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Just Keep Moving Forward

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 20 December 2014 · 26 views


Was up half the night sick again, so I hope this makes sense. If not, just pretend it's surrealism. 
I called and talked to the proprietor of a local bookstore, J & M's Used Bookstore. He was a gracious young man who said that, unfortunately, his store was not large enough to host a book signing. I saw he was completely sincere when I walked in later that evening--the place is crammed full of books of every shape and description. I can't believe I'd never been there before. I will definitely be going back regularly. But he did agree to look at my book and carry it if he felt it was a real, serious book and not just some piece of junk published from pure vanity. Interestingly enough, when I walked in to deliver the book, the owner was talking to a lady who turned out to my cousin Nancy. She spoke on my behalf about how much she really loved my book. The owner decided that was good enough for him. So I'll be delivering some books to him to sell in his store. I'm in my first bookstore!


As I said last week, sales have slowed among the people I know, but now I'm starting to hear from students and friends that friends of friends are slowly starting to hear and buy. And I'm up to four 5-star reviews on Amazon (though one is, well, interesting). I'm in a bookstore now and I'm excited to say that the place he showed me that it will be displayed is right inside the door. And the Wood County Library's director asked me to email him dates for doing a signing there.

As an independent author, I didn't expect to sell in the thousands in the first two months. I'm really pretty happy with where I am at this point. And I feel like I'm moving forward. It's slow progress, but progress nonetheless. As long as I keep moving forward, it doesn't matter how fast it is. I would like to add an advantage to the list I wrote last week. Publishing on my own without an agent and/or publishing house, I don't have any sense of pressure to succeed quickly. If it takes months or even years to really catch on, I don't have to worry about my agent or publisher dropping me. I'll stick with me no matter what. :)

I usually end with a link to Amazon, I'll end with a plug for J & M's Used Bookstore. It really is a cool little place that's spread out among what I think used to be three small shops. They support local authors and it just feels like a good old fashioned local bookstore. There's even a comfy chair for reading. It's located at 1215 Blizzard Drive. If you're coming from northside, go past the Kroger shopping plaza and start up the hill like you're going to South High School. It's halfway up that hill on your left. Go take a look!

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 20 December 2014 · 26 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description RC Lewis and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.

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.

All it takes is one run-away beagle and a mysterious cave to ignite twelve-year-old Molly’s thirst for adventure and turn her world upside down. That is when everything she never believed in changes her world. This is a good hook, but I think the last line is almost repetitive and unnecessary.

From a fantastical waterfall to the sinister Minions of the Dark Forever and a boy named Ethan, Molly experiences one adventure after another and falls into more trouble than any country girl could imagine. This is vague, but it does a good job of painting the genre. Plot details need to come in effect soon so that the reader gets an idea of what is actually happening in the book instead of these big brush strokes. To make matters even more difficult, her help is desperately needed to bring two cave worlds into balance. What does this mean? What are these cave worlds? Why do they need to be brought into balance? What does that even mean? And why her? With the assistance of her dog, Rip, and a singing sword, Molly overcomes her fears and becomes “Warrior” Molly within the cave walls. But battling the forces of evil can wear a girl out, not to mention get her grounded. Will Molly and Rip be able to conquer evil, and keep her parents from finding out the truth? This has great voice, and I can definitely see it getting requests, but I think in order for it to be a true homeroom you need to get more plot specific. Addressing the questions I outlined above would help. You've left yourself plenty of room in terms of word count to whip this into shape without going over. Also, you mention Ethan only once, but the dog gets three mentions. Is Ethan important enough to mention at all or more important than the query implies?

I am currently working on Book Two,“Molly McBean and the Battle for Chaos.” If that's the case you need to state whether or not this is a series, or a standalone with series potential. I am a member of both Ohio Valley Writers Group and Pennwriters. My short story, Adagio, was published by Scarlett River Press in the anthology “Scarlet Whispers” in May 2012. This is my debut novel. You can scratch the "debut" - it's assumed if you don't have a stated pubbed novel to your credit. Overall this looks good, though!

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How much money against snoring

Posted by GarrettSmithson in Wholesale Cigarettes, 20 December 2014 · 23 views
Newport Cigarettes

