Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet By Kathryn Ross

Kathryn Ross, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, When Cinnamon Bark, clove, peppermint, Christmas, Thanksgiving, spice, words, peppermint oil, The Gatekeeper's Key
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth by Kathryn Ross

Welcome Kathryn Ross to Thyme for Writers. Peppermint Bits — Words Spun, Broken and Sweet is Kathryn’s third in the The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words series! What better way to bring in the Christmas season than with Kathryn’s words of wisdom…

Like a good book, the sense of smell possesses the power to whisk a person into another time and place.

 

Memories

Memory connects a life experience stored in the brain to our senses, ready to unleash it upon our being should we come in contact with that particular sense trigger again. We flood with remembrance as nostalgia works a spa-like treatment upon our hearts—if the memories are sweet.

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Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

Christmas may come but once a year, yet when I smell pine and peppermint in July, I have a momentary urge to string lights and plug A Charlie Brown Christmas into the DVD player while consuming sweetness in a cup of hot chocolate stirred with the red and white swirl of a fragrant peppermint candy cane.

But, what if the scents that stir us connect to less than sweet memories? Brokenness. Heart sick moments in our lives we’d rather not return to even in the fleeting imagery of the mind. Sometimes, we don’t want our memories stirred. We don’t want to return to painful moments.

As writers, our words act like the power of scent whisking us to another time and place—both broken and sweet. We stir within our readers either a curse or a blessing. How we balance the ingredients of the words we write and the messages we convey by knowing and targeting a specific audience, determines the value our work is to those we hope to influence.

Powerful vehicles, our senses. Much like trigger words in a story. Swirled together like the red and white of a candy cane, they become effective communication tools for the writer and speaker, spun wisely.

The Blessing Comes through the Broken
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The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

In the late 1800s, America was growing with European immigrants from many diverse Western cultures. Christmas was a holiday marked by all, though celebrations differed. One thing many did hold in common from the Old World was to see the pig as a symbol of good health and prosperity—something all families hoped for as the new year approached. A candy maker in Saratoga Springs, New York created a unique trinket, to bolster his sales, built on this commonality. He mixed sugar and peppermint into a bright pink concoction and poured it into small molds of a pig. Then, cleverly, he packaged it with a cloth bag, a little metal hammer, and directions for instituting a new family Christmas tradition. After the meal on Christmas day, the pig was placed into the cloth bag and hammered to broken bits. Emptying the bag onto the table, chucks of fragrant peppermint candy poured out—enough for everyone to eat and enjoy,making memories bathed in the scent of peppermint and a wish for good health and prosperity in the new year. Only in brokenness came the blessing.

The Sweetness Comes through Consumption
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The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

The scent of peppermint has long been connected to Christmas celebrations. As far back as the 1670s in Germany, folkore tells us about the choirmaster petitioning a candy maker to come up with a sugar stick to keep noisy children silent in the solemn part of their worship service. The clever candy maker designed the peppermint flavored candy cane we still use today in the shape of a shepherd’s crook. He swirled the sugar mixture with red and white colors in remembrance of the blood of Jesus shed to make us all whiter than snow. Story spun with tangible stimulants for the senses spoke directly to the youthful audience it was meant to still, as they consumed the sweet. Sticky and forever connected to Christmas, we consume tons of peppermint candy cane confections each year. Only in consumption comes the sweet.

As a writer, I compose my most effective words from a place of brokenness because of the bitter, and the consumption of a sweet remedy discovered. Memories I prefer to tuck away must be stirred to the surface to remember well the sour moments in time, so I might write the way to find the sweet blessing there. For me. For my readers.

Scent, like words, heal. Medicinally, peppermint oil is used to invigorate the mind and senses. It tingles the skin with coolness, aids digestion, comforts stomach upset, and washes over one with an inspiring a sense of peace.

Do the words you write and speak do the same? Are they flavored to draw to the surface bitter things and so heal with the sweet? How can you add a dose of peppermint to your work and minister peace to your readers?

clove, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite
By Kathryn Ross

Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross, ignites a love of literature and learning through Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. She writes and publishes homeschool enrichment and Christian living books for home, church, and school. Her passion is to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle, producing readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. She blogs and podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and PageantWagonPublishing.com. Connect with Miss Kathy on Facebook.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, thesaurus
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bit
Kathryn Ross

Writer, speaker, teacher, and enrichment artist, Kathryn Ross, sweeps readers into the story-worlds of Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Hannah Hurnard, Marguerite de Angeli, John Bunyan, and others, exploring powerful truths to fulfilling God’s plan for your life in her latest publication, The Gatekeeper’s Key. Discern your place and season, with encouragement to see purpose in boundaries, find comfort in trials, and gain fortitude in going forth. Short story, personal testimony, excerpts from classic literature, visual imagery, challenge questions for discussion, and journal prompts for writing assignments draw you before the Gatekeeper. It’s quite a journey—but you’re never alone. Always in His Presence, with an Invitation, a Gatekeeper, and a Key. Perhaps more than one. Purchase on Amazon or direct from Pageant Wagon Publishing.

