J.K. Rowling on Writing

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“Read as much as you possibly can. Nothing will help you as much as reading.”

 

“There’s no formula.”

 

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”

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Stephen King on Revision

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“To write is human, to edit is divine.”

“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”

 

“Your job during or just after the first draft is to decide what something or somethings yours is about. Your job in the second draft— one of them, anyway—is to make that something even more clear. This may necessitate some big changes and revisions. The benefits to you and your reader will be clearer focus and a more unified story. It hardly ever fails.”

 

All quotations are from

Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

 

 

Back From the Writers Digest Conference!

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I have not posted anything in the last few days because I have been busy at the 2017 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was a great time! If you are a writer, and you want to learn more about the world of publishing and to have an opportunity to pitch to agents, then I recommend this conference to you.

I attended many sessions with publishing professionals and writers, and I learned something useful at each session, including about writing, marketing, and various other aspects of the world of publishing.  I met and networked with other writers, and that was also extremely important and valuable. To those I met, it was delightful, and I hope we keep in contact.

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Perhaps the most exciting event was the Agent Pitch Slam, which is essentially like speed dating, with a strictly enforced 3 minute maximum with each agent, and then the writers move on. If a writer does well in pitching his/her book, then they might see 6-8 agents. I was able to pitch to 7, and one requested my entire manuscript–my YA novel The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge by Charles F. French! Now, I know that is not a guarantee, but it is a major step forward, and I am excited about it.

I also want to say thank you very much to my in-laws, who very graciously opened their home to me while I attended the conference. They are wonderful people, and I love them.   Again, thank you!

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Quotations on Strength

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“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

                                                                   Mahatma Gandhi

 

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“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

                                                                   John Steinbeck

 

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“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot”

                                                                   Eleanor Roosevelt

The Unique Blogger Award

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Earlier this month, the wonderful artist and blogger, Miss Gentileschi https://secretartexpedition.wordpress.com nominated me for The Unique Blogger Award.  I admit that I sometimes take longer than I should in replying to such honors. For the delay, I apologize. For the honor, I thank Miss Gentileschi, and I recommend you visit her wonderful site.

THE RULES:

  • Share the link to the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 15 people and notify them.
  • Ask them three questions.

 

THE QUESTIONS:

1.) What (or who) inspired you to get into blogging?

I have attended several writing conferences, and an emphasis was placed on having a web presence, so after investigations of possibilities, blogging was suggested as the best way to begin, and I agree. I have enjoyed both producing the blog and learning in the process.

2.) Describe your ideal three-course meal? 

This is a little difficult, because I love so many kinds of foods.  Here is one possibility:

A cheddar-beer soup, followed by a hearty beef stew, and finished with bread pudding. This is not the healthiest of meals, but it would be delicious.

3.)  Would you consider naming any future children after fictional characters, if so which characters? (Or if you already have children, did you gave them names after fictional characters?)

While I have never named any children after fictional characters, I have named several pets–cats–from characters in Shakespeare: Ariel and Miranda.

MY NOMINEES:

Karina Pinella Karina Pinella Writing the Wrong, Right, and Rediculous

Amanda Amanda Writes

Storyteller Stories A Part Of Life

Chape Chape blog

KD Dowdall K.D. Dowdall Of Pen and Paper

James J. Cudney IV This Is My Truth

Artimas Delmar Palabras Delmar

Jennie A Teacher’s Reflections

KC Redding-Gonzalez Zombie Salmon (the Horror Continues)

Kim Peace, Love, and Patchouli

Linda Linda’s Book Obsession

Goldenbrodie heartclosetblog

Khaya Ronkainen Khaya Ronkainen Writer

Didi Oviatt Didi Oviatt

Andrew Reynolds Andrew’s View of the Week

 

MY QUESTIONS:

1.) What is one goal you hope to achieve with your blog?

2.) If you could travel anywhere, with money as no issue, where would you go?

3.) If you could have a conversation with a character from a work of fiction, who would it be?  What would you like to talk about?

 

Once again, thank you very much to Miss Gentileschi https://secretartexpedition.wordpress.com/eine-seite/

 

 

 

No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts: A Review

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This spring I had the great pleasure of attending a reading and book signing by Stephanie Powell Watts for her newly release novel No One Is Coming to Save Us. I have been remiss in putting this review up, so I will remedy that situation now.

First I want to say that this book is one of the most important American novels of the last 200 years. As a professor of English Literature, I do not say that lightly. This is a book that will, I hope, be read and reread and taught in college classes for many years to come.

It would be easy to say that her novel is a treatment of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, but it is not. Watts treats similar themes as Fitzgerald does, but she focuses not on the lives of the idle wealthy but on those of poor and working class African-Americans. These are ideas that inform most of humanity, and Watts is brilliant in her take on them. Her writing is lyrical, witty, compelling, and deeply moving.

Watts shows people who want a home and have hopes of family and relationships. She shows the depths of human desires and feelings. This book belongs on the syllabus of those teaching American literature, and it should be read by anyone interested in a deep and moving examination of the souls of human beings.

If we are looking at books in a five star system, then I give this not just five stars but five shining stars.

Please read this novel!

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A First Draft Finished!

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I have finally completed the first draft of Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 2.  It is certainly not close to being ready to be put out into the world, but this step was essential.

I also have a plan of action for the revisions, which is something I did not have in my first book. I simply rewrote and made changes both major and minor as I went along. I hope with my focused revision process, I can lower significantly the number of drafts I will need. I am also hoping that I can still have this book out in time for Halloween! We will see.

On to draft 2!

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview