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I know. Silly title. But at the moment, that’s all my brain can do, come up with quick and silly titles!

As most of you know, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo once again. I have been reading a lot of the posts in the various Facebook NaNoWriMo groups to which I belong. A lot of people need a push or a shove in the direction of finding some words. So this is for them and this is for YOU. Yes, you.

Below are some words, phrases, etc., that are meant to introduce a situation, character, sub plot, etc., into your writing. They may also be good ideas for blogging topics. My advice is to copy/paste them into a new document then add some spacing (maybe triple?) then print them out, cut them into strips and put them in envelopes, or into a jar where you can grab one at random. Sometimes it may take two or three together to get you going in another direction that can help your writing ideas. I hope you find something you can use!

right before my eyes

he/she was the stranger he/she would never forget

nothing but a broken umbrella

the loneliest meal

different kind of dream

being young

love moods

lonely in that way

down the flight of stairs

the hospital chapel

the bread had turned purple

the little things

he didn’t remember

if I had known

it wasn’t until

no one would understand

stop me, please

heavy hitter

not exactly best friends

control

first blush

photo finish

the last bus

conquer

personal power

just sitting around

light up the room

If only she hadn’t missed the bus

 

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I awoke in the predawn hours today to hear the news on TV…Harper Lee had died at the age of 89. That’s a good age. It was said that she had been deaf and blind for at least the last five years. It was a matter of time. Hopefully, now no one will take advantage of her again. She wrote my all-time favorite novel. Next to To Kill A Mockingbird, nothing stands any here as good. If I had been given the choice to read only one book my entire life, it would be To Kill A Mockingbird. It is that good.

It’s a day to think about her and her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s a time to celebrate her work and the mark she has left on every person that has ever read her book. It’s a day to ask some questions. Why didn’t she ever write another novel? How close to autobiographical elements in her life were the events in the novel? What about Go Set A Watchman? Which Atticus was the true one? Does GSAW invalidate TKAM?

I won’t try to answer all of those questions here. I have my opinions and I’ve read a lot about her life and those around her, both in her childhood years and in her adulthood. As far as Go Set A Watchman, my worry is that it will influence people, especially schools, to not read To Kill A Mockingbird. That would be a crime, at least in my opinion. I will say that I’ve read that she was so traumatized by all of the publicity and criticism she got after TKAM that she didn’t ever want to put herself through that again.

I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but, at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.— Harper Lee, quoted in Newquist, 1964

I’ve also read that she was a perfectionist and had begun a couple of novels, including at least one non fiction book but put never finished them any of them because she was unhappy with her writing. That sounds like a perfectionist to me; like a writer, always second guessing herself.

Tonight, I will stream To Kill A Mockingbird and perhaps I will begin re-reading it and Go Set A Watchman. And I will think of that timid, talented woman that kept so many words inside of her…so many words that we would all love to have read. I will celebrate that she lived and wrote and left us Scout and Atticus and all those other people of Maycomb.

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  1. The look on Spencer’s face when he brought me the bottle of bubble solution. It was a big smile. He knew his Nana would not say “no.” He loves bubbles. I blow them and he chases them and smashes them.
  2. Another huge smile on Spencer’s face when he realized that he could put his hand in the candy bowl and pull out a candy at each store where we trick-or-treated. He usually has to wait to be handed one but this time he could actually walk right up and stick his hand in the bowl and take what he wanted. He was all full of two-year-old-smiles.
  3. “Don’t take Nana home. I want to keep Nana forever. Please don’t take her home.” That was Anderson (5 years old) on Halloween.
  4. Being included in the plan to move to Omaha and buy a house. And another smile when I found that they were looking only at listings for houses that have a separate apartment or Nanny unit on the property so that I could have my own space. I didn’t even ask and that’s what they are planning.
  5. The cat finally figured out that if she stays at my feet, she can sleep in my room with me. If she comes up to my chest or face, she gets kicked out of the room and I shut the door. She seems to accept that now.  Yay. Finally!
  6. A little boy playing peek-a-boo in line at the grocery store. I think he must have been about three.
  7. Making my NaNoWriMo word count for the first two days of the month!
  8. After about ten tries, I am one step closer to making the NanoPoblano graphic show up on my sidebar. It’s still not working but I am a little bit closer than I was yesterday. Maybe tomorrow.
  9. Finding a blog that will help me with my NaNoWriMo project research.  Yay! I won’t be going into this project totally blind.

