How to Be a Better Writer: Water the Grass

How to Be a Better Writer: Water the Grass — Write Right“The grass is always greener where you water it.”

I don’t know the source for the above quote; I only know my accounting software sometimes shows the phrase while loading data. “The grass is always greener where you water it.” The phrase holds a two-fold application. First, it concerns the writing life. Second, it relates to the writer and his or her community.Continue Reading

Ten Things I’d Do if Locked in a Bookstore Overnight

Ten Things I’d Do if Locked in a Bookstore Overnight — Write RightA few weeks ago, Barnes and Noble shared “16 Things We’d Do if Locked in a Bookstore Overnight.” I neglected to read the post for a singular reason: I wanted to think of what I’d do if locked in a bookstore overnight and didn’t want the author’s ideas to unduly influence my own. I won’t reach sixteen ideas, but I’ll certainly devise a couple.

Scene: Powell’s Bookstore (Portland, Oregon)

(Since I’ve yet to be locked in a bookstore, I’ll pretend to be locked in one of the best ones out there—Powell’s.)

1. I would explore every level of the bookstore.

When I visited Powell’s, it was crowded. I don’t handle crowds all that well, so if I were to be locked into the bookstore, well, I’d explore and explore and explore. The store contains three levels, so I bet my activity tracker would rack up some miles.

2. I would create a book fort.

My fort might not look like these, but I think I could build one sufficient to the task. I mean, I grew up building forts with my brothers using only books, blankets, chairs, and clothespins. Having some bricks, er, books, for the taking would make the work that much easier.

3. I would note missing titles.

I read a lot of series and, inevitably, the library or bookstore lacks one or two of the books needed to complete the set. It’s a travesty, and I would remedy it during my bookstore lock-in.

4. I would create book displays.

People need to discover new authors. My mission, and I choose to accept it, would be to front-face some of my favorites and write the handwritten recommendations that one finds all over Powell’s. Obviously, my background in marketing and sales comes to the fore with this activity.

5. I would unleash a cat.

I’m not sure where I find the cat since I’m locked in the bookstore. Maybe I bring it with me. Anyway, I let her go in the store so that she can become Powell’s cat. Name: unknown. She’ll probably reveal it as we wander around the store.

6. I would create book art.

Books too decrepit for the shelves would be transformed into art. I wish my skills were up to this couple’s. Maybe I’ll just make a bunch of paper airplanes and origami cranes.

7. I would read a book.

Obviously, I would read while at the bookstore. I’d settle into my fort and read…for a while. I’ve only got one night in this bookstore, so I’d best make the most of the time.

8. I would move some of the posters.

I like it when words and art dialogue with each other. Nobody else might notice the differences, but one person might see the interaction and laugh. Day, made.

9. I would create a stockpile.

Since I’m allowed into Powell’s about once every three years, I’d set my stockpile by the checkout register to be the first in line and out the door. Hmm. I’ll probably need a red wagon to cart my treasures away.

10. I would climb some of the ladders.

Powell’s possesses tall bookshelves. I’m not a huge fan of heights, but I will climb for books. If I were more of a Disney princess type of person, I might pretend to be Belle. Then again, Ariel might be more appropriate. To me, books are treasures, and Powell’s contains an abundance of them.

Your turn. What would you do if locked in a bookstore overnight?

Image: Chase Elliott Clark (Creative Commons)

C is for Cynosure

C is for Cynosure — Write Right“Cynosure” sounds like it could be the name of a dinosaur, but the word literally means “dog’s tail.” When capitalized, cynosure always refers to Ursa Minor, particularly the North Star set within the constellation. The word’s other uses relate to it being the northernmost star; a cynosure can direct or guide and, in some instances, serve as the center of attention—perhaps explaining all the wishes wished upon it.

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