Making Outdoor Reading Areas More Enjoyable

reading in a hammockReading is a wonderful pastime. It is something that you could spend hours doing if you find yourself in the middle of a good book or find a story that is from one of your most favorite authors. A favorite thing for many avid readers is taking a good book outside with them. You will see many people reading on the beach or sitting in the park engrossed in a novel, but there are also people who choose to sit outdoors in a favorite reading nook at home. They know the secret to happy reading outdoors and you can learn about making outdoor reading areas more enjoyable as well.

For the Love of Reading

reading at poolDuring the spring and summer months, on days or evenings when there is a cool breeze blowing, you can relax. You can sit back in a hammock or in your favorite outdoor chair and simply let your worries fade away. It is even more possible if you take your favorite book outside with you because it is basically an escape into another world. The key is to find a spot that allows you to feel good about taking a break from the real world. The downside is that spring and summertime pests also enjoy spending time in the great outdoors and it can make it difficult for you to totally get immersed in a book.

The Insects of Spring and Summer

outdoor reading nookIn most areas, mosquitoes, gnats, and other insects all come out to play during the coolest hours of spring and summer. No one can read a good book when swatting at bugs or scratching the bites that they have left behind. It becomes a battle between man and insect, that unfortunately bugs often win. They are the ones bugging you, not the other way around. You will give up your space a lot faster than they do, unless you decide to fix the problem by making your reading nook a place that they do not enjoy. A lot of people use mosquito repellents, but others do not want to use them every time they step outdoors. Other people plant plants or have smelly candles all around and others use a mosquito treatment for standing water. What you do, will depend on your needs and your preferences. After you have defeated the insects, you will want to put in a little effort to create your reading space so that you can relax completely.

Creating an Outdoor Reading Space

An outdoor reading nook can be created anywhere. If you have a garden, you may hang up a hammock and place a table nearby to give you a reading space that is uniquely yours. If you are a builder and have a garden spot picked out, you may want to build a shelter to protect you from the sun and spring showers. The secret to successful reading nooks will depend on the effort that you want to put forth. You will want to decide where you want it to be located, how much maintenance you want to put into it, and then how much personalization you want to add to it.

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Reading Short Stories to Babies

cranky babyAs a parent, you most likely hear a lot about the importance of reading to your little one. They say that even before a baby can talk, they are learning to put words together. Reading can help your little one to learn how to put words together more easily, and it may encourage them to have a love of reading books as they grow into toddler hood and beyond. As a parent, you should also know that there are many other reasons you should consider reading short stories to babies.

Reading Rocks

Who doesn’t enjoy curling up with a good book? Chances are good, you have done it a few times yourself. It can be a great way to relax and escape from the world. It can help you step outside of the box so that you can rest easier when it is time for bed. Your baby is no different. They have stress during the day as well. They get cranky when overstimulated. A good story can make it all go away. They may not understand the meaning of the words, but they can relax when they hear your voice.

Reading at Nap Time

sleeping baby in crib

Nap time and night time is usually rough with a child. They have a hard time winding down at the end of the day, the same that you may. Reading can help to put them to sleep at night if you make it part of the routine. At bedtimes, you can give them a bath, brush their teeth, put on PJs, snuggle up in bed, and read a story. You can make it all a part of a routine that starts as soon as dinner is finished. An older child may also appreciate a few minutes of television before a bath or somewhere in between. If your baby is simply taking a nap, a shorter story should be enough to do the trick; especially if they are noticeably cranky and in need of a nap.

One thing you should also remember is that their favorite cuddly bear or favorite blanket will be most effective as a cuddle buddy if you choose a comfortable bed for them. Some parents even choose to go with a higher priced bed since it can promise the most comfort. You can take a look at 5 of the most expensive baby cribs on this baby comfort site and compare them to others that may be more affordable to see which is right for your family. From there, you can also learn other tricks that people use to get their kids down for naps and bed.

Tricks to Nap Time

sleepy babyOne of the best things you can do to ensure a happy nap time for your baby is to ensure that they are happy and well fed before nap time comes around. This means that some little ones will want a good bit of attention before nap time so that they can play hard and many parents plan a big lunch right before it as well. A clean diaper will then also be a great thing before they go down for naps and bed. Ensuring the room that your little one will nap in is quiet and darkened will also make it easier to rest. You should also take the time to know their sleepy signals so that you can plan nap time accordingly. If your child does not like nap time and they are old enough to understand you; you may also consider telling them they do not have to sleep, but need to sit and look at a book in their room. Toddlers will often agree to not sleep, but soon fall asleep as they sit in a quiet space.

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Favorite Spots for Short Story Inspiration

writingShort stories are something that a lot of aspiring authors and published ones enjoy writing. They are short, sweet, and to the point type stories that with the right inspiration can be knocked out quickly. The more comfortable in your writing spot that you are, the faster you will be able to find inspiration. For some people, they find a cozy spot inside their home. Others prefer to venture outdoors into nature. Either one is perfect. Have you discovered your favorite spots for short story inspiration?

