MUSIC THROUGH THE YEARS

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MUSIC THROUGH THE YEARS

In the 20’s and 30’s Louis Armstrong inspired Jazz

  Duke Ellington gave it pizzazz

Ella Fitzgerald came around then

Gene Autry was in the saddle again

We go to the 40’s and in demand

Is Harry James and his band

Tommy Dorsey plays his best

Doris day is his guest

It’s the 50’s and who should appear

New Groups and Singers I had to hear

Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Johnny Cash

Kay Starr, Loretta Lynn, Ink Spots, make a splash

In the 60’s and 70’s, Pop Music is in

Beach Boys, Beatles, Carpenters win

Elton John, Carole King, Marvin Gaye

Hot. Hot, Hot, all the way

The 80’s on there’s lots of mix

County, Pop and Rock gives us the fix

Rihanna, Phil Collins, Taylor Swift, all great

Take the time to listen, don’t wait

TOO MUCH ADVICE?

                                                                       

                                               IS IT GOOD OR BAD ADVICE?

In the latest issue of “Writers Digest” is an article by Jeff Somers, I had to pass on to my readers. I can only cover some of his topics due to the length.

As writers, we carefully edit our manuscript, correcting any mistakes, and pay special attention to correct punctuation, wording, etc. before releasing it for publication.  Many of us, including myself, seek the opinions of friends, family, authors, and volunteers willing to read the novel, as the last check before submission.

In addition to the opinions of my family and friends, I read everything I found by those I considered authorities, but I was confused and conflicted about different interpretations of the same advice. In the back of my head was the same question until I read this wonderful Article.

QUESTION: When is it okay to NOT follow the advice given you by others, Read below what Jeff  Somers wrote about “THE RULES’.

  1. WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW:  Write what you know was not meant to reject your imagination.  You can write about stuff you know nothing about— just write a story you want to read.
  • SHOW DON’T TELL: When showing injects unnecessary verbosity, don’t.  That rule implies that “telling” is Lazy, while showing takes real talent. You need to balance the showing and the telling, 
  • WRITE EVERY DAY:  The discipline of working regularly is good and stops you from being one of those who talks about writing but never does. But, not all can write every day.  Think of it as a goal, not a requirement.
  • KILL YOUR DARLINGS:It is probably the most misunderstood and misapplied piece of writing advice in the history of writing. Don’t delete writing you like and never look back.
  • INVEST IN A THESAURUS: Having a large vocabulary as an author is great—but it’s only half the battle. You need to feel comfortable, and your word choices should fit your characters.
  • NEVER WRITE A PROLOGUE:The implication is that you are an amateur. In reality it is possible to pull off a prologue, but you need purpose.
  • AVOID THE PASSIVE VOICE: Yes, it is grammatically correct, and we are told it is lazy writing. However, there are forms of passive that are acceptable and necessary.

 I hope the above encourages you to subscribe to this wonderful magazine and read the entire article.

Happy writing, Paula

THE FINAL CHAPTER

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Want to Leave your Readers Hungry for your Next Novel?

The final chapter, of your novel is written and you believe it will be satisfying to your readers, with no loose ends and unanswered questions.  But, are your readers hungry for your next novel? If there is any doubt in your mind, below are some useful suggestions before you begin the Final Chapter..

1.Leave room:  for your readers’ imaginations and allow them to picture what happens next, without being told: “They lived happily ever after.”
 
2.Foreshadow: Plant seeds in advance—small clues that will make the end seem natural.
 
3.Build-up Mystery:  A good mystery needs a build-up toward the climax with lots of twists and turns during the telling of the story.
 
4.Pace: To create a mystery, write shorter scenes, sentences and chapters to increase the momentum.  Save the largest scene for your last Chapter.
 
5.Reveal:  Show how your characters changed in the story.
 
6.Romance:  For romances, the above are still important. If a romantic mystery, use the same pace as #4..  All romances need a build-up- but without many complications, either  between the lovers, or the events that get in the way of a happy union.
 
