From Slums to Palaces, by Stevie Turner

I had a really happy childhood in London’s East End, living in what was called a ‘pre-fab’, a type of prefabricated house which was supposed to be temporary while the council sorted us out permanent accommodation. My parents did not have much money, but at that time I had no idea that we were not very well off. There was always nutritious food on the table, and I had good friends to play with. On Sundays there were visits to the seaside with relatives or occasional trips to London’s West End for film premiers or shows. Generally life for my 10 year old self as far as I was concerned was better than average. Here I am aged 10 with my parents in the garden of our pre-fab:

 

Aged 10 with Mum and Dad041.jpg

When I was 13 in 1970 the council sent my parents a letter; they had a brand new flat for us on the other side of the Thames in South East London.  My heart sank as my parents accepted the flat and I saw it for the first time.  You can see our kitchen window, which is the 4th window from the top in the tall block of flats.

Goldmark House

The only good thing about moving there was that I found a school more suited to my musical/creative talents, rather than the stuffy grammar school I was currently attending.  Apart from the school, which I adored, the whole move turned out to be a disaster.

Originally when the estate was brand new, only working families who couldn’t afford a mortgage were housed there.  This was okay for the first few years until the initial tenants either died or moved out.  Over time the flats and maisonettes were filled by the work-shy.  Police and the Fire Service were called out regularly to fights, gang warfare, and fires.  I moved out when I was 21, but by then Dad had died and Mum was too set in her ways to want to move.  There were clubs for pensioners, and she wanted to stay.  Wikipedia describes the estate as one of the largest and most deprived council housing developments in London.

Came the day about six years’ ago when the whole estate was razed to the ground.  I watched from a distance as my old block of flats imploded in on itself, aided by a liberal helping of dynamite (the best thing that could have happened to it!).  By then I’d persuaded Mum to live near me in the relative peace of the countryside.  A new private estate then rose like a phoenix from the ashes of the slum it had been before.  The luxury 4200 palatial properties there now are very sought after, and some even have a million pound price tag on them!  How weird is that?

Stevie Turner is a British author of women’s fiction, suspense and darkly humorous novels.  You can find her on the following social media:

Website:  http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU/  

Amazon Author Page (worldwide):  http://bookShow.me/B00AV7YOTU  

YouTube:   https://goo.gl/E8OHai

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/StevieTurnerAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6 

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/stevieturner988/

WordPress Blog:  https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Audible:  http://goo.gl/sz1cXS  

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/105747643789021738179/posts/p/pub

 Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/preview?vpa=pub&locale=en_US                                                                                 

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BRRRRRR

IMGP6507 By S. J. Brown

I hope everyone has been keeping warm in these frigid temperatures. Freezing temperatures add a whole new set of challenges for a wildlife photographer. It is a bit harder to sneak up on my subjects in layers of clothes and warm boots. Warm thick gloves make it a little harder to focus the camera and hit the shutter button.

1SJ Brown Waterfall

The cold can kill camera batteries quickly. Even keeping the camera tucked into my coat doesn’t work well for long. Any pictures I take in the extreme cold tend to be close to the shelter of a car or building. So in colder temperatures I rely on luck a bit more. Most critters only venture out into the cold to eat, so they are harder to spot.

So I try to concentrate on other things while I wait for the temperature to rise. This is the perfect time of year to work on those unfinished projects. Personally I have finished 2 articles I had outlined, scanned a bunch of images, and completed a few more chapters on a manuscript. Then I laid out a print Ad What do you think? Is it too crowded? Does it make you want to check out my website?

2 Book Maniacs ADThe local critters interrupt me a lot when I am working in my office. I have 6 windows and a set of glass sliding glass doors. So every bird that flies to the feeders catches my attention. Each squirrel that wanders past the doors distracts me. Before I know it I am behind the lens and my writing comes to a halt.

4SJ Brown DoveWhen I am writing I need quiet with no distractions, no television, no radio, no family members asking questions. I tend to be more productive in the evenings when the house is quiet, its dark outside and the woodstove has the house nice and warm.

