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Contest Winners Announced 0

Contest Winners Announced

Congrats to the following contest winners (selected randomly by binkd). Heather from South Carolina – an author-graphed copy of 84Ribbons Pati from Oregon – a Starbucks card Liz from Washington – dancer notecards Carrie from Michigan – writing tools Linda from Washington – ballet ornaments Each gift is valued at $15.00 or more. I appreciate everyone’s entry and hope you will tell your friends that my blog is a user-friendly place. Stay tuned for future contests as well as new ideas about writers and writing. I hope to see you at one of my book events or on Skype! Stay...

Change: a Four-letter Word 0

Change: a Four-letter Word

“After today, nothing in her well-ordered life would remain the same; she was not a woman who liked the sharp, jagged edges of change.” Kristin Hannah, On Mystic Lake, p.4 This quote hit home, hard and fast. That’s me! Oh my! I do like my well-ordered life. The day-to-dayness flowing like a lazy river of meeting my friends for coffee, reading my book club book-of-the-month, heading off to the cabin or flying to Kona is drifting away . I’m stepping into a deep river of surging water, whirlpools and cascading waterfalls. I hope I won’t drown in the river of...

Beyond Writing Your Story 0

Beyond Writing Your Story

The world of publishing a book extends far beyond writing ‘the book’. It includes editing, watching the publisher lay out the book, waiting for the book to arrive in the mail, plus the HUGE task of marketing the book. Like many writers, I find the marketing belongs in my third brain: one that I’ve yet to gain a full understanding of or conquer, as it were. It’s a new world of excel sheets, sending out media kits, contacting related businesses and persons who might share an interest in my book’s topic of dancing and growing up. It’s finding time to...

84 Ribbons Now Available & a Giveaway to Celebrate! 0

84 Ribbons Now Available & a Giveaway to Celebrate!

This contest is now closed. Win an autographed copy of 84 Ribbons and 4 other great prizes. Just enter your name and email address to register to win and please share with a dance lover in your life… This contest is now closed.

Warming up at the 84 Ribbons Barre* 0

Warming up at the 84 Ribbons Barre*

* barre: a two-inch diameter cylinder made of wood or metal, affixed waist high along a wall or on a portable stand that dancers hold for balance and mild support during warm-up exercises   84 Ribbons is warming up as Launch Day dances closer. To celebrate, I’m inviting you to subscribe to my website so you’ll be able to follow and possibly attend some of my book events. Watch for the subscribe contest today. Exercise your chance to win by signing up.  I look forward to having you join me as we step into Marta’s world of ballet and her...

Self Promotion Musings 0

Self Promotion Musings

OK, self promotion is not “my thing”, but I’m trying. I started this blog ages ago, but I still struggle making social media my friend. I like meeting people face-to-face so reaching out to meet new people via the internet feels one-step removed. I know it’s the new way, and I’m learning more about it every week, but I enjoy the chance to sit down with a person and a cup of tea and get to know them. Today’s pace and interconectedness prohibits that so, bear with me as I step into the 21st century social connectivity. I’ve always felt...

Doorways 0

Doorways

Rebecca McClanahan in Word Painting says that description promises rewards to readers. Descriptive passages create the illusion of reality, inviting the reader to move in, unpack his bags and settle in for a spell. The best of published writers sometimes miss the mark, leaving readers disappointed or angry that they didn’t find that comfortable place to enter the work. Our challenge becomes learning how to open the door to our stories or to create our visual landscapes with words. McClanahan suggests we use double brushstrokes: intensify our observation skills and merge them with our imaginative eye. Consider these observations as...

The Betweens 0

The Betweens

It’s important to write the main, tension-filled story, but don’t forget to write the in-between parts as well: sensory details, secondary characters, secondary plots. These add depth to a storyline and give the reader a chance to settle in and get comfortable while the story unfolds. Thin streaks of magenta lay between the dark mountains and the blue-black sky. The Lake Dreams the Sky by Swain Wolfe (p.48) There was a quarter moon sending a white shaft of light through the open window. It wasn’t cold, just cold enough to make you pull the covers to your chin and let...

Seeing the World, again 0

Seeing the World, again

Traveling is a great inspiration. From a plane, the clouds and the terrain below create ever-changing images that beg to be written down. Each mile provides new perspective as well as unique color patterns: miles of forest, freeways and country roads meandering, mountains, steams and crop circles. I place my characters beside me, trying to think of their reactions compared to my own. My fingers itch to know their impressions. Sometimes they oblige; other times I watch alone in awe of all that appears to drift below me.

Walking back through my early life is important in my ballet trilogy since I am using familiar sites and sights. It’s a chance to reflect on what was and what I saw; I realize they are not the same thing. I saw fascination where I now see shabby. At seventeen I walked along the sidewalks seeing cozy homes and tidy yards; now I see that they were small homes with postage-stamp sized lots. The friendly neighborhood stores providing groceries, shoes, clothing, variety items, ice cream and appliances during my teen years have morphed into tattoo parlors, adult stores and pawn shops, evidence that the malls outside of town have taken over the day-to-day commerce. The chance of revitalization: 0%. But, that’s what happens in older towns. Going back in time for my stories allows me to prolong my earlier fascination and ignore the current shabby a bit longer.

See the world as it was and is. Use what you see to create what you need to feed your writing. I know I will.

I’ve shares my impressions. Now, share yours with the rest of us in your comments below.

On Being a Writer 0

On Being a Writer

Jane Yolen in Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft (p.59) defines writer several ways but believes the best to be ‘one who writes’.

At first that sounds silly, but, after thinking about it, she makes perfect sense. For myself, writing is a compulsive act. I become anxious when I’m away from writing more than a day or two. Since, for me, stories come full blown. My fingers itch to set down characters, events and details as a part of my life. Are they good? Sometimes but usually after I work with them, go to critique groups and repeatedly edit them. I wish the definfition of a writer said,’one who writes well most of the time”. Then I’d feel better about what makes it to the page. Maybe next year!