When you think Pinterest, the mental images of mouthwatering recipes, beautiful models setting off the latest fashion trends and picturesque landscapes might pop up. And you’re not wrong in thinking that Pinterest is a platform used to promote the culinary arts, fashion and travel. But have you ever wondered how you could leverage it as a writer?
In this day and age, we have an abundance of tools at our disposal. In another post, I mentioned that Pinterest is one of my essential writing tools. And while the platform is a treasure chest of inspiring and helpful content for writers, there are a few specific boards that have helped me a lot.
Here are a couple of my favorites, a mix of renowned as well as lesser known ones that I’ve found cruising on the app. I hope these help you get started on your Pinning journey!
This board combines the best sources for writing prompts spanning across Tumblr, Instagram and other handy websites to provide you some pearls of inspiration or rescue you when you’re struggling with writer’s block.
BookRiot has several boards that come in handy for readers but a favorite of mine is their cover-lovin’ board, filled with pins of beautifully done book covers. In my free time, I also draw and design book covers for some of my novels which in turn gives me the drive to keep working on them. Take a gander at these tasteful pins and imagine your own awe-inspiring cover. One day, we’ll get there too!
Hands down one of the most useful reference boards I follow, the Writer’s Toolbox is your one-stop shop to all you could possibly need, linking to articles on their infamous blog (click on the one above for an example).
A lesser-known board but filled with an abundance of writing memes, quotes from famous authors and a smattering of tips here and there – this board is your laid-back writer’s vacay spot to chill at when you need a Pinterest break.
Are you a plotter? Do you like having your grand plans for your characters neatly scribbled down, documented and organized? This board’s for you, linking to a number of creative writing worksheets for your every need.
It may not be as (literally) eye-popping as Calvin and Hobbes’ sandbox but Mandy Wallace’s board has a mix of writing tips and tools for you to dig deep into your writing soul and build something magical.
Are you an aspiring writer and don’t know where to start? Or are you at a low point and looking for a little advice? As the title says, this one’s got helpful guides to specific topics, drafting tips and links to resources you can use to help you on your journey.
Did you ever think of joining Tumblr but then changed your mind, now wondering what the writer in you is missing out on? Do not fret. This board pins screenshots of amazing posts from some of the best Tumblogs, making all of them instantly accessible in one place. Ranging from character construction to world building and dialogue, it’s all in here!
Congratulations! You finished your first draft. And now, you have the daunting task of editing looking you in the eye. Is it insurmountable? Definitely not, especially if you’ve got this board to back you up. Everything editing related is on here; everything you’ll ever need to get you started on your next big adventure.
Are you an avid pinner? Are there any other boards you’d recommend? Comment if you have a few you’d like to share! There’s never enough writing tools in the world!
Have you ever looked back on your childhood, feeling that pang of nostalgia hit you square in the chest as you think back fondly of those simpler times? Did you, like me, love hitting up the library and checking out as many book as you can at a time so you could consume them voraciously the moment you got home?
I firmly believe my passion for writing stems from my love for books.
Countless hours were spent delving into the magical wizarding school of Hogwarts, of holding my breath in anticipation of the Baudelaire siblings’ attempts to escape Count Olaf’s evil clutches, of cooing over heartfelt young-love and fantasizing that one day I would find my own.
These stories shaped me as a person, both in terms of my writing and otherwise.
As a child, they say it’s hard to distinguish the line between reality and fantasy. I think that is the beauty of innocence; of not being exposed to what life really is, not just yet, but having that period of time, as brief as it may be, to simply float around and exist in a world that is entirely your own.
Below are a select few of my favorite books from an era long past. Maybe one of these days, I’ll revisit these novels. For now and forever, they will hold a special place in my heart.
Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.
Bea-Factor: This book is so very dear to my heart (so dear that I was gifted a signed copy from the author addressed to me and it still is one of the best gifts I have ever received). I do not view Flipped as a romance though. Although the love story makes me crumble to pieces each time I read it, it is the values of family and trials of growing up are what really got to me, especially at that particular age. Read it and have your heart feel fuzzy again.
Six unforgettable kids — with no families, no homes — are running for their lives. Max Ride and her best friends have the ability to fly. And that’s just the beginning of their amazing powers. But they don’t know where they come from, who’s hunting them, why they are different from all other humans… and if they’re meant to save mankind — or destroy it.
