible deniability. They can throw us under the bus if someone comes to complain.

CLICK (chuckling): C’mon, man. You’re a highwayman.”

JASON: Sometimes. (shrugs) I prefer to engage in voluntary exchange if possible or to take what nobody seems to be claiming. That’s getting harder though. The last time we were out, we found a lot of other marauders. It’s not a safe world anymore. But Emmaus would become a lot more unsafe for my family if the townspeople couldn’t get what I can provide. Do you know how scarce antibiotics are now that China’s no longer sending them and pharmacists are no longer selling them?

CLICK: I like antibiotics. How did you get into that business?

JASON – Yeah — I was a mechanic for Frelander’s Garage. Had just had my son. Well, my ol’ lady had just had my son. I dropped a car off at this guy’s house. He didn’t answer the door, so I left the bill and the keys in the screen and headed home–or — well, I was young. I was probably headed to the bar — which I was legal by then. Anyway, I woke up at the crack of dawn to cops handcuffing me at gunpoint.

CLICK: Why?

JASON: The guy was dead. Someone beat the crap out of him. It must have been around the time that I dropped the car off.

CLICK: Was that the only reason they suspected you?

JASON: I didn’t know I knew him–we’d met at the bar a few weeks before and he got a little rowdy with one of the bartenders, so I kicked his butt. I guess something I said sounded like a threat. But I was over it as soon as he left the parking lot. I didn’t even really remember him by the time he died. But, there were people in town who liked me for it. They put me in county jail, wouldn’t let me have bail, basically found me guilty without the jury even deliberating. I went to Levenworth. But Jacob Delaney — you knew Jacob, right?”

CLICK: Of course.

JASON: He and Carl Sullivan — you knew him too?

CLICK: Yup.

JASON: They believed I was innocent, so they paid for a lawyer for an appeal and DNA evidence showed it wasn’t me. It took almost three years to get out though. And when I got out, nobody would hire me. Even though I’d been exonerated, I couldn’t find a job. My ol’ lady didn’t want to pull stakes — she’s got family here — but I was pretty sure I needed to leave the state or move to Kansas City or Denver to find a life again. That’s when Jacob stepped forward and gave me a lifetime lease of $1 a year or 1% of the profits on the land here by the airfield and he staked me a loan for my first truck.

CLICK: That sounds like a legit business. How’d you end up smuggling?

JASON: It wasn’t like that. When I was trying to find work, I started delivering cannabis to some of the towns and then once I had my truck, some folks asked if I’d haul booze. Do you know Kansas still has dry counties?

CLICK: No. That’s fascinating.

JASON: Of course, I guess it doesn’t matter now. There’s no real law but what we make now, right?

CLICK: I think Rob Delaney and your son-in-law might disagree.

JASON: You mean, they might pretend to disagree, but they’ll still not ask any questions when I show up with something they need.

CLICK: Tough times do change the view of the law, yeah.

JASON: Anyway, it was never a mainstay. Mostly we were a cartage company – moving furniture, hauling firewood or lumber, groceries for Huffman’s, materials for half the businesses in town. I was barely doing the booze at all except for a few old-time-sake customers and if my guys were making cannabis deliveries, that was on them – a little gravy for them from my meat-and-potatoes. Besides, it was legal in Colorado.

CLICK: So you have a reputation in town….

JASON: It’s not deserved. (Stares at the ceiling, chuckles) Yeah, maybe it is a little. I don’t much care for all those people who judge me. It’s my life and I wasn’t guilty. Stop looking down your noses at me. So, I guess maybe I’m a little gruff, pushy even.

CLICK: Didn’t you threaten to kill Shane Delaney when he helped to put your son in prison?

JASON: Yup, and he richly deserved the threat, though I’m glad I didn’t go through with it. I’ve never killed anyone and I don’t think I want to.

CLICK: What if the town needed you to help with defense?

JASON: Nah. I’d defend my compound, but the town’s on its own.

CLICK: I’ve heard people say you’re a libertarian.

JASON: Yeah … kind of. I believe in liberty, hence my company name. But obviously I violate the non-aggression principle outside the borders of the town, so I can’t really claim I’m a libertarian. But, here’s the thing — I figure if people don’t value their stuff enough to defend it, I might as well benefit from it. You lean to be practical in prison. Ain’t nobody innocent in there, not even the ones that are not guilty of the crime they were incarcerated for.

