What’s Your Creative Writing Style? Tips for Developing Your Voice | Writing Forward

I have been working on creating my writing style… here are some great tips to help! 😀

 

Develop a distinct and recognizable writing style by examining your voice.

Source: What’s Your Creative Writing Style? Tips for Developing Your Voice | Writing Forward

What Makes Iconic Characters Unforgettable? | Writing Forward

Here is some great information about creating iconic characters:

You know these iconic characters: Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and many more. What makes them so unforgettable?

Source: What Makes Iconic Characters Unforgettable? | Writing Forward

My Debut Novel: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling-It all begins here… Chapter One.

Look at what our Ronovan, from “Ronovan Writes” has been up to! P.S. This book sounds amazing! Pirates, history, battles, rum, and …

Author Ronovan Hester

Coming February of 2016 is my debut novel, a historical adventure written with award winning author PS Bartlett, titled Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, a prequel to her Ivory Shepard series of books. Through this novel you discover the beginnings of the beginnings. And how Gabriel Wallace is involved with the gentleman pirate who devotes his life to freeing the women kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery.

Here I give you the novel’s first chapter, with a taste of who and what is involved and a way to know in advance the book’s pace and the beginning of Gabriel’s Fall.

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling

Chapter One

“Gabriel, there’s trouble brewing upstairs,” Miles Jacobs said, taking an empty chair at the corner table of the tavern. When I observed my Lieutenant’s set jaw and clenched teeth, I immediately appreciated the seriousness of his words. My eyes followed his to the steps at the opposite end of…

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Silver’s Book Reviews – “Prairie Moths – Memories of a Farmer’s Daughter,” by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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  • Title:  Prairie Moths – Memories of a Farmer’s Daughter
  • Author: Judy Dykstra-Brown
  • File Size: 2447 KB
  • Print Length: 50 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Judy Dykstra-Brown
  • Publication Date: June 13, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KZBJUGY
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Genres: Biographies, Memoirs, Literature, Poetry

Prairie Moths Memories of a Farmer's Daughter

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, which follows*

Step back into time and travel on the dusty-white gossamer wings of prairie moths into the childhood memories of Judy Dykstra-Brown where she grew up on the South Dakota plains. Her dramatic prose and photos will sweep you into her sometimes stark rural life as she lived it in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This was a kinder and gentler time when parents told stories to their children of gray wolves and the perils of being lost in a snowstorm, all the while sparking their young imaginations with their storytelling. Like any child, Judy longed to be free of her home place and to strike out on her own not realizing at the time how amazing her young life truly was.

Recommendation:

As a child, I spent many summers visiting my grandparents in Central Kansas. I was immediately transported back to that time and could literally hear the sounds of the prairie grasses rustling beneath my feet as I read the hauntingly beautiful words of Judy Dykstra-Brown. Her writing style is pure poetry, with verses that flow from her memories rich with tales of her home life. Much of her words center on her hardworking father, acquainting the reader with a man who was as strong as the mightiest  cottonwood trees that hugged the girth of their property.

I love this passage Judy shares about her father:

“He was a man who planted—

a man with a hard life

who tried to shield us from this life.”

My favorite of her writings was called, “The Summer House.” This is the story of a shanty her father called the summer house which enchanted Judy with all the possibilities of what this humble cottage was and what it could become. She spent countless summers cleaning that old abandoned shack waiting patiently for her family to move there each summer. At home in her winter house in town, the child named Judy would dream of her summer house, remembering her favorite tale of the three bears and thinking her summer house was just right.

I enjoyed and appreciated Judy’s poetic style. Her words are truly enchanting and I was often moved by the vivid descriptions of her home life.

Young and old alike will enjoy “Prairie Moths,” as it is an evocative and lovely collection of verses that will transport the reader back in time to their own childhood, filled with abundant memories of when the vast world stretched before us ripe with all the promises of our own lives just around the corner.

Judy dykstra-Brown

Author, Judy Dykstra-Brown

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

About Judy Dykstra-Brown

Judy Dykstra-Brown grew up in South Dakota and lived in Australia, Ethiopia, Wyoming, and California before finally coming to rest in San Juan Cosala, Mexico––a small pueblo on the shores of Lake Chapala near Guadalajara, Mexico––where she has lived for the past 14 years.

Her work may be found in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, including New Poets in Los Angeles, the Sculpture Garden ReviewAgave Marias ( an anthology of ten women writers who have broken boundaries and crossed borders); Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women (an anthology that will be coming out in April of 2016.) and an upcoming anthology of stories and poetry by Alzheimer’s caregivers edited by Kenneth Salzmann.

