Writer Quote Wednesday – Burtonisms

This is a weekly challenge posted by the incredible Colleen over on her blog, Silver Threading. See this week’s post HERE. Now Silver Threading has partnered up with Ronovan Writes so that Writer Quote Wednesday and #BeWoW (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) are connected! I am excited to begin participating in Ronovan’s #BeWoW movement…(and as a reviewer but that news can wait 😀 ). Check out #BeWoW right HERE

On to the Quotes! Since this is October 28th and Halloween, my favorite holiday, is coming up quickly, I thought I would focus on one of my favorite film directors, producers, artist, author, and animator…Tim Burton! His dark whimsical style is, to me, at once magical, macabre, and memorable. I mean, come on, how many other people can you think of that are capable of creating such amazingly different and creepy places…and then making even the most stoic of scary movie goers fall in love with the romances he seamlessly weaves into it. As long as you try to ignore the amount of times he’s had his best mate, Johnny Depp, kill his wife, Helena Bonham Carter, in his movies.

This beautifully hand drawn piece by freutcake.com is quite suitable for an equally beautiful quote from the Gothic Grandiose….Dream your dreams, pursue your vision, and allow yourself to succeed!

Some people need to hide who they are every day and only appear really and truly for Halloween…and then some of us are merely weird, strange, and wonderfully different all year long. I am proud to be a ‘some of us…’ Beautiful and true…at least for me. What about you?

Finally…we are all somehow deeply connected to whatever it is that shaped us up. The things we saw as a child, whether they are good or not so great, move us. I have an affinity for 80s cartoons and flannel…I was born in ’85. What are you holding on to?

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Magic

For more information on Writer’s Quote Wednesdays hop on over to Silver Threading’s

This week, after a few weeks of being mostly away from my blog, I want to focus on something that seems very appropriate for the end of October: Magic. Not just the magic and mystery of Halloween, and everything that comes with it, but the beautiful magic that swirls through and around us each day. The magic of words, stories…books. Won’t you join me?

One of the best smells in the world, in my opinion, is exactly this. That mystery and magic of a bound book. The breeze wafting their scents at you as you desperately search for your next fix.

I use those connections in my writing…do you?

Finally, when I am writing the magic of words flowing through me makes me feel deliciously lost and a little mad. When I saw this image, it reminded me of that feeling.

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Author vs. Writer

Today I want to talk to you about something that has been bothering me, eating at me really, for a few weeks now. Actually, that isn’t accurate. This issue has been bothering me for over a year and every time I think I’m finally over it, every time I think I’ve acclimated myself to it, I realize that I was wrong and it still bothers me. “What could this issue be?” I’m sure you’re all asking yourselves what I’m up in arms about. Well I’ll tell you: the use of the words author and writer to mean very different things. Such as ‘well I’m a writer, but not an author.” Or “how would you advise someone who is aspiring to become an author.” etc. 

Almost every day I see an interview or comment in which someone is referred to as ‘aspiring’ to be an author, or in which someone defines that moment wherein they became an author as the time they finally published something, etc.

Not to be rude or anything, but I completely disagree! To be an author does not mean that you have published and to be a writer does not mean that you have not. What it means is that you have accepted in yourself the fact that you are who you are, and the way you do that is through telling stories in whatever form of wordsmithery you’ve chosen.

I find it so frustrating to be talking with someone who says “oh you’re a writer/author, what would you say to an ASPIRING author?”

I say there is no such thing unless you haven’t started yet. When you write, you’re a writer. When you’re a writer, you’re an author. The first time you completed the first poem or short story that had anything of your own ideas in it, sometime back in about 1st grade or so, you became an author. In fact, according to the writing process taught to our students, you became a ‘published’ author by turning in a completed work to be read and reviewed by your intended audience (the teacher). So get that concern out of your head. You’ve been there a while.

Dictionary.com defines an author as a person who writes a novel, poem, essay, etc.; the composer of literary work, as distinguished from a compiler, translator, editor, or copyist. As well as, the literary production or productions of a writer: the maker of anything; creator; originator:

The same site defines a writer as a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist. AND a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing :

Not to be too sarcastic here but: OH LOOK, an author writes and a writer writes. No where here does it say “An author is a person who is published and you can only use this title when you have an agent, a traditional publisher, a set of editors, and a personal illustrator.” No, it says an author is a person who ‘writes.’ A writer is a person engaged in writing.

