Friday, December 21, 2012

As an author who writes about grief, specifically a loss that occurs during the holidays, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to talk about how to cope with the pain of loss during what's supposed to be a joyful season.

I highly recommend this wonderful series from griefshare.org, "Surviving the Holidays."

A few practical things I gleaned from it:

image by Bekahboo42, morguefile.com
Keep your expectations low
It's not necessary to accept every invitation, nor do the level of decorating and baking you've done other years. You're more vulnerable to being ambushed by emotions by the season, so don't add more stress.

Take care of your body
Exercise and exposure to sunlight should be part of your daily routine. If you feel like self-medicating with alcohol or unhealthy food, take a walk.

Dispense with the usual traditions or build new ones
If the thought of going through the usual holiday rituals fills you with dread, give yourself permission to do something completely different. Leave the usual ornaments in a box and make new ones. Take an impromptu trip to a lovely destination, or offer to house-sit for friends who are traveling. Change the time of day or room in which you open gifts. Make a completely different menu.

You might alternately find it comforting to build new traditions into your existing ones that honor your lost loved one. Here are some ideas for doing that.

Treat yourself
Give yourself a gift from your lost loved one, something that honors the special relationship you had or simply comforts you: a new album if you shared a love of music, an item of clothing in your loved one's favorite color, a book you've been eager to read, tools for a hobby you've always wanted to try.

Stay connected
Force yourself to attend social gatherings, if only for a short time. Try to plan a few fun activities with a good friend, like seeing a movie or concert or going out for coffee.

Reach out
Get involved with charity work--perhaps visiting a nursing home, delivering meals to needy families, serving at a homeless shelter. Supporting others who are also hurting can ease some of your pain.

Have you endured a post-loss Christmas? What helped you most? How might you reach out to a grieving friend during the holidays?
Friday, December 21, 2012 Laurel Garver
As an author who writes about grief, specifically a loss that occurs during the holidays, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to talk about how to cope with the pain of loss during what's supposed to be a joyful season.

I highly recommend this wonderful series from griefshare.org, "Surviving the Holidays."

A few practical things I gleaned from it:

image by Bekahboo42, morguefile.com
Keep your expectations low
It's not necessary to accept every invitation, nor do the level of decorating and baking you've done other years. You're more vulnerable to being ambushed by emotions by the season, so don't add more stress.

Take care of your body
Exercise and exposure to sunlight should be part of your daily routine. If you feel like self-medicating with alcohol or unhealthy food, take a walk.

Dispense with the usual traditions or build new ones
If the thought of going through the usual holiday rituals fills you with dread, give yourself permission to do something completely different. Leave the usual ornaments in a box and make new ones. Take an impromptu trip to a lovely destination, or offer to house-sit for friends who are traveling. Change the time of day or room in which you open gifts. Make a completely different menu.

You might alternately find it comforting to build new traditions into your existing ones that honor your lost loved one. Here are some ideas for doing that.

Treat yourself
Give yourself a gift from your lost loved one, something that honors the special relationship you had or simply comforts you: a new album if you shared a love of music, an item of clothing in your loved one's favorite color, a book you've been eager to read, tools for a hobby you've always wanted to try.

Stay connected
Force yourself to attend social gatherings, if only for a short time. Try to plan a few fun activities with a good friend, like seeing a movie or concert or going out for coffee.

Reach out
Get involved with charity work--perhaps visiting a nursing home, delivering meals to needy families, serving at a homeless shelter. Supporting others who are also hurting can ease some of your pain.

Have you endured a post-loss Christmas? What helped you most? How might you reach out to a grieving friend during the holidays?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

To mark the release of her new YA contemporary novel CHASTE, Angela Felsted invited bloggers to share a favorite holiday cookie recipe. What does this have to do with her book? Interestingly, it's the GUY who's the gifted cook in her story that pushes hard against gender role stereotypes.

Guys who cook are awesome. I happen to be married to one. He makes amazing gourmet meals, and I deal with the bills and taxes. Because running a home is a team effort and you want players in the positions where they have actual skills.

So while I don't really cook, I do like to bake every now and again. I like the predictability--that if you follow the formula, you get good results. So I'm sharing an old favorite I have fond memories of making with my mother.

