book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Greetings my lovelies!

It’s a Monday so it’s time for another book review.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating. 0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER: No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would. Not really. These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

Rating: 4 cups

I didn’t know about this book until they started to advertise the movie.  Then I saw it at the book fair.  To clarify, my day job is a teacher.  They have a small section just for the teachers.  Any who, I got this book, mainly out of curiosity and instantly fell in love.

General Overview:

This book follows the life of the  main poochie as he goes through the various incarnations of his life.  He remembers each life and ponders what lesson he has to learn from reach of them and why.  I really don’t want to say much more because I do not want to spoil anything for anyone.

My Thoughts:

I love this book.  The writing style was easy to follow and I was sucked in before I even realized it.  The hardest parts of this book was the multiple doggy deaths.  I know they were crucial but it was like Marley and Me on crack.  My poor emotions were all torn asunder by the end.  My poor puppies were so confused as to why I was clutching them tightly while crying.  All in all, it’s a great book about love and loyalty and what our purpose is in life.  It further illustrates that dogs are too good for us and we are so very lucky to have them in our lives.

Re-readability:

I don’t think this is one that I will ever read again.  It’s not that it’s a bad book, it’s just that some books are only meant for a single read.  I might read it again if I’m ever in the need for a good cry.

 

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Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

Writer’s Tool Box: A Good Thesaurus

Hello my lovelies!

Today I want to help you guys create your own writer’s tool box.  Writing is just like any other craft out there, you need the right tools for the job and what can help you tremendously is a good thesaurus…or three.   And that’s what I’m going to talk about today.  I came across these thesauruses (thesauri) when I was looking for some reference books to help me further develop my writing.  I fell in love with them.  So I’m going to tell you why each one is awesome (In my opinion) and why you should have them.

 

The Positive Trait and The Negative Trait Thesaurus

These two go hand in hand in hand with each other.  For well developed characters they need a healthy mixture of good and bad traits.  No one is solely one or the other….usually.    So each thesaurus starts off with a couple of interesting articles about how to use the traits and how to develop your characters using these traits.  I highly recommend that you read these.  As for the traits, they are listed a lot like chapters.  All you have to do is find the trait you like and turn to the page.

On the page associated with each positive trait you’ll see:

  1. the definition of the trait
  2. other attributes that are similar
  3. why a person may have the trait
  4. how would they behave if they have the trait
  5. emotions associated with the trait
  6. How they might think
  7. examples from literature
  8. traits that might conflict with
  9. negative things that come from having this trait
  10. challenging scenarios for the character with this trait

That’s a lot of info for just a single trait.  But don’t panic, each trait only has two pages of info.  You don’t have to incorporate everything but it does help give you a better idea of how to use that trait for your character.  This format is the same for both sets of traits with the only difference being that the negative trait thesaurus shows how a character might overcome that particular flaw.

 

The Emotion Thesaurus

This one is my favorite because it gives you:

  1. Physical signals for the emotions
  2. Internal sensations
  3. Mental response
  4. Cues for long term and suppressed attributes
  5. And a bonus…writing tips to help use emotions more effectivly

 

Like I said before, I highly recommend that you checkout these thesauruses (thesauri).  They have helped me tremendously and I refer to them all the time.

 

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Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

Five uses of Pinterest for Writers

There’s no denying that there are thousands of resources out there today for  aspiring authors and just writers in general.  You can find blog after blog, video after video, and article after article.  Not even mentioning the website that have popped up over the last few years all geared towards independent authors.  Sometimes it becomes too much and you run away to your favorite procrastinating activity for comfort.  Mine is Pinterest.  I could, and have, spend all day on that website.  I look up just about everything under the sun.  But there is a way to turn this into a powerful tool for your writing career.  If you don’t know what Pinterest is it’s a website that allows you to make boards about specific topics.  Let’s say you like to cook healthy meals but don’t want to (or can’t) buy a million different cook books.  You can search for the recipes and save them for later.  This site is completely free which a budding writer’s favorite word.  You can make as many different boards as you like.  You are only limited by your imagination.  Here are 5 ways to use Pinterest as a writer

1. A place to find and bookmark articles on writing and the writing process.  

If you’re like me, you’re always on the prowl for help when it comes to your writing.  Or you may have a question that just popped up and you want to find out how to solve/do it.  You don’t necessarily need that information right now, but you want to have it for future reference.  Well Pinterest is a good place to store all that information.  It’s what the site was designed to be.

2. Save all those cool tips and tricks that will take your writing to the next level.

This is one of my favorite features.  One of the coolest things I found through Pinterest was the site Notebook.ai.  It has literally made world building so much easier for me.  I’ll go into that site a bit more another time but I did a brief over view of it here in a previous post.  Another nifty thing I found was this wheel of emotion that helped you find a stronger word to convey a feeling.

3. Inspirational Quotes and writer humor.

Hey we all need a laugh or a kick in the butt.  You could have a whole board dedicated to that when you start slacking off on writing.  Or you could print them off and put them up around your writing space or where ever you feel like.

