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Sunday, May 21, 2017

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE IN YOUR NOVEL?


The first sentence 
 (the 2nd most important sentence in your book) 
gets the reader to buy & read your book.


The last sentence makes them glad 
they did.

Take the BEN HUR remake.  

Everyone, even the ones who enjoyed the first of the film, were turned off by the ending.



What a great last line will do:


1.) Refers back to a theme that runs throughout the book.  Double bonus points if it mirrors the first line.

2.) Breathes a spirit of victory (even in defeat) or hope.

3.) Reveals the purpose of the novel and/or meaning of the title.

A good last line will give finality, 

yet with a sense of continuing into another story that those who survived the novel will continue living their lives.


GREAT LAST LINES:


"So that, in the end, there was no end."
    - Patrick White, The Tree of Man (1955)


"But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing."
   -  A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner (1928)


"He waited for someone to tell him who to be next."
 - Brian Evenson, The Open Curtain (2006) 


"But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably  diffusive: 

for the growing good of the wortld is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; 

and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been 

is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."
   - George Elliot, Middlemarch (1871-72)


"He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance."
   - Mary Shelly, Frankenstein (1818)


"It was the nightmare of real things, the fallen wonder of the world."
   - Don DeLillo, The Names (1982)


"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
   - F. Scott Fitzgerald,  The Great Gatsby (1925)


"Everything had gone right with me since he died, but how I wished there existed someone to whom I could say that I was sorry."
   - Graham Greene, The Quiet American (1956)



WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LAST LINES?

Friday, May 19, 2017

The MIDNIGHT HOUR



Sssh! Food Guy is sleeping.

The big wuss. So he has a itty bitty cold. 


I thought his fever of 102 degrees made a warm pillow of his forehead for me.

He whined so much about going to work for one little day 


that I left a wedge of cheese for him on his pillow. 

And did he appreciate my joke of giving him cheese with his whine?

No, he did not.

Does he appreciate me curling up on his chest for added weight resistance as he huffs through his sit-up's?

No, he does not.

Does he appreciate my feline criticism as I paw at the keys as he types?

Of course not. My words would be magical. 


His words just lay there like stale tuna, as pretty as road-kill and about as tasty.

And all those literary ghosts who insist on ruining our sleep? What's up with that?

Ernest Heminway. 


Raymond Chandler. 

Mark Twain, well I like him ... 

he knows where I like my ears scratched. 

Still he insists on calling me Bambino!


But if that Frost guy shows up again, droning on about which road to pick, I'll pick one for him all right ...

 the one that leads to the door!

And so help me if Dr. Seuss dares to show his ghostly face, I'll barf up a furball in his green eggs and ham!

If you out there wonder where Food Guy gets all the great ideas, look no further than this Midnight Marauder. 


The lousy ones, of course, are all his.
***
Another mindless movie Food Guy will probably see and ... sigh ... enjoy:



But she does have pretty legs for a human!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'M ABOUT TO GET INTO TROUBLE ... AGAIN



I like Supergirl

There I said it.

Supergirl has pushed above and beyond the other CW shows.

Kara is so full of sunshine that even 

Barry Allen (the Flash) can seem grim in comparison. 

Still, there are serious elements 

that tackle real life issues, 

ranging from immigration to gender inequality to even genocide.


The above scene was so much fun because at the time Supergirl was airing on CBS.

Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) returned to the show Monday evening in time to face off 

invading alien queen (Terry Hatcher),

 a female U.S. President (Lynda Carter)

and an evil genius (Brenda Strong).

More importantly she provided the nurturing Kara needed 



... and the sarcastic wit I've missed.




But the core of the show is 
the loving relationship between two sisters.








It is stressed that powers do not make a hero.
 It is what you do with what you have. 





Chyler Leigh and Floriana Lima 
have portrayed 
in their romance 
something healing to viewers 
struggling with their own sexuality 
in the real world.




It is beautifully, sensitively portrayed,
giving lesbian viewers
heroes to identify with.




Braving attacks from critics, 
Supergirl might be the most 
politically courageous superhero show on TV..


