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Reviewing The Craft of Creative Fiction Writing by Pawan Mishra

A great short book with some good food for thought.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂


Reviewing Book: On Writing Wonderfully: The Craft of Creative Fiction Writing
by Pawan Mishra

Three words that come to mind after completing this book: short, straightforward and actually helpful.

37788871 Taken from Goodreads

Pawan Mishra has done an amazing job at covering some of the most important things concerning creative writing. He has answered to writers’ questions, doubts, and insecurities. Like every creative soul, writers too often suffer from the dilemma that their work isn’t good enough and Pawan has managed to guide them through that phase. In such a phase, writers tend to completely avoid writing but with Pawan’s 21 techniques, it should be a piece of cake.

14594440 Pawan Mishra, author.

Below are a few of the quotes I loved from this ebook:

A writer can do without food for a few hours but not without the sight of books.

If you are a singer, you must sing. If you are a…

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Mental Health Recovery

Hello Friends,

Recently I found this man’s blog.  His name is James Edgar Skye.  I wanted to share this post of his with you to encourage anyone who struggles with any type of mental illness.  The road is tough for us, but when we get help, take medication if we need it, and have support, we CAN accomplish our goals.

I have been taking a correspondence course through the Institute of Children’s Literature since about August.  I am halfway through it now!  My sixth assignment is to write a story using the character I created in my fifth assignment.  So my wheels have been spinning as I read other writer’s stories in my text.

I know most of you know me as a watercolor/drawing artist, however, when I began this blog over five years ago, I was focusing on writing.  The blog helped to motivate me.  I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.  However, I have started many pieces, such as my memoir and a novel, that I have yet to finish.  That’s okay.  Right now I want to learn to write short stories for teenagers and write about serious issues that many of them face daily such as depression, anxiety, cutting, and various addictions.

So I encourage you to read James’s post as well and be encouraged.  Struggling with mental illness is difficult, but we can still achieve our goals with a lot of hard work.  Encouraging each other along the way is also key.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂


Thanks for sharing your life with us, James.  🙂  Please read on to get to know James.

Yesterday I introduced a new series on the blog. My real life journal entries during some of my toughest times. My Mental Illness Journal. Today I want to talk about goals in mental health recovery. What Are Your Mental Health Recovery Goals? In the life with a mental illness, it can seem difficult to set […]

via Goals in Mental Health Recovery — The Bipolar Writer

Books and Bronchitis

Hello everyone.  This will seem like a weird post today since usually I am posting about art, artists, or showing my own art.  Well, I haven’t done any art in the last few weeks due to dealing with bronchitis.  I have had it for at least a couple of weeks.  It started out as a cold, then swiftly moved down to my lungs when all of the annoying coughing started!  So I have been coughing so much up until today…somehow I am experiencing a reprieve right now…that I couldn’t type, draw or paint at all!  It has been distressing to say the least.  I have not been sick like this in at least ten years.  I have had occasional colds here there that never became nasty, but nothing like this!  My husband had it first, so I got it from him.  I am just hoping the kids don’t get it, because my daughter doesn’t need to miss school, and my son just started a new job!  Plus, they have Halloween plans that I would hate for them to have get wrecked by sickness.

On Halloween they are going to be dressing up as Shaggy (my son) and Scooby-Doo (my daughter) along with a few other friends who will be the rest of the gang.  My son found some great pants and shoes and has the Shaggy walk down pat.  We have yet to get my daughter’s costume or make it somehow.  There is also a Mystery Machine van ride in front of a grocery store that they plan to go to and get pictures in front of it.  I think there may be room for one person to sit in it.  I just hope their plans work out well this year.

So that is what has been going on at our house.  As for the “Books” part of the post, I thought I would mention that I have gotten a lot of reading done in the last few weeks!  Here’s a list of what I have read:

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf – She is a wonderful novel writer!  I have read all of her books…I think?  Anyway, she weaves a good story with lots of twists and turns!

Andy Warhol: Prince of Pop by Jan Greenberg which has been mentioned in a previous post of mine.

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer – a really good mystery novel, but I didn’t enjoy the ending so much.  I just expected more in it.  For me it was disappointing.

Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata’s Art of the Internment by Kimi Kodani-Hill – an informative biography about a man’s experiences teaching art in a Japanese internment camp.

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong-Kingston – this is actually a novel that I’ve heard is based on the author’s or her relatives’s lives.  I haven’t researched it much, but some think it is an autobiography when it is not.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter – This author is very good, however, this was a tough novel to read.  I almost put it down a few times, but the mystery needed to be solved in my head!  The content is about a very sick serial killer so if you don’t like that topic, don’t read it!

Dear Teddy by J. D. Stockholm – This is the first of a series of autobiographical books that are a journal about the very sick abuse he suffered at the hands of his parents and someone he can’t remember who he names “the bad man” in the book.  This was difficult to read because of the nature of the type of abuse this person went through.  I almost didn’t finish it because it is hard to stomach how evil some people can be towards children.  I am not sure I will read the rest of them, because he wrote this in his 5 year old self’s voice which I did not enjoy very much.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay – the description on this was misleading.  I thought it was going to be about the early onset of schizophrenia in a teen-aged girl.  Also, it is a novel.  However, it was about her dad taking her to a priest for exorcism because he believed she was demon-possessed.  I lost interest half-way through so I didn’t bother finishing this one.


