The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Bloody Good Time, A Bee Champ and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 44

Two days ago my school had a blood drive. The other middle-school teacher and I were in charge. Usually I'm too low (iron-wise) to donate and if I make it over that hurtle, I have wily veins. Some really talented blood-suckers have surrendered (after digging around with their needling ways), so I was upfront. I told them, "I'm a tough stick. Who's the best one with needle?" The woman taking my vitals said she'd take care of me. (She whispered, "I'm the best.") Unfortunately, another nurse tried first, they switched to my other arm and the first woman, the one who claimed to be the best did indeed take care of me. She had to work at it, but she got a donation out of me.

As writers, it helps if we know what we need from our critique partners. Ask for it. Be honest. Everybody's a winner if we get to the finish line... even if we're crossing it next to someone else.

Yesterday my granddaughter won the Spelling Bee, and now heads off to the regional competition (in March, I think). The photo below was taken at their Christmas concert. She's sporting her 50's hairstyle, she loves Frank Sinatra songs and she's unfailingly kind and thoughtful. (I'm just a tad bit proud.)

Don't let yourself get boxed in. Try new things. Keep things interesting. Do something daring.

And now onto the book blurb--

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. A thriller? A study of mental illness? You decide.

Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book.

Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this project and has at least 3 published novels under her belt. Not only is she a novelist, she's also a professional editor. Check out her website. You'll find inspiring posts as well as information on her editorial services and rates. 

Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, ink your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. You don't have to buy him a drink or anything. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

The purpose of this exercise is to delve into some fun writing. Perhaps if you took a break from your WIP and worked on something

Here's the book cover and the blurb:

photo by
First Steps
Dennis viewed life in thin slices.
Living in his mother’s basement had its advantages, certainly. A full freezer of crab rangoon and corn dogs. A microwave next to his bed and a TV on the other side. Mom did his laundry, his shopping and made sure he never ran out of his favorite candy: Whoppers. Dennis had quite an easy life. He slept in til almost noon every day, watched Judge Judy every afternoon and worked delivering pizzas most evenings.
But lately, he wonders if there isn’t more to life. Maybe there’s an exciting world past his cement walls and cobweb-covered rafters. The things Dennis sees when he stares out his basement window makes him curious.

That next day, Dennis gets up early, grabs a bagel instead of his usual bowl of Count Chocula, and heads outside…
… to see what he’s been missing all these years. (147 words)

And if you're Val, and you need to work ahead because every week you write pun-filled book blurb "reviews," here's the photo for next week:

photo by

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I DO Hate These Dogs... A Submission... and What Information Can Spit Share With Us?

         I do. I hate chihuahuas. They're little. They're yappy. And I tend to trip over little dogs. 

       However, my sister's dog Chloe (a rescue) is part chihuahua and part terrier/mystery dog, and she's awfully cute and beguiling. She has longer legs (from the mystery DNA) than most chihuahuas, and is an odd-looking pooch, with all the wiry wisps sprouting up here and there.

       It's probably the quirky that gets me. I like things odd.

       A couple of days ago I sent off my "Listen to Your Mother" submission. Now it's out of my hands. The deed's been done. All I can do now is wait until late-February or whenever for the decision about who makes it to the audition phase.

      And on Saturday I got a DNA kit in the mail. You know, from Ancestry. That site that's advertising on the TV all the time. I've read the directions. All I have to do is spit into a tube and send it off.

      According to the story my biological mother told the adoption agency, my biological father was from Greece. Now, if you know what I look like, you might wonder if she said, "He was from Greece," or if she instead said, "He's from grease," which might have meant what? They loved fried chicken? They had french fries floating around in a deep fryer all the time? I'm not sure, but considering my skin's as white as notebook paper, I think I missed out on the Greek part.

      The Native American part, too. The biological family I was able to track down (my birth mom died when I was 9) claim there's a Native American branch in our family tree. The last name--Gann--makes me think of Scottish/Irish.

      I think it takes 6-8 weeks (or longer, because of all those commercials causing a flood of customers), but soon, I'll be able to say more than, "I don't know. I'm adopted," when someone asks, "Where is your family from?"

So, what have you disliked but later opened your mind up to?
Are you submitting to your local Listen to Your Mother show?
And have you done the DNA/ancestry testing thing? If so, what was the most surprising thing you found out?