7. Similar Book endings:  Check other books similar to your story, and review how the author ended the final chapter.  Try several options—put them aside—then read again, later, and see which one makes the most sense for your story.

In my opinion, one of the best storytellers of mystery and suspense was the late Alfred Hitchcock. His television series always had an unexpected ending—one I never anticipated, and although it was not always a happy ending; but always satisfying. Each of his stories is a lesson for mystery writers.  His movies, too,  are well worth seeing. ( Shocking, Frightening, and deliciously, wickedly Amazing.)

Happy Ending,Paula

 

 

HOW TO SELF-EDIT

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The final draft of your book is done.  Now you get to  relax?.  No, you can’t.!

The next step is to self-edit—the edit you, as author, should do. After all, it is a Draft , and only you are familiar with the story, and can easily correct  all self-made errors , like noticing  where your story wanders away from  the scene being played out. Or when characters are not clearly defined ,and how about incorrect spellings, punctuation errors, and poor  word choices.

First print all the pages of your book. Then as you read, correct the errors you find on the printed  page, and  then on the computer.

A FEW SUGGESTIONS:

  1. Use words your reader can relate to—Simple words and not  words needing the use of a dictionary.  Remember, the more the reader stops, the less interest he or she has in  continuing.
  2. Show don’t Tell.— Use an action word to show, anger, instead of saying : He is angry. Example: He slammed the door behind him
  3. Do not use the word almost. Example, She almost cried.   The character either cried, or did not.
  4. Don’t sermonize or preach to your reader.
  5. Try reading your novel out loud. You may find areas where improvement is needed
  6. Omit Clichés and use “said” for dialogue instead of “explained, declared, etc.”

After you complete your self-edit, then retain the services of a professional Editor so your book is finally ready for publication,  and, at long last, you can either rest, or begin another story.

 

Don’t ever give up in frustration, Paula

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

Today is the day we honor all mothers for their constant love and dedication to keeping us a close family through kindness, love and always being there for us.

*I am sending The message below representing the feelings of myself and all the children, young and old, by sending our love and appreciation to all Mothers.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY- Love Paula

SUBPLOT- THE SECOND FIDDLE

    Have you used Subplots while writing your Novel?  If you haven’t, you are missing an important addition to add tension, suspense, and dimension to both your story and your main character, who is constantly facing obstacles. A subplot can directly increase the difficulty for the Protagonist in the main plot. It can increase the stakes for the main character by working against the goals of the main character.

     A subplot, is used to add depth to your main story. By using a subplot, you will keep the reader interested and curious of the outcome.

    Add Secondary Characters.  All secondary characters have a story, either a past connection to the Protagonist or a present one by appearing at an inopportune time, and causing friction. Imagine the possibilities available for you to create tension and suspense while your main character is trying unsuccessfully to find a resolution to all obstacles.

    For a romance novel, try a love triangle involving the Protagonist, who must make an almost impossible decision, after the arrival of the secondary character.

    For mystery, add a character who is the main suspect in a murder.

    All subplots stories should run parallel to the main plot interweaving difficulties with the obstacles your Protagonist is trying to overcome. End the subplots before you end the story.

 

NOTE: Keep in mind that the Main Plot begins and ends the Novel.

Keep on writing: Paula

GOODBYE OLD FRIEND

I lost my dog this past week, (due to old age), and I am very sad.  For over 13  years she has my buddy, my pal, my confident and companion.  I miss her. I know I can never replace her, but I am a dog lover, so I am preparing myself to take in another rescue dog to love for as long as she is with me. 

For all of you animal lovers, who have lost a beloved pet, and know the extreme sadness of losing a part of your family, I hope this will give you some comfort:




GOODBYE OLD FRIEND

I will miss your soulful brown eyes
That wakens me at six a.m.
Your Howl when I do not rise.
My shout at you to scram

 You followed me from room to room
Making certain all is still okay
Stopped to nap each time at noon
Stayed next to me and did not stray

I miss you old friend of mine
 I know you would agree
You always made my life shine
Thank you for what you gave to me

So sleep well, my old friend
So sad you had to leave
I know that death is not the end
But for now I must grieve

BY PAULA

IS APRIL FOOLS’ DAY REAL?

