#weekendcoffeeshare – 05/27/2017

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Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad you’ve decided to come for my #weekendcoffeeshare today. It has been such a rainy, stormy week that I was afraid some of you wouldn’t be able to make it. There is even a forecast of storms today! Jenn is with us today and we have some goodies for you.

I found the most wonderful cinnamon buns in a bakery in Lexington, so I brought them home just for this #weekendcoffeeshare. Please help yourself and I’d love to know how you like them. As for coffee, I have a wonderful breakfast mix in addition to a more robust mix. I also have half caff and decaf. There is cream, sugar, and even some of that evil sweetener we aren’t supposed to have! As for tea, I have a wonderful hot cinnamon green tea, along with the hot cinnamon black tea, and a tea from Paris I hope you enjoy. I have a special surprise – an oolong tea that I don’t usually have, but it is from India and is awfully good. Enjoy and come to my writing studio whenever you want.

Just take a seat anywhere here in the studio. I’ll have to warn you that I have a one-track mind today. For several weeks, I have done very little except work on my novel. I have gotten a lot of words written, but I’ve read as much about novel writing as I’ve written. There is one thing I know for sure. It is hard! If you haven’t been schooled on the intricacies of writing a novel, school yourselves! I’ve been reading about structuring the plot, writing characterizations, and even things like what makes a good villain and writing good settings for the story.

I’ve found out that it isn’t as simple as writing your story down on the computer screen or on a piece of paper. You have to write about the feelings of the characters and know how to convey those feelings to your reading audience. You have to make your characters likeable so your readers will keep on reading. If you have a villain, you have to make that villian unlikeable.

You have to develop subplots that pull the reader away from the plot, but then take them back in. Everything must tie in together, which is quite a feat.

Can you tell that my novel is all that has been on my mind? I have been blogging less because of it, but that is going to change. I’ve found out that blogging a little gives my mind a rest from the intensity of writing the novel.

As many of you know, we have a teeny little home in Florida. I just wrote a blog post about an event that is happening near where we live there, although I turned it into fiction. It is for a flash fiction challenge.

I try to catch some news every day. I always want to hear the science and environmental news. It seems that the U.S. political news is overwhelming everything. Then, of course, there was the terrible terrorist attack in Manchester, England last week. The terrorists have to sink to killing little girls. It’s so disgusting I can hardly watch the coverage.

I hope all of you are doing well personally and that your writing is going well. I read the stuff of writers on WordPress all the time. It astounds me at how the quality of the writing is so high! Thank you for coming to my #weekendcoffeeshare! May the muse be with you!

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Posted in #weekendcoffeeshare

The Fiery Panther

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“We have to establish a fire break to keep this fire from jumping the highway,” Roger said to Jeff, who was fighting the fire along with him.

There were 30 firefighters trying to hold back just this section of the fire near U.S. 41 in South Florida, but they were having little luck. It was hot and dry, with winds at 30 mph.

The Chief radioed in and told the men two firefighters were trapped in their section. They were asked to try to get to them. Roger and Jeff looked at each other, then at the roaring flames in front of them. They knew there was no way to get to the men. To try would be suicide. They would have to hope their fire blankets would save them.

As some of the men kept piling up dirt near the highway and others were using the hose, two men came running out of the flames, covered by their fire blankets. Everyone cheered! In the arms of one of the men, under the blanket, was a small, black creature. A tiny Florida panther! Separated from its mother and saved by the firefighters even while they were saving their own lives.

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Posted in Challenges

#SoCS – 05/27/2017

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All that seems to be on my mind these days, and just about all I’m doing, is working on my novel. I’ve been reading about writing a novel as much as I’ve been writing. I’m not a novice writer, but I am certainly a novice novel writer so I’ve been trying to learn as much about novel writing as I can learn.

In order to give depth to the novel and the characters, you have to use the characters’ senses to paint the pictures in the book that you want your readers to see. One surprisingly sense that I, in writing my novel, have found particularly effective, is the sense of smell.

If your character takes a walk in the woods, for example, and the wildflowers smell sweet and lovely, that sets a scene in the reader’s mind of a beautiful day in the life of the character. But if those same wildflowers smell cloying and too sweet, the scene is interpreted by your readers as something completely different.

In novel writing, smell can be a very powerful sense for the writer to use for the purpose of illustrating a scene.

The example I’ve just given is a very subtle example that a writer can use to set the meaning of a scene in a reader’s mind. Of course, there are examples of smell that are far more obvious. The smell of asphalt on a highway. The smell of different types of food. You get the picture. If you are a professional writer or have aspirations to be, develop a file of all the different types of smells that you find that you can use in your writing and that information will serve you well.

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Posted in Challenges

One-Liner Wednesday

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This is a line from my upcoming novel:

“As the nut-colored trees bent together as if they were whispering, Abby wondered what Miles could possibly want with her at this point in their lives.”

