Interview with Carole MacLean

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHI  Carole MacLean wrote an essay tor my anthology, Written Across the Genres.  It’s titled “A New Season”. The first line is “Every Super Bowl season reminds me of what I miss most about my parents.” She goes on to tell about loyalty to their hometown teams after they moved to California and their loyalty to their children, cheering them on through life’s challenges and accomplishments. In their elder years, her parents’ loyalty to each other through many illnesses, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease never wavered. Carole ends the essay with a sports analogy relating to teams and a new season. You can read the essay in Written Across the Genres, available on Amazon or your local bookstore. Here is a short interview with Carole who has moved to Arizona.

Julaina: Who is your favorite author and their genre?

Carole: I have no favorite, but love Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed, Nora Ephron, Laura Hillenbrand, Sue Monk Kidd — a mix of memoir, not-fiction, chick lit, self-help and spirituality.

Julaina: I see you’re an avid reader. Why do you write?

Carole: To speak my truth and share with women what I’ve learned about the importance of self-care.

Julaina:  Where do you like to write?

Carole: At my desk overlooking the Sonoran Desert, the playground for quail, rabbits, roadrunners, coyote, and an occasional javelina or bobcat.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Carole: A book of personal essays about gratitude — and the lessons learned from loss and death.

Julaina: Thanks for the interview, Carole. Come back to California for a visit. We miss you.

While caring for her elderly parents, Carole realized how difficult it is for many women to take care of themselves when they are taking care of others. She began “Fuzzy Red Socks” Women’s Retreats. Now Carole is retired and blogs about self care.

https://www.fuzzyredsocks.com

Carole m younger

Quotes for Writers

writer asleep

“The character that lasts is an ordinary guy with some extraordinary qualities.”
—Raymond Chandler

“When I graduated from high school I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library 3 days a week for 10 years.”
—Ray Bradbury

“Good writers define reality. Bad ones, merely restate it.” –Edward Albee

Writers are bunch being onewriting struggle against silencewords tangle with emotionswriting pile of papers

What is Anacoluthon?

rhetoricAnacoluthon is beginning a sentence in one syntax, but ending it in another, usually with an unexpected shift in subject.  For example: “I told you not to play by the river–where did you get those coins?” Or, “Drive carefully. There’s a bump in the–I’ve said enough.”

Anacoluthon is not a non-sequitur (Latin for “it does not follow”). Anacoluthon is a stylistic error or a deliberate rhetorical statement. Anacoluthon is an interruption in sentence structure, with disjointed thought process.

A non-sequitur is jumbled thoughts with faulty logic. A non sequitur doesn’t follow a sequence of events and usually doesn’t make sense logically. For example:  “I’m intuitive like a statue.”  “The murder took place on the marina. Vivien sits at a park bench there every day. She must be the murderer.”

Fiction writers can use both anacoluthon and non-sequitur. If two characters are talking, one tries to change the subject because of a secret that could be revealed if they continue. That character would use anacoluthon, “Then I went to the flower shop–is that a new hair style you have?”

A non-sequitur could be used when a detective questions a witness who might say, “I saw a man’s shadow pass my apartment window. Jake looked in the window of Eve’s shop last week.That man must have been Jack.”

Have fun using anacoluthon or non-sequitur.

Value of Researching your Novel

researchResearch isn’t only for writers of historical fiction or non-fiction. All writing can benefit from research. Non-fiction writers usually rely on finding facts, but if one thinks that fiction stories don’t need research since the story is made up, misses an opportunity to enhance the story. Doing the research earlier than later in the writing process is recommended to prevent rewriting sections that might prove to be inaccurate.

