Suddenly


Hey, everyone!

How to write the post I need to write . . .  there is no real clever way so with all the tact I can muster, I’m going to plunge in.

With the A to Z Challenge, I left off with the letter O. I have a new word, that inadvertently has everything to do with my own writing right now –

ONCOLOGY

On March 28, I had my annual OBGYN visit. I shared some concerns with her about the girl parts, namely issues that indicate menopause.  She sent me to the Imaging center for a pelvic sonogram, and the annual mammogram. I expected some news on the lower region but not the tatas.

A scheduled date for a routine procedure for the girl parts was made. Later that day, I got a call saying I needed to return for an additional mammogram and breast ultrasound because I had some areas of concern. OK, that’s a bit disconcerting but no biggie, right? I figured fibrocystic breast syndrome because the girls aren’t exactly smooth like a muscle,  they are kind of like a well-used pillow. NO, I’m not going into detail on that but after nursing two babies, being a ‘mature’ woman I’m grateful they don’t drag the floor.

April 6th I go back for these additional tests and the Dr. that oversees the imaging center came in and told me that it’s cancerous. BUT, don’t worry, most of the time it’s benign.  He had one of those plastic forced smiles that is used to break bad news. I instantly don’t trust him.

April 12th, I have a Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy. Don’t let anyone fool you – it hurts. “Oh, you’ll just feel some pressure and hear a click” LIARS!!! 

IT HURT!  IT HURT FOR DAYS AFTER!  IT still hurts as the bruised area changes from purple to greenish yellow.

I wait for the verdict phone call which was supposed to happen either last Tuesday or Wednesday that never came. On one hand, no news is good news.  If they don’t call it can’t be too urgent right?

WRONG!

I called on Thursday because I suck at waiting patiently.

STAGE 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

Yeah, that’s something you want to hear when you are in the office alone. I mean, literally alone. There wasn’t another breathing soul in the office complex.

The only time I’ve ever known doctors to act fast is when it’s serious so it didn’t alleve my fears when they called back to confirm an appointment with an oncology surgeon for the next day. Friday the 21st was a marathon. I would gladly attempt a running marathon as opposed to my day. The doctor explained completely with drawing little illustrations to emphasize the points. My options were presented to me, initial treatment assessment was discussed, and then it was off to the labs for more tests.

Bloodwork – one of my big fears about this whole thing is the needles. I have small veins, they are deep (being fat isn’t the only reason for this) and they roll. When I get blood drawn they use a child’s butterfly needle. What is going to happen if I have to go through chemotherapy and they blow my veins? I don’t have enough time to build my cardio level to have super veins like my husband. He makes a fist and the veins just pop out. Of course, that would look bad on me as a female.

Chest x-ray, EKG, new mammogram, additional close up mammogram slides, 3D Ultrasound – I was there from 8 in the morning until almost 5 at night.

I’ve had the weekend to digest all of this.  I’ve shared with close family what the diagnosis is and the plan for treatment, and have even shared on my Facebook account.  I was almost at a place of peace about accepting this. Nobody wants to go through this. Nobody chooses cancer.

Then, I get another call. Just a few minutes ago actually. I have to go back for an MRI and a second biopsy of additional spots that they found. This may determine whether or not I can have a lumpectomy or have to have the full mastectomy.

I’m not sharing to gain your sympathy. I’m not sharing because I overshare – if anything I hear from people that I don’t let others in, don’t share what’s really going on.

This isn’t about writing yet it is.  I write with passion. My passion. Passion for life, passion about love relationships, passion about the emotions we go through. My plan for today was to share some more from Roxy, a segment that I’ve recently tackled – one that was very difficult to tackle and I had to be in the right headspace to do. Ironically I had to draw on the raw emotions of my own mother’s funeral to write this. I’d put it off for weeks, but finally tackled it and was quite proud of myself for not only tackling it,  I think I did a pretty good job on it as well.

Then I get this news.  Well hell!  Oh trust me, I could write the emotional scene now. I could pour my heart out on the pages and nobody is the wiser that it was me going through this emotional tidal wave with the diagnosis of ‘You have breast cancer’.