CLICK: Your son did about five years for conspiracy to commit treason. Was he guilty?

JASON: Of shooting his big mouth off? Sure. What 18-year-old isn’t? Of acting conspiring to overthrow the government? Naw. The militia were just preparing for the collapse when it came. And turned out they were right. Is that treason or just good future-gazing?

CLICK: What about now?

JASON: Josh is doing his own thing and I don’t ask. When they’re adults, you gotta stop asking.

CLICK: Was that your rule with your daughters?

JASON: Marnie’s like her mother. Callahan women are a force of nature. Marie never got to be an adult and I don’t want to discuss her.

CLICK: How do you think the future is going to work out?

JASON: We’ll have a future. Life as we knew it is in transition right now, but the world will go on. That’s why I’m trying to keep my neighbors supplies with food. I don’t want to be living in the middle of nowhere all alone. Can’t get a lot of customers that way.

CLICK: Thanks for talking with me.

JASON: Sure. Just, you know, be respectful about what you run about me and I’ll stay friendly like.

CLICK (laughs nervously): Absolutely. I might not even use this interview.

JASON: That might be a healthy choice.

Posted December 15, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , ,

Life Dream   13 comments

If you had unlimited money to start and maintain a business, what would it be?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”a7a8c8f0b9a84a4f953646a37c53412c” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/a7a8c8f0b9a84a4f953646a37c53412c” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”><script async=”true” src=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js…“></script></span><!– end InLinkz code –>[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”a7a8c8f0b9a84a4f953646a37c53412c”]https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/a7a8c8f0b9a84a4f953646a37c53412c

Unlimited Money, huh?

If that unrealistic dream were to happen … wow, I would probably have to wrestle my husband for which business we would support. He’d like me to support his, of course, and since today is our 35 wedding anniversary, I’d probably have to comply.

But if marital harmony were not in view …

Like, if we grew TWO magic money trees….

Fairbanks Alaska is a tough place for a local business even in the best of times and at least a dozen have closed their doors forever since March 2020. The bar where I had my first legal drink wasn’t a new business when I sipped (and almost spewed) the glass of chianti with pizza, but after 40 years in business as a dive bar with great bands and sometimes pizza parlor, even after rebuilding after a fire, The Marlin closed its doors for good this summer. The owner still owns the land and building, so there’s hope in the community that he’ll reopen, but he says he won’t. When I was an outside-sales person just out of college, my boss would sometimes take the crew to Sourdough Sam’s for breakfast. It was a new business back then (and it too survived a fire in the intervening years), but it’s now closed and the building and land are up for sale. Same for House of Kustom, one of the only decent furniture stores in town.

Meanwhile, the big box stores are open and selling cheap identical crap and identical food right and left. My son says this local Walmart has never had a better year in the 10 years it’s been open. It just goes to show that the government (even in a pandemic, or maybe because of it) prefers giant corporations that can be controlled and enriched by the government rather than small mom-and-pop companies that are free to do their own thing. We may well remember this era as the last for entrepreneurs and hometown restaurants and bars overwhelmed by a sea of big-box banality.

So, small business…best to have unlimited funds to keep the doors open or to pay the fines when the government tries to shut you down. Folks, I write apocalyptic fiction about people who go to war with the USDA’s cow cops over similar issues.

What would I do if that opportunity existed?

I’d open a LOCAL bookstore with a coffee and sandwich shop and places to sit down while you browse and I’d fill it with books — new and old. We used to have a really great used book store here in Fairbanks that had those features and I’d design my store along those lines. I’d also offer an opportunity for other local artists to display and sell their wares and maybe even do demonstrations of their art. I can envision local musicians playing in the background. I even know the building I’d buy to make it happen and since I have unlimited funds, I’d buy it outright to save on interest payments and have it super-insulated to cut down on heating costs — but I might also open some walls up with windows to let the sunshine in. That way, I could offer affordable rents to the small businesses that could occupy the rest of the space, which is a three-story former department store that has been mothballed for over 10 years.

