Language is Power

What was some experiences where you learned that language had power?

Language, I have found, has more power than I ever realized. What about you? Think about it. If you were to walk up to a random person on the street and tell them their shoes were ugly, what would happen? My guess is that, if you could be a flea on their sleeve, you would see them go through the rest of their day in the dumps. On the other hand, change a single word – ugly to awesome – you change the tone of their entire day.

Television, books, social media, person to person communication, and even books, are opportunities to use language to influence, support, or demoralize people. In my home, we dropped network television and I immediately noticed a difference in my attitude. If I read a humorous book my outlook brightens.

Much of my childhood was spent learning the negative power of language, and as I grew, and had children of my own, I learned how to turn all that negative to positive. In college I studied photography and we had to give, and take, critique. I saw first hand how a few, carefully stated words, could either save, or kill, the artist within a person.

When I read books, then write a review, I point out the best of it rather than everything the author has done wrong. Mind you, there is room for improvement in most things, but I show a writer how to improve with positive language. Whenever I am given feedback that is supportive, I tend to learn more and have a stronger desire to continue on.

Language is a powerful thing. It really is as simple as having a glass half empty or half full. To borrow on another saying, “You attract more bees with honey.” That honey will always taste sweeter when you carefully choose words that support and encourage. Now that’s power!


Insecure Writer's Support Group logo

Every month, IWSG announces a question that members can answer in our IWSG post. These questions may prompt us to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. We Include our answers to the question in the IWSG post or let it inspire our post if we are struggling with something to say. 

The awesome co-hosts for this month are, Lee Lowery,Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin!

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Challenges

Today I am combining two blogging challenges into one post. Not only is the A to Z Blogging Challenge just getting started, but I also have the Insecure Writers Support Group that I do on the first Wednesday of the month. Today is A to Z’s letter ‘C’ and ISWG’s monthly post.

As writers we are hit with challenges every time we sit down to write. For me, the challenge comes with writing a multi-scene short story. I tend to get stuck at nearly every new scene which means my writing will slow to a crawl.

When writing a novel it can take me several months to get from one scene to the next. When I write a short story, the problem is the same if I want more than one thing to happen. Unfortunately, my story could take months to write which leads to losing the momentum to writing it.

Did you read yesterday’s story, Beatrix Button’s Clock? I was quite pleased that it only took a couple of hours to write. There is essentially only one scene so I could get it out quickly. I did attempt to add a couple of scenes and every time I did I was bogged down.

If I could use a wish to get through more scenes I would wish for my mind to open up. I would love to have words pour out of my imagination and land on the page and the scenes to grow effortlessly. (For those of you who are writers, there’s no need to comment about how NO scene flows effortlessly. I get it. I know it. But I can dream, right?)

Challenges to write plague all writers whether it is a short story, a novel, poetry, or a letter to Beatrix Button. To rephrase a popular quote by Joshua J. Marine, “Challenges are what makes writing interesting and overcoming them are what makes the story meaningful”.


This post inspired by:

Insecure Writer's Support Group logo

The awesome co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG areJ.H. Moncrieff,Natalie Aguirre,Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken!

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My Favorite POV

I was asked whose point of view do I like to write from; the hero or the villain? I’ve never really considered writing from the villain’s point of view. I am just naturally drawn to the hero more.

WHY?

It is all very selfish. I want to be the hero of my stories so I can live vicariously through the protagonist. What can I say? I’m not 25 years old anymore and the only way I can do all those “kid things” is to do them through words on a page.

I can explore all those “hero things” too by asking questions like, “What goes on in the mind of someone trying to save the world and themselves at the same time?” or, “What happens when a person (the hero) reaches their breaking point?”

Now that I’ve been asked this question I have to attempt something from the villain’s point of view. What would you explore if you could be in the villain’s mind?


This post was inspired by:

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Fundy Blue,Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

It’s a blog hop!!

