marilyn l davis two drops of ink kindle what fuels your fire?


By Whitney McKendree Moore

“That moment when you read a line that is so beautiful that you just close the book and stare at the wall for a minute.” ~Anonymous


WHAT FUELS YOUR FIRE? ONE ANSWER: KINDLING! two drops of ink marilyn l davis

Marketing: That’s Just Business-Speak for Sharing

Working with Tom Blubaugh, Literary Strategist, opened my mind about marketing, which, until I met Tom, I had considered practically a swear word. It was Tom who first suggested to me that all marketing really means is reaching out to encourage others. And when I heard that, I thought, “I’m game.”

My newfound willingness did not catapult me into any major forms of action — simply into sharing without any strings attached. As a writer, I have found that good reading makes for good writing. 

Beautiful bits of writing are like kindling for my creativity. So… I thought, why not share them and see if they inspire others? Click To Tweet

The Flame Spreads

I already had a sizable collection of quotes on file, so I ventured forth to share them via a group called Snippets That Inspire on Goodreads.

It’s offered as a safe place to share. I think about three people on the planet seem to know that it even exists. However, their various LIKES, Retweets, and pluses make posting there joyful.

Pen and Paper for Pondering Just Like Poe!

highlighted book two drops of ink marilyn l davis WHAT FUELS YOUR FIRE? ONE ANSWER: KINDLING!In the days before I was reading on Kindle, I would be underlining, highlighting, and scribbling notes in empty margins and any blank pages that might be at the back of the book’s last signature.

I felt like Edgar Allen Poe, “In getting my books, I have been always solicitous of an ample margin; this not so much through any love of the thing in itself, however agreeable, as for the facility it affords me, of penciling suggested thoughts, agreements and differences of opinion, or brief critical comments in general. Where what I have to note is too much to be included within the narrow limits of a margin, I commit it to a slip of paper, and deposit it between the leaves; taking care to secure it by an imperceptible portion of gum tragacanth paste.”— Edgar Allen Poe Marginalia

Fueling the Fire

And it didn’t stop there. After finishing a book, I would sit at my computer and type each notation into a WORD document. Reading on the Kindle has transformed that labor-intensive process into one that is utterly easy-peasy.

With the click of a button, I can now transfer all the highlights and notes I made on Kindle directly into my computer. I store them in a folder called Replenishment. Click To Tweet

It’s a huge file now, so I’m simply sharing bits that have encouraged me, resonated with me, inspired me, or have even sparked my flickers into flame.  Sharing them feels like reaching out to encourage others, which, according to Tom Blubaugh, qualifies as marketing.

Kindling a Fire for You

With Kindle invented, I did not have to enter inspirational passages from scratch, or proofread. Here are a few examples of highlights that continue to fuel my writing. 

From Under a Wing by Reeve Lindbergh

 “Write it down!” our mother had told us whenever we said something that particularly interested or touched her: write down that sharp insight, that funny story, that especially appealing turn of phrase.  She taught us that any experience worth living was worth writing about, but beyond this, she made us feel that the act of writing about it significantly affected the experience itself. 

I did not know whether writing enhanced an event, transforming it into something more important than it would have been had it gone unrecorded, or whether writing simply made it more real, like the testimony of an observant bystander who can confirm that Yes, something has indeed happened here: I am a witness, and this is what I saw.”

From The Whole Five Feet: What the Great Books Taught Me About Life, Death, and Pretty Much Everthing Else by Christopher Beha

Making a commitment to read the 50 books of The Harvard Classics, Christopher Beha discovered, “For the first time in my life, I inhabited, from the inside out, the fact of my own mortality… The people I loved were going to suffer, and so was I. Then they would be gone, and eventually so would I. Reading these words that others had set down while they suffered and before they were gone made things easier for me. I thought: we are all retreating. I expected the idea to scare me, but it comforted me instead.”

“A limit of time is fixed for thee” seems to be an overwhelming message of The Harvard Classics.

Such is everything, including our writing. I look for ways to inspire me when I think there’s nothing new to write about, or I recognize my own fragility. 

On-Fire Writing

These are examples of excerpts that inspired me once and inspire me still. Here’s just one more, a quote from Byron, that super-motivates me to keep on keeping on with my writing, with my posting, and with my marketing as defined by Tom:

But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought produces that which makes millions think… (Byron)

Igniting the Fire Together!

WHAT FUELS YOUR FIRE? ONE ANSWER: KINDLING! marilyn l davis two drops of ink Now that Kindle has eliminated all the back-end data entry, I am reading with an attitude of joyful participation. I can underline as freely and as copiously as I want. I’ve now got inspiration for living and writing easily preserved for future reference and inspiration.

