Tag Archives: poem

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

My weekend was rather unsettled so reading and writing did not become my focus. However, I did edit the 12,000 or so words in Bubble the Gruggle. And finished The Long Walk. To make up for this I have two opportunities this week to escape to the local library to write. One prior to a writing workshop (see below) and the other prior to hosting a seniors writing group. These library sessions are always successful, so I am looking forward to them. On one visit an author friend will be joining me for a while as she is purchasing three of my books!

The workshop I attended last night was so much fun! Wine & Whine.

wine

As you can imagine there are a plethora of subjects and ideas raised from the starting point of alcohol. How it affects a characters life, behavior, social interaction etc. We also looked at how you can write about a drunk person without saying it – movement, attitude, gestures and more. A good exercise in writing techniques.

Books:

The Long Walk

My review:

An excellent insight into the minds of young men under emotional, physical and spiritual duress. As always Richard Bachman/Stephen King delivers strong characters and world building, leaving the reader with empathy for the personalities inhabiting his narrative.

The Mermaid GardenSettled into this narrative quickly, which is always a good sign.

Writing Tips:

While spell-checking programs serve as a good tool, they should not be relied upon to detect all mistakes. Regardless of the length of the article, always read and review what you have written.

Instead of adding tags (he said/she said) to every bit of dialogue, learn to identify the speaker by showing him/her in action. Example: “Pass that sweet-smelling turkey this way.” With knife in one hand and fork in the other, Sam looked eager to pounce.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

I enjoyed continuing to write my newest #YA story, Bubble the Gruggle over the weekend. With an increased word count by 1494 – I am over 12K in total. The narrative has some way to go so I’m not sure if it will be a novella or longer. I will see where the story takes me. The narrative is set on another world, where a fierce intruder is discovered. It’s DNA is unlike that of the inhabitants, making it almost impossible to track it. My protagonist and her three friends decide to capture it in the hope their heroic deed will ensure their place on the security force, a prestigious assignment.

As I was dog sitting all weekend I enjoyed numerous walking breaks, which helped take out the ‘writers cramp’ and clear my head. My companion was more than happy to stay by my side while I wrote.

Cassie

I have made a decision on whom I am dedicating my newest novel, The Twesome Loop  (launch date 30th September) but have to keep it a secret so as not to spoil the surprise! The book club questions have been written and submitted to the publisher as well as an updated bio and author photo. So now I wait on the cover. The initial image is impressive.

With my ghost writing project on hold due to my client’s changed circumstances, I am free to accept new clients. Feel free to contact me at: https://tailoredthemedtosuit.wordpress.com/

The Long Walk by Stephen King- I only have a couple of chapters to go now on this incredible study of character under immense physical and emotional pressure. The interaction between the walkers and their environment is superbly done.

The Long Walk

I’ve decided this is my sequence for my TBR pile. (Subject to change of course!)

The Mermaid Garden

Mind of the Phoenix

11_22_63

A Desperate Fortune

What are you reading at the moment? What’s next?

Writing Tips:

57 senses

This is such a comprehensive list. Writing great characterization means using all the senses.

Did you realize how many there were?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I am currently working on a dedication for The Twesome Loop and working with my cover artist on creating a cover. With it’s launch on 30th September at Words in the Park, I have to keep on track. Even with two tables booked for the event, I need to decide on how to organize all my books! A good problem to have I suppose – I may have to reduce the ‘extras’ for each book, such as props, hats & T-shirts for each. If I can find a tiered stand it might help with space and the display of five books. I need to have something that will catch everyone’s eye for the new book too.

 

Web site banner WitP 2017_0

Tonight I have a Board meeting at 6:30 pm so can take advantage of the two hours of free time between leaving work and the meeting to utilize my local library and write in peace and quiet. It may be a read through of Life in Slake Patch or writing more for Bubble the Gruggle – just depends on what I’m in the mood to do.

With my ghost writing project on hold due to my client’s changed circumstances, I am free to accept new clients. Feel free to contact me at: https://tailoredthemedtosuit.wordpress.com/

Books:

The Long Walk by Stephen King – As always I am completely captivated by the characters and their stories created by the Master.

The Long Walk

My TBR pile seems to have been growing exponentially recently – I now have the following titles. So my reading order requires some thought.

11_22_6311/22/63 by Stephen King

The Mermaid GardenThe Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore  

A Desperate FortuneA Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Mind of the Phoenix (The Memory Collector #1)Mind of the Phoenix (The Memory Collector #1) by Jamie McLachlan
What’s in your TBR pile?
 

