Monday, September 30, 2013

Indies on the Rise

I recently came across a statistic indicating that independent bookstore growth is on the rise--make that steady growth since 2009. Need a colorful graphic for that? Check it out here.

Which begs the question, in my mind, why the growth? I've got a few thoughts...

1. Bookstores smell better than the sterile void of cyberspace shopping at Amazon.
Nothing smells better than a new book. Well, okay, I'll give you fresh chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. But gobs of books on shelves? Oh yeah! That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

2. Personal interaction with a wizened bookseller who knows "just the right book" for you.
When you get to know an indie book guru, the flip slide is that they get to know you. Knowledge is power, my friend...the power to recommend some kicking books that you might not've discovered otherwise.

3. It's quaint to stroll down to a bookstore and peruse the shelves.
Re-read that sentence. Quaint. Bookstore. Peruse. Are you getting a warm fuzzy? That's because bookstores ARE warm and fuzzy. There's a certain aura surrounding a bookstore that hearkens back to yesteryear. It's relaxing and blissfully stress free. Plus it's way cheaper than getting a massage.

4. Independent bookstores are on the rise because there's not much difference between big box booksellers and big website hockers.
The thing about indies is that by their very nature they are different. They cater to a unique clientele instead of the masses.

So take a field trip this week and check out a nearby independent bookstore. I'm not saying you have to ditch Amazon completely, just enhance your book buying experience by branching out a little.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Writing Nook Take #1

I'm on the search for a cozy library home in which to pen my next Great American Novel. Want to come along on the journey?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Surfing on a MacBook Air

Just because I needed to escape the bizarro freak show that is my life, after I spent a mindless hour or so watching reruns of the original Twilight Zone, I topped that off by surfing the net. You are about to reap the benefits of that search. Don't worry. I kept it writing related so no need to hide the children's eyes or plug their ears. You don't even have to put away the cat.

I wanted to see what would come up first for certain writerly words, specifically involving the word write. Here goes...

The first site for the word WRITE is, naturally, the definition. Who gets the bragging rights for that? Merriam-Webster of course.

Next up I tried my luck with the word WRITER. Wikipedia headed the list, but we've all been there, done that. So I'm going with the second site on the page, which is Writer: the internet typewriter. It looks like some kind of freebie word processing program thingamabob. Personally, I use Word.

WRITING was my next word. Wikipedia trounced the competition, once again. We'll go with entry numero dos, which is Writing.Com It's an online community for writers of all interests and skill levels. Looks like there's lots to do there, so you might want to check it out.

And lest we forget past tense, I gave WROTE a whirl. This time I did go with the Wikipedia entry. It's all about John Fogerty's 10th album "Wrote a Song For Everyone." I didn't know any of the songs. Actually, I'm not even sure who John Fogerty is.

Last but not least, I googled WHY WRITE? The first entry was from the British Library. It's a very short history of marks and symbols used for writing.

This was an interesting exercise, but not nearly as fun as pinning on Pinterest. Hmm. Maybe next time I could combine the two and do a search for words involving pin.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Driving With Dekker

My last car trip was with Ted Dekker. While I drove from Minneapolis to Indianapolis, I listened to the audio version of Boneman's Daughter. Before I get into commenting on Ted, can I just say that hearing a man do female voices is freaky? I mean, yeah, I know the entire story was supposed to be creepy, but the dude's falsetto tone added an extra eew factor.

Now then, dare I admit I've only ever read one other Dekker? That was Showdown, and frankly, I wasn't that impressed. The writing was fine, but nothing that made me underline a catchy phrase or want to cry because I wish I would've written it first. The story moved along all right, but not at a breakneck pace that made me sit on the edge of my seat. All in all, I really didn't see what the Dekker fangirls were foaming at the mouth about.

Obviously I wasn't that put out, though. I figured any author can have a mediocre book, even one with a big name, so I decided to give him another try.

