Below are three haiku and a story inspired by the theme, “The Night Sky,” by Sally Cronin. The syllables are in the form of 5/7/5, 3/5/3, and 2/3/2.
Three Haiku and a story
colored in eggshells the dust of the ancients hangs bright in the air
bright dots blink stars and planets glimpse mystery
wonder cherubic legend
Ayian had been too long in the stars.
She wanted to go home but wasn’t sure there even was a home to go to. The stars blinked around her, their secrets lost to her after all these years.
Would the Captain still be there?
Would the boy she’d loved?
Why had she left? Oh, yes. He’d gone on to adventure first. She couldn’t stand the loneliness, the waiting. Out here, she thought she’d find the answer. Share the mystery and wonder of all the divinity. But if there were any gods, they were hiding. Now, she longed for the ship she’d spent her teen years on, learning, growing, finding love. The home she’d known before that was gone. Decimated by hunger and fear.
In the end, her people had gone mad.
If she stayed out here any longer, she feared she would as well.
She longed for the crew she’d journeyed with, the places they’d gone.
Out here, there was little adventure.
With those she called family, there was an oasis of worlds to explore.
Why had she left? Had she really been so childish as to want to nurse a heartache? Where had that gotten her? She could’ve seen her friends daily and eased the hurt over some ice cream. Instead, she’d pouted and gone off on her own, determined to make the best of things. Well, she hadn’t. At first, it’d been freeing. The unfamiliarity. Needing to work to survive. The Captain had warned her she would have to. Not that she didn’t believe him. She just didn’t want to think that far ahead. Not when the pain consumed her.
She brought the orb up and veered left. The ship should run into the coordinates the Captain left her at any time. From there she would hail him. She blinked. What would she do then? Join him in his retirement? Perhaps, he’d heard from the boy. Perhaps the boy was even now, waiting for her. She pushed faster. Could it be true?
Maybe but don’t count on it. He’d loved adventure more than her.
She fisted her hands.
Don’t remind her. He’d been so eager to go, so determined to leave her.
Like others through the years.
Only the Captain had been there for her in the end.
She’d waste no more time on the boy.
A signal flashed on her panel. She glanced down and recalculated. The Captain had picked up her arrival. She grinned. He was the father she’d never had.
She glided to the planet and docked at the port. Before she even made it to the ground, the Captain was there. He hugged her and commented how she’d grown lovelier than ever. Her gaze sparkled at his compliments.
Another figure moved beside him.
The boy. Grown into a man.
“He arrived just yesterday,” the Captain said.
She went into the boy’s arms stiffly.
“Ayian. I thought of you so often.”
She drew back and took in his dark hair streaked with silver, his blue eyes crinkled with age. “Are you even the same person?” she asked, direct and to-the-point as always.
He shrugged. “I’d like to find out if we’re the same couple.”
“But we were so young.”
“Love doesn’t age.”
“No, but it can grow stale.”
“I’d like a chance, just the same.”
She closed her eyes, thought of how they’d been, and nodded.
“Why don’t we start with a walk?” He directed her down off the plank with a touch of her elbow. She waved back at the Captain. He awarded her a smile.
1. https://killzoneblog.com/2020/02/the-curse-of-expository-dialogue.html “There are times when I need ten minutes of The Three Stooges. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve spent a long day writing some tough pages. Or you were bottled up in your cubicle at work, untangling your boss’s mess. Or maybe you were caught up in the latest news cycle, and you find yourself neck deep in the blues.
That’s what the Stooges are for. You don’t have to think. In fact thinking is precisely the wrong thing to do when watching the boys.
Now, I know the Stooges are not everyone’s comedic cup o’ noodles. Moe is often hard to take. Anything could set him off and get you a slap in the face or, worse, two fingers in the eyes. I had my run-ins with bullies as a kid, so Moe always made me uncomfortable (in real life, Moe Howard was a delightful man—who I met—and a great storyteller about the film business and the history of the Stooges).
But there is always Curly to save the day by giving us a nice, hearty belly laugh. (When Curly suffered a stroke in 1947, he was replaced by his and Moe’s real brother, Shemp. Most of my kid contemporaries didn’t like Shemp, but I did. While no one could ever replace Curly, Shemp is funny in his own way.)” Looking at these, I can see why in my earlier works they were so in-your-face. Awful. The staged dialogue bits just ring false.
One of the big things I keep reading over and over is that 2020 will be a year where many authors will invest in tools and services to help them do more.”
So with that in mind, I have a roundup of resources that can help you be more productive and write stronger fiction, faster. Even better, they all have a free trial or version so you can test them out before investing, or they are a free resource altogether.
5. http://booksbywomen.org/unusual-writing-help/ “By now, if you’re a writer or an aspiring writer, you’ve heard all the advice about what it takes to get your story down on paper. Write consistently, plow through a crappy first draft, toughen up and learn to take criticism and rejection, read a lot of other people’s books.
But people don’t talk as often about the weird-o things that keep the pages coming. When I wrote One Night Gone, my first novel, a suspense, cold-case mystery set in a beach town during the off-season, it was hard to find the time to write. I have a full-time job and an 8-year-old son, and I was a longtime editor of an online literary journal until very recently. Plus, you know, occasionally I like to sleep and watch a little TV or something.
So I had to find the small stuff to help keep me motivated. Here are a few surprising things that worked for me.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/2631/ “For the first time ever, I’m turning Fantasy Author’s Handbook over to another author, and one who’s been dead for almost eighty-three years. Love him or hate him, H.P. Lovecraft is one of the undying masters of horror and dark fantasy fiction. This essay, apparently written in 1933 but first published in the May-June 1937 issue of Amateur Correspondent, draws back the covers on not just his reasons for writing horror fiction, but describes his process as well. Though not as detailed or proscriptive as Lester Dent’s Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot, Lovecraft’s five-step process is certainly worth a look-see, and I’m going to try my hand at his method in the weeks ahead. I’ll let you know how that works out, but in the meantime, I give you, in its entirety…”
“I read.” The words he dangled before me, trying to catch me out, may not be common in verbal usage, but they have cropped up often enough in books to learn their meaning through meeting them in different contexts and from different angles. Except for unfamiliar technical terms, I don’t look up words when I read. It isn’t necessary to fully understand every word to experience a story… you need, instead, to enter fully into the tale and feel it as you read. Over decades of reading, you encounter words in so many phrases that your understanding of their layers of meaning evolves and eventually becomes clear.
In 1985 I came across my first stumbling block on my path to becoming a writer. I didn’t know it, but to go from dreamer to storyteller is easy. Anyone can do it.
But if we choose to become an author, we’re taking a walk through an unknown landscape.
And the place where we go from dreamer to storyteller to author is the hardest part.
At first the path is gentle and easy to walk. As children, we invent stories and tell them to ourselves. As adults, we daydream about the stories we want to read, and we tell them to ourselves.
That part of the walk is easy. At some point, we become brave enough to sit down and put the story on paper.
The blank screen or paper is like an empty pond. All we have to do is add words, and the story will tell itself.
The first impedance that would-be authors come to on their way to filling the word-pond with words is a wide, deep river. It’s running high and fast with a flood of “what ifs” and partially visualized ideas.”
3. https://lithub.com/dahlia-lithwick-and-moira-donegan-what-happens-when-women-tell-the-truth/ “What if we believed women? That’s the question at the heart of the new anthology Believe Me, edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti which gathers together more than two-dozen leading voices on gender, power, and the most pressing issues shaping feminism today. Among them are Dahlia Lithwick and Moira Donegan, who came together for a conversation on the ways in which institutions are ill-equipped to address violence against women along with the systemic failures on display during the Kavanaugh hearings in 2018.
