Seven Online Stationary Shops I Need to Buy From ASAP.

Why have I always wanted to visit Japan? The food? The sights? Their amazing bullet train system? No. None of those reasons.

I want to visit because of their stationary culture. “Stationary culture?” you ask. “That can’t be a thing, can it?” Oh, yes! It’s alive and well, as portrayed in the following video examples:

Now they all ordered from different shops than the ones I’ll mention below, and since my hospital bill’s paid off, I’ve decided it’s time to stock up. Here are seven online stationary shops (not all are based in Japan) I wish I could buy from all at once. My bank account can only choose one. Future haul blog post, anyone?

Stationery Pal

Stationery Pal, based out of Hong Kong, was among the first to pop up in my quest for new writing materials. They spell “stationery” a bit differently, so that’s not a typo. They sell the usual pens & pencils, notebooks & planners, stickers & tapes, but they also carry kpop merchandise – if you’re into that musical genre. The kpop section has minimal offerings for BTS, BlackPink, EXO, GOT7 and NCT Dream. But you’re here for stationary, not kpop, right?

Drawing, metallic, and brush pens. Ballpoint, dual lines and watercolor pens. Erasable highlighters, fountain and stainless steel pens. Circle, square and rectangle sticky notes. Grid memo pads, sticky tabs and black post it notes. Retro envelopes, soft cover A5 notebooks and free cut memo pads. I’m in stationary heaven. Everything is practical; nothing overly cute. Their Facebook and Instagram pages are quite active. I may order from this shop first; we shall see after I investigate the other six more thoroughly!

Tokyo Pen Shop

Next up is Tokyo Pen Shop. The Tokyo Pen Shop was founded in 2008 by enthusiasts who wanted Japanese writing materials closer to home, so they opened up their shop here in the States. Their offerings are similar to that of Stationery Pal, minus the music fandom section.

The main thing which concerns me is they only accept payments via PayPal, and I do not trust PayPal. My aunt had an issue with them several years back and her experience left a bad taste in my mouth. Mostly for her, but their lack of customer service further fueled a distrust in third party money transfer services. Anyway- on to happier things, right?

What’s happier than finding all sorts of writing implements, notepads, whiteboard accessories and more? Even with my PayPal issues, the Tokyo Pen Shop might still be in the game.

Notebook Therapy

Many times writing is just that – therapy. It’s when you write for you and nobody else. Sometimes it’s a short story, a fan fiction, or a chapter you wish could fit in your novel but it just won’t work. Notebook Therapy gets us writers right off the bat with its company name. Notebook Therapy’s doesn’t carry just notebooks. They also have a wide variety of things from bullet journals and stickers to totes and stamps. Wait, stamps?? Any shop which still stocks stamps gets an automatic thumbs up from me. There’s also a triangular pouch pencil bag I have my eyes on.

Kawaii Pen Shop

If you’re looking for all things galaxy, momo cats and hamsters, the Kawaii Pen Shop is the place for you. This shop’s aesthetic is right up my ally. Who wouldn’t want something absolutely adorable to brighten their writing session? I’m especially excited about their bookmarks and paperclips, washi tape selection, and *gasp* even more stamps?! I’m a crafter and a writer. The potential for new supplies excites me, okay? There’s also a super cute Spring collection section, totes and backpacks, and note cards. I love sending snail mail, and my stash needs a face lift. So who knows? Perhaps I’ll choose to order first from Kawaii Pen Shop! (Also, “kawaii” in Japanese means “cute”).

Daiso Japan

I tried to stay away from big chain stores in this post, but I’ve always been fascinated by Daiso. They’re kind of like a Five Below type store but much nicer and, from what I’ve seen, their prices are decent and worth the money. No company’s without their own “hits” and “misses,” of course.

Because of Daiso’s size, they’re able to stock more variety than the other shops. I’m unsure if any of it is quite as unique as it is from, say Paper Plus Cloth or Kawaii Berry Shop. I am hoping, however, that they’ll be the most reliable in terms of shipping and payment processing.

