A Slice of Orange



July 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , ,

         Writing a book is a work of love. However, things get in the way, i.e. work. We all dream of the day when we can make enough money to survive by writing. Until that day comes (if it ever does), we need to keep our full time jobs. We wrote and published our first five books working full time.

         When do you write? This is a common question people always ask us. And it all comes down to time management and what you can do working around your family and work schedule.

         Both of us use to go into work 1-2 hours early each morning just to write. We brought our lap tops and clicked away until it was time to start work. Egg timers are great for working an hour at a time. Don’t forget to bring your breakfast. Some people prefer to stay later at work which may work better for you. Be sure to plan at least an hour or more at a time.

         Look for gaps in your day, including breaks, waiting for the mail, or meetings. Basically anytime you may have a few minutes, i.e.,  typing, or writing a note for characterization, dialogue or sub plot in a writing notebook, on a napkin/piece or scrap paper/paper towel and pocket it. You never know when inspiration will hit. Nothing is more frustrating than coming up with a fantastic idea, telling yourself you’ll remember and when it comes down to writing…forgetting.

Keep up the good writing.

Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.

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Author Larry L. Deibert – a Time Traveling man!

July 2, 2020 by in category Jann says . . ., Writing tagged as , , ,

Larry Deibert has written fourteen books: Combat Boots dainty feet-Finding Love In Vietnam, The Christmas City Vampire, The Other Side Of The Ridge-Gettysburg, June 27th, 2013 to July 2nd, 1863, Family, Fathoms, From Darkness To Light, The Life Of Riley, Santa’s Day Jobs, Werewolves In The Christmas City, The Christmas City Angel, Witches Werewolves And Walter, The Other Side Of The Ridge, New York 1930, The Other Side Of The Ridge, New York City, September 10th and 11th, 2001,  and A Christmas City Christmas, all published by Kindle Direct Publishing  https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

He is a Vietnam veteran and is the past president of the Lehigh Northampton Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Macungie, Pa. Larry retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2008 after working as a letter carrier for over 21 years. He and his wife, Peggy, live in Hellertown, Pa., where he enjoys reading and writing.

Larry’s website is, www.larryldeibert.com.

You can contact Larry at larrydeibert@rcn.com. Signed copies may be purchased directly from the author.

We’re here today with Author Larry L. Deibert to talk about his Time Travel Trilogy, so let’s get started.

Jann: What is the premise of your Time Travel Trilogy, The Other Side Of The Ridge?

Larry: Initially I was only going to write one novella with the premise of a black man being captured by Confederates in 1863, but when I finished the book, I thought I had to have him move on and hopefully someday return to 2013.

Jann: Did you encounter any unique challenges when writing this Trilogy?

 Larry: Yes, a writer friend of mine told me that I could not use two methods of time travel in the same story because it was against the rules. Time travel offers a great many challenges, and I had to do more research than usual to make sure I had things right.

Jann: Your main character, Dan Rodin, has some great adventures throughout this Series. What challenges does he have to overcome? Who is Dan Rodin?

Larry: Dan Rodin is a black retired Brigadier General in the United States Army and he is a Vietnam veteran. He has to adapt to the time periods he is sent to and in the first novella, he has to endure the taunts, physically and verbally about the color of his skin. He has to do his best to not make any changes to the historical time-line.

Jann: What has been the most rewarding part of having written this Trilogy?

 Larry: I think being able to guide characters from 2013 to 1863 and then 1930 and 2001, and finally back to 2013 was extremely rewarding. I learned a lot about these times in the past and how 21st century characters could live and work in different eras.

Jann: Is Time Travel your favorite genre?

Larry: One of my favorites, along with horror and paranormal. Those genres just open up so many ideas and ways to scare my readers.

Jann:. What are you working on now? Can you tell us about your next project?

 Larry: I’m getting ready to publish my third book in the trilogy, The Other Side Of The Ridge, New York City, September 10th and 11th, 2001. I finally got a copy of Requiem For A Vampire from my daughter, not having been able to find the manuscript disc. Now I have the challenge of looking at the book as I retype the novel. I wrote it 21 years ago and I was never completely happy with the characters and the story. I also am working on many short stories, both old and new and I want to put them all in a book someday.

Jann: Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories? What? Why?

Larry: In every book I always try to include a Vietnam veteran and my late dog, Riley. I served in Vietnam and I loved my dog to death, and obviously beyond.

Jann: Do you have any writing rituals? Schedule?

 Larry: No, since I don’t earn a living writing, I just write when the mood strikes me.

Jann: What Kind of writer are you? A page a day or a burst writer?

 Larry: I would have to say I am a burst writer.

Jann: Are there any words of inspiration on your computer, in your office or in your mind when you write?

 Larry: Not really. When I was writing Requiem For A Vampire, my family and I were in old town Williamsburg, Va. I happened to see a young woman who resembled my vampire. I took her picture and hung it on the wall above my computer.

Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received.? What’s the worst?

 Larry: Keep writing; Quit writing.

Jann: Have you ever suffered writer’s block? If so, how did/do you get past it?

 Larry: Yes, I think many writers go through that from time to time. When I get it really bad, like I did with writing my novel, Family, I just go to something else, but I still think about where I am stuck until I get an idea. It took almost 5 years to finish Family. I have been working on a murder mystery for over two years, having been stuck for at least a year. I think I need to reread what I have written so far and maybe something will come to me.

