Open Mouth Insert Foot by Cher’ley

 

 This Blog  by Cher’ley Grogg

I wpaint-2985569_640as displaying my art in a local festival when someone told me this fairly famous artist was also displaying his art at the festival. I went to school with the person and I wondered if he remembered me. I found his display and his father was filling in for him. I started a conversation.  “I went to school with your son.” He answered, “I don’t think so.” “Yes, it was from the 8th grade on.” He looked at me and without blinking an eye or cracking a smile he said, “My son is 16.” I looked a little harder at this old man and realized I was talking to the artist instead of his father. “Sorry, I thought you were someone else,” I whispered as I slunk off.

I have also congratulated women on their pregnancy and they weren’t.

Open Mouth Insert Foot, I am a pro at this.

What about your characters? Do they ever do this, or are they always prim and proper? How do you define your characters?

I make a profile for each of my characters (even though I have been known to just add things along the way—therefore open mouth insert foot).  I like to have a general idea of who they are, what they believe in, and how they talk. Where do they come from, who is their family, what is their favorite food, and what really irritates them? I used to even cut photos out of magazines to picture what they might look like.

What makes great characters?

Give your characters interiority

Make them Likable

They need an Objective

Give them a Problem

They need to have Passion about something

Character, give them character to make them distinct

Show characters’ motives through interactions

A couple of these came from Now Novel Blog 

 

In “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”:girls-407295_640

Jordan one of the main characters is a big, sturdy girl who is very likable—but doesn’t hesitate to defend her friends and family.  She’s a problem solver, Brandon comes to her for advice. Her passion is soccer. That’s just a light description of her. She is very deep and multifaceted. Look on page 65 of The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk to see a bit of her personality.

***Have you ever did the Open Mouth Insert Foot thingy? Please share. How about your characters, what’s the worse thing they have said?***

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)

Image may contain: 2 people    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 

 

 

 

 

Another Germ – A Poem by Stevie Turner

It’s been a winter of nasty germs this year.  I should know – I’ve had three since Christmas.  In the midst of my misery I came up with this poem…

 

Cough and sneeze,

Hack and bark,

Wandering about at night

Trying to breathe, in the dark.

 

Steaming, steaming,

Vaporiser peeling

Wallpaper from the wall.

Eyes and nose streaming.

 

Throat gives a gasp,

Voice gives a rasp,

Basket full of tissues,

Serious sinus issues.

 

Off to see the doctor,

Shakes her head as though I’m off my rocker.

Antibiotics are not desirous,

I’ve just got a virus.

 

“Plenty of fluids

And keep up with the steam,

Go to bed,

Perchance to dream”.

 

“Try and sleep?

You must be joking!”

My ears are stabbing,

I cough ‘till I’m choking.

 

“Look at my eyes

They’re as red as my throat!”

I look like Old Nick

In a green Puffa coat.

 

“Hmm…perhaps a little inflamed,

Take these once a day,

Two to start with,

They’ll take the germ away.”

 

Thank God for that,

Balm on troubled waters,

In three days

My germ has altered.

 

The eyes are white

The ears don’t stab,

I look all right,

And I feel fab!

***

Come and find me on one of the following links.  I’d love to meet you!

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6

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

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

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

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU/

Email: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk

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

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClWFuLQHDqGmOM3KbKJ-Z0g

 

 

 

Who’s Afraid of Big Words? by Cher’ley

This blog by Cher’ley  Grogg

When trying to express oneself, it’s frankly quite absurd,
To leaf through lengthy lexicons to find the perfect word.
A little spontaneity keeps conversation keen,
You need to find a way to say, precisely what you mean…

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious!
If you say it loud enough, you’ll always sound precocious,

Ensemble:
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Um-diddle-diddle-um-diddleye
Um-diddle-diddle-um-diddleye

 

When writing you have to think about your readers. I used bigger words in “Stamp Out Murder” than I did in “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”.  I used a few challenging words that could be figured out by the context in which they were used in both books.

I’ve read some books that I have to keep a dictionary close by and it’s not that enjoyable for me and I’ve heard other people complain when a book has too many “big words”.

So what makes a word “big”? Of course, it depends on who’s doing the reading. Readability studies have been done and it’s been found that most readers, read at a 7.8-grade level.

