Blog

Posted in guest post

Our Writing Voice

Guest post by author B.J. Tiernan

The question is: How do you know what your writing voice is?  Does voice lead to writing ability and writing style or vice versa?

First, we need to understand what our ‘writing voice’ is. Your ‘writing voice‘ aka ‘writer’s voice‘ is as personal to you as your fingerprint. It is a direct reflection of your personality and what makes you unique and different from all other writers.

Each one of us has a unique style of speaking, a personal attitude, and a certain tone or inflection when we speak. When it comes to tone, you can hear it in two ways – the tone of your voice when you speak out loud and the silent tone you hear in your head. Both of these tones can vary, depending on the situation you find yourself in. Listen closely to both tones, for they make up your ‘writer’s voice.’ 

When you write, you want to allow your personality to shine through and write what feels comfortable and natural to you. In other words, you want to write the same way you talk.You don’t have to go in search of your writing voice, you already own it. It is within, but you must listen for it carefully. Pay attention. You can even make it a wakeful meditation to consciously hear the way you talk to others.

If you want to embellish your writer’s voice or change it in some way, you can read more. This way you can hear other author’s writing voices. Sometimes, you will find that you relate to or are drawn to a particular author’s writing voice over others. This may very well be because their writing voice is similar to your own. Reading other author’s can stretch you and move you in the direction you want to go.

When I wrote my first novel, I wrote in first-person and my main character was a male. Since I am female, I made it my occupation to sit in different coffee shops and restaurants and eavesdrop on men’s conversations. I wrote down their dialogue as I was hearing it in my Writer’s Notebook. This gave me some of the best samples of natural dialogue amongst men. It really helped. Don’t worry, I never divulged any of their secrets.

I believe that our writing voice does lead us to our writing ability and writing style. No matter what voice you decide to take up, yours or a combination of yours and someone else’s, you can be sure that your unique inner voice and personality will always shine through – in spite of you. Embrace it! That is what makes your voice different from everyone else’s.

“B. J. Tiernan graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Florida in 1972 and has been following her passion for teaching ever since. She is a retired sixth grade World History teacher who has also led various seminars, workshops, courses, and classes on writing for adults. She writes contemporary fiction to create a dialogue that gets her readers to ponder and question aspects of life, including living and dying and the merging of our dark and light sides. B. J. Tiernan dedicates her writing to all of her students who are hungry to tell their own stories through the written word.”

B.J. Tiernan is the author of Standing On A Whale and Yield. Her most recent book, Sizzler, is a collaboration with fellow author, Wolf Schimanski.

Posted in Uncategorized

My poetry book review: Love Without Borders

Optimism and Happiness Abound

Martin’s collection of Christian faith-inspired poetry provides a certain sweetness.

Virginia Martin‘s collection Love Without Borders (published in 2017) is the third volume in a six part series. Readers will immediately discover that Martin’s poetry is full of encouragement, optimism, and sweetness, served with a heavy Christian influence. Though these pieces do toe the line of falling (and actually do cross over a few times) into the realm of mawkish or sentimental work, their unabashed zest for life is undeniably cute.

Many of Martin’s poems could also be interpreted as prayers, which lends itself to a question still hotly debated today by such poets as Kaveh Akbar–what exactly is a poem? Martin posits her own theory, “Poetry is… / led by feelings and raw emotion / That rise from the innermost / Part of the heart.” Her definition is just as valid as any.

She also delivers some decent life advice through the poem, “Slow Down.” The speaker urges the book’s readers to “slow down, take in life, breathe / Notice a bird flying in the air / Hear its chirping in the wind / Find beauty in the simple things.” Her optimism continues to glow on the page through the words of “Rainbow.”  In the poem, the speaker gazes upon an awe-inspiring rainbow, “wishing it would stay / But hopeful it would be back / After another rainy day.” In addition to spreading messages of hope, Martin pays homage to an invaluable part of human life–friendships. She declares that “the confidant, memory maker, partner in crime / Supporter in the good and bad” are “…indeed the essence of life.” She sweetly extols the virtues of friendships, and the immense impact these relationships can have.

The poems are generally easy to breeze through, but readers may find themselves stuck on “Happy Housewife.” In the piece, Martin describes a homemaker whose constant mantra is “Hurry, hurry,” as soon as she wakes up. Springing into action by “making coffee for my honey and bringing it to bed” before continuing on with a litany of chores. The poem then ends with a line of inquisition which could only be assumed to be coming from “honey”:  “What do you mean you are too tired for intimacy?”

It is clear that Martin means to use that line as a wry joke to illicit a chuckle from other hardworking homemakers, but it also highlights the extremely unbalanced distribution of labor that many couples find themselves taking part in. While there is nothing at all wrong with being a ‘stay at home spouse,’ reading about a stay at home spouse who becomes so inundated with tasks and chores that they are unable to carve out any time for themselves, and witnessing the other spouse appear to be oblivious as to why their counterpart is tired at the end of the day is cringe inducing. Was it Martin’s intention to highlight this inequality issue in the home? Or is she continuing to naively participate in it? The answer is one that must be found out by the readers.

While the formatting of Martin’s poems is not particularly inspiring, the setup of her poetry collection is, in fact, rather unique–not in its ultimate construction, but in the addition of providing what is called a ‘Poetry Bonus Section.’ Here, instead of Martin’s own work, readers can discover the poetry of her friends and family. This addendum reflects the friendly attitude, which radiates from Love Without Borders.

The language of Martin’s poetry is uncomplicated, which allows it to be enjoyed by a broad audience; however, due to its religious foundations, this collection may not appeal to all readers. Though it is nice to note that Martin’s poetry is unabashedly optimistic, and does not try to be anything other than what it is.

Posted in Uncategorized

Walk of Faith Journal by Virginia Martin

Great book review of my Walk of Faith Journal. It is part of my Journals To Remember Series. Use the journal to write about what is most important to you. It is a faith based journal with quotes, biblical verses and lots of pages for reflective thought.

CRISTINA ISABEL - AUTHOR/POET

walkoffaithjournalWalk of Faith Journal

Review:

The Walk of Faith journal is second in the “Journals to Remember Series” and starts each page off with a positive bible verse.  It is meant to encourage you to write about your personal walk of faith.  There are also some positive quotes within the journal that may inspire you to write about them or write your own.  The end of the Journal contains reflective questions and extra journaling pages to write down your answers.  Some reflective questions include, “What are you thankful for?”, “What prayers has God answered?”, and “What bible questions do you need answered?”.

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized

Romance is in the air with Virginia Martin

My first Q & A post. I was interviewed by author/poet Cristina Isabel.

CRISTINA ISABEL - AUTHOR/POET

20190208_183323


BIO:

Virginia Martin has been passionate about writing since the age of 11 and loves to express herself through the written word. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is currently seeking her Master’s in Business with a concentration in Human Resources.  A Human Resources professional for the past 20 years, she loves helping people in any way she can.  She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Florida Romance Writers and is an avid reader of romance novels. Apart from reading, writing, and basking in the South Florida sun, Virginia enjoys photography, listening to Christian music and playing Scrabble.

To contact Virginia Martin, or to be placed on a mailing list to receive updates about new releases, click the “Contact Me” page on her author blog: www.virginiamartinauthor.net or send her an email at virginiamartinauthor@gmail.com.


AUTHOR Q&A:

1. When did you first realize you…

View original post 867 more words