What challenges do you face in the winter? How do you tackle those challenges?

3SJ Brown Rabbit  Thanks for stopping by and stay warm.

Connect with me on Facebook and be one of the first to see what I have been up and view my Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

Visit my website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com to view more of my images or purchase one of my books.

Join my E mail list and be the first to hear about my latest adventure.

 

One Page

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

Recently I was reviewing some guidelines from a publisher. They wanted the usual information like my name, contact information, the name of the book I was proposing and the word count. Then I saw it the next requirement was an impossible task, a one page synopsis. I needed to share all the important parts of a 44,000 word book all on one page, all text.

SJBrown1 Goose

To give the publisher a true feel for the book I needed to relay the personalities of the two main characters and a sense of their lives. But there was so much to tell. There are roller skates, a sewing machine, costumes, telephone poles, oh and Betty stepped on a needle that was scary. I couldn’t add photos of the main characters when they were young and innocent, well kind of innocent.

SJBrown2 SistersLittle girls like ice cream, maybe if I took an ice cream break this would flow a little better. I had to remember to mention within the pages there is a race riot, a car crash, a séance, boyfriends, and the police, . Dribbled throughout the book were paper bags filled with mystery. This book is about life, there are airplanes, a hitchhiker, tumbling beer cans, and a circus.

SJBrown3 ElephantAt this point I was half way down the page and there was so much more to tell. This was a bit too long already. How was I ever going to get it all on one page? Maybe if I had a brownie I could figure out how to make this work. Nope, no treats until I am done.
I should have started with the title ”Suburban Sisters.” Did I mention this is a heartwarming tale about two sisters? The girls are good Catholics that attend church. There is a bit of a glitch in their perfect world when stolen money in the collection plate. However I need to let the publisher know that along with the jobs, men in diapers and guns there are touching family moments like Christmas morning, family outings and cute little babies.

SJBrown4 TreesOh crap, I am at the bottom of the page and I’m not done yet, DDELETE, DELETE, DELETE. Maybe a peanut butter cup would help.

The publisher’s guidelines state they respond to submissions in 4-6 months, it may take me that long to get this down to one page. I still need to add details like an ice storm complete with dancing power lines, a truck spewing a chemical fog throughout the neighborhood, fire, oh and a dog that shows up for Thanksgiving dinner. Now this blog is getting to long.

SJBrown5 TurkeyI haven’t even mentioned the girl’s parents yet. So much happens in the 12 years the book covers. Now I needed to DELETE, DELETE, DELETE and DELETE some more. I shortened a sentence here and omitted an event there but I need to add in details about when the girl’s world shatters. So I deleted some more. Two days later it was finished and I celebrated with some chocolate chip cookies.
In closing I will ask how do you tackle a seemingly impossible task. How do you reward yourself when you accomplished your goal?
Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with me on Facebook and be one of the first to see what I have been up and view my Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

Visit my website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com to view more of my images or purchase one of my books.

 

 

 

Southbond

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

I borrowed the name for this month’s blog from a band. They are a country music band and although I am not a fan of country music I somehow ended up with one of their shirts. I have had it long enough it might be considered a vintage t-shirt. The shirt features a hillbilly with a guitar along with the name of the band.
There were no hillbillies or guitars on my latest photo trip. Jay and I headed south before the sun came up. We packed the car with drinks and snacks, hiking boots and water shoes tucked in with our duffle bags and of course camera equipment.

sjbrown1sunrise

Our destination was North Carolina. North Carolina offers sandy beaches, warmer temps, woodlands, and wild critters. I had visited this part of the state in the past and found black bears, otters, birds big and small, turtles, rabbits, and deer. The area also has a small population of Red Wolves. However they are very illusive.