"Sleeping" is a well known Word, snoring is a very common phenomenon always sleeping, many people still think that snoring sleep are sweet, but in reality it is not. The property is he bought in 1992 to 1 million HK $, according to forecast the market price of more than HK $8 million When long-term sleep snoring or even one, you must be careful. Below hospital ENT physician of the second people in Guizhou province Chen democracy, as you imagine the reasons and snoring snoring cure some knowledge about that:
Often life can even be dangerous snoring, which is not alarming repeatedly to interrupt snoring sleep apnea caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, severe blood form disease low blood oxygen and heart attack inducing brain disease, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, heart muscle, angina pectoris. And night once more than 120 seconds, is likely sudden death Apnoezeit in the morning.
Snoring, medically known as "Snoring", Newport Cigarettes is the reason to appear this phenomenon, especially on the respiratory tract stenosis as normal snores, awake during the day neck muscles to respiratory compensation contract will be open to keep plugging on. But in the night sleep drops nerve excitability, muscle relaxation, pharyngeal tissue congestion, make breath way collapse, when the airflow seriously cause what the through a narrow part, Eddy current, and oscillation to snoring, if temporarily cease to breathe, affecting people's health.
In addition, frequently snoring with sleep environment associated snoring is human body to enter a dormant state outward sound problems produce direct response one way. Outside noise, the snoring is the greater, the greater the frequency of snoring, the higher. Therefore, to ensure the environment is also sleep such as snoring an important factor to heal.
Prevention of sleep apnea Council:
1, above all the Council, to give up smoking and drinking habits often snore. Since smoking can irritate the respiratory tract that Act to a swelling of the Airways, the stunning to the Airways, and alcohol, can cause muscle relaxation.
2, to lose weight, because fat person snore higher than normal, mainly because a lot of fat deposits in the body, especially the enclosed is much fat due to the friction affect probability respiratory air flow, causing to snore.
3, is thick with unilateral shoulder width the cushion unfavourably and exorbitantly, advisable.
4, heavy snoring, mattress should not too soft, * be good sleeping bed.
5 can one advisable to take during sleep of the tongue, the soft palate and the Uvula limp after a fall, the correct position on the right side to avoid tightening the blockade of the respiratory tract.
Snoring, how to cure? Guiyang unzip using "3D visual techniques overclocking point" treatment of snoring, is the technology of fiber laryngoscope, nasal and endoscopic surgical microscope,Newport Short Cigarettes Wholesale with the help of inflammations of the respiratory tract, swelling and pine throat form. This type of surgical success rate in the treatment of sleep apnea have increased than before. Compared with the standard operating procedures is the technique essentially takes the treatment at low temperature, direct impact on Submucosalgewebe, by mucosal damage, very small is nothing, a fast recovery, good effect, treatment process as long as 20 minutes or so, people so most do not need hospital treatment.

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Handel’s Christmas (12 guitars!)

  Posted by Professor VJ Duke in The Punchy Lands!, 19 December 2014 · 27 views

=========================
About the video:

Merry Christmas everyone! (And a Happy New Year.)

The two pieces of music used in this video—Joy to the World & the Hallelujah Chorus—are technically not Christmas songs. You see, in both pieces of music the theme is Jesus’ second coming and his subsequent rule. It doesn’t really focus on God becoming flesh, and the whole manger scene.

However, both pieces of music have come to be known as Christmas songs. So, we figured that if George Frideric Handel was alive, and had Christmas sorta like we do today, this might be the musical backdrop to his Christmas cocktail party. Of course, he would most likely have used a harpsichord, violin, viola, or cello…but the guitar is superior to those instruments anyway!!!

There were over 50 shots for this video, and either 12 (or more!) guitar parts in the arrangement.

This video was shot in two locations. (First video like that for us.) Since we were running out of time to film, we used a living room for the main ‘musical’ shoots. It took us hours to tear down the living room and rebuild a stunning Christmas set! But it worked splendidly in the end.

The second location used is The Pittsburgh Creche, which is located in downtown Pittsburgh right outside of the US Steel Plaza at 600 Grant Street. We used the Pittsburgh Light Rail (The T) to reach town. On the way back, we were almost stranded! I’m sure Tony wouldn’t agree with me, though.

The Creche itself is rather impressive to behold. It’s 64 feet wide, 42 feet high, and 36 feet deep. And it weighs somewhere around 66,000 pounds. Twenty life-size nativity figures (including animals!) are used. Interestingly enough, The Pittsburgh Creche is the world’s only replica of the Vatican’s own creche, which is located in Rome in St. Peter’s Square.

In the video, we used The Pittsburgh Creche almost as a transport to the music. The music is what that funny looking fellow in the black coat begins to imagine as he watches and wonders at The Pittsburgh Creche.

Also, big thanks to Wes Hileman—audio technician at The Bible Chapel, awesome teacher, and all-around great guy—for mastering the audio track for us. It was soooo much better. Thanks, my man!

Thanks for watching! And, again, Merry Christmas!

Best,
~ Vince Carrola
=========================

Credits:
Joy to the World by George Frideric Handel
Hallelujah Chorus by George Frideric Handel
Music arrangement by Vince Carrola
Recorded & Mixed at Studio VC
Mastered by Wes Hileman
Videography & Shots by Anthony Carrola
Video film edited by Anthony & Vince Carrola




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A Letter to My Younger Self on the “Dear Teen Me” Blog

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 19 December 2014 · 47 views

I’ve written a “letter” to my teenage self as part of the “Dear Teen Me” blog project.  Check it out here: http://dearteenme.com/?p=8689#more-8689  

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Friday Freeday: Nothing to say ramblings

  Posted by DebsBlueRoses in The Writer Ambitious, 19 December 2014 · 16 views

It was many and many a year ago
In a kingdom by the sea
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
by the name of Annabel Lee
Something something long ago
In the kingdom by the sea

I was a child and she...No, just kidding, I won't recite the whole poem.

