Now that so many people are working on their iPhones and iPads, Scrivener came out with an operating system to do just that, and Rebecca Schiller will be here in September to show us how. This is an exciting development and I know people have been waiting for this class, me included!
About the Class:
This course will teach you to write anywhere using Scrivener for iOS. Similar to Scrivener for Mac or Windows, Scrivener for iOS has a different user interface specifically designed for the iPad and iPhone. Learn how to use its unique features and work or edit your manuscript while on the go. This course will consist of ten lessonsfrom setting up Scrivener and Dropbox on your iPad or iPhone to syncing your work with your desktop version. You’ll also learn how to create projects, use all the features specific to the iOS platform and more!
About the Instructor:
Rebeca Schiller is a freelance writer and blogger. She discovered Scrivener in 2010 and uses it exclusively for all her writing. She is the creator of the Simply Scrivener blog and writes about her writing trials and tribulations at RebecaSchiller.com.
This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. If you do not have a Yahoo ID you will be prompted to create one when you join the class, but the process is not difficult. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.
Enroll here: http://occrwa.org/classes/sept-online-class/
OCC/RWA Online Class Co-coordinator
You’ve come a long way, baby!
I recently read a debut novel by one of my fellow members in the Historical Novel Society. The book relates the story of a young women struggling against prejudice and hypocrisy in the 1800s, but it equally applies to women today.
As I read the book, I recalled the saying, “But, for the grace of God, there go I,” because indeed, this girl’s life could have been mine… or yours.
This month I would like to share a review I wrote for her book and I hope you will all be inspired to read it. I’m sure you’ll be as moved as I was, and still am.
Nan A. Talese
Picture yourself in a theater. The lights begin to dim and the audience quiets. A paper crinkles as the last candy is unwrapped. Overhead, a beam casts its glow on the stage and illuminates a Quaker woman seated in a plain, high back wooden chair, a baby nestled against her breast. The woman begins to speak and her soft even tone hypnotizes you. When her eyes find you, it might as well be you in the spotlight because her words expose and reveal the attitudes and prejudices in your heart.
Such is the power of Janet Benton’s novel, Lilli de Jong.
In mesmerizing detail, like a friend relating a most intimate story, we personally hear and are moved by a young woman’s encounter with the realities of her time, while Janet Benton’s tender and elegant prose carry us protectively through the most heart-rending scenes.
“Home” ceases to exist. Men, and women alike, take advantage of her misfortunes. Society has no place or tolerance for “fallen” women. And religion, a refuge for the soul, provides no compassionate haven for women “like her.”
Janet Benton tells a compelling story of the plight of unwed mothers; situations, unfortunately, as real and relevant today as in the 1800s, the time period in which the story unfolds. As far as society has progressed, difficulties still persist, as mothers who are single-parents will attest, in terms of finding employment, child-care, housing, and… honor and respect.
Lilli’s story ends. The audience solemnly exits the theater.
And this reader hopes that each of us will be more inclined toward mercy than judgement, and earnestly look for opportunities to extend a helping hand.
See you next time on September 22nd.
Manager, Educator, and former High School Social Studies teacher, Veronica credits her love of history to the potpourri of cultures that make up her own life and to her upbringing in diverse Brooklyn, New York. Her genres of choice are Historical Fiction where she always makes new discoveries and Children’s Picture Books because there are so many wonderful worlds yet to be imagined and visited. She currently resides in Macungie, PA.
It’s a saying we learn as children: Don’t judge a book by its cover. It means, of course, that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, and we should look within to discover the true meaning and worth of an object or a person. It’s an excellent lesson, made more memorable because of the catchy phrase we associate with it.
As we apply that to sage advice to many things, though, do we follow it literally? Most of us do exactly the opposite when it comes to actual books.
A book’s cover can tell us many things: the genre, the age group that is the target audience, and even how professionally the book has been produced. Take these two anthologies for example: Once Upon a Time: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales for All Ages, and Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse.
Certainly the titles and subtitles give us some clue as to genre and target audience, which is good since not every communication about a book comes with a cover image. But, as another old adage reminds us, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so the cover design has a greater impact than the title on our first impressions of a book. The two book covers for these anthologies are:
These two covers elicit very different first impressions. The former (Once Upon a Time) is colorful, magical, and a bit whimsical. The font has a fairy tale feel. One would not have any qualms about picking it up and handing it to a child to leaf through. It invites children and adults into a world of imagination.
