Fresh Bread + Books = This Post

I decided to watch a few BookTube videos as I was getting ready this morning, which is fairly normal for me, and managed to mis-read the title of one such video from ‘fresh reads’ to ‘fresh breads.” I re-read the title, watched the video, and giggled at myself…but the title “Fresh Breads” wouldn’t stop tapping at my brain. What could I do with this title? Could I turn ‘fresh breads’ into something bookish and/or writish without writing a short story about baking bread because, let’s face it, I don’t want to write a story about baking bread right now.

So…I came up with a sort of tag post (which I will probably turn into a video later). Here it goes:

Writing:

When you bake bread, much like when you write, there are several ingredients you must include no matter what type of goody you’re cooking up.

  1. Flour – Flour contains starches and proteins that are ultimately responsible setting the finished products volume, texture, and appearance. Name something in your current WIP that acts in the same way and ‘sets’ the finished product.

                                         I love the way Grandpa P interacts with the two 9 year old protagonists of the story. To me, his quirky and gentle spirit melds well with his adventurous side and helps the boys rise to the occasion, allowing them to find what they need and ‘setting’ the story. 

2) Salt – Salt is used to balance the yeast and boost flavors. Name something in your writing (style or current WIP) that helps to keep the balance or boost the narrative.

Sarcasm balances everything out…sarcasm and music :p

3) Yeast – Many breads use yeast to ferment the carbohydrates in dough and convert them to carbon dioxide bubbles, which makes the dough rise. What is a basic element in your writing (style or habit in general) that helps your story(ies) to rise?

I love the way words feel when they nestle in just right together. The way they trip and dance and snuggle in all the right ways. I like to think that my use of language employs that love and helps my writing style to rise.

4) Sweetener – Breads often include sugar, honey, or another type of sweetener to give them a flavor boost. What is something that ‘sweetens’ your writing?

An attempt at attention to details by showing the reader things the characters are seeing and hearing…or not paying attention to. Hopefully that little extra umph will sweeten the deal. 

5) Extras (fruit, nuts, meat, etc.)  – Many breads include sweet or savory elements that add an extra pop of flavor to the bread, making it into more of a meal or dessert. Name something about your current WIP that adds that element to nudge your story over the top.

One has pirate treasures and adventure to a soundtrack of classic rock songs, another has wild animals and great illustrations (thanks to my Mom! YAY Becky Tyree!), and finally the third WIP has magic and past lives that creep into mundane existences and turn us all around. 

Reading:

There are an incredible number of varying bread types throughout the world. Sweet, savory, and in-between these can be full meals, sweet treats, and even a daily supplement. The same goes for reading. These questions compare a few types of warm yummy bread to reading.

  1. Quick Bread – light, airy, and quick to make, this bread is often turned in to rolls, biscuits, coffee cake, etc. and is often a favorite of bakers and eaters alike. Name a book or genre that you consider to be like quick bread.

Contemporary reads, especially romances. I don’t often read them but there are a few on my shelf, just in case.

2) Rye Bread – a denser, more strongly flavored bread that comes in either dark or light varieties and can be spiced to add flavor and color. Name a book, series, or genre that you could see described like this.

This feels like Fantasy/Sci-Fi to me. There are so many different levels and sub-genres that can be visited here. For a book or a series, think about the difference between Tolkien’s LOTR and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. 

3) Sweet Bread – created with sweetened dough, toppings, and/or fillings, sweet breads are often baked into decorative shapes (such as animals etc). Name a book that felt shaped  and stuffed with sweetness.

I was originally going to say something about romances again, but I think I’m going to go with a classic and choose “Little Women” here. Yes, there were some not-so-sweet bits, but that book feels shaped like one of its main characters and stuffed full with sweet youth, drizzled in a tender sauce to ease growing up.

4) Tortilla – A flat bread dating back to prehistoric times, tortillas are made of corn or flour. Name a book or series that has withstood the test of time.

There are so many wonderful books I could mention here. I adore many of Shakespeare’s works, and Poe’s as well. However, I think I’ll choose Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” for this. With multiple movies and television series, Baker Street is still as popular as ever!