Bea-Factor: This series is what started me off on my journey into the world of sci-fi. I loved the mash-up of teens with crazy superpowers that they gained through experiments they were subjected to. The first book got me hooked to the premise and thus my journey into sci-fi began.
Julie’s best friend, Ashleigh, is an enthusiast. Julie never knows what new obsession will catch Ashleigh’s fancy, but she does know she’s likely to be drawn into the madness. Ashleigh’s latest craze is Julie’s own passion, Pride and Prejudice. But Ashleigh can’t just appreciate it as a great read; she insists on emulating the novel’s heroines, in speech, dress, and the most important element of all—finding True Love. And so Julie finds herself with Ashleigh, dressed in vintage frocks, sneaking into a dance at the local all-boys prep school, where they discover some likely candidates. The problem with Ashleigh’s craze this time, however, is that there is only one Mr. Darcy. So when the girls get a part in the boys’ school musical, what follows is naturally equal parts comedy and romance, as a series of misinterpreted—and missed—signals, dating mishaps, and awkward incidents make Julie wonder if she has the heart for True Love.
Bea-Factor: I’m a sucker for romance, especially light, fluffy novels. This one is abundant with references to Jane Austen and the book that introduced me to her works at a young age. Enthusiasm set the tone for the world of love for me. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a heartwarming, funny read.
At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella. When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella’s life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you’ll ever read.
Bea-Factor: I was never big on the fairytale genre but this one knocked me off my feet. Some call it a retelling of Cinderella with a lot of twists but I never once associated it in that way. With a message for young girls on how to be strong, independent and self-aware women, Ella Enchanted stands on its own two feet.
Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out–under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes–for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body. But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl’s arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her. In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity–and the thrill and inspiration of first love.
Bea-Factor: Stargirl is a young-adult classic. Timeless, poignant and beautiful; it taught me the importance of being true to yourself and not giving into conformity, even if it means toughing it out. Never sell yourself to be part of the in-crowd. Always be you.
When twins Lindy and Kris find a ventriloquist’s dummy in a Dumpster, Lindy decides to “rescue” it, and she names it Slappy. But Kris is green with envy. It’s not fair. Why does Lindy get to have all the fun and all the attention? Kris decides to get a dummy of her own. She’ll show Lindy. Then weird things begin to happen. Nasty things. Evil things. It can’t be the dummy causing all the trouble, Can it?
Bea-Factor: The Stephen King for children; R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series was the grand influence behind my nightmares for a good chunk of my childhood. The Dummies books, in particular, led to my aversion toward toys and stuffed animals. I mean, can you blame me (Chucky, anyone)?
The series tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune. In the first book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
Bea-Factor: Boy, I was obsessed with Lemony Snicket’s legendary series the same way most teens were with the Harry Potter series when I was first introduced to it in the third grade. So much so that I begged my parents to buy entirety of it for me (a whopping thirteen books). Never regretted it.
The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket—and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar. Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship—and forgiveness—can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.
Bea-Factor: I love dogs and this book just increased my love for them leaps and bounds. Read the book, watch the movie and bask in the beauty of companionship between man and the best friend he could ask for. This book swept up a whole lot of awards for a reason: it’s simply enchanting.
Calvin and Hobbes follows the adventures of Calvin, a rambunctious 6-year-old boy, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, who comes charmingly to life.
Bea-Factor: That description does not do justice for the wondrous adventure that each comic strip provides for us of these two wacky characters. Before Garfield, TinTin and the Asterix series, Calvin and Hobbes is what drew me into the world of comics. I still read them from time to time when I’m in search of some biting snark, light humor and a reminder of the smaller (but a great deal more significant) things in life.
A family with an ancient curse… And the girl who will change their lives forever… Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home. Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.
Bea-Factor: The first manga that I committed to finishing completely was Fruits Basket. I loved the concept of the zodiac curse and the bright, optimism of Tohru, a girl who’s been through so much but refuses to let the trials of life take her down. And of course, cue all the nosebleeds from the number of attractive male characters. I should have known hotheaded badboys would be the death of me (Kyo-sama!)
What are some of your favorite childhood books? Did you see any familiar ones on my list? I’d love to hear yours in the comments!
After all, I may just revisit some of these reads sometime soon. A walk down memory lane is long overdue.
The Writer by J.C. Maetis – Schindler’s List meets The Tattooist of Auschwitz – a gripping tale of love, survival and redemption against the backdrop of one of the darkest periods in recent history.
