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THE OMPHALOS OF DELPHI is 99¢ on Kindle

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OoD book cover

 

In this sequel to The Sphere of Archimedes, nine-year-old Oliver Abernathy and his family are trapped within one of the eight Diadems—and waiting for Donovan’s return.

For the adventurers traveling through the icy terrain of Greenland, the Scottish lowlands, and caves of Poland, otherworldly creatures are not the only problem, but new enemies, who amplify evil.

The sphere possesses unimaginable power seen throughout history. Unlocking that mystery may prove more deadly than before. Follow along as the heroes solve The Omphalos of Delphi.

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Kids write too!

Where I’m at Wednesday April 23, 2014

This week, I intend to finish chapter 21. Recently I went back, and reread what I wrote. But before I did that, I thought to myself: “There’s no way this will make sense.”, “The story can’t be exciting.”. Then after reexamining my manuscript, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t as bad as I feared. Everyday I fight doubt and insecurities. I get so engrossed in each chapter that I lose sight of the whole picture. Usually I have a well thought-out idea where I want my characters to go, but when I sit down to write, the story takes on its own personality. I forget the monster I’ve created. Going back reassured me that I’m still on-track and sane.

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Kids write too!

 

Kids have profound imaginations and can create amazing stories.

 

Some children express themselves through whatever means their talent compels them to. No one is too young to write stories, poetry or books. In the fourth grade, I wrote a little storybook. A few years later, my abilities developed into short stories, then into writing novels.

 

J.R.R Tolkien, in his early teens, created his own language, which he later applied to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series. It would be known as the Elfin Language.
At the age of 15, Christopher Paolini started writing Eragon. It was published in 2002, topping charts and winning numerous awards.

 

Kids amaze me with their wondrous, and [sometimes] humorous creativity. As a parent, I encouraged my kids’ inventiveness.

 

Writing may be the only means of expression for certain children.

 

If you are a parent— acknowledge an individual’s talents and nurture them; they could be the next bestselling authors.
If you are a child writer-  KEEP GOING! I applaud your courage.

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Resources:

25 Ways to Get Kids Writing

Creative Writing – Kids on the Net

PBS Kids Writers Contest

 

Join a Writer’s Group?

To JOIN or not to JOIN

. . .writing clubs, groups, or gatherings?

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Joining a writing group was a HUGE step for me, an introvert—a dysfunctional, hides-in-a-corner, rocking herself in the fetal position—introvert. After much hesitation, I finally attended a group of women writers.
My first day was like starting school as a freshman—nervous, shaking a bit, and feeling as though all eyes were on me. It was a day of learning called “Ink Shop”, headed by a bubbly retired English teacher. I was so tense that I took my two teenage daughters along for support.
Even though no ground was laid on my first day, I returned for another, “Rough Draft”. We were asked to bring our current projects to read out loud. Out loud!!! Did you read that? Yes, FULL panic had set in. I was so nervous that another friendly lady volunteered to read it for me.
Over the years, I have developed a bond with those ladies in our group. I can’t say I am completely out of my shell, but I don’t hesitate reading out loud anymore.
One of the benefits about joining a writing group or club is that you’re surrounded by like-minded people, who enjoy the art of written words. So, relax. . . these are your people.
Another advantage is that you finally have an audience. One of my hardest problems was finding someone (outside of my family circle) to read anything I’d written. If you haven’t noticed already, people don’t read as often as they once did. Let’s face it; there are a lot of distractions and other resources for entertainment. We, authors/readers are becoming a dying breed, (okay not literary—but you get my meaning). People don’t want to read, especially if you don’t have “published” in front of your name. At writing groups, they encourage sharing projects.  
Even though I know how hard it is to “share”—it’s like baring your soul to the world, but take a deep breath—it might not be as bad as you think. You’ll hear feedback, get encouragement, and pick up a few pointers along the way. Trust me.
Writing groups usually offer critiques to help polish grammar, spelling, wording, context, and overall to boost your confidence. Plus, many groups have other resources: teachers, editors, publishers, magazine representatives. You’d be surprised who you might meet.
I can understand if you do not have available access to groups or classes. Maybe you are limited by transportation, money, disability, or live in the middle of Alaska and by chance you have internet—today. Believe it or not, there are “on-line” groups as well; however, if you are an introvert, such as I, please try to breach the barrier and step outside. If I could do it, so can you.
Good luck & take care my friends!

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Wait!
Since I usually write my “Where I’m at Wednesday” on Saturdays, I found a neat article pertaining to writing groups today.

 http://www.authorspublish.com/how-to-find-a-writing-group/

Check it out!

Expression Excavation

Where I’m at Wednesday January 29, 2014

I have a confession. Once I am finished with chapter 20 of The Omphalos of Delphi, I will stop working on it momentarily. I am working on another project, getting it ready to go to the editor. It will take about a month for me to run through my manuscript, fix grammatical errors, and reread for continuity. After that, I will resume The Omphalos. I am continuing the “where I’m at”, but only for the writers’ benefit. A much needed break will help my mind wander. 😉
Take care.

*cattle+market+on+the+south+side+of+Smithfield;+men+herd+pigs+and+sheep

Expression Excavation:

It was market-morning. The ground was covered, nearly ankle-deep, with filth and mire; a thick steam, perpetually rising from the reeking bodies of the cattle, and mingling with the fog, which seemed to rest upon the chimney-tops, hung heavily above. All the pens in the centre of the large area, and as many temporary pens as could be crowded into the vacant space, were filled with sheep; tied up to posts by the gutter side were long lines of beasts and oxen, three or four deep. Countrymen, butchers, drovers, hawkers, boys, thieves, idlers, and vagabonds of every low grade, were mingled together in a mass; the whistling of drovers, the barking dogs, the bellowing and plunging of the oxen, the bleating of sheep, the grunting and squeaking of pigs, the cries of hawkers, the shouts, oaths, and quarrelling on all sides; the ringing of bells and roar of voices, that issued from every public-house; the crowding, pushing, driving, beating, whooping and yelling; the hideous and discordant dim that resounded from every corner of the market; and the unwashed, unshaven, squalid, and dirty figures constantly running to and fro, and bursting in and out of the throng; rendered it a stunning and bewildering scene, which quite confounded the senses.”

*                                               —Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist

 

Did you read that? Wow!! Dickens has such a way with details. You are catapulted into the busy Smithfield live-cattle market during the 1800s. The very first thing I can envision is the stench—“ankle-deep, with filth and mire”. I am sure a person could smell the market blocks away. Then Dickens tantalizes our senses by the sights, describing the fog, the animals, and the various types of people within the center. The sounds of whistling, barking, bellowing, bleating, grunting, squeaking, cries, shouts, quarrelling, ringing, and roar become overwhelming. He finishes off the paragraph by suffocating the reader—feeling as though they are being compressed by a crowd. Personally, I would flee from such a place.
Being a writer or painter, you dream with your eyes open. We try to figure out the mystery of “how to add the natural elements into our work”.
Like many of us, I started at an early age. Around sixth grade, I wrote several short, macabre stories of haunted places or mysterious glowing eyes, but then my writing matured into poetry and novels.
As a child, my time was consumed with the natural world of plants, animals, and insects. One of my most favorite things to do was to sit quietly and listen. Some of the best moments or most entertaining things happened: squabbling birds chased each other; wind blew through the trees, causing a noisy surge; ants collectively worked without a clue that a giant looms overhead.
Today, I still love to do this. I like to be alert of the world around me, and not just the manmade world called “city”, but the real, natural world.
During the wintertime, hawks migrate to Phoenix. They come down from the mountains and forests to enjoy the warmer temperatures. On countless occasions, I have noticed people walk around oblivious to the scenes of large birds soaring above.
Be aware of your surroundings. Or, if you are writing about a place you’ve never been to—research the terrain, city, and life. In studying Greenland, I engorged my mind with several videos on YouTube to add the feel of the cold, landscape, and native peoples.

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Charles Dickens grew up under such conditions. He is a master of imagery because it was the world he observed.
I will give another vivid illustration:

 

In half a quarter of a mile’s length of Whitechapel, at one time, there shall be six hundred newly slaughtered oxen hanging up, and seven hundred sheep but, the more the merrier proof of prosperity. Hard by Snow Hill and Warwick Lane, you shall see the little children, inured to sights of brutality from their birth, trotting along the alleys, mingled with troops of horribly busy pigs, up to their ankles in blood but it makes the young rascals hardy. Into the imperfect sewers of this overgrown city, you shall have the immense mass of corruption, engendered by these practices, lazily thrown out of sight, to rise, in poisonous gases, into your house at night, when your sleeping children will most readily absorb them, and to find its languid way, at last, into the river that you drink.”

*                        —Charles Dickens Household Words article in March 1851

I love how period piece movies make the 1800s overly romantic. The Aristocratic societies with castles and beautiful clothing seem intoxicating; however, when you read Charles Dickens, the perspective changes from the dreamy image into a putrid, sad tale. Throughout his stories the characters seem colorfully real besieged by hardship.

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Write Tangibly:

If you can’t make it real to yourself, it won’t be real to the readers either.

Pet Peeves

Where I’m at Wednesday January 22, 2014

I am finally finished with chapter 18. YES!! *Happy dance* Now, onto chapter 20.

I’m getting anxious to finish. Even though there is a lot to get through, the excitement builds. The next Diadem is crazy—a hideous beast lingers. The encounter will end well, but in the frightful moment of the creature ransacking the fields, I plan to introduce a new character, Aengus. He will add a bit of humor.

Oh, how I’d love to tell everyone my stories. I would enjoy revealing the journey, trials, and outcome of each person involved. If you have read The Sphere of Archimedes, and are anxiously waiting for the next book in the series; imagine how I feel. I want to hurry, so you can see what has been plaguing my mind for four years.

See you next week.

Take care my friends

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Words have power, use them!

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Pet Peeves

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Apparently, whoever wrote this quote has a pet peeve against colorless words. He/she even goes as far as to insult the writer. I am not offended, because I totally agree with them.
I loathe being promised a trip to an unknown area or planet; only to be disappointed that the literary descriptions are bland. Tell me the mysteries—show me weird creatures, or bizarre peoples. I expect it.
If you are bold enough to drop your readers in the African wilderness—tell us what to envision besides “hot” and “dry”. Be daring to imagine deeper meanings. Close your eyes and picture it perfectly, and then tell the readers as though you are painting it on canvas.
Have you ever read: Dune by Frank Herbert? Herbert takes us on a vivid trip to uncharted territories, political conflicts, and adventure. Describing details of various planets, the intricate bloodlines of the House Atreides, and the race to control all Spice production, the imagery keeps readers enthralled. The characters’ strange customs and hideous monsters are inconceivable. It is so descriptive that we question if the author was truly there.

OH YEAH! THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!

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If you are writing a book or novella and it’s your first draft—don’t
sweat it
. You will need to go back and refine your manuscript once it is finished. I usually advise (as do others) step away from the finished manuscript for a short while. Give your mind a break. Then go back and insert all those details in chapter by chapter. Make your words cascade with power. Dig deeper into each character’s being by building them into real, fallible people. Make the readers hate the antagonist with a profound detest.
Show me the beautiful, hostile, or outlandish world. What sets it apart from Earth? Treat your audience as if they were blind. It is your task to describe colors, sights, sounds, texture, and sensations.