This time I still didn't find the magic of a Crichton or the killer prose of a Steinbeck, but the story pulled me in from the beginning and kept me engaged throughout. If you like scary (I'm talking serial killer kind of fright), then you'll want to scoop up a copy. But if you're easily grossed out, definitely pass.

Dekker's okay, but honestly? I probably won't go out of my way to score any more copies of his books. Hear that, Dekkerites? That's one less fan you'll have to elbow out of the way at his next signing.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Short Can Short Be?

A story doesn't have to be thousands upon thousands of words. A lot can be said with bare bones, leaving all the fill-in-the-blanks up to the reader. Sometimes those kinds of stories are the most haunting.

Need an example? Here's a tale in only two sentences:

"The last man on earth sat alone in a room.
There was a knock on the door."
~ by Fredric Brown

Makes you wonder who--or what--is making the knocking noise, eh? And what happened to all the rest of the people, leaving only one to sit in a room? Nuclear destruction? Some kind of rabid virus to which a single person was immune? Personally, I wonder what the room looked like. I see it with cracked plaster walls, a single light bulb hanging by a frayed wire, a fine layer of dust coating everything--even the man.

Here's an even shorter story by Ernest Hemingway:

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

You can't help but wonder why those shoes were never worn. My brain takes an immediate left into sadness by assuming the baby died. But for those of you who are more optimistic, maybe the mama simply hit a hot shoe sale and the lucky baby had so many, the kid merely grew before he could wear them all. Maybe it's none of the above and the parents' income took a nosedive so they had to sell the baby's shoes for the moolah to survive.

See, it's really not that hard to come up with a short story. The trick is in evoking some kind of emotion in the reader. Here's my shot at it...

Thorn. Flesh. Mother.

What questions or mind pictures does this raise? Have at it in the comment section or try your own hand at composing a shortie.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pigeon Holed

While I was at the ACFW Conference a week or so ago (yeah, I'm still banging on that drum), I pitched an idea to an editor for a historical I've got floating around in my grey matter. She smiled politely and even nodded in the right places, but she didn't go for it. The problem with my story is that there's not one Amish character in the dang thing, and besides Yoders and lots of cows getting milked, the only other kind of historical they're acquiring is prairie romance...which is basically the same thing but with tall grass.

But that didn't stop me. I knew this particular publisher was also looking for contemporaries with humor and mystery, so I pulled out a story I've been working on with a buddy. It's a wacky crime solving tale with 2 widowed sisters-in-law who live in a retirement community. The editor smiled and nodded, then asked me which genre I wanted to write in, historical or contemporary? Serious or humorous?

Ummm....all of the above?

Let's just say that appointment went on a non-stop trip to Nowheresville. It did, however, force me to revisit my stance on the issue of writing in only one genre.

Question: Does a writer have to write in one genre only?
Answer: No

Did I seriously say that out loud? Yep, and I do so knowing such a view goes against what most every agent and editor will tell you.

Question: Who in the bleepity-bleep do I think I am disagreeing with the all-powerful and wise publishing professionals?
Answer: A Big Nobody

But (and I've always got a big but) that doesn't mean I can't hold a differing opinion. The thing about writing in two genres (and I don't advocate writing in many more than that) is if you have a passion, why restrict your storytelling to a particular box?

Oh, I know. It's a marketing nightmare. It makes branding nearly impossible. Readers won't know what to expect. Blah, blah, loud and obnoxious raspberry noise.

Call me schizophrenic (go ahead, I've been called worse) but I honestly do have a passion for each of these stories even though one is set in the pre-revolutionary war era and the other is modern day. I thought I'd solved this dilemma by writing time travel, which encompasses any time period. It was a great idea literally speaking, but money-making wise, not so much.

Question: So as I sit down to write today, what story should I work on?
Answer: Umm. Yeah. Great question.

