Writer’s Reference: Birthstones

Writer Reference: Birthstones

Ever wondered which birthstone fits best with your character? No matter what genre, this information can be useful. Take this example: A thoughtful gift within a romance novel can showcase how much the two main characters care, by adding just the right detail such as the inclusion of a birthstone. Or a birthstone can leave just the right clue in a mystery. During my research for a story I was  working on recently, I compiled a list of birthstones and some of their meanings and associations for you. Enjoy! 

Birthstones Writer Reference Guide

January

The Garnet is known to dispel sadness. This blood red stone used as a necklace ensures friendship and fidelity

 

FEBRUARY

The bright purple Amethyst was originally very expensive. Ancient Greeks decorated goblets and other expensive pieces with them. Often worn for protection from contagious disease, the Amethyst was also thought to bring tranquility to the wearer’s life.

 

MARCH

The Aquamarine has been thought to bring intelligence, youth, and happiness. The Bloodstone, another March gem, was carried by Roman soldiers to keep them from bleeding to death.

 

APRIL

The Diamond, the stone of April, is known as the “fire of love.” Diamonds bring love and protect from evil. They are also thought of as the frozen tears of past princesses.

 

MAY

This month has several stones, the main one being the Emerald, where value depends on the color and number of flaws. This brilliant green stone reinforces love and creates harmony in the family.

 

JUNE

The Moonstone protects against danger at sea and is thought to bring financial gain and protect against turbulence. Another present day stone for June is the Pearl which is said to preserve modesty, chastity, and purity.

Fitbit Flex

JULY

The Ruby protects its wearer from fear and financial stress while its strength banishes evil spirits.

 

 

AUGUST

The stone of August is the Sardonyx. It is said to create courage and make the most timid brave. A present day addition is the Peridot, a clear, normally green stone of gem quality Olivine.

 

SEPTEMBER

The Blue Sapphire often heals the body of illness and despair.

 

OCTOBER

The mystical Opal is filled with all the colors of the rainbow. Historically, this stone was considered to cause disaster to those who wore it; but today it is said to bring only good fortune and happiness. The Tourmaline was added to the list in more current times.

 

NOVEMBER

The Topaz symbolizes good fortune and longevity. According to legend, this golden stone possesses the power to cure many diseases. Citrine, a transparent yellow quartz gem many of the best of which come from Brazil, is a current day birthstone for this month.

 

 

DECEMBER

The vibrant turquoise was believed to be a defender against bad luck to those that wore it. It has been said that cowboys always carry a blue turquoise on their journey’s so that they might be blessed with success. A present day addition is the Zircon, whose naturally found brown clear crystals are heated to turn into the beautiful blue gemstone.

Feel free to share this handy guide with your writer friends – just please include a link back to this post. Thank you!

 

Blessings

 

Claudia

P.S. This post is a part of the following blog hops:

Friday Finds 

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

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Grabbing Your Muse By The Throat

Staring At The Blank Page

 

I began this day, knowing that I wanted to write a blog post. Not like I do not have anything else to write, in fact, I really need to spend a few hours working on the many facets of writing this tea book, which is beginning to take more and more shape, but still I wanted to connect with you.

And then I stared at the blank space in front of me, that white piece of nothing that is waiting to be filled, waiting to embrace something meaningful.

Nothing.

There was nothing, no idea, that resonated, no thought that needed to be expressed, no clever point to be made. Heck, I did not even design anything over the last few days, so there is not much to talk about on that level as well.

Nothing.

How often do we encounter these moments, where we are approaching the blank space, trying to fill the canvas with either words or colors, and there is nothing there? What we do in these times, makes all of the difference. We artists have now a choice: To back away and wait until inspiration strikes, to revel in the despair of not being able to create or to grab our muse by the throat and drag it closer to ourselves, making her work for us.

We artists have a choice- To back away and wait until inspiration strikes, to revel in the despair of not being able to create or to grab our muse by the throat and drag it closer to ourselves, making her work for us.

The difference between an amateur artist and a professional is, that professionals will do the latter.

If you are waiting for the muse to strike or the perfect time to express your art, you are doing it wrong. All of us, every single writer, and every artist has a moment (or more) where inspiration does not flow as much as it does when we are in the zone. Those who work anyway, who believe that the act of working creates inspiration will produce, finish projects, and eventually – if they stick with their subjects and are willing to learn – achieve whatever goal they have put before them. There is no time wasted, no sitting idle, no wallowing in the anxiety of the blank page. There is action – deliberate process of creation, with or without a plan, that matters less, but still – there is action.

Only the act of writing or the act of creating will bring forth more creativity – the act of waiting for the muse to speak to you, does not.

So grab her by the throat, and get to work.

Click here for some books to inspire you to create.

Blessings

Claudia

This post is a part of the following blog hops:

Be Inspired 

Amaze Me Monday

 

Writing Challenges: Why We Love WritingChallenge.org And Why You Should Too

Why You Should Love Writing Challenge.org - We Do!