Happy Friday!

I just read (and by read, I mean looked at a picture slideshow) that 1/3 of the Wrestlemania VI roster are dead. WHEN DID BIG BOSS MAN DIE?! Well, 2004 apparently, but that was my reaction when I saw that. Earthquake's gone, too! It makes me so sad when they die. They work over 300 days of the year, most have suffered some degree of injury, they get addicted to drugs and steroids, and then they down the line, they're gone. It's crazy. SO glad I watched RAW after the Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the Hall of Fame. That was the last time anyone technically saw him.

Okay, darkness leaving. Christmas is in 6 days! I get paid on the 24th, which is great, because I still have to buy my mom and sisters' presents. They're all getting gift cards, but...ah well. lol (Mom just wants money this year, so I won't disappoint. She's hard to buy for anyway.)

It's only 9am right now. Ugh.

I'm halfway through revising the final section of my WIP. At this point, I just want to go for it. I envisioned myself finally getting a Pulitzer for this book and crying about how long it took and how many times I had explained in talk shows and stuff where this thing started and laughing at myself, and I REALLY WANT THAT TO HAPPEN.

I ate at least 2 pounds of sugar yesterday, so I plan on starving myself or drinking nothing but lemonade on one of these days. I'm terrible and slightly overweight, and I refuse to buy a size up. I need to get this weight off.

...Okay, I'm out of thoughts. Back to work, sort of.

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QUITE THE QUERY: Caitlin Sinead and HEARTSICK

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Chasing The Crazies, 19 December 2014 · 32 views

          If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing […]

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Holiday Query Hop Critique 8

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 19 December 2014 · 20 views

The special guest today is awesome agent Cate Hart from The Corvisiero Literary Agency. Thanks, Cate, for taking time in your busy holiday schedule. (Note: Corvisiero is currently closed to queries, but catch Cate in January.)
Keep in mind that feedback is subjective by nature. What does and does not catch the eye is going to vary by person. Each writer must weigh the comments they get against their own judgement and make the changes that resonate with them.

The Holiday Query hop is closed. Please make sure you get your 10 critiques done.  
The random number generator picks 33!
Dear Lovely Agent of Awesomeness:

(a personalized blip about why I’ve chosen this agent….this may move to the end if that seems to be more the agent’s preference)

Seventeen-year-old Anna Holloway is determined to have the best summer ever—her sister’s dream summer.

[I’m of the mind that one or two word characteristics should be included right here to give the reader a sense of who Anna is. That’s something I realized is missing. A good sense of who Anna is outside the context of her sister. Even if that is part of Anna’s inner journey/character arc, she still has some of her own characteristics. Something like bookworm, nerdy, prudent, cautious, quiet. Whatever it is that describes your character in a single word insert it somehow] Anna has spent her life looking up to her older sister, Storm. With her ever-present lists and a personality too big for Muscatine, Iowa, Storm’s always the leader of the pack—and Anna’s happy to follow. Until Storm dies suddenly, leaving Anna without direction. [One way to make this more unique is explain a little better the dynamic of this relationship. Looking up to the big sister is almost cliché or a given, so show us how their relationship is different from others]

When Anna finds Storm’s last list—fifteen things to do this summer—it’s like her sister is back, taking charge one last time. Armed with a 1971 Monte Carlo (that she doesn’t know how to drive) [This phrase feels off – Armed with – And how is that particular car important? If it’s not that important I’d cut the line, or make it connect – Like loading up her sister’s 1971 Monte Carlo…]and joined by Storm’s best friend, Cameron (who may be the answer to #5: Fall in love), Anna sets off on a cross-country journey (#9: Road trip!), marking off as many list items as she can along the way. [I think conveying why it’s so important to Anna to fulfill her sister’s list is another way to show how this story is unique. And Conflict. What’s the conflict? What’s going to prevent her from reaching her goals? Her parents? Giving up her own summer plans? We need some hints as to what the conflicts are.]

But the further Anna gets on the list, the more she discovers she didn’t really know her sister. Storm’s been keeping[since her sister has passed, I’m assuming either prior to the start of the story or right at the beginning as the inciting incident, in my opinion I’d make all sentences about Storm past tense. The rest should be present as queries should be.] a devastating secret from Anna—a secret Cameron has known all along. As Anna learns the truth about Storm’s last days, she realizes she needs to let go of the future her sister created [I don’t really get this line. Either a bit more explanation or rephrase. Because really has her sister created a future? I feel this needs to be that line about Anna’s character arc – what she must learn by the end of the story to fulfill her need as opposed to her want/goal. I think you’re getting there but right now this line is more about Storm than Anna. Make it about Anna.]and figure out her own path in life. [This may just be my opinion, but I think we need a little bit more as to the secret and how learning it has upped the stakes for Anna. I feel like it could be another thing that makes the query more unique.]

