Careers


Careers

by Adam Huddleston

 

I’ve been contributing to this blog on a semi-weekly basis for a few years now and I’m not sure if folks really know what I do for a living.

I’m a writer! (laughs maniacally) Nah, I wish I could do this full time as a career, but alas, I am only a lowly pharmacy manager. I lead a rag-tag, motley crew of some of the best technicians a boss could ask for. We spend the majority of our days trying to figure out what drug what insurance will pay for and what ridiculous code we have to put in the computer to get everything to work out right. The rest of the day is spent trying not to mess up someone’s prescription.

Strangely enough, it is at this hectic job that I get the best writing done. Whether it is the few moments in-between phone calls, or during a slower Saturday shift, I can usually bang out a few hundred words. Who knows, maybe years down the road things will work out where I could actually write professionally. Or, maybe…hold on, I gotta take this call.

Happy writing!

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What’s In a Name?


Outtakes 337

What’s In a Name?

By Cait Collins

 

 

I disagree with the Bard of Avon. A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet may not smell as sweet. What if we called the rose a daisy? Would it smell like a rose or like a daisy? Can a Magnolia smell as sweet as a rose? If I handed you a lilac would you envision a rose?

Names mean something. If I introduced two men in a story as Butch and Allen but did not describe them, could you picture each man in your mind? I see Butch as a big, burly man with a loud voice, and less than perfect manners. He’s not a bad man. He lacks polish. Allen is mild-mannered. He tends to fade into the background. He’s neither handsome nor ugly. He’s just average.

Monique is exotic and beautiful. Delilah would be desirable and devious. Would you name your daughter Jezebel? Or would you choose a name like Elizabeth or Mary. Let’s be honest, a name has positive or negative reactions. We have prejudices against certain names based on experiences, history, literature, and movies.

When we are writing a story, how careful are we in naming our characters? Do you ever get half way through the work and suddenly decide the hero’s name is wrong? Do you make the change or keep the name that doesn’t seem right? If I can’t be comfortable with the name or can’t warm up to it, I’ll change the name. If I am not happy with the character’s name but hold on to it, I risk creating a negative response from the reader.

Names are important. That’s why we spend time researching character names and names of the location. We want our characters to enhance the story; not detract from it.

COMING SOON! OUR TIME ON ROUTE 66


OUR TIME ON ROUTE 66

 

Look for our new Wordsmith Six Book release.

This fantastic book, is a collection of stories that will take you on a journey on Route 66.

It started as a dirt path connecting neighbors, communities, states and finally a nation.

Route 66 was an overland route traveled by pioneers, migrant farmers and anyone going west looking for the American dream. From wagon ruts to an asphalt highway, it has connected generations of people.

Join us as we travel through time from the early days and well into the future on the Mother Road.

OUR TIME on Route 66 is full of stories that tell of good times and bad, love and heartache, from the past to beyond tomorrow, and all of them connected by one stop, the Tower Station, and U-Drop Inn.

Could This Be Love?


Outtakes 335

Could This Be Love?

By Cait Collins

 

Ah, romance. The book shelves are full of romance novels. Poets extol the virtues of love and commitment. Cynics decry the emotion, calling it a crutch and an opiate for fools. I like to view love as something very special. But despite varying opinions of what love is and the part it plays in our lives, love stories are popular. And there are so many variations in the genre. Straight romance…boy meets girl, boy woos girl, boy gets girl. Then there’s romantic suspense…girl is in trouble, boy rescues girl, boy marries girl. Add paranormal romance, magic, war stories, western romance, “adult” romance, and you have almost unlimited story lines.

Poetry, song lyrics all extol the virtues of love. And then you have the broken romances, stories of love gone bad, and broken hearts that are mended by a new love. Face it, love sells. So write that romance. You just might find a whole new outlet for your talent.

Happy Valentines Day.

 

Euphony


Euphony

by Adam Huddleston

 

This week, the literary device I would like to mention is: euphony. It is defined as the use of words or phrases that sound pleasant together. As individuals, our tastes in word choice and what sounds “nice” are obviously varied, but it is possible to piece together phrases that most readers would enjoy.

