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.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness
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
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness
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
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness, candy canes
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.
writing, Kathryn Ross, publishing, Thyme for Writers, thesaurus, The Gatekeeper's Key, The Write Spice
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.

Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers with C.A. Henderson

children’s books, authors, writers, writers groups, tools
Christine Henderson
Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

I’d like to welcome Christine Henderson to Thyme for Writers. Christine enjoys writing about family life. Her writings have been featured in numerous anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Heaven Touching Earth as well as The Secret Place Devotional guide.

Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

by Christine A. Henderson

children’s books, authors, writers, writers groups, tools, storyboards, Thyme for Writers, Christine Henderson
Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

I brought a new picture book story to my children’s writers’ group meeting and asked for their assistance in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the story. They all liked the unique plot and the characters but they thought the story was too long. For those of you who write novels, it’s probably hard to imagine that 900 words is too long to tell a story. However, these days 800 words tends to be the max length that publishers want to see.

Being inquisitive and stubborn, I really didn’t think I needed to shorten my story. Surely, new books had at least that many words or more. To test my theory, I went to my local Barnes & Nobles and picked up an assortment of new books that I thought fit my story idea concepts. Sad to say, that word count rang true. Most pages had an average of two to five lines of text with an upper end of nine words per line. The books were 24 or 32 pages with at least two of those pages either being blank or showing the publishing details and acknowledgements.

So it was back to the drawing board – literally. I had imagined a storyboard in my head with the images previously, but now I wanted to put it on paper. Not being a great artist, I drew my stick figures with a bracketed scene description below each drawing. Now I started adding the text. Once I did that, I could see what words weren’t needed because the picture showed that part of the story. It was easy to chop 100 or more words. The story hasn’t lost its plotline, but now it flows better with the images.

Another reason to do a storyboard for a picture book is to see if you have a short story, rather than a picture book. If your storyline takes place in just one or two scenes, it may not be a picture book because there aren’t enough options for illustrations. If that is the case, perhaps you could incorporate that story in a book of stories or submit it to one of the many children’s magazines who accept short stories.

You may contact Christine at:

www.ChristineLHenderson.com

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
FOLLOW ME on PINTEREST: Kathryn Ross, www.pinterest.com/misskathy
FOLLOW ME on TWITTER: @misskathypwp – www.twitter.com/misskathypwp

“Be blessed and be a blessing!”

 

So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain with Candee Fick

writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Candee Fick author of The Author Toolbox

I am so happy to have Candee Fick as my guest today on Thyme for Writers! Candee Fick is a multi-published author in both fiction and non-fiction. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain

by Candee Fick

Most writers fall into the “I wish I had more time to write” camp while those lucky few who seem to have plenty of writing time are still members of the “My To-Do list never ends” club. The pursuit of publication or a writing career can seem as daunting and exhausting as scaling Everest, but every year thousands put their fingers on a keyboard…only to discover—or rather remember—that everyone has the same limited amount of time in which to get it all done.

And by all, I mean life. Take me for example. As a wife and mother, my days get filled with cleaning, cooking, laundry, homework, carpools, and sports. Relationships with family and friends require regular interactions and if I’m not taking care of myself with enough rest, exercise, and mental growth, I can fall apart quickly. Add in a day job and my calendar is stuffed to overflowing.

Except I’m also a writer with a coaching business. I dream up adventures and arrange words on a page in order to bring characters and settings to life. Once those polished stories are in the capable hands of my publisher, I do it all again. It might be easy to squeeze in an hour or two per day before the kids get up or in lieu of television in the evenings, but crafting stories is only one side of this mountain.

time, mountain, writing, perseverence
So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain

The other side of writing’s Everest is marketing. It’s the side that beginning writers don’t see in the excitement of starting a book, but soon the rumors swirl as old-timers drop words like social media, platform, website, tax deductions, book launches, and blog tours. The faint of heart stick their fingers in their ears, yell “Lalalalala,” and revise their first chapters again or jump from idea to idea, never finishing anything. Those who are serious about writing perk up and listen for tips about how to navigate the trail ahead.

The Author Toolbox

There are two main reasons that I wrote The Author Toolbox. First was to share what I’ve learned the hard way so newer authors can work smarter as they build their books, platforms, businesses, and careers. But mostly, I wrote it all down in order to give writers hope. It’s a long climb, but there is a way to get there and you are not alone in the journey.

If you know what the next steps of your personal journey involve, then you can deliberately and strategically focus your limited time on the activities that will move you closer to your goals. Your writing goal this week might be hitting a first draft word count or editing another chapter. You might even block out an hour to pre-schedule the week’s social media posts or organize office paperwork.

We have so little time available to conquer the mountains in our lives, but my hope is that you find your next steps…then take them. Because the view from the top is worth every moment of work.

You may reach Candee or obtain her works at the following links:

www.CandeeFick.com
www.TheAuthorToolbox.com (shortcuts to a page on my site with the index of blog posts)
www.Facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick
www.Twitter.com/CandeeFick
All of my books: https://www.amazon.com/Candee-Fick/e/B0056B94VE/
The Author Toolbox: https://www.amazon.com/Author-Toolbox-Practical-Platform-Business/dp/099920100X/

The Author Toolbox is filled with over 100 practical tools to help today’s author build a book, a platform, a business, and a career. Why? So we can get it all done while freeing up both time and mental energy to do the one thing we really desire…write.

Thyme for Writers

Thyme for Writers is a new blog series for writers and book lovers. As many of you know, my website focuses on adding spice to your life, whether it be with nutrition and health tips, delicious recipes, or through Hidden Bloodlines, my romantic suspense novel and associated adventures in creating it and its sequel.

writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Thyme for Writers
Adding Spice to Your

Most of us are writers in one form or another (whether by choice or necessity). The purpose of this series is to help you along the way with

  • tips,
  • direction,
  • encouragement,
  • inspiration,
  • the research and adventure behind some of your favorite works, or
  • just something interesting and fun to bring a smile to your face.

While I may be authoring some, my goal is to invite fascinating guests with different life experiences and areas of expertise.

The Author Toolbox
writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
The Author Toolbox

My first guest will be Candee Fick, author of The Author Toolbox. She is the reason I am able to create and maintain my own website. As a genuine techno-idiot, I volunteered to be Candee’s beta test project. Our goal was to determine if it’s possible for someone like me to gain the skills necessary to build a website and how long it would take. Needless to say, Candee is a miracle worker. In fairly short order, I learned the skills necessary and have continued merrily on my way.

Candee is an incredible writer and teacher and painstakingly created a blog series meant to help writers in all stages get their work created and a website begun. She compiled and added to this series in The Author Toolbox. Keep in mind, the tools provided and skills taught aren’t just for writers of books. Many pursue different artistic careers and businesses, but in today’s business environment, websites and social media dominate the marketplace if you want to succeed. The days of the telephone book are over. The reality is that websites and social media require writing.

Where to Start
writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Candee Fick
author of
The Author Toolbox

There are thousands of writing guides and resources out there, but where should one begin? I have personally found that The Author Toolbox is the best first stop. Candee not only provides “how to…” information, but makes recommendations on easy to use resources to make life easier. On September 7 I am excited to have Candee Fick as my first guest on Thyme for Writers. Stay tuned… .

If you have something to share and you’d like to be a guest, please email me at karen@KarenVanDenHeuvel.com.