Minecraft: Can it be used for writers?

Hello again. I want to go back to a subject that I addressed on here some time ago, and that is video games, or more in particularly a game that I’m sort of obsessed with, and that is Minecraft. Minecraft was first started back in 2009 and has most recently been making a comeback.

Image result for minecraft

Minecraft is a pixel came where you build things using squares and everything is squares in this game. There are three ways to play the game: survival, creative and adventure mode. My favorite of these three ways is creative mode, because you just get to create without having to forage for things and mining for dirt, minerals and such.

The reason, why I’m talking about this game is that as writers we enjoy the process of creating, and that is essentially what you can do in the game. While you can’t necessarily write as you play, but I have found that while creating my house, my farm, and such that my mind is being engaged in ways that never knew that a game could do.

If you haven’t had an interest in playing, I suggest before you knock it down, give it a try and see what things you feel inspired to create. If you need inspiration, try looking at all the different videos on YouTube that is on the subject.

So while Minecraft may not be for fully writing out stories, but in other ways it can help you create and may even help you achieve that look that you want for a building. But instead of looking up a picture and going off of that for inspiration, you built the inspiration yourself.

Minecraft is available on PC, XBOX, Playstation and the Nintendo Switch.

Minecraft nor any of its creators endorsed this post.

I hope that you have enjoyed finding a new tool that can help you with your writing today.

Thank you again and I hope that you have a happy writing day! Happy writing and happy creating.

 

Homeschooling and Writing for those Children

During this outbreak of COVID-19, also know as the Corona virus, for many that have children, they are not in school but they are home. While there are a lot of resources out there to keep children engaged to their studies. Let’s also bring up one study that can be incorporated into that school work, writing. But not just writing but creative writing.

This one of the greatest things, that I love about my platform is that I get to talk about this subject, for there are many out there going I want to share the gift of stories with my child or further how do you get them to embrace the art and craft that is writing?

While there are different ways that you can go about this, there are some pieces of advice that I will give and for the most part are some of the ways that I learned to write. The first piece of advice, is work on the vocabulary. Don’t over whelm them with big words but use words that are appropriate for their age group. You might remember that when you were in first or second grade and up until seventh grade that you were giving spelling lists that were themed. These themes ranged from Halloween to spring themed and the latter.

Now here are some suggestions that I’m going to barrow if you will from a former teacher of mine. She would have us write the words five times on a sheet of paper, depending on pen-men-ship you could get about 10 or twelve words on a sheet. The second step was that we had to find the definition of the word and write down the definition. Then she would have us draw a picture of the word being used, and for that part of the assignment you picked eight words, and you would fold the piece of paper into four squares so that you would have four pictures on both sides of the paper. Then lastly, we would have to use the words in a sentence or a more cleverly a story. Then next was the spelling test. Now granted, you can do this however you like. My favorite method that we do at my house was spelling baseball.

What is spelling baseball?

You don’t use a ball but you use the same positions that you do in baseball and have four areas so that you have a diamond. If you have more kids this is really fun. But each kid is given a word they spell the word and if they get right they get to take their base, if they get it wrong then they get a strike. You give them three chances to get the word right. Also you can have one kid that goes from being a player to being a score keeper. Everyone’s engaged and they are learning at the same time. You can also use this ticket for having your kids learn their multiplication tables too.

Another thing that you can do, during this time is read to your kids. Reading helps with them developing images in their mind of what is going on in the book. This is handy for when they go from picture books to chapter books. Make them imagine the characters and later on have them draw a picture of an image that they got from the time that you were reading to them. Now take this a step further, if there is a movie based on the book, show them the movie but only after the book is finished.

The other idea, that might help get kids to write is having them write fan-fiction. This method has been used countless times in the classroom, granted its usually done with fairy tales first, but since you are the teacher you can use anything that they like. This might include any movie that they enjoy. But the idea is to get them to write a short story, and depending on age if they are like first or second grade no more than a page or a even half-page. If the children are older than you can be the judge. I know that from middle school to high school the max that we could go was five pages.

So the key takeaways from this is: vocabulary, reading, writing and having fun.

If the child is not having fun writing they are not going to understand why many enjoy it. But not only should it be fun for them but it should be fun for them as well.

I hope that this gives you some ideas on how to engage your children during this time to not only being away from school but to keep their minds engaged.

