Blog Archives

Shop the EMPOREUM – Great Gift Ideas

Shop the EMPOREUM for Unique Books,
T-Shirts, Gifts for Home & Office, & Digital Artwork!

 

If you love to shop, you will find an assortment of gifts for everyone  from home and office decor, clothing, drink-ware, digital artwork and Books –

There’s something for everyone. Come check us out!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL LEFT HANDER’S DAY

10% of the entire world population is left-handed.  That is 760 million people around the globe. You are much more likely to be a lefty if one of your parents is too. I am one of those left handed people. It was in August of 1976, on a Friday the 13th, that Left-Handers International first declared August 13 to be a day where left-handers were celebrated.

It is thought that left-handed people are more flexible and adaptable, as they are often challenged in a world that is made for right-handed people. The left hand is also controlled by the right side of the brain, which is associated with emotion and creative qualities such as music and art. I have always been a musician, playing guitar and writing music, poetry, and books, and have a passion for digital art, so I guess it holds true, at least for me.

American Presidents Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton are part of the left-hander’s club, along with such famous musicians as Céline Dion and Jimi Hendrix, who was one of the biggest rock stars in the world. He was renowned for playing a right-handed guitar with his left hand.

Here’s an idea – if you are left-handed, challenge your right-handed friends and family to use their left hands for the next day or so! You never know when using your left hand could be a real benefit!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Why We Celebrate Valentine’s Day and 8 Ways to Make it Fun.

 

The History of Valentine’s Day, and Why We Celebrate.

40 Children’s Books to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

The Best Romantic Books for Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day Recipes

80 Ways to Show Your Love Without Spending Money.

Valentine’s Day Quotes & Messages – 84 Messages Perfect for You

20 Great Things to Do If You’re Single on Valentine’s Day

35 Best Valentine’s Day Movies to Watch for a Romantic Night In

42 Valentine’s Day Crafts That Are a Creative Way to Show What’s in Your Heart

 

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

SMASHWORDS – End of Year SALE!

The fourth annual Smashwords End of Year Sale kicks off December 18th and runs through January 1, 2021. The sale is beginning a week earlier this year so you can take advantage of the Smashwords Store’s ebook gifting feature.  You can find books at 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and 100%-off (free).  What a great time to stock up on the books you would love to read or give the gift of reading to someone you love or a friend.  Visitors to the Smashwords Store will find the sale prominently featured at the top of the Smashwords home page starting December 18th.  So, encourage your friends to visit the website and check out this amazing sale!

https://www.smashwords.com/

Have a wonderful Holiday – Merry Christmas to everyone!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/solitaireparke

Never give up – Never surrender!

It’s a line spoken by actor, Tim Allen, from a movie – “Galaxy Quest.”  It’s one of the funniest sci-fi spoofs ever made.  It’s just one of those feel-good movies that you watch again and again, and it has a great message.   It’s so easy to get lost amidst the responsibilities and difficulties of life.  We struggle to find the time to write or create, and sometimes it can be all too confusing and disheartening to keep up the drive.  Many of us are working day jobs and trying to fit in our writing or whatever our passion is, around everything else.  What we need is creative clarity about what we’re creating and why we’re doing it in the first place.   Go back to the ”well” so to speak, and dig deep for your source of inspiration.  Do you have a great story that needs to be expressed, whether it’s as an author or in a painting?  Someone out there needs to hear or see what you have to say and it will profoundly connect with them in a meaningful way, and that is important.  It means continuing to be an artist even when there are setbacks, and a lack of validation.  That clarity will help you to prioritize amidst your busy life, and your amazing creation will materialize and give the world something to think about besides its everyday routine.  To be elevated above the mundane into a place that is intriguing, magical, whimsical or exquisite is what teaches us how to thrive and experience truly being alive!

Never give up – Never Surrender!

Solitaire

Check out my website for upcoming books and fun features.

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

What is a Typical Day in a Writer’s Life?

