You’re Growing Like A Weed. Reality Is Even Peter Pan Had To Grow Up.

My little brother Tony, Me, and my baby sister

Are there ever days you wish you could go back in time? So you could be a little kid again?

I know I do!

Especially these days when there are so many big huge decisions that will need to be decided. Way back when I was younger I couldn’t wait to grow up, and now I wish I could just be a little kid again.

No cares… just running around with my sister and brother. Playing outside in the snow during the winter time until dark – till we started feeling the snow melt through our snow pants giving us wet butts. Playing Barbie dolls with my sister. Skating outside with Tony and Cassidy. Ice Skating on the frog pond behind our house in the winter.

Today I just wanted to put up a blog post full of pictures and memories since I am giving away those two journals and am announcing the winners today at the bottom of the blog post.

I loved my childhood so much and I think I took it for granted on how lucky I was/am. Being abroad has shown me that even more than ever.

Daddy and I. I am wearing Daddy’s hunting hat.

I think about how lucky I am to have two parents who love me so much they would do anything for me. Telling me I can do anything I set my heart on. Which is so true.

It’s sad though because as I grew up – I found not everyone grew up in the same type of atmosphere as I had. Not everyone grew up in a home with two parents who loved them.

I am so thankful to God that he placed me with MY Momma and Daddy. And that I have such awesome little siblings – I feel that I have been one of the luckiest girls alive. To have a brother and sister who I call my best friends.

Me, Tony, and Cassidy last year at Thanksgiving! :)

Grandma Doris playing the guitar.

Then my mind also gets home sick for people who are no longer on earth with us today. One being my Grandma Doris.

If I squeeze my eyes shut tightly I remember the first apartment building she lived in (that I can remember, which wasn’t her first apartment of course.) I remember walking in the front door of the apartment complex, running up the three sets of stairs, with the unique smell of apartment and amazing food combined. Grandma would always be waiting with the door open. She would be excited with a huge grin and smiling eyes. Daddy would say “Howdy!”…. It was almost like a tradition for him to say “Howdy!”. :) I remember him saying it every time. Grandma would lean down and fill me and my siblings with kisses.

I remember on Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas we’d watch parades on the television. In the morning she would make us the best cinnamon toast. She made it perfect. To this day, I still can’t make it as good as she had.

Her voice is in my head just as though she had spoken to me yesterday. For lan’s sake or Uffda were two big phrases she used. I remember an embroidered sign hanging near her keys in her kitchen reading  ‘UFFDA’… Ever since I have loved that word and anyone who knows me… knows I use that word in an abundance.

It’s just hard to believe today many years after she has passed that I still miss her and that I can’t see her even though I want to. I remember her smell, voice, face, and smile. A face that I know I will see again someday.

Grandpa Dennis and Tony playing with toy guns! :P

Another face I find myself missing a lot of, is my grandpa. (My Mom’s Dad) He was always such a joker and always knew how to make me laugh.

I remember when we would go to visit for Christmas the feeling of “FUN” that would wash over me and my siblings as we got to go stay with Grandma and Grandpa. I remember it just like yesterday.

We pull up in their driveway. Grandpa is at the door looking out. Waiting for us. As soon as my Dad turns off the car, Grandpa comes out to help us bring our stuff inside. After getting everything in he would grab us in hugs reminding us how we were growing like weeds and that he wished he could put a brick on our heads to make us stop growing. (Thinking back… that would have been nice… but I know that Neverland doesn’t exsist and that in reality… Peter Pan had to grow up.)

I remember the adventures we got to go on with Grandpa. And it’s just really hard to think he isn’t here. I miss him a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The journal winners include:

(I need you both to respond to this blog entry in order to win… also I will need your addresses… so please email me at devinberglund(at)live(dot)com and I will send you the journal! :)

  1. Rob Holliday
  2. Abby (I don’t know your last name or blog address…) but you posted on my blog on the 28th of September

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  1. What do you miss about your childhood?
  2. Is there a moment in your life you wish you could go back to? Would you go about it differently?
  3. If you never had to grow up, which age would you like to be forever?

Day One of The Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza

Hello Everyone,
This is Day one of The Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza Contest. :) Check out my photo album on pinterest and on facebook. :) Check out the Rules here! I will be figuring out the winners of the Journal Contest by the end of this week! :) Happy Haunting Writing! :D

Day 1

 

Photo Prompts For Journal Time – You Can Still Win The Journal Still

Johan & I at the Brisbane River Fire with our yummy potato slinkies!

