Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What's in a Name? | Wednesday Edition

Happy Wednesday!  
How was your week progressing thus far?  Is it Springtime where you live??

Well, normally, as most of you would know, I post Name sets on Mondays. . . But this week is pretty packed with happenings at Overland-home, as well as preparations for a sister's wedding shower.  Sooo, instead of a deep, inspirational word-post, you get one of these! 

I know it's been a few weeks since I've posted these. . .  But anywho, here's a new set of names if you need to freshen up some characters in your WIP.  They are rather unique, this set is.  :]


Grayson
M | English (rare)
GRAY-sǝn

From an English surname meaning "son of the steward," which is derived from the Middle English greyve "steward."












Elowen
F | Cornish
EHL-oh-win (possibly)

Means "elm tree" in Cornish.  This is a recently coined Cornish given name.


Archer
M | English
AR-cher

From an English surname meaning "bowman, archer," of Old French origins.






Marissa
F | English
mǝ-RIS-sah

Meaning uncertain.  Most likely derived from the combination of Maria, a variant of Mary (which possibly means "beloved" or "love"), and Luisa (from Luis or Louis, which hails from Ludwig meaning "famous" and "war, battle").










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What do you think?  Which one is your favorite??  
I think Elowen is a beautiful name for a Medieval maiden!  And Grayson has always been a fav of mine.  :]

Fairfarren, for now, m'dears!
Sarah

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

i can write. . .



Sometimes, that's exactly how I feel.  And then I don't write AT ALL for ages. . . Let me tell you what I'm sure you already know:  If one doesn't write, one will never become a best-selling author of ANYTHING. 

Ouch.  Kinda harsh, right?  But, good gravy, it's true.  It's been months to a year since I've worked on my Safia WIP. . . (Oh, the horror!) And I miss her terribly.  Since then, I've dabbled in many other WIPs because I felt hers was going nowhere fast.

So, what do you do when you have writer's block?  Or when your plot has NO depth whatsoever?  Or when your story seems to be the "Neverending Story" with more holes than Swiss cheese?

Well, there are a variety of solutions, m'dears.  Chainsaw Therapy, of course!  And browsing Pinterest (but do beware, that site can be a black hole for us aspiring authors where we find amazing ideas, but nothing. Gets. DONE.).  So, many options, yes! but you must simply find one that works for you.


Here are a select few to get you started:

As mentioned above, Chainsaw Therapy is a fun exercise to get the creative juices of your brain flowing.  All the ingredients you need are your characters from your current WIP combined with some guy with a chainsaw.  And there you have it: Easy! and great fun!  Believe me.  I've attached some links above of the two short stories I wrote with this exercise (which was about four years ago, so be kind regarding the quality of said writings. . .).

The second include writing prompts.  These are easily found on Pinterest, but you must be diligent to find them and actually use them (something I've not excelled on lately. . .).  Below, are a few that I found compelling:





Maybe you need a tiny nudge forward?  Well, finding an intriguing writing prompt is a great place to start.  It could be the piece of the puzzle you were looking for, or it could be an exercise to get your brain back on track.  Whatever it be, make it fun!

And lastly, the simplest of all.  Write every day.  While I cannot recall which blog I saw this inspiration and encouragement, I remember it as clear as ever.  And that is to take a portion of each day and write.  If you are a busy little bee--whether that's juggling college and part-time jobs or managing a household and kids--then be conservative.  Set a timer for 10 minutes each day and just WRITE.  There's a catch with this one:  you must be diligent.  This is something in which I must take my own advice.  

Usually, we take different things and complicate them, when in all actuality they are rather basic to the extreme.  Start small and expand.  But don't let it take away from what you value most in life!  Nothing is ever worth the loss of the blessings of family, friends, and your quiet time with God.  Find an accountability partner!  This could be a close sibling, a dear friend who shares your passion for stories (or not!), a long-distance pen-pal, or even a parent!  Send a text every day to check on them.  Write a letter of encouragement.  Swap stories!  Share what you wrote during your ten-minute-story-time.  :]  Have fun!

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What is the name of your main character in your current WIP?  And what is their one, major weakness?


Much love, dearies!
Sarah

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A + A Friday!

