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Archive for the ‘grammar’ Category

rubber glovesSo, I’ve hired help here at the inn. The workload was getting to be too much for a single person to handle. I thought this situation would free up some time for me to get back into the habit of writing. I thought that. I really did. (more…)

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Dear blog friends and followers, be prepared to be amazed. Today I am going to share with you my many talents in the foreign language department. Perhaps you should have a seat before you read farther. (more…)

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sigh-in-relief

Whew! I’m glad that’s over. Ever have one of those weeks? My last week was jam packed with inn guests, meetings and special events. I mean jam packed!! (more…)

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woman-riding-bikeHow often have you heard the expression: It’s just like riding a bike? Something you used to do – and overall, do well – then you stop doing it, then you do it again. The concept is that you can just pick up right where you left off and still know how to do it. Like riding a bike. Right? Wrong. (more…)

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1sts and lasts 1

Two or three or fourteen weeks ago, I posted some opening and closing sentences from my manuscript entitled On Hallowed Ground. That book is the second in a series (the Grounded series) that has been professionally edited and is nearing its final phase of production before presentation to the world. Stay tuned for more info on that. (more…)

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I need a lesson in Facebook etiquette.

FB rules

I mean, think about it, anybody can join Facebook but when you sign up you aren’t handed a list of rules or an instruction manual or anything. So how does one know, besides the obvious common sense stuff like pornography, copyright infringement, bullying, etc., what is appropriate FB behavior and what is not?  People post whatever the hell they want whether others wish to see it or not; freedom of speech and press and whatnot. I know you can unfriend and unlike and hide posts and all, but once you’ve seen the post, you can’t unsee it. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

Let me explain.

rules

Recently I decided that I haven’t been giving my FB author page enough love, so I decided to spend a little more time over there. I try to be upbeat and positive and not offend anyone when I post on that particular page. Nothing religious, political, offensive, snarky – well maybe snarky – but you get it. Anyway, I decided to reach out to some of my FB “friends” who haven’t yet “liked” my author page. So, I sent out invitations to “like” my page. That’s appropriate right? There were a lot of names on my “friends” list to invite; some of them, honestly, I didn’t even recognize. I guess at some point those folks requested to be my friend and I accepted.

Anyhoo, most people either ignored the invite, didn’t see the invite, or “liked” my page. Good right? Well, apparently not for everyone. Here’s one of the responses I got back: “Please don’t invite me to like your page when you haven’t been to mine.

Excuse me?

woman shocked

First of all, I’ve never even heard of this person, other than their name appearing on my “friends” list. I’ve never seen any posts on any social media platform from this person. I guess at some point, SHE must have come across me and requested that I be her friend, because I never send “friend” requests to people I haven’t seen somewhere else before. NEVER. Assuming she sent the “friend” request (and she did), I must have done some snooping around and deemed her an appropriate “friend”, because she is on my current list of “friends.” I usually only “friend” people I’ve “seen around” in cyber world, met in person, was recommended to find by someone I trust, or owns a reputable business. That’s pretty much it.

Second, why did she make the assumption I “haven’t been to” her page? Maybe I did visit and I chose NOT to “like” it. See, this is where that rule book would come in handy. Am I obligated to “like” a page just because I visited it? What if I truly don’t like her page? What if I don’t like what she posts or what she stands for? Why in God’s name would I “like” that?

Which brings up another point where I must defer to the rule book. Is it a requirement that people reciprocate in kind? I mean, just because someone “likes” my page, does that mean I HAVE to like their page?

egotistical friend meme

Third, why do I have to “like” her page FIRST? I mean, can’t she “like” me and then I “like” her back? I guess if the world really does revolve around her, that logic would make sense, but seriously? Someone has to be the first to “like” right? And, let me restate that SHE originally sought me out, not the other way around. Shouldn’t she, in theory, “like” me first?

Fourth, did she ever invite me to “like” her page? I’m pretty sure if she had, I would have hit the “like” button, after all, I did choose to “friend” her. Why would I “friend” her but not “like” her? Seriously, who “friends” someone they don’t like?

Fifth, which ties in to number four above, perhaps I didn’t even know she had a page. Why not “like” me FIRST then encourage me to “like” her page in return. I’m pretty certain, I’d have hit that “like” button. See how simple that would have been? Now, after her in-your-face, egotistic, narcissistic (is that the same thing?) comment, I’m not so inclined to “like” anything about her or her page. Just saying.

ego meme

It’s all so terribly confusing sometimes. What’s your opinion of the whole “friending,” “liking” business on Facebook? Has it ever confused you? How do you decide when to hit the button and become friends with a complete stranger? Do you accept invitations to “like” pages? Do you have “friends” but choose not to “like” their pages?