IS APRIL FOOLS DAY REAL?

  “Everything is funny, so long as it happens to somebody else.”  Will Rogers

 

Although the first day of April was celebrated for centuries by those playing practical jokes on others, it is believed that in 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian, and Hindu calendars, celebrating April 1st as the New Year, many did not agree with the change.

Those who failed to recognize the change became the butt of jokes, and called “April Fools”.
Others believed that “mother nature” initiated April Fools’ Day by fooling people with unexpected ever-changing weather.

Over the years, many have participated in April Fools’ Day and to this day tricksters come up with humorous pranks.

Some pranks not appreciated:

In 1989 a Seattle comedy show went on the air and said the city’s space needle had fallen down. Many believed it.

In  1938 Orson Welles, a radio announcer, convinced thousands of people across North America that Earth was being attacked by Mars. Panic broke out because thousands believed it.     

I can appreciate humor. My father and my uncle both were humorous people. However, not everyone loves a prank, so be certain the  individual you prank, is gracious enough to accept it with a laugh.   

Paula  

 

 



HOW TO WRITE FOR CHILDREN

You decided to write a book for children. Great! You want to write one that helps them learn new words and improve spelling, while making it fun to read. Perfect!

Where to begin?

First, decide what you want to write about…a fantasy story…an animal story…, a puzzle book within a story…an adventure about a current popular superhero, all intended to teach and inspire a child’s imagination.

Worthy Suggestions: 

Read a variety of children’s books from other authors.  By reading their work, it will help you to plan your direction.  You can also find many books at your local library.  Remember what books appealed to you the most and why?

To write fiction, read the classics… the ones still read today.

Decide beforehand whether you want your book to be illustrated or text only. Note 😦Younger children prefer picture books.

Online you will find words to use for different ages such as.

SAMPLE WORDS FOR 5 YEARS OLD

be, he, me, bee, see, she, we, go, so, do, chat, bar, car, far, cow, how, now, wow, hi, by, bye, dry, ox, box, fox, pox, egg, bay, day, may, say, way, all, ball, call, fall, tall, wall, as, ask, bask, task, with, had, have, bell, fell, well, book, cook, took, band, hand, land, say, said, are, jar, tar, car, best,

SAMPLE WORDS F0R 12 years old

There are over 100 words listed, online, that middle schoolers should know, selected by the Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries, such as: adversary, apprehensive, banish, bluff, commotion, counter, defiance, engross, foresight, and so on. For the complete list, please visit www.visualthesaurus.com/wordlists

Remember, your book needs to be age appropriate, whether for very young children, middle age, and young adult.

 I read that “READERS MAKE THE BEST WRITERS,”

GOOD LUCK! PAULA


			

SPRING IS COMING



SPRING IS COMING  by Paula
The year 2020, with its’ pandemic, lockdowns for protection of the mass, businesses unable to serve their customers, and the many forced to either work from home or not work at all, is over.
2021 rolled in covering some of us with winter’s fluffy white snow, burying cars in two feet of snow, top and bottom, our homes surrounded by more than snow;  not allowing many of us to shovel our way out before another snow storm hit.
There is good news!  We have a vaccine available to all— States are releasing business from quarantine— more people are able to put food on the
table—the snow is finally melting, and Spring is Coming.

(( A LITTLE RHYME TO WELCOME SPRING_)

I see buds on the limbs of trees
View blooms turning to face the sun
The heavens sent a nice warm breeze
The change of season has begun

Here’s to Spring, a welcome sign,
to open spaces and trails to hike

The delicate scent of flowers and pine
in all the parks and places we like

Welcome Spring from all of us here
Delighted to say, See you next year












DOES EVERY NOVEL NEED A SUBPLOT?