Writing Tips:

Very

Do you keep writing tips handy when you are writing?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

With the opportunity to indulge in writing with no distractions on my ‘escape’ to Red Deer for a mini retreat – I am in full revision mode with my editor’s notes on The Twesome Loop. It is remarkable how much you can get done when the normal life distractions are eliminated. With the launch date set for 30th September there is still a lot to accomplish. Such as book cover, blurb, modified bio and book club Q&A.

To refresh my brain from revision I have also continued with my YA story set on another planet – Bubble the Gruggle as well as read, of course.

With my ghost writing project on hold due to my client’s changed circumstances, I am free to accept new clients. Feel free to contact me at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2032379567

Books:

Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge by Pauline Holyoak.

merryweather

My review: A fantastic venture into Celtic sorcery and reincarnation.
Beautifully written with descriptions of the English countryside transporting you to that lush and green land.
A thoroughly enjoyable narrative with well developed characters, a page turning mystery and a blossoming romance.
Legends make up England and this story encapsulates that historic ancient wonder. 

The Long Walk by Stephen King

The Long Walk

What book have you just reviewed?

Writing Tips:

After editing the work on screen or in print, I like to read the text aloud. Awkward sentences and errors that slipped through earlier edits show up readily when reading out loud.

Learn to take criticism and seek it out at every opportunity. Don’t get upset even if you think the criticism is harsh, don’t be offended even if you think it’s wrong, and always thank those who take the time to offer it.

What tip can you share?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

This week I have been editing submissions for my writing group’s Canada 150 book project. All the stories are Canadian themed in one way or another and it has been most enjoyable reading them. I even managed to write one more submission of my own, regarding my first visit to Canada back in 1981. Yep that long ago! At the time I had no idea I would be living here.

My editor and publisher has read my manuscript submission, The Twesome Loop and commented: Yup, it was pretty steamy 😮 – at least a good reaction. I am still working on the cover with my illustrator and final pages.

My freelance client has several important events to attend so has not, as yet, come back to me with the answers I require to continue. I’m hoping it will not take too long as we are edging closer to the deadline date.

I am escaping for several days next week, which will give me plenty of time to immerse myself in two manuscripts – Bubble the Gruggle now over 9000 words. I have sent this text to my other illustrator to give him an idea of the story so far. And I can return to The Giving Thief to enhance the narrative.

canadadaysouthhuron

What are your writing plans for the weekend?

If you are Canadian it is a long weekend for Canada Day 1st July, an extra special celebration for the Canada 150 – so even more time to write.

Books:

Merryweather Lodge by Pauline Holyoak.

I’m enjoying this story as it is set near my old home in England. I spent many a childhood visit at Stonehenge chasing my siblings up, over and the stones. Alas no more, it is all fenced off.

merryweather

TBR pile: It will be difficult choosing which one to read first. Both were birthday gifts.

Writing Tips:

Try not to edit while you’re creating your first draft. Creating and editing are two separate processes using different sides of the brain, and if you try doing both at once you’ll lose. Make a deal with your internal editor that it will get the chance to rip your piece to shreds; it will just need to wait some time.

I am sharing an old blog post on editing, which I hope you will find useful: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/01/06/a-necessary-chore-editing/

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I managed to do a final edit for a friend’s manuscript. It is a new genre for J.E. McKnight but he has written an exceptional thriller. The antagonist’s real identity was a real surprise and even after knowing who it was the narrative held other shocking twists and turns. I’m sure lots of people will be thrilled by Joe’s newest novel.

An author I interviewed over three years ago contacted me recently asking for a review of her book and a special blog interview. I’m always open to helping other authors so will be curling up with her book over the weekend. Look out for the interview soon – Manaswita Ghosh is a wonderful young writer based in India.

Earlier in the week I wrote nearly a thousand words for my new YA story, Bubble the Gruggle only to ‘lose’ them on a Mac system. To say I was unhappy is an understatement but what can you do but chalk it up to experience? I did not rush to write again but left the story until the weekend. While sitting on my deck in the sunshine with a cooling breeze, I returned to the narrative and wrote even more words exceeding the ones lost. They say rewrites are usually better than the first try anyway.

My writing spot at the weekend – my front deck.

I also managed to do a review of a freelance project I have been working on – ghostwriting a book – this week. I’m gradually catching myself up.

Work continues with ‘extra’ pages for publishing for The Twesome Loop and ideas for illustrations for Bubble the Gruggle.

