Category Archives: family

Happy Birthday to Me!!!


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No blog post today because a) it’s my birthday and b) I’m traveling with my ‘kids’. A special 5 day trip to somewhere I have always wanted to go.

So I hope you all have a wonderful day see you Wednesday with a trip inspired writing prompt.

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Writing Prompt Wednesday


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Your prompt today is: If you could live to see an event in the future, what would that event be?

This is what came to my mind.

Projecting my thoughts to think of a future event, brought to mind seeing my great, great grandchildren’s children. Where they might live, what they enjoy, who they marry and of course what their world would look like.

Would there be flying cars, and technological and robotic advances beyond our current thinking? Would the world still be lush and green or a wasteland? Indeed will it be a happy healthy place for them to live?

I hope my journey into the future makes me happy and that my heritage lives on with love and freedom. Would that I could see future generations making a difference to their world.

Seeing children with a genetic familiarity in blue yes and dark hair. Maybe even a writer or two – now that would be a legacy to be proud of.

What future event comes to your mind? Why not share it in the comments?

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Genres of Literature – Urban Fiction


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Urban fiction is also known as street lit or street friction and is set in city landscapes. However, it is defined by the narrative’s content of soci-economic realities and culture of its characters as well as the urban setting. This genre is usually dark in tone with explicit violence, sex and profanity and is commonly drawn from the author’s own experiences. Largely written by African American authors, this genre covers the separation of their particular community and culture and the life experiences of its characters in inner-cities.

Earlier urban literature depicted low-income survivalist realities of city living, these included Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist (1838), Stephen Crane’s Maggie, A Girl of the Streets (1893) and Langston Hughes’ The Ballard of the Landlord (1940). These narratives did not just relay African American or Latino experiences but stories of diverse cultural and ethnic experiences.

In 1999 Sister Souljah’s narrative The Coldest Winter became a bestseller and with Teri Wood’s True to the Game there became a standard for entrepreneurial publishing and distribution of contemporary urban fiction.

Urban fiction has experienced a renaissance from 2000 boasting thousands of titles, which include the new Latino fiction novels. There is also a literary wave of hip-hop fiction and street lit, which take a more literary approach using metaphor, signifying and other literary devices. These books are also used for socially redeeming or classroom capacities, while maintaining love and positive outlooks.

In recent years, some urban fiction authors have joined with hip hop artists such as 50 Cent to further promote the genre by penning the musicians’ real-life stories.

Have you written urban fiction?

Have you read urban fiction?

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


Your prompt today is to use these words in a short story or poem – octopus, surrender, bright

Have fun! My story is below.

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Tentacle Encounter

With a deep breath, I plunged into the bright blue ocean. The water felt cool against my skin, refreshing after the heat of the Caribbean sun. Goggles and snorkel tightly strapped to my head, I gazed at the beautiful corral and brightly coloured fish swimming in all directions away from me. Careful to swim slowly and keep the top of my snorkel above the water, I rounded an outcrop of rock to find a steep drop ahead. The pale seawater around me descended into a dark hole dropping into unknown depths. What lay within those dark waters? I had promised to keep to the shallows but the temptation was too much. Just a quick look would be all right, surely?

I surfaced to look toward the beach and locate my parents. They were lying on beach loungers, enjoying cocktails under the palm trees. Too busy to notice their son swimming beyond the corral reef, identified as his limit. Breathing in and out several times, I filled my lungs to bursting, having no idea how long I would have to swim downwards. Using strong strokes I descended quickly into the gloom. Shimmering lines of light highlighted more brightly adored fish and corral at first then it became darker and colder.

My lungs were beginning to complain when I saw a long tentacle grab a small fish. An octopus! Wow, now I did have to keep going. What if I could catch it? As I turned, an undulating mass rose from the rock ahead of me. It was changing colour from deep brown to pinkish beige as it swam upwards. Following closely, I anticipated its direction and quickly held three of its tentacles, swimming to the surface in a rush as my head was becoming dizzy. Gasping for air while holding my captive tightly, I did not have enough breath to call out to my Dad.

A tentacle wrapped around my arm while another found my throat and began to squeeze. That’s not good. I slid a hand between a couple of suckers and my neck and pushed with all my strength. For a small animal it sure was strong. I needed to grab all the tentacles then it would surely surrender. I only wanted to show Dad then I would let it go.

A couple of tentacles wrapped around my right thigh making treading water difficult. I just needed to get to the shallows then I could walk and shout to my Mum and Dad. A mouthful of water made me cough and swallow more. Spots burst in front of my eyes. I was sinking. Kicking as furiously as I could with my left leg I surfaced for a moment and gasped for air. I had to get this thing off me or I would be the one surrendering.

“All right, lad?”

It was a strangers voice behind me. I turned my head as far as I could to plead for help. The tentacle around my throat was too tight for me to speak now.

“Let’s get him off you, shall we?”

A slight nod from me was enough for the man to pull at the octopus and release my neck from its grip. Next he wrestled the tentacles around my leg and then I was free. The last I saw of that octopus was its tentacles flying through the air before plunging into the depths.

“Thank you so much. Thought I would drown.”

“Have to be careful out here, young man. Keep to the shallows and you should be all right.”

I held out my hand to the stranger. He smiled and gave it a firm shake.

“Lesson learned?”

“You bet. Thanks again.”

I didn’t relay my story to my parents until a few days later when we were on the flight home. I knew they would have forbidden me to go in the ocean otherwise. Although, I did heed the stranger’s advice and kept to the shallows for the rest of our stay.

I would love to read your story/poem – why not share in the comments?

 

Author Interview – Mary Cooney-Glazer


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Mary Cooney-Glazer

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. For me, writing includes considering various plot ideas and marinating them in my head. I look for incidents that disrupt characters’ lives so they need to change course and deal with the consequences. That’s the exhausting part.