The writer who embeds researched details leads the story into deepened characterization, setting, and plot points. The authenticity hooks the reader and expands the reader’s experience. The internet makes research quick and easy, but additional methods create more true-to-life feelings.  When possible travel to the sites where the story takes place. Interview people who know more about the subject and locations than you do. Talk to a librarian who can help you find additional interesting information. Elaine's research at church

Elaine Schmitz, author of  Recipes & Recollections of My Greek-American Family, is writing a novel that takes place in San Francisco. Last weekend she and her friend, Lani Longshore, author of When Chenille is Not Enough, had an entertaining day looking for sites where the protagonist, Sarah, goes in San Francisco. This photo is Lani in Sarah’s favorite church, St. Francis of Assisi, in North Beach.

Sarah’s apartment: 2nd floor studio, over Tom’s Grocery, corner of Greenwich and Powell, North Beach. Elaine's sarah's apt.

Elaines company bldg
Front Street: the model for InterCorp Headquarters, the company building where the protagonist, Sarah Korsky, works and where the murder takes place
Elaines donuts


To find suspects: Sarah plies them with Happy Donuts: give me your name and contact info and grab one
.

How do you research for your stories and novels?

Presenters at CWC Tri-Valley Branch Writers Conference

David CorbettIn my last post, I told about the California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch Writers Conference in April and the due date for attendees to submit an entry to the contest before the end of this month, January 31st. Four days left to submit one poem and one piece of prose at only $5.00 an entry. http://www.trivalleywriters.org/conferences/2015-conference/

David Corbett, the author of The Art of Character and four novels, will be on the morning panel titled “Essential Elements for Writing in a Specific Genre” and also will present “Plot Character and Pacing” in the afternoon. Simultaneously, David Colin Carr will present “The Importance of an Editor–Self-Publishing” and the third choice for the 2:00 session is Linda Lee’s presentation, “8 Must-have Elements for Your Author Website– Marketing.” Linda Lee AskmepcLinda is a writer, speaker, educator, and website designer who demystifies the online experience. She is the founder of Askmepc-Webdesign, “Smart Women, Stupid Computers” and WordPress Total Training that includes support membership.

Constance HalleThe last presentations of the day include one by Constance Hale called “Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose” Her book, Sin and Syntax has been called a guide for “writers who want more spunk than Strunk.” Her workshop is interactive with readings, exercises, puzzles, and games. She also will talk about how to cultivate the writer’s voice. I went to one of her workshops a few years ago and found it entertaining besides offering good information.

The other presenters at the conference are Jim Azevedo, the marketing director at Smashwords and Jason Hovey who will talk about adding a soundtrack to your book with Booktrack.  Dario Ciriello who is a professional author, editor, and publisher who will discuss all aspects of book design and formatting for print publication. Anne Hill is an author and educator, and writes for Huffington Post. Her session is “Marketing Strategies: How to Sell Yourself.”

The keynote speaker is Shelley Adina who is the author of twenty-four novels published by Harlequin, Time Warner, and Hachette Book Group and seven published by Moonshell Books, Inc, her own independent press. Her topic is how this is the best time to be a writer, with simple strategies to renew your spirit and position yourself to become successful.

See you there.

Tri-Valley Writers Conference Contest

Penny WarnerCalifornia Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch, has a writers conference scheduled for April 18, 2015. Attendees can enter the conference writing contest before January 31st. Here is the link to register:

http://www.trivalleywriters.org/conferences/2015-conference/

It is open to the public, but there’s a limit of 100 spaces. April may seem a long way away, but by registering now, you not only will be one of the 100, but you have a chance of being one of the contest winners. Awards are $150 for best prose and $150 for the best poetry.

After registration, each attendee can submit one prose piece  with a 1500 word maximum, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, or essay. A poem of 24 lines maximum may be entered also. Each entry fee is only $5.00. See the website for guidelines, and remember the due date is this coming Saturday.

Presenters at the conference include Penny Warner (photo above) who has published over 60 books for adults and children.

Her first mystery featuring a deaf reporter, Dead Body Language, won the Macavity Award for Best Mystery and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award. One of my favorites is her The Official Nancy Drew Handbook. At the conference she will be on a panel with David Corbett and Shelley Adina discussing the “Essential Elements for Writing in a Specific Genre”. Warmer also will present a morning session called, “Bringing Emotion in to Your Story through Narration and Dialog.” If you’ve never heard Penny speak, her humor is a pleasant surprise.
My next post will feature the other presenters.

