Writing Mechanics

What is the Story You Want to Read?

How does this author not have more subscribers!?

I’ve never contemplated joining someone’s Patreon, but I’m not going to lie, I think I might join Abbie’s.

I found her information HUGELY helpful and I will definitely be applying her tips to my upcoming NaNoWriMo story. In fact, now I’m thinking instead of posting excerpts from my actual novel, I might post the back story of my main character – sort of like a teaser to her “official” story. I’ve been toying around with this idea for quite some time… maybe it’s time to take that idea off the shelf and dust it off.

I also really like her put a board on Pinterest idea, too. I am DEFINITELY inspired by looking at various faces, locations, etc. and I think that would definitely help me.

Good thing that’s on my NaNoWriMo Bingo card.

She just earned herself a new subscriber. I look forward to watching more of her videos.

Video Summary

Step 1 – Choose your Genre
Step 2 – Find your Theme
Step 3 – Meet your Protagnoist – and his/her baggage
A. Desire (the thing they want + think will make his/her happy)
B. Fear (the thing stopping him/her from going after his/her desire)
C. Misbelief (the thing him/her mistakenly believes is true about the world [exact opposite of your theem])
Step 4 – Describe your vibe – three (or more) words
Step 5 – Pick a location

Bonus Tips
Make an aesthetic board – example Pinterest
Make a playlist
Give it a working title

 

Video Summary

Theme – aka the truth you want to teach your reader

Step 1 – why does your story matter to you?
Step 2 – flip the truth on it’s head and make it a lie
Step 3 – find origin of that misbelief – digging into your protagonist’s past
step 4 – Look for patterns – your protagonist acting on his/her misbelief again and again
A. How does my protagonist cement his/her misbelief as a truth again and again
Step 5 – Tell the truth – crafting protagonist’s “aha moment”

TueSLAY

TueSLAY – September 29th

 

I think I’ve converted Kevin to a people hater. No. Not hater, he has more compassionate and kindness than I do when it comes to our fellow human beings, however, he doesn’t have any patience for people anymore. Surely you can understand. People seem to walk around in a cloud of self-importance anymore. It’s all about ME. But what about ME. You need to make room for ME. Screw YOU. People are sheeple anymore. They don’t think for themselves. They get in line and wait for instructions. For example: when we got back from our Florida trip, we noticed, (not just this time, but ALL the time), how people will flock to one line, thereby making that line longer, when all they had to do was first notice there were other lines to stand in and secondly to actually stand in those lines. It never ceases to amaze me how people are so willing to just be led by the nose instead of grabbing life by the short and curlies and take charge of their lives. Sometimes, I just want to snap my fingers in front of someone’s face and yell, “WAKE UP!” It’s like we’re living in a Matrix, sans red pill option.

 

 

Got my annual flu shot the other day. In my butt. The nurses in our clinic are nice enough to give us our flu shots as opposed to having to go to Employee Health to get them. I went to Employee Health once. ONCE. And vowed never to go again. This was shortly after the hospital made it mandatory that we get a flu vaccination every year or we weren’t allowed to work. I was furious. I am still furious. But I get why they make it mandatory, we work in a hospital. And I have a choice, it’s not a very good choice but I have the choice of quitting and getting a job elsewhere. But I don’t have to like it. I DON’T LIKE IT. I don’t like when someone takes my choice away, for any reason. But again, I get it. Anyway. The year I got my flu vaccination through employee health I was sitting down and the girl who gave me the shot was standing up. DON’T EVER DO THAT. You must both be standing or both be sitting. The angle of the needle is off if one of you is sitting and the other one is standing. My arm ached for nearly a year and by the time it stopped, it was time to get another injection.

I bitched to my co-workers about it and that was enough to start the conversation so that they started giving us the vaccinations. And then we joked, “why don’t get them in the butt” and they all said, “why not?” And the butt injection was born. I have had ZERO issues since getting the injections in my butt. I have so much padding there, why not? Yes. I have to bare my butt to a co-worker but whatever. It’s a butt cheek. Big deal. So. I’m good for another year for that. But I do wonder what’s going to happen when the COVID vaccine comes out. Will we be one of the first groups to be forced to get it? I’m thinking … probably. And I don’t want to be one of the first groups to get it. The first group of people who got the polio vaccine actually contracted polio – not that COVID is worse than polio, it’s not, but still. And I wonder – are we going to be able to do anything, participate in anything, if we DON’T get the vaccine?