And none of Storm’s lists can help her now.

It’s The Bucket List meets Elizabethtown in SOMEONE ELSE’S SUMMER, a YA contemporary novel complete at 72,000 words. The full novel is available upon your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Me
So I thought first I would point out what I think works for your query. It’s tight and concise. I immediately know what Anna’s goal is and her motivations. I get just enough to emotionally connect with her.

Now for the things that I think need work. For me, your voice is missing – the voice of the story, of Anna. As I pointed out, we need a better sense of who Anna is at the start of her character journey and I think focusing on that will lend to the voice. I think there are places where we need a little bit more, another line to show the relationship. A line about Anna’s conflict to her goals and even a bit more revelation as to her sister’s secret. We also need more specific stakes. What’s really at stake for Anna if she does or doesn’t accomplish her goal of completing her sister’s list? I think adding these bits of information will help with the other big thing I noticed about the query. I don’t get a sense of what makes this story unique beyond a “coming-of-age” road trip. As it reads, it feels plain, nothing really grabbed my attention.

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Cate is all about guilty pleasures. She loves salted caramel mochas, Justin Timberlake, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, and Steampunk. As a native Nashvillian, Cate’s biggest guilty pleasure is watching Nashville.

When she’s reading, Cate looks for character-driven stories, a distinguished voice, and intriguing plots.She loves characters that surprise her, like the pirate with a heart of gold, and plots that keep her guessing until the very last page.

When she’s not reading queries, Cate works with clients to build their platform, works on PR projects to help promote clients’ books, and reads manuscripts with an editorial eye. 

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#‎TGIFiBOOKS‬ Giveaway: Thank God It’s Friday iBooks Giveaway

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 19 December 2014 · 26 views

iBooksiconAre you an iBooks user? Then you are in luck! A few of us authors would like to give you a little stocking stuffer this holiday season–an ebook from iBooks!


 

Friday, December 19th, 2014 watch for the ‪#‎TGIFiBOOKS‬ hashtag on Twitter for a pile of chances to win ebooks.


 

 

Eggnog and Candy Canes: A Holiday Romance NovelMy Giveaway Prize


Eggnog and Candy Canes is my latest release and is a standalone holiday novella from my Blueberry Springs series. (You can get the first book, Champagne and Lemon Drops, in the series for free on iBooks–as well as from other vendors.)


About the Book, Eggnog and Candy Canes


Sometimes enemies make the best boyfriends.

Nurse Katie Reiter’s nemesis, Dr. Nash Leham is back in Blueberry Springs and he came for one thing—Katie. Will their battles turn to stolen kisses in the midst of a Christmas storm or will Katie find her happily ever after in the arms of another?

How to Win


Want a chance to win? Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to find out more about this giveaway as well as others.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Get the entire Blueberry Springs series (Standalone romances–no cliffhangers) on iBooks:


Champagne and Lemon Drops
Whiskey and Gumdrops
Rum and Raindrops
Eggnog and Candy Canes


***** Already have them? Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and get an upcoming Valentine’s Day short story for FREE! Sign up here: www.jeanoram.com/signup.


The post #‎TGIFiBOOKS‬ Giveaway: Thank God It’s Friday iBooks Giveaway appeared first on Jean Oram.


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We need applicant - http://www.goo.gl/m8X3Co

Posted by alevingne in alevingne's Blog, 19 December 2014 · 35 views

This is urgent, we are hiring our office for international applicant:

- Data Entry(Work at home)
- Writer(Freelance)
- Call Center(Work at home)





To apply the following position, u need to copy paste the link
on the "SUBJECT LINE"...

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Some Comments Regarding Comments

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 17 December 2014 · 40 views

This blog doesn’t get an enormous amount of traffic, but the number of visitors does hold pretty steady, with an occasional spike in activity for certain posts.  The amount of comments any one post gets, however, is usually zero.  Unless, … Continue reading

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Manhwa Review: Aron’s Absurd Armada Vol. #3

  Posted by Sakura Eries in Sakura Eries' Blog: Keeping It In Canon …mostly, 16 December 2014 · 24 views

An oft-used archetype in popular literature are pirates. Pirate stories are so numerous nowadays, you can find all sorts of buccaneers, ranging from romantic to sly to sinister, and joining the ranks of Captain Hook and One Piece’s Luffy is the idiot pirate Aron!

Yen Press has just released the final volume of the series, and you can read on for the review. (For those interested in my review of previous volumes, click here.)