From what I dug up, they carry every type of notebook, every type of pen, and every kind of pencil you can think of. I got lost in the rabbit hole that’s their pencil case selection, and drooled over their pen stands.

Paper Plus Cloth

Next up is Toronto based Paper Plus Cloth. Not only do they have an online store for supplies, they also offer workshops. Their rustic storefront looks very inviting – a place I could easily spend several hours in. I’m most intrigued by their pen nibs and inks. I tried using my mother’s calligraphy set a few months ago but they no longer make the same sized ink refills. Paper Plus Cloth is also a strong contender to be the first shop I purchase from. Oh man is this going to be a hard decision….

Kawaii Berry Shop

Finally, here’s Kawaii Berry Shop. Similar in name to Kawaii Pen Shop (which made this post quite interesting to research). They’re different, I assure you! This store carries not only stationary, backpacks and phone cases, but clothing, accessories and plushies. I’m ignoring the clothing section, as I’m, well, curvy. Their pen selection’s the most unique featuring cats, owls, fruits, Potato Rabbits, donuts, leaf pens and more. The owl sharpeners are adorable and I really, really, REALLY want all their Totoro merchandise.

What online shops do you visit for your writing needs? Drop their links in the comment section below. As for which shop won? Find out in my haul blog post!

Music That Drives My Writing | The Hans Zimmer Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing my favorite Hans Zimmer compositions. Did The Lion King make the cut?

I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, Part 5: The 1940s Edition, Part 6: The SyFy Edition. and Part 7: The James Horner Edition. This is Part 8. I hope you find some new music to love!

1. “Time” from Inception

I’ve yet to see half the films represented in this list, but from the first, ahem, time I heard this score, I most definitely was hooked!

2. “Now We Are Free” from Gladiator

Put those earbuds in for the full effect and I promise you won’t regret it. Maybe the applause portion at the end.

3. “One Day” from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

One Day is the second track in this amazing live medley. I love how this particular piece contains musical elements from the other films.

4. “Cornfield Chase” from Interstellar

Another film I know absolutely nothing about but still adore its score. It’s so “syfy” and mysterious and hopeful.

5. “Mombasa” from Inception

The first time I ever heard Mombasa was by 2CELLOS. I didn’t realize, at the time, it’s origins. I love the original as well as 2CELLOS’ version.

6. “This Land” from The Lion King

Oh how I’ve wished this track was longer from the first time I heard it in a York, PA movie theatre the year it came out.

7. “Honor (main title)” from The Pacific

I’ve never seen this series, but I’ve definitely heard the music before. Goosebumps from beginning to end! Every. Single. Time.

8. “Main Suite” from Planet Earth II

Anything this man composes for the Blue Planet/Planet Earth series is pure gold.

9. “Main Title” from The Crown

Mesmerizing. Magnificent. Magnanimous. Magnifique. And every praiseworthy word in between. The Crown‘s producers went all out for its score and it shows.

10. “The Dragon Scroll” from Kung Fu Panda

I had to share the scene because, even with the voice acting and effects, it must be listened to as a whole to get the full effect!

11. “The Blue Planet” from Blue Planet II

To quote one of the posts in this video’s comment section, “[Zimmer] A man who can tell stories without a single word.” I couldn’t agree more.

12. “Seven Worlds One Planet” from Seven Worlds One Planet

Just sit and listen. I don’t think you’ll need any of my commentary for this one.

13. “All I Ever Wanted” from The Prince of Egypt

A favorite film since childhood with an absolutely gorgeous film score. Even if you aren’t religious, give this story a chance.

Music That Drives My Writing | The James Horner Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing my favorite James Horner compositions. Let’s just say I had a difficult time keeping myself from including the entire Titanic soundtrack.

I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, Part 5: The 1940s Edition, and Part 6: The SyFy Edition. This is Part 7. I hope you find some new music to love!

