May 30, 2008

Summer Scrapbooking Fun

Today was the last day of school at my house. I always look forward to my kids being home. But after a few weeks, the newness wears off and I inevitably hear, “I’m bored.” I’m constantly looking for ways to keep them involved and busy. Scrapbooking can be a fun activity to share with your kids to keep them busy and actively creating throughout the summer. It may not be as good as schoolwork, but it comes pretty close! It can reinforce skills they learn in school without them even realizing it.

Personally, I find it hard to turn over pictures to my children to scrapbook. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, so it’s sometimes difficult for me to allow them free reign with their own creativity. A good solution is to print doubles of the pictures you love and then you can create a family scrapbook with them later.

I’ve been surprised to see that my children often look at an event very differently than I would. What I thought was important, may not really be what was most important to them. It’s fun to see the picture through their eyes by letting them create their own journaling. They can type it on the computer, but make sure they throw in a handwritten one here and there to preserve another aspect of their uniqueness.

From my experience, kids get overwhelmed if you give them tons of pictures and a big 12x12 scrapbook to fill. It’s fun to create themed scrapbooks by using a small 6x6 or 8x8 album and following a theme. A good one for summer is a vacation album. Buy your kids a cheap disposable camera, or if you’re brave, let them take turns using your digital camera, and let them take their own pictures of your family vacations and outings. They’ll love looking for fun photo opportunities and then scrapping their own pictures.

You’ll even find yourself picturing a scrapbook page and then creating the experience to photograph. One of my favorite summer activities to scrapbook is my kids running through the sprinklers and playing in the water. There are so many fun and unique water stickers, embellishments, and background paper to use. And the pictures are always awesome because they are taken out in the sun with the beautiful blue sky and green grass as a background.

Whatever you and your children decide to scrapbook, remember that the time you spend together creating and preserving those priceless memories will be treasured more than the final project. It will be time and energy well spent. You provide the time and no doubt your kids will provide the energy. Happy Scrapping!

Send me pictures of scrapbook pages you and your children create and I will highlight them in future blogs.

Return to the neighborhood.

May 26, 2008

Multiple Album Madness

Are you working on more than one album? I know the feeling! I have six children and I feel guilty because I’ve completed a lot more scrapbook pages for my oldest than the others. So, I’ve been working on the other albums. My kids are always interested in what I’m doing and want to see the finished pages. I often get asked the question, “When are you going to work on mine?”

It’s overwhelming enough to work on one album at a time, let alone six. But I’ve picked up some tips and tricks to make it easier and thought I’d share them with you.

-Create one layout, and then alter the layout for the next child. Create the first as a template and then change the colors, papers, and embellishments for the next child. The result? Same design, but unique.

-Create a layout with all of the children. For example, rather than taking a bunch of individual pictures on Halloween, just take several group pictures. Then you can create one layout and duplicate it exactly for each child.

-Journal on the go. If journaling takes you a long time to get it just right, carry photos with you. When you are sitting in the car for the tenth time that day, waiting to pick up children, you can pull the photo out and create your journaling. Then, when you’re ready to scrapbook, the journaling is almost complete.

-Break it down. Break the scrapping process into smaller projects. In five minutes you can download pictures, pick paper or embellishments for a layout, or create a title on the computer.

-Keep your work out. If possible find a place to keep the page you’re working on out. If you have a few moments to spare, you can work on it. If possible, find a large piece of glass to place over the project to keep curious, sticky fingers away.

The real key to working on multiple albums is accepting that you won’t be able to scrapbook every photo, every moment, and every memory. Pick the most meaningful photos and leave the others for another time. Most of all, remember that scrapbooking is about preserving memories and not rushing to meet a deadline.

Return to the Neighborhood.

May 24, 2008

And the winner is.....


Congratulations Glitter Graphics

Thanks to everyone who posted comments on my blog entry 'It's All About Time'. Danyelle is the lucky winner and will receive over $80 of Pebbles, Inc. Share & Tell products.

Thanks to Brenda and Pebbles for their kind donation!!

If you want to see an easy way to stay caught up on your scrapbooking projects, be sure to check out the Share & Tell system from Pebbles, Inc.

May 23, 2008

Digital by Design

I would venture a guess that most of you use a digital camera. I would also guess you probably have piles of pictures taken before the digital age. Earlier this week, I talked about physical storage systems for all of those pictures.