Back Cover Blurb

It’s pirates…
It’s treasure…
It’s the raccoon god…
It’s a monster…
It’s the sea king and the turtle…
It’s Bell…
It’s the Cornwalls…
It’s the king…
It’s Luther and Dorothy and Admiral Nelson and Lady Grey and so on and so on…
Anyway, Aron’s adventures are still cruising along…

The Review

Aron’s misfit gang has become fairly sizable, and although they get their hands on new outfits and a new ship, they (thankfully) don’t recruit any new crew members in Volume 3. That’s not to say there aren’t new characters. Leading them into their next adventure is the young boy Bell. Quite simply, he is everything that Aron is not. The crew instantly falls in love with Bell, and when they learn he seeks revenge upon the sea monster that killed his best friend, everyone–minus Aron–insists on sailing along to help him. Although Aron generally gets away with his stupidity, everyone gangs up on him to deliver punishment both swift and brutal whenever Bell is around.

In embarking upon this quest, they cross paths with the Navy, which has also suffered losses from the sea monster. While the pirates and Navy sailors do cooperate against their common enemy, the interaction between Aron and the main Navy characters (i.e. the Nelsons) is minimal. Scenes involving the Navy generally focus on the Navy’s perspective of the sea monster problem, and instead of revisiting Aron’s “friendship” with Luther Nelson, they focus on Luther’s one-sided crush on Dorothy and his tenuous relationship with his father.

Then Bell drops out of the story, and a talking bear in an orange jacket comes alongside Aron’s crew as they seek  the legendary knife that makes its wielder the greatest chef in the world! Aside from jabs at poor Vincent’s inedible food, this arc sheds light on the relationship between Mercedes and Wendy and provides back story on the Phantom Thieves. We don’t, however, get much information about the talking bear. Creator Kim seems to have inserted him into the story just so she can have another cute furry creature to draw.

Nevertheless, the bear does point to the crew toward their next quest: community service at a remote welfare center. The welfare center, like the sea monster, is also the target of a naval mission so we again experience the journey from pirate and Navy viewpoints. In addition, the welfare center leads into the final conflict involving the king and Aron’s mom. The Marchioness’ plot and the events that draw Aron into the midst of it are far-fetched, and while the lengthy string of coincidences does match the tone of the series, the finale fails to build a heightened climax.

Manhwa extras include character profiles (although one set seems to be in the wrong section of the book) and parting remarks and artwork from the creator.

In Summary

Aron’s Absurd Armada sails into its final volume! The crew behaves a bit more like pirates with a battle against a sea monster and two quests–although the impetuses for these adventures are rather moronic. The series wraps up with a plot against the king of Aron’s home country. It’s convoluted how Aron winds up at the palace just at the right time, but it makes as much sense as everything else in this series. At any rate, this manhwa reaches its conclusion, and though it had entertaining moments, I’m not terribly sad to see Aron go.

First published at the Fandom Post.




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"Why I Write Inclusively as a White Woman" - Bronwyn Deaver

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 15 December 2014 · 28 views

Happy Monday everyone!

Today we have the amazing Bronwyn Deaver with a guest post on Writing Inclusively (#WriteInclusively). Seriously, I'm in love with this post. As I am also writing a book from the first-person perceptive of a man of a different ethnicity than mine, Bronwyn's words speak volumes to me - and hopefully, to you too.

Take it away!

Books are gifts. The words contained in them can carry someone through a rough time or open his or her eyes to a world that has never been experienced before.

Children's literature is even more special. The characters that you read in childhood often help shape a piece of who you become. You can stick those characters right in your backpack and carry them around - revisiting their words over and over again. They're frozen in time even as your own sense of self changes.

Fondness flutters around a whole cast of characters in my memory. I love them all! Anne Shirley and her temper, Jo March and her writing, Ramona and the pink worm ring, Kristy Thomas and her leadership qualities, James and his adventure in a peach. I could go on and on and on. Do you see a pattern though? They are all white. That never stood out to me as a child. My world was a white world. So, they fit. But I think I deserved more and my friends who were not white definitely deserved more.

When I started writing, I had every intention of writing books that children could pick up and connect with. If you are writer of children's literature, you have the same goal too. You want your story to stay with a child forever.

With that in mind, I need to write for my audience. My audience is not just a bunch of white children. I write for all children. I can't promise that in every book I ever write any person will be able to find a character in them that looks just like they do. But I do need to write so that more than one set of people can find themselves across my work.

I'm not going to say that writing characters from other racial backgrounds doesn't intimidate me. I want to get it right. I want to give respect to culture and heritage and I want to stay away from stereotypes. But it is my duty to the children who might pick up my words one day.

The first novel I wrote had a whole cast of characters from different backgrounds. It's a YA fantasy novel and crafting those characters and their personalities was immensely fun. When I write picture books, I tend to write characters that could be drawn any way possible in regards to race, ability, socio-economic background, etc. But I also think it is important that since there is not a lot of diversity in books, that I write characters whose race cannot be ignored or changed.

A while back, I had a character get stuck in my head unlike any I had written before - a biracial male teen. I let him sit in my head for months. Could a white woman of privilege write a biracial male teen whose story isn't one of privilege? The words "write what you know" kept circling in my brain. I didn't know anything about being male or biracial – not in a first person sort of way. But I wanted to write this story.

