Dealing With Writer’s Block II

If you’ve forgotten the first steps in dealing with writer’s block, please go back to my blog, “Writer’s Block.” Now that you’ve determined the strengths and weaknesses of your Villain, Hero, and Victim, you should web brainstorm interactions between these characters. Draw a large circle, about 1 inch in diameter in the center of your paper.  Place the main theme of your story in the center circle. Themes vary, such as: crime, poverty, murder, gangs, injustice, and tons more. Next, draw about 5 other 1″ centimeter circles around the central circle. Place the names of your villain, victim, and hero in 3 of them and leave the other 2 blank for the names of 2 main, but subordinate characters, as they arise during your brainstorming. Now you see, you have three main characters in your outer circles and your theme in the center. Connect these outer circles to your central »

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Where the Red Fern Grows

Even after 29 years of teaching English in secondary-level public schools, I have to admit that all the reading I’ve had to do leads me back to one book, Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls. I mean, in just one of the courses I had to take while studying for my master’s degree I had to read 80 books in three months. Now, that’s a lot of reading and I truly burned out on reading – but I still enjoy reading this book by Rawls. So much so, that I am bringing the idea of a “memory book” project, based on reading this book and recording childhood memories that it might evoke, to residents in an independent living facility. I hope and pray it will bring them the beauty of fond memories that it has brought me. But, by the way, my favorite book remains the Bible – the only »

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Revisions—Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Write Without Them

Consuming Fire: An Alexa Silven Novel cover artwork

New Edition – First Book! It’s funny – I just wasn’t satisfied with my first novel. I mean, the plot and characters were good, but something bothered me. After writing 5 other books and rereading the first novel, Consuming Fire: An Alexa Silven Novel, I finally realized how I could revise it – there were a few “loose ends” – connections that I took for granted the reader understood – which I always told my students NOT to do. I used to remind them that the reader is not inside your head… Right! So taking my own advice, I set out to rewrite it and with the help of my partner/son, Dan, we did just that!! WOW! It was worth all the effort, too. Soon, it will be posted online as the 4th Edition, in place of the original text, and we couldn’t be happier. It’s a great feeling to be completely »

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Memory Book Venture

I’m embarking on a new venture: a new kind of book club. The book of choice is Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, a combination of an autobiography and fiction. This initiation book was written with rich imagery as it describes the relationship of a young boy and his redbone hunting hounds in the Ozark Mountains. The time period is 1920’s – 1930’s, a decade to which most senior citizens can relate and most people have had a pet at some point in life. The plan is to read this book together, a chapter at a time, and relate to the experiences of the main character, either writing them down in a booklet or drawing them. This exercise allows people to create a memory book about their life experiences to pass on to posterity. My husband, John, will be assisting in helping senior citizens create books about their life memories as »

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