She was a semifinalist in the Atlantic Journal international poetry competition and first place winner of the Tennessee Writer’s Alliance National Poetry Prize in 2002. She has published over 75 poems, articles and stories in various publications and online magazines including “Living at Lake Chapala,” “Ojo Del Lago” and MexConnect.

Her book of poetry, Prairie Moths: Memories of a Farmer’s Daughter; a nonfiction/memoir book entitled Lessons from a Grief Diary: Reinventing Your Life after the Death of a Loved One, and her children’s picture book Sock Talk are available on Amazon and Kindle. Two more children’s books are completed and will soon be available as well.

She posts daily on her blog at judydykstrabrown.com

Please connect with Judy on Facebook at Judy Dykstra-Brown

Thanks for stopping by to meet Judy. I will see you all again!

Silver Threading signature

Mindful Monday Healthy Living – Choose Your Eating Battles

Welcome to Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming healthier. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

…to all of you who have left comments and cheered me on and are interested in accompanying me on this journey to healthy living! Together, we can offer support and ideas to make this road to “healthy,” a fun journey!

Last week I had help from:

From World’s Kitchen

The Bee Writes

A Momma’s View

Shanjeniah’s Lovely Chaos

I hope that you will support all of us in our healthy living journey by visiting our blogs and leaving a word of encouragement. In addition, the comments that I receive from many of my blogging friends mean the world to me. Thank you! ❤

Week 3

I had another exciting week in my weight loss journey to healthy living! We hit a few cold days here in Colorado so I decided to make spaghetti for Ron and I. Nothing fancy. Lean ground beef and a jar brand spaghetti sauce tasted really good that cold afternoon. I used gluten-free noodles for me (2 oz. dry = one serving = 5 Points Plus points) and was pleasantly surprised at how easily they cooked and how great they tasted. In addition, I tried a gluten-free bread mix in my bread maker that was fabulous too! Yes, I did eat some of the fresh baked bread! How could you not?

Silver has a love/hate relationship with the holidays

It is the holiday season and because my husband is such a dear, I decided to make dark chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies and peanut butter cookies for him. I actually did pretty well. I ate no more than two cookies per day, although some days I did not have any! I savored every last bite of them too!

Image credit: Facebook

Now, I know what you are all thinking… How could Silver eat cookies AND bread and still lose weight? Well, I did alright. I lost .4 pounds! This is what I have been trying to tell everyone. If you eat moderately, you can have some sweets and bread. Just pay attention to your portion sizes and make sure to eat lots of vegetables and fruits.

I know this is not an earth-shattering weight loss for the week. Nevertheless, it is a loss. 😀

You don’t want to gain weight, so if you did, you know that you have to check out not only what you ate, but how much you ate. Try eliminating foods that you know are your triggers, like bread, is for me.

What do you eat each week?

Do you eat a variety of foods each week? I find that I stick to pretty much the same menu. I eat salad and/or home-made vegetable soup with some type of lean meat, at least, every other day. I try to supplement one of my meals (lunch or dinner) every other day with a protein smoothie. I do the same thing at breakfast and have either a bowl of oatmeal or an omelet made with egg beaters as I switch off the days.

I make my salad ahead and just dip into the bowl!

The Belly Fat Blog shares a great infographic of a raw food pyramid:

Weight Watchers has a new plan called “Beyond the Scale.” They have switched from Points Plus values to Smart Points values. We used to figure out the Points Plus values of a food item by the amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber it contained. Now, Weight Watchers Smart Points are calculated using calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein.

Martha, from Simple Nourished Living, explains the new system on her blog. If you don’t already follow her, you might want to. She is a wealth of information and I love her weekly meal plans! You can follow Martha on Pinterest too!

At this point, I am going to continue using the Points Plus values since this is something that works for me. Just be aware that there is a new plan out there and the points will be different from what I am using.

EXERCISE

How did your week go for exercise? I did get out and walk a few times with the dogs. Later in the week, the temperatures were mild so that made it all the better to get out there in the sunshine.

I have been sitting here in my creative room writing. I have a great push to get my book finished. I lose track of the time most days. Thank goodness, Ron comes upstairs and reminds me to eat some lunch, to drink more water, and to get off my butt!

If you don’t have time for a walk, here is a video from Nancy on how to increase your flexibility for those of us over 50!

Image Credit: everybodywalk.org

My week as a whole was great. I accomplished many of my writing goals and even found the time to get some new glasses!

Christmas is this coming up Friday. One of the best things about adopting a healthy lifestyle is that you learn to choose your battles. If you want to have some sweets on Christmas do it. Just do it in moderation. I have found that if you indulge yourself a little bit you end up not feeling deprived and are able to stick to your plan.

And Merry Christmas!

