Category Archives: On Writing

Blog Birthday Bash

happy4BdayBlogTime to blow out the candles, cause it’s my Blog Birthday at closed doors open windows! Four years ago I really began to dig into my journey of self discovery with some major doors closing in my life, leading to some incredible open window opportunities. I’ve shared things across the gambit here: joys, sorrows, updates, my family life, recipes, crafts, home decorating, business tips… I’ve shared some of my life’s lows — from my Mom’s battle with Cancer and her passing — and highs — my Engagement and starting out as an Entrepreneur. Wow, how life has changed in these past 4 years, and its gratifying to look back and see some life-defining moments captured here!

It is my hope that in a world where we are bombarded with information, that at some point these ponderings by yours truly have brought even a bit of delight or a moment of reflection. Thank for joining me in my little space on the interwebs, for celebrating my Blog’s Birthday, and for taking time to share some of yourself with me here. Writing is one of my first loves, and using it to connect with other people one of my greatest joys, so sincerely…I’m grateful. I am blessed.

Happy Birthday closeddoorsopenwindows.wordpress.com!

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Spring, Getting Down to Business, and BIRDS!

The office

Another Friday at "The Office"

Ahhh, April in Dallas!  The wild Blue Bonnets cascading across the fields, the trees flaunting their new emerald plumes, the wild Spring wind whipping around, and Birds fluttering both IN and OUTside of the home.

I’ve got nothing against birds, really.  My Grandmother raised me to be very conscious of their wellbeing, actually. She was always gathering up bits of food for either my Grandpa or to feed the birds.  To this day, loaf of bread “butts” are considered bird food.  And just last weekend, my husband and I rented, The Big Year, the recent Birding movie featuring Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson — and I enjoyed it!

See, I am a bird advocate — when they are outside of my house.  Let’s be honest, I doubt that they are all too fond of my stuffy, small attic or our dark, spooky chimney either.

So the Property Manager sent out her Maintenence “guy”, (I really love when people have A GUY) this morning to scope out our Bird Invasion situation and take action.  Gosh, I hope it works.

As is the Sanchez family norm, there is a long saga that is much funnier shared in person with waving arms, silly sound effects, and a nemesis.  In this case, it was a guy named George from a local Extermination company. Albeit friendly, George proceeded to chatter on for more then an hour of my hubby’s time walking around the exterior of our condo, theorizing about the “infiltration”.  He discussed, in great depth, all the possibilities of what could be in our attic and all the ways it could have gotten there.  This was all done without ever actually getting up in the attic to SEE.  Things got worse from there, but I digress.

Today I prefer to join the birds outdoors, on this lovely Spring afternoon. A city girl has got to take advantage of the mid 80 degree weather when possible, yes?  Not a bad office space either. It’s time for me to write. I’m doing my weekly warm up here.   Friday, I love you.  OK, going to get down to business.  Or at least try 🙂  Just getting the writing juices flowing…

UPDATE: Back inside the house. Unhappy bird is STILL in the Chimney. UGH! Dick van Dyke & Mary Poppins, where are you when I need you??

“Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ee!
A sweep is as lucky
As lucky can be”

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Best Books on Writing

I have been on the lookout for good books to guide me in the writing process as of late. As a member of Informed Ideas for Writers, a LinkedIn group, I started a discussion asking for recommendations from other writers. There has been a wonderful response from the group (thanks, fellow IIFWs!), so I thought I would compile their responses into one very helpful list and post it here to share. It also helps me to break it down and have an easy reference point to return to, as this is not a light summer reading list, but an inspiring list to tackle over the writing years ahead!

I have hyperlinked the book titles to GOOD READS when possible so that you may read further reviews and gather more information on these great finds.

I’ll try to keep the list update it as more suggestions roll in…

HERE WAS MY POSTED QUESTION:
What is your favorite book on writing?

I’m wondering what are writers’ favorite books about writing? I’m particularly interested in books that discuss writing from life. I know that there are all kinds of blogs, magazines, etc. too, but nothing like a good ol’ concise book that you can keep pulling out, highlight, etc.

RESPONSES FROM IIFW GROUP MEMBERS:

TOP 2 SUGGESTED BOOKS ON WRITING:

Currently a tie between these top two picks

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

On Writing by Stephen King

What did writers have to say about Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD? I compiled a few of their comments:

“It’s simple, practical and the focus is on progress rather than shoulds.”

“I, too, like Bird by Bird. The only thing better was hearing Ann L. discuss writing in person.”

Bird by Bird definitely” and “it’s the best!”

What did writers have to say about King’s ON WRITING? I compiled a few of their comments:

“Part biography, part How to. Some really informative techniques. I found it a refreshing change.” –Ian R.

“I recommend On Writing by Stephen King to all beginning authors. He gives great advice, not just on writing but on the business of writing.”

“Stephen King’s On Writing is excellent. Since it’s been 10 years since I read it, I probably ought to pick up a copy and re-read it.”

Story by Robert McKee was recommended by a couple of different writers as well.

Other suggested books, in random order:

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

Writing with Precision by Jefferson D. Bates

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Finding What You Didn’t Lose by John Fox

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

Act Natural: How to Speak to Any Audience by Ken Howard

The Weekend Novelist a Writer’s Digest book (I couldn’t find this book)

Reference Books:

Fowler’s Modern English Usage (I linked to the NEW Edition)

Screenwriting books:

2000+ stage Hero’s Journey And Transformation Through A New World / State by Kal Bashir
Screenplay by Syd Field
Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters
Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
Save The Cat by Blake Snyder
Anatomy of a Story by John Truby

For Fiction Writing:

Writing Basics for Beginners by Jeanne Marie Leach

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