Giving Thanks for “small wins” in a Difficult SeasonAmy Trueblood's Blog
23 November 2016
We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.
If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at AgentQueryConnect. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in green.
Seventeen-year-old Emile Dodgson is in an asylum with only a vague memory of who he had been before and no knowledge of why he is there. If you read this aloud the little word phrases "is in an" and "who he had been" can get a little tripped up. I would advise rephrasing every so slightly, such as Seventeen-year-old asylum resident Emile has no memory of who he is, or why he is there. Otherwise this is a good hook, just be aware of those little connectors that make your brain have to parse as your read With the help of his doctor, Emile tries to patch together the memories he does possess. As these fragmented memories begin to come back, Emile wonders if he truly does want to remember his disturbing past. Highlighting in yellow some echoes - you've got three in one para here. Not necessarily a huge red flag, but it might make the agent wonder if the ms is littered with such problems. It's a nit-pick, but that's what I'm here for.
Two years earlier, Emile looks forward to leaving school and beginning his apprenticeship with his father, a hatter in the late 1860s Oxford. When Emile meets Alice Smalls, the daughter of a prominent watch maker, he feels his life is clicking into place with a precision he’d never dared to dream for. You've got some great imagery at work here - "clicking into place" alongside the watch mention, for example. However, this is slightly confusing as it seems these events precede your hook. I'm assuming that this story is what the doctor pieces together from his memories, and that your story isn't told linearly, instead alternation between his sessions and the past, correct?
Soon, Emile notices the same symptoms in himself that plagued his father and claimed the life of his grandfather. He can’t always explain the disturbing images he sees or sounds he hears. He hopes his love for Alice will be enough to protect him from going insane, but as Emile spirals further into madness his behavior becomes more and more unsettling to those who care for him.
Drawing imagery from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, this standalone book tells the real story of the Mad Hatter’s descent into madness. ALICE AND THE HATTER is a 70,400 word young adult historical fiction told in alternating chapters between Emile and Alice. Wait! Alice has a POV? That needs mentioned as more than an aside down here. It should get half of the query, if it gets half of the book.
I’m a youth services librarian with over ten years of experience working with teens. (Nice, this was pretty much my bio when I was querying too - it helps!)
Overall, this is pretty damn great. The actual writing here is good and the premise is awesome, but the execution makes me curious about the setup of the text. Is it merely bookended with Emile already in the asylum (a la THE GREEN MILE) or do his chapters go back and forth between the present and the past? Needs to be clear within the query.
Audiobook giveaway details
- Enter as many times as you like using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Each thing you do counts as an entry toward my giveaway.
- There will be several winners of a digital audiobook, Champagne and Lemon Drops by me, Jean Oram.
- Winners will be given a free download code for Champagne and Lemon Drops which will be good at either Audible UK or Audible US. Sorry, no substitutions.
- Winners will be contacted by the email address used to sign into the entry form below. (More fine print at the bottom of this post…)
- Search for the #snowaudio hashtag on Facebook and Twitter for more chances to win from December 1-15, 2016 with over 20 other fabulous authors! We’ll keep you up all night reading! (Well, listening!)
Champagne and Lemon Drops
One woman. Two men. One meddling small town.
Raised by her older sister in the small town of Blueberry Springs, all Beth Wilkinson wants is to create a family so big she’ll never be alone. Things are going great until her fiancé, Oz, rethinks everything from his own career to their nuptial plans—forcing Beth to do the same.
As Beth works to rediscover herself in hopes of reattracting Oz, she catches the eye of the charming new city doctor, Nash. Not only does he see her as she’d like to be seen, but he knows exactly what he wants from life—and that includes Beth.
Torn between the two men, as well as two versions of herself, Beth discovers that love and dreams are much more complicated than they seem.
Fine print: No exchanges, cash value or substitutions. Winners will be contacted via the account email used to enter the giveaway with Rafflecopter above. Winners will have two weeks to claim their prize after notice is sent or their prize will be considered unclaimed.
I love love love this series!
The quirky characters and the hilarious plot.
I could read more on this series forever.
–Amazon reader, Lenda.
The post Win Audiobooks with #SnowAudio! appeared first on Jean Oram.