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Loving Photography

Besides writing, what other creative outlets do I have?

When I was in high school I was going to be the next Van Gogh (without the crazy factor). I dreamed of having a huge studio with massive canvases piled along every wall. In college it was the dream of photography. For twelve years I photographed everything from sunrises to newborns. Those were the days.

Today, so many years later, I am a writer, but I still love to photograph the world around me. Mother nature is the most wondrous place to be and my camera and I enjoy working together.

For today’s post, I am sharing just a few of my photos taken around Colorado.

Loveland Ski Area, Colorado
Loveland Ski Area, Colorado
Kayaks, Selida, Colorado
Kayaks, Selida, Colorado
Ferns, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Fall Leaves, Buena Vista, Colorado
Fall Leaves, Buena Vista, Colorado


Insecure Writer's Support Group logo

Today’s post is inspired by Insecure Writers Support Group.
Every month, they announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt us to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story.

The awesome co-hosts for the February 6 posting of the IWSG are Raimey Gallant,Natalie Aguirre,CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

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Questions About Writing

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Are your ready?

Now there’s a question I always have to scratch my head over, and return that question with another. How exactly does one get ready?  Do you make lists? Throw things away? Clean the house? Wash the roof? I just don’t get it.

As a writer, I get some questions that also make me pull on my beard – well, I would pull on my beard if I had one. Here are a few of the top questions I sometimes don’t have a clear answer for.

“How’s the writing coming?”

Most people, who are not writers, may not understand why this is an odd question for a writer. You will, most likely, get the same answer from everyone. “It’s good.” Then the writer will stare blankly at you figuring out how to use you in their book. You could become a wizard or a side-kick, or (more likely) you’ll be killed in some horrific way.

“What are you working on? Can I read it?”

Well, sure. You can read it in about a year. After I have ripped my beard out. (In reality I don’t have a beard so you’ll be waiting a long time to be able to read a work in progress.)

Who is in your book?

This is another quirky question that I have gotten a few times that could be taken in a couple of ways. They could be asking whether they are in my book and will I kill them off for asking such a quirky question? Or, they are just curious about the characters I’m creating. I usually answer for the latter, but the former does cross my imagination.

Where can I buy your books?

This is one of the hardest questions for me. I, as of this writing, do not have anything in print right now. I wish I could say, “Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Bub, or anywhere books are sold.” Unfortunately, I can’t say that yet.

What I can say is that I am excited about what I have in the works. You have all already heard me talk about The Manx, and I promise to have it done this year. It is near completion and then it needs editing and revising. I also have a fun new project that has me giggling all the way through it. I won’t be saying more at this point, but I hope you will laugh as well.

Seriously

With all joking aside, I actually love to talk about writing and the joy I get from it. I really do want to be asked “How’s the writing?” “What are you working on?” These questions, and more, keep me honest to my craft and to my audience. They remind me that I am a writer.

Thanks for stopping by today…

Keep those questions coming!! Add you own to the comments below.


Today’s post was inspired by:

The awesome co-hosts for the January 2 posting of the IWSG are Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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What’s on Your Desk?

Every month I join with a group of writers to answer a question. These monthly writing questions are a fun way for me to let you into my writing life taking a look at the frustrations, successes, and, sometimes, the everyday.

Today’s question from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is: What are five objects we’d find on your writing desk?

My desk

Sitting at my desk there is a general clutter of a lot of stuff, most of which is paper. Paper is the bane of my life. Worse yet, it’s self-inflicted. I am old school from the days when everything was done on paper. Computers and smart phones were straight out of black and white sci-fi movies, and calculators were owned by the rich. Today, in our paperless society, I still think it’s important to get a paper receipt, solve simple math problems with pencil and paper, and scratch notes on a pad. The process of writing things out helps my creative process and keeps my brain from turning to mush.

