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Reading Books!

This was my journey with books except for the frustration part.

Somewhere around #7 “Rediscovering books” I began to seriously write. Stage plays to begin with…then children’s books….

then full length novels and poetry. And then more stage plays. But always reading…reading…reading.  Non-Stop! 

Books take you away…to far off lands, to adventures which you’d probably never have, and
to meet other people from all walks of life. 

Keep reading, keep writing……remember,

Writing isn’t a calling….it’s a doing! 

 

 

 

(acknowledgement: www.grantsnider.com)

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My weekly BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   
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BOOKS BY TRISHA SUGAREK

 

 

 

Storyteller In Any Language

The storyteller was the most respected (and looked forward to) person second only to the Shaman since the time where we scratched images into cave walls. Since time immemorial the storyteller has kept alive the tribe’s history and traditions.  The name/word, Storyteller, is alive in most languages today. 

We writers keep this age-old tradition alive with our stories, whether we seek the past, write about the present, explore unknown worlds, suggest a fairytale, write our personal (tribe’s) history. In whatever language we choose, we tell a story hoping someone out there will read it and be moved by it.

 

Irish:          Seanachais — storytellers 
French:       le conteur —  storyteller, taleteller, romancer
German:    der Erzähler  — teller, narrator, storyteller, narrative writer
Spanish:     Cuentista  — storyteller
Italian:        Narratore — storyteller 
Hawaiian:  Mea haʻi moʻolelo — teller of tales
Icelandic:  Sagnhafi — Storyteller
                                                     Chinese:    Shuō gùshì de rén — storyteller
                                                     Russian:    сказочник  — storyteller, fabler 
                                                     Scottish:    Sgeulaiche  —  (Gaelic)  Tale teller  
                                                     Swahili:    Msimuliaji hadithi  — Spinner of yarns 
                                                     Swedish:  Berättare  —  Storyteller
                                 Vietnamese:  Người kể chuyện — Taleteller, teller of stories

Our ‘oral’ storytelling and the passing down of tribe’s history and heroics is becoming obsolete. When I was a girl my mother rarely read me a story. Rather she would tell stories of herself, growing up with 12 siblings in the backwoods of Washington state. There were countless stories of thirteen brothers and sisters and their adventures and misdeeds.  I believe it was this story telling by my mother that made me the Seanachais  that I am today. 
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My weekly BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!    May: Jenny Colgan, June: Don Bentley writing for Tom Clancy, August: Veronica Henry, October: Life Coach, shaman, author, Jennifer Monahan, November: Susanne O’Leary.
To receive my weekly posts sign up for my 

  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

BOOKS BY TRISHA SUGAREK

 

Storyteller In Any Language

The storyteller was the most respected (and looked forward to) person second only to the Shaman since the time where we scratched images into cave walls. Since time immemorial the storyteller has kept alive the tribe’s history and traditions.  The name/word, Storyteller, is alive in most languages today. 

We writers keep this age-old tradition alive with our stories, whether we seek the past, write about the present, explore unknown worlds, suggest a fairytale, write our personal (tribe’s) history. In whatever language we choose, we tell a story hoping someone out there will read it and be moved by it.

Irish:          Seanachais — storytellers 
French:       le conteur —  storyteller, taleteller, romancer
German:    der Erzähler  — teller, narrator, storyteller, narrative writer
Spanish:     Cuentista  — storyteller
Italian:        Narratore — storyteller 
Hawaiian:  Mea haʻi moʻolelo — teller of tales
Icelandic:  Sagnhafi — Storyteller
                                                     Chinese:    Shuō gùshì de rén — storyteller
                                                     Russian:    сказочник  — storyteller, fabler 
                                                     Scottish:    Sgeulaiche  —  (Gaelic)  Tale teller  
                                                     Swahili:    Msimuliaji hadithi  — Spinner of yarns 
                                                     Swedish:  Berättare  —  Storyteller
                                 Vietnamese:  Người kể chuyện — Taleteller, teller of stories

We writers keep this age-old tradition alive with our stories, whether we seek the past, write about the present, explore

Shaman, charcoal/ink by Trisha

unknown worlds, suggest a fairytale, write our personal (tribe’s) history. In whatever language we choose, we tell a story hoping someone out there will read it and be moved by it. 