Show-runner Andrew Kresiberg acknowledged that 

“Our desire is to reflect back not just the world that we live in, but the world that we could live in.”

 Supergirl’s second season has focused heavily on the rights of undocumented aliens like Kara, 

a not-so-subtle allegory for the country’s contentious immigration debate.

 The pilot featured Kara’s boss, 

Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), discussing the feminist implications of branding the new superhero “Supergirl” instead of “Superwoman.” 






 When asked if the series is political, Kreisberg retorted, 

“Is it political to say that we believe all people should be treated fairly, 

that people who are different from us deserve 

the same respect and rights and privileges we have?”



“The primary directive is to tell stories about characters that people care about,” he continued. 

“If you just wanted to be political and you didn’t have that, nobody would care.”


Lastly, the Supergirl show is not afraid to have fun with itself!


Monday, May 15, 2017

DO REVIEWS AFFECT SALES?



SOMETIMES

BUT OFTEN NOT LIKE YOU THINK




1.) A SAVAGE REVIEW CAN HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT


 Once upon a time there was a children's book that got such an unfair review 

that I not only bought it but gave it a good review -- which it deserved.

"I can understand the disappointment of not getting any text with the free sample, but it is unkind to one star a book you have never read.

I have read this delightful book, and I find it everything you would want for your child ... 

ah, in this case, just the little child in me : 

fun, zesty, light-hearted with a sense of humor to it that leaves you closing the book with a smile.

 Even the illustrations had a smile on my face.

I highly recommend this book. And I am off to order the next in the series. Thank you, Sally, for a fun, delightful read."


2.) SOMETIMES REVIEWS ARE SO OFF THE MARK THEY ARE FUNNY AND SPARK SALES


 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002HJ377A/


 
Don't judge me.  But after reading these reviews I just had to buy this shirt!

 ***

"I used to drive to work every day, now I can fly! Thanks Three Wolf Moon t-shirt!"

***

"The Three Wolf and Moon shirt arrived in the mail last week. 

When I got home from work I found the shirt had torn itself out of the packaging, 

destroyed my mail box, broke into my house, 

slept with my wife, kicked my dog, and mowed my yard." 

*** 

"I have to admit I wasn't convinced about the power of this shirt and bought it as a gag to get a few laughs with friends over. 

However something has changed since I put this shirt on, something has changed for the better that is!

Lets go over some of the things that have happened within just a few hours of putting this shirt on. 

Keep in mind these are facts that have been verified by others and your results will vary:

1.) I won the lottery for $3 Million Dollars
2.) I have about 10 supermodels fighting for my attention
3.) My muscles have become much larger then before
4.) I may or may not have super powers (possibly developing signs of x-ray vision)
5.) I rushed into a burning building and saved a bunch of school kids and some kittens."

 Don't neglect to read the answers to the 41 questions if you go to this shirt's Amazon page:

Q:
Is there a difference between the $6 shirt and the $30 shirt?  I don't see any more wolves.

A:
Yes -- Twenty-four dollars.

***

Q:
Does this shirt glow in the dark?

A:
Of course not!  It is much too stealthy to glow in the dark.

But if you chew Mint-O-Green Life Savers with your mouth open in the dark, you can see sparks!



3.) REVIEWS DON'T SELL BOOKS/ WORD OF MOUTH DOES

Who do you trust more, a stranger or a good friend?  

Yeah, easy answer, right?

Lightning strikes where it will.  

None of us know what group of strangers might read our book and spread the word ...

to a local book club ... to their local library ... to their close friends.
 


4.) THICK SKIN IS A MUST FOR WRITERS

"I have pretty thick skin, and I think if you're going to be in this business, if you're going to be a writer, you better have a thick skin."
 - John Irving .

Bad reviews are just part of the tuition of being an author.  Hang in there, everyone.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

MOTHER is not a 4 Leter Word


Though you might think it a term of profanity 
from our modern movies.


Sadly, the full term is used more and more lately.

In fact, it is the duct tape that binds Samuel L. Jackson's dialogue together!


Yet, MOTHER is a name that is so complex depending upon the situation in which you hear it 

that it is a many-faceted gem of many colors and nuances. 


