Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cjpetterson@gmail.com cj

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Do you believe the English language is difficult?

cj Sez:  Here are a few of the community outreach programs that Simon & Schuster is doing:

Besides partnering with storm-relief national and local nonprofit organizations to provide books for displaced adults and children AND donating 250 “Best Of” titles to Texas public schools and libraries affected by Hurricane Harvey (Librarians who need information on the offer should email education.library@simonandschuster.com ), it has been announced that S&S will be offering the same support to Florida organizations affected by Hurricane Irma.

Yay, Simon & Schuster !

A reminder of how fluid and difficult the English language is (from a 2014 post):

This quote came from fellow blogger, Sol Sanders a few years ago:  “Perhaps the glory of the English language is that it so expressive. Its remarkable heterogeneous origins have given it an almost limitless vocabulary. And American English, particularly, has used that tool with an enormous flexibility to make it the international means of communication. One is able with a minimum of linguistic dexterity to capture every meaning, or almost every nuance.”

Mr. Sanders’s comments were part of an introduction to his essay on what today’s journalism and media do with the English language. The gist of his blog was that journalism and media people over-complicate their sentences with words that muddy their meanings—changing nouns into verbs and, perhaps, calling a shovel a “hand-held, earth-moving tool.” My take is that media and journalists employ an old trick of confusing the issue to persuade readers to their (the writer/editor’s) points of view

I’ll admit to a few personal dislikes of those words with muddied meanings. One is the word “impactful;” a noun turned into a verb turned into an adjective by adding ful on the end. What the Sam Hill does that really mean?

The fact is, the English language is a living language. It’s constantly evolving as we create new words and new definitions in response to new technology. The rather sad result is that the generations cease to understand each other at an almost exponential pace. Many times I need an interpreter to understand teen-talk, and I can’t text (a noun turned into a verb because of technology), like my family does for fear I’d forget how to spell.

Still, for me as a genre writer, the gloriously expressive English language is what makes my craft so fascinating. I adore language and anyone who accurately uses a large vocabulary with familiar easeespecially if he has a warm, baritone voice and a sense of humor. Oh my.

Yes, I use nouns as verbs. Yes, I deliberately obfuscate . . . and add the disclaimer that it’s for the sake of mystery. I am drawn to the syntax, symbolism, and syncopation of a well-drafted sentence that is the hallmark of successful mystery/thriller/ suspense novelists. It’s using that “minimum of linguistic dexterity to capture every meaning, or almost every nuance” that appeals to me, and, I think, to readers of those genres. They want to try to decipher the code, find the clues, and solve the crime. Mystery writers like trying to confuse the issue.

I’m still working on my craft. How are you doing with your genre?

Okay, that’s all for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
“Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Deadly Star) @ 99 cents
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Note: The “look inside” invitation on the book bundles gives you a taste of the first book.
Newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Stop by my author pages for more info . . .
Pop Quiz: The royalties on the publisher’s bundles are shared among the number of authors in the bundles. Guess how much that amounts to. (Obviously, I write for the sheer joy of writing ... I do, but I’m also thrilled to be a published author. Thank you.)   


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trouble in Tallahassee launch...Bouchercon in Toronto

cj Sez: Summer is winding down, and one of my favorite cartoons illustrates the lament of most everyone returning to their regular fall, winter, and spring school and work schedules…

I, however, am eagery looking forward to moderating autumnal temperatures on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The summer heat has been hellacious this year (or at least it was to me). I haven’t ventured into my yard for longer than thirty minutes at a time since June, and boy, do I have the weeds to prove that. The flowers seared by summer heat will soon relinquish their places to autumn replacements, and my potted vegetables will give their all for a few more weeks of bounty.  

The arrival of September also brings with it the launch of new novels. One of those is Trouble in Tallahassee  . . . Familiar Legacy Book 3 . . . which launches September 12.