Physically storing your pictures in a safe way to preserve their archival qualities is important, but it is still sometimes difficult to search through pictures and find the exact one you need. I have recently been scanning all of my photographs and looking for a program to store and sort them.

I’ve been using photobucket, which is a good online storage system. But, I recently found something better, an exciting product that does much more than store and organize your pictures. Life Story Productions has an exciting software program called Heritage Collector. I recently interviewed Marlo Schuldt from Life Story Productions and he showed me tons of examples of the program’s capabilities and told me many amazing family history stories which I wish I had the room to tell, but suffice it to say, you won’t be disappointed.

Heritage Collector is an all-inclusive program that allows you to scan and store your photos in a unique collection file system. Now in seconds, you can find any picture you’re looking for. You can search by subject, theme, name, practically anything you can imagine. The exciting part is that you can store much more than photos. Heritage Collector will also help you store sound, video, and text files. The unique way your files are stored in collections makes it easy to organize all your family history materials in one place.

For example, let’s say you create a collection named Grandpa Smith. In the collection you can place photos of Grandpa you have scanned from original photographs or imported directly from your digital camera. You can also put in Microsoft Word documents you have created detailing stories about significant events in Grandpa’s life. But, it doesn’t end there. You can include sound files you’ve recorded of Grandpa telling stories in his own voice. You can use these to create talking photos, so that when you mouse over a photo you will hear the story about the photo in the subject’s own voice. You can also include video clips, scanned family group sheets, journal entries, maps—pretty much anything you can imagine. You can even add GPS coordinates to locate the places in your pictures.

The program also includes a unique hot spot feature. When you mouse over the people in a photo, a hot spot will pop up which tells you the name of the person, dates, or any other information you want to enter.
Having all of these items together and accessible in one place allows you to create a tangible family history to share with your loved ones by quickly and easily making mixed media slide shows, as well as self running CD’s and DVD’s.

Heritage Collector is the equivalent of at least ten programs. So, rather than using one program to import your pictures, another to edit them, another to save and organize them, another to save text files, and one for video and sound, another to create slide shows and still another to burn CD’s and DVD’s, Heritage Collector includes all this and allows you to do it all from one program, saving you a lot of time and money in the process.

So, what if you aren’t into family history? The program works for scrapbooking as well. Just the sorting and storage features alone are amazing, but the program also has a unique scrapbook module which allows you to just drag and drop your photos into scrapbook pages. You can also use it to create your own background paper.

What is the purpose of a scrapbook anyway? It is to preserve your memories and tell a story that will have an emotional impact. With Heritage Collector, this has never been easier. Check it out. I know you’ll love it!

To learn more about the product and read a fun newsletter visit

Return to the neighborhood.

May 19, 2008

A Shoebox is not the Solution

How many of you still have a shoebox full of unorganized, unlabeled photographs? I admit it, even I do. How often is there a photo you need for something and you have to frantically search through your entire house, looking for the one perfect photo? There are a few basic steps you can follow to organize your pictures so you can spend more time scrapping them and less time searching.

The first decision you need to make is how you want to store your photos until you are able to put them in scrapbooks. There are lots of photo storage boxes available from many scrapbook manufacturers.

My favorite photo storage system is made by Creative Memories. The Power Sort box will hold up to 2,400 5x7 photos, has removable compartments and dividers as well as a pocket for holding larger photos and keepsakes. It is also available in a smaller size which will hold 600 photos and is perfect for carrying with you when you scrapbook on the go.

Once you’ve decided on where you are going to store your photos, you need to consider how you want to sort them. There are many organization methods. The following are a few that are common for scrapbooking:

This method works best if you have tons of photos. Start by sorting your pictures into piles by year. Then, if possible sort them into months.

By Theme
If scrapbooking chronologically isn’t your style, try sorting your pictures by theme. It’s fun to make themed albums. For example, you can gather all of your Christmas photos from the last ten years and make a Christmas album. You can sort them by holidays, vacations, sports, etc.

By Person
You can sort your pictures by person, or groups of people. This is a common method to use when you are creating a separate album for each of your children.

By Event
If you have the habit of taking an entire roll of film for one event, it is easy to sort your photos simply by labeling the envelope they come in from the developer. Then store them chronologically, or by subject in a protective container.

Most people use a combination of organization methods. I sort my pictures chronologically first, and then sort them by child. I also have a section in my storage container for our family albums which I scrapbook by event.