The young woman hearing that she is soon to be a mother 

may hear the term with hope, despair, or fear of being like her own hated mother.


The teenager yelling "Mother!" may feel unloved, controlled, or ignored.


The man sitting by the death-bed of his mother 

may whisper the name out of a wellspring of loving memories 

or from a dark pit of having never been understood.


Mothers are only human:

 some saintly, some devilish, most somewhere in between.


We train our children in schools on how to do everything senseless but not how to live well.

Shouldn't we have classes on how to parent?  

How to deal with stress?  

How to manage a budget?


Mothers make it up as they go along.


Sandra, my best friend, had a son, Drew, 

who was forever fiddling with the electric wall sockets close to the floor boards.

She finally put covers on all of them.

Sometime later as she did her business' books on her computer, she heard a Fittzz and saw the lights go dim.

She turned to the sound of faltering steps.

There stumbled poor little Drew, his hair looking like Einstein's, holding his trembling right hand high.

"Mama right.  Mama right!"


From that time forward, Sandra would counsel Drew when he felt compelled to do an unwise thing. "Mama right."

Usually, Drew would later sadly confide to her with a wry, hurt smile.  

"Mama right.  Mama right."


May we all have had mothers wise enough for us to follow their counsel.








Happy Mother's Day 
to All My Friends 
For Whom This Day Applies!


Friday, May 12, 2017

CHASTIZED




In the dog house again!



Two important personages from IWSG have slapped my wrists cyber-wise.


I was sent the Publisher's Weekly review.  I did not seek it out.

But since I posted a positive review of my story in the collection, I thought it only fair to post a negative one.

Especially since two of my fellow anthologists got glowing reviews.


{Actually all the stories in this collection are absorbing and entertaining.

Obviously the reviewer was suffering from a hangover when he read the stories!}


If my fellow anthologists feel I have stained their stories or reputations, I apologize.


My post contained 2 glowing reviews of Jen and Erika and I only included the  "unique" review of mine.

People would have had to follow the link to read the rest of the review.

Besides, Publisher's Weekly is hardly a fly-by-night site.

I thought it best to face the music and contest it.


What did that one email say?


"It’s one thing when it’s a review of your own work and another when it involves others.

Considering how hard the others have worked to promote it, that’s not really fair.

Sorry, but the IWSG admins wish you hadn’t posted it for all to see. Looks bad on us as well."


I disagree. 

What you are called does not matter -- only what you answer to.


I have never believed in being an ostrich

but in a life of openness and integrity. 

I would not do well in the Trump administration, right?


I believe books, even collections of short stories, receive unwarranted bad reviews.

To pretend they do not exist makes us appear as if we believe their accuracy. 


All of you in this anthology,

if you perceive me as unfair and cruel, I am sorry for any discomfort I have unintentionally given you.

I will never submit to another anthology again

OUCH!



The lauded Publisher's Weekly has posted a review of the anthology

that has the misfortune of having my story in it.


It had some great things to say of Jen Chandler's and Erika Bebee's stories:

"The most moving of the entries carry resonances of rural American folk tales, 

including Jen Chandler’s Appalachia-inspired “The Mysteries of Death and Life” 

and Erika Bebee’s “The Wheat Witch,” which evokes the healing mystique of Kansas agriculture."

Then, there is my story:


"Roland D. Yeomans’s Sometimes They Come Back” is an ambitious but lackluster Poe-esque excursion into the grotesque; 

it’s larded with references to humanity’s graven images, some familiar and some perhaps better left forgotten. 

Few new insights stir the imagination here."

{Scratches his head}

As a former English teacher, I know my story has its roots in Ray Bradbury 

and obviously the reviewer has not read Poe in a long time to liken my story to his prose.

But then, I remember a review of Thinner when Stephen King was using Richard Bachman to sell more novels:

"This is the way Stephen King would write 
if Stephen King could write."

In essence, bad reviews are the price of writing.

What matters is if our prose lives on or dies horribly like characters in Stephen King's novels.

And that depends solely on the future the details of which none of us knows. 

I leave you with the words of Stephen King

The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.