1. “Alfred, Tristan, The Colonel” from Legends of the Fall

2. “Becoming Spider-Man” from The Amazing Spider-man

3. “Never an Absolution” from Titanic

4. “Southampton” from Titanic

5. “Main Title” from Apollo 13

6. “Final Contest” from The Karate Kid (2010)

7. “Jake’s First Flight” from Avatar

8. “Jack Dawson’s Luck” from Titanic

9. “My Family Is My Life” from The Legend of Zorro

10. “The Machine Age” from Bicentennial Man

Writing Goals 2020 | Progress Report

Earlier this year I decided to follow that new goals tag and make a list of seven things I’d like to accomplish with my writing in 2020. Now that we’re nearly halfway through (crazy), I thought I’d take a look back and give a progress report on how things are going. Let’s take a look at the seven things I want to complete(ish) in 2020.

GOAL 1 – Finish Project Firedamp ⇝ Status: ??????

I can’t stress enough my embarrassment on how far behind I am on this particular goal. Being the slow writer that I am, I thought to write at least one chapter per month. Perhaps two if I finally get into the swing of things.

That hasn’t happened.

Just a few weeks ago I decided to finally set up a writing schedule. All my well-practiced procrastination instincts are having trouble conforming to a schedule I made myself. I can confirm that I’ve finally solidified how this series is going to work in the future. It took a while, but I’m thoroughly excited for everything that’s going to happen in The Firedamp Chronicles realm!

UPDATE: The writing schedule failed. I’m currently seeking editing/critique help for Project Firedamp, because I now recognize certain issues which need addressed sooner rather than later.

GOAL 2 – Tour more historical sites ⇝ Status: on hold.

For this particular goal, I purposefully put it off till the weather got warmer. This is also due to the fact that many of the sites I want to tour have very specific tour hours and time frames. I have a small list of sites around Pittsburgh I want to visit come Spring and Summer. Will I share that list? Perhaps. But those locations may give away too much of my story’s plot so, we’ll see!

UPDATE: Due to everything being closed until at least July, I cannot yet plan those visits.

GOAL 3 – Bring more story themed decor into the house ⇝ Status: changed.

Shabby chic decor is to Victorian as a grandchild is to their grandparents. True shabby chic equates to “cluttered,” “floral,” and “eclectic.” However, my biggest goal, when it comes to my home, is to maintain an organized, comfortable environment.

So I’m out to find more practical pieces – things I can use every day because I won’t dust fake flowers. Here’s my Pinterest board of DIY crafts I want to eventually put together. There’s still plenty of time left in 2020!

UPDATE: I’ve reorganized my office and decluttered a lot more things. The pile of donations for my church’s annual flea market has finally gone to church, and I’ve decided to just go practical in my decor.

GOAL 4 – Visit the Library of Congress ⇝ Status: on hold.

This visit is so very much in the works! No mind you, I began looking into this about a month before everything with COVID19 went down, so now I’ve got coworkers telling me to cancel cancel cancel. While I understand everything going on right now, the trip is for three months from now – in late June. I’m hoping that, not only will things have calmed down by then, but the library will be open to visitors again.

Because ever since that one scene in the first National Treasure film, I’ve wanted to go to the second level and look for secret books with codes to a treasure map’s key. The bus tickets have been purchased (a whole $6 – thank you Megabus!), arrangements to stay with my aunt’s family have been made. June trip to DC here I come!

UPDATE: Sadly my coworkers were correct. I held out hope for a long time, but the Library’s own closure until at least July has put this goal on hold. At least I only lost $6 in bus fare.

GOAL 5 – Build a Paper Organizer ⇝ Status: scratched.

This one’s tricky, because good wood costs a pretty penny. Budgeting is the name of today’s game, and I want whatever project I build to last. “But Leigh, why don’t you just go to Joann’s or Michael’s and buy an organizer?”

Fair point.