Ironically, Roxy’s mother died after a long battle with breast cancer. Should I wait and experience first hand and rewrite? Should I proceed with it as scheduled? I know that women dying from breast cancer is rare, it’s usually when it’s metastasized beyond the breast and invaded other organs. Ultimately it started with breast cancer, and Roxy’s mother was a woman that put off her own medical treatment until it became critical.

For me, they caught it early with the mammogram. Of that I am grateful. Ladies, don’t put it off.  I still can’t feel any lumps even knowing that it’s there. I don’t have a family history of it. I don’t have the usual symptoms that indicate cancer.  In all of my regular doctor’s comments about concerns for being overweight he never said cancer was one of them. Now as I am reading the material provided to me by the breast cancer center, obesity can lead to cancer. Heart disease and diabetes were on my mind, not cancer. Never cancer.We hear the words “save the tatas” and kind of laugh, but we do the self-exams. It has become a reality for me now. This is a path I never wanted to go down but am forced to embark on this journey.

We hear the words “save the tatas” and kind of laugh, but we do the self-exams. It has become a reality for me now. This is a path I never wanted to go down but am forced to embark on this journey. April 20th is a day of demarcation for me. My life as I knew it ended that day, so tears were to be expected. Tears of grieving for what was,  what dreams may die, all of the changes that have to be made and tears to face the great unknown.  A little encouragement for saving the woman would be appreciated.

I’ll try to stay away from the pity parties but from time to time I will be sharing my struggles in this battle. I’m not looking forward to the needles. Not looking forward to losing part of my breast or the full breast or breasts depending on what they find. Not looking forward to possibly losing my hair. Not looking forward to much of any of this,  but it’s the path I’ve been put on and I’ll make the best of a bad situation.  I come from good stock and I am my mother’s daughter. My mother was ” a tough old bird”. I hope I have half as much chutzpah as she did.

I plan to continue writing, still pushing for my delayed deadline and praying that I don’t have to push it back further. The A to Z challenge . . . I don’t have the energy to continue that now. I thought about making a video, but I didn’t think I could get through it without an ugly cry and who needs to see that?

Hope you stick around to see me come out the other end of this!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

O Brother – #AtoZChallenge


 

My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms.

O  my soul cries out!

 

Ode: A lengthy lyric poem that often expresses lofty emotions in a dignified style. Often relayed in meloramatic tones.

On Acceptance: When payment is given to the writer after the editor accepts the finished nonfiction article. This is more often used in article writing, not novel writing. 

On Publication: When payment is given to the writer when the piece is published.

On Spec: When the editor is not obligated to publish the piece as the writer was not officially assigned to write it.

Onomatopoeia: The use of words that resemble the sound they denote. For example – hiss or buzz. Batman was rife with onomatopoeias. POW BANG CRASH!

Outline: A point form or list of short sentences that describe the action or major ideas in a written work. Some pantsers abhor the idea of outlining so much, they won’t even write down a vague outline such as: MC goes on quest to save the world. Meets with opposition from the antagonist. Overcomes obstacles, saves the world! That is a basic outline. 

Overview: A brief description of a novel or non-fiction book intended to introduce the work to a publisher. 

Oxymoron: A phrase composed of two words with contradictory meanings. For example – original copy.

This morning at six am, the only O word I could think of was outline. After three cups of coffee, hours of waiting for a phone call, my nerves were shot and the only other O word that was on my mind was oncology.  I’m still waiting to hear the verdict, in case you wondered what the ‘O my soul cries out’ bit is about. Trying to remain positive!

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

M and N – #AtoZChallenge


 

My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms.

 

Since I missed posting on Saturday, I’ll start with M.

Manuscript – literally meaning written by hand. A term used to refer to the finished novel of an individual.  Back in the day . . .  it was required to send a printed copy of your finished manuscript one-sided, with one and a half inch margins all around, boxed to a publisher. Yes, I’ve been doing this for a while. Thank God for the digital age!

Meditation: A thoughtful or contemplative essay, sermon, discussion, or treatise — especially one that encourages introspection and self-analysis.  A meditation is a window into the author’s soul. It’s a glimpse of the beauty or darkness within. It can shed light on how they think, how they feel, what’s important to them, what hurts them, what they rejoice over. It makes the author vulnerable.