Trouble in Tallahassee, written by Claire Matturro, is a romantic mystery featuring that super sleuth Trouble, the black cat detective. This is book #3 of the new series called FAMILIAR TROUBLE. In this novel, Trouble finds himself in Tallahassee and wanders into the lives of young attorney Abby Coleridge and her temporary and troubled roommate, law student Layla. When the student disappears, leaving behind a blood-splattered note and a stash of cryptic flash-drives, Abby sets out to find her. Trouble, the black cat detective, lands in Tallahassee, Florida, in the nick of time. Can he sniff out the salient clues and save them—and himself—from a fiery end?  Ooooh. Sounds like a mystery to me.

Available now on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2eMtf77

Upcoming conference:  Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention of mystery readers, fans, writers, and enthusiasts. This year it’s being held in Toronto, Canada, October 12-15. http://bouchercon2017.com/   I went to Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans but will miss Toronto. Are you going this year?

 In the Did You Know department . . .

On the Writers in the Storm blog site, guest blogger Susan Spann, a California transactional attorney whose practice focuses on publishing law and business, offers advice on the important do’s and don’ts about workshop and conference-related blogging and social media shares. Read more about possible copyright infringement here:


That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
Qrtly newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse  --8 short story Western anthology @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Deadly Star) @ 99 cents
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tidbits ...and Have a safe and happy Labor Day

cj Sez: Sending all y'all my best wishes for a safe and happy Labor Day holiday.

My publisher, Simon and Schuster, is among the industry giants stepping up to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey…

Help Offered to Libraries, Bookstores, Shelters
As Texas’ coast awaits the second landfall of the Harvey storm system—which at this writing has produced close to 50 inches of rain in some areas—Simon & Schuster’s education and library marketing department has announced help for damaged libraries.
Any Texas public or school library damaged by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey can have 250 “Best of” titles to help restore collections. Librarians who need information on the offer are asked to email education.library@simonandschuster.com


**
This from a Crimson Romance editor:   “An editing tip: I've noticed this summer, throughout submitted manuscripts and my own reading, a growing tendency to emphasize specific words in a sentence. Save this move for those times when the italics are needed to keep the reader from misunderstandings if they were to read it another way.


“Most of the time, the stressed words only serve to lock the reader into how you would (arbitrarily) read it, taking away the reader's autonomy. It wears folks out mentally to have to perform the book to a rhythm that might not be their own.

“It also makes your characters sound alike, and the poor italics must cover so many other technical jobs (book/magazine/movie titles, self-thoughts, foreign words), it makes your manuscript look intimidatingly busy.”

**
James Lee Burke “tells” his readers what is happening here….or does he?

“The evening sky was streaked with purple, the color of torn plums, and a light rain had started to fall when I came to the end of the blacktop road that cut through twenty miles of thick, almost impenetrable scrub oak and pine and stopped at the front gate of Angola penitentiary.”
― 
James Lee BurkeThe Neon Rain

cj Sez: Every adjective in that sentence works with the verb to carry the action forward. The reader is on the road with the character, sees what the character sees, and ends up where the character does. Burke could have told his readers something to the effect that “It was raining the evening I drove twenty miles through a thick forest and stopped at the end of the blacktop road in front of Angola penitentiary.” Instead, we read a fantastic opening line, and a wonderful example of showing not telling.   

Burke’s poetic descriptions are not purple prose. They grab readers and drag them into his story. There is a beauty in the drama, yet the ominous intensity of the moment is conveyed.

Showing vs telling? Yes there are places in a story where some narrative telling may seem appropriate to move the story along, but perhaps not as many as you might think. Showing does a lot to appeal to a reader’s intellect as well as improve pacing. I suggest you can write your descriptions, tell your readers everything, then re-write in a way that shows them. How to do that, you ask? Read, read, and read some more. Get familiar with how your favorite author handles the task. It just takes practice …writing and re-writing and re-writing and re-writing, and . . .

There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself.                              James Lee Burke 
I’ve had a few of those. (Makes for elephant hide skin.)

That’s all the tidbits for this post.’Til next time, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. 

