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Behind The Words

A journal by Barbara Wood

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Got Writer's Block?

by Barbara Wood last modified Jun 27, 2017 16:04

Here’s a little trick that works for me every time.

Open to a page in one of your favorite novels (I always select a book by James Michener) copy a few paragraphs and then close that book and continue writing, but changing the story and making the scene end differently. Before you know it, the log jam in your mind will break up and your own ideas will start flowing again.

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Summer Officially Here

by Barbara Wood last modified Jun 21, 2017 09:15

Today is the longest day of the year. Happy Summer Solstice friends!

The sun rose at 5:39 today and yes I was up to see it. And it will set at 8:04 pm in my neck of the woods which will give me a 14 + hour day. We're experiencing a mini heatwave in my area, so the day will not only be extra long, but fiercely hot as well. Those who like to affirm nature and mark the cycles of the year often light bonfires to celebrate the solstice, or set off fireworks. Some will make the the pilgrimage to Stonehenge to see a breathtaking sunrise and sunset through the eyes of our ancient ancestors. Wherever you are HAPPY SUMMER to you

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Happy Father's Day

by Barbara Wood last modified Jun 18, 2017 05:29

Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers and Father figures. Enjoy your day!

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Thinking Of You

by Barbara Wood last modified Jun 05, 2017 08:49

Thoughts and prayers to the people of London and Manchester. I have very fond memories of my many trips to the U.K., and of course a mountain of memories growing up in England.

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In Remembrance

by Barbara Wood last modified May 29, 2017 07:48

In honor of those who have fallen.  Happy Memorial Day!

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Happy Mother's Day!

by Barbara Wood last modified May 14, 2017 08:13

Wishing all the Moms out there a wonderful day :)

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Just Words

by Barbara Wood last modified May 09, 2017 10:24

This year I celebrated a birthday ending in a zero - you know one of those significant birthdays. A dear friend of mine just celebrated her birthday - again one ending in a zero. We are 20 years apart. Going from a something nine to a "ty" really wasn't a bit deal. Getting older is all about attitude. You truly are as young as you feel and decide.

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The Purrrrfect Space

by Barbara Wood last modified Apr 25, 2017 08:33

Part of a writer's day is spent reading. Reading for research, reading the book that I'm writing, and reading for pleasure another writer's work. I like to read in my favorite chair in my office with Bucky, my cat, for company purring in the background and a cup of steaming hot coffee nearby. Where do you like to read?

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Sometimes . . .

by Barbara Wood last modified Apr 18, 2017 13:08

Yup. Sometimes writing can feel like this :)

 

 

 

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Behold . . . Caffeine

by Barbara Wood last modified Apr 12, 2017 11:41

If it were not for my morning ritual which begins with a cup of coffee, nothing would get written!

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Polish Connection

by Barbara Wood last modified Apr 10, 2017 12:11

I was recently interviewed for a blog.  The blog is about literature and movies with an emphasis on Polish literature.

Read about it here and find out my Polish connection.

Thank you Agnes :)

 

 

 

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Weird Grammar

by Barbara Wood last modified Apr 04, 2017 09:49

In English we have a rule in spelling that says "i" before "e" except after "c".  A good rule I suppose, but then how do you explain the following sentence: "Neither of the scientists seized upon that weird species of leisure."

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Far River

by Barbara Wood last modified Mar 30, 2017 10:49

I'm just putting the finishing touches on the final version of my next book, FAR RIVER, which takes place in a Southern California Winery. Feeling excited! Can't wait to share this one with you all. This is not the artwork, but it's certainly inspirational.

 

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Sage Advice

by Barbara Wood last modified Mar 27, 2017 08:05

This is so true.

If I did not follow this advice I probably wouldn't be able to write one page. There are a lot of great writers out there. But never forget, you're a great writer too!

