Life, Writing

Meraki Literary Subscription Box Review

Subscription boxes are fun. You pay a  little each month, and get a box of little goodies.So when my author friend, Alicia Willis, started her own literary subscription box, I knew I had to give it a try.

 

There are different options you can subscribe to– you can get chocolate, tea, or coffee with your box, but I choose the no food box option. Each box comes with pens, stationery, paper, or just about anything you writing heart desires.

~ What was inside ~

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I totally forgot that I wasn’t going to open anything till I had more pictures taken–whoops. ūüôā¬†

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Can I just say that these came at the perfect time? I need labels for the tabs of my binder, and now I have some–and pretty ones that my girlish heart loves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sorry for the glare, but who can resist a doughnut eraser?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Be still my beating heart. Glitter. Teal paper clips. Adorable push tacks. **fans self.**

 

 

 

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You can never have too many notebooks. ūüôā¬†

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We always have that one book that needs protection. I now have a cover to protect said book.

 

 

 

Like what you see? Want you own box? Sign up here to get yours today!

 

 

Writing

Heroes

sword.jpg

From earliest memories we are saturated with stories and each story has a hero. The old stories and legends are filled with them, from Beowulf to St. George and the Dragon. But what was it that made these heroes so great?

It is up to the hero to accomplish the story goal. This is what makes him the hero. It is why we are reading his story, isn’t it? To read of his courage in the midst of danger.

One of the definitions of hero in Webster’s dictionary says, one who shows great courage.

And of courage it says:  Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

One idea we have of heroes is that they are brave, and they never cowered in the face of fear. This is why we admire them so much. In a high tech, modern world with no need to slay dragons, rescue a princess and don armor, we long to read the brave stories of men long forgotten to the annals of history. We long for stories where men were great. The story of Beowulf is not a legend, a myth. It’s based on fact. Old lore gives us the stories we crave. We need the stories of heroes never giving up because we ourselves feel like failures.

But did heroes really lack fear? 

Meg Cabot says, Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear. The Princess Diaries

Heroes don’t lack fear, they have the knowledge that something must be done, and that is more important than the fear in their hearts.

A man had a dragon to slay. Who wants to face a fire-breathing dragon without a fireman’s hose? Beowulf did it. There was something more important than any fear he might have had, and that was the lives of the village.

Frodo was just a hobbit. At just a few feet tall he didn’t stand much chance to defeat Sauron. He most certainly didn’t want the quest to destroy the ring, but something was more important than the fear of going to Mordor, and that was to save the Shire he adored, and the rest of Middle-Earth.

Heroes were ordinary folk who had a task thrust on them, that they and only they could accomplish. In spite of fear, they did their task and that is what made them a hero. They gave of themselves unselfishly, fighting for those they love, those they didn’t know, and those yet to be born.

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.                 Napoleon Hill 

William Shakespeare in his book, 12th Night says, Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.

Galadriel tells Frodo, This task was appointed to you, Frodo of the Shire. If you do not find a way, no one will. 

Bad Language in Your Writing: To have or not to have? That is the questionFRODOTASK
Frodo has greatness thrust on him. A task that only he could fulfill. And Frodo wasn’t the only one. Many people in stories and in real history had something that only they could fulfill.

Heroes were simple people like you and I. Some may have been born to the rich splendor of a castle, but they would sacrifice it for others.

And in closing, this is the definition of love found in John 15:13: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

To give of yourself willingly for the sake of others, is what makes a hero a hero.

 

Image Sources: Sword, Frodo, Frodo.

Writing

Writing Help

Today, I’m promoting some awesome writing¬†thesauruses by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

Now, most writing books and¬†I don’t get along.

Like, at all.

I have bought and borrowed tons of them and none really seemed to help with anything I was struggling with.

One of the things I struggle with more in my writing is emotion. I mean, my handsome knight  has been killed by a dragon and his guts are everywhere and the girl he loves and who loved him, is laughing a witch screeching laugh.

Ok, it’s not that bad but you get the point.

So when I came across these books, I brought them as soon as I could afford them and they really have been an awesome help.

 
An example would be the trait “haughty”.
 
A definition of the word haughty is given and similar flaws,  ex. arrogant, disdainful, etc.
 
Then there is a list of possible causes. Examples are:
  • Taking pride in one’s family
  • Believing that others are less intelligent than oneself.
  • Using one’s influence to ensure those deemed inferior do not gain esteem in other’s eyes.