There were other smiles but these are the ones that stand out at the moment. I’m tired. I’ve been either writing, researching, or with the boys since 7 am and it is now after midnight. So for today…that’s all she wrote!

nanopoblano2015light

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Well, it rained. And then it rained some more. And then it poured. And it gusted. And it was Halloween.

A couple of things saved the day. First, the shopping center was having trick-or-treating in the afternoon. We were not going to take them but we figured they might not get to go later if the rain forecast proved to be true and it didn’t look crazy so we took them trick-or-treating there in the afternoon. We got to about the last four or five stores when it began to pour buckets on us. There was some shelter and they went to the last of the stores and we ran into Target to wait for my daughter to go to the other end of the shopping center and bring the car.

We had dinner at Anderson’s favorite restaurant, Olive Garden, which was in the same shopping center. When we got out of the restaurant, it was pretty clear that the rain was not going to let up and the boys would not get to go trick-or-treating when it got dark. So we asked Anderson what would make the rest of the day special. He said he wanted to go home and have a party. We went to the grocery store and he picked out chocolate chip cookies. We stopped by my house and I ran through and grabbed all of my skeletons, spider webs, bats, witches, and skulls off of the walls and from the porch and headed to my daughter’s house. I ran around her house putting the decorations up all over while she cleaned up and vacuumed because Anderson wanted to dance. They had a great time dancing to Monster Mash, Purple People Eater, Witch Doctor and some other songs. Spencer played with plastic rats that I had as part of the decorations when he was not dancing. Fun. Fun. Fun! So the night was salvaged and they didn’t feel cheated!

Then I came home to wait for midnight to start my NaNoWriMo project. I’m still sick and staying up til midnight was tough last night but I managed to get in a little over 800 words in 20 minutes then I went to bed because I had agreed to meet another woman at a coffee house for a write-in at 10 this morning. I did that and got to 2600 words.  Now I am trying to set up my blog with the NaNoWriMo widget, which looks like it is working. However, the widget for NanoPoblano (posting on this blog every day in November) hosted by Rarasaur doesn’t seem to work. I’ve really had a tough time setting up widgets this calendar year. I am ready to give up for awhile. Maybe I can delete it all and start from scratch later.

In any case, that’s my day so far and it is only a bit after 1 in the afternoon. I need a nap. I need to read some blogs. I need to do a little research for my NaNoWriMo project. I need to set up tomorrow’s post so I can get it out of the way early because I am meeting people to write at a coffee shop early tomorrow morning and won’t have time to do it before I leave for that.

That’s it for this post, I think. If you get a chance to do so, click here to find the others that are participating in NanoPoblano 2015. I’m sure you’ll find some interesting blogs there!

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introducingBLUE

Luther Siler

                   Luther M. Siler

Luther Stiler is a fellow blogger who blogs at InfiniteFreeTime. He is also a writer, teacher, husband, and father.  He lives in Northern Indiana with his wife and son and what he describes as an assortment of pets.  He writes about space gnomes and Mars.  Please read about his writing and his books then pass the link around to your friends by sharing through your social media avenues!  Leave a comment for me or Luther if you so desire; they are welcomed!

Luther On Luther
I like to write books that you pick up on the first day, read on the second, and reread on the fourth.  When I was a kid I was fanatical about rereading books that I loved over and over and over again– I have probably read the Lord of the Rings trilogy four or five dozen times– and while I love the work of many authors who write challenging, thought-provoking Works Of Immortal Literature, my number one goal as an author is to entertain.  I want my books read at a gulp, and I want you to lose sleep because you couldn’t put them down.  I like cinematic; I like action.  I’m not the author who carefully paints a picture of every detail and scene in my books because I don’t want to do anyone’s imagining for them, and I’d rather be remembered for a thrill-ride of a story than the life-altering sanctity of my prose.
I mean, hell, I write books about trips to Mars with a mad scientist and potty-mouthed gnomes with laser guns.  There is seriousness in my work, here and there– and my forthcoming Searching for Malumba (sometime in October, hopefully) is actually a nonfiction book about one of the few things in my life I do take seriously, which is my job as a teacher– but I need humor and excitement and fun more than I need to be taken seriously.  The back cover of my novelSkylights carries the single greatest quote about my work that I’ve ever gotten from anyone: “A perfect, fun summer read.”  That’s what I like to write.  It’s exactly the reaction that I wanted.  And hopefully I’ll get to keep writing many more of that kind of book.
Skylights

August 15, 2022: the Tycho, the most advanced interplanetary craft ever designed by the human race, launches from Earth on an expedition to Mars. The Tycho carries four passengers, soon to be the most famous people in human history.

