Category Archives: Words

SORRY, I’VE GOT TO DASH!

For all of you serious writers out there, I offer you this link to a very informative lesson on lines of various length!

How to Use Hyphens, En Dashes, and Em Dashes

When you have completed reading that helpful blog post, please return here, and tell me (and my millions of followers) if you learned anything new about lines.

That’s the long and the short of it!

THE REVIEW IS IN!

My book, “Bosses and Blackjacks: A Tale of the ‘Bloody Fifth’ in Philadelphia” has received it’s very first Amazon review, and it’s killing me because the reviewer is listed as “Amazon Customer.”

FC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition

Amazing book. You will not want to put this book down. Author’s writing style is captivating and made me feel like I was there. Looking forward to future books from this author.

Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse

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I have no way to know who this kind person is—therefore, I’m going to go to all my available sites to post a big THANK YOU!
 
(You know who you are…you little devil.)
 

 

EDITING COUNTS

 

“Probably the fastest recovery in the history of lost dogs, but “Muffin’s” owner has been located and returned home!!! Thank you!!!!”

(The above update was an Actual Facebook post)

Lost dog ad

 

Thank God!

Muffin has been losing her mind with worry for over forty-five minutes. Her owner was last seen wearing a heavy parka, boots, gloves, and carrying a snow shovel.

Muffin tried giving the police a description of her owner, but all that came out of her mouth were barks and howls. The cops simply patted her little head and ignored the APB she offered.

At last, her owner heard her wailing over the sound of the snow plow going past. He came back inside Muffin’s home, only to be accosted by two men in blue. They ascertained this individual was truly Muffin’s owner and left the pair cuddling on the sofa, licking each other’s face. (ewww—gross!)

Another happy ending brought to you by “editing!”

TA-DA!

 

While the blizzard of 2016 roars outside on the east coastFC—I thought I’d give you a little something to read while you take a break from shoveling the drifts! (And if you missed out on the snow—take a break anyway—it is the weekend, after all!)

I did it! I published my first book on Amazon—and it feels amazing!

If you are so inclined, please click on the link below. I hope it meets with your approval!
http://www.amazon.com/Bosses-Blackj…/…/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0…

A LETTER FROM SANTA

It’s a crazy-busy time of year, so I thought I’d share one of my yuletide favorites—it is a Letter from Santa!

 

I’m writing this note to inform you that

misfortune has taken away,

The things that I need for my visit…

My presents, my reindeer, my sleigh.

 

Now, I’m making my rounds on a donkey

who is old, and feeble, and slow,

So, if you don’t see me this Christmas…

You’ll know I’m out on my ass in the snow!”

 

Hope you all have a fantastic holiday!

 

LABOR OF LOVE

 

Baby elephanthttp://www.phuket101.net/2015/02/baby-elephant-playing-on-beach.html

 

Did you know elephants are pregnant for almost two years? Actually, the average is twenty-two months!  And then they deliver a baby weighing as much of two hundred and thirty pounds! Can you imagine?

Yes. I can. I’ve been pregnant with my book, “BOSSES AND BLACKJACKS: A Tale of the Bloody Fifth in Philadelphia” for three years! At least, that’s what it felt like. In reality, with time out for holiday seasons, it was actually more like two-and-one-half years—so I’ve still got Momma Pachyderm beat!

Morning sickness was the endless research. The girth increase was felt with each additional chapter written. Toward the end, attempting to bend over to pick something up from the floor or cutting my toenails, was represented by the painful process of editing.

Now—at last—I’m in labor!

By that, I mean I have sent the entire finished manuscript to be formatted and finalized for submission to the magical world of Amazon!

Here’s hoping the delivery will go smoothly! (I can guarantee my book baby will not weigh 230 pounds!)

Stay tuned for the “birth announcement!”

 

 

 

Another Season

Autumn is the time of year when trees shake off their leaves, and reveal the homes they’ve been sheltering all spring and summer.

The eggs have all hatched. The babies have fledged. The parents have completed the care and feeding of the young.

The birds are all planning where they will spend the winter.

The aviary that is my backyard takes on a different look, with new visitors who will stay with me through frigid days and snowy nights for the next several months.

Another season of life to share.

THANK YOU TREES.