Some words were invented or coined during the process of writing a novel. One of the words is:  

Serendipity. Horace Walpole author of the first Gothic novel coined the word “serendipity” in the 18th century. It means the “faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident.” He coined the word in a letter of 1754 when recounting the “silly fairy tale” (“fairy tale” is another term he is credited with inventing) of “The Three Princes of Serendip” (Serendip being a former name for Sri Lanka). We have written about Walpole previously, and in more detail, here.

To find more of these words check out this site: 20 Essential Words we got from Literature.

 

Today is NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING

The second Friday in March is National Day of Unplugging.  This holiday consists of a 24 hour period from sundown to sundown, to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using today’s technology, electronics, and social media.

Since you are here perhaps you should use:

National Get Over It Day - March 9

Just as it sounds. Use this day to “Get Over It”, whatever it is, and you can share this on your media sites.

Back to Words (Just for Fun)

The braggart got in a grueling brawl with the flagrant, capricious bigot concerning the statement of a deceased politician.  Using some vocabulary words from a page listing 7th grade words I made up the above sentence. Now you use this 7th grade vocabulary list to construct a sentence.

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)

    Image may contain: 2 people   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 

 Song source: Mary Poppins song   

 

Weel, Wha’d a ken’tit?

Aug2017This post is by Nancy Jardine.

Weel, Wha’d a ken’tit? – Well, who would have known that? I’m always touting my Scottish heritage and today is yet another of those days! Hallowe’en is over. Done and dusted, costumes stored away for another time…and anyway, I’ve done Scottish Halloween blog posts before, so here are a few things about Scotland that you may… or may (hopefully) not know.haddock head 

  • Crappit Heid. They say that Scots are canny with their money,  very practical people who hate wasting anything. I’d say that’s true for many and I personally hate waste but I wouldn’t go so far as to make and eat ‘Crappit Heid’. I love fish and seafood, eat  haddock frequently, but I’m not keen to try an out-of-fashion Scottish fish dish of ‘stuffed fish heads’. However, like many other subsistence foods of yesteryear, crappit heid is as nutritious as the other more readily edible parts of the fish. In the past it was all about inventing a simple recipe using available staples to make every part of the fish acceptable for eating. (BTW – There really is a old Scottish word ‘crap’ which means to stuff or fill  – hence crappit heid being stuffed heads. I won’t offend sensibilities here by showing an image of the dish but click this link if you dare… and see how Crappit Heid looks when ready.

http://foodanddrink.scotsman.com/general/a-history-of-crappit-heid-including-a-recipe-for-making-your-own/

  • Loch Morar is Scotland’s deepest loch. As Loch Ness is home to the famous monster Nessie, Morar’s monster is named Morag. It might be new knowledge that sightings of Morag hit the headlines well before those of ‘Nessie’! I personally would prefer to meet Morag because she was said by some 19th century ‘viewers’ to be a lot more mermaid like than our traditional Nessie image.
  • Skara Brae is the oldest village in Scotland inhabited around 3100 B.C. and is the best preserved Neolithic settlement in Western Europe.Skara Brae Visit the replica neolithic house on the left to get a taste of what living in Skara Brae was like, then wander round the remnants of the genuine neolithic settlement that was inhabited long before Stonehnge or the Egyptian Pyramids were built. I’m sure there would have been some version of Crappit Heid on their menus as many fish bones were found around their midden areas! https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/skara-brae/
  • The tallest and longest hedge in Scotland (some say on earth) is said to be a Beech hedge at Meikleour (A 93 road, Perth and Kinross, Scotland).
    Meikleour Beech Hedge
    Wikimedia Commons

    It’s in the Guiness World Records as being 100 feet high and about 1/3 mile long. It was planted in 1745 by Jean Mercer and her husband, Robert Murray Nairne on the Meikleour Estate. It’s reputed to reach the heavens because Robert Murray Nairne and the men who planted it, as Jacobite sympathisers, were killed at the Battle of Culloden. (The hedge is trimmed approx. every ten years and I totally sympathise with that because I used to hate trimming the beech hedge that lined my driveway. That was about 9 feet high and took me a whole week of my school summer holidays!) 