Maybe I'll just crawl back into my Regency pigeon hole and nest for the winter.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mountaintop Experience in More Ways Than One

Where's Waldo? In the blue sweater.
This time last week, I was in Indianapolis attending the ACFW Conference. I went with the single goal of improving my writing craft in some way, shape or form. You know, like 3 ways to create a hero sans tights that will crawl into a reader's heart and live there for the next five years, guaranteeing word of mouth sales from said reader. Or maybe I'd finally internalize the difference between lay and lie. But unh-unh.

God had other things in mind.

Instead of focusing on the mechanics of writing, I ended up examining my writing relationship with God. Here are a few nuggets:

- You can't write truth while you're faking it. You can't offer life that you don't have.

- God rigs life so that it won't work without him, forcing you to either trust His truths or throw them away.

- Vertical relationship with God must come before horizontal relationships with editors, agents, publishers, or readers.

- You can't manufacture joy in a story if you don't experience joy in your life.

Meeting other writers and rubbing elbows with publishers was great, but the best thing about the conference for me was having the time and space to reevaluate why I write. My standard answer is to impart Biblical truth. Don't get me wrong, that still stands. But digging a little deeper, my driving force in writing fiction is to discover my identity in Christ through story/characters, and then share that with readers who don't know their identity. 

With that kind of mission statement, I am reenergized to grab my laptop and pound away...right after I climb Mount Dirty Laundry. After being away for nearly a week, my family is out of clean socks and underwear.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Author Sightings at the ACFW Conference ~ Part 2

Shannon McNear ~
Historical Romance

On the frontier of western North Carolina, which will someday become east Tennessee, Truth Bledsoe keeps her family fed while her father is away fighting the British. When she discovers a half-starved, fugitive Tory, she’s not above feeding him, but to go past simple Christian charity to forgiveness seems impossible. To love would be unthinkable.

Micah Elliot has fled capture after the massacre at King’s Mountain, heartsick, battle weary, and ashamed of the cowardice that sent him westward over the mountains instead of eastward to home. Groping his way through a crisis of faith, he must discover and embrace what might finally be worth laying his life down for.

Shannon's got the first story in this collection of Christmas stories.

Mysterious Contemporary Romance
Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother’s house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg’s long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.

When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents’ divorce. 

But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.

When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what has to be?

John Otte ~ Speculative
Why did Robin Laughlin 
(aka. Failstate) 
think being a superhero 
on a reality show 
would be a good idea again? 

Things seemed so simple: win the show, become an official, licensed hero. But with his brother, Ben (aka. Gauntlet) stealing America's heart and his own powers proving too unwieldy even for the monitored studio challenges, Robin begins to wonder if his calling isn't to save the world after all.
Until one of his competitors is murdered.

Vowing to find the killer, Robin sets out on a very real quest to unmask the hidden villain. Can Robin find justice? Or will his lunk of a big brother ruin everything?

Brandilyn Collins Seatbelt Suspense
Amaryllis, Mississippi is a scrappy little town of strong backbone and southern hospitality. A brick-paved Main Street, a park, and a legendary ghost in the local cemetery are all part of its heritage. Everybody knows everybody in Amaryllis, and gossip wafts on the breeze. Its people are friendly, its families tight. On the surface Amaryllis seems much like the flower for which it’s named—bright and fragrant. But the Amaryllis flower is poison.

In the past three years five unsolved murders have occurred within the town. All the victims were women, and all were killed in similar fashion in their own homes. 

And just two nights ago—a sixth murder.

Clearly a killer lives among the good citizens of Amaryllis. And now three terrified women are sure they know who he is—someone they love. None is aware of the others’ suspicions. And each must make the heartrending choice to bring the killer down. But each woman suspects a different man.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Author Sightings at the ACFW Conference ~ Part I

ELIZABETH LUDWIG ~ Historical Romantic Suspense

Ana Kavanagh's only memories of home are of fire and pain. As a girl she was the only survivor of a terrible blaze, and years later she still struggles with her anger at God for letting it happen.