Dahlia Lithwick: Hi Moira. I loved your essay on the way early psychoanalysis failed to address women’s trauma but it also broke my heart a bit. The parallel narratives of Dr. Freud attempting to talk truthfully about women and sexual assault and then being forced to retract it to save his career, while Bertha Pappenheim had to save herself by escaping the world of men and building a life in feminist advocacy and organizing, feels all too contemporary to me; you can pass in a man’s world or you can be full throated in a woman’s world, but never dare to hope for more.
In my essay I tried to get at the ways in which the machinery of our ostensibly neutral justice system is propped up by the machinery of agents, lobbyists, pricey attorneys, and all the things that mean—to paraphrase our colleague Irin Carmon—that the system is in the room, toiling at great expense to press and defend the narrative you depict as “the rapist as an upstanding man, their memory of the past as happy or peaceful.” I wonder what you think about what happens when women in mainstream media are essentially forced to choose between Pappenheim’s lane and Freud’s? We can try to forge through the turgid he says/she says conventions, or we can try to invent new forms with which to do journalism. Are we making any headway, covering abuse and assault in the mainstream press? And are we taking care of ourselves as we do the work?”
4. https://www.elle.com/culture/books/a30612269/young-adult-fiction-authors-interview/ “n a photo studio high above midtown Manhattan, five of the most accomplished new voices in young adult fiction have gathered. While getting glammed up, Tomi Adeyemi, Akwaeke Emezi, Elizabeth Acevedo, Angie Thomas, and Nic Stone chat about everything from preferred moisturizers to career updates, the latter of which there are several. Only yesterday, Emezi’s Pet was named a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature—a prize Acevedo nabbed the previous year with The Poet X. Stone was gearing up to release three new books (Jackpot, Clean Getaway, and Shuri). Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, which reportedly landed her a seven-figure deal, was being adapted by Fox 2000/Lucasfilm. And Thomas’s The Hate U Give was holding strong at or near the top of the New York Times Young Adult Hardcover Best Sellers list (141 weeks and counting).”
5. https://stevelaube.com/how-to-hear-no/ “In a recent media interview (yes, I am that cool), I was asked if as a literary agent I liked saying “no.” I answered emphatically—even a bit rudely, I’m afraid, as I started my answer before my questioner finished asking. “I hate it,” I said. It’s a part of the job. In fact, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named sometimes answers the question, “Steve Laube, what do you do?” by saying, “I say no for a living.”
That’s close enough to the truth to sting. A lot. Way down deep. But no one—at this agency, at least—enjoys saying “no.” We do it a lot, but we hate it every time. Well, except for the one person who compared her proposed book to this Christian agent to E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey.
But otherwise, it’s no fun to say “no.” And, I know, it’s no fun to hear “no,” either. Believe me, I hear it far too often, both as an agent and as an author myself. But it makes a difference how you hear the word “no.” The temptation is to hear, “not you.” Or even “you stink.” Even, sometimes, “give up.” But none of those are helpful, and they’re far from accurate, in the vast majority of cases. How should you hear “no?” I suggest five ways:”
“Not a pretty sight, Merlin! Must you look so old, dear one?” Merlin made a lunge for a dressing gown to cover his nakedness, only to find an intruder sitting on it, employing very similar tactics to Heilyn’s sheep. He retreated behind the inadequate cover provided by a small towel and swore graphically.
“Aren’t you pleased to see me, dearest?” The lithe figure reclining on the bed stretched provocatively, trapping the dressing gown ever more firmly beneath her. Long black hair billowed across the bedspread in curling tendrils and the diaphanous gown left little doubt that most men would be very pleased to see her. Merlin bowed with considerable dignity, holding tightly to his towel.”
In Greek Mythology, the Old Man of the Sea is the term used for several water-gods, purported to have existed since the beginning of time. The water-gods most often referred to in terms of this expression are Nereus, the eldest son of Gaia and her son, Pontus, and Proteus, a prophetic water-god whom was referred to as “Old Man of the Sea” by Homer. Triton, a Greek god of the sea and the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite; Pontus, an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god and the fatherless son of Gaia; Phorcys or Phorcus, a primedial sea god and the son of Pontus and Gaia, and Glaucus, a Greek prophetic sea-god born mortal and turned immortal as a result of eating a magical herb, are also referred to using this expression.”
I have selected The Land of Far Beyond to review for this first post because it is my favourite children’s books. I remembered reading it, as a young girl, but it was a library book and I couldn’t remember the title or author. All I could remember was that it was a children’s version of The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. When my first son was born and I started buying all the books that had enchanted”
Being a published author is a huge gift. A dream come true. Seeing my book on the shelf at bookstores always puts a smile on my face. In truth, I have a very soft spot in my heart for bookstores. When I worked for a major book distributor in the late 90s, there was a huge dust-up after a major retailer wanted to handle all the company’s distribution in the U.S. This made dozens of stores, whom the company served, reach out in protest. The deal never went through, but after that incident many smaller bookstores began to close their doors. After that, I still insisted on spending my money at my local stores because I understood how important they were to my community.
In the mid-2010s, the small bookseller had a resurgence. This fact made me so happy. Finally, once again there was a local place where I could spend my dollars rather than a chain. Back then, I was just a reader and not a published writer yet.
Once my first book was published, I was excited to finally get to work hand-in-hand with some of my favorite bookstores around the country. But when it came time to approach some of those stores to do events, I was surprised by the rigorous requirements they required of a debut author. One store made me fill out a five-page application along with the reasonings why it was “in the store’s best interest” to host me. I painstakingly filled out all the paperwork, including adding another author to the mix so that we could draw a larger crowd. The event coordinator at the store did not respond to follow-up emails. When they finally did, it was with a terse one line reply that basically said “No thank you.” That’s a shame. I would hope local bookstores would be more welcoming to a debut author. Perhaps, it’s just the name they want.
What I know: a boy in my class will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.
What I don’t know: who he is.
In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they’ve lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way—because now they’ve drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved…”
“Don’t let any disabilities stop you from writing. If writing is your passion
and you have dyslexia or are on the Autism spectrum disorder and struggle with
English, just don’t let it detour you. You can always dictate your story to a
recorder and have it typed out by another. You can also get a ghost writer.
Whatever you do, follow your heart and passions. Don’t let anyone tell you that
you can’t do it. Believe in yourself always”
“Being able to write realistic, consistent, multi-dimensional characters is
vital to gaining reader interest. Doing so first requires we know a lot about
who our characters are—you know, the obvious stuff: positive and negative
traits, behavioral habits, desires, goals, and the like. But it’s not always
the obvious parts of characterization that create the most intrigue. What about
the things your character is hiding?”
“I sent off a big portion Serang to my critique partners. One has already
trickled back, and I’m sure the others will in the next few days. It’s a good
time to pause this one. She and her master wandered to the high desert, far
from the Emperor’s focus. There are soldiers here, but the main focus is along
the Northern Coast.”
“This theme is probably going to be very similar to the City
Guards week from December, but that isn’t surprising. Guards and
soldiers get used interchangeably in a lot of fiction because they are part of
the setting. The nameless warriors who are there to either be in the
background, push the heroes to the next plot point, or be taken out in a scene
to show how powerful/evil the villain is. Yet, there is one subtle
difference between the two that drives me to do a week for the military
characters. So, what am I talking about?”
“Where to even start with this week? Well, I took my son to see Lego
Movie 2 last Sunday, so we’ll start there. Not as good as the first one,
but still very entertaining. I like how they incorporated both worlds
this time. It’s more musical than its predecessor, which isn’t a bad
thing. They had fun with it and there are some fun twists. We went
to the Lego Store afterwards to pick up some sets since you can’t take a kid to
a Lego movie and expect him to not get some afterwards. This was a great
way to end last weekend . . . and step into a really odd week.”