- the lady who, on Nov 27!!!, announced to everyone at the checkout that she was officially done her Christmas shopping. Her smug smile carried her through the front doors of the store while the rest of us in line either glared at her or whimpered after her with envy
- the man wearing leather and chains with tattoos covering his hand whose toddler couldn't keep steady on his feet with all the crowds, so he hefted him up to his shoulders and softly sang Jingle Bells with him while they made their way through the store
- the elderly couple pushing a cart through the store and chatting about Every. Last. Item. on the ends of the aisles. They held up traffic in the busy store, but, while I watched, not one person got annoyed. In fact, one teenager overheard part of the conversation and stopped to tell them that, yes, that pair of fuzzy slippers would be perfect for a twelve-year-old
- the two women, busy chatting on their cell phones, who rounded the ends of the aisles and crashed right into each other, both of them dropping their bags and their phones. Just like a cartoon. Luckily, they straightened out the mess without too much trouble
- the elderly woman who shoved me to the side so she could look at the jewelry I was checking out for my mom. When I stumbled (and nearly knocked down the display!), she sent me a glare and told me I should learn to be more careful. I froze a second before I started to laugh. She shoved her nose in the air, sniffed disdainfully, grabbed a necklace, and stomped off
- the mom who pulled out a softball sized lump of some kind of homemade Playdoh while she stood in front of me in a checkout line. Her son's face lit up and he shaped and pulled and twisted quite happily while they waited for their turn to pay. Brilliant!
Full Spectrum Laser started out by importing Chinese lasers, tuning them up, and rebranding them for American sales.Imported laser cutters are so popular, they’re almost a brand themselves.With a reasonable size, the Mini laser is really good for users who have very little space to put the machine. In an attempt to increase reliability and ease of use, FSL decided to create their own laser cutter system and released the H-Series. If you’re on a budget or looking for the biggest bang for your buck, they are a great option.
This high power laser pointer flashlight is easy to use. The fumes can be toxic and cutting some materials creates a LOT of smoke. The first button is for laser pointer while second for LED and you just need to press on and release off the button. With the small size and beautiful color, this laser pointer flashlight is a good choice for you. Great for presentations Power saving, compact and reliable. Comes with key chain.The biggest hassle with laser cutters is not setting up the cooling system but setting up the exhaust system.
Maybe you are confused about which one is the best choice after viewing numerous laser pointers. This 2 in 1 5mW 650nm Red Laser Pointer Keychain with LED Flashlight is exquisite portable and has extensive applications it emissions red light with a wave length of 650nm. The laser pointer is helpful for guiding your traveling and pointing at the faraway target or stars and sending out the SOS signal making your travelling fun and interesting.
Three fairly common components which sometimes fail include the laser tube, the power supply and the mother board. As a green laser pointer reaches nine or ten years old, the machine’s risk of component failure is increased, and you might also encounter a problem with the availability of replacement parts.Sometimes the laser tube merely needs to be recharged, while other times it might need to be replaced. One of the agonizing choices that laser owners encounter, particularly when their equipment is around seven to eight years old, is the cost effectiveness of making the repairs.
Worse, if you do not install proper ventilation you can potentially instantly destroy the mirrors in the laser cutter which are not cheap.You need to actively evacuate fumes to the outside using high power external air blowers which do not come with the laser cutter.You would still have more or less the same cooling requirement and also the same problems with getting rid of the nasty smoke though... And you'd also have a harder time collimating the beam of an solid state laser compared to the tube.
You could easily take any one of those settings and convert your photo for 3000mw laser pointer . Another preset which seems to work very well with laser-engraved photos is the Metzotint presets, which are a scattered pattern of irregularly shaped dots known as worms.Some of the present options are very artistic and do not lend themselves well to laser engraving, but there are some presets that do. The preset Etaglio–Engraving works quite well for laser engraving photos.
*if you want on this list, comment below with your links!*
(Disclaimer: I have not screened the people on this list. Please still make informed decisions when submitting. The resources listed on the (being updated) Preditors and Editors site is a great place to start.)
Taylor Martindale Kean
John M. Cusick
Un système utilisant des faisceaux laser de réglage carabine s'est montré capable de détecter et d’identifier une espèce d’insectes volants porteurs de bactéries pathogènes, et de les détruire en plein vol. Baptisé Photonic Fence (barrière photonique), ce dispositif, destiné à contrôler les entrées d’insectes volants par l’ouverture d’une pièce ou d’une serre d’horticulture, est développé par l’Intellectual Ventures Laboratory, aux Etats-Unis.
Le système est constitué de trois modules. Le premier détecte le passage de l’insecte, le second l’identifie, et le troisième procède à l’éradication par une impulsion laser de réglage carabine de faible intensité. Un logiciel pilote le tout en temps réel. La portée du système testé par les chercheurs est d’environ huit mètres.
