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A DANCE OF WORDS BY VERONICA JORGE

May 22, 2024 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

A Dance of Words | Veronica Jorge | A Slice of Orange

Hispanola, which means the “Spanish island,” became the first Spanish settlement in America. It is my mother’s native country and today we know the eastern section of the island as the Dominican Republic; a fertile land abundant in mines and minerals and rich in a great variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers, where the sun shines brightly year round.

The merengue, the country’s traditional music, embraces you throughout the island for dancing is an entirely social activity independent of holidays or festivals. Any gathering includes dancing because Dominican’s don’t just listen to music, they live it. Emotionally, the merengue celebrates life wherein you partake of the rhythms of love, family and friendship. The most skilled dancer moves in unity with their partner, as one.

My mother, Write from the Heart | Veronica Jorge | A Slice of OrangeCelina Antonia Luna de Jorge, (isn’t that lovely? Like a song in itself), left her beautiful, beloved island, and part of her heart, when she came to America at the age of seventeen. Like most of our ancestors, her family traveled to America in the hope of a better future. I’m happy to say that she found it. (She had me!).

Mom is most fully herself, most fully alive when she is surrounded by her family and cooking us all of the traditional delicious foods of her country. She fills and satisfies us with her peace and joy. And like the savory aromas that waft through the air, she makes our hearts swirl to the rhythms of her warmth and love.

And that’s what I want my writing to be like; a dance of words wherein writer and reader move in sync and taste the flavors of love, friendship, loss and new found purpose, joy and laughter. Writing that, in spite of sorrowful events or hardships, celebrates life and fills the reader with hope that today is indeed worth living.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!

See you next time on June 22nd.

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Featuring Kidd Wadsworth, Author of the Month

May 16, 2024 by in category Featured Author of the Month, Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth tagged as ,

Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

You can read Kidd’s monthly column, Infused with Meaning, here on the 25th of every month. More information about Kidd is found on her website, make sure you take the time to read her “about me” section.


A selection of books that include Kidd’s short stories.


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The Seven Challenges I Love About Writing Short Stories by Jerome W. McFadden

May 13, 2024 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , ,

Multi-award winning Jerome W. McFadden’s has had forty short stories published over the past ten years in magazines, e-zines, and a dozen anthologies. His efforts have won him several national awards and writing contests, receiving a National Bullet Award for the Best Crime fiction on appear on the web in June 2011. His short stories have been read on stage by the Liar’s League in Hong Kong and the Liar’s League in London.

After receiving his B.A. from the University of Missouri, he spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Casablanca, Morocco. Following his MBA from the Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management (Arizona State University). He continued his peripatetic ways with corporate assignments in Houston, Istanbul, Paris, San Francisco, and Singapore, spending his spare time writing free-lance articles for American and newspapers and magazines. He morphed from journalism to short fiction in 2009. He now resides in Bethlehem, Pa. and is an active member of the Bethlehem Writers Group. His collection of 26 short stories, Off The Rails, A Collection of Weird, Wicked, & Wacky Stories, appeared in November, 2019.

The Seven Challenges that I Love About Writing Short Stories

1) You need to get into the story from the very start:


Every word in a short story matters. Time and space are limited. You cannot afford to waste a page or two describing the weather, building the setting, or giving the genealogy of your hero/heroine. You need to get to the guts of the action quickly, pulling the reader in with the first paragraph. By the end of the first page, the reader should be aware of the famous 5 W’s of journalism: Who, where, when, what, with why possibly coming later.

2) You need to quickly define the core of the story:


Short stories follow only one trajectory — one arc—concerning one character (or a small group of characters) traveling through one primary crisis or concern. The crisis or concern is in fact one shattering moment in that person’s (or group’s) life that he/she must work through, successfully or unsuccessfully. Note: That shattering moment does not need to be violent. It could be emotional, psychological, mental, or spiritual, or other. But it needs to be challenging. *

3) You must develop your characters rapidly:


Characters must be constructed with complexity, credibility, and emotion—in as little as a sentence or two. The writer must show character development while actively moving through the story’s narrative. You do not have time or space for the big old info dump. Instead, the writer needs to use clever dialogue, interactions, short flashbacks, and sharp imagery to develop the story’s characters.

4) You are allowed only so many characters in the story:


You are limited to a small cast of characters. A full cast might consist of only one or two characters. Any character you decide to introduce must bring something crucial to the story – or be eliminated. Bringing in a character for “cuteness” or for “color” or just because you like the quirky character in your head, is wasting precious words and precious space in your story. A good rule: Any character that does not bring in two vital elements into the story needs to be eliminated forthwith.

5) Short stories require a strong pace and balance:


Recognize the descriptions and dialogues that slowing the story down, as well those that are those that are moving the story along. You must identify the best place to start, where to put the opening scene that hooks the reader, then maintain that hook to continue to pull the reader through the rest of the story.

