Tag-Archive for » blogs «

Your Child’s Next Book!

Thomas the sea turtle isn't certain he approves of BertieExcerpt from “Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys  (c)  A very large, beautiful sea turtle came down the path.  He wore a bright red kerchief tied at his neck and a captain’s cap on his head.

“A-hoy there, mates. ‘ Tis a fair wind at my back that blew me to my home port.”
Donald and Emma rushed forward and hugged Thomas almost knocking him over.
“Steady as she goes, mates. You’re about to knock me off me’ pins.” Thomas laughed.
“Oh, Thomas, we are so happy that you are home.” Emma cried.
“How was your voyage?” Donald asked.
“Rough seas around Cape Horn but that’s the way the ’horn’ is.  We came back with a hold full of spices and teas from the Orient. I have to tell you that I miss the constellations in the southern hemisphere. But, all in all it’s good to be at anchor and  to see my friends again.”
“We could have a reading circle about the stars in other hemispheres.” Bertie said.
“Oh!  Excuse me, Bertie, for not including you.  Do you know our friend, Thomas the sea turtle?”
“I can’t say as I’ve had the pleasure, Emma.”
“Thomas, this is our dear friend and teacher, Bertie, the bookworm.” Donald said.
“Well, blow us over and wet me sails.”
Thomas looked Bertie over. “You’re an old one, ain’t ya?”  Thomas declared.
“I’ve lived some years, it’s true,” Bertie replied.
“Thomas! I know you didn’t mean that as rudely as it sounded.
Bertie is a respected elder of the forest. He teaches all of us how to read and spell better.
He introduces us to many new words. It’s very exciting.” Emma scolded.
“No harm done, Emma. I know that Mr. Thomas didn’t mean anything by that. It’s true, I am old.”
“It’s Captain Thomas, if you don’t mind.” Thomas told him.
“Sorry, of course, Captain Thomas.” Bertie smiled.
Thomas turned to Emma. “So, Emma, what brings you so far? You’ve set your sails a far league from your home port.”
“Slam and his gang took Bertie’s eye glasses more »

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

image of 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer PosterCompliments of Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger

This is so true!  I bang out stuff that never sees the light of day.   I vent on a new post that I never publish.  I keep post-it note pads everywhere in the house so that if I get an idea (some good, some not so much) I can jot it down.  My most valuable post-it note pad is by my bedside because frequently I write in my head in a dream-like state and too lazy to turn on the light, grab paper and pen, I say to myself, ‘oh, I’ll remember this when I wake up’ I never do and IT IS GONE FOREVER!

In the middle of the night I ‘dreamed’ a single line for a poem I was working on…..“an overachiever  dips into the nectar….” and yes, I turned on the light and wrote it down.  When I awoke in the morning the only thing I remembered was that I had a terrific line for my poetry but had no idea what it was.  Fortunately there it was by my bedside.

“Write When You Don’t”….I tend to marinate.  more »

Inspiration…Wherever You Can Get It!

poetry, writing, inspiration, writer, native american, superstition, talisman, totems,                   I was sitting, in my car, on a freeway, (some might say a parking lot), stuck in traffic, not moving.  To while away the time I was reading the bumper stickers and signs in the back windows of other automobiles.  Wondering if I’d ever get home, it suddenly struck me; the parallel between totems, talismans, and these stickers, magnets, paste-ons that modern man posts on his steel steed to declare his beliefs.

Here is an excerpt of the poetry that was born while impatiently sitting in traffic.  Grabbing scraps of paper from the floorboards, writing on a restaurant napkin, old receipt, the back of a grocery list… lest I forget my words~~~~

Totem and Talisman  ©

Totem. Storyteller of the tribe’s history and lore,
felled and carved in reverence, from the tree centuries old  sculpted in living wood;
a face, a fish, a spirit, a bear, the sun, the moon

Totems live on as statuary in the garden;  a wooden rooster tops the mail box.
A mural brushed upon a barn wall; the flag of a beloved country, the star of a lone state.