There are two benefits of building my own: 1- I can customize it to fit wherever it’s going to go and 2- I want it to have spaces for both paper and smaller cubicles for pens/colored pencils. It’s a tall order, and only something customized can fulfill both those requirements. This project’s planned for early Spring, when it’s a bit warmer.

UPDATE: As I’m now working a lot of overtime, I decided to table this goal. Instead, I’ve purchased a modern and sleek organizer to match the rest of my office’s decor. I can get overzealous at times. I also realized I didn’t want something big and chunky taking up space.

GOAL 6 – Write in Tennessee (aka go on vacation) ⇝ Status: On Hold.

The more I look at this particular goal, the more I don’t think it’s in the cards. Especially with the D.C. trip. It’ll most likely be combined with Goal 4 – Visit the Library of Congress. In fact – let’s change the title right now:

GOAL 6 – Write in Washington D.C. (aka go on vacation)

GOAL 7 – Hand copy a novel ⇝ Status: null and void.

And last but not least, let’s discuss hand copying a novel. This goal started off strong. I picked one of my favorite stories – INKHEART by Cornelia Funke. Hand copied a chapter a day – got up to chapter five. And then my hand had had enough. Kudos to all you who choose to hand write your stories before digitizing it.

Needless to say, I’ve given up on this goal.

For the time being.

What have I actually accomplished? Blogging ahead, 2020s Five Question Interviews series, and buying more books than I can read right now. Three things not even on the list! At least I can say I’ve booked some critiquing help, so that’s progress.

How are you with your writing goals?

Music That Drives My Writing | The SyFy Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing five “syfy” albums I can listen to from beginning to end.

I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, and Part 5: The 1940s Edition. This is Part 6. I hope you find some new music to love!

1. “Passengers” composed by Thomas Newman

If I’m being completely honest, I’d say Thomas Newman’s soundtrack MADE the film for me. Even with all of Passengers’ visuals and CGI, this album stuck itself in my head like flies on poo.

2. “Star Trek: Insurrection” composed by Jerry Goldsmith

Since I couldn’t find the full Star Trek: Insurrection film score on Spotify, here’s a compilation album to enjoy!

3. “Transformers” composed by Steve Jablonsky

Say what you will about the franchise; its film score is the best thing about it. I listened to this score nonstop while I was in China in 2008. That was 12 years ago. Autobots is an awesome song.

4. “The Rocketeer” composed by James Horner

Not every syfy film has to take place in space. I’ve adored The Rocketeer since childhood, and this score still gives me goosebumps.

Seriously – watch the film. It’s old school Disney at its finest. I promise you won’t regret it!

5. “Apollo 13” composed by James Horner

I’m a huge James Horner fan, what can I say? If you aren’t, what are you even doing with your life?

Honorable Mentions

  1. Jurassic Park
  2. Firefly
  3. Back to the Future
  4. The Host
  5. The X-Files

I Unplugged the Television For A Month. Here’s What Happened.

We humans make choices every day. Sometimes collectively, but mostly individually. We are creatures of habit and prefer sticking to our routines like flies on poo. Unless something dramatic happens and our simple pleasures suddenly disappear, we’ll follow that path indefinitely. I’m one of those creatures with a terrible case of procrastination.

Procrastination has truly had a profound impact on my writing (or lack thereof). Since this self-revelation, the one that showed me I proudly I wore that procrastination on my sleeve over the past few months, I’ve also come to realize how disappointed I am in myself. I’m writing, but blogging and working on other things. None of that work’s been directly connected to my manuscript.

Change. It’s such a short yet daunting word. One that us creatures of habit try to avoid as much as possible. I’ve worked retail and food service for fifteen years, so you’d think I’d have an easier time with it as change is so constant.

Then March 2020 came in the United States. A time when life changed life for us all. With everyone else indulging in Netflix, Disney+, and more social media than ever before, I wondered if it was time to finally conduct a no-television experiment. Let’s see what happened:

WEEK 1. April 1-11

You may wonder why this week is extra long. Honestly? Because I completely forgot about this experiment. But an organic change already happened during Week One, plus a few weeks before that, and I wouldn’t have noticed unless I hadn’t opened my Kindle. Apparently, less TV time equates to more book time. Imagine that!

