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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

THE UNIVERSE IS CALLING



And, yes, it's calling to you! It's calling to me, it calls to every living animal. Perhaps its call to animals like birds, dogs, cats, and others is even stronger than to humans because they seem to have natural instincts that we humans probably have but do not use.

Since we communicate more verbally than other animals, we tend to not rely as heavily on the universal feelings. That is why we need to pay attention. 

LISTENING:
How many times have you just sit and listened? Maybe if you took a walk outside in the dark or perhaps at dusk or just before dawn, you might tune in more closely to what the universe is trying to tell you. But today there is a distinct disconnection from the powers of the universe, and perhaps it's time to get back in touch. 

WALKING: This used to be a time when one could collect one's thoughts and perhaps find some clarity to their world. But, how many times do you see people walking today like that? Either they are in a group, a couple, or if alone they could have a head-set on and be listening to music or maybe an audio book, or they are on their phone talking to someone. This is not alone time. They seldom take notice to the scenery or quietness around them.

SLEEPING: Once upon a time, sleeping was much more welcome than I believe it is today. Some people only sleep because it is required at some point. If they didn't have to sleep, they would not even bother. Some people, too many these days, cannot even sleep properly. There is an epidemic of sleep apnea. Or, if one is lucky enough to not be afflicted by that, then there is just constant worry, planning, tossing and turning. Dreams are one way to connect with the universe, but nightmares are not helpful.

WATCHING: Are you aware of the world around you? I am not talking about the working or playing world, even though there are a lot of people these days that are not even that aware of that. I am talking about the world of nature. Yes, our universe is around us, it is not just out there in space. Take note of the birds, listen to their calls, their answers to each other. Watch how a cat lies in the sun and enjoys the heat. Listen to the wind in the trees and watch them sway in the breeze. Did you know that they sound differently in different seasons? Of course in the spring and summer a lot of trees are full with leaves which drop to the ground when autumn sets in. It just makes sense that the wind blowing through the branches would have a different sound than when they are full bloom with leaves. 

So be aware when the universe calls to you. Know that it is there for all of us, for our peace of mind, for our connections with other people as well. When you know the universe you know yourself, and when you know yourself, you are much more capable of knowing what others want and need. Listen to the call next time you are outside. Bring a bit of the universal powers into your bedroom, your living room and even your kitchen. Take time to be present, it could change your life and maybe someone else's also. 


Thursday, 10 July 2014

SETTING THE SCENE

Here it is folks, the post I've been promising you for a few days now. How to set the scene in your next story by Nikolas Baron. Nick has a lot of experience with the written word. Here's a short bio:
                                           

Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.

AND HERE'S THE ARTICLE:

Setting the Scene
Wikipedia defines a scene simply as a “unit of drama” in a work of fiction. While drama is one vital component of writing a scene, conflict is only the beginning of the purpose of creating a scene in a book. Books are made up, physically, of pages, printed with ink and bound into a bundle. Metaphysically, books are made up of words, ideas, actions, dialogue, conflict, emotion, and sensory imagery. All those items must be properly ordered, laid out in a clear sequence, and bound together by the author to create a story which will capture and hold the reader’s interest.
By focusing on each individual scene, the writer can build stronger characterization and imagery, improving the overall writing. An online proofreading program can be helpful in maintaining consistency, especially in names and details. It’s also useful to check for often-repeated words and phrases to avoid too much repetition, which may become boring or even distract the reader, interfering with the suspension of disbelief.
Every scene, whether it’s just a few paragraphs or fills several pages, must contribute something to the storyline. Setting is an important part of each individual scene. Since a scene is just one unit, a smaller part of a chapter, the setting doesn’t need to be fully established with each new scene. Setting can be alluded to in just a few words:
John breathed deeply, the scent of the fresh-mown grass tickling his nose. He resisted the urge to sneeze. The sound would only give away his position, crouching under the window, behind the hedge. He’d found the best hiding spot in the neighborhood, and he wasn’t about to lose the game because of his allergies.
In this scene, the protagonist, John, is hiding. If the final sentence were altered, the entire scene could take on a much more sinister air, and become a murder mystery or spy novel. The scene itself is a building block, one of many that the writer uses to construct the story. The setting, in this case, is outdoors, probably in a residential neighborhood.
Conflict is what drives any story forward. Without it, there is no energy, no reason for the reader to continue turning pages. Without conflict, there is no story. Each scene must contain some type of conflict:
When Monica was seventeen, she left home. She took two of my favorite CD’s and Mom’s pale blue cashmere sweater, the one Dad liked. She took all her most important things, her jeans and make up, too-tight tee-shirts with screen printed sayings on them, and the glass unicorn I bought her for Christmas. She left behind her family. Mom, Dad, me, and her daughter, Rebecka.
Conflict can be created between the mundane and the emotionally significant. In the above example, the items Monica chose to take with her were mostly small, unimportant personal things. Clothes, CDs, makeup, insignificant possessions, which contrast sharply with what she chose to leave behind: her family, and her daughter. The conflict between what she took, and what she left behind, sets the foundation for the narrator’s resentment. The conflict is established and the reader begins to get a feeling for the kind of flighty, irresponsible teen Monica was when she left home, and to understand the narrator’s resentment. This scene sets the tone of the story to come, leaving the reader to wonder what became of Monica, whether she returns, whether her priorities have changed since she left home, and how her actions will affect the family she abandoned.
Breaking each chapter down into individual elements not only makes writing a longer work seem less overwhelming; it focuses and tightens the writing as well. If a chapter seems to meander without any recognizable progress in the plot, breaking it down to the individual scenes may provide insight into why the story is bogging down. Each scene, in order to justify its place in the book, should, in some way, move the story forward, either by establishing the setting and mood, or by creating conflict and revealing the motivations and history of the characters.
                                               ***   
If you have any questions concerning this article, please comment below. If you've learned something from it, let us know. It is always nice to learn something new and to be able to apply what you learn in your own work. Happy Writing and Reading everyone!








