Friday, September 29, 2006

Lesson 9: POV cont...

Wohoo! Violet Dawn is #1 on Technorati Popular Books!

And...Praise the Lord, I made it to Friday...sanctuary, sanctuary...uh, er...well you had to be there! My buddy Mimi Pearson is moving today...not her blog or anything, but into a new house...Her and Dave bought their own house ! Wohoo...this is their dream come true! Congratulations my friends!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue with Point Of View.

Okay, so what happens when you have to shift your point of view for the sake of the plot? If say, your writing from the cop's point of view and you need to add in the burglar? How do you change the POV without jerking your readers around?

It's quite simple: end the current scene, insert a linespace, and start a new scene from the POV you need. Linespaces prepare readers for a shift( in time, place, or POV), so the change in the POV won't catch them by surprise.

Once you've mastered your control of narrative distance, you can use it for some stunning effects. Of all the means available to you for crafting your story, POV is one of the most fundamental. It is how you show who your characters are. It allows you to convey emotions that often can't be put across in any other way.

POV is a powerful tool! Master it!

CHECKLIST:

Which POV are you using and why? If you want continuing intimacy, are you using the first person? If you want distance, are you using third person, or omniscient?

Do you move from head to head? If so, why? Would your story gain power if you stuck with a single POV character or broke your scenes up at appropraite places with linespaces to make this possible?

Take a look at your language. Is it right for your POV character? If not, should it be?

Look at your descriptions. Can you tell how your POV character feels about what you're describing?

Monday, we'll start on Proportion...have a great weekend! Enjoy some more ways to make people annoyed!

Begin all your sentences with "ooh la la!"

ONLY TYPE IN UPPERCASE.

only type in lowercase.

Dont use any punctuation either

Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.

Pay for your dinner with pennies.

Tie jingle bells to all your clothes.

Repeat everything someone says, as a question.

Write "X - BURIED TREASURE" in random spots on all of someone's roadmaps.

Inform everyone you meet of your personal Kennedy assassination/UFO/O.J Simpson conspiracy theories.

Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, its gone now."

Light road flares on a birthday cake.

Wander around a restaurant, asking other diners for their parsley.

Leave tips in Bolivian currency.

Demand that everyone address you as "Conquistador."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Lesson 8: POV cont...

Hey, we made it to Thursday. All I can say about that it...Tomorrow, tomorrow...is only a day away. Now if I could figure out how to put musical notes to that, I might be in business. LOL!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue with Point Of View.

The day before yesterday, we were talking about first-person POV, now we're moving to the other end of the spectrum to the omniscient POV. Instead of being written from inside the head of one of your characters, a scene in the omniscient point of view is not written from inside anyone's head.

So you can see the whole scene from the sidelines. Note that with the omniscient voice what you gain in perspective you lose in intimacy.

then there is third person. If a first person invites intimacy and the omniscient narrator allows for perspective, the thirsd person strikes a balance between the two! Actually it can strike any number of balances...it's the attempt to define precisely these various degrees of intimacy versus perspective that leads to describing twenty-six different flavors of POV.

It's much less complicated to simply treat the third-person POV as a continuum, running from narrative intimacy to narrative distance.

Okay...so what the devil does that mean...I ask myself?

It means that when you describe your settings and actions using only words from your POV characters vocabulary, you're not only telling the readers the facts, but but you're running those facts through your POV character's history and sensibility.

On the other hand, when the voice of your descriptions is more sophisticated, more verbose, perhaps more acutely observant that your POV character can manage, you've put distance between the two!

It is worth noting that, because the emotional connection between your reader and your POV character builds slowly, it's usually a good idea to establish the POV as quickly as possible...in the first sentence of the scene if you can manage it.

whe you make the POV clear at the beginning of a scene, you get your readers involved right away and let them get used to inhabiting your viewpoint character's head.

Enough work for today...have a laugh! Here's ten things you could do to annoy people!

Set alarms for random times.

Order a side of pork rinds with your filet mignon.

Instead of Gallo, serve Night Train next Thanksgiving.

Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a "croaking" noise.

Honk and wave to strangers.

Dress only in clothes colored Hunters Orange.

Change channels five minutes before the end of every show.

Tape pieces of "Sweating to the Oldies" over climactic parts of rental movies.

Wear your pants backwards.

Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints by the cash register.

And last but not least, yesterday I gave you the first book in Brandilyn Collins' next series of SeatBelt Suspense, Violet Dawn, from the Kanner Lake series..."Don't forget to breathe..."

Today...I give you...THE MAZE. And I will bet you a dollar to a doughnut...that you can't get any farther than I did *snort*

Leave me a comment and let me know *snort* how you did!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins

Well folks, it must be Wednesday. From September 27th thru the 29th, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance presents Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins.

Violet Dawn, which released in August of this year, is published by Zondervan and is part of Brandilyn's new Kanner Lake series. There are two other books to come...Coral Moon, releasing in March of '07, and Crimson Eve, releasing in September of '07.

You must also stop by and visit Scenes and Beans, the REAL blog for the fictional Java Joint coffehouse in Kanner Lake.

