Writing Prompt–Favorite Pair of Shoes

I will have another Blogging from the Ballpark segment available tomorrow as my older son has a baseball game tonight, but, of course, that begs the question, what am I going to write about today. Trying to be creative with this space certainly has its challenges, and I was facing an impasse as I tried to decide what to write about. I looked through my list of writing prompts, and…I found something. Here’s the prompt.

“Write about your current favorite pair of shoes.”

I’ve always tried to focus on comfort rather than style with my clothing and shoe choices though when I was younger, it skewed slightly towards the style end. I’ve never worn spike heels though as I have never really seen the point of wearing something so uncomfortable. As I’ve gotten older though, comfort has become more paramount. With that being said, my newest favorite place to get shoes is the Skechers store. They have the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I have a pair of black flats from there, two pairs of walking shoes, and one pair of exercise shoes. I can’t really name one favorite pair from all of those so I would have to say they’re all my favorites. I should also mention that not only are they comfortable, they’re actually cute and stylish. No old fogey shoes for me. ūüôā ¬†So, if you want a recommendation for a place to get shoes that are comfortable as well as stylish, I would recommend the Skechers store highly.

Until next time, be real!

One Hundredth Post!

I’ve reached my first milestone for this blog! When I was first considering what to write earlier, I kept thinking this post should be really special. But, then I thought about what I’ve wanted my goals for this blog to be. The main goal, of course, is for me to write. Write something every weekday so I can continue to get better at my craft. There have been some entries that have been more interesting than others, but all in all, I have achieved the goal I set for myself. So, since I’ve faced the blank page and thought of words to put on ¬†it, I just decided I would do what I’ve been doing every day, and that is writing.

May all of you who are writers find words to write or type on a blank page today.

Until next time, be real!

Book Review–The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton and Swinburne Book 1)

A few months ago, I posted a review of a book by Mark Hodder which was the third book in a series that the book I’m going to review today begins. While it wasn’t too bad to read them out-of-order, now that I’ve read this book, I wish I had begun with this one. It starts with the main character Sir Richard Francis Burton about to speak at an event in London when he finds out that one of his main rivals has been shot. As this rival had formally been a friend, his mind goes back to when their rift had first begun six years previously in Africa. The action then commences in London where the majority of the story takes place.

This story was fascinating to me in that it proposed an alternate history for several major historical personalities such as Sir Richard Francis Burton, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Laurence Oliphant, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Oscar Wilde, John Hanning Speke, and others. I especially enjoyed the character from the future and how his actions in the past affected everyone else and made the future spin-off in a different direction affecting history himself as the character Spring-Heeled Jack.  Alternate histories have always been fascinating to me, and the research the author did for this book was done well.

If you are a fan of the steam punk/alternate history genre, you will enjoy this book and the following ones in the series.

For the Love of the Game

As promised, here is my first blog entry from the ballpark. On the first day of the season, everyone is equal. There are no wins and no losses. There is just anticipation for what the season is going to bring, and the chance to play a game that, at least for my sons, is a game they love and are passionate about. Yes, of course, they want to win as I know every other player does, but this first day of play is a chance to reflect, a chance to think about why they are playing the game.

For parents who are supporting their children, I believe it is also necessary to reflect on what lessons we are hoping our kids are learning from participating in team sports.  If we are in this just to have them win and not for the love of the game, I believe we need to ask ourselves what exactly is the point.

Until next time, be real!

Waiting

My time at the ballpark should have begun yesterday, but it didn’t because practice was cancelled due to the rainy weather we were having. I haven’t been there before now because my husband was the one taking our older son to practice, but since our younger son has now begun practice, a second driver has become necessary since it is impossible for one person to be two places at once. Or, it would be possible if we had a personal transporter. ūüôā ¬†Since it doesn’t exist yet though, I was going to be taking the younger boy to practice.

That all changed when it started pouring a few hours before practice started. With that, everything was cancelled, and we went back to a waiting game. During this time of year, it rains a lot where we live, and you have to get the practices in when you can. It can get frustrating when you want the weather to be decent and get the things accomplished you want to get accomplished. However, that wasn’t the case yesterday evening. I see this as being very similar to writing because of the submission process. ¬†Once you have submitted your novel or your short story or your article, there is a time of waiting involved. The waiting should be over on Sunday though since we are expected to have good weather for the first game of the season.

