Five Links 7/18/2020 Traci Kenworth

Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay

Five Links 7/18/2020

Traci Kenworth


1.’s guest post is by Kristina Naydonova, twelve years old

Why is it that we don’t believe in ourselves? Are we too scared to know what it feels like to hit a wall of failure? Do we feel the need to bring ourselves down for validation?

Allow me to tell you that everyone is going to taste failure at least once in their lifetime. If you haven’t failed, you aren’t even trying. You won’t succeed right away because that’s not how life works.

Everybody always assures you to have a backup plan in case something goes wrong, but you should never listen to that. You should find the courage inside of you to want to fall forward, not backward.

I don’t care if there are difficulties lying ahead, and neither should you or anybody else. We all go through rough patches in our lives, and most people choose to walk away. It takes discipline and persistence in order to break through and make a difference.

I’ve had many people tell me that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. You and I weren’t born to stay quiet. We were all born to leave our mark behind in this world. For our voices to be heard.” I agree wholeheartedly!

2. “Writing an irresistible novel that readers can’t put down is the goal of most writers. Using plot-strengthening techniques gleaned from Young Adult writing can improve any novel, no matter the genre or the age of readership. A story featuring a teen protagonist has a fertile bed of emotions to cultivate with built-in rites of passage moments that all readers can relate to or anticipate.

The following seven elements can heighten the drama and tension in any story, helping you write a book your readers won’t want to stop reading.

1. Utilize a subplot about Belonging.

Be it finding peace in a dysfunctional family, bonding with a band of misfits, or navigating the expectations of first love, YA books all have a coming-of-age component that stems from a need for acceptance.” Some very good advice here!

3. “Even if they aren’t reading aloud, our readers tend to breathe as if they were. That might not look or even feel exactlythe same as reading aloud, though I have seen people reading in public moving their lips, eyes bugged out, hand over their mouths, and otherwise really, really into it. And I love that, by the way, and always try to see what they’re reading, as unobtrusively as possible so as not to interrupt them, especially in that state. If a book can get someone to look like that, as far as I’m concerned it’s worth a look. Still, even if they aren’t breathing exactly as if reading aloud, your readers’ internal experience matches that sensation much more closely than you might think. The way you feel has a huge impact on how you breathe, and how you breathe has a huge impact on how you feel. If you don’t believe me, how about Thomas A. Richards, Ph.D. of the Anxiety Network, who wrote:

The flow of adrenaline and the resulting extra blood flow increases your strength and awareness of the danger. This extra “awareness” of the perceived danger may cause all sorts of feelings, such as dizziness, nausea, hyperventilation, heart palpitations, confusion, lack of control, unreality, being dazed, shaking, trembling, and sweaty palms, among others.

Neuroscientist Alex Korb, from his book The Upward Spiral:” Interesting.

4. “We who write fiction spend a lot of time plotting the events a character will go through. We may write to an outline, or we might keep it in our head, but most of the action is usually known before we write it.

Even if you don’t plot in the traditional sense of the word, you should give some advance consideration to character development.

The term character arc is used to describe the personal growth and transformation of a character throughout a story. In narratives with a strong character arc, the protagonist begins as one sort of person. Through the events they experience, they are transformed. Often the change is for the better, but sometimes they change for the worse.

Great writing contrasts the relative security of the characters’ lives as they were in the opening paragraphs against the hazards of their life when they are in the midst of change.

Give me the book that immerses me in the uncertainty, fear, and anger—let me experience the emotional journey as well as the events of the narrative.”

5. “My wife is a can-do person. Although Covid-19 is again spreading unchecked across the nation, and America is suffering from its worst economic debacle since the Great Depression, the crisis hasn’t dented her spirit. In just the past two months she’s launched a new nonprofit that’s educating and entertaining New York City kids who have been isolated by the resurgent pandemic.

The organization is called Summer in the City, and two weeks ago it began to offer dozens of free online classes in art, music, theater, dance, and writing to public-school students in NYC. And because I always try to be helpful to my wife (well, not always, but pretty often), I agreed to teach one of the classes aimed at teenagers: Writing Science Fiction. My description of the class in the online course catalog (which you can peruse here) includes the tagline, “You probably feel like you’re already living in a science-fiction dystopia right now, so why not write about it?”

I’ve talked about fiction writing with students many times over the past decade, in Skype chats with school book clubs and in person at school auditoriums, but until now I’ve never taught a class with scheduled meetings (every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 pm) and weekly assignments. The experience has made me wonder which particular pieces of writing instruction are most helpful to beginning writers. It’s also given me some insight into the difficulties that many teachers are confronting while trying to teach on Zoom and the other online platforms.”

Research & Fun Tidbits:

1.‘This site, important for its grandeur, its design

and its astronomy, is a complex,

of a diminutive stone circle, an avenue,

three rows and a chambered tomb…’

– Burl



4. “Yay! I am very excited to say that I have finished draft # 3 of the third book in my Investigative Paranormal Society series–All The Devils Are Here.  I have become far more focused in my approach to revision of my novels, and it is helping me a great deal as I move through the revision process. For my first novel,  Maledicus:  The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1, I did 13 drafts. I was making it up as I went, in terms of how to revise, and I had an extremely difficult time.