“You can’t go on a cruise unless you can prove you’ve had the COVID vaccine.” Or, “you can’t go grocery shopping unless you can prove you’ve had the vaccine.” Sound crazy? Look around you – we are living crazy right now. Mark my words. That’s coming, folks.

 

 

A co-worker, well a distant co-worker, meaning I’ve never worked with the guy but he worked for the same clinic as I do just in a different department, put his notice in to help his wife with her blog. Which is highly successful and making a lot of money, apparently. Well, not apparently, it is, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to afford to quit his job and help her. I looked up the blog, it’s about healthy eating and has tons of recipes on it. Not exactly my cup of tea but apparently she has found her audience and good for her success. I would link the blog but I don’t want them to see my link because I already feel like too many people in my real life know about this blog as it is, I’d rather not advertise it further. But that got me to thinking about this blog and kicked my butt into gear to start doing something with it again. I need to stop being so lazy and just DO IT. God knows I’m not getting any younger, what exactly am I waiting for?

I wish I could say I had a niche to massage, water and watch grow on this blog, but let’s face it, I don’t. I enjoy writing about whatever my pea brain is interested in at that time and who knows if anyone really reads it, let alone enjoys it, but honestly, that’s not why I do what I do – I write on this blog because it’s fun for me and I would like to leave a big of me behind after I die.

I have no idea where this blog is going but I’m excited to see where it leads me and I hope you’ll stick around and experience the changes with me. And if I ever start losing motivation, I’ll just go back to that blog and dream bigger and better

 

A nurse, who works on the COVID unit at the hospital where I work, posted an impassioned letter to us via our Intranet. It was a great letter because  you couldn’t help but be emotionally triggered reading it. It talked about the frustration and the determination her, and her fellow team, put forth to treat patients with COVID. And then the letter takes a bitter turn toward the end basically chastising COVID naysayers. So what if the COVID patients have comorbidities, does it really matter if/when they die? Would it matter to you if your loved one was one of the ones in the hospital struggling to breathe? Or for that matter, dies?  My parents are in the danger zone – they are both in their 70’s. It would pain me greatly if they caught the disease. My mom would most likely be okay, she’s pretty healthy and doesn’t have any under lying health issues, but my dad has diabetes. Though I’m pretty sure he has it under control, I’m sure that would be a factor if he ever contracted the disease. She has a point and she’s right. It’s easy to be self righteous and downplay the virus when it’s not directly affecting us or our families. And death, no matter the cause, should NEVER be celebrated or encouraged *cough-riots-cough*, however, she’s missing the point. Once again, we are calling on emotion and not on facts when dealing with this pandemic.

When we, and yes, I lump myself into this category because I REFUSE to get sucked down the emotional vortex of irrational panic, bring up the fact that people with comorbidities that happen to contract COVID are recorded as dying from COVID, it’s disingenuous. In order to get an accurate grasp of this disease we must first look at the FACTS. Emotions and knee-jerk reactions have no place for this analysis – leave it at the door. Agendas aside, just how dangerous is this disease?

So yes. Being accurate is important. Because allowing ourselves to run on emotion incites fear, misinformation and ultimately, unwise, and unnecessary, precautions and decisions.

So, back to the above letter from the nurse. What she is experiencing and witnesses is terrible. I can’t imagine having to deal with that … but then again, that’s why I didn’t go to nursing school. I didn’t want to experience that. And though terrible, and I feel for the loved ones of the individuals that are experiencing these terrible things, it’s no more horrible than witnessing someone suffering from pneumonia, influenza, COPD, or any-other breathing-related issues. I am in no way minimizing her story, however, let’s keep our heads about us and look at this objectively: death, in all forms, is terrible and horrific. But life is full of risks and all we can do is try and live as healthy, and as safely as we can. But life can not, and should not, stop altogether.

Podcast

Podcast: What Happened to Truth?

 

Episode description:

What is truth? And why isn’t anyone interested in learning the truth anymore? Facts, schmacts, no one cares to learn the whole story. It’s all about reacting to select information being released at any given point. Fact. There are two sides to a story. Fact. The media do not care about you, nor the truth, they only care about selling a sensationalized headline that will hook you in and provoke your emotions. We are unwilling, (or willing?), participants in a dangerous game created to cause civil unrest. Are you playing along?