This is a unique marketing tool for the series, involving about 30 other
writers (including several of our CFBA members), and eventually involving readers of the series who want to audition posts.

Now, I've made you wait long enough. The book is classic Brandiln Collins Seatbelt Suspense. It grabs you from the very beginning...



Something sinuous brushed against Paige's knee. She jerked her leg away.

What was that? She rose to a sitting position, groped around with her left hand.

Fine wisps wound themselves around her fingers.

Hair?

She yanked backward, but the tendrils clung. something solid bumped her wrist. Paige gasped. With one frantic motion she shook her arm free, grabbed the side of the hot tub, and heaved herself out.


I'm telling you that this is suspense at it's finest! Brandilyn has a group of friends that she affectionately calls the Big Honkin' Chickens Club, because the women in the group are unnerved by Brandilyn's writing. This new series is a prime example of that kind of work!

Paige Williams slips into her hot tub in the blackness of night...and finds herself face to face with death.

Alone, terrified, fleeing a dark past, Paige must make an unthinkable choice.

In Violet Dawn, hurtling events and richly drawn characters collide in a breathless story of murder, the need to belong, and faith's first glimmer. One woman's secrets unleash an entire town's pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.

You can go HERE to read a first chapter excerpt. But using Brandilyn's famous tagline....."Don't forget to breathe..."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lesson 7: POV

First off...For the young lady that emailed me with the question...No question is dumb, if you don't know the answer! And if I didn't explain to your satisfaction, you are free to email me again :-)

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue with Point Of View.

Some writing books distinguish as many as twenty-six different flavors of POV, but there are really only three basic approaches: first person, third person, and omniscient.

The first person is the "I" voice, where all the narration is written as if the narrator were speaking directly to the readers. ("I knew as soon as I entered...")
Note that in first person the narrator is one of the characters, not the writer.

The first-person POV has a number of advantages, the main one being that it gives your reader a great deal of intimacy with your viewpoint character. When you are writing in the "I" voice, your main character effortlessly invites your reader into his or her head and shows them the world through his or her eyes.

Of course, in order to succeed in first person POV, you have to create a character strong enough and interesting enough to keep your readers going for an entire novel, yet not so eccentric or bizarre that your readers feel trapped inside his or her head.

But realize, what you gain in intimacy with the first person...You lose in perspective! You can't write about anything your main character couldn't know, which means you have to have your main character in the spot whenever you want to write an immediate scene...This can limit your plot development possibilities!

Also in one POV, your readers get to know only one character directly. Everyone else is filtered through your viewpoint character. One way around this is to write in the first person but from several different viewpoints...With different scenes done from inside the heads of different characters.

This technique can be highly effective in the hands of an experienced writer. For example, over the course of Sol Stein's The Best Revenge, first-person sections are written from the POV's of six different characters. And Mary Gordon devotes the last section in the Company of Women to first-person accounts by all the major characters in turn.

And now for a joke!!!!!

Two high school sweethearts who went out together for four years in high school were both virgins; they enjoyed losing their virginity with each other in 10th grade.

When they graduated, they wanted to both go to the same college but the girl was accepted to a college on the east coast, and the guy went to the west coast. They agreed to be faithful to each other and spend anytime they could together.

As time went on, the guy would call the girl and she would never be home, and when he wrote, she would take weeks to return the letters. Even when he emailed her, she took days to return his messages.

Finally, she confessed to him she wanted to date around. He didn't take this very well and increased his calls, letters, and emails trying to win back her love.

Because she became annoyed, and now had a new boyfriend, she wanted to get him off her back. So, what she did is this: she took a Polaroid picture of her, in let's just say, a very compromised position with her new boyfriend! And sent it to her old boyfriend with a note reading, "I found a new boyfriend, leave me alone."

Well, needless to say, this guy was heartbroken but, even more so, was perturbed. So, what he did next was awesome. He wrote on the back of the photo the following, "Dear Mom and Dad, having a great time at college, please send more money!" and mailed the picture to HER parents.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lesson 6: Exposition

We're back to the start of another week! I hope you all had a great weekend. My internet genius friend Bonnie Wren is flirting with making her own version of the movie, Arachnaphobia...Mwhahaha!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue with exposition.

Everything we've said about characterization applies to exposition as well. Backgroung, backstory, the information your readers need in order to follow and appreciate your plot...all these should be brought out as unobtrusively as possible.

The most obtrusive type of exposition is, of course, a long discourse in the narrative voice. The same thing holds true for interior monologue.

Perhaps the toughest expostion challenge is introducing your readers to a new culture. This could be something as simple as conveying everyday life in rural Tennessee to readers who may live in Palm Beach (or visa versa). How do you transport your readers to strange new worlds without loading down your opening with a lot of expostion?

Bear in mind that this kind of background is really characterization, only what's being characterized is a culture rather than a person. and as was the case with characterization, readers can best learn about your locations and backgrounds not through lengthy exposition but by seeing them in real life.

CheckList:

Look back over a scene or chapter that introduces one or more characters. How much time, if any, have you spent describing the new character? Are you telling us about characteristics that will later show up in dialogue and action?

How about character histories? How many of your characters' childhoods have you developed in detail? Can some of these life stories be cut?