Are you a writer? Then, you – most likely – know how hard it is to carve time away from life to dedicate to your craft. Commitment to your dream conflicts with your responsibilities, and sometimes a little extra motivation could be beneficial to move from wanting to write that book, to actually writing that book.

This is where writingchallenge.org comes in – a Twitter-based accountability group for writers, that asks for a small daily commitment of just 500 words or 1 hour of editing, while providing encouragement and support.

I could tell you the many benefits of joining this wonderful group of people, but I decided it would be more effective to allow them to tell you.

Aura Eadon wrote:

Join a community that creates accountability and a support network through positive influence and total lack of shaming. Zero is as good as 500 and that is as good as 5000

Ryan Macayden stated:

There are lots of people who want to write a book someday but the writers are the ones who actually sit down and do it, one word at a time. It truly is that easy and that hard.

Like the best of characters, we’re all flawed. We don’t always make writing a priority. We might not even write every day. Heck, we sometimes allow life and our own self-doubt to sabotage our creative endeavors but it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s where writing challenges like WritingChallenge.org  can help.

Not writing every day? The challenge pushes participates to write 500 words daily and forces them to make writing a priority. For some, that might seem daunting at first but by the end of the month, most will find the words come faster and faster the more they do it. You might even have developed a writing habit by then!

Self-doubt getting you down? The community surrounding the challenge are made of up writers just like you. Chances are high we’ve been right where you are and can help you get through it. We’re a pretty supportive bunch and want to see you succeed, no matter what. Need a writing sprint? Need to bounce around some ideas? Or just having a hard day? We’re here for you.

Writing might be a solitary endeavor but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Join us!

Erin Cochran wrote:

I think the strong suit here is accountability and encouragement plus we get bits and pieces of writing advice as we need it.

Andrew McQueen answered:

The idea of this group is to give other writers a chance to tell the story they want to tell. And all genres are welcome.

Harmony Williams wrote:

I love this challenge because it motivates me and keeps me on track. On days I don’t meet my goals, the supportive challengers remind me that my progress is important, however small. The challenge motivates me to meet an achievable minimum but doesn’t bar me from doing more. And I’ve made many invaluable friends!

Christina Patterson Quesada  stated:

No one understands the struggle of being a writer better than a writer. Without this group of writers and their support, I don’t know if I’d be in the editing process right now. The reasons Ryan gave for joining are exactly why I joined the writing challenge

Beverly Lee wanted you to know:

The challenge works because it’s attainable. 500 words isn’t a huge amount. It’s enough to see progress but not enough to be daunting. The same for the hour editing. This can be broken up into little bits if time is an issue too. Gradually you see your dreams unfolding. You get the incredible support of like minded people, who will cheer you on or lift you up on those days when the words all freeze together. Without the challenge I wouldn’t have completed my first novel. Now I’m on my second. That’s why you should join!

_____

As you can see from the participant’s responses, there are many benefits to being a part of WritingChallenge.org .Joining is easy, all you have to do is follow this link, and add your name to the participation log, then jump over to Twitter and connect with us via our monthly hashtag – currently we are using #SeptWritingChallenge for the month of September.

We are looking forward to welcoming you into our group!

Blessings and Happy Writing!

Claudia

P.S. Are you writing an Ebook? Not sure how? Check out this course: “How to Write And Publish An EBook”   today!

Staying Motivated To Write – 3 Tips

3 Tips To Stay Motivated To Write

“Trash” available here:
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A to-do list a length of a football field, not enough sleep, and bills that need to be paid, and you are asking me to do what? Write a novel in my spare time? Are you insane?

This is the way of life for many aspiring and also already published writers – juggling an already large amount of responsibilities, yet having the desire to complete something, most people only talk about – writing and publishing a book. The question is, at the moments when it all feels like it becomes too much, and the temptation to throw your manuscript in the corner, is getting larger, what should you do to stay motivated through it all?

1. Now your reasons
If you want to write a novel because you want to be rich, I am going to be honest with you: There are easier ways to make more money than you can generally expect to make as a writer. Sure, there are the success stories, those who (like J. K. Rowling) have more wealth than they could spend in their lifetime, because of their writing, but those are the exceptions. Money is never a good reason to pursue an artistic and creative goal because even when you reach your financial independence from anything but your creative income, there is not such a thing as an overnight success. It took dedication and hard work to get there. If you need money now, get a job.
Good reasons to have are: A burning desire to create stories, and to place them upon a page. To entertain others, with your fiction, and even to proof to yourself that you can do it. None of these reasons are financial. Whatever your personal reasons are, define them clearly and revisit them often.

2. Schedule your writing time.
Become a fanatic, almost to the point of obsession about your daily writing time. Sure your family needs you to do this and that, but if you want to be a writer, you have to make the commitment. Get up an hour earlier, or stay up an hour longer, depending on when you write better, but stick with it. After a while, you will begin to grave this solitary time, and the act of sitting down itself will become a great motivator.