Halloween Horror

LET’S PLAY

If you can guess what I have in my pocket, you can have it.” He patted the right pocket of his dirty overalls as he approached.

Glancing around, I discovered I was alone down here with this small skinny boy. How could I be alone? I’d followed at least a dozen other commuters through the turnstile before descending to the platform. I backed away quickly, trying to recall which way I should run to reach the subway steps leading up to the street.

“No thank you,” I replied.

“You don’t even want to guess?” he asked, more aggressively.

I couldn’t move. I don’t know why. I think it was his eyes. They were an iridescent green I had never seen before.

“I’m not very good at guessing,” I told him. Again, I managed to take a few steps back.

“You’re just like the rest of them. Nobody ever wants to play.” His eyes grew brighter.

“I just want to go home,” I said.

“Then try to guess, and I’ll let you.”

I began to shiver. Was it his closeness? Probably the cool draft that’s always present in the subway tunnel. No—this was different. Panic was starting to tighten my throat, making it hard to respond.

“A toy?” I asked weakly.

“Don’t be stupid! If I had a toy, I wouldn’t need you to play with me.”

“A piece of candy?”

“I’ve been down here a long time…if it was candy, I would have eaten it by now,” he scoffed.

I tried to think back to the kinds of things my brothers always had in their pockets.

“A pen-knife?”

“Nah.”

“A yo-yo?”

“Nope.”

Trying to buy some time, I decided to ask a few questions of my own.

“How long have you been down here?”

“What year is this?”

“What year?”

“Yeah…what year.”

“1990,” I replied.

“Then I’ve been here about forty-three years.”

“What? Wait a minute…you’re only about twelve years old—how could you be down here that long?”

“It’s a story I won’t tell, unless you guess right. C’mon, c’mon…make another try.” He was growing impatient.

“A piece of paper?”

“Ha! You’re smarter than the rest. you’re close.”

Oh my God…“Is it a ticket?”

“Hoorah! At last! I knew you were a smart one! And now you may have it.”

The strange, transparent little boy with the mesmerizing green eyes reached into his pocket, pulled out a faded ticket, and handed it over to me with a grin.

“I’ve been saving this since that day I fell onto the tracks.”

I took the ticket from him and squinted to try to read the destination. “Hell?”

All at once I could feel the poke of the elbow into my back pushing me over the side of the platform, and the sharp edge of the iron rail as my head slammed down into the dark gravel. Then came the screeching sound of the train’s breaks as they failed, and the laughter of a young boy.

Before You Shred It – Read This!

When you feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope (or chain) with your latest manuscript—before your shred it into tiny little pulp flakes—take a moment to read the following writing advice.

Who knows? It might just be enough to rev up your genius motor and get you back to saying: “Type magic fingers, type!”

1. Have your characters avoid asking questions. Instead have them speak in declarative statements. Instead of saying, “What happened to your face?” Have a character make a statement, “Your face looks horrible. I knew going to the bar was a bad idea.”

2. Have characters agree. It’s an easy trap (and a realistic one) to have characters disagree. We tend to think that causes drama. But actually it stalls a plot. Have characters agree and suddenly your plot goes to unexpected territory.

With permission from Patrick Wensink, author of “Fake Fruit Factory.”

Infrastructure Needs to Quiet Down!

It’s 5:45 a.m. and the bedroom window is open. I think I hear a freight train in the distance. A constant low rumble. I do mean constant.

I think to myself, “Damn, that is one extremely long train!” Then it dawns on me (get it? dawns?), it’s not a train.

It’s infrastructure!

The streets around our house are being drilled and dug up, and ditches are being backfilled and flattened with huge pieces of orange equipment. Our sewer lines are being replaced, and the rumbling, scraping, rat-a-tat-tat is endless!

Now, don’t get me wrong—I’m all for replacing hundred-year-old sewer pipes. And repairing bridges and highways and all that other stuff that needs fixing. That’s the sort of thing our tax money should be used for.

Summer, when everyone has their windows closed because of air conditioning, is the season for this sort of activity.

But it’s autumn for cryin’ out loud, and the air snaps like a spiced wafer and is filled with the aroma of apple cider. I NEED my windows open at this time of year.

I’m an October baby and this is MY month— not Caterpillar’s!