What I’m currently…

Reading and Watching.  Thought I’d share.

 

Reading:

1.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone–J.K. Rowling (This is a re-read, although it’s the first time to read this particular version–the British version & also Gryffindor special edition. 🙂 Was a gift from a friend!)

https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Philosophers-Stone-Gryffindor/dp/1408883732/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1502397350&sr=8-1

2.  King of Hearts: Agape–Toby Hibbs

OK, so this is my brother’s book that he wrote.  Finally getting around to reading it.  Yay.

https://www.amazon.com/King-Hearts-Agape-Chronicles/dp/1507510659/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1502397460&sr=1-1

3.  A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium–Rick Geary

This is a graphic novel, which is not something I read often, but this is really cool!

https://www.amazon.com/Treasury-Victorian-Murder-Compendium-Including/dp/1681121387/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502397572&sr=1-1&keywords=a+treasury+of+victorian+murder+compendium

4.  A Poetry Handbook–Mary Oliver

https://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Handbook-Mary-Oliver/dp/0156724006/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502397627&sr=1-1&keywords=a+poetry+handbook+mary+oliver

5.  Influencing Hemingway–Nancy W. Sindelar

https://www.amazon.com/Influencing-Hemingway-People-Places-Shaped/dp/081089291X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502397704&sr=1-1&keywords=influencing+hemingway

6.  The First Year:  Fibromyalgia–Claudia Craig Marek

https://www.amazon.com/First-Year-Fibromyalgia-Essential-Diagnosed/dp/1569245215/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1502397757&sr=1-1

7. A Praying Life:  Connecting with God in a Distracting World–Paul E. Miller

https://www.amazon.com/Praying-Life-Connecting-Distracting-World/dp/1631466836/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1502397817&sr=1-1

 

Watching (the current & most recent I’ve watched, in movies & tv): 

I’ll include my rating on these out of 5 stars.

1.  The Ring Two (2005)

https://www.amazon.com/Ring-Two-David-Dorfman/dp/B01JCV0WZU/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1502397966&sr=1-1&keywords=the+ring+two+dvd

3 stars

2.  Paranormal Activity:  The Ghost Dimension (2015)

https://www.amazon.com/Paranormal-Activity-Dimension-Chris-Murray/dp/B012IO4TEI/ref=sr_1_3?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1502398055&sr=1-3&keywords=paranormal+activity+the+ghost+dimension

3 1/2 stars

3.  Miss Potter (2006)

2nd viewing

https://www.amazon.com/Miss-Potter-Ren%C3%A9e-Zellweger/dp/B000N4SHOE/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1502398123&sr=1-1&keywords=miss+potter+dvd

4 stars

4.  Northanger Abbey (2007)

2nd viewing (love the guy playing the “romantic hero”, Henry Tilney

https://www.amazon.com/Masterpiece-Theatre-Northanger-JJ-Feild/dp/B000Z27HLS/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1502398183&sr=1-1&keywords=northanger+abbey+dvd

3 1/2 stars

5.  Underworld:  Blood Wars (2016)

https://www.amazon.com/Underworld-Blood-Wars-Kate-Beckinsale/dp/B01LTI1H4E/ref=sr_1_2_twi_dvd_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1502398306&sr=1-2&keywords=underworld%3A++blood+wars

Love this series, and this one was well done, but I don’t like it as much as I do the Resident Evil series (of which I gave 5 stars to the finale), so I’m only giving it

3 1/2 stars

6.  Mr. Holmes (2015)

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Holmes-DVD-Digital-McKellen/dp/B014PIQYIO/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1502398424&sr=1-1&keywords=mr.+holmes+dvd

Second viewing. Super cute movie!  Love the actors in it, too!

4 stars

7.  Sleepy Hollow (the series) 2014-

I’m only on Season 2, Episode 4 (watching on Hulu), so if you’ve watched past that, no spoilers, please!  LOVE this series!

8.  Ripper Street (series–watching on Netflix)

One of my top favorite shows ever.  Am currently up to Season 3, episode 4, so again, no spoilers.

9.  Doc Martin (series, watching on Netflix) 2013-

10.  Intruders (series, on Hulu) 2014-

Looks like this one got cancelled.  I just have one episode left.  It’s a bit chaotic and crazy, but I’ve been enjoying it, so I’m bummed it doesn’t go on after the 8th episode, & I’m gonna be really bummed if I’m left in confusion after the 8th episode!

