The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Super Pig... and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 67

      Recently I saw the movie Okja. Was it one of my all-time favorites, ranking up there with Hidalgo and Widow of Saint Pierre and Chocolat and Love Actually and Doctor Zhivago?

     Well, no.

     But I did enjoy it.

     You might enjoy doing something silly. Or writing something a bit lighter. If a child's book titled Battle Bunny intrigues you, go here and check out my post at the Muffin.
    And if you'd like to read about how they made the movie Okja, go here.

    Without further ado, here is this week's book blurb's guidelines:

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a nonfiction piece? Is it a romance between a chef and all things pork? 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 writing challenge. She moved to Florida and with the piles of money she's made from her novels. Lisa's unpacking the last of her boxes and is doing her best to keep her address a top secret when it comes to Linda O'Connell. (Linda looooves the beach.)

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, along with my blurb:

The Unmaking of a Meat-Eater

She’d seen the movie Okja. With disgust, she’d watched the latest hot dog eating contest. Helen even reread the scary parts of Charlotte’s Web.
And she’d survived all that.
What finally drove her over the edge was a Hawaiian luau party. When Helen saw that roasted piglet getting plated, she lost it. All over her lei.
She also lost her love of any kind of meat. “I’ll never make another animal suffer because of me,” she swore. “The flesh of an animal will never again pass my lips, nor will leather shoes cover my toes.”
Helen’s husband Leroy tried to lure her back to the carnivorous side. Bacon-wrapped figs. Slow-cooked ribs, waved under her nose. He tried to tempt her with bagels topped with a schmear and some lox.
Will Helen remain a vegetarian? Or will she drag Leroy to the kale burger side of town? (146 words)

And for Val and Pat and anyone else who'd like to play along, here is the photo for next week:

What have you done playful or silly lately? Stressed-out minds want to know...

Monday, July 10, 2017

Staring... and Finishing (at least a 2nd draft)

This is what I stared at, off and on, for three hours yesterday.

      There was a write-in at the St. Louis Art Museum. From 1-4 I sat in an overstuffed chair (big enough for two, but I hogged up both spots with my stuff) and typed away on my laptop.

       Okay, saying I typed away for several hours might give you--my one reader--with the impression that I got pages and pages down.

       El wrongo.

       I just looked back on my WIP to see how much I actually got down. Less than a page, plus part of an author's note (it's historical). However, this was one of the hardest parts--the ending--and so I'm thrilled I got the last few paragraphs down.

       Now the hardest part. There is a question at the end that's a crucial one for the main character (a young teenager named Henry). I've known--since the very beginning--that my first page is not how I want the reader to enter the story. However, it was how I had to enter into the character... so I need to completely revamp the beginning.

      I want to have a hint of that question (that's at the end) in the beginning... and then perhaps insert a thread of the question here and there throughout the story. Then comes the next steps:

1) Finish the author's note. This is a historical event that very few people know about. There's some backstory and some details that were not covered in the story. To have a completely well-rounded view of what happened, an author's note is necessary.

2) Speak to an elderly person about some of the slang/expressions/products. I've included some of the expressions that my grandfather used. He was born in 1904. The story takes place in 1921. However, these are African American characters. What sayings were popular back then? I have a couple of lady senior citizens I'm going to sit down with and talk to. (I've highlighted all the word choices and phrases I'm curious/unsure about. Going over it page by page, I'll ask if they can remember their parents or grandparents saying anything similar.) Also, what kind of gum was popular back then? What kind of things did they hear from (unkind) white passersby?

Now it's all about looking at the small details. Notice the small
details in this painting. The way the towel is draped across one
shoulder. The guy on the right--see how his right foot is raised and angled?

3) Have a few of my students critically read it. They're close to my target audience (I envision it for 5th, 6th or 7th graders and my students are 8th graders). However, at least one student I'm thinking of is a reluctant reader. He was the one who kept prodding me--long after NaNoWriMo was finished--asking me, "So how's your story coming, Mrs. R?" If I can keep Danny interested, I have a chance with kids who enjoy reading...

4) Have my writing critique group read it. Hey, they willingly read my earlier manuscript, which was (and still is) a steaming, angry pile of poop. I actually think this is fairly decent. They might not have to drink large amounts of wine/eat large amounts of chocolate (Linda)/nibble on large amounts of bean sprouts (Lynn) to slog through this one...

How about you? What have you been proud of recently? Or, what have you finished/semi-finished recently? Nosey minds want to know...