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Take us on the go! You can hear our podcasts on the following platforms:

Anchor.fm

Spotify

Overcast

PodBean

Google Podcasts

Breaker

RSS Feed

We upload a new podcast every Sunday. Thanks for listening!

Preptober

Preptober Exists – Did You Know?

Geez louise, I am truly OUT of the writing community, ya’ll.

First of all, NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, is an annual writing challenge to write 50,000 words during the month of November, for those of you that may not have been aware of it’s existence. (NaNoWriMo also offers Camp NaNoWriMo every April and July, which I haven’t done … yet. The camps are more laid back as far as “requirements.” They are just another tool to add to your writing toolbox to try and motivate you to write).

Here’s a good article to read if you’re waffling on whether or not to participate in NaNoWriMo.

Preptober is a term someone clever came up with to prep for NaNoWriMo during the month of October.

I only heard about this THIS WEEK. Again, I’ve been out of the loop.

But I was instantly intrigued, and the more I looked into it, the more excited I became to participate in it. Or at least, my version of it.

So let’s see if I can muddle through this – care to join me?

First of all, you don’t have to participate in NaNoWriMo if you don’t want to. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. But let’s face it, writing is lonely. And I personally need something to motivate me to write, whether it’s this blog, or my bullet journal because I’ve had a bad day and I need to VENT and PURGE my thoughts and feelings because doing so in real life could cost me dearly. *ahem*

You could prep … any month you chose to.  You are the king, or queen, of your castle. There are no rules.

But I thought I would share what I found with you because it sounds fun and I would like to try it. I can’t promise I’ll stick to it or even finish it, but for now, it sounds fun and I’d like to try it.

After all, I thought bullet journaling sounded like a waste of time when I first heard about it but look at me almost a year later and I’m still going strong. Who knew!

First things first, what project do you want to work on?

  • Novel
  • Short story
  • Poetry
  • Non-fiction
  • Autobiographical
  • True Crime
  • Blogging
  • Other

Whatever you write, whether you’re published or not, YOU’RE A WRITER. If you can put words to paper and make them coherent and/or interesting, then you’re a writer. There are no requirements to this challenge, if you want to write and you’re up to a challenge, then you’re in.

You don’t have to be writing a novel to participate in this challenge. Maybe you want to write several blog posts. Or poems. Or your life story. Or short stories. (I did that one one year for NaNoWriMo). Whatever writing project you want to do, you can participate in NaNoWriMo. It’s not about writing a novel, it’s about writing in general. It’s about pushing yourself to do the thing you’ve always said you wanted to do. It’s about unleashing your creativity and shutting down your inner critic. Your inner critic can be released at the end of the challenge. For now, it’s just you and your imagination. This challenge gives your creativity permission to be run naked and wild through the sunflowers.

(Figuratively speaking, of course).

Secondly, when you plan your writing, do you want to use:

  • The Synopsis Outline (a one/two page summary of your story)
  • The In-Depth Outline (the detailed outline that most of us [or me] run from)
  • The Snowflake Method (you expand your story, little-by-little)
  • The Bookend Method (figure out the beginning and the end and free-write the middle)
  • By the Seat of your Pants or Pantsing (little to no planning – you just start writing)
  • The Headlight Method (plan, write to the end of the plan, see where it goes, plan, write …etc)

I’m sure there are other ways, but these are the most common.

It’s important to know how you plan on writing before you actually write. For me personally, I love the pantsing method. I love to see where my characters take me. And they often take me to surprising places. It’s fun and I thoroughly enjoy it.

However ….

I inevitably get to a point in the story where I have no idea where it’s going, how it’s going to end and does it even make sense at this point? I then get frustrated/discouraged and just chock the whole project. This is why I love short stories because I can write to the point where I get stuck and then, well, it’s a short story, it’s SUPPOSED to end, right??

I’d like to flex my writing muscles a bit this go around. I want to combine both the bookend method and the headlight methods. I want a start, a general ending, and then loosely plan the chapters, allowing my characters to take me somewhere, but at the same time, put up road signs for them to follow along the way. I could write a full outline but ZzZzZzzz .. it sounds so boring. But then again, I said I would NEVER outline, in any form, a mere ten years (minutes?) ago, so, don’t hold me to that.

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s get to the Preptober stuff.