Muse – As a noun, it means a person — most often a woman — who is a source of artistic inspiration. The author’s muse specifically is often referred to in the female gender because she is the most fickle of creatures. She may bless you today with a brilliant idea then disappear leaving the writer pulling their hair out not knowing how or where to begin, only returning weeks later laughing giddily at the writer’s frustration. She’s not only fickle but fiendishly wicked as well.

Today is brought to you by the letter N.

Narrative: A collection of events that tells a story, which may be true or not, placed in a particular order. The narrative part of the story fills in where the dialog leaves off, where the action leaves off.  It is the backstory that tells you why your characters flaws make him vulnerable.

Newbie: A new writer.

Novel: A work of fiction consisting of 45,000 words or more.

Novella/Novelette: Short works of fiction consisting of between 7,500 and 40,000 words. I am currently working on a novella – I know shocking for me, isn’t it?

Nut Graf: In journalism, the paragraph that contains the main point of the story. I”ll make a confession – the only reason I remember this one is because when I took my online writing course, this term sounded ridiculous. At that time my kids were watching Over the Hedge, and there is this character in it that is a squirrel and  he forgot where he puts his nuts. The main character voiced by Bruce Willis commented on ‘he should have a nut graf and a stand by drink’ that was the equivelant of Mountain Dew. I had just read the section about nut graf. The squirrel was integral to the nut graf of the movie, but that’s all I am going to tell you. I will forever remember nut graf with that squirrel and his fizzy drink! 

Hey, I didn’t say they were all going to make sense. These are my terms and my understanding of them. You are free to alliterate terms on your own blog!

Do you have any interesting anecdotes of why you remember certian things? Care to share them?

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

Literary Lead – #AtoZChallenge


 

My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms.

 

Today is brought to you by the lovely lavender letter L.

 

See? In the image, the letter is lavender. . . .  Fine! We’ll just get after it then.

Lead: The first paragraph of a manuscript. This is where the “hook” (to grab the reader’s attention) should be.

Lead Time: The time between getting the query or article and the publication of the article. Vital for seasonal articles and stories. This was more of a concern for article writing than for  novels, but  having said that, it would be best to coordinate the release of a Christmas story in December than to release it in June. 

Legend – a story or narrative which lies somewhere between myth and historical fact. As a rule, is about a particular person or figure.  (Legend of Zorro) Conversely, a legend is also the “map” of the story much like a legend on a map. 


Logline: 
One sentence description of a manuscript.  Some people call this your elevator pitch.

 Love. Not the soppy Valentine kind. The life’s work kind. Love what you do. If you do not love writing, you cannot become a better writer. Being a writer is a lonely isolated existence. You have to love it in order to spend hours isolated from the rest of the world. Also, having written romance – love is a hot topic in various genres.  How many stories have some sort of romance within them?

Also, having written romance – love is a hot topic in various genres.  How many stories have some sort of romance within them?  Whether you think love is for saps or the ultimate prize for each individual or find yourself somewhere in  the middle, love is a huge topic for authors.

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

JK – I’m not ‘Just Kidding’! #AtoZChallenge


 

My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms.

Yesterday was a difficult day. I was scheduled for additional medical tests and delivered not so good news. I have to wait until after the further testing to have a definite answer. I’m sure you can see how my mind was not in a place to write a blog post. I hope you can forgive me.

Wednesday, April 12 – J.

Jargon – Potentially confusing words and phrases used in an occupation, trade, or field of study. We might speak of medical jargon, sports jargon, police jargon, or military jargon.  In some writing,  a  bit of jargon is acceptable and actually expected. But, I guarantee that if you fill your medical drama with volumes of medical jargon the vast majority of your readers are going to stop reading. They want fiction, not a medical journal! Be careful in including jargon in your story. It’s kind of like seasoning – a little goes a long way. If you add a dash of cayenne pepper to your chicken for fajitas, it enhances the flavor but if you douse it, covering the chicken so that it appears red only those individuals with a high tolerance for spiciness will be able to ingest it.

Journal: A diary or record of events, feelings, and thoughts usually recorded by date. You knew it was coming and I’m sure that you are surprised that it didn’t appear under B, . . .  but my bullet journal is a lifesaver! Yes, there are places that I have lengthy journal entries.  There are also days that I only have a daily to-do list. It is the perfect balance for me. I can’t recommend it enough!