  

In my opinion, the answer is YES. …..WHY?   Subplots help your story by creating Obstacles for your main character to overcome. A good subplot adds conflict and tension and runs within the main plot. It is very important to the main story. It is the Secondary tale used to strengthen the main story.  It can take the novel in another direction by adding more obstacles, if you find that your story is moving at a slow pace.  You can also add another subplot if your story is moving at a fast pace and you need to slow it down. Subplots can be resolved during the progress of the story, or they can be resolved at the end. You can create a subplot that is a contrast working against the goals of the main character…For instance, add a best friend who is secretly jealous of your main character, or add a business relationship which has gone sour, or a job lost. There are many ways to add a subplot to increase tension and add conflict.

      Short stories do not require a subplot.  However, longer short stories should have a subplot.

    In writing your first book of a Series, a subplot can be unresolved at the end, leaving the  reader eager to know what will happen in the next book.

   When planning the outline of your next book, keep in mind the Harry Potter books…. so successful in the use of subplots, that they were visually reproduced into great movies. All of the subplots throughout the entire Series, added suspense, conflicts and excitement to the ongoing story.

Have you used subplots? Did you find them a good addition to your story?

I welcome your comments: Paula

HOW TO FIND AN AGENT

Your novel is finished — where do you begin to find an agent to represent you?

YOUR FIRST STEP: is to COPYRIGHT your manuscript, to protect your hard work.  Due to Covid 19, the U.S Copyright office is closed, but you can still file by mail or on line.  Go to  www.copyright.gov/registration –Create a username and password; get the form; fill out, pay a nominal fee, and submit.  That done, you can now begin the search for your agent.

NOTICE:  If you start on line, you will find publishing services eager to read your book— asking for submissions and offering packages that may be tempting—such as editing, publishing, consulting, promotion, and distribution  Before you agree to these services, check reviews, compare pricing, and most importantly, be certain you keep all rights to your book.

NEXT: Determine what category your book belongs too…  Is it fiction or nonfiction?  Did you write for adults, young adults, middle school, or young children?  Is it a Romance, a Mystery, Science Fiction, Educational or Non-fiction.?  If you are unsure, go to a bookstore or your local library and check the books you find in the various categories, until you see one that is most like your novel. Keep in mind that you need an agent who represents other writers in your category. Do not ignore those agents searching for writers. Agents new and established are always looking for authors, and will represent your interests.  They know which Publisher, would be a good fit for your book, and have the experience in creating interest in your manuscript.

NEXT: Write your Query letter directed to all agents who represent authors in your category. Look on line for samples of Query Letters.  Choose one that best says what you are comfortable with, and use it as a foundation for your Query, putting as much care into creating and polishing your query as done in writing your novel. Remember, the Query is to interest the agent in you, as an author.  Be certain to include important facts Agents look for, such as: genre, target audience, word count, title, and a shortened version of the story, as well as a little about yourself.

Today may be your time to be discovered.  Good luck!

My sincere thanks to Robert Lee Brewer Senior Editor of Writers’ Digest, for his wonderful article on finding the right literary agent.

Paula

IT’S A NEW DAWN

IT’S A NEW DAWN

How were your Holidays?    Mine were not at all like previous years. Two in my family had Covid-19, thereby necessitating we zoom them while opening gifts and eating our Christmas dinner without parts of our family. Many items ordered did not arrive in time for giving—and selection in most stores was poor. Even Amazon delivered in two or three days, instead of their usual overnight.

The best thing about the Holidays, this year, is that 2020 would soon be gone, and with the vaccines, we hope to see the end of Covid-19, job losses, businesses closing, staying home, virtual learning, and more, allowing us to look forward to a NEW DAWN AND 2021.

What is your next step?  Is it Editing, finding an Agent, or a Publishing House?

 Do use a professional Editing person or company. Writer’s Digest offers a second Draft Service, you may consider. After reading your first ten pages, they will suggest how to improve your manuscript, to make it saleable, at an affordable price.

Next:… HOW TO SEARCH FOR, AND FIND THE RIGHT AGENT.

 Keep on Writing:     Paula