I’ve participated quite a few times in NaNoWriMo over the years, I’ve won a few years. But I never plan ahead and by the time the proverbial gun goes off at the starting line, I’m left in the dust blinking in confusion. Where to start? So. In an attempt to avoid that feeling, I want to actually be as prepared as I can be this go around.

Hence, Preptober.

Because I’m a big child at heart, I like to make things fun. So when I found this Preptober Bingo placard, I couldn’t resist to share it with you guys.

You can find more fun cards at Ink and Times. (I put the free space on there. I figured, free space equals one day off to decompress). The site even offers ideas on what to put on your Bingo card. For example here are the ones that caught my attention from the site and from this site that I think will work for me:

  • Update NaNoWriMo Account
  • Logline and Tagline
  • Brainstorm Your Plot
  • Brainstorm Your Subplot(s)
  • Bookend Beginning
  • Bookend Ending
  • Get To Know Main Character(s)
  • Get To Know Supporting Character(s)
  • Get To Know Villain(s)
  • Get To Know Setting(s)
  • Find Location Inspiration
  • Find Character Inspiration
  • Create Inspiration Board
  • Write A Synopsis
  • Creating A Writing Playlist
  • Research Important Need To Know Facts (1)
  • Research Important Need To Know Facts (2)
  • Find Writing Groups
  • Preptober Workbook

I want to work toward some sort of reward, and I will DEFINITELY reward myself if (WHEN) I win NaNoWriMo, but for now, it feels weird to reward myself for prepping. (Yay! Good job, Karen! You prepared for your challenge!) Uh … no.

But, I thought it would be fun to make prepping for NaNoWriMo more fun. Feel free to copy this for yourself, if you like.

In my (extensive) research on Preptober, I stumbled across this fun workbook at An Aspiring Heroine. It’s free and I like it so far. (Thanks for all your hard work, Tyler!) I don’t know if I’ll follow it each day, but I allowed myself plenty of time on my Bingo card to play around with it.

Here are some more helpful resources in planning for NaNoWriMo.

Helping Writers Become Authors has a good section on how to outline for NaNoWriMo.

Jenna Moreci has some fun advice on outlining:

and

I’d like to try the whiteboard/sticky method that you see in her videos as I think visually seeing my outline might help, too. We’ll see. (SEE what I did there?)

And yet another fun way to motivate you to reach your word count, 4thewords. It’s an online game where you destroy monsters every time you reach a writing goal. Here’s a video walkthrough:

I signed up for it. Who knows if I’ll use it, but again, just a fun way to get the words down.

I plan on using the SmartEdit program as my writing software of choice. I’ve been liking it so far and best part – IT’S FREE.

If you Google Preptober and/or use the #preptober hashtag on Twitter, you will stumble across many more resources – the ideas are endless. These are the rabbit holes I tend to get sucked into (hence the reason I gave myself two research days because I loves me some research, ya’ll!) and if reading over these ideas and resources doesn’t inspire you then … I’ve got nothing else.

I’ll try and remember to update you on my Bingo card throughout the month of October. I’d like to post excerpts from my NaNoWriMo project in November, too.

Oh, and I’ll be putting a NaNoWriMo Bingo card together as well.

I think my biggest challenge won’t be the writing part – I can write/type fast and make my characters do/say all sorts of stupid things, no, I think my biggest challenge is going to have the energy to actually write. Working 40 hours, making time for family, holidays, and you know, SLEEPING, and then finding the energy and time to actually write something …. that’s going to be hard. The few years I won NaNoWriMo I wasn’t working so …. that should tell you something.

And I’m sure I won’t have time to regularly post on my blog during November, but let’s be honest, ya’ll are used to that, so that won’t be a change.

Anyway. I hope this information was helpful and that I’ve given you some places to check out and poked your writing beast.

By the way, my Wrimo username is Take2max if you want to look me up on the NaNoWriMo site and friend me. I even made a writing group on the NaNoWriMo site called Write Away if you want to chat.

Thanks for hanging out with me!

Politics

Analyzing Racism – What is Happening?

“Police officers have become the targets of violent activists who are seeking to upend America as we know it. Heather Mac Donald, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The War on Cops, is in the studio this week to break down the myths behind “systemic racism” and “police brutality.”

By the way, I have a serious girl crush on Candace Owens. Just sayin’.

We HAVE to stop this violence. We HAVE to stop this narrative that is tearing our country apart. There is talk of another Civil War. And for what? Do YOU even know the whole story? Take a listen and decide for yourself. There is ALWAYS two sides to a story. Always.

