Saturday, November 22, 2014

Round Robin with Ginger Simpson #rndrobin1114

This month's question centers around a month when people usually gorge themselves under the guise of being thankful.  We're supposed to share our favorite food or meal and tell how we got hooked on it.  So...here's my sad story:

Once upon a time I was really, really fat.  My youngest sister happened to get a job with a place called "Lite Life" and they did stomach stapling.  The before and after pictures she showed me really made me want to join the ranks and get healthier.  After all, I'd been told my entire life I resembled my father's family and they were all dying young.  As it turns out, my father died at 61.

Anyhow, I digress.  I had the procedure done and lost 118 pounds.  Sadly, that was 23 years ago and now I'm relegated to eating small portions, throwing up often, and in starvation mode which has caused me to gain back a great deal of what I lost.  I'm pretty sure, those pictures I saw have long ddisappeared  I think there might be a few people who have viewed this surgery as a success, but I'm not one of them.  In fact, I've had six procedures in the past two years to stretch the opening into the pouch so food can pass through.  Bariatric surgeons I've seen all want to do a gastric bypass as a cure, but that just seems to be opening another can of proverbial worms.

So...enter my other sister who is convinced she can make me thin and healthy.  We start on Monday, but I'm not sure I can drink 96 ounces of water and do a Paleo diet, but I do expect I'll be in water aaerobics three times a week, killing myself on an elliptical till I can manage a half hour, and eating food I never expected to put into my mouth.  What we do for the sake of vanity and health.  Just the idea of being in a bathing suit if frightening enough.

Before I lost weight...I ate all kinds of pizza, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, fries, and all those things good.  At least then I knew why I was fat.  Now I breath air and gain weight.  It sucks, and I'm actually looking forward to eating something other than crackers and cheese, one crispy taco, and chips and salsa.  Of course, I do good to drink 16 ounces of water in a day...96????  Egads!

Maybe next Thanksgiving, I can share a much happier tale.  In the meantime...chew on a turkey breast for me, eat lots, and give thanks for what you have, even if it's a spare tire...at least you can earn it.

Happy Holidays!

OH..and trot on over to the other participants for their "mouthwatering" answers:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Freebits with Ginger #frifreebits

Amazing how fast time goes when you get older...and this month I did.  It pains me to even utter the words...sixty-nine.  Good Lord, I'm staring 70 in the face.  *lol*  Oh well, like a good friend says, "any day on this side of the grass is a good one."  So, on with Betrayed, but only six paragraphs from Cassie's story:

****

The whirring of her old machine contrasted starkly compared to the new one she used at the office. Someday she’d buy a new home system, but for now the old one served her purposes. Until recently, she’d only used the one at home for personal banking; but last night she’d actually joined an online dating site and posted her profile. Was that the move of desperation? As pathetic as it seemed, anxiousness overcame her to see if anyone had responded.

Since her divorce five years ago she had only dated a few times. The caliber of available men seriously disappointed her. Cocktail lounges and bars were nothing but meat markets and frequenting them was like fishing in the “reject pond of life". Every man there had already been caught and thrown back, most likely for good reason. The rumor that supermarkets served as a good meeting place turned out to be nothing more than an old wives’ tale. Few men shopped at Cassie’s neighborhood store, and the only males working there were teenage baggers and an ancient butcher; all the cashiers were women.
Cassie focused on the bright side. At least if she selected a choice piece of meat, she’d enjoy it for dinner and not worry about having to sleep with it.

The truth: she was tired of being alone - sick of always attending social functions by herself and never knowing what it felt like to be part of a couple. Her ex-husband had been room like a roommate. She needed a partner in her life and was running out of places to look. If stooping to perusing Internet dating sites was what it took, then so be it.

Again, the devil dangled the another option. She immediately pushed that black thought aside. Besides, her mother needed her.


“Hurry up!” The computer wore on Cassie’s patience and she swore under her breath. “Damn! I could give myself a friggin’ manicure before the homepage even pops up on the screen.”

She wiggled the mouse back on forth thinking it might help, and soon realized the futility of the action. It was just as absurd as people who continued to push elevator buttons.

****

Will anyone respond?  I'm sure you know someone will; they always do.  Tune in next week for more.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CHOOSING A POINT OF VIEW BY RITA KARNOPP

Every writer must face the question of which point of view they want to use in their novel.  First person?  Second person?  Third person?

Let’s be honest, there are several advantages and disadvantages to each.  Let’s take a look at all three and see what you think.

First Person ~ Many writers believe this is the most difficult point-of-view to write.  The reader only gets to see what’s happening through the eyes, mind, and feelings of a single character.  It’s the; I, me, my, mine, we, and us speaker.

“I confess I should have kissed him when he leaned into me.”

So what are the advantages of First Person point-of-view?
·         It draws the reader in – at a more personal level.  They relate to ‘I.’
·         They aren’t worried about what anyone else is thinking – a single point-of-view is easier to deal with.
·         It’s an easy avenue for internal voice.
·         The sneaky part is – you could surprise your reader - who’s to say the POV character is reliable?