Over the years I have learned that some animals don’t mind having their picture taken and will let me get close,

sjbrown2Egret

Then closer,

sjbrown3Egret

and even closer yet.

sjbrown4Egret

On these occasions I generally get my shots, thank the critter for being so co operative and leave them the way I found them. Every photo trip I strive for that special moment, the encounter that stays with me long after I leave the area.
However on this trip I had two of those moments. A very fat, very co operative Black Bear gave me my second encounter. She was hard to find, but it was so worth it.

sjbrown5Bear

Then she decided I was less of a threat than the other photographers that had made their way close to us.

sjbrown6bear

Yes I was using a telephoto lens, but I have never been within 5 feet of a black bear before. At one point she was too close to get a photograph. So I just stood still and let her pass by me on her way back into the woods.

sjbrown7bear

Encounters like this just encourage me to go out and do it again. I hope all your critter encounters are good ones. Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with me on Facebook and be one of the first to see what I have been up and view my Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

Visit my website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com to view more of my images or purchase one of my books.

 

 

Procrastinate? Who Me? by Cher’ley

     This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagonload of corn on the road. The neighbor who lived nearby came to investigate. “Hey, Willis,” he called out, “forget your troubles for a spell and come on in and have dinner with us. Then I’ll help you get the wagon up.” 

“That’s mighty nice of you,” Willis answered, “But I don’t think Pa would like me to.” 

“Aw, come on, son!” the neighboring farmer insisted. 

“Well, okay,” the boy finally agreed. “But Pa won’t like it.” 

After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. “I feel a lot better now, but I just know Pa is going to be real upset.” 

“Don’t be foolish!” exclaimed the neighbor. “By the way, where is he?” 

“Under the wagon.”    

                 
.

 

 

What to do When Life Gets in the Way!

I chunk it out–doing as much as I can in one setting, and then returning as often as necessary. Admittedly, I procrastinate, which drives me crazy. I AM NOT A PROCRASTINATOR. I Am Not a Procrastinator. I am not a procrastinator. I like to have everything done ahead of time, but life happens.

If I were not a procrastinator, I would not have almost 2000 emails in my email InBox, and none of them are spam. Maybe I will get some of them sorted later tonight. After I … But, on more important issues, (like writing a blog post), I typically do not procrastinate, except for this one.  I had most of it done, but here I sit in a rest area in Texas, in the middle of nowhere finishing my blog.

In 2016 I made a decision to not start on any new projects, and I didn’t (except for a short story for Prairie Rose Press), but neither did I finish any that I had started. So this year I will be doubling down. It will be easier since I will be writing more blogs for Writing Wrangler and Warriors. That forces me to be sitting at the computer. It’s amazing that sometimes the busier a person is the more they can get accomplished.

stop wishing, start doing royalty-free stock photo

 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

1.-Set Goals -A necessary component of effective goal-setting is to choose a goal that is challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult as to be unattainable. There is a risk of fatigue through time invested or effort expended toward your goal, and disappointment if the goal is too challenging and or not met.

2.- Plan for Interruptions-One of the easiest ways to do this is to plan breaks. Only check Facebook or Twitter when on a break. (Set time for your break-15 minutes, ½ hour, all day), whatever, but stick to your goals. Unexpected interruptions- regroup. Make your next project shorter so you have more time to finish the one you’re on.

3.-Set deadlines for at least a day ahead of time, perhaps 2 days or a week. (I always figure this blog is due at least a day before it actually is due–then I post it early and set the scheduler)

Here’s a link to 15 more ways to help with Procrastination.

***Do you say, “I am not a Procrastinator”? Then… you end up being late on your projects or deadlines? How do you handle Procrastination or Interruptions? ***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors.

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

Looking Back at 2016

imgp6488By S. J. Brown

Since 2016 is almost over I thought I would reminisce a bit.  For several years I have been sharing my images on Facebook.   I share a new photo each Sunday so there are many photos that my blogging buddies don’t get to see.  So I thought I would include the 10 most popular photos from 2016 on my last blog of the year.

For many of us 2016 was a roller coaster year, with plenty of ups and downs.  The snow in the beginning of the year came up over 3 feet here.  When I was finally able to get my feet down on solid ground Hubby and I headed out for a few photo trips.

This year I collected nearly 900 books for one of the libraries that flooded in Southern West Virginia. I helped plant over 150 trees and spent time with some gardening friends, when I wasn’t out taking pictures.   I tagged 20 monarch Butterflies and flipped dozens of horseshoe crabs.

