The Writer’s Wheel 10/24/2020 Loleta Abi

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The Writer’s Wheel 1-/26/2020

Loleta Abi

Update:  The insurance denied coverage for the damages so we’re going to be looking to move elsewhere. I will be taking hiatus until sometime in the future to pack up things.

The Writer’s Wheel 10/31/2020 Loleta Abi

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The Writer’s Wheel 10/18/2020

Loleta Abi

Update: We haven’t been able to get any plumbers in our county to bid on the job. Not sure if the adjuster will even approve anything as damages. With winter coming, it’s becoming a bit of a problem. Going to speak with insurance company again tomorrow. May have to consider moving. This place has become a money pit starting two months after we moved here going on sixteen years ago.

I’ve had to juggle this all with health issues. Doctors still not sure what’s causing my pain and bloating. It doesn’t help that I’ve missed several meds of late with everything going on. Good thing today is that I got to pick off the walls of our eye doctor’s shelves. When you’ve been poor as long as I have, the little things in life tickle you. I checked out Cover Girls and Candies.

Tricks to Keep Focused

Loleta Abi

  1. Distracting Yourself with Blog Posts, Writing, and Reading helps immensely. It gives you purpose and bring a sense of accomplishment. It also makes you feel you have control of something. Even that small bit can help.
  2. Making progress puts you in a good mood. You are going somewhere, and it will pay up someday. Yeah, you might have years to hit your mark still, but keeping going forward will make you smile and dream a bit.
  3. Reading sharpens those tools in the box. It will help you with structure. You will learn how to handle narrative. Characters will start to zing on that screen before you. Your plot will be more cohesive. Don’t be fooled. While you are reading, you’re learning. That’s how it works. Examining things further will also add an edge.
  4. Eliminates Time to Worry. Perhaps this is the best result. It keeps you busy and moving onto the next thing. Laying about depressed doesn’t help. You need to get up and try something, anything to keep your spirits up. Yeah, you may lose your home but maybe that’s the way it was supposed to bring you to a better set-up.

Three Links 10/17/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by Benjamin Balazs from Pixabay

Three Links 10/16/2020

Loleta Abi

Writing:

1. https://annerallen.com/2020/10/use-a-characters-career-to-support-your-storys-theme/ “Successful stories are often ones whose elements are employed subtly. You may not be able to say exactly why they work, and as a reader, you probably don’t care; you just like the feeling of rightness that settles in as you read.

Theme is one of those important elements that are quietly working in the background of a strong story. This central idea, pulled deliberately or subconsciously from the author’s individual worldview, acts as an anchoring thread that connects the other elements and creates a sense of cohesion. But writing theme into a story can be tricky. If you’re too obvious, you risk whacking people over the head with it, and your story becomes preachy. If you’re too subtle, readers may not pick up on the message at all.

So how do we incorporate theme into our story with just the right amount of touch? One surprisingly effective way is to use the character’s job.” I’ve never considered this before. Hm. Could be useful.

2. https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2020/10/11/critiquing-a-friends-book-how-do-you-tell-them-it-doesnt-work/ “I’ve had this interesting question from Jan.

A friend has finished drafting her first novel. She asked me to proofread before she sends it to agents. I explained she would up her chances if she got it edited too, so she asked if I could do that.

I’m reading the manuscript and have found what I feel are fundamental issues. For instance, I’m 57 pages in and nothing dramatic has happened, I still don’t know the theme of the book, or what any of the characters are driving towards. There is a lot of description, but I haven’t been able to discern its purpose.

I really want her to have the best chance, so how do I essentially ask her to rewrite from scratch? She’s proud of the manuscript; (she should be, she wrote 92,000 words and had the dedication to stick to it). I’m trying to work out the best way to approach the things that need fixing without making her feel like I’ve torn down her baby. What should I do?

Ahhhhhh, Jan.

I sense you feel this is an unusual situation. It is not.” I’ve had this happen before. It can be quite sticky, but a gentle prod might be best here. The truth is, I know I’ve put stories out there as well that weren’t quite up to snuff. Tearing someone down gets neither of you anywhere. Put yourself back in the moment you had your story fall apart from another.

3. https://stevelaube.com/how-to-get-out-of-the-slush-pile-with-deborah-raney/ “You are here: Home > Blog > How to Get Out of the Slush Pile – With Deborah Raney

How to Get Out of the Slush Pile – With Deborah Raney

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Thomas Umstattd, Jr.

By Thomas Umstattd, Jr.

On October 13, 2020

Here are the show notes for the most recent episode of the Christian Publishing Show.

You can listen to this episode here.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Spotify | RSS | More

You would like to think that as soon as you are done with your proposal and send it off to an agent that he or she is sitting there by the inbox ready to read it as soon as it comes in. If only. Before email became the submission method, agents and acquisitions editors threw unsolicited proposals into a stack in the corner of the office called the slush pile. Then, once a month or so, they brewed a pot of coffee and in a few hours went through hundreds of proposals and manuscripts. Although the slush pile moved to the email inbox, the response is the same: Usually, every manuscript gets rejected. But sometimes a proposal jumps out and grabs the agent’s or editor’s interest and goes on to get published. 

