Want to know what’s happening at the #BloggersBash? Here’s the Agenda.

Ali Isaac has posted the long-awaited agenda for the 2017 Bloggers Bash. Hugs on, shoes off, get ready to party! Wishing everyone a fabulous time  🙂

aliisaacstoryteller

the bash is back

And it’s bigger and better than ever! We have a lovely venue for you, which is central and easy to get to, and this year, we have focused on bringing some REAL blogging experts to you, people you know and love, who will share the secrets of their success and expertise with you.

Plus… it’s going to be a whole heap of fun!

So, are you joining us at the Bloggers Bash? Have you got your ticket, booked your transport, and decided what to wear? If not, it’s still not too late to get yourself a ticket. You can do that here.

Curious about what we’ve got planned for you on the day? Here’s what we’ve got lined up…

Of course that’s not all that’ll be going on, oh no! There’ll be lots of hugs (mostly from Hugh), conversation, the beginning of new friendships, the…

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EDITING 101: 40 – Editing Myths…

Susan Uttendorfsky brings us Part 40 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape‘s blog. She debunks several editing myths, every last one of which has derailed my little grey cells at times. But I now feel I have permission to merrily toss them out the window, in keeping with Susan’s guidelines. I’m such a stickler for correct grammar that I sometimes feel like a train wreck after a long day of writing. I expect Susan’s post will reduce your writing stress level as much as it has mine 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Editing Myths

I’m sure you’ve heard of these “rules” that need to be applied to your manuscript. Today we’re going to debunk them as myths!

  1. Never start a sentence with a conjunction (and, but, or), however, or because.

  2. Never end a sentence with a preposition.

  3. Passive voice is always wrong.

  4. You use “a” before words that start with consonants and “an” before words that start with vowels.

  5. Don’t use who when the rules call for whom.

  6. Don’t split an infinitive verb with an adverb.

  7. The only way to write a possessive is to add ’s to the word.

  8. Data and media are plural nouns and always take a plural verb.

  1. Because the English language is fluid and adjustable, there is no…

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Interview with Tina Frisco

Thank you to the lovely Cathleen Townsend for inviting me to be interviewed on her blog. Aside from being a prolific fantasy writer, Cathleen is also an animal lover, plane crash survivor, and has lived to tell the tale of scuba diving with a mako shark! Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be interviewed by such a colorful and dynamic person ❤

The Beauty of Words

Tina 4aTina Frisco is an author, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, a student of shamanism, and our guest here today. Born in Pennsylvania USA, she attended nursing school in New York and lives in California. She began writing as a young child and received her first guitar at age 14, which launched her passion for music and songwriting. She has performed publicly in many different venues. Her publishing history includes book reviews; essays; articles in the field of medicine; her début novel, Plateau; her children’s book, Gabby and the Quads; and her latest novel, Vampyrie. She enjoys writing, reading, music, dancing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, and frequently getting lost in working crossword puzzles.

***

Thank you so much for hosting me, Cathleen. I appreciate your support and the opportunity to be featured on your wonderful blog.

It’s my pleasure to have you here, Tina. Let’s dive right in. Who’s…

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Guest Post: Tina Frisco – On Facing Death

Friend and blogger John Fioravanti kindly invited me to guest post on his impressive blog. I was thrilled to accept and am delighted to share this with you. John is a historian who blogs on issues of contemporary importance, health, writing tips and more. He also supports other authors by reblogging and guest posting. Please visit his blog and enjoy his excellent posts. Thank you so much for hosting me, John, and for sharing my work ❤

Shortly after John invited me to be his guest, I received an email from a friend telling me his wife and my dear friend had just been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Upon sending my condolences, Payson replied: 

Persevere…the dice keep rolling…and one adapts with as much detachment as possible.
The work of a lifetime….that drawing closer to the Event Horizon makes one more present.
Such good work…a blessing to be aware!

