Monday, December 30, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, December Archives

December 2019
Wow, closing out another year, closing out a decade and, for me, closing out ten years of blogging. And it's been fun looking back on the projects, writing and otherwise, that have filled some of my time in those years--one being the photo-a-day exercise I undertook back in 2012. So I have chosen my "Photo-A-Day: December" post to complete my post-from-the-past series. Hope you enjoy as you anticipate all those projects begging for your attention in the new year ahead!
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Monday, December 31, 2012

Photo-A-Day: December

"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" --Dr. Seuss

Not only did December seemingly get here before June this year, so did the new year the way the last twelve months flew by. Was it the same for you?

Yet as this year closes and another begins, milestones are noted and memories are catalogued. And in particular, my photo-a-day challenge comes to an end. Wow. So hard to believe it really got done. I surprised myself, really. Didn't have much confidence going in, I guess. But, the results?

366 days (Leap year, remember?) minus 4 equals 362 pictures. Well, many more than that actually since some days I took multiple pictures and chose one from the lot, but I did it. I only missed those four days total. Two because (ahem) I forgot. And two because I misplaced my camera. It had fallen out of my purse into the backseat of the car, and we couldn't locate it for awhile. Good intentions are good but life happens! Other than that, I looked forward to the moment each day that I picked up the camera. Some days I pocketed it as I went for my walk. Some days I was in the right place at the right time and had it handy. Some days--particularly on our fantastic November trip--I couldn't stop snapping photos. And then there were the late nights, just before going to bed, that I realized I had *almost* forgotten and so hit the deadline just before the night turned to the next day.

I found I loved the challenge. It was a great deal of fun. And as I snapped today's photo, the last of the last, I found myself feeling a bit  nostalgic. "You mean it's over already?"

Well, not really. I have all these things to carry with me from the experience like inspiration on:

DetailPatternsTexture. ContrastSerendipity. Surprise. IdeasVisualization. 
Light and Shadow. Wonder. NuanceThe UnexpectedFocal Point. 
Potpourri. Travel and Story. Fairy Tales.

Along the way I learned about nurturing the creative side, waking up to beauty in the simple things, the value of trying something new, perseverance. All lessons that will carry over into a new year's writing projects, too.

I'm still contemplating what might be my challenge for the new year. It will involve writing, of course, and reading. It should incorporate stretching--as in reaching for a new level--and passion. We'll see what ideas gel in the next few days.

In the meantime, here is the final photo-a-day gallery. You'll see that there was much to celebrate this month, including the birth of our second granddaughter, born 12/12/12, and special family time. Hope you enjoy. And thanks for stopping in with wishes to each and everyone for a wonderful, creative, and happy new year!

Rewinding back to the present: Wishing all a happy new year :-) And if you'd like to review all the months of my photo-a-day project, check out the photo-a-day challenge link under the Words and Such banner above. (Oh, and the granddaughter mentioned above in the photos? She's now seven years old. Double wow!)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Post-From-the Past, November Archives

November 2019
Sharing my post-from-the past for this month with wishes to all for a happy Thanksgiving. It's been six years since I first posted this, and I enjoyed reviewing it. Hope you enjoy it, too!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 2013

"On the banks of the James River, a husband erected a tombstone in memory of his wife, one of those 100 maidens who had come to Virginia in 1619 to marry the lonely settlers. The stone bore this legend: 'She touched the soil of Virginia with her little foot and the wilderness became a home.'"
                            --Eudora Ramsey Richardson

The power of a tiny step...
The power of a kind word, of an outreached hand...
The power of a grateful heart, of enduring hope...
The power of love.

Maybe it all starts so small.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, October Archives

October 2019
One of my granddaughters recently said that I have so many books, my house is like a library. I like the sounds of that, especially as the year begins to tip into the colder months and I relish the idea of cozying up to read on a chilly day. And so, in the spirit of those of us who love books and can't seem to not be able to collect more, I offer this month's post-from-the past, October 2014 archives:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Love Affair: 14 Quotes on Books and Reading

photo courtesy of
Oh, this love affair with books. It will endure for some of us for a long, long time. Never-ending TBR piles, recommendations, classics, favorites. Why are they so special to us?

