What About the Theme?

If you’ve been following along with borrowed solace for a while, you know that we release two journals every year–the unthemed spring journal, and the themed fall journal.

We love our fall journals because they give us as editors, and you, as writers, something different to take into consideration as we put the journal together.

The theme for the fall 2021 journal is “tamed,” but what does that mean?

While I always think our themes are best left open to interpretation, that doesn’t mean you can submit a piece for the fall journal that doesn’t relate to the theme at all. What it does mean, though, is that you can be creative. Write about the opposite of the word, or juxtapose a tame character with a feral one. Think about the negatives and positives of being wild verus tamed, and write about how the two also can intertwine.

Think about the things we humans do to tame the wildness out of the world, and out of ourselves. Explore what it means to be untamable–at what point is breaking a wild horse a fruitless cause, and should it ever have been a cause worth putting time and effort towards in the first place? Explain the wildest place you’ve ever stepped foot into and how it made you long for your tamed suburban existence. Explain the opposite–how your humdrum and tamed life inspired you to take a few steps back and re-evaluate.

The possibilities when it comes to our fall 2021 theme, “tamed,” are endless… So get to writing!

S3 Episode 8: Video Games & Writing (part I)

This week, Amber and Nicole are taking over to talk all about video games and writing. They had so much to say about the topic that we are dividing the episode into two parts–this week is a shorter introduction, and next week they will get into the details of which videogames inspire them to write.

S3 Episode 7: Resources

In season three, episode 6 of borrowed solace: the podcast, Addey was joined by Kim Malinowski–writer, teacher, and poet–to learn more about her new poetry collection, Home, published by Kelsay Books.

Here is a bit more about Kim, including upcoming events ad where you can find her on the interwebs:

Kim Malinowski is a lover of words. She earned her B.A. from West Virginia University and her M.F.A. from American University. She studies with The Writers Studio. Her debut collection Home was published by Kelsay Books. Her chapbook Death: A Love Story was published by Flutter Press. Her work has appeared in borrowed solace, Faerie Magazine/Enchanted Living, War, Literature, and the Arts, AHF Magazine, Mookychick, Amethyst Review, and others. She writes because the alternative is unthinkable. You can find out more about her on her website.

Events and Places of Word Fun and Learning

Hybrid Shorts Class (Recurring)

Mighty Networks Moon Feather Hollow: Will—O’—Wisp’s Valley of Verse

April 28, 2021: Open Mic with Kim Malinowski: Speculative Poetry

Opening May 1st: Terra Nouveau Lyceum on Mighty Networks–Kim Teaches Writing Classes and Free Tips, Techniques, Prompts, etc.

As always, we would so appreciate you sharing your thoughts and comments! Imagine we are taking a walk in the snow (yes, it snowed in Colorado today) and chatting about this episode of the podcast. What did you think? Let us know by commenting below!

S3 Episode 7: Publishing Poetry With Kim Malinowski

Today Addey is joined by Kim Malinowski–writer, poet, teacher, and friend of borrowed solace. Kim recently released her first full-length poetry collection, Home, with Kelsay Books, and she shares all about the process of writing, submitting, and editing her poems for publication (plus a few fun stories and tidbits about her life for good measure) in this episode of the podcast.

S3 Episode 6: Resources

In season three, episode six of borrowed solace: the podcast, Addey was joined by Zulie Rane–freelance content creator, ghostwriter, YouTuber, and cat mom. Addey and Zulie talked all things writing online including some of her tips for writing on Medium, how she started her freelance writing business, and what it’s like talking about writing on YouTube.

If you’d like to learn more about Zulie, you can find her online in the following places:

Medium

Her website, ZulieWrites.com

Write Your Future, a collaborative weekly newsletter

Her YouTube Channel

Instagram

Twitter

And, of course, we’d love to hear from you. Pretend we are relaxing at the park now that spring seems to have finally sprung–what did you learn from this week’s episode of the podcast? Leave us a comment down below to let us know!

S3 Episode 6: Freelance Writing With Zulie Rane

Welcome back to season three of the podcast! We’re coming back strong with our first episode since our hiatus, all about freelance writing and content creation with Zulie Rane. Zulie is a freelance content creator, ghostwriter, YouTuber, cat mom, and a wealth of information for all things writing online–take a listen to learn more!

How do You Edit?

I am in the middle of furiously editing my novel manuscript, so editing is on my brain lately. As many writers will attest (me included!) editing is not always fun. I wouldn’t say it’s the bane of my existence exactly, but there are some days it comes pretty close.

As I have struggled through editing these past several weeks, I’ve been wondering how everyone does it. There seem to be a million different ways to edit, and that’s because, of course, there are a million different writers out there! Some writers have rough rough drafts, some writers have clean rough drafts. Some love getting into the nitty gritty of syntax, sentence structure, and grammar right away, whereas others put it off until the last minute or hire out someone else to take on line edits. There’s so much variation in how we, as writers, edit out stories, and so I’m curious: how do you edit?