So what are the disadvantages of First Person point-of-view?
·         It’s limited to what the first person character can see, hear, feel, touch, smell, and think.
·         You don’t get that character break because you can’t get into the minds of other characters.
·         The narrator must limit observations only from the first person POV.

Second Person ~ This is the most difficult to write because it’s the story from the narrator’s point-of-view.  It’s even the least favorite of POVs for both the reader and writer.

You wanted to make your move, but she froze when you moved in close.  You jumped back as though you’d been burned.

So the advantages of Second Person point-of-view?
·         It’s difficult to find any advantages- maybe the chance to be quirky or a stab at being different.

So the disdvantages of Second Person point-of-view?

·         It’s difficult to read and quickly lacks that personal appeal that pulls a reader in.
·         It’s rarely – if almost never – successful.

Third Person ~ Now we’re talking about the most common of viewpoints - the he, she, they, them, and it narrator.  It provides endless possibilities for limiting omniscience  knowledge, awareness, insight, and even shrewdness.  The narrator and reader are privy to telling the story.

Are you aware there’s a third person unlimited omniscient point-of-view?  I wasn’t either until I started researching information for this blog.  Yep.  This POV allows the author to enter the mind of any character and shift readers into any situation or setting.

     He wanted to kiss her, yet feared she’d reject him.  Would she think him disrespectful?
     She couldn’t keep her eyes off his full lips.  Why didn’t he take advantage of their isolation and make his move?

I’m not a fan of this style – it reeks of head-hopping to me.

The advantages of Second Person point-of-view?
·         Contrasting viewpoints will enhance and heighten your novel.
·         Shifting from one character’s POV to another gives you a breather.
·         This allows you several conflicting viewpoints and gives you the opportunity to expand the story plot.

The disadvantages of Second Person point-of-view?
·         Head-hopping can occur if you’re not distinct with every character’s POV.
·         Too much POV switching can diffuse the flow of the story. 
·         It’s easy to include too much narrative, instead of letting your characters unravel the story.

Third person limited omniscient point-of-view?  The author enters the mind of just a few characters, usually one per chapter or scene. 

I’m extremely fond of this choice, since chapter breaks provide a natural place for point-of-view switching.
Advantages of this POV?
·         It has all the advantages of third person unlimited POV.
·         You can focus on major characters’ thoughts.
Disadvantages of this POV?

·         I can’t think of any.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Page Straight From Ian V. Hamrick #apagestraightfrom

NOT YET PUBLISHED

Rise of the 4 
by
Ian V. Hamrick

For it is said that he whose name stirs the darkest of souls betrayed his brothers of blood and soul, not for him own gain. But to save us all.

Translated from
Lost books of the apocalypse, Chapter 3 verse 16

We made it through, Another day another fight, not sure if we won. All that I know is that my I survived another day. I am looking down into the dark hole contemplating if I should make the jump. The sweat on my hand causes the AK to slip from my grasp.

The ground is cold. The wind pierces through my dull grey wool coat, my toes hang over the edge of the abyss. It calls to me, I look down and close my eyes I can feel the wind press against the tense muscles in my back. I open my eyes slightly and I start to see double I can feel the invisible hand of the abyss begin squeezes around my body and pull me into the bottomless pit. I don’t try to resist, maybe falling in will bring some relief. I want to go to it, I want to give into the pit. The ringing gets louder and louder, so painful. I try to yell but no sound escapes my lips. Now that I finally decided to let it all go. I release the tension in my back and shoulder and let the push of the wind and the pull of the invisible hand take me away.

Today I will be released from my walless prison,

Another hand with the strength of a gorilla grabs my shoulder and yanks me away from the bottomless pit. The only man I know with that kind of strength and size is Alan. He pulls away so hard I lose my balance and fall on a pile of blood soaked rocks, broken concrete and steel. The smell of burning gas, rotting corpses and melted plastic return to my sense but the ringing between my ears is ever so intense. Looking up I can see Alan’s lips move, I couldn’t make out his words. The clear blue sky explodes high above behind his head. It did not take a genius to

figure out that he was pulling me away from danger. Alan a giant of a man easily over 6’6 with the muscle to back up his large stature. Before I knew it he lifted me up off the ground and tossed me over his shoulder and began to walk away from the destruction that began above us. I was too weak to fight him off and the pain became intolerable and I passed out of our world and entered the dark world of my visions.

I hated sleeping.

When I finally awoke I looked down and saw my arms dangling. I was still on Alan’s shoulder, and then I heard the sound of fist against steel. We were back at our camp. I was too weak to move, the heavy metal door whine itself open. Alan walked in with me on his shoulder a black object caught the corner of my eyes. I looked over and saw the barrel of an AR 15 that one of the guards had slung from his neck. The door slammed shut and the lock turned as Alan slowly sat me down I leaned back against the wall I pulled my knees toward my chest and rested my elbows on them as I held my head in my hands. I could feel Alan’s body heat he slowly sat down next to me and didn’t say a word as he looked down the long and wide hallway. My ass felt cold as I felt the concrete through my clothes. The white walls have seen much better days. Black marks covered the walls from past firefights and the paint was slowly either fading or chipping away as time was catching up with the aged bunker.
I heard Alan take a deep breath as his body rested after the long walk back to our camp.