What info (technical details, past histories, backgrounds) do your readers need in order to understand your story? At what point in the story do they need to know it?

How are you getting this information across to your readers? Have you given it to them all at once through a short writer-to-reader lecture?

If the exposition comes out through dialogue, is it through dialogue your character would actually speak even if your readers didn't have to know the information? In other words, does the dialogue exist only to put the information across?

You've done good today...enjoy an oldy but goody joke! See ya' tomorrow!


The strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of one of the older workmen.

After several minutes, the older worker had enough. "Why don't you put your money where your mouth is," he said."I will bet a week's wages that I can haul something
in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won't be able to wheel back."

"You're on, old man," the braggart replied. "Let's see what you got."

The old man reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "All right, put your boney butt in the wheelbarrow!"

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Missing Logo

You may notice a little box with a red x on the left sidebar...Well Blogger has absconded with the logo for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. You can still click the x to go there or just use the link on the top NavBar. We hope to have it back soo...sorta' like a "Where's Waldo" thing!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Whoa! It's Friday already! For all of the CFBAer's, I can't check on the stats for Something That Lasts. Technorati had a major meltdown Thursday morning, and as of this posting at 2:30 AM Friday, it is still off line. The last time I saw it we had 53 links to the book!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue with characterization.

Some writers take a more subtle approach than simply describing a new character's personality...they describe each new character's history. In the course of the story, they may even trace theri characters' ancestry back two or three generations. It is perfectly understandable that a writer should undertake this sort of historical characterization.

Delving into a character's past can be a good way for you to understand the character in the present. but htough it may have been helpful for you to write a character's history...it may not be necessary for your readers to read it!

One you understand a character well enough to bring him or her to life, we don't have to know where the character came from.

So how do you go about establishing a charater gradually and unobtrusively? This topic could make a book in itself, but there are some techniques that fall within the area of fiction mechanics.

Have one character characterized by another instead of by the writer.
Develop your characters through dialogue.
Another way is to develop a character is to write not about the character directly but about other matters from that characters viewpoint.

Next week we'll start on Exposition. Have a great weekend. In light of the lasted fiasco with Blogger, checkout the joke!

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job."

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused.

They faxed.

They e-mailed.

They e-mailed with attachments.

They downloaded.

They did spreadsheets!

They wrote reports.

They created labels and cards.

They created charts and graphs.

They did some genealogy reports

They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.

Jesus just sighed.

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers.

Satan started searching frantically, screaming: "It's gone! It's all GONE! I lost everything when the power went out!"

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.

Satan observed this and became irate.

"Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"

God just shrugged and said...

JESUS SAVES.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lesson 4: Characterization

Whoa! It's Thursday already! This week we're reviewing Something That Lasts over at the CFBA, so that's why you didn't get a lesson post yesterday.

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Today we're going to work on characterization and Exposition.

A lot of writers seem to feel they have to give their readers a clear understanding of a new character before they can get on with their story. They never bring a character onstage without a brief personality summary. Or else they introduce their character with flashbacks to the childhood scenes that made them who they are...In effect, psychoanalyzing the characters for their readers.

It's often a good idea to introduce a new character with enough physical description for your readers to picture him or her. As with describing your settings, all you need are a few concrete, idiomatic details to jump-start your readers' imagination. ("A good-looking man in his fifties," for instance, is too vague to be interesting.)

The show-and-tell principle underlies many of the self-editing points we'll talk about from now on!

Another reason to avoid thumbnail character sketches is that the personality traits you tell us about when you introduce a character will (we would hope) eventually be shown by the way the character behaves in the story.

Also when you sum up your characters, you risk defining them to the point that they're boxed in by the characterization with no room to grow. You may be setting boundary lines that your readers will use to interpret your characters' actions through the rest of the book.

But if you allow your readers to get to know your characters gradually, each reader will interpret them in his or her own way, thus getting a deeper sense of who your characters are than you could ever convey in a summary.

Finally, for today...Sketching out your characters for your readers is just plain obtrusive. It's a form of telling that is almost certain to make your readers aware that you the writer are hard at work!

Here's something to make you laugh!

A mighty fire had been raging at a Texas oil refinery. Fire engines from all around had tried in vain to get close enough to the fierce blaze to put it out, but the heat was so intense that no one could even get near the burning oil and gas. Hundreds of fire trucks from far and wide had been called and now they all just sat wondering what to do.
Suddenly, an old fire engine from a tiny fire company appeared in the distance. It was the only truck from a tiny town and had been driving all night in response to this alarm. To the amazement of all of the firemen, the tiny truck sped right past the other fire engines and came to a leisurely halt right at the base of the fire. The men in the tiny truck leaped out, doused themselves with water from their own hoses, and proceeded to extinguish the fire.

The next day at an awards ceremony for the 6 heroic men of the tiny fire company, the Governor presented the fire chief with a check for $20,000.

"What do you think your fire company will do with such a large amount of money?", asked the Governor.

"Well," replied the old fire chief, "the first thing we're gonna do with it is fix the brakes on that old truck!"

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Something That Lasts


Well friends it's time for another blog tour for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. This week we're reviewing Something That Lasts published by Integrity, May 2006.


