Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Guess Who is Turning 55?

Remember when ...

The 1961 Favorite TV shows

  • Hazel
  • Perry Mason
  • Candid Camera



In 1961 Sports News

  • World Series Champion - New York Yankees
  • US Open Golf - Gene Littler
  • Pro Football Champions - Houston Oilers & Green Bay Packers
  • Indianapolis 500 Winner - A.J. Foyt / 139.130 mph
  • Stanley Cup Winner - Chicago Blackhawks
  • NCAA Basketball Champion - Cincinnati
  • College Football Champions - Alabama & Ohio St
  • Heisman Trophy Winner - Ernie Davis from Syracuse




1961 Interesting Facts
President of United States - John F Kennedy
Vice President - Lyndon Johnson

Pulitzer Prize Winner - Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird

Miss America - Nancy Fleming from Montague, MI




A chimp named Enos became the first non-human primate sent into orbit by the US



1961 Cost of Living

New House ..... $12,550.00
Average Income ..... $5,315.00
New Car ..... $2,849.00
Average Rent ..... $110.00 / month
Harvard University Tuition ..... $1,250.00 / year
Movie Ticket ..... $1.00
Gasoline ..... $0.27 / gallon
US Postage Stamp ..... $0.04




Food

Granulated Sugar ..... $0.89 / 10 pounds
Vitamin D Milk ..... $1.05 / gallon
Ground Coffee ..... $0.85 / pound
Bacon ..... $0.67 / pound
Eggs ..... $0.30 / dozen
Fresh Ground Hamburger ..... $0.40 / pound
Fresh Baked Bread ..... $0.21 / loaf


1961 Favorite Music & Movies

Music

Big Bad John - Jimmy Dean
Blue Moon - The Marcels
Runaround Sue - Dion
Runaway - Del Shannon
Mother-in-Law - Ernie K-Doe
Please Mr Postman - The Marvelettes
Hit the Road Jack - Ray Charles
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens
 Tossin' and Turnin' - Bobby Lewis
Travelin' Man - Ricky Nelson



Movies

West Side Story
Breakfast at Tiffany's
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
The Parent Trap
The Hustler
The Guns of Navarone



Uh, if you haven't figured it out by now, IT IS MY 55TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Coming Soon - New Chat Opportunity to Learn from Your Writing Coach

 Carrot.fm, a new connection application, is going to be launching an app soon that enables clients to get advice via video chat with qualified, carefully selected Authors.  I am signing up so that you can have the opportunity to chat LIVE with me and ask me questions about writing tips or specific writing issues you may be experiencing.

Carrot's goals:

Enjoy a seamless experience

We built Carrot to get people video-chatting in 10 seconds
  • Sign-up quickly and with no hassle.
  • Browse experts on Carrot or invite anyone to easily join.
  • Pay per minute, simply and transparently.
  • Video chat anyone in your social networks.

Experts and influencers
  • Set your rate easily and withdraw funds at ease.
  • Direct people to video chat you on Carrot by word of mouth.
  • Get targeted traffic courtesy of Carrot.

The video link gives a quick overview of the purpose of Carrot.fm and how you can join. You can also join by clicking my link "join me" below.

As soon as the application launches, we can be chatting "just like that!"


Join me at Carrot.fm

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

First Drafts - You Have to Start Somewhere

 We all want to write a book, that's why we feed the passion inside of us. But, how many of you have started writing a book, then put it away and started another and then another? Many writers have a "stop, start, stop, start" mentality about their writing. Every time an idea about another book comes into their head, they stop the book they are currently writing and start on the new idea. Then, another idea sweeps into their mind, so they stop their current book again, and start on another new book, again.

That type of writing can be exhausting and infuriating. I can tell you how I handle the numerous ideas that flit in and out of my head every day. Whether they be dreams, articles, words, newspaper articles, overhead conversations (yes, we all do it) or that "must write" book of your passion.

I keep binders with plastic inserts so I can put the things that inspire me about a topic or idea. I write a few words or a sentence or two to help me remember why I was so inspired and put that in with the other items. Then, I close the binder and go back to the current book I'm writing. 

How many binders do I currently have on my shelf? Four 4-inch binders. Packed so full, they are overflowing. 

I know. 

I get a lot of ideas. 

So, now that I went off on that little tangent, let's get back to first drafts. Be truthful, how many first drafts of articles, blog posts, or books do you have cluttering up your desk, computer, head?


Bernard Malamud gives us a great quote about the purpose of first drafts. 

Do you consider this true about your first drafts?

Do you treat your first draft as something that must be written and finished, editing comes later?

Why or why not?

If you edit as you write, will you ever truly finish your book?






For some writers, editing can take a lot of time. Why? For a variety of reasons:

  1. They expect their editing to make their writing perfect.
  2. They think they are the only writers who can truly appreciate their words and the only ones who can edit appropriately.
  3. Editing is "rewriting" and for some writers that could mean a whole "new" book!

BuzzFeed posted a great article of 27 famous writers giving writing/editing advice.

27 Pieces Of Advice For Writers From Famous Authors

Celebrated authors, editors and illustrators write advice to young writers on their hands for “Shared Worlds,” a two-week creative writing summer camp at Wofford College. 

The article is unusual because each author wrote their advice on their hand. 

Another blog post I found extremely helpful comes from YA Science Fiction author, Beth Revis.


