Between the Lines: This Writer's Journal

It’s All About the Color…Sometimes

My mice died. Both of them!

The touch-pad on my computer and my Bluetooth one.

No, nothing furry or creepy-cute. But, I felt like crying and cursing when my cursor stopped responding to my cues.

Now, I have a cobalt blue mouse. And it matches the keyboard. And the pen.

But, I didn’t pick the blue accessories right away. First, I thought I would pick maroon. My eyes when back and forth in a visual “eeny meeny miny moe.” My husband said to pick the one I wanted. The one I wanted was purple. But, there isn’t a purple option anymore.

So, I asked my middle son.

I knew what he would say, but I asked anyway and more than once. I asked which one he would pick. I asked which one would inspire me to write. I asked which one all the while thinking about which color would go best with my house decor and that I would miss how my purple keyboard coordinated with my phone and my e-book cover and that the maroon would match my favorite tote bag’s liner but maybe too much so as not to be seen at a glance and that I was willing to pay for color instead of the discounted black because I want to be unique and that the blue matches my favorite Ocean Blue Le Pen and…

“The blue one,” he said…again.


“I hate red.”

It didn’t occur to me until I had a color-coordination conversation with my mother the next day why he said he hates red. (Yes, we actually had a lengthy discussion about how I was resigning myself to my color choice and resisting the urge to color-coordinate my other devices. For the moment. While I was talking with her, she remembered she needed to change the cover on her computer from one with pink hydrangeas to solid green to have it match better with the yellow walls. I love my mother, so I proudly embrace any genetic distinctions that link me with her. But, I do think we are slightly as well as delightfully weird.)

“Red is an angry color for him,” she reminded me.

I gasped with agreement. It may be his oldest brother’s favorite color, but that is the only reason why red would be endearing for him. Red is the color his school refers to for angry, aggressive moods.

If my son walked by my office every day and saw that maroon keyboard, how would that affect his mood?

Then I remembered I had a similar thought in the store. Which color would inspire me to write more? I certainly didn’t want to approach my computer with angst every morning because of the color of my keyboard and mouse and pen.

I saw that maroon pen as The Red Pen. The one I stopped using for editing because of the pain and rage it inflicts on others. (It’s also why I will miss my purple keyboard even more.)

There was a logical and ethical decision here and really only one based on my home decor and my son’s feelings on the matter.

There was a color that would inspire and calm at the same time.

So, I picked that one. The color of my favorite Le Pen. The color that reminds me of my mother who loves that pen brand and Ocean Blue, too. The color that reminds me not everything is about what I want, but about what others need. When my son walks by my office, he will sense the calm and the quiet and the peace even if there are emotions raging on the page. He will know his mom is happy if maybe a bit melancholy. Just as a poet ought to be.

Book Reviews

Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers by Lauren Sapala

Four Stars

Hate marketing, but aren’t sure why? Lauren Sapala’s Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers might answer that question and more about effective (and fun) marketing for creatives. Balanced with well-researched evidence, personal experience, and journal exercises, this is a book to revisit often for marketing inspiration.

Between the Lines: This Writer's Journal, Uncategorized

Just Keep Swimming…

I feel like I’m treading water with my novel. There are some transition sections that require drafting. It’s like swimming pool-laps while editing the drafted chapters and then finding myself in the middle of “What Happens Now?!” Ocean.

So, instead I’m enjoying word-play while writing my poetry in the morning and afternoon between reading sessions, which is akin to jumping in, splashing around for three-to-four-poem stints, and then soaking in the rays.

(This is truly a symbolic picture because there is still plenty of snow on the ground from last week’s blizzard. Any sunshine I am getting is reflected off the snow drifts while I sit in my cozy chair.)

Just keep swimming (a.k.a. writing), everyone!


Entering Edits

Sometimes I can edit my works-in-progress on the computer. But, honestly, my best editing happens on the printed-off page with a pen in my hand. Why?

  • I can be messy. Sometimes editing on a screen is too clean. I need to be able to manually circle, underline, and scribble. This is also when I can be the most blunt with myself and ask “What were you thinking?”
  • I can measure word count. Feeling the heft of a manuscript–regardless if it is too short or too long–creates a sense of accomplishment, especially for the rough draft. Simply filling the paper tray of the printer can provide the illusion of completion. There is much more to do. But, at least something has been done.
  • I can manipulate the pages. It is highly possible–even with an outline–that parts of the story are misplaced. A hard copy makes it possible to read from beginning to ending and find out where the story needs to be shifted. Or maybe there is part of the story missing all together. Now is the time to see the gaps and add to the outline.

Of course, the next task is to enter in the edits. But, the beauty of that is reading through the manuscript again and making more decisions. On with the process!