5) Baguette – A french bread with very crusty outside and delicate, tender ‘meat’ this bread is used for multiple purposes. Name a book or character that seemed thick skinned or ‘crusty’ at first, but that you later found to be delicate and tender once you got to know them OR that brings out multiple emotions in you.

I’m currently reading “Hollow City”, the second book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy, and I think I will choose the gypsy characters from this book. I won’t spoil anything here, but they definitely started out crusty and mellowed into tenderness. 

That’s all that I have for you right now! If I do a video I will attempt to come up with different answers and will post it on the blog as well.

I would love to see what Silver Threading, Ronovan, Words Warrior, and Charles make of this tag…as well as anyone else who would like to have a crack at it! Please make sure to let me know if you take this on, I can’t wait to see everyone’s answers!

Saturday Stories for March 23rd

Welcome All!!

Saturday Stories is the place for me to update you all on my weekly goals and give you a peek at something I’ve been working on. Happily, I managed to complete my three simple goals this week so I can start to move ahead on my projects (FINALLY!).

So since I don’t have anything else to update you on, let’s move ahead to the short story portion of our Saturday evening (woohoo!)

Here is an excerpt from somewhere withing my first novel, Dragon on My Neck, which is currently available on Amazon.

Passiona moved as quickly as a queen is allowed to move in public, marching down the sidewalk with an urgency and purpose that had any wayward servants jumping out of the way when they saw her coming. Excitement radiated from the fairy queen in waves, making her seem to float as she made her way into the library. After a hurried check to make sure they were alone, Franme closed the door and motioned Queen Passiona forward and into her usual seat.

“My queen,” The sorcerer began, his own excitement barely containable, “As I mentioned, I believe I have found you the way to gain the power you have been searching for.” He grabbed up a stack of papers and set them down on the long, wooden table in front of Passiona. “You’ll see that the first few pages here are a basic retelling of the story of Gendrail and Ralnion, However, there is one very basic difference between this version and the one found in the lighter tomes of legends. In this version Gendrail has a beloved. Pandem, the lord of chaos, was deeply in love with the shadow mother and created portals throughout our realm in order to visit her world.”

“Do not try my patience today Franme,” Passiona interrupted, leafing through the papers in front her disinterestedly, “What does this have to do with my power?”

“Majesty, these portals continue today,” Franme hurried to continue, “If you look beyond the first few pages you’ll see the legend of Pandem’s frantic love. He was so tormented by his love’s ostracism from this world that Pandem called upon all of the dark powers to create portals into the dragonless realm. He left clues and incantations to find and open these portals. Each set of clues includes a spell to open the portal and step through into a civilization within this new world. These doorways are constant and sometimes they slip open a bit, which is how men from that world sometimes cross into ours without magical assistance. They merely stumble upon a doorway.”

“This is all very fascinating sorcerer,” Passiona growled, “But I ask you again, HOW DOES THIS HELP ME GAIN MY POWER??!!!!”

“My dear queen,” Franme bowed and smiled apologetically, “Within the Legend of Pandem it says that the Lord of Chaos disappeared into the world of his beloved, taking with him this knowledge of the greatest powers but leaving the clues and incantations for any brave enough to search for him and this power. When the spells are used and a portal fully opened, Pandem will know. Anyone who claims the use of a portal should find him waiting.”

“Then we need to begin work on those clues immediately Frannie!” Passiona danced in her seat, “Did you begin to decode any of them before coming to find me?”

“No Your Highness,” Franme bowed again, his nose scraping the wooden table-top before he went on, “As soon as I realized what the text was saying I came to find you.”

 

“Good, Good,” Passiona nodded her approval, “We must start right away. What are the first clues?”

“If you’ll look on the second page, my queen, the first set of clues and their portal incantation are listed out.”

Fairy Queen and minion worked diligently, side by side, for over an hour. When they were done scouring the pages of Pandem’s legend, Passiona and Franme had a list of three definite sets of clues to portal sites.

 

  • In a cavern Dark and Deep,

Where a Mother sat to weep,

A River runs of her tears,

Deep and Dark and Full of Fears.

 

  • In a place of Myth and magic,

Where a Circle stands Alone

Will you come to Power inhabit,

Or leave the Place another Drone?

