Alternative Learning – For the Budding Writer

I’ve started new classes today. One is already teaching me that I need to expand my reading and my vocabulary. Beginning with Survey of 20th Century Writers has me reading numerous pieces that were articulately written from 1900 and beyond. Happening upon different vernacular from various points upon the world such as Ireland, Britain and America (so far) has showed me that even the simplest things have been changed or altered throughout short stories, novels, and poetry. It’s really been quite amazing to read and decipher even part of the meaning behind these stories. I wanted to share with you all some simple experiences I have encountered already that really have me wanting to read more works from times before any of us could remember or imagine.

  • The vocabulary has me opening my dictionary almost every time I pick up my book.
    This is interesting to me because I am learning to expand my vocabulary into an almost forgotten language. It’s enticing, helpful & nonetheless expansive to a budding writer.
  • The scenery is different. It’s explained, sometimes told, and frequently shown differently. I can’t help but notice the varying ways in which writers write today, and how writers before us once wrote.
    The pronouns and nouns aren’t the same, verbs and adverbs present themselves when necessary, and the looming air of imagination is constantly changing directions. I’ve learned through this that sometimes the necessity you think is there, really isn’t, and there is a way to further your landscape of images.

I probably would have never picked up a writing with the amount of dust I am sure the originals of my current readings accumulated but now, I encourage you to pick up an old book and wipe off it’s dust and uncover something new, something that may refresh you as it has refreshed me. Understand/study it & pick up your dictionary every time the unknown announces itself. Expand yourself and your writing.



Mental Muscle

Upon stepping into 2015, I wanted to recognize how I can improve my critical thinking skills. Understanding that not everyone thinks the same way you do can be quite frustrating at times and often overtakes us with the thought that people are out to get us with their intellectual banter. This, however big a pill to swallow, is not always the case I assure you. A sense of curiosity can perhaps kill the proverbial cat, but generally it leads to a more balanced understanding and appreciation for the values you do & do not hold.

I feel that there is perhaps a lack in critical thinking for many folks these days. It’s not like we always want to jump the gun, but we do this because we are consumed with our own belief systems and couldn’t comprehend or fathom the thought that someone would disagree with our beliefs. Think of it less as a disagreement and more of a gathering of thoughts and information. Perhaps you even have the chance to allow someone to build the framework for understanding a different perspective, possibly one you have that they do not.

Practicing the fine art of critical thinking might be slightly tiresome for me as it would anyone else because it takes a lot of energy to gather and process information and knowledge instead of just taking the next or closest available conclusion – also known as the availability heuristic. Upon reflection, I can say I don’t want to just take an answer for what someone says it may be, I want to allow myself to develop a conclusion through understanding and not assumption. There could be an alternative out there that I am unaware of if I am to rely on only what I know currently.

What do you think? More on this later…

Much Needed Investments

A new camera.

A journal and pen for my bag.

A pocket thesaurus even though I love my big 1950’s hand-me-down.

A new bag. Preferably a cute leather satchel with an array of useful pockets. Love the vintage look.

A battery pack charger cell for my laptop when it goes dead so I can take it with me and not worry about how long it will have juice.

on foley, and freelancers as humans

What an intense, truthful story. A must read.

Beautifully written Kaitlin!

On Empathy

Photo Credit: Nicole Tung Photo Credit: Nicole Tung

When I was in journalism school, I read and heard from a lot of  journalists with a hunger to chase the biggest, most important, and most dangerous stories around the world. They chose the reporter path to get them overseas and into war zones, natural disasters and extreme events with their camera and notebook as quickly and as often as possible. Few of them seemed to do it for fame; they enjoyed the chase, the adrenaline rush, the feeling that their work was really doing something, really having an impact, telling stories no one else could tell.

That was never what drew me to the field. In fact, I would say I’m on the other end of the same field, playing a different game. I’m more of a “stick close to home, make some calls, meet people in coffee shops, ruminate on words for long thoughtful…

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Interesting Find for the Eclectic Writer

Though I am not a reckoner (n. calculator, adding machine, calculating machine [computation]) I do reckon on (v. plan on, aim for, bargain for, count on [plan]) writing more and incorporating some nifty finds from my new tool. Well, new to me anyways…

Today, I was presented with a 50 year old dictionary-style thesaurus. If you couldn’t tell, these words were one of my interesting finds as soon as I opened it. I’ve been wanting a new thesaurus. Of course with me, nothing has to be brand new. I find more enthralling characteristics in things with a little dust on them, I suppose.

Cheers to you fellow aspiring, experienced, hobbyist, and career writers!


Mirrored Emotions: Learning to Stay Strong in Your Craft


You know it’s not always easy just to write. Just to sit down and compile thoughts into one category, decide what your going to do with them, and then actually reflect on the topic. And that’s before you even begin. Sometimes it’s like all your muscle’s are paralyzed, not allowing you to move your hand, the nerves in your fingers longing for the sensation of a pen in between them. If all you could do was just grab onto your keyboard, you’d get it out, all of those thoughts spilled onto your precious keys somehow lifting the weight off of your crippled shoulders.

There are people who cannot take the scrutiny, the opinions of others whether good or bad still have an effect on you. We allow ourselves to succumb to the views of others knowing they are not our own. Essentially, we are robbing ourselves of what true independence we were born with. The independence to determine our own identity and work on it in whatever way we are capable.

So whether it’s poetry or paintings, short stories or sketching, our craft is ours. Everyone is born with a craft or talent, some are even lucky enough to have multiple. But many will shy away from audiences, fearful of the unknown and unexpected hiding like a turtle in it’s shell without any intent on coming out unless the coast is clear. We cannot share the joy of our crafts and bring light to our world’s through the insides of our shells. Everything is an adventure and we must derive our courage out of strength, strength to share a special piece of ourselves with the world around us.

Allowing yourself the indulgence is necessary, providing yourself with the ability is significant. There is a child within each of us that screams for our mothers hand, but sadly that hand will be let go one day. With a reminder that we are strong enough to grow from our experiences and overcome the mirrored emotions to which we cannot show our crafts, there is no greater allowance in life than sharing a part of you with a part of someone else. Your work may have a parallel impact upon your viewers, your listeners, your audience…even those strangers who walk past you every day that you can’t make eye contact with, staring at the ground because it is more comfortable for you.

I have been here. I am still here. Slowly and surely I will overcome my fears and crawl out of my shell, moving slow as molasses probably. But! It will be done. I am determined and I am growing. I just want you all to know that you are not alone as you walk through this forest of life in all of it’s entanglements. As we all have difficulties in life just never forget to remember how you could impact someone with something that you were born with; that craft, that talent, that thing that is all your own.

It’s not easy, but it can be done.

Cheers to you my friend.



*photo courtesy of