Let Freedom Ring!

With technology comes plenty of responsibility…or distractions. Mainly the latter. When it comes to writing and technology, distractions aren’t needed.

Focus should be your best friend!
This is where Freedom comes in.

Freedom is an app you can purchase by year or with a Forever plan. This app can be used across devices and operating systems. You have the ability to block the entire internet, block apps, websites, and review your sessions while Freedom is activated. With a premium account, you can utilize a schedule and receive perks!

Overall, Freedom can be used for any type of work but we think it would be most helpful towards your writing career. It will help you control your distractions! Social media? Blocked! Your favorite online store? Blocked! Video streaming services? Blocked! (It’s also good for your health to control your digital habits, but that’s just a plus.)

With Freedom, you select your devices, set your schedule, and block whatever keeps you from meeting your word quota.

Your manuscript will thank you later.

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Listen While You Work

I am a multitasker. While I may not be good at it most of the time, I enjoy using multiple parts of my brain at once. My new form of multitasking is doing just about anything while listening to an audio book. 

There are so many opportunities throughout the day to incorporate listening to your audio book. Why settle for one when you can have more fun, am I right?

Some of my daily encounters of such multitasking include: getting ready in the morning, going to the gym, cooking dinner and  while I do my nightly scroll through social media. Now I understand, sometimes it is hard to focus your brain on more than one thing at a time, but it is always something you can get used to. You will quickly discover some simple changes that will make the task easier for you

For instance, I found that when listening to my audio book at the gym I had to make sure I had the right headphones. At first I was using some rinky-dink ones where I could hear my surroundings all too much to a point I lost concentration, and they would constantly be falling out. While I do not need complete silence in order to listen I do tend to block out just about everything that I can so I can truly enjoy it, and that tends to work better when they can also stay on my ears. 

For me, I feel like when I listen along with doing other activities It makes me feel more accomplished and self fulfilled. I get to listen to many books and it keeps my ‘must listen to’ list flowing. 

There are other ways to incorporate listening to audiobooks into your daily schedule you just have to find the best times for you!

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Blushing Language

We all know the writing motto: show, don’t tell.

But don’t we all get overwhelmed when we think we need to show everything? Are there certain categories of showing emotion or a character’s feeling towards something versus telling? Well, you can answer those questions because we’re going to share a quoted post. The original author is MIA but we do want you all to know – it wasn’t our idea. We’re simply adding a bit of input!

How to write ‘they blushed’ without writing ‘they blushed’:

  • They took a step backwards.
  • They shifted their weight from one side to the other.
  • They hid their face in their hands.
  • They shifted their glance to something else in the room, all around the room for that matter.
  • Their eyes widened.
  • They crossed their arms.
  • They leaned into themselves.
  • They scratched the back of their head.
  • Utilize hand motions. When people are nervous or embarrassed, they tend to use their hands to declare their frustration.
  • Quirks! Each character should have their own quirks even before you begin writing. It’s their go-to and displays some of their negative traits sometimes.

 

Foot Traps

caltrops.jpgCaltrops

 

  • This was a weapon used to maim or kill infantry, and/or others not shielded with armor. Caltrops specifically had two or more sharp nails. In the past, caltrops were used against foot troops and cavalry. Today, caltrops are used against wheeled vehicles. We’ve all watched high speed chases!
  • The name of this device if from Latin. The original meaning is “foot-trap.”
  • Caltrops have been used in heraldry. Mainly as charges in the shields!

All Aboard!

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Italian Boarding Sword

  • The Italian boarding sword was a tool used by sailors or pirates. When ships collided and one crew needed to get aboard another vessel, this sword was used to cut rope with ease or hack closed doors.
  • Although considered a tool, it was also used as a weapon. It could pierce a victim and the fighting style is very similar to fencing (except with a shorter blade.)
  • We are accustomed to seeing sailors and pirates with curved blades (cutlasses for example) but this particular sword has a straight blade.
  • It is also called a Genoese boarding sword because of a captain who hailed from the Republic of Genoa.

New Just Broke…

We’re going to sum everything up: the APA (Audio Publishers Association) reported the rise in audiobook sales in 2018 being 24.5%!

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According to Publisher’s Weekly, this is a more accurate percentage. It’s accounting for sales receipts rather than estimated sales. Over 91% of audiobook sales are coming from a digital format…we’ve entered the digital age! Kidding, we’ve been living in it for quite some time now!

The more popular genres include general fiction, mysteries/thrillers/suspense, and sci-fi/fantasy. Nonfiction sales have risen and represent 32.7% of units sold in 2018; starting with general nonfiction, history/biography/memoir, and self-help.

The age group dominating a little over 91% of sales are adults. Young adult titles increased by double digits and audiobooks geared for children rose moderately.

Production of audio has risen 5.8% from 2017!

(This report was based on figures from 20 publishers, including all Big 5 houses.)

A Ceremonial Club

What is so incredibly special about the weapon we are talking about this week is…it’s still in use! Maybe not for battle, but for ceremonial purposes and the pictures found online are of these traditions! Carry on…


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Rungu

  • This weapon originated in East Africa. It was used in battle and in hunting originally.
  • It also serves as a ceremonial tool for male warriors of the Maasai culture. The ceremonial rungu are decorated in beads sewn in by the local women.
  • It’s similar in shape to a club, mixed a bit with a baton. The end of the club was typically a heavy knob or a heavy ball.

The Iron Claw

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Zhua

  • Zhua literally translates to claw. And this weapon represents that entirely. It is an iron claw attached to a 6 ft. pole. Sometimes it bears a weight at the bottom to be used as a bludgeon.
  • Some of the better reasons to use a zhua in battle is to disarm someone of their shield or grabbing riders off their horses.
  • This is an ancient Chinese weapon and was a known weapon of Sun Tzu, a warrior and general.

Daggers of Nobility

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Katar

  • The katar is considered a push dagger. It has a hand grip shaped like an ‘H’, forcing the wielder to clutch the blade above the knuckles. Sort of like Wolverine from X-Men. According to fighting styles, its compared to boxing a lot. Anyone using a katar aims for slashing the head or upper area and puts their whole weight into it.
  • Believe it or not, these daggers were used in worship from time to time. More importantly, they were used as symbols of Indian nobility. Katars utilized as decorations such as this were dressed in enamel, gems, or gold foil. They even could bear figures or scenes.
  • Mentioned briefly, this weapon was first crafted in India. Many speculate it was done so in Canada or England, but nope…India! Interesting enough, because of the weather of India, sheathes were not made of usual sheathe material, they were made from silk or any other soft material.