Please continue to pray for strength, courage, and comfort for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and all those volunteering to help with rescues.

cj
A brief word from my sponsors:
“Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD

newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The all-important first page

cj Sez:  Some writers’ conferences offer writers opportunities to pitch their stories to agents or editors. Pre-conference submission of a chapter or a few pages for consideration is also popular.

One conference I attended offered participants a chance to have the first page of their manuscripts reviewed by three publishers. (I’m sure other conferences have done something similar.) The idea was to critique one page and then give the writer an idea of how successful the manuscript might be in getting a request to see more. The publishers stopped reading some of the submissions before finishing the page.

The submissions ranged from fiction to non-fiction and adult to YA, but the rejected pages seemed to have similar problems. The judges identified four blatant writing miscues that caused them to stop reading.

** The story’s opening paragraphs failed to establish where the
story was taking place, the time, and the setting.

** The beginning was too slow. Too many details, too much description, too much backstory, or too many characters—and all of that on the first page—caused the judges to lose interest. The opening paragraphs also lacked action or a hook to entice the readers to continue to read.

** The writer didn’t establish a clear point of view. She/he headhopped or mixed first or third person with omniscient points of view. Remember, we’re talking only the first page here.

** Mechanical errors earned rejection. Yep, writing has mechanics, and it is vital that you know them. So, what are mechanical errors? They are the typos, punctuation errors (a lot of them involving the commas and quotation marks of dialogue), and unclear syntax that can destroy a good story.   

What the agent or publisher sees in the first few paragraphs of a manuscript is what they expect to see throughout each chapter and scene. I plan to use the list to analyze a short story I’ve just started, to make sure I stay on target.

If you re-read the first paragraphs of your manuscript, would you see any of these miscues?

Lyrical Pens would love to hear how you construct a first page. Do you re-write yours? I usually re-write mine many times as I work through a manuscript.



Another novel by my publisher... California Bound is Old West action and a love story, co-authored by Frank Kelso and John O’Melveny Woods.  Available on Amazon

Please keep all those in the path of Hurricane Harvey in your prayers as they deal with the devastation caused by this storm.

Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
Find more about my publications at: 
“Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD
newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Writing is a constant learning process

cj Sez:  You know how, after filling a three-ring binder with rejections (as one writer I know did), we writers worry if our writing will ever be “good enough” to get published?
Feelings of inadequacy can often overwhelm any confidence in our ability and send us running for a big spoon and the nearest half-gallon of chocolate ice cream for comfort. (Oh, okay, that’s my solution.)

But think about this: Bona fide professional writers do not, cannot rest on their laurels. That’s a cliché, but truly, professionals continually work to improve and perfect their skills. Pro golfers take lessons; powerhouse baseball hitters work with coaches and trainers as do Olympic athletes of every stripe.

Every time Donald Maass, author of WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, leads a workshop on writing, I’d venture to guess he shares some knowledge he’s learned since his last workshop. I know he keeps producing how-to books that incorporate new slants on writing. He’s a professional who keeps on analyzing the craft and learning fresh ways to produce a well-written novel that appeals to the whims of an ever-changing audience.

The lesson is clear.

Achieving some modicum of brand-name recognition in a vocation bursting at the seams with authors is more than a little difficult. The way serious authors can achieve a favored niche among readers is to practice their craft…read in their chosen genre(s), study and analyze the work of best-selling authors, read how-to books, attend workshops, and network. 

And those tasks never cease.

I know I can learn something new most every day, some nugget that I can incorporate into a work-in-progress (as I did today) or add to my growing list of helpful hints. I wish you the same success.

I think I’ll be watching the total eclipse on television August 21, because rain is forecast for my area. If you’re in a sunny zone and are going outside to watch, please be sure to protect your eyes.

Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same . . . and please check out the great book bargains listed below.

cj
NOW ON AMAZON:  Really amazing, super-duper deals for your escape into romance reading.  A Crimson Romance bundle of novels about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion, includes my novel, Choosing Carter.  10 wonderful reads for 99 cents on Amazon  Plus More Than Friends and California Kisses romance bundles are still available also at 99-cents.