“I don’t understand how it happened. When did we women blow it? When my sisters
and I grew up in the ‘70s, they told us we were now men’s equals in everything
except whapping large bugs, resetting the digital clocks after power failures,
and playing football. All this while retaining our natural superiority in the
areas of childbearing, putting new rolls of toilet paper on the spindle, and
choosing wallpaper. And we bought it.”
“I teach English as a foreign language to young children. From my experience,
at these ages, if you give them exercises and grammar rules they will soon
loathe the classroom. I love the English language and would not want any of my
students to come to hate it, so I always look for fun activities to promote
both learning and pleasure. And, if I can keep my class happy, creative but
calm, I am in teacher heaven.” I love to see a teacher encourage reading!
“Often the things designed to make our lives more comfortable are the things
that distract us most. One of the biggest culprits is our smartphone. For most
of us, these little devices are never far away. We keep them on our desks and
pull them out at restaurants.”
“Gina opened the front door to her house and poked her head in. Neither one
of her parents were in the living room. She didn’t hear anything coming from
the kitchen either. Hopefully, her father was in the basement and her mother
was in their bedroom. She entered the house and closed the door softly behind
her. She wasn’t in the mood to talk to them. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to,
but she didn’t want to lie to them.”
“I’m so excited for the release of Kara McDowell’s JUST FOR CLICKS today! Kara
was mine and Heather Cashman’s Pitch Wars mentee in 2016. She was such a hard
worker and even had to revise between giving birth to her beautiful son. Both
Heather and I were excited to work with Kara from the moment we read her
manuscript. We feel we really lucked out. The family bonds and drama in the
book is what drew me in the most. The book has changed so much from the time I first
read it, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for readers to meet Claire, her
family, and especially Rafael!”
“I’m still working on the second draft at a snail-sloth pace (Thanks for the
new word, Sarah!), but progress is being made. So that’s a plus.
Thanks for all the positivity sent my way last week – it certainly
helped! I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but this will be a
duology, a new feat for me. It’s not something I planned, but the
characters let me know their story wasn’t finished, and with YA books, it’s
generally frowned upon to have a word count much higher than 80K.”
“One of the first things my doctor told me when we started to get into the
nitty-gritty of mental health and depression was that your brain is like a
forest. The more often you travel a path, from thought to result, the easier it
gets. This is why intrusive thoughts and negatives are so damaging: they use
napalm to clear the way instead of a machete, and they’re really hard to shake.
If you wake up and read something bad, it becomes easy to hate waking up. But
if you start each morning reading the text message where your nephew tells his
mum he’s decided to be an author because he loves you, eventually you start to
like waking up. You have to cut a new path, and keep walking it.”
“None of these things are true, of course. It doesn’t matter how you’ve been
graded or critiqued in the past. It doesn’t matter how many other people are
doing it or if they seem better at this whole writing thing than you. If you
don’t think you’re great at writing, the only way to get better is to keep
writing. Don’t get too down on yourself. We all have moments it seems we
shouldn’t keep going, but those moments will pass.” Give yourself a break.
Writing can be hard. Learn what works for you. Keep at it. It’s all about
“Wake up, walk dog, deal with the emails over coffee… head to work. My mind
wanted to be anywhere other than focussed on the day ahead, and I allowed it to
wander.” I agree, happiness is in the little moments, being with those you
love. Life’s greatest treasure is time with them.
“If you’re like me, you haven’t looked at the opening pages since you first
bought the book. Trust me—look at them again. The lessons and examples are
invaluable. Ackerman and Puglisi have provided an excellent primer on what to
do and what not to do. The beginning offers five vehicles for portraying
emotions, ways to make emotions authentic, an in-depth tutorial on using
dialogue, a detailed section on nonverbal communication, and some great
examples of subtext.”
(“Dee”), a modern teenager, saves the life of Bartholomew (“Bartie”), a
Colonial American from 1774, unknowingly bringing him to the 21st century.
Dee’s vivid dreams are really astral projections that she can’t control.”
Told from six narrative strands, this cleverly woven and utterly compulsive novel challenges preconceptions; makes you second, third and fourth guess yourself; and holds an uncomfortable mirror up to the way societies and systems treat those they perceive to be on the outside.”
https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2018/06/16/the-unholy-by-author-paul-deblassie-iii/ ”The Unholy, an excellent novel by Paul DeBlassie III, keeps the reader engaged throughout in mystery, suspense, and church politics. In addition to vividly depicting the beautiful landscape and culture of New Mexico, it exposes and strengthens the traditional work of the medicine women of the Southwest. I am looking forward to Dr. DeBlassie’s next book.” –Eliseo ”Cheo” Torres, author ofCurandero: A Life In Mexican Folk Healing, professor, and university administrator.
https://tinafrisco.com/2018/06/15/author-interview-billy-ray-chitwood/ “The storyline? Meet a mother from hell! I ran across the California newspaper clippings from years ago about a Northern California mother who tortured her six kids – the three girls most specifically – with beatings, dark-closet punishments that could last for days, eating lard and their own retch, standing erect or on their knees for hours at a time. She kills two of the girls by fire, leaving one girl to fear for her life…an amazing story, fictionalized with lots of true elements!”
https://mythcreants.com/blog/lessons-from-the-rambling-writing-of-handbook-for-mortals/ “Last year, Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem cheated its way to the top of the New York Times YA bestseller list. It wasn’t #1 for long, though. Observers quickly noticed how strange it was that a book no one had heard of by a brand new publisher had soared to the top. The book wasn’t in stock at most retailers, and the website Fakespot rated the book’s Amazon reviews as suspicious. Also, everyone thought Handbook for Mortals was really bad for a bestseller. After investigating, The New York Times removed the book from their list. You can get all the juicy details on Pajiba.”
http://storitorigrace.blogspot.com/2018/06/5-ways-classic-pc-adventure-games.html “It’s no secret that I freaking love PC Adventure Games. I’ve been playing them since I was seven-years-old. My mom had a lot of them on floppy disc. Yes, floppy disc. If you don’t know what those are, look them up (It’s also what your save icon is in Microsoft Word). XD Then later on with CD-ROM (Now we have snazzy disc-less download stuff. I’m so grateful for that.). So I have many fond memories get on our dinosaur of a computer in the office after finishing my schoolwork for the day and spending time with some of my pixel best friends. I wouldn’t be the same writer I am today without the many skills I learned by playing these games.”
https://stevelaube.com/author-says-agent-hears/ “Many aspiring authors communicate things they think are positive, or at least in the spirit of honesty and transparency, but end up being understood entirely different than the intended message.”
https://stevelaube.com/the_wild_pitch/ “It is the third month of the Major League baseball season, so I thought it would be fun to explore the concept of having a quality pitch. As with baseball, the author needs to pitch their ideas in an effective manner. But it doesn’t always work out that way.”
https://mythcreants.com/blog/why-historical-accuracy-isnt-a-reason-to-exclude-diversity/ “As someone who critiques media for a living, I run into this argument all the time. I see it from the darkest depths of YouTube to the comments section of this very blog. Some people use the argument as a smoke screen to hide the fact that they simply don’t want diverse stories, whereas others genuinely think that history requires stories to be full of bigotry. Either way, the argument is wrong, and here’s why.” I have to agree. All types of people should be in our stories. There’s room for everyone!
http://mybipolarmind.com/2018/06/16/my-2018-vacation-is-in-12-hours/ “I am looking forward to taking lots of pictures and walking on the beach. I would bring my laptop on the sand and stare at the ocean view and write or blog because that is actually on my bucketlist — to write by the ocean — but I am too worried that I would get sand on it or that it will get wet, broken, or stolen. I need my laptop because, well, I am a writer. Or at least, I try to be.” I am going on vacation, too, just not away for one. Well, at least I don’t think so. Instead, I’m taking a writing vacation.