So, how can that lucky proposal be for your book? Well, luck has nothing to do with it. There is a way to get out of the slush pile, and our guest today will tell us how.

Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish (Affiliate Link), went from slush pile, to book, to major motion picture. Twenty-six years and more than forty books later, she’s still creating stories that touch hearts and lives.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/10/11/circles-beyond-time-living-stone/ “I smiled, knowing what was still to come… and knowing that our companion had picked up on something not yet visible when she had said that the place reminded her of the stone blocks of the old South American cultures. I knew what she meant, but while the precision of the masonry at Cusco still defies understanding over a thousand years old since its building, the place to which we were walking was older. Far older.” Such beautiful scenery and secrets of the threads of life.

2. https://stevelaube.com/what-if-you-get-a-book-deal-on-your-own-and-then-want-an-agent/What happens if you get a book contract before you have an agent? What if, by some miracle, an editor sees your work and wants to publish it? (1) would having a publisher interested in my work make an agent much more likely to represent me, and (2) would it be appropriate to try to find an agent at that point (when a publisher says it wants to publish you)? My fear is that querying an agent and receiving a response could take several months, but I’d need to accept a potential contract with a book publisher right away (I would think). Is it appropriate to ask the editor to speak with an agent on your behalf to speed the process?

This is a great topic, but there are a few questions within the question. Let me try to break it down.

How do you let the agent know of this situation? Believe me. An agent is likely to read an email (even if originally sent to an assistant) that has a subject line with the sentences, “Contract offer in-hand. Are you interested in representing me?

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Some Things More Serious:

1. https://tiarasandlipstick.com/why-pink-is-important-this-month/ “I was 14 years old when I first discovered a small, hard lump in my right breast.  I remember it felt like a small ping pong ball, and I was able to clearly feel it and push it around within my breast tissue.  To this day, I am still baffled at it’s sudden appearance back then, as well as the second lump that reappeared a few years later.” 

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Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://charmedchaos.com/2020/10/10/haiku-autumn-leaves-2/

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Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://dgkayewriter.com/sunday-book-review-little-tea-by-claire-fullerton/ “One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.”

2. https://teripolen.com/2020/10/10/badmoonrising-weave-a-web-of-witchcraft-by-jean-m-roberts-historicalfiction-witches/ “Any witch fans out there? I don’t mean the Hocus Pocus kind (although they’re an undeniably awesome coven). Today’s author brings us a story based on a real married couple from the mid 1600s – and one of them is accused of witchcraft. Nearly forty years before the Salem Witch Trials began! Welcome Jean M. Roberts!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

I think I’m going to have to go with the coffin, unless I had to sleep with the lid closed. Did you ever see the Vincent Price movie, Pit and the Pendulum, where the girl is buried alive in a casket, hooey, scary. I’m not sure I’d survive a haunted house, depends on the ghosts. What are the odds I’d get Casper?”

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The Writer’s Wheel 10/11/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

The Writer’s Wheel 10/11/2020

Loleta Abi

Still uncertain where everything stands. Health issues bulking again, house problems still working on solutions to. All that’s helping right now is a few blessed, stolen moments at writing. It gives me hope.

Have a great week, take care, and God bless!

Three Links 10/10/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by SplitShire from Pixabay

Three Links 10/9/2020

Loleta Abi

Writing:

1. https://stevelaube.com/how-do-i-know-it-is-ready-to-submit/ “As an agency, we don’t represent articles, so I’ll confine my remarks to books. The best way to see if your book is ready to be submitted is to write the book proposal. I wrote a series about this on our blog. Here is the link:
https://stevelaube.com/category/book-proposal-basics.

As you can see from filling out each category, you’ll tease out problems and find holes that might keep the book from selling to a publisher.

Of course, the best proposal has to be backed up with a fantastic manuscript, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.

To develop the book, write it. The. Entire. Book. Authors who gain contracts based on a blurb or even the possibility that they may write a book have a proven track record earned over years of writing extensive proposals and complete manuscripts on speculation. Your goal is to become one of these writers. But until then, write the book.” Good advice.

2. https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/the-link-between-your-storys-first-plot-point-and-third-plot-point/ “I often talk about cohesion and resonance as being two of the most important qualities of great stories. Many factors are involved in achieving these effects, but one of the subtlest and yet most powerful is found within the structure of story itself. This is the hidden “circle” of story structure, in which all the important beats in the first half can be seen as foreshadowing for their “partner” beats in the second half.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been examining the idea that story structure can be viewed not just as an arc but as a circle.” Great stuff here! Do you see the threads of the story coming together?

