Monday, November 16, 2015


Gratitude - the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.  

This time of year reminds us to count our blessings, doesn't it? 

Though not a big word, gratitude's many facets can encompass and enrich our lives, 

while spilling over and encouraging others, too.

With that in mind, I found the following quotes inspiring:

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, 
and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep 
through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find,
in every hour, some heavenly blessings!" 

Henry Ward Beecher

"Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good! For His mercy endures forever."

Psalm 106:1 

What are you thankful for? 

I'm grateful for God, who sent His son Jesus, 

for family, friends, and abundant blessings big and small. 

Do you agree with these quotes? What are you grateful for?

To my U.S. friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

To all my blogging friends near and far, you are a blessing to me. 

May you be richly blessed.

I'm taking a Thanksgiving break - see you on November 30. :)

Happy writing,


Monday, November 9, 2015

Are You a Fan of Wordplay?

Do you believe that word-ly fun stretches writing skills? I do. Word games, activities, writing prompts, freewriting, etc. can engage our minds and offer fresh angles and inspiration.

To illustrate, here are a few of my favorites:

Bricolage means "odd jobs" in French, and for this activity is interpreted as using what's on hand. Set the timer for 2 minutes (or more or less) and take a common item, such as a marble, bobby pin, paper clip, or raindrop and consider how it could be used to improvise.

Can the bobby pin open a padlock and help someone escape? Would the marble offer entertainment to an ailing child? Might the paper clip be rigged to repair a faulty engine, one that's needed to rescue lost travelers? One raindrop might be the catalyst that ended a drought.

You never know where Bricolage might take you, whether in problem solving or a "fly on the wall" type narrative.

Board Games
Old favorites include Taboo and Balderdash. They require creativity and interaction with others, sure to help you think fast on your feet. Anyone remember Password? Taboo is similar, making you skirt around certain words while making your partner guess the correct one. Balderdash's options offer tale spinning opportunities, just the thing to trigger the imagination. 

 Hemingway's Challenge
I know I've mentioned this one before, but it's another excellent choice. In case you aren't familiar with it, Hemingway was asked to write a six word story. This is what he wrote: 

For sale, baby shoes. Never used. 
How's that for practicing word economy? 

I've a guest post up at the Helping Hands blog. If you have a moment, hop over and check it out! Thanks a bunch! :) 

What do you do to get your writing in gear? What are your favorite word-ly activities?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Free Images

Monday, November 2, 2015

Meet the Blogger with Tyrean Martinson

As you might have guessed, Tyrean Martinson and I met through blogging. This sweet friend is also a busy homeschool mom and talented author who writes fiction and nonfiction. Her books include A Pocket-Sized Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts for writers like us, and Dynamic Writing, a guide for students ages 11-15.  

If you haven't already had the privilege of meeting Tyrean, I can attest that she is a well respected and faithful friend, and a cheerleader who has encouraged me and countless other writers. She is an "Everyday Writer" who does just that, and lends inspiration to many.

Welcome to Write Now, Tyrean! Tell us, why did you start blogging? How long have you had your current blog? 

Thanks Karen! Way back in 2009, I was reading a short story online that I loved. I noticed the author had a cool blue name with an underline. I poked it and it took me on a journey through the web to that author’s blog. It was exciting to learn more about the intriguing person behind the story that I enjoyed. I was inspired both by the story and by the author’s blog. So, I started my own blog.

It is fun to get to know authors that way! What is your blog about? 

Writing and life, and how those two intertwine. I had a year when I focused on blessings, counting ten new ones each day, but that was the only year that I had a 365-day theme. 

Your blog appeals to many, so I think you made a good choice. What benefits have you gained through blogging? 

Blogging friends and encouraging words are my main benefits! Karen, you were one of my first 15 or so followers, and I’m thankful that we’ve been able to keep in touch. It’s meant a great deal to me to read your posts over the years and receive encouraging comments from you. I am thankful for everyone who stops by and leaves comments on my blogs. 

You are so sweet! I am sure you were among my first followers as well. We are part of such a wonderful community, aren't we? What projects are you working on right now?  

For 2015, I had a massive list of goals because I wanted to get some of the stories and non-fiction built up on my hard drive out into the world. Currently, I’m prepping for the release of the final book in The Champion Trilogy, Champion’s Destiny. Clara and all of her allies are gearing up for a showdown with the Dark Sisterhood. Clara’s destiny may not be what she thinks it is.  

Sounds intriguing! Wishing you all the best with the upcoming release. Your productivity has always been inspiring. What might people be surprised to learn about you? 