  • The oldest Yew tree in Europe might be the ‘Fortingall Yew’. Dated around 5000 years old, there are many tales associated with the Fortingall Yew and its surroundings. Near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, it has connections with early Christianity in Scotland.
    Fortingall Yew tree
    Wikimedia Commons

    In 1769, the circumference was measured at 52 feet but what remains now are the relics of the original tree. In the field opposite the village of Fortingall there is an ancient cairn (pile of stones) known as the ‘Cairn of the Dead’. During the 16th century the Great Plague (Galar Mhor) ravaged Scotland and many in the area died. Legend has it that an old woman, unmarked by the plague, carried the plague victims on a horse drawn sledge to a mass grave and placed a cairn there to mark their resting place. 

  • The shortest scheduled passenger flight in the world is from the Orkney island of Westray to Papa Westray. Given good weather conditions the flight is less than ONE MINUTE. (I can’t find a way of directly loading this video but it’s worth watching!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwyVWaCAD2A 
  • Scotland may be famous for images of a red stag but the official animal of Scotland is the unicorn. Royal coat fo arms of the kingdom of scotland 12th century to 1603The unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, the coat of Arms seen here the one that was in use from the 12th century to King James VI of Scotland 1603. 1603 was the year of the Union of the Crowns, when King James VI of Scotland became the ruler of both Scotland and England. In 1604, he decreed he’d be known as King of Great Britain. By 1606, he created a new flag combining the crosses of St. Andrew (Scotland) and St. George (England). It was named the Union Jack, the ‘Jack’ part being a reference to Jacobus the Latin version of James.  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Coat_of_Arms_of_the_Kingdom_of_Scotland.svg
  • The Ancient Romans invaded Scotland more than once and settled long enough across the central belt between Edinburgh and Glasgow to leave traces of stone and wooden buildings though, to date, no Ancient Roman stone buildings have been uncovered in northern Scotland.
    5274571_s
    http://www.123rf.com

    The likelihood of any being found is negligible because although General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola is believed to have marched as far north as the Moray Firth area c. A.D. 84, his armies retreated south soon after. Later on the Emperor Severus c. A.D. 210 marched a large army of around 50,000 troops northwards from Eboracum (York/ England). It was written that by the time they reached my part of Scotland, the north east, his armies numbered some 30,000. What happened to the missing ones isn’t known exactly but after some negotiations with the local tribes (and plenty of bribes) Emperor Severus went south to York .  He was a deeply superstitious man, as many Ancient Romans were, and believed he was destined to die at Eboracum (according to his augurs). His death was in February A.D. 211 in York. His son, Caracalla, (seemingly a nasty piece of work) possibly stayed longer in Scotland with some troops but not long enough to build anything in stone.

My fascination with Roman Scotland continues in my FutureLearn #FLVirtualRome  course and in my Historical Fiction writing! (Click the Amazon link below to find out more) 

What’s your favourite info dump from the above? Is it Crappit Heid having looked at the woeful image on the site given, or the ‘in a blink’ fight from Westray to Papa Westray, or some other one? 

Nancy Jardine writes: Contemporary Mysteries; Time Travel Historical Adventure and Historical Fiction. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, the Scottish Association of Writers and the Federation of Writers Scotland. She’s published by Crooked Cat Books and has delved into self publishing.multiple new TE

You can find her at these places:

Blog: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk  Website: www.nancyjardineauthor.com/   Facebook: http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG & http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G

email: nan_jar@btinternet.com  Twitter https://twitter.com/nansjar

Amazon Author page http://viewauthor.at/mybooksandnewspagehere

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5139590.Nancy_Jardine

 

 

 

 

Dumbest Thing I’ve Done by Cher’ley

 

This Blog  by Cher’ley Grogg

Fashion woman portrait

Over on the SDL Facebook wall, Dan Pearce asked: what was the most hilariously stupid thing you’ve ever done?

He got 24 favorite answers. Here are 3:

  1. I stopped at Hollister and inspected one of the sweaters on their mannequins. Only it wasn’t a mannequin. It was a guy waiting for his girlfriend to finish trying on clothes.
  2. When I was pregnant with our oldest I once waited for more than an hour for my husband to pick me up from work. I called him, madder than blazes that he hadn’t come to get me. After listening to my upset he very calmly informed me that I had the car.
  3. My mother, not wanting to lose my dad in the crowd at Disneyland, stuck her fingers down the back of my dad’s pants. She gave him several affectionate bare skin pats. Of course, my dad saw what she was doing, and walked behind her laughing. She was tagging behind the wrong man all the time. I remember this polite fellow did not mind in the least!