Both Payson and Kamla are authors and devoted to a spiritual path. I read Kamla’s book, The Singing Guru, during one long night of sitting with a dying friend. Kamla writes: 

The Divine “is everywhere, in every direction, in every space, without exception.”

Payson produces DVDs he calls VideoTonePoems, which are a blend of exquisite visual art, intriguing sound, and the poignant written word.

I’m sharing their work with you here, because it’s relevant to the subject matter of my guest post  ❤  

Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti

It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome Tina Frisco, author, blogger, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, a student of shamanism and friend, to Words To Captivate. Death is a difficult thing to face, but Tina puts a different face on it.

On Facing Death

Facing death is a life-changing experience and one that most of us fear. The first time I faced this monster, I paced and cried, ranted and cursed its arrogance. The second time, I tightened my mid-section and refused to acknowledge it; but I couldn’t sleep. The third time, I took in a deep breath, sat down, and closed my eyes. In a flash, I saw myriad lifetimes pass before me – incarnations I was fortunate to have lived.

What is it about physical death that throws so many of us into a tailspin of grief, anger, and denial? Is it not knowing whether life continues beyond the…

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Again

A powerful story by Andrew Joyce depicting the carnage of war, and drawing similarities between what led to the Nazi takeover of Germany and what is occurring now in the United States. Who or what is the enemy? Could it be our own lack of insight? Could it be that we have placed fear at the helm of our consciousness? This is a story that will stay with you for months, if not years ~ if not the rest of your life… 

Andrew Joyce

I went off to war at the tender age of sixteen. My mother cried and begged me to stay, but my country needed me. I would not see my mother again for four very long years.

Due to my age, I was assigned to field headquarters as a dispatch courier for the first two years of the war. However, by the beginning of the third year, I had grown a foot taller and was shaving. And because men were dying at an alarming rate, I was sent into the trenches.

They say that war is hell. I say hell is peaceful compared to living in a muddy trench with bombs exploding around you at all hours of the day and night. Though there were periods of respite from the shelling. Those were the hours when the enemy had to let their big guns cool or else the heat of firing…

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#Sacha Black #Author Interview

Sacha BlackI am delighted to feature Sacha Black today.  For those of you who don’t know Sacha, she is the founder of the Annual Bloggers Bash and Bash Awards. (More about the Bash at the end of this post).  Please join me in congratulating Sacha on the release of her first book, 13 Steps to Evil:  How to Craft Superbad Villains, a step-by-step guide to creating multi-dimensional villains and much more.

Buy the book HERE and HERE  

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

Welcome, Sacha!
Why did you write this book?   This book started out as a couple of blog posts. Everything I’ve learnt on my journey to publishing, I’ve blogged. I guess as both a consolidation of my learning and a way to give back and share the lessons and mistakes I’ve made so others don’t have to. When I was studying villains it was no different. I wrote up the things I’d learnt as blog posts and I was fortunate enough they proved popular. But that told me that kind of content was not only wanted but needed too. So the seed was sown for 13 Steps To Evil.
Did you feel there was a gap in the market for this type of book?   Absolutely, because of the popularity of the posts, I did some research and discovered that although there were lots of blog posts, there were only a couple of books out there that covered the topic and none were as in depth as I wanted. So absolutely there’s a market.
Does the book shed new light on a common issue?  I think so. It comes at villain-creation from a different angle. For a start, it’s based on a myth busting concept. Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Most writers have hero-worship syndrome. Blindly concentrating on their hero and creating his or her depth of character and forgetting that a novel isn’t just one character.
So 13 Steps To Evil tries to blow that concept apart by suggesting the villain is actually the most important character in an author’s book. Why? Because a villain is the source of conflict, and without conflict, there is no story and no need for a hero.
Is it a topic that a lot of people can easily relate to?  Absolutely. This isn’t a stuffy textbook. I purposely use really well known character examples from books, film and TV because most people will have heard of all, or at least most of the examples. I try to sprinkle a little humor and sarcasm into the book and provide a couple of thought provoking exercises at the end of each chapter.
How will the book help writers?  The book is an easy to understand, step by step guide to creating Superbad villains. Each step has bite size chunks of info a summary and a couple of useful questions/exercises. There’s also a free checklist to go with the book, a short course and I’m also opening up a Facebook group for the short course completers where they can discuss their ideas/feedback with each other, and I will be in there monitoring it as well.
It will take writers from the basics all the way up to their ultimate warlord.
Who’s your favorite villain?  Can you ask me that? That’s totally not fair! Honestly, I have a penchant for anti-heroes. The first anti-hero I ever fell in love with was Beetlejuice, I secretly wanted to wear his stripy suit. I love Deadpool too, with his ego and outrageous sense of humor, Loki, Patrick Bateman, Dexter, GAH there are so many. If we’re talking pure villain, then one of the best has to be Hannibal Lecter, surely? 