Also, even though, this outside of the normal things that I talk about on this page, but also find a craft that you can do together with the kids. This idea was an inspiration from one of Facebook Friends, in that her girls have been working on school stuff they take an hour after school is done, to crotchet or knit together as away for distance themselves from the school work that is being done at home to the rest of the evening that is supposed to be their time.

Remember, that right now they are also going through an adjustment period, and that also means that the line between school and home is sort of getting blurred. But if you can find a way to show them that there is a line between the two while at home, you have got it made.

If you have tips of your own on getting children to engage to story and to writing and want to share them, comment down below.

Thank you and I hope that you have found this post helpful during this time. Happy writing and happy creating.

Image result for home school

It Starts with a Single Spark…

During the past several weeks, I have been trying to get back into habit of writing even if it is by use of pen and paper. Yes, the old way of writing that some of us use to do in school to pass the time. Most of what I was written has been short pieces or even scenes of bigger pieces, and my most recent try is a Harry Potter fan-fiction piece. Whatever, it is I’m trying to get back into the swing of it from my somewhat lengthy break.

In my last post, I had written that I was taking a break due to all the drama that had taken place within our community. Let’s admit that last year was ugly and this year it seems has been no exception to have its share of drama for the writing community. I will not go into the latest bit of drama on this post, other than to say that advanced reader copies are free!

Although, I could bring up this latest drama, I won’t for it has been kicked about and talked about quite a bit on AuthorTube.

However, with all the drama being battered about in the writing community, I have made the decision that it is not going to effect my writing or my business for that matter. I need to get back into the full swing of writing for I have missed it dearly from my life, and for a while I have been looking for that single spark to get back into what I love dearly.

I have found a few threads along the way, that I have kicked me back into it, and the greatest spark came last night, thanks to my incredibly loving boyfriend. He drew me a lovely soak bath. While I was enjoying this gift of a bath, I closed my eyes and thought about the stress that I have been facing in my life, besides not writing, and then I pushed those thoughts out of my head, and thought about my writing.

Needless to say, the clarity came to me that I need to push out whatever doubt that I may have about my stories and just write. This same advice that I have given to others, I was ignoring and that is not how I should have been conducting myself. Yes, I will admit that I was not listening to the advice that I was giving out. So now I’m going to listen to my own advice and write what I want to write and ignore what others have to say.

I have stories to tell and what goes on in the community should not interfere or bind me against my inner desires to write. Therefore, as of write now I’m holding on to the sparks that I have found and am going to write what I want. Furthermore, I have accepted that I have been letting others interfere in what I want to accomplish and that is not how I want to conduct my business. I am coming back and am engaging my craft with everything that I want it to be.

I want to grow as a write. I want my craft to grow with every story that I write. I want to pursue my passion like never before. Finally, I don’t want to go without a day of not writing. Granted, this is where I will also hold myself accountable, that during my break even though, I was not writing I was still thinking about writing. Yes, writing was still driving me and due to that drive, I could not ignore the simple fact that I needed to write. Therefore, I am back doing what I love, and I have really missed it dearly.

Even though, I am getting back to writing, there is one thing I am not partaking in Camp NaNoWriMo for the month of July. I am going to be taking it slowly to get back to into the swing of things, but I am coming back. This does not mean that any of my previous projects are dead in the water, it just means that I will also be taking another piece of advice and that is to be working on one project a time, and with that also in mind, seeing that project through until it is completed. No more leaving it on the shelf not to be touched for months.

Yes, I am some improving to do but that is all in part the growing stage of working on my craft and my passion, and I have to thank my boyfriend of helping me see that I needed a good soaking, warm bath. It just shows that sometimes that when you get a nice gesture, it comes to show that some incredible things can come from a gift; even, if it comes from somewhere unexpected.

I hope that you have found this post to be entertaining if not informative. Thank you, for being patient with me during my break. I hope that you all have a wonderful writing day! Happy Writing and Happy Creating until next time!

 

Using Writing Prompts

Last time, I spoke about how I was dealing with a dry spell in my writing. Well, that suddenly changed and you might be asking how did my situation change? The solution is by using a writing prompt. Or in my case, I created a prompt of my own. Yes, you could say that I was inspired or rather compelled to write based on a prompt.

The prompt in question came from a recent trailer for an episode of Shonda Rhime’s latest television spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19. The trailer starts with a line that goes something like:

“At the end of a funeral, someone will ring twenty bells.”

From the moment I heard this line, I was hooked. My mind was racing with ideas and it started my latest story idea and so far I’m over five thousand words into the first draft. Therefore, you might say that I found a spark that I have latched onto and it is working.

Finding a working spark at times it all it takes for us writers to get our creative juices flowing, and in order to get it working for us is to find that inspiration. Sometimes, finding the inspiration that works can come from a prompt of any sort. It could be a simple line from a television promo, a line of dialog, a picture, or even a simple writing prompt that we find either online or in one of our numerous writing guides. Wherever the prompt may come from if it gives your writing wings then let that baby soar and ride it out as far as you can.

Furthermore, take note that sometimes we writers need or rather can use a prompt to give our writing a gentle nudge or a giant push. In my case, the working prompt that I’m using gave me a giant push to get me out of my rut, and I’m happy that I found something that is working.

Granted, on this project, I have not given it a titled or really jotted down any notes, for you might say that I’m flying by the seat of my pants. Now, granted this where the discussion of being a plotter or a pantser comes into play; however, there are times when you have to say screw being a plotter and just go with the flow of being a pantser. Now, when it comes to the second draft, if something is missing from that first draft then you can start plotting what is missing to improve that initial draft. But if you have hit a hard rut, sometimes being a pantser to get you out of that rut can be both creative and rewarding.

But of course we are only talking about working on that initial first draft, not the other drafts that may or will come into play after the fact. Granted, just looking at getting out of the rut in the first place, is the biggest challenge. Just like a hero must make the choice to accept the call, we writers can take that same piece of advice with what we are given. If we ignore that call then we might lose out on what could possibly one of the best stories that we could possibly write. Sometimes, we just have to take the same piece of allowances that we give our characters and apply it to our writing.

Sometimes, we will find not only archetypes in the presence of our characters, but in our writing as well. Furthermore, we have to understand as writers what we are working with and what we are also facing in our writing to work with what we are being given. In my current, case I know that I was given a wonderful gift from one simple line that came from a television promo, and my lovely muse is enjoying the freedom to play and based on that play time is feeding me information. Therefore, I’m not wasting the gift that has been presented to me and am writing and working on my first draft.

It’s a wonderful thing for us writers when we find that one spark that allows us to set our writing on fire and our fingers to be set free across the keyboard. Therefore, on that note I will allow you get back to whatever project you are currently working on.

I hope that you all have a wonderful writing day! Happy writing and happy creating until next time.

The Confidence that comes with the Job

Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more posts on social media platforms, such as Facebook about how writers are not feeling confident in their writing. I know last week that I talked a bit about this; however, I feel that having the confidence also goes hand in hand with as our job as writers.

The one thing that I did not mention in the post last week is about questions that we should be asking ourselves. The questions that I have in mind go something like this, “If I don’t tell this story who will?” The answer should be no one will. “If I don’t tell my story who is going to know about it?” The answer again should be no one. The final question should be “Should I tell this story?” The answer should be yes. If you answer no then maybe you need to work on another project for a while or think about what you could be doing other than your passion. Furthermore, the other question that you can ask yourself is “Who should know my story?” The answer should be everyone.

Granted, not everyone will know our story, but that should be the goal in the back of our mind that everyone including their mother should know the story that we are telling. This should be the case if you are writing fiction or creative nonfiction such as memoir, or even nonfiction. If you can tell a story then you are doing your job. In the case of nonfiction, especially with history there are so many cases and stories that not everyone knows about, and that is okay but if you have the information to tell the story or even add to the story then others will take notice of that. Let me give you the best example that I can think of is all the different documentaries and specials that have been released about the Titanic. If you watch a series of them, each one will tell a different side of the sinking or what took place on the Titanic. I must admit that I am a huge fan of the story, not just what was put in the movie of the same name. The Titanic itself has a mass array of information out there. Another example from a literary standpoint is either the Holy Grail or the legend of King Arthur, which I am a fan of both.

There have been numerous takes on all these stories but the beauty of it is that you have more information to add to that little cabinet that you store all that information into, and you can go back to it at a later date. The reason why I bring this up is that when you have that information, you gain the confidence that you need to tell the story or you have another piece to the overall puzzle. Yes, you will doubt on whether you should be the one to tell the story, but the confidence should overpower the doubt and you will work with the ease and confidence to write or even tell that story.

