Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

Lightning Bug vs Lightning

Ciao, amici! How was your week? I’m sorry to say mine was less than productive. I seem to have hit that mid-winter wall where doing anything requiring more effort than pouring a cup of coffee doesn’t seem worth it.

In fact, there are days I even wonder whether I should make coffee. Shocking, right?

Never fear; the coffee is always made. Some things just can’t be skipped. For example, laundry? That can be skipped. Or at least, ignored. I know because I didn’t do it this week. But coffee? That’s mandatory.

IHOP coffee

For those of you following my coffee bean saga, I still haven’t gotten any. And Lent is coming, so if I don’t get them soon, I won’t be eating them for a while. My son is still clueless, so I’m guessing it’s just not going to happen. He did, however, surprise me with an iced coffee today. IHOP makes it a little sweeter than I like, but it was sweet of him to think of me. (The CCCBs would have been better, but I’m not going to complain.)


This week, I dropped a quick post about Mark Twain. Because of that, I decided this week’s quote won’t be so much about my week but rather one of my favorite writing quotes of all time, which just so happens to have been by Twain. (If I’ve used it before, I’m sorry, but it’s so good, it bears repeating.)

The difference between the almost right word
and the right word is really a large matter.
’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.

I love this quote. I’ve always loved this quote. It was one of the first writing quotes I ever heard, and it resonated with me. To this day, I’m always excited when I come up with that perfect way to say something. And then I think of this quote, and I smile, feeling that particular thrill. You know the one. Experienced writers become jaded and forget that feeling sometimes, but new writers get it. That moment when your God-given talent and hard-learned skill combine in a synergy that creates something so much more than what you set out to do. It’s transcendent. And often—but not always—elusive.

It’s no wonder I’ve been dragging my feet this week. This month. I haven’t felt that in a while. But I’m going to attack my writing today in the hopes of writing that one passage, one sentence, one word that’s… lightning.

What about you?

And now, this week’s writing links:

Posts by me, about my work, or at sites I contribute to:


Story Empire

Posts by others in the industry:

And when you’re done with these links, don’t forget to check out the sidebar, where you’ll find more links to some of my favorite sites.

Have a great week! Arrivederci!

Published by Staci Troilo

A writer fascinated with interpersonal relationships, the importance of family, and the relevance of heritage. Learn more at

45 thoughts on “Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

  1. Love this quote, Staci! And Twain had so many little gems (many humorous ones 😀 ). Sorry about the CCCBs. The iced coffee at least lets you know he’s thinking about you. The mid-winter slump–that about sums it up. Maybe that’s why I’ve been kinda meh. Or maybe it’s all that snow outside!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that synergy of the perfect word or phrase or sentence too, Staci. It’s quite satisfying when it comes together. Good for the kid for getting you an iced coffee. It looks like the beans are going to up to you, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right. I went to one of my favorite coffee shops yesterday after church. I thought I’d pick up a bag there, but they were out. I’m beginning to think I won’t be getting them before Lent. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Staci, it is pure magic when one reaches that state of transcendental synergy with ones writing! The quote sums it up so well and I’m saving this one for times I try to slack off on my writing, knowing I could find a much better word and not to stop working until I find it! This winter seems to be more draining than any for a long time … here in the UK the sun is shining at last and 18 degrees warm. Absolutely heavenly and I feel alive again … not that I got much writing done, rather I’ve been out on walks and in the garden! I’m making the most of this unseasonably Spring-like weather. Hope the wall soon disappears for you … and that your son reads your posts and is clued up about the beans!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not even sure if my son knows I have a blog, so unless my daughter tells him about it (she lurks but seldom comments), the coffee beans aren’t happening. All I have to do is actually request something, and he’d happily bring it to me, but I was the kid who hated Halloween because I didn’t want to feel like I was begging for treats. If I didn’t like it then, when it was expected, I’m definitely not going to do it now. I really don’t NEED them, anyway. (Or so I’m trying to convince myself.)

      I think I have a form of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Winters seem more difficult every year. The funny thing is, when I lived in the north and had much worse weather, winters weren’t as hard for me to deal with. I even enjoyed them when I was in school. (Snowmen, snowball fights, sledding when I was young; skiing when I was older.) Now I live in an area where winters are relatively mild (much more rain than snow) and I just can’t get moving. Maybe it’s age.

