The Creativity Corner: Winter 2017

It feels weird to post a wrap-up of a winter’s worth writing, reading, and other creative happenings on the second day of spring. (This is the new “writing monthly update” series I had mentioned last month, btw.) But the truth is, I’ve procrastinated on this post for a couple weeks now, and not due to lack of time. Instead, I’ve been feeling anything but enthusiastic or confident about writing lately.

(Btw, my latest DIY MFA post went live last week. Something funky happened with the blog post announcement, so click here to read the article at DIY MFA.)

The good news is, I’m now taking steps that can hopefully help me regain that confidence and lead to a better, more productive spring. I’ll touch on that, as well as the progress I’ve made so far with The Novella (my new writing project) and the books I’ve read so far this year. Also, since this is the first Creative Corner, any feedback on the content and/or setup will be greatly appreciated. 🙂
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An Ode To… The “Lord of the Rings” Film Score

An Ode To banner

An Ode To… is a series of “dedications” to some of my favorite musicians and bands. Perhaps you’ve heard of them before – or perhaps you haven’t. Either way, An Ode To… is a fun way of sharing one of my passions and helping you discover new music to add to your collection. So, sit back, listen, and relax – or, in some cases, headbang. 😉

Ohhhhhhhh I’ve been DYING to write this Ode since launching the series last year! And I think many readers will enjoy this one, too, since… well, you know, it’s Lord of the Rings. 😀 Not everyone listens to its score outside of the films, but I think we can all agree that the soundtrack is packed with some of the most memorable musical themes and moments in film history.

Today’s Ode will use a slightly different format than past Odes. Instead of picking one song from each album and a few additional songs, I’ll highlight my three favorite compositions from each of the LOTR films. Some picks are bound to be popular among the crowd, while others might surprise you. I’ll also provide links to each track’s respective scene in each movie, for your convenience.  Continue reading

Acts of Compassion in Literature – A Special #1000Speak Edition of “Theme: A Story’s Soul”

1000speak

On February 20, 2015, 1000 Voices For Compassion will take to the blogosphere and share their thoughts and stories about compassion in all its forms (love, kindness, understanding, empathy, mercy, etc.). Many of these “Voices” are also posting articles on the subject in advance of the big day. Since I’d been debating between two ideas I like equally, I decided, “Why not pursue both, and make one the lead-in article?” 🙂

As an avid reader and a novelist-in-progress, some of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned have come from literature. So, for my lead-in to #1000Speak, I’m doing a literary “exploration” of compassion that aligns with my DIY MFA column “Theme: A Story’s Soul.” Below are some acts of compassion from books I’ve read over the years. As you read the examples, think about what you can learn from each character, as well as the impact their decisions or actions may have on other characters, their world, and the story’s audience. Maybe you’ll want to add some of these books to your wishlist if you haven’t read them yet. Either way, I hope you’ll find this sampling of literary compassion as inspiring as I do.

NOTE: Some of the following examples contain spoilers (either major and minor) that are necessary for discussing the topic at hand. Continue reading

Chronicling The Craft: 90,000 Words

Part 2 of My WIP’s Music Playlist

Chapters Completed: 22

Chapters In Progress: 6

Chapters Not Started: 6

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with writing my current work-in-progress (WIP), which is a fantasy novel. Every 5,000 words, I let readers know what I’ve accomplished since the previous article and share advice, discoveries, techniques, etc. Besides the word count in each article title, a “chapter ticker” at the top also tracks my progress as I use the skip-around / “writercopter” method to write the novel. Today’s installment celebrates the book reaching 90,000 words in length.

What?! How the… OK, I know I’ve said before that the 5,000-word milestones sometimes creep up on me, but I was completely unprepared for this one. Part of it may be because I’d been busy with all kinds of freelance and blog writing, and my head was so far removed from reality (not literally speaking, of course!) that it lost track of when I should start writing this Chronicle. So, I originally had no idea what topic to cover after giving the update. Thankfully an easy one came to mind. 😉

Here’s what I’ve worked on since the previous ChronicleContinue reading

Chronicling The Craft: 35,000 Words

A Music Playlist for My Work-In-Progress

Chapters In Progress: 10

Chapters Completed: 8

Somehow I’ve developed a bad habit of forgetting how chaotic life can be during the end-of-year holidays. And writing a book amidst the stress of work, Christmas shopping, baking, braving winter weather, and going to or planning parties… Well, who has time for all that? (Ha ha!) So, due to a combined lack of time and concentration, it’s taken from before mid-November to January 2 to write another 5,000 words. But that’s OK. Forward progress is forward progress, especially during one of the busiest times of the year. And progress is always worth celebrating. Continue reading