At first I found myself writing in third person. I realized that I was keeping distance from my main character. It wasn't going to work that way. I had to let the main character, Reece, tell me about his life. So, I switched to first person and it worked.

Then I came across thisby Keesha Beckford [please do read it, it's incredibly powerful - SC]. Her words just twisted my heart. I was angry that my fellow mothers had to have such fears. And they have every reason to have those fears. She solidified my resolve to "write what you haven't lived but are willing to learn about". Parents have so much on their plates these days. They deserve to be able to send their kids out to play and not worry that they will meet disaster for any reason. Skin color should never be a reason for disaster. And writers can help change that.

White kids need black role models. Make sure you read that sentence correctly.  Yes, black kids need black role models, but non-black kids do too. Children deserve safety and love and good books with characters that are similar to and different from them. We can't expect them to change the world if we don't give them stories that will help them learn what they don't know.

Our society is so divided. I think whites sit on the sidelines a lot because we don't know what to do. We think we will be seen as "invading" if we speak up. We don't want to intrude. It is the whole "I support you, but this is your thing and I don't want to get in the way." As writers of children's books we all have a right and a calling to provide the best stories possible for all children.

Books stick with people. The power of your keyboard could change perception. One character, one page, one story at a time – you could have the power to help change racial attitudes. You could help people feel valued. There may be a child right now just waiting for one of your stories to touch his or her soul in a way that nothing else will all because you decided to write for them. And maybe you will be teaching that child what he or she will need to know later in life to keep a tragedy from happening.

I am an ally. I will do what I can to promote diversity in books because that mirrors real life. The children are my audience. The children deserve no less.  

Bronwyn Deaver is a writer of children's literature. She is currently seeking representation for her work, but as she queries and stalks her inbox for positive news, she continues to write. She is currently working on a retelling of a YA classic as well as various picture books. She is a member of SCBWI. She Tweets.
 
YES. What an amazing post. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bronwyn!

These discussions aren't just for minorities, they're for everyone. It's not taking a 'stand' on the political spectrum - it's a human rights issue, since when did that become political?

How do you approach these issues?

(This guest post is part of a series of #WriteInclusively guest posts. If you would like to take the pledge to Write Inclusively, feel free to sign up!)

The Pact to Write Inclusively and the List:
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Wrapping it Up

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 08 December 2014 · 29 views

I'm finishing up my NaNo draft - 64k and counting. I've left myself tons of notes along the way about things to add, things to polish, and things to change.

The last few chapters are waiting for me and I have to plow my way through. While I have an idea what's going to happen (the main characters will live and get their HEA), it's the getting there that's tough. 

Endings aren't easy for me. Tying all those plot lines together isn't my strength - probably because I don't plot in advance. One of my MCs is currently in major trouble and the other is oblivious, but closing in.

The next few scenes need to be full of action and emotion. I think I'm good with the emotional part of it all, but the action sequences are more difficult. By focusing on the emotion of the characters going through the actions, my writing is getting stronger, but it's not there yet. I'll probably end up rewriting these chapters a dozen times. *sigh*

How about you, are you good at wrapping it all up at the end of your stories, or is it a challenge for you, too?


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Where does the time go...

  Posted by K McClelland in Teardrops On My Book, 04 December 2014 · 52 views

http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html
(Before we get into this, you must take time to check out the awesome Alex J Cavanaugh and then hop on over to HERE and see the co-hosts for the month. Also make sure to visit the Insecure Writer's Support Group website.) (And, PS, I so didn't win NaNoWriMo, but I'm hopeful I can win another year.)

Weeks, months, years...it all seems to fly by so quick these days. My kids talk like 1985 was so long ago and I say, not really, then I look up and it's almost 2015 and damn, I'll be thirty in a year. When did that happen?

Thirty and what have I managed to accomplish in the last several years?

I think what's getting me most about the time flying is that I have absolutely zero feelings of accomplishment. I haven't read in a while, I'm so dang behind on several book series' that I really love. I can't remember the last time I actually finished a draft of one dang book, much less a first complete edit. My kids are behind on their school (at least that's just a few lessons behind) and the house is barely hanging in there, just teetering on a 'I'm not cluttered, but please don't put anything else in me' sort of thing. I haven't critted anything and I don't even know if I'm still welcome in the crit group and rather than sucking it up and asking, I'm too ashamed. And that's where I am right now at the end of this year.

Ashamed.

Which I guess makes me a bit insecure this month. Maybe a lot. Here I am at the ass-end of another year and I'm feeling like a junkie who happened to find just enough laying around to get one last ride in. And I rode that high proudly as if it would never go away and I'd at least be able to maintain. But, like all highs, I was bound to come down eventually. Now, I need some rehab, a swift kick in the butt, and my feet planted firmer under me and my head screwed on tight (or at least on enough to use it productively).