Our ‘oral’ storytelling and the passing down of tribe’s history and heroics is becoming passé. When I was a girl my mother rarely read me a story. Rather she would tell the stories of growing up with 12 siblings in the backwoods of Washington state. These were countless stories of thirteen brothers and sisters and their adventures and misdeeds.  I believe it was this story telling by my mother that made me the story teller I am today. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My weekly BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!    May: Jenny Colgan, June: Don Bentley writing for Tom Clancy, August: Veronica Henry, October: Life Coach, shaman, author, Jennifer Monahan, November: Susanne O’Leary.
To receive my weekly posts sign up for my 

  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

BOOKS BY TRISHA SUGAREK

 

Parkland Shootings

In  remembrance  of  the  innocent  victims  killed  in  a  senseless  shooting. Inspired by that horrible day, I wrote a ten minute play for the classroom in the hopes that teens would learn more about the circumstances that led up to that day.  Perhaps more teens would open up about their thoughts and fears through performance of this play. The child (and yes he is a child regardless of his heinous actions) was in court yesterday pleading guilty to 17 murders of students, coaches and teachers. 

Synopsis:

Mass shootings are a part of our current culture. Not until now did I have something to say (write) about so many mass murders.
This ten minute play for teens in the classroom is to honor and memorialize the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. It focuses on a small class of students hidden away in safety by their English teacher and what happens while they wait for the shooting to stop. But the question begs will they ever be safe again?

The victims:
My Mr. Hale (play) is fashioned after Scott Beigel, 35, a geography teacher and the school’s cross-country coach. He was killed after he unlocked a door to allow students in to hide from the shooter.

Alyssa Alhadeff
Aaron Feis
Martin Duque Anguiano
Nicholas Dworet
Jamie Guttenberg
Chris Hixon
Luke Hoyer
Cara Loughran
Gina Montalto
Joaquin Oliver
Alaina Petty
Meadow Pollack
Helena Ramsay
Carmen Schentrup
Peter Wang

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My weekly BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!    May: Jenny Colgan, June: Don Bentley writing for Tom Clancy, August: Veronica Henry, October: Life Coach, shaman, author, Jennifer Monahan, November: Susanne O’Leary.
To receive my weekly posts sign up for my 

  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

BOOKS BY TRISHA SUGAREK

 

 

 

 

Guest Blogger, Desiree Villena, Addresses Writer’s Block (conclusion)

The last two steps to combat writer’s block :

…………In a brief, it’s expected that you provide a synopsis of your book, as well as highlight any important visual elements within it. Don’t be afraid to play around with this! For example, if your project involves an epiphany, a revelation, or solution to a mystery, a cryptic cover that features a clue could be a way to “wink” at readers who have read the book and now understand the hint. Similarly, if an object plays an important role in your story (think of the cut-glass bowl in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story ‘The Cut-Glass Bowl’, for example), you should let your designer know about it, as they can brainstorm cover ideas that involve this object.
This is an entertaining and creative exercise to do when facing writer’s block because you’ll see certain aspects of your story in a fresh way after trying to synthesize your plot from a visual perspective. Envisioning a potential book cover for your project is guaranteed to motivate you —
not to mention it’ll probably come in handy later!

“Procrastination is unprofessional and a heinous habit…. If you are not a self starter or you cannot find it in yourself to show up for work on your own and deliver on time you should not pursue a writing career.” ~~Dorothea Benton Frank

#3.    Describe your reader avatar. In marketing lingo, a ‘reader avatar’ is your ideal, perfect reader. It’s a notion that every book marketer will remind you to consider as you narrow down possible target markets. For example, the perfect reader of Roald Dahl’s Matilda could be a bookish, moral, and playful child (just like the protagonist) or an English teacher, parent, or relative who encourages children to read and study hard for school. Once you’ve dreamt up your reader avatar, try experimenting with this “character” in a writing exercise! Narrate an ordinary day in their life, write a dialogue between your reader avatar and a friend, or try some poetry in the form of a dramatic monologue and see what their voice sounds like. Getting to know this avatar is a great chance to practice your characterization and dialogue skills, while also keeping them in mind for when the time comes to reach out to them! 

“Stop procrastinating! Okay, serious answer: Remind yourself that your book isn’t going to write itself. It doesn’t do you any good to sit around dreaming up every single detail of your plot and all the action and every line of dialogue. You’ll forget most of what you dream up, anyway, unless you write it down, and if you’re going to write down notes, you might as well just write the damn story.” ~~ Olivia Hawker 

#4. Write a review for a similar book.
If you really need to escape your project, you might even read another book in your genre and distill your thoughts in a review. You don’t have to publish it if you don’t want to, but do consider making it public since all writers appreciate getting a book review. Reading someone else’s work can be a uniquely revitalizing experience for a tired mind, and if their project is somewhat similar to yours, you might find yourself inspired to return to your work in progress. As for the writing part, it’s one of the best ways to support other writers and still train that word-generating part of your brain! Every piece of writing is an opportunity to structure your thinking with eloquence, so no writing effort ever goes to waste. No matter what you find yourself writing in your attempt to move past writer’s block, as long as you’re producing words, you’ll soon find your way through. Hopefully these four writing tasks can renew your excitement for crafting your book, while also inspiring you to think about its future marketing prospects. The key is to just keep going, one word at a time. Don’t lose hope!