As you can see, there are as many ways to store and sort your photos as there are to scrapbook them. I think sorting and organizing photos is the most overwhelming part of scrapbooking. Once you get them organized, be sure to stay on top of them and file your pictures away as soon as you get them.

If you need help storing and organizing digital photos, check back soon because I will be talking about it in an upcoming blog.

Return to the Neighborhood.

May 17, 2008

Black Friday

"Remember black Friday's bring sunny Sunday's."

My daughter shared this quote with me recently. We are going through some tough times at home, and it gave me a unique perspective to have the tables turned, and have my fifteen year old give me advice.

She is an amazing girl and always has been. She is one of those valiant spirits who come to this earth fighting for the right, from the moment of their first breath. How I ended up as her mom, I will never know.

I've recently realized that what I thought was one of my biggest strengths may actually be a weakness--I'm stubbornly independent. I have always prided myself on the fact that I don't need anyone. I can do it all alone. Well, let me tell you . . . doing it alone is, well . . . lonely.

I was reminded by a friend this week to involve Heavenly Father in my life through prayer. Sometimes, I'm so independent, I mistakenly think I can be successful without Him. Well, I tried it. He and I had a good talk yesterday. I'm hoping as I submit my will to His, my days will begin to be more sunny.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you all on Monday with another scrapbooking blog.

May 15, 2008

It's All About Time

Let’s face it . . .we are all busy. If you’re like me, scrapbooking can be overwhelming. There are so many products available and new techniques, it seems hard to keep up with it all. I’m always on the lookout for products that make scrapbooking easier. Pebbles Inc. has a new product I think you’re going to love. The new Share & Tell album system is affordable and completely customizable.

You can spend a little time or a lot and create a family keepsake you will be proud of. You decide how much time you have to spend—no time, some time, or creative time.

Simply label your photos and slip into the 4x6 pocket pages. Use large 12x12 sheet protectors to conveniently store artwork and larger pieces.

Create simple 4x6 title and journaling squares to help tell your story. Pebbles Inc. 4x6 creative pads and journaling cards are a quick and easy way to add memories to your photos.

Create a large scrapbook page to creatively spotlight your memory, then slip the extra photos in the 4x6 pocket pages. No need to scrapbook all of your photos ever again.

This program was created by Brenda Birrell, mother of five daughters and founder of Pebbles in My Pocket and Pebbles Inc. as an answer to today’s busy life.

I think life should be more about making memories than preserving them. It is nice to have a system that is easy to maintain and gives us more time to spend with loved ones creating memories.

Brenda, from Pebbles, has graciously donated $80 of Pebbles Share & Tell products which will be given to one of my lucky blog readers. They will get a complete album set including a binder, two sets of sheet protectors, and six sets of 4x6 cards. Simply post a comment on this blog and your name will be entered in the drawing.

Return to the Neighborhood.

May 13, 2008

Blog Tour - Season of Sacrifice by Tristi Pinkston

I spent the weekend reading Tristi Pinkston’s newest book, Season of Sacrifice. It is a historical novel about the hole in the rock pioneers, including the story of Tristi’s great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Perkins.

The book details the story of a family of Welsh immigrants. After settling with the Saints, Ben and Mary Ann Perkins are asked to join a mission to create a trail to Southern Utah through what would become the famous Utah landmark “Hole in the Rock”. The story tells about the great fortitude it took these pioneers to create a road and blast through obstacles day after day. Without fail, they persevered until their destination was finally reached. It shows the great faith of the early pioneers and their determination to follow the Lord, regardless of what sacrifices may be required.

My favorite character in the book was Sarah Williams, Mary Ann’s sister. Sarah went along on the expedition to help care for Ben and Mary Ann’s children. Once they reached their destination, the real trial began when Ben asked Sarah to be his second wife. It was a test of faith they were not sure they could pass. Tristi did an amazing job showing their agony as they wrestled with the difficult decision. Through Ben, Mary Ann, and Sarah’s faith, they were blessed, and throughout this well-written account their testimonies are evident. It is a story you will not soon forget.

You can order a copy of the book and learn more about the author’s other books at Tristi’s Website.

Tristi is a wonderful writer and an amazing woman. Like her characters, she has a strong faith and willing spirit. She never hesitates to share her talents and through her fun-loving, witty personality she creates a following of fans wherever she goes. I feel lucky to call her my friend and look forward to reading more of her work.