11.  Dark Shadows (the old series with Jonathan Frid–watching on Hulu)

Currently up to episode 258.

 

 

Inspirational & Motivational Quotes

I was searching this morning for some motivational quotes to put on a bullet journal page where I’m keeping track of my daily walking/steps.  Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I have moderate to severe fibromyalgia.  Everything I do or don’t do causes pain, but exercise does help.  It’s the doing it part that’s the killer.  And you have to start slow and work your way up to more, or you will set yourself up for failure.  It can be done, despite what I feel at times.  I just have to make myself do it, telling myself that it will be worth it.  And it will be.

I thought I would share some of the quotes that are helpful to me or that are some of my favorites.  You can plug them in for whatever goals you’ve set for yourself!  If you’d like to, share in the comments what goals you are working on that you need some extra motivation for!  Also, what motivates you?

It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.

Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.

Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely.

Love this one!

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –attributed to George Eliot

And this:

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

One day or day one. You decide.

Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My writing mentor once sent me a paper with that (above) quote on it.

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.” –Thomas Edison

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.  It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”–John Rockefeller

“Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master’s chaise.  Do what you love.  Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” –Thoreau

“The heights by great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night.”–Longfellow

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.” –Bruce Barton

Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities. –Tim Fargo

 

 

 

17 Secrets Only Book Lovers Are In On

Capital Nerd

Are books your therapy? Do you prioritize reading over sleep? If so, you’re a true book lover, and you can likely relate to these literary truths. Here are 17 things that only book lovers will understand.

1. A good book is worth losing sleep over.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

2. And they always get good when you need to be somewhere.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

3. In the eBooks vs. paper books debate, eBooks are winning.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

4. But nothing beats the feeling of holding a good old-fashioned book.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

5. That’s because books are cheaper than therapy.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

6. Books make you happy…

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

7. … and give you a good excuse to cry…

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

8. … and to explore your soul.

17 Things Book Lovers Know for Sure

9. Another thing books save money on: plane tickets.

[ File # csp8941819, License # 2337647 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / Orson

10. Because books let you daydream from home.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

11. That makes them the perfect form of procrastination.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

12. And one of the few forms of procrastination that will make you smarter.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

13. Books are also a…

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My Top 10 Picks for Writing & Creativity Websites

I know Writer’s Digest does a yearly list of the best websites for writers, but I wanted to share my personal picks.

1.  Refdesk.com

I like Refdesk because there’s just SO much on it.  It’s great for research, inspiration, and just a bit of fun to breakup your daily routine.  From encyclopedias to weather resources to the thought of the day, today in history, to daily diversions and photos, lists, etc,… There’s so much to explore!  Just make sure you set yourself a time limit, or you’ll end up losing track of time and not getting anything done. 🙂

2. Pinterest

I know everyone knows about Pinterest, but I have to include it because it is one of my favorites.  There’s SO much information and inspiration on there!  You can find writing tips, writing prompts, images, ideas for plot, characters, and more.  And you can make storyboards for your novels or make boards for character inspiration or general writing inspiration.  These are a few I have on mine:

Character Inspiration–Girls & Women

Writing Inspiration

Writing Resources & Reference

And this is one of my boards with research for my current wip, The Dark Night is Near:  TDNIN–Asylums & Research

3.  Ink and Quills

This has some great articles on writing.

4. Writing World

This website is full of articles and tips

5. Writer Unboxed

Another one with lots of great articles & topics!

6. writetodone

More articles

7. Freelancewritinggigs

This is a good resource for writing gigs

8. Writing Worksheets

I absolutely love this!  It has lots of great writing worksheets you can print out and use with your works in progress and other writing related things.

9. K.M. Weiland

This woman has lots of great advice and tips for writing!

10. Holly Lisle

She is moving her website, but I highly recommend “moving” with her.  Her website has been one of my favorites for many years, with tons of great articles about writing.

Anything you would add to the list?  What are your favorites?  Share in the comments!

Writing a Novel when you have a chronic illness

So, some of you will know what fibromyalgia is, and some may have heard of it but don’t know anything about it, and some few might not have heard of it at all.  If you haven’t, you can google it and find tons of info.

This post is not about fibromyalgia, but it’s a part of it, as it affects every area of a person’s life, which in my case, includes writing.