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

BIO
Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.
Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.
When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.
BLURB
Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?
In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:
  • How to develop a villain’s mindset
  • A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
  • Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
  • What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs
Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.
These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.
If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

EXCERPT
Why Writers Fudge Up Their Villains
Villains are like newborn infants. So much glorious potential. Until we writers get our grubby mitts on them and balls it up. With the careless flick of a pen, we can turn a finely sculpted baby villain into a cringe-worthy cliché because we didn’t make him bad enough, or we create something so heinously evil it’s unrealistic.
A villain might be a plot device, but he still needs a purpose and a goal, or he’s unworthy as an opponent for your hero (See STEP 3 for motives and goals).
While researching this book, writers told me all kinds of problems they encountered while creating their villains. From getting the dialogue right and avoiding clichés, to knowing how evil to make a villain, to how to reveal her motives without using blatant exposition.
Behind all these issues lie two basic barriers that are the Achilles in every writer’s villainous heel:
   1. Depending on the point of view (POV) the book’s written in, the villain is usually seen through the eyes of your hero.
A solitary POV gives you a page-limited amount of time to show your villain’s best, most authentic and devilishly evil side. Page-limited to the point it makes it eye-wateringly difficult to convey her backstory effectively without information dumping. You have to be better, clearer, more tactical and more concise with your words to create superbad villains.
   2. Writers are hero worshippers.
We love our heroes and protagonists more than our spouses. And as a result, we spend shameful amounts of time honing our protagonist’s muscular heroics into shape. But that relegates our villain (the plot-driving conflict-creator) to the corner of our book, complete with a nobody-loves-you-anyway hat. In other words, writers don’t pay enough attention to their villain.
Learn more about Sacha:    Non-Fiction Website            Fiction Website    Amazon UK   Amazon US   Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest   Instagram   Tumblr   Google+   LinkedIn   Goodreads Non-Fiction   Goodreads Fiction
Annual Bloggers Bash
Sacha organizes the #AnnualBloggersBash along with Ali Isaac, Geoff LePard, and Hugh Roberts.  This year, the Bash will be held on June 10th in London.  If you haven’t yet voted for your favorite blogger, you can do so HERE.  But hurry, because voting closes on June 2nd at 12 p.m. BST ❤

Hummer’s Mean Home: Part I (Perching)~

Brilliant post by Cindy Knoke on hummingbirds. Her description of one little hummer, as well as that of her husband, are not to be missed! Looking forward to Part II with acquisitive anticipation 😊


Coming home means hanging out with the hummers.

I don’t worry about them when I’m gone.

I just miss them.

My husband, the actual-factual, logical-biostatistician, said incredulously, “They fly up to me like they missed me.”

He’s not used to thinking like this,


but he can’t help noticing such obvious birdy behavior.

Speaking of birdy behavior, we are having a problem this year.

The snoozing little capitalist you see above is dominating two quart-sized feeders and relentlessly attacking and driving all hummers off who try to feed. He spends more time hoarding nectar than feeding and snoozes all the time because he’s exhausted from all his effort. Of course he can’t even begin to drink this much nectar!