I asked Tristi some questions about her background, her new book, her interests and writing in general. I think you’ll find her answers intriguing:

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I've wanted to be a writer my whole life. I wrote little stories the whole time I was growing up, most of them really bad, a few of them good enough that I may try to resurrect them at some point. But it wasn't until I was twenty-three that I realized, I might be able to write something good. You know how we all plague ourselves with self-doubt? Yeah. That was me. But at twenty-three, I had a dream which morphed into the plot for "Nothing to Regret," and I realized that I really could actually do this, instead of just dreaming about it. Now with the publication of "Season of Sacrifice," I feel like I'm doing what I came here to do.

Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?

There isn't an overt message, as I'm basically just telling the story of what happened to the faithful pioneers who lived at that time. However, I do hope the reader comes away with a greater appreciation of the sacrifices made, the miracles that occurred, and the incredible power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle.

How long did it take you to write Season of Sacrifice?

Eighty hours. This is the only book I've ever timed, but I know for sure that eighty hours is just not my norm. I'd say I usually take a couple of hundred hours, but "Season of Sacrifice" pretty much wrote itself.

What books or authors have most influenced your writing?

Growing up, I read a lot of Louisa May Alcott, Gene Stratton-Porter, and L.M. Montgomery, so my sentence structure tends to be a little more complex than what we're seeing now. I'm working on that -- it's a hard habit to break. More recently, I find myself influenced by Ann Rinaldi. She's really what got me excited about writing historical fiction. She writes for the national young adult audience, and her stories bring history to life. I write for adults rather than teens, but I want to accomplish what she has, in making history real to the reader.

What can we look for next? What current projects are you working on?

I have a couple of contemporary mysteries finished, and I have a Vietnam-era book about done that I'm really excited about. I also have a Civil War story on the backburner, and about twenty other ideas beyond that. My very next project will be another contemporary mystery, a sequel to one I finished a few weeks ago. After writing so much historical fiction, it's kind of strange to write a contemporary. While working on my latest book, I didn't have to research anything until I got to page 100. That was wild.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

With all of the hooha going on with Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church, LDS publishers aren't accepting stories about polygamy. I wanted to get this story out there. My ancestors were incredible people and I wanted to share who they were with the world. I realized the best way for me to do this would be to publish it myself. My good friend BJ Rowley did everything but write the book -- cover design, typesetting, line editing, the works -- and we made it happen.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

I am immensely proud of this book. I truly feel that by writing this book, I have done the thing I was supposed to do when I was given this talent. (Not that I'm quitting writing, by any means) The only things I would change are the small occasional typos that I didn't catch, and I would put a map in the front. I couldn't find one that wasn't heavily copyrighted. Beyond that, I would change nothing.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I really dislike editing it for the forty-seventh time. I know it has to be done, but by the time you've read it and read it and read it, you want to scream. I'm also challenged by finding all the information I need -- it seems someone always contacts me after I've published a book and says, "Didn't you know that such and such happened?" I can research something until I'm blue in the face, but because I didn't live during that time period, I can't know everything. I'm grateful when someone points out a fact I missed, but I wish it didn't make me look like I don't know what I'm talking about. I do know what I'm talking about, when I can find the materials I need to learn about it.

I know you have four children and homeschool, so when do you find time to write?

I do the bulk of my writing in the late evening and into the night. I work from home writing media reviews for and editing for other authors, so I generally get to work around nine o'clock and stay up until around two, doing my reviews and editing, and then working on my own books. I try to sneak stuff in during the day -- I nearly always get new scenes while I'm in the shower, so I work those in, but I try to keep the bulk of my writing to the nighttime hours after my kids are down.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Read good books, be willing to accept constructive criticism, and try your hardest to be just like me . . . Well, the first two, at least.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I'm not writing, I'm usually thinking about writing. I also love to read, I enjoy good movies, I like to scrapbook although I haven't had time in a long while, and I like trying new recipes. Not that it does me any good -- it's hard to find recipes my family will eat. But I keep trying.

Any last words you want the reader to know?

Let's see . . . I'm the most awesome writer on the planet and you should buy all my books. You should probably also know that I've got a really strange sense of humor.

May 12, 2008

The Digital Evolution

The art of memory making is as old as time. There is evidence of scrapbooks clear back to the 1500’s. Since the early 1990’s scrapbooking has exploded in America and is now the number one hobby. As long as people have been clipping and saving mementos, the industry has been dedicated to providing the essential tools of the trade, including scissors, adhesives, markers, paper, and stickers. But the recent surge in digital scrapbooking is changing all that.

