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Showing posts from June, 2011

WNW: Anaphora

Anaphora is a funky term that essentially refers to a stylistic effect with repetition at the beginning of sentences or phrases.
Before your brain starts spinning with "what the huh?" let's look at some examples you're probably already familiar with. Note the bolded sections:
One of the most famous examples in modern times is from Martin Luther King, Jr: I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi a state, sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom an…

Collaboration, Trail Mix, and Sleep Deprivation

Around a year and a half (or more) ago, Josi Kilpack and Julie Wright went on a fabulous book promotion trip together.
Somewhere along the way, on the open road, they were struck by brilliance. They asked me and Heather Moore to have breakfast with them one morning at a restaurant, where they laid out the idea:
What if we created a series that actual book clubs would enjoy reading?
What if we did that by coming up with four great characters, each with her own set of problems, and throwing them together?
What if the four of us each wrote one book in the series, which featured an actual book club?
What if the books could stand alone but had stories that intersected?
By the time I finished my omelet, we already had a general idea of who the four characters would be, which of us would write which character, and what their main problems would be.
Over the course of the next few months, we played around with time lines and story ideas. We all had other things we were working on, and we had to pu…

Flat Daddy Family #5

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We've got another military family in need of my awesome readers' help to get a Flat Daddy.
Quick reminder for my newer readers:
A Flat Daddy is a life-sized image (often a cutout) of a deployed parent from the waist up. Flat Daddies are especially helpful for families with small children, as they ease the pain during a deployment by having a physical representation of their mom or dad with them.
Some families hang the Flat Daddy on the wall, while others tote him around everywhere they go, so Dad is "present" at his daughter's tea party, his son's field trip, at the grocery store, trick-or-treating, or attending a soccer game.
See THIS PAGE of my website to see a Flat Daddy in action and just how cool the program is.
Thanks to my research into the military for Band of Sisters, I've come to appreciate military families in ways I never could have otherwise. So periodically I spotlight military families who could really use a Flat Daddy (creating one yourself i…

WNW: Homophones the Sequel

I keep a running list of homophone blunders I come across, and when it gets long enough, we get another Word Nerd Wednesday featuring the latest fun.
7 more word pairs to keep straight:
eke/eekIf you're struggling to make ends meet, you ekeout a living, meaning you get it with great difficulty.When you open the pantry and a mouse scurries between your feet you shriek, "Eek!"
discrete/discreet I'm going to be honest; this is a word pair I regularly pause to think over to make sure I get it right. When I write a novel, it's discrete,individually distinct from any other.If Sammy hears a juicy piece of gossip, she knows how to be discreet by using good judgment and not blabbering it about publicly.
bolder/boulder In high school, I was generally too shy to speak up. I had to learn to be bolder in class.I used to live on a street named after a huge gray boulder, a stone taller than my ten-year-old self.
latter/later I've seen this pair mixed up a lot lately, with the secon…

Random Thoughts on Disneyland

I've been absent from my blog of late. I meant to schedule some posts for while I was gone, but obviously that didn't happen. I can say that in the interim, my writer brain was all a-flurry, and I couldn't help but think of funny Facebook status updates or tweets, stuff I wouldn't be posting during the trip.
This was my kids' second time to Disneyland. The last was four and a half years ago, long enough for them to have forgotten a lot and for the youngest to grow so tall that there was only one ride she couldn't go on. (To her dismay; she really wanted to ride Screamer. She's maybe an inch too short and might have slipped through with her shoes on, but Mom is paranoid and wouldn't let her try.)
Much like I did after spending weeks doing Costco book signings, I couldn't help but observe Disneyland and find several amusing things about our time there. A sampling:
I Can't Turn off My "What If" Button In one shop, the kids made Disney-themed…

Whoa. You're in THAT Group?

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When writers (published or unpublished) ask who is part of my critique group, that's the response I usually get.
Yes, I'm in THAT group. I'm one of the members who's been there the longest.
The next reaction is: How did you get to be so lucky?
Before I go on, let's back up. Here are the seven members of my group: MeRobison WellsH. B. (Heather) MooreSarah M. EdenMichele Paige HolmesJ. Scott Savage (Jeffrey S. Savage)Lu Ann StaheliAnd James Dashner is a past member. (The first chapters of The Maze Runner were read aloud around my kitchen table.)
So yes. Whoa. I'm in that group. How did I get in?
I certainly didn't just get lucky one day, managing to sneak into an amazing group with writers who'd all been published multiple times and won lots of awards.
That's not how we started out. That's who we became.
Below is a collage of our book covers and awards. (This doesn't count the books published by a couple of current members who joined after being pub…