Then the book gives (for the word haughty)

  • Associated thoughts
  • Associated emotions
  • Positive Aspects
  • Negative Aspects
  • Example from Literature
  • Overcoming This Trait As¬†A Major Flaw
  • Traits in Supporting Characters That May Cause Conflict

You can find these books here
Picture credit: Me

Writing

Bad Language in Your Writing: To have or not to have? That is the question

I’ll admit right now what I did in my writing:

I used a bad word.

I thought it belonged, that it fit. That the character needed to say it. But my beautiful chapter seemed dirty in my eyes with that one little word.

And I got to thinking, how disappointed I have been in books with bad language.

The¬†Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan.
I came across these books through another blog. I was an instant sucker for them. They are set in Medieval England and have Rangers. And Rangers=Robin Hood=bows and arrows. All of these things I love.  The books were funny. Halt was funny and kept me laughing. And really, the books just had an interesting plot.
And then, halfway through the first book, I met the first bad word. And in every chapter after that, I read some bad language and the taking of God’s name in vain. All in all it wasn’t really that much and towards the end of the series, the bad language all but disappeared (except for the taking of God’s name in vain.)

But the fact¬†was the words were¬†still there and my love for the books was shattered and shaken. I didn’t even like reading the bad language. Halt could be funny and send you into side-aching laughing without the bad words.

I went around saying “how many people could I recommend this to but for the language?”

And that thought stopped me. How many people might say the same of my own book one day?

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Bad language¬†makes a person’s anger and heartache more authentic.
Well, that’s a point. But bad language is not really needed.
                                  
Considered by many one of the greatest works of literature, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien tugs at your heartstrings and might make you wish you didn’t have feelings (books and movies).¬†You can feel Frodo’s heartache, loneliness, and despair. You can feel it as you read it and as you watch it. All without one single¬†bad word.
And with all that Frodo suffered, many might say he would have been justified in cursing.
But he didn’t.
  Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

 

Colossians 3:8  (KJV)

 

 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth

 

 

 

James 3:9-12 (NKJV)
With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Deuteronomy 5:11 (KJV)
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

So, the Bible clearly says we should not curse or take God’s name in vain. And to let everything we do glorify Him.

Well, I’m not glorifying the bad language, my character is. There’s a difference.

Yes, there is a difference, but consider this.

Whether our story is an allegory fantasy or a Christian fiction, that story might be the only contact a person has with Christ.

Sad, but true.

And people interpret things differently. If a lost person reads our story that has profanity they might think, “well, he says he is a Christian but he curses. I do too, so I don’t need salvation.”

And if cussing in our story causes other people to stray, we will be held accountable for it.

And by the end of the story (let’s say it’s Christian fiction) does the character still speak it or has he changed? Has your character changed, but does he still curse?

So, if your character has to say something here is an example of what he could do:  Marcello cursed under his breath.

Yeah, Marcello cussed (bad boy) but you didn’t actually write what he said.

Or, “Dragon’s teeth”, Michael yelped. “You scared me, Sam.”

And the hard core fact is that there is sin in the world. Since the beginning of time when it entered, our language was corrupted. And people sin. People in the Bible cursed. Yes, add Marcello cursed under his breath. He is human. You and I are human. Everyone sins.

So, in summary, our story might need a little venting, but¬†just write Marcello cursed under his breath. Don’t write words that make the ladies of the castle blush and cover their ears.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† But…….

Don’t write profanity that people might interpret wrong and thereby your whole redemption theme is lost.

Halt and your own characters can be sarcastic and funny without bad language.

You can write the trials of the human heart without it.

And since the Bible commands against cursing and the taking of God’s name in vain, it is a sin to do so.

The fact is, it’s just really not needed. It’s the easy way to show anger or despair instead of pulling out your dictionary or thesaurus.

God gave us writers (of music and books) a highly developed language and there are a lotta words that can be used instead of taking God’s name in vain and cussing.

We are the Word Changers. Let’s break away from the world’s standard of speaking and writing profanity and do it God’s way.

And to my blog readers, the bad word was deleted.

Will picture source
Aragorn picture source
Frodo & Sam picture source
Boromir picture source could not be found. Picture found on Pinterest
Frodo picture source (right)
Frodo picture (left) source could not be found. Picture found on Pinterest
Frodo picture (bottom) source 
Quote source–Theresa Gray