What else do I have on my desk? There are usually one or two coffee cups, sometimes three. One cup I am actively drinking from, the second is the cold cup of coffee forgotten from the day before and the third is if I throw in a cup of tea during a late-night writing session.

Reference books are within reach. Which include Roget’s Thesaurus (4th Edition), a very old dictionary, 20,000 Words (yes, that’s a real book that is a simple listing of 20,000 words in alphabetical order), The Phrase Finder, and The Emotional Thesaurus. I have been asked why I don’t just use the reference materials found on the internet? It is, again, that creative process. I find that by using my hands to turn pages, the feel of the paper, and the search in a book is more stimulating than staring at the computer screen. It creates an ebb and flow in my mind that sometimes picks up an idea that would otherwise never find its way to the surface.

Of course, I have a computer on my desk (go figure!). This is my central station for writing. With all of my tools in the physical world, the final steps in creative writing happen on the computer. Inside this electronic notebook sized piece of technology is the entire world. Not only do I keep all my writing here (I do keep backups too), but my business, bills, and grocery lists exist here. I have had computers crash and for a horrifying moment I think I’ve lost everything, but guess what? Yep, you guessed it- I have a paper copy of everything I’m writing.

Hand colored print of my daughter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fifth thing? Well, it’s a group of things. Portraits of my family to be precise. There is a hand-colored photograph of my daughter that I created back when I was a photographer, along with two oil paintings of my son and husband created by my talented sister-in-law, Mary Scrimgeour. My family is my inspiration for life and these pieces of art remind me why I do what I do every day.

What are five objects we’d find in your writing space?

 


This post was inspired by:

Who’s purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the December 5 posting of the IWSG are J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker, Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey!

~~~CHECK OUT ALL THESE GREAT WRITERS ON IWSG~~~

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Traditional or Self Publishing?

It is already September and I haven’t written a post since early August. Last month was beyond busy so this blog was set aside, until now. It is time to turn over a new leaf and begin posting at least once per week. It is a simple goal and I am excited to get started with this post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The question for September?

What publishing path are you considering to take, and why?

Each day I get closer and closer to completing The Manx and I have just started to scratch the surface of how to publish it. There are two ways to go:

  1. Self Publish
  2. Traditionally Publish

Both are beneficial.

Self publishing gives the author the freedom and flexibility to make all of the decisions regarding publication. The author, alone, takes on the role of publisher (and the costs involved) by doing the marketing, setting prices, securing an editor and agent. By doing this the author keeps all the profits – if any – to themselves. There is no publisher who wants a piece of the pie. Yet, all of the work falls on the writer which takes away from the writing itself.

Traditional publishing is, as it sounds, done through traditional process of finding a publisher who will coordinate many aspects of getting your book from your computer to print. The financial responsibility is shifted away from the author, but the publisher collects all profits and shares them with the author through royalty checks. On average an author can expect 10% on a hardcover which increases as sales increase.

Both have benefits. It is up to the individual author to choose which method they want to pursue. For me, I am leaning toward traditional. I know myself. I’m not very good at tooting my own horn so my marketing would fail if I self published. My skin isn’t very thick either and I have a hard time saying ,”No”. A traditional publishing house will, I hope, be strong in the areas I am not resulting in better sales.

Now What?

For now, I will keep writing and working toward the day I type, The End. 

What’s New?

In the mix of working on The Manx, I found the need to write something else. It happens to me on a regular basis. So I started something VERY different for me; a cozy mystery. Murder in Sulfur Gulch  is turning out to be quite fun to write. It is funny, light, and has started to twist and turn. It is slowly turning into a prequel to The Manx so I hope they will organically turn into books #1 and 2. I’ll let you know as I progress.

It’s a Blog Hop!!

As with all posts for IWSG posts this is a blog hop. Check out the other writers who take part in this monthly post.

Click here to start hopping!

This post inspired by:

The awesome co-hosts for the September 5 posting of the IWSG are Toi Thomas,T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!