3. Join an accountability group or challenge.
This month (June) has JuNoWriMo, April and July have CampNaNoWriMo, November has NaNoWriMo, and those are just the big ones. Some of the smaller challenges are year-round, for example, WritingChallenge.org runs every month and has a smaller commitment of a daily word count of 500 words or one hour of editing. A possible adventure, isn’t it? All of these challenges have peer support, and a recording system, where you can chart your progress, which in itself is another motivator. Every day spent writing, even if it is only 500 words adds up, to not only a completed piece of work, but also in experience. The most effective way to get better at writing is to write regularly.

 

What are your favorite ways to stay motivated? Do you have an accountability partner, or are you a part of an accountability group? Please share your experiences!

 

 

Finding Your Truly Unique Voice

"Be A Voice"" by Avalon Media http://shrsl.com/?~8sho

“Be A Voice”” by Avalon Media
http://shrsl.com/?~8sho

As writers and creatives, we are often aware of what is in trend, which books made it to the bestseller list, or which one of our fellow designers is featured in another publication. It is easy at this moment to be tempted to implement their style, their voice, as it has brought them the success you are craving for.

While it is a great idea to learn from other people’s successes, it important NOT to implement their voice and style. What made them success is, for the most part, their uniqueness. It is that special something that made them stand out of the crowd. Copying their style might bring temporary success, but not an authentic one, and your readers or viewers will feel that through every ounce of your work. Find your own creative voice and within it, find your success by refining it, fine tuning the uniqueness of who you are.

This post is a part of the #BeWoW Wednesdays, and #WWWBlogs

You can find the above image for sale on RedBubble and Zazzle in a variety of applications.

Persistence And Passion – A Celebrate The Small Things Blog Post

Celebrate The Small Things: Persistence And Passion

There is always something to be grateful for. This week I am focused on the fact that I am grateful to have found my passion in life. I know I have a lot to learn about writing, and a lot to learn about creating meaningful content, but I am grateful for every day, I get to write, to explore a story or an interesting subject through words.
I am also grateful to have witnessed the power of persistence. I have seen people I know, finish their books, worked through the difficult parts of creating a story and emerged at the other end victoriously. Thanks to them, I am inspired to do the same, and repeating the process, until I reach the desired success.

Passion and persistence are the key ingredients to making it in any field. It is what makes my husband go work with passion on our business, overcoming all of the obstacles that come with being your own boss. It is what carries you through sleepless nights, and long hours – knowing that you are doing what you love. I hope you take the time to explore what your passion is and that you find the strength within yourself to be persistent, to see it through.

Check out this link to find what the other participants of this blog hop are grateful for this week.

5 Lessons From A Writing Challenge

Thank YouFor A Wonderful Month

Plunging into a new experience, such as participating and leading a challenge of any kind, comes with new tasks and lessons. As I reflect upon the fun moments I was honored to share with the accountability group from WritingChallenge.org, I wanted to share my closing reflections with you all. I have come across lessons that others and I have learned throughout these writing challenges, and wanted to share them with you.

Here we go:

1. Hard work pays off
Well, like most people, I already knew that and applied it (mostly), but watching people who have worked hard on their projects finish them, publish them, and some of them make it on the bestseller list reiterated that sentiment, and made it visible. Hard work does create results, even if at times it seems like there is no progress, eventually you will push through, and come out stronger at the other end.

2. Consistency is essential
Not only is it important to work hard, but to work hard every day, without allowing yourself to slack because of a bad day, as builds discipline and a continuous flow. Writing daily makes it easier to get back into the grove of your story and stay there, this is even more important if you are writing genre novels. Your connection with your story deepens, and you build a more stable and realistic relationship with your characters which translate upon the page and to your reader.

3. Do not compare yourself with others.
When logging word counts or tweeting about your results, it is important to not compare your progress with that of the other in the group. Everyone has different circumstances and different work environments, therefore the results will not be the same, no matter how much you wish you could log as many words as that other girl on the challenge. The only thing this type of comparison will get you is a feeling of guilt, which might even keep you from writing and participating.

4. Ask for help.
Groups like the writing challenge are there to assist you. Because we all come from different backgrounds, experience levels and years of writing, we all have different knowledge to contribute, which you might not expect. If you have questions about a particular subject related to writing, ask. Most likely someone is either in the same shoes that you are in or has the answer to your question. Either way, it is a win.

5. Celebrate progress
You worked hard, you deserve to pad yourself on the back. Really, this is an important step in the process because by celebrating yourself, you can see what you have already accomplished, and reflect on the lessons you have learned, which in turn motivates you to keep on going. You are writing a book, a process that has been compared to running a marathon. Keep in mind, many people are simply saying that they want to be writing a book. You are actually doing it. That alone is worth celebrating, don’t you think?

If you have never been a part of a writing challenge, I highly suggest that you start with the upcoming April Writing Challenge #AprWritingChallenge on Twitter. For more information, visit writingchallenge.org, where you can sign up, find out how to log your progress, and where you find the rest of us. We are here to cheer you on!