 

 

Kenning: a form of compounding in Old English, Norse, and Germanic poetry. In its poetic device, the poet creates a new compound word or phrase to describe an object or activity. It uses mixed imagery to describe the properties o the object in indirect, imaginative, or enigmatic ways. They are designed to be somewhat like a riddle since the reader must stop and think or a minute. Vikings used kennings on their petroglyph markers that they left behind to guide and direct the wise Vikings to follow their footsteps.

 

Some examples are:

  • hwal-rade = whale road – a reference to the sea
  • thor-weapon= smith’s hammer
  • shield tester=warrior
  • banhus (bone house)= body

Modern examples:

  • beer goggles=skewed vision from the effects of alcohol
  • rug-rats = children
  • Bible thumper =  intolerant Christian

I  referenced kennings in Valkyrie’s Curse. Once I finish Roxy Sings the Blues, I will dust that one off and give it a final once over.

Kicker: In journalism – a sudden, surprising turn of events or ending; a twist. Just when you think the antagonsit is going to triumph, the author will throw in a kicker to  block their victory. Or another example of a kicker at the ending is one that resolves the plot of the current book but creates an entirely new dilemma that must be solved in – you guessed it – the next book!

Kill Fee: Compensatory payment made for an assigned article which was completed but not used or published. Kill fee can also be used as the  cost of getting out of a contract that is not satisfying the author’s needs. 

Kindle –  the current mode of reading ebooks. How could I cover K without mentioning a Kindle? Seriously!
Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

HI!#AtoZChallenge


 

My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms. I was working on this post when I received a phone call with a bad report from the doctor’s office. Please excuse me for being derailed from posting. Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes you get news that you find so upsetting you can’t think straight. I’m hoping that it will turn out to be nothing, but  forcing my mind to stay off the worst case scenario, researching on WebMD, and consulting other WEB medical sites has required my full attention.

Monday’s letter was H.

 

Haiku: A three-line, seventeen syllable poem, usually about nature. I’ve tried my hand at Haiku a couple of times and only managed a few meager poems. Some of these are beautiful. Some of the haikus, not my haikus. Mine were more like misguided limericks.

Hardcover: Book bound with hard cardboard cover, then covered with a paper dust jacket. There are very few books that I will spend the money on for a hardcover book anymore. However, having said that I will throw down some jack for a select few first edition hardcovers! 

HEA: The Happily Ever After ending.  This used to be standard fare for romance novels. It used to be standard fare for several genres in fact. Louis Lamour’s westerns typically had the HEA with the hero riding off into the sunset at the end after beating the bad guy, getting the girl, saving the current town from ruin, and getting Timmy out of the well! The fictional world of HEA is a far better place than the current trend of noir, harsh reality within fiction. Seriously, who wants to read the same terrible tragedies that we lie?

HEMINGWAY CODE: Hemingway’s protagonists are usually “Hemingway Code Heroes,” i.e., figures who try to follow a hyper-masculine moral code and make sense of the world through those beliefs. Hemingway himself defined the Code Hero as “a man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage, and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful.”  This code typically involves several traits for the Code Hero:

(1) Measuring himself against the difficulties life throws in his way, realizing that we will all lose ultimately because we are mortals, but playing the game honestly and passionately in spite of that knowledge

(2) Facing death with dignity, enduring physical and emotional pain in silence

(3) Never showing emotions

(4) Maintaining free-will and individualism, never weakly allowing commitment to a single woman or social convention to prevent adventure, travel, and acts of bravery

(5) Being completely honest, keeping one’s word or promise

(6) Being courageous and brave, daring to travel and have “beautiful adventures,” as Hemingway would phrase it

(7) Admitting the truth of Nada (Spanish, “nothing”), i.e., that no external source outside of oneself can provide meaning or purpose. This existential awareness also involves facing death without hope of an afterlife, which the Hemingway Code Hero considers more brave than “cowering” behind false religious hopes.

The Hemingway Code Hero typically has some sort of physical or psychological wound symbolizing his tragic flaw or the weaknesses of his character, which must be overcome before he can prove his manhood (or re-prove it, since the struggle to be honest and brave is a continual one). Also, many Hemingway Code Heroes suffer from a fear of the dark, which represents the transience or meaninglessness of life in the face of eventual and permanent death.

