Caffeinated Convo: What is Your Favorite Travel Music?

Finally! Another Caffeinated Convo! Did you miss me? *wink, wink* If you haven’t guessed, my family is still. homeless. *Sigh…* But, the good news is, we just got final approval yesterday for the loan on our house! As of May 5, I might–just might–be able to get back into my regular schedule! *crosses fingers and wishes on a star* Our family has been traveling all over the country, as we’ve been patiently (or not-so-patiently) awaiting the day we would move in to our new home. We’ve visited exciting destinations like: Tahlequah, Oklahoma (Capital of the Cherokee Nation!); Kannapolis, North Carolina (birthplace of Dale Earnhardt Sr.–and our new home! *cartwheel*); Camden, Delaware (neighbor to the Dover NASCAR track!); Yardley, Pennsylvania (home of my sister and a really good Starbucks!); and Lititz, Pennsylvania (our home-away-from-home, and where Wilbur Chocolate and Tomato Pie Cafe are located–enough said!) Aren’t you jealous you’re not on this road-trip with us? (Actually…don’t answer that. *winkie face*)

Sooo, all this traveling has included lots of music. Which brings me to this week’s question:

What is your favorite travel music? 

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Photo credit Unsplash by anja.

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Guest Post: 8 Ways to Find Brilliant Story Ideas by Kellie M. Parker

Hello, readers of Caffeinated Fiction! I’m delighted to join you here today. One of the things people often ask me when they find out I’m a writer is, “How do you come up with your story ideas?”

Great question! I’ve put together a list of 8 different techniques I’ve used to find inspiration for my stories. Hopefully they’ll help you too!

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Photo credit PEXELS

  1. Asking “What if?” questions

The world is full of interesting possibilities when you start asking questions, and you can use this tactic to look for ideas wherever and whenever you have time to think.

What if the magnetic poles suddenly reversed? What if everyone born in 1999 had superpowers? What if a future version of you shows up in a time machine in your living room?

There are so many things in life we take for granted, like gravity and running water and the weather. Turn some of those things upside-down and see what happens. Once you start asking questions, you never know where your imagination will take you! Continue reading

Caffeinated Convo: Early Bird or Night Owl?

Ahhh, the age-old question: Are you an early bird or a night owl? Google this topic and you’ll find a plethora of posts defending why one is better than the other, or which great historical figures fell into what category. But despite what the media might lead you to believe, there has never really been one correct answer when it comes to our creativity, right? Whether you are more productive as an early bird or as a night owl depends entirely on you as an individual. You just need to figure out which category you fall into and roll with it!

Where do I land? Well, if you’d asked me that fifteen years ago, the answer would’ve been absolutely, undeniably, whole-heartedly a night owl! For most of my life, the bulk of my creative inspiration always seemed to hit sometime around the midnight hour. I had no problem staying awake into the wee-hours of the morning if the creativity was flowing. Since my children have been born? Not so much. I’ll never know if it was all those nights I stayed awake against my will (as a baby wailed her lungs out) or if my body just decided it needed a change. But all I ever feel after the 10pm timeframe is tired and brain dead. Zombie-time! Furthermore, I was shocked to discover a few years ago that I actually work amazingly well in the early morning! (And by this I mean 6am-ish. I’m not that much of a crazy-person!) Give me 30-60 minutes before breakfast and I can have 1000-1500 words written, no problem. Boo ya! Apparently, I’m an “early bird writer”. 

What about you? Do you think best early in the morning or does the dark of night work for you? I’d love to hear the different routines you have that keeps your creativity flowing! Please leave a comment below! 

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Photo credit Unsplash Korney Violin

The Art of Books

This post will be a change from the ordinary, as it doesn’t have anything to do with writing or reading. But it does have to do with books, which is the next best thing, amiright?

So, recently I won a prize basket through our local library which included the most unique gift I’d received in a while! A book with pages folded in to create the word ‘write’. How awesome is that? I almost did a backflip when I got it. (Except for the fact that I can’t actually do a real honest-to-God backflip. So there’s that.)

Anywho, for well over a month now I’ve had this in the back of my mind to research and possibly try out for myself. And with Christmas around the corner, now seemed like a good time! So, I Googled it and learned all the In’s and Out’s of this new thing (to me, anyway!) called The Art of Book Folding. (I have no idea if that’s it’s official name or if I just sort of made that up. But it sounds good to me!) And the good news is, I thought I’d share my discovery with you! Yippee!

The pictures I have posted here are gifts I intend to pass along to celebrate Christmas! (Hence the Christmasy words and all.) But there are templates available on the internet to make pretty much any word or picture you can think of! I’m fairly psyched about my newfound art-form!

What about you? Have you ever heard of this unique form of Book Art? Have you tried it? What other crafts have you been trying out over the holidays? Feel free to share below! I’d love to hear from you!