Until next time, be real!

A Shout-Out and a New Series

First, the shout-out. I was very flattered this morning to wake up to a nomination for the Liebster Award from Cheryl Fassett. Here is the link to her blog.¬†http://cherylfassett.wordpress.com/about-me/ ¬†I’m not going to participate in all the requirements especially since I don’t have eleven blogs I can nominate. I do suggest you take a look at her blog though. There are a lot of good things about writing.

Now, for the new series. I talked yesterday about making this blog more personal to me and to what was going on in my life. Well, the beginning of baseball games for my older son on Sunday sparked this idea.¬†The boys are both very excited about baseball and the beginning of the season–their own seasons and the beginning of pro baseball’s season in April. For the next few months between games and practices and games for my younger son, I will be living at the ballpark. ¬†So, my series will be called, “Blogging from the Ballpark”. Every time I’m at the ballpark, I will post an entry the following weekday about some interesting story or tidbit I picked up while I was there. ¬†My hope is that by doing this I will bring more of a personal element to my writing. Can’t wait to get started.

Until next time, be real!

Everything Has Already Been Said

So, why should we write then, if every possible thing that could be said has already been said? I think the answer to that is said well with this quote by Paul Horgan.

“Everything has been said, but not everything has been said superbly, and even if it had been, everything must be said freshly, over and over.”

As human beings, it takes us awhile to get things. If you think about it, it’s obvious. For those of you who have children, how many times have you disciplined them for the same offense? Until they learn not to do it, it’s important to be consistent.

This can relate to writing too. We like to read about the familiar, things we remember from our childhood, exciting adventures that can take us to another place. What makes writing exciting though is you can bring your own twist to the familiar adventure which makes it brand new.

In closing, the next time you think your story is not important because it’s similar to something that has already been said, remember that you are placing your own unique twist on the story, and in that regard, making it your own.

Until next time, be real!

People Watching

Have you ever sat in a mall and people watched? There are so many different kinds of people, people who look differently, people who dress differently, and people who act differently. I’ve often wondered about the circumstances in their lives that brought them to the place where I could see them. This also helps me with picturing my characters in my mind. I can take the hair and body type of one person and combine it with the self-assured attitude of another, and I have my main female character. ¬†I can also see the young man with a crew cut and a straight up and down posture and imagine that he had been in the military at some point. Then I have my main male character. This can work with any character even the ones who make small appearances in your novel. Actually, I find those the most fun because I can pick the most flamboyantly dressed person or the one who seems to have the most energy and imagine them as sidekicks for my main characters. So, if you get stuck on creating the characters for your novel, may I suggest people watching in your local mall.

 

Until next time, be real!

Writing Style

I’m still working on this one. Finding my own voice and figuring out the things I want to say, the things that are important to me. It’s easy to look at other writers and say to yourself, ‘Well, they’ve been successful. ¬†Maybe I should copy their style and then I’ll be successful too. It doesn’t work that way though. When you put the deepest and most honest part of you on display through your writing, your style will come through, and you will touch people. That’s my goal with my writing–to touch people, so, if I only touch one, I will have succeeded.

I like what Gore Vidal had to say about this.

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

 

I would add something to the end of this along the lines of ‘what other people think’. ¬†There will always be people who don’t like what you write or what you do, but the chance to just touch one is what makes it worth it for me.

Here’s to touching one person today.

Until next time, be real!

It’s Valentine’s Day!

This is the holiday, as you all know, that’s most known for romantic love. But, there are other kinds of love too. There is the love between friends; there is the love for family; and finally there is the love of self. Now, what do I mean by love of self? There are some people who are so focused on doing for other people, on gaining a romantic love, or on just missing what they think they should have that they don’t take the time to take care of themselves. To be worthy of love though, I really do think you need to take care of yourself–to take care of your physical and emotional health and to do the things you were called to do, like write. There is no one else that will do that for you.

And then once you’ve done that, you can look at this quote by Robert A. Heinlein from Stranger in a Strange Land.

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

Also, the chapter in the Bible which is considered the hallmark of love–I Corinthians 13

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I have nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

   Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes,what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

¬†And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.¬†But the greatest of these is love.”

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Until next time, be real!