It is the first novel written by James David Jordan.To quote James, "I was tired of Hollywood and the popular press treating adultry like a harmless frolic, while Something That Lasts is a positive, hopeful book, it also paints a realistic picture of the devastating impact that adultery has on families and children."


The main character of the novel is David Parst, a gifted preacher with a knack for marketing. His innovations propelled his little church to regional prominence. At the age of 42, he had been named one of the fifty most influential leaders in the area.


Everybody had something to say about this man, including Ted Balik, who rose during a Sunday evening service and pointed a finger. "The Bible says, 'Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly...That's why I'm here tonight to rebuke the biggest sinner of all: our own preacher!"



And with a temptation in a moment of weakness, that single bad choice, David Parst leaves a trail of ruined lives, a scandalized community, and his wife, Sarah, and son, Jack, destroyed.


Shattered and separated, the Parsts embark on a quest to regain their faith, their hope and their family.


Jordan uses a very interesting tool in this book. The background of baseball and its rules serve as a metaphor for the fundamental principles of faith. The family's enjoyment of the game...and their pursuit of something that lasts...leads them to discover that faith is all they ultimately need.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lesson 3: R.U.E.

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Yesterday I left you with the phrase, "Remember to R.U.E."

Up to this point we've been talking about showing and telling on the large scale, about narrating what should be shown through immediate scenes. But even within scenes there are ways in which you may tell what you should show!

From the Gatsby: The three Mr Mumbles leaned forward "eagerly", that one girl spoke with "enthusiasm", that a man nodded "in affirmation".

Granted, stylistic conventions have changed since 1925, but even so, the telling detracts because it's not needed. We've already been shown what the writer proceeds to tell us.

Telling your readers about your characters' emotions is not the best way to get your readers involved. Far better to shoe why your characters feel the way they do. Instead of saying "Amanda took one look at the hotel room and recioled in disgust," describe the room in such a way that the readers feel that disgust themselves.

You don't want to give your readers information. You want to give them experiences.

It's more work that way, of course. It's easier to say, "Erma was depressed" than to come up with some original bit of action or interior monologue that shows she's depressed. Like if you have her take a bite of her favorite cake and push the rest away...or polish off the whole cake. Everyone has a unique way of expressing emotion.

It's nearly always better to resist the urge to explain. Or as editors so often write in the margins of manuscripts, R.U.E.

Here's a joke to end the leson!

Neglected Bills

Abe and Esther are flying to Australia for a two-week vacation to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Suddenly, over the public address system, the Captain announces, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am afraid I have some very bad news. Our engines have ceased functioning and we will attempt an emergency landing. Luckily, I see an uncharted island below us and we should be able to land on the beach. However, the odds are that we may never be rescued and will have to live on the island for the rest of our lives!"

Thanks to the skill of the flight crew, the plane lands safely on the island. An hour later Abe turns to his wife and asks, "Esther, did we pay our $5,000 PBS pledge check yet?"

"No, sweetheart," she responds.

Abe, still shaken from the crash landing, then asks, "Esther, did we pay our American Express card yet?"

"Oh, no! I'm sorry. I forgot to send the check," she says.

"One last thing, Esther. Did you remember to send checks for the Visa and MasterCard this month?" he asks.

"Oy, forgive me, Abie," begged Esther. "I didn't send that one, either."

Abe grabs her and gives her the biggest kiss in 40 years. Esther pulls away and asks him, "What was that for?"

Abe answers, "They'll find us!"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Lesson 2: Show and Tell cont...

Hey we made it to Monday! The CFBA had a great weekend. Squat, the book that we did a blog tour for last week is still in the #2 position on Technorati's Popular book list, as of the time I am writing this. Wahoo to the CFBAers!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

This is the second lesson of two days of Show and Tell. Blogger ate this post on Friday!

We left off talking about using action rather than narration. Of course, there will be times when you need to resort to narrative summary, especially if you're writing a historical novel or science fiction, both of which usually require conveying a lot of information to your readers before you can touch their emotions.

Even though immediate scens are almost always more engaging than narrative summary be careful when self-editing not to convert all your narrative summary into scenes.

Narrative summary is used to vary the rhythm and texture of your writing. Scens are immediate and engaging, but scene after scene without a break can become relentless and exhausting, especially if you tend to write brief, intense scenes. Every once in a while you'll want to slow down to give your readers a chance to catch their breath.

Narrative summary can give continuity to your story on a larger scale. It is also useful when you have a lot of repetitive action. For example, your writing about a track star participating in several races. If you show all of these races as immediate scenes, they all start looking alike! But if you summarize the first few...have them happen off stage...then the one you eventually show as a scene will have real impact.

CheckList:

How often do you use narrative summary? Are there long passages where nothing happens in real time? Do the main events in your plot take place in summary or in scenes?

If you do have too much narrative summary, which sections do you want to convert into scenes? Does any of it involve major characters, where a scene could be used to flesj out their personalities? Does any of your narrative summary involve major plot twists or surprises? If so, start writing some scenes!

Do you have any narrative summary, or are you bouncing from scene to scene without pausing for breath?