Molasses Crinkles

Cream together:
3/4 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. brown sugar

Mix in:
1 egg
1/4 c. molasses

In a separate bowl, combine:
2-1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger

Mix dry ingredients into wet incredients. Chill for several hours.
Form dough into walnut-sized balls. Dip tops in sugar, then water to create crackled texture.
Bake, sugared side up, on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes. Yield: 4.5 dozen cookies.


About CHASTE

When he steps into his physics class on the first day of senior year, Quinn Walker is too exhausted from staying up all night with his three-month-old nephew to deal with moral dilemmas. As a devout Mormon who has vowed to wait until marriage for sex, the last thing he needs is a very hot and very sexy Katarina Jackson as his physics partner. Regrettably, he has no choice.

Kat feels invisible in her mansion of a home six months after losing her older brother in a fatal car crash and will do anything to get her parents’ attention. Since her pastor father has no love for Quinn’s “fake” religion and her ex-boyfriend refuses to leave her alone, she makes an impulsive bet with her friends to seduce her holier-than-thou lab partner by Christmas.

View the trailer:


Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

What do you think of guys who are domestically skilled? How about girls who take the initiative in relationships?
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 Laurel Garver
To mark the release of her new YA contemporary novel CHASTE, Angela Felsted invited bloggers to share a favorite holiday cookie recipe. What does this have to do with her book? Interestingly, it's the GUY who's the gifted cook in her story that pushes hard against gender role stereotypes.

Guys who cook are awesome. I happen to be married to one. He makes amazing gourmet meals, and I deal with the bills and taxes. Because running a home is a team effort and you want players in the positions where they have actual skills.

So while I don't really cook, I do like to bake every now and again. I like the predictability--that if you follow the formula, you get good results. So I'm sharing an old favorite I have fond memories of making with my mother.

Molasses Crinkles

Cream together:
3/4 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. brown sugar

Mix in:
1 egg
1/4 c. molasses

In a separate bowl, combine:
2-1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger

Mix dry ingredients into wet incredients. Chill for several hours.
Form dough into walnut-sized balls. Dip tops in sugar, then water to create crackled texture.
Bake, sugared side up, on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes. Yield: 4.5 dozen cookies.


About CHASTE

When he steps into his physics class on the first day of senior year, Quinn Walker is too exhausted from staying up all night with his three-month-old nephew to deal with moral dilemmas. As a devout Mormon who has vowed to wait until marriage for sex, the last thing he needs is a very hot and very sexy Katarina Jackson as his physics partner. Regrettably, he has no choice.

Kat feels invisible in her mansion of a home six months after losing her older brother in a fatal car crash and will do anything to get her parents’ attention. Since her pastor father has no love for Quinn’s “fake” religion and her ex-boyfriend refuses to leave her alone, she makes an impulsive bet with her friends to seduce her holier-than-thou lab partner by Christmas.

View the trailer:


Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

What do you think of guys who are domestically skilled? How about girls who take the initiative in relationships?

Friday, December 14, 2012

What twisted thing did I do to earn money for college? What author helped me meet the love of my life? What's my odd writing quirk? Discover the answers to all these questions and more in my interview with book blogger Elizabeth Marie at Read Review Smile.

She's also hosting a giveaway through the Feast of St. Stephen (December 26), which strikes me as fitting, since that's the saint Dani's church is named for. Two copies are up for grabs! Hop on over HERE to enter.

Help Hurricane Sandy victims
Get a great read for a great cause! Purchase a copy of Angela Felsted's contemporary YA novel CHASTE now through December 15, and all proceeds go to Hurricane Sandy relief, PLUS Angela will make a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution.  Available as an ebook and in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Have you had any unusual jobs? Which authors have kindled a romance for you?
Friday, December 14, 2012 Laurel Garver
What twisted thing did I do to earn money for college? What author helped me meet the love of my life? What's my odd writing quirk? Discover the answers to all these questions and more in my interview with book blogger Elizabeth Marie at Read Review Smile.

She's also hosting a giveaway through the Feast of St. Stephen (December 26), which strikes me as fitting, since that's the saint Dani's church is named for. Two copies are up for grabs! Hop on over HERE to enter.