The latter cover (Day of the Dark) is mysterious, and bit foreboding. Looking at this cover, you would not expect it to be the reminiscences of people who have viewed an actual eclipse, despite its title. No—this cover tells us these stories are apt to be a bit darker. The color and font used for the subtitle, Stories of Eclipse, reinforces that impression. This book doesn’t reach out to a children’s audience the way the castle and happy dragon do on Once Upon a Time.
The same is true for books within the same genre. My new mystery, Death in Glenville Falls, has a cover that should tell you something about what might lie behind it:
The colors are warm and inviting, and the scene charming. There’s even a cat. This idyllic scene might make you think of Jan Karon’s Mitford series. But there is clearly a sinister element afoot, for what foul force would result in the stabbed book in the foreground? This cover tells you that there is a mystery inside, but it falls within the traditional/cozy side of the genre. It might keep you up at night because you want to keep reading, but it probably won’t give you nightmares.
On the other hand, my friend Geoffrey Mehl has a book, Nine Lives, that also falls within the mystery genre. With a title like that, it could be the story of the cat on the cover of my mystery, but his cover looks like this:
The sinister element is certainly there—silhouettes of people holding guns—but none of the reassuring, small-town charm balances it. Instead, we see computer code streaming behind them. This is clearly an edgier, suspense novel—and probably one having to do with computer data.
The same can be true, even for books with similar titles—only the cover tells us whether it’s one we’ll want to pick up and read more about or not. Take, for example, the books The Vampire’s Prisoner and Vampire King. Both titles suggest a powerful vampire is at work within the pages of the novel, but the covers give very different impressions. Look at:
The two offer very different kinds of chills.
Selecting a cover is often solely left to the discretion of the publisher, but for independent or hybrid publishers, authors have more control over how their books will look. It’s important to bear in mind that the cover image and cover design are truly the potential reader’s first impression of your work. If the cover looks amateurish, the assumption will be that the contents are, too. If, however, your cover grabs the readers’ curiosity, they are more apt to pick up the book, turn it over, and read more about it. If the back cover copy confirms what the cover promises, they might then turn to read the first page. And if they like what they see there, you might well have made a sale.
And all because they have judged your book by its cover.
Carol L. Wright is a former book editor, domestic relations attorney, and adjunct professor. She is the author of articles and one book on law-related subjects. Now focused on fiction, she has several short stories in literary journals and award-winning anthologies. Death in Glenville Falls is her first novel.
She is a founding member of the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC, is a life member of both Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America, and a member of SinC Guppies, PennWriters, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group.
Raised in Massachusetts, she is married to her college sweetheart. They now live in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania with their rescue dog, Mr. Darcy, and a clowder of cats—including one named Dickens.
I was recently at a get together where there were guests of all ages in attendance. We were engaged in a lively discussion about the latest techniques for sewing a baby quilt and I was trying to remember the name of a particular tool I’ve used. Needless to say, I was stumbling around for the correct word.
I said, ‘You know what it’s called. Help me out. It’s um a …thingamajig…you know..’
And so it began…
“Oh, I know what you’re talking about. You mean a whatchamacallit?”
“No, she wants a thingamajiggery”
“Or do you mean a thingamabob?”
“We call those a thingerdoodle.”
“You’re all making it too difficult. Just call it a whatsit.”
“A thingermabobble is what my mom always called it.”
“Maybe a doodad?”
“You mean a oojamaflip?”
Wait – hold on a minute.
Now not only couldn’t I remember the original word I’d been searching for, now I had a second one to worry about. What the heck was a oojamaflip?
I was just trying to remember the name for an Interchangeable Dual Feed sewing machine foot. How did we get so far off track? And who knew there were so many substitute words for thingamajig. By the time I remembered the name I was originally searching for, it no longer seemed important. I was plagued with a new need-to-know word. What did oojamaflip mean and was it the same as thingamajig?
I never did get to talk about this incredible sewing tool as everyone was caught up in their stories of why they use the term they used. In the meantime, I grabbed my phone and typed in oojamaflip. Apparently it’s slang for a thing whose name is temporarily forgotten and used more in Britain than the U.S. It can also be spelled whojamaflip or hoojamaflip.
Next time I forget the name of something I’m going to need to remember to say oojamaflip…that is if I can remember it.