Dear Journal, Today, Johan and I went to the Brisbane River Fire. We left with a bag of sweets, our cameras, and a blanket. Once we got there we placed the blanket on the bank of the river. Throughout the day we watched jets zoom past and helicopters while they hovered above. Once it got dark, we watched as the fireworks bursted into the sky while radiating in the reflections of the Brisbane River. It was absolutely beautiful!

Today I want to just talk a little bit about using pictures during your journaling time as prompts.

Some things a writer can get from using photos to prompt their writing time.

  1. Gives Them Something To See With Their Eyes – write all the details. (That means everything you see! You can always edit it or cross it out later.)
  2. Gives New Story Ideas Very Easily – Whether you get story ideas, character sketches and biographies using photographs will let you see a bigger picture with the surroundings. Like in my example up about, you can see Devin and Johan sitting with potato slinkies. But that isn’t all you see… You see people sitting on blankets behind them, you see buildings, You see facial expressions, and much more.
  3. Use Your Photo As A Starter – Look at the photo and somehow put your character into it. What would happen? 

I want you to try this. Follow the rules up above with the picture below. :)

 

This is my lovely, funny, and Charming Cat! – Picture by my Momma!

 

 Choice One

Choice Two

You ask, “Devin, how can I win one of those amazing journals?”

This contest will be taking place this coming week. I will be giving away 2 journals of your choice for the prizes, but in order to stay in the running you must:

  1. You must be a follower of my blog! :)
  2. Share the blog with your friends on facebook, twitter, your blog, and other sites during the week! (I will get notifications that you have shared so, I will know!)
  3. Comment. Answer the questions & ask questions. You can answer one of them or all of them!! :D
  4. And last but not least, take part in conversation in the comments. The posts will be showing how to dig deep in our journalling and how that helps us in our daily walk!
  5. The contest will begin today and will run till the 29th of September! :)Good LUCK! :) May the Journals be in your favor! :D
  6. The more you share, facebook, tweet, and comment the more of a chance you will have to win one of the amazing journals.

What about You?

  1. Use the photo with my cat and the mirror as a writing prompter, write up a paragraph of what is happening and post it below in the comments. What happens? 

Writing 4,000 words today… Uffda… & you could still win the journal!!

Hello Everyone,
I have been really busy lately with writing full-time. It’s been crazy since I’ve been getting about 2,ooo to 3,000 some words written everyday. Right now, I am taking a break from my word-count (today’s goal = 4,000 words) It’s a lot, but finishing the book is a must. OH… I am so excited! I bought myself a new journal today.Also besides writing full-time, it’s been the second week that a collaborative writing blog has been running since it’s launched (I started it for a few friends and I so we could write about writing for ourselves and others. As a writer, I find encouragement and tips always help a writer get further.) On the 27th I wrote about “Writing Opening Lines That Sparkle & Shine”. On October 28th I will be a guest blogger on “Write it Sideways”, which I am really excited about! On Monday be sure to come back for an exceptional, exciting interview with this amazing artist. Help him out by following his blog.

Sunday (30th of September) at Midnight, will be the last day of the Journaling Contest. Please Share my blog with all of your facebook, twitter, and blogging friends. And be sure to answer the questions below! :)
  1. Who wants these journals the most? Tell me why you think these journals should be yours.
  2. Also, tell me a few of the different ways you go about journaling?

Choice One

You ask, “Devin, how can I win one of those amazing journals?”

This contest will be taking place this coming week. I will be giving away 2 journals of your choice for the prizes, but in order to stay in the running you must:

  1. You must be a follower of my blog! :)
  2. Share the blog with your friends on facebook, twitter, your blog, and other sites during the week! (I will get notifications that you have shared so, I will know!)
  3. Comment. Answer the questions & ask questions. You can answer one of them or all of them!! :D
  4. And last but not least, take part in conversation in the comments. The posts will be showing how to dig deep in our journalling and how that helps us in our daily walk!
  5. The contest will begin today and will run till the 29th of September! :)Good LUCK! :) May the Journals be in your favor! :D
  6. The more you share, facebook, tweet, and comment the more of a chance you will have to win one of the amazing journals.

Writing Opening Lines That Sparkle & Shine

This is a guest post I did on a collaborative blog called “Blue Monkey Writing”at http://bluemonkeywriting.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/writing-opening-lines-that-sparkle-shine/

 

I absolutely love going into bookstores and smelling new books. When you crack open a book, what do you smell? Does it fill your senses, like it does mine? I love that new book smell, but other than that what draws you into a book other than the cover art and back copy? What is the first thing that really determines if a reader will continue reading your book?

