Interview with an Editor

Attended a writer’s convention in December 2017, and had the pleasure to interview one of the Guest Speakers ~ Mr. Patrick, who was speaking about the Benefits of the Writing.

THE BENEFIT OF WRITING

It is likely that most adults do not give much thought to the writing that they do – in terms of the amount of text produced, quality of the written work, or the variety of writing tasks in which they engage.

Typically, writing in everyday life tends to be performed for either the mundane tasks of personal and household management – shopping lists, phone messages, reminder notes to the kids – or for work-related tasks, such as inter-office memos, sales reports, or personnel evaluations.

Writing using a computer or smart phone is increasingly common with the spread of technology into all aspects of modern life, although there are generational and demographic differences in the practice of using a computer for writing.

A recent study found that younger, better educated, and employed US adults spent more time writing with computers, while older, less educated, and non-working persons spent more time writing using paper. While the variety of writing tasks adults engage in might be thought of as essential to work and home life, many everyday writing tasks probably contribute little to the overall quality of individuals’ intellectual and emotional lives.

Of course, a significant number of adults engage in extensive and meaningful writing tasks. The most obvious examples are professional writers – journalists, book and short story authors, poets, and essayists, opinion columnists, college professors. The products of their work can be said to contribute to society in important ways: Inspiring and entertaining readers, reporting and analyzing significant political, cultural, and world events, critiquing government officials’ actions, educating children, youth, and adults. Of course, one need not be a professional writer to obtain benefits from writing or to share what they know and think with others.

Even some nonprofessional writers may be prolific, daily writers. Although extended letter writing is less common today, given the ease of text messaging and email for instant communication, some adults remain devoted and adept letter writers

The ubiquity of writing in everyday life raises the question of how – and how much – writing contributes to individuals’ intellectual and emotional development. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of reading, but much less scholarly attention has been devoted to the personal outcomes that derive from writing.

What advantages does writing afford to individuals? How does writing contribute to the development and maintenance of one’s thinking abilities? And, how does writing contribute to emotional well being

  1. Writing Can Help You Think

Writing is necessary to help the human mind achieve its full potential. Writing, for example, allows the writer to concretize abstract ideas and to “connect the dots in their knowledge. Particular kinds of writing tasks may, indeed, be beneficial to intellectual vitality, creativity, and thinking abilities. A study found, for example, that when adults write about significant life events their memory for such events is improved.

Writing enables the external storage of information that can be represented symbolically (e.g., letters, numbers, words, formulas drawings) and which can then be analyzed, critiqued, reproduced, and transformed, among other potential actions.

  1. Writing Might be Beneficial to Cognitive Skills

Writing enables the external storage of information that can be represented symbolically (e.g., letters, numbers, words, formulas drawings) and which can then be analyzed, critiqued, reproduced, and transformed, among other potential actions. Writing might be beneficial to cognitive skills because it requires focusing of attention, planning and forethought, organization of one’s thinking, and reflective thought, among other abilities – thereby sharpening these skills through practice and reinforcement.

  1. Writing Can Help You Feel Good

James Pennebaker, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Texas-Austin has undertaken a series of investigations into the benefits of writing, including its ability to heal emotional wounds.

Short-term, focused writing can, benefit anyone who is dealing with terminal illness, victims of violent crime, or new college students struggling with the transition from high school.

Egyptian Feast ~ Silent Voices Series Vol. 3

Recipes found in Vol. 3 Silent Voices Series ~ You Can’t Have Us ~ Grace from the Dead

Kabab wa kofta (Grilled meats): Veal/Lamb

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground lamb
3 tablespoons grated onion
Onions Yellow/Brown
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
28 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

  • Mash the garlic into a paste with the salt using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a chef’s knife on your cutting board. Mix the garlic into the lamb along with the onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne pepper, ginger, and pepper in a mixing bowl until well blended. Form the mixture into 28 balls. Form each ball around the tip of a skewer, flattening into a 2-inch oval; repeat with the remaining skewers.
  • Place the kebabs on a baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil grate. Or line oven rack with aluminum foil spray with Pam and arrange skewers 
  • Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning occasionally, until the lamb has cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 6 minutes for medium.

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Baladi Bread

MAKES 16 BREAD pieces: 35 MINUTES

1 tbsp. active dry yeast
2 1⁄2 cups water, heated to 105º
5 cups whole-wheat flour, plus more for dusting
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
Cracked wheat bran for proofing, optional

  • In a large bowl, whisk the yeast with the water and let stand until foamy, 10 minutes. Add 2 1⁄2 cups of the whole-wheat flour and stir until smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover the dough and, using your hand, stir the salt and oil into the dough and then add the remaining 2 1⁄2 cups whole-wheat flour and mix until the dough comes together. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a large bowl greased with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand until doubled in size, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
  • Place a baking stone on a rack in the oven and heat the oven to 500° for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, punch the dough down and divide into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten into a 5-inch circle. Lightly sprinkle the cracked wheat bran, if using, or more whole-wheat flour over 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Divide the dough circles between the baking sheets and loosely cover with a kitchen towel. Let stand until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes.
  • Working in batches, place the dough circles on the hot baking stone, spaced 2 inches apart, and bake until puffed and lightly charred in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pieces of bread to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Sahlab Drink

Serves: 4 cups

1 sachet of sahlab powder
2 cups of water
2 cups of milk

  • In a medium pot, on a medium heat add water and sahlab powder.
    stir occasionally, and when it near boiling, lower the heat and keep stirring, until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Serve immediately and add your favorite topping.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers.

The amount is enough for 4 small cups or 2 full mugs.

Optional:
1 tsp of rose water
Toppings:
Ground cinnamon, grated coconut, raisins, ground pistachio, almonds, honey.

