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Non-health food (#MFRWAuthor)

Published September 7, 2018 by francesothomas

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What’s my secret snack? Well, regretably I have two. The first is Crunchy Cheetos. I turn to these in times of anger. There is something so satisfying about that crunch. I used to be on the board of a nonprofit organization. After almost every meeting I stopped at the local convenience store on my way home and bought a bag of Cheetos. Needless to say, I am no longer on that board.

My other go to junk food are snowballs. No, not the frozen water kind. The kind made of cake with a gooey substance in the center, covered with marshmallow and coconut dyed a fluorescent color. I buy these a couple times a year if I come upon them at the Dollar Store. They generally make their appearance near a holiday and are colored accordingly–green for St. Patrick’s Day, purple for Easter, orange for Halloween.

Let’s hope some of my author friends have better eating habits than I. Check here to find out.

 

Photo by Evan-Amos – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19228282

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Fear and loathing (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 31, 2018 by francesothomas

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Yikes! I almost missed week 35 of the blog challenge. The topic is my irrational fears. Let me start by saying I do not believe any of my fears are irrational, so here are my rational fears in no particular order:

“Palmetto bugs” (I live in Florida)

Geckos (ditto)

Alligators (ditto)

Being old and sick with nobody to take care of me (I am already old and have no children)

Being poor (I’m on Social Security. Isn’t it supposed to run out of money any moment now?

I could go on, but why?

Take a look here at the fears of my fellow authors. Let’s hope they are not as depressing as mine,

Sing a song (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 24, 2018 by francesothomas

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I’m a singer, so this week’s theme of “what’s my theme song” could have gone in any one of several directions. I actually resorted to asking my husband. He helpfully made the choice for me–“that song you sing all the time, but I don’t know what it is.”

Aha!I know what it is. “Vittoria, Mio Core.” This is an Italian art song by Giacomo Carissimi that I have used successfully for more than one audition. I first learned it years ago when I was taking voice lessons. I liked it then and like it still. My husband is right. I do occasionally break into it at odd times.

It begins with these words:

Vittoria, mio core!
Non lagrimar più,
È sciolta d’Amore
La vil servitù.

In English, this is:

Victory, my heart!
Weep no longer,
[You] are free of love [and]
Its abject slavery.

For your listening pleasure, here is a rendition by the incomparable Cecilia Bartoli. How I wish I could sing it a fraction as beautifully as she does.

For some other theme songs of fellow authors, go here.

The bumpy road (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 17, 2018 by francesothomas

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Best writing advice I’ve gotten? What sticks with me is something from a plotting class I took with Delilah Devlin. She calls it three bumps and a push.

In other words, throw three roadblocks into your plot, each worse than the last. Then add one final thing that seems like it can’t be resolved, the final crisis. Of course, your characters do overcome that last big problem and go on to live happily ever after. This framework is so simple even I can follow it.

Clearly, there’s much more to writing than this. I can’t wait to read other good advice from fellow authors here.

 

First, second, third, phooey (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 10, 2018 by francesothomas

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This week, we writers are to discuss what we call POV, point of view. So far, I have only written in third. But I really like to read first. If I don’t think of more to add, this will be a very short post, won’t it?

Truthfully, I still struggle with this concept. I know there are two kinds of third, omniscient and limited. I think what I’m using is omniscient. “God-like” I can see into all  the characters’ minds.

At least I know “head-hopping” is taboo. We authors aren’t supposed to jump will nilly from one character’s thoughts to another. Most romance novels seem to alternate from heroine to her’s POV, but only in separate chapters.

And you thought this writing stuff was easy. Clearly, I need more work on my craft.

Let’s hope my fellow authors have more coherent answers. Find out here.

 

Learning my lessons (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 3, 2018 by francesothomas

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How can it be August already? This is the 31st week in the blog challenge. The prompt is “When I’m not writing, I…”

To be honest, when I am not writing I am often feeling guilty about not writing. I spend a lot of time trying to learn new things, so that’s not a bad thing, right? Some of my favorite people and resources are:

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provided on sites such as  Coursera and FutureLearn. You can find classes in almost anything that interests you. They are free unless you want to get an official certificate.

Sam Bennett at The Organized Artist Company has paid programs using concepts from her books Start Right Where You Are and Get It Done, but she is also generous with free online encouragement. She advocates spending fifteen minutes a day working on whatever your chosen project is, and she’s right. You can get an awful lot done.

Donna Kozik  is the creator of “Write a Book in a Weekend.” Besides her paid coaching services, she too is generous with free webinars. Most recently, she has coordinated two community book projects like Success Is Yours.

Joan Stewart puts out a very helpful free newsletter twice a week on all things publicity.

Dr. Judith Briles organizes a cruise for writers which I would love to go on. Maybe some day. She also produces a helpful newletter and webinars.

And last, but certainly not least, The Writing Gals, whose podcasts are filled with information for authors.

If you want to read about the non-writing pasttimes of other authors, go here. 

 

 

 

Taking a chance (#MFRWAuthor)

Published July 27, 2018 by francesothomas

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With the jackpot so high, I rushed out to buy lottery tickets earlier this week, so this week’s blog topic is apropos: If I won the lottery…

Well, of course, I would buy the obligatory new house and new car if my winnings were great enough. Our car has well over 100,000 miles on it, so I think I’d be justified in finding a new ride. And sadly, my husband’s health is not great, so a home closer to medical facilities would be a relief and a blessing.

Besides those obvious purchases, I would give money to family and to causes dear to me, the arts and mental health. I would also indulge in taking classes to my heart’s content.

A shopping spree? Maybe a mini one. A girl can always use some new clothes, but my lifestyle isn’t such that I need anything too fancy.

I think the greatest benefit of winning a lottery in whatever amount would be peace of mind, just knowing the money is there for any unforeseen crises. I do, after all, live in the hurricane belt. In fact, I drew on my experience with Hurricane Charley in Southern Hospitality, the second book in Calusa Town Tales.

But enough about me. Read about the pipe dreams of other authors here.