I don’t know what you do when you are looking at a book, but I flip to the first page. I find this is the test on whether I will like a book or not, as I have a short attention span when it comes to what I read. I’ve struggled getting into books when reading some first lines which resulted in my setting the book down on the shelf again. But then there have been other books where I have found myself reaching for the next page inquisitively.

That is true of every piece of work out there! If the first sentence or first paragraph doesn’t make me want to keep reading, then I close the book and set it back on the shelf. I like it when an author pulls me into a story filled with intriguing characters, unique plot, and beautiful prose from the get go.

Do you want your readers to continue reading after the first line and first paragraph? Do you want your readers to be spellbound with your words from the first line of your book?

If you answered yes, then I believe I know a way to help you make your opening lines sparkle & shine.

I have heard many people say that there is no rule to writing an opening line for your book, but writers can learn by looking at their favorite books opening lines to see how their favorite authors did it. So, first off – I want you to do something – go get your favorite books out of your bookshelf and look at the opening lines. What makes you want to read on?

Recently, I read a book “The Forgotten Garden” by an Australian Author named Kate Morton. I opened her book in the bookstore and was spell-bound from the words in the first sentence.

“It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she’d been told.”

Right away this sentence had me asking questions, like “what had she been told? Where was she? And why was she crouching someplace? Was she hiding? And if so who was she hiding from?” When I read the second sentence I was caught up in the tale even more. Before I even knew it, I had finished the first page and found myself turning to the second. At that moment I knew I had a great book in my hand.

After you have figured out what made you want to keep reading, make a list.

My list for Kate Morton’s opening lines:

  • After reading it I have somewhat a sense of place
  • The first line had me asking questions
  • I have a main character who I am interested in knowing more about
  • I like the style of writing.

Another example:

It is a little-known fact that, over the course of a single year, about twenty million letters are delivered to the dead – Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat from book lollipop shoes)

  • First question that comes to my mind is “why are letters being delivered to the dead?”
  • Just the voice and style make me inquisitive.
  • It was somewhat shocking and dark (I like to have dark elements in my stories as well, so I can bring light out of the darkness at the end.)
  • The detailed prose in how she wrote it

After knowing what you like in an opening line, you can use that information while writing yours. For instance, I really like how Joanne Harris wrote her opening line with such beautiful prose and tone. And with Kate Morton’s opening line, I really love how I have that sense of place, a person, and her thoughts. I like that both of these examples filled my mind with questions right away. I wanted answers and in order to find out the answers, I had to read on. (You get the idea, soon you are hooked!)

Writing Process

First off, write your book so you know where your story begins, where your characters are, and so you know your world and setting. Then you know everything about your story. While writing, just make sure you get the story out on paper before worrying about the opening line. Because while writing I have spent a majority of time trying to make my first chapter perfect and then you don’t move on.

Your Edits

When writers edit their WIPs, they work and rework their opening lines. Take into consideration the list you made of what you liked about your favorite authors first lines. Make your opening line, make your reader want read on.
Some Things to remember while editing:

  1. Capture your “Who” – And I am not talking about your own little fluff with a little world on it called Who-Vill. Even thought Horton had his Who’s. haha! (Not all first lines have a distinct “Who” in it. Joanne Harris’ example had no “Who”, but Kate Morton’s does.
  2. Use your voice – It is important you write true to yourself. Let your muse speak – don’t use someone else’s voice.
  3. Give a sense of conflict – This is shown in Kate Morton’s first lines “as she crouched”. It gives the sense that she is hiding. She may not be in trouble, but it has the reader wondering.
  4. Set the tone – 
Joanne Harris wrote with a mystical and eerie tone in the example up above with the letters to the dead. Which I really like, because it has you asking, “Why are letters going to the dead?” and it made me read on.
  5. Make the readers ask a bunch of questions after reading your first line.

What’s the first line of your current WIP? What are some of your favorite first lines from books? And what are some ways that you make your first line sparkle & shine?

Choice One

Choice 2

You ask, “Devin, how can I win one of those amazing journals?”

