The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday #21

     Writers write tight(ly).

     Writers choose their words carefully. They write a draft, distill it down to its barest bones, and then flesh it out a bit here and there wherever the paring got too brutal.

     This exercise helps with the succinct skills. Would you like to join us this week? Dive in. It's easy and fun. Here are the guidelines:
  • Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book.
  • You choose the genre. A how-to book? A haiku collection? Chick lit? You decide.
  • Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Lisa Ricard Claro was the creative brain behind this activity. She is too busy serving as vice president of Amazon's new "Fairness to Authors When It Comes to Book Reviews" department and cannot be bothered with silly blog stuff like this.
  • Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. 
  • Link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is charming and easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is.
  • Check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.
  • And most importantly, have fun. This is supposed to be enjoyable.
          Here is the photo for this week, and my finished blurb:

The Perfect Man

“When is your first day back at school?”
“How fast were you going when you got that ticket?”
“Did you eat the last ice cream bar?”

He asks the questions, gets answers, and then hours (or days) later, asks the same questions.

It's not Alzheimer's. It's not deafness. It's just aggravation. Tired of the endless string of repetitive questions, she turns to pins and needles. Pins and needles and a voodoo doll, that is.

When she put the first needle in, it seemed too flimsy to do any good, so she shoved seventeen more in—quickly.

And after she set the doll on her dresser, she went into the back yard. And saw her husband, now reduced to a stone statue.

Things had gone quite awry. Will she try to undo her voodoo gone wrong? Or will she plant some flowers around her new lawn feature? (145 words)

           And for my only regular player--Val/Kathy--here is the photo for next week, so while you're lolling around in your jammies all day and cruising around on the internet nonstop, you can also start thinking ahead. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Joy! What is it Good For? Absolutely Somethin'!

        Recently I had an electronic conversation with a writer friend. They were sharing how much social media work--work that is devoid of joy--it takes to promote a book. This writer does appreciate their success (several published books and a mob of loyal followers) but occasionally (as we all do) they lose sight of their joy.

        When I watch my dog race around the backyard, chasing after a frisbee or a squirrel (thankfully, the squirrels always allude him), I think of the joy Radar experiences all the time. Being petted results in him wiggling his rear end in excitement. Just the sound of our key turning in the lock when we get home... and he's turning tight, fast circles of anticipation. If we say "blinky ball" (his ball that lights up and squeaks) he's like an unstoppable horse as he heads for the backdoor.

        Radar knows nothing but joy. It's something he experiences all the time. He's decided that life is nothing but one big party... and he's the guest of honor.

        Last night we went and heard Compton Heights Concert Band play. It was their last summer concert. These are free, and are held every Sunday and Monday during the summer.

       Every summer they have Hugh Smith join them. Smith is a tenor--one that I enjoy. What's the connection with joy and some guy who sings? Last night, it was obvious how much he was enjoying himself as he sang. Yes, there are tenors who are way more famous than Smith. And yes, he may never be remembered as one of the greats. But when he sings, he's joyous.

       It reminded me of one of my favorite Harry Chapin songs--a song that never made it on the radio waves. "Mr. Tanner" tells the story of a singer who loved singing, then his joy was taken away... You have to listen to the song to find out what happened. (If you want to skip Chapin's intro to his band, go to the two-minute mark.)

      What brought you joy today? Or yesterday? Or last week?