It took a damp, drizzly March evening to get me to crack open a book for the first time in a while (one that wasn’t non-fiction), and my mouth dropped when I read its insights page. Of course it’s clear to you that I’ve never explored this function, and set a low reading goal for myself – to read twenty books in a year. 500 books in a year sounded like an absurd goal to start with. Better to set expectations low and work up!

WEEK 2. April 12-18

I used to have a huge “to be watched” list on my Netflix account. Now it’s down to two items – Merlin and a Korean drama called Mr. Sunshine. The only shows I have on repeat are old Star Trek series I can’t help but watch over and over again. It’s a simple thing, but they bring me joy.

I also used to religiously watch The Price is Right in the mornings, but even that annoys me now. Too many Type A personalities. So my TV remains turned off, and I’m slowly whittling down my “to be watched” on Netflix. But honestly? I’ve no desire to. Why? My focus has shifted completely back to books, writing, and learning more than ever before.

I’m also incredibly happy to report that I’ve updated the “On My Bookshelf” page here on my website, something I actually have to do yet again. Yay!

WEEK 3. April 19-25

Week three. Not only am I watching less television, even with the family, I’m watching less YouTube as well. Beauty community drama videos, kpop music videos, and old episodes of Judge Judy were constantly in my “Watch Later” list. Now it’s filled with more practical videos like organizing and new recipes to try.

Update 1: I’ve removed my subscription from several more channels. I’ve even removed many more shows from my Watch List on Netflix; I no longer have the desire to even start new ones.

Update 2: I’m also incredibly happy to report that I’ve updated the “On My Bookshelf” page here on my website, something I actually have to do yet again. Yay!

WEEK 4. April 26-30

By this week, I didn’t want to even turn on Netflix except for a few episodes of Star Trek here and there. You’d think, because I began my two weeks off work due to statewide pandemic mandates, that my viewership would increase. I’m pleased to report that it, in fact, went down. The majority of my entertainment now comes from, surprise surprise, actual books again. And I think that was the desired outcome of this experiment to begin with.

Whenever I find myself craving entertainment, my TBR (to be read) pile called my name. The only time I even look at a television now is after family dinner nights and The Masked Singer is on.

This last week is also the week I’ve worked more on my own novel series than I have in the past two months. “I don’t have time,” I’d say. When, in reality, I let my “procrastination” get in the way of real productivity.

There’s more to life than always airing your grievances on social media. There’s more to life than always being connected, on top of pop culture, or indulging in drama videos about people on YouTube you truly know nothing about.

Truth be told, this “experiment” began in late March. They say time changes habits, be they good or bad, and this past month certainly proved that to be true. Conclusion: television and media and other media outlets do not, should not, control your life. For the longest time I let it control mine, and I’m done complaining about political ads.

We all have it within us to write our own narratives. We don’t always have to keep to the status quo, especially if our life’s status quo doesn’t make us happy anymore. And I wasn’t happy. I thank God every day for my desire to write stories.

It’s time to use, and I mean truly use, this gift He’s given me.

The Proof is in the Reading Timeline!

We all have it within us to write our own narratives.

Music That Drives My Writing | 1940s Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong.

For today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing ten songs from the 1940s that drive my writing. This is also a great playlist for 4th of July fireworks, or to play on a train (not even kidding about the train). My love for music of this era comes from my Grandma Redman. When I spent afternoons with her as a kid, she always had either these tunes or the Oldies on the radio.

I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, and Part 4: The Film Score Edition. This is Part 5. I hope some of the names look familiar!

1. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters

2. “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller

3. “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman

4. “Begin the Beguine” by Artie Shaw

5. “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” by Dean Martin

6. “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin

7. “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra

8. “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny Oh!” by The Andrews Sisters

9. “Lazy River” by Bobby Darin

10. “I’ve Got A Gal in Kalamazoo” by Glenn Miller

Music That Drives My Writing | Film Score Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I know many fellow authors who do better in silence. I, for one, am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. This method has yet to steer me wrong.