Don’t worry, I’m not asking the question without planning to reciprocate and explain my own process so far. Here’s how I edit:

Read Everything

Much of my time so far has been taken up simply by re-reading all the words I wrote. It’s more time consuming than you would think, especially with a full-length novel draft. I’ve been going word by word (yes, all 70,000 something of them) and sentence by sentence, noticing where I let myself get too long winded (I’ve learned that my wordiness is my downfall) or where I didn’t make clear who I was writing about. Only after I work on making my prose less jumbly can I dive into the details of characterization and plot–at least, that’s how editing goes for me.

Identify Potholes

Here in Colorado, we have a lot of potholes. A lot of potholes. When you’re driving down the street, humming along to your favorite song and keeping an eye on traffic, sometimes it’s easy to miss the crater in the middle of your lane. And when you hit that crater, causing the steering wheel to jerk beyond your control momentarily, you send a little prayer up to heaven that your tire didn’t just spring a leak (at least, that’s what I do!)

When you’re writing your first draft, you’re often in a similar state of mind–typing happily away when you hit a good writing streak, paying attention to which words to use and the right punctuation for dialogue. Inevitably, you’re going to miss the potholes in your story. I know I did! As I’ve been going back through and reading everything, I’ve noticed the small spots in the story where I need to fill in some gaps, and I’ve also noticed the gaping holes in the road of my story where I changed someone’s name half way through or forgot a character was supposed to be dead less than a year, not more than three. You’re mind can get distracted when writing that first draft, so go back through and fill in those potholes so your future reader has a much smoother ride.

Figure Out What’s Lacking

I decided to use a new web-based software for my editing, Fictionary, this go around, and it’s helped me identify some parts of my writing that were lacking. The way the program is set up allows for you to note different sensory details, objects, and character motivations in every scene and chapter. While it’s not always the most intuitive in picking these things out (it is computer-based software, after all) I’ve found some of the questions it asks as I weed through each scene to be very helpful. I’ve learned that I don’t mention scent very often in my descriptions, something that I am aiming to focus on as I edit. On the flip side, I often use touch to describe things, which is something Fictionary doesn’t pick out as a particular thing to note. Either way, I’ve found it helpful to think through scenes in terms of what is and isn’t there. It’s helped me appreciate the things I am good at in drafting each scene, and strengthen my writing by picking out what’s missing again and again.

Now It’s Your Turn

Now that you’ve heard a little bit about my editing process so far, I want to hear from you! What are you currently editing? What’s the process been like for you so far as you make your way through this tedious process? And finally, what tips do you have to share? Although editing is still not my favorite thing in the world to do on a nice evening after work, I’m learning the value of it even more with a full-length manuscript, and I’m eager to hear your take.

Don’t Worry, We’re Coming Back

You may have noticed that the podcast has been on a bit of a longer holiday break than expected. Our time off from the podcast went from a short break to a long break, but we are coming back and, dare I say it, are coming back better than ever! We’re excited to interview more people, talk about even more writerly topics, and interact with you, dear listeners, even more than before. So stay tuned for what’s to come in the next few weeks. We can’t wait!

Snow, Snow, Snow

If you live in the US, there’s been a lot of snow lately. A lot of snow. Here are borrowed solace all of us editors live in areas where there’s typically snow this time of year, so we are used to it in some ways (our hearts and prayers are with those in the south and in Texas who aren’t used to these frigid temperatures and are dealing with awful problems from this weather), and in other ways, we’re still a bit…over it, just like many of you.

While we’re dealing with cold and snow, snow, and more snow, it definitely allows for lots of time to think about and work on creative endeavors. The nice thing about writing is that you don’t even have to have electricity to do it (though we sincerely hope all of you have electricity right now!) a pen and paper will do. You can create worlds with just some ink and paper, or a keyboard and a monitor.

So whether you are battling the flakes that have already fallen to the ground or are bracing for another round of the white, fluffy stuff to fall from the sky, don’t fight it–use it to inspire you and spend that extra time bundled up indoors to write. Start a new story about a futuristic universe where snow is as valuable as gold. Think about how settlers during the great westward expansion battled blizzards on the Oregon Trail and create the characters who would have been there. Take your first-hand experiences and write about them creatively, scribbling pages that one day might end up in your memoir.

There’s inspiration all around us, and this snowy weather we’re experiencing is no exception. Even if you simply take advantage of the extra time you might be facing stuck indoors right now to write more words in that novel you’ve been working on, or polish up a poetry collection you’re preparing to send to publishers, snow can serve all of us as writers.

If all you’re thinking about and all you’re dealing with right now is snow, snow, snow, don’t let it go to waste. Find inspiration where you’re at–even if that’s buried under inches (or feet) of powdery white stuff.