Yes, I know, the building is uninspiring, but you’d be surprised what architectural elements can be added while the energy-efficiency is being boosted. Think Art Deco. I’m told that the shorter section — the most neglected shopping mall in Fairbanks is part of the building and it has a giant parking lot. It’s also just on the edge of downtown and right across the street from the library. You know what they say about location, location, location? It has location. The store closed because it was owned by a big chain that restructured and the building owner found it’s too expensive to remodel for a different use. But that’s not a problem if I have unlimited funds. Meanwhile, the building was used for the first time in a decade this past weekend for a Christmas bazaar, and it looked lovely all decorated for the holidays. It might even have space for an indoor playground to accommodate the entire family.

An artist’s coop isn’t really an original idea, but it is something my town needs. They’ve been started before, but funding (and therefore space) has always been an issue. Well, in this fantasy scenario … not anymore!

Posted December 7, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , ,

Bring on the Tropes   12 comments

Every story starts with a stranger in town or a journey. “Pa, we’re takin’ the wagon to Virginian City,” every story ends with “Golly gee, Wally. I thought we were goners.” True or False?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>
<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”3741064fceb04162a732022aa8fd3f7f” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>
<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>
<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/3741064fceb04162a732022aa8fd3f7f” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>
<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>
<!– end InLinkz code –>

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”3741064fceb04162a732022aa8fd3f7f”]

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/3741064fceb04162a732022aa8fd3f7f

Tolstoy Said

“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.”

I love Tolstoy’s stories, but do I agree with his observation?

Yes

Tolstoy isn’t the only literary giant to make the observation that, it seemed to them, all stories fall into one of two categories: “stranger in a strange land” or “a stranger comes to town.”

We’re all familiar with Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” as represented in the journeys of Odysseus or Luke Skywalker. It’s so common that we hardly even notice it. A stranger passing through a land that is new to him encounters events that change him. In our traveling world today, we know this to be true because we’ve all experienced that transition wrought by new experiences, but the same held true from ancient times and the best storytellers borrow from real life to make compelling fiction. When I think about it, my series Daermad Cycle starts out as a stranger in a strange land tale. Although Padraig was raised in Celdrya, he’s been gone a long time and he sees the culture with new eyes. The journey is a common theme of many tales.

Likewise, the “stranger comes to town” trope has been around at least since Tolstoy, which for most of us is more than our lifetime. It’s the basis of every one of Clint Eastwood’s “Spaghetti” westerns. A stranger comes to town and something happens. It’s place based – a group of inhabitants who all know one another and an unknown character coming to town. That new element is the basis of conflict and the catalyst for change. Think “Our Town” or “The Man from Snowy River”.

Sometimes the “stranger” isn’t a person, but a force. In Transformation Project, the catalyst for change is societal chaos and the people of Emmaus are the group that is changed by it.

Sometimes the stranger is not a catalyst, but a a neutral observer viewing the activities of the static group, as in “The Scarlet Letter.” Or, in “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, Scout is not a catalyst for change, but an observer of change. There’s dozens of variations on this trope that could go anywhere. All of them will lead to character development, conflict, gain and/or loss, change and a conclusion. The outside element changing a static group is rich fodder for fiction writers.

But

I know for a fact that I’ve read and written stories about people who already know one another in a community they’re all familiar with, which suggests Tolstoy’s observation is at least partially wrong. The two tropes work because they are used all the time, but they’re not the only story patterns used.

“My prettiest contribution to my culture,” the writer Kurt Vonnegut mused in his 1981 autobiography Palm Sunday, “was a master’s thesis in anthropology which was rejected by the University of Chicago a long time ago.”

He moved on to become a great writer who mapped many popular storylines along a simple graph. He did a lecture that you can find on YouTube. I’m not going to explain it all, but he felt the most interesting story type he encountered was represented by the fairytale Cinderella. He thought of it as a staircase where Cinderella climbed into good fortune after her fairy godmother arrived. The high point was the ball and then she plummeted back into poverty and degradation, only to be rescued from darkness and brought to glory by her dashing prince.

It’s a “Rags to Riches” tale. It doesn’t involve a journey and nobody is exactly a stranger in town. Though they might not know each other before the ball, Cinderella lives within sight of the castle and the prince might have ridden by her home a few times.