For those who know me, this list shouldn’t come as a surprise, as my five favorite composers are: Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Joe Hisaishi, John Williams and James Horner. Okay, so not all of these songs are instrumentals, but their flow together in my Spotify really gets my creative juices flowing.

For today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing eight instrumental songs that drive my writing. I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, the Kpop Edition. This is Part 4, unsurprisingly heavy on the Hans Zimmer.

1. “Cornfield Chase” by Hans Zimmer

2. “Star Trek Into Darkness Main Theme” by Michael Giacchino

3. “Cap’s Promise” by Henry Jackman

4. “Why Do We Fall” by Hans Zimmer

5. “Code of Conduct” by Hans Zimmer

6. “The Healing” by James Newton Howard

7. “Halo 2 Theme, Gungnir Mix” by Paul Lipson, Lennie Moore, Tom Salta, Brian Trifon, Brian Lee White, Steve Vai

8. “Jake’s First Flight” by James Horner

First Person Tweets vs. Third Person Stories

It amazes me that we are all on Twitter and Facebook. By “we” I mean adults. We’re adults, right? But emotionally we’re a culture of seven-year-olds. Have you ever had that moment when are you updating your status and you realize that every status update is just a variation on a single request: “Would someone please acknowledge me?”

― Marc Maron, Attempting Normal

Have you ever picked up a book you were super excited to crack open, only to discover you can’t quite connect with it? The cover, blurb and title- they all caught your eye. But as you turn to the next page, you realize there’s something different and you just can’t put your finger on what it could be.

Have you ever felt guilty because you couldn’t finish something after investing in the author’s hard work? Don’t. Everyone, even your favorite authors, has their own “DNF” pile (did not finish). I’ll admit I’m one of those “newbies” whose eyes glaze over once anyone drops grammar terminology in my lap. When other writers discuss what tense or POV (point of view) they like to write in, I sometimes have to read those threads two or three times for all the “technical” elements to click.

My mother has the same reaction when I try to explain modern day technology, so it all works out!

Those “technical” discussions, whether you like it or not, are still the basic building blocks to writing a concise paper for school, or indulging in an imaginary world you built from scratch for your characters to live in. If you want to be a writer, you absolutely have to understand how all those elements work together. Speaking of elements, let’s dive into the bread and butter of this post. We’re going to first take a look at the three main points of view characters can tell their stories through, and then take a look at some real life applications.

First Person – The story is told one person at a time using words like “I” or “we.”

TAPESTRY by Cady Elizabeth Arnold reminded me of one of the arcs from the CW television show, Reign. And that’s not a bad thing at all. I adored the cast, the history, and the fact that Megan Follows makes a fantastic queen.

You typically Tweet as yourself – unless you’re running a satirical or other type of artistic account. For the most part, you always use words and phrases like, “Today I-,” “I think that,” “We went down to the river to,” “I made this meal for dinner!”

TAPESTRY is written in first person and told using two points of views. The short chapters are meant to hasten the reader along at a quick pace, but I’m still reading it at a snail’s pace. Even with its arc and well thought out characters, first person narration throws me through a loop. But I’m carrying on with chapter twenty-nine tonight before bed, because I want to know what happens with Tristam and Grace.

Books written in the first person: HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë, THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Second Person – The narrator tells the story to another character using the word ‘you.’

In theatre and film, this is akin to breaking the “fourth wall,” when a character turns to the screen or audience and speaks directly to them. Home Alone (picture that famous “slap-the-cheeks-and-scream” scene) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off come to mind. While not perfect examples of second person POV, it can be a very useful tool to bring you, the reader, directly into the story.

I’m staring at my books and I don’t think any of them are written in second person. At first I thought my favorite Frank Peretti series from childhood was, THE COOPER KIDS, but their adventures are told through either Jay or Lila. THE CITY OF EMBER series by Jeanne DuPrau? No- those are third person.