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How Do You Know When You're Done?

by Barbara Wood last modified Mar 13, 2017 11:59

A reader who is writing her first novel (about feudal Japan) asked me how a writer knows when she’s done enough research and it’s time to start writing. The rule of thumb on research is, if you aren’t learning anything new, you’re done.

Several years ago I visited Cancun as a tourist, and while visiting the ruins at Chichen Itza, I wondered who had built this amazing pyramid. Even more intriguing was why, and how? A little research led me to a new interest, and out of that sprang the inspiration for my novel, “Woman Of A Thousand Secrets.”

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Ahhhhh . . .

by Barbara Wood last modified Feb 23, 2017 14:20

"As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move...similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle." -- Honore de Balzac

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Happy Valentine's Day!

by Barbara Wood last modified Feb 14, 2017 12:30

In honor of Valentine's Day, let me share some chocolatey research that I did a few years ago.

While Cleopatra might have been the richest woman in the world in her time, there were a few luxuries that her vast wealth simply could not buy. Even had she craved chocolates, she could not have had any. Or if she had had a hankering to smoke a cigarette. Or maybe she had the late night munchies for an order of fries. All the gold-laden barges in the world could not have bought these treats for her. Why? Because they did not exist in her world.

While I was conducting research for “Woman Of A Thousand Secrets” I made some delightful discoveries. I had not known, for example, that Europeans had not even heard of a tomato or a potato before the discovery of the Americas. Imagine, Italians eating spaghetti without tomato sauce! Englishmen eating fish without chips!

And these tasty discoveries were not a one-way street, either. Before the Spaniards arrived in Mexico, to find avocados, cocoa and vanilla awaiting them, the Indians had never tasted pork chops, peaches or pears. What an exchange it was! Animals, too: the Indians gave us turkeys, and the Spaniards gave them horses.

It is amazing to me to think how that pivotal voyage in 1492 altered dining menus and forms of transportation around the world. No longer were the New World indigenous people walking everywhere and carrying all their goods on their own backs, but riding horses and using them as pack animals. And on the other side of the world, tables were groaning with potatoes, pineapples, pumpkins and cranberries.

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One Way To Enjoy A Book

by Barbara Wood last modified Feb 12, 2017 09:24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's one way to enjoy a book. With all the rain that we've had in my area and the chilly nights, this is quite a realistic scene for a Southern California evening :)

(artwork by Deborah DeWit)

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First Hand Experience

by Barbara Wood last modified Feb 07, 2017 14:41

I've mentioned before that we're having some very welcome rain in my neck of the woods. As well as enjoying wonderful views of the snow capped mountains in the distance and emerald grass at my feet that is normally donkey brown, I have deliberately taken walks in the rain. I do this so that I can experience something I may want to include in a scene. How does it feel to walk in the rain? Actually, I've forgotten due to our four year long drought. So, I walked in the rain, with an umbrella and without an umbrella and took notes which will be filed away until I need them. This is a first hand experience of course. I can't do this type of exercise with every experience that I want to include in a book. I may want to write a story that includes a scene where skiing is the perfect solution. I don't ski and I don't particularly want to take up the sport either. For this, I will watch videos and imagine what this sensation feels like.

My next book, which I'm currently editing, is set in a winery. For those of you who know me, that's a pretty easy experience to write about!

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Be Obsessed!

by Barbara Wood last modified Feb 02, 2017 09:10

I could not have said this any better I always have a pen and paper handy whenever I'm away from desk.

I never know when I'm going to hear an awesome phrase, opinion, joke, argument, or debate. And sometimes they are worth jotting down

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Top

2017-06-27

Got Writer's Block?


2017-06-21

Summer Officially Here


2017-06-18

Happy Father's Day


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Jun 13, 2017

Terres D'esperance


May 19, 2017

The Blessing Stone


Mar 02, 2017

My Latest Book Available in German: Wohin dein Traum dich fuhrt


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Copyright © 2007 by Barbara Wood. All rights reserved.