Help Hurricane Sandy victims
Get a great read for a great cause! Purchase a copy of Angela Felsted's contemporary YA novel CHASTE now through December 15, and all proceeds go to Hurricane Sandy relief, PLUS Angela will make a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution.  Available as an ebook and in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Have you had any unusual jobs? Which authors have kindled a romance for you?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm calling today "three dozen day," in honor of the date 12/12/12. It will be a long while until we have another symmetrical date like today's . We'll of course have 1/3/13 and a palindrome, 3/1/13 next year, but that's not quite as pretty as the date patterns we've had going for the past eleven years, starting with 01/01/01.

To celebrate, here are three sets of a dozen goodies for you:

A dozen quotes (from yours truly)

"...truth is beautiful, no matter where you find it."
(From a guest post for Tricia O'Brien, "Make your stories sing")

"If you wait for inspiration to strike or writing conditions to be optimal, you’ll never finish anything. You have to keep chipping away at projects on good days and bad."
(From my interview on Read Review Smile)

"Gratitude is light in the darkness, friends. It is a powerful weapon against despair, a powerful creator of joy." (From "Thanks and Joy")

"A funny thing about listening to fear--it takes away your power to contradict it."
(From "Leaving Fear, Grasping Hope")

"Hope comes from being like the Magi--keeping an eye on the far horizon, watching for something good. We lose hope when unhappy things in the immediate environment consume our vision and we stop regularly scanning the horizon." (From "Following Your Star")

"...the stuff of creativity--joy, life energy, what have you--is like manna in the wilderness. It is a gift that must be gathered fresh daily." (From "Living Forward")

"The past doesn't stay in the past. It always has implications for the present and future."
(From "I've Got a History")

"Remember that where you come from shapes who you are."
(From an interview with Melissa Sarno, "Let Setting Emerge from Character")

"Real attraction, real magnetism is more deeply layered than finding someone hot. It grows out of finding something admirable in another person that resonates with who you are and want to be."
(From a guest post for Laura Pauling: "Romance is more than 'hotness'")

"The writers who do non-preachy well...succeed because the way faith deeply shapes how the characters think...around the idea of rescue and redemption, of deeply needing help themselves."
(From interview with Karen Akins, "Edgy? Clean? Writing across genre divides")

"Despite the eye-rolling, daughters know they’re valued when their dads don’t let just any guy get close to them."
(From a guest post for Tyrean Martinson, "Why Dads Matter")

"One of the most lovely things about literature is how it opens a window into other worlds, gives us a chance to understand other perspectives by living inside them for just a little while."
(from guest post for Leigh T. Moore, "Getting Real About Faith...and Doubt")


A dozen albums that inspired Never Gone

The Hurting, by Tears for Fears
Requiem, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Disintigration, by The Cure
Once Upon a Time, by Simple Minds
Macalla, by Clannad
Avalon, by Roxy Music
Mercury Falling, by Sting
Fields of Gold, by Sting
Hey Jude, by The Beatles
Optical Race, by Tangerine Dream
Thirtysomething Soundtrack
The Best of Simon and Garfunkel, by Simon and Garfunkel

A dozen British slang terms from Never Gone

barking mad / barmy / blimey / bollocks / crikey / fancy / gadding about / Geordie / git / hobgoblin / nutter / peaky

More chances to win

I also have a few giveaways going on. If you'd been hoping to win a copy of Never Gone and haven't yet, check out Read Review Smile (2 copies up for grabs) and Day 6 of  Fifteen Days of Christmas giveaway at Ramblings of a Book Junkie!

How will you celebrate Three Dozen Day? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Laurel Garver
I'm calling today "three dozen day," in honor of the date 12/12/12. It will be a long while until we have another symmetrical date like today's . We'll of course have 1/3/13 and a palindrome, 3/1/13 next year, but that's not quite as pretty as the date patterns we've had going for the past eleven years, starting with 01/01/01.