Indoor Spaces for Writing

relaxing home officeCreating an indoor area for inspiration is complicated in ways. You will want to give yourself a space that is both comfortable and productive. You may want to create a space that is cluttered or clutter-free. One that is brightly colored or one that is filled with neutral tones. Your writing desk and chair should be comfortable, and you should have very little distractions; unless you write best when there is a radio, television, or other noises going on. The truth is, there are so many different writers, and everyone has their preferences. There is no one size fits all for a space that you can work in, so you have to come up with your own ideas.

Gathering Inspiration from Nature

writing outdoorsVenturing out into nature with a pen and paper is the ideal way to go for some writers. Some may even set up a desk in their yard to ensure that their creativity can flow, and they are comfortable while writing. It may be a table and chairs setup on their patio or a picnic blanket in the woods. Some may take along very few things; purely enjoying the minimalistic things. Others will go on a walk through the woods carrying along a stainless steel ice cooler, pen, and a tablet to jot down ideas on. They like the sounds of nature in the woods with birds tweeting and perhaps a river bubbling. Others like being closer to home where they can hear dogs barking and children playing nearby. Which way do you prefer when you are trying to gather your ideas into something that will make a good short story?

Find Your Special Space

At some point, every writer discovers that they do not feel inspired at the moment. It doesn’t matter whether they write short stories, long ones, or short blogs on the internet. All writers eventually find themselves in a situation where they feel unable to string one or two words together. You can overcome it if you sometimes take a step outside of your box. If you traditionally write while indoors in your home office area, why not venture outdoors to see if you can find new inspiration? The story you are hoping to write is an idea in your mind that needs a way out. Sometimes changing the scenery is the easiest way to discover what it is hiding in your mind and then you will have no issue letting that little idea blossom into a full story. Where do you find the most inspiration?

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Flash, Flash, Click, Short Story Tellin’

books to readOne of the shortest stories ever told, according to most people, was said by Earnest Hemingway. The story goes that Hemingway makes a bet with a group of people that he could make them cry with only six words in a story. The story, “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” It is rumored that he won the bet with those six words. In more recent times, there have been challenges for people to write the shortest story that they can, with a maximum word count of 25. There are people that can easily achieve it. With just a couple short sentences, they can make you think enough to fill in the rest of the blanks. One example of this is “’I love how you look tonight,” he said while gripping his binoculars.” Even though there is no name, no faces, you still sense his loneliness and desire. These things are what makes a short story stand out.

Writing a Short Story

writing your storyThere are a lot of tips available for creating stories. They include things like:








*Point of View

However, when you are writing a short story, you do not always have time to put all of those details into it, but it depends on how many words you want the story to be. A setting could be a lonely house, the character could be someone who is dealing with an inner turmoil or hearing scary sounds. What does she find when she opens the door? What does she do about it? Are you telling her story or is she the one telling it? If you plan your sentences carefully, you could tell an entire story in 100 words, but it must be complete if you want it to delight your readers.

Short Story Lengths

readingSome say that a short story length is only important if it tells the entire story. Others say it depends on the type of short story you are writing. Anything up to 100 words is considered “Micro-Fiction”. Stories that are “Flash Fiction” range from 100-1000 words. True short stories are between 1,000-7,500 words and novelettes are up to 20,000 words. Word counts continuously go up from there, though it isn’t often that you will find anything in a single book that is longer than 110,000 words. If it goes above this word count, most authors will divide it up into sequels so that a potential reader does not feel overwhelmed by holding a single, massive-sized book.

Happy Writing

One thing to keep in mind though is that the numbers are not set in stone. There are some who say that a short story should never be more than 30,000 words and that anything above that would be a novella instead. Therefore, if you decide to write your story, you should talk to your publisher about their preferred length or their requirements for a true short story. It may be that they do not have rules about the story length, but they want for your story to have a definite story line that is enjoyable. Either way, it will be fun for you to finally be able to tell your story, the way you want to tell it.

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Here And There

writingA good short story will leave a little bit of you in the real world, but it will whisk you away to another world in a way that you are both here and there. By being a short story, the author must make sure that their characters are well developed quickly and tell you what the story is about immediately. It must still have a definite beginning, middle, and end that the reader can relate to. It is a challenge that many authors are unable to get done.

The Long Story

long storiesWhen writing a long story, the author has time to develop everything. They can start out the story with a little backstory on the characters and then develop the plot line. They have a couple hundred pages to bring everything together in the end. This enables the reader to develop a relationship with the characters and the issues that they are dealing with. It allows them to laugh and cry along with their favorite story characters. Short stories have to be able to do the same thing, but in only a fraction of the time.

The Short Story

Avid Reader EmotionsThere are short stories, such as poems, that are less than a hundred words. During that time, a reader must come to feel something for the top that is being written about. They must be able to see themselves in that situation and develop an emotion. It is a challenge that is well worth it for some authors. Especially since there are some people who only need a few words to make you feel everything that needs to be felt and take you from here to there with it.

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A great story is one that has characters that you can trace back. The character should have a past, a present, and a future. Their past does not always have to be listed as a lot of family members, or their life’s story, but anything that pertains to the point of your short story should be there. For instance, if you are writing about Suzy being afraid to fall in love with Stan, you should give some background as to why she may be afraid. If Suzy has a great uncle that is part of her story now, you may want to include a bit about her lineage or why it is important that you know who he is in relation to her family tree.


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