Fiction Fix

Fiction Fix Friday: Vindicated

September 25th: You toss your phone into a public garbage can.  


Victoria casually tossed her cell phone into a passing dumpster.

The resounding clatter echoed off the brick walls on either side of the alley.

She paused, turned around, and strode the few steps back to the dumpster. She carefully popped out her blue-colored contact lenses and flicked them into the garbage as well. She impatiently wiped an errant tear off her cheek left behind by the irritant lens. She wiped the reddish-brown lipstick off her lips with disgust as she continued to walk toward the street.

She stepped into the circle of light cast by a street lamp when a car came to a screeching halt in front of her.

She smirked and grabbed the handle.

“You’re late,” she spat as she slammed the door closed.

“So, it’s done?” Her driver asked.

Victoria reached up and carefully peeled off the auburn wig. She paused a moment to comb her fingers through her short, black, spiky hair.

“It’s done.” she replied, her voice emotionless.

“How do you feel?”

“Vindicated,” she barked. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”


Three hours earlier …..

“Allison! Hey Allison!”

She twisted around to see who was stupid enough to call her by her real name here, of all places.

The person swept past her and gathered a middle-aged woman with bleach-blonde hair into a hug.

“Who was that?” her fiance asked beside her.

She turned back to give Jacob a sweet smile. “I have no idea.”

“You turned around like you knew him.”

She swallowed and lifted her head confidently. “We’re at our engagement party. Don’t we pretty much know everyone?”

She wanted to smash his cocky grin with her knuckles.

Jacob laughed and slipped an arm around her waist. “Of course. Though I’ll be honest. I don’t know half of these people.”

“It’s because half of these people come from my world,” she said while trying to keep her voice from betraying how annoyed she was with him.

Just one more hour, she thought to herself.

“So. When is this thing over with? I’m anxious to get you to myself,” he said while nuzzling her neck.

“Hey now. You two will have the rest of your lives to do that. I want to dance with my future daughter-in-law!”

“Dad,” Jacob ground out between clenched teeth. “You’ve had too much to drink. The band is not even …”

The band picked that precise moment to start their next set.

Jacob’s father laughed while tugging on Victoria’s hand. “Let’s go, kiddo. Let’s show them how it’s done.”

Victoria allowed herself to be pulled out onto the dance floor while shooting Jacob an apologetic smile over her shoulder.

She didn’t exactly like Jacob’s father, but she could have hugged him at that moment for getting her out of that public display of nauseating affection.

“You know, Jacob can be a dick sometimes.”

She sputtered a laugh in surprise, though she definitely wasn’t planning on disputing him on that fact.

“But he means well. He really does have a heart of gold. And I can tell he’s hopelessly in love with you. You’re good for him, Victoria.”

She squashed the white hot thread of anger that wrapped itself around her throat and forced a smile. “Thanks Ralph. We all have our moments.”

“Not you,” he said with a smile while twirling her around the dance floor and grinning like a fool to those they passed. “You are smart, beautiful, even tempered and the perfect complement to Jacob’s hot temper.”

“Well thank you, Ralph. I appreciate you saying that.”

“Call me dad. After all, we’ll be family in one more week!”

“Okay dad, you’ve hogged my future wife long enough, my turn!” Jacob cut in and virtually yanked her out of his father’s grasp.

She slammed into Jacob’s chest and let out a puff of air. She felt a headache coming on and she suddenly wanted to be any where but there. She just wanted it to be over.

“Jacob,” she forced a soft tone of voice, “I need to sit down for a bit. Why don’t you mingle?”

He nuzzled her neck and she had to swallow a lump of disgust at the smell of his sour sweat.

“Sure. We have the rest of our lives to dance,” he chuckled before slapping her ass and strutting over to his group of friends.

She fought the urge to roll her eyes and walked over to the open bar. “Whiskey sour,” she said. She checked her watch. Twenty minutes. She turned to look over the room at the pretentious assholes she had no intention of ever seeing again. She watched Jacob punch one of his friends in the chest, hard, and laugh at his buddy’s red face. So infantile. She watched Jacob’s parents hobnob with their snobby friends. She watched a group of stuck up teenagers try and act cool. And she watched the elders gesture and turn up their noses while spewing heated opinions about current events.

“What a bunch of losers.”

She heard laughter behind her and stiffened.

