Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Writing Wednesday: World Building...

This is just another small part of world building topics I have wanted to address in writing. Today's topic is jobs and professions.

Again, a lot of the world building stuff I talk about is targeted for fantasy, but you can still take the grains from these posts for just about any genre.

In fantasy, there are a lot of ways to figure out jobs and professions. One way is to look up medieval jobs. Way back then, you had a ton of different jobs to choose from. But back then, there was one major difference than now. You had to apprentice for a lot of those jobs. There were no schools or colleges. If you had any sort of aptitude for something, you were sent off to learn from someone who did that job well. More often than not, if that person lived too far from your home, you were sent to live with them. Not everyone owned a horse. No one could just hop in their carriage and commute to work every day. Work started well before the sun rose and ended when the sun went down.

If you were an apprentice, you didn't earn wages. Your room and board was your payment for having to train you. And you weren't sent off on your own until you learned the craft well enough. Or your master died and you ended up taking over the job because you were the only one who knew how to do it.

If you couldn't learn how to do the job, you would be kicked out of your master's home and pretty much had to figure out your life from there. You couldn't go home, because you were supposed to be learning a craft and eventually making money. So there was a bit of shame in having to return home. If it was a farm you came from, then yes, there would always be a job there for you, but not much of anything else. So if you were ejected from an apprenticeship, you'd have to think fast on your feet and figure out what you might be good at, aside from stealing. You'd have to find someone else willing to train you or you'd have to offer up something no one else was willing to do.

Sometimes, you were born into a job. Your family's family had been making clothes for the King for several generations. It was in your blood and you knew how to sew a hem since you were able to sit still long enough and not poke yourself with a needle. You could do a whip stitch in your sleep, and have! Or you knew cows so well, you could tell who would produce the most milk and the best tasting cheese. Or you could tell what herbs mixed together would be the fastest killer or the best healer because your Grandmother quizzed you since you were old enough to walk the fields with her.

There are a lot of professions and lots of ways to come by them, in writing. You just have to know your history and be just as creative in giving your characters a profession as you are in writing the rest of the story.

Once you figure out the profession, do your research. You need to know as much as you can about it so you can write about it well. You don't have to give all the details and information, just enough to get by. Just enough to make your reader think you have explicit knowledge of that particular job. Which, when you're writing about something in present day, is usually the case. Write what you know. You know how to do data entry, how amazing your character does too!

Have anything else to add to this post? Leave a comment!

Monday, March 28, 2016

GTKM: 15...

Welcome to another Monday! Oh, the time, how it flies. I hope you all had a good weekend!

Today's Getting To Know Me question is:

What three things do you think of the most every day?

Well. Things change so much day to day, but I do know what three things I think of the most every single day.

1. My family. I'm always thinking of someone in my family every day. Whether I'm thinking of my kids, my mom, my siblings and their families or my husband, I'm constantly thinking of my family. I always wonder how everyone is doing. I wonder how my kids are doing and hope they are happy. I think of my siblings and their families and hope everyone is safe and happy. I think about my husband daily, hoping he is having a good day and he's safe on the freeway as he commutes to and from work. I think of my in-laws and hope the same things. So, my family is pretty much on my mind a lot.

2. My friends. Take number one and insert my friends into that scenario.

3. My finances. I'm always thinking of our bills, things that need to be paid right now versus next week. Will we have enough? I know we have enough, but it's just stuff I think about.

I have a lot of anxieties, so this list could go on and on, but as for the top three, that's pretty much it. I think about work, I think about menus for the week and grocery lists. I think about stories I want to write, school work I have to finish. All sorts of things.

How about you? What three things do you think of the most every day? Leave a comment!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Faves & Funnies...

It's Friday! If you are reading this, it will be my second attempt of going back to work after I fell a month ago.

Wish me luck!

This Friday, my Fave is a T.V. show. I'm giving away my age because I'm going to list M*A*S*H.  I know a lot of people know about this show. But a lot don't. But this was the go to T.V. show in the middle of mid-western winters when I was a kid, before moving to Arizona.

