Monday, February 24, 2014

Scrivener a Writer's Dream

All great artists need tools to help create something that they are inspired by, and writers are no exception. One of the tools that I started using for 2013 National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo was Scrivener. This is more then just a word processing tool. You can do so much more with it. Actually this article and all the ones that I write for Moonlight Reads as well as my stories are written using it.
Some of the things that I love about it is that you only have to pay for it once, any improvements that happen are then automatically updated. When I was using it for NaNoWriMo it helped in telling me how many words I had written. It also has a split screen feature that comes in handy when you are writing, especially when writing a novel. I tend to find it very helpful to have a character sheet up while I am writing my story. That way I can make sure that I don’t change a character’s eye or hair color mid stories. Then there is the templates that can help you organize yourself. I created my own character sheet that I add to all my projects. In the cork board feature it helps when I want to move something or just take a quick glance at a chapter, and it helps with outlining your story out too.
This is one of my favorite tools to use. I couldn’t help but share it with all of you. Now don’t think that I am saying you can’t use something else with your writing, because I’m not. It is just what works for me. Below I have put links to buy Scrivener and to learn more about it. I hope that it helps you with your writing and may your writing be inspired.

Find out more about Scrivener and can help you at these locations:

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Chinese Zodiac Year of the Horse

I may have missed the change of the Chinese New Year, but that doesn’t mean I forgot about it. On the last day of January the Chinese celebrated the new year which happens to be the year of the Horse. Leaving behind the year of the Snake. Now you may not know much or anything about the Chinese zodiac as it is not as publicized as the Western zodiac. But it is just as much fun.
The basics are there are twelve signs all animals. They are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. These cycle every year. Though many people have some odd correlations with Rats, Snakes, and Pigs. Rats mostly because of the Black Plague and that rats where connected. As for in this context they are crafty and well liked.

Now I am not going to go into each of the twelve signs as it will take quite a bit of time. And though I know quite a bit about the subject I am by no means an expert. I do have a few books on Chinese Astrology, which will be listed below along with some helpful web pages. Though I only think that it is proper to state a little bit about the year of the Horse. Those born in this year can be formidable. But they are also known as good communicators. They love to be social and follow trends. The Chinese feared women born in this year, but this has changed a bit.
I personal was born in the year of the Rooster. We are hard workers with many talents. Can be skilled in literature, music and art. And we aren’t afraid to tell you what we are thinking. I am married to a Rat and our daughter is a Rabbit. And yes lots of her things have rabbits on it. I couldn’t help myself.
So look yours up and see what it says about you. But one better is to use this for your characters. In Japan there is a Manga and Anime called Fruits Basket. It is about a family cursed. When ever someone of the opposite sex hugs them they change to one of the twelve animals of the zodiac. It is quite funny. But just think about these possibilities. With the animal corresponding you could take so much more from this. Just how would you see yourself using this? I find that it is great to read the personality traits when I am thinking about my characters. Trying to see where they may fall under.
I hope that this will help you. Looking forward to what you all might think about this one.

Recommended books on Chinese Astrology:
Ming Shu The Art and Practice of Chinese Astrology by Derek Walters
The Chinese Astrology Kit by Derek Walters and Helen Jones


Recommended webpages:

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

So in honor of Valentine’s Day I thought that I should write something in celebration. Some people say that this is a hallmark holiday. So that we just buy more stuff to give to one another. While others find this to be a very special day. A day to celebrate love and being in love.
If you live in Japan on this day girls give their friends and love interest chocolates. The boys reciprocate with a gift on another day called White day. In South Africa girls pin the name of their lover on their sleeve. And in China they have their own Valentine’s Day which is the 7th day of the 7th month.
As a child my mom and dad usually gave me a card, candy and when they could something a little special. I always had fond memories of this holiday. Sitting the week before making valentines for my friends and family. Wondering how many valentines I would receive. It was always great.
On a writing stance this is a great time for a budding relationship between characters. Or in a young adult novel how the a young girl who doesn’t have a Valentine deals with it. There is a lot that you can look at on the whole Valentine’s Day aspect. For those of you who aren’t into the mushy part of the holiday remember that there was also the Valentine’s Day Massacre that took place in Chicago, IL. This is also the day when Oregon was admitted as the 33rd State back in 1859 and Arizona became the 48th in 1912. So there is a lot more to the day then just that it is Valentine’s Day. Research is your friend when you are looking into more about a specific day. One of the tools when it comes to looking up a specific dates that I check is the Internet. Below I have given you some of the websites that I use. I also us the apps iAlmanack+ as well as HistoryTools.

I wish you all a very happy and special Valentine’s Day. And if you don’t have someone to give a valentine to you can always do what the Scottish do. Which is the first man or woman a person sees on the street becomes his or her Valentine, celebrating a romantic day with someone you don’t even know. What are your plans for this day of love?

Web page links for helpful Histories:

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Olympic Inspiration

In honor of the Olympics I thought that I should write something up on it. With every two years we have either the winter or summer Olympics. This years winter is being held in Russia. Watching these athletes competing on the worlds stage is inspiring all on its own. These games bring about comradely and national pride all across the world. Doesn’t matter where you are, there is a sense of pride every time your country earns a medal.
I personally wasn’t that great of an athlete as I didn’t have the discipline to practice as much as was needed. But I have always been inspired by and loved the Olympics. Many stories have been written about getting to or just being at the Olympics. It is a great set up for an under dog story or about perseverance.

The Opening ceremonies tell their own stories and help to give a small insight into the hosting country. My personal favorite part of this years ceremony was near the end right before the torch entered the stadium. The whole place was darkened and it looked as though we had been transported to space. Then it seemed as though there where constellations of the athletes in different moments. They appeared and disappeared. I loved how it was done. It just took my breath away.
I look forward to watching as many events as I am able to this year. Watching the stories that will come out of this tremendously inspiring event. You may not like sports but you may want to turn it on. See what it is taking these athletes to get here. Yes, there are some who have great coaching and lots of help. But there are others that are there who couldn’t hire a coach and had to get scholarships just so they could get a flight to the Olympics. There are many great stories like this. Who knows which might inspire you. So turn on the 22nd Olympics and be inspired by this great event that all started back in 1896.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Dreams and the Worlds They Awaken

             There are many authors who say that they get their ideas from their dreams. Like Neil Gaiman, Stephenie Meyer, and Stephen King just to name a few. Either something in the dream sparks their imagination or they dream of a new one entirely. There are also some authors who say that their dreams don't help them at all with their writing. That there is only fragments or they just don't remember enough of them to make them into something.
            For myself, I have always written down any dream that I thought was interesting or would make a great story. There always seems to be something that you can take from a dream. Now this does not mean that I get all my writing ideas from dreams, but I would definitely say that some do. When I can actually remember what your dreaming that is. My dreams are very vivid. I remember things in great detail. For me they can be just a scene that I build my story around, or maybe it is the first few chapters. No I don't always get a chance to write down every story idea that I have from a dream but I do try. 
             Then you also dream interpretation. When you read about what people think of dreams some say that everyone in the is actually you. I don't know if that is true or not but it's great help when your in a nightmare, at least it does for me. But there is so much on interpreting dreams lots of books and dictionaries about the meanings of things that are in your dream. I had a friend who got a great story idea from trying to interpret her dream. So I say go with what works and yes I do have a Dreamer's Dictionary.
             Now there are all sorts of kinds of dreaming as you know. In that you have daydreaming, and there are so many who daydream up their stories. Then again some would say that daydreaming is really just brainstorming and idea. 
             However you get your ideas I hope they fulfill all your dreams.

Here is a link to the book I mentioned above.

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