Due to the information age, there has been a natural evolution from ‘traditional’ scrapbooking to digital. It started out by scrappers using the computer to enhance their photos. They would remove red-eye, crop out the background, and adjust the color of their pictures. The computer can be used to create elements that are printed out and attached to your traditional scrapbook page. Journaling is often printed on the computer because you can create fun effects with all the fonts and colors that are available. These things eventually led to scrapbookers experimenting with creating entire page layouts.

Using digital, or scanned pictures, and photo-editing software, you can create stunning pages entirely on the computer. One of the benefits of creating your pages digitally is that you can share them with friends and family, no matter where they live. Grandma and Grandpa can see the grandkids' latest adventures with the click of the mouse.

Not only that, but digital scrapbooking can be less costly than traditional scrapbooking. Traditional embellishments, which can cost $2-$5 a piece, quickly make the price of each scrapbook page unaffordable for many consumers. The internet has made digital scrapbooking elements available for a very low cost. And once you purchase them, they can be used over and over again. There are also tons of freebies out there. Most of the digital scrapbooking websites have free paper, embellishments, and even entire layouts that can be downloaded. Just do a google search for digital scrapbooking and you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Scrapbookers find that going digital solves several problems. For one, they no longer have to devote a room—off limits to children—to store the die cutters, scissors, paper, stickers, etc. It’s nice to be able to just sit down at the computer when you have a few spare minutes and work on your scrapbooks without having to haul out all of the supplies.

Another benefit is that if you make a mistake, you can just delete it and start over. You have not wasted expensive supplies or ruined priceless photos. Also, once a layout is created you can print it as many times as you want and in any size you need.

Sometimes the creators of traditional scrapbooks are afraid for people to handle them too much because of potential damage. This kind of negates the purpose for which they were created—to be shared and enjoyed by others. Digital scrapbooking solves this problem. A digital version, whether stored online, on a CD, or printed, can be shared without worrying about damaging the original.

If you decide to go digital, please don’t forget to print your layouts. There is nothing quite as exciting as finding a dog-eared album hiding in the attic.

Return to the Neighborhood!

May 10, 2008

New in the Neighborhood

I’ve joined a team of bloggers and will be blogging a couple times a week for I’ll be talking about my other passion besides writing—scrapbooking. I’ll have lots of fun tips, tricks, new products, and interviews to share with you. I’ll even be doing some fun giveaways, so if you love scrapbooking, be sure to check back often.

Come check out the neighborhood. There will be a variety of subjects discussed such as:

Home & Family
LDS Department Store

May 9, 2008

Plotting and Outlining with Jeff Savage

Jeff Savage was my favorite speaker at the League of Utah Writers Spring workshop. I was lucky enough to hear him speak twice in one week, first at the LUW monthly chapter meeting and then at the workshop. I’ll include notes from both presentations below:

Jeff started out by saying a successful novel needs three main elements—a beginning, middle, and end. He talked about the pros and cons of outlining. Personally, I like to outline and agreed with his list of advantages:
-Outlining helps you write a novel faster.
-It allows more foreshadowing and buildup if you know where the plot is going.
-It helps avoid writers block. You always know what to write about next.
-It highlights strengths/weaknesses in your plot and helps with pacing.
-It keeps you from writing 50 pages before realizing that your idea is not going to work.

Jeff suggested several questions to ask yourself when you sit down to outline your story:
1) How will the story begin and end?
2) What are the primary storylines?
3) What are the beginning and end of each storyline?
4) List one to three sub-climaxes to keep reader interest high.
5) How will each character be affect by the above questions?
6) Where and how will I foreshadow?

Jeff has a unique way of outlining using multiple storylines. It graphs the flow of the story and keeps the excitement level high. Jeff calls it NESS, the Not Enough Storylines Syndrome. You can read more about it here, on Jeff’s blog.

He also talked about sagging storylines and how to identify weaknesses in three areas—plot, characters, and setting. He presented multiple questions that warrant consideration.

Does your character have a noble quest? Will the reader empathize with the quest? What are the obstacles to the quest? Do smaller climaxes lead up to the final climax? Did I start at the right point? Is the storyline broad enough? Or is it too broad, so it loses focus.

Is there a clear main character? Do you like them? Do they have flaws? What do they learn? Are their obstacles difficult enough? What is the consequence of their failure or success?