http://www.adventuresinyapublishing.com/2018/06/amy-mcnamara-author-of-flicker-in.html “Many years ago my daughter struggled with a needy, domineering and self-destructive friend. It made me think of my own attraction to a glamorous mess when I was her age. It took me far longer than it took my daughter to realise there is a vast difference between caretaking and genuine friendship and that real friendship is an ongoing balance between give and take.”
https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2018/06/book-promotion-do-this-not-that-june-2018/ “More and more authors are seeing that the ADD TO CART button does not place an order with the author/publisher like it used to. This is not a new phenomenon, but for the last year, Amazon has been awarding the button to the lowest-priced seller and that is often not the author. This has, in some cases, resulted in a dramatic drop in their CreateSpace sales.”
https://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-authors-ebook-pricing-seeley-james/ “One of the many advantages of being an indie author is that with access to your own dashboard on the book distribution sites (KDP, Kobo, iBooks, etc), you can set your own pricesfor your books, in whatever format you’re self-publishing them, and change them until you hit a sweet spot for profitability.”
https://jamigold.com/2018/06/are-sneaky-plot-holes-lurking-in-your-story/ “Despite the term plot hole, illogical and/or inconsistent events and details in our story can exist in more places than just our story’s plot. And no matter the source, those breaks in logic affect our readers the same way, so we need to watch out for them the same way we keep an eye open for logic holes within our story’s plot.”
https://www.janefriedman.com/the-power-of-silence-in-a-pitch-situation/ “When writers ask me for advice about pitching their work in-person, my favorite tip is: Get the other person talking and asking questions. Rather than dominating the conversation with everything youwant to say, figure out what’s going on inside the head of your target. That’s where the valuable information is. The nature of their response will help you learn the publishing business and how to position your work.”
https://writershelpingwriters.net/2018/06/occupation-thesaurus-entry-business-tycoon/ “Overview: A business tycoon is someone who is extremely successful in their industry. Tycoons tend to be entrepreneurial, coming up with innovative ideas or solutions that help them rise to the top in their fields. Some (Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, etc.) are so famous as to become household names to the general public, while others are simply well-known by those in their fields. A person can become a mogul in any industry—automobiles, banking, social media, finance, media, real estate, etc. Because of their success, these leaders tend to be very wealthy.”
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/morality-clauses-are-publishers-right-to-police-writers/ “As the pressure has mounted, London-based authors’ agent Lizzy Kremer has taken pre-emptive action – drawing up a new, industry-wide code of conduct on behalf of a coalition of authors, booksellers, agents and publishers. The voluntary code was partly inspired by London’s Royal Court theatre, which constructed one in reaction to its own sexual misconduct scandal involving a former artistic director. Among the theatre’s first responses was a call out for testimony about sexual harassment to help it to identify “patterns and scenarios”. In a detail that chimes strongly with the publishing industry, the report drew attention to the dangers of a “blurred social context”: “13.3% of reported incidents happened at work parties … with alcohol.”
http://booksbywomen.org/waiting-for-inspiration-by-penny-kline/ “Sitting agonising never works, at least it doesn’t for me. Obviously, if and when I have a wonderful moment of “inspiration” and the two themes combine into a story, there are still many gaps to be filled and, most importantly of all, characters to create, but where the story came from I couldn’t say. Somewhere in my unconscious, I suppose.” I often have to do something else as well.
https://teagansbooks.com/2018/06/09/its-about-time-with-don/ That’s where the idea of using some form of time travel emerged. It was a difficult decision because I’ve spent the past several books identifying with readers as a crime fiction author. I did publish a collection of short stories in my anthology, Random Tales,that had some science fiction/paranormal entries, but this would be my first novel to explore that part of my writing.
https://phsolomon.com/2018/06/09/characters-from-the-bow-of-destiny-hastra/ For those who have read my free short story, What Is Needed, you’ve met the Withling Hastra. What are Withlings? They were a mystic order devoted to the deity Eloch. If you’re interested in the Withlings, the e-book is still available on all major book retail sites. But here’s a little more about Hastra. She’s been alive for several centuries serving Eloch through many adventures while working against Magdronu’s efforts. Her mystic powers come from Eloch and can come in many forms and at timely moments.
https://mythsofthemirror.com/2018/06/07/covers-revealed/ Some souls gift insights, wisdom, a path to understanding. Others unleash power, proficiency with a sword, and indifference to death. One soul assimilates with ease. Swallow a host of the dead and risk a descent into madness.
https://tinafrisco.com/2018/06/07/author-interview-jacqui-murray/ Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when man was relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, his own people, and the next iteration of the species. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She may be their leader’s new mate but they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.
https://teripolen.com/2018/06/06/www-wednesday-what-am-i-reading-amreading-8/Sabrina Sebastian’s goal in life is to be an investigative reporter. For her first big story, she researches a popular website called Scream Site, where people post scary videos and compete for the most “screams.” While Sabrina’s friends and her sister, Faith, talk nonstop about the creepy viral videos, Sabrina just hopes that covering this trend will get her the internship she’s wishing for. But as she digs into the truth behind the website, she begins to suspect that these aren’t only aspiring actors and videographers at work. Some clips seem a little too real. And when Faith goes missing, Sabrina must race against time to save her sister from becoming the next video “star.”
https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2018/06/09/enchanted-romances-magical-passion/ Come into our world, where guardian angels protect you, Fountain of Youth water revives you, and supernatural beings comfort you. Eight paranormal stories with romance and happy ever after endings by eight award winning and bestselling authors. Enjoy the ride into our mystical fantasies filled with superb entertainment!
https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2018/06/08/this-weeks-best-selling-author-alyssa-day/ Alyssa Day is the pen name (and dark and tortured alter ego) of author Alesia Holliday. As Alyssa, she is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, and she writes the Warriors of Poseidon and Cardinal Witches paranormal romance series and the Tiger’s Eye Mysteries, a paranormal mystery series. As Alesia, she writes comedies that make readers snort things out of their noses, and is the author of the award-winning memoir about military families during war-time deployments: Email to the Front. She has won many awards for her writing, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award for outstanding romance fiction and the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance novel of 2012.
https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/rosies-bookreview-team-rbrt-womensfiction-the-women-of-heachley-hall-by-racheljwalkley-2/ Twenty-eight-year old Miriam Marsters, a freelance illustrator, is shocked to discover she is the sole surviving heir to her Great Aunt Felicity’s fortune. Depending on referrals for paying jobs, she sees selling the Victorian mansion bequeathed to her, Heachley Hall, as a way of being able to sell her cramped old city flat and buy a house with a studio. There is only one catch – in order to get the house, she has to earn it, by living in it for one year and one day. It’s hardly habitable, having been empty for five years and decaying even before her great aunt left it, far from the memories of a color-filled home with splendid gardens she has from her youth.
http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/streaming-screams-lost-soul/G. Wells’ classic novel Island of Doctor Moreauis one the best examples of how horror and science-fiction can blend seamlessly together to challenge our concepts of life and death, identity, and morality. A cautionary tale about the evils of playing God with nature, the novel has been adapted to film several times, most notably as Island of Lost Souls (1932), again in 1977 with The Island of Dr Moreau with Burt Lancaster and Michael York (a personal favorite), and most recently with an adaptation with Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer (1996). The later adaptation, originally conceived by film auteur Richard Stanley (Hardwire, Dust Devils) and ultimately directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Ronin) was considered a box-office bomb and ranks high in that polarizing category of worst-best films. That version, especially considering Stanley’s involvement and subsequent removal, is the subject of David Gregory’s documentary Lost Soul:The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau.
