Don’t you love the name games we attach to days of the week? You know the ones. Manic Monday. Taco Tuesday. Throw-back Thursday. They are funny, memorable, and in the space of a couple of words, we know what to expect and where to focus our attention.
I’ve been wondering how I can incorporate this concept into my daily writing sessions, and here are the results:
Mastermind Monday — This is the day to organize, plan, plot, scheme, and throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
Transcription Tuesday — If you are like me, you have notes everywhere. On Tuesday, let’s remember to pull those notes into one place. Maybe you take the suggestions from your writing group and incorporate them into your manuscript, or perhaps work on filling in the details you left for later. After Mastermind Monday, we should have a plethora of ideas.
Write-In Wednesday — This one is self-explanatory. It’s writing time.
Think-It-Through Thursday — Is there a scene that isn’t working or a plot hole to fix?
Finish-It Friday — Friday is when we complete the chapter, scene, blog post, or anything else languishing on the hard drive.
Up-the-Stakes Saturday — How can we add more intrigue, risk, and tension to the storyline? What is the worst thing that could happen to your character right now? How do their decisions make the situation worse?
Sudden Twist Sunday — Does a secondary character have a secret? How does their evil plan impact the story and make the reader want to keep reading? Can you plant a red herring that makes everyone focus on a set of facts that are not significant to the storyline?
Do you read fantasy, and have you heard the news? March 1st, Brandon Sanderson dropped a bomb on his fanbase. You can watch his YouTube video here.
I am shocked, excited, and energized. When I grow up, I want to be just like Sanderson. He has reminded me of the importance of my stories. The muse has whispered in my ear, inspired me, and for some unknown reason, she believes I am the only person in the world who can tell these tales and write these books. I fell an obligation and a burning desire to share the world that, right now, exists only in my head with the rest of the world.
Will my writing be good enough? Will readers like my characters? The answers to those questions are in my crystal ball, and today it refuses to paint a clear picture. The future is yet unwritten, and the only way to discover what lies ahead is to sit at my desk and conjure the words.
March was an unpredictable month when it was never clear what might happen. Warm days raised hopes until ice and grey skies shut over the town again. ―Tracy Chevalier
I am impatient to get outside again. I miss my daily. In recent months, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures canceled my best intentions. Walks, to my mind, should be pleasant experiences, not an assessment of your fortitude or an evaluation of your unwavering commitment to maintaining a relationship with nature. Sure, there are days when confronting breath-stealing wind, battling pelting rain, or reveling in the silence of falling snow can invigorate the soul, but just as often, those conditions sap your strength. Dealing with cold feet encased in soggy shoes and wet socks is not high on my list of priorities.
Thank goodness for the weather app and the 10-day forecast that helps me take advantage of the week’s best days and the most auspicious hours to schedule my excursions. So far, I have slated Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday for a long walk. When I return, the blank page is always much easier to fill.
Late February, and the air’s so balmy snowdrops and crocuses might be fooled into early blooming. Then, the inevitable blizzard will come, blighting our harbingers of spring, and the numbed yards will go back undercover. ― Gail Mazur
Even winter, the hardest season, the most implacable, dreams, as February creeps on, of the flame that will presently melt it away. Everything tires with time and starts to seek some opposition, to save it from itself. ― Clive Barker
Today’s birthday celebration is for one-half of the famous literary duo — the Brothers Grimm. Wilhelm Carl Grimm was born on February 24, 1786. He was the younger brother of Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm, who was born on January 4, 1785. They are best known for their collection of folktales. They gathered these stories from oral traditions they recorded from ordinary people and other tales written in various manuscripts and books. In 1812, they published their first edition of Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales), which we now call Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
The collection was revised, updated with additional stories, and republished multiple times until 1857. The first edition began with 86 stories and grew to 210 unique fairy tales in the final 1857 edition. Today, the Brothers Grimm is a household name. Their work has been translated and adapted for plays, movies, cartoons, and other works.
They say Johannes Gutenberg printed his first Bible on February 23, 1455. No one is sure of the exact date since Gutenberg did not include a printer’s name or date on any of his texts. Historians base the attribution on typographical evidence and external references. Known as The Gutenberg Bible, the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible, or the B42, it marks a transformative time in Europe and started the “Gutenberg Revolution,” or the age of the printed book in the West.
Did you know Gutenberg was not the first one to develop movable type? Between 1039 and 1048, Bi Sheng (990-1051) created the world’s first movable type. Little is known about Bi Sheng, but Chinese scholar-official Shen Kuo (1031–1095) recorded the details of his creation. In Shen Kuo’s book Dream Pool Essays, he describes Bi Sheng’s system that used an iron plate surrounded by an iron frame into which he placed Chinese porcelain type.
Bi Sheng’s porcelain type was fragile, and it never replaced the less expensive whole-block printing. Later, Wang Zhen (1290–1333) substituted Bi Sheng’s clay type with wooden ones, which increased typesetting speed.
The rest is history. I am thankful I don’t need to spend hours hunched over a blank page, considering each word before committing it to my day’s word count. Modern technology might have removed the angst around making a wrong mark on the page, but it seems like nothing can remove a writer’s self-doubt when they are creating. Despite astounding technological advances, some things never change.