Monday, January 19, 2015

The Depth of a Name



 
Names intrigue me.

They often spur a memory, reminding me of a person, place, or an event from the past.

Last names can reveal a bit about a person's heritage, such as nationality or the profession of their ancestors. First and middle names might reflect the decade in which one was born, a significant family name, a parent's interests or creative bent, or a meaning of historical or Biblical significance. A "Junior" or "The Third" might follow tradition, paying tribute to a relative. When choosing a name, some parents consider initials or potential nicknames.

My Mom told me that she and Dad wanted our first and middle names to complement our last name. Makes sense. She also said that she pictured my sisters and me at graduation, to "listen" to what our names would sound like when announced in public. Don't misunderstand, she was not so vain as to think her daughters would be all that. I guess you might say that she planned ahead to avoid burdening us with names that sounded awkward. 

Karen Lynne

That's what Mom and Dad gave me. I must admit, it did sound nice when I graduated. :) It also served a great purpose, for when I heard my full name, I knew I might be in trouble...

What can names do for our writing?

They can spark ideas and insight for articles, interviews, stories, poetry, and blog posts. Who hasn't heard a name that reminds us of a schoolmate or a funny or endearing event? We might associate a name with character strengths or weaknesses based on people we know.

These thoughts can grow into a story or humorous essay. We might use an interesting name to brainstorm and cluster ideas, or as a starting point for Hemingway's Challenge, those famous six word stories. They can take us on rabbit trails that reap delightful discoveries.

For additional insight through the etymology and history of first names, check out Behind the Name. Their Random Name Generator provides interesting possibilities; it explores masculine or feminine names from various nationalities and other categories. This just might help find that character name or bit of inspiration you are looking for.

Do names interest you? Care to share your first and middle name with us? Have names played a role in your writing?

Happy writing,

Karen


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wise Words


 



 
 


"Inspiration is a gift, 

and like all gifts it must be treated 

with gratitude and responsibility."






Do you agree with Ms. Weiland? 

What inspires you? 

Happy writing,
 
Karen  :)





 Photo credit: Stock Exchange



Monday, January 5, 2015

Do Writers Need Fun and Games?





What is the writer's life like with all work and no play? 

Productive?

Quiet?

Boring?

I think recreation and leisure time are important components to the writer's life. We can learn much from games, brain teasers, writing prompts, hobbies, and similar activities. They have the potential to enhance our mental faculties by stretching critical thinking skills, concentration, patience, and self discipline. Even if you are not a big fan of games, there are other pursuits such as photography or painting that bring similar benefits.

Writing is a solitary activity and games that require other participants can offer fellowship and inspiration. It's good sometimes to get out of "our little world" and get a breath of fresh air, stimulate our minds in other ways, and broaden our perspective.

We're never too old to give our brains a brisk workout, nor are we too smart that we cannot learn new things.

Our writing will always reap the benefits.


That said, here are a few links to kick off 2015. 


Word Games 
  
WordGames.com

Games.com

Merriam Webster Word Games


Writing Prompts

Writer's Digest Prompts

25 Creative Writing Prompts



How is your writing enhanced by games and recreational time? What games do you like?


Happy writing,

Karen  :)



Photo image: Stock Exchange

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Book Review - The Secret of Pembrooke Park


Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen


When Abigail Foster’s father’s business fails, the family must sell their home in London and take advantage of a distant relative’s offer to rent Pembrooke Park, an abandoned country estate. The offer is an answer to the Foster’s prayers, though rumors say that the estate is haunted and fraught with dangerous secrets.

William Chapman, the young parson of the church at Pembrooke Park, is the son of the estate’s former steward, so William is privy to certain Pembrooke family secrets. As William and Abigail get acquainted, they discover a shared curiosity about the estate’s “secret room”, rumored to contain treasure. The mystery deepens through anonymous letters Abigail receives that contain journal entries from a previous  manor resident.

William’s attraction to Abigail increases, but as humble parish pastor, he has nothing to offer her in marriage. Abigail’s childhood friend Gilbert returns from his studies in Italy, and her younger sister Louisa arrives on the scene as well, just in time to complicate things.

This book has a little bit of everything - budding friendships and romance, intrigue and distrust, and secrets galore. Just about the time I thought I had some of the puzzle pieced together, the action ramped up and headed in another direction. Plenty of surprises, I like that.

Julie Klassen guides the reader through a delightful maze of mystery, adventure, redemption, and restoration as her characters uncover the long kept secrets of Pembrooke Park. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy the rich, authentic details that envelop the story from start to finish. I must admit, I was sorry to see it end.  The Secret of Pembrooke Park is another lovely and engaging story to Ms. Klassen’s credit.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

I am still officially on blog break; will return on Monday, January 5. See you then!  :)

What are you reading this weekend?

Happy New Year,
Karen