 

 

  • In a canyon of Legend, Lore, and Lime,

A Portal awaits through Space and Time.

An Oasis in this vast land,

Surrounded by a Sea of Sand.

 

“What do they mean,” Passiona groaned, reading over the clues for a third time. “These places, how do we know they even exist anymore?”

“The portals will still exist, even if the places have changed Your Majesty,” Franme murmured, “We just have to use maps and knowledge from his time.”

“How do we do that?” Passiona whined like a tiny child, hoping to convince their parents to do their work for them. “We have old maps, but we aren’t sure when Pandem left this world for good, so how will we know which legends are the relevant ones?”

“These legends have been handed down throughout time. Any of the ancient stories should hold clues to decrypting Pandem’s riddles.” Franme turned and pulled a large text written in ancient script across the table and began to flip through its pages. “We just need to search through them and try to find any mention of the key words.”

“Like a mother crying into a river or a sea of sand?” Passiona mused, “That’s as good a place to start as any other we have right now.”

 

Sunday Goals

If you only take one thing from this post, I want you to take the fact that Katie at the BookTube channel “Books and Things” will be spending the next two weeks uploading a video a day discussing the novels of Charles Dickens. I am very much looking forward to her thoughts and insights and hope that you will all go check out a video or fourteen!

My goals for this week have been a little simplified, work on getting Little Monster and The Way We Were completely organized and set up. Type up what I’ve got on Paulonious Punk  and also type up the currently untitled flash fiction I’ve written for contest.

read a book or two.

Color some pictures. Exercise. Celebrate.

I hope everyone has an amazing week! See you soon 😀

 

Weekend Posts

The weekend got away from me without my posting of my weekly word counts, wrap up, goals, etc. So here are the quick videos I made for the BookTube channel and some numbers for you:

Writing –

I wrote approximately 2,500 words last week. While many people seem excited about that, I have been known to write 5-10 thousand words in a day and am not to pleased with myself. However, I know that sometimes you just don’t get as much done and if I write at all, I win. Mostly 😉

As for reading, I got through about 20 pages total (which is discussed a little more in the videos)

How did you do last week? Can you believe January is already over???

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to an even better February! Happy month everyone!

Saturday Stories for 1/16/16

Welcome back to 

Saturday Stories

This is a weekly post in which I update you on how I did with my goals and such over the past several days and link up to things you might have missed from me this week. I also give you a peek at something I’ve been working on! (If you just want to read my story excerpt, skip to the end!)

You can see last week’s post here. This week’s post should be short and sweet…I didn’t meet them.

Ok, let’s start from the beginning. On Sunday I posted my usual Sunday Goals and TBR video over on my YouTube (BookTube) channel. In that video I stated that my goals were basically to Read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, to finish edits my current contest WIP, organize The Way We Were and to write three more chapters on Paulonious Punk.

So did I get that done? Of course not!

Here’s what I did:

I DID finish Six of Crows – Review(s) to be up soon.

I DID NOT write on Paulonious Punk but I will soon.

I DID get Beta Readers for A Siren’s Tale – and am now adding more to the last part. I’ve written about 500 words or so.

I DID take some time and organize 3 sections of The Way We Were and I think I added about 200-300 words in there.

I also did the normal blog posts so we had Spotlight on Art, Author Interview Friday, Writer’s Quote Wednesday, and a Bonus post containing videos about Alan Rickman and Harry Potter in general. .  I also did a video for David Bowie, which can be found here.

So basically, I’ve written somewhere between 1-2 thousand words this week…approximately. I don’t know because I hand write most things before typing them up so I don’t everything put into the computer as of yet. What I DO have, is this excerpt for you!

This is the beginning of a currently UNNAMED slightly dystopian story I started a few months ago. Though I have left it sitting in favor of the above mentioned ‘other’ works, I plan on getting back to this soon. I hope you enjoy it but, please, let me know what you think!

The end of the world has come and gone, but we are all still here somehow.