My sister and I completed a Memoir and are currently working on books 2 & 3 in the series.  Perhaps years from now we will collaborate on Senior Sisters together.  2016 brought us scorching hot temperatures, new adventures and lots of fond memories.  I photographed Tree Frogs, Bald Eagles, bunny rabbits and baby birds.  I trudged through the snow to capture White Tailed deer, and sunk in the mud to zoom in on Water Fowl.

  I am currently working out the details for a few photo trips in 2017.  I will be heading North for one trip, East for another and South for yet another.  While I work out the details I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. 

I hope 2016 was kind to you.

May 2017 welcome you with open arms and make you smile. 

december-horses-horizontal

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook , be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

Thank you for stopping by. I hope I can count on you to comment and share this blog.

10 Steps to Promoting Your Book by Cher’ley

This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Books do not sell themselves. We have to get out there and get our names known and sell those books. Some of these you already practice and some of them are perhaps new to you.

The Internet has made us much more involved in our own marketing.

  1. Websites and Blogs
  2. Join a Blog Group
  3. Promote Your Site
  4. Market your book-in person
  5. Book Reviews Help
  6. Have a Book tour
  7. Use Social Media
  8. Focus on Twitter
  9. Guest Blogging
  10. Create a Book Trailer
  1. Create A Website

The first thing you’ll need in promoting your book is a website, preferably one that includes a blog. There are several free ones, and they are drag and drop, which means easy set-up. I use Web (previously Free Web) and WIX. I’m sure there are other free ones. My Website.  I am listing some of my links in case any of you have any questions or want to see how I did them.

  1. Join a Blog Group

Just like many of you have done here on Writing Wranglers and Warriors. This way you have many people helping to promote your blogs, and therefore your books. Sometimes it’s time-consuming, especially when you have to read and share everyone’s blog, but where else can you get so much free promotion? Our Blog Group

  1. Promote your Site and your Group

An engaging website is just the beginning. Now you have to get out there and promote it. Choose one or two of these social networking sites and dive in. With a little experimentation, you’ll find the ones that work for you. On our blog site, it’s easy to promote it, there are buttons for the most popular and some less popular ones. My Facebook Fan Page 

  1. Don’t Forget your Local Communities

With all the focus on online book promotion, don’t forget to physically market your book at home. Get your friends, family and churches involved. Local communities might be more intrigued in your work because it’s coming from one of their own. And it’s far easier to break into the local media than it is to get reviewed by the New York Times. Though it takes time and work to make contacts and set up events, the results can be effective and satisfying. I truly wish I were home more to do this, but hey, the rest of you can.

  1. Reviews Help

Contact people you know who have read your book and ask them for reviews. You can also offer free copies of your books for a review. I tried having an Amazon give-a-way for this reason, but didn’t get the reviews I had hoped for, but I think others have been more successful at this. Stamp Out Murder Reviews  I could really use some more reviews-Hint/Hint.

  1. Plan a Mini Book Tour

It’s up to the author to go out there and make things happen, to get the word out and get the book noticed unless you are a really big name. No one is going to do it for you.” If you have a little money and some good contacts, take the initiative and set up readings in a few cities. Here’s how one woman did it. EIREANN LORSUNG

  1. Use Social Media

Pinterest, Tribber, and Google + are getting more and more attention, but there is still the many phases of Facebook. You know it’s important to reach as many contacts as possible.  Fans of Cher’ley Grogg  Tribber 

  1. Focus on Twitter

Social media and other marketing gurus have taken to using the phrase “discoverability”—the ability for potential audiences to  find you and your book. It is Twitter’s capacity to make you “discoverable” that makes it so appealing. Cherley@Twitter

  1. Guest Blogging

Check around. Many blogs could use a guest blogger sometimes. We have even used guest bloggers on our site and we have 18 regular bloggers. Blogs are a great way to promote your book. I did a guest blog for Nancy Jardin that I enjoyed reading again. I have done several, but this was the first one that came up in my google search.

