When I noticed my next DIY MFA post was scheduled for the week of Valentine’s Day, I decided it was time for a case study on an appropriate and timeless theme: Love. If you think about it, though, love is one of the most frequently discussed and deeply profound themes in literature. Plus, the most compelling thematic explorations of love touch on romantic love as well as love of other forms (kindness, compassion) and in other types of relationships (friendship, family). This is the case with the two example novels in today’s Theme: A Story’s Soul post, and I hope you *love* the end result (or, at least find it informative). 😉
New DIY MFA Article on Finding the Themes of Your Writing Life
When Gabriela interviewed me for a DIY MFA podcast two years ago, one of the questions she asked was, “What are some of the themes of your writing life?” This week I decided to pose that question to readers in my latest Theme: A Story’s Soul post at DIY MFA. But what exactly are “writing life themes”? And how can we determine what those themes are? You may want to have a pen and paper or your typing fingers handy for this one. 😉
5 on the 5th: Five Reasons Why BBC America’s “Orphan Black” Is Awesome
On the fifth day of each month, 5 on the 5th shares five of something that I like or recommend to readers. Whether it’s five items that share a common theme, or five reasons why I like the topic at hand, this monthly meme gives us an opportunity to talk about other subjects that aren’t normally discussed here at the blog.
I know last month’s 5 on the 5th was also TV-oriented… But Game of Thrones isn’t the only awesome show that’s back for a new season. Orphan Black launched its fourth season on April 14th on BBC America; and though I’ve mentioned it before at the blog, it’s time to dedicate a post to this crazy-fantastic series. 😀
And what’s the best way to do that if many readers aren’t familiar with Orphan Black? To give you five reasons to start watching it!
NOTE: This following post contains limited spoilers from Seasons 1 through 3 of Orphan Black.
The Author’s Oracle Writing Tag
I spotted this tag at Faith Rivens’ blog not too long ago and absolutely knew I wanted to do it, too. It’s inspired by the Major Arcana, the first 22 cards in a tarot or oracle card deck.
Now, I’m aware that not everyone believes in the accuracy in tarot or other divination tools. But being a believer isn’t necessary here. The following questions take each card’s themes and applies them to your WIP or your writing process. So, this is a more “inclusive” tag than you might think. 😉
Any story-specific questions in this tag will focus on my WIP, The Keeper’s Curse. To learn more about this novel, you can either read the current draft of its blurb or visit the Chronicling The Craft series. Continue reading
New at DIY MFA: Recurring Themes from Writer’s Digest Conference 2015
My third and final article on Writer’s Digest Conference 2015 is live at DIY MFA! You could also consider it a “special edition” of my regular column, Theme: A Story’s Soul. I talk about some of the themes regarding writing, author platforms, community building, and other topics that emerged during the conference – and the glimpse they collectively provide into today’s writing career.
Click here to read “Writer’s Digest Conference 2015: Recurring Themes about Today’s Writing Career.”
Did you also attend this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference? What were some of the most meaningful lessons you learned or advice you received while you were there?
Freelance Article Round-Up: November 2014
Welcome to this month’s Freelance Article Round-Up! And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans and others who celebrate the holiday. I hope your travels were safe and smooth, and you enjoyed platefuls of delicious food and good company.
November turned out to be quite exciting, so I’ll start off with the new venture that launched a couple weeks ago.
This month I joined the staff of DIY MFA for their new column Theme: A Story’s Soul. The ongoing series will explore the importance and wide variety of themes in literature, and how readers and writers alike can think about theme more consciously. Click here to read the column’s introductory article, “What Is Theme and Why Is It Important?”
Tea Time at Reverie (Tea Reviews)
Two more tea reviews went live at A Bibliophile’s Reverie this past month. Here are the links again, in case you missed them:
What’s Coming in December
Currently I’m drafting my next article for DIY MFA, which will cover how to identify a novel’s possible themes by studying the book’s title and jacket copy. My next tea review for A Bibliophile’s Reverie should be online in the next week or so. It’s on a bold, complex black tea that’s wonderful for this time of year. I’ve also picked out my next tea to review, an invigorating herbal / floral blend.
The fantasy WIP passed 100,000 yesterday! (YIKES.) Now I’m due to write the next Chronicling The Craft – and since this one celebrates another 25,000-word milestone, it means another reveal from the story. 😉 As for the novel itself, I’m definitely going to overshoot my word count goal of 115,000… so I’ll just continue following my outline until it’s done. Here’s hoping January or February will be the golden month!
What else for the blog? I’ll have a new author interview here during the first week of December (yay!), and I’ve yet to start a review of Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina. And since 2014 is almost over, I also need to get cracking on my end-of-year lists for music and possibly one for books. So, I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me this month.
Offline and apart from creative projects, November has been absolutely nutty. Lots of holiday preparations, Christmas shopping (I have to do a lot of it early due to December birthdays and out-of-state gift-giving), and simply trying to stay on top of everything else. I’ll be relieved once the end of the December has come and I can relax a little.
Since New Years Eve will be a busy night, I’ll post the next Freelance Article Round-Up on Tuesday, December 30th. Lots will be going on here between now and then, so I hope to see you here again! 🙂
The 10 Books That Have Stayed With Me
Recently I’d read Brian Klems’ article at Writer’s Digest about the 10 books that had stayed with him in some way after reading them. It inspired me to start thinking about my own list – and what good timing! Within days, two friends on Facebook tagged me on their top 10 lists and challenged me to share mine. Now that I’ve posted my list there, I thought I’d publish it here at the blog, along with the reasons why I chose each book – or in some cases, series.
1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
This is probably cheating, because this and #2 would fill all 10 spots automatically. However, I have to give Tolkien and the Lords Of The Rings trilogy due credit for being my gateway to fantasy literature. I don’t know if I’d be writing the novel I’m working on today if I hadn’t picked up that series. Also, the LOTR trilogy was responsible for rekindling my love of reading in 2003. I went through a period in high school where I absolutely resented reading. Most of the assigned stories didn’t appeal to me; and with little time to read for pleasure, I lost interest in the activity altogether. It wasn’t until I saw the LOTR film trilogy and decided to read the source material that I finally enjoyed reading again. Now I can’t stop! So, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Tolkien. Continue reading