Writing has always been a passion of mine. I began writing poetry while I was in grade school. The poetry then moved on to short stories and novels. During the many years spent at the university, my nose was always tucked between the pages of my textbooks. But having graduated and no longer following a "required reading list", I now have the time to read -and write- again for leisure. I am currently working on a several projects that I will share with everyone further down the road.

For the time being... I hope to entertain you with my short stories, and my random book reviews.

mY tIpS fOr bEcOmInG a bEttEr wRiTeR                

Sometimes I suffer from writer's block, and feel the need for a refresher course on creative thinking. We all have a voice, we just have to tell it to "speak up" at times! So I put together a list of tips to be aware of when trying to brainstorm ideas. No, I do not claim to be an expert on the subject. These are just a handful of tools that I have learned from personal experience, that work for me. I hope that you can find something in it for you!

1 - Read more! Ideas are all around us, we only need to pick up a newspaper, magazine, or book. Plus, reading improves our vocabulary! Who does not want to use a plethora of adjectives to describe the mood, atmosphere, color, scent, texture, or sound of a situation? Read more, it makes wrinkles in your brain - the good kind.

2 - Carry some type of recording material with you. If you are "old school", you might choose a composition book and a set of no.2 pencils, to take residence at your side. If you prefer something that leaves you without worrying about transcribing your poor penmanship, then consider carrying a small tape player around. Yes! They still make them! I know that a cassette recorder seems like an ancient idea to some, but they still sell them, primarily for college student types who have a difficult time taking notes in their lecture courses. Also, a cassette recorder can be much more logical when amazing ideas hit you in the middle of the night, and you do not want to turn on a light to write them down in your notebook. Just record them onto your handheld player, and leave them for when you have time for a dictation and typing session.

3 - People watch. We learn a lot from the way that people carry themselves; whether they are crossing a room, or in mid-conversation. Watch how they hold their posture - confident? or more reserved? Watch how their faces move when they describe something they enjoy talking about, in relation to something they are bothered by. Watch if they fidget, or have routine "tells" like poker players. All of these observations can help to develop character situations in stories.

4 - Be curious. When you are out at a restaurant, be aware of conversations around you. Table neighbors may discuss gossip that you may never have considered. But knowing that people are talking about something, increases the likelihood it is a subject that people would be willing to read about. Ask questions when you are out in social situations. Cocktail parties are usually a grand buffet of story lines! Listen to what people ramble on about, and don't be afraid to ask them to explain things in greater detail for you.

5 - Use social networking sites. Places like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ can be great sources of information. You can "people watch" without having to leave your home. You might also feel more comfortable throwing out random questions to the masses, and see what you reel in.

I hope that you find my tips helpful. If not all of them, maybe just one or two? As I stated in the title, these tips are all things we already know. We just have to remember how to generate our stream of consciousness to be descriptive. Pick a subject matter to write about, and then observe situations that can help to improve the details. Now...get back to writing!

~ Lisa Beth