Why did you choose the setting you have? Does it add to the story? Why did you choose the time period? What would happen if you changed it? Are there any key events that could be tied in?

He gave us one last tidbit of advice, which I’ve been contemplating ever since—enter the scene late and leave it early.

Think about that. It is a very interesting concept and leaves no room for boredom. It was a privilege to listen to Jeff and learn from his experience. He is an engaging speaker and is very knowledgeable about his passion—writing. I’ve enjoyed his previous books, and I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing his new series—Farworld.

So, next time you are planning a new novel, try out some of the tips and suggestions from Jeff. You'll be glad you did!

May 6, 2008

Tips & Tricks for Quick Sales

At the League of Utah Writers Spring workshop, Carolyn Campbell, who has had over 800 magazine articles published, taught a class called Tips & Tricks for Quick Sales. She shared with the attendees thirty ways to speed up the sale of magazine articles. I will highlight a few of her ideas here:

- Begin with a query or a pre-query

The idea of a pre-query was new to me. Carolyn suggested sending email queries and start out by sending a pre-query consisting of only a couple of sentences stating what article topic you would like to write about. Tell them you will send a complete query if they are interested.

-Three-paragraph query formula

Carolyn uses a three paragraph query. The first is the beginning paragraph of your article, usually and anecdotal paragraph. The second paragraph should state why the person you are writing to should care about your article. This section is the place you would submit, statistics and say why the article is timely. The third paragraph should include why you should be the author. Include your writing background and previous experience.

Close the query by requesting they send you an approximate word length and deadline for the article and state you are available to work on the project immediately.

-Keep moving your inventory

Treat your previously written articles as inventory and resubmit them for further publication. She stressed to give a buyer first rights only, so that you can resubmit. Another option is to offer exclusivity for a certain time period.

Other tips Carolyn shared:
-Follow your gut instinct
-Send your query to multiple markets
-Consider shortening an article or expanding a sidebar
-Review past material for information that has currently become timely
-Remember to check for seasonal sales possibilities
-Feel free to call publications and ask what they are looking for
-Find experts to interview through article archives (Salt Lake County Library online)
-Set aside writing time daily and stick to it.

Carolyn was an amazing instructor, so if you ever get the chance to hear her speak, I highly recommend it.

May 1, 2008

Three Ways Music Can Enhance Your Writing

I attended the League of Utah Writers Spring Workshop last weekend. I’m going to blog about three of the speakers and what I learned from them.

Nichole Rushing has published articles in BabyBug Magazine and currently has a children’s picture book with Peachtree Publishing which will be coming out soon. Nichole taught us three ways that music can enhance your writing.

1) Music Stimulates Creativity

The brain does not have a central point for processing music. Music stimulates creativity by engaging both sides of your brain. The right side of your brain processes the music, and the left side the lyrics. Nichole suggested listening to music that would trigger the side of your brain that you want to use, depending on what you are writing.

2) Creating Mood through Music

You can use music to alter your mood before you sit down to write. Nichole suggested listening to music for fifteen minutes before you write. Listen to the type of music that will get you in the mood for the results you are trying to achieve.

Music can also affect the mood of your story. She suggested pinpointing the over feel of the scene you are creating and find a song that matches.

Music selections of various genres were played and it was amazing how the different types of music did affect the way you feel.

3) Learning from Lyricists

Music lyricists, because of necessity, use fewer words to describe their ‘story’. Country music is a prime example. To illustrate this point, Nichole used the song Two Pump Texaco by Diamond Rio:

He was wipin' motor oil off her dipstick
She was pullin' on the hair that got caught in her lipstick
And with the smell of her perfume he forgot the smell of gasoline
As he was toppin' off her tank she said, "How far to Abilene?"

He sees 'em come
He sees 'em go
From the island of his
Two pump Texaco

This song is a great example of being descriptive. Nowhere in the lyrics does it mention the word car, or small town, or gas station. It does not tell us how long her hair is, or that she has her window down, but we picture all of these things because of the distinctive word choice.

The ideas Nichole presented were interesting and new to me. I had never considered using music to enhance my writing. But, I’m going to put it in my writers’ toolbox and see if it works for me. I’ll be sure to let you know.

Look for my upcoming blogs about the workshop:
-Plotting and Outlining with Jeff Savage
-Tips & Tricks for Quick Sales with Carolyn Campbell
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