“Here’s your drink, miss.” The bartender handed over her drink. “That’s sort of harsh to say about your future family, isn’t it?”

She studied him over her glass. “Where does it say I have to like the family I’m marrying into?”

He laughed again and shrugged. “I guess you have a point there. I can’t stand my girlfriend’s parents. Is your family here tonight?”

She shook her head. “No. They couldn’t make it. But they will be here for the wedding next week.” She took a large swallow of liquor, effectively swallowing the huge lie. “Excuse me,” she said. He nodded and turned to help a young girl who couldn’t have been more than seventeen.

“Open bar, right?” The girl giggled while twisting a curl around a finger.

“Uh,” the bartender looked across the room hoping for an adult to intervene.

Victoria walked off with a smirk.

She reached their table and sat down, She kicked off her high heels, pulled her purse over to her then reached inside and tugged out her phone.

I’m in hell. Shoot me.” She text. She took another large swallow of liquor and welcomed the sting as it traveled down her esophagus. She watched Jacob grab one of his buddies, put him in a headlock and give him a noogie. “Idiot,” she muttered under her breath.

Her phone dinged. Continue reading “Fiction Fix Friday: Vindicated”

Can We Talk?

September 24th Thursday Thought

Today’s questions are …

What does it mean to live a good life?

To me, living a good life means being kind to people. To be satisfied with my life choices and if I’m not satisfied, then changing things in my life to MAKE it satisfying. Living a good life means being comfortable in my skin. To finally be happy with who and what I am. And to also be satisfied with my physical appearance. We are all uniquely different and that makes us uniquely special. It takes a long time to acknowledge and accept that fact and sadly, some people never accept that, but once you have made peace with yourself, it’s easier to make peace with other people. Living a good life means being patient and empathetic to others. Everyone has their own problems, their own history, which in turn shapes who they are as people. Recognizing and accepting that goes a long way to understanding, and tolerating, people around you. Living a good life means having faith in something bigger than yourself. To have hope. To have dreams. To accomplish goals. To HAVE goals. Living a good life is working hard, saving most of what you make and spending wisely leaving plenty left over to enjoy in your twilight years. Living a good life means being responsible for one’s actions, to thinking before acting. Living a good life means searching for, and finding, YOUR happiness, however that looks for you personally.

Why do we dream?

My explanation is: it’s your subconscious trying to get your attention. However, a better explanation comes from Psychology Today:

  • A component and form of memory processing, aiding in the consolidation of learning and short-term memory to long-term memory storage.
  • An extension of waking consciousness, reflecting the experiences of waking life.
  • A means by which the mind works through difficult, complicated, unsettling thoughts, emotions, and experiences, to achieve psychological and emotional balance.
  • The brain responding to biochemical changes and electrical impulses that occur during sleep.
  • A form of consciousness that unites past, present and future in processing information from the first two, and preparing for the third.
  • A protective act by the brain to prepare itself to face threats, dangers, and challenges

I know it’s fun to discuss, and try to interpret, Kevin’s dreams. He has some doozies. ha!

Where does your self-worth come from?

Most likely from your family. Your parents are an integral part of shaping who you are. If your family doesn’t have good morals, compassion, empathy, kindness and ethics, chances are, you won’t either. Hence the reason the nuclear family is SO IMPORTANT. I think surrounding one’s self with positive and uplifting people feeds a healthy self-worth. Unfortunately, many people do not recognize toxic people until their self-worth has been chipped away to virtually nothing. If do not feel good after spending time with someone, then it’s time to cut that person out of your life and move on to people who motivate and offer honest, positive feedback. It’s also important to recognize one’s own flaws and to actively work on correcting those flaws. Why are you impatient? Why do you lose your temper so easily? Why does it matter to you so much that someone like you? Why do you need praise? Why are you a perfectionist? Once you have those honest conversations with yourself, then you are in a better place to be honest to those around you.

Here is an excellent comment on a thread about self-worth:

“Self-worth is something that you can never derive from external surroundings, it is something you derive from within. It does not have any measuring scale. It is a position which one holds for oneself. Self-worth is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding, self-love, and self-acceptance. Self-worth is steady and unflinching, and therefore, holds power to radically transform your life for the better.

Having a high degree of self-worth means feeling worthy of good things. It means feeling deserving of happiness, health, wealth, success, and love — irrespective of the difficulties you face, the disappointments you experience, or of people’s opinions.”

