The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Class Bake-Off and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 48

Did you know you can melt Tootsie Rolls? Did you know you can incorporate a homemade applesauce into brownies, along with cayenne pepper and lemons, in a tasty way? Did you know that seven kids + 1 blender + 1 food processor + a lot of weird ingredients = a great deal of fun?

This week during homeroom, our middle-schoolers had their first bake-off. They decided on making mug brownies (brownies made in coffee mugs in the microwave) and decided on the strange additions (cayenne pepper, apples and citrus fruit) along with Tootsie Rolls, Twix bars, chocolate chip cookies and pretzels. It was a blast to see them working together in two groups, and at end, watching the flurry of activity as their time ran out. Honestly, I thought apples would taste horrible with brownies but one of the groups made a homemade applesauce and the flavors melded well with the brownies.

Teamwork. Creativity. Problem-solving. Risk-taking. We had it all on Wednesday... And now onto book blurb stuff.

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. A time travel tale, where a fun-loving group of hooligans try to reenact Thelma and Louise's trip? A how-to book explaining how to refold travel maps?  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 brain behind this project. She's got her own editing business. She's gotten a multi-novel publishing deal... and now that those three books are out, she's working on more. Check out her site. You'll enjoy her posts and you'll learn something.

Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. 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.

Here's the book cover and the blurb:

photo by pixabay

The Re-Education of Harold

“Honey, you’re built like a ‘57 Chevy. Solid. Dependable. Big in all the right spots.”
“Sweetie, you’ve been up and down the block a bunch of times. I like that.”
“Madge, you’re like a fine wine. If I wait any longer, you’re gonna turn to vinegar, so it’s time to pop the cork and enjoy life right now.”
Harold and Madge were neighbors. Harold was 78 and never married. When he moved a year ago, he started taking walks every morning. The first time he passed up Madge, swinging in her front yard, he simply nodded a greeting. Soon, he got brazen enough to walk across Madge’s yard for daily chats.
Harold thinks he’s a smooth talker. He thinks he’s romancing Madge. But a man who’s been single for that many years… well, surely he’s set in his ways. Right? Can Harold ever be taught how to treat a woman? (150 words)

And for Val and anyone else who wants the next week's photo ahead of time, here it is:

photo by pixabay

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Brevity is Next to Godliness

According to the internet (and we all know that the internet never peddles alternative facts to people and calls them the truth), Johann Wolfgang Goethe wrote a lengthy letter to a friend. He finished it with a PS: "I am very sorry for sending you such a long letter but I did not find enough time to write a shorter one."

Writing succinctly does take more time than meandering all around the story as we beat around the bush, develop diarrhea of the keyboard and beat dead horses. Sometimes, writing even requires--shudder--that we delete some of our work.

Yep. That's right. Sometimes as writers we have to deconstruct. We find ourselves deleting words, lines or (horror!) pages... and it's frustrating.

Now, when I do NaNoWriMo, I try to delete as little as possible. All I'm focused on with NaNo is getting to the 50,000-word finish line.  I know my WIP's a pile of steaming poop, this first draft, and since I already know it's going to need loads of revision, I keep most of the word count intact.

There are times we have to cut a part we find particularly clever:  it doesn't mesh with the rest of the tone.  We have to slash a word here and a few words there, since we're over the word limit. We're gonna have to trash a whole page because the dialogue is deadly dull... and we put our heads in our hands and moan, since that means we're going to have to rewrite it... and it might be the third or fourth crack at that particular scene.

photo by pixabay

I love this construction sign because it makes me think of shoveling "stuff." There are times when I'm writing... and I feel like I have a shovel in my hand instead of a pen. 

What kind of revision tricks do you have up your sleeve?  Shoveling minds want to know...