Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

The Importance of Readers


Honest writers always appreciate readers — they may not write “for” them; but they do “depend” on them…

Today’s re-blog is short but could easily spin out a feast of Ponderables :-)

Live to Write - Write to Live

Tonight a friend invited me over for dinner with her book group. All eleven of them have read my books, and Marianna invited me over for dinner and discussion. I am so looking forward to this, and to meeting with folks to talk about Clock and Dagger. I am also so grateful for the opportunity. It is a kind gesture by a friend, one of many by friends and family over the course of the last year.

One year ago, on October 6, 2015 I realized a lifelong dream and became a published novelist. It has been a fun journey so far. I have a couple of author thoughts that I’d like to share.

When someone says “I read your book” I stop breathing until they finish their sentence.

I hate it when someone apologizes because they borrowed one of my books from the library rather than buying it. I love…

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The World Is Still A Pretty Awesome Place Photos…


2nd Re-blog today, ’cause it’s just so good :-)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Don’t Let The Evening News Get You Down,

The World Is Still A Pretty Awesome Place

image

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How Politically Correct Should Writers Be?


Bold opinions in today’s re-blog — definitely something to ponder…

Lit World Interviews

A while ago a well-known author published a book about a rich, handsome man who pretty much had anything anyone could wish for becoming paralyzed in an accident. He and the woman hired to care for him then fell in love, but at the end he chose to commit suicide rather than carry on. This caused quite a few disabled people to be deeply offended, and this was pretty obvious in the reviews. Several suggested that she hadn’t done her research properly, or she would have realized that it was very insulting to those in similar circumstances in that it suggested that living in that way was so unbearable that death was preferable. Most of those real, live people strive for the best lives that they can. They don’t generally give up, and I’m sure that they have just as much joy during the course of their lives as anyone…

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Forty-Nine


Love and Unity

by
Alexander M Zoltai
Dedicated to
Audra Michelle Kee

~~~~~~~~~

When Sam’s parents died, he’d moved in with his grandfather.

Two more different males would be hard to find.

Grandfather let Sam do whatever he wanted when outside the home, since Sam was indeed a young adult; but, inside the home, Sam had to learn a few rules. The hardest one to follow was to not talk people down, which Grandfather called “backbiting”.

Today had witnessed one of their most intense discussions about this issue.

Grandfather: “How was your day, Sam?”

Sam: Not too bad, Gramps; but, Pete at work can’t do anything right. Sometimes I think he’s screwing up just to cause as much trouble as he can.”

G: “He can’t do Anything right?”

S: “Right, he’s as dumb as a brick.”

G: “Dumb as a brick…”

S: “Gramps, come on, you know what I mean—he’s always acting stupid.”

G: “Always?”

S: “Geez, why is it so damned hard to talk to you?”

G: Well, Sam, have you considered it may hurt me to hear you refer to another human as always stupid, not able to do anything right, and dumb as a brick?”

S: “Hurt You? I don’t get it…”

G: “You didn’t know my father…”

S: “Met him once, but sure didn’t know him…”

G: “He could seem to be the nicest man when out in public; but, at home, he couldn’t seem to stop himself from railing against all of humanity, one human at a time.

“The fact is, once they’d interacted with him a few times, folks could sense this in him,  even if they’d never experienced his behavior at home. Unless they had to associate with him because of business, they avoided spending more than a few minutes talking to him.

“I doubt most of those who shunned him knew why they suddenly needed to be somewhere else, because he could act like he was sweet as a buttercup.”

S: “Well, O.K…. so your dad did it all the time?”

G: “Yes, he even spewed hatred at businesses and organizations and the weather and God.”

S: “Well, I don’t do it All the time, do I?”

G: “No, Sam, but doing it at all harms you, deep in your soul—my father died an extremely lonely man…”

Grandfather promptly left the room and Sam fell into a trance of internal investigation…

~~~

Talks like this happened about once a month with various members of Grandpa’s extended family being introduced as the star offenders of moral etiquette.

Sam began to wonder how his grandfather had turned out to be so loving… He also began to wonder how Grandpa could still stand to be around him—put up with his behavior…

~~~

Over the next year Grandfather began to suffer more and more from his maladies of aging—Sam began to treasure his talks with him, wished they could last longer, happen more often…

~~~

Grandfather died…

~~~

Sam got married…

~~~

Sam struggled in his life—fought with himself to be internally moral until he finally attained love for and unity with all other humans…

This amazing transformation came in a rush, like a sudden payoff for all the gritty moral work over the years; and, it burst from his heart the moment he saw his daughter’s first child—a boy…

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Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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Is the tone of your prose in tune with your novel? A simple exercise with Pharrell Williams and Yellow Magic Orchestra


Today’s re-blog has Roz Morris expanding on “The prose is like a soundtrack for a movie, the lighting, the mood.”

Nail Your Novel

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson drunk and playing 20 questions in BBC Sherlock Season 3 Episode 2 The Sign of Three A moment of uncharacteristic levity in the lives of J Watson and S Holmes

Your prose does more than simply describe what happens. It creates the experience in the reader’s mind – the atmosphere, the themes, the lighting, the mood. Imagine the book has a soundtrack, like a movie. In fact it does, because the ‘music’ is created by the shape of the words and the images they conjure. A writer’s distinctive style is often called their ‘voice’, and that voice speaks the book inside the reader’s mind. So we have to be very deliberate with every word.

But quite often, writers don’t realise they’re actually sabotaging their narrative by inappropriate word choices.

To hone your awareness, try this exercise

Pick a simple scenario. Let’s have a character waking up in the morning, climbing out of bed, putting on a dressing gown (or, if you prefer, a suit of armour)…

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