They are one and the same everyone! SO please, stop giving advice to ‘aspiring authors’ or “writers looking to become authors.” If you write, you are already both.

I understand that calling someone a ‘beginning writer or author’ is a little less elegant and Jr. author probably isn’t the thing either, but for the love of words, let’s find something that works to show that they are starting out without implying that they don’t actually write!

For the record, I have been an author for my entire life and a writer since i learned the alphabet…not that anyone can read my handwriting any better now than when I was 3. I had poetry officially published a few times throughout jr. High and High school, but didn’t ‘officially’ publish in 2012. That means I’m aspiring to learn more, not that I’m an aspiring author. See the difference?

Mental Grammar –

I have a bit of an issue. I’m sure that several of you are making faces at the screen A bit?? Try several, you’re probably thinking. But come on guys, I’m being specific here!

Ok, Since you asked so nicely…here it is. My mind automatically types your speech into grammatically corrected sentences and paragraphs. Stop laughing, I’m being serious! 😉

You see, when people start speaking to me (usually only in person) my brain starts picking at the invisible keyboard, flashing words up behind my eyes as you speak. Text to type in an instant. The issue here is that I edit…a lot. As an author, bibliophile, and grammar geek, I automatically move words and phrases to where they should be. Which means that the compliment you give me containing a dangling participle and qualifiers…well it takes me a few seconds to remember that people don’t speak correctly, and I shouldn’t be offended by what you just said. I should really smile and be happy that you complimented me.

Most of the time I can ignore the flowing type, pay attention to your conversation, and smile at the correct intervals. I can laugh, snarl, and carry on with ease…but days like today when I have had little to no good sleep and a hyper toddler…it may take longer.

So please, don’t be offended at that face i just made. I was only trying to work through the odd conglomerate of words that you threw at me.

People don’t speak grammatically.

(Remember – if you want to find more of me, My works are available in paperback and e-reader versions @ amazon.com/author/elizabethtyree 

Don’t forget to run over to Goodreads and follow me there! While you’re at it, ask me a few questions…I love getting that e-mail!)

Last week’s Short Story

This is the short story that SHOULD have been posted last week. It’s not great, but here it is…

“Where’s Jo?”

“Where’s Jo?” Bill Baxly demanded, barreling in to his client’s home without a second thought.

“I haven’t seen her since the Major Meltdown last week,” Jess shrugged her shoulders and continued to hold the popcorn away from Eddie, too used to her roommate’s agent to be concerned with his rudeness.

“She’s locked in her room,” Freddie supplied, using the distraction to attempt yet another failed popcorn theft.

“She’s been in there for four days?” Bill roared, “Has anyone checked to make sure she’s alive? What could she possibly be doing in there? YOU TWO ARE HER BEST FRIENDS AND YOU JUST LET HER STAY IN THERE? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

“Chill out Bill,” Jess laughed in the face of his growls, “We’ve talked to her, she just isn’t ready to come out yet.”
“Yeah man, I left her breakfast by the door this morning and everything,” Fred bristled, forgetting the popcorn in his indignation. “I’ve texted her, and fed her, several times already today. What about you? Have you had any contact with her? You’re her AGENT Bill, why don’t you take some responsibility.”

“Well I…she didn’t…We had a meeting and she didn’t show up for it.” Bill stuttered, “I’m just her agent, I expect her to be responsible for herself.”

“She’s an artist!” Fred stood up and marched to stand directly in front of Bill’s face, “A multi-media author and artist who makes you an awful lot of money! If you want her to make it to meetings AND take responsibility for herself, maybe you should a) remind her of them and b) NOT ALLOW THINGS LIKE THURSDAY TO HAPPEN!”

“THAT WASN’T MY FAULT! IF SHE HADN’T BEEN SO RUDE TO THE PRINCESS OF ALDONIA, THAT HUSKY FUR COVERED MERCHANT WOULDN’T HAVE SAID THOSE THINGS!”

“Bill,” The soft voice held an edge that caused all three of the pillow throwing screamers to stop in their tracks. “The so-called princess of Aldonia was a con-artist who caused a scene because I recognized her from school.”