I get energized when the core of a plot develops, and characters materialize to tell the story. For me, that’s when the best part of writing begins.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Getting myself to forget everyday obligations for a while and sit at the computer. Learning to make writing a priority is still a work in progress. However, I’m getting a lot better now that I have a published novel.

Do you have other author friends and how do they help you become a better writer?

Yes. I’m lucky enough to have a friend who writes in the same genre. It’s wonderful to exchange ideas and share problems and triumphs with a writing buddy who understands the process, helps with the craft, encourages and motivates. We try to meet in person every two weeks, and we email in between. Let’s face it, most people don’t get what it’s like to create and live with imaginary characters who’ve become part of one’s life.

Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I became attached to the cast of characters in my first book, published last November, and set primarily in a pair of small New England seacoast towns. Readers have let me know they want to know what happens to supporting players in that book. For those reasons, I’m planning to keep the area, as well as threads about the characters in my second novel. I want people to be able to read it as a stand-alone as well if they choose.

What was the best money you spent as a writer?

Two ways. Years ago, I took a summer institute on newspaper writing, publicity, and promotion. It was inexpensive and one of the professors had top newspaper and advertising names as guest instructors. I still use what I learned.

Another worthwhile expenditure was, and still is, buying an overabundance of best-selling novels in varied genres. I study structure, style, and try to analyze elements that make a popular book. The downside is it’s hard for me to read only for pleasure

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I learned specifically about written word power in early grade school. Each year, we were required to write an essay about something in nature for a statewide contest. The teachers encouraged vivid similes and metaphors. My ruby leaves and icy moons often won certificates.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?

My writing mascot chose me. Tux is a tolerant black and white cat of a certain age. Among his talents are stretching out on piles of paper without disturbing them and head butting the laptop screen gently when he decides I need a break. Listening is one of his strongest points.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

No books, but there are many short stories. I didn’t have the confidence to attempt a novel until one of the short stories decided there was a lot more to tell. It took about four years, but eventually, the story became my book.

What does literary success look like to you?

First, I want people to buy and enjoy reading my novel. I’ve written about mid-life characters who get a chance to fall in love again. When readers finish my book….hopefully books….I want them to have a sense of optimism, hope, and confidence that life can be wonderful at any age. Of course, it would be lovely to be widely read as well.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

 Of course, I use the computer for whatever I can. Then, because some settings in the stories are popular tourist spots, I visit them and take notes. Details need to be correct, or the credibility of a book suffers as far as I’m concerned. Angie, the heroine, has an unusual business. She’s a Nurse Concierge. I spent a lot of time researching what that involves. Ben is from England but he now lives in the US. I had to get information on dual citizenship requirements. Then I had to learn about high tech company practices and offers for takeovers of small businesses.

I do some research during the development stage of the book, but it’s ongoing through the first draft at least, sometimes even later in the process.

How many hours a day/week do you write?

In defining the writing process, I include developing the book idea, and the marinating that goes on in my head before actually putting fingers to computer keys. During that phase, my writing is sporadic, maybe two or three days a week for an hour or two. I hide from the work, finding it necessary to iron, throw out old mail, anything but get to the story.

When the story starts to gel, and characters begin chatting, I can write for several hours a day with intense concentration. It wouldn’t be unusual to stay at it for 6 hours or more, letting most everything else in my life slide. I don’t write daily. Because I’m mostly a pantser, I need to think about what I’d like to see happen.

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How do you select the names of your characters?

Names come after the characters take shape. I consider their personalities and traits, as well as how they appear physically in my imagination. I also think about what sounds good to my ear. Last names come to my mind randomly. First names might come from an online list, the newspaper, or an old telephone book.

What was your hardest scene to write?

That’s easy. It was my first serious love scene, beyond kissing. Getting the elements of tender romance, mutual longing and participation, enough raciness to make it interesting, and avoiding offensive description was a challenge.

Why did you decide to write in your particular field or genre?

I started writing fiction as a second career. I was an RN for many years. Several friends found second romances in their middle years, and I enjoyed hearing the stories and seeing the happiness their relationships brought. There are not many novels dealing with people forty and over falling in love and successfully merging already full lives. I thought it would be fun to join the emerging field of writing love stories about people with life experience.

What inspires you?

Many things, but mostly watching and listening to people. It could be a couple holding hands on the street; two people laughing softly together; or seeing someone comfort a partner;

There is an incident I remember vividly that will find its way into a story. Two people were sitting across from each other in a coffee shop. Although they never touched, as they talked, their eyes were focused on each other every second. Their smiles were gentle, and I felt the connection as a palpable wave of love.

How do you make or find time to write.

I push down the guilt at not doing other things and just get to it.  It’s taken some effort to convince myself that this is not just a hobby now, but a second career. I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic, so thinking of writing as a real job has helped.

What project are you working on at present?

My major effort is promoting my new novel, This Time Forever. I still have so much to learn about methods of attracting an audience, promotion is close to a full time job. The novel is in an emerging genre, sometimes referred to as ‘Seasoned’ or ‘Midlife’ Romance. Angie and Ben, the two main characters are 57 and 60 respectively. I think they show that pursuing love in their phase of life is just as adventuresome, wonderful, and sexy as ever. So far, reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been favorable, and there’s growing feedback that people enjoy reading about contemporaries. 

I’m also working on getting a website and improving my Facebook and Amazon Authors page.

What do your plans for future projects include?

There’s another book in the development/mental marination phase. The New England Seacoast will continue as the setting. It is another Romance, with the main characters in the 50-60 age range. 

Facebook Author’s Page:   

https://www.facebook.com/Mary-Cooney-Glazer-Author-850284245141392/

Twitter     https://twitter.com/writingyetagain