Two Writers. One lives to write. The other writes to live…
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for free, for an honest and unbiased review.
I admit, when I first received a request to review this novel, I was a little skeptical upon reading the blurb and after my experience with the novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz. However, the premise of The Writer was intriguing so I decided to give it a shot and boy, am I glad I did.
The Writer follows the lives of Mathias Kraemer, Johannes Namal and Josef Weber, three different individuals with varying backgrounds whose lives and paths are tied together by the tragedies surrounding Nazi Germany. Through these characters, the book does a wonderful job of examining the circumstances and impact of Anschluss and the cruel, merciless regime of Hitler on three different communities: the Jews, half-Jews and Austrian-Catholics.
I was surprised to encounter a historical fiction novel on the Holocaust that effortlessly combined elements of various genres together. The Writer is a thriller, romance and drama all in one.
My heart raced and had me turning the pages out of concern for these characters that I fell in love with, anxious for them as they faced the harrowing possibilities of execution and being sent to concentration camps. The unlikely love story of Inspector Josef Weber and Romani-gypsy Deya Reynes adds a different light to the plot and kept me grounded in the horrors faced by non-Jewish couples as well in this very dark period of history.
This is, in my opinion, the strongest element in the novel.
Maetis does an incredible job in bringing to life the struggles of not just the Jews, but other communities as well such as Mischlings (the term used by the Nazi regime to refer to individuals of mixed Aryan and Jewish ancestry), the Gypsy community and those who refused to go without a fight that were branded as ‘dissidents’.
We don’t get a simple, black-and-white portrayal here of good and bad, of the right and wrong choices. Instead, the author gives us a full-fledged illustration of a world that we can count ourselves lucky to have not experienced, but in the process brings us one step closer to empathizing and learning from the horrors of it.
That being said, The Writer may be a gripping historical thriller but what struck me most was the humanity of the story itself. As mentioned in the blurb, a great part of the story revolves around two writers. One who grips to his own life on account of his profession as a writer, and the other that attempts to save others through his words.
Being a writer myself, this struck a chord in me: how words, how the art of writing itself can slice through the darkness and provide rays of light, provide hope and illuminate a path to redemption.
I cannot wait to see this book published and wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone when it is. Kudos to the author for managing the sensitivities surrounding the period of time in which his novel is set with the elements of love, suspense and drama that he weaves into the plot.
Do you want a page-turning thriller? Or do you want a Holocaust novel written so vividly it plays out like a movie in your head? Or even a love story with two very real, very raw characters that you can root for from the start?
Look no further. The Writer has something beautiful to offer you that will make the experience of reading it your own.
The Writer is pending release. In the mean time, you can check out the author’s other works here!
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
Octavia E. Butler
I love revisiting stories from my past. The tiny tidbits of scrawled poetry on the corners of wrinkled pages of my school notebooks, ramblings vaguely resembling prose on the back of a napkin from a café I had once found inspiration in or even the notes on my phone containing pieces of a plot yet to be assembled together but on its way to forming an entertaining story.
It’s nice to look back on the things that made me the writer I am now, even if it means going so far back as to be cringe-inducing.
When people ask me about the first story I ever wrote, my memory conjures up an illustrated short story I made for an ESL (English as a Second Language) class in the first grade. I should have known that I would grow up to be the hopeless lover of romance that I am now. All the signs were there.
Nevertheless, I still have an odd sense of pride whenever I think back to my first efforts as a writer. Even at six years of age, I delighted in bringing form and fruition to the story that played in my head. I didn’t know it then but writing was my calling.
Admittedly, The Prince and the Princess is no masterpiece. Heavily inspired by a favorite fairytale at the time (Jack and the Beanstalk), there are a lot of similarities between the two stories. But that’s how inspiration works, especially in a child’s mind, right? You consume something, start to play with the ideas in your mind before making it your own in some special way.
Of course, my first ‘official’ story was one very hilarious result.
Without further ado, I present to you my first work of art, exactly as it were (with the pictures that I could salvage of it).
The Prince and the Princess
By: Betty Manuel
Once upon a time there was a prince whose name was Eric. He was going to buy some beans.
He saw a man with beans. He went to the man and asked, “Can I have those beans?” The man didn’t answer, but he gave him the beans. The prince paid $3 to the man.
He went to the castle and threw the beans to the floor.
The next day he saw a big beanstalk!
He climbed the beanstalk and saw a castle just like his. He went in the castle and saw a princess.