Hook:  A narrative trick in the lead paragraph of a work that grabs the attention of the readers and keeps them reading.

HOMILY: A sermon, or a short, exhortatory work to be read before a group of listeners in order to instruct them spiritually or morally. Examples include Saint Augustine’s sermons during the patristic period of literature. Chaucer himself took two Latin tracts on penitence, translated them, and turned them into a single sermon by placing the text in the mouth of the Parson in “The Parson’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales. In the Renaissance, the content of English sermons was governed by law after King Henry VIII, becoming an avenue for monarchist propaganda. I find this term is often misused by many authors. I don’t know what they are referring to when they use it but it isn’t this. 

Homonyms: Words that are spelled and pronounced alike but have different meanings. For example – pool (of water) and pool (the game).

Tuesday’s (Today) letter is I.

(See, I knew you’d get the HI eventually!)

ICEBERG – THEORY: Hemingway’s idea that good writing should consist of simple, direct sentences and plain description on the surface, but beneath that simplicity should be hints of psychological tension or symbolic depth suggested by what is visible above. He told an interviewer, ” I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows.” What remains unspoken or unwritten may be as important as what appears in the text.

Imprint: Division within a publishing house that deals with a specific category of books.For example, Harlequin has several imprints. Mira,  Silhouette Desire, Nocturne, Historical Undone, Romance Suspense, Harlequin Teen, Steeple Hill are just some of the imprints from Harlequin.

Irony: When a person, situation, statement, or circumstance is not what it seems to be, but the exact opposite. 

IDEAL READER: The imaginary audience who would, ideally, understand every phrase, word, and allusion in a literary work, and who would completely understand the literary experience an author presents and then responds emotionally as the writer wished. Something my social media coach taught me,  make a wanted poster for my target audience – the group of ideal readers.

IMPLIED AUDIENCE: The “you” a writer or poet refers to or implies when creating a dramatic monolog. This implied audience might be (but is not necessarily) the reader of the poem, or it might be the vague outline or suggestion of an extra character who is not described or detailed explicitly in the text itself. Instead, the reader gradually learns who the speaker addresses by garnering clues from the words of the speaker. 

INFIXATION: Also called epenthesis, infixation is placing an infix (a new syllable, a word, or similar phonetic addition) in the middle of a larger word. Some languages regularly use infixation as a part of their standard grammar. In English, infixation is often used in colloquialisms or for poetic effect. Shakespeare might write, “A visitating spirit came last night” to highlight the unnatural status of the visit. More prosaically, Ned Flanders from The Simpsons might say, “Gosh-diddly-darn-it, Homer.”

INTERNAL AUDIENCE: An imaginary listener(s) or audience to whom a character speaks in a poem or story. For example, the duke speaking in Browning’s “My Last Duchess” appears to be addressing the reader as if the reader were an individual walking with him through his estate admiring a piece of art. There are suggestions that this listener, whom the duke addresses, might be an ambassador or diplomat sent to arrange a marriage between the widower duke and a young girl of noble birth. This term is often used interchangeably with implied audience.

Boy oh boy, let me tell you if that didn’t play havoc with spell check!

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

Golly Gee! #AtoZChallenge


 

My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms.

Today is brought to you by the letter G.

I don’t know if it was that my brain wasn’t awake yet, or that it was really difficult but it took me a long time to come up with G words.

Galleys: The initial typeset of a manuscript sent to the author for review before it is printed. Type size and column format are set, but page divisions are not made. Galley can be reviewed online in digital format as well. 

Genre: The type or category of writing – like mystery, science fiction, romance, fantasy, etc.  I write in the romance genre and in nonfiction humor. Upcoming work will be in a subgenre of romance. 

Ghostwriter: A writer who is paid to write for someone else. A ghostwriter does not get a byline or any credit. They get paid for the content they write, in a flat fee. They don’t get any royalties for the books, they don’t get any other recognition. Usually, celebrities hire ghostwriters and then sell the book under their own names. There are others who hire a ghost writer as well. 