I decided to explore what others say about books and reading. Some of my discoveries:

1. "If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." --Haruki Murakami

2. "There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." --Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

3. "The books you don't read won't help." --Jim Rohn

4. "There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read." --Gilbert K. Chesterton

5. "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." --Oscar Wilde

6. "Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"-- Henry Ward Beecher

7. "I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget." --William Lyon Phelps

8. "You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." --Paul Sweeney

9. "A book is a device to ignite the imagination." --Alan Bennett

10. "A good book has no ending." --R.D. Cumming

11. "Books have that strange quality, that being of the frailest and tenderest matter, they outlast brass, iron, and marble." --William Drummond, Bibliotheca Edinburgena Lectori

12. "Modern writers are the moons of literature; they shine with reflected light, with light borrowed from the ancients." --Samuel Johnson

13. "I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a man who did not love reading." --Thomas Babington Macaulay

14. "Novels are sweets." --William Makepeace Thackeray, Roundabout Papers: On a Lazy Idle Boy

And we thought sugar was addictive? Ha!

Have a great rest of the week, everyone.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, September Archives

Of all the quotes on writing I've collected (many of them posted one time or another here at Words and Such over the past nine-plus years), the following is my all-time favorite. It's recorded on a small slip of paper and sits on my desk as a daily reminder. I run this post once again as my post-from-the-past choice for September in the hopes it inspires others, too:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Inclination and Connecting the Dots

courtesy google images
"No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination." --James Joyce

"The fourth quarter of the year is upon us (fourth? what happened to the other three??) and I'm determined to read this quote every day for the next three months. Simple words but very motivating. For the inclination (n: disposition or bent; something to which one is inclined) to write truly starts with something as basic as a pen. Add to that then a place, time, quiet...

And the dots begin to be connected, the story picture we have in our heads begins to be drawn. Inclination is fostered, not squelched. Nothing new here, but reminders are always good."


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, August Archives

Down memory lane...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Today Was Good"

Summer fun 2010
Today was good.
Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.
--Dr. Seuss

"...Playing while Mommy is out of town. Just had to share. Hope you had a fun day, too. Writing will be the better for it after we stop swinging."

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. --Walt Streightiff

summer fun, August 2019
Fast-Forward to present, 9 years later: The little one above is now 11 and oldest of six grandkids. All were together this month as the family made a trip to the Smokies. This time, with her siblings and cousins around, she led them in hikes, movie making on the cellphone, and being a look out for all the bears we saw.

Once again we say, "Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one!"

Hope your summer has been a good one--with any bear sightings kept to a safe distance!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, July Archives

summer 2019
"Question on the run: What's unusual about (the word) unquestionably?" --James J. Kilpatrick

That was the question of this month's post-from-the-past for July, "Weekend Trivia." Scroll down to get the answer.

Speaking of on the run, our yard has been overrun with rabbits this year. Do you have lots of the cute little critters around, too?

Hope you enjoy the re-post. It might be a little like running down another rabbit hole, but it was a fun one to write, and one of my favorites.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekend Trivia

"A question on the run: What's unusual about unquestionably? Answer: It contains all five vowels and the letter y. I leave it to you to discover why facetiousabstemious and abstentious are collector's items." --James J. Kilpatrick

I've added this bit of trivia to my collection of English language absurdities and unusual facts. Find any word-loving tidbits for your collection lately?

p.s. Facetious (adj. "having the habit of joking") I sorta' knew. But abstemious and abstentious? Well, abstentious, it turns out, means the same as...abstemious. And abstemious? It means "sparing in eating and drinking; moderate." Confused yet?

So, are you going to be abstemious and abstentious this weekend? (She asks facetiously.) Hope your weekend is unquestionably super.