Books: Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel

Evidence of Life

My review: A woman’s hope through disaster and her an emotional and psychological turmoil are expertly conveyed in this novel. It had me turning pages even when my eyes wanted to close! Great writing and insight into how a woman would cope with the greatest loss but also go on for the sake of her remaining family. The twists in the story kept me guessing as to the truth of the situation regarding her husband and how her friends and family protected her. Really worth a read.

An author friend wrote this book and I thought it time I got around to reading it.

Merryweather Lodge by Pauline Holyoak.

merryweather

Writing Tips:

Instead of adding tags (he said/she said) to every bit of dialogue, learn to identify the speaker by showing him/her in action. Example: “Pass that sweet-smelling turkey this way.” With knife in one hand and fork in the other, Sam looked eager to pounce.

You don’t always need an outline. Give discovery writing a try. (This is me all the time – free flow writing!)

Focus on building tension, then give it a snap.

 

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

The final organizing during last week and the set up and running of Heritage Day meant  exhaustion played a part in my not writing over the weekend! However, I did manage to begin a second beta-read and edit for a friend’s thriller manuscript. It is a superb read and the story has shocking twists and turns to keep you turning the pages.

The Twesome Loop

I have devised a book club question section for The Twesome Loop  and now need to write a new bio and create a who’s who for the characters for the front of the novel. I am also thinking of how to convey the story in an image for the cover.

Now I have more time I can return to my ghost writing project as well. Back on track thank goodness.

How is your current writing project progressing?

Books:

Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel I am tantalizingly close to finishing this great suspense story. The internal thought processes of Abby are well done and you can feel her angst.

Evidence of Life

I need to find a couple of new books for my reading pile in the library this evening, so will let you know next week what I chose.

What are you currently reading?

Writing Tips:

Try to write in simple way. Express your views with most appropriate words.

Right click on a word to use the thesaurus. Do it again on the new word and make the best use of your vocabulary.

If one word will work where three are, replace it! I always find these, where I slip into conversational as I am writing quickly, then go back and purge, purge, purge.

Do you have a tip to share?

Writing Prompt Responses 2016…Voting is Open


I would be honored if you would take the time to vote for your favorite prompt contest responses – these participants took the time to write something for the competition and I would like to give them a prize for doing so. Leave your vote in the comment section please.

Stone Car – February 20th Prompt

Linda Pedley  (Wildhorse)
The concrete holds me to the road

As I take the curve into the rain
It’s not the destination but the mode
Let go the nerves and go again.

Can our stories written deep in stone
Change despite apparent plan?
All life’s paths go same direction
Can’t change the fates – no one can.

Eric James Olson

Stone Car in the Woods

What difference does perception make?
Parked here, alone but not beside
the road. Enfolded in leaves and green.
Can I be heard?

I shouldn’t be. Let me be clear:
I’m a car made from stones, scraps of metal, used tires.
That’s no metaphor. That’s what I am.
Literally.

And yet—there’s a consciousness in things
Inanimate. Like the other day.
A boy came out to this place in the woods.
He sat down across from me.

I can’t move, of course.
But he can and he came out to me.
And in his mind, a story formed
Of how I came to be—stuck here

By some unseen hand.
Is that not existence? A man made me.
And this boy saw me. Does it matter that
I can’t see him, feel him, hear him?

What difference does perception make?

Coldhandboyack

I don’t know about this, man.”

“Trust me, Benny. The cops will never spot it this way. We’ll just leave the loot in the car. Give it a couple of days and we can dig it out and drive into the night.”

A Chipmunk’s Life – June 25th Prompt

Sharon Baggs

Adult squirrel Perched on a cliff Must be a girl See her fancy quiff.

She searched the rock To see it was safe. Checked out the talk Saw no friendly face.

None of her pals Was she able to chase Where were the guys’n gals? No one to race.

So on this morn She chewed a treat, Feeling so forlorn They’d planned to meet.

She continued her snack A chew then a nibble, Her lips a quiver and smack. T’is better than kibble.

Out came friend Sue Who was a Chipmunk Abra- ca- dabra she was one too Disguise was her funk.

All the squirrels were mean So she used Dad’s power, Became a chipmunk Queen To frolic with Sue for an hour.

Cause after that Back into a squirrel, She turned stat Gave her head a whirl.

Oh, what fun with Sue If only she could stay, As a chipmunk Whoo Hoo! They could always play.

A Cinderella Dream !