It is kindling for me — kindling from my Kindle!  And now, via Snippets That Inspire, I am able to offer it as kindling for others.

I’m just putting it out there, not trying to measure my performance or results, just sharing what I’ve got. If this is marketing, I’m game.

I hope that you take those snippets of inspiration, jotted notes to self, or passages that encourage others in their writing and lives and consider sharing on Snippets That Inspire. Click To Tweet



Bio: Whitney McKendree Moore

Whitney McKendree Moore has published numerous articles in magazines such as Cruising World, Connecticut Magazine, YANKEE, Greenwich Magazine, Maine Boats and Harbors, and The Nautical Quarterly.Whitney McKendree Moore two drops of ink

In 1987, she authored a book entitled Where to Next? that focused on making a successful career change; she also co-authored a book called Academy Days, a history of the school she attended while growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and has published twelve books of her own since. She also helps other people publish their stories onto Amazon using Createspace.

Whitney and her husband, Barry, have been married for forty-six years. They have just one child, a son who was born two weeks after they celebrated their twentieth year of child-free marriage. At the time, they were brand-new in recovery from alcoholism, which is a family disease. For a while, it looked like the disease might win, but God won instead. Their son is now in graduate school, so the family home has been relocated to South Carolina.

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  1. Good to hear you find it helpful, Jayne Bodell. Both Goodreads and Kindle have made me more participatory as a reader, plus they have improved my ability to share what inspired me with others. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Good to hear, Terry Gassett. I am encouraged that you were encouraged, and now I am re-encouraged. I just spent some time re-visiting my quotes on writing, files with an eye to articles they might inspire for Two Drops of Ink. It resulted in me sending a submittal to Marilyn, bouncing off a quote from Ernest Hemingway who basically pooh-poohed the notion of having ever writer’s block when he said, “Anyone who says he wants to be a writer and isn’t writing, doesn’t.” I might be able to bounce like that more often.I have lots and lots of quotes, and I adore the ones that are sassy like that. Please let me know if you venture into my Goodreads group called “Snippets That Inspire.” I would love feedback and “beta testing.” Meanwhile, many thanks for your happy comment!

  3. Hi Whitney,
    What a great post, so full of take-a-ways!
    have never liked the idea of “marketing”, but the idea of sharing is something I can relate to. I always love to share something that has influenced or encouraged me, and I appreciate the ways that you have found to do that.
    I had no idea Kindle could be used in that way! Thank you for sharing! I love collecting quotes as well (I’m sure there is a name for people like us, isn’t there?) And using Kindle should help simplify the process.
    Thank you.

  4. And, Over Thinker John, how cool are YOU to share back. It is so encouraging to be encouraged, not only to persevere in doing the things I need to be who I am, but also to hear that “the kindling” I have found is also encouraging others. I am determined to keep exploring what I need to keep my creative fire fueled, and (it is occurring to me now) what are the things I do that only dampen or extinguish it. Thank you, and you GUYS here at Two Drops. What a lovely community!

  5. Whitney, I love how you explained marketing. It sounds so much better to share then trying to hit a target.

    Also, I never realized kindle could do all of what you described. Now, Ive learned something I did not know.

    I love how this was worded.

    “ like the testimony of an observant bystander who can confirm that Yes, something has indeed happened here: I am a witness, and this is what I saw.”

    To bring to life what otherwise may have been missed. How cool is that!

  6. Oh, thank you, Marilyn Davis for doing such a great job editing this! And thanks for your comment, Michelle Gunnin, to whom “un-techno-savvy me” says, “Downloading the highlights is easy!” Here’s how: simply attach your Kindle charger to your Kindle, remove the plug, then insert the USB thingie into your computer’s USB port. Next, I wait until the icon for my Kindle appears. When it does, I click on it, then on the Documents file, then into a document called “My Clippings.” I choose the one that ends with “txt” and copy whatever I want from it into a WORD document, which I save and close wile I eject the kindle icon and put that all that back together. Then I return to the WORD document and edit it however I want. Feel free to holler if you get confused trying this. For me, it has been so worthwhile that I want to help! My email is or you can phone me at 860 510-3634.

  7. Whitney…I like the definition of marketing…as reaching out to encourage others. I can agree with that thought. It does make it easier to do in that light. Also I had no idea that kindle lets you download your highlights etc… I will have to go figure that out! Thanks for sharing.

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