Deux insectes nuisibles ont été ciblés par les chercheurs, à titre de démonstration. Le moustique Anopheles stephensi, vecteur de la malaria, et le psylle Diaphorina citri, agent de propagation de la maladie du dragon jaune (citrus greening), qui affecte les agrumes. Pour les détecter, des technologies de pointe sont nécessaires. Deux lasers dont les faisceaux se croisent, avec en face des photodiodes pour mesurer leurs émissions. Quand un insecte passe dans les faisceaux, l’intensité mesurée diminue, et la cible est ainsi détectée.
La scène est observée par une caméra à grande vitesse, qui filme à raison de 1000 images par seconde. Pour repérer les insectes visés, Photonic Fence ne se contente pas de l’analyse des images de la caméra : il identifie l’insecte en mesurant la fréquence de ses battements d’ailes.
Une fois la cible identifiée, il faut la détruire. Là encore, c’est un laser vert 10000mw qui est utilisé. Mais contrairement aux armes laser "létales" que les militaires préparent, une très faible quantité d’énergie suffit pour mettre un moustique hors de combat : quelques millijoules. Ce qui est de bon augure pour une utilisation du système à proximité d’êtres humains.
Lors d'une précédente édition, Bill Gates avait suggéré cette méthode comme l'une des techniques de pointe pour lutter contre le paludisme (ou malaria), cette maladie transmise par la femelle du moustique anophèle qui tue entre un et trois millions de personnes par an, majoritairement en Afrique sub-saharienne.
Cette année, Nathan Myhrvold, ancien directeur technologique de Microsoft, est venu faire une démonstration avec un appareil mis au point par sa société Intellectual Ventures . Le prototype a été construit à partir d'éléments très communs (qu'on trouve dans des imprimantes, des appareils photos et lecteurs Blu-Ray) «presque tous achetés d'occasion sur Laserfr.com et des sites similaires», précise Intellectual Ventures. Les ingénieurs travaillent pour abaisser le coût et la consommation d'énergie.
La «photonic fence» («clôture photonique») est capable de détecter un moustique à une trentaine de mètres, de faire la différence avec d'autres insectes et même entre un moustique mâle et femelle (selon la taille et la fréquence du battement d 'aile). Une fois la cible validée, elle est abattue en plein vol en moins d'un 1/10e de seconde par un pointeur laser 3000mw «non mortel» qui «n'endommage pas les tissus humains». En clair le moustique grille. La photonic fence peut rôtir de 50 à 100 moustiques par seconde et dispose d'une sécurité pour ne pas tirer si autre chose qu'un moustique se trouve dans la zone sous surveillance.
Les chercheurs expérimente également sur la longueur d'onde du laser pour simplement cibler l'ADN du moustique et le rendre incapable de transmettre le paludisme. Depuis plusieurs années, d'autres tentent également de mettre au point une variété transgénique de l'insecte qui supplanterait l'espèce à l'origine de la maladie.
Visitez les liens pertinents: http://beaulide.shig...t/e1301649.html
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Late on in 2015, the Daily Telegraph began changing its main site. Commenting disappeared from some articles. By Easter 2016, virtually all of DT had moved to a new look and feel. The blogging platform, My Telegraph, remained untouched. It was legacy and obviously low priority, a system ready for the chop. This was a hidden community that could have been much more user groups such as Rugby, Finance, Book Club, Job and Careers, Expat, Corduroy Mansions, The Archers Messageboard, Politics,Travel, Technology... there was much potential but these groups just withered for lack of attention. The DT didn't respond to questions about the future of the platform. Users speculated and began to make plans. It was only a matter of time before the plug was pulled, which happened June 2016. Usernames, blogs, groups and platform all disappeared, lost in the final dark of: no servers, no data. History. Ah yes, I forgot History. The link is of course dead.
*As a social site, users were prone to petty acts of spite – they had vendettas and ganged up on each other. Doubtless this helped convince DT of the wisdom of closing it. The community became a net diaspora and survives on Facebook and WordPress. There is a closed group at https://www.facebook...12280382310342/ and several WordPress presences.
For old time’s sake, here’s a memory:
More info on DT's My Telegraph.
Once Upon a Typewriter:
It was a lovely sunny day, on a quiet street tucked away from the world, where Delilah came across a shed, abandoned by time. She cautiously approached the shed and was surprised to find all of the trinkets and treasures before her eyes.
Page 1 (with illustrations)
As soon as Delilah placed her hand on the dusty old typewriter, she knew she had to have it. “Was it stealing?” she thought to herself or was it hers to keep? Delilah decided to that she couldn’t possibly part with her new found treasure. After exploring the run down structure for some other forgotten treasure, she headed home, typewriter in tow.
