Paint, Pepper, and Flash Fiction—The Best of the Internet This Week

Here are the cool links I’ve found this week. We’re talking paint, peppers, and flash fiction, a truly odd mix, but entertaining.

The Battle of the Pigments

Paint, peppers, and flash fiction—a mix of interesting links on the internet.

The Battle of the Pigments

When the blackest black paint was formulated, its creators signed a contract with artist Anish Kapoor, giving him exclusive rights to use Vantablack in art. Kapoor refused access of the paint to any other artist.

Stuart Semple, another, lesser known artist, took offense. In retaliation, he released his pinker-than-pink paint for anyone to use. Anyone, that is, except Anish Kapoor.

Kapoor somehow got his middle finger on a sample of the pink and Instagrammed a picture.

Paint, Peppers, and Flash Fiction. Artist Anish Kapoor gets his hands on Stuart Semple's pinker than pink paint.

Anish Kapoor got his hands on the pinkest pink paint

Semple went back to the drawing board and released the greenest-green, and Black 2.0, as close to Vanatblack as possible—all with the same stipulation. Anyone but Kapoor could buy it.

Read the story of the battle of the pigments here.

Bell Peppers have sex

Who knew peppers had genders? Next time you’re in the produce aisle, look at the bottom of a bell pepper. If it has three bumps on the bottom, it’s male and better for cooking. If it has four bumps, it’s female and better for eating.

For explicit details (nudge-nudge-wink-wink-you-know-what-I-mean) go here.

Paint, Peppers, and Flash Fiction. Bell peppers have genders.

Bell Peppers have genders.

The best free photo, video and graphic sites

I’m always on the lookout for the perfect photo for my blog or Instagram account. My go-to sites are Pixabay or Unsplash. This site lists a bunch more other sites where you can find free stock photos or videos. It’s always good to mix things up a bit.

The Twelve Steps of Intimacy

If you’re hesitant about writing a love scene, or if you’re a veteran romance writer, the following blog post can walk you through the twelve steps of intimacy. From eye to body—the “summing up” look—to physical intimacy, you’ll learn the different levels on intimacy between a couple.

Paint, peppers, and flash fiction. The twelve steps to intimacy.

Stormtrooper intimacy

How to Deconstruct a Scene

If a writing scene isn’t working for you, this graphic will help you deconstruct it like K.M. Weiland.

How to Write Flash Fiction

Paint, peppers, and flash fiction. How to write flash fiction.

If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toes into the flash fiction pool, author JJ Burry gives her tips gleaned from the past year of participating in a flash fiction challenge. Plus, she shares other flash fiction resources.

Thanks for joining me on this week’s roundup of fun and useful links.

Join me Monday, January 22 on tips to name your character.






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Cool things I've found.

I love, love, love finding cool, interesting information. The internet is an endless resource, surprising me over and over with things I never knew. Some I can use in my writing, some it’s just fun to know. The cool things I’ve found on the internet this week include:

Cool things I’ve found, writing related:

Plotting for Pantsers. 

Cool Things. If you're a pantser, not a plotter, you'll be interested in this article that describes an easy 3 step process to (gasp) outline your book.

An article that describes a way for a pantser to have some (gasp) control of her book? Yes!

Book marketing on a budget. Blogger Jen Beach offers eight tips and how-to’s on how to market your book on little or no money.

How to repurpose your blog content into social media content. Blogger Brian Appleton offers tips within tips on how to reuse your blog content for social media. I’m all for working once and getting multiple exposure!

Cool things I found researching my WWII book, Brilliant Wreckage:

Lava lamps didn’t exist until 1963. I wanted to place one in the movie theater in Elmwood, the fictional town in my book. One always sat at the ticket booth of the Kent Theater, where I saw movies during my childhood. Alas, I’ll have to find something else to add color to the scene.

Scrabble the board game was invented in 1938 but didn’t become popular until 1952 when the president of Macy’s played it on vacation then wondered why the store didn’t carry it. Because the game wasn’t widely available in 1945, when Brilliant Wreckage takes place, I changed the game Annie and her future mother-in-law play to Monopoly.

cool things I found on the internet.