As you would expect, euphony is most commonly seen in poetry, lyrical works, and literary prose. The website literary-devices.com mentions that the phrase “cellar door” is often credited as the most pleasant-sounding phrase in the English language. I guess it is the combination of phonetic sounds that sets it apart.

Euphony is the direct opposite of cacophony, which is the use of words or sounds in phrases that clash and sound unpleasant.

I hope this device helps you in your work! Happy writing!

Inspiration


Outtakes 332

 

Inspiration

By Cait Collins

I have this great idea for the last chapter of my Route 66 short story and it involves my neighbors’ dog. I’m not a real animal person. I like some pets, but don’t want the responsibility of caring and nurturing one. But Frodo is different. I first met Frodo soon after his parents brought him home. He wasn’t very big size wise, but he had personality. I soon realized I kind of liked having him greet me.

Being around this pup inspired me to write a new character to end my story. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it works. The point is that inspiration can come from so many sources. It might be a picture, a song, a laugh, or a sigh. Experiences inspire us to create settings, characters, and story lines. Don’t ignore these little moments.

The Speech Writer


Outtakes 334

The Speech Writer

By Cait Collins

I am not much for political speeches, but I did watch the State of the Union address. In my career I have been called on to give a talk or address a gathering. It’s difficult enough to write something for yourself, but can you imagine writing for someone else?

Writing for yourself allows you to hone in on your experiences, your personality, and to use your instincts in adding humor or satire to the presentation. But if I were writing for someone else, I would need to get into his head, draw on his desires, dreams, and ideals. The speech would need to suit his personality and his goals. What would happen if my dreams clashed with his? Think about it. Could you put your personal agenda aside and dedicate your talents to building up someone you might not support?

Of course political figures, successful businessmen and women hire people who can mesh with their visions. But if you are just starting out in the speech writing business, how can you be sure you can target the speaker and not interject yourself into the presentation? If you have doubts, the presentation could suffer.

The bottom line is writing speeches, press releases, and maybe even copy for commercials or news appearances requires more than a way with words. It demands an ability to put the personal aspects aside and focus on the speaker or performer. Personally, I wouldn’t want the job.

It’s Called Networking


It’s Called Networking

by Natalie Bright

 

Throughout every industry, professionals network. From skilled surgeons, teachers, CEO’s, clothing designers, coffee shop owners, office managers–you name it. There are working lunches, golf games, and five o’clock happy hour meet- ups. At some point in every one’s career, there will be some type of meeting, workshop, or conference to learn and connect with others. When I worked in human resources, conferences were invaluable. It’s where I learned about the new labor laws and where I found a network of people who worked in the same industry as I did. People I could call on, if I needed information or resources. People who were saavy as to the latest trends or tools that I needed to know to do my job more effectively.

Being a writer is no different.

Writers are No Exception

Creating and publishing books is a business after all, and at some point in your career, you’ll need to leave the creative side and step into the business side of writing. You need to know about social marketing, query letters, proposals, characterization, plotting techniques, formatting, book cover designs, social media, and you need to network with people who understand the business.

Attention: Amarillo Area Writers

If you live in or around the Texas Panhandle or tri-state area, there is a networking group for you.

Texas High Plains Writers, based in Amarillo, is one of the oldest continuous groups in the U.S. Founded in 1920 as Panhandle Pen Women, the group has been supporting and educating writers for almost a century.

As a Board member this year, I can tell you that there are many exciting things on the horizon. 2018 is going to be an awesome year, and you should plan to be a part of it. Go to the website, http://texashighplainswriters.com/ and join for only $30 a year. Hurry, you have until February 1 and then dues are $36.00. We meet every other month on the third Saturday. For the price of a latte you can network with authors who write in every type of genre, and learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this crazy industry.

As the Newsletter Editor, send me an article that might be of interest to the group and I’ll publish it in our eNews. You can sign up THE WINDOW on the far-right side of our Home Page.

Find us on Facebook too, where we already have several events posted for 2018.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1400256840281452/events/

So what have you done for yourself lately to advance your writing career? What have you put back into your business? As a professional writer, one of the best ways to make an investment in YOU is to become active in a writer’s organization.

Network, learn, and keep writing!