Marching Toward My Goal

image credit: Microsoft clip art

image credit: Microsoft clip art

So following on last week’s post about my New Year’s goal, I’ve made a few purchases to further my writing education and to help tighten the WIPs.

image credit: Microsoft clip art

image credit: Microsoft clip art

As a research project for this pantser, I bought Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. This has been recommended by a number of bloggers, so I thought I’d give it a read. Engineering? You can’t get any more structured than this, right? What does this pantser think so far? I’ll let you know when I finish reading it. I’m only in Chapter 6. I can say, though, that Brooks subscribes to the philosophy of “First, tell people what you’re going to tell them. Second, tell them what you’re telling them. Third, tell them what you told them.”

For tightening the drafts, I downloaded The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. Fellow bloggers have also recommended this book. This one is to help me do a better job of “showing” rather than “telling.” Maybe the next edition could add “exhaustion” as a category. That was the first thing I wanted to check out, and it isn’t in the thesaurus. But I’m nitpicking. The authors do a good job of offering body language and internal thought processes for a wide variety of emotions.

Finally, for polishing the final drafts, I picked up The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. This is, of course, a classic. It goes well with my copy of The Chicago Manual of Style.

On Vloffing

Reading your annual stats has been a real eye-opener. I couldn’t believe I was a Top Five commenter on so many blogs. That reinforced my concerns about how much time I spend blogging. This year, I have to be more structured (engineered?) with my time. Even if I don’t leave fewer comments, they must get shorter!

But Wait—There’s More!

The amazing Kourtney Heintz nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. This is a new one for me, so I’ll play by the rules, to a point. 😉

The rules:

1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.
2. Answer 10 questions.
3. Nominate 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read.
4. Provide links to these nominated blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been nominated.
5. Include the award logo within your blog post.

The Questions (which are apparently identical to the Sunshine award):

1. Your favorite color – blue
2. Your favorite animal – horse
3. Your favorite non-alcoholic drink – water
4. Facebook or Twitter – Facebook
5. Your favorite pattern – subtle geometric
6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? – giving
7. Your favorite number? – 28
8. Your favorite day of the week? – Saturday
9. Your favorite flower? – Native ones growing in their native habitat
10. What is your passion? writing

Remember, no one should feel left out if I don’t name you specifically. Of course, doesn’t the very name of this suggest that male bloggers are excluded? I’m going with 5 nominees who, as always, are free to accept or decline as they wish.

Small House Big Garden

Laura Stanfill

A Rich, Full Life in Spite of It

Brigitte’s Banter

Vanessa-Jane Chapman

Whew, this post is longer than originally intended! So I’ll just wrap it up here and wish you all a happy weekend.

UPDATE: What the heck has WordPress done? My marching graphic sometimes looks right and others, not. I tried inserting a different .png graphic and it did the same thing. These New Year changes aren’t for the better, folks!

An End Of Year Thank You To My Readers

Well, I for one am not surprised—the world is still here. That’s not to say a meteor couldn’t strike in 2013, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Maybe now we can go about our lives and strive to make the upcoming year and those that follow the best they can be.

As I move toward my part in that goal, I’d like to start here by giving heartfelt thanks to my readers. I’ve now been blogging for just over a year, and I would never have made it this long without your help.

Thank you 2

Image credit: Microsoft clip art

Even though we haven’t met outside of cyberspace, I feel like I really know some of you because you leave lovely comments on my posts. Some of you have even reblogged them or shared them on other social networks. I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful feeling that is. Despite my belief that Earth’s doom is eons away, I’m pessimistic about humanity’s long-term survival. But when I see so many wonderful comments from readers and the support we offer one another, some optimism creeps into my life. How could I not be thankful for that?

Other readers are more elusive. I know you’re here because my blog views show you are (despite WordPress eating so many of them with the Reader—even the “new” stats don’t show those). Of course, a few of those views are the result of dubious search-engine results. How a search for “俄罗斯,” which I learned is Chinese for “Russia,” brought someone to this blog is beyond me. I’m guessing the “silent” readers might be shy. Or they aren’t the commenting kind. That’s okay, I understand. I follow some blogs where I rarely, if ever, make my presence known. But whenever I see more views appearing in my stats, I’m thankful for those, too. Someone stopped to spend a few moments to read what I’ve written? How could I not be thankful for that?

It’s a busy time of year for many of us, so I’ll keep this short and close with hopes that the end of the year finds you happy and well. Thank you again for all of your support!

Williamsburg Wreath 2009

Williamsburg Wreath 2009