Thursday, April 28, 2011

"The Game of Famous Persons"

As I promised that this blog would be for all things literary, and not just about writing, or reading, or any one thing, than I decided I'd tell you all about a game I recently discovered in the American Girls' Handibook.

(First of all, I really want to recommend this book to any young lady who loves the 1800's, and who wants amazing ideas for all sorts of things- this book was written by two sisters, Lina and Adelia Beard in the 1800's. The only thing I cannot fully recommend is the chapter on Halloween which naturally has some iffy stuff in it.)

Anyway! To move on. This game is called "The Game of Famous Persons" and is a super easy game to play while working in the garden, or doing some other task where you hands are not free.
It's really simple. Think of a famous person, like Shakespeare. Your task is to describe the name to the others players, so for Shakespeare I might say, "My first is something you do when you are cold, my second is a weapon of warfare."
The first person to guess goes next. Sometimes you can tweak the hints and make it a little harder. For instance, in one game I was trying to get my sister to guess "Columbus", and I said, "My first is something in a palace or temple. My second is a mode of transportation." Get it? Column-bus? :P These sorts of conundrums can be tricky, but they are so satisfying when you get them! There are lots of names that work well for this game, among them

Wordsworth (Word and worth)
Goldsmith (Gold, and Smith)
Cromwell (Sounds like "bomb", and a Well)
Angelo (Angel, and Low)
Columbus (Column, Bus)
Shakespeare (Shake, Spear)

And any others you can think of, modern or historic. :) You could even throw in well-known characters from books, if you wanted. Try this game sometime with friends who love to read, and see how far you get!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Inkpen Poetry Day: "Nature's Palette"

"Nature's Palette"
By Rachel Heffington

Green and blue together,
bit of grass and sky
emerald trees beside a stream
to tempt the passerby.

Green and gold together,
royal buttercup
waving by the roadside
with sweet face lifted up.

Green and pink together
heart-depths of the rose
trembling and blushing
to feel green leaves so close.

Green and brown together
fields and leaves and earth.
Tell me, Lord how did You
think to contemplate their worth?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Very First Fan Mail :)

Well, that's not exactly true. I got my first piece of fan mail during the Autumn poetry contest. However, that was accidentally deleted, and this one, from the self-same Miss Petunia, came during the Spring Has Sprung Poetry Contest along with her entry. :) Tell me, what do you think of it? ;)

"I am sure you remember me?!?!? Miss Petunia???? Only like, YOUR BIGGEST FAN EVERRRRR? (Please tell me if you think it bad form to end words with multiple repetitions of the last letter and I promise to NEVER do it again!) I have so much to tell you Miss Inkpen! So many "more wonderful things have happened" (there! I quoted Emma! I am not "so uneducated compared to Jane Fairfax"! There! I did it again! Did you notice????) since I last wrote to you in the autumn! (On that we will be silent; I know how it must pain you to remember how my entry slipped into the Lake of Shining Waters and you couldn't find it again when it came time to announce the winners of your last contest and so you had to choose one of the other entries instead of mine although mine was the one you really wanted to choose and yes even though I don't know for sure this is what happened I think it must have happened because I FEEL IT IN MY SOUL! Here, is my newest work for your judgement!!!!

"Spring-ring spring-bring spring-thing spring-king spring-sing spring-sauerkraut."

Yours truly,

Miss Petunia"

Very strange, is it not? If I continue to get such mail I'm in a fair way to have my head turned! Although methinks Miss Petunia is rather reminiscent of a female Mr. Collins! ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Look for the Inkpen Authoress

How do you like the new look? The header was done by a real movie-maker guy we know as a favor! Isn't it "Inkpen-ny"? :) ~Rachel

Monday, April 18, 2011

Inkpen Poetry Day: "Tis Sweetest in the Spring"

"Tis Sweetest in the Spring"
By Rachel Heffington

The farmers wives are scouring
their farmhouse kitchen floors
The bold, brisk lads are happy-eyed
and whistle out of doors.

The dairy-maids churn butter
Into little golden pats
and squirt the streams of pearly milk
to sleek soft-footed cats.

The red-cheeked children play beneath
the pear trees caught in bloom
And to and from the hidden hives
the striped bees zip and zoom.

The farmer with the sober horse
plows furrows in the field,
counting, with a cautious eye,
how well the earth will yield.

The breezes whisper to the rose
that clambers on the well
And drops into it's blushing ear
dreams lovers yearn to tell.

The sunbeams dance within the brook
and dimple in the shade
The grass is greening on the lea
and in the forest glade.

And with a joyous burst of song
the robin red-breasts sing,
the tune in every beating heart:
"Tis sweetest in the Spring!"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unsinkable: A maiden voyage!

My dear fellow writer, Elizabeth Rose, and her sister Bree have begun an AMAZING blog called "Unsinkable" inspired by the upcoming anniversary of the Titanic. They are hosting monthly giveaways and all sorts of fun events! This blog just launched out on its maiden voyage this past week, so hop on over and enter the giveaway, check out all the neat pages, and jump aboard. As Lizzie so eloquently put it: "There are no icebergs in sight!" :D

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm Rewriting....and I Love it!"

I am rewriting....and I love it!

Wait. Did I just say those two things in the same statement? Um...yes I did. And to further clarify, I'll say it again.

