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Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

If you follow this blog, you’ll know I’m participating in the NaNoWriMo 2019. And my project this year is a funny little story about a genie found in a whiskey jug.

So how about a little sneak preview from one of the earlier chapters? Remember, this is a very rough first draft, but here we go!

WHISKEY JUG GENIE

Eyes watering and trying to hold his breath, Martin finally got the front windows and the back door opened to let the stench out of his dwelling.

“Whew-wee!” he heard from the figure before him. “That was a good one. Been holding it for a long time.”

“What the hell are you?” he demanded.

The figure looked him over for a moment and then answered him with the strongest southern accent he’d ever heard.

“You can call me Bubba,” it said.

“I didn’t ask who you were. I asked what you were,” Martin demanded again.

The figure was about as tall as he was, around six feet, with dark curly hair, dark eyes, and a crooked smile.

“Don’t get your panties in a wad. You would call me a genie, though I prefer djinn.”

“Gin? I’m a Scotch man myself.”

“No, djinn.”

“Yeah, gin. I’ve got it.”

“Were you born slow, son? D-j-i-n-n. Djinn.”

“I thought you guys lived in bottles. Not whiskey jugs.”

“No, usually we live peacefully in caves, places like that. But we sometimes get trapped in things like bottles or jugs. And I’ll be tellin’ you, it ain’t pleasant.”

“Why are you here?” Martin asked, reaching for his Scotch.

“You bought my jug.”

“But if you’re free of the jug, why are you still here?”

All he needed was a magical roommate. Now how did he get rid of this guy–Bubba. What sort of name was Bubba?

“That’s where the curse comes in. Unless you can take off the curse, I’m bound to this dad-blamed thing forever. I don’t suppose you’re a wizard?”

“I dabble in white magic, but curses? Don’t know a thing about reversing them.”

“It figures. Somebody finally comes along, buys the darned thing, but can’t help a fella out. Story of my life. What have you got to eat around here?”

While you’re waiting, why not check out some of my other writing? All my books are available at Smashwords and Amazon.

Later this year, the next book from Gambler’s Folly will be out, so watch for The Russian, Book 3!

Brown jug with a cork in it

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Winter is definitely in the air today. It was down around 30 degrees this morning when I got up. Miss Kitty decided she simply had to go out on the deck, however, and nearly froze her pitter-paws off. Now she’s miffed.

I’ve gotten into the swing with NaNoWriMo, with 3617 words written yesterday. And Bubba is turning out to be quite the character. I do hope Martin finds a way to free him from the jug…

Anyway, I’ll be sitting down to write for today once I have a bite to eat. I’ll keep you posted on my progress as the month continues. With any luck at all I’ll reach my 50,000 words by November 30.

Wish me luck!

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Well, sort of.

I got a late start on the NaNoWriMo due to an out of town wedding. But you have to go to your grandson’s wedding.

Right?

The rehearsal was Friday afternoon, and then the rehearsal dinner. After that, his mother and I were up until the wee hours getting the food ready–lasagne, potato salad, and corn dip.

I appreciate that our daughter is a fantastic cook. And I understand why her son wanted her to cater the main dishes for the wedding. But it was a bit rushed and stressful on the day before the wedding.

The wedding was beautiful on Saturday, but due to all the wedding prep, I hadn’t had a chance to write on November 1.

Grabbing the laptop out of my bag, I went to open my project and discovered I’d neglected to put it on my laptop. Thinking perhaps I’d emailed it to our daughter, I managed to get my phone to connect to my email, but no luck.

And the computer would not connect to the net. It had somehow turned off the wifi and it was late Saturday before I had a chance to get someone at our daughter’s house to look at it and figure out what was wrong.

Too late to do any writing yesterday.

So today one of our other grandson’s drove me home, we went to lunch, and I finally got sat down in front of the computer. To a three day backlog of emails.

However, I have made a start. Not a great start, but a start. This year’s project is Whiskey Jug Genie. I’ll need to catch up in the next few days, but I am confident I will make it.

Anyone out there joining in the fun? Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing.

Or look me up at NaNoWriMo–Meleigh53.

Until next week, wish me luck!

Brown jug with a cork in it

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Yes! It’s that time of year. I debated joining in the fun, but finally decided to just go ahead and dive in.

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month. It’s a time for writers or aspiring writers to join together with others and finish a novel in one month.

Sounds fun, huh?

You have 30 days to complete 50,000 words. And there is all kinds of merchandise–and even more if you complete your task.

It’s a way to motivate yourself to begin or finish that novel you’ve had in mind. With pep talks from published authors, online buddies to help spur you on, a daily word count calendar, and all manner of writer’s resources, it’s a good way to get going.

Don’t have a story to write?

You can still donate to the cause!

Want to know more?

https://nanowrimo.org/what-is-nanowrimo

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Black and whiteOK, fellow authors, give me some feedback.

You’ve finished your final draft and submitted it to your publisher. Now come the edits. Once you get to the final proof, you read through it, scrutinize it to make sure everything is good, and sign off on the final.