Dumbest Thing I’ve Done

I was displaying my art in a local festival when someone told me this fairly famous artist was also displaying his art at the festival. I went to school with the person and I wondered if he remembered me. I found his display and his father was filling in for him. I started a conversation.  “I went to school with your son.” He answered, “I don’t think so.” “Yes, it was from the 8th grade on.” He looked at me and without blinking an eye or cracking a smile he said, “My son is 16.” I looked a little harder at this old man and realized I was talking to the artist instead of his father. “Sorry, I thought you were someone else,” I whispered as I slunk off.

I blurt out things sometimes like, “Congratulations on your pregnancy!” Answer: “I’m not pregnant.” That’s a hard one to get out of.

Or when I fall down I don’t first check to see if I’m hurt, I first check to see if anyone saw me.

There are stories from several authors about the escapades of boys. Some of them are so funny you will nearly bust a gut laughing. Del wrote about being a 5-year-old who ran away from home with his best friend. You can only imagine the trouble he got in. Our own Mike Staton has a few stories in it, as well as 11 other authors.

Boys Will Be Boys   

 

What’s the funniest thing you’ve done? 

 

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. Her newest book is an Advanced Coloring Book and she has 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)

Four Moons and Fair Ladies Four Moons and Fair Maidens

Memories from Maple Street U.S.A: Pawprints on My Heartlink coming soon

Wonders of Water      Advanced Coloring Book

And 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

Hoarding or Collecting by Cher’ley

 

 This Blog  by Cher’ley Grogg

You might be a PackRat if:

You think if you hold onto that polyester huge-lapeled suit, that it might actually come back in style some day.

You save flat tires for years because you think they can someday they can be repaired.

You don’t throw things away because every time you do, you need them a year later.

You keep your kids’ clothes so your grandkids and great grandkids can wear them.

You think those Mork & Mindy trading cards will be worth something one day.

You can have a community yard sale by yourself.

Image result for packrat images

There is a fine line between hoarding and collecting. Sometimes it depends on who’s looking at the items.

“All of us can have more possessions than we really need and wrestle to keep our stuff organized, yet for those with a hoarding issue, it’s to an extreme, where it interferes with their life and ability to use their space effectively,” says Dr. Annette Perot, a licensed psychologist who specializes in anxiety issues and hoarding.

Neva has been blogging a lot about her big adventure of sorting and disposing of items that have been long loved, and items that are just there. I don’t envy her that job.

 

Image result for packrat images I’m what they used to call a packrat. I don’t know if that sounds better than hoarder or not. What do you think? I think of myself as a collector. I collect art, old knick-knacks, books, and stamps. I am active in making art and in writing, plus I am exploring my roots with the DNA programs. I also need to mention the 1000’s of photos, VHS tapes, musical instruments, and music books that I have. All of it is useful to me. I don’t want to mention the 50 or 60 pairs of shoes that I have or the two closets, three dressers, and a few containers of clothes (you know some of these are Del’s). I also enjoy all the new-fangled things, like the “As Seen on TV” items. I have all of the NuWave products and I love each of them, but I don’t use them as often as I thought, but they keep all the blenders company. In my defense, I am constantly purging and ridding of stuff.

 

In Stamp Out Murder, James’ mother collected antique furniture. I know she went to a lot of auctions, and antique stores, so I wonder what else she picked up, perhaps an old vase, a lamp, or an old jewelry box. Maybe she collected or hoarded many more things, maybe too many to mention, more about this will surface in book two Cancel Out Murder.

 

 

 

 

***How about you, are you a collector or a hoarder? If you are one of those really neat people, do you know anyone who is a collector or a hoarder, and what do they have the most of?***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. Her newest book is an Advanced Coloring Book and she has 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)

Four Moons and Fair Ladies Four Moons and Fair Maidens

Memories from Maple Street U.S.A: Pawprints on My Heartlink coming soon

Wonders of Water      Advanced Coloring Book

And 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

Seize the Moment by Cher’ley

 

This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

A young soldier and his commanding officer got on a train together. The only available seats were across from an attractive young women who was traveling with her grandmother. As they engaged in pleasant conversation, the soldier and the young woman kept eyeing one another; the attraction was obviously mutual. Suddenly the train went into a tunnel and the car became pitch black.