http://middlegrademafia.com/2018/06/07/mg-book-review-hello-universe-by-erin-entrada-kelly/ There’s shy and then there’s Virgil Salinas. He’s so quiet, he usually only talks to his family and then mostly only to his grandmother Lola. So, how will he ever get up the nerve to talk Valencia Somerset, a girl in his resource class at middle school? His only hope is Kaori Tanaka, a girl in his neighborhood with a gift for the spiritual world. At least that’s what Kaori claims.
http://www.fantasybookcafe.com/2018/06/review-of-children-of-blood-and-bone-by-tomi-adeyemi/Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi’s #1 New York Timesbestselling debut novel, is the first installment in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. This West African-inspired young adult fantasy book is a heart-wrenching story with characters facing memorable struggles in both their literal and figurative journeys, and I can definitely understand why it’s been making such big waves this year. However, despite being hooked throughout the first and last 100 pages, I did find the pacing between these two sections to be rather uneven—and, frankly, I found much of the middle difficult to slog through even though I appreciated the author’s vision overall.
https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/the-contract-between-heaven-and-earth/ Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.
https://maeclair.net/2018/06/08/cusp-of-night-new-release-from-mae-clair/ I’m visiting the lovely Jan Sikes today with an excerpt from my upcoming release, Cusp of Night. If you have a moment, please pop over and check it out. While you’re there, take a look around Jan’s blog. She is wonderful supportive, musically gifted, and a fabulous writer. I HIGHLY recommend her Flowers & Stone series of books. They are guaranteed to touch your heart!
https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/going-home-on-lisaburtonradio/ Michelle DePalma expects to jet home for a routine visit to Two Wells, Texas, to check on her elderly mother, Lola Hanson, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. She walks in to find her mother hovering over the dead body of her caregiver, unable to offer a straight answer about what happened. Lola is quickly labeled a suspect, and Michelle must stay in her hometown much longer than planned to help unravel the mystery and clear her mother’s name. Going Homewas inspired by the author’s own mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness who could not rely on her memory.
http://lizlovesbooks.com/lizlovesbooks/the-captives-debra-jo-immergut-blog-tour-review/ Convicted of murder, destined for life in prison, Miranda is desperate for an escape. She signs up for sessions with the prison psychologist, Frank Lundquist, so that she can access the drugs to end it all. But unknown to her, Frank remembers her from high school, where, forgettable and unseen, he had a crush on Miranda Greene. Now, captivated again, his feelings deepen to obsession. What led the daughter of a former Congressman to commit such a terrible crime? And how can he make her remember him?
https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/06/06/colleens-2018-book-reviews-title-by-author-name/ G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.
http://storitorigrace.blogspot.com/2018/06/questions-for-cohen-silhouette.html “Since Beautiful People has ended for the time being I thought I’d try reviving character interviews on the blog so I can talk about my books a little bit. This is Cohen Makovsky and he’s the main character of my Adult Science-Fiction novel Silhouette. He had his own Beautiful People, but I need to get to know him even more. XD Let me tell you a bit about him.”
https://legendsofwindemere.com/2018/06/09/there-is-a-sliver-of-light-in-the-future/ “Speaking of anxiety, this week has been a rough one. Sunday was fun with ‘Deadpool 2’ and Cheesecake Factory, but the weekdays were emotionally brutal. Aside from some personal stuff, two reviews vanished on me. One from Warlord of the Forgotten Ageand another from War of Nytefall: Loyalty. Those are two books that can’t afford to lose any reviews and I don’t have any explanation for it. It’s frustrating when you’re trying to figure out how to fairly get reviews while the ones you do have are disappearing. I don’t know if the person who wrote them had their account deleted, someone reported these strangers as friends/family, or some other explanation. With everything else going on this week, this incident became a catalyst for me to have an almost constant anxiety attack. I used what little energy I could muster for writing. That created an odd ‘stockpile’ of anxiety that would hit me once I was done, but I got through it.”
https://phsolomon.com/2018/06/06/abracadabra-transforming-your-book/ “Today, due to popular demand, I’d like to outline an easy way to format your books for ebook publishing. In the past, you had to know HTML to do any serious editing on your converted book, and using Word meant deleting lots of extra coding that did you no favours. More recently, however, we’ve seen new programs that can do so much for us. One such writer’s program that makes the conversion process so much easier and stress free (once you know the software) is Scrivener, on which PH Solomon has so kindly written lots of posts on the ins and outs here on Story Empire. If you haven’t seen them yet, please do look through our archives.”
https://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2018/06/a-tale-of-two-boxes.html “Once upon a time, a young woman sat down to write a book. Her delight overflowed when her best friend, a well-known and loved author, offered to help her start her story. On arriving, he gave her a beautifully wrapped gift. He said all the tools she needed resided within the large package. Smiling, he then kissed her on the cheek, wished her success, and left.
https://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2018/06/6th-century-britain-questions-without.html “In the age of Google, at a time when physicists are unlocking the secrets of the universe, when there are answers to almost every question, it seems churlish of history to present us with what used to be called “The Dark Ages.” Yet, in respect to Britain at least, that description would still appear to be appropriate for the period between the departure of the Romans, in AD 410, and the 7th century.”
http://nicholasrossis.me/2018/06/05/history-of-the-great-library-of-alexandria/ “World history is full of terrible losses. No, I’m not talking about people who fell in numerous wars and battles. This post is devoted to another sort of loss: a cultural one. Unfortunately, humanity has lost too many antiquities, and cultural heritage can be irreplaceable. One such tragedy is the burning of the library of Alexandria.”
http://annieneugebauer.com/2018/06/05/worth-the-excitement/ “My life is brimming with excitement lately. For one thing, I’ve finally finished the WIPbeast—for now, at least; no such thing as The End for writers—and I couldn’t be happier. It was a thrilling, trying, fun, exhausting project, and I am soproud of it. I hope to be able to tell you all about it soon, but for now I’m just looking forward to a big check mark, a fresh slate, and…”
Bonus: http://thewarriormuse.blogspot.com/2018/06/iwsg-spend-little-time-with-your.html “For my insecurity this month, I want to address something I talked about on Facebook briefly. In the last few months I’ve been to memorials for two local writing friends. I regret not having had better conversations with them while they were alive, and the fact that I learned things at their memorials I feel like I should have learned while they were alive. So I’m going to quote myself here:”
https://scvincent.com/2018/06/06/bird-watching/ “My son’s garden is surrounded by trees and they are full of birds of every variety. It is a joy to watch them and listen to their constant song every day, but, at this time of year, we are always on tenterhooks, waiting to see what will happen. With nests in every tree and a nest in the bird box under the eaves, we can watch the first tentative sorties of the fledglings and see them grow and mature from scruffy juveniles to their full beauty… if they survive.”
http://mybipolarmind.com/2018/06/08/tell-me-you-love-me/ “Sometimes when we are feeling down, all we need is one person to tell us that they love us. It doesn’t matter who, as long as we hear those words. It’s like; tell me you love me… Sometimes we also just need someone to tell us that it is going to be okay, that we are not alone, or that we are worthy of being alive.” It’s very important to tell others you care about them, you never know where they’re at in life, how they’re feeling. Don’t not say something that can save a life.
http://scbwimithemitten.blogspot.com/2018/06/is-your-art-ready-by-kirbi-fagan.html “A few of you who are considering joining SCBWI’s 4 Out the Door program have asked me, “How do I know if my art is ready?” I’m here today to share what I have learned. Conferences bring all sort of professionals and amateurs together, it can be inspiring. Many times artists can walk away feeling motivated to get their work out in the world. If their work isn’t ready, they could be wasting valuable time and money on promotions that could be better spent at their easel.”
