There's no end
to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go! {Dr. Seuss}

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Quote Day!

Write a novel whose chapters are each a flash fiction story that can be read on its own, independently of the book.
{Tom Hazuka}

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure...He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.
{James Michener}

Basically, I have been compelled by curiosity. 
{Mary Leakey}

Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.
{Mary Lou Retton}

Change your ways when fear seizes, for it usually means you are doing something wrong.
{Jean Craighead George}

Success gets to be a habit, like anything else you keep on doing.
{Laura Ingalls Wilder}

To appreciate nonsense requires a serious interest in life.
{Gelett Burgess}

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
{Italo Calvino}
Have a great week and happy writing, Zigzaggers!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Quote Day!

Write about what excites you. That way you will enjoy coming to work each day, and the journey will be an adventure.
{Margaret George}

Being goal-oriented instead of self-oriented is crucial. I know so many people who want to be writers. But let me tell you, they really don’t want to be writers. They want to have been writers. They wish they had a book in print. They don’t want to go through the work of getting the damn book out. There is a huge difference.
{James Michener}

Best advice on writing I’ve ever received: Finish.
{Peter Mayle}

Writing relies on very few things, my friend. All you need to write is your brain, a way to convey the story into existence (pen, computer, whatever), and a place in which to do it (office, kitchen table, lunar brothel).
{Chuck Wendig}

Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.
{Raymond Chandler}

One writes to make a home for oneself, on paper, in time and in others’ minds.
{Alfred Kazin}

The only impeccable writers are those who never wrote.
{William Hazlitt}

It has been often said that writing is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. In my experience, this is true. But, in my opinion, it is useless without that 1%. It’s like an engine without fuel–can’t get anywhere without it. Or like a lighthouse without a light on top–doesn’t guide anyone in to home or safe harbor.
{Robert Fanney}
Have a great week and happy writing, Zigzaggers!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: No words.

Writers can definitely use a designated day once a month to complain, cry, rant AND boost, cheer, support. Thank you, Alex, for creating this awesome group! What is IWSG? Click the following links to learn more: 

My insecurities have overwhelmed me, and I don’t even know what to write. Thank goodness for this book to keep me writing something creative every day. 

I have no other words today.

I hope your writing is going better than mine. Keep calm and write on, IWSG-ers!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Quote Day!

When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.
{George Orwell}

I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.
{Tom Clancy}

Never automatically assume your reader will be interested in your story. It is your job to make him or her interested. Just imagine someone tired and yawning when they pick up your story and try to overcome it. It’s a good exercise for writers.
{Margaret George}

Don’t make stuff because you want to make money–it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous–because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people–and work hard on making those gifts. 
Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t... But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything—because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.
{John Green}

Activity of mind is the only thing that keeps one's life going.
{Virginia Woolf}

Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.
{Jonas Salk}

Being a writer is about being a reader first.
{Michael Chabon}

Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author's words reverberating in your head. 
{Paul Auster}

Have a great week and happy writing, Zigzaggers!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Writers Born in August

On the first of every month this year, I’m listing writers’ birthdays! I know there are more than I have recorded, so please share in the comments other beloved/famous/well-known writers who were born this month. If you’re unfamiliar with the writer, I linked the birth year to Wikipedia so you can find out more about him or her!

August 1
• Herman Melville, 1819 

August 2
• Isabel Allende, 1942 
• Rose Tremain, 1943 

August 3
• Rupert Brooke, 1887 
• P.D. James, 1920 
• Leon Uris, 1924 

August 4
• Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 
• Tim Winton, 1960 
• Dennis Lehane, 1965 

August 5
• Guy de Maupassant, 1850 
• David Baldacci, 1960 

August 6
• Alfred Tennyson, 1809 
• Roger Lea MacBride, 1929 
• Piers Anthony, 1934 