Sometimes, I think this show is where my sense of humor developed. I adore this show. above a lot of others, and that is saying a lot! We used to own the M*A*S*H trivia game, but stopped playing it because it was too easy. We knew everything about that show. And now it's on Netflix and it's in my queue and it isn't going anywhere. If it leaves my queue, I have the DVD's. It always has and always will be an important part of my life. I watch it when I don't want to watch anything else. And I'm sure you can figure out that Hawkeye was my favorite.

On to the funnies!

I might have gotten carried away, but that's okay, they're M*A*S*H themed!

And on that note, have a great weekend! What was your favorite T.V show?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Writing Wednesday: Keep Your Mistakes!...

Last week, I wrote about just getting it to paper. And I wrote about technology... lol! One of those posts was supposed to be for today. Ah, well. It happens.

So anyway, along the lines of just getting it to paper, we're on to this topic. Keeping your mistakes.

Why keep your mistakes?

Okay, so you are cruising along, you have a few hours to write, you plop down in front of the keyboard and you just go, go, go! It's turning out beautifully! You swell with pride and by the time you reach the end you realize you want to do this:

You started out with a romance and ended up with space zombies taking over the world. And somewhere along the way, the vampires have hacked into the computers and made everyone rich so they would become fat, lazy cows, easy to slaughter.


So why keep this? Because there will be grains in there that you can work with. Seeds you can plant and make them grow into the story they're supposed to be. Maybe your romance started out fine, but you lost track somewhere and you need to find out where, so you can fix it.  Keep the rest, though. Because, well, Vampires hacking into computers and grazing off their dirty work might end up being a killer story.

No pun intended.

And space zombies? Psh... whole other story.

So, see? If you keep your mistakes, you may be able to extract bits and pieces and end up having five or six different stories to work with. Just let your brain pump out everything all in one shot. Getting it to paper, and then finding what gems can be mined from what you just wrote.

I have several mistakes I've kept and have pulled things out of those stories to use in the future.

Have any other tips or suggestions? Leave a comment!

Monday, March 21, 2016

GTKM: 14...

It's monday! That means another Getting To Know Me segment.

This week's question is:

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Well, that's only part of what my warning label would say. The rest of it would say:

Handle with care. Feed often. Keep active. Wash on delicate cycle and do not use harsh chemicals. Keep away from large crowds.

How about you? What would your warning label say?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Faves & Funnies...

It's Friday! Another week survived. Woohoo!

This week, my fave is going to be an actor. Jensen Ackles from Supernatural.

Let me just say, I love the show. I'm a huge fan. As far as the actors go, I connect more with Dean. He's the sort, if he was real, that I would have hung out with. Similar mindset, I suppose.

Jensen Ackles portrays Dean Winchester flawlessly, in my opinion. The man has excellent skills. One of my favorite episodes is when Sam and Dean Winchester are tossed into an alternate universe where they play Jensen and Jared playing Sam and Dean. Their real life, in this universe, is a show. Talk about a frikkin' messed up conundrum... but all of the characters involved play it all off beautifully. But that takes some serious acting talent, in my opinion. Even if Jensen wasn't in Supernatural, I'd still watch it. And I will definitely watch anything else Jensen does.

All right, enough fan-girling. On to the funnies!

Haha! I love the last one, personally. Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Writing Wednesday: Technology...

Happy Middle of the Week day! It's Wednesday and it's all about writing.

For today's topic, I am going to be using Fantasy as an example for technology. Most of what is discussed is just ideas and how to incorporate any sort of technology into any genre.

Ready? Here we go...

As odd as it sounds, I don't like having black powder guns in my fantasy stories. I feel that it gives an unfair advantage in battle, (which it certainly does) and strips away the honor of the fight. Again, that's just me.

So what do I use on ships for epic sea battles? Smaller versions of Ballista and Catapults. The catapults launch flaming pitch pots. When the pitch hits the deck, it goes everywhere, catching every flammable thing on fire that it touches. Water doesn't put it out, because technically it is flaming oil, so it just spreads further.