Immediately two sounds were heard: the “smack” of a kiss, and the “whack” of a slap across the face. The grandmother thought “I can’t believe he kissed my granddaughter, but I’m glad she gave him the slap he deserved.”

The commanding officer thought, “I don’t blame the boy for kissing girl, but it’s a shame that she missed his face and hit me instead.”

The young girl thought, “I’m glad he kissed me, but I wish my grandmother hadn’t slapped him for doing it.”

And as the train broke into the sunlight, the soldier could not wipe the smile off his face. He had just seized the opportunity to kiss a pretty girl and slap his commanding officer and had gotten away with both!

Now, that young soldier knew how seize the opportunity! In the same way, we must take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way to fulfill our purpose in life.

Unfortunately, many times we get so caught up in the details of every day to day living that we just don’t have the time to seize the moment!

My work days have filled my time. I drive 11 hours a day, get a bite to eat, and drop into bed. When I’m not driving, eating, and sleeping—I’m cleaning the truck, doing the laundry, and shopping for supplies. I am determined to find some time to write. Optimistically, I bought my clogging shoes, and my watercolor supplies on the road with me this time. I haven’t had the time to do much of anything. That being said, this weekend I get to see my Grandson, his wife, and my two youngest great grandchildren.

Image result for Carpe Diem

Seize the moment. Sometimes we have to grab a moment here or therImage result for Carpe Dieme. I know each person reading this is probably doing the same thing. No matter your interest, life gets in the way.

 

Do the characters in a book seize the moment? I think they do. I am working on the sequel to “Stamp Out Murder”, “Cancel Out Murder” and the main character is seizing the moment. After all the calamity, and uproar over the murder, he tries to concentrate on a pre-planned fishing trip. I’m hoping to finish this book by the end of the year. In the meantime, James is busy learning to make friends and secure his love interest, and his interest in antiques, and stamps. He’s a major collector, and a crime solver.

Seize the moment. What catches your moments in between the adventure called life?

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)

Four Moons and Fair Ladies Four Moons and Fair Maidens

Memories from Maple Street U.S.A: Pawprints on My Heartlink coming soon
And 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

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

It’s the journey AND the destination!

By Stephen Buehler

Stephen Buehler - Bouchercon

I have taken on an arduous task – converting my novella into a novel.

The Mindreading Murders is about a magician who’s making his big comeback. One of his assistants is killed after being a guest on a medium’s TV show. This medium has something to do with the magician’s tragic past. This leads to the magician investigating the medium and his “ability” to talk with the dead. They have several “Mind Off” competitions where each one demonstrates their respective abilities as the magician unravels what really happened to his deceased assistant.

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The novella was written for an on-line publisher of novellas but the company went defunct. After a successful author read it and loved it, she thought it felt more like a novel and I should change it. To go from novella to novel I’d have to increase the word count by at least 10,000 words. The novella was 39,000 words and a very short novel is 50,000 words.

I have taken on that challenge. I began by adding small changes to scenes. This slowly increased the word count but it felt like the story was being tacked on. And I wasn’t happy with the way it was reading, too choppy and the additional words appeared to me to be just that, additional words. Really, the biggest obstacle was, it was not fulfilling my creativity. I wasn’t plugging away on it like I usually do.

While walking Seymour, my dog, it came to me. seymour-haircut-6-3-15What I had to do was make changes to some of the characters and hopefully that would provide all new scenes. Where in a novella I used thumb nail sketches of the characters now I could really dive into who they really are. For instance, the magician’s best friend went from being a nerd to a lady’s man who likes to flirt. The grandfather, a likable old magician now has a mysterious love interest. A character I had eliminated in the beginning of the novella now sticks around causing havoc behind the scenes. These additions have given The Mindreading Murders many new new organic subplots.

All of these changes breathed new life into the story. I wasn’t just adding words I was creating a whole new story by using the novella as a blueprint. Everyday I’m excited to get back to writing to see what happens next. Actually, some days I’m a little disappointed if I only get to make minor changes instead of new scenes and story lines.

I’m now at 51,000 words and I’m 2/3 finished with this new draft. Now I can call it a novel!