http://www.adventuresinyapublishing.com/2018/06/av-geiger-author-of-tell-me-no-lies-on.html “TELL ME NO LIES is the second installment of a duology, and it was not a book I initially planned to write. When I first signed with my agent, Follow Me Back(Book 1) was intended as a standalone novel. However, when Follow Me Back went out on sub to publishers, I needed something to take my mind off of the grinding uncertainty of the submission process. I began spinning out a messy, somewhat ridiculous first draft of a sequel, purely as a distraction for myself. Little did I know that my editor at Sourcebooks would eventually suggest changing the end of Follow Me Back into a cliffhanger, with my weird little sequel serving as the basis for a published second book!”
http://annerallen.com/2018/06/new-writing-scams/ “A couple of months ago I wrote about some of the weird writing scams that have been showing up in my email inbox. A number of my online author friends have since told me they’ve been getting them too. So there seems to be some new master list of potentially gullible authors put out by the writer-scamming community.”
https://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/i-had-to-let-it-happen-i-had-to-change/ “Don’t tell anyone, will you, but one of the writing projects I’m working on is a standalone (well, thus far a standalone) that features a character from one of my Joel Williams novels. By the time the book is ready for human consumption, it will have been a few years since we ‘met’ this character. And that means that (hopefully), the character’s done some growing and maturing. After all, as we get older, have experiences, and so on, we hopefully learn and become more mature
https://kriswrites.com/2018/06/04/cat-nap/ “Triwell doesn’t adopt strays. He feels like a stray himself, a man who has lost everything even though he has a house and an antiquarian bookstore in Seavy Village on the Oregon Coast.”
https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/a-great-day-for-piracy/ “Lisa met me at the top of the stairs. She had those knee-high boots that turn over at the top, and her Captain Barbosa hat on. “What are we working on today, mate?” I need to get my Pirate Companion out one of these days! It’s a book, by the way. All the details about pirating. I got it back in the days when I was thinking along the lines of a pirate story. It still may happen.
https://journeytoambeth.com/2018/06/08/writephoto-all-that-remains/ He came to me after dark, as night lay like soft velvet in the hollows of the hills. The fire burned low, his feathered cape laid over the chair shimmering iridescent blue as the birds stirred and gave their first sleepy chirps, my breath coming fast as he touched me and held me close. He told me his name, and I spoke it as I emerged from the dream.
https://storyempire.com/2018/06/08/friday-book-share-boneshare/ “Boneshaker involves the backstory of an inventor who was hired to create a digging machine, with the ultimate goal of sending it to the Klondike gold rush. He tested it out in Seattle, but something went horribly wrong. This has to do with the active volcanics of the area and such.”
https://marciamearawrites.com/2018/06/01/listening-to-your-wip-writingtip-amwriting/ “We’ve talked about this in the past, but as I avail myself of the process more and more, I now wonder how I wrote anything without stopping to hear my words now and then. At the very least, how did I dare submit my revised document to an editor, never having done so? And yet it’s SO easy.” This will be valuable. I read my work aloud during some of my last revisions. This may help me to concentrate on what needs fixed more.
https://www.janefriedman.com/what-to-look-for-book-publicist/ “A successful book publicity campaign can bring in a level of media coverage that lands more clients, more brand cachet, more book sales, and additional media opportunities. That makes hiring an outside publicity firm a big decision, and knowing what to expect on the front end can help you make the right selection and get more out of the experience. If you’re considering hiring a publicist, here are a few things you should keep in mind.”
https://writershelpingwriters.net/2018/06/occupation-thesaurus-entry-model/ “Overview: The career of a model can look very different depending on the type of modeling they do and the level of their success. Most modeling falls into two categories: editorial (magazine spreads in higher-end magazines, fashion catwalks, high-end makeup ads, etc.) and commercial (catalogs, print ads for non-fashion products, commercials, and even showroom work where they work with the fashion designers as a form for the clothing being made). Models who are editorial often have a very distinctive look (something different or striking) and are often quite tall and adhere to very specific weight and age ranges. They also will clearly display their personality to prospective agents and clients in their look but are expected to be flexible and unopinionated—to do as they are told. Those in commercial modeling may have a variety of sizes and heights, be of different ages, and would have more of a “girl (or boy) next door” appeal because commercial modeling is more about the product than the model.”
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2018/06/why-co-writing-may-be-my-new-favorite-thing/ “Not that writing isn’t still work — it certainly is — but Christina and I recently hatched an idea to co-write a novella, and so far this experience has buoyed my spirits and refreshed my soul. I didn’t think co-writing would be a good idea for me, but as it turns out, this endeavor has hit on so many aspects I enjoy about writing.” I’ve thought about co-writing before.
Donadio & Olson has existed for 49 years. Started by legendary agent Candida Donadio, the agency has represented some of the biggest names in fiction for decades.
The curated-to-impress client list on Donadio & Olson’s website includes Chuck Palahnuik, and McKay Jenkins, as well as dozens of estates from Mario Puzo’s to Peter Matthiessen’s. (As well as the estate of an old colleague of mine. Pout.)
The New York Post article, which is what I saw initially, called the perpetrator the accountant for the agency. The actual legal complaint calls him the bookkeeper. The actual criminal charges against the bookkeeper, Darin Webb, were filed on May 15 in federal court. Webb was charged with wire fraud for embezzling $3.4 million. A forensic audit is now occurring at Donadio & Olson, and there is speculation that the amount of money Webb stole will go much, much, much higher.” This is one of the articles I read that I was discussing on Writerly Things last week. It’s what changed my mind about having an agent. I’m going to still publish traditional-wise just submit directly to publishers.
https://kriswrites.com/2018/06/06/business-musings-what-it-feels-like-to-have-an-agent/ “Unfortunately, as I have been telling you all for years now, embezzlement and financial negligence is rampant at big name agencies. Almost none have systems set up to prevent it. Of the four agencies I worked with over the decades, two actively embezzled from me. I was anal with the latter two by constantly monitoring money, so I know they didn’t embezzle. They didn’t have the chance.” The second article that changed my mind!
https://seths.blog/2018/06/on-paying-for-software/ “The business of software is a bit of a miracle. Properly designed, software isn’t more expensive to create when more people use it. In fact, when network effects are involved, it’s actually more efficient when more people use it.”
http://booksbywomen.org/the-truth-as-i-know-it-by-caitlin-hamilton-summie/ “One of the pitfalls of writing fiction is that people think you are writing about yourself. To some degree, we all are, of course. We weave facts and experiences from our own lives into our stories, and we write about issues and situations we care about. But we are still creating stories, not writing memoir.”
https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/tips-for-writers-subconscious-mannerisms/ “My high school drama teacher had a quirky habit: first he’d pull on his nose, and then he’d push on it. One day, in the midst of a discussion about mannerisms, he told us where this habit came from: As a child he’d grown anxious that when adults said he had a “cute little pug nose” they really meant “he looks like a pig.” So, he’d begun pulling on it to make it longer. Then one day, his grandmother told him that if he didn’t stop tugging it his nose would end up looking like a sausage. That was even worse! But he couldn’t break the habit of pulling on it, so he adopted a second mannerism of “putting it back.” This two-part nose-fix had long since become a subconscious mannerism.Which is to say that he was (normally) unaware he was doing it.”
https://jessicanorrie.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/begin-as-you-mean-to-go-on/ “In keeping with my new snappy style, I’m allowing myself 999 words max for this post. Most bloggers manage with much less; my problem is, I like wordy writers (Dickens, Balzac, Woolf) and my models have made me wordy myself. I’ve learnt that to write well in a spare elegant style, much as I admire it (Stoner, My name is Lucy Barton), you have to write better than I can. I bury infelicities in my forest of verbiage, but would be rumbled if every word stood out clear from the page. A writer with six hundred plus pages to fill can explore their own meaning aloud. It must be nailed first time in a novella.”