I start my day in the same way as, I would assume, any other person.  Personal hygiene, shower-shave, the usual stuff.  Ordinarily it wouldn’t be worth mentioning except that without it I manage to think about a lot of things.  It’s just that none of them equate to writing.  Being freshly showered seems to energize my mind and allow it to do other things besides wallowing around in a fog.  Coffee is on the menu between 7 and 11 in the morning.  I rarely stop for a lunch break, but occasionally snack here and there while I keep working.  From 11 on, I usually drink tonic water and ginger ale – my ginger tonic.

I have two dogs, so periodically during the day they need an outdoor break.  Then there are the two cats who definitely don’t want to feel ignored.  Pets have their own ways of letting you know when they need your immediate attention.  Not always in a good way!

If I’m writing dialogue, I often have conversations back and forth with my characters to determine what sounds awkward or unrealistic.  If I need to clear my head, once in a while I’ll watch an episode of a Sci-Fi show just to keep a fresh mind and then its back to writing again.

For me to get into the spirit of writing, the mood of the room is actually quite important in the scheme of things.  A good desk lamp tends to set the stage, casting an ambience that is conducive to seeing the story before I write it, or at least doesn’t take away from the ability to begin writing.

Music is the single most important ingredient to my writing, and it has to match the feel of the story.  I write more fantasy than anything, and I’ve found that epic instrumentals work every time.  I can almost see the characters being inspired right along with me.

 I try to write 8 hours a day, Monday-Friday, and rewrite the bits and pieces I don’t like in the evenings between 10:00 p.m. and midnight.  I don’t sleep as much as most people, and it just seems logical to do something constructive during a time when very little happens otherwise.

I’ve been asked many times about taking breaks and I advocate them, of course, but I rarely remember to take them.  Once I get caught up in the story, it tends to take on a life of its own.

Oh, and then there’s that full-time job that I work from home for thirty-two – sometimes more – hours per week.  I’m a pretty busy author these days.

 

If you haven’t already, check out my Website, my Amazon Author Page, friend me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

What do Favorite Books and Characters Give Us?

John Hemingway once said, “there is no friend as loyal as a book.”  I am a firm advocate of reading books.  I believe, as both an avid reader and writer, that knowledge is power and that there is always something to learn which will in some way make you a better person or perhaps a better writer.  Books can be motivational and inspiring or draw us into a magical world that takes us far from our often hectic and lackluster world.  Many of us have certain books that are like an old friend we can always rely on for encouragement or allow our minds to become creative.

Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury’s favorite books that most influenced his career were those in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s  “John Carter: Warlord of Mars series.  “They entered my life when I was 10 and caused me to go out on the lawns of summer, put up my hands, and ask for Mars to take me home,” Bradbury said. “Within a short time, I began to write and have continued that process ever since, all because of Mr. Burroughs.”

It’s interesting that Bradbury would be a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, since the same author is the one that started it all for me with the book “A Princess of Mars.”  I have a very old hard cover of it sitting in my office in a glass enclosed case, in addition to a large number of his earliest paperback books that are prized possessions.

 

My favorite character from his books that I’ve read would have to be John Carter from the Barsoom novels.  He was the most singularly minded person I’ve ever encountered.  He was always in control, never faltered, was open and honest and refused to give up no matter how hopeless the situation seemed.  He openly loved the heroine of the story and was willing to move heaven and earth to be with her.  He inspired me as a child and the books inspired me to become an author.  How much more could anyone ask out of a series of science fiction books?  Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to be more like him, but I cannot in good conscience say that I find myself in that person’s character.  It’s just someone that I desired to emulate.  He didn’t remind me of anyone in particular.  A character of his caliber was larger than life, and inadvertently caused me to raise the bar of expectation to an unhealthy degree, at least so I’m told.

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

Carl Sagan

Grab a book and Keep Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

6 EXCEPTIONALLY USEFUL BLOG SITES

If you want to find information on anything concerning being an author or just writing in general, there are some outstanding and informative blogs out there to help with anything and everything you might need to know, including all the things you didn’t realize you needed to know.  So here are a few of them for you to check out.

The Log-Line:  Can You Pitch Your ENTIRE Story in ONE Sentence?