Jade Figure – July 9 Prompt

Eli Pacheco

“Ha!” I could hear her in the other room. I knew exactly what she’d found.
“Um, babe … what the heck is this?”
I abandoned the twist of hangers and clean shirts that would now need cleaning to see her sitting in the middle of boxes with IT. She held it up to the light, strands of her blond hair out of the bun and framing her face. Her smile revealed equal parts wonder and confusion.
“I’ve always said I’d toss that the first move it gets broken in,” I explained.
Marin tapped on the glass with two fingernails. “It’s made of kryptonite, apparently.” She set it on the carpet in front of her and squinted. “Not a sixth-grade art project either, though, am I right?” For such ugliness, the craftsmanship was incredible.
“I think they’ve just mated,” I said, using that line for the thousandth time. It was funny the first time. “Or, they’ve just mated. That’s the boy butterfly, beating it for home before she eats his head.” My college roommate hypothesized they were both girls. But that’s a different story.
I’d followed Marin from Boston to Durham, N.C.
No regrets. Construction jobs come in every city. Marin, though, was an artisan. A carpenter. Can you believe that? The girl has carpenter pants in her closet that have actually held a hammer. Every time I’d compliment her on the craft of building a shelf or decorative piece, she reminded me.
“Carpentry isn’t for sissies, you know,” she’d say, without looking up from her work.
Maybe that’s why she reacted differently from any other woman I’d met to this ugly statue. I’d bought it when I was 11, for my mom, for mother’s day. It became the butt of jokes ever since in the family. The year before, I gave mom a Rodney Dangerfield album. I thought this to be an elegant upgrade.
“Have a place in mind for it?” she asked. She rocked back and onto her feet, arms outstretched for effect. Like she’d just nailed the landing off a pommel horse. I met this girl at a 9/11 vigil just off Boylston Street.
I’d followed my uncle to Boston for work. Only, with so much rain, there wasn’t much to do. I sustained myself on cereal and waited it out. I’d had so little work before the day I met Marin that it felt my hands hand grown soft. The week before, the Sox/Blue Jays finale got rained out.
I had bleacher tickets and everything – two, with no one in mind to take.
Anyway, I met Marin at this rally that I wouldn’t have been interested in had the week not been so rain-soaked and workless. I’d let the troubles of my world bounce around in my mind for days. I thought the relevance of the day could assuage that a bit. And it didn’t.
Until I saw her.
Now here I was, watching her hold up the mistake of a mother’s day gift that had stubbornly survived a handful of moves. She held it aloft, at first close, then at arm’s length. Immediately I remembered the snickering when mom lifted it from an oatmeal container decorated with paint.
“I do,” she said of what would become “fugglyfly’s” new home.
I remembered my oldest brother suggesting a place to put it that wasn’t exactly comfortable. Or probably physically possible. Instead, Marin walked out into the kitchen, to the end of the bar. I followed, as always.
She pushed aside my blender and two small boxes and placed the figure on the kitchen bar, way to the back, where I thought it would be easy to hide it behind something else. Anything else.
“Parfait,” she whispered, even though she knew French about as well as she did decorum. Marin stepped back, over my bag of golf discs, hands on hips. She adjusted a track light onto the figure, and turned it around. Ugly art has no front and back.
“That’s ridiculous,” I muttered, and realized how awful that must have sounded.
It occurred to me I’d assumed Marin’s actions were to ridicule. They weren’t. She didn’t even know the story. She hadn’t even asked. Even now, in my petulance, she leaned on a bar stool and waited. No reaction. No judgement.
I explained the story, and found myself looking more at my hands and feet than my girlfriend. “But it’s jade, isn’t it?” she asked. “It looks like jade. Smells like jade, too,” she said for comic effect. You know what? No one in my family had ever brought that up. Hell yes, it looks like jade.
I waited for the laughter burst, the proclamation, “you poor boy. How did you know it was horrid?” Nope. Still, no such thing. Marin instead told me that when her father died, she found bracelets and rings she’d made for him when she was little, in his jewelry box, next to his wedding ring.
She’d found artwork of hers, some of it unidentifiable, in his safe, with his will.
We talked a little more about stuff from our childhoods. Nothing bitter. I’d felt like a lot of what I did was misunderstood. I turned and looked through the open bedroom door and remembered the cramped closet space and so low to the ground toilet.
I wondered how we’d share sink space. If my beef jerky would go over well with a girl more likely to dry banana and kiwi chips than beef flank steak. I could see some battles, and that didn’t have anything to do with whose tools would go where. Or if my towels were towel-bar worthy.
She’d been the first, though, to unpack this symbol of my childhood mistakes this way. Makes me think we’ll be all right.
Makes me think I could even give kiwi chips a shot.