Are you describing your characters' feelings? Have you told us they're angry? irritated? morose? discouraged? puzzled? excited? happy? elated? suicidal? Keep an eye out for any place where you mention an emotion outside of dialogue. Chances are you're telling what you should show. Remember to R.U.E.

What is that? R.U.E. Okay...so I'll add that part in...tomorrow! Mhwahaha!

Here, occupy your time with LOL...checking out these!

World Domains
Everyone knows that if you are going to operate a business in today’s world you need a domain name. It is advisable to look at the domain name selected as other see it and not just as you think it looks. Failure to do this may result in situations such as the following (legitimate) companies who deal in everyday humdrum products and services but clearly didn’t give their domain names enough consideration:

1. A site called ‘Who Represents‘ where you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name… wait for it… is www.whorepresents.com

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at www.expertsexchange.com

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at www.penisland.net

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at www.therapistfinder.com

5. Then of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company… www.powergenitalia.com

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales: www.molestationnursery.com

7. If you’re looking for computer software, there’s always www.ipanywhere.com

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is www.cummingfirst.com

9. Then, of course, there’s these brainless art designers, and their whacky website: www.speedofart.com

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at www.gotahoe.com

Friday, September 15, 2006

Summer Classes for Men

Yahoo...Well we made it to Friday...TGIF! First things first! Over at the Christian Fiction bloc Alliance we are doing a three day blog tour for Squat by Taylor Field. Well...For the last two days Squat has been #2 on Technorati's Popular book list ...how's that for power to the people! We even beat out A Million Little Pieces and Harry Potter!

I wrote a whole post of another lesson, spell checked it and went to check it in Compose and it disappeared....It's 2AM and I'm not writing it again tonight. Here's a funny I had saved for a light night! Have a great weekend

Oh, btw...I'm still not totally lovin' my new look! I'm looking for a header with Burgundy, gray, and black in it...If anybody spots a graphic, give me a shout! Nothing cutsie please! I'm going for a thriller type image...hey! I don't want any comments either *sigh* everybody's a critic!

SUMMER CLASSES AT THE LEARNING CENTER FOR MEN


NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM.

Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays --- Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll --- Does It Change Itself? Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub? --- Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor ---
Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
After Dinner Dishes --- Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
at 7:00 PM

Class 6
Loss Of Identity --- Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other. Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Learning How To Find Things --- Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming. Open Forum .
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch --- Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health. Graphics and Audio Tapes.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost --- Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live --- Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife. Online Classes and role-playing .
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy --- Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven --- What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

Send this to all the guys that you think can stand the heat, and to all the ladies for the best chuckle of their day!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lesson 1: Show and Tell

Hey it's Thursday already and I've dawdled away the week...What's new! I've always got the best of intentions, but intentions are like posteriors...Everybody has one!

Today...Yes Rulan, I finally got here...Today we are starting editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but skipping a lot of good stuff!

This first lesson is going to be two days of Show and Tell.

What exactly makes a scene a scene? For one thing it takes place in real time. Your readers watch events as they unfold, whether those events are a group discussion of the merits of Woody Allen flicks, or a woman lying in a field pondering the meaning of life. In scenes, events are seen as they happen rather than described after the fact. Even flashbacks...Don't cringe...Sometimes they're necessary...Show events as they unfold, although they have unfolded in the past within the context of the story!

Scenes also contain action, something that happens. Of course anything that can go into a scene can also be narrated. And since scenes are usually harder to write than narration, many writers rely too heavily on narrative summary to tell their stories.

The result is often page after page, chapter after chapter of writing that reads clearly, perhaps even stylishly, but with no specific setting, no specific characters, no dialogue.

since engagement is exactly what a fiction writer wants to accomplish, you're well advised to rely heavily in immediate scenes to put your story across. You want to draw your readers into the world you've created, make them feel a part of it, make them forget where they are.

And you can't do this effectively if you tell your readers about your world secondhand! You have to take them there. 'Showing' your story to your readers through scenes will not only give your writing immediacy. It will give your writing transparency. One of the easiest ways to look like an amateur is to use mechanics that direct attention to themselves and away from the story.

Of course there will be times when you need to resort to narrative summary, especially if your writing a historical novel or scifi, both of which usually require conveying a lot of information to your readers before you can touch their emotions.

We'll talk more about this in the next chapter, but you'd be surprised at how much exposition can be converted into scenes...right Mimi?

That's it for today, except for the quotable quotes below! Join us again tomorrow for More Self-Editing for Fiction Writers


Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself ~~"Lillian, you should have remained a virgin."
-- Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: "No good in a bed, but fine against a wall."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
-- Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
-- George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
-- Victor Borge

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
-- Mark Twain

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
-- Socrates

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
-- Groucho Marx

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
-- Jimmy Durante

I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.
-- Zsa Zsa Gabor

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.
-- Alex Levine

My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
-- Rodney Dangerfield

Money can't buy you happiness…but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
-- Spike Milligan

I am opposed to millionaires .... but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
-- Mark Twain

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP.
-- Joe Namath

I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap.
-- Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
-- W.C. Fields

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
-- Will Rogers

Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
-- Winston Churchill

May be it's true that life begins at fifty ... but everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.
-- Phyllis Diller

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step; he's too old to go anywhere.
-- Billy Crystal

The cardiologist's diet: If it tastes good, spit it out.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Squat by Taylor Field

It's time for a Blog Tour




This week we're doing Squat, that came out September 1st.

