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My best friend has a unique obsession. He loves pens. Specifically, he loves trying to find really nice fountain pens. I’ve never been able to understand this focus of his because I can’t make much use of fountain pens. I’m left-handed and I hold my pen in an awkward fashion so all that I do with a fountain pen is smear the ink all over the page. However, I was thinking about my best friend and his love of fountain pens, and my mind gained a great, new appreciation for them because of some unusual, symbolic thoughts that occurred to me.

Usually, once my mind starts going into deep, symbolic thought I switch gears and start thinking of something else. I’m a very busy individual and I don’t have a lot of time to focus on such subjects. That, plus the fact that the world is probably better off without my deep thoughts keeps me from considering such things. For some reason, though, I kept going on this. One of my other concerns about fountain pens deals with their habit of bleeding ink. I’m clumsy enough as it is. I don’t need help getting things to stain my clothing. I handle that well on my own, thank you very much. Thinking of the bleeding pen reminded me of a quote I once heard. There are different versions of the quote, but basically it said, “Writing is easy. Just sit down, open a vein, and bleed onto the paper.” This rather morbid description is a pretty good representation of how many writers feel about their work. It is part of their life. And then I remembered where most men kept their pens: in a pocket, usually over their heart. See the symbolism coming together?

If you are a writer, whether it be professional, amateur, poems, novels, or even just interesting Tweets, let those words, that ink, bleed from your heart through the pen to the paper. Whenever you write because you “have to,” you are just putting ink in a pattern onto stylized wood pulp. But when that pen, which you have kept near your heart, bleeds the words for you, you have created art. You have put a part of your soul on display. No matter how much it may be criticized or acclaimed, that is your work, your blood, and it should be an object of pride.

Enough deep thoughts for me. I told you that I try to avoid it. Now I think I need to go make some lunch and perhaps, just perhaps, order me a fountain pen. Bet you it will ruin my shirt. It might be worth it, though.


There are many times that you want to figure out how best to come up with ideas for stories or characters. I’ve oftentimes pointed out that you should look to the world around you for ideas. However, the times behind you are a wonderful source as well, not just for events, but for questions. See what I mean in this week’s vlog:

I promise to get more written blogs out as soon as I can. Mine is a very hectic life.

Feature image from Eloquent Science

I just wanted to offer a brief thought for writers out there about how best to take advantage of the holidays. Of course, the holiday season is important for getting together with family, friends, and loved ones. I think that it goes without saying that this can be a source of remarkable material, especially if you are writing a comedy (stories about my family are legendary!) However, the holidays can be of great use for another reason. Many of the people that you get to see, speak to, and interact with during the holidays are often those that you don’t otherwise have much interaction with throughout the year. I’m not just talking about the weird uncle with all of the conspiracy theories. Many of these people you don’t get to see because of distance or work schedules or any of a million other things. This makes those individuals a great source while writing. Your ideas will be fresh to them.  Obviously you want to speak to them about their personal life, family, etc., but getting their fresh opinion on a story idea, plot line, or even coming up with a name or two is like having a new beta reader. It can really help out your writing and create a new tie between you and that long lost acquaintance.

One of the more difficult things in life for many is using their imagination. Some people seem to be born with an incredible imagination that never runs out of ideas or points of view. Some people have trouble thinking of anything outside of their own experiences. If you are a writer, or hope to be a writer, imagination is an absolute necessity if you want to create not only storylines, but also characters that aren’t just pure reflections of yourself. While working with some students on this idea, I came up with a challenge to help them push that imagination a bit further. You can hear about it on my vlog.

Well, they say that persistence pays off. I think that I hounded my publisher into submission, because on Friday I got the word that my next story is going to be published! The story will be released as a series of three e-book novellas. I’m really excited!

This story has been a real challenge for me. It is the first time that I have written a Young Adult novel, the first time that I have written a story with a female protagonist, and the first time that I am tackling a story with no military aspect to it (I’m a history teacher. What can I say?) I think that I have come up with a pretty imaginative approach that I hope will appeal to audiences of all ages. I will give some more details about the story as well as release dates in the near future. I hope that you will never quite look at the world around you the same again after reading it!


Too busy to blog!

Posted: March 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Just wanted to say that the first round of testing is going on at my school, so I don’t have a lot of time for writing or blogging this week. That’s always a bit frustrating. However, I will leave you with this reminder for the week: persistence! In all things that you do, keep at it. You may never quite reach the goal that you set out for yourself, but if you give up quickly, then you will miss the journey. The end is not what is important. The journey is what makes us who we are.

Blogging while Momming…

Posted: March 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

For any of you parents out there, I know that you can relate to this. Should you take time away from being (child’s name)’s Parent and be You for a while? When? What can you do? Is it fair to your family? Well, I’d say this blogger describes the situation better than I, and I know that we can all relate to it!

The Merriment of Mayhem

 And, yet, here I am.  The first photo is proof positive that I have things to do.  My very active and creative toddlers make sure my day  is filled with purpose.  Repeatedly.  And that’s just the living room.  The second photo is that sweet spot of the day – that moment of endless possibility.

I think all parents can relate to this.  You are standing at a crossroads.  On one path is the never-ending road of responsibility.  It’s the list of what I NEED to do.

  • I need to get the rest of the place cleaned up.
  • I also need to start planning dinner.
  • Oh, and I need to order that thing for (insert name) because he/she is running out of it.

Then, there is the path of hope, wishes, dreams… fun.  It’s the list of what I WANT to do.

  • I can watch that t.v. show everyone has…

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I’m back with a vlog today. Today I was thinking about the most basic concept that is present in every day of our lives- the passage of time. The question is, do we remember that constant companion of time in our writing?


I decided to try another vlog. Take a look and make sure to leave some feedback. I’m hoping to get us talking about the subjects that I mention. Today’s questions are how much work or revision do you do on your writing before you decide it’s done? Also, if you could ask an author a question, what would it be? Alternately, if you are a writer, what questions would you want to be asked in an interview? Let me know! Looking forward to hearing from you!

I just read this blog post and had to add it for any of my friends out there that aren’t educators. I love my career, but that doesn’t mean you don’t shake your head once in a while.