THE FIRST CHRISTMAS

Xmas.jpgTHE FIRST CHRISTMAS

The first recorded Christmas was in 336 during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was the first Christian Emperor. However, for the first 300 years of Christianity, it was not so. A few years later, Pope Julius 1 officially proclaimed the birth date of Jesus would be forever on the 25th of December. Many asked: Why are the colors of Christmas Red, Green, and Gold?

Evergreen plants were used for thousands of years during the long winters. Romans exchanged branches as a sign of good luck. Red symbolized the apples on  the trees, and also is the color of holly berries. It is also the color of Bishop Robes, which later became Santa’s uniform.  Gold is the color of the sun and light Gold was one of the presents brought to the baby Jesus by one of the wise men                                                  

Menorah.jpg    HANUKKAH, FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

The Jewish Festival of Lights is the rededication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, the first being destroyed by Antiochus, King of Greece, about 200 BC because he wanted all Jews to follow the Greek way of life and religion. He desecrated the most holy place in the temple and destroyed the Jewish holy scrolls.  Three years later, the Temple was rebuilt and rededicated to God.

Questions were asked: Why celebrate for eight nights? Rumor has it there after the dedication of the rebuilt temple, there was only enough oil to burn a candle for one night, but it miraculously burned for eight nights. Each night one light on  the Menorah is lit to thank God and ask for his blessing. Hanukkah is celebrated from late November to late December, because the Jewish calendar is lunar ,beginning before Jesus was born. Sometimes, Hanukkah and Christmas are celebrated on or near December 25th.

At this time, I want to wish all a happy Holiday, and hope you can celebrate with family, friends and those most precious to you, and together, enjoy all the wonders of the season.

Warm wishes, from my family to yours, 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

 

 

REMEMBERING THE FIRST HALLOWEEN

 

 

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In 1978, a low-budget horror film opened in Kansas City, named “ HALLOWEEN.”

No One, least John Carpenter, thought the movie was  the kind of movie that would draw crowds. It was advertised as a county-fair haunted house movie, about a babysitter killer.

However to the surprise of many, it changed the horror genre for years to come.

The budget was a mere $300,000 split between the producer—John Carpenter, the creator—and Debra Hill who co-wrote the script. In choosing the cast, they used mostly unknown actors, except for Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

Most critics dismissed the picture and called it just another maniac on the loose suspense.

Only a few critics saw Halloween for what it was. One of the critics was, Roger Ebert, who issued praise saying:

“Halloween is a visceral experience.  We aren’t seeing it—we are experiencing it.        It’s frightening.”

Today, a new Halloween film is making its way to the theatres, again with Jamie Lee Curtis.

Will you go to see it, or will you stay home giving out candy to the neighborhood children?

As for me,  I haven’t decided yet, but I am certain it will be an experience to remember and  frightening.

For a more complete story, about the original,  go to www.vulture.com by Jason Bailey

Happy Halloween,

Paula

 

WHAT IS NEW ADULT FICTION?

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In preparing my new book for publication I ran into a dilemma when asked: What Genre is it?

I thought it could be a Young Adult contemporary romance, or maybe a paranormal romance. It has the content of a paranormal romance in that it is an unusual story.  It is set  in the modern world, with the protagonist a Twenty-Two year old  female college student, with issues focusing on leaving home; developing as a woman; becoming independent; considering different career choices, and could be classified as “ New Adult”  for aged 18-25.

I asked Google, and found that there is much on this subject.

In Molly Wetta’s Newsletter, she says New Adult was first  marketed by St. Martin’s Press in 2009, after asking for submissions similar to young adult but focusing on the 18-25 or 30, group still discovering who they are and what they want. Some believe it is the step between young adult and adult books. Some like it. Others think it is a foolish and absurd category.

Blogspot.com also addressed this subject. They say the YA target audience is teenagers.  The NA target is older and living in the present, trying to be independent after leaving home for the first time. They are juggling new adult experiences and attempting to  handle life in the present, and at the same time deciding how they fit into the adult world.

Goodreads lists New Adult fiction as focusing on the period in life where you are becoming an adult. The contents are more mature in that they may face a serious relationship and heartbreak.

However, there is a need for books about characters aged 18-25 . Many of the new novels are fast-paced, focusing on experiences in life beyond the teenage years, and the publishing world reports that more and more titles are being marketed as New Adult. A reason could be because they found that NA fiction is reader-driven, and popular with readers who prefer e-books.

This is such an interesting topic— you may want to read more. As previously stated, there are many opinions on this subject and I could not cover all the information I found. Listed below are the internet addresses of those I referred to.

Goodreads:           https://www.goodreads.com

Blogspot:   http://avajae.blogspot.com

Ebscohost.com: MollyWetta:https://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/what-is-new-adult-fiction-anyway

 Happy Writing, 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

 

 

 

 

 

AMERICA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY

 

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AMERICA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY

On July 1st 1776, Congressman Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a Resolution, later adopted in the late afternoon of July 4, 1776, as follows:

RESOLVED: That these United colonies are, and of right ought to be Free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be totally dissolved.”

This important Resolution was made a designated National holiday for all Americans to  remember a significant moment in time, when the  United States declared itself a FREE Nation.

We, as Americans enjoy the freedom and independence fought for by our ancestors, and should take this opportunity to be thankful for the men and women who built this country, fought for the freedom of this country, and still serve to keep us a free and independent Nation.

Happy July 4th, Paula