The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Break & a Marvelous Movie...Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 98... and a Scary Writing Critique Group Meeting

     My Spring Break begins in a few days. It will be delightful to have some time off, but I won't be lounging around watching TV and eating bonbons. I'm going on another quick trip to Turkey to rescue some golden retrievers. Pray for the passengers in the plane, that I don't fall asleep and snore during the flight.

       Also, I got to see the movie The Darkest Hour. It was wonderful. Gary Oldman did a fabulous job as Churchill. The film made me want to read his memoir (if he has one) or a decent biography about his life.     

And now, onto back-of-the-book blurb business. Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a coffee table book on meditation positions? Is it a photo collection of mentally-ill patients and where they choose to sit? 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 is too busy to host a weekly book blurb. If you'd like to read my review of The Write Man, Lisa's most recent novel, you read it here.  Lisa nudged me into reading her first romance novel... and then I read the next two in the series. She's that good of a writer.
          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 Cure for Crazy

     Mrs. Higginbottam still loved teaching, even after 49 years. When the teachers around her had smarboards and computers, she still had her trusty green blackboards and a paper gradebook. Those things never failed!
      Her students thought their teacher was whackadoodle. If they whispered, Mrs. H shuffled up and down the aisles and yelled. If they laughed, her face turned beet-red and she'd stomp her feet and twirl around like the cartoon Tasmanian Devil. When the teacher wasn't lecturing the class, the kids were hunched over their desks furiously working.
       The kids were stressed out. Some of the kids started biting their nails down to the quick. Some started pulling out patches of their hair. Some started muttering under their breath.
        After one of the kids saw his mom meditate, a light bulb lit up. Maybe some mantra-muttering would make them calmer? But would Mrs. Higginbottam let them do it? (150 words)

      Plus, something weird happened at this week's writing critique group meeting. I always hope that everyone's opinion of my piece is favorable. Nobody wants to hear five other people say, "That story stunk!" However, I don't get nervous as the group reads my work. If they don't laugh at the funny parts or understand the story, that just means I have to do more revising.

    But this week I shared a synopsis I've been working on. It's for a manuscript I've worked on for more than a year. The piece means a lot to me. 

     As they read, I almost snatched it out of their hands and said, "It's not ready to share yet," I was that anxious.

     It's crazy when our writing makes us crazy.

And Val, here is the photo for the next back-of-the-book blurb:


Monday, March 26, 2018

Been Downtown...Turkey Bound... and Six-Word Memoirs

On Saturday I marched downtown with a couple friends and 10,000 others. because I'm a teacher, I've had to go through "active shooter" training. On my classroom door is a floor deadbolt lock that if activated, would prevent the door from opening for an intruder. I've been through countless "intruder drills."

Something has to stop the mass-shootings. I'm hoping the young people can make less of a mess of the world than we did.

At the march I saw senior citizens all the way to stroller babies. People of all races and all generations came together to say, "No more." I saw many wonderful signs, some of which I cannot post. I don't want to lose my job, and I know my students are always trolling the internet looking for signs of me. If you'd like to see my favorite one, send me an email. Warning: It is a bit "colorful"...

However, here are few I especially liked:

photo by Sioux

photo by Sioux

photo by Sioux

I did not take this picture--it was from the Philadelphia march--
but I did see a few "Now You've Pissed Off Grandma" signs at the St. Louis march.

       Soon I will be returning to Turkey to rescue 3 or 4 golden retrievers. Pray (for the people around me) that I get an aisle seat, since I get up frequently during long flights. 

       Here are a couple of six-word memoirs that indicate what I've been up to over the weekend:

Vegging out on movies... so lazy.
(I saw The Darkest Hour recently, along with The Shape of Water and The Greatest Showman. I enjoyed each one immensely.)

Life or greed--which matters most?