He asked to the princess, “What’s your name?” The princess answered, “Princess Steffany.” And she asked, “What’s your name?” He answered, “Prince Eric.” So they became friends.
The next day another fairy came and told the king (princess Steffany’s father) to drink the magic potion.
She gave the potion to change the king’s mind. The fairy said, “It will never make you die.” So the king drank it. It changed his mind.
The day came for the marriage to begin. The king came into the castle and opened the door.
The king said, “Stop the marriage!” Princess Steffany was shocked.
But when the king was going to take Steffany to her room, Prince Eric said, “Steffany and I love each other.” When the king heard that, the spell was broken.
After the spell was broken, they married. They also had children and lived happily ever after.
(A Six Year Old’s) Author Bio
Betty was born on 1992 1997. She likes to see cartoon, go on trips and play computer.
To go through the memories of us on repeat my mind a broken record as I pause | and play > pause | and play > your smile till it’s all I see till the end of my days
Am I wrong to feel you?
In the emptiness of the sheets in the cold of the night when I crave your arms around my waist and your breath near my ear as you whisper lullabies like secrets till we meet again in my dreams
Am I wrong to taste you?
When I take a bite out of an apple or sink my teeth into the sweetness of chocolate so close to the kisses you once gave me in each one you etched on my lips and into my memories in the pouring rain in between our secret getaways in the endless hours we spent making love till i felt nothing but you in my bones in my soul
Am I wrong to believe in you?
To cling to the hope that one day you’ll see there’s no greater love for you out there than than me to the heart of mine you still carry in yours broken, but still bound by the strings of our Great Grand romance
Am I wrong to love you?
To keep loving you, knowing that despite the hope; despite the memories you will not return to me or honor the promise you once made to love me too till the end of time
Am I wrong
to keep drifting in and out of a world where you are, immortalized in the past while i continue to fade away absent to an existence in which i cannot live (without you)
The last time she bled, she swore to never open her heart again. Never again to the impurities of those that wished to defile her, contaminate the childlike innocence of a young, star-studded soul.
But Adaline’s greatest strength brought on her downfall: her unfailing belief in the goodness of the world, her unbridled faith that every soul was brought into this universe for nothing short of making miracles. She never reconsidered the repercussions of her naiveté, not until she stood at the edge of a cliff, with the pieces of what was left of her in her small, quivering hands.
The very first time they had cut her, she had bled Moonlight. Silver pools of shimmering diamonds oozed out the gaping holes in her chest and pooled at her feet, mixing in with her thick tears. She had never known pain before, a stranger to the ways of the world. That day, Adaline fell. That day, she learned of mortality of the spirit.
The second time, they did not break her, not completely, not yet. But it was enough for her self-sewn stitches to come undone, as did she by the words they stabbed her with. They weaponized the truth, a thing of beauty, and wielded it as a weapon, slashing her across the throat and leering at the voice that gushed out. Her words were no longer hers, her thoughts reduced to whispers no one ever heard or cared to acknowledge.
Viridian seeped out from the tender wounds of her heart; a reflection of the lush green Earth she had learned to love, a mirror of the bright blue skies that had once been Home. The second time, Adaline learned of the immortality of her scars, of pain.
The third was her last. She saw it coming, all the telltale signs of caution. There could be no greater danger than the deceptive toxicity of a poisoned love – the way it did not transform but attempted to convert her. The way it did not accept but reform her. The way it gave her nothing that love should but broke in her everything that it possibly could.
The Blood was thick and clotted as it flowed like rivers down her body, painting her red with the transgressions of generations passed. She did flinch at the rusty, metallic taste of it on her muted mouth. It tasted of their modern devices. The final time, Adaline did not feel the transience of her being. She simply did not feel.
Her trembling hands held the last of her: her jugular throbbed, less certainly with each passing second; her heart reduced to nothing but scattered remnants of gray, rusted cogs and screws; her soul, dissipating.
With every step she took closer to the edge of Never, the trembling grew still. An unsettling calm washed over her as she peered down, the voids in her eyes consuming the oceanic abyss beneath her.
And when her palms overturned, tipping the individualistic ingredients of her unique creation into the nothingness below, Adaline was no more.
The trail of bloodstained footprints was the last the skies saw of her as they weeped, droplets of a harsh rain washing away the grief of another of their children lost to this world. The red disappeared and with it, so did she, as she ventured into the faceless, plastic masses of the empty vessels that walked the Earth.