Pens, Knives, and Guns: The Power of Crafting Words

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What was an early experience when you learned that language had power?

I think humans have an innate appreciation for the power contained in language. We have a need to communicate from the moment we leave the womb. Crying, whimpering, whining and cooing are all methods that infants have to convey their feelings and desires.

It can be so strong that many mothers and primary caregivers learn the meanings behind each utterance coming from the tiny person, finding it almost impossible to ignore. The impact of our children’s infant cries frazzled each one of my nerves, motivating me to satisfy or wreak havoc on whatever or whoever was upsetting them. People didn’t start calling me Mama Bear for nothing.

Yeah, kinda like that. So, knowledge about the power of language is something intrinsic. We know its influence on those around us. When people are past the infancy, “cry to get what I want stage”, it is important to recognize how compelling words can be on one’s mindset and those around them, especially words strategically used to convince, inspire, anger and degrade—some of which may become branded in one’s psyche, influencing their internal dialogue and actions. Continue reading “Pens, Knives, and Guns: The Power of Crafting Words”

#OpenBook – “Masculine Energy” and The Woman Writer

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What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I remember listening to a male lecturer talk about women, men, and gender relations. One thing that stuck with me was when he went on this diatribe about women who have a lot of what he called “masculine energy.” He waxed for what seemed like forever about how a woman who dares to have a lot of masculine energy is a problem because she will always be ready to challenge a man. He claimed that such women are too assertive and authoritative and proclaimed that he could tell when there is such a woman in his midst.

After I laughed my…head off, I cringed a little at the incendiary generalizations he made, that make life hell for women. I won’t go into an analysis of how his language dangerously allocated certain human behaviors like confidence, ambition, critical thinking, power, and resistance as masculine and categorized women embodying any of these characteristics as “manly” deviants straying from their feminine nature.

I won’t highlight how someone privileged by gender can be guilty of reinforcing oppression by demonizing those struggling against their subjugation, discrediting them as misfits. Really, men need to stop that nonsense, especially those disguising themselves as progressive but are actually just as chauvinistic as their fellow misogynists.

Continue reading “#OpenBook – “Masculine Energy” and The Woman Writer”

#OpenBook: Pouring out Money to Spill Ink

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What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I will have to split my answer to this week’s prompt into two categories: 1)writer and 2) author. It may seem like an exercise in semantics, but the distinction is important. In addition to my short stories and books, I do a TON of writing in different spheres that have required me to spend money in varying amounts and capacities.

You guys know how I get. Bear with me.

Continue reading “#OpenBook: Pouring out Money to Spill Ink”

Favorite Character Question is Major Author Bait

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From all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?

What kind of f—

Okay, I smell a setup. My kids tried asking me something like this. It didn’t work then either. Which one of my characters got you? Was it Raad?

It was Raad. He’s so narcissistic. It’s bad enough he wrecked my concentration until I got his characterization finished. Now, he’s gotta try to force some sick confession out of me? Sit your butt down, Raad, and wait for me to release Building on Broken Dreams to show your…self to the world.

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I said to sit down!

Maybe it was Zaida. Continue reading “Favorite Character Question is Major Author Bait”

#OpenBook: Sleep-No Substitutes or Exchanges

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#OpenBook – If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Sleep is a beautiful thing with a ton of benefits, including:

  • May Help Prevent Cancer. …
  • Reduces Stress. …
  • Reduces Inflammation. …
  • Makes You More Alert. …
  • Improves Your Memory. …
  • May Help You Lose Weight. …
  • Napping Makes You “Smarter” …
  • May Reduce Your Risk of Depression…
  • Helps Body Repair Itself… [source: VeryWellHealth]

Yeah, yeah. I know. The question’s premise is that sleep is not necessary. That’s the thing, though. I need to sleep. It’s one of the best things in life that I get to do.

I haven’t been able to sleep for more than four hours since my oldest child was born. My babies snatched my sleep from me, and it looks like a solid six hours will never return. So, I have had to adjust my sleep to be able to still partake in and enjoy it. I started napping in the afternoon to make up for lost sleep. I hit my bedchamber [yup, I’m going archaic] and dare anybody to interrupt my daytime snooze. Continue reading “#OpenBook: Sleep-No Substitutes or Exchanges”

Spring- The Seasonal Tease

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What is the one thing about Spring that you can’t stand?

Ah, Spring. What a wonderful season, right? The bursts of color and promises of renewal and warmth. Who doesn’t love it? Umm…this girl right here.

I live in the Northeast of the US. So, Spring is usually a tumultuous three months of uncertainty and dashed hopes for relief from the cold and isolation of winter. It is never clear what one should do because there is always a chance for frigid temps. Like the Prince sings, Sometimes, It Snows in April.

Where I live, Spring is basically a weather thirst trap. It will tempt with a sunny, warm day then come back the next with icy rain and biting wind, cutting right into that light pastel-colored jacket you were stupid enough to wear in place of a winter coat. So, there you are—a shivering schmuck praying those buds you planted don’t die under the surprise coating of snow and ice.

Continue reading “Spring- The Seasonal Tease”

Laughter as Armor and Shield

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#OpenBook

What’s the one thing guaranteed to make you laugh?

Hmm…

Tough question. Is the laughter a sarcastic “you’re an idiot” or a full-hearted “that was hilarious” type of thing?

I laugh for so many reasons, not all of which involve anything being funny. Like when my former boss and her supervisor had me in the office jeopardizing my job because their friend/co-worker didn’t like that I ignored her unprofessional email tantrum. Continue reading “Laughter as Armor and Shield”

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