If you want to read the first chapter, go HERE I don't know how many more good things we can say about this truly heart rendering piece of prose. It is a 24-hour look at the life of a homeless New York man, who by God's mercy, finds the treasure of himself among the inner city ruins.

And I'll give you a clue...the characters names fit them...Squid, Bonehead, Unc, Saw and Flicker...LOL...wait till you get to Flicker!

The best thing about this book is that all author proceeds from Squat will go to Graffiti Community Ministries, Inc., a service arm of the East Seventh Street Baptist Church on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where Field preaches.

If you want to know more, please visit The SQUAT Website

To order Squat, click HERE.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Old Farmer Advice

Good Tueday, friends! I've got another book for use to study together called Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. We will start that tomorrow. I've got to decide how to present the lessons.

In the meantime, here is some sage advice that I got from my friend Ric...enjoy!

An Old Farmer's Advice:

* Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong.

* Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.

* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.

* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.

* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

* Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

* It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.

* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived, not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen, anyway.

* Don't judge folks by their relatives.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

* Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

* Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

* The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'."

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

* Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.

* If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around.

* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Monday, September 11, 2006

WE WILL NEVER FORGET

These people were Southern Tier victims who perished in the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon:

Daniel Hal Crisman, 25, formerly of Montrose, Pa. His mother, Debbie Crisman now resides in Dimock, Pa.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Randolph Elseth, 37, a 1982 graduate of Vestal High School. Elseth worked in the Pentagon. His parents, Curtis and Betty Elseth, reside in Vestal. They will spend Monday in Washington, as they usually do, to mark the anniversary.

Robert Peraza, 30, a Norwich High School graduate. Peraza's parents, Robert and Susan Peraza, live in Ohio.

Jonathan C. Randall, 42, son of Charles and Hedi Randall, of Brackney, Pa.

Michele Reed, 26, a Norwich High School graduate.

Joseph Sisolak, 35, a Maine-Endwell High School graduate. Sisolak's wido, Suzanne, lives in Connecticut.

Derek Statkevicus, 30, a 1989 Vestal High School graduate. His parents now live in Florida.

Brian Terrenzi, 28, a Susquehanna Valley High School graduate.

Fifteen Binghamton University graduates also perished in the attacks.

Source: Press & Sun-Bulletin archives


Here is a site dedicated to the 2996 vicitms of 9/11.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hey, hey...It's Friday...Yehaw! Can't tell that I'm happy, can ya! Well in addition to this being the last workday of the week, this is also the last lesson in the book!

Today we're ending Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel. This is a fabulous book and I encourage each of you to buy it, if only for the reference book value. My pages are dog-eared!

This is a checklist of the Follow-up work taken from each exercise in the book. If you truly wish to write a breakout novel, do each piece of work ad check it off the list only when you have incorporated the results into your manuscript. There are 591 steps! The investment of time to complete this is huge...But then your ambition is huge too!

On the left will be the follow-up, after it will be the number of tasks.

Demonstrate heroic qualities..................6
Create extra character dimensions.............3
Make goals mutually exclusive.................1
Create larger-than-life moments..............12
Heighten speech, action, or exposition.......24
Reverse motives in additional scenes...........6
Add the opposite of ultimate commitment.......1
Deepen passages of exposition.................4
Develop a additional secondary character......5
Develop a secondary antagonist................5
Combine two more roles........................1
Incorporate higher stakes into the story......4
Incorporate damage from complications.........3
Develop 4 steps/scenes for two layers.........8
Add nodes of conjunction to the story.........6
Add subplots, even to first-person novel......3
Heighten turning points within scene.........20
Delineate extra turning points................6
Incorporate high moments......................5
Add bridging conflict.........................4
Cut "tea" (inactive or review) scenes.........1
Move backstory back in the manuscript.........1
Add tension to each page...........350 (approx)
Change your first line........................1
Change the last line..........................1
Freeze moments in time........................4
Delineate antagonist's changing view of hero..3
Delineate changing view of a place............2
Strengthen point of view.....................30
Delineate character traits...................48
Create impossible good outcome................1
Develop a secondary theme.....................4
Incorporate related problems..................2
Give someone the opposite problem.............1
Make the antagonist right.....................1
Add the opposite symbol.......................1
Reverse stockpiled story ideas................1
Shorten your pitch............................1

TOTAL TASKS..................591

And after all that hard work....a joke to carry you over the weekend! *snort*


A first-grade teacher, Ms. Brooks, was having trouble with one of her students. The teacher asked, "Harry, what's your problem?"

Harry answered, "I'm too smart for the 1st grade. My sister is in the 3rd grade and I'm smarter than she is. I think I should be in the 3rd grade too!"

Ms. Brooks had had enough. She took Harry to the principal's office.

While Harry waited in the outer office, the teacher explained to the principal what the situation was. The principal told Ms. Brooks he would give the boy a test. If he failed to answer any of his questions he was to go back to the 1st grade and behave. She agreed.

