1. The Instant Energy is Ah-mazing!: Coffee is a great quick fix. You take a sip and you are instantly transformed into a new energetic being!
2. It Fills Me Up!: Another great (and unhealthy) reason why I love coffee is because of its staying power. Have you ever noticed that after drinking a good cup of strong coffee, you appetite is curved for hours. This saves money, time, and guilt.
3. It Looks Great in Pictures: Coffee is simply an amazing accessory to almost anything. Food, computers, and pages of work are all good things to add in a picture next to coffee.
4. You Can Have it Simple or Really Complicated: Black versus a white chocolate mocha, extra hot, with an extra shot of espresso, no whip, and soy. What else needs to be said?
5. You Can Find it Everywhere You go: Perhaps my favorite thing about is coffee is how popular and widely accessible it is. This brings a sense of diversity as well as familiarity. Some days I want the average cup of Joe. Other days, I want something different than I’d have at home.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves coffee? Why do you love it?
Felicia is a blogger, coffee lover, and reader. She has been blogging for over three years and has begun numerous blogs. Currently, she is the Administrator of Thoughtful Minds United which strives to bring a community of lives together via blog.
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There are usually 4 formats to buy a book in: hardcover, paperback, eBook, and audiobook. Which one is the best? See these pros and cons before deciding for yourself!
Pro: It’s always available on release day. This point comes down to patience. I am an impatient person when it comes to book releases, so I want the next book in a series yesterday. So, if a book is released that I’ve been anticipating for a while, I’ll buy the hardcover on the release day. Continue reading →
Part 3: The Life of Writing
The life of writing isn’t like a job where you clock in and clock out. Sure, if you’re a journalist, but not if you’re writing fiction. If a day goes by and you don’t write a single word, there’s no one to dock your pay.
So now, the final book you need in your regular reading diet as a writer: something about actually living the writing life. Because, guess what? Just focusing on the writing itself isn’t enough. Unless your goal is to finish your novel and stick it in a drawer. Or if you don’t actually care about finishing. Or if you just want to dabble, if writing is just a hobby. But if you want to get your writing out into the world and reach readers, you’ll need to do more. And you’ll need a guide. In The Art of War for Writers, James Scott Bell serves up 77 bite-sized chapters on how to succeed in the life of writing, organized into three parts:
Continue reading →
Part 2: The Art of Writing
It’s sad but true: you can craft grammatically perfect prose, turn a nice phrase, and even come up with an insightful metaphor or two—and still write forgettable fiction. How many books feature the same stock characters and predictable plots? Or worse: unbelievable characters and clunky, hole-ridden plots? So, if you’re going to write, if you’re going to pour your time, your energy, your life into a world that doesn’t even actually exist—if you’re willing to do all that—why not make your writing the best it can possibly be?
In my last post, I featured a wonderful little book on the craft of writing, The Elements of Eloquence. It drills down deep into phrases, sentences, and rhetoric. Today, we look at the second kind of book that should be a part of every writer’s reading diet: a book on the art of writing, because writing is more than craft.
That’s right: as writers, we need to do more than just study the craft, we need to catch a vision of what great writing can be. In The Art of Fiction, John Gardner gives us exactly that. Continue reading →
By Brent Jackson
I’ve been blogging on and off for nearly 10 years. I start a blog and I’m off to the races. I have high energy at the start. I have lots of ideas for posts. It all seems easy. I can look down the road and imagine a thriving community around my blog and all is good.
Well that’s how it always starts. Then reality sets in. The energy starts to drop after a few weeks. The ideas for new posts don’t flow as quickly. Before I know it … dead blog. I was getting to the point that I could picture an imaginary graveyard with little gravestones for each of my past blogs.
I finally broke the pattern! My current blog is a year old next month (May 2016). That’s far longer than any of my past blogs. My energy level is still high (with a little help from coffee). I actually have a backlog of ideas to write about. Scheduling travel and taking time for research is my biggest challenges this cycle. I guess that’s the benefit of finding a subject I’m passionate about. I’m confident this blog is going the distance. Continue reading →
Part 1: The Craft of Writing
What’s the most important rule of writing a novel? Get your butt in the chair and write. Got that? Good. But what’s next? What will take you from hack to Hemingway? Here’s an idea: read.
Read the kinds of things you want to write, of course. Then read things that aren’t like what you want to write. Read classics. Read poetry. (I’ve heard that Ray Bradbury read poetry every day. Reading his work, I believe it.)