 

Enjoy,

Otelia

 

FutureLearn

I had an exciting four weeks participating in the FREE Start Writing Fiction Course given by FutureLearn. The lessons were provided for you to partake at your leisure and it was nice to be able to obtain feedback from an exciting and diverse group of people. My classmates ranged from beginners to advanced self-published authors, retirees, and students, statewide and aboard. I personally enjoyed the interaction with the group that was more than helpful.

Everyone had a chance to submit a portion of their work and have it analyzed by the group in an open forum. We did have a few quizzes, to drive certain points home. I wholeheartedly recommend this platform to further advance your desire to become a writer. Even seasoned authors have much to learn still regarding their craft and passion. 

Another reliable source for Free classes would be located at Open University.

Both locations offer a wide array of courses and again most of the courses are free. Yes, they will advertise and try to enlist you to upgrade to diploma status and the upgrade also offers continued access to the course, please note that your free lessons are not of sub-value because you didn’t upgrade. 

Learn how to create a plot

Construction of language

Creating a character

Observation the importance of detail

And more…..

 

 

 

Otelia

Which Story line is Better?

Ok, so I’m contemplating another storyline and I’m brainstorming ideas.

Weep Not 4 Me { Scenario 1}

Wanda was lost in thought alighting from the Qn 114 bus trying to think of all the chores that she needed to finish by the time her boss arrived for the conference this morning. She came upon a crowd gathered in front of an electronic store. The store window home to several TV screens all broadcasting the 7 O’clock News.

Police are looking for Mrs. Jay Tee Wheatena, a missing Afro American elderly woman possible mid-sixties, Salt n’ pepper hair worn in a French roll, black-rimmed glasses, wearing a grey/blue plaid light coat with medium grey pumps. She was last seen carrying a large brown tote bag with her companion inside ~ a Pekinese dog wearing a red sweater with a matching little red bow barrette in its hair. If you have seen this woman, please call the Missing Person’s Hotline 1800-555-6610. 

The attendant left her in the living room of her home for two minutes to get her medicines and settle her for the evening. When the attendant returned she found the front door opened and Mrs. Wheatena was gone. She called the police immediately. Mrs. Wheatena is insulin dependent and suffers from dementia she wandered from her home attendant last night after attending a benefits gala.

Wanda gave a little scream as she realized the woman was a passenger on the bus she just left. The woman smiled at her as she took a seat right across from her, talking to the pooch feeding the dog snacks. The pup was mannerable, head crocked to side listening to the lady’s voice, laying comfortably in her lap, inside the tote bag. She scrambles for her cell phone frantically dialing the number and turning around to look at the bus now six blocks away moving fast.

Weep Not 4 Me { Scenario 2}

Mrs. Jay Tee Wheatena was sorry for the trouble that she might cause Kimberly her attendant for leaving in the middle of the night, but she couldn’t stand one more day taking medications that left her disorientated and didn’t work. The pain was unbearable, her bone cancer was progressive, and she just wanted it to end. Attending the benefit gala was her last social event. At least she’d have one special night to remember before she closed her eyes.

She was a proud Afro American woman mid-sixties, Salt n’ pepper hair worn in a French roll, black-rimmed glasses, wearing a red sweater dress under a grey/blue plaid light coat with medium black pumps. She had to take Mizzy with her or she would have cried all night. Dressed in a matching color outfit like her mistress, Mizzy laid comfortably on top of her special quilt in a spacious black canvas tote bag. She was a beautiful tan and white Pekinese dog wearing a red sweater with a matching little red bow barrette holding a tuff of hair in the middle of her head. Mizzy had been her mistress’s companion for seven years, they were inseparable.

Mrs. Wheatena, took the Qn 114, bus that would take her to the beach, so she could walk watching one more sunrise paint the day with its rays of bright red, orange and yellow. Mizzy would be alright running up and down the beach until someone noticed her without an owner. Inside the tote bag was her last will and testament. She was leaving all her property and Mizzy to Kimberly who had taken excellent care of her for three years. She knew that Kimberly had two children ages ten and seven that she left every day with her cousin to come and care for her. Hopefully, this would compensate her for her dedication and sacrifice.

She breathes easier comfortable with her decision the disease robbing her of her quality of life, but it would not steal how she ended it, her only regret was leaving Mizzy behind. Well, she had sixteen more stops to the beach looking at Mizzy with love, she spoke softly to the dog and rubbed her head affectionally.

 

Story Mapping

001

I know this looks infantile and some would say not powerpoint worthy, but I care not. I want to show you how I try to come up with plots and themes for my writing. I follow this simple outline I constructed there are so many others, but some of them are some complicated that I’ve lost interest in studying them. Sorry, I want to write the story not take 3 – 4 months coming up with a guideline. That might be my downfall, but what  I do and how I accomplish it works for me. 

Movies, Billboards, Poems, Bible Story, Family Incidents or Smells all lend a hand in creating my story. It could also be a fragmented dream I had ~ darn it’s so maddening to wake up and forget what you saw not 3 seconds ago. But that’s ok, as long as I had a beginning or an idea I can take it anywhere I want and that’s enough for me.

My books are usually 6×9 which I find to be great for people to carry around with them. It’s tall and narrow able to fit in any decent pocketbook/purse, 395 pages tops is where I try to cut it off. There is no set fast rule for a length of a good story, but  I prefer to break it up into sequels if possible. You don’t overload the reader’s eyes, brains and concentration ~ give them a taste, make them want to look for the next book, is it good enough for them to mention to their friends? 

  1. Silent Voices Series

Rights of the Dead Vol. 1

Witnesses from the GraveYard Vol. 2

     2. Treasured Game Series

Treasure Mine (Coming December)