Bottom line is my year was up, down, up, down, up, down and it's not just this year. This started happening last year and really it happened a few years before that. I'm tired of it and I hope it won't happen again. I hope that I can start 2015 off with a whole lot of positivity and a good up that doesn't bottom out suddenly. I don't want to keep having posts of nothing but me saying, "I'm getting some stuff done finally, yay." and then, "I suck this month and haven't done anything." I've got plans for this next year and I'm tired of feeling ashamed.

This may suck as an IWSG post(and it's probably a bit long), but as long as I get my head out of my ass and keep it out, I plan on having better posts for 2015.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, sorry for this blog being so sucky this year, hope I can make up for it. Have an awesome December and I'll catch you next year. :)

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Holiday Query Blog Hop: THE MIRRORMASTERS

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 02 December 2014 · 73 views

(A Huge thank you to Michelle for organizing this lovely blog hop and to the wonderful  critiquers who so generously offer their feedback!)

Dear Amazing Agent,


Leah Ellis never knew her origins, or why she was found on the beach
at two years old, all alone. Now fifteen, she has always focused on
her life with her adoptive family and best friends in their small town
of SeaCliff Heights. The past hasn’t mattered. That is, until she
begins seeing images in mirrors she can’t explain--cloaked figures
using powers that manifest like lightning bolts, or flash-frozen
beaches on another world beneath a purple sky. As she practices
mirror-gazing, she finds out that it’s kind of addictive with its
wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to
control what the mirror shows her.


When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they're dead ringers
for the people in her visions. Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes,
and his father, were sent by her birth parents to take her from Earth
back to Jantyr, a planet she doesn’t remember. They’ve searched for
her ever since she disappeared. According to them, she is a
MirrorMaster, an alien with a gift that lets her travel through
mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Because of this rare
ability, Jantyr needs her help to locate and wield crystals that will
stop an impending cataclysm, a cataclysm triggered by a device on her
homeworld. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy,
including Earth and everyone she loves.


THE MIRRORMASTERS is a 98,000-word science fiction/fantasy for young
adults.Thank you so much for your time and
consideration.

Warmest Regards,


Lora Palmer


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AskDavid.com Features the Street Stories books

  Posted by Deb Borys in Painted Black, the novel, 02 December 2014 · 77 views

AskDavid.com has compiled all the links related to Painted Black (Street Stories Book 1) and gives you an opportunity to submit your review of the book right from their site. Bend Me, Shape Me (Street Stories Book 2) can also be found there. I’ll be adding Box of Rain to their list on December 15 […]

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How to Finish Your Novel (After NaNoWriMo)

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Helpful Writer, 01 December 2014 · 59 views