You can see him perched on the wire above the feeder, waiting to attack any bird that dares to drink! We have three feeders now spaced far apart to control him, one…

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Smorgasbord Short Stories – Flights of Fancy Anthology – Trust by Sally Cronin

A story of grief, trust, and solace, beautifully written by our supportive friend and blogger, Sally Cronin. Need I tell you, Sally, this is my favorite and most likely always will be? Unlike all the tears I’ve shed over the past four months, these were welcomed ♥♥♥

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Here is another of the stories from my first story collection.. Flights of Fancy.. This time the story of a woman and a dog who come together on a harsh Welsh mountain.

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TRUST

The house was quiet. The men had left a few minutes ago and already she felt alone. The ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall intruded into the silence. Time was passing slowly and each minute felt like an hour.

Claire stared out of the kitchen window at the gathering gloom. It would soon be dark, and she would be unable to see the mountain rising above the house, harsh but fiercely beautiful. It was this mountain that had attracted them last spring, the lower slopes covered in lush grass dotted with the cotton wool white of the ewes and their lambs. The craggy rocks of the mountaintop jutted up into a cloudless, blue sky…

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John W. Howell – A Tribute

John Fioravanti writes an outstanding tribute to John Howell on the occasion of his birthday. I’m sure I speak for all in our blogging community in wishing John a very Happy Birthday and many more to come ❤

Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti

It is May 22nd – Happy Birthday, John!

I have known John for almost three years and I can’t think of another friend that commands my respect like this man does. I met him online through Rave Reviews Book Club not long after I joined in July of 2014. Not only was I new to the club, but I was also totally inept in using Twitter which is the social medium of choice there. It was John who took pity on me and began to give me informal lessons to master “Twitterese” – a bastardized form of English. I learned – after a fashion.

Not long after I assumed the position of Producer of the club’s Rave Waves BlogTalkRadio shows, John joined us as a host of the SPOTLIGHT HONORS show. It turned out that John is a natural behind the mike after spending some time in his youth spinning…

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#Book Review ~ The Little Soul and the Sun

The Little Soul and the Sun

Written by Neale Donald Walsch 
Illustrated by Frank Riccio

The Little Soul and the Sun by Neale Donald Walsch

My 5-star Review
Why Do We Do the Things We Do?

This book made me rethink my attitude toward those who commit acts of cruelty and injustice. The Little Soul and the Sun, written by Neale Donald Walsch and illustrated by Frank Riccio, tells the story of a little disincarnate soul who wants to experience the act of forgiving when she incarnates. But since everything the Creator made is perfect, there would be no one to forgive. So another little disincarnate soul offers to incarnate with her and do something really terrible, in order for her friend to experience forgiving. When asked why she would be willing to behave despicably, the friend replies, “I would do it because I love you.”
I’ve owned this book since its publication in 1998 and have reread it many times over the years. The recent chaos and unrest in the United States and around the world has moved me to read it once again. And my heart soared. There are many ways to respond to heartless injustice and despicable acts of cruelty. We can react in anger, close and fill our hearts with hatred, and forget who we truly are. Or we can keep our hearts open, move into gratitude, rise above the chaos, and engage in meaningful nonviolent action in an attempt to right the wrong.
If in fact we do make contracts with the Creator and other souls before we incarnate, everything that plays out here on Mother Earth is a lesson we chose to learn and an experience we wished to have. Both the act of cruelty and the remedial action are opportunities for growth. If the contract involves two-way action, then the remedial action must be carried out, lest the contract become null and void.
This book touches me deeply every time I read it. I think it no accident that it’s beautifully illustrated and designed as a children’s book; for in order to change attitudes and behavior cultivated over a lifetime, we must speak to the child within. I am grateful to Mr. Walsch and Mr. Riccio for the enlightening pearl of wisdom they have given us ❤
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