“But..but…”

“No,” Jo never raised her voice, never even glared, but the ‘no’ signal with her fingers and the soft steel of her voice seemed to leave no room for argument. “Now, I am going back to my room to finish the picture book I’ve been working on. Jess and Fred, eat something other than popcorn. Bill, let yourself out, learn to knock, and PLEASE check your e-mail for goodness sakes!”

Her door shut as quietly as it had opened, leaving her three friends staring after her with wide eyed worry.

“Did you see her HAIR?” Jess whispered in confused awe.

“I HEARD THAT!” Jo’s yell sent them scurrying away, off for lunch at an internet café.

Tyree Tomes Friday

WooHoo! Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree’s book o’ the week, Ministerial Musings, has surpassed the 200+ mark in this week’s giveaway! If you have not downloaded your free copy yet, please hurry. The giveaway ends at midnight tonight. Never fear though my friends, his new children’s book, Monsoon McKreel and the Rose, will be available for free download beginning Monday, May 19th!

Also beginning on Monday, May 19th, will be a three day give away for the third book in my Stone Dragon Saga, Dragon on the Green.

We are both constantly working on new articles, short stories, and books so don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at Tyree Tomes for updates, debates, and big news from the Tyree family authors. We’re ten ‘likes’ away from someone winning a free hardback, personalized copy of one of our books. Hurry over so you can be in the running. And please don’t forget to tell us what you think about our books. Good or bad, all comments are appreciated….otherwise we can’t fix whatever isn’t working for you!

Have a Blessed Weekend!

New Books and New Jobs

Tyree Tomes has had a busy week. Dr. Tyree finished his new book, which will be available on Kindle within the next few days and deals with the act of Prayer. I reached my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 30,000 words in the month, perfected my happy dance, and interviewed with 3 elementary school principals all at the same time (I was surrounded and a little frightened…but I guess it was a viable form of interrogation interview).

I also gave away 37 copies of Dragon on My Neck’s e-book version and have begun looking at collecting my first four months of short stories into a book which will include the prompt or idea that sparked the story and then the actual story. (If any of you picked up Dragon on My Neck at any point, I would LOVE to know how you felt about the story and characters! If you don’t want to rate/review on it, just drop me a line or comment. Whether or not you liked it, I want to know about YOUR feelings. It can help my writing maturity…or so I’m told 😀 )

 

Oh, and I got offered a teaching job for next school year!

With all of this going on, I feel confident in our group’s growth, expansion, and most importantly, quality of content. I am quite certain that whatever classroom I am given, will provide me with all sorts of fodder for blogs and short stories to pass on to you! Thank you for your support and good will everyone! Have a blessed day!

My House

Well folks, Mom is sick so I got drafted into teaching the second grade today. I may come up with some brilliant stunner of a post while I’m gone, but until then I will leave you with the first chapter of My House. My House is a novel I wrote years ago, back when I first hit college I believe. I’m thinking of using it as an outline and revamping the piece now that I know more about writing.

Let me know what you think?? Have a great day!

 

Chapter One

        Three small children are playing on a trampoline in the front yard while a woman (their grandmother?) watches from a walker on the front porch. A bird calls, a dog barks, cars go by…it’s a perfect picture of suburbia, but all I see is the house next door. A little more run down than the rest of the houses on this particular street, with its peeling blue paint, rusty gray porch, and light yellow door faded to a streaked dirty brown. Oh how I remember that door and the year we painted it. Billy was home from college and Dee had no summer school classes (for the first time that any of us could remember) the younger kids were at summer camp so it was just us three oldest. That was a great summer! With the three little brats out of the way at camp we got all of the attention that mom and dad had been wasting on them. They played ball with us, cooked our favorite meals, took us swimming and let us choose the new colors for the house. My brothers picked the blue of the house and the silver of the porch, making it look like a warm summer’s night, but I – I got to choose the color of the door. Everyone else on the block had boring doors, all different shades of brown and black, but our house was going to be different, pretty. It should, no HAD TO match the feel of the rest of the house. I spent hours contemplating that door color. As the boys painted the house and the porch, I would watch all of the colors of life go by in the form of birds, butterflies, flowers, people’s clothes, and whatever else I could see. Finally, I chose a warm, buttery yellow because of its happiness. It reminded me of sunflowers and those truly happy smiles that light up a person’s entire face. I thought it was the perfect color to remind us of the sun and summer during the rain and snow of the upcoming seasons.