(And back to present now--as I reread this post, I'm struck by the mystery that I missed the first time around. Just what is Mr. Kilpatrick's tease all about, that it's left up to us to discover why facetious, abstemious and abstentious are collector's items? Hmmm, wonder what he's alluding to? Must be more to this than meets the eye. Here we go, down another rabbit hole! If you are able to solve the mystery, let me know!)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, June Archives

courtesy Google images
"In reading...stories, you can be many different people in many different places, doing things you would never have a chance to do in ordinary life. It's amazing that those twenty-six little marks of the alphabet can arrange themselves on the pages of a book and accomplish all that. Readers are lucky--they will never be bored or lonely." --Natalie Babbitt

Are you still amazed at what those twenty-six little marks of the alphabet can do? I am. It's an ongoing fascination, I think, no matter how old we writers--and readers--get. As Natalie Babbitt (award-winning author of the modern classic Tuck Everlasting) so aptly reminds us, those 26 little scratchings take us places we'd never have a chance of visiting in ordinary life and give opportunity for so many amazing encounters along the way. Boredom is not a word in our vocabulary!

Babbitt's quote is also an apt lead-in to the next repost in my post-from-the-past series, this one from June 2015: One Writer's Alphabet to Writing a Novel. Enjoy the travel back in time...


Saturday, June 6, 2015

by Kenda Turner
photo courtesy
"When I was having that alphabet soup, I never thought that it would pay off." --Vanna White

A writer subconsciously develops her own alphabet soup when it comes to writing a novel--those key elements, basic rules, discoveries, weaknesses to watch for, areas to develop, exploratory tangents, and microscopic and telescopic revisions that take her to the finished product. I discovered this when I reviewed journal entries I recorded during the time I wrote my first book. I recently reviewed those notes while my current WIP simmered on the back burner for a few days. What an education--there was something for each letter of the alphabet!

One Writer's Alphabet Soup to Writing a Novel voice...action...action words...atmosphere
B...backstory (enough but not too much)...beginning (jump in)
C...causality...character development...clarity...clich├ęs...complications...conflict...connections
E...edit...emotion...end linked to beginning...ending (satisfying)
G...genre...goals...grammar...growth (character and author!)
H...heart...historical accuracy...hook...human dignity
I...imagery...inciting incident...infinite-verb phrase openings (“Looking up slowly, she…”)
L...landscape...language..listen...location...loose ends (tied up)
M...magical...main character as problem solver (not bystander)...malleable...metaphor...middle slump...motivation...mystery
N...names...narration...narrative arc...narrator
O...obstacles...opening...overthinking (as in, don't!) character (where doesn’t want to be)...plot...plot holes...plot lines...plot points...plot twists...point of view...punch...punctuation (and answers)...quotes
R...reading level...redundancy (check by using document's 'Find' feature)...resolution...revision
S...satisfying...scene...sensory details...sentences ending with prepositional phrase...sentence (don't tell)...sparkle...spelling...stakes...story structure... ...supporting characters...surprise...symbolism
T...tenses...tension...theme...threads...tightened form...title...timeline...tone...transitions...triggers
V...values...verb tense...viewpoint...vocabulary...voice
W...weak words (weed out)...wonder...word choice...word building
X...(e)xact...(e)xtraordinary...X out the unnecessary
Y...yarn of a story...yawn (avoid)...yearnings...yes (or no)...yet (as in, doors haven’t opened yet)

This is just a sample of one writer's alphabet soup--a savory mix to keep me going. Any ingredient you'd like to add? What does your writer's alphabet look like?

And upon coming back to present time, want to read interesting facts about the English alphabet? Check out this link: Interesting Facts About the English Alphabet, by Richard Nordquist.

And this fun quote by Douglas Adams: " 'Why' is the only question that bothers people enough to have an entire letter of the alphabet named after it. The alphabet does not go 'A B C D What? When? How?' but it does go 'V W X Why? Z'." 

Creative, yes? Have a great week!