Now, I have a plan for each draft, and it helps me focus and do the work in an efficient way. For this novel, I expect two more drafts, and I intend to have this book out in time for Halloween!

Now, it is time attack the third draft of my political thriller. I will speak more of that in another post!”

5. “Why do I write? I have always been a storyteller. When I was a child I was always making up adventures in my head. For years my imaginary friend was a squirrel called Patch, and we had all sorts of adventures on Farmer Brown’s farm. I was, and still am, a dreamer, a creator of worlds and people.

I get bored easily, I’m smart, and I am cynical so I suppose storytelling is an escape, a way of doing things I could never really do.  My late grandmother would tell us stories about ‘The Duchess’ and my late father had some really quite dark tales about various household implements that would go on the rampage, have adventures and cause mischief — thanks Dad – I get my twisted sense of humour from you too.”

Some Things More Serious:


2. “Hi friends! Once or twice a week, someone asks me how to find a literary agent. This usually comes up because at my day job in publishing, we’re only taking agented submissions, though I also get this question from writers of all kinds of genres. So I figured it was time I did a post about finding a literary agent.

You might be wondering, “Do I need a literary agent to get published?” The answer is no. Some publishers accept unagented submissions—either all of the time, or during designated open submission periods. But many publishers only take submissions through agents, including most of the bigger publishers.”


4. Reader Things.  I’ve brought back the papyrus, from episode 39.  Olga Núñez Miret gave us that.  Great minds think alike and GP Cox, and Deborah Zajac both left a Gramophone.  This episode brings back the Agate, the Cook.  Since she’s Scottish, it was the perfect time to add the Clootie Dumpling from Barb Taub.

This episode ties up the triple cliffhanger from last time.  While it is not as long as I used to make serial chapters, it is longer than I’ve been writing them this year.  So, don’t complain youve been warned.

Where did Randall Needleman and Émeraude land?  What happened to Eliza when she turned that dagger on herself?  What about the two young women lovers running away from persecution? “Alex” may have exposed herself as Alison.  Let’s not forget the newest gemstone name character, Jet Fischer, the librarian who has always been infatuated with the Delta Pearl.  Will he be left standing on the dock when the riverboat leaves?  Plus we weren’t even certain that Sid, the Cadet got safely back into the launch from his precarious place on the roof.  Read on to learn the answers to these questions.”

5. “Diabolica Britannica is a collection of 14 dark tales from the dark isles. Edited by Keith Anthony Baird, and featuring stories by genre titans Adam L G Nevill and Tim Lebbon alongside new talents such as Stephanie Ellis, Morgan K. Tanner and S. J. Budd, Diabolica Britannica also features a foreword by Ramsey Campbell. With all profits going to the UK’s National Health Service, you can pick up your copy right now, here.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. “Here are your two words:






Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “Three girls…

Three dead bodies…

The quiet town of Craven Falls is depleting in population. One by one…

Scarlet Fitzgerald thought it would be fun to play a game on Laura Stevenson, a nobody at Craven Falls High. But what happens when the game unleashes buried secrets Scarlet doesn’t want anyone to know? Secrets that could get someone killed, including herself.

Three can play a game, but one of them ends up dead…”

2. “This novel was billed as a paranormal horror about a young girl – Margaret – who is flung into a horrifying experience with ghosts, monsters, and historical people. By the existence of Heaven and Hell as mentioned in the blurb, I expect there’s some Christian mythology involved, but that doesn’t bother me! Tally ho!


Fantastically researched. Spooky as hell. I’ve never had to put a book down because I was too freaked out, but now I have. If you want to know more about some really horrible people and horrible circumstances, this book is full of them.

Something strange about this book that I rather enjoyed but which might not appeal to everyone was the piles of stories about the ghosts and “incarnates”. Many ghosts or groups of ghosts had a story behind them, and Cheadle put together a well-researched summary of their lives and why their souls were trapped on Earth or in Hell. In effect, this book often felt like a compilation of historical stories, but that was right up my alley. There was also not as much dialogue as you might expect in a novel, but a lot of it was tied into this historicity.”

3. “Book two takes place three months after the events of book one. Thomas and his friends seem to believe the battle is over though more dangers await them.

The plot was well done since it picks up where the previous book left off. The story was already established with new ideas put into place. This was another fun adventure.”

4. “The malevolent and ruthless mage, Dante Asano is defeated but victory came at a horrific price. Before Wisp and his companions could intervene, Dante possessed Pendra Thorn’s body. In order to stop Dante without killing Pendra, a magic sleep spell was cast. A glass coffin warded with powerful spells encased her body while her mind fled to a favourite memory; unfortunately, Dante is also trapped with her. The magical coffin will only keep her alive, and Dante contained for a short time. A desperate plan to undertake a treacherous journey across an unknown sea means Wisp and his companions must disband. Some journey with Wisp to find an ancient spell to release Pendra and banish Dante’s spirit. Those left behind must guard Pendra in a city under threat. An ancient evil casts a shadow over Edra causing burgeoning unrest and setting the inhabitants against one”

5. “In my book,, I have pulled together four separate related stories. Three of them were published as serials on my blog over the past year. The fourth is a brand new story that weaves together the other three. This was an enjoyable exercise and I hope that those that choose to read it will enjoy it as well.” No Pain, No Gain was an excellent story!

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