“Why?”

Alan looked at me his face still seemed to reflect a childlike innocence even with the world going to hell and our lives are in danger daily.

“Why, did you come find me? Why did you rescue me?”

“What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t?” His reply and tone disarmed me. I looked down at the cold grey concrete, a small ant sculled in between my legs.

“You know I am not wanted here. You know everyone thinks I am a freak. You should have left me to die”

Alan put his giant paw on my shoulder and said “You are still one of us and I will not let you die even by your own hand.”

I pulled my shoulder away from his hand as I looked at him angrily over my shoulder
“It is my life, Alan. It should be my choice when and where I end it!!!”
Alan slowly rose to his feet and began to walk away after a few steps he stopped and while still looking ahead he replied.

“Haven’t we seen enough death.”

When I finally awoke I looked down and saw my arms dangling. I was still on Alan’s shoulder, and then I heard the sound of fist against steel. We were back at our camp. I was too weak to move, the heavy metal door whine itself open. Alan walked in with me on his shoulder a black object caught the corner of my eyes. I looked over and saw the barrel of an AR 15 that one of the guards had slung from his neck. The door slammed shut and the lock turned as Alan slowly sat me down I leaned back against the wall I pulled my knees toward my chest and rested my elbows on them as I held my head in my hands. I could feel Alan’s body heat he slowly sat down next to me and didn’t say a word as he looked down the long and wide hallway. My ass felt cold as I felt the concrete through my clothes. The white walls have seen much better days. Black marks covered the walls from past firefights and the paint was slowly either fading or chipping away as time was catching up with the aged bunker.

I heard Alan take a deep breath as his body rested after the long walk back to our camp.

“Why?”

Alan looked at me his face still seemed to reflect a childlike innocence even with the world going to hell and our lives are in danger daily.

“Why, did you come find me? Why did you rescue me?”

“What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t?” His reply and tone disarmed me

I looked down at the cold grey concrete, a small ant sculled in between my legs.

“You know I am not wanted here. You know everyone thinks I am a freak. You should have left me to die”

Alan put his giant paw on my shoulder and said “You are still one of us and I will not let you die even by your own hand.”

I pulled my shoulder away from his hand as I looked at him angrily over my shoulder

“It is my life, Alan. It should be my choice when and where I end it!!!”

Alan slowly rose to his feet and began to walk away after a few steps he stopped and while still looking ahead he replied.

“Haven’t we seen enough death.”


http://riseofthe4.wix.com/riseofthe4 - The Site to watch for the release of Ian's novel.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Strong Scenes con’t BY RITA KARNOPP #writingtips


There are a lot of really good writers out there who use narrative summary with finesse.  I’m of the belief that paragraphs of such summaries are interruptions and distractions.  They slow the action – which is the kiss of death.

But, if you must add narratives, the beginning of the scene is truly the best place.  Don’t carry on-and-on or your reader will lose interest.  Never add narratives at the end of a scene.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for narrative.  Just be careful where you place them so the reader’s attention isn’t distracted for long periods of time.

There are occasions when specific information must be provided in order to set action into motion.  Opening sentences such as, “They pronounced him dead miles before reaching the hospital,” “The bullet entered his forehead and exited the back of his skull.  He dropped like a lead ball,” “The tornado evaporated, leaving the town level.”

There are times we can’t show a character’s thoughts or intentions with action.  An accident victim under sedation, a small boy, or even an adult afflicted with Alzheimer.  Narration is the only way to let the reader know what they feel or think.

Remember to use setting as a catalyst to launch a scene.  How about a village on fire, an anaconda slithering across a glass-still lake, or an erupting volcano.  Setting can have a dramatic input on the characters and plot.

Think about a group of people surviving a plane crash in the Ox Bow.  What obstacles does the terrain cause?  Is there any natural food?  How about shelter?  Do they have any way of protecting themselves from predators?  Remember to add fauna and color.  Bring the beauty of the scene alive . . . as well as the dangers.

Then you must consider how this setting affects your characters.  Fear?  Suspicions?  Is there a killer among them?  Is anyone more adapt to leading?  Are they equipped, physically and emotionally, to handle the situation?

How do your characters play off of each other?  Kind verses a hot-head.  Macho verses a computer nerd.  Female wrestler verses a beauty queen.  You can use these comparisons or rivals to show a character’s feelings through the setting.

And always remember the weather can be a great vehicle to reflect a character’s temperament or the setting mood.

Remember that the beginning of your scene should draw your reader into another stepping stone toward the resolution of the plot.  Take your time and draw your reader into the world you’ve created.  You want your reader vested, pulling for the characters, frustrated at times with their decisions and outcomes, and rewarded with breathers of accomplishments and even love.

Make those scenes weave in, out, and around, like a beautifully crafted dream catcher.  Its impact and allure will last beyond closing the cover.   (single dream catcher I made)

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