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My Dad’s Super Power

June 22, 2024 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.

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Writing the Romantic Novella

August 19, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , , ,

Writing the Romantic Novella

Presented by: Catherine Chant

Date: September 12 – 23, 2022 (two week)

Pricing: A2P Member fee: $10

Non-A2P Member fee: $25 

About the Workshop:

In this workshop you will learn what a novella is, how it’s more than word count that separates it from a novel, and how to successfully craft one of your own. Lesson topics include: Scope and Pacing, Character Development, Conflict, Plot, and Format. At the end of the workshop, you will have a brief outline of a novella you can start working on this year, a list of prospective publishers to submit your work to, and some tips for self-publishing your novella at Amazon, if you prefer to go the indie route.

About the Presenter:

Catherine Chant is a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart® finalist. She writes rock ‘n’ roll romantic fiction and stories with paranormal twists for young adults. Her young adult rock ‘n’ roll time travel series is available now at your favorite online bookseller and her popular workshop “Grow a Book: Turning Your Story Idea Into a Workable Plot” is now available as an ebook and audio book. She teaches several online workshops for writers throughout the year. You can learn more at her website: http://www.catherinechant.com

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The Eviction of Figures of Speech

July 22, 2022 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , ,

The current trend in writing is to tread carefully when using figurative language because descriptions may be offensive, such as comparing people with foods. So, even though my complexion is cappuccino and my eyes are almond-shaped, I’m not allowed to say that; even about my own self. It’s considered feeding a stereotype. In the Caribbean, we often made jokes by claiming, “I’m not really brown, I just stayed in the sun too long.”  Or, “My hair’s not really kinky, it’s the humidity.”

From time immemorial, (I’m not really saying that time is old. Experienced perhaps?), people have been all colors, shapes, and sizes. Writers, artists and photographers capture what they see. Okay, maybe some artists were punished if the sovereign didn’t like how they were depicted, but a photo doesn’t lie. Yeah, that’s really you. Though nowadays you can doctor it up in photoshop.

It would seem that one may no longer describe characters as ‘cute as a button,’ ‘cool as a cucumber,’ ‘mean as a junkyard dog,’ ‘thick as thieves’, or ‘slow as molasses.’

Although, I don’t think the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz would be offended if I called him a stuffed shirt ‘cause he was. And Jacob Marley will forever remain ‘as dead as a doornail.’

When we order coffee, do we no longer ask for a ‘short’ or ‘tall’?

The characters writers create are fictional. Figurative Language: metaphors, similes and personification, show the reader how the character perceives themselves and/or how they are perceived by others. All of which help the reader to understand the conflicts and motivations in their lives that cause them to act as they do. Descriptive language is also the artistic palette that allows readers to see the characters.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. We are who we are. When did we become so sensitive and easily offended?

In our overzealousness to be politically and diversely correct, we risk creating flat, unrealistic and unbelievable characters that by page five are dead on arrival.

Sometimes I wonder who is this collective that wants to do away with metaphors, similes and personification? As in the Wizard of Oz, I would like to draw back the curtain to reveal the ‘all-powerful’ entity controlling the literary world.

I don’t care what anyone says, the truth is the truth. My grandfather was black as tar, my father thin as six o’clock, my best-friend cackled like a chicken, my aunt nattered like a monkey, my uncle snored like a chainsaw.

And the world really is round, no matter how flat ‘they’ think it is.

See you next time on August 22nd!

Veronica Jorge

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New Beginnings, Left Turns

April 18, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,

New Beginnings, Left Turns

Presented by: Kathryn Jane

Date: May 1 – 31, 2022 (one month)

Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15

Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop: 

Staring at a blank screen is unproductive. Let me teach you how to get past the roadblocks, get your hands back on the keys and fill that screen with words. Learn useful tactics for digging yourself out of a metaphorical hole, for taking your story a whole new direction, or for making a tiny change that will open up something you hadn’t yet thought of. This workshop will provide you with tools and exercises to help you—or your reluctant muse—climb out of the ditch and back up onto the road.

About the Presenter:

Kathryn Jane, author, artist, and coach, loves to share her knowledge and experience in a wide variety of workshops designed to assist others on their journey from idea to publication and successful marketing. Her own publishing career has included everything from novels to short stories and a variety of genres including Women’s Fiction and Romantic Suspense. 

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Defining Default: it’s your choice

March 15, 2022 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster, Writing tagged as , , ,

I love the word default. It is so definitive. It is authoritative when you’re on the right side of it; terrifying if you’re on the wrong side. Default on your loan. Default the game. You have failed to live up to your promise. Over! Done! Fini— unless you do something to change the situation PDQ and get back on track.

Then came computers and the word default got a makeover. It’s softer. Helpful. Kind. The word became synonymous with a do-over. Default is now your safety net. Screwed up your settings? Default.  Go back to the beginning. Get a do-over. It’s okay. We got your back.

Ah…

Well, don’t get too comfy with that default button, especially when you’re writing. I have a new book that I let lie fallow for two Covid-years because I took a creative hike, turning to manual hobbies like sewing and quilting, crafting and cooking. Now I’m back and making a sprint to complete the last 25%. I’m jazzed because it’s almost done. I proudly sent the first three quarters of the manuscript to my editor fully expecting the green light to cross the literary finish-line.

Sadly — and thankfully —her input was the exact opposite. I had dialed in my characters. I had been lazy with my red herrings. I had defaulted in the bad way, and not lived up to my promise to deliver my best work to my readers. On the other hand, she was offering me the chance to default in the kind way: reset, rethink, and rework. It was up to me to decide if I wanted to skate, shrug my shoulders, and publish a book that was ‘just okay’, or go back and make this the best book it can be.

I decided to go with option two. Reset. Rethink. Rework. That’s what author’s do. Thankfully, I have a great editor who is clear that how I define the word default — and how I respond to that definition— is up to me.

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