English Flashbacks, Brain Matter, & Writing Ideas by C. L. Lewis www.creedgriffon.com

It never fails. Whether at a book signing, speaking to a
creative writing class, or talking with a fellow author, I’m always asked, “How do I decide what to
write about?” When given the opportunity for freestyle writing, I think a lot of people accidentally flash back to their English teacher at
the front of the class saying, “You have 30 minutes to write about the importance
of the African Tsetse fly. Go!” 

Stunned, you were
left thinking, ‘Gee lady! You must’ve had
an unhappy childhood, and now you’re trying to drag me into it!’ Tick tock, Tick
Meanwhile, ten minutes later, that blank piece of paper on your desk is staring back at you burning a hole in your retina… Adding insult to injury, you wound up with a C- on the thing, leaving your parents to believe that you were illiterate – destined for their support well into your 60’s.  

All joking aside, I have to admit, writing about something that
doesn’t interest you, in and of itself is a form of assessing your understanding of the
principles and structure of writing. But basically, timed writing, revolving
around boring subjects is just another form of torture! Yes, you read that correctly. In
other words, it ain’t no picnic! Right? Regardless, the entire experience can leave
a traumatic stain on your brain, something you’d rather not be reminded of. No
one likes being put in this position. 
However, creative writing is something quite different! I’m
speaking about the type of writing that is neither graded nor timed. It is
something we crazy people do for fun alongside cliff diving, and Wingsuit flying. Nevertheless, the entire world is at your fingertips, limited only by your
imagination! It’s quite a freeing pastime! Therefore, I’m compelled to remind
people that ask me, when choosing what they want to write about, the sky is the
limit! However, I always follow up with a few tidbits I’ve learned after many
years of facing off with my keyboard/computer, or pen and paper.

First of all, I tell people of all ages, “You need
to write about something that interests you, something you enjoy or know about.”
If you don’t know about the subject, and don’t mind doing a bit of research –
then more power to you:)
However, I’d stick to something you have a bit of knowledge on. Secondly, keep
in mind that when you write a larger novel, multiple characters usually mean, multiple
core messages. Meaning, your story can have a number of morals/fundamental
principles depending on what character’s point of view the reader may be
looking from. 

After writing my first young adult fiction book, The Road to Dendura, people would ask me, “What is your
story about?” I feel that my response was sort of like a deer in the headlights,
because actually there were multiple story lines woven throughout it. As an
author, you know your story better than anyone. You are the god of that story. You
know every detail and nuance. Therefore, when asked such a simple question, you
sometimes wonder how a simple reply can encompass each and every characters’ core message. But we’ll save that blog for another time!

For now, I hope I’ve helped a few fellow writers out there! If anyone else has helpful comments about choosing a writing topic, please feel free to comment.



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Who Coudlnt Use a Laugh this Time of Year? by C. L. Lewis author of The Road to Dendura Creed Griffon Series Follow us on Facebook

It’s that time of year again when all the hustle and bustle
of the holiday seasons can – well, drive you mad! Whether it’s braving the mall
for that last minute gift, or grocery shopping for Christmas dinner, we’ve all
run into one – or possibly even been one – A disgruntled crazy-eyed, speed walking, gift grabber,
ready to rumble over the last Barbie or 50” television. I think some of the more habitual offenders should have their shopping cart licenses revoked…
Seriously though, for
the last few years, during the Christmas rush, I’ve tried focusing on giving my
readers a laugh or two. Let’s face it, who couldn’t use one of those? Not to
mention the fact that laughs are free. Laughter is good for the body and mind as a whole. I’ve include some research information from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm   I’ve also pasted a few comics from one of my
most favorite cartoonists, Gary Larson

The Effects of Laughter: 

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system.
    Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and
    infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins,
    the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall
    sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart.
    Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood
    flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other
    cardiovascular problems.
  • Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
  • Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
  • Humor shifts perspective,
    allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening
    light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can
    help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

If by chance anyone else out there
would like to share a good family type comic strip, story or joke, please send them in
and I’ll add them to the blog for other people to get a chuckle out of. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter


To Laugh or not to Laugh by C. L. Lewis author of The Road to Dendura, Creed Griffon Series

Today being April Fools Day, I thought I’d give you a laugh or two. I’ve already had two fake coupons for a “Free Starbucks coffee” put on my desk, as well as a Perrier that had been shaken by a paint shaker machine… I’m not falling for it. If I can make it through this day unscathed – then it’s a good day! The pictures below either reinforce the fact that people are creative… or that they have too much time on their hands. You be the judge. All I know is that I got a good chuckle out of them:) 


On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the
annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each
other. Although the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for
several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a
mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to
1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian
calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were
slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new
year had moved to January 1, and continued to celebrate it during the
last week of March through April 1, became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.
These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being
referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a
young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals
such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and
involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that
April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring
in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with
changing, unpredictable weather.
April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century.
In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with
“hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a
word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day,
which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake
tails or “kick me” signs on them.


In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create
elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and
Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting
outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. In 1957,
the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees;
numerous viewers were fooled. In 1985, Sports Illustrated
tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie
pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per
hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people
when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell
and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers
requested the fake sandwich. 



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The Funniest Question Yet by author C. L. Lewis Creed Griffon, The Road to Dendura ILA Winner, www.creedgriffon.com, https://www.facebook.com/creedgriffonfictionseries

As an author, I get the privilege of meeting a lot of very nice and unique individuals. I also get the opportunity of hearing peoples’  stories or answering their questions. In turn, this actually gives me more fuel for writing. 

I think one of the most funniest questions that’s been put to me yet, was when I was hosting a book signing at Barnes and Noble. I’d ‘snuck’ away from the table for a quick coffee break. (They make the most wonderful coffees in this particular cafe) And, I suppose I was standing a little too close to the employee area when I was asked by a patron to make her a Frappuccino. I thought to myself, ‘I can’t spell Frappa whatever let alone make you one:)’ The funny thing was, she was holding a copy of my book while she did this!

Unfortunately, I was rescued by the barrister, but I’d been willing to give it a shot. *Pun intended. Of course, I probably would’ve been as skilled as Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory… But I’m no quitter. For those of you that don’t know much about me, I like to try new things!  Regardless, I wouldn’t have minded getting back there and peeking at a few recipes for myself! If anyone out there has good coffee recipes – I’m all ears!

The picture below is of a young lady I was privileged to meet. She’d just won the first book in the Creed Griffon series entitled, The Road to Dendura while at the ILA, Idaho Library Association conference. 

Thank you to all who entered and I’m sorry these pictures
are being put up a little late! I’m going between various blogs and I
can never remember what I posted where… If you’re interested in young adult fiction, please visit the Creed Griffon website to learn about the series and upcoming events.

C. L. Lewis

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