Workers lost their jobs in WWII because they couldn’t prove they were born in America. Mike, the father of my heroine, Annie, lost his job because he did not have a birth certificate. In the wake of paranoia about German spies, some companies would not keep you on the payroll if you couldn’t prove you were born in America. In a time of home births and the lack of paperwork, some lost their jobs.

Other cool things I’ve found:

Lincoln’s lost speech.

Cool things I've found.

From Wikipedia:

The speech known as Abraham Lincoln‘s “Lost Speech” was given at the Bloomington Convention on May 29, 1856, in Bloomington, Illinois. Traditionally regarded as lost because it was so engaging that reporters neglected to take notes, the speech is believed to have been an impassioned condemnation of slavery. It is possible the text was deliberately “lost” owing to its controversial content

Trees that eat things. No, not people. Rather, trees that have grown up and engulfed inanimate objects like bikes, cars, and benches. Too bad they’re not on a time lapse videos!

The most badass Norwegian ever. Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930) was one tough cookie. Nordic athlete, explorer, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, his life was so big, you’d have to make THREE movie about it. From attempting to reach the North Pole to saving millions of Russians from starving after WWI, he was a busy, busy man.

I love to share these tidbits I find on the internet. I hope you’ve enjoyed them.

What cool thing did you discover this week?



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Tragic news from Las Vegas makes us reflect on what is important. #ThrowbackThursday

#ThrowbackThursday and more tragic news

Tragic news from Las Vegas makes us reflect on what is important. #ThrowbackThursday

Sadly, the tragic news from Las Vegas is the latest in a long string of atrocities we’ve witnessed. In this post from 12-19-12, I reflect on where I was and what I was doing.

It’s sad that we need a tragedy to remind of us of what is important – our families.Click To Tweet

Tragedy after tragedy reminds us of what is important

The tragic news from Sandy Hook Elementary has galvanized the nation in support of dozens of grieving families. Blame will be cast and speeches made, urging reforms on gun ownership and mental health treatments. We can only speculate on whether our government takes action on any promises.  It’s easy to talk when tragedy overcomes our nation.

I’m at an age that I can look back at several tragedies in American history.

November 22, 1963

A Friday. School officials let us out early. Only after we arrived home did we learn an assassin had taken the life of our president, JFK. Before the birth of CNN and FoxNew and a hundred other cable stations, we had three local stations. All weekend, our family was glued to the television, watching NBC’s coverage of the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I was eight years old.

January 28, 1986

I watched in horror and a sick fascination as the images of the Challenger exploded over and over and over again as we tried to make sense of a senseless act. We watched the launch because of the novelty of having a teacher on board. If not for this anomaly, coverage probably wouldn’t have taken place.

I was home on maternity leave. My daughter was six days old.

October 14-16, 1987

The nation was glued to the developing story of Jessica McClure, an eighteen-month old girl who fell down a well. It took rescuers fifty-eight hours to pull her out alive. I was six-months pregnant with my son.

September 11, 2001

A man I worked with received a call from his wife, and he informed us of the hit on the first tower. We listened in horror on the radio as the plane flew into the second tower. I heard Jim Miklaszewski report live from the Pentagon as the third plane slammed into it. Someone turned on the television in the cafeteria, and we watched as both towers collapsed. Numb, the events too surreal to comprehend, we tried to stay focused on work. I was to attend a five-year anniversary dinner for my investment club that night. Instead, I spent the afternoon scrambling for emails and phone numbers (this was before yahoo groups) to tell the members the easiest decision I’d ever had to make: Go home to your families.

Columbine, Waco, Oklahoma City and now Newtown, CT. The names run together in a sea of senselessness and grief.

Your character’s angst isn’t important. Deadlines can wait. Forget the little things that keep you apart from the ones you love.

Pick up the phone, email a note, Skype, do whatever it takes to breach that gulf between you and estranged family.Click To Tweet Hug them, hold them, show them how much you love them. Do you want to go to bed tomorrow, feeling guilty, with their names on a list circulating the globe?

Hug your family today. Never forget what is truly important.

2017 Cheryl returning.

Don’t let the news of last week’s tragic news stop you from mending fences with loved ones. Life is too precious, as we’ve learned over and over.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the latest victims of senseless violence. Let us hope the Las Vegas/Mandalay Bay tragic news is the last we see and hear.

Blessings to you,













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