When your print books are released, you grab one and read through it. What? Son of a gun! You spot a mistake. How did that happen?

Does this fault lie with the editor? Or is it on your shoulders, since you signed off and accepted it as finished and complete?

My first novel, Gambler’s Folly, published through Bookstrand,  went through the process. I signed on the dotted line, and when my print books came out, I grabbed one to read.

And about two chapters in I found a mistake. It was where we had changed the wording in a particular sentence. After we’d both gone through it several times, nobody noticed that the final had the original word and the correction in the sentence.

Do I blame the editor who worked with me on the book? No. I signed off on the final proof. I admit I have trouble proofreading on the computer screen. Things always look a little different on the printed page to me.

But I was the last person to go over the proofs. I accepted what I received from the editor and called it done.

Would I work with this editor again? Absolutely! He did a fantastic job. I loved his feedback on my work.

Will I go over the finals a little more carefully next time?

I’ll do my best, but I’m as human as my editor. Every now and again, something is going to slip through the cracks.

So, what is your opinion? Do you take responsibility for the oops, or do you rant and rave at the editor who let it slide past?

I decided to own up and say, yeah, I missed that one.

What about you?

Haven’t read Gambler’s Folly?

http://amzn.com/1627405844

http://www.amazon.com/Gamblers-Folly-BookStrand-Publishing-Romance-ebook/dp/B00EKWRB3S/

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Gamblers-Folly-Bookstrand-Publishing-Romance/Mellie-E-Miller/9781627405843?id=6142571080981

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gamblers-folly-mellie-e-miller/1116472748?ean=9781627405843

http://www.bookstrand.com/gamblers-folly

mem-gamblersfolly

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Black and whiteGet along little…? Can you fill in the blank correctly?

Call it a pet peeve. Call it overly sensitive. Call it OCD. Call it anything you like, but twice in a week I’ve seen this quoted, or something similar, and both times the above line has been finished with “doggie.”

Incorrect!

Most people quote it as yippee ki yi yay, get along little doggie, which is doubly incorrect.

The original lyrics were:

Whoppee ti yi yo, get along little dogie.

Now, I realize spell check probably doesn’t like this word, and it is from a different era, out on the range. But dogie is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

A doggie is a creature of the canine variety.

The lyrics to this cowboy ballad were first published in John Lomax’s  Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. It has been performed by many different people and groups including: Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Charlie Daniel, The Kingston Trio, and Sons of the Pioneers.

So, unless you’re herding dogs, the word to use here is dogie.

I smell lunch cooking, so this little dogie is gonna go eat.

Get along little dogies! Talk to you later.

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Mel and Gambler's FollyAll right, out here in the country, with chickens and gardens, you can’t be lazy. Sometimes my mind is a little hazy, mainly from lack of sleep.  But it certainly is crazy around here!

With everything summer brings, it can be a little difficult to get the writing done on that next novel. But I have a new one in queue with my editor, so stay tuned!

So many people ask why I need an editor. It’s a good question. The idea was mine; the writing is mine; it’s my story.

And therein lies the problem.

It is my baby. I gave it life, but it has a few issues I can’t see because I’m too close to it. When I read through it, I know all the back story–those bits which came before the story. I gloss over mistakes because I see what should be on the page sometimes, instead of what is.

I don’t notice that I’m using the same descriptors repeatedly, or using a particular filler word in every paragraph.

My editor does.

When I get the manuscript back, dripping red ink, there are notes like, Where the heck did this come from? It is from that information I know about the characters and their backgrounds which hasn’t been passed along to you, dear reader.

Oops…

Or if, in a phone conversation, she says, “If he chuckles one more time, I’m gonna hit something,” I’ll realize my character sounds more like a lunatic than a hero. (She says chuckling to herself…)

She’ll notice if my writing has become wooden in areas instead of lyric. Am I telling you too much instead of letting you see it for yourself?

They may sound like little things, but a good editor can take that diamond, which you’ve painstakingly cut from the surrounding stone, and shape its facets to bring out its true beauty.

She may let you do the final polish…

If you’re thinking of hiring an editor, talk to them first and find out what they charge for the different types of editing services they provide.

Will they give you an estimate if you send them a sample?

Do they give new clients a price break?

What other questions do you have about editing or the editing process?

What other services do they provide?

The lady who puts the final seal on my work is RuleBreaker Editing. She does a fantastic job. My books wouldn’t be what they are without her critical eye.

Once you’ve hired an editor, grow some thick skin. The first time you see one of your babies edited can be intimidating, even heart wrenching.

It’s all right. It isn’t personal. They want your manuscript to be the very best it can be. Think about labor pains. They are certainly not pleasant, but they are necessary if you want that baby to be born.

So if you’re writing a book, college paper, or even an important letter and want to make sure it is at its best before you send it on its way, consider hiring an editor.

You’ll love the result.

In the meantime, it’s time to gather eggs!

Jareth Cover art finalEsperance2_web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer and War.Way

mem-gamblersfolly

 

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