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Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology and A Job’s a Job in Believe Me or Not An Unreliable Anthology.  He’s expanding his novella, The Mindreading Murders about a magician into a novel and shopping around his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. On top of all that he is a script consultant, magician and dog owner.  http://www.stephenbuehler.com

 

 

 

 

 

Wow! It’s National Bridge Day!

ccnancyjardineThis post is by Nancy Jardine.

I’m endlessly amused when I check in to Facebook, or Twitter, or Google+ and find that it’s a ‘National SOMETHING Day’. I just happened to pick up a reference to today, 15th October, while I was looking for some inspiration for a topic for this blog post and it led me to do a tiny bit of research. That was in between the larger amounts of historical research I do pretty well every day.

So what is the 15th October graced with? Should you prefer it you could celebrate it being National Grouch Day, National Cake Decorating Day, Global Handwashing Day, National Mushroom Day, National Chicken Cacciatore Day, I Love Lucy Day… and a whole lot more. (BTW – I love chicken cacciatore) Have a look at the following if you’d like to see what other crazy things are celebrated on the 15th October.  https://www.checkiday.com/10/15   Or look at these ones for the whole of October…   http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/october.htm

grumpy-grover-nancy-jardineAs we all know, there are 365 days in a year (and 366 in a leap year) but amazingly there are over 1200 ‘National SOMETHING days’. I’m sure that’s just perfect for those canny people who sell National Day Calendars! But before I go on to National Bridge Day, here’s a little bit about having a ‘Grouch’ day. It seems this celebration was started by grouches who wanted to share their exceptionally grumpy lives.

Why not? Indeed….so if you’re a grouch, celebrating on the 15th October, then you could give seriously backhanded compliments and share them on Social Media. Hmmm…I personally think there’s a lot of that going on every day on Social Media. http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-grouch-day-october-15/

Official National Bridge Day? I wondered if it had something to do with getting together with friends and playing lots of card games of Bridge. I know of a few women in my neighbourhood who regularly meet to play Bridge. They love the companionship, the pitting of their wits, possibly even the addictive gambling aspects should they go down that form of play, as well as honing their considerable skills in what some devotees would say is the most skilful card game of all. I, personally, would be a poor Bridge player, methinks, since some days I can barely remember the names of people around a table never mind which were the last five cards they have just played!

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http://www.123rf.com – Japan

So what is National Bridge Day? It isn’t to do with cards, but it is for the daredevils among us who prefer much more physical thrills. You’ll love the 15th October if you’re like my son-in-law who loves things like jumping from bridges while attached to a bungee cord or a dangling rope. The image here of a gorge in Japan is beautiful, and I’d truly love to swim there, but dangling from a rope first doesn’t really appeal.

Fayettville, West Virginia, certainly has been doing the day proud. Since 1980, jumpers have been allowed to jump from the New River Gorge Bridge on this special day when all of the traffic lanes are closed, except to pedestrians…and to the paraphernalia that the jumpers need. The videos below show that it can be a great day out with many fun activities to watch, or even experience, BUT personally I’m not into leaping off a bridge today or any other 15th October. Day.

However, I did write about someone called Nairn Malcolm, in my contemporary humorous romantihigh-resc mystery Take Me Now, who does love all sorts of dangerous sporting activities. Nairn is the owner of an ‘extreme sports’ business and I had a lot of ‘armchair’ fun researching what might be the kind of sports he’d be offering to customers via his Adrenalinn Adventure Sports company.
He offers B.A.S.E. jumping type activities, and many others that I probably would try so long as dropping from a great height isn’t involved. I’ll happily manage to peer over the edge but a long dangle?…Oh, No!

BTW- I also call Take Me Now my corporate sabotage mystery because someone is maliciously targeting both Nairn and his businesses …and they’re not at all sporting about it!

How about you? Are you like me and prefer your daredevil leaping to be a bit more ground based? Whatever you might be doing this weekend, daring or not- enjoy! 

Nancy Jardine writes:

Contemporary Romantic Mysteries3 mysteries new TE

 

 

 

Historical Romantic AdventuresCFS words

 

 

 

 

…and TTG x1000Time Travel Historical Adventure for early teens and those who can’t resist a great adventure.

http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk   http://nancyjardineauthor.com/   Twitter @nansjar  Facebook: http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG and http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G (for The Rubidium time Travel Novels.) email: nan_jar@btinternet.com

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