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!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, May Archives

May 2019
Where innocent bright-eyed daisies are
With blades of grass between,
Each daisy stands up like a star
Out of a sky of green.
--Christina Rossetti

The month of May certainly has sped by with projects and writing and celebrations: Mother's Day, Memorial Day, birthdays. Daisies herald the end of the school year, and doors are being flung wide open to all the summer adventures ahead. 

As I continue to reprint posts-from-the-past, my selection this month (before the month slides into the rearview mirror here shortly!) goes back a number of years to 2011. And while we marvel at the speed of the passing of time, the post itself speaks of lessons learned from that slow-moving sage, the turtle. Here it is, The Writer's Journey, From a Turtle's POV:


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Writer's Journey, From a Turtle's POV

"And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be." --Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories

I would have seen it this morning on my walk anyway, but twice I was alerted to the little turtle's presence before I got that far. First, by my neighbor Pat, who was coming the other way. "There's a turtle in the road back there," she said. "I'm afraid it's going to get hit by a car." Then another neighbor drove by, slowed down, and told me the same thing. So I was ready. And there it was, moseying across the pavement, head held high, taking the journey one slow step at a time. It was certainly in a precarious situation.

"Come on, buddy," I said, "let's help get you across." And I moved the creature into the grass at the side of the road, marveling all the while at the striking pattern imprinted across the hard shell.

Then, as we writers are apt to do, I considered the turtle's journey--and compared it to the writer's life. You probably already know what's coming, another of those corny analogies. But here goes...

The Writer's Journey From a Turtle's POV
1. You gotta' stick your neck out if you're going to get anywhere.
2. Start. And keep going, one step at a time, no matter how slow the pace.
3. Don't stop in the middle of the road. If you do, you'll never get where you want to go.
4. Stay focused, patient and persistent. A little bit of luck wouldn't hurt either.
5. Let friends pick you up when you find yourself in a tough spot.
6. Remember your pattern is unique, and you add your own little bit of beauty to the world.
7. Catch your breath and rest, if need be, when you get to the other side--especially if you get shook up (think "querying process"!). Then move on to new adventures, the next story to write.

Do you feel like a turtle sometimes? What advice would you give a writer who's plodding along?


Back to the present now and looking ahead to a new summerish season, I hope to heed the turtle's advice and stay focused. Easier said than done. What I really want to do is go out and pick daisies! Trying to strike a balance. How about you?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, April Archives

April 2019
"The power of metaphor comes from the distance bridged and the pleasurable shock we get from that electrical connection between two seemingly different entities." --John Drury, Creating Poetry

My selection for April's post-from-the-past, dipping back into blogging archives of now over nine years, is this one: Book Metaphors: Six Ideas and Counting. Who would have thought this post would be the one with the overall highest viewings of all those published here at Words and Such? But it is, and I'm amazed that it still gets a dozen or so new views each week. There's something real, tangible, and fulfilling about books, and we're still discovering ways to describe the experience. In addition, the subject of 'metaphor' itself is a fun one. Making those connections between two seemingly different entities, as John Drury says in his book Creating Poetry, can be a writing adventure.

So without further ado here's this month's post-from-the past, out of April's archives:

Friday, April 6, 2012

What is a book to you, metaphorically speaking?

Others have weighed in on the subject, as evidenced by the following six quotes:

1. "Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life." --Jesse Lee Bennett 

2. "Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time." --E.P. Whipple

3. "A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of  counselors." --Henry Ward Beecher

4. "Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind."--James Russell Lowell

5. "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." --Charles W. Eliot

6. "Books are a uniquely portable magic." --Stephen King

Six quotes turn into fifteen metaphors: compass, telescope, sextant, chart, lighthouse, garden, orchard, storehouse, party, company, counselor, bee, friend, teacher, magic
But we don't have to stop there. We're writers--how about making up a few of our own?

Photos courtesy of
My contribution: "a book is a ticket." A ticket to worlds and stories, places and things, ideas, insights, and imagination. A ticket to colors and wonder, images and emotions, mystery, heart tugs and promise. A ticket to the tapestries and threads of history and humanity--and to hope.