February 19, 2023: The Tycho loses all communication with Earth while orbiting Mars. After weeks of determined attempts to reestablish contact, the Tycho is declared lost.

2027: Journalist Gabriel Southern receives a message from a mysterious caller: “Mars.” Ezekiel ben Zahav isn’t talking, but he wants Southern to accompany him for something– and he’s dangling enough money under his nose to make any amount of hardship worth it.SKYLIGHTS is the story of the second human expedition to Mars. Their mission: to find out what happened to the first.

SkylightsSkylights

The Benevolence Archives Vol. 1

Troll evictions! Dwarf pirates! Daring rescues! Angry gods! Impossible technology! Oversized bars! Pissed-off ogres! Disrespectful spaceships! All this and a mild disregard for proper wound treatment!

THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES, VOL. 1 is a novella-length collection of six short stories set in a common universe. Combining elements of space opera-style science fiction and high fantasy, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES tell the adventures of Brazel, Rhundi, and Grond, a gnome/halfogre team of smugglers.

THE PLANET IT’S FARTHEST FROM: A simple job in a saloon goes poorly for Brazel.
THE CLOSET: Brazel and Grond are hired to teach someone why gambling can be a bad idea.
YANK: Dwarven pirates. ‘Nuff said.
REMEMBER: Brazel and Grond are hired by one of the galaxy’s most powerful people for a suspiciously easy job.
THE CONTRACT: Rhundi tries to get through a simple business negotiation without anyone being shot.
THE SIGIL: Brazel and Grond encounter something horrifying on a frozen rock in the middle of nowhere.

Benevolence

The Benevolence Archives Vol. 1

The Sanctum Of the Sphere, Benevolence Archives Vol. 2

“Go rob that train.” Nice, normal. An everyday heist.

But nothing is ever normal for Brazel, Grond and Rhundi.

A simple act of motorized larceny quickly explodes into a galaxy-spanning adventure for the two thieves. Blade-wielding elves, a fast-moving global war, a secret outlaw space city, incomprehensible insectoids and one impossibly lucky human are just the start of their problems. And that’s before they learn that someone from Grond’s past has gotten the Benevolence involved…

What is happening on the ogrespace moon Khkk?

Who are the Noble Opposition?

And what is the secret of THE SANCTUM OF THE SPHERE?

Sanctum

The Sanctum Of the Sphere,

The Benevolence Archives Vol. 2

OR

The Sanctum Of the Sphere,

Benevolence Archives Vol. 2 Omnibus Edition

Luther’s email:  luthermsiler @ gmail.com

Luther’s Twitter account: @nfinitefreetime

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Friday 56

I wanted to share from this book today but I haven’t gotten to 56% yet.  Almost there but not quite.  So I decided this quote was a really good one to share.  It appears at  40% on my Kindle:

“The one human being she had ever fully and wholeheartedly trusted had failed her; the one man she had ever known to whom she could point and say with expert knowledge ‘He is a gentleman, in his heart he is a gentleman,’ had betrayed her, publicly, grossly, and shamelessly.”

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

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I don’t think I am prudish but some might see me as such. I don’t know, maybe it’s old age. But then again, I’m “one of those” that has never used certain four letter words in my entire life and don’t see myself ever using them. My parents always said that using “foul” language was a lack of education. They said only those who could not otherwise express themselves would use such language. And I’ve always been “the good girl”, the “obedient daughter”. It doesn’t necessarily bother me when I hear a “well placed” expletive because sometimes that’s the only way the strength of an emotion can be conveyed. For me though, it doesn’t feel right and so I choose not to use such language.

I also find these days that I am bothered by explicit sex scenes in books as I read. Not all sex scenes but there are those that just appear in a book for the sake of it, not because they belong. There are such scenes that go way too far in describing what is going on in a book that is otherwise not at all gratuitous. The scenes just don’t fit in with the storyline or the characters. Those bother me. And then there is also the fact that in books, as in movies, sometimes less is more. Sometimes an inference is much better than explicit details. I’m actually thinking there should be some kind of rating on books to let the reader know what they are getting themselves into. I’m not saying that such books should not be written, published, or read. I’m just saying that I would like to know if such scenes are in the book before I decide to spend money and time reading them. Maybe I would just rather use my own imagination in those scenes instead of having someone else tell me who did what to whom and how many times.

So maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s old age. Maybe it’s a sign that I don’t fit in with “modern” times. And yeah, maybe I’m just a prude!

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