At a nearby parish she meets and finds a kindred spirit in Eoghan Hamilton, who is struggling with his own anger--his sister, Cara, betrayed him by falling in love with one of his enemies. Cast aside by everyone, Eoghan longs to rejoin the Fenians, a shadowy organization pushing for change back in Ireland. But gaining their trust requires doing some favors--all of which seem to lead back to Ana. Who is she and who is searching for her? As dark secrets from Ana's past begin to come to light, Eoghan must choose which road to follow--and where to finally place his trust.

~ Young Adult

When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem–taken captive. Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe. 

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Land has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams. 

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only his people, but also find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone inside the Safe Lands. Can Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land’s façade before it’s too late? 

JORDYN REDWOOD ~ Spine Tingling Suspense

Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

And lest you happened to miss it on my Facebook Page, the starriest of stars of the weekend...

Frank Peretti & little ol' moi!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Looking For A Good Time?

Need a good belly laugh? Visit the 101 Funny Words To Say website. I know, I know. It sounds dumb. And when you go there and start looking at the words, you'll think it's even dumber. That's because you're thinking about it and not doing it.

Read the words aloud to a buddy or a co-worker or even go all freak-a-rama and read them out loud to your dog or yourself. After awhile, they really are hilarious.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quit Your Moping

Even if you couldn't cough up a giant hairball of money to attend the ACFW Conference this year, don't worry. I'll bring a "workshop" to you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Writers Conferences: Getting Your Money's Worth

If you pay attention to the speakers and instructors at a conference, set and reach an attainable goal, use your sweet networking skills to make some fantastic connections, then you can't help but leave the experience flying sky high. I'm talking zinging around in the clouds with a fistful of helium balloons like in the movie UP.

The trick is to harness all that high-octane energy so that you can actually sit in a chair and write.

Newsflash: learning about how to write is NOT the same thing as writing.

Attending conventions is great, but the work of a writer is to go forth and, umm, you know where I'm going with this, don't you? WRITE! Use that info. Work that knowledge. Thinking, dreaming, talking are all elements of a writer's life, but unless you actually slap down words onto a blank screen, guess what. You're not writing.

Conventions aren't cheap. The only way you'll recoup that money is if you put what you learned into practice. So...just do it.

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
~ Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Writers Conferences: Pimping Your Wares

Don't panic. I'm not attending the Prostitutes on Parade Conference. I don't even own a thong. Oops. TMI?

The unvarnished truth, however, is that while writers of integrity claim they're attending a con to glean a harvest of writerly wisdom from the experts, even those folks are secretly hoping to close a book deal...which inevitably means getting out the word about your idea for the next Great American Novel.

There are ways to go about this. There are also definitely ways NOT to go about this, pole dancing among them (especially at a Christian conference). Calm down. I'm here to help you distinguish between the two.

When To Talk About Your Story

You will get opportunities to pitch your story. That's one of the biggest perks of attending a con. There are appointments set up just for this purpose. That's when you can pull out your darling and show off the chubby cheeks on your beautiful little story idea.

Meals are also an opportunity to sit with a person of publishing influence and work in your SHORT blurb for your story.

And if another writer, or if you hit the literary jackpot, agent or editor engages you in conversation, go for it. Just remember to be respectful. If you see their eyes glazing like a zombie, it's time to change the subject.

When NOT To Talk About Your Story

Sometimes I wonder if agents and editors avoid taking the elevator or using the public restrooms. Both are notorious for creepy writerly stalkers. "Psst. Hey, buddy. Take a look in this overcoat and see my blockbuster story idea." Wrong, wrong, wrong, on so many levels I'd need a calculator to figure it out. If you happen to meet an agent or editor in passing, don't grab the poor fella by the collar and back him up against a wall. Here's a tip: be human. Be kind. Meet and greet. If you sense he's in a hurry (meaning you have to be aware of him and his vibes instead of your sweaty armpits and the story bubbling up in your throat), let the little critter run free. You'll get another chance. Yes, you will. Don't make me come over there.