I started working on a novel during Nanowrimo (another thing not everyone knows about–look it up if you’re curious) 2015, and I’m still working on it.  It’s a historical thriller, set in 1890’s NYC, and I am enthusiastic about it.  I’m not stuck, I’m not procrastinating.  It’s just, my fibro is not always enthusiastic about my writing projects.

Some days I have the energy to get some good work done, which for me is 5 pages or more, and other days, I can push myself and just get around 2 or 3 pages (handwritten–I always handwrite my projects before I type them up), and some days I can’t get any work at all done, as much as I want to.  And I really do want to.

I’m participating in “Camp Nanowrimo”, which is a spring and summer version of Nanowrimo (which occurs in April and in July each year), where you have “cabins” and can set any goal you want, not necessarily the standard 50,000 that “wins” the original Nanowrimo.  I set my goal for this month at 10,000 words, and so far I’ve got a little over 3,000 written.  So yes, I’m behind on my goal, but I don’t rule out being able to catch up.  And all I can do is try my best.  And hey, sometimes, after a good rest, I find I have the energy to get some writing done when before I wouldn’t have.

Are any of you writers out there participating in Camp Nano?  Any of you writers with chronic illness?  Would love for you to share your story/what projects you’re working on, and/or tips in the comments. And never give up, no matter how far behind you are or if you think you’ll never be able to finish your project.  You just have to keep trying, and eventually you’ll get there.  And so will I.

July 23rd Edit:  As you can see from the attacked photo, I’m still far behind on my 10,000 word goal for this month.  But I’m not giving up on catching up still.  And even if I don’t get 10,000, at least I’ll have gotten some writing done, and that is the point.  Even if you can’t write much, don’t give up.  You will get there, slowly but surely.

File_000 (3)

 

 

For Writers & Aspiring Writers

This post is going to be my recommendations for the best writing books out there (in my humble opinion), including the best of the ones I’ve used for writing exercises and creativity.  I am going to include links to where you can purchase these books.  A lot of them may be available at your local library, though, if you want to check there first.

First group–Books on “The Writing Life” a.k.a. the inspiring books on writing:

If You Want to Write, by Brenda Ueland
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-you-want-to-write-brenda-ueland/1101969828?ean=9781555974718

This book was first introduced to me and then gifted me by my writing mentor, Mary Medearis, who had a best selling novel in 1942.  It’s super inspiring, makes a lot of sense, emphasizes the importance of “creative idling” and taking long walks.  I have tons of underlining in mine (same can be said for the other books I’m listing in this category, to be honest).

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Down-Bones-Freeing-Writer/dp/161180308X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1499736242&sr=8-1&keywords=natalie+goldberg+writing+down+the+bones

Natalie Goldberg is a Buddhist, which you may or may not agree with (I personally don’t), but her advice on writing is great, and she gives a lot of great ideas for sparking your creativity.

Take Joy, by Jane Yolen

https://www.amazon.com/Take-Joy-Writers-Jane-Yolen/dp/087116194X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499736384&sr=1-2&keywords=take+joy+jane+yolen 

I’ve read a couple of her children’s books, too, and she is big on mythology/folklore and fun to read.  Her writing book is just as fun.  And inspiring.

Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury

https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Writing-Essays-Creativity/dp/1877741094/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499736720&sr=1-2&keywords=ray+bradbury+zen+in+the+art+of+writing

You may think of Bradbury as a science fiction writer, but that is not solely what he wrote, and his advice works for whatever type of writing you do or would like to do.  And the book has nothing to do with zen–it’s just a catchy title.

Second group–Books on the craft of writing and some on the business side of it:

On Writing, by Stephen King

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Memoir-Craft-Stephen-King/dp/B009BDVD2Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499737417&sr=1-2&keywords=on+writing+stephen+king

A bit autobiographical, but lots of good stuff about writing and the creative process, plus rewriting/revision.

Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande

https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Writer-Dorothea-Brande/dp/0874771641/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499737505&sr=1-1&keywords=becoming+a+writer+by+dorothea+brande

This is an old one, but it’s a solid book about writing and about making it a daily habit.