The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth By Kathryn Ross

Kathryn Ross, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, When Cinnamon Bark
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth by Kathryn Ross

In Thyme for Writers, The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth is the second in the The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words series by Kathryn Ross.

Thanksgiving

The pantry, fragrant in Thanksgiving spices, overflows with all the ingredients for holiday baking. Not the least of which are the cloves necessary for flavor-filled pumpkin pie, succulent hams, and first aid should the need arise.

In fact, with diets thrown out the window in the season of family feasts and horn-o-plenty holiday entertaining, a bit of clove oil on hand, rubbed on the tummy, aids digestion and stomach upset when over-eating overtakes the merry-maker at the dinner table.

The chill in the air outside impels us to seek warm things, and clove is the spice to warm traditional dishes this time of year, as well as symbolically impart the inviting fervor of affection in gift-giving.

Victorian Times

In Victorian times, the simplicity of homemade gifts from the kitchen or treasures crafted by hand found a warm welcome. Popular gifts were aromatic pomanders made of tiny, stick-like, brown floral cloves inserted into an orange, like beads studded on a ball ornament for a tree. They, too, hung by a ribbon or nestled in a bowl, releasing the citrus scent of the fruit, mingled with the clove’s own pungent passion. A room enhanced by such fragrance stimulated the human senses, mind, and heart, inviting intimacy.

Puncture your writing with clove to inject warmth and the fragrance of human emotion into your descriptive writing.
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The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth
By Kathryn Ross

When I write my first drafts, I’m more concerned with laying out the meat and potatoes of the work without garnished language. Facts must be represented accurately if I’m writing non-fiction; the scene must be played out if I’m writing fiction. Technical language in early drafts, though properly in place, often lack the visceral quality necessary to arrest the senses of the reader and inflame heart and mind with the story material. The select insertion of spicy words help draw out the full flavor of a manuscript.

Use the thesaurus tool in your writing program to locate quality words:

  • Keep the thesaurus window open throughout a writing project to have ready access.
  • Find descriptive words that connect to one or more of the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) to engage gut responses from your reader.
  • Don’t overuse words—one evocative and intimate descriptor can do the job more efficiently than a handful of mediocre modifiers.

Clove adds stimulating, warm flavors to the traditional Thanksgiving menu fare, as it aids digestion when eating generous portions. Help your reader better digest your inviting words by applying The Clove Principle to your manuscripts.

clove, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite
By Kathryn Ross

Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross, ignites a love of literature and learning through Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. She writes and publishes homeschool enrichment and Christian living books for home, church, and school. Her passion is to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle, producing readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. She blogs and podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and PageantWagonPublishing.com. Connect with Miss Kathy on Facebook.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, thesaurus
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bit
Kathryn Ross

Writer, speaker, teacher, and enrichment artist, Kathryn Ross, sweeps readers into the story-worlds of Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Hannah Hurnard, Marguerite de Angeli, John Bunyan, and others, exploring powerful truths to fulfilling God’s plan for your life in her latest publication, The Gatekeeper’s Key. Discern your place and season, with encouragement to see purpose in boundaries, find comfort in trials, and gain fortitude in going forth. Short story, personal testimony, excerpts from classic literature, visual imagery, challenge questions for discussion, and journal prompts for writing assignments draw you before the Gatekeeper. It’s quite a journey—but you’re never alone. Always in His Presence, with an Invitation, a Gatekeeper, and a Key. Perhaps more than one. Purchase on Amazon or direct from Pageant Wagon Publishing.

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs with Donna Wichelman

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Donna Wichelman
Light Out of Darkness

Donna Wichelman is our guest today on Thyme for Writers. Donna holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication/Journalism and worked in community and employee relations for ten years. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications. She now writes novels and screenplays. She and her husband live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs

By Donna Wichelman

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orgs
by Donna Wichelman

Before LASIK surgery at age forty, severe nearsightedness distorted my vision without corrective lenses. At Christmas, I saw an advantage to this condition when the tree went up with its strings of colorful bulbs. Without vision aids at night, the lights on the tree appeared as hazy orbs, blending together in a dazzling display of color. I could sit for long stretches of time mesmerized by the beauty.

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs
by Donna Wichelman

Yet my distorted vision kept me from viewing more extraordinary things on and around the tree. With my glasses, I could see the ornaments friends and family had given us, reminding me of dear ones who’d touched my life. Some ornaments had been collected from travels my husband and I had done over the years, invoking sweet memories. The Christ child in the manager under the tree centered my focus on the truth of Christmas and the purpose for which we gathered around the tree. Letting go of my distorted vision and putting on my lenses showed me the beauty, wonder, and joy beyond the fuzzy orbs.