Invisible – August 6 prompt

Melinda Kucsera

Evasion

She sat reading and fading where she sat.
First her feet slipped into nothing, a toe
at a time. Her legs went next, but she sat
still and continued reading even though
her body shifted out of time part by
part. Her torso next phased out following
her legs. Not some invisibility
trick or try to fool the eye, she’s going
now, her arms are vanishing, soon her head
will go and all that will be left standing
is her clothes and the grimoire that she read.
For the invisibility spell cast
had helped her to evade her past at last.

Bench – September 10 prompt

Bernadette

I sit on the bench and wallow in the beauty of orange. The crunch of leaves and the crisp air fill my ears and lungs with sensory satisfaction. And just when I think I could not be anymore content, I gaze up at the bossy Blue Jay and smile.

Artista10

  • Sitting among the colors. Thinking of the many colors of life and the colors that make people’s personalities. Simple. complicated. Stunning. outraged. People. Colors. Life.

Vanished – December 3 prompt

The Bike Ride
by
Suzanne Burkett

It was a frosty morning for a bike ride but ten-year-old Jacob felt the loneliness more than the cold. At least he had his bike; it made his escapes so much easier. He could go faster and farther on his silver bike than on his feet. And that made all the difference for a kid in foster care.
Sure, he had to go back at the end of the day. If he could survive outside he would. But the need for food and warmth always made him turn his bike around and return to the house. There had been so many, it was a wonder he could even find his way back, but he did and there was always a family that barely noticed him, tossed a plate of cold hard food on the table, talked around him and about him, but never directly to him. Unless the check didn’t arrive from the child welfare. Then they got right up close to him and demanded he call his social worker. “Tell her we ain’t gonna feed you if we don’t get paid.”
Sometimes Sharon drove over in her ratty old Subaru and delivered her own personal check to the ‘family’. He loitered outside with his head hanging down while the inevitable argument ensued. One time, two years ago, she showed up with the bike sticking out of the back of her hatchback. “I’d take you myself if I could. You know that don’t you, Jacob?”
He nodded, unable to lift his head and let her see the tears soaking his lashes, one rolling down his cheek, then another until she wrapped her arms around him in a fierce, warm hug. Wiping her own cheeks, striding to her car, cranking the engine three times then finally driving off without looking back. She promised she would always find a home for him. Every time he was returned. Displaced. But could she really keep that promise?
This morning was the same as any other except for the part about it being Christmas morning. Jacob had crept out of the house before the ‘family’ awoke. He’d learned it was best not to sit with them, hopeful and expectant. More times than not, as the wrapping paper flew from the packages, he would get that look. The–oh gosh we forgot about you–look.
He rode along the wet street, water spraying up the back of his red sweatshirt. If he’d been asked what he wanted for Christmas, he would have said, “a rain jacket.”
His fingers were as icy as the trees. He took one hand, then the other off the handlebars, blew on it and put it in the front pocket of his sweatshirt. Over and over for miles he rode, finally turning left instead of right because he’d always wanted to see what was down this empty road. Nobody ever came down the road. And every time he rode past it, he promised himself that one day he would try it. He so much wanted to know where it led. So for Christmas this year he gave himself the gift of courage and turned his bike.
The first thing he noticed was the quiet sound. The trees hung forward like they were whispering to each other from one side of the street to the other. He forgot about his frozen fingers and kept riding, leaning forward, thinking if he rode far enough, if the road went far enough, he would understand what the trees were saying.
Then up ahead in the foggy distance, he saw something blocking the road. Oh no, he thought. There’s someone out here. He squinted. It looked like a red and gold car in the middle of the road, skidded sideways. Someone spun out. He squeezed his brakes. He thought he did but the bike didn’t slow. It seemed to go faster. He pulled his hand off the lever, blew on it, squeezed again but nothing happened. He stood up on the peddles. “Hey!” he shouted. “Hey, I’m here! Look out! I can’t stop!”
For the first time ever, his bike slid out from under him. Not now, he thought. Don’t give up on me now.
He hit the ground, sliding forward on his back, his bike motionless behind him. He skidded right up to the car that was not a car. It was a sleigh, and a man as ancient as the world itself stepped out of it. He scooped Jacob up in his arms. “I got you now,” he said. “You can come with me.”

Writing Prompt Contest – Hot Air Balloon Ride…


hot-air-balloon

Using this image as a story starter – tell a story or write a poem. Is it a delightful ride or a problematic one?

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.

Writing Prompt Contest – Mind Spinning…


tornado-head

A startling image – what does it conquer up in your mind?

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.