I ran across a statistic claiming “Rags to Riches” stories represent about one-fifth of all written works. Think of the catalogues of Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton and Jane Austen for some examples. And, of course, there’s variations on that trope as well. Essentially, my series “What If Wasn’t” is a Riches to Rags story that holds out hopes for a return to riches — maybe. “The ‘Rags to Riches’ emotional arc is a story we all love to believe in. It embodies the American dream itself, a belief in hope and fairness, where regardless of beginning in bad times, effort can make things better and eventually result in good fortune. On the other hand, there is enjoyment to be had in seeing a life of ease destroyed and the character struggling to rebuild.

So, no!

I believe there are more than two types of stories. I think there are at least three (plus a converse), but probably more than that. Think how many stories involve “Overcoming the Monster” (Beowulf, for example) as a common plot type. Comedy often doesn’t follow the “stranger in a strange land” or the “stranger comes to town” tropes.

Specialization is Key

So why did Tolstoy make that observation? Maybe those are the books he encountered, although Tolstoy appears to have been a great reader who explored new ideas even into his elder years. It’s entirely possible that Tolstoy, literary giant that he was, could only think in those two types of plots. Think about what treasures he left us using those two plot arcs. Maybe there’s something to be said for specialization. Jack of All Trades is sometimes Master of None and clearly Tolstoy was a master. So was Vonnegut, though he wrote in different plot structures from Tolstoy. Specialization of plot allowed them to concentrate on other aspects like character development and setting details. Would they have been literary giants if they’d strayed from their plot tracks? Would that have taken them away from the aspects of writing that made them great? Maybe those other tracks are left for other writers, so they too can shine.

I personally look forward to fiction books that create all-new tropes because those are interesting to read because you can’t anticipate the next plot point. I wonder what my fellow blog-hoppers think of this subject.

Posted November 30, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Deck the Halls   8 comments

The holiday season is just around the corner. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received? What’s the worst one you ever given?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>
<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”56f8b65adaaa485ab7fd56827a272712″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>
<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>
<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/56f8b65adaaa485ab7fd56827a272712” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>
<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>
<!– end InLinkz code –>

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”56f8b65adaaa485ab7fd56827a272712″]

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/56f8b65adaaa485ab7fd56827a27271

Gift-Giving Is Not My Love Language

I’m the first to admit that gift-giving is not my love language. My husband says I was born with the male shopping gene. I really hate to shop, especially in the winter, when buildings are over-heated and I have to wear or carry my coat through the aisles. I usually shop early – October — so it’s less painful, but it’s still not something I enjoy generally.

But I try to buy good gifts for each person on my list. I’ve spent months constructing quilts for people and I will troll the antique stores to find something unique that is just for that one person in the family.

I have to say CVD19 really screwed up my preferred Christmas-shopping methods. A lot of local companies have closed or were at such reduced capacity during the summer that I wasn’t able to make use of them and I refuse to buy crap from Amazon for Christmas presents. I did sew a quilt for my sister-in-law, but I’m facing Thanksgiving without having my holiday ducks in a row and I’m not happy about it. I might have to go back into the stores when there are other shoppers. NOOOO!

Worst I’ve Ever Received?

My father-in-law was always the source of bad gifts. One year we received these slippers in the mail. We called them “sleeping bags for the feet”. You get the word-picture, I’m sure. They were poofy and huge. I guess they kept our feet pretty warm, but they were slippery as snot. Kiernan was a baby then, so he didn’t have a pair, but Bri literally skated on our wood floor in hers. Thank goodness she had good balance, but she now complains of a touchy knee, and I’m pretty sure the “foot bags” had something to do with that. She fell down so often during that winter.

Brad decided to wear his to the mailbox one day before New Year’s and he wiped out three times on the way to the fence, took them off and walked back to the house barefoot to chuck them in the trash. I think I kept mine because it’s rude to throw away gifts (right?) but I never used them. They made my feet sweat and I always felt like if I put my foot down without thinking, I was going to land on my butt. I don’t think they made the trip with us when we moved houses.