11 Ideas to Help You Write the Positively Perfect Blog Post

The Pros and Cons of Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity

10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

A Writer’s Guide to Point of View

The Creative Penn

 

Have a great September – and Happy Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

10 Ways to Promote Happiness

Happiness – the often elusive thing that nearly everyone is searching for.  We all have different ideas, preferences, and desires for our lives.  But after years of scientific research, it has been suggested that certain things make the good majority of us happy.  To be more specific, happiness does not result from reaching “bigger and better” signs of success, but rather from looking for contentment from new and fresh experiences in our quest for a life that is considered well lived.  So, what kinds of experiences provide the best happiness benefits?  Well, scientific study has discovered that these 10 ways will increase your everyday overall happiness:

  1. Make little changes in your daily routine, such as getting more sleep, exercising, getting out into nature, and meditating.
  2. Read more books. Read books to learn—research suggests that lifelong learners remain healthy and engaged, and live long lives. Read books as an escape from your everyday life, Read books—it will make you happy.  (One of my personal favorites.  I have always loved to read, and write as well.  Check out my books at www.solitaireparke.com)
  3. Find your right fit or match, both personally and professionally. If you love what you do and who you are with, you’ll position yourself for personal happiness and professional success.
  4. Be grateful. Two specific activities help foster a greater sense of gratitude. First, keep a daily gratitude journal. Second, pay a “gratitude visit” to someone from your past that has had a significant impact on your life, and let them know how you feel.
  5. Smile more—even if you don’t feel like it. Research shows that the simple act of smiling can trick your brain into a happier state.
  6. Take pleasure in simple, everyday moments. Appreciating life’s small moments, such as a beautiful sunny day, plants sprouting from the ground, and skipping rocks at the beach, teaches you to be more grateful for what you have, especially during moments of stress and anxiety.
  7. Perform random acts of kindness. Do good deeds. Volunteer. Be charitable. Shop for someone else! Studies have shown that you can help yourself by doing good things for others.
  8. Spend money on experiences versus things. Studies have shown that buying an object—a car, handbag, or kitchen gadget—can quickly lead to buyer’s remorse. On the other hand, investing in experiences—a concert, a camping trip, music lessons—leads to greater happiness. Experiences create “happiness residue,” and our perceptions of them often get better over time.
  9. Avoid comparisons. Whatever you may think of someone else’s life, particularly as viewed through the phony, filtered lens of social media, it’s almost certainly messier than you imagine. It’s easier to embrace and learn to love your own imperfections, if you don’t conjure up myths about how perfect everyone else’s lives seem.
  10. Build and maintain close relationships. Having a small number of tight, meaningful relationships is one of the highest predictors of happiness.  (Pets are wonderful companions too!)

We all lose sight of some of the happiness priorities, so don’t feel bad if you do.  In this world we battle on a daily basis the relentless marketing and expectations of society that attempt to lead us down paths to happiness that lie somewhere else.   We don’t need to over-complicate things.  It’s the simple things in life that matter most.  Live each moment with purpose and intent – live each moment as if it were your last and enjoy the people around you.  You have one life – so live each minute to the fullest!

“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable.  Happiness is not about making it to the peak of the mountain nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain;  happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.”

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways to Improve Your Writing!

  1.  How often do you use the word “very” in your writing? It is often extremely overused and can make your sentences sound weak.  So check out this site.  It gives you 128 ways to avoid using this word by replacing it with stronger more vibrant ones.

http://writetodone.com/128-words-to-use-instead-of-very/

 

  1. Need some help with your grammar? Take the following quiz and find out how much you know.

http://writetodone.com/grammar-tips-for-writers/

 

  1. Book titles, blog headings, or other articles are sometimes difficult to come by. You might need a little help occasionally.  Here are 7 tools to provide that help.

http://writetodone.com/bestselling-book-titles-2/

  1. Do you love the television show “Game of Thrones” or the books? Here are 5 lessons to be learned from them.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/04/08/writing-game-of-thrones/

  1. Do you know how to research a novel, and when to stop? This article could be helpful.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/01/18/research-a-novel/

 

  1. Tips for finding those eye-catching images for your books, articles, or blogs.

http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2015/02/ultimate-guide-to-finding-images-for-book-promotion.html

Which ones are your favorites?

If these were helpful to you, please pass them on!

Visit me at my website – sp@solitaireparke.com

Solitaire

 

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