Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Last Sentence(s) You Wrote


I like to have several projects going on at the same time. Some are on the back-burner (all right, forty are on the back-burner), but I have maybe four that I'm currently juggling. Here are the last sentences I typed on some of them:

I told the voice of reason to go straight to a very hot place. (London Towne


They only had twelve to begin with, after all.  (The Disorderlies)

That he was, in fact, a professional deceiver. (Blink in, Blink out)

Once he had wrapped his finger in a rag, he turned to me and said, “I’m part machine.” (Deus Experimental Division: The God Machine)

"It runs in the family." (Racing Through Time)

___
What about you other writers? What were some of the last sentences you wrote? Feel free to give context...or you can drop us in the middle of nowhere, like I did ;)

Keep breathing,
Beth


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Greta Home and Academy (Haiti) Fundraiser

Samaritan's Purse is an organization that ministers to those in need in the USA and around the world. Last year, they opened an orphanage/academy in Haiti. Would you be interested in helping?

Right now, sales for In a Pickle are in the second quarter. If you purchase a copy from now until June 30, 2013, 100% of the profit that I* make will go to Samaritan Purse's Greta Home and Academy in Haiti.

If you care to check out the organization, they have a four out of four star rating at Charity Navigator.

*My publisher and editors will still get their percentage. I receive a percentage after that.

Please spread the word!

Beth

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dear Clement C. Moore (Because I Couldn't Wait for Christmas)

We've read your poem "The Night Before Christmas" and went over it with a fine-tooth comb. Here are some suggested changes from our esteemed editors:

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

"Christmas" is offensive. Change to "Holiday."

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

In keeping with modern times, perhaps specify what a mouse is (not to be confused with the electronic device)?

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

Dangerous. Setting a bad example to children. Maybe suggest the appropriate distance between (flame-retardant) fabric and open flame. Also, stockings have gone by the wayside. Change to "pantyhose" or "socks."

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there;

"St" is offensive. Change to one of the following: Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr., etc.


The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

"Nestled" is the problem in this section. "Nestle" is a name under Trademark protection.

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

No one knows what a sugar-plum is. We had to Google it. Change to "candy canes."

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

I'm confused. Who wears a handerkerchief and a cap to bed? Change to "night attire" and "boxers."

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

Not everyone has a lawn. Some live in apartments. Change lawn to "street."

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

"Flash"? Really? You're just really in to Rights/Marks infringement, aren't you?

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

Why did you eat the sash in the first place? I'd like a little backstory here.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

"Breast" is not appropriate for our younger audiences. Change to "upper torso."

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer,

We don't say "miniature." It's "little."

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

"Old" is derogatory. Change to "elderly."

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

Again, change "St" to "Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr., etc."

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

Eagles are an endangered species. Do not use in excess.

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

‘Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!’

Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms/Dr./etc. Nicholoas/Nick is very demanding of the poor animals. Perhaps he should ease up.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

Again, "Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms/Dr./etc."

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

One more instance of this, and I'm calling PETA.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound,

I don't want to have to tell you again. "St" is unacceptable.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

Fur? Okay, DEFINTELY calling PETA.

and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

No one knows what "peddler" is. Again, we had to Google. Change to "seller."

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

You must know the dangerous of smoking, Mr. Moore. Change to "candy cane."

and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

Obesity is no laughing matter.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

"Elf" is an inappropriate word, unless you're referring to the elves in Lord of the Rings, in which case, you are infringing on JRR Tolkien's rights.

and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

Not "stockings" but "socks" or "pantyhose," as stated earlier.

and laying his finger aside of his nose,

and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

Holiday.

Make those changes, resubmit, and we'll reconsider publishing "The Night Before Holiday."

Sincerely,
B.S. Publishing

Sunday, April 7, 2013

If You Wouldn't Say It in Person...

...don't say it on the Internet!

A lot of times, it's easy to forget that there are real, breathing human beings with feelings on the other side of the screen. Which is why take care and am not...

a TROLL.

A troll, in case you are unfamiliar with web lingo, is someone who starts fights or insults people for the mere thrill/pleasure/rush/whatever it gives them. It's a fancier word that masks something darker: BULLY.

A troll is a bully, and a bully is a COWARD.

Do not let people make you think that just because it's said on the web, it doesn't affect anybody. That line of thought makes me sick and worried for my and the next generation. Heck, maybe online bullies know that the typed out words affect others, which makes me feel even sicker.

I've dealt with bullies in my writing, but not on a very deep level. I've dealt with bullies in real life (which includes online, because that's real as well.) Getting spat on for standing up for the "strange" girl. Getting called racist because I stood up for a friend. And one important thing I've learned from those encounters: Stand up for your friends, but don't start a flame war.

A flame war is a war of words. It's where both sides getting nastier and nastier, and it can escalate pretty quickly. Try to use your words to be a peace-maker (as much as possible, be at peace with others.) And report bullying as soon as you seen it. You may feel like a tattle-tale, but you might prevent something very bad from happening.

Lately in the news, I've heard too many horror stories. Please, don't lash out online or in person. Before you type something out, remember what I said:

If you wouldn't say it in person, don't say it on the Internet!

and

If you wouldn't want it said or done to you, don't say or do it to others.