The first time an editor solicited a manuscript I had pitched, my heart soared. When the manuscript went to committee, I knew it would be accepted and become a best seller. Months later, I received a rejection letter in the mail with constructive notes and the acquisitions editor’s good wishes. I felt crushed. My mother fell ill with cancer soon after, and I never implemented the changes.

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Light Out of Darkness
by Donna Wichelman

The first rejection letter was not my last. Over twenty years of writing, I’ve sold several personal essays, a couple of short stories and a handful of devotionals. Two years ago, I self-published my Christian romantic suspense, Light Out of Darkness, and I will have the sequel out next spring. In spite of modest success, I’ve also experienced much rejection and have even thought about giving up this seemingly hopeless cause.

Yet a writer’s journey is a little like finding the wonder and joy beyond the distorted vision of my hazy orbs. It took a while, but eventually I was grateful for that first rejection. I realized the onus was on me to keep honing my craft, never to be complacent about my work, to accept constructive criticism and throw out the chaff.

I also learned that rejection doesn’t mean I’m unworthy. My value as a person isn’t dependent upon whether my work gets accepted. I am much more than my writing. As a person of faith, my worth comes from my position as a child of God.

Ultimately, I’ve grown to understand that my purpose for writing isn’t about the glory, notoriety or money. I write, because God has laid it on my heart to bring people along with me on this journey of joy, wonder and discovery. If I’ve touched one heart, if one morsel of truth gets passed along, if one person was encouraged, then I’ve done my job. My hope is that you, also, will find the beauty beyond the fuzzy orbs.

You may contact Donna or purchase her books with the links that follow:

Website: www.donnawichelman.com
Buy Link: Amazon
Social Media Links:
www.facebook.com/DonnaWichelmanAuthor
www.twitter.com/DonnaWichelman
www.donnawichelman.blogspot.com
www.linkedin.com/in/donna-wichelman

 

When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite with Kathryn Ross

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite
By Kathryn Ross

I would like to introduce Kathryn Ross as my next guest on Thyme for Writers. Kathryn will be a monthly guest with her series, The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words.  Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross, ignites a love of literature and learning through Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. She writes and publishes homeschool enrichment and Christian living books for home, church, and school. Her passion is to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle, producing readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview.

When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite
By Kathryn Ross
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words

Crisp fall weather invites us to visit pumpkin patches and apple orchards, filling baskets with the raw ingredients for our favorite Autumn treats. The scent of applesauce and pumpkin pie fill our kitchens and warm our hearts with lip-smacking expectation for when dessert will be served. The intoxicating aroma of ground cinnamon bark wafts through the air while these traditional goodies simmer in a pot and bake in the oven.

Cinnamon
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins
Cinnamon
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite

Cinnamon is an indispensable spice for fall recipes and has been a vital ingredient in healing remedies from ancient times. Historical records from China include cinnamon in every prescription used to treat a host of infectious ailments. In addition, cinnamon acts as a stimulant to enliven a weak heart, lift depression, settle digestive issues, and as a tonic for treating the common cold.

Add a little cinnamon bark to your writing with the healing nature of an editor’s bite.

The Story
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bit
Kathryn Ross

When we pour the raw materials of our story onto the page and stir it about, carefully adding the varied ingredients of our setting, character, plot, and literary elements, we need to taste-test with the help of a skilled editor. If you are seeking to publish, budget enough funding to pay a professional editor. Investing in a skilled editor prior to submitting to a publisher ensures your best work is put forth. Along the way, engage your writers critique group in the creative process.

The Editor

But, be aware—an editor may flavor your work with a pungent bite, just like cinnamon pervades whatever you add it to a with sharp zest.
You may wince at an editor’s advice when they red-line some of your pet paragraphs or favorite turn of phrases.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins
Glass of Water
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words

You may need to swallow the burn of raw cinnamon with a cool glass of water when the edit requires major plot shifts you had not anticipated.
You may grow weary of the tedious corrections of punctuation, point-of-view, and tense errors.

In the end, the sharp bite of an editor’s critique heals what ails your manuscript. You’ll have a healthy story ready for submission and be the better for it. Just as applesauce and pumpkin pie don’t satisfy without a generous addition of ground cinnamon bark, so too, your writing won’t be the best it can be without the generous critique of a good editor—the “write” spice for flavorful words.

Have you had a “spicy cinnamon” moment with an editor that made you wince at the sharp bite of their critique, only to ultimately swallow their advice and realize it was the best thing you could have done for your manuscript? Share what you learned from your experience.

You may contact Kathryn at:

LIKE my Fan Pages on FACEBOOK: Kathryn Ross
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“Be blessed and be a blessing!”