Category Archives: Writing

Today’s Word

Today's Lesson

Today’s word is all me.  If I didn’t get yelled at so frequently for things like not eating or sleeping, I’d spend every evening writing until I ran out of words…or couldn’t keep my eyes open any more.  Heck, if I could find a way to pay the bills, I’d drop this job and spend all day writing too!  However, bills must get paid, and bodies need fuel and sleep (apparently).

 

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To Boldly Go

 

 

Roddenberry's Star

Roddenberry’s Star (Photo credit: thewind)

 

To Boldly Go

 

In Oklahoma, we have this great media company, This Land Press, that tells the stories of our state that don’t get a lot of attention.  Through them, I’m learning a lot about the place I’ve spent more than half my life.  For example, today, I discovered that there is a place with a set made to resemble a Star Trek bridge.  You can go film there, take pictures for weddings, whatever…for free.  I’m not a huge Trekkie, although I’ve watched just about every episode aired, and every movie made (… wait … that’s a lot of Star Trek … maybe … whatever).  Now, I really want to write a short screen play, gather up anyone who wants to a film a movie…on a Star Trek bridge…in Oklahoma City…

 

‘Til next time,

 

Jessica

 

 

 

 

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Expanding Your Seductive Power

Seductive Power

Word of the Week (sorry for the alliteration)

chimerical

 

This one kind of makes sense for me.  With a root that looks like the Greek mythical creature, chimera, it works.  The mythical beast is described as being part lion, goat, and snake.  Although, over the years, it has come to describe any creature comprised of parts of different animals, and if that’s not something created of “unchecked imagination” I don’t know what is.

So what do you think about the weekly vocab lesson?  Like it?  Hate it?  Love it?  Don’t care?

Til next time,

Jessica

 


Thursday’s Word…

Seductive PowerAnd today’s word is…lacuna

There’s a band, Lacuna Coil.  Good to know what “Lacuna” means now.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


This Is A Different Thing All Together

Cover of "Skeleton Crew"

Cover of Skeleton Crew

“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.”
― Stephen KingSkeleton Crew

This is such a wonderful description of a short story.  I could not resist sharing.  Before I discovered Fragile Things and Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman I didn’t own many short story collections.  Sometimes I would stumble upon really good ones online or I’d pour through collections from college for favorites, or maybe I’d borrow an anthology from a friend.  However, I didn’t seek out short stories the way I do novels.  Well, that is just not going to work anymore

 

Cover of "Fragile Things: Short Fictions ...

Cover via Amazon

These days time is the most valuable commodity, and I don’t know about you, but I always seem to come up a little short.  In the wake of things-that-must-be-done, novels go unread, memoirs lie abandoned, and works of art “in progress” gather dust.  I know, the fault is no one’s but my own.  The to-do list is largely voluntary, and I don’t regret doing any of it.  The opportunity for a great experience is hard to pass by, but it comes at a sacrifice of those things that relax, steady, and recharge me.  Short fiction has become a solution to fill my need to read, learn, and continue to increase my skill as a writer.  So, I’m branching out…again.

 

I’m in the middle of Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, but I’m almost finished reading it.  I’m going to need a little help to keep me going.  Who do you think writes good short stories?  Any favorite collections?

 

‘Til next time,

 

Jessica

 

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A Decent Vocabulary Will Go A Long Way

A Decent Vocabulary Will Go A Long Way

I don’t know about you, but I really love language.  There is nothing quite as satisfying as being able to choose the exact right word for a given situation, and, thanks to the lovely internet, I come across new words to add to my ever-expanding vocabulary every day. I thought, I’d create a new Thursday special feature with cool words.

Why Thursday? I keep getting “Thor’s Day” and “Castiel the angel of Thursday” stuck in my head…nearly every week, so Thursday needed a special feature. (It really could be worse. I promise. How would you pick a day?)Plus, it is the day before the week ends, and everybody needs a bit of an intellectual boost to get through Friday, right?

Today’s word (duh duh dun):

petrichor

Yes, I had to pick a word that I first heard in a Doctor Who.  I couldn’t resist.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

 


For Those in Doubt…Including Me

I get these Daily Rumpus emails by Stephen Elliott, and Saturday he linked to this video on The Rumpus site. The Gap by Ira Glass came at a good time. Reading over the short stories I’m working on, and recent drawings left me with the it’s-all-crap feeling. All the creative types I know suffer through this, and sometimes it is just a phase…sometimes that phase makes encore performances.

  1. It doesn’t all suck. It just isn’t…polished.  You’ll either get an end product you’re satisfied with (deadlines keep me from the endless “perfecting” that happens otherwise) or you’ll get three wishes from a genie…okay, so maybe just an end result you don’t hate.
  2. Keep working.  None of us ever get where we want to be without effort.  Besides, if we got everything perfect the first try, what do we have to strive for?
  3. Imperfections are where the love lives…just keep working

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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How Do You Say That?

So I have a problem.  It isn’t a big problem, but it is recurring.  The problem is I read a lot.  How is that a problem, you ask?  Well, let me ‘splain it to you, Lucy?  My vocabulary is rather…extensive, because I read a lot.  Some of the words that I know, don’t get bandied about very often in normal conversation.  However, I read them and I know what they mean.  I think I know how they’re supposed to sound…sometimes I’m wrong.  Sometimes, when you know the perfect word for a situation, you just go with how you think it is pronounced.   Sometimes, you ask your mother, who has an equally extensive vocabulary, how you say it.  Sometimes, you’re right…or not.  John Green tackles this in a Mental Floss video.  Commonly mispronounced words.

Tell me I’m not the only person this happens to.  Please?

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Things That Drive Me Nuts…Common Grammar and Spelling Mistakes

I grew up with The Comma Queen.  Grammar mistakes were often met with glib sayings that have stayed with me, (and end up uttered whenever faced with a opportunity similar situation) apparently, for life.  Did things like this ever happen to you?

Examples

Question: Where is the insert whatever you’re trying to find here at?
Answer: Somewhere before the “at”.

Question: Are you done yet?
Answer: I am not a turkey.  I will be finished in a moment.

This upbringing contributed to a healthy dislike of the misuse of the English language.  Not saying I’m never…as correct as I possibly could have been.  I have to think really hard about the difference between “lay” and “lie”, “who” and “whom”, and “affect” and “effect.”  Thank goodness for Mental Floss.  John Green talks about common grammar and spelling mistakes in this video.

This is my contribution to making social media a little less annoying.  Hopefully, yours too.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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Don’t Protect Yourself From Your Art

Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa (Photo credit: ama_lia)

 

This quote struck me as terribly true today.

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time. ”
― Lady Gaga

Sometimes you have to shine a light on things that you’d prefer to leave in the dark, and you don’t realize that you’ve been hiding until you get there.  I’m really fighting the urge to expose less, and not dig quite so deep when I’m writing even when I know the end product is so much better when I do.

Recently, I saw Lady Gaga on The Graham Norton Show, and I was incredibly impressed by her.  She was very intelligent and full of grace and generosity of spirit.  Her attitude toward both her fellow guests and her fans was really beautiful, and listening to her discuss her motivations for creating her costumes was fascinating.  I had to admit that I’d dismissed her as gimmicky, in spite of her amazing talent and voice, solely because of her fashion decisions.  Some days you learn about being a better person in the most unexpected places.

‘Til next time,
Jessica

 

 

 

 

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