On Writing and Restarting . . .


via Daily Prompt: Restart

I keep saying my cozy mystery manuscript is almost “finished”. But then I think I should restart the writing process. I feel I could create a much better work now that I have been actively writing longer and my words flow more freely.

But should I? Or would it be better to devote the time to my new ideas, the list of non-fiction works I think I can whip out more quickly? I need to stay focused to avoid false starts and wasted time, but how does a writer determine what’s best to work on at that particular time.

Perhaps I should take a break, read a book, and later restart my writing brain hoping it will have sorted itself out after having it’s switch turned off for a time – as confused  computers process information efficiently once more after we restart them.

Comments anyone?

P.S. I do have a great new read just now – Crazy Like a Fox by Rita Mae Braun. Stay tuned for the review!

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On Blogging: Is it Just My Imagination . . .


via Daily Prompt: Imagination

or does regular blogging really help build writing skills and spur imaginative ideas for more blogs? When first blogging, I wondered how I would find enough material for ongoing articles. I imagined each post would require major research and much editing.

Since I’ve been publishing posts on a regular basis, I find myself writing, and typing, much faster, with fewer obvious errors. I have running lists in my pocket, purse, and by my bedside of new topics I’d like to research or simply post my opinion about.

It seems amazing how much more I’ve actually accomplished in my personal life too, since blogging more. It seems I’ve found my passion, and pursuing it doesn’t drain my energy as much as wondering what my passion really was for most of my life. I’ve learned a lot about various topics over the years, well actually decades, I must admit: dog behavior and competitive obedience trials, gardening, home arts, environmental issues, wellness and fitness, and of course, the passion behind this particular blog, reading  – about everything- but especially cozies. So, there’s a wide range of topics to choose from.

The writing adage – write about what you know is so true. Writing about what I know was the key to triggering my imagination, enabling me to begin composing fiction too, a few years ago, something I thought I could never do, and it’s the obvious key to blogging.

Start with what you know, and imagination will lead you to share your thoughts in a new way. Once you’re on that trail, you tap into that creative chain of consciousness, becoming in-spirit (inspired), putting things on paper before they’ve even entered your mind. You type faster and more efficiently, with less errors. Your confidence increases.

For years I fought my inclination to write, feeling I lacked training to accomplish anything worth while, that I was wasting my time. Once I got over my sense of denial, I learned I could create compositions that some would want to read.

I’m still far from being a greatly skilled writer, but blogging is making me a better one, I believe.

Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss”, to achieve success. That’s as true for blogging as it is for any pursuit. The more we blog, the better we can become. So, to all beginning bloggers and to veterans too:

“Keep Calm and Blog On”.

P. S. Since The Daily Post requires working quickly to post the same day, it’s a great way to build experience and trigger one’s instinctive imagination.

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Have Yourself a Little Golden Holiday

The subject of this site is primarily mystery book reviews but today I’d like to share a seasonal experience that triggered fond memories. Maybe the story will trigger some for you too.

Wandering through Wooster Ohio’s annual Window Wonderland event I stumbled upon a treasure – a time capsule from childhood. The display in the window of Books in Stock, a great used book store featured a collection of Little Golden Books, with the caption “Have a Little Golden Holiday”. I grew up on Little Golden Books and I’m sure many readers of a certain age did also. The adorable stories of kittens and bunnies, as well as the informative ones fed my developing appetite for the written word. I believe Peter Rabbit was my favorite (though close behind are: The Three Little Kittens and The Little Red Hen). My heart pounded in my chest as Peter ran from Mr. MacGregor, and I suffered with him as he retired to bed with chamomile tea, asking my mother for some of the comforting concoction which our local food store didn’t stock, but one I reach for today when I suffer from digestive distress.

As I gazed at the display I wondered if Little Golden Books were still available today. It was disconcerting to learn that in 2015 Random House, which apparently purchased  Little Golden Books from Western Publishig in 2001 released the first Little Golden Book in history based upon a film that was rated PG-13 (Star Wars: EpisodeIII -Revenge of the Sith). – A far cry from The Poky Little Puppy, one of the first Little Goldens to be released and the top-selling children’s book of all time. I understand The Poky Little Puppy is still available today though, and that it’s essentially the same as the one printed in 1942.

The Little Golden books were created by Georges Duplaix, who was head of Artists and Writers Guild, Inc., a division of Western Publishing which focused upon developing children’s books. Until the first Little Goldens went to press in1942, Previously, affordable books for youngsters were not readily available. Ownership of the company seems to have changes several times along the way, but I’ll spare those details today.

Readers who grew up with Little Golden Books are invited to share their favorite in the comments section.

Joining Books in Stock in Wishing All a Little Golden Holiday: