-Random Writing Tips-

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This quote gives me LIFE. I am such a rewriter; my guilt has washed away because of you, Judy Blume.

I’m totally not fact checking this quote, either. If it’s not true, I do not want to know.

Anyways! Writing is hard. Really hard. Dialogue, imagery, plot, typing, staying awake, remembering to eat- hard.

BUT! I saw an author, Emma Hart, post a photo of her desk and there was this book next to her keyboard titled ‘The Emotion Thesaurus”. Immediately bought it. And so glad I did.

Here’s a little tip from inside these magical pages: “When revising, look for instances where emotions are NAMED. Nine times out of ten this indication is a lack of confidence that the emotion is shown clearly through thought, sensations and body language. Strong verbal cues negate the need to “explain” the emotion to the reader.”

So true, Magical Thesaurus. So. True.

Basically, when your characters about to feel something, you go to the table of contents and click on that feeling, then up will pop physical signals, internal sensations and mental responses of that emotion.

Example: I’m feeling TERROR.

Physical Signs: Rasping breaths, bulging eyes, full body tremors.

Internal Sensations: Sound of a heart thrashing in your ears, pain in the chest, increased strength or stamina, clenched jaw.

Mental Responses: A compulsion to look back, risk taking, hyper-vigilance.

I’m not a naturally eloquent writer, so this book has literally saved me. Maybe one day i’ll dish out lines like “a wry grin twisted up at the thought.” But today is not that day.

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2s4U64S

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-Leaving Your Child To Die-

kali

A mother recalled the phone call from her daughter, a student at Santa Fe High; “Mom, they are shooting up the school. I’m hiding in a closet. I love you, Mom.” 

When the shooter entered the art room, he shouted ‘surprise motherfuckers.’ When he killed someone, he would sing ‘another one bites the dust.’

Her daughter was hiding in the art room closet, only feet away from a monster who managed to get a gun . She was the only one in the closet with a phone, the others had abandoned theirs inside the classroom. As they waited for help, their phones were ringing non-stop, no doubt their parents freaking out and calling them.

The shooter taunted them through the door, “Do you think it’s for you? Do you want to come answer it?”

He asked them if they were dead yet, they said nothing in response. He shot into the closet.

He screamed ‘woo hoo’. Then shot into the closet.

The daughter laid next to her dead friends, covered in their blood, wondering if she was next. Her mother, rushed to the school, terrified by the same thought. Parents were told to avoid the area. No way, right? People abandoned their cars and ran to the school on foot.

She lived.

Later that night, the girl in the art closet received a slew of text messages blaming her for not doing more to save her friends. Let me repeat: Her peers were blaming her.

The news took a different route and blamed another young woman. The headline I read yesterday on MULTIPLE reputable news sites said ‘Young girl provokes shooting.’ Want to know how she somehow made a boy lose his shit and kill people? She turned him down and embarrassed him.  ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?! Victim blaming at its finest. 

My best friend texted me saying there were at least fifty police cars and a SWAT truck flying by her. And there was a life light helicopter and ambulances leaving the direction of the school.

It is too close to home, we thought. Words we knew we would say eventually, but dreaded, and wished like hell it wouldn’t be our town. That’s the thing, it’s not ‘if’  a shooting will happen. It is ‘when’ will the shooting happen.

Every morning I drop my daughter off and think to myself, is this the day she is sent home in a body bag. My brain goes into the darkest places. I used to think I was overly paranoid, now I realize I have a reason to be.

I work from home right next to her school. Every time I hear a police siren, I wonder if it is on the way to her school. I sit their quietly, hoping the siren doesn’t turn off, indicating it has turned into the neighborhood. It’s like after 9/11, whenever we heard planes in the sky, we all froze for a moment- waiting. Waiting for the nightmare to start.

None of us are shocked. We are numb. We are used to it. Columbine rocked our worlds for years. These shootings only rock us for a few months, or until the next massacre occurs.

I got an email from the district saying they put in five cameras outside the high schools after the Orlando shooting. Big fucking whoop. Would that camera have stopped the shooter, a STUDENT, from walking into class? Fuck. No. He was allowed to be there, it was HIS school. The doors were open for HIM.

I told my ten year old daughter, “I wish we had metal detectors.” I sadly had to explain to her what happened , as it is right next to us, and kids will start talking about it.

She asked, “Why don’t we?” I didn’t know the answer to that. I told her maybe because of money, or it would cause long lines to get into school. I wasn’t sure. You know what my ten year old said? “Waiting in line is better than being dead.”

What are we going to do? Because I’m tired of dropping my kid off and wondering if today is the day. I’m tired of looking at every person around the school as a threat. I’m tired of wondering if the victims of shootings felt something different in the air that morning but ignored it. I’m tired of my ten year old having more voice of reason than those who are actually in charge.

I’m pissed that a week ago I was excited for summer because I could turn my alarm off. But now, I am anxious for summer so I don’t have to worry about my child being shot while at school.

I don’t know what the solution to this problem is. It is way above my pay grade. One thing I can say for certainty, there is not ONE answer.

More security at schools? Yes. Bullying prevention? Yes. Stricter Gun Laws (No, I’m not taking about taking your guns away *rolls eyes*) The list goes on and on and fucking on.

One way I am going to help is by once again joining the PTA, and being an active child advocate. The government can’t ignore thousands of pissed off moms who are on the same mission. But, I’d surely like to see them try.

Source: Houston Chronicle

Side Note: My Scottish friend messaged my husband and I to check on us after everything happened, he said “Your country is mad, Madam.” Over there, guns are pretty much nonexistent, and yes their crime rates are much, much, so damn much lower. But I know that isn’t an option for our country, we are too invested in our right to bear arms, and I realize, understand, and accept this. (Not going to lie, I like target shooting with my brothers AK.)

Guns, although obviously a major part of the problem- duh, are not the only problem. Double duh. Our culture has changed, as a friend put it on Facebook. The people behind the guns have changed. That’s a big fucking problem.

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-Nora Roberts Has a HOTEL, Y’all: The Inn BoonsBoro.-

inns-boroWhat’s It All About?

Inn BoonsBoro may be western Maryland’s newest boutique hotel, but the history of the grand property at the corner of North Main and St. Paul in Boonsboro, Maryland begins just after the American Revolution.

According to information from the Western Maryland Regional Library, a stone building, one of two in town at the time, was built on that site in the 1790s by Peter Conn. He named the hotel The Eagle. After Conn’s death in the 1820s, the property changed hands numerous times. Owners included James Chambers, who named the hotel after himself. In 1877, local maps listed the property as The Eagle Hotel. The landlord at the time advertised that his hotel offered “good accommodation for man and beast at reasonable rates.”

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The rooms… are fracking adorable. And they are all named after characters from classic love stories. There’s even a room named Elizabeth and Darcy!

For more info: Inn BoonsBoro

Check out ‘The Area’ link, there’s TONS of stuff to do around Boonsboro.

Like crystal caves and shit! 

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-From Books to TV Shows in 2018, Dear White People-

22716168What’s It All About? 

In the satirical tradition of the New York Times bestseller Stuff White People Like comes this witty companion book to the incredibly entertaining (Indiewire) film of the same name, which heralds a fresh and funny new voice (Variety).

Right out of college, Justin Simien wrote a screenplay about the nuanced experiences of four black students on a predominantly white college campus. The film, Dear White People, garnered a Sundance Award for Breakthrough Talent and has been hailed by critics everywhere. Channeling the sensibility of the film into this book, Simien will keep you laughing with his humorous observations, even if you haven’t seen the satiric film.

News Flash: the minimum number of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised to two. Rather than panic, readers are advised to purchase a copy of Dear White People. Whether you are a white person wondering why your black office mate is avoiding eye contact with you after you ran your fingers through her hair or you’re a black nerd who has to break it to your white friends that you’ve never seen The Wire, this myth-busting, stereotype-diffusing guide to a post-Obama world has something for you!

With decision-making trees to help you decide when it’s the right time to wear Blackface (hint: probably never) and quizzes to determine whether you’ve become the Token Black Friend, Dear White People is the ultimate silly-yet-authoritative handbook to help the curious and confused navigate racial microaggressions in their daily lives.

Based on the eponymous award-winning film, which has been lauded as a smart, hilarious satire, this tongue-in-cheek guide is a must-have that anybody who is in semi-regular contact with black people can’t afford to miss!


 

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-STEPHEN KING’s “The Body” AKA “Stand By Me” is now a Standalone Novel!-

img_8611What’s It All About?

Stephen King’s timeless novella “The Body”—originally published in his 1982 short story collection Different Seasons, and adapted into the 1986 film classic Stand by Me—now available for the first time as a stand-alone publication.

It’s 1960 in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. Ray Brower, a boy from a nearby town, has disappeared, and twelve-year-old Gordie Lachance and his three friends set out on a quest to find his body along the railroad tracks. During the course of their journey, Gordie, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio come to terms with death and the harsh truths of growing up in a small factory town that doesn’t offer much in the way of a future.

A timeless exploration of the loneliness and isolation of young adulthood, Stephen King’s The Body is an iconic, unforgettable, coming-of-age story.

 

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-Literature Quotes For Mom-

544037f32cacfc5d8735380c27c3e26fDon’t know what to write in your Mother’s Day card? Look no further. 

-Bookish Quotes For Mom-

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-Trademark: Cocky-Gate & Faleena Hopkins-

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This is difficult for me to write, because it pisses me off. But I’m a professional, so I will try and stick to the facts, and not go off on a bitch-rant tangent. Fingers crossed.

Faleena Hopkins is an author. She wrote a series titled Cocker Brothers. Each individual book includes the word cocky.  I have never heard of this author before Cocky-Gate started.

So, what is Cocky-Gate? Faleena believes other authors are trying to capitalize on her self-proclaimed success in the industry, by using the word cocky in their book titles.

Faleena has decided to trademark the word cocky. Here is the letter she is sending to authors who have used cocky in their title:

Hi Jamilla,

My name is Faleena Hopkins, author of Cocker Brothers, The Cocky Series,

The Federal Trademark Commission has granted me the official registered trademark of the word/mark “Cocky”, no matter the font.

Trademark Registration number: 5447836

I am writing to you out of professional respect so that you may rename your book “Cocky Cowboy” which shares the same title as my book, and republish all of the versions (ebook, paperback, and Audible) on Amazon to keep your ratings and money earned.

My attorney at Morris Yom Entertainment Law has advised me that if I sue you I will win all the monies you have earned on this title, plus lawyer fees will be paid by you as well.

I will do that – but I would rather give you the option.

I have had this series established since June 16, 2016 and I take all of the hard work I put into establishing it very seriously.

Your hard work I also take seriously.

You have the opportunity to adjust, rename, and republish before taking further action. You can do so on Amazon without losing reviews.

Thank you,

Faleena Hopkins


Jamila, the author on the receiving end of this email, had no problem with Faleena’s request, and promptly renamed her novel.

BEFORE 

Image result for jamila jasper cowboy book

AFTER 

Image result for the cockiest cowboy to have ever cocked

*Hold for applause for Jamila Jasper*

Also, if you’d like to purchase The Cockiest Cowboy to Have Ever Cocked…


On Amazon, If you type in Cocky Book, your computer will explode. Just kidding. But, there are thousands, let me repeat, THOUSANDS of books with the word cocky in them. Here is a tiny taste of the authors who will be affected. Most of which used cocky first.

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-THE EMAIL AMAZON IS SENDING OUT TO AUTHORS- 

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Since Cocky-Gate, Faleena has been none too happy with responses she is getting from the book community. Here is what Faleena has to say, we will title this:

-How noble of her- 

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-what faleena wrote on Facebook-

For those authors and readers who think I’m sending my fans to one-star books, I’m currently the focus of cyber-bullying and the information you are receiving is designed to deceive you so that you will be inspired to fling hate at me.

THIS IS A WITCH HUNT.

They can republish their single book, keep the reviews, keep the money, keep the ratings… and some already have, with better titles. And I PROMOTED one in my group as a thank you because she was so kind during a time when I sorely needed it.

I applied for the trademark to protect the future of my series because it helps people. It’s filled with love, hope, and respect to all human beings. Even the villains are redeemed and we learn why they did it, except Janet in my last book. Why she went after him is a mystery.

I would NEVER in a million years ask my readers to one-star, and in fact have done THE OPPOSITE many times when I have been the focus of attacks…the reason I filed for the trademark to begin with.

(see attached photo of just this morning when things started getting out of hand. You can tell by my reader’s response that they’re all used to me saying that sort of thing — We don’t fling hate in my group, no matter how tempting.)

If you have read my series, it’s about light and good people, and I live that in my life…which you can tell if you look into past posts here or anywhere. Look around and judge for yourself before you become THE VICTIM OF MANIPULATION.

EXAMPLE: (see attached photo — I’ve blacked out the names to protect them because cyber-shaming is wrong.) An author in her group was spreading the hate and manipulating her readers by acting as though she would protect them by confronting me herself “if they were too scared to” LIKE THEY WERE CHILDREN AND NOT GROWN WOMEN. It was offensive, so out of all the mud being slung at me, I spoke up and invited her to. It’s sad.

You are not getting the whole story. 
And you are hurting someone. 
Is that what you want?
Because I have more faith in womankind.

Look around this page, my personal page, anywhere on the internet to see if there is ANY SIGN that I’m a bad person who deserves what they are doing to me?

Then ask, do I understand the publishing business? 
Did she do this for a reason? 
If people can keep their books, their reviews, their money… then why are they after this woman? What are they losing?

The ability to be found when future readers look for one of my books.

I send love and light to you all. Always have, always will.

#FightWithLight


-what faleena wrote on goodreads- 

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And in no relation to this article,

here is the definition of NARCISSISt: 

A narcissist is someone who is arrogant, an exhibitionist, vain, manipulative, and greedy for admiration. Often caused by childhood trauma and PTSD. Narcissists do not do well with sharing, especially when it comes to relationships and friendships do to their need of attention and admiration. They crave attention and often get jealous when others receive it more than them. Narcissist cannot be helped because they usually do not know that they are narcissistic.


You will also be happy to know that if you are one of the *witch hunters* who told her what she is doing is wrong, she forgives you.

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-AND THE PLOT THICKENS- 

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 If you’d like to sign a petition to stop the madness, here ya go:

https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/cancel-faleena-hopkins?source=n.fb.p

 

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-Book Trailer: WAR STORM by Victoria Aveyard-

If you haven’t read the Red Queen Series, you need to start NOW! 

What’s the first book all about?

red-queen

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.

One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.


-BUY LINKS FOR THE RED QUEEN SERIES, IN ORDER- 

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-Blog Tour & Excerpt Reveal: Skies of Heaven by Harmony Lawson-

What’s It All About? 

Ariella’s life had been perfect until she saw her family disappear before her eyes. Now she has found herself to be the only survivor on the planet. Everyone vanished without a trace. Just as she is about to do something drastic, she is confronted by a man claiming she is an angel with amnesia and he has been looking for her for over seventeen years. He also says that she was placed in an alternate world where she believed herself to be the only survivor. Now Rumen and Ariella have to find Raziel, the angel who holds the secrets of the universe, who knows where the book of secrets is so they can use it to protect a special group of human survivors from being destroyed by demons. Can their budding relationship endure the trials they must face as Ariella tries to remember who she is and to protect the remaining survivors of the human race? Maybe they will find love in The Skies of Heaven?
 