This contest will be taking place this coming week. I will be giving away 2 journals of your choice for the prizes, but in order to stay in the running you must:

  1. You must be a follower of my blog! :)
  2. Share the blog with your friends on facebook, twitter, your blog, and other sites during the week! (I will get notifications that you have shared so, I will know!)
  3. Comment. Answer the questions & ask questions. You can answer one of them or all of them!! :D
  4. And last but not least, take part in conversation in the comments. The posts will be showing how to dig deep in our journalling and how that helps us in our daily walk!
  5. The contest will begin today and will run till the 29th of September! :)Good LUCK! :) May the Journals be in your favor! :D
  6. The more you share, facebook, tweet, and comment the more of a chance you will have to win one of the amazing journals.

How About You?

  1. What are some of your favorite opening lines from books?
  2. If you are a writer, what is your current WIP’s first line? 

Journaling Feelings – Journaling Day 5

Journaling With Emotions

Have any of you ever felt blank (blagh and meaningless) or like an train of emotions had a trainwreck inside your mind? Did you actually know that those are the best times to write in your journal? I was once told by a writer friend when I was going through an unexpected hard time just to write… to write it all down…write how I was feeling and what was happening. This way I got all my thoughts out on paper (or computer word doc.)

Try this to inspire you:

If this feeling was a color, it would be _________________

If this feeling was weather, it would be ________________

If this feeling was a landscape, it would be _____________

If this feeling were a book, which would it be_______________

If this feeling was music, it would sound like ________________

If this feeling was an object, it would be __________________

You can even go further to thinking about your own questions as well. But, I’ve learned that it’s a very good thing to get your feelings out through writing. I know that some people are afraid of writing like this in a notebook for fear that someone would read it. (That’s why you need to comment on this blog post, Follow Devin’s Blog, and share this post because you could win an awesome journal and guess what? What doesn’t bring back memories like a journal with a lock and key? Yep, this one has a lock and key… classic!)

 

Choice 2

You ask, “Devin, how can I win one of those amazing journals?”

This contest will be taking place this coming week. I will be giving away 2 journals of your choice for the prizes, but in order to stay in the running you must:

  1. You must be a follower of my blog! :)
  2. Share the blog with your friends on facebook, twitter, your blog, and other sites during the week! (I will get notifications that you have shared so, I will know!)
  3. Comment. Answer the questions & ask questions. You can answer one of them or all of them!! :D
  4. And last but not least, take part in conversation in the comments. The posts will be showing how to dig deep in our journalling and how that helps us in our daily walk!
  5. The contest will begin today and will run till the 29th of September! :)Good LUCK! :) May the Journals be in your favor! :D
  6. The more you share, facebook, tweet, and comment the more of a chance you will have to win one of the amazing journals.

How about you?

  1. Are you afraid of writing out all your feelings in a journal? Or are you fine with it – if so do you have a hiding spot?
  2. If you were given 15 words to sum up your life, what would it be?
  3. Pick a color and list memories connected to that color?

The Joyous Day Two Of Our Journal Journey

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. ~ Barbara Kingsolver

I thought this quote pretty much summed up a person when they are journaling or when they decide to journal. Today we are going to talk about what king of journaling options you have as there are many choices.

The Art Journal:

An art journal is a wonderful way to let you creative juices run wild. If you like art and writing it is a perfect duet. Do you love to draw or paint? Do you enjoy working with more than one medium?

See how travelers combine artwork in their journals. This is amazing, one would never forget their trip to Arizona!

I never thought of drawing a map, but I should do this in my journal from when I traveled around London on the Tube! Or maybe even the train here in Brisbane.

A Writing Idea’s Journal:
I love this one. If you keep a writing journal for each book that you write, you can fill it with your world. Using words, pictures, and drawings to build up your world.

What better idea than to build your world in a way that you can “see” it! :)

Inspiration…

In my journals I would always write quotes or Bible verses in the insides of the covers. And whenever I needed a lift or something to make me smile I would look in there. I would use all colours of pens. I would draw little doodles.

A Journal That Could Be Yours At The End Of The Week!

Choice One

Choice 2

You ask, “Devin, how can I win one of those amazing journals?”

This contest will be taking place this coming week. I will be giving away 2 journals of your choice for the prizes, but in order to stay in the running you must:

  1. You must be a follower of my blog! :)
  2. Share the blog with your friends on facebook, twitter, your blog, and other sites during the week! (I will get notifications that you have shared so, I will know!)
  3. Comment. Answer the questions & ask questions.
  4. And last but not least, take part in conversation in the comments. The posts will be showing how to dig deep in our journalling and how that helps us in our daily walk!
  5. The contest will begin today and will run till the 29th of September! :)Good LUCK! :) May the Journals be in your favor! :D

When journaling do you just write, or do you also stick pictures and drawings into it?

  1. What inspires you while writing in a journal?