I think it was the next year that my father-in-law’s wife-at-the-time sent me this sweater. It was yellow and black and big enough to house a circus. I’m not kidding. At 5’1″ and maybe 110 pounds, I had room for other people in the sweater. And, it was UGLY! I never wear yellow because some people shouldn’t wear yellow and I’m one. But also, yellow and black is just a garish combination and garish is not recommended when you’re 5’1″. Nobody sees YOU when you’re wearing a sweater like that. Definitely, that was the worst gift I’ve ever received.

I Hate Giving Bad Gifts

One reason I hate gift-giving is that I hate giving bad gifts and I exert a lot of effort in finding the right gift for each person on my list. I’m not really a consumer, so I think gifts ought to mean something.

So, have I ever given a bad gift? Of course I have! And guess what I gave.

Remember that sweater?

It was a Secret Santa gift to a coworker who was tall and big boned with blond hair. I felt guilty about giving it, but I was never going to wear it and — well, she loved it and wore it fairly often over the next couple of years. And, because she was a big girl with golden blond hair, she looked good in it.

And, Then There was This One

Our old church used to have a church Christmas Party that featured a “white elephant” gift exchange. Each person would bring a gift and the host would number the guests. Number 1 would select a gift. Number 2 could select a gift or “steal” the gift of Number 1. If the “steal” occurred, Number 1 could select another gift (you couldn’t steal back your first gift on that turn). Number 3 could then select a gift or steal #1 or #2’s gift. And then it would go from there. No gift could be stolen more than three times (just so we’d go home sometime. Baptists can party late into the evening because we don’t drink alcohol). It was great fun with a group of people who had a great sense of humor.

One year, Fred brought a gift. It was a photo of him standing on the side of the pool at Chena Hot Springs wearing a Rambo-like bandana. A recovering drug-addict when we knew him, the photo showed an extremely drunk macho young-man beating his bare chest at being tough enough to stand in the snow at -25 F’. The frame was worth some money and the photo was HILARIOUS. It got stolen many times that night (this was actually before the only-three-times rule was instituted).. It eventually ended up with some jokester, because it came back to the next year’s gift exchange and the same thing happened. It was a feature of that gift exchange for a good 15 years. This “ugly” gift became a church tradition still remembered fondly by everyone who ever participated.

I never won it. I’m not a very aggressive “thief” and so it always got taken from me. One year, one of a married couple “won” it and then they were transferred to Hawaii before the following Christmas. They were packing and found the photo and brought it to me because they figured I’d put it back into rotation, which I did. And when someone unwrapped it, the general consensus was some of us were worried that the tradition had ended when Jan left town.

So, maybe it was the “worst” gift, but it was a coveted gift and it turned out to be the best gift because Fred died a few years ago and whoever that photo ended up with when the church collapsed after a scandal gifted it to Fred’s wife. We had all left the church a handful of years before, but we got together at the wake (Baptists eat at wakes, there’s no drinking). We were standing around catching up and telling “Funny Fred” stories, including that photo. Becky expressed regret that she didn’t have a copy of that photo. We thought it had gone to Wyoming with a couple who had retired a couple of years before. She then told the story of how that photo came to be a church tradition.

She and Fred were photo-philes, so they had thousands of photos of one another. At least 50 photos covered the largest wall in their house – fishing, playing with the kids, hiking, marriage, etc. Fred plucked that photo off the wall to give at the white elephant gift exchange because he knew she hated it. It dated from back in his active-alcoholic days. He figured she wouldn’t object to never seeing a reminder of those tough times again.

That isn’t what happened because the church fell in love with that photo. Over the years, that relationship remodeled Becky’s feelings about Fred’s past as represented in that photo. She didn’t have a copy of it and she kind of regretted that after Fred died. None of us know who had the photo or reached out to that retired couple, but a few weeks later, Becky came home from work to find a gift-wrapped package on her doorstep with the photo, still in its original frame, waiting for her.

I just thought I’d share that. Gifts are funny things. What they mean to the receiver may be quite different from what they meant to the giver.

Posted November 23, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Time in a Lockdown   7 comments

Has the pandemic affected your writing? If so, how? Have your writing habits changed in reaction to the ‘different’ world we are faced with?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>
<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”0d37506462b84574a45fec6ff596476d” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>
<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>
<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/0d37506462b84574a45fec6ff596476d” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>
<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>
<!– end InLinkz code –>

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”0d37506462b84574a45fec6ff596476d”]

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/0d37506462b84574a45fec6ff596476d

Time Dilation in the CVD19 Bubble

This year, I published three books. I’ve never done that before because it takes a lot of effort to write a novel and I have a full-time job and family.