But if you really want to write, then make sure you read books about how to write, and how to be a writer. And then read them again. While there’s no shortage of writing advice out there on the internet, do yourself—and your readers—a favor and dig a little deeper. Make these three kinds of writing books a part of your regular reading diet:
- A book about the craft of writing.
- A book about the art of writing.
- A book about the life of writing.
Without a doubt, there are no shortage of books that fit the bill. In this series of three articles, I’ll introduce my go-to picks for each of these three necessary books. Today, a look at one on the craft of writing. In following posts I’ll take a look at the the art of writing and life of writing.
Continue reading →
“What difference does it make who is speaking?”
This is the last sentence Michel Foucault writes in his 1969 essay What is an Author? [Admittedly, he wrote it in French, which makes the title: Qu’est – ce qu’un auteur? and the question: Qu’importe qui parle?. They sound so much cooler and philosophical, don’t you think?]. In this essay, he postulates that literary criticism should not focus on trying to understand the work through analysing the author’s biography in extensive detail (as many critics have done and still continue to do). He calls this “man-and-his-work” criticism. Rather, it should examine the work and its use of “structure, architecture, intrinsic form, and internal relationships”.
Of course, being a philosopher, Foucault then goes into even more detail: ok, let’s focus on the work (oeuvre). What exactly is a ‘work’? What qualifies as ‘work’? If we rummage through piles and piles of Einstein’s notes (if I’m not mistaken, he uses Nietzsche as an example) and find a shopping list scribbled in the corner of a page, do we include that as part of his work?
In contemporary Internet terms: would a blog post by an established writer about their breakfast – with pictures! – be considered part of their work? Continue reading →
We’ve all been there. Standing in line, either scanning the menu boards to decide what we want or already with “the usual” in mind, waiting to inch up to the cash register and step into the spotlight. Only it doesn’t come when you place your order; it comes when the cashier asks, “Can I get your name?”
There are two things you have to hope for at this point. The first is that your answer won’t be drowned out or distorted by some noise in the background, like a blender roaring to life or a small child knocking something over with a crash. The second is that your parents gave you a name that isn’t about to get mangled.
Some people can walk into Starbucks and walk out again with their actual name spelled correctly in sharpie on the side of their cup. Whenever I’ve said my name is Carol, I’ve been among those people.
My name isn’t Carol. Continue reading →
I’m so happy I got a chance to guest blog on blog and I’m sure I’ll be ready for guest posts on my blog too in April because I’m going to have my exams.
So today I decided to do a post about the things that I dislike in books. Of course these things are not that important and nor do they lessen my love for books in any way but still they are there.
1) Big font for authors and a small one for the title of the book– Okay I’ve observed this on many books. Take for example any Stephen King novel. All of them has his name written so big. I get it that he wants to promote his books by his name and people will buy his books just by seeing his name on the cover but is there really a need to highlight the name so much? I think it gets on my nerves how the cover looks with name so big.
2) All the books in the same series have different heights– The second most disturbing thing is that the height of the books changes with every sequel. There is no similarity in the whole series and it makes it weird seeing the books on my shelf. I just wish every book to have somewhat same height. It sure seems to be monotonous but in the end it’s a series. Continue reading →
The primary purpose of world building is to ground the story in a consistent setting in which your characters live and move. What I’ve tried to do is give some tips and pointers in how to go about the process of world building, starting with making decisions, basics for the process, inspiration, and what not to do. Examples are given from well-followed continuities to make things easier to understand.
Choose a type of world. Make this decision early and confidently, and don’t do a lot of other work until you have. Decide how far into that genre it will be. For instance, if you’re in a magical world, decide if it is Earth Magical (Harry Potter), medieval magical (Tamora Pierce’s Tortall and Emelyn books), or some other type of magical setting. You can combine genres as well, such as the TV show Firefly which is a space western.
Decide how you will make world building decisions. There are different methods and combinations for this. Some decisions are directed by the story’s plot or characters, while others will be made based on a particular species you’re working with. If you’re writing steampunk, it’s usually a good idea to set up a historically-based society, while a story about a starship will automatically put you in space. You can certainly change things about these settings, as Tortall and Emelyn are medieval based stories whose characters often challenge the patriarchal view one often finds there.
Do not dither back and forth when making decisions. Make a choice based on what you know and works for the story. While in some cases you’ll make changes later, most of the time you won’t. You don’t want to be changing every mention of something in an entire novel because you didn’t decide. Continue reading →