Writing Mechanics

How To Solve Writing a Mystery

A bug bit me.

And I’m not mad about it.

Have you noticed I’ve been blogging more? I think I’ve blogged more this past month than I have in the past two years.

I’m blogging more because I’m exercising my writing muscles. I want to start writing more fiction and to do that, I need to write SOMETHING.

I’ve been wanting to write a mystery. I love mysteries and have been really enjoying the mysteries I’ve been reading lately. (Pst – follow me on Goodreads). But the question is, how the HECK do I write a mystery?

I mean, I can WRITE the story, but how do I structure it? How do I write a story that the reader doesn’t see through in the first ten pages?

I’ve been watching a lot of writing vlogs lately. This one from Alexa Donne caught my eye.

Video summary:

1. What is a (bonkers) reason for someone to kill someone?
A. Motivation / Reason

2. Come up with alternates / additional reasons for someone to kill your victim
A. Red herrings / Misdirects

3. Third-Act / Climax (about 70/80% into the story)

4. Brainstorm of good victims – archetypes – list characters around the archetype

5. Who is the killer?

6. Who is the main character?
A. Outsider or an Expert

7. Construct the setting

8. How to approach law enforcement involvement
A. Local cops vs. FBI
B. How does legal authority play in your story?

9. How is the body discovered?

10. How does your main character get involved / find the body?

I have to say, this is helpful information. I’m a pantser, meaning, I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline. However, I’m working on changing that because though I can furiously write a story and it’s thrilling to see where it takes me, I inevitably get stuck, then frustrated, then disgusted and I end up tossing my story. I want a more hybrid approach. Where I’m outlining to a point, but then giving myself the freedom to see where it takes me. I think they call it the headlight method.

“Writing by your headlights simply means that you plan the first part of your story then write it. When you get that section written, you’ll be able to see what happens next and can plot out the next few scenes or chapters.”

Learning about the art of writing motivates me!

TueSLAY

TueSLAY – September 22nd

Listened to an excerpt on the Glenn Beck radio show (I know – I rarely listen to Glenn because he’s just so DRAMATIC) and he had a gym owner from San Francisco on his radio show. She was expressing her outrage over the fact that San Francisco is STILL shut down, save for government jobs and out door restaurants. She said her gym had been closed down for SIX MONTHS and how she owed her landlord tens of thousands of dollars in rent. It’s California ya’ll – everything in California is expensive. I can’t imagine trying to run a business. Her voice was wobbly, she could barely get her words out with tossing around a curse word here and there. She was upset. She talked about finding out state-funded gyms were not only open, but had been open since JULY. She talked about how she spent the money to make her gym extend outside just so she would be allowed to have some money coming in. She hated having to do that given that San Franciscoians have to step shit in the streets and how the air quality if poor from so much smog. But she didn’t have a choice – either do that or shut down completely. She found out the state-funded gyms were open from a police officer friend of hers. She approached him one day and asked him where he was working out. And that’s when she found out. She was furious! She went to a lawyer friend of hers to see if she had any legal recourse. She then admitted, and to me, this was the most telling part of the interview, that she hadn’t really paid attention to politics up to that point, but she would from now on. Now, San Francisco just announced that hair salons and gyms would be allowed to re-open on Monday. I”m sure some of this stemmed from Nancy Pelosi forcing a hair salon to open up so she could get her hair done. Screw the rest of you little people.

People. WE HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHO IS GETTING VOTED INTO OFFICE. These people are counting on you NOT to pay attention so they can do whatever they please and we, as sheeple, just bleat and meekly go along to get along. This. Has. Got. To. Stop.

Have any of you listened/watched Kayleigh McEnany, President Trump’s, press secretary, speak? SHE’S FIERCE. I have a girl crush. She is absolutely killing the press conferences. It’s so obvious that the reporters are trying their hardest to get her to slip up, or to push an agenda, or try and make Trump look bad, that I almost feel sorry for them when Kayleigh comes back with scathing comebacks. She is always prepared. She always carries a notebook full of things she’s predicting the media will ask her, and when she starts flipping through her notebook and prepares her comeback, it’s one of the most satisfying things I’ve seen in a very long time. And it’s so blatantly obvious the media has no interest in telling the truth, in getting the truth, or publishing the truth. They are so fixated on making the “Orange” man look bad that they don’t even ask the important questions. Like, why the Democrat governors and mayors refuse, REFUSE, to ask for help to run out the domestic terrorists, aka Black Lives Matters, out of their cities. Did you know that the riots in Portland have been going on for OVER 100 days? I feel sorry for the regular people in Portland who just want to go about their lives but can’t because their government is more concerned about their hatred for Donald Trump than they are for the safety of their constituents. Wow.

