Monday Motivator: Flo Ziegfeld

◊ ◊ ◊

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote you’d like to share, let me know and I’ll post it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld, Susan Fleming, ky_olsen on flickr, The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: Bubbling Over

Creative Commons image by “Permanently Scatterbrained” on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a short story, a poem, or a blog post.  Maybe it will inspire you to go outside and do something fun.  Whatever your response, I hope the picture inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post

Old Pages Turn to Book Beads

Most of the Once A Book projects I’ve posted so far involve removing some or all of the inside pages of an old book.  I know that is tantamount to heresy for some, but maybe I can redeem myself a little bit with today’s project.

Book beads from the smallest forest takes recycling a step further by putting those sad old pages back into circulation.  They’re called “book beads” because the process is the same as the binding process used to make children’s board books.  You don’t have to use book pages, though.  Any type of paper will work, but book pages are especially fitting because the “pages” flip, like a tiny round book.

The beautifully photographed step by step tutorial can be found by clicking quick tutorial : : book beads.  Don’t bother looking for the written instructions, it’s such an easy process, the photos tell the whole story.

As always, if you decide to make this project, send pictures and I’ll post them here.

Resources: the smallest forest, Once A Book, The Daily Post

Persistence Pays Off for Writers

Dani Shapiro says writers’ tenacity reminds her of a terrier with a bone, but it has its benefits.

In an essay posted on The Inner Writer, bestselling author Dani Shapiro writes about how difficult it has become for new writers to succeed in the publishing world today.  With a focus on blockbusters and bestsellers, she wonders how writers will be able to take the time and put in the effort needed “to create  something original and resonant and true?”

For most writers, the writing life is not the red carpet life.  There are no lush scenes of privilege and excess.  What writers get instead, she writes “is this miserable trifecta: uncertainty, rejection, disappointment.”

Woo hoo! Where do I sign up?

Ms. Shapiro’s insight is discouraging, but it’s also realistic.  It’s a tough door to break through, but there is still room in the market for the newcomers.  By focusing on the writing itself, and not on publishing, perhaps we can we can find the courage and the dogged tenacity to keep going when the rejections and doubts start piling up.  That’s when we’ll find that the risks are worth the rewards.

To read the essay, please visit:  A writing career becomes harder to scale.

◊ ◊ ◊

Your Brain on Write is a series of posts
exploring scientific, psychological
and cognitive aspects of writing and creativity.
Click here to see additional posts in the series.

Resources:  The Inner Writer, Dani Shapiro, The Daily Post


Seven Prompts for Silent Writers

Tonight at 9 EST and PST, the Silent Writers Collective holds its weekly online writing retreat.  All writers are welcome to join in and …

Zip it!

You can work on your own project or use one of the writing exercises below.

  1. From PW.org:Fiction and Poetry prompts
  2. From Verbal VerbosityThe 100 Words Challenge Prompt
  3. From me: A photo prompt, “Intercessions”
  4. From Mama’s Losin’ ItFive Writing Prompts
  5. From Writer’s Digest: Writing Prompts (10 pages of them!)
  6. From @Selorian on Twitter:#storystarters
  7. From Plinky: Quickie questions to ponder

The Silent Writers online writing retreat is open to all writers who want to commit a minimum of one hour to writing.  If you’re interested in participating, join us tonight at 9 EST and PST on Twitter or Facebook.

For more information, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources:  The Daily Post

If These Walls Could Read: The Floating Bookshelf

In seven simple steps, videojug.com shows us how to turn an old book into a floating bookshelf.

This Once A Book project can be used to stack other books, display artwork or photos, or as an art installation on its own.  Stagger a few  shelves along the wall or make the base sit both parallel and perpendicular to the wall.  It’s DIY … have fun with it!

In the video’s comments section, some killjoy says that you can buy a bracket for about $10 to do the same thing.  That’s true, but what’s the fun of that?  It’s much more organic (and ecologically friendly) to make your own.  Besides, the pride of looking at the shelf and knowing you did it yourself easily trumps an off-the-shelf purchase.

For all the details, visit How To Install Invisible Shelves on videojug.com.

Resources: Once A Book, videojug.com, The Daily Post

Beyond The Edge: Waterfalls

Waterfalls are among the most beautiful, peaceful, and powerful of nature’s phenomena.  What constitutes a waterfall varies depending on whom you ask, but what is certain is that it is water flowing over an area, falling over the edge, and dropping onto the surface below.

That’s a pretty dry (pardon the pun) description of a waterfall, and while pictures bring them to life a little bit more, they don’t begin to do them justice.  I’m often disappointed when I look through my pictures after a waterfall hunting trip because I have yet to take a photo that translates the experience strongly enough.

Still … they’re fun to look at.

Photos © Olivia Tejeda.  All rights reserved.

To hunt down a few waterfalls of your own, check out the U.S. Waterfall Map from geology.com.

Resources: Geology.com, The Daily Post

Have Book, Will Travel

One of the many joys of travel is that it allows us to break away from our busy schedules and gives us more time to read.  How often have you saved a special book (books, in my case) to read on vacation, on the beach, on the flight?  Reading and travel are a natural go-together.

Author and RVer, Brad Herzog takes the irresistible pairing a step further on his blog You Are Here. In “Great Books, State by State,” Mr. Herzog writes not just about reading on the road, but about “the wonders of reading the right books in the right locales.”

He goes on to list 50 books for 50 states, citing both the obvious (“A River Runs Through It” for Montana, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” for Missouri) and the obscure (“American Pastoral” for New Jersey, “My Sister’s Keeper” for Rhode Island).  Even with the more tenuous links, it’s not much of a stretch to see how location plays a part in the story.  Reading a novel while traveling its setting can only improve the experience of each.

“As long as there have been travelers, there have been attempts to put the experience into words. But sometimes what has already been written can improve the ride,” he writes in the earlier post, “Pages and Places,” which inspired this list.

To see the entire list, please visit: GREAT BOOKS, STATE BY STATE.

Resources: The Daily Post