My “Bad Day at Round Rock” short story is in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD  (8 short Western stories, still at 99 cents)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A termination clause and new launches

cj Sez: In the did-you-know department:

There are only two English words that use all the vowels in the correct order.  Do you know what they are?   (Answer at the bottom of this post.)

Important publishing contract information available at Writers in the Storm blog:  

What to Look for in “Out of Print” Termination Clauses
By Guest Blogger  Susan Spann

The “out of print” clause is often one of an author’s only ways to terminate a publishing contract unilaterally (a legal term that means “one-sided”—and, in this case, means the author’s right to terminate without the publisher’s consent).

 Out of print clauses are not relevant to self-publishing, and should never appear in self-publishing terms of use.


Susan Spann is a California transactional attorney whose practice focuses on publishing law and business, and is also the author of the Hiro Hattori (Shinobi) mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo. 

***
Watch for these great, new reads . . .  

•   
Day of the Dark - There’s a total solar eclipse doing a cross-wise thing across North America on August 21…observe it with the proper solar sunglasses to save your eyesight, please…  but the anthology from Kaye George for which you may only need reading glasses, is available now.  (P.S. The next total solar eclipse to cross North America won’t happen until April 8, 2024, so don’t wait to order.)

Novel blurb: “A recipe for disaster: take one total solar eclipse, add two dozen spine-chilling mysteries, and shake the reader until the world ends in Day of the Dark!” 

Available from Westside Press at  http://bit.ly/2w1zJsT
And from Amazon at  http://amzn.to/2vtI7k3


•   Trouble in Dixie (Familiar Legacy Book 2) Kindle Edition
by Rebecca Barrett  (Author)

Novel blurb:  OLD MONEY AND FRESH MURDER -- Trouble, a savvy black cat with a penchant for sleuthing, has landed in the cream of Savannah society. So has a murderer and art thief. 

This is book 2 in a new series written by multiple authors who follow the antics of super-sleuth Trouble as he lands in first one crime scene then another. Of course, the humans help a little. These romantic mysteries are fun and light hearted and just perfect for a beach read or a rainy day.

E-book launch date August 14, available from Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2vpjkuy

(A reader of an advance review copy has already given this novel a 5-Star review.)


•   California Bound - For a chance to win a prize, mark your calendar to stop by the CALIFORNIA BOUND Launch Party on Aug 16, 8-9:30 PM at http://www.facebook.com/CABoundBook/   Prizes include Amazon Cards, jewelry, and books.

Novel blurb: Lawmen won’t … The Cavalry can’t … 2 Civil War veterans wade the Rio Bravo to find a stolen girl!  In a Union POW camp, Jeb & Zach dreamed of California Gold, but the road West leads Jeb to his sis's home in Texas.

Jeb & Zach are God-fearing, hard-working, honest Southern boys--if you don’t count stealing Gen. Sherman’s horse
.

Available from Amazon at http://amzn.to/2vZtIxL


 ***

And just because I love the rendition of this Allison Krauss song on YouTube:

"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."  - Ralph Waldo Emerson 


ANSWER to did-you-know
Abstemious
Facetious

Okay, that’s all for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.
cj

Read on for a brief word from my sponsors: NOW ON AMAZON: Amazing, super-duper deals for your summer romance reading.  A Crimson Romance bundle of novels about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion, includes my novel, Choosing Carter.  10 wonderful reads for 99 cents on Amazon  Plus More Than Friends and California Kisses romance bundles are still available also at 99-cents.

My “Bad Day at Round Rock” short story is in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD  (8 short Western stories, still at 99 cents)

newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Keeping your story organized

cj Sez: I’m not a plotter when it comes to writing stories. That is to say, I don't outline, but neither am I a real pantser. I think of myself as somewhere in between…a pathfinder.
If you’re not familiar with the term, this is what I mean:
   