Would love to hear your ideas. How would you describe a book, metaphorically speaking?


Breaking back into the present, we add to our list with contributions from blogging friends who shared their ideas of book metaphors in the original post's comments:

"A book is a hideaway, a place where we can get away from everything for a while." --Peggy Harkins 

"A book is a portal to another world, traveling through time or space or both." --Elizabeth Varadan 

"A book is transportation to a world filled with secrets that are not being let out at once but piece by piece." --Kamila Glomova 

"A book is a hide-and-seek, a game played by writer and reader." --PS 

More suggestions? From Meghan Cox Gurdon, author of The Enchanted Hour, the Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction: "Books are portals into wonders."

And this one, posted by  Caroline Starr Rose, author of May B and Blue Birds, both novels-in-verse, on her blog earlier this year (here): "If education is the road out of poverty, books are the wheels for the journey." --Richard Crabbe, African Publishers Network

And so to our original list, we add hideaway, portal (to another world/into wonders), transportation to a world of secrets, game of hide-and-seek, and wheels (on the road of life's journeys). May books continue to be all these things and more to the next generations coming up. Wishing all a spring full of book adventures.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Celebrating National Poetry Month, 30 Quotes and Counting

a bit of poetry outside the window March 2019
April arrives bringing with it once more a month of celebrating poetry (National Poetry Month origin, here). My share in the celebration, along with a goal of reading more poetry this month as well as challenging myself to write 30-haiku-in-30 days again (last year's challenge, here)--is the following compilation of 30 of my favorite quotes on poetry. Each brings its own inspiration, one each day of the month to stir up the imagination toward poetry. Let the celebration begin...

  1. "Poetry is the languages of surprises." --Stephen Taylor Goldsberry
  2. "The poet doesn't invent. He listens." --Jean Cocteau
  3. "Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes." --Carl Sandburg
  4. "Prose is a photography, poetry is a painting in oil colors." --Austin O'Malley
  5. "It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things." --Steven Mallarme
  6. "The poet lights the light and fades away, But the light goes on and on." --Emily Dickinson
  7. "I would define, in brief, the poetry of words is the rhythmical creation of Beauty."-Edgar Allen Poe 
  8. "Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance." --Carl Sandburg
  9. "Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement." --Christopher Fry
10. "I have never started a poem whose end I knew, writing the poem is discovering."--Robert Frost
11. "Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land wanting to fly in the air." --Carl Sandburg
12. "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry."--Emily Dickinson
13. "Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing." --James Tate
14. "A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language." --W.H. Auden
15. "The true poem rests between the words." --Vanna Bonta
16. "Poetry is life distilled." --Gwendalyn Brooks
17. "Writing a poem is making music with words and space." --Arnold Adoff
18. "Prose is words in their best order; poetry is the best words in their best order."--Samuel Coleridge
19. "A poem is a spider web, Spun with words of wonder; Woven lace held in place, by whispers made of thunder" --Charles Ghigna
20. "Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."-Robert Frost
21. "Poetry is a section of river fog and morning boat-lights delivered between bridges and whistles, so one says, 'Oh!' and another, 'How?'" --Carl Sandburg
22. "Some of the greatest poetry is revealing to the reader the beauty in something that was so simple you had taken it for granted." --Neil de Grasse Tyso, astrophysicist
23. "Poetry is the impish attempt to paint the color of the wind." --Maxwell Bodenheim
24. "Poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry." --Mary Oliver
25. "How do poems grow? They grow out of your life." --Robert Penn Warren
26. "Poetry makes life what lights and music do to the stage." --Charles Dickens
27. "Poets don't draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently." --Jean Cocteau
28. "Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings." --W.H. Auden
29. "Poetry has the power to turn words into darts that shoot under your skin."--Penny Ashton
30. "A poet can survive everything but a misprint." --Oscar Wilde

Happy Poetry Month 2019. How does poetry stir your world?