The Nations painted their sturdy, brave little horses before battle…
a circle of paint about the eye for truer vision, hand prints on shoulder
and flank to ward off the spear

Today’s tribes paint their vehicles with bumper stickers, magnetic ribbons,
and window decals. All proclaiming some truth, totems to tell other tribes what they believe.

Support this, hate that, down with this, up with that.  Proud to be a redneck,
a woman, a boater, a christian, a Viet Nam vet, proud to be a farmer,
a republican, a parent, a fisherman.  Prouder still to be a soldier,
a grandpa, a boy scout, a sailor, a golfer, an Irishman, a lover of guns.’ ©

Keep yourself open to inspiration…eyes, ears, brain and heart.  You will be inspired by strange and wonderful things and you will write strange and wonderful things. You will leave totems for following generations to read.

To read more of my poetry……..click here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!       Julia London in October and Matt Jorgenson later this winter. Coming in December!  My review of a new release by Dean Koontz, Ashley Bell.

To receive  my  blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  sign up on the home page and enter your email address.  I love comments!  Take the time to write one at the bottom of the post.

FREE Audio Book: “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”

fairies, books for children, literacy, reading, bullying, bullies, elves,

A story book with full color illustrations

FREE!!  Have you got a child, grandchild or great grandchild under the age of ten??  FREE audio-book of “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”  (Five lucky winners and One per family)

And I would like to share this with you…..first come, first serve.  Sign up for my blog and leave a comment on my site Code: ‘Bookworm’. and I will send you the code and the instructions on how to get your copy.

Listen to Sample of the book by clicking here

Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam, the badger and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures.
more »

Nostalgia…through the wringer

Laundry (Small) Wash day  I just put a load of laundry in to my 21st century machine that wants to know my every wish for the perfect wash.  What temperature do I want? hot? cold? energy saver? Or perhaps cool?  One rinse or two? How long do I want to wash my semi-dirty clothes?  Do I want to wash them gently or harshly?

As I loaded my machine, one sweater would not sink into the energy-saving, cool, one rinse, water and for a second I looked around my (oh so very pleasant), laundry room for my ‘stick’.  Do you remember the stick your mother used to push down the clothes into the wringer washing machine?  Made of wood and  squeaky clean the stick was used only for that purpose;  pushing down clothes into the water and Tide detergent. I think ours was the old handle from a toilet plunger.  And, in the case of my mother, hell would rain down if you borrowed that stick for any other purpose. more »

Have you worked with an illustrator yet? Here are 12 Tips

Working successfully with an illustrator   I have used several artists, depending upon the project.  I have had wonderful response from my illustrators (free-lance) and as a team we get the job done!
David White has done several covers for me, most prominent and recent the newest in the World of Murder series.

The illustrator for my children’s books is brilliant in a different way.  He reads the story as I write it with clear instructions (from me) on where I want the illustrations placed in my story book.  Then he creates all these different perspectives that I would never have dreamed about.  They are truly wonderful.

So I thought I would share these tips, with you, about working with another artist.  Hopefully they are helpful as you work with your ‘image-maker’.

Tip #1:  Be patient.

Tip #2: They are artists, much like you, so they are sensitive about their art.

Tip #3:  Don’t push them; they have a time-table that might not be yours.  I do state my time-table in the beginning of a project and get some assurance that they will try to meet it.

Tip #4: Be patient.

Tip #5: Be certain that you give them at least two credits in your publication, book or script. I routinely credit them on the back (exterior) cover and on one of the first pages in the book.

Tip #6:  Pay them the most that you can budget.  Remember the old adage: ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

Tip #7:  Because I am on a budget; I state my rates (per size of image) right up front.  Be honest.

Tip #8: Be patient.

Tip #9:  Don’t be afraid to use students at an art school.  I have used them (or graduates) from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  They are fresh, have the newest technology, and are the most excited by the project.  Do I occasionally meet a ‘prima dona’?  Who, without any work history, without any credits of any kind, without any life experience, behaves as if they work for a big city design firm, expecting top dollar and……. are confused when you don’t see it that way. (sigh) Yes,  I have!