It's Friday, y'all!  How was your week?
AWKWARD
  • When a stranger comes to your door asking about renting the other side of the duplex--you fumble your words and point to the realtor's phone number on the sign in the front yard, apologize, and seem (and feel!) rather dumb and then they apologize and leave.  O_O  VERY awkward. . .
  • When your man is reading the day's daily devotion and you are momentarily distracted in thinking of wet belly buttons. . .  O_o  (DON'T ask me why! I dunno!)
  • Itching to try a new art/crafty project, but you're limbs don't obey and it's the starting that's hard:
  • When your sister is in the dressing room and she calls you and your mum in there to see her and you have to walk past the employee who is "guarding" the place, but you don't have anything to try on.  All is well, but she follows you in anyway and asks if you needed assistance--you politely respond "no, thanks."  (I always feel strange with things like that.  Is it just me??  You know, where you go into a place of business but you're not trying anything on or buying anything to drink, etc.  I almost feel like they would judge and then throw me out for taking up space! Haha! Silly, I know, but does anyone understand that feeling??)
  • Reading and someone asks:
AWESOME
  • Watching Stargate: SG1 episodes with your hubby while eating nachos, or as he brushes your hair, or while sipping the best EVER hot cocoa.  These memories I shall cherish.  :]
  • Trying new recipes and LOVING them!
    dark chocolate cookie bites - recipe to come soon!
  • Playing hostess - in your new home.  (Evan and I have said this multiple times--we want our home to be one of welcome and fellowship.)
  • We finally have a renter!!! All praise to our King! (and no, it's not the lady with whom I had quite the awkward conversation--if you could call it that. . .)
  • Buying things you need and can use for your house.  (I got excited over a RUG, people.)
  • Planning tea parties and girl's nights and game nights and movie nights.  :D
  • Doing planks and stretches with your husband right before bed.  It's fun!
  • Spring is nearing!!! (you say as the highs are in the upper 30s all week long. . .)
  • I would so do this is we ever got enough snow. . .
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Happy St Patrick's Day! Are you wearing green?? ;D
Ciao, for now!
Sarah

Use Your Words, Sweetheart


Mumbling never got anybody anywhere.

Remember that word post I shared last week? Good! 'Cuz here's another one.  :]

I've read a couple books recently where I was greatly impressed by their use of exceptional vocabulary. I found myself extremely grateful for my Kindle and its ability to touch & hold a word and have the definition pop up right away. You could say reading those books and realizing how good they sounded (in my head, of course) in the usage of their more uncommon words might have inspired these posts, but seriously—as writers, you should work to strengthen your vocabulary and the wording of your WIPs (works-in-progress). Why? Because it will give your story a richer flavor. It will ban any dullness from your pages in the tales you wish to tell.

Now, I'm not saying you should dig deep into your thesaurus “rex” and add an otherwise unheard of synonym in EVERY paragraph. IF you do that, you'll drive away your reader AND make them feel dumber than a sheep skipping to slaughter. All's you need is the just-right porridge. Capisci?

Ok, then, what is that? How do I do it? Simply this, mix it up! But HOW? How do I do [accomplish] this [such a feat]? Ahhh, well, come to me, my wee little lambs, and I shall tell you: STRENGTHEN YOUR WORDS. Even so, much too much and you'll lose your reader's attention and/or they'll skim the pages and leave a bad review.

And we don't want that, do we? *pouty lips*
Do we??



Here's another tip (because you NEED my unending wisdom, right??):  Never use a word, or one almost exactly similar, twice in one paragraph. Your reader will get the feeling of repetition and poor quality. I think we need an example, yes?

          An hour and a half later, Nanami sank to the floor beside her friend Britta. Water bottles near at hand, they both commenced into stretches, gratefully relieving weary muscles. While she loved ballet—because, come on! it was her LIFE now—she was relieved the day was nearly over and she could enjoy one of her only free evenings off.



See? *scoffs*
Now, fix it:

          An hour and a half later, Nanami sank to the floor beside her friend Britta. Water bottles near at hand, they both commenced into stretches, gratefully relieving weary muscles. While she loved ballet—because, come on! it was her LIFE now—she was happy the day was nearly over and she could enjoy one of her only free evenings off.

I have seen this so many times in a variety of stories. It just makes me wanna. Fix. It! Hopefully, this will help you. Because that's my goal! I'd love to publish a book or three someday, but if that doesn't happen, so be it. I'm still a freelance writer of sorts, a poet, a blogger, and a master of creating numerous WIPs (that don't really go anywhere. But that's okay! 'Cuz it's fun!). ;D

If you have read this to its end, I commend you! and thank you from the bottom of my heart. And if there's anything you can glean from this wordy post, it's this: USE your words! Find 'em, and use 'em!

{By the way, Mr Bigg from Zootopia never actually says that line, but I'd bet a hot peppermint mocha you read it in his voice!}

Photos & GIFs via Pinterest.

Fairfarren,
Sarah

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Expand Your Vocab

 Well, hullo, my faithful friends. I apologize for my neglect of this little blog. . . Writing my fun little posts, publishing a variety of names and their meanings, attempting to share some helpful writing tips—that's what I want to do. I've found a yearning to write and share all the things I've learned, what I'm learning, and maybe cause you to laugh in the process. You could say this blog is a passion of mine. And now, for a little over three years (last December), I've been doing just that (less so the past two maybe. . . [But in all actuality, I've been blogging for FAR longer. First, a wee bit on me mum's blog, then on one I shared with my two younger sisters, and now here!])