Wednesday, 2 July 2014

SETTING THE SCENE

Every story uses imagination. So in every story there must be at least one scene. And setting that scene is a very important part of story telling. 
In a couple of days, you can read all about how to set the scene in your next short story or novel as will be posted by guest blogger, Nikolas Baron.


Nikolas lives in foggy, beautiful, San Francisco where he loves going rockclimbing, drinking tea and reading. His job at Grammarly, an internet startup that makes an algorithmic proofreader, lets him spend most of his time researching how people are writing, what tools they're using and how they can improve their English.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A Blast from the Past!

UPDATE
I have been neglectful of my blog, sorry. For the last couple of months, I have been very busy writing. I am working on After Glow, book 4 of the Dream Series. Here is a tentative cover:



Now, to get on with my post for today. This is actually a message to myself that I wrote way back ten years ago. But, I found it today while sifting through some other material. I thought it might be inspiring to some. And the message today is just as urgent as it was back then. Not to me as much because I have followed the message that I had written to myself back then. 
However, for anyone going through anything like this, any person who feels less about themselves, then they should take heed and read.
Love yourself first. Start at the basics and if you love yourself you will be strong, you will be able to move forward and love and do for others with caring and respect. Respect yourself in all that you do. I will not preach any longer on this. I will just post the message and hope that someone, somewhere reads it and reevaluates their life. Good luck to anyone who needs this message today. It is here for you. 

Today I had an epiphany...a flash of intuition...intelligence...whatever you want to call it, that has changed the way I view myself.
I have been on a downward path for sometime now, in that my self esteem has led me to do things and say things, etc that I would not normally have done. My desire to feel attractive, intelligent, and wanted has been two-fold in that it has encouraged me to exercise more, take better care of my health and in that way look better and feel better.
But the other (the dark side of it) is that I have allowed myself to be cajoled into doing things I have not been comfortable with in the name of love.
 
From this day forward, I promise that I will think better of me, treat myself with respect and dignity, no matter what! No one is as important to me as I am to myself. If I can't respect and love myself, I cannot expect to receive it from others. As Dr.Phil says, "You teach people how to treat you."
 
If there are people in my life who do NOT wish to accept my attitude, then they will have to leave my life. They are not true friends to me. I must be true to myself, be able to look myself in the eye each morning and to know in my heart of hearts that I am being the authentic me.
 
If someone loves you, they would not ask you to do anything that you might find uncomfortable. If anyone in my life feels this way, then they are wrong. Wrong in their attitude and also wrong for me.
 
Addiction is a frightening thing. Addition causes one to do almost anything to satisfy that yearning, that need. Breaking an addiction needs willpower, but most of all it needs the understanding behind the addiction. When one discovers the reason for the addiction, then one can bear with it and leave it behind. It is not easy to break an addiction, the longer one gives in to it, the harder it is to move away from it. It is like a thirst, a craving, but it is possible to break an addiction, any addiction.
 
Some people that we encounter in this lifetime are sick people. And many times on the surface you cannot tell. They are often very smooth talking people. It is like the poem, the spider and the fly...you are the fly and that person is the spider...luring you into the den with words of praise and compliments.
And as the poem goes...the last line says, "And the silly little fly never came out again."
 
Don't be the fly to someone's spider. Stand up for yourself, for your dignity and self respect. Get away from these people....RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!


PS: I just checked the date in which I had written this and it was on my birthday. It was a wonderful gift to myself. Happy writing and reading to you all. And, happy life.
Also, I would love to hear from you on this matter, if you need to talk just comment below. If you want a discussion, I am here.












