Showing posts from 2016

Let the Dialogue Speak by Mary Deal

Let the Dialogue Speak

Proper use of said and the use of beats will keep a story flowing smoothly.
Books and articles turn up touting the value of replacing the use of the word said. She said. He said. Many claim said is overused and tiresome. They supply an endless plethora of verbs, nouns and adjectives to use instead. My opinion is that, in most cases, there are no substitutes, given what said does when used properly. Said is acceptable enough to hide in the background and not call the reader’s attention to dynamics of speech that is best shown with proper punctuation. Said is simply a speaker attribution and tells us who said what in the course of conversation. Yet, said can become grossly overworked. This is why many people have tired of it. This is an example of overuse:
“Hola, Papi,” Pablo said. “When do we eat?” “About ten minutes,” his father said. “I’m going back to the street then,” Pablo said. “I’m winning all the races.” “Hey-hey,” Rico said. “Be on time for dinner.” “Si, Papi,” …

If You Yourself Are At Peace...

If you yourself are at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world.
Thomas Merton.

Sing Anyway...

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. Emory Austin

15 Slump Busters - What to Do When the Assignments Stop Coming

Cal Orey, Guest Author
Imagine: The phone doesn't ring, you find yourself amid a pile of rejection letters, and money's tight. It's been more weeks than you care to count since you've gotten an assignment or book contract, you've got serious reservations about your writer's status, and last but not least, the fear of never getting a new gig haunts you like a spooky Stephen King sci-fi tale. If you're like me and most writers, at some time you'll probably hit a plateau - the point when it seems you just can't pull out of a big, unfortunate S-L-U-M-P. What gives? Blame it on your fave book publisher downsizing, your pet editor(s) going AWOL, or karma. But the good news is, you can reprise your role as a prolific writer. So if you're down, on the verge of suffering through a sales lull or trying to find a way out, get prepared to write yourself out of a slump. It can be done. I'm living proof. Whether you need a jump-s…

Last of the Blueberries (poem) by Patricia Crandall

Poem won second place at Writer's Carnival. Last of the Blueberries

Using Pen Names: 7 Savvy Reasons Why a Pseudonym Can Be an Author’s Best Friend By Cal Orey

AT THE START of a writing career, your name may seem so perfect ... but as time goes by, sometimes a pen name becomes a must-have tool of the trade. And it's not just the famous writers who use one. Here's why playing the name game can be smart.

For privacy and safety. Using a pen name provides protection. If a topic is controversial or crime-related, going "undercover" may be wise. I did just that when I wrote an expose for a popular men's magazine about escort services (which provide customers with a companion for dates). I didn't want the local escorts or managers to harass me if they didn't like what I wrote about their business. So I took a double identity, just as they did, to stay out of harm's way.

To get very personal. If you want to write about something embarrassing to you, switching names is the ticket for sharing your story. Forget blushing. I wrote an intimate, first-person piece called "I fell for the guy next door" for Comple…


It is joyous to watch children reach for Christmas toys, dolls for little girls and trucks for small boys. Beneath a spreading evergreen are shimmering golden thistles, miniature toy drums and slick silver whistles. Santa Claus dressed in red carries a sack within a sled. He gives to folks all-embracing merry, pleasing, celebrating!

4-Haiku by Patricia Crandall

a beam of first light through the majestic pine trees dazzling morning sun
a fiery red moon in a glacial autumn sky shines effectual
a mountain silence blackness shrouds the earth below stars shimmer afar
across the still lake view the luminous white moon enhanced at midnight


Why do I write? The answer lies in the fact I enjoy reading. It all began with Uncle Wiggley Longears, the rabbit gentleman stories by Howard Garis. At bedtime at our house in the nineteen forties, my father would entertain me and my siblings with his own version of an ‘Uncle Wiggley Adventure.’ After an ending, “And if the turnips do not fall into the cabbage patch traps and get eaten by the turtle tribe, tomorrow I will tell you about Uncle Wiggley’s narrow escape from the falling tree near ‘Henry’, the covered bridge.” (In Vermont, covered bridges are named). With an eager readiness at the next bedtime, three children sat in anticipation as my father struggled to fabricate a new Uncle Wiggley adventure. I learned early that children’s authors captivate a child’s and an adult’s imagination in a magical, mind-stretching manner that no other writer can do. The children/young adult authors who are repeatedly read in our home and are impressive masters to follow are: Howard Garis, Beatri…

Where's Percy? by Patricia Crandall

Where Is Percy, is published in Clever Magazine, Fall 2016 issue.Clever: The Ezine for the Neglected Demographic

I enjoyed this flash fiction story. Linda Barnett-Johnson

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AND IN THE BEGINNING... Genesis stirs within me a desire to spin poetry as a spider painstakingly evolves around his web