Inspiring writing reminder

“I wonder how old we are when we stop thinking like kids?”  – This Kid Reviews Books  (Quote used with permission. Thanks, Erik!)

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What have YOU read lately?

Hi All!

I’m sorry to say it’s another day – or maybe week – of no book review as I am having to take a little break. I really thought I would have one ready for today, but … have you ever found yourself in a place of being hardly able to even read a book? I don’t want reading and reviewing to become something I don’t enjoy anymore, so that’s a bit worrisome for me.

Since this is my week at home it’s my chance to try to get caught up in my own house a bit – if possible. My naturopath gave me capsules to help me sleep better so I will be more rested my next week with Dad, and to help me de-stress.  I’m hoping to get back to devouring books again very soon. :)

I do have some exciting news to share with you depending on how quickly I can get a post together about it. Of course, it is to do with BOOKS!  :)

In the meantime, what I would love is for YOU to share a sentence or two about the books YOU are reading this month, or this season, or tell us about your favourite book of all time. I am really interested in knowing what you are enjoying and if it’s something I would like for my own reading pleasure. Even if you have never left a comment it would be so nice to hear from you with your book thoughts. 

Would you do me the favour of sharing in the comments about your reading and help me out a little here, please?

Thank you for faithfully following my blog; I appreciate you so much.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Sue Harrison’s “Writing the Third Dimension” – Part 20: Down, Down, Down

Welcome back! Over the next several more months we invite you to return here, specifically on the fourth Thursday of each month for the newest installment of Sue Harrison‘s teaching: Writing The Third Dimension. You can read all the segments by clicking on the page title WRITING THE THIRD DIMENSION, found under Writers’ Helps & Workshops on the drop-down menu. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments for Sue. Now for the topic for month twenty: 

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“Writing the Third Dimension” – part 20: Down, Down, Down

In my last few posts, we’ve talked about increasing the tension in your novel or story, but you know that old saying, “What goes up must come down.” So today let’s talk about coming down off those tension highs.

1476101_10202851031740638_1363769618_n_002* photo credit given at end of article

Tension reduction isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes the writer needs to give his or her reader “a rest.” If the tension is too high for too long, it can wear your reader out. Too much tension can also rend the veil of disbelief. I’m sure that’s happened to you in your reading life, those books where you think, come on that’s way over the top. At other times, we urge our readers onto a downramp so we can gain enough momentum to swoop them up even higher a few paragraphs or pages later.

Like all tricks of the trade, easing tension takes on the added dimension of the artistic when it’s done effectively. First, let’s address that issue by listing two general classifications of tension-easers.

A. The unavoidable. The unavoidable includes chapter breaks, the turn of a page, or the finger swipe across the screen of your eReader. These are mechanical in nature and not of great concern. Often you can use the unavoidable moments of relaxed tension to your advantage. You might want to check back and read post #19 in this series, “By Hook, Not by Crook,” which discusses effective chapter breaks.

B. The desired. These instances of relaxed tension are the result of well-executed pacing and include the following:

1. A shift in the point-of-view character

2. The solution to a small mystery or a large mystery

3. The completion of a very tense scene

4. A short paragraph of back story

5. A sentence or two of description

The tension-easers in the second category — I’m sure you can think of others I haven’t listed — can be effective tools in any novelist’s arsenal. It’s really all about pace. I usually edit for pace when I’m working on the third draft of my novels, which is one of my “hard copy” reads. I three-hole punch the printed pages of my novel and put them in a binder so I feel like I’m reading a book. Then I get out my red pen! Here’s what I look for:

1. When I catch my mind wandering, I need to up the pace with more tension. (See post #18. Tension)

2. If I begin reading so fast that I forget I’m editing, my pace is probably fine. (My editing might need a kickstart, though!)

3. If a scene does not place a strong visual image in my mind, I probably need to pull back  on the tension and slow the pace with a tension-easer, usually a sentence of description or a very short bit of back story.

4. If I crack up at the implausibility of the scene, I need a change of pace. Often, it’s time to cross out then rewrite whole pages until I have reestablished a believable scenario and my upramp isn’t quite so steep.

I’ve purposely left out one huge category of tension-easers. Those we don’t want to include in our novels.  I hope you’ll come back next month, and we’ll talk about The  Dreaded Pace-Plague!

How do you adjust the tension or the pace of your novel?

Strength to your pen!

Sue

* Photograph, copyright David Massongil, 2010. Used with permission. Thank you, David, I love this photo!

*Writing the Third Dimension, copyright, 2010 Sue Harrison*

Sue HarrisonBestselling author, Sue Harrison, has written two Alaska trilogies: The Ivory Carver Trilogy and The Storyteller Trilogy, and a middle readers’ book SISU. Prior to the publication of her novels, Harrison was employed at Lake Superior State University as a writer and acting director of the Public Relations Department and as an adjunct instructor in creative writing and advanced creative writing. For more information, click here. To inquire about booking Sue for workshops or speaking engagements this year, click here.

Thanks for joining us! Please feel free to leave your questions and comments. We invite you to come back October 23, 2014, for part 21.

Create your own promotional products!

Today I’m excited to share with you two helps I have found that writers can use, what is needed but maybe not known to be so simple.

If you are a “creative” looking for an easy way to promote your writing, art, needlework, painting, crafting … whatever work/passion it is … why not create your own promotional products while you’re at it? Here are a couple of very easy ways to do that.