Look at this way, if you were at a party and you heard someone talking about the Titanic and they were hitting on points that you know but they were not hitting or saying it the right way, you can say to them, “May I add something to your discussion?” They will usually say “yes” you add what you need to, and let them ask you questions and you will answer them with confidence for you have the information. They may ask where you got your information and you will tell them that you got it from this documentary or book or wherever you came across the information and they will want to write it down and that is fine, for you added to their cabinet of information. When you walk away at the end of the night you have more confidence then you did going to the party.

That is how we should be feeling as writers when we are telling our stories. I’m going to leave you with one more piece of advice: eat some chocolate for it can help with that confidence. Or find something that will let your mind and what you are feeling melt away and let you find the joy in your writing.

I hope that you have another fantastic writing day!

It’s Friday….

Happy Friday! It’s almost the middle of the month, before we know it the Holidays will be here, which means how do we as writers get in our writing time, between the parties, the gatherings and events that we have going on. The easiest advice that I can give, which is basically going back to that if you have 15 minutes to write do so. It’s all part of finding that balance.

Just like we have to the balance in eating all the food that comes across our plates this holiday, we also have to find balance get in our writing time. You might be going why give this advice now? The answer is why not? Any time before we get into the holidays is a good time to get this advice. I know the holidays are about being festive, and finding the joy and good will towards others.

The other part about the holidays is that you can carry that spirit into your writing as well. This is a good time, to watch those old holiday classics, or read some of the good old holiday classics. During this time of year, we should add some happiness and joy into what we write. This may seem sappy advice, but you always feel like your writing is sad and depressing and you want it to be up beat, bring in some of that holiday cheer.

I know I have been talking alot about magic, natural writing, but part of having that holiday cheer is feeling that there is magic all around. This is also where we as fantasy writers, go back to what we know about winter and stories. Think of Narnia in the Lion, the Witch and Wardobe, winter is what gives the White Witch her power. In the Dark is Rising, we are in winter at the start of the book, and darkness comes to play. If you’ve watched the film, Legend, winter is the season of darkness.

I’m not saying that we should be considering winter as dark and cold, even though it is, but we should consider winter as our fantasy season. This is the season where a lot takes place and it can also bring about those fantasy elements, for we get the pretty lights, the tinsel, the glitter, its a time where people create. Creating during this time of year, means backing, doing arts and crafts, but for us writers it a time for us to either write or to relax after doing NaNoWriMo. Either way, writing should be enjoyed during this time of year, and we should create just as much as everyone else so that we can enjoy creating the magic that is in our writing and that is the holiday season.

Thank you and have a happy Friday. If you have enjoyed this session on Faerie Rose Press, please, like down below.

Can Writing be Magic?

Let me ask you, can writing be magic? In my view, yes, writing can be magical. Magic if is a verb means to make something move, to be changed or to be created. When we write we are making words move. As we write we hope to change the world. Then finally when we write we work on creating a story, a world, or a situation that we put our characters into. Therefore, writing can be magic.

When we write magic, we want our readers to experience the same type of magic. We want them to feel the magic that is in our story worlds. We want them to experience the feelings that our characters express and we want them to hear not only our voice but the voice that we have for our characters. The pure joy for us as writers, is when our readers understand what we were getting at with our writing. Granted, when they start to analysis our writing, they may have a different understanding than what we intended, but that can be considered as the magic that our readers give to us as writers.

We may disagree with their analysis, but on the other hand, they may give us insight that we did not have before when we were writing our stories. However, we should take it as a gift in return for it shows that we have readers, who took the time to read what we had written on the page. You might be asking yourself is that magic though?

I would have to say, yes that is magic, for they may change how we view our writing. It may move us to think in a different way as well. It might be a stretch to think about how it creates something, but it might for it might compel us to write some more or to create a new world based on the information that we gained from our readers.

We should in turn look at it as what not only what can we give our readers, but what can our readers give to us in return. The answer for me is magic. We give magic and in turn we would like to have some of the magic back. Just as we are children, who believe in faeries, or wizards and witches, we desire to have magic in our lives. We keep looking for it and holding on to those feelings that we see in motion pictures or when we read those types of stories. We want the magic. We desire the magic, and above all we want the world to be magical.

Therefore, writing is magic, and how we use that magic can be the greatest talent that we can ever possess.

I hope that you have liked this discussion on magic and writing. If you would like you can you comment down below on your takes on magic and writing. Thank you, again my friends.