 

-EXCERPT- 

He approached me slowly and cautiously with his hands in the air. He was wearing a faded jean jacket, black jeans, and a black beanie. Then he said something in another language I didn’t understand. I looked at him, uncertainly. “Oh great, a survivor who can’t speak English. Just my luck!” I only knew one language. Sometimes I wish I would have taken Spanish but I didn’t think this man was speaking Spanish. I think it sounded like Hebrew but I couldn’t be certain.
 
When he realized I didn’t understand him, he said very calmly in perfect English, “Don’t jump, Ariella.”
 
I looked at him in shock, disbelief and fear, not really sure I believed what I was hearing. “Where did you come from and how did you know my name?” I took a step back, putting distance between us.
 
“Don’t jump, please. I’ve been looking for you for seventeen years when you first disappeared.” He paused, took off his beanie, and ran his fingers through his wet light brown hair before putting his beanie back on. He looked like he’d been running and he seemed relieved over something.
 
“What makes you think I was going to jump? I could be looking at the scenery for all you know.”
 
He didn’t pay attention to what I just said as he continued, “I can’t believe I found you. I thought you were lost forever. You don’t remember me?” He seemed hurt for a minute. Disappointment crossed his handsome features for only a moment. He seemed happy and his voice was uplifting.
 
I took in his appearance. He was gorgeous and seemed to be a bit brighter than the current dreary landscape. The first thing I noticed was his kind golden eyes and brilliant smile. His light brown hair was soft looking and peeked out from beneath a black beanie.  He seemed casual and charming. I was in black and white compared to him. He didn’t look as though he had been surviving in this harsh new world for the last several months, not like me. He looked as though he came from someplace else. I looked at him skeptically. I must be delusional. Who was this guy? I was almost angry at his intrusion in my personal conflicts yet happy to see another human face.
 
I felt very confused. I put my hand to my temple, closed my eyes, and shook my head. “No, I’ve never seen you before. I’ve seen no one in months, not one survivor, and then you come up and expect me to know who you are?” I felt angry.
 
He still remained calm and collected. “I apologize. You just look exactly as I remembered you. As expected, your memory has been erased. My name is Rumen.”
Rumen, what kind of name was that? “What do you mean ‘my memory was erased’?” It seemed incredulous. Was I dreaming or did I jump and this was hell? No, I believed my memory was fine.
He eyed me carefully. I melted in his gaze. He was truly a gorgeous man. “You really don’t know who you are?”
           
“No, enlighten me, please.” Did I really want to know who he thought I was? I kinda did. It was nice having a real person to talk to and not just some voice in my head. 
“Ariella, you are an angel. The angel of protection to be exact and we have been looking for you for seventeen years. That’s why the world has been crumbling and the rapture happened. There has been no one to protect the Earth or Heaven.”

-Author Links-

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/HarmonyLawsonAuthor/

Amazonhttps://amzn.to/2HY9ie4

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-New From “Game of Thrones” Author George R.R. Martin-

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Fire and Blood: 300 Years before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) by George R. R. Martin, Doug Wheatley

The thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.


My Thoughts?

I know, every one is super pissed that good ol’ George is coming out with a book, and somehow it is not The Winds of Winter. We’ve only been waiting 2,555 days but who is counting? I want to be mad about this. But the writer side of me thinks this story may be apart of his process. The Targaryens history will be playing a HUGE roll in whats to come, and there are a lot of loose ends that haven’t been addressed. Like where the hell those eggs came from. There’s a possibility that even George didn’t even know where the eggs came from, so maybe he had to go and write a whole damn book about it to figure it out.

This book is probably necessary to the story line of GoT, from a creative stand-point.

Maybe this story got George’s juices flowing.

Maybe he’s going to blow our minds.

Maybe, George likes to torture us.

George likes to torture us.

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