  1. Café Press – you can find thousands of items there! For example: if you are a writer and you want to let people know about your new book or that you are available to write for someone else, you can create your own images to use or choose one already on the Café Press website. They take the image you selected and print it on a t-shirt, mug, bookmarks, cell phone covers … or whatever you like of any of a variety of items. How fun would it be to advertise your own book on a t-shirt by having your book cover design on it! **
  2. Vista Print – you can find a wonderful selection of comparably inexpensive marketing items and promotional tools to personalize with your own design or one they have. They’ll print it for you on address labels, note pads, pens, magnets, letterhead, postcards, brochures, and more of your choosing. **

Both of the above services are ones I use and appreciate. They have very good products, turnaround time and service. You can create your own designs, use ones they already have, personalize however you want. Although it’s easy to do online, they also supply customers with a toll-free number if needed. In my opinion, these both are great ways to obtain items that will help to promote your book, or share whatever interest you have.

** For future reference please find Café Press and Vista Print listed on my Writers’ Helps page with links to their sites; just scroll down to Needing promotional and marketing help.

I hope you will find these to be useful to you.

Have you used either of these services? If so, have you been happy with them?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

A Thought for Today

Today I am trying to get some catch-up done in my home before I start my shift at Dad’s, but I wanted to leave you with something to think about for the day.  If I have already shared this I don’t remember when and I hope you’ll enjoy it again.

Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.  – William Arthur Ward

And from the Word of God:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on those things.Philippians 4:8

 

Do you have a quote or verse or reminder for yourself to help you keep on the positive side?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Talents and distractions

I’ve been hit with a cold virus or something (cold, sore throat, low energy and feeling all-over blah) so haven’t got my blog caught up yet.

In lieu of a book review today I want to share this –> clip from Britain’s Got Talent in case you hadn’t seen it. 

Sometimes I am so blown away by the talent of some people, especially the ones who are so very humble about it.

Do you ever watch these shows? Do you ever think about trying out?

And look at this! A butterfly lands on flutist’s face during a competition!

Distracting or what?!  :) Could you have continued on?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Instead of a book review

Hello, everyone!

Today is supposed to be a book review day but, as you can see, this is not one. I’m sorry, I just haven’t managed to get one written yet. My apologies for not even getting a post up over the week-end.

It was an exhausting week for me with spending so much of it with Dad in hospital. He was admitted Monday evening when they determined he had suffered a heart attack. In the morning he was moved to ICU even though he didn’t really need to be there, but it was really God’s blessing because of his state of mind and the excellent attentive nursing care he needed and received. Most of the time he didn’t seem to understand for long where he was. He thought he was home or in another hospital which would have been where he was if he were still living where he grew up. The heart attack really served to add to his confusion, so it was difficult when he became agitated.

What we learned through all of this is that we are losing our dad more quickly now as certain things are not working well anymore. It is a waiting game, not within an expected amount of time as it was with our dear Mum, but time is shortened. As his daughters, my sister and I have much to be thankful for and much to deal with yet, but we have very good support in place and we have each other. Teamwork counts a great deal in this.

What I learned is that God’s provision comes in many ways, usually without our realizing it in the moment, and in such a loving fatherly way. Also, on another track, I learned through our recent experience more about how totally fascinating the brain is — and if I were younger I would want to make that my advanced study and learn more about dementia and how to treat it or even prevent it. How much I want to know! How much there is to know!

Now I wish to thank you for faithfully checking in to read my book reviews and other posts. You make blogging enjoyable for me, and it helps to keep me writing. Please remember to visit my BUY THE BOOK page when you are looking for a book to read as there are many good ones listed there that I’ve reviewed, and check out my Writers’ Helps page for helpful links and fun things to do, not only for writers.

I will get into my reading and writing again, and a new book review will be up soon. Thank you for your patience.

I have two questions for you today:

  1. Have you learned something helpful during time of crisis?
  2. If you could study something that would be of benefit to mankind what would it be?

PS:  I just realized I failed to mention Dad was released from hospital Friday afternoon. He is doing well enough they said it would be okay but we keep the nitro spray handy and continue on as we were. He is more content in his own home and sleeping better at night. Not having to remain in bed or in one room works so much better for him.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

Book Review: Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone – by Darlene Foster

Amanda in Alberta, The Writing on the StoneBook: Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
Author: Darlene Foster
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Date: July 6, 2014
Genre: middle grade fiction
Pages: 98
Price: paper $9.35; Kindle $3.88
My Rating: an adventure young readers will love
 

I received a copy of Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone from the author in exchange for my honest review.

If you haven’t met Amanda before, you’ll need to know she is a twelve-year-old, adventurous, travel-loving girl who seems to find mysteries wherever she goes. This time, in Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, not even the one leaving home she still gets involved in a situation.

Amanda invited Leah, her friend from England, to vacation in Alberta, Canada. For Leah – as it was for Amanda when she visited Leah in England – so much seemed strange to what she was accustomed to at home.

Amanda’s parents are busy people but make time to take the girls to various interesting places, such as dinosaur museums, a cattle drive, and unique stores for shopping for “cowboy” attire. While they were at a rodeo, Amanda noticed a little stone drop out of a clown’s pocket, but she couldn’t get the man’s attention to tell him. When she picked up the stone she noticed unusual markings on it, so she slipped it into her own pocket. Things happen from then on to make Leah’s vacation one to remember! Cowboys argue over something, a surly bothersome man keeps following her, she is suspicious of ‘questionable’ people – and Amanda and Leah are involved in another sometimes dangerous adventure.

Darlene Foster‘s writing is suited to young readers. The Amanda series is fast-paced, action-filled, and written so that the young main characters are the real problem solvers but with adult involvement.

You can read my reviews of two books in Darlene Foster‘s Amanda series: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, and Amanda in England: The Missing Novel.

You can find Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)