Saturday, December 2, 2017
Friday, December 1, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017
It was an honor to be interviewed today, Saturday, August 5, 2017 on Rave Waves Radio. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Amie O'Brien and John Howell. Thank you again!
A recording is at:
A recording is at:
Monday, July 10, 2017
30& TAX CUT FOR WEALTHY
Am I the only one who is appalled by the proposed provision to the health care law now in the Senate? Are you appalled?
Why is this provision even in the law? It belongs in the TAX CODE. The 30% TAX CUT FOR THE TOP 1% OF THE WEALTHY is the reason that there are so many cuts to the rest of the health bill.
Don’t let your Senator or Representative tell you on the illusion that Medicaid programs which provide relief for our poorest citizens and which provides desperately needed medical research grants, after-school programs in poor and high-risk areas, etc., help for elderly in nursing homes, etc., is the reason that the cuts have to be made. The reason is to pay for the 30% tax cut for the wealthy can be tacked onto the end of this bill.
Many senators argue that Medicaid serves only 5% of our population and don’t say anything about the fact that this tax cut is benefitting less than 1% of our population.
This proposed law is a disgrace in many ways, but this is the worst.
ARE YOU APPALLED THAT YOUR TAX DOLLARS WILL SOON BE PAYING FOR A 30% TAX CUT FOR THE TOP 1% OF THE WEALTHIEST IN OUR NATION?
I am sickened. This tacked-on bit of legislation belongs in the Tax Code, not in a Health Code Bill. Think of the people it serves— the ones who least need it—at the detriment of those who need assistance the most. Think of the elderly thrown out of nursing homes, the medical research on diseases such as cancer, the single mothers who will no longer have access to after-school facilities, etc. The list goes on and on and on.
Call your state Senator and tell him that you won’t allow it!
Monday, June 12, 2017
Monday, June 5, 2017
WONDERFUL MEDIEVAL TALE
THE MASTER AND THE MAID by Laura Libricz is an exciting glimpse into the German world in the seventeenth century. It is mostly told through the eyes of a commoner, Katarina. As a fellow historical fiction writer, I was often impressed by the author’s research and her knowledge about Germany. The bibliography is an example of the precise research she conducted, both in English and German literature. As I read the book, I often thought that the book read as if the story was being told by someone who lived in Germany. It wasn’t until I read her biography that I realized that the author does live in Germany and speaks the language. Her descriptions of medieval European life and the German countryside are impressive, as is her character development.
I couldn’t help but wish that she would make Katarina wake up sooner and do something to elevate her standing in life. I admit that I also wished that she’d spend more time on the romance between Katrina and Herr Tucker. I loved hating Ralf, the antagonist, who behaves more out of greed than he does ignorance.
The author does a beautiful job of describing the war between the Catholics and the Protestants in medieval times, as well as the practice of witch hunting. Katarina is accused of being a witch because she practices the use of herbs as medicine. The differences between the landed gentry and commoners was also well described.
I am looking forward to the author’s second book in the trilogy. I truly admire the author’s ability to write well-researched historical fiction.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
I love attending writer’s conferences and learning new things about the craft I have devoted so much time to in the last few years. I recently attended the Dallas DFW Conference where I met different agents, listened to agent panels and successful writers from all over the United States. I went into talk which was titled “Put Your Readers on an Emotional Roller Coaster.”
Emotions are powerful. They can make people do or not do almost anything at any given moment. I can get so wrapped up in what is happening on the page that I find myself crying out of grief or sadness or my heart pumping because I’m so mad. I couldn’t stop typing if I wanted to. I may have made up this character on the page but she is making me FEEL what is happening to her.
The session was presented by Kelsey Macke, and she was a superb speaker as well as a talented, successful writer. She suggested that we take a piece of paper and think about our Work In Progress. She wanted us to imagine the main Protagonist only. Next we were to imagine putting her on the edge of a cliff. She or he is holding a box. Anything or anyone can be inside the box.
Then we think of five incidents for our protagonist and the box on the edge of a cliff. Remember what is inside the box. What does she feel about what is inside—hate, love, protection. Any emotion. Anything can be inside the box. Let your imagination take hold.
We have exactly two minutes to write whatever we want to fit. I suggest that you try these exercises. You’ll be surprised what insights you can gain. Of course, she timed us, but you’ll have to set your kitchen timer or microwave—anything that will make you stick to the two minutes.
Don’t overthink the situation. The exercise is to express the emotions that your character is feeling at the time. Will she jump? Be pushed over? Throw the box over? Whatever your intention is in order for your character to feel what is happening to her, Make her FEEL HER CIRCUMSTANCES. Maybe she will react physically or not, but she has to FEEL something while she is doing it. Maybe it is her feelings that make her do what she does. She doesn’t have to do anything with the box or she can. She’s under your control but her emotions are her own.
Have your piece of paper and pencil ready. They are:
1. 1. Someone or something is running hard toward you. It’s going to hit you. What does she feel? How will she react?
2. 2.Your character is facing her most horrific moment with the antagonist. What is it? How does she feel about what is happening?
3. 3.Something is falling from the sky. What is it? What does it have to do with her? How will she feel?
4. 4.Someone is running toward her. Who is it? What does she feel?
5. 5.The box is beginning to open. What is in it? What does she feel? What does she feel?
You want your reader to be every bit as invested in your characters as you are. If you think about all of your favorite books, you realize that each one tore at your heart in different ways. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is one of my favorite books. Every time I read it, I get angry, become saddened, feel protective, and frustrated. Those are just some of the things I feel, but whatever you do, make your readers fall in love with your characters so much that they feel sad when they come to the end of the book. What a ride you gave them!