I write the first line and first paragraph and first page (subject to continual emending), and I know how I want the story to end. Not exactly how I want it to end because I’m also a linear writer. I write each scene and chapter in its time so ideas for the exact last scene won’t start to develop until about two or three chapters from the end. Once the opening is decided, I start putting obstacles in the way of the protagonist and figuring out how to overcome them; i.e., I find the path characters will take on their quest. After a few chapters, I know more about the direction the story is headed, so I type up a possible outline, knowing full well that it’s going to change.
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.            E. L. Doctorow
All the upcoming unknown conflicts and resolutions notwithstanding, the biggest challenge for me is keeping track of everything. What color eyes did I give that character? How tall is s/he? Did s/he have a limp in chapter two? The name started with a “B,” didn’t it? What’s her problem? What does s/he want more than anything else in the world…and that very important question must also be answered for the antagonist. In the romance genre, the protagonist’s goal has to be happily ever after or at least some promise of HEA.

I understand that Scrivener has solutions for all that, but I don’t own Scrivener. A friend of mine uses 3x5 cards. Another tapes pieces of paper on the wall and uses different colors for characters, plot lines, and threads that need to be resolved. So, how do I keep my manuscript organized? I input those things into a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet. I use Word to do the character sketches and Excel to track the timelines of the scenes and chapters.

After I write the opening, I open Word to create a bio for the protagonist. Physical description, where born, when born, where s/he grew up (affects how they talk/think), likes/dislikes, and flaws (all protagonists have to have flaws so readers can relate to them). I do the same thing for every character I introduce into the manuscript, including any animals. In a perfect world, I update the bios as I go along because a new character’s
description or name often affects a previous one. These bios are vital for me to create true scenes and realistic dialogue. I want to know my characters so well that I immediately know how they will react in a given situation, what they will say and how it’s said, and what they will not do.

When I create the antagonist, I also give him/her some type of sympathetic or positive characteristic that shows up on a page somewhere. Maybe the murderer picks up stray dogs and cats and takes them to a no-kill animal shelter which he helps support financially. Yeah, that’s a bit sappy, but you see what I mean. In Deadly Star, one antagonist is a psychopath who’s intelligent, sexy-looking in a dangerous way, and loves his work. He also admires the hero and considers him a worthy opponent.

I use an Excel spreadsheet to track the timelines and to make sure all the threads are continued/resolved and characters show up when they should.

Across the top, I put the chapter numbers and under them the number of scenes. Down the sides, I put the character names and then a brief line or word about the plot/thread lines that I color-code in a bold block font to make sure I write resolutions. To make it easy for mysteries, I use green when a clue shows up in a scene and a red for red herrings. I also spell these out in a separate Word document…what, which chapter/scene, when resolved or explained.

I also note the day and time of each scene on the spreadsheet. These are usually nondescript and imaginary times. In my current work-in-progress, I’ve mentioned Mardi Gras, so I have to be sure that the thread continues in some fashion and nothing in any scene contradicts that season…and it is a “season” in Mobile, not a day. Using a real date means you’re locked in to real history.

If I forget to update at the end of a writing session. it is almost a certainty that a few days later I will discover I absolutely need that updated information. That’s when I spend way too much time playing catch-up.

Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.
How do you keep track of your characters, scenes, and plot lines? If you’ve got an easier way, I would LOVE to hear about it. (Thanks.)

cj
And a word from my sponsors . . .  NOW ON AMAZON:  Really amazing, super-duper deals for your summer romance reading.  A Crimson Romance bundle of 10 novels about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion,Choosing Carter.  10 wonderful reads for 99 cents on Amazon  Plus More Than Friends and California Kisses romance bundles are still available also at 99-cents.
includes my novel,

My “Bad Day at Round Rock” short story is in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD  (8 short Western stories, still at 99 cents)
newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com



Sunday, July 30, 2017

Applause for Killer Nashville awards nominees

cj Sez: The dog days of summer were historically the period following the heliacal (sunrise) of the star Dog Star, Sirius. Greek and Roman astrology connected Sirius to heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.

According to the Farmers Almanac, “the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11” are the traditional timing of the Dog Days. As if tradition has anything to do with the weather. 

Suck it up, Buttercups. There’s more hellacious heat and humidity to come.