No one will believe me when I tell them about the apocalypse; not even my family or my best friend. They all think I’m nuts. A weirdo who wasn’t born properly. The disease that destroyed my world has touched every person around me and no one even realizes it. I rarely leave my room now and I never speak of this anymore. There are only two places I feel safe from this dread existence: my newly reinforced bedroom fort and the place I was when the whole world went daft; the library.

When I think back to that night…I try not to think back to that night. The last one to leave the library after book club, I did as I usually do, I mean usually did, and stayed behind for an hour or more to research and write. I’m a writer. Apparently I’m the only writer left in the world. With all of the movies, television series, and music cancellations since the event everything has become reruns and news channels. The few stations that remain anyway, most of them have gone to blank screens. So much for the HD television flat screen revolution! Goodbye new music radio stations, so long actors and screen writers. This viral attack took it all from us. It wasn’t exactly the end of the world, but it might as well have been.

By: Elizabeth S. Tyree

Author Interview – Becky Michael

Hello and welcome to another brand new edition of Author Interview Fridays! This week we are chatting with author and former teacher, Becky Michael. Let’s dive in:

 

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

 

This has been a gradual process, so there wasn’t a specific moment of realization. Creative writing wasn’t as commonly cultivated for us who grew up during the 50s and 60s, and it was only after becoming a teacher that the idea of working toward publication began to come together for me as a realistic pursuit.

 

Sadly, it seems as though the schools are beginning to shy away from creative writing more and more now. Creativity doesn’t test well apparently, but those who love writing will find their ways eventually.

 

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

 

Writing for children is a way for me to retell some of the fun events from my childhood. This way, I can better fashion the outcomes to my liking! My stories and books for adults tend to focus on complicated relationships and often contain an aspect of mystery.

 

Both sound like fun! I think I might start re-telling some events from my childhood and tweak a few things 😉

 

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

 

I tend to read mysteries, but find myself drawn to the titles that delve deeply into the psyches of the characters and their relationships.

 

I love character studies, though I tend to read more fantasy than anything now.

 

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

 

A favorite in my own writing would be Solveig Baumann. Sol is one of the main characters in my short story, “Romantivores” (although her name isn’t mentioned), and readers will share more of Sol’s life in my still-to-be-published book by the same title. The story first appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and introduced this woman and her lover cooking dinner under somewhat unusual circumstances. She’s a little “kinked”, but a good person. Sol is independent and accomplished in her field, yet craves that “other” who will always be there for her. At the time of this interview’s posting, my story is available free of charge through Amazon Kindle until January 12.

cover of story large

It’s difficult to choose a favorite character by another author, since there are so many I enjoy! One of the first that comes to mind is “Ruth Galloway”, from the wonderful series by British mystery novelist Elly Griffiths. Ruth is well educated, successful and independent. She’s also a loving mother who holds a secret love close to her heart.

 

You seem to favor independent, well educated women. I think a lot of people still gravitate toward ‘traditional’ princess types of women instead and it is very refreshing to see two favorites like yours!

 

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

 

Since I also work as a contract writer for a company offering courses and other educational content online, I have another outlet. If I’m not making much progress in my personal writing, I may review and edit more of that freelance work, which also helps pay the bills. Eventually, my own writing pulls me back.

 

It sounds like you have it covered! I find that moving between projects helps me as well. I wonder if this is something all writers have done throughout the ages?

 

  • What inspires you?

 

Nature and beautiful surroundings, such as those found in the Upper Peninsula of my home state, Michigan, inspire me. Books and stories by great authors are also stimulating, so I try to read as much as possible.

 

Your home state sounds beautiful! I don’t think I’ve ever been there.

 

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Online Bookstores, Physical Stores, Etc. List them all for us please!)

I blog about pursuing publication, the craft of writing, reading, and other favorite interests at Platform Number 4. Readers may also discover more at my about.me  and Pinterest pages, and my story is available for Kindle through Amazon. Don’t forget…it’s free, from now until January 12. I’d love some additional reviews!

 

Thank you for dropping by and answering some of our questions today Becky! I’m excited to read your story. Good luck!

Remember guys, if you want your very own Author Interview or Artist Spotlight, just let me know! Until next time, have a wonderful week!