Page 2 (with illustrations)
Delilah darted through the living room, up the stairs to her room, slamming the door with excitement. She gently placed the typewriter on her desk, clearing space for the new toy. Some of the keys on the typewriter had faded over time, so Delilah would have to do some research on how to properly clean and repair this new gadget.
Page 3 (with illustrations)
As soon as the new typewriter was polished and good as new, Delilah was finally ready to write her very first story. Sitting quietly at her desk, gazing out the window of their old farmhouse, Delilah could see a shadow cast by the full moon that gently touched the trees, yet appeared to be a castle, it was such a lovely illusion. Snapping to it, Delilah knew the topic of the new book!
Page 4 (with illustrations)
“I know!” Delilah gleefully gasped as her fingers started to dance over the keys, as if the story was flowing out of her, with an unstoppable driving force. Starting on page 4, she was so enveloped in her writing that Delilah failed to notice her surroundings changing. She could not believe her eyes when she finally realized what happened. Delilah was IN her story!!
Page 5 (with illustrations)
“What is going on?” Delilah quietly thought to herself, “This MUST be a dream”, panic set in and she felt lost. “Ok, pull yourself together” she shouted to herself. This was all so real. Delilah slumped down on a rock, overlooking a beautiful valley full of flowers, just like in her story. It was just as Delilah had imagined it would be.
Page 6 (with illustrations)
After the initial shock of what just happened passed over her, like a fog lifting. Delilah had a plan but first she would need to find the typewriter that was responsible for this phenomenon. Walking through the tall grass over-shadowed by a massive castle that seemed to reach up past the clouds, Delilah could see something glistening in the warm summer sun, could it be? Was it the typewriter? Running through the field, Delilah eventually came upon the typewriter and typed herself home.
Page 7 (with illustrations)
Book 1 of many!
Just finished Hemato Tomato: Bloodlust. Not sure how I feel about the finished product. I still feel like the story is only half way told, so I may end up writing 10,000 more words on this.
This was my first experiment in Historical Futurism, where historical characters play a role in science fiction setting with plots that cross over between science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance in a very that makes you feel really strange.
It's like suddenly meeting Charlotte Corday at your local Star-bucks without any implication for time travel, and the reader is just suppose to take the plausibility of the romance for granted. They are stalked by magic wielding robot police, and the you have a grand ole adventure.
A bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.
But here’s something you may not have heard about in the argument for keeping recess. Outdoor play–and specifically, recess–helps our kids eyesight. I know! Wow, right?
On the website All About Vision, they quote several studies that found all sorts of interesting results. Here are a few quotes I found particularly interesting:
In other words, more time outside means you’re increasing your child’s chance they WON’T need glasses. Think of all the money you’ll save!
The researchers calculated a 2 percent drop in the risk of developing myopia for each additional hour children spend outdoors per week. “This is equivalent to an 18 percent reduction for every additional hour of exposure per day,” they said.
Compared with children with normal eyesight or farsightedness, children with myopia spent an average of 3.7 fewer hours per week outside.
In favour of recess:
The study authors concluded that outdoor activities during recess in elementary school have a significant protective effect on myopia risk among children that are not yet nearsighted and reduce the progression of myopia among nearsighted schoolchildren.
There you have it.
The 12-year-old children who spent more time outdoors had less myopia at the end of the two-year study period than others in the study.
Let’s get outside and play! What do we do in the Oram household? Well, first of all we got a dog. Why? Because not only does it teach our kids empathy and responsibility for others, but our dog gets us outside daily. We walk the dog, the kids ride their bikes alongside or walk too. It’s great exercise for all of us!
Getting a dog isn’t your thing? It doesn’t have to be complicated or strenuous. How about these simple activities that will get you outdoors:
The brain is better able to pay attention, hold things in memory, and show self-control after it has been outdoors.
–Gabrielle Principe, Your Brain on Childhood
9 Ways To Get Outside as a Family
Watch the Sunrise / Sunset
Does the world seem different at this time of day? What colors do you see in the sky?
Find Cloud Animals
Lie on your back and look at the clouds—whoa! Is that a giraffe?
Draw on the Sidewalk with Chalk
Try and Catch Your Shadow
Can you catch it?
Make your own rings out of plastic container lids. Then shove a stick into the ground to toss them onto!
Picnic, BBQ, simply taking your meal out on the deck–it’s still outdoors and you’ll still get the benefits of being out in nature. Both for your soul and your eyesight.
Thanks for playing! See you next time. And if you need more activity ideas don’t forget to check out my book, 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas. It’s reasonably priced so everyone can play.
This story practically wrote itself. The keys were discovered the first weekend in February, the story was finished and through the first critical editing by the second week in March.