How was your third week on your healthy living journey?

If you would like to join me in your own healthy living journey, please do. Use whatever program works for you. You do not even have to follow a program if you don’t want to. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can become healthier and fit. This includes going gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, starting an exercise program, or even a new way of eating such as becoming a vegetarian. If it has to do with becoming healthy, write about it!

Link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of healthy living supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. Together we can become healthier!

Image credit: JingaJuice.ph

Remember, this is not a challenge.  This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to participate in attaining a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday – Healthy Living goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of my journey to healthy living.

Thanks for being part of my fabulous journey to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to add your post and share your journey. ❤

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Reflections on a River Crossing: Our Collective Journey from Despair to Hope, by Kate McManus

I would like to introduce you all to a new friend of mine, Kate McManus from Austrailia, who writes about her house sitting experiences. I would love her job!

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
Hermann HesseSiddhartha

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Over the festive season, I’m staying in the river city of Brisbane, the capital of the Northern State of Queensland. This warm city boasts a beautiful river and a popular ferry service which transports commuters, tourists and gagglers like me from one side of the river to the other or from the University of Southern Queensland into the city. It’s a wonderful way to start or end the day.

There’s nothing like a river crossing to stimulate thoughts of where you have been and where you are going. Even more so at this time of year when we both individually and collectively, consciously or not, reflect on the last twelve months of life.

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It’s been quite a journey for all of us since we woke up on January first. I could focus on some of the big events of the year but instead, I’ll reflect on why it’s been the best of times and the worst of times (to borrow the phrase from Charles Dickens) and why every year offers us a choice of taking the journey from the point of despair to the new land of Hope if we can but change our perspective.

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Riding these Rivercats, as the ferries are known, is a pleasant and soothing experience. It’s summer down under and the weather is warm though humid, as the boats move smoothly across the surface. Occasionally there is a little swell caused by another ferry or wash from a jet ski. It’s sufficient to remind you that you are on the water. The patrons are happy to sit inside or out and see the city from its most scenic perspective.

As we cross under each of the many bridges spanning the river, I can’t help but look up and think of the bridges I’ve driven, cycled, walked and flown over in this third year of my hobohemian (now the name of a funky Brisbane shop) lifestyle. Some bridges I’ve crossed with great deliberation, others almost unconsciously. Some were smooth and timely crossings, others fraught with every obstacle and difficulty like my journey from Canberra to Brisbane in September when the flight was delayed, I arrived in a storm and my phone of 4 years died.

Why are the challenging journeys easier to remember than the smooth ones? It seems to be how our minds work. Every day we are besieged by media telling us what’s important, what we need to be fearful of (just about everything apparently!) and what will happen next. But if we look at some of the collective journeys we’ve been on, we can see that we have made tremendous progress.

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It wasn’t so long ago that bear-baiting and cockfighting were considered a harmless sport. In Australia this year, thanks to the remarkable effort of Rosy Batty, a tireless campaigner who became Australian of the year, our understanding of domestic violence has exponentially increased and a real shift has occurred in changing our cultural values.

We forget sometimes, as we are subsumed by the tsunami of negativity considered the norm in modern life, that we have evolved and will continue to do so. It helps to look up at bridges we’ve built and congratulate ourselves for having the courage to keep travelling.

Wishing you all a happy holiday season and joyously wonderful 2016!

Kate McManus

I’m a house sitter, writer and healer who travels around Australia minding beautiful pets and houses, exploring parts of the country some for the first time, having fun, adventure and experiencing joy in living lightly. I blog at www.lightravellerkate.wordpress.com.

I would like to thank Kate for sharing her wonderful river journey with us all this Sunday. I hope you will all stop by her blog and say hello.

Thanks for visiting today. I really enjoyed introducing Kate to you all!

Silver’s Book Reviews – “Behind the Altar,” by P. C. Zick

  • Title:  Behind the Altar, Book 1 of the Behind the Love Trilogy
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 949 KB
  • Print Length: 147 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500455121
  • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Publication Date: September 16, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N2WPFD0
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction

Leah Bryant has a perfect life. Engaged to the local minister, Jacob Davis, in the town of Victory, Florida, Leah spends her spare time running “Soup’s On,” where she feeds and cares for the local homeless people in the area. When the church board votes to stop funding the charity, Leah’s life is thrown into chaos. Leah’s passion is fueled by the knowledge of what it was like to be homeless. Jacob’s mother, Geraldine found Leah on the streets as a teenager and welcomed her into her own home years ago. For all appearances, Leah has been truly blessed.