Weekly Goals

Every Sunday I am going to be posting my writing and reading goals for the coming week. This is in an attempt to more often prod me into action so that I am accountable for my work, or lack there of! The following Saturday will be a weekly wrap up to see whether or not I reached my goals. Please feel free to heckle, taunt, and pester whenever you like!

This week’s goals are:

  1. Finish, or come as close as possible to finishing, the short story I’m working for contest.
  2. Organize the 1st half of my novel, The Way We Were and see if anything needs added before moving on to the second portion.
  3. Write at least 3 chapters for Paulonious Punk.

TBR:

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Here is my Video on the subject:

 

If you have any suggestions, questions, or goals to share please leave them for me! I can’t wait to hear from you.

Until Next Time…May your week be happy and blessed!

Saturday Stories

As part of my goals for 2016, I sat down and came up with a schedule for my blog and BookTube posts. Now, I may post more than I have set up and I may, just may, not post as much (sigh…I know it will happen. I try so hard…but I digress), but at the moment my set up will look something like this:

Sunday – video (and possibly written blog ) Weekly Goals, TBR, and anything relevant on the schedule. 

Monday – Video “random” life topics. Movies, TV, Music, Writing, etc. Non-reading related items. 

Tuesday – Blog Spotlight on —Artists, Illustrators, etc…similar to Author Interview Fridays but may not include interviews. 

Wednesay – Blog and Video – The Return of What are You Reading Wednesdays…book reviews, TBR updates, etc. 

Blog – Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Thursday – off day

Friday – Blog Author Interview Fridays

Saturday – Blog Saturday’s Stories – Weekly Updates and Writing Excerpts. 

So that is my update for this week…I am also aiming to include weekly word counts and things worked on.

The Siren’s Tale (a short story) – 581 words

The Way We Were… (novel)- 846 words

Paulonious Punk (children’s book) – 92 words

Blog Posts – 311 words

Total Since 1/1/16 – 1830 words

Not a bad way to start out the year, if I do say so myself! Leave me a comment with your own new goals, word counts, etc. I can’t wait to hear from you!

For now, I’m going to end this week’s Saturday Stories with an excerpt from the first draft of The Way We Were… that I wrote this morning. This is from the villain’s perspective:

 

“See, here’s the thing,” Collin’s steel edged voice mirrored his father’s cultured tones to perfection, his hard gaze making even veterans of The Foundation flinch away. “Everyone is flawed and self-conscious. Everyone worries. The more you care, the more easily you get stressed. Everyone,” he pushed on the word again, physically leaning into it as though testing the strength of the thing, “Everyone has a weakness to exploit. We use that and we can get in anywhere, with anyone.”

A scrawny, scruffy young man in the middle of the seated group raised his hand tentatively. Knowing enough to accept the following glower in his direction as instruction to speak, but not quite smart enough yet to keep his mouth shut anyway, the twenty-something softly starter, “What you’re talking about is…” he swallowed visibly, his adam’s apple bobbing with the strain, “Well, isn’t that a type of,” he was almost hyperventilating by this point but pushed on admirably, “emotional abuse? That can break people, sir, irrevocably.”

“Psych major,” Collin growled the half question across the stage in Peter’s direction.

Pete merely tipped his beer while inclining his head and lazily reminded his friend, “You thought one or two of them might be helpful.”

“I’m a flippin’ genius,” Collin sighed sarcastically, obviously dismissive and agitated by the truth of the matter.

“No one here to argue that point,” Pete taunted half-heartedly. “You,” he pointed the bottle in his hand at the still-standing psychologist, “It can break people if done hard enough, long enough. But most of what we do is more like a mental splinter. We needle and we agitate with small gestures and comments. We talk about how so-and-so has found such a great job or mention that 5 star restaurant we just visited, and threw left overs out from, to someone who is obviously struggling. We talk about the resort we visited last week to a friend who puts all of their travels on hold to merely survive and care for their family. No bragging involved, just softly worded side notes really, but those kind work their way in to brains and later on, instead of sleeping, he or she will be crying into the darkness. This works especially well with anxiety suffered and parents. Yes, it is mental and emotional abuse. It breaks them down, it blocks them from seeing the way to their dreams, and it keeps them right where we want them.”

 

Until Next Time….

 

 

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