Telecommuting Makes Work More Efficient

I’ve been on telecommuting full-time since late-March and I quickly came to realize that a dedicated administrator can do her job to the best of her abilities and still have a LOT of time on my hands. I usually use downtime in the office to file paper documents or interact with my coworkers or neaten my work area. But with telecommuting, a lot of that went away. I do all of my work electronically, so eliminating paper documents (except for a double-sided cheatsheet I use to remember project coding), so there’s no real filing. Nobody but me sees my work area and there are no paper documents, so neatening is unnecessary (or reduced to a Friday afternoon straightening). I can still interact with my coworkers via email and Teams, but really, we don’t do that much anymore. And, I’ve repatriated all the time I used to spend in meetings because meetings on Teams are about half the length of in-person meetings and you don’t have to go anywhere to attend them. Heck, you don’t even have to wear a bra to them.

At first, I begged for more work, but not much happened along those lines. My personal computer equipment is in the same room as my office, so became too tempting as the boredom wore on. To keep from going crazy, I finished a novel in record time and started the next one in Transformation Project. Then a coworker in Nome retired and I volunteered to take on her workload additional to my workload. The extra work kept me distracted for a few weeks, until I adapted to the new workload and then I returned to filling downtime with writing. That TP novel finished rather quickly and I wrote a third novel (the second in What If Wasn’t series), which I published in October.

So, my process hasn’t really changed, but it has sped up simply because I now have more time than I did before. All my downtime on my money job needs to be filled somehow and I prefer to spend it writing rather than napping. (This, by the way, is what my friends who homeschool happens with their kids — six hours of recommended schooling becomes three hours of actual work, followed by two hours of enriching education, leaving an extra hour for almost anything fun).

What About CVD19 Influence?

It’s 24/7 CVD19 news that you can’t get away from unless you choose to live in a no-news bubble, which I think is isolation. Thus, some of my writing topics shifted. When I blog, I now ask liberty questions with regards to CVD19 restrictions.

Question – Would a national mask mandate be constitutional?

Answer – No, the federal government doesn’t have public health powers. Some state governors have statewide powers, but others do not. In Alaska, only First-Class Boroughs and Municipalities hold those powers and so only the mayors of cities can require a mask — and Fairbanks’ Mayor Matherly would like a second-term as mayor, so he’s unlikely to require his libertarian-minded citizens do anything involuntary.

Topical Influence

It’s no surprise that my writing is delving into government abuse of power while we’re going through a period of governmental abuse of power. Of course it is on my mind and since my apocalyptic series is libertarian-influenced, the characters contemplate what I’m chewing on at the moment.

It’s quite coincidental that Transformation Project has a pandemic in it during the CVD19 lockdown. It’s a series. I planned the pandemic five years ago when I started writing the series about the “fundamental transformation of the United States of America.” In fact, it kicked around in the back of my head when I started pre-planning a decade ago. Nuclear attacks, an EMP, government confiscation of food and fuel, winter, pandemic, the fracture of the nation, and eventually … I’m not telling. It’s a slow-moving fire-sale scenario and I’m not telling who is orchestrating events.

But I might be paying more attention to the pandemic than I had planned, simply because we’re in the midst of this one. I’m doing more research — and learning some surprising things about virology and immunology. Maybe it’s deepened my writing on the topic. It certainly given me a perspective on CVD19 that is not shared by many who simply accept the official narrative as if “experts” all agree. They don’t — but that’s another topic from this article on writing process.

Fiction Imitates Real Life

The best fiction is based on at least some version of reality. Transformation Project was inspired by current events and it remains influenced by them, even though Donald Trump never was president in the series (I seriously never saw that coming). But I did foresee some version of this election, so why CVD19 has really only allowed me to write more and faster, the current political situation may influence the series far more than I had planned. We’ll see. If I’m really as prescient as I think I am — oh, yeah!