            After spending so much time choosing just the right shade for our front door, it seemed like the painting was finished too quickly. A mere four hours after I told my father the final color choice, the door was painted and drying. My brothers made fun of me for taking so long in my decision, but I didn’t care, the color was absolutely gorgeous and just perfect for the blue house.

            I hadn’t realized that I had crossed the street and was touching the door until the deep voice behind me startled me back to reality.

            “Can I help you” he inquired, sweeping his gorgeous green eyes over me and taking in everything he saw quickly and efficiently. “I’m the realtor if you have any questions or want to take a look inside.”

            That caught me off guard, no on had told me he was selling our house.

            “It’s for sale?” I asked, stupidly stumbling over the surprise as well as the intense look on his face.

            “Yeah,” he replied, looking bewildered, “Didn’t you see the sign, its right over there?”

            Now I felt really stupid, the sign he pointed out was directly in front of me.

            “Oh, no I didn’t see that and Billy didn’t tell me about it either.” I sounded more upset than I really was, but then I did have a lot to be upset about.

            “Billy? Your husband?” He asked quickly, furtively glancing at my left hand for any telling rings.

            “Billy? No” I laughed as I took in his relieved expression. “He’s my big brother, and the owner of this house.”

            “Oh, OH you’re Kit McKlain” he exclaimed, stumbling over his words. His body language became shy, almost scared. No longer was he the bold, sexy realtor hoping to make a sell, but a small, scared little by, hoping the neighborhood bully wouldn’t take his lunch money. I’m so used to this reaction that I barely notice it anymore. When people find out my name, they have a tendency to react in a very similar fashion. My family has the ability to scare the pants off most people.

            “Don’t worry” I rushed to assure him, “Billy hasn’t told me because we rarely speak anymore.”

            “Really?” he asked, “I’m sorry.”

            “It’s okay, not something I usually talk about with strangers, but still okay. Any yes, I would love to take a look inside.”

            “Great!! I’ll get the keys, and by the way, my name is Nikolas.” He said as he jogged down the street toward his glossy black truck.

            As I stood there waiting for him to return with the keys, I let my mind drift back to that summer.

Peppy Goals

There are ten days left in this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo and I have at least 2,000 words a day to write if I want to finish on time. I could be upset, I could be depressed, I could do the usual and completely forsake writing for a week in order to crochet and watch movies before futilely racing to write in the final hours of posting time. Not This Time!

This time I won’t do any of that. Maybe it’s because I’m another year older and, ostensibly, wiser. Perhaps it stems from the fact that we moved in the middle of November last year and my final NaNo word count was so pitiful that I’ve attempted to block it from my mind. Or possibly, and most probably, is that I don’t want to teach my daughter to give up…especially on something you love. So today’s pep is really this…if you love it, if you really want it, achieve it. As Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) says in Sister Act 2: “If you wake up in the morning and you can’t think of anything but singing, than you should be a singer.” I say, if you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t think of anything except what happens to your plotline next, you should be a writer.

Now that the semi-pep talk is over…wait, one more thing…Sister Mary Clarence also says “If you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention.” (If you haven’t watched the movie…WATCH THE MOVIE)

Now then, I’m all out of the almost-pep so now that its over, here are my goals for this week:

1) Write at least two articles for Yahoo! Contributors Network

2) Work my fingers off and my brain gooey to get the rest of my word count, and beyond, for Camp

3) Practice drawing some more dragons and ships…I’ve drawn exactly one full dragon so far.

I’ve named him Bill the Ner…he doesn’t much look like what I imagine my dragons to be, but he’s family 😀

4) Use my daughter’s snuggle times as actual down times. I’ve been trying to research and write…even just on my phone…during these times and I’m not getting much extra done but I am missing out on snuggles. So instead of binging on Netflix and not writing at night, I’ll binge on My Little Pony and Tinkerbell during the nap time portion of the day. It might work.

5) write this week’s short story BEFORE I post it on Sunday.

What are your goals for the week? Campers, how are your word counts coming along? Do you have any tips, advice, or comments for me…please leave them! I love to hear from you all!