https://kimwrtr.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/author-inspiration-and-this-weeks-writing-links-4/ “I used to be a professor, and I currently write for two industry websites. Basically, I’m used to operating in teacher-mode. But this week, I started taking a mastermind class on backlist strategies for authors. I’m a student again! It’s a refreshing change. I feel my horizons expanding and my synapses firing. On top of all the work on my calendar, it makes for busy days. But I love the challenge.”
https://thepbsblog.com/2018/06/08/youre-invited/ “The inaugural Atlanta African American Book Festival is FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC and will take place on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at Georgia State University. Over 70 authors will convene in Atlanta to present their work to the Atlanta community. Author categories include fiction, non-fiction, romance, YA fiction, middle-grade fiction, and children’s picture books. Journalists, editors, publishers, literary critics, and scholars from various fields will be present. Panel discussions and workshops will engage festival attendees in topics concerning literary industry tips, civil disobedience, activism, emotional and spiritual well-being, restorative justice, and health and wealth. Children’s activities include a story corner and festival dance floor.”
https://scvincent.com/2018/06/09/unusual-people/ “Delicate blue flowers caught my eye in the flower bed. I wondered where they had come from as they were nothing that we had planted … they had just grown. It only took a moment to realise that they were flax flowers and that, in fact, we wereresponsible for their presence after all, albeit inadvertently. They had appeared around the base of the bird feeder, where the constant stream of overwintering avian diners must have scattered stray seeds. The seeds had lain there quietly, and now, with the advent of summer, were filling all the barren spaces in the flower bed. Feeding the birds through the winter was paying an unexpected dividend.”
To make the perfect Facebook ad creative, you need to diligently implement best practices that make your creative amazing every time. There are five ways, in particular, you can make an ad creative that reaches your desired goals.”
https://vivdrewa.me/2018/06/01/the-long-road-home-by-carolyn-m-bowen-romance-thriller-suspense-internationalmystery-3/ After a lifetime of being protected and sheltered by her parents, Kate is thrown into a state of turmoil after their sudden death. With nowhere else to turn, she finds herself living with her fiancé, a conniving businessman who is well on his way to becoming a corrupt super-lawyer. At the same time, Kate’s father’s law firm houses more secrets than a politician’s hard drive. Later, she receives a shocking surprise when a long-lost half-brother enters her life. Can Kate rise to these challenges, discover the truth and re-emerge as a stronger, smarter version of herself?
https://authorsteveboseley.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/dbb9/ Time for Part 9 of the continuing saga of Ted Harris. Last time, we learned more about the start of the problems in Ted’s life, after his wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour. This week, he is forced to face to truth about what he did…
http://johnwhowell.com/2018/05/31/meet-john-howell/ John W, Howell began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. Circumstances of Childhood in October 1st, The latest, The Contractbetween heaven and earth, his fifth book, is written in collaboration with award winning author Gwen Plano and will be launched the week of June 4th, 2018. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/bookreview-ludwika-by-christoph-fischer/ It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.
http://booksbywomen.org/in-search-of-home-by-margarita-montimore/ When I was four years old, my parents and I immigrated to the United States as Soviet Jewish refugees. I grew up speaking Russian and English, holding onto some traditions and values of the old world, while learning the customs the new. While my current married name might belie my roots, being an immigrant is a core part of who I am. It has influenced my writing in unexpected ways.
https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/05/27/rain/ “Today, it rained. I saw thunder and lightning dance in the heavens as earth became soft and yielding with the showers. I begged Smaerd to tell me of rain. He looked at me and said “tell me what you know.”
https://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2018/05/killer-companions.html “We’ve spent the month discussing the many ways that animals, both domesticated and wild, can add wonderful color and layers of emotionally satisfying richness to a short story or novel. We’ve talked about how animal companions may become even more popular than the human protagonist who was supposed to be the star of any given series. But we have not explored how animals—that readers expect to always be warm and fuzzy—may in fact, be killer companions instead.”
https://stevelaube.com/5-ways-getting-an-agent-is-like-dating/ “These were “speed dating for writers” sessions, in which writers sat down for rapid-fire five-minute appointments with editors, agents, and authors (many conferences provide writers with the opportunity to sign up for fifteen-minute appointments, which pass quickly enough, but five minutes?). I was assigned a table where I met with writers to hear a pitch or answer a question as completely as possible before a whistle (yes, an actual whistle) signaled the end of the encounter. In three fifty-minute sessions, I met about thirty fellow writers.”
https://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2018/06/giving-it-and-taking-it-back.html “In 1264, William de Whelton faced something of a conundrum. He wasn’t alone. England was at war, on the one side Simon de Montfort seemed to be carrying the day, on the other King Henry III and his son, the future Edward I, claimed hereditary right to rule. In between were all those men who were fast approaching a point at which they had to choose sides. Sitting on the fence was not an option, not when the rattling of swords and lances clearly proclaimed the conflict was about to turn bloody. Very bloody.”
http://awriterofhistory.com/2018/05/31/transported-in-time-and-place-by-harald-johnson/ “The final motivation for writing and publishing NEW YORK 1609came in the mail from my mother. It was an old family photo album; the kind with the black pages, white ink captions, and those little black-and-white photos with the scalloped edges. For some reason, I had placed it next to a binder of my old swimming accolades, and it now struck me: When I had swum around the island of Manhattan in 1983 as part of a swim race, I was swimming over the exact spot where my family had arrived (with me as a child) on a ship from Germany in 1953 to start a new life. And this was also the very same location Henry Hudson encountered in 1609 when he arrived with his Dutch-Anglo crew seeking a new water passage to the Orient. The parallels were just too hard to ignore.”
http://scvincent.com/2018/06/01/reflecting-light-and-shade/ “I have written a fair bit about my son’s pond and its inhabitants. I find watching the fish to be both calming and enlightening. It does not matter whether I am projecting human values onto the behaviour of the fish or reading too much into their antics. What matters is that watching them, engaging with them, has taught me a lot about how the human mind works. Truth can take any form that is amenable to understanding and sometimes, it looks like a fish.”
http://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2018/05/26/graveside/ “You know one of the biggest taboos in our world is ‘Death’ people simply don’t like to discuss the end of days equally as much as they dislike ‘mental health’, and yet whether people like it or not, it still happens and equally as much as Death awaits us, we all have mental health.”
http://avajae.blogspot.com/2018/05/cutting-back.html “At this point, I think I have to come to terms with the fact that I’m overwhelmed. I thought things would get better after my school semester ended—and they have!—but I still have so much to do between freelancing, CP stuff, and my own writing that I feel perpetually behind everything which has not been awesome. And I’ve been so overwhelmed with that stuff that unfortunately I’ve been dropping the ball with blog posts.”
http://www.adventuresinyapublishing.com/2018/05/michelle-falkoff-author-of-questions-i.html “Perseverance is absolutely the most important quality to have as a writer. Talent is useful, as are great ideas for things to write about. But if there’s one thing the writers I know have in common, it’s that they kept working and improving and failing and trying again and learning and trying new things and failing again and persisting and you see where I’m going with this. It’s important to listen to criticism from people who are trying to help you, but you have to remember to use that to fuel your creativity rather than letting it keep you from working. And writing is art, but it’s also work.”
https://killzoneblog.com/2018/05/your-writing-sweet-spot.html “For writers still operating in the world of traditional publishing, that question is more important than ever. Publishing companies are being squeezed and must concentrate on big hits to survive. This makes it harder for a newbie to break in or, if they manage to get ushered through the gates of the Forbidden City, to receive what used to be called a “decent advance” and marketing support.”