6) Short stories teach you to trim the fat:


Short stories leave no time for easing into things (long descriptions, banal conversations, interesting but boring backstory, wild personal tangents). Short stories are just that—short—but they must always pack a punch. This may be the ultimate skill to be learned from short story writing: Trim the fat. My favorite writing “rule” comes from the legendary writer Elmore Lenonard, “Leave out the parts that the readers skip.”

7) A great short story must create an emotional impact:


The stronger, the better. And a great twist at the ending helps make the story memorable.

An added note: The tools and skill you pick up from writing short stories are assets that can and probably should be used in your novel writing.

*This “shattering moment” is described lovingly and in full detail in Chapter 3 – The Big Key in James Scott Bell’s wonderful book How to Write Short Stories And Use Them to Further Your Writing Career.


A Selection of Books with Short Stories by Jerome W. McFadden


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My Debut Novel When Plans Go Awry Releases June 4, 2024

May 12, 2024 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , , , ,

The time is finally here! I’m so excited to announce my debut novel, When Plans Go Awry, launches on Tuesday June 4, 2024. I have a pre-order link on Amazon for the digital version. If you are interested in an actual book, Amazon does not allow pre-orders (which I find absolutely frustrating). Anyway, you’ll be able to snag it for the special pre-order price of $3.99, if you order now. Click on the book cover to take a peek.

Book Cover for Denise M. Colby's Debut novel When Plans Go Awry

Debut Novel and Author Things

As I mentioned in my Debut Author Book Launch Checklist post, I’m learning all the variety of things needed to launch oneself as a debut author (and for a any new book debut). I’ve been busy creating author and book accounts at AmazonFictionfinder and GoodReads, building a new logo, and getting everything ready for my launch team. 

For my logo’s, I wanted to focus on the one-room schoolhouse theme, since that’s the setting for my books. I seem to use this word a lot, but it’s so true. Excited for how these came out.

I have loved partnering with my family to launch my debut novel. My son, Kyle, drew the one-room schoolhouse. He also drew the map I included in my book. My husband drew the journal shown at the beginning of each chapter.

For so long I was building my platform without a book to promote. I’m finding it so fun to finally have a book cover to include in all my author accounts. Here’s my new Facebook author cover.

Also for my debut novel, I’m partnering with Silver Dagger Book Tours and she created this lovely blog banner from my book cover. If anyone runs a book blog and is interested, I’ve included the link here where she is taking signups still to participate.

The blog banner for debut novel When Plans Go Awry for Silver Dagger Book Tours

Launch team for When Plans Go Awry

My launch team fun for my debut novel, When Plans Go Awry, begins this next week. I’m so looking forward to this. It’s not too late to join us. Click on this link to signup. When Plans Go Awry Launch Team Application.

Thank you

I just want to say thank you to all my author friends for their support. I have been on this unpublished journey for over twelve years. If not for my writer friends, I wouldn’t have stuck it out and made it to see the day I could say I have a debut novel!

Yippee!

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I finished writing the sequel to ‘Sisters At War’ called ‘Sisters of the Resistance’ and I’m exhausted by Jina Bacarr

May 11, 2024 by in category historical, Jina’s Book Chat, Paris, sexual assault, sexual violence, World War 2, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

@jinabacarrauthor

Guess what! I finished the sequel to Sisters At War called Sisters of the Resistance Pubblishes July 2nd yay! #historicalbooklover #booksthatmakeyoucry @Boldwood Books @Ulverscroft

♬ original sound – Jina Bacarr Historical Author♥
‘Sisters of the Resistance’

I finished Sisters of the Resistance and I when I got edits back from my editor, her words were golden.

‘Marvelous book… absolutely fantastic…’

And notes.

Questions, queries, suggestions, all those wonderful moments a good editor finds that need just a little bit more work… or maybe more. Notes that make it sparkle and readers cry.

Writing the sequel to ‘Sisters At War’ (Paris WW2 — the story of two sisters and how sexual assault on a sister by the SS affects both their lives),

I owe my fairy godmother better known as my Boldwood Books editor a grande latte with a cherry on the top.

With her guidance and support I finished Sisters of the Resistance (sequel to Sisters At War). I’m working on her notes now.

So back to work… if my hair looks golden in the video, it’s because of the wonderful fairy dust she sprinkled on me!

LINK to more info on Sisters At War and Sisters of the Resistance

Sisters At War:

US https://a.co/d/eZ25gZb      

UK https://amzn.eu/d/0LEWy2z

Who are the Beaufort Sisters?

They’re beautiful

They’re smart

They’re dangerous

They’re at war with the Nazis… and each other.

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