To celebrate, here are three sets of a dozen goodies for you:

A dozen quotes (from yours truly)

"...truth is beautiful, no matter where you find it."
(From a guest post for Tricia O'Brien, "Make your stories sing")

"If you wait for inspiration to strike or writing conditions to be optimal, you’ll never finish anything. You have to keep chipping away at projects on good days and bad."
(From my interview on Read Review Smile)

"Gratitude is light in the darkness, friends. It is a powerful weapon against despair, a powerful creator of joy." (From "Thanks and Joy")

"A funny thing about listening to fear--it takes away your power to contradict it."
(From "Leaving Fear, Grasping Hope")

"Hope comes from being like the Magi--keeping an eye on the far horizon, watching for something good. We lose hope when unhappy things in the immediate environment consume our vision and we stop regularly scanning the horizon." (From "Following Your Star")

"...the stuff of creativity--joy, life energy, what have you--is like manna in the wilderness. It is a gift that must be gathered fresh daily." (From "Living Forward")

"The past doesn't stay in the past. It always has implications for the present and future."
(From "I've Got a History")

"Remember that where you come from shapes who you are."
(From an interview with Melissa Sarno, "Let Setting Emerge from Character")

"Real attraction, real magnetism is more deeply layered than finding someone hot. It grows out of finding something admirable in another person that resonates with who you are and want to be."
(From a guest post for Laura Pauling: "Romance is more than 'hotness'")

"The writers who do non-preachy well...succeed because the way faith deeply shapes how the characters think...around the idea of rescue and redemption, of deeply needing help themselves."
(From interview with Karen Akins, "Edgy? Clean? Writing across genre divides")

"Despite the eye-rolling, daughters know they’re valued when their dads don’t let just any guy get close to them."
(From a guest post for Tyrean Martinson, "Why Dads Matter")

"One of the most lovely things about literature is how it opens a window into other worlds, gives us a chance to understand other perspectives by living inside them for just a little while."
(from guest post for Leigh T. Moore, "Getting Real About Faith...and Doubt")


A dozen albums that inspired Never Gone

The Hurting, by Tears for Fears
Requiem, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Disintigration, by The Cure
Once Upon a Time, by Simple Minds
Macalla, by Clannad
Avalon, by Roxy Music
Mercury Falling, by Sting
Fields of Gold, by Sting
Hey Jude, by The Beatles
Optical Race, by Tangerine Dream
Thirtysomething Soundtrack
The Best of Simon and Garfunkel, by Simon and Garfunkel

A dozen British slang terms from Never Gone

barking mad / barmy / blimey / bollocks / crikey / fancy / gadding about / Geordie / git / hobgoblin / nutter / peaky

More chances to win

I also have a few giveaways going on. If you'd been hoping to win a copy of Never Gone and haven't yet, check out Read Review Smile (2 copies up for grabs) and Day 6 of  Fifteen Days of Christmas giveaway at Ramblings of a Book Junkie!

How will you celebrate Three Dozen Day? 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'm excited to announce the release of The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2012 anthology! My fiction vignette, New Hues, was selected to appear in this wonderful volume, jam-packed with evocative poetry and prose from 108 contributors.


Here's the description from Goodreads:
The vignette is a snapshot in words, and differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead it focuses on one element: mood, character, setting, or object.

The journal, published quarterly online, is a lush synergy of atmospheric prose, poetry, photography and illustrations, put together with an eye for aesthetics as well as literary merit. The annual print anthology showcases the very best pieces that appeared in the journal.

From the haunting prose of Theresa Milstein and Carrie Mumford, to the controversial and quirky work of H. Edgar Hix and Greg Belliveau, the pathological effects of cigarettes and apple seeds, ice sculptures and mental illness, a lovable old man named Joseph, and how the good old washing machine can change one's life. Oh, and how could we forget the mother with the scissors? Each vignette merges to create a vivid snapshot in time and place. Prepare for big stories in small spaces, between and beyond the words. 

Read them one at a time. Savour them. Taste them.

Live them.


To purchase, go to: http://emergent-publishing.com/bookstore/the-best-of-vine-leaves-literary-journal-2012/

Vine Leaves Literary Journal website
Vine Leaves Facebook Fan Page
Vine Leaves on Twitter
eMergent Publishing website
eMergent FB Fan Page
eMergent on Twitter

Any good news to share with me?
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Laurel Garver

I'm excited to announce the release of The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2012 anthology! My fiction vignette, New Hues, was selected to appear in this wonderful volume, jam-packed with evocative poetry and prose from 108 contributors.


Here's the description from Goodreads:
The vignette is a snapshot in words, and differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead it focuses on one element: mood, character, setting, or object.