Word of the Day: Chiropodist

Fun Fact about Me: I gained a whole bunch of new “likes” on my FB author page in the past couple of days. Yay! (That’s good right?)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2016. Images courtesy Google Images.

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start

As a writer, it’s important to know where to start your story. “You start at the beginning,” is the obvious answer, but as all writers know, it’s not that simple. You see, stories always “start” way before the real story starts. Characters have lives before you meet them on the page. (more…)

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chapter oneWell, I finally did it; I started a new book. That’s right folks, after nearly 2 years, I’ve starting composing fresh characters in a fresh setting. I was beginning to wonder if this day would ever come again, but – whew – it’s here. (more…)

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It’s national poetry month, or so my calendar tells me. That means nothing to me, except for the fact that I’m neither a poet nor a fan of poetry.

poetry motto

However, I do appreciate some literary works that technically fall into the poetry category. For instance, I do like some of Walt Whitman’s works, especially his Leaves of Grass. While I don’t get all gushy and weep at the words and the way they are arranged on the page, I do feel “moved,” be reading certain passages.

Walt Whitman

So, in honor of national poetry month, and my simple-minded understanding of Walt Whitman’s compositions, here goes my tribute:

“Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body . . . .” (Leaves of Grass)

My favorite part of that: “re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book.” Love that. And now I’m off to stand up for the stupid and the crazies.

flowers in forest

Happy April followers and friends. In my opinion, the picture above is nature’s poetry. Wouldn’t you agree?

Do you enjoy poetry? Do you understand poetry? What’s your take on the excerpt above?

Word of the day: Gabelle

Fun fact about me: I once had a literary agent tell me my manuscript was too poetic. Ha! I scoff at her analysis.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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That’s what I need help with this week fellow bloggers, faithful followers and curious guests.

You see, I’m stuck. I’m roughing out the outline for my next manuscript and I have most of the requisite parts. What I can’t figure out is: how to kill someone who’s already dead. Um, sort of. Someone thinks she killed him but then the body disappeared, but then reappeared. It’s confusing. Keep reading.

My protagonist (Q) gets into a physical altercation with a man (X) who she believes had something to do with her sister’s (T) disappearance. Q thinks this because X is seen wearing T’s very unique (one-of-a-kind) amulet around his neck. During the altercation, Q hits X in the head with a rock then crawls back to her car (she’s hurt too) and calls her then boyfriend (G) for help disposing the body.

tourmaline amuletWhen G gets to the scene of the altercation, there is no body. He follows a pair of footprints (presumably X’s) into the desert but the gusting wind eventually erases all tracks. G assures his lady love (Q) that she did not kill X because he walked away. Presumably.

Fast forward several years; the very dead body of X is discovered in a shallow grave in the middle of the desert in almost exactly the same place Q had the altercation with him. No amulet is found on the body. Q calls G to help investigate what might have happened (no, it’s not alien abductions and no they are not still a couple. That’s right a necessary reunion after a very bad break-up).

G’s investigation leads to the discovery of a human trafficking ring (the most likely explanation for T’s disappearance).

Super short synopsis of what is learned during G’s investigation:

desertX was found wandering on the side of the road by an unsuspecting teen-aged boy (Z) (coincidentally T’s boyfriend at the time she disappeared). Z also noticed the amulet. When Z realized that X was bleeding all over his car and most likely going to die (from a head injury), he drove X out into the desert and dumped him out of his car. (He didn’t want to get stuck with a dead body even if he didn’t kill him.) Coincidentally, where Z dumped X is almost exactly the same place Q thought she killed him. Z kept the amulet that’s why it was not on the body and that’s how G eventually comes to suspect him; G sees Z wearing the amulet.

Here’s the problem: What is the cause of death?

Q hit him on the head with a rock. Z pushed him out of a moving car. Scavengers, weather and time destroyed most of the remaining human evidence.

X can’t have died from the head injury, because Q is the protagonist of the story and cannot go to jail for murder. She has to think she is going to jail for the duration of the story.

Z is a very minor character and really only here as a red herring. The shove out of the moving car did not kill him. He is the number 2 suspect though, behind Q.

What else could have killed X? Coyotes? Vultures? It has to be definitive and eventually ruled as the cause of death over the head injury. The head injury turns out, was not a lethal blow. But something was definitive – what?

So there you go. That’s what I need help with. Put on your thinking caps and give me your thoughts. What ultimately killed X?

What do you do fellow writers when you get stuck? Have you ever killed off a character? It’s hard to get inside the mind of a murderer and virtually impossible to do any research.

Word of the Day: Yegg

Fun fact about me: I’ve never killed anyone. Well, real anyone anyway.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, February 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images.

 

 

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