Since I got curious, I Googled “second person books” and this list from Goodreads popped up. Nothing on the list looks familiar. Do you know of any books written in the second person? Leave them in the comments below!

Third Person – In third person limited, the narrator shows us the thoughts and feelings of one character. In third person omniscient, the narrator is all-knowing and shows us the inner world of every character that appears.

During the first third of this year’s reading adventures, I’ve discovered I much prefer books written in third person limited. If the character already knows everything, well, I just don’t see how a character can change and grow with that kind of perspective.

Perhaps I just haven’t found any third person omniscient books with which to connect. Yet.

One could argue that Tweets are sometimes written in third person omniscient, as the poster assumes they know everything there is to know about their subject matter.


However, for the most part, they’re written in first person. It makes sense, as your social media feeds are narrated by you and not a character. When Facebook first began, users could only make a post if it started with “is.” Example: “Leigh Hartman is _________________________________.”

Social media’s come a long way from that. Is the change is for the better? That’s still to be determined. Do we really need the ability to write such long posts on social media? “Insta fame” isn’t always a good thing. “Less is more,” they say. I, for one, am perfectly content with my website and TweetDeck. The world doesn’t really need any more “Leigh” in it then it already gets.

When we write our stories, little pieces of ourselves are strewn all throughout the prose. The dialogue. The characters. The plots. Our own truths, plus truths taught by life experiences and our surroundings, are in there as well.

Who’s to say which point of view is best to write in?

What matters most is your voice and how you choose to use it.

Stories From My Past | Why I Write, Part 1

Rothenburg Town Hall, Germany, 1993

A few days ago an old classmate from middle school and I reconnected over Facebook. The irony of this is I didn’t even have a Facebook page for over a year and a half. But, due to quarantine and not seeing family going on a month, I’d decided it was time to have one again. As this classmate and I chatted, middle school came up, and he was amazed I remembered such vivid details about the building twenty-six years later.

The details come as fragmented blips of memory, pieced together from all the events, classes, and fairs we shared. I don’t know why I remember the tiny details, but that conversation made me think about the writing journey I’m now on.

Rothenburg, Germany, Dec. 29, 1993

At the tender age of eight, my family and I flew across the Atlantic to spend Christmas in Germany. Dad, an airman with the United States Air Force, had already been in the country for several weeks. So we joined him near the end of his deployment, and toured the usual towns.

There’s a public television show called Rick Steve’s Europe. I used to watch it religiously on my days off. Imagine my excitement when the travel guide’s episode about Germany aired. Finally! A place I’d visited as a child! Granted, he got to go when the snow melted away to reveal Spring, and when I was there the streets of an ancient town called Rothenburg were edged with slush.

Rothenburg’s ancient wall is still intact, and draws thousands of visitors every year. Germany in deep winter chills you to your core. It’s even colder than standing waiting for President George W. Bush’s second inauguration in Washington DC to begin and your toes freeze in your shoes because you weren’t fully prepared. From Rothenburg, in a country with a history deeper than my own, I remember a bakery.

Of course a scene like a bakery on an ancient street corner sear itself, in a fractured way, into my mind. The bakery was on the right side of the street near one of the old gates. A warm burst of air invited us in each time the door opened, inviting us in out of the slush-ridden cobblestone street. It sold all the usual baked good treats, and after Dad ordered in broken German, our family of four shared one giant danish.

Wasn’t 90’s fashion just, um, fantastic?

My family would joke and say, “Typical Leigh, remembering the food.” (I can’t argue with them – I also remember the giant “Peter Pan” weiner schnitzel we ate in a restaurant on a frigid December night in the Alps). I used to think of my long memory as a curse, though now I try to think of it as a blessing as well.

I wonder: is this why I choose to write historical adventure? I write about history so I don’t forget what came before, to learn from past mistakes and grand adventures, and tell the stories inspired by them.