Did you miss part 1?

 More good information, click here
Additional post about writer’s block
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My weekly BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   May:  Joram Piatigorsky, June: Mike Maden writing for TOM CLANCY. July: Guest Blogger Desiree Villena, August: Carolyn Brown
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Guest Blogger, Adam Durnham, on Writing

How to Improve Your Creative Writing Skills by Adam Durnham

Creative pieces are usually meant to entertain, but since readers often want more than mere entertainment, they expect literary pieces to challenge the mind and tickle the imagination. For some, writing or reading literary pieces could also be a form of art therapy.
Though these standards are quite simple, they may put more pressure on writers. The more advanced readers are, the higher the standards they set for the authors’ literary pieces.
Here are four tips that can help people improve their creative writing skills:
Do not underestimate your readers’ ability to understand and imagine
Leave room for your readers to imagine the back story, the motivation of the characters, and the exposition (the elements that explain the story). You don’t have to reveal all of these in graphic detail all at once. You can give clues or foreshadow some events in the story, but be careful about revealing every element at the start of the piece. Let your readers use their imaginations and formulate theories.
Identify the key points of your story, specifically taking note of the following:
i. What is the main goal of your protagonist? Try to create a protagonist who is interesting or unique in some way.
ii. What are the relevant actions your protagonist takes towards the completion of his or her goal? The protagonist of the story could make conscious decisions that drive and direct the entirety of the story.
iii. What are some unexpected outcomes of the protagonist’s decision(s)?
iv. What are some details related to the literary piece’s setting, tone, and dialogue that can help you reveal the story to the readers?
v. What is the climax of the story?
vi. Will readers find any morals from the story?
vii. How will the story end?
Pay attention to character development
To create realistic, multifaceted characters, it is important to understand and describe characters. To help you develop your characters, consider examining one or more of the following details:
● Name
● Age
● Appearance
● Family and relationships
● Ethnicity
● Drinking habits
● Likes and dislikes
● Strengths and faults
● Illnesses
● Hobbies
● Pets
● Phobias
● Religion
● Job
● Residence
● Sleep patterns
● Nervous gestures
● Secrets
● Memories
● Temperament

Including such details can make it easier to define your characters. They can help you mold your characters, build storylines, and create dialogue. You might want to consider

● Appearance: Create a visual understanding for your readers so that they can vividly imagine what the characters look like.
● Action: Instead of simply listing adjectives to define characters, describe the characters’ actions to tell your readers what the characters do and what they’re like.
● Speech: Don’t kill the story’s momentum by explaining the plot in great detail. Instead, try to reveal the plot through your characters and their dialogue.
● Thought: Show your readers how your characters think. Show them the characters’ hopes, fears, and memories.
Create a great plot
A story plot tells us what happens in the story. Writers establish situations, identify the story’s turning points, and determine the fate of each character.
Plots are the sequence of events arranged by the writer that reveal the story’s emotional, thematic, and dramatic significance. To create a great plot, it is important to understand the following elements of the story:
● Hook: The stirring or gripping problem or event that catches readers’ attention.
● Conflict: A clash between characters and their internal selves, or between different characters, or even between characters and external forces.
● Exposition: The back story or background information about the characters and how this background information relates to the rest of the story.
● Complication: A problem or set of challenges that the characters face that make it difficult to accomplish their goals.
● Transition: Dialogue, symbols, or images that link one part of the story to another.
● Flashback: Something that occurs in the past, before the current events of the story.
● Climax: The peak of the story.
● Denouement: The story’s falling action or the release of the action that occurs after the climax.
● Resolution: The solution of the external or internal conflict.

Writing can be challenging if you don’t know the techniques. It can be a form of art or art therapy if you come to master it. Techniques and tips can help you build the literary skill you need. Practicing them can give you the experience to produce creative, well-crafted work.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
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Authors, Where Do You Find Your Characters?

Over and over again, I preach the concept:  ‘let it flow’, ‘let your characters take you on a journey’, ‘If it’s going well, I will happily be just the typist’.

I recently interviewed Dean Koontz and here’s what he said on the subject:

Photographer: Thomas Engstrom

“And then I start. In the first few chapters, the lead characters are forming, and I am learning who they are. I’ve often said that if I give characters free will, if I don’t plot out the story and instead present them with a problem and watch them deal with it, they begin to take on a life of their own, frequently surprising me with the choices they make. This is mysterious and exciting. When it’s going well, it’s simultaneously an intense intellectual endeavor and an almost dream-state journey of wonder and emotion.”