Monday, March 25, 2019

Post-From-The Past, March Archives

from photo archives, historic Fort Macon, Emerald Isle NC 2017
"Atmosphere is a term used in literature to describe the mood of a piece of writing, which is usually created by how the author describes the setting and background, as well as the characters and events within the story. The author creates his or her atmosphere in order to give the reader subconscious impressions about the narrative."

The atmosphere in March sure has its own flavor doesn't it? Milder weather, unfolding leaves, emerging daffodils, and--happy days--the bluebirds are back! We know that atmosphere plays a big part in our stories as well, something I was reminded of when I pulled the following post, first published in March 2013, out of the archives. I'm glad for the refresher. Maybe you'll glean a little something out of it, too.

And so, from March's archives...

Friday, March 8, 2013
Setting, Landscape, Atmosphere--How Are They Different?
"In every piece of fiction...setting is one of the three major elements--along with characterization and plot--that the writer must weave together to create the narrative." --Connie C. Epstein

Oh, the fun of setting--imagining where the story takes place, how characters respond to their surroundings, drinking in the sights, sounds, and smells that connect the reader to the written word--it's the world-building side of the writer's craft. I've been immersed in the subject this week as I've brainstormed ideas for my WIP. Along the way I've sought the wisdom of others to help open up that world. Helpful thoughts on the subject:

"There are lots of things you can do with setting. Setting adds color to the story. Setting affects characters. Setting lends authenticity to the narrative, and paints pictures in the imagination of readers." --Nancy Lamb, The Art and Craft of Story Telling.

"Settings..aren't just backdrops. Just by where you have the action happening will tell a lot about the action itself and the people involved." --Ansen Dibell, Plot

"Setting grounds your writing in the reality of place and depicts the theme of your story through powerful metaphor. Without setting, characters are simply there, in a vacuum, with no reason to act and most importantly, no reason to care. Without a place there is no story." --Nina Munteanu, scribophile

And yet, expanding on the idea of setting, I came across the concept of landscape, this from Elizabeth George in her book Write Away: "On the surface, it would appear that landscape and setting are the same creatures, identical twins given different names just to confuse the beginning writer. This, however, would not be the truth since setting is where a story takes place--including where each scene takes place--while landscape is much broader than that...Landscape in writing implies much the same as that which is implied by the word when it's used to refer to a location in a country: It is the broad vista into which the writer actually places the individual settings of the novel, sort of like the canvas or other medium onto which a painter has decided to daub color.

"You need to think about the landscape of your book because if you're able to make the landscape of place real, you can make the land itself real, which gives you a leg up on making the entire novel real for the reader."

But there's more. If the nuanced differences between setting and landscape are not enough, what about the idea of atmosphereJanet Burroway in her classic, Writing Fiction, a Guide to Narrative Craft, puts it this way: "Your fiction must have an atmosphere because without it your characters will be unable to breathe."

"Like many of the terms that relate to the elements of fiction, 'atmosphere' has more than one meaning," Burroway writes. "Sometimes referring to subject matter, sometimes to technique. Part of the atmosphere of a scene or story is its setting, which includes the locale, period, weather, and time of day. Part of the atmosphere is its 'tone,' an attitude taken by the narrative voice that can be described, not in terms of time and place, but as a quality--sinister, facetious, formal, solemn, wry, and so on...As we need to know a character's gender, race, and age, we need to know in what atmosphere she or he operates to understand the significance of the action."

Settinglandscapeatmosphere. Separate entities yet connected.The first puts you in the action. The second contains the story's broader vista. The third enables the characters to breathe. Had you ever considered the varying distinctions? How so? Will you imagine your setting with a different understanding now?
photos courtesy of

And now back to the present, an additional source on the subject includes an article titled Creating Atmosphere in Fiction, by Esther Newton (found here). In it, Ms. Newton says, "To be successful a short story or or novel needs to develop a strong sense of atmosphere. This draws your readers into your story so they can imagine this world you are creating. It also sets up expectations for them and gives them information about the characters they're likely to meet in your story." She follows up with six categories for developing that atmosphere. They include: setting, description, five senses, weather, time, and first person viewpoint. Another good refresher resource!

What do you find to be the easiest ways to create atmosphere in your writing? What comes hardest for you?