  1. Create a Book Trailer

They are not that hard to make and they get a little attention. The technology doesn’t have to be fancy if you have a good concept. In fact, simple is better if you’re doing it yourself. I enjoyed making the two I made, and I need to make two more. One of the things I’ve learned is keep it short. If you enjoy my book trailers, please go to You Tube and click like, so I can get a little extra clout. Thanks

Stamp Out Murder Book Trailer

The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk Book Trailer

Remember to go to YouTube and click on like. Thanks again.

** What do you do to promote your books, or projects?  **

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores.

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

Freelancing or Blogging-Where to Start by Cher’ley

Me profile -3-29-2016This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Request before death–A murderer, sitting in the electric chair, was about to be executed.”Have you any last requests? asked the chaplain. “Yes,” replied the murderer. “Will you hold my hand?” Break the Chains humor.

Sometimes I want a break from writing novels, or short stories, but I still want to write. I’ve been kind of looking at Freelance Writing. I did not start with searching for jobs, I started by seeing what I needed to know to do Freelance Writing.

Here are some things I discovered during my research into this new and scary field. For more check out Thirty Days of Writing Tips http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/30-days-of-writing-tips-archive/

  1. Check and Double Check for errors.
  2. Read it out loud.
  3. Time your writing—If you are having fun time passes too quickly. Allow enough time. Just like this blog. I knew like everyone’s post, it was due by midnight 0- 1, or actually should be finished the day before and scheduled to post at 12:01 or I like to post at 1:01 am, on the 15th , if I wait until the 15th to write it, it’s too late. I’ve missed my deadline.

What can you give? Not free samples, but of yourself. Your knowledge, your time, etc.

How is web-writing different than print-writing?

We scan on screen, therefore, short paragraphs tend to work better than long. The same is true of short sentences. Leave lots of white space. Use photos to help convey your thoughts.

And all of us know, people are busy, very busy. So if you want your blog or story read, go light. Use a lot of photos, short paragraphs, short sentences, and short posts. But, fill them with quality. If someone takes the time to read your writing they should feel like they are taking something away.

The JourneyBack 3

 

I just recently gave away several copies of The Journey Back—One Joy at a Time. I hope people feel that they took a lot away with this short book, and from what I’ve heard they did.  Here is a poem I wrote for the book:

One Joy at a Time

Deep in sorrow,

crushed by my thoughts,

I cannot raise my head from this pillow,

nor my eyes unto heaven.

Feelings of being forsaken, forgotten and fooled,

traipse through my mind and my heart.

I am broken.

 

The journey ahead of me is a long one

and I fear I will never be the same.

Day and night pass

and then another day and night.

A sheep that has been slaughtered,

no, not slaughtered, only sheared.

I give in to numbness.

 

News of joy

breaks through to my being.

I lift my head to heaven.

Relief, even if brief, lifts my soul.

I am renewed, I accept.

The way back from deep sorrow is long.

One joy at a time.

write-rewrite-symbol There really are only three secrets or keys to a well-paying successful freelance writing career.

  1. Write
  2. Rewrite
  3. Market

***Do you have anything you’d like to add? Do you Freelance?***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors.

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

Elevation Education by Doris

hhj spc 3Post copyright Doris McCraw

Ever Envision Entertaining the thought of writing about E? There are a lot of avenues of possibilities. For myself after entertaining the idea of Electricity- Tesla V Edison, I realized I lived at 6,000+ feet above sea level and traveled to 8,000 and 10,000 regularly. What is common place for me can be challenging and sometimes hazardous to others. Therefore a lesson in Elevation seemed in order.

Colorado Topographic Map-USGS

Colorado is considered one of, it not the highest state in the nation. It is home to over 50 peaks above 14,000 feet. The highest incorporated town in North America is here, the town of Leadville, know for it history, minerals and the folks who came, went or died there. Many people in the late 1800 and early 1900’s came to Colorado for their health. The clear air, the exact opposite of the coal laden city air of the eastern cities, was the factor that drew them here. It was life saving for many, but for some, a death sentence.