      I hope your sunny weather holds. We’re supposed to get another bad storm this week. The sun is shining right now, but it’s cold. Hopefully our groundhog is correct and spring is right around the corner!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephen King says if you need a thesaurus, you shouldn’t be using that word. This is one of those times I don’t listen to him. I use a thesaurus all the time!

      My son loves IHOP coffee. I’d much rather have Dunkin’. Today I have a cup from a local bakery where they also make flavored whipped cream. I don’t really like whipped cream in my coffee, but I couldn’t turn down the salted caramel flavor. I also had one of their cinnamon rolls, which (I’m ashamed to admit) are even better than my homemade ones. Lent is coming, so I treated myself. It’s a local place that a friend and I used to frequent, but she moved far away. Today was bittersweet; I enjoyed the treat but missed her terribly.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m like a big old bear this time of year, and only stumble out of my den long enough to eat, lol. I’m sleeping far more than I should and if I write a paragraph a day it’s a win.
    Don’t beat yourself up too much, we all go through those slow periods.
    That quote is inspirational!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great quote Staci and so true. I still get excited here and there with a great word or sentence and when I find it reading I slow down and appreciate it. Not as much as I used to but its sure a great feeling still.

    I get distracted, as I call it, with snow storms and have a harder time focusing. As for laundry it waits until I need sometime but then it doesn’t always make it out of the dryer for a bit…lol.

    I’m still rooting for you to get the beans Staci:) Happy weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Winter seems to suck the life out of all of us. Well, most of us. My daughter doesn’t seem to mind, my son loves cold weather, and my nephew would live on the slopes if he didn’t have to work. I, on the other hand, would hibernate until spring if I could.

      I still have clothes in the dryer from last week. LOL I’m going to need to run a steam load before I fold them. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve pounded the keys extra hard this week, and my brain feels sort of abused. Maybe you just needed a break and now you’re ready for the words to fall into place. It’s always a joy when that happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t heard that quote either, Staci, but I get it. When you find that perfect word, it’s like the universe shifts, the planets align, chocolate miraculously appears in the pantry – you get the picture. Hope next weeks goes better for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I absolutely LOVE the Mark Twain quote, Staci! There is that magic that happens when the writer and the word connect. It’s much like that lightning bolt! Good luck on the coffee nibs. Maybe John has the right strong-arm approach. As far as my writing week, I am in the middle of magazine deadlines, so am overwhelmed with work. But, I’m knocking them out one at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Work did an update on our writing software. It’s been a struggle for me to use it this week because it no longer has features I needed. (It’s a beta version, and those features are coming, but aren’t there yet.) Consequently, I took time yesterday to create workarounds for things I need. It was a huge time suck, but I think today and moving forward will be a lot better. Really looking forward to the other features, though.

      Wishing you a productive weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m stunned. I have never heard that quote before but it’s freaking fantabulous and is shooting straight to the top of my favorite writer’s quotes list. I can’t tell you the number of times I go back over passages I’ve written looking for the perfect word or words to make a section sing. This one really resonates with me.

    I have done zero writing this week as well but I did wrap round one edits on my next release and that left me with a wonderful sense of accomplishment. I am eager to get back to creating and writing…hopefully soon.

    Maybe those cocoa coffee beans are going to show up under the tree next year, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m surprised you never heard that quote before. You and I (and Joan) always seem to share experiences and thoughts. It’s always been one of my favorites. I’m glad it spoke to you.

      So happy round one of edits is done. I’m putting my dancing shoes on and chilling the champagne. We’ll be celebrating it being done soon and you moving on to another project, and I want to be ready!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right; sometimes summer is hard to write in. Autumn is, by far, my favorite season. And for a number of reasons, not just productivity. But it’s far off, so I’ll keep hoping that groundhog knew what he was doing in predicting an early spring.


    1. That’s a beautiful analogy, Priscilla. The right word is poetic. I wish I found them more often (in reading and writing), but maybe they wouldn’t be as special if they were abundant.


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