During the writing of Redeeming the Roguish Rake, I was writing a scene in which Rebecca recites this poem to Foxworthy on a starry night. She said her mother had always recited it to her. But, when I was younger, I wanted poetry books for poems, and romance novels were to be poem-less. So I pressed delete.
Copyright 2018 Liz Tyner
Taking photos of grasshoppers isn't how I imagined I'd find enjoyment in life. But a moment with a camera in my hand adds a bit of interest to whatever is in front of me. It seems like I can look at the picture later and see, for the first time, what I was really looking at.
Not everyone feels the same way. Some feel that the camera is a barrier between them and whatever is in front of them, and they can't truly step into the moment thinking about a photo instead of the experience.
We're all so different. Even grasshoppers.
Enjoy a quick read about an unlikely hero by selecting the Roguish Rake page!
NaNoWriMo is not a one size fits all challenge.
As most writers are aware, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in November. They don’t have to be good words—just words in a story. Do I accept the challenge? Nope.
I’m not saying never because it would be nice to go to wake up on December 1st with a whole cart-load of words smiling back at me. But I could also wake up on December 1st and see my keyboard had been hammered into oblivion, which is much more likely.
And it’s hard not to feel a little behind while of all those other writers are finishing all those words while I don’t. I repeat Max Ehrmann’s quote, “If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain or bitter for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself.”
NaNoWrite Mo isn’t a challenge to be taken lightly. Most people who’ve been writing for awhile know about how many words they manage and their writing style before they ever begin. I do. Definitely.
If you’re a beginning writer it can seem like a brilliant idea to just push yourself and get those words for that novel down on paper.
Screech to a halt and think about it first. Maybe the motivation to simply finish a novel in a month isn’t the right one for you. Maybe the thing to focus on is what actually motivates long-term productivity and how to achieve that. A quick contest might be best for you, but it isn’t for everyone. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
Do you want to write a novel, or to “have written?” If you feel guilty about not doing well in the contest remember, most people who like to drink wine don’t grab the bottle and chug as fast as they can. Some like to sip. To taste.
If writing feeds your spirit, or just the fellowship of sitting with other authors and talking about writing, then you’re on the right path. So what if you only manage 5,000 words instead of 50,000 during November? Do that for a year, and you’ll have a novel.
So what if you attend a writing group and haven’t started your book yet? It’s not like you’re standing on a street corner waiting for a UFO to pick you up. There are worse places to spend your time than with a group of writers—I’m sure. They might try to talk you into critiquing their novel for them, but those are the risks you take.
Every day is a new writing day. Don’t beat yourself up if NaNoWriMo isn’t for you. Some people are quick writers. Some not. Diversity among writers is good. Without it, we’d all finish the same book.
*Note that the model above is wearing safety glasses.
These aren't park squirrels. They're not tame, except where birdseed is concerned. If they do get too comfortable with people, they can be a bit bossy and protective of their food source, so it's really best to keep them wild.
Dust from the cement block stuck to his nose.
In the area where I grew up, some of the squirrels likely have an ancestor who was raised by humans after he lost his mother. Then as he grew older, he gradually returned to the wild. I hope its memories of being a guest in my mother's house are pleasant.
Living in a area that was mostly inhabited by Native Americans during the time frame I write, I can't run to my local museum to see what might have been used in London in Regency times.
Of course, the internet is my primary tool. Early on, I discovered that art and caricatures helped me visualize the past in a way that other available research wasn't doing.
In one drawing by caricaturist James Gillray, I saw a wig stand on the table behind the subject. I'd never thought about all those powdered wigs (mostly pre-Regency) needing a place to be stored.
Daily life of the lower classes often features in my novels, and the picture above gave me an inkling of what it could be like. A spinning wheel, carding tools to separate fibers, a churn, a kettle, and fireplace tools. Not to mention scarves and caps to keep the head warm.
Really not that much different than the stories of tools I'd heard of being used in my ancestors' past.
Photo above is from Fotolia and is one of James Gillray's John Bull drawings
In my last post, I mentioned the harshness that country life can bring. But nature also has a beauty.
Wild geese switch directions when they're flying in hopes of avoiding people.
The deer tend to shy away from people, but will examine a trail camera.
The fawn only ran from me after its mother snorted in alarm. This one is a twin, born in the spring. The photo is from September.
Thistle. Hated by farmers. Loved by bees. Ugly from a distance. Amazing from a bee's perspective.
So when people say they grew up in the country, in my world it means they grew up in an ever-changing landscape filled with things to explore, and innocent looking things that seemed designed to cause itches, pain, or sometimes even death.
I'm very thankful to have been given the opportunity to view the nature in my world.
*Photos from my acreage.
Country life wasn’t designed by Walt Disney. Even though I’ve lived most of my life in the country, I didn’t realize how rough it could be until I started wandering through the woods on a daily basis.
My husband was walking in front of me and I saw his foot lowering, with a copperhead snake under his shoe. Although copperhead bites are rarely fatal, they’re painful. And they terrify me.
I couldn’t scream fast enough to keep my husband from stepping on the snake, but my scream did raise him straight back up off the ground.
I saw the snake flip around, and brush his leg. At that point, I believed I’d just seen my husband receive a poisonous bite.
But he didn’t act hurt.
“Don’t scream that loud unless there’s a snake,” he shouted.
“Snake.” I couldn’t get the word out fast enough. And I really couldn’t believe my husband had escaped a snake bite. I’d seen the snake hit his leg, but his shoe must have either trapped the head and he’d been hit by the tail, or he’d disoriented it so much it couldn’t sink its teeth in.
My husband never saw it. The copperhead had left the trail.
Even with the slithery creatures, the woods have given me so much that I can share my space with them the creatures that aren't Disney-esque. I have no choice. Neither of us plan to leave.
Sometimes it does feel as if I live in a magical world, and I’m very fortunate to have nature around me. I’ve learned to love animals more than I ever expected.
But even Walt Disney couldn’t have made me like the poisonous snakes.
Note: The picture above is from a location where I've seen several snakes. Even though I have some reptile photos, I cannot post one here. Even a cartoon snake would be a little unsettling to me on this blog.
The free roaming longhorn cattle of the USA in the 1700's and early 1800's were a resilient breed. Without owners to care for them, only the strongest survived. But because they were a source of food, tallow, and hides, their numbers were greatly reduced. By the early 1900's USA's longhorn cattle were headed for extinction. In an effort to preserve the species, some were placed on the Wichita Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. The Wichita Wildlife Refuge isn't too far from where I live now, and it's very common to pass by small farms and see the cattle grazing peacefully in the pasture.
Texture of the horn:
These pictures were take at Pawnee Bill's Ranch, Oklahoma.
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