Tuesday, 7 January 2014

IT’S ALL WORDS UNDER THE BRIDGE NOW



So there it is…your very own book. And you just typed The End. What a feeling, hey? What elation and satisfaction. But wait! What do you do now? Well, you probably get yourself a cup of tea or coffee or whatever else you prefer and tuck your feet under you and start at the beginning.
A read through should do it, hey? Then your book will be off into the world to wing its way to fame and fortune. So you begin…
Oh my! What’s this? A misspelled word and in the first paragraph already. You make a mental note that you must read more carefully. Second paragraph has a missing word, and what’s that? Of all things you missed a quote.
It soon becomes apparent that you may need to rewrite the whole manuscript. So the second draft begins.
This is a big mistake that many first authors make. No, I am not talking about editing the first draft and probably rewriting here and there. The big mistake is often being so anxious to get that baby off and flying on its own, that an anxious new author will send it off before it’s out of diapers so to speak.
So now you have come to the conclusion that the first draft is not the finished work. It is a concoction of random thoughts, hurried dialogue, mistakes here and there and many other editing errors. A book is a series of rewrites. But please, don’t get so engrossed in the editing process that you never finish.
Writing a book is much like painting a picture. You can overpaint and you can certainly overwrite. One must know when to stop and that is not an easy thing to accomplish. Only experience and letting go will tell you when it’s time to stop and finally be ready for your book to hit the big time.
After that, if you are self-publishing, you will need to make decisions about a cover, a fabulous description, teasers, blurbs, and so many other decisions that you will start to believe that writing the book in the first place was the easiest part of all.

Good luck with all of it and try and remember that this is your journey, your book, your life. Happy  writing and good luck.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

NEW YEARS NEWS

Hello all,
Here it is another New Year's Day again. Years slip by and we all do what we can to survive and move forward. I will soon be busy writing After Glow, book 4 of The Dream Series. I'm starting to get itchy fingers already.
Just one note on books completed and available for sale: The Vampire and the Lady has a new Cover.


Broderick Blanchard doesn't know what hit him when he wakes up sick. What happens to him after that is an adventure he had never dreamed of. Now living his life as a brand new vampire, he's learning as he goes along. He makes a few mistakes along the way, first one being with his friend, Freddie. 
When he meets Savannah, a real honest to goodness Lady, he's smitten and falls for her instantly. However, Savannah, an over protected young woman, doesn't seem in the least bit surprised when she learns that Brod is a vampire. 
Trouble lurks when Savannah's father, a high profile businessman in New Orleans. is kidnapped. Is it for ransom? Or is it for something more sinister? Could someone be looking for revenge? 
The action quickly moves from the streets of New Orleans to the Louisiana Bayou Country where evil lurks in the mystical swamps.


RECENT FOUR STAR REVIEW: I haven't read many vampire stories but I saw a snippet and liked the look of the writing so was tempted.

The story certainly wasn't what I expected and some of it I was at a loss to understand (probably because I am not up with vampire lore.) I thought the adventure all might turn out to be a dream or something brought on by Brod's original fever, but it was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages to find out what happens next.
One or two of the characters were brilliantly portrayed. The donor tramp was my favourite. Poor deluded guy. Freddie was a great friend...(yeah right) and I loved a couple of the swamp scenes he was in.
The romance was understated but written passionately, which is a difficult combination and hard to pull off but the author successfully managed it. All in all a good read.

You can check out the other books in the Dream series at:
Amazon.com

I've been working on a number of my digital e books to also include the paperback copy of them. That right now is an ongoing process. 

It's amazing to me the amount of snow that has come down already this winter and winter is only eleven days old. Might be a long, snowy winter. More time to write then I guess. 

I am not one who makes NY resolutions as I believe that goals are an ongoing process that one must keep up with all year and not put such a heavy load on one's shoulders at the first of a new year. It can be very frustrating and overwhelming to try and keep such resolutions and most people don't, then they feel guilty that they even made them in the first place if they couldn't fulfill them. So that is my take on that.

Anyone else here make NY resolutions? And who actually keeps them?






Wednesday, 27 November 2013

DROPPING IN

Thought it was time I dropped in to say hello. Yeah, I've been lazy about writing here but believe me I've been busy on other things. And since no one comments on any of my posts I figured no one would even miss me anyway. 
Since getting out The Vampire and the Lady and Who's Colleen Sutton? I have taken  bit of a break from writing except some editing on other novels. January will be the time when I will be going full force on the fourth book in the Dream Series which starts with 1964: Chasing a Dream. So if you haven't read that or book 2, Facing reality or book 3 Missing Link, then maybe you should start so you can be caught up when After Glow comes out sometime in the spring of 2014. 
After that will be the last book in the series, Raging Nightmare. That last book will go back to the 1920s when it all began and it will end with Marlee Sweet's birth in 1943. 

Other than that there are a few other novels in the works and it will be a long winter, so hoping to get a lot written over the months of January to April. Right now, just like most everyone else, preparing for Christmas and getting that over with. 

So all of you take care, and you American friends I hope will enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow and then on to Christmas festivities. Take care everyone. Be back soon with more info from a writing life. Happy Reading and Writing everyone. 

One last reminder that anyone in the Christmas mood might want to look up my short story Magical Coat. It's available on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Nobel, Sony, Diesel and Apple iTunes. Have a happy holiday.