Just this morning, I was re-reading a post I'd written sometime in 2014 entitled, “Lawfullness, Hip Bones, & Palabras”. And, while I'm almost always a very humble person *wink wink*, I couldn't help but feel a wee bit o' pride. I mean, it was actually funny. And helpful. So, that made me smile and then wonder, “What HAPPENED?? I have a knack for this stuff, WHY did I STOP???”

Aaaaaaannnnnddd, here I am. Attempting once again! Are ya ready? You could say, I was inspired by my own post. . . Hahaha! (Really?

Okay, okay, enough babbling and boastieness—er, boastfulness.




For the most part, those of you who [still] read this blog are writers of sorts, am I right? So, if I actually succeed in typing sense, then there's a good chance you'll learn something. (I hope. . .)
  1. ALWAYS HAVE A DICTIONARY AND THESAURUS HANDY
    I usually prefer the physical copies of both, but with our technology as advanced as it is, mayhaps it is far more convenient to grab your smart phone, as I have done on occasion. (Nothing wrong with that! I'm sure the majority of people do not carry a copy of a dictionary on their person.)
         When you come across a new word—mind you, one that is new to you—jot it down and/or grab your phone/dictionary and look it up immediately. Such little tidbits can be lost in the memory quite easily and if you do not take care to write it down, it will become lost. That is, until it randomly resurfaces at 3:00AM. . . *ahem* This is an excellent way to gain knowledge, aaannnnd expand your mind. That said, don't forget to jot it down! Reading and researching is great, but making the effort to write it down (in your story/misc. notebook or even the notes app on your phone!) will be a huge step to remembering. And you'll always have that reference.
         Note: If you have a smart phone, download a free dictionary app (I have the Merriam-Webster for my iPhone) and check out the Word of the Day. You will easily discover new words that way!
  1. WHEN WRITING, SUBSTITUTE YOUR WEAK WORDS FOR STRONGER
    This is an amazing habit to have. And one I learned in my senior year of high school, thanks to a writing class my siblings and I took with my husband's mother (I had NO idea she would become my mother-in-law! Don't you love our God's sense of humor?).
         Through the IEW curriculum we used, she taught us to strengthen our words. For example, instead of “help,” use “assist.” “Excellent” instead of “good.” “Recall” instead of “remember.” Got the idea? Excellent! (See what I did there??) Soon, it will become second nature—believe me!
  1. USE IT! APPLY A NEW WORD EVERY DAY
    Add the words into your daily vocabulary. A great way to start [begin *wink wink*] is to check out whichever dictionary app you downloaded/have or look online at dictionary.com at the word of the day and make a point to use that word at least once.  Some words may prove to be quite a challenge, but it could be great fun!
         Today's word on that website is portmanteau, meaning “a case or piece of luggage, particularly a leather trunk or suitcase that opens into two halves.”
Here's my attempt:
          Somewhere a clock tower struck three bells just as the great train pulled into the bustling station.
          Right on time, he thought, pushing his grandfather's watch back into his pocket. He stood, grabbed his briefcase and leather portmanteau, and exited with the rest of the crowd.
          On the platform, he adjusted his hat with his free hand, then froze.
          There she was. And no woman ever looked so beautiful.
          His luggage fell to the ground as he threw off his hat and opened his arms to the small blur of honeysuckle and brown curls.
          “I'm home.”


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See?  Not that difficult.  Have at it!  And make it fun!

Until next time,
Sarah

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A+A Friday!

AWKWARD
  • Don't forget to grab the bananas out of your cooler.  Otherwise the bag of pretzels you also left in there might possibly taste like them. . . (the bananas, I mean.) O_o
  • Standing outside while locking up and you hear what sounds like a chicken clucking loudly. . . Turns out it was a woman laughing in a car with the windows down as they drove by!
  • When you burn a perfectly good batch of cookies. -_-
  • When you lock yourself out of your new home because you forgot your keys. . .
  • When you randomly tell your man about how you own a shower cap and you try it on and the first thing he says is, "You look like a GRANMA!!" Then burst out laughing. xD
  • Going on grocery run alone (when you and husband usually make it into a date) and later having to explain why the bill was so much higher: "It was a lot of bulk items, I promise! Toilet paper, potatoes, not one but TWO bags of chocolate chips, etc... I only purchased what was on the list! (Obviously can't be trusted to go alone...) ;D
  • Rolling up the window and catching your hair. [And yes, I said rolling up the window. Ha!]
AWESOME
  • When you make cookies (per request of your adoring husband) and he praises them saying they're amazing!
  • HAND-ME-DOWNS!!!
  • Helping to successfully vaccinate your grandparents' cattle. :]
  • Playing hostess (in your own home)!!! 
  • Trying new recipes, and LOVING them: black bean tacos & ham + cheese rollups. *yum!*
  • Attempting a new project and being pleased with the outcome. 
How was your week, m'dears? So sorry for mossing the last two A+As! I have good excuses, I promise! One was moving, of course.  Well, alas I must leave you. Check back soon!  Happy weekend!  Sarah