Finding Your Writing Space

The ideal place to write is different for everyone. For some it is Starbucks during the midmorning rush, others enjoy long summer days with a notebook in a park, and some want the dark of night and a typewriter. The truth is you don’t need a special place, you need a functional place. If there is a way to get words on to paper, you are in a writing space. But it may not be your writing space.
When you have the option, creating your writing space helps short circuit your brain. When you sit down, you are focused, prepared, and able to delve into your writing.

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Towers of Terror: The Lord of the Rings

I do not enjoy being manipulated. When a piece of literature goes down a list checking off trigger points to cause me to do something specific, like cry, I get irritated. You know when it is happening and the feeling is tainted. It tells me the author’s focus was not on telling the best story he could, but on eliciting responses from the reader like a lab rat. One of the best things about long books is they have time to build gently, to work on their characters and show natural progress. The Lord of the Rings is a well written story, it makes me feel deeply, but it earns it.  Continue reading “Towers of Terror: The Lord of the Rings”

10 Books for Young Adults

Young Adults are interesting people. I’ve taught them; I’ve been one (the horror!). One of the saddest thing in the literary world is the way we tend to write down to children and then to teens. For children, it comes across as condescending; for young adults, it is insulting. For the most part, they want answers to their questions.
Here are ten books that are constructive and exciting reads. They deal with hard topics and don’t shy away from the truth about death, abuse, war, racism, faith, and love. They handle these things exceptionally well, beautifully, even. They will leave the reader thinking and growing, but also driving for the next page. These are good books, important to read and understand.
Warning: None of these books contain an illicit love affair or love triangle that adds nothing to the story, gives poor expectations of romance, and tantalizes with it’s dehumanization of characters.

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Why Spellcheck is Hurting Your Writing

Using spell check is one of the most convenient things in our world. As a self proclaimed grammar nazi and a fastidious wordsmith, the right word at the right time is vital, but I have never worried too much about spelling. It was always something I did mostly right. When I didn’t, there was a safety net.
That is, until I got a typewriter.

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Coming Soon: July Challenges

For the last month it has been quiet here, but I have been busy. Besides end of year marks, moving, and generally being pregnant, I have prepped three big challenges and a ream of new posts and printables. The summer season is a great time to think about trying something new. Every new day is the start of a new year. We aren’t limited by Mondays, New Year’s Resolutions, or even starting fresh tomorrow. Often, the most important thing is that we just start somewhere.

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My Story: How I Made Time for Books

There are sixty seconds in a minute. According to some law, the quantity of things we have to do will adjust to fit the time we have to do it.  My old piano teacher always said, “You will never find time. You must make time.”  I have been making time to read and write since I was seven. It is a struggle to preserve and value the habits through life’s many stages.  The battle for it came out again when we had our first baby a month before I was starting my first year of teaching, but stories are vital for me. So we found a way.  Whatever your goals are, you can go for them.

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Bookstore Review: Indy Reads Books

As we were driving up to this little gem, my husband was complaining about my GPS. It took us off the highway a couple exits early, directed us through construction and a warehouse district, before squeezing us down a back alley, and delivering us at the perfectly passable main road. My GPS has always been that way. It tried to take me to Lebanon of Middle Eastern origins when I was two miles away from Lebanon, Indiana. I started to wonder if we were being hoodwinked again when we pulled into the parking lot.

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5 Ways to Make Time To Read More

     Whether it is starting a habit you have always wanted or increasing the quality of the one you have, there are several ways to start strong. Reading is something you can do in post offices, bathrooms, and at particularly boring parties after raiding the snacks. It has less to do with creating a space for it in your home, like you would for studying, and more to do with seeing the time you have in a different way.

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You, Me, and…

We were studying for finals, or singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs, which is just part of the process if you think about it. I was probably showing off my superb ability to match both Aladdin’s and Jasmine’s voices in A Whole New World. Super cool.

Then we heard a scream. We live in mountain lion country, so our first thought was that one was in the house. So I did the most logical thing and charged down the hallway into the living room. You were close behind me, thinking I had lost my mind. I may have been going for the shotgun in retrospect, but some recollections are fuzzy. Continue reading “You, Me, and…”