Harry was brought in and the conditions were explained to him and he agreed to take the test.

Principal: "What is 3 x 3?"

Harry: "9."

Principal: "What is 6 x 6?"

Harry: "36."

And so it went with every question the principal thought a 3rd grader should know.

The principal looks at Ms. Brooks and tells her, "I think Harry can go to the 3rd grade."

Ms. Brooks says to the principal, "Let me ask him some questions."

The principal and Harry both agreed.

Ms. Brooks asks, "What does a cow have four of that I have only two of?"

Harry, after a moment: "Legs."

Ms. Brooks: "What is in your pants that you have but I do not have?"

The principal wondered why would she ask such a question!

Harry replied: "Pockets."

Ms. Brooks: "What does a dog do that a man steps into?"

Harry: "Pants."

Ms. Brooks: What starts with a C, ends with a T, is hairy, oval, delicious and contains thin, whitish liquid?"

Harry: "Coconut."

The principal sat forward with his mouth hanging open.

Ms. Brooks: "What goes in hard and pink then comes out soft and sticky?"

The principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the answer, Harry replied, "Bubble gum."

Ms. Brooks: "What does a man do standing up, a woman does sitting down and a dog does on three legs?"

Harry: "Shake hands."

The principal was trembling.

Ms. Brooks: "What word starts with an 'F' and ends in 'K' that means a lot of heat and excitement?"

Harry: "Firetruck."

The principal breathed a sigh of relief and told the teacher, "Put Harry in the fifth-grade, I got the last seven questions wrong......

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lesson 36: Outlining Your Novel

Good Thursday. We are almost done with the book we've been studying. Today we'll work on the Outline. Let's go at it!

Today we continue up with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel. This is a fabulous book and I encourage each of you to buy it. What I'm presenting here is by no means a full lesson and there is a wealth of insight and additional info that will help you.

In case your just joining us...What I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. We're done with Plot Development, now we're moving on to General Story Techniques! Today's lesson is in Appendix A: Outlining Your Novel.


There are pros and cons to doing an outline. Today we're pro people. The number in parenthesis after each step tells you the number of paragraphs that each step will yield. If you are able to follow the steps exactly, you will wind up with fifty paragraphs. If you then average four paragraphs per page, at the end of this process you will have the rough draft of a twelve-and-a-half page outline! Along the way you may also have found some new material for your novel itself!

Write down the answers to the following:

A. Plot fundamentals.

1. Where is your novel set, who is your main character, and what is the main problem, conflict, or goal? (1)
2. What does your protagonist most want, and why? (1)
3. What is your protagonist's second plot layer? (1)
4. What is your protagonist's third plot layer? (1)
5. What is the first subplot? (1)
6. What is the second subplot? (1)
7. Who is the most important secondary or supporting character, what is their main problem, conflict, or goal, and what do they most want? (1)
8. Who is the novel's antagonist, what is his main problem, conflict, or goal, and what does he most want? (1)

B. The Middle

9. What are the five biggest steps toward the solution of your protagonist's main problem? Another was to ask that is: What are the five turning points or events that you positively cannot leave out? (Include your story's climax.) (5)

10. What are the five most important steps toward, or away from, what your protagonist most wants? (5)

11. What are the three most important steps (each) toward, or away from, the resolution of your first and second subplots? (6)

12. What are the three most important steps toward, or away from, the resolution of each main problem facing your foremost secondary character and your antagonist? (6)

13. What are the three most important steps toward, or away from, the resolution of each main problem facing your foremost secondary character and your antagonist? (6)

C. Highlights.

14. Two moments of strong inner conflict. (2)

15. Three larger-than-life actions. (3)

16. Five places to heighten turning points or high moments.

17. Two moments frozen in time. (2)

18. Two measures of change. (2)

19. The psychology of place with respect to the setting of the novel's climax. (1)

20. Three dialogue snippets (3)

21. A paragraph of resolution. (1)

D. Putting it together
Elaborate in a paragraph what you wrote down in each of the steps above!

And Lastly....A Joke for ya'!

Mrs. Johnson decided to have her portrait painted by a famous artist.

She told the artist, "Paint me with diamond earrings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets and a ruby pendant."

"But you are not wearing any of those things."

"I know," said Mrs. Johnson. "My health is not good and my husband is having an affair with his secretary. When I die I'm sure he will marry her, and I want her to go nuts looking for the jewelry."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lesson 35: continued....Pitch

Good Wednesday, still playing with templates. I've muted the colors on the written parts of this one to make it easier to read...Comments and criticisms welcome!

Today we continue up with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel. This is a fabulous book and I encourage each of you to buy it. What I'm presenting here is by no means a full lesson and there is a wealth of insight and additional info that will help you.

In case your just joining us...What I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. We're done with Plot Development, now we're moving on to General Story Techniques! Today's lesson is in Section THREE: The Pitch.

Okay, let's finish up our look at 'The Pitch'.

We left off yesterday looking at the pertinent parts of a query letter. The next part to include is...What is the main problem? Some query writers find a reduction of the central conflict too frightening. They prefer to start with the inciting incident, the moment when the problem begins, and let the story blossom from there.

