This is a beautiful story that deserves a look, but watch out it has been known to make me cry. Via “HOPE — Against the Odds” ~~ by Christine Larsen
The March issue of our Amazon #1 magazine!
In this issue…
• An exclusive interview with Terry Deary, bestselling author of the ‘Horrible Histories’
• Our new series of travel features, Off the Beaten Track
• How to start your own small business
• How to learn a new language
• The difference between psychology and
psychiatry, and so much more…
Oh, yeah, I’ve been off the grid quite a lot lately. I have my reasons, and I think they are pretty valid.
I’m a Baby Boomer and my husband and I have toyed with the idea of retiring somewhere different. Our 165-year-old home requires a lot of care and maintenance. As we get older, we won’t be able to give it the justice it deserves. So, we started researching, traveling and sometimes making lists of the pros and cons of living in different places. We considered spots in the Midwest, living on an island, moving to Ireland and several other possible destinations.
We had a list of what we wanted in our final home and community. We wanted a newer home to reduce maintenance. A small town with plenty of safe areas for walking, easy access to a grocer, pharmacy, a few restaurants and a golf course that was close to our home. We wanted that small town feel that we love in our tiny village along the Mississippi River with small-town festivals and friendly neighbors. But we decided after this past winter, we also needed warmth.
We’d lived along the Gulf Coast (Texas and Florida) as well as in Sicily, Italy. Two years before my hubs retired from the military, we started looking at where we wanted to raise our sons. Growing up in the Midwest, we determined we wanted to return. Now, after twenty-three years in Wisconsin, we think it would be nice to be back in a warmer climate, so we headed to Arizona.
We found a community that meets all of the requirements we determined were important to us. We are building a new home where I can walk the miles I need for my health and creativity. We can play golf anytime. It’s close to a larger community so we don’t have to drive hours for certain services like an airport, for example.
We are fortunate to have this opportunity, and one of the things that I like about the town where we are moving is that they offer a variety of housing options in several different pricing levels. We will be in a community that values diversity with different age groups, socio-economic levels, cultures, religions, and backgrounds. Isn’t that what America is all about? We believe so.
Stay tuned as we begin our new adventure.
Another enjoyable post from writer/blogger Mark Huntley-James as he tackles Grammar. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Grammar rules, OK.
Breakages will be reported, criticised and condemned.
I never learned much in the way of English grammar. Plenty of French, Latin and Greek, but very little English. I’ve largely forgotten the former three, and now I just struggle with my native tongue and frankly the natives can get pretty damned restless if not outright hostile. For some reason, there are two things which bring out the tyrants, the complainers, the rabid proselytisers – grammar and spelling.
When I was a kid I was frequently told that there was no such word as ‘can’t’. Not even finding a suitably recent and liberal dictionary containing the fabulous ‘can’t’ could put an end to the assertion. There simply was no such word, no matter how many people used it, in speech and print. Now roll on a few years, to my teens, and those immortal words: to boldly go where…
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This is a difficult topic for many people in my age group who are dealing with a parent requiring physical care later in life. Pull the box of tissues close, it brought tears to my eyes.
The people sitting opposite him in the small room were his people. He knew that and wished he could say it. For a minute, he struggled with trying to form the words. In his mind, he heard them: I’m so glad you’re here. I love you. The garbled vocalizing that came out of his mouth, however, frustrated him to no end.
He could see the sadness and pity on their faces. Faces that he once knew so well, now unrecognizable. He only knew that they were his people. They belonged with him and he with them.
“Do you want to go for a walk, Dad?”
He understood what the woman was asking but couldn’t phrase what he really wanted. Instead, he nodded and smiled in a grimace. His facial gestures no longer worked the way they should.
She helped him up, gently, as if helping an invalid. Suddenly, he had an image, a flash of a memory. A…
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My recent blog for the One Million Project.
Dialogue — can you picture a story without it? Most stories have chapters or scenes without dialogue, and an example of a book without any dialogue from the main characters is the animal story, An Incredible Journey.
So, yes, it can be done and successfully, but dialogue plays an important role in a story. Humans communicate with more than dialogue. Their actions, tone of voice, what they say and how they say it as well as what they don’t say all communicate something about the message they want to convey or perhaps what they are reluctant to say.
One important role of dialogue in a story is that wherever it occurs it should move the story forward. The following excerpt is from my book, Winter’s Icy Caress, and I’ve used it to show an example of how dialogue moves a story forward.
“What are you reading?” Wyatt asked…
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Every writer I’ve ever communicated with over the past few years will tell me that they want people to like what they’ve written. I do as well, but I also want them to feel something beyond “liking” my story.
I want the reader to feel a multitude of emotions when they read my books — fear, sorrow, anger, indignation, love and happiness. In essence, I want them to feel what the main character is feeling at that time. My goal is to have them step into the story become a part of what is happening by playing it out in their minds.
I read somewhere recently that when we listen to a story various areas in our brain are stimulated. If a passage talks about how something feels or sounds, the sensory cortex becomes active. If we are reading about some type of physical activity, our brain’s motor cortex responds. As storytellers, we can affect our readers deeply.
My characters aren’t perfect, and I don’t want them to be. Real people cannot be assigned labels like “good” or “bad”. People are too complex to be deemed one thing or another. I want my readers to react to the fictional characters inhabiting my story’s world. Whether it’s a negative or positive emotion, I want them to feel something.
Clare Thibodeaux is the main character in my suspense series. Clare can be distant, stubborn, and can make some very bad decisions. She can also be a loyal friend; and at times, she cares about people many readers dislike. Clare resists being told what to do, being overprotected or treated like she’s weak. Throughout the series, she struggles with letting someone else help her. Some of the other characters are overbearing and too protective to the point of being dismissive at times.
Because of these unflattering character traits, some of my readers won’t care for my books. That’s okay, I don’t like every book I read. No matter what, I have elicited an emotion, and that is what art is all about!
Another awesome blog from the One Million Project!!