As for Ballista, in a somewhat close range battle, you soak the rope in pitch, tie it to the projectile, light it and launch. If you hit just right, it'll catch in the sails and rigging, crippling the enemy vessel. Once the ship is dead in the water, you board and game over.

On land, same thing. Catapults, Ballista, Trebuchets are all good weapons in battle. Most of the time they are built on site and immobile, but you can create smaller, mobile versions even if it slows down your travel time.

Now in lots of other genres out there, you've got black powder weapons, laser weapons for sci-fi and steam weapons in the Steam Punk genre. And can I just interject with how fascinated I have become with Steam Punk? Insert fan girl "squee!" here.


Anyway. the reason I gave above is my main reason as to why I don't like incorporating black powder into the fantasy genre. To me, those battles were hand to hand combat and may the most honorable or the best fighter win. In real life, I don't like cheaters. I'm sort of a competitive person. Okay, sort of might be a bit of an understatement... However, if I lose at something, yeah, I get ticked off. But I get ticked off at myself. I don't ever blame someone of cheating unless it is blatantly obvious. But I get mad at myself for the slightest of things. So I go back and practice and keep trying until I get it right. I try to do it by the rules, because in my opinion, cheating is dishonorable. If you can't put forth the time and the effort to do something right and be successful at it, then why do it?

That's a rant for another day. But that is my mindset when writing battles. I try to make them realistic and maybe someday there will be an introduction of an advanced weapon that turns the tide in battle, but not right now.

But think about the technology of things. Make these things feasible when writing. Don't just throw in some super advanced, high-tech weapon that makes an individual or group invincible. It should be available to all parties who can use/afford it. Make someone more proficient than anyone else and go with that, but don't make it a natural talent. That sort of detracts from the whole having to work hard to be good at it idea. When you are writing, you are giving your readers subliminal messages. Yes, your story must be good and the lessons being learned there should be clear, but when you have an opportunity to "teach" the reader something, let it be hard work and perseverance will win in the end.

Be mindful of the technology you introduce.

Have anything to add to this post? Please leave a comment below!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Writing Wednesday: Just Get It To Paper...

I'm the kind of person that I don't want to write anything unless I have the perfect setting. My house needs to be quiet and I have several hours to block out the world. But if I don't know where I am going with my story, I spend those several, quiet hours goofing off on Facebook or in World of Warcraft.

But I can't afford to do that. I have so many ideas and so many different things to work on that I find myself not goofing off that much because I haven't done anything productive. So I write something, even if it is a blog post like this. This gives me a feeling of productivity, so I reward myself with 15 minutes on Facebook.

I'm starting to save writing prompts to my Pinterest board and finding one that strikes my creativity chord. I've written a stupid little short that would be a great beginning to something, but it needs work, of course. But I'm getting things to paper. I'm just GETTING it TO PAPER.

I even have a dozen composition books with titles of all the ideas I've come up with and have been writing things out by hand. It's getting on that paper! Then, when I'm done with the notebook, I type it all out and fix things as I go.

I think it is important to just get your story out on paper. You can always go back to it later and clean it up. But getting it written  out, from beginning to end, and who cares what it looks like. As long as you get it to PAPER! Get it out. Write it out! Feel accomplished. It helps with the writing process. Then move on to something else and once that's done, go back to cleaning up the first one.

Now, if I could just take my own advice.

Have any other helpful tips? Leave me a comment!

Monday, March 14, 2016

GTKM 13:...

It's another Monday. I hope you all had a good weekend. But since it's over, it means another Get To Know Me post.

Today's question is:

What song would you say best sums you up?


I don't think anyone has time for THAT list...

One song? Just one? Wow... um. Hmm.

I don't just ONE song that sums me up completely. I do know I have a couple of theme songs that kind of help me get through some of my anxieties. The main one that comes to mind is "Middle of the Ride" by Jimmy Eat World.