The journal, published quarterly online, is a lush synergy of atmospheric prose, poetry, photography and illustrations, put together with an eye for aesthetics as well as literary merit. The annual print anthology showcases the very best pieces that appeared in the journal.

From the haunting prose of Theresa Milstein and Carrie Mumford, to the controversial and quirky work of H. Edgar Hix and Greg Belliveau, the pathological effects of cigarettes and apple seeds, ice sculptures and mental illness, a lovable old man named Joseph, and how the good old washing machine can change one's life. Oh, and how could we forget the mother with the scissors? Each vignette merges to create a vivid snapshot in time and place. Prepare for big stories in small spaces, between and beyond the words. 

Read them one at a time. Savour them. Taste them.

Live them.


To purchase, go to: http://emergent-publishing.com/bookstore/the-best-of-vine-leaves-literary-journal-2012/

Vine Leaves Literary Journal website
Vine Leaves Facebook Fan Page
Vine Leaves on Twitter
eMergent Publishing website
eMergent FB Fan Page
eMergent on Twitter

Any good news to share with me?

Monday, December 10, 2012


"Writing religion is risky. Beliefs and values are so core to our identities, our vision of the good life, and these beliefs often come into conflict. And yet teens need to see themselves in fiction...."

I shared these thoughts and many more with author Leigh T. Moore over that That's Write. You can find my guest post on writing authentic religious experience HERE.

Do you read much faith-based fiction? Why or why not? Who do you think does it well?
Monday, December 10, 2012 Laurel Garver

"Writing religion is risky. Beliefs and values are so core to our identities, our vision of the good life, and these beliefs often come into conflict. And yet teens need to see themselves in fiction...."

I shared these thoughts and many more with author Leigh T. Moore over that That's Write. You can find my guest post on writing authentic religious experience HERE.

Do you read much faith-based fiction? Why or why not? Who do you think does it well?

Friday, December 07, 2012

The holiday season is upon us, and that means it's time to...
crack out the paper, scissors, exacto knife and hole punch to craft some out-of-this-world SNOWFLAKES.

To get started, you need to create a simple sketch of the image you're snowflak-izing that's also symmetrical--identical on either side of a fold. The cut-away areas will be the contrast parts of the image, the remaining paper, the primary/background color so to speak. See this page of templates for an example of how it works.

Follow these basic instructions for making a six-pointed snowflake. At step seven, you'll use your folded-in-half sketch to guide where you cut.

Keep in mind that it may take several attempts to arrive at a flake that is recognizable and also aesthetically pleasing.

Check out the themed snowflakes my hubby created working from his own sketches. The TARDIS took the most prototypes to arrive at its final form. He figured out that two-point perspective worked best for creating depth and symmetry to what's largely a big rectangle if viewed from only one side.





























Can you recognize the iconic Dr. Who images in each? Do you like to play around with traditional crafts?

Friday, December 07, 2012 Laurel Garver
The holiday season is upon us, and that means it's time to...
crack out the paper, scissors, exacto knife and hole punch to craft some out-of-this-world SNOWFLAKES.

To get started, you need to create a simple sketch of the image you're snowflak-izing that's also symmetrical--identical on either side of a fold. The cut-away areas will be the contrast parts of the image, the remaining paper, the primary/background color so to speak. See this page of templates for an example of how it works.

Follow these basic instructions for making a six-pointed snowflake. At step seven, you'll use your folded-in-half sketch to guide where you cut.

Keep in mind that it may take several attempts to arrive at a flake that is recognizable and also aesthetically pleasing.

Check out the themed snowflakes my hubby created working from his own sketches. The TARDIS took the most prototypes to arrive at its final form. He figured out that two-point perspective worked best for creating depth and symmetry to what's largely a big rectangle if viewed from only one side.





























Can you recognize the iconic Dr. Who images in each? Do you like to play around with traditional crafts?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

My great-grandpa trained horses for Ringling Bros.
Yesterday, my nephew asked for help gathering enough family history to write a ten-page college paper. I quickly piped up with the most zany pieces of family lore I could remember. How a great grandfather ran off and joined the circus. How a great aunt had been in the Ziegfield follies. How my dad worked as a sideshow freak as a kid. (They called him Lizard Boy--he had ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition.)

