Keeping the Crayons Sharp

Adult coloring books are such a ginormous hit these days. Ironic isn’t it? That we spent most of our lives  rebelling against the lines,  determined to not be limited by the lines, coloring outside the lines, driving outside the lines . . . OH wait,  that was just me.

The following are a few LINES that  my new bullet journal allow me to color outside of. I swear, I am having an OCD overdose.  I may have to send Ryder over at some manly roses or a plant or something. You can all thank my friend Dana from Satin Sheets Diva for the continued bullet journaling posts.

I know there are all sorts of creative people on youtube sharing about their artsy fartsy journals,  for now I am happy that I  have one journal not five for various functions. (By the way, not making fun of those –  they are brilliant.  I’m just not there yet. They give me something to shoot for!)

Where was I?  OH yes . . . the lines that I am coloring outside of:

  1. In submission guidelines in a 1980 magazine, the submission was required that your sentences in the manuscript read from left to right, top to bottom, the exception being only for poetry. HA! HAHAHAHA! I Laugh in the face of proper ordered wordage. I can write down the side of my page, I can write diagonally across the page, I can even write from top to botom if I choose to do so because it’s mine, Mine, MINE! In celebrating this newfound freedom, yesterday’s journal reads like this:  2016-02-04 11.20.22
  2. Same submission guidelines (Yeah, I found an old Writer’s Digest while cleaning out my basement.) A good way to break into freelance includes editing grammatically weak tattoos and ghostwriting hate letters to the telephone company. WHAT????  What does that even mean? By today’s translation does that mean that I should go get a grammatically incorrect tattoo in protest of  one of the phone companies?  Sprant with a circle and strike through? Or maybe I should go retro and get a bell with a circle and strike through.  I *heart* Hal – on a tee maybe. That may be way before many people’s time, maybe not. I dunno,  I’ll have to think aobut this one.  This one may be rebellion fodder for another day.
  3. Do not bind the pages together of your manuscript s together with C-clamps.  I had to laugh. Of course the  innner child finds the humor of this irresistible. My solution –  not a C-clamp, but these things are so handy! Since this is my first go at this venture,  I’m not really worried about anything super cool. Come on,  the notebook was 33 cents! 2016-02-04 11.17.18
  4. The placing of smiley face stickers on or about your manuscript does not measurably enhance its appeal.  Get thee behind me Satan!  Of course it does! Smiley faces are the bomb. It lets you know of your happiness  level on those days that you feel like the storm clouds of life are following you around. Smiley faces are a necessary addition to any  journal or calendar or notebook or  anything. (See image above with smiley face addition.)
  5. To sell inspirational pieces and lovely poetry you must have a three part name and  credentials behind your name. Ms. Ellie Mack the Divine! How’s that?  That’s five parts. Why aren’t you laughing? I will come over there and “inspire you” to laugh one way or the other buster. Let me tell you my lovely poetry.  There once was a lady from Mitts who had  these really big . . . . .  moving on. I’m not sharing my poetry. I am not a poet. I have notes. Notes that are mine not anyone elses and are for my eyes only.   I have quotes. Quotes that are meaningful to me because it’s MINE and it’s for me.  YES,  I am being a selfish bitch! I’m over 50, it’s allowed.
  6. Dont seal the SASE. BWAHAHAHAHA! Billiant.  I would have never thought of that on my own.  Now If I can just come up with some place I need to send SASE to. . . (For you younguns that don’t know what SASE is –  Self Addressed Stamped Envelope)
  7. Use top quality ink, never handwritten in pencil. Seriously? First off, who would submit  their work even in 1980 handwritten?   If it were back in the 1800’s maybe but 1980?  I mean we had these huge typewriters that weighed as much as a grown man.  By 1985 we had dot matrix printers available, granted typed was better than that, but still. So, . . . just to be  kitschy, I am dedicating tomorrow’s journal entry to crayons. Do they still come in the big ultra pack with the sharpener built in? I may need to run to the store tonight and buy me a box. OOH! Then I can make a rainbow bridge with my favorite colors and add gold glitz and silver around the edges. I may have to make my own coloring page. I haven’t actually used crayons in a long time.  I think I need some.

The deal is this is MY journal.  You do what you want in yours, I will do what I want in mine.  It’s for my eyes,  for me to keep my daily grind from grinding me down to nothing. It’s to keep on track and not miss apoointments and have a bit of reflection for successes and failures.  It’s a way for me to track my blog posts and hit my goals.

Nex time (bullet journal blogpost) I’ll share a little about my layout and what I’ve already tweaked.  This is the main reason why I love this system – I can personalize it in whatever fashion that I want to, or not. If I don’t want to write a bunch of stuff that day,  I don’t.  If all I want to do is write down my todo list that’s fine.  If I am feeling particularly long winded then I can write like the wind.

Live it OWN IT Love it!

(Words borrowed from one of my mentors!)

Write on my friends, write on!




The most frequently asked question of me as an author is, “Where do you get your inspiration?”

“Everywhere”  is the short answer.  There is no rhyme or reason for what, when, where, or who inspires me. It’s the same for my blog in case you hadn’t noticed. Whatever inspires me or catches my interest or my latest obsession (bullet journaling and crochet).

I have a couple of books of writing prompts that I sometimes use for inspiration. To be honest, most of those never make it past the journal. It’s intended as an exercise just as playing the scales and arpeggios  was practice for improving my mad piano skills, the prompts are to flex my writerly muscles. Once in a while those prompts are the seeds of something bigger.

I’ve shared in the past that my inspiration for Red Wine & Roses was a photograph of a stream during a flash flood that is located in the Smoky Mountains.  My inspiration for Valkyrie’s was a television series called the Librarian.  It was actually the opening sequence of the show that triggered my what if to kick into high gear. Then  it grew like a bamboo shoot. Slowly at first, then in brainstorming time — like a bamboo shoot– it suddenly grew to encompass a series, not just a stand alone novel.

As a writer,  I have spent years journaling short stories, flash fiction, personal journaling, tried my hand at poetry – yeah no.  I’ve practiced my craft. I’ve learned things that work and things that don’t.  I’ve gleaned information from what others said.

I still have a lot to learn,  but I’ve come a long way from the childish scribbles that I began with.

What inspires you?

Perhaps it’s a setting – take a look on Pinterest at travel posts, or exotic locations.  You’d think that I would have been inspired by tropical locations for a story, but instead I find that odd locations pique my interest. Valkyrie’s is located in Norway. Red Wine & Roses is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Not that those are odd necessarily, but not exactly my ideal getaway spot either. I have ideas for another series located in Egypt of all places.  Dry desert –  go figure.

Perhaps it’s a model that you envision as your next heroine – Who is she? What does she do? Where does she work? Where is she from? What motivates her? What are her deepest desires? What are her flaws?  Or if it’s a male, same for the hero – ask yourself these questions and find out who they are.



Maybe a plot gets you motivated –There are 20 master plots, some argue that there are only 7. Google master plots and find out if one catches your fancy.

Tragic Moment – Perhaps your motivation begins with the inciting incident. Go with it!

Writing is a continual learning curve. Do what works for you. Listen to  the experts, improve your skills, and work towards your goals. Pursue your writing dreams, not anyone elses.

Write on my friend, write on!