I like her website and blog so much, I'm adding it to my Recommended Links.


This button image gives you the greatest advice about First Drafts.

Don't you think? 

Important tip to know: A book cannot be properly edited until the first draft is written. I know that there are a lot of authors/writers out there who will disagree with me, as they write and edit as they go. But, honestly, can you really focus on the story you are writing and making sure there is consistent continuity if you are always changing something?


Don't let this happen to you.

Writing and editing is a slippery slope. Your characters are already trying to write the story the way they think it should be written. If you aren't paying attention, they will run off and either change the outline of the book, or disappear all together. They may even band together and attempt to fight you.




Yes, I do believe my characters have life. My characters talk to me all the time. While I'm writing, after I've written, and before I've started the next book. Get to know your characters. Inside and out. Once you know them intimately, you'll be able to write their story.



Once you've discovered all of your characters' stories, only then than you let go of the control you hold over them and they will be able to tell their own story.















In conclusion, I'll let Nora Roberts have the last word.

Happy Writing,



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August Writing Challenges: Day 30 - My Sincerest Apologies

I had full intentions to complete this challenge, unfortunately I was challenged as well, physically and emotionally. I ended up with a Fibromyalgia flare up, migraine headaches, and some household chores that required my attention. I don't remember if I told you or not, but we moved in our new home at the end of March, 2016. We moved to Spring Hill from Tampa. There are still boxes to be emptied all around the house. Window treatments to be hung. We have windows with arches above them. Very difficult to measure and find something that works.

I do have the guest room finished, or as close to finished as I'm going to get right now. I'm also working on the backyard, creating flower beds and gardens. My favorite garden I'm working on is the Fairy Garden, which will provide me with a Spiritual Space, calming space, and a place to meditate. You can see more at Vicki's Fairy Garden and Spiritual Space

Soon, I'll provide pictures of what I have finished now. As of the moment, I'm unable to move as I worked to hard over the weekend and today to get all the plants potted in the ground that were becoming an emergency.

I've also been collecting things around the house and outdoors to create accessories for the Fairy Garden, including Fairy Houses.

It's a fun diversion. My husband thinks it's an obsession.

And, to top it off, it was my dog's 13th birthday on the 28th. We go all out on our pets' birthdays - carrot cake slice for Jack, new toys for Bailey, toys, party hats, the whole she-bang!

So, what I'm going I'm going to do, is give you a list of books that will provide you with challenges, writing prompts, exercises and overall help with your writing.

If you require help or have a question, please don't hesitate to contact me.

And for the heck of it, a friend sent this image I used at the top, and I thought it would bring a smile to your face.

Books that can help you increase your writing skills with exercises and writing prompts:

(Some are embedded and available as a download straight from their cover image)







Write Starts
Hal Zina Bennett
Paperback















The Writer's Little Helper
James V. Smith Jr.
paperback





Writing Tools
Roy Peter Clark
paperback




Now Write!
Edited by: Sherry Ellis
paperback





A Writer's Workbook
Caroline Sharp
paperback





101 Creative Writing Exercises
Melissa Donovan
paperback























Take Ten for Writers
Bonnie Neubauer
paperback






















712 More Things to Write About
San Francisco Writers' Grotto
paperback




1,000 Writing Prompts
Bryan Cohen
paperback























501 Writing Prompts
Learning Express
paperback






60 Creative Writing Prompts and and Plots
Ganga Bharani Vasudevan




510 Creative Writing Prompts
Jonathan Wright




A Year of Creative Writing Prompts
The Love in Ink Team





Writing Prompts: 150 Ideas to Help
James Maschia



Creative Exercises to Inspire
Heidi Angell




Fiction Writing Prompts
Patti Stafford





Four Seasons of Creative Writing
Bryan Cohen


I've given you some great resources to help you get started with creative writing prompts.

If you have any other questions, please let me know. If you'd like to suggest a book to add to the list, I'd appreciate that very much.









Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August Writing Challenges: Day 24 - Depression & Doppelgänger

August. The summer is nearly over. Kids are going back to school. You now have some time on your hands.  Okay, you still have a list of chores a mile long, but let's put writing at the top of the priority list, okay?

I am going to challenge you with a writing prompt every day this month. Are you up for it? I hope so.

The writing challenges will be about a variety of topics and hopefully cause you to dig into your writing toolbox to complete with emotional skill.

Watch out, I just might throw in a fun one, well, just for fun!

For the twenty-fourth challenge we're going to discuss your goals to success.

Here is your challenge:
You are a depressed person. You are tired with life, you are tired of the disappointment and loneliness. One night, you contemplate suicide. Before you can pull the trigger of your firearm, you are confronted by your doppelganger. The doppelganger says, “We need to talk. It is urgent.”


This is a very interesting prompt. For those who have ever been this depressed, they will understand the emotional and mental effects on their mind and be able to write a thoroughly expressive piece.

For others, you may have to do some research about depression and suicide to get the right attitudes and background to help you write.

I hope that if anyone has ever been this depressed, they seek help immediately. Go to your nearest ER and let them know what you are feeling.

If this prompt is too much and you experience triggers that cause anxiety, depressive, or panic episodes, please do not complete this writing exercise.

Proceed slowly.













Wright, Jonathan (2015-06-17). 510 Creative Writing Prompts: For Aspiring and Experienced Writers (Bundle) (p. 49).  . Kindle Edition.