One of the coolest things about being last born, and a late-in-life child, was having my parents to myself as they entered late middle age and became obsessed with legacy. I loved hearing the colorful stories of my grandmother meeting Boris Karloff when he did the Vaudeville circuit because the family boarding house was a usual stop for Vaudeville troupes. How my grandfather lost so much weight in dental school because he had to eat lunch in the anatomy lab, where formaldehyde-soaked cadavers lay partly dissected.

But I equally cherished hearing how harsh my paternal grandfather was and why my maternal grandparents divorced when my mom was seven. These stories are far more deeply important because they explained so much about who my parents had become, why my dad was such a softie, why my mom was terrified of drunk people.

That I was so steeped in family lore in my teens and early twenties surely shaped my sensibilities as a writer. Because it made clear to me that the past doesn't stay in the past. It always has implications for the present and future.

I'm guest posting at Tessa's blog, and when she asked what I hope readers will take away from my novel Never Gone, this is one the points I emphasized:

"Getting to know your parents’ stories is an essential part of growing up the relationship. It’s easy to misjudge them when you don’t know what struggles, hardships and heartbreaks they’ve endured, and how those things have shaped them."

You can read more of my interview with Tessa Emily Hall HERE.

Do you know your parents' stories? How might learning family history help you better understand family members and their interpersonal dynamics? 


photo credit: keyseeker at morguefile.com
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 Laurel Garver
My great-grandpa trained horses for Ringling Bros.
Yesterday, my nephew asked for help gathering enough family history to write a ten-page college paper. I quickly piped up with the most zany pieces of family lore I could remember. How a great grandfather ran off and joined the circus. How a great aunt had been in the Ziegfield follies. How my dad worked as a sideshow freak as a kid. (They called him Lizard Boy--he had ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition.)

One of the coolest things about being last born, and a late-in-life child, was having my parents to myself as they entered late middle age and became obsessed with legacy. I loved hearing the colorful stories of my grandmother meeting Boris Karloff when he did the Vaudeville circuit because the family boarding house was a usual stop for Vaudeville troupes. How my grandfather lost so much weight in dental school because he had to eat lunch in the anatomy lab, where formaldehyde-soaked cadavers lay partly dissected.

But I equally cherished hearing how harsh my paternal grandfather was and why my maternal grandparents divorced when my mom was seven. These stories are far more deeply important because they explained so much about who my parents had become, why my dad was such a softie, why my mom was terrified of drunk people.

That I was so steeped in family lore in my teens and early twenties surely shaped my sensibilities as a writer. Because it made clear to me that the past doesn't stay in the past. It always has implications for the present and future.

I'm guest posting at Tessa's blog, and when she asked what I hope readers will take away from my novel Never Gone, this is one the points I emphasized:

"Getting to know your parents’ stories is an essential part of growing up the relationship. It’s easy to misjudge them when you don’t know what struggles, hardships and heartbreaks they’ve endured, and how those things have shaped them."

You can read more of my interview with Tessa Emily Hall HERE.

Do you know your parents' stories? How might learning family history help you better understand family members and their interpersonal dynamics? 


photo credit: keyseeker at morguefile.com

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Click to add me to Goodreads!
Have you been told there's a little too much telling in your novel? Want to remedy it? Then this is the book for you!

In Show and Tell in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Telling to Showing you will find sixteen real scenes depicting a variety of situations, emotions, and characteristics which clearly demonstrate how to turn telling into showing. Dispersed throughout, and at the back of the book, are blank pages to take notes as you read. A few short writing prompts are also provided.

Not only is this pocket guide an excellent learning tool for aspiring writers, but it is a light, convenient, and easy solution to honing your craft no matter how broad your writing experience. Keep it in the side pocket of your school bag, throw it in your purse, or even carry it around in the pocket of your jeans or jacket, to enhance your skills, keep notes, and jot down story ideas, anywhere, anytime.

If you purchase the e-book, you will be armed with the convenient hyper-linked Contents Page, where you can toggle backward and forward from different scenes with ease. Use your e-reader's highlighting and note-taking tools to keep notes instead.