But if I absolutely have to choose a song that sums me up...

"Trouble" by Pink.

How about you? What song best sums you up? Leave me a comment!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Faves & Funnies...

Sometimes I dread Friday, but more often than not, I look forward to it, even if it is a work day for me. You made it to another Friday! Woohoo!

This week, Faves focuses on:

Favorite ORPG (Online Role Playing Game). One of my many favorites, but one I always seem to return to, is World of Warcraft. I don't know why, but that is one game I can play and return to. Even if I go and play other online games, I keep coming back to WoW.

A lot of it has to do with the fact that a lot of games make me motion sick. WoW does not make me motion sick, so therefore, I can stand to play it. I've tried lots of online games, too, don't get me wrong. Even some computer games mess with me. Like Diablo or Dungeon Siege. It also seems to get worse as I get older. I was reading up on it and saw that possibly taking Dramamine might help while playing, but I have yet to try it.

But back to World of Warcraft. I love the toons (characters) and my favorite expansion is Wrath of the Lich King. I have yet to really make it to an end dungeon, but I have hope for the future of my toon.

Okay, on to the funnies! Game themed of course.

All right, thanks for dropping by! Leave me a comment with your favorite game and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Writing Wednesday: Use Your Thesaurus!...

Please, for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, use your Thesaurus.

For those of you that think it is a type of dinosaur, walk away now.

All right. So why would I tell you to use your Thesaurus when most of my own, personal posts leave you lacking literary sparkle and whimsical words of enlivenment?

Because I try not to overuse words so much in my writing. I have, in my opinion, come a long way and have worked hard on my skills. Maybe not here, on my blog, but this is the only place where I feel like my "true voice" can be used. Not my Professional Writing Voice.

When you're writing, you don't always see the repetition of your words until later. Even after edits. You know what you're trying to say and how you want to say it, you know what you're talking about. You can see every image in your head. All the details are there. That leather pouch is sitting on the floor, slumped over like a drunk in an alley. However, as you describe that pouch, you keep using the word pouch over and over again. Even twice in one sentence. When you send your manuscript off for editing, sometimes the repetition of the word pouch gets lost for whatever reason. You publish your book and then your reviews start harping on how much you used the word 'pouch'.

Now, you feel like maybe you are part kangaroo because of that word.

One word.


Well, thankfully there are some quick fixes you can do as well as run to your Thesaurus and hug it tight, grateful for its existence. Or just go to and use theirs:

pouchnounSynonyms and Antonyms of poucha container made of a flexible material (as paper or plastic) pouch
 and tossed it to the cat>Synonyms poke [chiefly Southern & Midland]bagsackRelated Words carryallportmanteautraveling bagwalletbundlepackpackagepacket,parcelbackpackbarracks bagduffel baghaversackknapsackrucksacksatcheltote;handbagpocketbookpursetote bagditty bagflight baggarment bagkit bagshopping bag,work bagWhile some repetition in writing is good and okay, it really gets to people sometimes. By people, I mean  me. I view writing as an art. If you are going to describe something in detail, don't be repetitive. Try to paint a grand picture using words. I don't want to read about a brown pouch lying on a floor. I want to read about a tattered, dusty leather rucksack that has seen more kingdoms than the owner, carelessly pitched into a corner and forgotten for the moment. Or just cast aside. Or even dropped, flung, hurled and maybe chucked.Then go back over your manuscript and do a search for the word 'pouch' or whatever words you feel you have overused and give them a nice, good tweak.Words have power. Your Thesaurus gives your words superpowers. Make them immortal!
Have anything to add to this post? Please leave a comment.

Monday, March 7, 2016

GTKM 12:...

It's Monday and time for another Get To Know Me post. If you're just now dropping by, I've been answering a "getting to know you" type of question every week. You can still catch up, just look for the posts that have the GTKM in the title.

Okay, so this week's question is:

What celebrity would you like to meet at a Starbuck's for coffee?

Oh man...


At the risk of being totally trampled to death...

