Posts Tagged Kristen Lamb

Wordsmith Wednesday – Blogger Mash-Up

There are quite a few blogs that I read. Some are in my sidebar, and some are not. Thought I’d give y’all a mash-up so you can see who I go to for inspiration and entertainment.

In no particular order:

 

Kristen Lamb – The woman who started me on the current leg of my writer’s journey with a kick in the pants, humor, and friendship.

Rhona Bennett – aka Miss RnB – I stumbled onto her blog a short while ago and read her blog on motivation. I was hooked!

Amanda Rudd – A truly kindred spirit with a brilliant way of expressing her love affair with words.

Amy Sundberg – The most practical free spirit I’ve had the joy of reading.

Aaron Graham – His humor combined with his thoughtfulness makes you forget you’re learning something.

Cid Tyer – She’s so organized it sometimes makes me cross-eyed, and yet she balances it with an equal amount of creativity.

 

What about you, dear readers? What blogs do you recommend?

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Wordsmith Wednesday – All Aboard For Books

Open book

Image via Wikipedia

There’s something magical about a good storyteller. They can suck us into the worlds they weave almost without our knowing. One minute we’re sitting at home, maybe with a cup of tea – Earl Grey, hot. The next we’re in Narnia, fighting the White Witch, or perhaps we’ve found ourselves on Platform Nine-and-three-quarters, waiting to board the Hogwarts Express. Some days, we even find ourselves on the streets of Ancient Rome, lending our ears to Mark Anthony.

How do authors like C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare capture our imaginations? How do they transport us into their worlds?

First, of course, we have to invite them in. We have to suspend our disbelief by opening the book.

Second, we need the stories to have good structure. My friend Kristen has a good series on that in her blog.

Third, there has to be conflict. Why else would we keep turning the pages if not to find out what happens next? This is also something Kristen explains very well.

Fourth, we need them to resonate with something inside us. This need is why some books that don’t adhere as tightly to the second and third options can take the world by storm.

Let’s take one of those excellent authors from earlier that fulfill all the needs, and look at why one of their stories resonates. How about J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series?

Okay, there’s lots of excitement, solid structure, enchanting scenery, and so on. That got us, especially the target demographic of eleven-year-olds, interested. What really hooked all of us was that it tapped into our fears of abandonment. We’ve all been there, right? From the moment we left the womb, there was a sense of separation, loss. We were no longer physically tethered to another soul.

Then there’s those of us who have lost a parent. We know that feeling of abandonment on a far deeper level.

How many of us would feel like that loss had meaning if it forged us into a hero? That it was not in vain if, rather than a car accident or bad health, it was because of a tangible monster we could train ourselves to defeat?

Rowling also tapped into our bone-deep need for hope… that our suffering could be the learning blocks for saving the world. We can be that lonely kid living under the stairs with spiders, learn to not only face our personal demons, but conquer them as well.

Most of all, she showed us that we are not alone. Our friends can be part of our family if we let them in. They add to our strength, make us more than we are.

Through all of that, she consistently advanced her writing. The older Harry got, the more complex and mature her storytelling became, making us feel as though we were aging with Harry or watching him grow. We felt the passage of time. No mean feat, if you ask me.

When the series came to a close, we felt we had completed a journey. Our hearts bore the scars and yet were left whole. Closing the book, we blinked owlishly as our mundane world came back into focus.

To what worlds have you travelled? What authors have led you to lands far from (or near to) home? How? Why?  And what effect did it have on you?

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Greetings and salutations!

Like many others, music has made me who I am. It fills me, moves me, provides a soundtrack for my life. The music I love (and even some that I loathe) becomes an inextricable part of me. Just recently, I reconnected with a childhood friend who asked, “Why don’t you blog about that?” She’s a big fan of social media, is Kristen Lamb.  So much so that she wrote a book called We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. I tried to tell her that I’m not really a blogger. Oh sure, I have my Livejournal, which is basically an online diary that some friends read, and my Facebook page where I play games, but tri-weekly blogging? Please.

“Well, you love to talk about music,” Kristen pointed out. “Why not talk about it with other like-minded people?”

“But I don’t know how I would come up with enough content!” I retorted, my eyes shifting from side to side as a wave of fear crashed over me. She gave me many good reasons as to why I was wrong, but the most eloquent persuasion was silent. Her hands planted on her hips, she just arched an eyebrow.

So here I am, out of excuses, starting a WordPress blog about music. There will be Music Review Mondays that can mean anything from a full album review to an artist or video review… possibly even a rockumentary review, if you guys are up for it. Wordsmith Wednesdays we’ll be taking a song and looking at just its lyrics, see what makes it so compelling (or not, as the case may be) from that angle. Fangirl Fridays will be devoted to those moments that make a fan – hearing a song in a store, meeting an idol, concerts, interviews… you get the drift.

So join me on this Magical Mystery Tour to expand our minds, and possibly our iTunes folders!

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