Jann: How do you stay motivated? What drives you to keep writing?

 Larry: Sometimes I don’t think I’m really motivated, but my drive is when I get a story idea, I need to see it through to conclusion.

Jann: What are you dying to try next?

 Larry: I’m very excited about working on my short stories and rewriting Requiem. I have submitted a story to my writer’s group for the annual anthology and I am hoping to see it published. I have never been in an anthology before. I also want to write book 2 of Combat Boots dainty feet-Finding Love in Vietnam. Originally it was titled 95 Bravo and it is a story about the Military Police. Book 2 will focus on the 716th MP Battalion and how they helped save Saigon during the Tet Offensive in 1968. I’ve been working on it on and off for about five or six years.

Jann: What’s the best thing about being an author?

 Larry: Taking an idea and creating characters and settings in which to have that idea grow into a believable story. Greeting readers at various book signings and having them share their thoughts about my books. Selling books to virtual strangers is also pretty cool.

Jann: Thank you so much Larry for spending this time with us and sharing your life as a writer.

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Tom Swifties and the Art of the Dialogue Tag

June 28, 2020 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field, Writing tagged as , ,

One of the rules of contemporary fiction is that all words ending in -ly ought to be found in a Word search and banished.

Another rule is to avoid using substitutes for said: no murmurs, grunts, hisses, etc.

But it wasn’t always this way!

In what I always think of as the Golden Age of pulp fiction, an author might get away with a Tom Swifty. Though I have a degree in English and I’ve been to countless writing conferences, I only just learned this term from one of Anne R. Allen’s blog posts.

So what is a Tom Swifty?

In case you don’t have time to link to the Merriam-Webster article here’s the definition:

“A Tom Swifty is a play on words taking the form of a quotation ascribed to Tom and followed by an adverb.”

Or, as Wikipedia says, it’s

“a phrase in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed.”

Tom Swift

Edward Stratemeyer,
A “punny” guy

First published in 1910, the Tom Swift books spanned multiple series, and were written by Edward Stratemeyer and other authors under the pseudonym Victor Appleton. Stratemeyer was also the creator of the Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins, and Nancy Drew books.

I haven’t read Tom Swift, but I grew up with Nancy Drew. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have as many successful book series as Edward Stratemeyer?

Another famous author of commercial fiction used this sort of “punny” literary device: Charles Dickens. Ah, the good old days when authors could have more fun.

Examples, please…

A whole book has been written on the subject, Tom Swifties, by Paul Pease and Bill McDonough. The few copies available start at $40 on Amazon!

But, the Wikipedia article on the subject has a long list of howlers like these:

  • “I love hot dogs,” said Tom with relish.
  • “I forgot what I needed at the store,” Tom said listlessly.
  • “I have no flowers,” Tom said lackadaisically.

I could see these working in a humorous cozy mystery!

Do you have a favorite Tom Swifty? Share in the comments below!

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My Dad’s Super Power

June 22, 2020 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as ,

My father always said, “Know who you are. In whatever you do, do your best.” By his hard work and example, he instilled in me the importance of integrity and quality. This makes me scrutinize everything I say and write (sometimes to excess). But also causes me to dig a little deeper and write from the heart which makes for a satisfying journey.

When I showed interest in wearing makeup, he made me feel beautiful and confident without it. In his own special way, he taught me that natural and simple is best. So writing, I find, is like learning how to dress and color coordinate. You develop your own style. Mix and match colors to accentuate. Create different looks depending on the season and occasion. Dress to impress or just to chill out. And when you meet a special someone…dress to be “effective.” You want your writing to stand out, but not overwhelm. That would be like wearing too much makeup. Picture the character, Mimi, on the Drew Carey show, or the sea witch, Ursula, in Disney’s, The Little Mermaid.

“Be original. Be creative,” said dad. “And above all, when you speak, don’t ramble.” By which he meant that if someone asks the time, don’t explain how a clock is made. (That’s when I edit, edit, edit).

Many writers speak of having a muse, but I find that although my father is long gone from this world, the words and teachings which he wove into my being continue to guide and inspire me. This leads me to conclude that my dad had a super power: Words.

I hope I have inherited it.

See you next time on July 22nd.  

Veronica Jorge

For all you’ve taught me, dad, this one’s for you.

Veronica Jorge – 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.

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June 20, 2020 by in category A Bit of Magic by Meriam Wilhelm, Writing

I read this quote in Daily Inspirational Quotes the other day and it made me think…

Don’t write your name on the sand, waves will wash it away.

Don’t write your name in the sky, the wind may blow it away.

Write your name inside the hearts of people you come in touch with. That’s where it will stay.  

Maybe that’s what we’re all hoping to do each time we write a blog, an article or a book. We hope that somehow our words might just touch the heart of someone new and lighten their load, spark a curiosity or bring a hint of  laughter. But the words in this particular quote felt incomplete and left me wanting more, so I added my own line. Perhaps you’d like to add one too?

Here’s mine – Write down your thoughts in stories that inspire, intrigue, probe, caress or challenge – a subtle reminder that we’re all on the same road, searching for our own enlightened serenity.

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