Posted November 16, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , ,

What’s Really Important?   2 comments

November 9, 2020

What would be the hardest thing for you to give up?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>
<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”f568e8220adb4909b6a4290578410c95″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>
<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>
<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/f568e8220adb4909b6a4290578410c95” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>
<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>
<!– end InLinkz code –>

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”f568e8220adb4909b6a4290578410c95″]

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/f568e8220adb4909b6a4290578410c95

Hard Answer

Wow, I’ve kicked that question around in my mind for a few days. It’s a hard answer, right? What would be the hardest thing for me to give up? And there’s so much to choose from – people, places, things … wow!

So Many Things That Are Precious

What to choose from, right?

The crisp smell of an Alaska morning in June? I can’t describe it to you, but Alaskans live through brutal winters to re-experience that scent for 30 days a year. Minimal air pollution, spruce and birch trees, lilacs — I’m not sure what makes that smell, but giving it up — to, like, move to Montana or Florida, seems inconceivable.

The convenience and control of personal automobile transportation? I’m 60 and my family lives into their 90s, so this is probably not something I need to worry about soon, but I work in the transportation sector, so I have coworkers who think about this a lot. There are some in society who would like to remove that capacity from all of us — supposedly for our own good. That would be annoying, but tolerable, until you realize the same people who want us all forced into self-driving cars or public transportation are also the people who believe in bureaucratic regulation of everyone’s minute life choices because they don’t think we can handle freedom of action. Can you imagine arguing with your car over whether you’re allowed to go to church, a political rally or the liquor store and being told No? I highly value liberty and personal autonomy.

Air transport into and out of Alaska? This one came home sharply to me because I’m on a trip out of Alaska right now. Flying out saved me three days of driving — if I could get through Canada, which I can’t right now, so …. Plus, when I hit the Lower 48, I’m headed to Florida and that’s another four or five days on the road. Definitely wouldn’t want to give up air travel, even though part of this trip will include a 1500-mile round trip drive from Seattle to Montana. I am looking forward to it, but I wouldn’t trade it for air transportation.

But There are Things More Precious

My family is precious to me (even if they sometimes drive me crazy) and I can’t imagine not having them in my life.

My faith is precious to me as well and during the two-month Covid lockdown here, I discovered that skipping church is not something that is good for me. My faith remains, but my human attitude wandered.

Maybe a Lentine Approach

Of course, people give up things all the time. There’s the Christian tradition of Lent. In Dumpster Fire (latest in the “What If Wasn’t” Series, Ben reflects on how he gave up chocolate for evangelical Lent one year. He chose chocolate because he didn’t really like chocolate, so he thought it would be easy. He discovered most of human society were chocolate pushers and it was hard to say “no”. Which, by the way, is probably the purpose of Lent, to teach us the frivolity of some of our choices.

I definitely couldn’t give up chocolate. I’ve been a *reborn straight-edge for 29 years and I gotta keep at least one vice. Chocolate it is.

*A straight edge is a musician-community designation for someone who chooses sobriety without the baggage of addiction.

Seriously?

There’s so many things that it is extremely hard to make a singular choice. If you say this is the hardest thing, are you not discounting all the other things that are precious to you?

I’ve named several things and while there might be a ranking among them, I’m not certain how to go about assessing it.

I think, if I’m serious, the hardest thing to give up might be writing. I’ve done that for vacations and once for a type of evangelical Lent and I learned I can’t shut off my brain, so I might as well write. Literally, without putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard, I was still writing in my head all the time. There you have it … what would be the hardest thing for me to give up … writing.

Posted November 9, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , ,

atleastihaveafrigginglass

What could possibly go wrong?

Who the Hell Knows?

The name says it all.

Rebellious Hazelnuts

Surreal Stories, Very Tall Tales

Adjusting My Sails

When the wind doesn't blow the way you want, adjust your sails

Stine Writing

Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!

Writer vs the World

In search of beauty, inspired by literature.

Inside My Mind

Words from my brain

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

Tales + Tails: Novel Writing + Culture + Compassion

Fairfax & Glew

Vigilante Justice

The Wolf's Den

Overthink Everything

SaltandNovels

Sprinkling wonder into writing

Remmington Reads

A book enthusiast bringing you all things bookish

MiddleMe

Becoming Unstuck

%d bloggers like this: