Friday, October 7, 2016

Tools of Language and Expression - 1

We're going to spend the month of October discussing the devices writers use to express ideas, develop characters, introduce conflicts, entertain the reader, etc. We refer to these devices as tools of language and expression. You will need to learn to recognize them in others' writing as well as be able to use some of them in your own writing. Some of the tools are so common that you may not even realize you're already using them. We'll start with some of the most familiar ones. 

American English is a tool of literature and expression. Those of you who live in North America are probably using American English. This is the language that developed from British English (used in the British Isles), especially in terms of diction, spelling, and differences in the use of grammar. No matter where you live, you are undoubtedly using collocation--the natural tendency to put certain words together. For instance, it sounds strange to a person who speaks American English to hear someone say, "A high gentleman is scaling the tall mountain," instead of, "A tall gentleman is scaling the high mountain." Diction is the art of choosing a particular word from a variety of words so you can create a specific effect. Word choice determines the reader's reaction and contributes to the author's style and tone. But don't confuse diction with dialect, which is the type of speech of a particular group or class of people. It usually distinguishes people who are geographically or socially recognized. Dialect often employs the use of words that create a special effect. For instance, a character who resides in the west may, upon meeting a woman, say, "Howdy, ma'am." But an eastern character would probably say, "Hello, madam."  

See.....we've already covered five tools in just one paragraph, and you have probably used them in your writing without even thinking about the fact that they're tools of language and expression. Along the same lines, you are most likely using idioms--expressions in one language that cannot be directly translated word-for-word into another language--without realizing it. For instance, if you say, "She was green with envy," someone who speaks another language would not understand, in his/her own language, the inference it makes to those of us who speak American English. 

What about onomatopoeia? Gulp, murmur, and splash are examples of this tool; they are words that mimic the sound they represent. And how about a great oxymoron, a contradiction in terms that actually makes sense in an odd sort of way. For example: jumbo shrimp, Little Big Man, military intelligence (my favorite), or the ones in the cartoon below: 

Do you think you would enjoy reading nearly so much if writers ignored the use of tools of language and expression?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 19 "The Vast and Shallow"

Janet & Don Beasley
Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives.

We began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 19: "The Vast and Shallow"

Don prepares for an outing
Our next adventure took place in an area of Michigan's UP known as The Shallows. The Shallows are near Naomikong River. It made for a wonderful day of hiking alongside and kayaking in the grand Lake Superior. The Shallows' shoreline actually graces the rim of Whitefish Bay which is part of Lake Superior.

We awoke to the smell of coffee brewing and bacon frying. After breakfast we were eager to get busy so we loaded up the #WildernessSystems T140 and the Sealoution and headed around the bay to our beach of choice...The Shallows. 

We parked the kayaks and began our hike into the Naomikong forest. We soon found the area to be as beautiful as any "water and woods" area of the UP. We strolled along wild blueberry bushes, and found some interesting shaped trees. For me (Janet) it was a good thing we didn't see any bears...I'm not real fond of those fury man-eaters! But we did see some birds and butterflies. 

View from trail
The shoreline peeked through the trees at points along the hike, and Lake Superior, once again, did not disappoint. The scenery uplifted your inner soul and the smell of the north woods played its part as calming aroma therapy. 

We hiked to the Naomikong Bridge. What a cool piece of woodwork tucked away in the soft pines. It allows you to walk over the Naomikong River plus catch a glimpse of the grandest of the Great Lakes. 

When we returned to The Shallows we readied the kayaks. It didn't take long to get out onto the calm, shallow water. The water remained still for the day (a rarity on any water off of Lake Superior), and the view divine!

Criss-crossing waves
At times waves come from different directions. It could be caused by wind change and the original direction of the waves has not dissolved, or it could be, in the case of The Shallow, rollers from the lake freighters that finally make it to shore crisscross with the direction of the breeze. In any form, as long as they are small (and not dangerous), crisscrossing waves can be a real treat to watch. 

The Shallows is just that, shallow. We had some fun watching our friends "walk on water." Kayaking in the shallow, and thankfully clear, water became tricky at times as large boulders were barely beneath the water's top. Keeping an eye on the "buried treasures" became a routine task, but not a hassle. 

Gull on a boulder in The Shallows
If you love to Geo Cache there's at least one really cool find in the The Shallows/Naomikong area.

It was a wonderful day spent on the trails and on the water. We are counting the days until we can return to the area and enjoy nature at its best once again. 


Kayak Tip of the Week: If you're kayaking in shallow, open water be sure to remain alert to your surroundings, any unstable weather that may be fast approaching, and remain at a safe distance from the shoreline in case you need to make a fast exit. 


More photos from our day's adventure at The Shallows...

On the trail
Janet in an oddly shaped tree
Approaching the Naomikong Bridge
On the Naomikong Bridge 
Naomikong Bridge
View from Naomikong Bridge
On the trail
The forest by Lake Superior
Don ready to "shove off"
Don paddling in The Shallows
Our beach spot for the day
Our Wilderness T140 tandem kayak on the shoreline of
The Shallows
Our beach spot from the water 
Friends preparing with Don to kayak 
The Shallows sandbar  
Gulls on the sandbar
Lake Superior driftwood
Gull in the early evening's sun at The Shallows
Gull in flight at The Shallows 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Excerpt Extravaganza! Today's Excerpt Is From "A Life Renewed"

Welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where an eclectic team of creative geniuses share their fantastical imaginations. 

On Mondays we are featuring an excerpt from one of our creative authors. And what makes this feature so fun is that we publish a wide range of genres. You'll never know what to expect for the excerpt.

To read all of our excerpts thus far, we invite you to visit our blog archives and look for our first Excerpt Extravaganza! that began on August 1, 2016.


All previous excerpts are available in our archives. We began this series on August 1, 2016.

Today's excerpt is from 5 star author Lisa Andrew's A Life Renewed, a child's true to life story of being a cancer survivor.

One of the biggest shocks of that first week was the bone marrow test, which I had to get on the first day that I was in the hospital. I didn’t know much about the procedure, but my mom warned me that it was probably going to be really painful. The nurse took me into a small treatment room and told me to lie on my side on the examination table. My mom was standing next to me saying, “Everything is going to be okay. Just relax. It will only hurt for a few seconds.” 

Suddenly, I began to feel very heavy and all of my nerves seemed to disappear. The nurse said, “I’m just putting a little morphine into your IV to relax you.” The morphine made me feel very distant to what was happening. However, I was still very aware of what was going on! 

The doctor came in and started rubbing some alcohol and Betadine on my lower back. Then he started pushing his thumb into my bone. “You are going to feel a little pressure. I am just trying to find your hip bone.” The doctor was really pushing his thumb into me pretty hard. Finally he found his desired spot, and then he said, “Now you are going to feel some stinging. I am going to start numbing the area.” 

The stinging went really deep. “Ow! Mom, it hurts!” Tears started rolling down my cheeks as she tried to comfort me. 


To discover more about our author Lisa Andrews or purchase her book we invite you to visit her author page on the JLB Creatives website by clicking here.

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JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)