It's honestly a toss-up. Either Jensen Ackles from Supernatural or Robert Downey, Jr. Either one would cause a mob. However, if this is going to be a hypothetical thing, then the Starbuck's would be empty.

Okay. I choose RDJ. I love, love, LOVE Robert Downey, Jr. I admire the man. I used to watch him in movies when I was an 80's girl. I thought he was a great actor, then he hit that hard patch. To see him come out the other side the way he did, makes me happy.

I'm not one of these people who have to sit there and read the gossip rags and follow every. Single. Move of an actor or actress. I really don't. I know and fully understand that they are human beings who portray characters (very COOL characters) on television or in movies. I don't pretend to even know what they are like in real life. Not that I would mind getting to know any of them. I'd do just about anything to spend an hour with each person on my list. (It's a short one, that's for sure.) I'd love to hang out and get to know the real person. At the top of that list is Mr. Downey. To me, and this is just my perspective here, he seems like he'd be pretty straightforward and down to earth. The kind of person you could ask, "Hey, do these pants make my butt look big?" and he'd tell you it was just your butt that made your butt look big.

So yeah, he'd be number one. Jensen would be number two. Much as I love Jensen... sorry.

How about you? What celebrity would you like to meet at a Starbuck's for coffee? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Faves & Funnies...

Another week has come and gone. It's Friday!!

So let's see... I think my Faves this week will be:

Food! Of course. One of my favorites is pizza. I'm sure that was obvious. But it will lead me to my all time favorite thing, ever. My newest Marinara Sauce recipe. I tell you what... it is the BOMB! I got it from my brother and I will never, ever buy jarred or canned sauce ever again. E V E R.

If you want the recipe, you'll have to bribe me. And I'm a geek, so I'm easy to bribe.

Okay! On to the funnies!

That's it! What's your favorite food? Leave a comment and have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wednesday Writing: Origin Tales...

When writing fantasy, origin tales for your entire world are just as important as the rest of it. If you aren't writing fantasy, depending on your story, your origin tales are just as vital.

Origin tales can mean just about anything, though.

They can mean:

* The age old folklore tales told around campfire and hearth fire. These are the origins of how the world was created, who the heroes and legends were.

* The origin of your character. Where they originated. Sometimes, in Young Adult fiction, if the main character is in high school, their classmates might gossip and spread their own origin tales.

* If you're writing paranormal, the origin tales can describe the history of vampires, werewolves or even cursed items.

*Maybe you are re-telling a fairy tale, in which the origin story is the most important part.

While this post may pertain to mostly fantasy, you can still glean some information on why origin tales are important.

Origin tales set up the background of everything. It describes kingdoms, people, places, items. They shape and define entire cultures and personalities.

When the United States decided to break from England, Americans fought hard for their freedom. They fought to control their own lives, their own destinies, to free themselves from tyranny. Now, because of our bloody history and hard fought battles, Americans are viewed as a crass, independent (spoiled) country. Unless someone is in trouble, then we're the savior, because we know how to fight for what we feel is right.

So perhaps you're writing of a kingdom of warriors. Everyone turns to them in times of trouble and need. They'll drop everything to help their neighbors, yet they are honorable enough to listen to both sides before choosing whether or not to send aid. But what happens when they need aid? No one will know how to help them. They aren't used to having to rescue the strongest kingdom in all the lands.

If dealing with a paranormal cursed item, the origins are vital to figure out how it became cursed and how to break that curse. That item was part of a significant moment in time where someone felt they had no other option than to cast a curse on an object to ensure that whoever found it in the future would not only feel the misery of the one who cast the curse, but also understand the need for the curse.

Origins have the power to shape futures, whether it be a person, place or thing. So when you are coming up with your origin tales, think of the complexity of the original story. Also remember that they will have been told over and over again, and we know what happens then. Things get jumbled and mixed up or changed to meet the needs of the storyteller. You'll have to figure out from beginning to end what the origin tales will be, if different cultures had different perspectives.

Have any other suggestions about origin tales? Leave a comment!