The author, Jessica Bell, also welcomes questions via email, concerning the content of this book, or about showing vs. telling in general, at showandtellinanutshell@gmail.com

Reviews:
“Jessica Bell addresses one of the most common yet elusive pieces of writing advice—show, don't tell—in a uniquely user-friendly and effective way: by example. By studying the sixteen scenes she converts from “telling” into “showing,” not only will you clearly understand the difference; you will be inspired by her vivid imagery and dialogue to pour through your drafts and do the same.” ~Jenny Baranick, College English Teacher, Author of Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares
“A practical, no-nonsense resource that will help new and experienced writers alike deal with that dreaded piece of advice: show, don’t tell. I wish Bell’s book had been around when I started writing!” ~Talli Roland, bestselling author

Purchase the paperback:
$4.40 on Amazon US
£3.99 on Amazon UK

Purchase the e-book:
$1.99 on Amazon US
£1.99 on Amazon UK
$1.99 on Kobo

About the Author:
The Australian-native contemporary fiction author and poet, Jessica Bell, also makes a living as an editor and writer for global ELT publishers (English Language Teaching), such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

She is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and co-hosts the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek Isle of Ithaca, with Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest.

For more information about Jessica Bell, please visit: 
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 Laurel Garver
Click to add me to Goodreads!
Have you been told there's a little too much telling in your novel? Want to remedy it? Then this is the book for you!

In Show and Tell in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Telling to Showing you will find sixteen real scenes depicting a variety of situations, emotions, and characteristics which clearly demonstrate how to turn telling into showing. Dispersed throughout, and at the back of the book, are blank pages to take notes as you read. A few short writing prompts are also provided.

Not only is this pocket guide an excellent learning tool for aspiring writers, but it is a light, convenient, and easy solution to honing your craft no matter how broad your writing experience. Keep it in the side pocket of your school bag, throw it in your purse, or even carry it around in the pocket of your jeans or jacket, to enhance your skills, keep notes, and jot down story ideas, anywhere, anytime.

If you purchase the e-book, you will be armed with the convenient hyper-linked Contents Page, where you can toggle backward and forward from different scenes with ease. Use your e-reader's highlighting and note-taking tools to keep notes instead.

The author, Jessica Bell, also welcomes questions via email, concerning the content of this book, or about showing vs. telling in general, at showandtellinanutshell@gmail.com

Reviews:
“Jessica Bell addresses one of the most common yet elusive pieces of writing advice—show, don't tell—in a uniquely user-friendly and effective way: by example. By studying the sixteen scenes she converts from “telling” into “showing,” not only will you clearly understand the difference; you will be inspired by her vivid imagery and dialogue to pour through your drafts and do the same.” ~Jenny Baranick, College English Teacher, Author of Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares
“A practical, no-nonsense resource that will help new and experienced writers alike deal with that dreaded piece of advice: show, don’t tell. I wish Bell’s book had been around when I started writing!” ~Talli Roland, bestselling author

Purchase the paperback:
$4.40 on Amazon US
£3.99 on Amazon UK

Purchase the e-book:
$1.99 on Amazon US
£1.99 on Amazon UK
$1.99 on Kobo

About the Author:
The Australian-native contemporary fiction author and poet, Jessica Bell, also makes a living as an editor and writer for global ELT publishers (English Language Teaching), such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

She is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and co-hosts the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek Isle of Ithaca, with Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest.

For more information about Jessica Bell, please visit: 
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

Monday, December 03, 2012

Maybe you're just coming off the high of "winning" NaNo and realize your first draft is, alas, full of flaws.
Maybe you've drawn up a holiday gift-buying list and realize there's no way you can afford all these wonderful gifts you think you must buy for precious family and friends.
Maybe you  have to sing in front of a roomful of people with a pretty serious head cold (that would be me. LOL.)

You're forced to face the fact that you aren't perfect. And if you never bought into the perfection myth, that's no big deal. But if you have, moments like these mean extreme anxiety.

What do I mean by "the perfection myth"? It's an inner script that says:

As long as I do everything just right, I will be safe.

You'll note a few key concepts here. It's very self-focused; it's what I do. It's absolute; I must to everything just right. It's nebulous; "just right" is never defined. It's tied to survival; my very safety depends on it, and the alternative is unthinkably awful.