I am rewriting, and I love it! :P

You see, my lovely critique group partners took my story, beat it around a little, and showed me how to take what I had thought was a pretty polished story, and make it shine.
And sometimes to make something shine, you have to rub in really, really hard! :P
Such was my experience, and now that the dear critiquers are done critiquing it, it is my turn to take all the feedback, all the gentle, or frank tips, and whip this story into shape.
And I love it! I am able to see so much more clearly now just how far The Seasonings was from being done! And I am finding it is so much fun and so fulfilling to go back through the story and rewrite it, adding wittier dialog, beautiful descriptions, and anything I can lay my hands on to turn into a shining addition to my story!
So this comes with a piece of advise to other aspiring authors an authoresses:
When you think your story is done, I would really caution you to find a critique group, (mine is an online group) or a few writing friends who will give honest opinions, and take a second, third, and even fourth look at your book.
My critique group has been invaluable in showing me problems I hadn't even known existed. It's like having a dozen pairs of eyes to see my story from all angles.
Which has led me to being a better author myself. Which is why I can say in all honesty, "I'm rewriting, and I love it!" :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Winner of the Spring Has Sprung 2011 Poetry Contest!

I am so pleased to be able to announce the winner of the Spring Has Sprung Poetry Contest: Miss Felicity Faith Deverell of New Zealand! :) Thank you to each and every person who entered. It wouldn't have been a contest if you hadn't entered! :P Miss Deverell wins the original watercolor painting illustrating her poem. I will try to get it painted in the next week or two (gardening prevents it from being much sooner) and I will send it to you! Please email me your mailing address at
Thank you, and once more,congratulations to Felicity! (Her poem is printed in full below)

A Change of Season
By Felicity Deverell

Spring, like autumn, brings
Changes to the air;
Cold stil bites one sharply,
But pleasanter and clear.

No regard 'ny more
For chill nipping frost,
Such things come to nothing
'Fore flowers and are lost.

The days arise 'neath
A cerulean sky,
Old southern winds die with
A voluntary sigh.

And a lark lingers
Where black clouds once were,
Rejoicing with every
Wing-beat the springtime stir.

There you have it! Thanks for all the great entries! ~Rachel

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Lady Bella"

I decided to try my hand at writing a bit of a dramatic, sad poem in the style of Tennyson or any of those other great men who had their heyday in the Victorian Era. People were so sentimental back then and verily hungered for anything to make them weep! :) So anyway, here is my poem: Lady Bella (I couldn't manage to leave it entirely hopeless ;)

"Lady Bella"
By Rachel Heffington

Bella Rose, the beauty of the land
Steps softly o'er the hills of sand
Beside the raging, dark'ning sea
And calls her Love in anguished tones
That echo through the maze of stones
And shiver back to me.

Six years sweet Bella Rose has tread
This shore, though all vow He is dead.
By daylight Bella Rose is tame
But nightly roams the beach with tears,
Her voice haunting the one who hears,
Repeating her Love's name.

Her dark hair tumbles loose and free
Bejewelled with the spray of sea;
Her cheeks are rose, her eyes speak hope.
Her voice as sweet as fairy-harp
Is broken now with sorrow sharp
And rings against the slope.

"My Love! My Love! Where canst thou be?
Dost not thou love thy fair Lady?
Come hither, for my heart is sore!"
She calls and waits for his return
With eyes of hope and love that burn,
And treads the lonely shore.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What is Your Purpose In Writing?

" Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly at fault themselves, to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest."~Jane Austen

The above quote basically encapsulates my style of writing. All my favorite books are ones that inspired me, encouraged me, and made me forget my own problems and my own trials in a beautifully woven story. I am a cheerful, merry-hearted person most of the time. I read for enjoyment. And I don't know about you, but I don't enjoy reading books about dark, scary, depressing, or miserable lives. True, a dangerous scene has amazing potential for turning a dull book into something extraordinary, but I prefer real dangers like historical battles or other such things. I just can't make myself like the books dealing with murder or abuse or guilt or misery. Well, I should correct that statement. Some books, especially ones by people like Charles Dickens, do have dark scenes. They do deal with misery and guilt and things like that. But they don't stay there and wallow in it. The characters move on and their issues are dealt with.
I am not saying that I like "prunes and prisms" books. Far from it. Pollyanna irritates the Dickens out of me! (No pun intended ;) I did not ever connect with Elsie Dinsmore. These books are not bad and it's not as though they are not well-written.
The popular, modern style of writing is to choose a tormented person as the protagonist (main character) and dwell in their disturbed mind and lives for as long as possible, and then dump you at the end of the book with a highly disturbing ending.
Okay. So I am stereotyping, and I haven't personally read anything like that, but I have read snippets of "great novels" in my writing book, and that is the general idea of the modern novel, as far as I've been able to tell.
I gather that the thinking behind this is to give readers a character they can relate to. And I can only scratch my head. Really? Because I wasn't under the impression that prisoners were the main source of avid readers in society. Maybe I'm wrong. They probably have a lot of time on their hands and would appreciate new stories.
But in all seriousness. Is it really worth "relating" to a character to spend hours reading a dark, depressing book? I cannot think that is profitable. Of course, my life has been "easy" compared to many people's. I have been homeschooled, and raised in a distinctly Christ-loving home. I have both my parents, and a passel of brothers and sisters. :) I live out in the countryside, surrounded by my loving family. And so I cannot relate to the popular main characters in modern fiction. I don't understand their depression and tormented minds. It isn't pleasant to read, and it isn't uplifting to read, and there I stand.
In short, guess each author writes for a different purpose. My purpose is to convey my love of literature in a new and wholesome way to my readers. In a way that honors God's standards. In fact, Jane Austen's words fit my style pretty well.
Think all the classic books known and loved by children for generations. Think stories that stick in your mind for decades. That's what I seek to write, because that is what I love. So in closing, I'd just like to encourage each of you as writers to settle on your purpose for writing. Mine was said largely by a beloved author of over a hundred years ago:
" Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly at fault themselves, to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest."~Jane Austen