4. Half assed research.

There are historical boards a plenty on Pinterest.  Sometimes you come across a interesting historical tidbit that you didn’t know but would work for a book idea later on.  Save that shit!  This will save you time later on when you come around to that idea.  Work smarter not harder my friends

5. Inspriation

This one is my favorite.  I have boards for books that I’ve written and books that I’m planning on.  I’ve also saved some cool historical people that I might like to write about later.  But when you’re scrolling through and you see a picture that is almost exactly what your MC looks like, pin it!  Found a pretty picture of a landscape real or not…pin it.  I like looking at author’s boards for their books after I’ve finished reading the book to see where the inspiration came from and to see if what I saw was the same.

 

So there you have it.  Five easy ways to use Pinterest as a writer.  Below I’ll include links to my boards so you can see what I’m talking about.  Happy pinning and don’t forget to write!

Writing Board

Lost Guardian Trilogy Inspiration

Hell Fire Inspiration

 

Greetings My Peeps!

Finding new tools: the good and the bad

Sometimes it’s challenging to be an indie author.  You have to handle all aspects of the book industry (marketing, covers, etc) and create a compelling story at the same time.  It can be daunting but to paraphrase Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, always have your tools.  A writer, no matter if they’re a NY times best seller or just starting out, has to have the right tool for them at their disposal.

When I started this journey, I didn’t have anything really at my disposal.  But now I’ve got some sites that really love and some that while I don’t particularly care for but can’t escape using.  I should note that none of these sites have paid me to say anything about their products or services.  This opinions are strictly my own and for fun informational purposes.

  1. Istock.  This site is great if you have to make your own covers like I do.  You can buy some credits for $20 but you can get three maybe four covers out of that.
  2. Notebook.ai  This is a new discovery for me and I’m in love.  It helps you organize and link up every character, world, culture or what not you have. You don’t even have to link anything until you have a place to put it.  So if you’re like me and flashes of cool ideas come all the time, this site helps to store and organize until you are ready to use them.
  3. Storiad.  Another new site.  This site offers a lot that I don’t really have the time to go into but the main keeper points for me are the marketing plan that they help you make, the pricing calculator, press release kits, and industry networking.  All of these things I needed help with so it’s great that it’s all in one spot.
  4. Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.  I have a love hate relationship with social media.  I’m the type of person who can easily become obsessed with something that continues to stimulate me.  That’s the main reason why I’m not on Tumblr.  No one would ever see me again if I got on that site.  But social media presence is crucial to building an author’s platform or at least getting your name out there.  I try to allot a certain amount of time on each site at any given time to make sure that I stay on track.

These are all that I’m going into today.  If you want, check these sites out or research them to see if they’re the best fit for you as a writer and serve your needs.  If you have something that you think I might like, let me know.  I’m always on the lookout for new resources and tools.

 

Until next time peoples!

Greetings My Peeps!

Out of Balance

I have finished my first year of teaching and boy did the rest of my life suffer for it.  Almost everything got pushed to the side while I tried to keep my head over water.  I had no energy to do anything, and I mean anything.  Most nights I came home and instantly went to sleep.  Now bear in mind I got back home at 3:30.  That’s crazy.  I stopped working out.  I stopped reading.  I stopped painting and I especially stopped doing anything writing related.

I felt terrible.

But now it’s summer so I have the time to catch up on the huge pile I have on the back burner.  This blog being one of them.

My third book is due to come out at the end of next month but I’ve done almost no marketing for it.  I have no idea what I’m going to do.

I need a drink and start getting my life back on track.

Until next time my peoples!

Greetings My Peeps!

I have a conundrum

Greetings friends,

I am a country girl, born and raised.  I rather live in the middle of nowhere with my animals and a decent sized garden.  I don’t really care much about the latest and greatest whatever is on the market, nor do I care about status symbols.  Simply put, I’m a simple girl.  My darling husband, however, is not.  He is a tried and true city boy who loves new gadgets and doesn’t want to miss out on anything.  We get a long pretty well despite our differences but the one thing that we tend to class over is city vs country.  I loath cities, while he dreams of them.  Over my Christmas break, we spent a week with his family in New Jersey, just a short drive away from NYC.  On Christmas they decided that they wanted to go walk around the city and see the tree and other touristy things.  I groaned and went along.  Now this isn’t my first major metropolitan city.  I was stationed in DC where I met my husband.  That area only further cemented my dislike for cities.  But New York City is different.  I don’t know what it is but I actually liked it.  My husband smiled smugly stating that we were going to move closer.  I shutter at the thought but in the same breath think that it wouldn’t be that bad of an idea.  Oh dear lord, what am I going to do!

Greetings My Peeps!

The Hardest Month of My Life

Jesus, I’m so happy this month is finally over.  I have been running on fumes since Thanksgiving.  My novel had taken the back burner to my job, which feeds my feelings of inadequacy, family obligations and the anniversary of my grandmother’s death.  All a potent mixture that drags me down into my own personal tar pit.  But now that the holiday season is winding down, and I had a few days to myself, I can breath easy again.

Now, I’m not the type of person who makes new years resolutions.  I don’t really see the need in trying to commit to something new just because the year started over.  I try to work on myself throughout the year.  With that being said, the one goal that I made for myself this year (yes I know I just said I didn’t do these things) is to find more balance in my life.  I’m one of those people to always bites off more that they can chew.  I love trying new things and my house is often littered with half finished projects that often get pushed to the side when my life becomes crazy.  Unfortunately, my job (special education teacher) means that my life will always be crazy.  I need to find some semblance of balance with all the loves in my life.

On that note, I wish you all a Happy New Year!  Here’s hoping it will be better than the last.