Colorado Springs historic map – Colorado Springs, Colorado City and Manitou, CO, 1882

Why a death sentence? If you have ever been to Colorado you will notice cities have their elevation listed, not population. If you have heart problems elevation is a defining factor in your traveling. It is my thought that one of the reasons elevation is listed is for that very reason. Many people with heart problems have trouble when they go above certain elevations. For many that is 8,000 feet, for others it is much less. For Mary Lincoln Mellon (Queen) Palmer, it was the reason she could not remain in Colorado Springs with her husband, Wm. Jackson Palmer, the city’s founder.

Palmer and his wife “Queen” Palmer …

Even those without heart issues can find the change in elevation challenging. Coming from sea level to Colorado Springs or higher can lead to altitude sickness, depending on your susceptibility. The following are two links describing the problem and some tips:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/altitude-sickness-topic-overview http://www.emedicinehealth.com/mountain_sickness/article_em.htm.

One interesting side effect, especially for those who imbibe in alcoholic beverages; folks you can’t drink as much at a higher elevation as you did at a lower one. There ain’t as much oxygen at higher elevations. Even when going from my 6,000 to the top of Pikes Peak’s 14,115 is a big change. I’ve been to the top many times, sometimes to speak and sing ‘America the Beautiful’ as Katharine Lee Bates, and I have to conserve and use what oxygen there is to be effective.

Pikes Peak as seen from the West
Pikes Peak as seen from the West, from the authors collection

Now you have had a bit of an education, please don’t let it stop you from traveling. There are many beautiful things to see in this world. But as they say, education is power. Power to make good choices and to prepare for eventuality. Until next time, may this little education about elevation help you make plans for travel and add insights and ideas to your writing.

home for his heart angela raines

HOME FOR HIS HEART
http://www.amazon.com/Home-His-Heart-Angela-Raines-ebook/dp/B00LU3HZEK/
also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/ 

A to Z Blog Challenge Post A-to-Z Road Trip

Writing Resources by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1I read a freelance writing blog recently where the author discussed his favorite writing books. There were classics such as Shrunk and White’s The Elements of Style and Steven King’s On Writing. He also listed Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. He stated that this was a mediocre book that became an international bestseller so it was important to study it to understand the dynamics of a poorly written but DaVinciCodegreat book.

Few of the comments that came after this list discussed other great writing books. Most defended The Da Vinci Code as the best book ever, though there were a few dissenters who agreed with the blogger. I fall into this second camp as the book contained too many “If only he’d known what was coming, he never would have…” to meet my definition of a great read. I don’t like author intrusion in my fiction.

While I found the discussion humorous, I was pleased that some people were able to move past it to add to the list of great writing books. There are a few that I hadn’t heard of and added some of them to my to-read list. Specifically, I want to read It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer’s Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences by 8462257June Casagrande. I love the title and it was passionately recommended by two or three commenters. If anyone who is reading this blog has read the book, I’d love to hear your opinion of it.

One of my favorite writing resources was not on anyone’s list, so I threw it into the mix and am sharing it now. Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Ph.D. is a combination dictionary and thesaurus that goes beyond the basics. The synonym lists for many words are more extensive and uses more current and slang language than a traditional thesaurus. But what makes this my go-to book when I am stuck or need something fast is the lists.

Writing about a mountain climber? There is a full list of mountain ranges and where they are located. Tired of using the same word for green, car, or fabric? There are lists for them. There are lists for types of saws, murders, illnesses, psychiatric diseases, phobias, Roman gods and goddesses, hammers, legal terms, and so much more. When I want to be spe51x82SQantL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_cific about a tool, color, disease, or pretty much anything, its in the book. Yes, I could find this information on the internet, but not with the same ease or organization. The Flip Dictionary is comprehensive and I love having this information at my fingertips. When writing fiction, this book helps me add relevant and unique details or descriptions to my work, which makes it one of my best resources. Plus it’s fun just reading some of the lists. Phobias is a favorite of mine.

While I am a big fan of Shrunk and White’s and Steven King’s books, my list also includes Flip Dictionary. What are your must-have writing books?

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