<p><a href="http://thehelpfulwri...9/NaNoWriMo.jpg"><img class="alignright wp-image-552" src="http://thehelpfulwriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/NaNoWriMo.jpg" alt="NaNoWriMo" width="290" height="290" /></a>There’s no doubt about it, <a title="NaNoWriMo" href="http://www.nanowrimo.org" target="_blank">NaNoWriMo</a>* is a rush.</p>
<p>And it’s over.</p>
<p>If you were participating this year you either made it past the 50,000 word mark or you didn’t. Yes, it is that simple.</p>
<p>The problem <em>isn’t</em> whether you got down your 50,000 words or not. The problem is getting <strong>stuck</strong>. At some point in the long haul to 50,000 words in 30 days (or even regular novel writing), the words slow down. It’s like a small pothole. It may not be honest-to-goodness writer’s block, but it also isn’t that fast paced OMG-I-am-writing-like-a-fiend type stuff that happens early on in the NaNoWriMo month–or any novel writing process.</p>
<p>So, what can we do to keep ourselves going when the end of our novel begins to feel farther away than Antarctica (and we’re in a row boat)? Here are five things that have helped keep me moving forward and finish writing that novel that’s sticking to me like a burr in my side.</p>
<h3>How to Get to the End of Your Novel–In Other Words, How to Finish Your Novel and How to Get Past Writer’s Block and How to Keep Your Writing Motivation Up</h3>
<p>(Wow. That was quite the heading.)</p>
<p><strong>1. Don’t take more than two days off in a row.</strong></p>
<p>Keep the momentum going. It’s much easier to stay in the rhythm and remember where you are going if you keep writing. Even if the first 1000 words per day feel like crap, keep writing. If you take days off it becomes easy to stay stopped, it gets more difficult to get back into the story and ultimately, to not finish. Plus, you spend all your writing time trying to recall where you were and where your story has been and is going.</p>
<p><strong>2. Allow yourself to write crap–it may act as fertilizer. &lt;–<a class="embedtweet" title="Click to Tweet This" href="https://twitter.com/...ovel-nanowrimo/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Click to Tweet This</a><br /></strong></p>
<p>You are writing the first draft. It’s an experiment. Characters are not going to be fully formed. There will be plot holes where you jumped ahead. That’s normal. Leave yourself notes (right in the document if you can) on where you are going, where you’ve been, what you want to change, but don’t go back to edit. You can change it, remove it, or edit it later. Right now, it is vital to keep it moving forward and not break your momentum.</p>
<p><strong>3. Allow yourself to change direction.</strong></p>
<p>Sometimes I stop writing because I’ve discovered I need to change direction on a plot line or internal character motivation. In NaNo there isn’t time to run back and change everything that has been written and will now be wrong. Shake it off. Keep going. Make notes to yourself. But don’t go back. Make your switch and keep going. (Sometimes that stuff you were going to change ends up being keepable in the end anyway!)</p>
<p><strong>4. Screw the details.</strong></p>
<p>I have one NaNoWriMo draft that literally looks like this: <em>She ran down the street [INSERT SEASONAL DETAILS]. Arriving out of breath…</em> Don’t stop to research or figure out tiny continuity pieces. Leave yourself a note, comment, or whatever you need and keep moving. You can fill in the seasonal/clothing/timing/right word/technical aspect/character name continuity bits later on. That’s what edits are for. Right now you need to keep the flow going and that story barfing onto the page.</p>
<p><strong>5. Ignore the blocks. </strong></p>
<p>If you feel blocked, ignore it. No, really. Keep applying fingertips to keyboard keys. Re-read the last 20 pages if you need to. Start writing a chapter or two ahead if it helps. (You can always go back and fill the in-between bits–there is no rule you have to write in the exact order it will be read.) And if all else fails, do the unexpected and push a character off a tower. No really.</p>
<p>I did this in a NaNoWriMo “now what?” moment. Turns out that it not only unblocked the scene, but it also provided insight into my characters, their relationship, and provided all sorts of great tension for the next couple of chapters. When I wrote it I told myself “It’s okay, nobody needs to read this. I’ll delete it later.” But it became an important pivotal moment in that story. So you just never know.</p>
<p><strong>Remember:</strong> You can’t edit a story you haven’t written down. Keep writing. Even if you have to trash thousands of words in edits, it’s okay. Just keep moving forward and don’t be afraid. I’m rooting for you!</p>
<p><strong>Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? What are your best ‘get through’ or ‘keep writing’ tips?</strong></p>
<p><em>*NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Writers from all stages of the game try to write a 50,000 novel (or more) in 30 days (November 1-30). Those who do it are able to claim a badge to display on their website or blog.</em></p>
<p>NOTE: This post was originally posted on my old writing blog.</p>
<p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thehelpfulwri...ovel-nanowrimo/">How to Finish Your Novel (After NaNoWriMo)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thehelpfulwriter.com">The Helpful Writer</a>.</p>

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A Season of Reflection

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 01 December 2014 · 56 views

by J. Lea López

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Many of us just finished with the hectic schedule of NaNoWriMo (did you win??) and December will different, but not fewer, obligations. Starting with Thanksgiving at the end of November for our American members and reader,s and continuing through the end of December, this is often a season of reflection and reassessment. We spend holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years with family and friends. Social calendars fill up. We eat too much. Maybe drink too much. We kiss under mistletoe and exchange gifts with everyone from coworkers to lovers. We reflect back on the year that is drawing to a close and think ahead to the year that will be here before we know it.

For these reasons, we have decided to continue with our blogging break until January. In addition to spending much needed time with our families and friends and individually assessing our own writing goals, we here at From the Write Angle will take the month of December to reflect on how far FTWA has come and where we want to go from here. As always, we invite and appreciate any feedback on what you've liked in the past and what you'd love to see from us in the future. If you'll stick with us, there may be some fun things in it for you when the new year rolls around.

We hope you'll take this time to refresh and rejuvenate yourselves as well. Be charitable. Be kind. Be open to change. Be loving and caring. Be present in life. Be social. Be introspective. Be quiet. Be your own number one fan. Be and do all the things we sometimes forget to do when we let life sweep us up in the current.

But most of all, be here on January 1, 2015, ready to face the new year with a renewed sense of passion, and maybe even a makeover. See you then!

J. Lea López is an author who strives to make you laugh at, fall in love with, cry over, and lust after the characters she writes. She welcomes online stalkers as long as they're witty and/or adulatory. Kidding. Maybe. Check for yourself: Twitter, Facebook, Blog.

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Michael Clarke breaks down while paying tribute to Phillip Hughes

Posted by worthyy in worthyy's Blog, 29 November 2014 · 65 views
http://timesofindia.indiatime

SYDNEY: Captain Michael Clarke gave a graphic illustration of the raw emotions of the Australia team when he broke down repeatedly while paying tribute to former team mate Phillip Hughes on Saturday.

Making no mention of next week's test match against India, Clarke battled to hold back tears as he read out a statement on behalf of the players at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where Hughes suffered his fatal injury on Tuesday.

Hughes, 25, died on Thursday as the result of a catastrophic injury he sustained when struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match, triggering a wave of mourning in Australia and around the world.



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