Tip #10: Try to be as clear as you can on what you want in the image.  Don’t be afraid to tweak the work as you and your illustrator work together.  My illustrators appreciate the second set of eyes.Journal for Creative Writers

Tip #11: Pay the illustrator promptly.  As I have my illustrator working as I write; when I receive final images I pay him as we go along.  I don’t make them wait until the project is finished to be paid.

Tip #12: Be patient.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!
E. Van Johnson will be our January author!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

 

 

 

Let Others Inspire your work as a Writer (part 1)

teenagers, new ideas, family, young Entrepreneur, short plays, one act plays     One day  I stumbled across the true story of a young  entrepreneur who didn’t let his age, or nay-sayers, or haters stand in his way. I was so inspired by this young man and his courage to be different, a play script was born.  Since I was writing my series of short plays/small casts, it was a perfect fit (pun intended) to write a one act play about this subject.
Knitting socks for a school business fair, he sold out and found himself with a fist-full of sock orders.  The media caught hold of the story and the young man was offered a deal with a chain of department stores.  Here is his story.

Synopsis:     Favorite thing to wear? Orange socks. Ever since Henry was old enough to wear socks, rain or shine, he would take them off at the first opportunity…..unless they were orange. So his mother dyed all of his socks orange. Now at age fourteen, Henry has a school project in social studies. Create and market a product for the school’s business Fair. The obvious choice? Orange Socks. So he asks his mother, who is a knitter, to teach him how to knit socks.  Little does Henry and his mother know but this is just the beginning of Henry’s business career.  1f. 1m.

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!
E. Van Johnson will be my January author.

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

 

 

The History of the ’emoticon’ (8>D

sunday morn  One of my favorite shows on a lazy Sunday morning is (appropriately) CBS Sunday Morning.  One segment was about the invention of emoticons.  (8>)  In the interview Dr. Fahlman stated that in the early days of inter-office email (imagine that!) none of his colleagues got “my wicked sarcastic humor.   So I made up this smiley face so that they would know when I was joking.”  (:-D

Since the dawn of communication between man there have been many symbols, codes and punctuation used to communicate emotions and feelings difficult to represent through text. Early examples can be seen in Morse code abbreviations from the 1850’s and print publications in the early 1900’s.
There is no clear date as to when the first emoticon was used nor is it clear who really invented the first emoticon. It is however generally accepted that the common sideways smiley face in use today was invented by Scott Fahlman in 1982.emoticons
On the morning of September 19, 1982, the use of the first smiley face and frowning face emoticons was proposed by research professor Scott E. Fahlman, from the department of computer science at the Carnegie Mellon University in the USA. In 2002, this claim was verified after the original back-up tapes containing the postings were retrieved by Jeff Baird.    (8>( more »

Charlie and I are back…with our Poetry (Charles Bukowski)

It’s Charles Bukowski month!!! No secret.  I am in love with the guy’s raw, tell it like it is, writing So here’s a work of his and a work of mine.  I’m fully aware that my scribbles should not be on the same page or in the same room as this great writer…….(so please don’t write me) I am just sharing a frame of mind.  I believe that if you lay down with dogs you get fleas.  If you read great writers, just maybe some of their brilliance will rub off or teach you something.

Try your hand;  there are no fast and hard rules to poetry anymore…at least none that I pay attention to.  (and I’m in good company with this sentiment)  It’s far more important that you write your thoughts down.  Bukowski believed that too.  He couldn’t have cared less what his critics thought….no pentameter?  no rhyme?    So What!!??

Mine:

Apocalypse ©Apacolypse

The whale sings
and I weep,

The world groans
and I ache,

The wind gusts
and I bend,

The surf sighs
and I rage,

The babe cries
and I mourn,

The mountains shift
and I flinch,

The ebony sun melts
and I rail,

The earth dies
and I wear black.  T.Sugarek

more »