August 7
• Garrison Keillor, 1942 

August 8
• Sara Teasdale, 1884 

August 9
• P.L. Travers, 1899 
• Philip Larkin, 1922 
• Jonathan Kellerman, 1949 

August 10
• Suzanne Collins, 1962 

August 11
• Alex Haley, 1921 

August 12
• William Goldman, 1931 
• Sue Monk Kidd, 1948 
• Ann M. Martin, 1955 

August 14
• Bryce Courtenay, 1933 
• Danielle Steel, 1947 

August 15
• Walter Scott, 1771 
• E. Nesbit, 1858 
• Stieg Larsson, 1954 

August 16
• Georgette Heyer, 1902 
• Charles Bukowski, 1920 

August 17
• V.S. Naipaul, 1932
• Herta Müller, 1953 
• Jonathan Franzen, 1959 

August 18
• Nicole Krauss, 1974 

August 19
• Frank McCourt, 1930 
Jack Canfield, 1944 
• Veronica Roth, 1988 

August 20
• H.P. Lovecraft, 1890
• Jacqueline Susann, 1918
• Greg Bear, 1951 
• James Rollins, 1961 

August 21
• Robert Stone, 1937 

August 22
• Dorothy Parker, 1893 
• Ray Bradbury, 1920 
• Annie Proulx, 1935 
• Diane Setterfield, 1964 

August 23
• Nelson DeMille, 1943 
• Curtis Sittenfeld, 1975

August 24
• A.S. Byatt, 1936 
• Alexander McCall Smith, 1948 
• John Green, 1977 

August 25
• Frederick Forsyth, 1938 
• Martin Amis, 1949 

August 26
• Christopher Isherwood, 1904 
• Guillaume Apollinaire, 1880 

August 27
• Antonia Fraser, 1932 
• Jeanette Winterson, 1959 

August 28
• Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749 
• Robertson Davies, 1913 

August 29
• Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1809 
• René Depestre, 1926 
• Karen Hesse, 1952 

August 30
• Mary Shelley, 1797 

August 31
• DuBose Heyward, 1885 
• William Saroyan, 1908

Who are other well-known writers born this month? If YOU have an August birthday, please share the day (and the year, if you wish) in the comments!

Happy writing in August, Zigzaggers!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's Up Wednesday!

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop to keep in touch with other writers on this writing journey. Check it out on Jaime Morrow’s blog here if you’d like to take part, too!

What I’m reading... I bought my first house two months ago, so right now I’m reading decorating books! I’m really liking these four:

Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan
Decorate by Holly Becker & Joanna Copestick
Living in a Nutshell by Janet Lee
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

What I’m writing... This blog post. Thank you cards for anniversary and housewarming gifts. Endless lists. Daily prompts (thanks to this terrific writing book to keep me in check). So far the summer writing goals I had for my wip have bellyflopped.

What inspires me right now... The big, leafy trees in my yard. I'm so happy to have trees!

What else I’ve been up to... We finished painting our entire house exactly six weeks after settlement. Whew! Now we can finally unpack and get what we need for the house. My husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary on June 21. We took a much-needed break from painting, dressed up, and walked into town to a nice restaurant, ate delicious food, indulged in drinks and dessert, and made lots of plans. It was a lovely night. A sad thing happened recently, though: my paternal grandpa passed away. He’d had a double stroke three years ago, and his health gradually declined. He took a turn for the worse in May, and so we knew the end was coming. I’m glad I got to see him and talk with him, reminisce, and say goodbye. Still, it was devastating. The funeral was a week ago. I still can’t believe he’s gone. But I just remember how lucky I am to have had all four of my wonderful grandparents for 28 years. Many of my friends have one or two or none. I had four up until now. I’m grateful.

What are you reading and writing? What inspires you right now? What shenanigans are you up to? I’ve been out of the blogging loop for two months, so please fill me in with news!!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week, Zigzaggers! Happy writing!!

Christmas Eve 1989 on Grandpa's lap
Why do I look so smug?
My guess is there was a fight among the grandkids
for the best seat in the room, and I won!
My sister and I with Grandpa at our
cousin's wedding on April 25, 2014.
My last photo with him.