Last week I heard author Anne Lamott speak (part of a book tour for her latest release, Help, Thanks, Wow), and perfectionism was one of the topics she tackled with wit, honesty and grace. This kind of striving for perfection, especially as I've defined it above, has less to do with being our best selves and more with fear. This kind of perfectionism comes out of the crucible of unpredictable, chaotic environments. Striving to do right is a means of achieving control.

But the fact is, perfectionism promises freedom from fear while creating more anxiety. Because the truth of all of us is that we're broken people. We've been harmed by others and we have weaknesses ourselves. The myth of perfectionism says I'm not safe if I'm not doing everything "just right," therefore, I must cover over all my inadequacies to stay safe.

That, friends, is living a lie. Lamott connected the dots of this to conclude that perfectionism is "the voice of the oppressor," is demonic. By that she means anything that encourages vices--like dishonesty and pride in this case--intends our ultimate ruin and is aligned with all evil.

The divine voice tells us, "You are broken, but you are mine. I love you and will hold and heal you."

Learning to find safety in acceptance by a higher power ("as I understand him," Lamott added, quoting from the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program) involves letting a mess happen and seeing how little it actually effects the people around you. They don't care as much as you think.

The other big antidote to perfectionism is laughter. Lamott called it "carbonated holiness."  Laughter looks at weakness and is not undone by it. Rather, it is thankful for the honesty. Joys in it, in fact.

We stumble, and laugh and know we are frail. We are not the be-all and end-all of the universe. With that attitude, we can love well and create with the kind of honest freedom that brings more light into the world.

Trying to be perfect is a most dangerous game. So laugh when you fall. Your freedom depends on it.

Do you struggle with perfectionism? Do Lamott's observations speak to you?
Monday, December 03, 2012 Laurel Garver
Maybe you're just coming off the high of "winning" NaNo and realize your first draft is, alas, full of flaws.
Maybe you've drawn up a holiday gift-buying list and realize there's no way you can afford all these wonderful gifts you think you must buy for precious family and friends.
Maybe you  have to sing in front of a roomful of people with a pretty serious head cold (that would be me. LOL.)

You're forced to face the fact that you aren't perfect. And if you never bought into the perfection myth, that's no big deal. But if you have, moments like these mean extreme anxiety.

What do I mean by "the perfection myth"? It's an inner script that says:

As long as I do everything just right, I will be safe.

You'll note a few key concepts here. It's very self-focused; it's what I do. It's absolute; I must to everything just right. It's nebulous; "just right" is never defined. It's tied to survival; my very safety depends on it, and the alternative is unthinkably awful.

Last week I heard author Anne Lamott speak (part of a book tour for her latest release, Help, Thanks, Wow), and perfectionism was one of the topics she tackled with wit, honesty and grace. This kind of striving for perfection, especially as I've defined it above, has less to do with being our best selves and more with fear. This kind of perfectionism comes out of the crucible of unpredictable, chaotic environments. Striving to do right is a means of achieving control.

But the fact is, perfectionism promises freedom from fear while creating more anxiety. Because the truth of all of us is that we're broken people. We've been harmed by others and we have weaknesses ourselves. The myth of perfectionism says I'm not safe if I'm not doing everything "just right," therefore, I must cover over all my inadequacies to stay safe.

That, friends, is living a lie. Lamott connected the dots of this to conclude that perfectionism is "the voice of the oppressor," is demonic. By that she means anything that encourages vices--like dishonesty and pride in this case--intends our ultimate ruin and is aligned with all evil.

The divine voice tells us, "You are broken, but you are mine. I love you and will hold and heal you."

Learning to find safety in acceptance by a higher power ("as I understand him," Lamott added, quoting from the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program) involves letting a mess happen and seeing how little it actually effects the people around you. They don't care as much as you think.

The other big antidote to perfectionism is laughter. Lamott called it "carbonated holiness."  Laughter looks at weakness and is not undone by it. Rather, it is thankful for the honesty. Joys in it, in fact.

We stumble, and laugh and know we are frail. We are not the be-all and end-all of the universe. With that attitude, we can love well and create with the kind of honest freedom that brings more light into the world.

Trying to be perfect is a most dangerous game. So laugh when you fall. Your freedom depends on it.

Do you struggle with perfectionism? Do Lamott's observations speak to you?