The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday # 5

       Whew! It's been five weeks since I began attempting to breathe life into Lisa Ricard Claro's Friday Book Blurb. (Lisa is currently on a intergalaxy book signing tour. This prompt was her brainchild decades ago, but she is now way too busy with her 3-novel set, and had to let it go.)

      The guidelines are easy.

  • Use the photo as the front cover of your prospective book. What kind of book is it? You decide. It could be a mystery, a romance, a serving of chick lit, a nonfiction piece. It's all on you, baby.
  • Write a blurb that is 150 words or less (not including the title). Tightening it and making it compelling is what this exercise is all about.
  • Speaking of exercise... Doing push-ups and crunches is not fun, but this is supposed to be enjoyable. Don't sweat over it.
  • After you've written your blurb, post it on your blog. Then, link your post to this post, using the agreeable (and easy) Mr. Linky. (I've seen Mr. Linky's name on the wall of a public bathroom wall. The graffiti artist noted: You can do it with Mr. Linky. And you can. It's very simple.)
  • Check out the other blurbs. You'd be surprised at the varied blurbs that are inspired by the same photograph.
  • The photo for the next week will always be at the end of the post, so you have time to consider it.
  • photo by Lynn Obermoeller
          Here is my blurb:

Tuesdays With Lori

Often, Lori would be seen aimlessly wandering the streets of her hometown. By the time she was 19, she still had never been kissed. Never had a job. Never ventured past the city limits of Highland.

But on a fateful Tuesday, she sat on a bench for a moment... and that moment changed Lori's life forever.

In front of her, on a stone wall, appeared a screen. It was as if a private movie was playing just for Lori. A giant cardinal came into view, and he was talking to Lori. He spoke of his hopes and his dreams, and then cocked his head and listened as Lori poured out the contents of her heart.

Lori started coming every Tuesday. Passersby walked past the bench—but only Lori could see the bright red bird. How long will their friendship last? And how does Lori's life change--forever? (146 words)

If you have time to participate this week, have fun with it. It's a way to stretch your writing skills. And never forget--size does matter when it comes to book blurbs. No one will buy a book that has 1,000 words crammed onto the back cover.

Here is next week's photo. It will be posted on 3/18.

photo by Lynn Obermoeller

Submitting Matters

          If you don't submit, you'll never get published. You'll never get your voice heard. You'll never be able to share your gifts.

       Yeah, I said it: gifts. Each one of us has worthwhile things to share with others, and when we share, we connect with our readers. We might make our audience laugh, or nod their heads in knowing agreement. We might even help someone heal through our words.

      I just got the news that two of my writing-teaching friends--Stephanie Gavin and Wyntra Storms--are part of the St. Louis Listen to Your Mother 2016 show. This gives me two more reasons to buy a ticket to the show in May. 

     (Wyntra Storms-- I know. Isn't that the coolest name? The kind of name that means that person is destined to become a famous writer.)

      Think about submitting something this month. And don't forget to come back tomorrow for Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday. It's a doozy of a photo...

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Monday Magpie Mish-Mash

                 Today's post is a mixture of several things.

            First, a confession. Or perhaps more accurately, an admission. I did not finish my WIP on the 29th of February. March is a new month, but I'm not making any proclamations about finishing at the end of this month, because I failed in February. I'm still plugging away at it, but the last few weeks have been crazy ones, work-wise.

           Secondly, a lesson I learned this week: Be careful what you wish for. I hoped--after years of reading Grisham and the work of other courtroom novelists--to someday be a member of a jury. 

            This week I got what I wanted. And immediately was hit with the seriousness of it. The twelve of us were going to make a life-changing decision. The trial lasted all week, we argued deliberated for five hours and eventually came up with a decision that no one was happy with... least of all the murder victim's family.

            Also, I saw the photo (see the picture above) on Magpie's site, and it inspired me to write a lame short poem:

sealed with a kiss--
his last--
she sends it off,
hoping it will pierce
his cold heart
and dig into his useless organ 
a jagged hole
that'll never



is a cold, cold dish...

(Note:  I assumed that red thing is a mailbox--perhaps in England?--so if it's a trash can, my poem veered off in a weird direction, for sure.)

       Fourth (if I'm counting correctly), some writing friends and I will be at the Deer Run Library (in O'Fallon, Missouri) on Tuesday night. It's a panel discussion about Chicken Soup stories--what are the editors looking for? What are good sources of stories? How are stories crafted?

       The address is 1300 N. Main in O'Fallon. The event is from 7:00-8:30. Donna Volkenannt, Pat Wahler, Linda O'Connell and Cathi LaMarche are some of the panelists.

      So, if you want to beat me with a rubber hose because I'm still not finished with my novel, I'll gladly extend my hands. (Because I have so much padding on my rump, no pain for me if you choose that spot.) If you've never been on a trial jury, when you get the jury notice, think hard about the questions they ask--and your answers--during voir dire. If you're inspired by the above photo, go to Magpie Tales and join in the fun. And, if you're free and in the area on Tuesday, come to the Deer Run Library. We'd love to see you.