(Believe me on this one, as I'm pointing one finger out there, four are pointing back at me!)

Once your cruising down the highway of plot summary it is tempting to stay on it. Exit immediately! The details that make the story different are usually lacking. there are no new stories...just new ways of telling old ones!

Here ya go...The best query letters put across the essence of the story in one hundred words or less! Donald Maass says he has seen it done in forty words and fewer!

Use the following exercise to hone down the essentials of your story, then trust your premise to excite the agents and editors whom you have targeted. After all, your story is original isn't it? The world in which it is set is rife with conflict, right? You have invested your story with power and gut emotional appeal? Right, then. You have it all.

Step 1: Write down your novel's title, catagory, setting, protagonist, and central problem.

Step 2: Write down one colorful detail that makes any one of the above elements different.

Step 3: Identify a way in which your story has any one of the following:

Credibility (This could happen to any of us)
Inherent Conflict (This is a world of conflicting forces)
Originality (A reversal of the expected, a new angle on an old subject, or familiar story elements combined in unfamiliar ways)
Gut Emotional Appeal (I would hate if this happened to me!)

Step 4: Write down these five words: love, heart, dream, journey, fortune, destiny.

Step 5: Set a timer for five minutes. ONLY five minutes In that time, write a one-paragraph pitch for your novel, incorporating the material you wrote down in the steps one to three. In your last sentence, use one of the words you wrote doen in step four.

Note: Consider: We summarize movies, TV shows, and books all the time, and rarely take more than thirty seconds to do so. Actually, all it takes to interest someone in a story is its beginning: the setting, the protagonist, and the problem. That's it. Fixing the problem and no more leaves your listener wondering what will happen next!

Follow-up: Put away your pitch for a week or more, then re-read it. Shorten it to one hundred words. Put it away for another week. Now shorten it to fifty words.

Conclusion: In pitching, less is more. It is fear that makes us blather on and on. Say less than you want to. Interest in your novel will be that much greater for your restraint!


This is a joke....it is not a store near my house!

The new supermarket near our house has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and smell the scent of fresh hay.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn.

I don't buy toilet paper there any more.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lesson 35: The Pitch

Hey what do you think of the new look...comments, criticisms??? Let me know it it loads right in your browser! I'm working my way through wallpapers and textures....Like I don't have enough to do...LOL!

Good Tuesday, I trust you had a great holiday. For all of my friends 'down under' I'd like to extend my deepest sympathies at the untimely loss of the "Crocodile Hunter", Steve Irwin from a stingray jab. My regards go out to his family.

Today we continue up with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel. This is a fabulous book and I encourage each of you to buy it. What I'm presenting here is by no means a full lesson and there is a wealth of insight and additional info that will help you.

In case your just joining us...What I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. We're done with Plot Development, now we're moving on to General Story Techniques! Today's lesson is in Section THREE: The Pitch.

Okay, let's take a look at 'The Pitch'.

Whether we're aware of it or not, we all pitch stories all the time. Did you see a movie last weekend? Did you tell your friends about it at the office. Your quick take on that film is the kind of pitch that either turns your friends on or off. You're selling it. (Or panning it!)

In the book publishing business everyone must pitch: authors to agent, agent to editor, editor to sales rep, sales rep to buyer, bookstore owner to customer. The worst pitchers by far are authors!

Go over to Miss Snark, she's winding down another Crapometer of Query letters plus a first page. I think I counted more than once that she wanted to set her hair on fire...or run from the room screaming...LOL! No, I was not masochist's enough to turn something in...too busy!

The majority of authors queries are ineffective, full of hype, and needlessly long plot synopsis. Some rattle on for pages in microscopic fonts, lines crammed together and spread out to the outer edges of the pages.

Why?? In pitching their stories authors feel anxious. They do not know the agent, or their tastes. They don't know what details to leave in, or take out, or what would appeal to a particular agent. Then there is the problem of boiling down a 450-page story, into four punchy lines.

Shouldn't you put in as much plot as possible...most agents say NO! Long plot summaries overwhelm the person getting the pitch, and hype has the opposite of the intended effect.

So what does work? First, brevity. Second, writing in a straightforward and businesslike way. Third, just enough about your novel to tell the agent or editor whether they'd like to have a look.

All they need to know to get hooked is its category, the setting, the protagonist, and the main problem. Add to that one unusual detail that makes this story different from any other like it, and you've probably got a winner!

Category...Mainstream? Literary? Mystery? Thriller? Women's? Romance? SciFi? Fantasy? Historical? Western? Horror? YA? This gives them a mental map of where you are in the publishing business.

Setting and protagonist? Those are easy. Add only a tiny bit of color. Is there inherent conflict in your setting? Is it a world of clashing values? Is your protagonist conflicted?......To be continued tomorrow!


Now for a bit of jockularity!


A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. He demanded that she get out of the car with her hands in the air and get into the back of the police car. He then drove to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.

I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated
Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally...I assumed you had stolen the car."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Squat by Taylor Field



It is September 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:
Taylor Field


"We live in a squat. We don’t know squat. We don’t have squat. We don’t do squat. We don’t give a squat. People say we’re not worth squat."

To read the rest, go HERE