3. https://rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/rethinking-success/ “How do you measure success?  When will we feel successful?

I know we’ve had this conversation before here at the blog.  It seems to keep circling around – and that only makes sense, because success is often a moving target.  We work toward one goal..and as soon as we reach it we’re working toward the next, sometimes even forgetting to celebrate the fact that we conquered that one goal.

I’ve been thinking a lot about success and that ever-changing destination this past week as I have a new book out, a book that marks a new point in my career.

Last week my first mass-market paperback released with a major New York publisher.

There are so many moments we work toward, moments when we are sure we will feel successful.  The first time you hold your book.  The first time you see it in a bookstore.  The first time you hit a list or get nominated for an award or are able to pay a certain bill with your royalties.

I started out in ebooks over a decade ago.  My small press did print releases a year after the ebook releases, and some of them made it into bookstores, so I had held my books, seen them in bookstores, but my sister still asked me when I was going to write a “real” book.  (She was not impressed when I began self-publishing.)  I was lucky enough to have books nominated for awards.  Then I had a book out with Hallmark last year.  Another trade paperback, widely available, big name company, even if the publishing arm is small and new. Is that real enough?  Have I made it yet?  Or is this book, mass market, Big Five publisher, what will finally make me feel like I’ve reached Real Author status.  Will I ever see myself the same way I see other authors?”

Research & Fun Tidbits:

1. https://www.suecoletta.com/men-they-couldnt-hang/ “If a prisoner survived three trips to the gallows, should he be set free? That question plagued the public when faced with men they couldn’t hang. These are their stories. < cue Law & Order music >

Men They Couldn’t Hang #1: John “Babbacome” Lee

Miss Emma Anne Whitehead Keyse lived alone in “The Glen,” with her servants, Jane and Eliza Neck, Elizabeth Harris, the cook, and her brother, John Henry George Lee. In the early hours of November 15, 1884, authorities found Miss Emma’s lifeless body with three knife wounds to her head. The murderer also tried to set the corpse on fire.

John “Babbacome” Lee had worked alongside his sister at the The Glen since leaving school. In 1879, he joined the Navy. A medical discharge sent him home to Torquay (United Kingdom) to work as a footman. But he stole from his employer and got caught, convicted, and sentenced. Upon his release from prison in 1884, he returned to work at The Glen.

As the only male in the household at the time of the murder, police zeroed in on Lee as the prime suspect. Along with other circumstantial evidence, an inexplicable cut on his arm sealed his fate. But did the police have the right man?” Egads, can’t imagine!

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Some Things More Serious:

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Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

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Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

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The Book Corner 10/8/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by dandelion_tea from Pixabay

I’m reading: The Princess and the Rogue by Kate Bateman, 5 Secrets of Story Structure by K.M. Weiland, In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney and Marred by Sue Coletta. There are other books I’ve set aside for the moment because of my health and the repairs needed for my home.

The Writer’s Wheel 10/4/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by Please Don’t sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

The Writer’s Wheel 10/4/2020: Fall’s Benefits

Loleta Abi

Fall is always such a pleasant time for me. It’s cooler and that helps my HS. The crispness in the air also helps me to be more productive whereas summer always has me barely slogging through with the heat. It’s still a bit hot here later in the day but the nights are wonderful! I know a lot of other writers out there have favorite times of the years to write as well. What’s yours?

I think it harkens back to the years I was in school. Fall seemed to be the time for things to come alive. To begin again, a new year. It felt like it gave you a free pass to do things better. Life has its moments and most of mine were in the fall of the year. Apple cider and donuts. Football. The marching band playing. It all blends into one inspiring time.

Right now, things are a bit out of control with my property. Or rather, my plumbing. They say I need to put a whole new water line in as the one in the crawlspace is no longer any good. Blame it on groundhogs. Sigh. The underneath of my house is flooded. I’m awaiting an estimate, news on whether the insurance will help pay for any of it, and then weeks more before the work could be scheduled.

Things might not turn out so good. I’ve already been told by the water company I might want to look at rentals. I don’t want to give up on this place and yet, it’s become a regular money pit from the storms to the repairs. It’s in a neighborhood also that’s deteriorating as well. A lot of residents have moved on and abandoned places. They’ve recently begun to clean up the town to look inviting to buyers but it’s like, if they see the houses around here, they can surely see how tarnished they are. Would anyone move into a neighborhood like that?

Once upon a time, I had no choice. I had to take what I could get. Times aren’t exactly brewing with choices now, but hopefully, things will work out. Funds are limited with my disability check and even though both my son and daughter are working, I’m not sure how much longer they’ll stick around. My daughter has met someone and their making plans. My son will be with me for a longer time until well, he meets someone most likely. There are the pets to think of. There are some places that allow them but right now, the rentals are taken. Guess everyone’s looking for a new place to live. I should know more within the next few months if not sooner.

All in God’s hands!

Have a great week, take care, and God bless!