Guess what. There are authors at conferences. Big names. The greats who you're sure would jump at the chance to endorse your manuscript, lobbing you into the big time. As I said yesterday, go ahead and meet those authors, but do not--look at my face, you're wandering--do NOT spew your fifteen book epic space opera idea all over the front of their shirt. If they ask about your writing, give them the 2 sentence version. You do have one, right? Because if you don't, sit down right now and write one.

The bottom line is remember what your mother taught you. No, not the elbows on the table thing (which I never understood). Treat others as you would like to be treated. Be respectful. You do not want to be remembered as Susie Blabbermouth.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Writers Conferences: Be a Friendly Freak

Okay. I'll admit it. The reason I went to my very first writers conference was mostly because I wanted to meet Francine Rivers. In fact, I can count all my conference experiences not by year or location, but by what famous authors I got to meet. Is that sick or what? Even sicker...I'm pretty sure I'm not the only craz-o-maniac who's revved up to see Frank Peretti this year. Part of the fun of a writers con is to meet all the successful beautiful people that we aspire to become some day.

That being said, it's probably a good idea to lay down a few rules of the Meeting New People Game.

#1 Rule: It's okay to be friendly, but use some discretion.

  1. 1.
    the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.

Trust me on this one. Authors LOVE to meet their readers. It's validation for all the hours spent pounding away at a keyboard in complete solitude, or at least in semi-solitude if there's not a full house at Starbucks.

So go ahead and approach Mr. Famous Author. Tell him you love the way he crafts words and builds worlds and touches the innermost corner of your heart. But do NOT tell him your new epic saga idea and how it's better than what he wrote, or complain about a typo you found on page 257 of his latest release or challenge one of his plot points. And it's definitely not okay to ask him how much moolah he made on his bestseller. Savvy?

#2 Rule: Location, location, location.

Would you want a starry-eyed minion following you into the restroom stall? How about a pack of rabid fans descending on your lunch table just as you're about to bite into your salad? When you do work up enough gumption to shake the hand of an author you love, choose an appropriate time and place.

#3 Rule: It's not just about the big names.

Don't forget the little guys. The no-names. The newbies who haven't figured out showing vs. telling from a jar of pickles. Every person at a conference has a story to tell, something you can learn from them, even if it's a simple tip to not take the east end elevator because it smells like salami. Treat everyone with respect, big name or not.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Writers Conferences: What's the Point?

Most often writers are solitary animals, typing like madmen about make-believe worlds in their little hidey holes. But there is a strange ritual that occurs each fall when writerly mammals all over the globe migrate into a large cluster known as the ACFW Conference. This week I'll be packing my bags and joining the herd, so it seems rather fitting to focus on writer's conferences here at Writer Off the Leash.

What's up with these events anyway? Why invest time that could be used for writing, or money that could be spent on super cute shoes, to gather in a hotel that's probably going to be freezing cold because hotels are always freezing cold?

- networking with editors and agents
- learning new marketing skills
- honing the ol' writing craft
- encouragement from/for other writers on the journey
- learn how other writers juggle life and writing
- rub shoulders with famous authors
- meet with your critique partners face to face instead of via cyberspace
- it's a tax write off

The list goes on. The reasons a writer goes to a conference are as varied as the mismatched socks you find lurking in the dryer (which is a whole separate Fun Friday possibility). There's no way you're going to accomplish them all, so... To make your conference experience feel like a victory instead of an overwhelming waste of time and moolah, it's important to attend with a single goal in mind.

Newsflash from Realityville: Landing a six figure contract is NOT a goal. Hate to rain on your parade, but landing a contract of any type is probably not going to happen. Be realistic.