My main character Clara isn’t me. Maybe that isn’t a surprise to most writers, but I’ve had readers and friends who seem to think that Clara is some kind of fantasy projection of me. That’s not the case. Some of her flaws are based on some of my own, but some are not. Certain strengths are based on my own, but some are not. I wanted to take a walk in another character’s shoes, and that’s what I try to do with all of my characters.

Another thing that people might not know is that I used to be a huge fangirl of the Bard, William Shakespeare. My mom forced me to see Henry the IV, part 1 when I was ten at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and thanks to the swashbuckling sword fights and the rude humor of Falstaff, I was hooked. I read all of Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets, and epic verse by the age of twenty-three. 

I’m not a fan of all of his plays, but I’m actually a little hyper about Shakespeare facts and get a little frustrated when there are mistakes written about his life or timeline on-line or in school history texts. I’ve read biographies of his life, watched BBC shows about him, and researched the background of certain plays like Macbeth, which is one of my favorites because of the Biblical references and the overall theme of justice, despite the utter wickedness and madness displayed by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This may explain my enjoyment of flawed characters and Biblical themes in fictional settings. 

Yes, I'd say that would have made you a fangirl. :) What advice would you share with a newbie blogger? 

Write every day. 

I know it may seem like trite, over-used advice, but it makes a difference. You don’t necessarily need to blog post more than once a week, but writing every day will help your skill grow over time. If you write a list, count it. If you write a haiku, count it. Just write every day. 

This is great advice for writers of any age. It looks like it has paid off for you. Thank you for visiting today, Tyrean! You are a blessing. Wishing you well with your books. 

Thank you, Karen!

About Tyrean 

Tyrean Martinson, an everyday writer, likes to write in jeans and old Christian concert t-shirts while drinking copious amounts of tea and coffee, preferably served up in her Tinkerbell or Eeyore mugs (these are 16oz mugs, not wee cups). She teaches writing classes to home-school teens once a week, and she writes fantasy, science fiction, space opera, poetry, experimental hint fiction, and writing help and curriculum books. 

Visit Tyrean

Her Blog
Her Books

Tyrean's Newest Book  

Champion’s Destiny will be released via Kindle on December 4, 2015. Wide release will take place around December 11. Here is a sneak peek:

With distracting attention from a former swan prince and her mentors both in harm's way, will Clara be able to trust her team with her family secret as they race to fight the Dark Sisterhood on their terms?

Champion's Destiny is the third book in The Champion Trilogy, a Christian Fantasy series with a strong female lead and engaging secondary characters. 

Pre-order Champion's Destiny here 

Do you write something every day? What helps keep your writing growing? Have any questions for Tyrean?

Happy reading and writing,


Photo credit: Free Images

Monday, October 26, 2015

Comma Happy

Do you use too many commas? I lean in that direction, and it's always evident during the revision process. How is it that something so small can have such great power? As you know, commas indicate a natural pause and help the reader better comprehend our content. They facilitate a satisfying and enjoyable reading experience.

Here's the comma "cheat sheet" I use to keep things straight Maybe you will find it useful too.  

Use a comma to separate adjectives that equally modify a noun. 

Susan was afraid of the big, creepy spiders in the shed. 

To determine if the adjectives equally modify the noun, switch them around. If the sentence is still clear, then they modify equally. 

Susan was afraid of the creepy, big spiders in the shed. 

Use a comma between items in a series. 

Maybelle brought chips, pickles, and potato salad to the picnic. 

Do not use commas when words are separated by or, nor, or and. 

Louise washed the car and hung the laundry and watered the flowers. 

Use a comma to separate parenthetical elements in a sentence. 

Ryan entered the chapel, tardy as usual, and stood next to his bride. 

Use a comma to set off an appositive. An appositive is a word or phrase that explains something. It is not essential to the meaning of the sentence. 

Our vacation home, a rustic and cozy cabin, is located about an hour away. 

Use a comma after an introductory adverb clause. 

After the wedding, Ryan and Megan went on their honeymoon. 

Use a comma with an interjection or to set off an interruption. 

Hey, what am I supposed to do now?  Or,  For him, well, it's just better that way.   

For other comma facts, check out The Most Comma Mistakes by Ben Yagoda. 

Congratulations to C. Lee McKenzie, winner of Ann Gabhart's book giveaway! If you missed last week's fun interview, check it out here.

Are you comma happy? How's your comma quota? 

Happy writing,


Pumpkin basket photo credit: Free Images