Yesterday I went to the library and checked out a few more novels and an autobiography.  The autobiography is one I have never seen or heard of before.  It is called “America’s Boy: A Memoir by Wade Rouse.  It is very good, but it has a creepy looking cover in my opinion.  creepy-book-cover  Those old-fashioned dolls just look strange to me.  Anyway, it is about a man’s childhood of self-discovery.  He is mistaken as a girl for years, but also has desires to dress in his mom’s jewelry.  He feels different than other boys and finds himself attracted to some when he is older but suppresses his desires.  He was born in 1965 and grew up in a town in the southwest Missouri Ozarks where in that time frame no one talked about these issues!  His writing is done well and he tells his story in very short chapters which makes it easy to read for me.  I personally don’t like bogged down autobiographies or biographies which has shown me that I don’t like mine!  I began trying to write my life story a few years ago, but I have so many gaps in my memory that it was hard to keep the story going.  So I think I am going to try this type of approach and break it down in very small portions when I get the energy that is.

The novel I began a couple of nights ago is called “In a Dark, Dark Wood” by Ruth Ware.  It is definitely one I can hardly put down.  It’s pretty intriguing so far.

I have also been reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman for comic relief!  I have seen the movie many more times than I could guess but had just never read the book.

So that is what I have been up to.  I have not had the energy or inclination to do any art in the last few weeks, but hopefully soon I will feel well enough.  In the meantime I am going to read as much as I possibly can.  I am an avid reader anyway, but sometimes mores so than at other times.

To all my blogging friends who love to read, what are you reading right now?  I am interested to know!  

Also, here is my goodreads link if you’re interested in any of my reviews or just want to see what else I have read or want to read!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  (And stay away from sick people if you possibly can!)  🙂


Imaginary Friends

Hello! I know it has been quite a while since I’ve been able to write anything, but I had just have to tell you about a book I finished last night! I had never heard of the author or this book, but I am so glad I read it. 🙂

It is called “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.” It is by Matthew Dicks. I found it a month or so ago when I was browsing on Goodreads which is where I find out about a lot of good books by the way.

Max is a little boy with special needs, who I think the author hints at his being autistic, who has an imaginary friend named Budo. Max’s parents are constantly fighting about whether Max is different from other kids or not. He goes to a regular school. His mom wants to take him to someone and have him checked out to see if he needs more help. She is concerned because he doesn’t like strangers, not many people at all really, he plays by himself all the time, gets made fun of at school and bullied (even though they don’t know about that right away.) His dad thinks he’s just a normal little boy and nothing is different about him at all. So this is why they fight all the time.

However, I can’t tell you much more because there are definitely too many things I could mention that would be potential spoilers. If you like adventure, fantasy, and/or drama, try it out! I read it in about a week which is fast for me! I couldn’t put it down. The ending is very tender. Sniff, sniff.

I hope everyone is having a great week. I know I am. I have been working on a novel I began a long time ago again, but not doing quite as much art.

I am done with physical therapy and getting to the gym four days a week now! So things are great.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!! 🙂

Recommended Reading: Writing Down the Bones

Very good advice! I tend to fall into the edit as I go category. It is frustrating to say the least!

The Daily Post

When it comes to the tyranny of facing that blank page (or screen) Natalie Goldberg’s got you covered. Not only does she have plenty of writing advice for writers at every level, she delivers that advice with the calm poise of someone who knows — someone who also overcomes that fear, that self-doubt, every time she sits down to write.

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie GoldbergWriting Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Goldberg recommends “writing practice” to beat writer’s block and to thwart the inner editor who defiles your brain with crippling thoughts such as: You’ll never write anything worth reading. You should just give up. Besides, don’t you need a snack, just now?

The root of writing practice is the timed exercise. If you participated in our recent Writing 101 course, you’ll recall that we like — and use — this advice ourselves:

The basic unit of writing practice…

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Picture Book Creation

Hello, and happy Fourth of July to all of you who celebrate it here in the U.S. 🙂

Today I just wanted to share this link to the class I just started online. It is about how to write and illustrate a picture book or a story book for children. However, her ideas and just watching her do the art work could help any writer or artist in my opinion. In fact, last night I couldn’t get to sleep, because I had so many ideas running through my head!

Yesterday I went to a coffee shop that has faster internet service than we do, and I began the classes. I made it through a little over one class before my laptop died. I can’t believe I forgot to charge it the night before! So I charged it up yesterday afternoon for a few hours, and then my family and I went out to dinner to a Mongolian barbecue place. I took my laptop with me since my husband wanted to go to the grocery store. So while he shopped, the kids and I hung out at the bookstore across the street, and I finished the class I was on. I was having so much fun, though, that I started another one, but he came to get us before I was done. I had about ten minutes left, but even though the perishables were in an ice chest, I had to stop in the middle…again! Oh well, it is okay. I came away from the first two classes and the first half of the third with lots of ideas and things to work on until I can get back to it.

I caught a sale on this class online which made it really affordable for me! I love the illustrator. Her name is Shadra Strickland, and she has illustrated many children’s books. Here is a link to her website. I love her artwork, but most of all I love watching her DO IT! She is so free-flowing and creative – I am very inspired! Can you tell?

Anyway, yesterday at the coffee shop after my laptop died, I sat and drew a bunch of sea turtles in different poses in my sketchbook in pencil. Time flew, and before I knew it, I had been there for three hours! I ate a wonderful egg and cheese croissant and had two cups of coffee. They also never had so many people there that someone who stayed to eat needed a table. In fact, 95% of the people who came in were retired and much older than me. But they were her morning regulars, because they all knew each other and were chatting away! One guy brought a bucket-full of yellow squash and zuchinni from his garden and was giving them away. So I came home with a few free yellow squashes! That was very nice of him.

So, any of you writers or illustrators, if you want some fresh inspiration, check out Shadra Strickland, and be inspired! I know I am!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

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Melanie Franz

Artist. Children's Book Illustrator. Visual Storyteller.

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