Author, Matt Jorgenson recently said when asked: Where do you first discover your characters?
“Initially I don’t think of them as characters. It’s kind of like arranging furniture. I need OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsomething tall here, wide there, elegant there. I often just plop them in for the energy they lend to the development of the story. When I’m unable to sit at my laptop and write I will often sketch out backstories for some of the characters with pen and paper based on what seems reasonable according to how they act/function in the story and then weave those details back in later.”

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Bragging….A Little Bit Is Allowed, Right?

Samuel French's bookstoreA few months ago I developed and published four Creative Writing Journals. The Samuel French Film and Theatre Bookshop in Hollywood carries these journals and are on their third re-order. I think they’re so popular because while there are 275 blank pages for the writer’s work, there are sections on ‘How To‘. Each page’s margin is embedded with an inspiring quote from a famous actor, author, playwright, poet, etc. I am so proud of these journals. Two of the four were created with female writers in mind. One for men entitled “Real Men Work Out….on Paper’.

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For Old Timers ONLY!!

I have a few gripes as I grow older and thought I would probably have an audience that can IM'ingrelate!

1. Please!  No child-proof caps on my medicine….these old hands cannot open them.

2. Whenever I say ‘thank you’ to anyone under 50 the answer I get is ‘no problem‘.  What happened to ‘you’re welcome’?  ‘No problem’ implies that whatever they did for me to incite a ‘thank you’ might have been a problem for them.

3. Change in driving habits:  decades before we put a name to yelling, flipping someone off, etc., it wasn’t road rage….it was freedom of speech. In my twenties,  I went so far as to make a plaster mold of a hand flipping ‘the bird’ so I could wave it out my window!  Now?  I am a meek and courteous driver…you want to beat me to wherever you are going….be my guest!

4.  Even though the population is getting older and older we still don’t garner any respect from the younger generation.  Ageism is alive and well in this country.  Tip: From my stints in the hospital this year I learned something very important.  DO SOMETHING to make the staff at the hospital notice you (in a good way).  Show them that you are a human being worthy of their care.  My idea (and it worked!) was to take the day and night shifts copies of my books.  I instantly became a celebrity and I swear I received better care.

manwoman5. People who drive for miles with their directional signal on…..their music is so loud that they can’t hear the clicking the signal makes, or they are busy on their phones and they are oblivious to everything else.

6. People who talk too fast…..you know what I tell them?  “You’re talking faster than my ears can listen…would you repeat that last bit…and slower?” 

7.  Work ethic…….where the heck did it go?  These young people say they can’t find a job…….oh really?……….there’s lots of minimum wage jobs out there and that can lead to a ‘non-minimum’ paying job.  But what do I know?  One of my first jobs was waitressing in a cafe at $1.00 per hour.  Yep, after working 40 hours I came away with a paycheck of $40. less taxes and was GRATEFUL for the job.

8. Only one thing I like better than paper post-it-notes and that is the electronic ones.  At my age if it isn’t on a post-it, it doesn’t exist and therefore doesn’t get done!sen5

9. Drivers: So I’m driving on a four lane, city street, and up ahead someone is stopping to turn left….I have plenty of room to change lanes and use the outside lane to get by.  Wrong!!  The driver had stopped in his lane, and as I passed I see his right-turn signal on. He turns right across two lanes of traffic and into a driveway.  Warning: If you come to Savannah, beware of the drivers…….they are the worst I’ve ever seen.

10.  Tupperware!  After some 40 years the lid on one of my Tupperware bowl cracked.  (I wonder how healthy it was to keep using the plastic storage bowls that long.)  So my new bowls arrived …..yes the company is still producing Tupperware bowls.  The lids are different but the colors are so much more fun!

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Attention! All Writers Out There!

There’s a BLOG out there that is dedicated to the art of writing and honing your craft. Yep!  I’m talking about mine and this is a shameless promo.  You won’t be disappointed.

For three years now I have published my posts twice a week and it’s always something about being a better writer.  Once a month I interview best selling authors such as Dean Koontz, Sue Grafton, Jeffery Deaver, Sherryl Woods, Anne Gracie, CW.CoverRaymond Benson, Lee Goldberg, Charles Bukowski and dozens more.   My goal is to inspire other writers to write more, tell their stories, try writing a play, or maybe some poetry.

Sign up on my home page  and receive an email with each day’s post.  Delete it if it doesn’t interest you.  It’s that simple.  Recently I have developed a series of ‘creative writing’ journals with ‘How To’ tips and famous quotes to inspire my fellow writers.  https://www.writeratplay.com/category/a-writers-take/ more »