Read Poe And Try To Keep Calm

Read Poe and try to keep calm

Image credit: iPoe Collection

There are two bodies — the rudimental and the complete; corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly. What we call “death,” is but the painful metamorphosis. Our present incarnation is progressive, preparatory, temporary. Our future is perfected, ultimate, immortal. The ultimate life is the full design.“The Mesmeric Revelation”, Edgar Allan Poe

Marblehead Lighthouse

marblehead lighthouse

Marblehead Lighthouse

Yesterday was probably one of the better days so far this spring weather-wise. So, Jess and I took the kids out to Marblehead Lighthouse State Park in Marblehead, OH.

Honestly, it couldn’t have been a better day; unless, of course, the temps were a little warmer than 55°F. It didn’t help that the cool air from Lake Erie was gently blowing, but that didn’t stop me from getting a few pics before we left.

This is one of my favorites from the set of images taken, and it isn’t too bad considering I used my iPhone 5 instead of our normal camera.

Hopefully the weather just gets better here on out, and I think for the first time, I’ll be using just my iPhone camera just to see what kind of pics I can get out of it.

I’ll leave you with a bit of history on the lighthouse:

Marblehead Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes, has guided sailors safely along the rocky shores of Marblehead Peninsula since 1822.
 
In 1819, the fifteenth U. S. Congress recognized the need for navigational aides along the Great Lakes, and set aside $5,000 for construction of a light tower at the entrance to Sandusky Bay. Contractor William Kelly built the 50-foot tower of native limestone on the tip of the Marblehead Peninsula. The base of the tower is 25 feet in diameter, with walls five feet thick. It narrows to twelve feet at the top with two-foot thick walls.
 
ODNR Division of Ohio State Parks

Scrivener Coupon Code – 20% Discount

scrivener

If you’re looking for a discount on Scrivener for OS X or Windows (or even both), you can save 20% off the retail price by following the simple steps below (all links take you directly to the store and will open in a new window/tab):

  • For the OS X version, click here $45 SRP; save $9.
  • For the Windows version, click here $40 SRP; save $8.
  • For the OS X Education version, click here $38.25 SRP; 20% discount does not apply.
  • For the Windows Education version, click here $35 SRP; 20% discount does not apply.
  • Enter  coupon code: WORDSWITHJAM.

Once you’re finished, just download the app and enter your serial # that’s emailed to you when prompted.

I’ve used the app for just over 2 years now and it’s helped tremendously with keeping my writing organized. I can’t recommend it enough.

Please note: It appears that if you want to get both the OS X and Windows version, you have to do a separate transaction for each, otherwise just one license will be discounted.

Last updated: April 16th, 2014. All links and promo codes are still valid as of this date.

Feel free to check out some books on Scrivener to help you along the way. There’s also a very handy, in-depth user’s guide included with the app, so be sure and reference that as well.

Thank you to all that have used the links for Scrivener.

Getting Back Into Writing

For the last, oh, year or so, I’ve been slowly working my way towards writing a novel. Although, I have to admit, it’s a pretty ambitious goal considering I’ve never really had anything significant of mine published before. Sure, I post to a few websites, but anyone can do that, and I know I’m not alone.

There are several authors out there that I follow that have written and published a novel or two, and even though most have been self-published novels, it keeps me from being discouraged about finishing my story.

Background

My first real introduction to writing a book occurred back in 8th grade. I was in a gifted program during school and one of the activities presented to the class was that we were to write, illustrate, and “publish” a book and submit it to a publisher for a contest. The winner -selected from schools all over the US- was awarded the honor of having their book professionally published, along with bragging rights, of course.

It was a fun experience, although I was never really a great artist and so my drawings probably killed the story. But, I realized then that I enjoyed the project and continued to write. I had a few notebooks I carried during classes, which were supposed to be used for the subjects and not personal writing, but I didn’t care.

I continued writing, although I admit that during high school and college the amount dropped significantly. Soon after, it was a mere afterthought for me and wasn’t something that I attempted once I finished school.

Getting off track

For a period of about 7 years, I completely removed myself from any kind of writing. I’m not proud of that, but once college was over, I faced the real world and started to work full-time. Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games, as I found myself unemployed at the end of 2007. It wasn’t until around 2010 that I started to reconsider writing as a hobby, as I was still unemployed and raising a daughter while my fiance worked full-time. I did freelance web design/development on the side to bring in extra money, but it bored me.

However, I continued to seriously consider writing again, and registered my domain, in hopes of using it for the purpose of writing. I had many ideas for the site, and I looked at other personal sites of writers, in hopes of becoming inspired. Instead, I found myself mimicking their model: a post here and there, and links to other posts with a comment or two.

They were successful at it, why not me? Oy, what a lesson that was. I lost sight of what I originally wanted to do, and I realized that instead of being someone else, I should instead just be myself and tell stories and not worry about what everyone else is doing or has to say about it.

So, I scrapped my website (for the most part), and started over again.

Writing, Again

I was introduced to NaNoWriMo during the fall of 2011, but I didn’t think I was ready for it in time. Sure, 50,000 words is ambitious enough, but to really prepare, I had to start early in the year for outlining, researching, and just getting myself in the habit of writing daily.

My first real participation in NaNoWriMo didn’t happen until November, 2013. I wasn’t active with the website, but I was writing daily, keeping track of my progress with Scrivener and Storyist (yes, I use more than one app). Shortly after November started, I realized that I wasn’t writing to keep up with NaNoWriMo, but I was writing for myself. So, I stopped updating my profile with the daily word count, and continued writing.

I felt that trying to complete a daily or monthly goal just to prove I can write that many words in a month seemed like a waste. Not that NaNoWriMo is a waste; rather, I just felt as if I was competing and not writing, and I didn’t want that to impact my story.

Side note: if you get the chance to take part in NaNoWriMo, do it. It’s a great way to get motivated with writing.

Final Thoughts

It’s still going to take some time for me to make my mark in the writing world, but instead of putting it on the back burner, I’m going to write more and worry less about what others are doing to be successful. That’s not to say that I won’t read what they’re writing to see how it’s working out for them, but I won’t be trying to mimic their success.

My website will focus more on original content than having link posts throughout. I won’t delete what I have posted already, but going forward, I plan on adding my own works and not that of someone else.

It’s been a long time coming, and something I needed to do anyway. I’d rather connect with readers and share stories instead of trying to find a way to make money1.


1.This is not to discredit the sites that do write for a living; I have great respect for them and even support a few. It just isn’t for me as I would rather write and share my work. Making money, if anything, is just a bonus.

Being Honest With Others

This morning, a topic on Twitter was brought up on honesty and how others respond to it.

My first response was that not everyone can handle honesty.  Which, when you think about it, is true. But then, I started thinking more about it and realized that perhaps it’s not that you were honest, but how you were honest. Sometimes, others will ask us for our opinions, hoping for truth. However, if you pay attention to what they’re saying/asking, you might be able to pick up on some subtle hints before you give your response.

There are times I catch myself being too honest with others, not realizing that maybe they’re looking for comfort instead of “yes, you look fat in that dress”. Taking that extra moment or two to think about what they asked and how they asked it can make the difference between being an asshole, and being a good friend. Like I was taught growing up: think before you speak. Definitely something I’ve been working on myself over the last few months.

Edgar Allan Poe said it best: Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.