The same day Leah learns of the decision from the church board prohibiting the use of the church kitchen to cook for the homeless, Leah meets Jacob’s brother, Dean, as he rumbles into town on his Harley. Leah finds herself inexplicably drawn to Dean. Between his muscles and tattoos, there is an intensity that overwhelms Leah, leaving her breathless. Jacob has never had this effect on her.

Dean feels the attraction to Leah also. Her natural goodness and compassion for people are a tonic that feeds his soul. The harder they struggle to stay apart, the more they are drawn together experiencing a passion neither has ever known.

Nevertheless, there is a dark secret that threatens to derail the Davis family just waiting to explode this lover’s triangle into a million pieces!

Recommendation:

I don’t know about you, but I adore a romance that is filled with magic, especially when it is obvious that the two characters belong together. “Behind the Altar,” explodes with sexual tension and sizzles with passionate ardor.

There is just something about a man riding into town on a Harley that gets a woman thinking about romance. Of course, you know he is a bad-boy from the start. He’s riding a Harley! With very little imagination, I could picture “Dean,” being played by the handsome, Jeffrey “Dean” Morgan, who is the good-looking private investigator, currently playing on the television series, “The Good Wife.” I can’t help but ponder if P. C. Zick had the same image in mind when she created the character of Dean. One can only hope.

This story revolves around small town America, with all of the incongruities and biases that exist in society on full display. The book is not suitable for younger readers as there is sexual content present. However, I found the love story between Leah and Dean to be real and honest. I thought there was a moral to this love story, about never judging a book by its cover, that was woven throughout the story line, but I will let you be the judge of that.

I look forward to following the life of these characters as they evolve and heal from the tragedies and rewards of true love in the upcoming Behind the Love Series. Book 2, “Behind the Curtain,” is the next book in the series.

My Rating:

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5

About P. C. Zick:

Bestselling author, P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

Many of her novels contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife – both human and animal – supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.” Her Behind the Love trilogy – contemporary romance – is also set in Florida, but she’s now working on a series set in the Smoky Mountains.

Her fiction contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love to the environment. All of her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D.

Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through her Twitter @PCZick.

And Facebook at P C Zick.

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll see you all again.

10 Healthier Christmas Cookie Recipes Under 135 Calories ‹ Hello Healthy

Make Santa Claus’s “nice” list with a batch of jolly holiday cookies! We know you have a lot of options so we’ve put together a list of cookies that trim down on the traditi…

Source: 10 Healthier Christmas Cookie Recipes Under 135 Calories ‹ Hello Healthy

How to Use Emotional Appeal to Give Readers All the Feels | Better Novel Project

I love the Better Novel Project! ❤

Christine’s note: This is a guest post by Kaitlin Hillerich from InkandQuills.com. Why do you love your favorite book? Yes, it probably has realistic characters and a fabulous plot. Maybe it’s set in a magical world or a country you love. Maybe it’s packed with action or has a mind-bending mystery. But what made it stick with you long after you had turned the final page? Maybe you can’t quite place your finger on it. Chances are, though, I’m willing to bet you felt something when you read it. You had an emotional connection. And that’s what makes a story endearing. The Magic of Emotion What a lot of beginning writers tend to overlook is that reading is not just an intellectual activity, but also an emotional one. One of the very reasons we read is to feel. Through the hero, we want to experience love, sorrow, pain, joy, and fear. There’s a reason why people love romance and horror genres! And there’s a reason why there’s something satisfying about a book that makes us cry, as strange as it might sound. Whether we realize it or not, when we pick up a book we are seeking an emotional experience. A book that fails to make you feel is not only empty but forgettable. If you want to write a story that will stick in your readers’ memory, you need to engage them emotionally. Now, I’m not talking about simply killing off a character or having your hero’s dog get hit by a car. Though these would certainly stir up some feels, you need to go beyond having a handful of emotional scenes scattered throughout your story. To really make your story hit readers in the heart (or gut), your idea itself must be emotionally appealing in some aspect. So […]

Source: How to Use Emotional Appeal to Give Readers All the Feels | Better Novel Project

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #75 Charm & Look

Ronovan gives us some stupendous words again this week: “charm and look.” I love all the meanings of these words and how versatile they are.

In addition, we are asked to use opposites. Ronovan says: “If your first sentence is about how lovely something is, the second sentences should be how horrible it is.” Make sure to check out Ron’s blog to see all the writing inspiration.

I call this, “The Temptress.”

Adoring allure –

Just one glance captures your heart,

turning your soul black.

The two Haiku in English sentences broken down:

Adoring allure – just one glance captures your heart.

Just one glance captures your heart turning your soul black.

I love haiku because it tells a mini story. In the beginning, you are able to feel the pull of the woman’s allure and beauty. The exact opposite is revealed in the last sentence.

Thanks for stopping by,

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