Happy reading (and folding!), friends.

Flash Fiction or Nah?

Ok, I will admit, I’ve been an extreme skeptic when it comes to Flash Fiction every since I first heard about it. The idea is nice, but I have far too many words rattling around inside my head to partake in such a venture, right?

Right.

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Until last night. 

I got together with my Scribes Oasis group for our weekly writing time and my friend, Kelly (check her blog out here!) mentioned that she’d taken her first stab at Flash Fiction. I immediately went to her blog, read it…. and was impressed! Not only because I thought she’d done a fantastic job with the story and the writing, but because she’d accomplished something that seemed so daunting to me.

This, of course, led to a discussion with the rest of the ladies. When I made the statement, “I just don’t think I could ever write it because it seems impossible to write a complete story in so few words,” I was met with quite a poignant statement: “That’s the point. It’s a challenge to make your story so tight, it fits together in just a few words.”

Just wow.  Continue reading

If a book could put on boxing gloves…

A few weeks ago I had a fellow writer ask me a bold question:

If I had to choose, would I want to see my work published as ebooks or print books? 

“Oh that…ummm…” Blank stare. Yeah.

Honestly? That’s like asking me to choose between pizza and ice cream. Uhhh, can I have both, please??

So, I got to thinking – is there a way to choose between the two? Will there ever be a time when the only books that exist are in ebook form, all printed material a thing that is merely seen in museums? 

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12 Days of Giveaways – Day 2

Here we are at Day 2 of our giveaway! Did you enter yesterdays raffle? Don’t miss out on your chance at winning free stuff!! A big congratulations to Amy C. for winning yesterday’s prize! Woot! 😉

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Today’s giveaway is…

A set of inspirational notebooks and ‘You are my sunshine’ decor. 

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Honestly? As soon as I saw these I grabbed them up – they are so adorable! Each journal has 70 pages in it and has a witty or inspirational blurb on the front. I bought an additional ‘Sunshine’ sign for myself, as well, I love it so much. If any of you have read my ‘Now I Sleep’ novella series, you will know that this song has a special place in the books! 😉 Continue reading

Be brave… you’re gonna fail.

This morning I had the privilege of hearing author Shawn Smucker speak at a local Writer’s meeting. It wasn’t a “how to” workshop, or the Top Ten Tips on getting published. It was just a guy sharing his journey of writing, publishing, then writing some more. And ya know what? It’s exactly what I needed to hear. I may not have walked away with pages filled with notes on the do’s and don’ts of writing, but hearing his stories and thoughts were exactly the encouragement I needed. And it just so happens I wrote a few of his thoughts down. 😉

1. Be Brave. Yes, you’ve heard this a million times over, but now you need to believe it. To write is to bear your very soul on paper. It is to put your most secret thoughts into a place where anyone in the world can view them. It is scary. Very. scary. But it’s what we do. Writing is what makes the pulse in our veins, continue to flow. It is what makes us writers, human. If you have something to say, say it.

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NaNoWriMo – Day 6

Almost there! Tomorrow will be one full week into 2014 NaNoWriMo. How is it going? Have you begun writing yet? What are you writing about? Are you going in circles trying to even get started?

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Yeah, I’ve been there, too – no shame, my friends!

I’m happy to say that for this NaNoWriMo, I’m well into my project of doing a major edit on my novel, “Fallen Ashes”. Each night I lie in bed and think about the story, where it’s going and how I’m inspired to make it better. Counting the chapters I have ahead of me, I’m well aware that I won’t be able to finish a full edit on the manuscript by month’s end, but I’m up for the challenge to get as far as possible! I’d love to get it into the hands of a few Beta Readers by the New Year! Continue reading

Coming to the End

So, here I am. At the end of a journey that has taken the better part of a year. I still remember the convo I had with a fellow writer about the idea of releasing one of my works in novella form. I had been encouraging her to step out and just publish what she had written, and not to fear what others thought. Then I realized I needed to take my own advice.

The “Now I Sleep” novella series was first released in April 2014. The last one will be available this month.

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And I’m a little sad.

Yeah, I’m crazy happy, too. I mean, I finally did what I said I’d always wanted to do. I stopped talking about ‘someday’ and made that ‘day’ today. I finally got my work published and in the hands of friends and family who have long supported me, asking (read: begging) to read what I’ve written. *Cartwheels and handsprings* There is not enough Starbucks in this world, to satisfy my joy!

I’m elated that it’s almost complete. And weirdly enough, I’m a bit bummed, too.

I’m a little down that I won’t get to dive into Delylah’s world again, that Sadie and Gabe will now have their fictional world in which to drift away, the imaginations of my readers in which to live. I wish I could explore Angus better – to throw in his backstory, so readers could get to know him on a deeper level. And what of Stella? Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall in her life. So, yeah. I’m finished, yet I’m sad, too. Continue reading