How to Write Your Best Story, by Philip Martin

https://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Your-Best-Story/dp/1933987146/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499737620&sr=1-2&keywords=how+to+write+your+best+story

This one is great and gives plenty of examples to illustrate the points.  It centers around these three key elements for making your story shine:
1. intriguing eccentricity, 2. delightful details, & 3. satisfying surprises

Making a Literary Life, by Carolyn See

https://www.amazon.com/Making-Literary-Life-Writers-Dreamers-ebook/dp/B000XUDGJ4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499737843&sr=1-1&keywords=making+a+literary+life+by+carolyn+see

Good book, fun to read!

Essential Guide for New Writers, by Valerie Story

https://www.amazon.com/Essential-Guide-New-Writers-Manuscript/dp/0964328909/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499738039&sr=1-2&keywords=Essential+Guide+for+New+Writers

This was another one that my writing mentor gave me, and it’s a great guide.

This is Not a Writing Manual, by Kerri Majors

https://www.amazon.com/This-Not-Writing-Manual-Writer/dp/1599636883/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1499738133&sr=1-1

I recently finished reading this one.  Despite the title, it was a lot of good advice about writing, and it’s very contemporary.

Writing Habit Mastery, by S.J. Scott

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Habit-Mastery-Forever-Writers-ebook/dp/B00EORO844/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499738244&sr=1-1&keywords=writing+habit+mastery

I also recently finished this one.  It’s a great guide for making habit of writing daily.

Third & final group:  Books on Creativity & living a creative life (works for writing or other creative arts):

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron

https://www.amazon.com/Artists-Way-25th-Anniversary/dp/0143129252/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499738409&sr=1-1&keywords=the+artist%27s+way+by+julia+cameron

Also, if you do this one, check out her book Vein of Gold, which is along the same lines but with different questions and focus.

The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp

https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Habit-Learn-Use-Life/dp/0743235274/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499738485&sr=1-1&keywords=the+creative+habit+by+twyla+tharp

Like the Julia Cameron books, this uses creative exercises and questions to bring out your creativity in whatever form your focus lies.
Hope these help!  If I left anything out that you like, please share in the comments!

Update:  I totally went & left out some books that I meant to list, and they were what actually started me thinking about making this post.  Fibro brain–forgive me.  Here they are, and they are books that have exercises to do, and they’ve all got some great stuff in them!

What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, by Anne Bernays & Pamela Painter

https://www.amazon.com/What-Writing-Exercises-Fiction-Writers/dp/0062720066/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499797298&sr=8-1&keywords=what+if+writing+exercises+for+fiction+writers

Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink, by Michael C. Smith & Suzanne Greenberg

https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Creative-Writing-Panning-Kitchen/dp/0844203386/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499797350&sr=8-1&keywords=panning+for+gold+in+the+kitchen+sink

Writing for Self Discovery:  A Personal Approach to Creative Writing, by Myra Schneider & John Killick

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Self-Discovery-Personal-Approach-Creative/dp/1862042055/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499797728&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=journaling+for+self+discovery+myra+schneider

And last, but not least,

Discovering the Writer Within:  40 Days to More Imaginative Writing, by Bruce Ballenger & Barry Lane

https://www.amazon.com/Discovering-Writer-Within-Imaginative-Writing/dp/089879739X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1499797941&sr=8-2&keywords=discovering+the+writer+within

 

 

 

 

New Beginnings

Hi!  So, I had an old blog, on blogger, and I wanted to start posting in it regularly again, but I have no followers there and decided I would just create a brand new blog.  This is a personal blog and will be about many different things–books, movies, creativity, writing, and life.

My title came from a poem by William Wordsworth, called Intimations on Immortality.  (Look it up!  It’s an awesome poem!) To me, it means that whatever we go through in life, we can always find joy.

Let me briefly introduce myself.  I am Holly, and I am first and foremost a Christian, I am a writer, book lover, list maker, bullet journal enthusiast, friend, sister, daughter, and aunt.  I have moderate to severe fibromyalgia.  God helps me to deal with my pain and problems and brings true joy to my journey.  I have a beautiful grey (yes, I prefer the English spelling) tabby named Gracie, who loves to snuggle with me and play “fetch” with her toys.  I enjoy writing and receiving letters, movies, music, hanging out with my family, chatting with my best friend online, crafting, going to flea markets, coloring (colored pencils are my favorite to use for that), and love to laugh.

I look forward to sharing more with you and getting to know some of you and hoping some of what I write will resonate with you, and make you feel at home here!

Will you join me on my journey?