Guidelines: Instructions for submitting work to a publication. Each publishing house has their unique guidelines. If the house does not have a guideline, I would advise staying away from them. I’m leery of small houses. Many of them either are closed or are closing.  Some of my author friends are having some terrible issues getting the rights to their books back from closed/closing houses. I count myself as lucky to have my full rights back for my book! 

 

 

 Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

E-F #AtoZChallenge


 

My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms.

Today is brought to you by the letter F.

However, I’m going to backtrack and include E because I was getting some medical tests done yesterday and it left me completely exhausted.

Edit: To review a piece of writing to correct grammatical, spelling, or factual errors. Editing often includes shortening or lengthening of a piece of writing to fit an available space before publication. Self-editing can save you many headaches once you send your work to an editor. I have started sending my clients a pre-editing form that they make certain edit calls before I see it. It’s in their best interest and it will ultimately result in getting their work back faster.

Epic: A long narrative poem, told in a formal, elevated style that focuses on a serious subject and chronicles heroic deeds and events important to a culture or nation. Nowadays, we see epic attached to just about anything. “That was an epic movie.” “Her response to the instructor was epic!” Epic is used as a subgenre of fantasy. An epic fantasy is like Lord of the Rings. It’s not written in poetic style,  but it vastly encompassing chronicling the heroic deeds of two seemingly unimportant hobbits.

Euphemism: A phrase used in place of something disagreeable or upsetting. For example – “passed out” for “fainted”. Using the word murder is distasteful, so instead authors will use snuff out, rub out, knock off,  kill, a one-way ticket, and other slang terms. Just as an interesting aside, I  have found many confuse euphemism for colloquialism.

 Fees: Money paid to the writer for his/her services.

 

Flash Fiction: A piece of fiction written in less than 500 words. I first stumbled upon the phenomenon of flash fiction via Chuck Wendig of Terrible Minds. It’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Formatting: The manner in which a manuscript is prepared and presented. There are professionals that do this although many Indie authors do this themselves. Formatting has changed a lot with the advent of ebooks. 

Freewriting: Writing continuously without worrying about how well you are writing. This kind of informal writing is meant to explore one’s thoughts, unload one’s feelings, or reflect on something. This takes practice!  This is one of the ways that I clear my mind. I will set a timer and for thirty minutes just write –  write whatever I am feeling, whatever I am grumbling about inside, whatever is weighing on me at that moment. Then I take a break, get a cup of coffee or a glass of water and then free write my story. I get the most words down like this,  but it will require more time spent in editing. I use this when I’ve been logjammed in my writing. For instance, yesterday I was working on my WIP, and I got hung up on a small detail. This happens often, getting hung up on a detail. This particular detail is the name of my Main character. When I read the beginning of the chapter to my daughters, they began laughing and giggling. My character’s name was Terbius Jaspar. They thought it was hysterical and couldn’t believe that I didn’t see that everyone  – EVERYONE – would hear it as turd bus -AKA the big green rolling turd. *Hangs head* I spent the rest of my writing time coming up with a new character name. 

Then of course there are the rabbits that pop up everywhere!

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

D is also for Deadlines


My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms. Today is brought to you by the letter D.

D – Dialogue:

The words spoken by the characters of a story.

In order to tell the story, every dialogue needs to have meaning within the story. Whether that is character development in showing their strengths, weaknesses,  their backstory, or foreshadowing, it conveys an integral part of the story otherwise, why is it there? A dialogue can also be a way to share information without sounding like an info dump. Michael Crichton was expert at conveying information within the dialogue. By doing this he also kept the action going in the story, which in turn keeps the reader moving forward!

D -Denouement:

The final outcome of the main complication of a story or play. It usually occurs after the climax and reveals all the secrets and misunderstandings connected to the plot. In other words, you tie up all of your loose ends including that minor character that you left back at camp with a bullet hole in his leg, hoping that the field doctor would arrive in time. Inquiring readers want to know!

D – Draft:

A completed version of a writing which may be rewritten, revised, or polished. Just because you have a draft does not mean you have a publishable manuscript. On the other hand, I need to learn to let go and cut the cord. 

That concludes our lesson for the day. Tomorrow, it’s back to double bird killing. We writers are an evil lot!

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

April A to Z Challenge 2017


Greetings! I’ve been pondering what to do on the April challenge for the past couple of weeks.  I have been wondering how I would do this challenge and manage to continue posting the #MFRW challenges on Friday.