#1linerWeds

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Posted in Challenges

Border Crossing

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“Jerry, how much traffic backup is there now? Can you see the statistics?” Rhonda asked..

“You don’t want to know. Hundreds of vehicles. Mostly oil trucks. Some are stuck to the road. The snow is starting to falling.”

Jerry and Rhonda were agents working at the Portal, North Dakota border crossing site. Portal is one of only three 24 hour, seven-day per week border crossings from the U.S. into Canada. It was December. Trade between the U.S. and Canada didn’t wait on the weather.

There was suddenly a break in the action. A big oil rig was stuck in the ice on the road. Some of the workers were trying to help. Jerry jumped up and went to the back room of the checkpoint. Rhonda watched the truck for a moment and then followed him.

Jerry grabbed her and said, “At least it gives me a moment alone with you.”

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Posted in Challenges

The Estate

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She sat down at the end of the counter in her favorite diner. She knew she had to eat while someone else was with her very sick mother. Ruby, the waitress, came and took her order.

Her cousin, Mac, suddenly walked into the diner and sat down beside her.

“Ally, we have to talk about her estate,” he said. “She wanted the cousins to share in the estate.”

“What do you want me to do, Mac? There is no will.”

“Make a fair distribution, Ally.”

“If she wanted you to have anything, she would have made a will,” Ally said.

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Posted in Blog Series, Blogging, Challenges

The Coyote

It stared at me, its eyes never leaving mine. I slowly pulled the pistol out of the waistband of my jeans and raised my arm, aiming it. It never flinched. My left hand held my dog’s leash. My dog was what it wanted. That wasn’t going to happen. A standoff had ensued.

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Posted in Challenges

One Liner Wednesday

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This is one line from the novel I’m currently working on, a psychological thriller:

“Even though she was there with him and he held her lovingly, he didn’t think about her because sociopaths don’t do that kind of thing.”

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Posted in Challenges

Blogging and Appropriateness

Do you ever have a qualm about a blog post you want to make? Is there ever anything you really want to write but you are unsure if it is appropriate for your audience here or if it will possibly be offensive to some or most of them? That certainly happens to me.

If I write about subjects considered controversial – politics, erotica – to name just two, it always worries me about offending people. It even worries me about whether this is the appropriate forum. These days, I write mostly fiction, but I do throw in some non-fiction essays. I’m interested in a wide range of topics. I could offend any number of people.

Then again, this is my blog. People can read it or not. Within reason, I should be able to write what I want. Isn’t this all about creativity? However, if I am writing for a particular challenge and the administrator of the challenge asks that the stories be, for example, PG rated or below, I should respect that or not write for that challenge.

Having a qualm about particular blog posts happens to me often. Am I being too sensitive or is this a legitimate concern. What say you?

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Posted in Uncategorized

Trump: What Are We Waiting On?

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Donald Trump. At this point, I cannot bring myself to say President Donald Trump. Does a President of the United States, the leader of the free world, give away classified secrets to our adversary, the Russians, because he needs to brag to make himself feel good? That’s what happened a few days ago when he met, in private, with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador. It makes the job of any of our enemies so much easier. Our President has put us at risk. What does this mean for our intelligence community?

The intelligence community keeps us alive. Donald Trump has just put that in jeopardy. Do you think that the intelligence community is going to keep sharing information with the U.S.? The answer is no. They are not. We are now in more jeoprady than before our President opened his big mouth because of his bigger inferiority complex. To make this all worse, Donald Trump basically admitted what he did in a tweet.

This, in my opinion, is the worst thing Trump has done. There are other things.

Trump fired the Director of the FBI, James Comey. Comey was leading the investigation into the Russian connection to Trump’s campaign. Trump fired the man who was investigating him. Shades of Richard Nixon and Archibald Cox. Trump could be impeached just for firing the Director of the FBI. Then, he threatens the Director with the existence of tapes if Comey talks about their conversations. The President of the United States threatening someone like a common thug?

Then there is the evidence that Trump is using the Presidency for profit. When the President of China visited, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, was seated beside him. She ended up with Chinese trademarks for her clothing line.

I have mentioned just a handful of inappropriate actions Trump has taken since his inauguration. Perhaps passing classified information to the Russians is the most dangerous and certainly the worst, but not the only egregious action he has taken.

My question is what is Congress waiting on? This man needs to be removed from office. It may already be too late now that he has passed classified secrets to the Russians. He has now put us all in danger. It is time to act. Impeachment is not enough. We are in uncharted territory. In my opinion, he is mentally incompetent and needs to be physically escorted from the White House. I don’t know who would take his place. Mike Pence, Vice-President, does not seem to be the right choice as he has been complicit with many of Trump’s actions.

What are we waiting on? Destruction of our democracy and our country, not to mention danger and our way of life?

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Posted in Non-fiction
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