So, what's my goal as I toodle off to Indianapolis? I want to discover one new way to improve my writing. That's it. That simple. And if I do, you can bet I'll be sharing it here next week, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pitching Practice

Disclaimer: I stink at throwing, so if I put anyone's eye out with these pitches, you may NOT sue me.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Quotation" "Marks"
Can teenagers and texters communicate without using exclamation points? And what's up with commas these days? Sometimes you find them in abundance, running amok in a giant herd, but other times you can't scare one up with a sharp, pointy stick. Was no one paying attention in junior high grammar class?

Don't worry. I'm not about to launch into a lecture on split infinitives. I'd rather laugh at the ridiculous misuse of punctuation...and I suspect you would too.

So, toodle on over to the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks.

I dare you not to smile.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pariah, Piranha, or Self-Pubber?

When I first dipped my toe in the publishing pond, the second I considered self-publishing, a big bitey piranha surfaced and sunk his fangs into my flesh. Self-publishing was not only a distinct no-no, but a shun-worthy faux pas that earned you a one-way ticket to Nowheresville. In short, you were a pariah.

My, how the winds have changed.

Nowadays, self-pubbers are as prolific as the panhandlers on pretty much every corner in my neighborhood. It's no longer a stigma. Even big name authors are self-pubbing on the side. And since all the trendy kids are doing it, should I cave in to peer pressure and give it a whirl myself?
For the first time, I'm seriously considering it, but I've got a whole lot of questions that need to get answered first...

Isn't it time consuming to figure out?
Do you have to be technologically savvy?
How much money do you have to invest?
How does a self-pubbed book get noticed in the ocean of new books flooding Amazon?

And those are just a few. I'll be nosing around, finding out answers, and if it's feasible...who knows. I just might add a publishing hat to my collection.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ask the Author

If you rattle an author's cage, most often you'll get a response, unless said author is a big-name with bigger britches who doesn't stoop to conversing with mere mortals. I, on the other hand, love to shoot the breeze with mammals from all walks of life. Just the other day I got an email that asked...

I have often wondered why authors write (the following example) the way they do, and if there’s a ‘technical’ name for this style:

(Pay no attention to the plural of the word ‘mothers’. It makes sense in the book I took this from).

1 – “Why,” Haylee asked her mothers, “are you wearing costumes?”

2 – “Why are you wearing costumes?,” Haylee asked her mothers.

3 - Haylee asked her mothers, “Why are you wearing costumes?”

My question is why do I see # 1 used more often than # 2 or # 3? What’s the purpose of splitting the sentence in this way?

And so I responded...

The number one rule about writing is that there are no set-in-stone hard and fast rules. Oh, don't get me wrong. There are plenty of rules a writer should know and adhere to, but once learned, can break for a good reason.

Now then, with that disclaimer, each of those 3 sentence samples are correct. An author could use any one of them no problemo. But (and I've always got a big but), choosing which option to use has more to do with flow, voice or current trend.

Flow ~ It's good to mix up sentence structure throughout. If every piece of dialogue started with the same format, the reader's eyes would pick up on that and get bored. The way paragraphs and sentences are presented on a page, even just shape-wise, makes a difference.

Voice ~ Every author's got one. I'm sure you can hear me in my writing because you know me. Writers often write how they speak. This could be one reason an author would choose to break up a line of dialogue as in #1.

Current Trend ~ Writing is subjective. What's kosher now (salable) likely will change (and has changed) over the years. For whatever reason the gods have decided, it is trendy right now to break up dialogue with tags (who's speaking).

I'm happy to play the Ask the Author game anytime anyone would like to fling me a question. Go ahead. Rattle my cage. I promise I won't bare my teeth or thump my chest.

Monday, September 2, 2013

On Holiday

It's Labor Day. What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be out laboring or eating something on a stick at a state fair or wrapping up summer with a final camping blitz? Not that I am, mind you. You can find me working out in my garden today.

So here's my advice for today... Play hard. Drive safe. And drink plenty of water.
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