Oscar Nominees for Best Actor 2015

Acadamy awards figureOscar nominees for best actor this year are:

Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

Bradley Cooper for American Sniper

Steve Carell for Foxcatcher

Michael Keaton for Birdman

I’ve seen only The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game. Both Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne were outstanding in their roles. I’d have a hard time choosing between the two. I hope to see the other three nominees in their movies before the awards night.

Do you have a favorite from the list above?

Poetry and Poets Quotes

Poetry by Goethe with pic“If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.” David Carradine

“Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard & Poetry is a painting which is heard but not seen.” Leonardo Da Vinci

“Poetry is the art which is technically within the grasp of everyone: a piece of paper and a pencil and one is ready.” Eugenio Montale

“I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.” Dead Poets Society

Dead poest society standing on desks“Prose = words in their best order: Poetry = the best words in the best order.”

“A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.” Jean Cocteau

“We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.” William Butler Yeats

“Dancing is the poetry of the foot.” John Dryden

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Robert Frost

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” Carl Sandburg

Basho Haiku

Basho HaikuMatsuo Munefusa (Basho), 1644 — 1694, became well known in the intellectual Edo part of  Japan, which is now modern Tokyo. He had a future in the military since he was born into a samurai family, but he preferred to live in poverty as a wanderer. At times he’d return to a hut made of plantain leaves, basho, which he took as his name. His haiku helped to transform the verse form from a social pastime into a Japanese poetry genre.  One of his familiar haiku is

 

 

an ancient pond

a frog jumps in

the splash of water

Generally, haiku uses the 5-7-5 form, meaning five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. Some haiku ignores that pattern and the typical topic of nature, earth, the natural world.

One of my Basho favorites is:

lark on the moon, singing–

sweet song

of non-attachment

Punctuation is controversial. The form can use a capital for the first letter and a period at the end or it can be written with no capitals and no period. The latter makes the poem appear to float. The concept is that the image starts in the mind, and the hand moves over the paper before any writing appears as if the process is ongoing in space and time and the haiku is just a small part of a larger whole. With small letters and no full stop, the haiku imitates a timeless, spaceless poetic process that wouldn’t be as effective if capitals and periods were used.

Here is one of Basho’s that shows his preference for nature over humans:

all my friends
viewing the moon –
an ugly bunch

Another Baso with a different opinion than we would have:

sparrows in eves
mice in ceiling –
celestial music.

Here’s a haiku I wrote:

hello sweet kitty

you greet my return each day

smiling face I love

I’d like to read your haiku. You can write it in the comment section below.

Interview with Writer Sonia Geasa

germany-flag-Sonia Geasa has two essays published in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. The one called, “The House in Germany” tells about living on Haupstrasse in Spangdahlem. In the essay, she says, “I lived in Germany for two years, but Germany still lives in me.”

Sonia’s other essay titled, “I’ll Be Back,” is about wanting to write and joining my writing class a few years ago. Her bio states: Fifty-five years of marriage, five children, and eight grandchildren are pieces in the patchwork quilt of her life. She hopes to share scraps through her writing.” The following is an interview with her.

Julaina: Who is your favorite author and genre?

Sonia: I enjoy reading Pat Conroy. His descriptions are moving and emotional. He totally immerses the reader in the setting as well as his characters.

Julaina: Why do you write?

Sonia: I write to recall and relate both mundane and important events in my own life.

Julaina: Where do you like to write?

Sonia: I prefer to write on my kitchen island. It feels homey and helps evoke memories.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Sonia: I am writing a love story/memoir based on letters from my husband-to-be while he was in Germany and I had not yet joined him there.

Julaina: Thanks, Sonia, for the interview. I’d like to say how much I appreciate your comments when we analyze writing in class. You are very insightful. See you Monday.