In the more important news for writers, Killer Nashville (www.KillerNashville.com ) announced the finalists for its 2017 Claymore Award and the Silver Falchion. The winners will be announced at the Killer Nashville Awards Dinner at its International Writers’ Conference on August 26, 2017, in Nashville, TN. 

Do you see anyone you know on these lists?

Top 20 finalists for the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award:  

The 2017 Silver Falchion Award finalists:

CONGRATULATIONS to all on being nominated…and a special fins-crossed-hoping-for-a-win shout-out to my fellow Sisters in Crime/Guppy members I see on the list. WooHoo!

*** 
NEWS NOTE: A request for submissions from Hallmark  . . . and here are the guidelines taken from the website:

“If your book seems like a Hallmark movie or TV series, it might be right for us! We’re looking for male/female romance novels and cozy mystery novels of around 70,000-85,000 words in length. We love romances and mysteries that also celebrate friendship, family, and/or community ties. All stories must have happy endings.” (cj emphasis applied)

That’s the post for today, folks. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
Please stand by for a word from my sponsors:
NOW ON AMAZON:  A really amazing, super-duper deal for your summer romance reading.  A Crimson Romance bundle of 10 novels about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion, includes my novel, Choosing Carter.  10 wonderful reads for 99 cents on Amazon  Other ebook bundles still available on Amazon:  More Than Friends and California Kisses 

My “Bad Day at Round Rock” short story is in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD  (8 short stories, still at 99 cents)
newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com







Sunday, July 23, 2017

On-line trolls

cj Sez: A fellow writer was grieving and questioning what to do about a one-star review on Amazon that complained about something that wasn’t even in her novel. Obviously, the reviewer hadn’t read the book.

One- and two-star reviews can be devastating, both for future sales and on the author. Wherever there’s an opportunity to post a review, there will be trolls with low ratings—whether they’re warranted or not. I’ve seen reviews by people who purchased an item on Amazon then rated the product one star because they thought delivery took too long. Had nothing to do with the quality of the product.

So where am I going with all that? It’s to reinforce why comments and reviews need to be put in perspective. I go back to the bell curve example (the one I usually use for critiques). Don’t let the bottom naysayers persuade you that your work isn’t good. Hiding within the electronic wafers of the Internet are nameless, faceless, and wretched on-line trolls. (Whew! I feel better now.)

We can’t realistically expect all reviews to be five-stars (okay, we do, anyway). I admit to having desperate pangs when someone dings a story. Yes, it skews the “average,” but then I re-read the good reviews that I do have (some posted, some not) and calm down a bit. I remind myself that I cannot please every reader out there. Duh. That’s the reason there are a gazillion different stories in multiple genres for the gazillion different readers.

If you receive a poor review from an on-line troll, I suggest you consider the source, and please do not respond to the reviewer. That might dig a deeper, darker hole than you want to dive into. For a review like that mentioned in my first paragraph, perhaps a conversation with Amazon (if that’s where it is made) might get the unfair/unjustified review removed. Might. If you're like me, you'll tend to console yourself with a mood enlightening treat.
Banana cake ala mode (quasi healthy?)
Speaking of reviews . . . have you taken the time to give an on-line review for the latest book you read? You might be able to refute some troll.



I’m nearly finished reading my first YA “eco mystery” and have loved it. I sat in on the author’s workshop at the recent Alabama Writer’s Conclave and decided I wanted to see how Claire Datnow incorporated her research into a mystery that would appeal to kids. I don’t usually read YA, but I’ve found this one very well written. When I reach the end of “Operation Terrapin Rescue,” I’m going to find a place to review it.

Personal observation truism: People watching is next to Godliness and cleanliness for writers. It's the reason I can't go to a library or a park or a coffee shop to write. All I do is people watch.

That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
NOW ON AMAZON:  A really amazing, super-duper deal for your summer romance reading.  A Crimson Romance bundle of 10 novels about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion, includes my novel, Choosing Carter.  10 wonderful reads for 99 cents on Amazon  Other ebook bundles still available on Amazon:  More Than Friends and California Kisses 

“Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD
newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com