https://www.suecoletta.com/writers-have-you-found-your-voice/ “Voice is an elusive creature that creeps in the shadows, mocking us, daring us to find it. Voice is also near-impossible to define. I gave it a shot back in 2016 on the Kill Zone (btw, I stand by that post, but it needed more). Droves of new writers pray to the literary gods each and every day to find their voice, even if they haven’t yet grasped what it is they’re searching for. Many things go into to a writer’s voice. Ready? Here we go for round two …” It is tough to define Voice. As Sue said though, it’s an extension of your truest self.
http://teagansbooks.com/2018/06/01/poor-little-glad-rag-doll/ “Artist, Rob Goldstein illustrates the diesel-punk fantasy series, Hullaba Lulu. He often creates art that runs parallel to the series. Rob is supposed to be taking a break, but he still did this a post and great video as part of the “Lulu-verse.””
https://selfpublishingadvice.org/self-publishing-news-whats-in-a-name/ “The news this week has been dominated by two stories we’ve seen already this month. From speaking to other authors it’s clear that the so-called Cockygate incident has caused so much consternation is because it feels as though a (small) part of the indie community has turned on another part, and we all feel that wound. The thing most of us at ALLi value most is a community so willing to give and to help, and that is something we see again and again across the indie world, so it hurts us when we feel that is threatened. Fortunately new and strong communities seem to have come out of this as well – the indie spirit is strong enough something like this won’t break it.”
https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/thinking-on-your-feet-writing-and-my-love-hate-relationship-with-exercise/ “At school I loathed exercise. I had all the left feet possible. I couldn’t catch a ball and I couldn’t see balls anyway without specs. All creatures know when they are disliked, and I sensed how the games teachers loathed me. By the same token, they surely knew I did not hold their subject in high esteem. This is my school magazine. None of these people are me.” I’ve ordered a yoga tape and mat and I’m going to try going to the gym if I can. I know I need to move more and stay in better health. The battle most of us sure.
https://www.janefriedman.com/retrospective-narrative/ “Several things account for the effectiveness of this opening. For one, it appeals immediately and thoroughly to the senses. First, we have that “mean” wind. I’ve said elsewhere that adjectives aren’t descriptions, but opinions. True. Yet thanks to that “mean” we don’t need to be told that the wind is cold, or harsh, that it lashes cheeks and draws tears.”
https://jamigold.com/2018/05/writer-burnout-how-do-you-deal/ “As writers, we can burn out in many different aspects of our lives.We can experience it personally, day-job professionally, writing-wise, publishing-wise, or all of the above.” Lately, I’ve been doing too much running. I haven’t had time to fit in a lot of things I need to do. I’ve got to get my life back! Lol.
Esteem and Recognition: A character who is struggling with self-worth because employment is hard to find, they lack the education needed for other jobs that are available, or they wish to break free of any social difficulties or fears they have may find being a server is rewarding work. Being gainfully employed and growing proficient at what they do will boost their social skills and self-confidence.
Love and Belonging: A character who feels adrift in life may turn to serving to feel part of something larger, especially if the establishment is a fun place to work and has a family-like environment among staffers. Here the character could feel accepted for who they are and that they belong.
Physiological Needs: In most cultures, survival depends on employment, so a character who was finding it hard to make ends meet to pay rent, put food on the table, etc. may turn to serving as it is work that often doesn’t require specialized education. A serving job may also have evening hours of employment, which may work perfect for a character who needs to bring in extra cash when they already have a day job.
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/reversing-the-slide-in-voter-support/ “I am most deeply troubled by the declining perception about the core work of libraries and core competencies of librarians. When there is a nine point drop in the perception about libraries offering “Free access to books and technology that some people may not be able to afford,” how do we recapture that narrative? Today, 20% fewer voters agree that “the library is an excellent resource for kids to get help with their homework” than ten years ago (71% then, 51% now). How is that possible when every story we tell is about a kid learning to read in order to succeed later in life? How do we fight a hostile city hall or recalcitrant county commission when the feeling that “having an excellent public library is a source of pride” is only shared by 53% of voters (20% fewer than in the 2008 report)?” Libraries are a tremendous help to me, someone with limited finances, to catch up on books I’ve missed, for research, for community outreach. I like their convenient hold policies. You can order digital or print from them.
http://amdobritt.blog/2018/05/26/reboot-your-book-to-sell-more-books/ “I have a new book out this week called How to Revise and Re-Release Your Bookand I wrote it because rebooting books is kind of a big deal right now – especially if your goal is to sell more books. There are lots of reasons revising and re-releasing your book is a good idea. Maybe you didn’t get it quite right when the book first launched, maybe it needs revision, or maybe the book is old and you want to breathe new life into it by re-releasing it. These are all great reasons to consider a reboot. And it’s certainly a great way to sell more books. Once you’ve made this decision, your next question might be whether or not you need a new book cover.”
“I came across an old post while I was rummaging through the files. It looked at the decades of an ordinary life…my life… and how the things that seem ordinary to you, while you are living them, can look very different to an observer. As I skimmed back through the paragraphs, I was watching the fish in the aquarium out of the corner of my eye. Two of the little loaches had ventured out to feed. They are shy creatures and I seldom see them, so I stopped to watch.” Life does indeed creep up on you. It seems like I just started this writing journey yesterday and here it is, so much later in my life.
http://jolenemottern.com/2018/05/26/socs-grill/ “Down the way, there was a barbecue joint. It was terrible how we had to smell barbecue all day and all night for years. Just terrible. Seven in the mornin, droolin for pulled pork, Lawd. If I wanna eat a mammal, there’s a 100% chance I’d like to eat pulled pork. I’d put it right up there with MIL’s corned beef and sweet gravy. Lower than her corned beef and sweet gravy, but up there. At those kinda places, I never choose chicken or brisket or ribs. I ain’t orderin a hamburger or some fried catfish. Nope. Always, always the pulled pork.” Good thing there’s a cookout tomorrow, I’m hungry reading this.
http://davidgaughran.com/2018/06/02/cockygate-faleena-hopkins-tiffanygate-chance-carter/ “I don’t know about you guys, but recently I’ve found it hard to maintain my membership of Team Hope. Trademark trolls issuing threats, scammers running rampant, clickfarmers hitting #1, innocents getting sanctioned while stuffers receive All Stars, narcissistic boxset promoters throwing lawsuits in every direction, plus Amazon generally acting like an absentee landlord during the Great Famine.”
https://fromclairespov.com/2018/06/01/may-favourites-5/ “Introducing another one of my new series for 2018: monthly favourites! This is where I describe how my month went, kind of like how I did with my #ClaireNoteslast year, but with more general things that you may know about! I hope you enjoy! Let me know what your favourites from May were!”
Bonus: https://scvincent.com/2018/05/31/elusive-realities-robbie-cheadle-the-boy-with-nine-lives/ “On 30 January 2006, my son, Michael, was born. He was a very healthy baby, with a tiny wizen face, just like a little old man. His APGAR score was 10 out of 10 and he didn’t need to go onto a heating pad in the hospital. I had a Caesarean section delivery. My obstetrician told us after the operation that it was just as well he had performed a Caesar as my uterus was very thin at the site of the scar from my previous Caesar and it could have ruptured if I had gone into labour. He said that it was so thin, he could see the baby right through my uterus. The fact that I had no problems with my pregnancy, despite this, was Michael’s first lucky break in life.” Such an incredible story! I had a close call with my daughter when she was just two. Somehow, I knew she was in trouble. I went to search for her but couldn’t find her. She got out in the road at my brother-in-law’s house and I jumped down stairs and off the porch to run faster than I ever have to reach her before she hit the intersection.