The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, March 4, 2016

Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday # 4

           Well, Lisa Ricard Claro started it, years ago, but then she got too busy jetting from continent to continent with her soon-to-be three novels, and she had to give it up.

         Recently, I finally decided to revive it. I've been limping along, sweating the technology of Mr. Linky every week (worried that I'll screw it up) , but you're in luck (next week, that is. This week, you're stuck with one of my lame-o photos.) Lynn Obermoeller sent me (several times, due to my technical nincompoopdom) some great photos. So be on track with us this week, and check out the photo for 3/11 (you'll find the photo for that blurb at the end of the post).

       Here's the low-down on Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday:

  •        Use the photo that's posted every Friday. Consider it the front cover          of your book.
  •        You choose the genre. Perhaps your book is a romance. Perhaps it's a        a YA novel. Maybe it's historical fiction. It's your book. You decide.
  •        Write an enticing "blurb" for your book, in 150 words or less.
  •        Post your blurb on your blog. And then link your blurb to Mr. Linky.            (Mr. Linky is extremely easy. Even my very-blonde dog can do it.)
  •        Of course, feel free to check out the other blurbs. You might be                  surprised with another writer's take on the same picture...
Here's the photo for this week's Back-of-the-Book Blurb:

Terror on the Tracks

Out in Monette County, you can hear the plaintive wail of the train's whistle three times a day. The folks that live in Cabool can set their watches on it. The 10:03, the 1:27, the 5:18... The trains clack through the hilly countryside right on time every day. Folks that live near the tracks used to find solace in the whistle and the rhythmic rumbling.

That's all in the past.

Now, something strange is going on... and it's tearing the folks in Cabool apart. In the past three years there's been seven tragedies. Seven people mowed down by a train. Seven lives cut short by a choo choo. And it's always happened when the 5:18 is flying through.

Is there an engineer at the switch who's got his own evil agenda? Will the town pull together to figure out the mystery...

… before tragedy strikes again? (147 words)

If you're playing along with us, please post your blurb on your blog, and link your blog here, with the help of Mr. Linky.

        And now, here's the photo for the 3/11 book blurb. I'm really excited about this one because I already have an idea... and unlike my blurbs  so far, this one will be a bit more whimsical. A bit more quirky.

      If you're still wondering why you should participate in Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday, think of what a stretch it is. Genre dabbling. Word reducing. Who knows? You might even come up with a real book idea...

photo by Lynn Obermoeller


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Friends Don't Care...

        Last night was critique night. I met with my usual writing critique group, and a remark as we left made me reflect on the writing process.

       I had brought a problematic piece to share. You know how it is. Occasionally you have something that you know is fairly good. It's more or less finished. There  is some minor tweaking needed, but overall, it's decent.

      This piece wasn't like that. It was for a contest. I wasn't sure if it really fit with the contest requirements. I knew that parts of it--tone-wise--didn't fit together cohesively. And there were parts that I worried were too raggy--too much complaining, too crabby.

photo by Seeman @ morguefile

      As usual, my group helped me out. They pursed their lips in concentration... They crossed out parts/lines/words and wrote alternatives I could consider... They discussed the essay.

      As we walked out and to our cars, one of the WWWPs said, "Sioux, I hope you weren't offended. They were just suggestions I made."

       Really? Was she kidding? I have skin that's a mile thick (which explains my fat hips and my roly-poly poochy gut), and besides, that is why I brought my piece to the critique table in the first place... to hear the hard-to-hear things, to get some suggestions, to troubleshoot my writing.

      Friends don't care when their friends say things like, "This part needs work. This part needs to be changed," because they're said in love, and they're said with the intention of improving our craft.

      And isn't that what we're all trying to do--to get better?

      How do you handle the suggestions/critique from others? Do you have any funny or moving stories?

Monday, February 29, 2016

How Much to Corral?

       I just finished Carly Simon's memoir, Boys in the Trees. I was intrigued, because I'd read a story that James Taylor no longer speaks to Carly Simon. Because they were two of my favorites as I was growing up (more accurately, I had a huge crush on James Taylor for many years, and Simon was the skank woman who spoiled my chances with him), I was excited to read her memoir. 

          (Seriously, Simon's album "No Secrets" is one I still remember, even though it's been over four decades since I last heard it.)

      I was surprised by the book. And impressed. From her, there was no mud-slinging, despite lots of serious "shenanigans" on the part of James Taylor.

                              Here's Simon and Taylor in the middle of their
                                  happy days, singing "Mockingbird." It's fun to
                                  see James Taylor so loose and whimsical...

                                  And check out her jumpsuit. Those used to be 
                                  all the rage when I was in high school.

      The stuff that she obviously kept private--it made me think of the memoir pieces, along with fiction, that I write.

       What details do I reveal about family members and friends? Which ones do I keep private? If they'd be hurtful to share, the decision is easy. But what about those relatives and close friends who are are extremely protective of their privacy? I might know some details about them that wouldn't necessarily be embarrassing but nonetheless, people might prefer to keep them from becoming public.

       And then there's fiction. Do I take all the stuff I know about my characters and throw the whole heap into the corral, so it can wheel around in circles and kick up its heels in wild abandon? Or should I let some of the details loose... and not include them?

      How do you decide what to keep to yourself and what to keep on paper? Too-wordy minds want to know...