By the way, the man in the above video, Brandon Tatum, is a conservative YouTuber who I’ve been a bit obsessed with lately. It’s SO REFRESHING to see African Americans finally speaking out against the abuse against them from the Democrats. Black Americans have been hoodwinked for decades and it’s time to wake up and follow a team who will actually help them. Anyway, Brandon started “The Tatum Report” largely in response to the fact that The Drudge Report has started leaning to the left and no longer links to articles about the TRUTH. If you’re interested in reading stories about what REALLY happened, stories that you won’t hear/see/read on main stream media, this is the website for you.

I woke up to this today:

Not bad after 30 years of marriage!

I put one scoop, ONE SCOOP, of caffeinated coffee in my coffee maker the other day, along with two scoops of de-caffeinated coffee, and I had heart palpitations for most of the night. COME ON, NOW! It annoys me to no end that my heart can’t handle caffeine anymore. I really miss the days of drinking energy drinks and then a thermos full of coffee – I got so much done! I was so focused!

But let’s be honest, that’s probably the biggest reason why I have heart palpitations now – because I used to drink energy drinks and a thermos full of coffee every day.

*sigh*

I’m still fasting. I fast every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. I stop eating at 6:00 the night before and then I will eat a small dinner at 6:00 the next night. I try and avoid breads as much as I can and stick to more protein. I’ve also been drinking V8 juice, which isn’t my favorite but it does make me feel better. In fact, I convinced Brandon to start doing the same. I worry about his health as he hates fruits and vegetables. But he says he’s been drinking V8 juice and eating Welch’s fruit gummies, which isn’t ideal, but better than nothing, I suppose. Have I lost weight? Well, my clothes are definitely looser and I’ve lost about twenty pounds, but I seem to have hit a wall. I could amp my fasting up a bit but honestly, I don’t want to. My goal was to always get to a stage where I feel comfortable in my skin and I do. I have been using the treadmill more but I have to be careful with how much I do that because it makes my hunger pangs FIERCE, so I tend to space my walking sessions out a bit more. When I do walk, I carry hand weights, too, so that I can build a little muscle. I worry about osteoporosis because I work with a doctor that addresses that, has models to show patients and it when you have osteoporosis, your bones literally look like swiss cheese. No thank you. I have no idea when I will stop fasting. It’s become a fact of life now and I’m used to it. It has definitely re-wired my brain when it comes to eating when I’m hungry or eating when I’m bored. Most of the time, I’m truly not hungry so I don’t eat. Even on feeding days. Though I COULD eat, if I’m not hungry for breakfast, then I don’t eat breakfast. Now, that’s not to say that there are days I’m so ravenous I would push a 90-year old lady over to get to some food, but those days don’t happen very often. (And for the record, I wouldn’t actually push a 90-year old lady over, though I would be tempted. ha!)

Baby is no longer in the corner. Kevin and I realized the other day that we have a bedroom that we never use. Blake’s old bedroom. So I talked him into painting it a pretty mint green, hung some white curtains up, ordered a corner desk and chair, and shelf from Amazon and I now have a new office!!

The white curtains were free (thank you Tiffany!) and I’m thinking of taking them to get them altered so the length comes to just under the window and not onto the floor. The boxes on the shelves are my bullet journal supplies. I used to have them in the Merry Christmas box on the top shelf but I quickly outgrew it. The white box on the shelf has my eyeglass cleaner and is a space for other stuff is that currently cluttering up my desk. But I LOVE having my own space and I’m hoping it will motivate me to actually start writing. (*snort* How many times have you heard THAT one??)

That’s all for now. Time to go SLAY the rest of the week!

Podcast

Podcast: Ethical Questions Answered

 

Episode description:

How would you respond? Join us as we ask each other ethical questions. We like to challenge ourselves to look at all sides of the issue as one answer really doesn’t answer all.

Example: You’re getting married and you receive a present in the mail from your favorite uncle. He lives abroad and always sends one-of-a-kind gifts. When you open the present, it’s broken. Do you tell your uncle?

Tune in to weigh in on this question and more!