The teaser for Boston Knights follows:
The discovery that some ancient stories handed down in the families had more truth to them than fiction sparks a hunt for the real truth of the stories. Told as bedtime stories, three individuals find themselves working together to find out more about their ancestors and where they might have hidden some gold, or if it was after all, nothing but a hoax.
The adventure begins with Steve, whose elder brothers work in construction. Having found an old desk amidst some demolition work of theirs, they call their brother to salvage it and see if perhaps he might want to restore it and some other bits and pieces.
As Steve is an antiquities restoration expert, he is definitely interested. Within the desk, behind some well locked drawers, he eventually finds hints that the stories he was told as a kid, may have been more than just stories. In his pursuit of answers, he finds members of two other families that heard the same stories when they were children.
This begins a delightful adventure that finds the three of them embroiled in more and more details that lead them further and further from their homes.
Eventually, the puzzle pieces begin to come together in Ayr, Scottland when they make the acquaintance of some more members of the extended families, only to find their hopes dashed when they discover any gold that may have existed was quickly squandered. Moreover, any additional clues seem to have been destroyed.
This is what I would call a light romance and adventure. At a somewhere over 63,000 words, it is a quick and easy read aimed at young adults and romantics looking for something a little different.
I will 'clean up' my teaser as I get this book through its final editing. It is, by the way, a finished manuscript ready for presentation to an agent/publisher.
I'm still looking.
Wassup peeps. Last week has been a bit busy, so this is a little late. I meant to watch and review this movie earlier than this but even though I did manage to do the watching part, I did not feel like reviewing it. Why you ask? Because they messed up a potentially epic movie.
Starting off Batman as a seasoned crime-fighter is great. It gives us a perspective few super-hero movies do. However, even though they make him a grizzled veteran, they cannot but help show his origin story of parents dying and falling into a cave of bats. Make that the first scene and we are already into 15 minutes of logos (yeah, call out to cinema sins) and a story shown in a much better and detailed manner in Batman Begins a decade ago. Batman is portrayed decently by Ben Affleck, who has found his acting chops since the horror known as Daredevil- the movie. Thankfully both Affleck and Daredevil seem to have moved on to bigger and better things.
As far as Superman goes, I have never liked Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel and I did not like the movie either. I am glad they kept continuity from the movie and turned the mass destruction of Metropolis into a plot point but the story feels hollow even with the bone-structure of a great movie. Superman is conflicted but not conflicted enough to hang up his cape. Lois is ever present and irritating (I cannot believe I said that about Amy Adams) and is supposed to be his human anchor but again feels forced.
Luthor - well...sigh. While they alluded to the fact that this is Alexander Luthor not Lex Luthor, I wonder why they would not pull the trigger on one of the most iconic villains of all time. With the story backdrop, he would have been perfect as a foil to bring down Superman. Instead, we get a Joker ripoff trying to build Doomsday and kidnapping Superman's mother to goad him into a fight with Batman. Talk about lame and cliched.
As far as the fight is concerned, it is a good fight but the end of the fight is contrived and feels...you guessed it...forced. I mean, who in their right mind would say, "Save Martha", instead of "Save my mother"? I want to slap the guy who came up with the cool realization that both Batman's and Superman's mother share a name and would be a cool plot point to use that to stop their fight.
The only breath of fresh air is Wonder Woman who is mysterious and understated and her reveal is very well done. She looks every bit Superman's equal in the fight against Doomsday. The fight was well done and Superman sacrificing himself was a good twist...except that it wasn't.
Everyone and their three next generations know a Justice League movie is coming and Justice League cannot not have a live and flying Supes. Ending the movie without showing his casket move would have been brave for the new Justice League. Let it be formed without Superman. Let him join in a dire hour. Make his return monumental. But nah...DC has no cojones.
And as far as the random teasers for the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman sprinkled throughout the movie, they feel ...gah...yes ...forced and unnecessary. They could have just mentioned their names without having video trailers for each of them. Learn from Marvel, Thordamnit!!
Anyhow, I am disappointed even though I never had much hope to begin with, which shows how poor a job they have done. And I am forced to stop myself from ranting.
As It Should Be is the story of a woman who finds herself with the chance to redirect her path from that of one who is tossed aside and struggling against bitterness, to a woman with new hope - and fresh new purpose for her life. It is a tale of transition: from a seemingly secure marriage, to the awkwardness and uncertainties of singledom; from a life without the responsibilities of children, to the wonders and challenges of pregnancy and motherhood; from the familiar comforts of home - to the possibilities of life and love in a bright new place.
I am happy to forward all or a portion of my manuscript for your review if you are interested. Thank you sincerely for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
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