In doing so, I’ve managed to miss getting my posts up! Way to go Ellie, way to go!

I’m still not sure how to get them all in, but I will try my best. I’ve been going gangbusters on revisions to Roxy Sings the Blues. April is Camp Nanowrimo and I am working on a new project that is top-secret for now in addition to the rewrites on Roxy. This new project has a hard deadline, so I have to be diligent in getting this one finished.

Despite all of the advice that is the current trend, which was the opposite advice from the 80’s and 90’s, the best way to get it all in is to multitask. Really, women are conditioned to multitask from the get go.

First thing first –  I have promised an excerpt or teaser since the beginning of the year. I shared one in Inquisitive Minds,  One Phone Call,  and Life Isn’t Fair, but aside from those, I’ve been negligent in sharing. So, today I will share a Tuesday Teaser from Roxy Sings the Blues.

“Detective Miller, Detective Alvarez.”

Devon Miller nodded in acknowledgment. He hated these calls. He hated seeing veterans in the homeless shelter. It never made sense to him. “What have we got?”

“Two males. Looks like meth heads, but we need to find out what’s going on. This is the fourth time this month that homeless guys have shown up dead. I’m putting you two on the case. Check with Dickerson in narcotics, see if he has any leads.” Seargent Brenner stood, flipping the body bag back over the victim’s face. “I want to know what they are taking, who they are buying from, what the cause of death was. I want a full tox screen and have Simmons report anything out of the order. Anything. Talk to some of the regulars at the shelter up the street.” He tucked his hands into the pockets of his black leather jacket, eyes downcast to the ground. Hesitating as if he wanted to add something more, but then changing his mind. He added, “I want reports on my desk in the morning.”

Devon watched him walk away before bending to examine the body. He reached for a discarded straw in the pile of trash that the first body lay in. Using the straw, he opened the vic’s mouth checking for missing teeth, foaming, anything. “Still got his teeth. That’s something.”

Alvarez stood with his hands shoved into his jacket. “This kid is too young to be here.”  He bent swiping the hair out of the eyes of the second body. “Both of them are. I’d lay odds that test results are going to be the same as the last guys. I think our best bet is going to be Dickerson. See if he knows who’s dealing the designer drugs down here and find out how bums can afford it.”

Are you curious? Let me know in the comments! 

The second item on the agenda –  the A to Z challenge. With my push for Camp Nano, I ‘ve forgotten to put up my posts for Saturday and Monday.

First the rules of the challenge – every day of the week minus Sundays,  you are to post that letter of the alphabet. The theme is something that your blog is typically about. My theme is:

 

Are you surprised? I liked last year that there were categories to choose from but this year, there isn’t a list of themes it is make your own! Although, it did get me out of my comfort zone to try my hand at some photography which was fun!

That’s what this challenge is all about –  fun!

A – Attitude

(April 1) Writing requires a certain attitude. You have to have confidence in your ability. There is a certain egotism in thinking that others should read what you have written. I prefer to call it confidence but on the days that I am faltering in confidence, I go back to the word attitude. It’s a stance, a unique voice, your reason behind the desire to spend countless hours behind a laptop in solitude. It’s that gnawing at your soul that if you don’t get it down on paper it will make you go mad. It’s the knowing in your heart that drives you forward and overrides the countless times you’ve thought of giving up. In the end, there is a certain attitude, sometimes cocky sometimes timid, but overall it’s knowing that you can do this and do it well!

B -Books

(April 3) There are certain books that a writer should have on their bookshelf. I have:

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

On Writing by Stephen King

Writing Down the Bones  by Natalie Goldberg

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

And . . . if you are anything like me more than a dozen others.

 

 C -Characters

Characters drive the story. The best stories are character driven because it’s the connection to the characters that keep us interested. If the character is nothing more than a flat Stanley then who cares what happens to him but if the character is well-developed, we become involved, putting ourselves in their shoes, sympathizing with them,  on the edge of our seat hoping they make it out of that dangerous situation. What would Gone With the Wind be without the narcissistic Scarlet O’Hara?

So, … two birds with one stone or rather two topics in one post and it is by far not my longest post! I call that a win.

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie