Guest Post

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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Derringer finalists announced, And People Stayed Home


cj Sez: As I shelter in place, it seems I’m less inclined to write even tho I’ve always complained I didn’t have time. I used to have a little wooden disc on which the words To It were inscribed, but I gave it away to a poet I know.**
So True!

   Now I’ve had to resort to putting a note on my computer that says, BIC …FOK (butt in chair, fingers on keyboard). Today I added: BIG (brain in gear). As a writer who loves the music and rhythm of words, I find it sad that my speech and writing have dissolved into runes.

Here’s what’s going on in the publishing world:

Congratulations are in order! In case you missed this: From The Short Mystery Fiction Society comes a list of finalists for the 2020 Derringer Awards for outstanding short stories published in 2019:

Flash
Lucky Trey Dowell
The Two-Body Problem Josh Pachter
2 Percent Lissa Marie Redmond
Birdbrain C J Verburg
The Six-Year-Old Serial Killer Chris Chan
Short
The Kindly Dark J. B. Toner
Living on Borrowed Time Melissa Haveman
A Sure Thing Mary Kellogg
On the Road with Mary Jo John Floyd
Pig Lickin’ Good Debra H. Debra Goldstein
Long
Miss Starr’s Good-bye Leslie Budewitz
None Shall Sleep Sylvia Maultash Warsh
Pretty Dreams Peter W. J. Hayes
See Humble and Die Rick Helms
Lucy's Tree Sandra Murphy
Novelette
Her Sister's Secrets Brendan DuBois
The Cripplegate Apprehension Rick Helms
The Concrete Smile Frank Zafiro
The Dutchy Doug Allyn
I Called to Say You're Dead Stephen Greco

   A vote of the SMFS membership will determine the winner in each category. Results will be announced in May 2020.

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   I found the following message of hope on Facebook and shared it with my followers there . . . I want to share this with you also. The message is current, yet the poem was published in 1869.


And people stayed at home
And read books
And listened
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened
More deeply
Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.
And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.

   The poem was written about ten years after the Irish Potato Famine that occurred in Ireland in 1845–49, caused when the potato crop, the population’s main food source, failed in successive years. https://www.britannica.com/event/Great-Famine-Irish-history

   Kathleen O’Meara was the pen name Grace Ramsay. O’Meara was an Irish-French Catholic writer and biographer during the late Victorian era. The Paris correspondent of The Tablet, a leading British Catholic magazine, she also wrote works of fiction where she explored a variety of topics from women’s suffrage to eastern European revolutions.

The poem was reprinted during 1919 Spanish flu pandemic…

The photo right was taken during the Spanish flu pandemic.

“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom
If you don’t know who Corrie ten Boom is, she’s a survivor worth researching.

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Public Service Announcements

   It’s coming up on income tax time, and here’s some info for writers: https://writersinthestormblog.com/2020/04/tax-time-chat-for-authors/

Good news: The Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.  Read more here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/filing-and-payment-deadlines-questions-and-answers

   The Alabama Department of Revenue announced that their income tax filing due date is extended also…Read more here: https://revenue.alabama.gov/individual-corporate/due-dates/

Not in Alabama? Check with your state’s Department of Revenue.

Reminder: The 2020 U.S. Census is ongoing and the State of Alabama posted the following…but consider that every state in the Union has similar needs.

Economic Development: It is important that Alabama have accurate data to encourage new businesses to enter the state and to encourage local retail growth. Economic development and industry are critical to the quality of life here.
Rural Growth: The Census will play an important role in determining funding that positively impacts rural Alabama. The data collected will inform more than $675 billion in federal funding allocations to the states for programs like water and waste disposal systems in rural communities. Programs like Cooperative Extension Program, Community Development Grants, and Rural Rental Assistance Program are depending on this complete count.
Congressional Representation: Without a complete count, our state will lose one or possibly even two congressional seats in Washington D.C. That is two less voices to stand up for Alabama.
Federal Funding: $13 billion is on the line. Without a complete count, Alabama will lose money that supports our education system, police force, infrastructure, roads, and healthcare.
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   The authors of the upcoming release, BIENVENUE to the CHATEAU ROUGE, have joined together to give you a little Lagniappe (a little something extra). This collection of novellas and short stories gives you a sneak peek at the writers who have stories included in this May release available for preorder now. 
Read the teasers and download a copy here   https://bit.ly/2WNYDtu  
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That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on and I’ll try to do the same. 



cj
(** That little token kept me from procrastinating … I couldn’t tell myself I’d do something when I got “a round To It” because I had one.)

   My paranormal, short story, “Love is Immortal” is included in a new anthology scheduled for release later this spring. Watch for more on the launch of BIENVENUE to the CHATEAU ROUGE on Facebook and Amazon.

   My novels CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are out of print, but I have a few autographed copies available at The Haunted Book Shop. Anthologies in which I have stories, including THE POSSE, the Bienvenue Press Christmas charity series, and the Mobile Writers Guild PIECES series are also available there.

   If they don’t happen to have a copy of any book(s), by any author that you want, they’ll place an order for you.

   TO ORDER (and support an indie bookstore) contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and an award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice. If you’re in Mobile area, do stop in at the book store; it’s a neat place to browse.
➜ Follow me . . .
         on Amazon: Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author/facebook
         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson


Sunday, March 29, 2020

Watch for it...there's a little something extra in your future


cj Sez: When I posted on Facebook that I wasn’t having a lot of trouble with social distancing or some quarantine requirements because (as a writer) I’ve been practicing that for years, son replied…”Spread the word, not the germ.” Seems like a motto to me.

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cj Sez:  I've posted about editing before, but the topic is important enough for authors getting ready to publish their masterpiece that I think it bears repeating. 
   Did you ever open a book, read a few chapters and then put it down because of errata, i.e.; those typos, misspellings, and factual errors that drive a pedantic like me crazy. One or two will make me shake my head and pause; a lot of them will stop me in my tracks. That story needed a professional edit, which it did not get before publication.

   Speaking from experience, self-edits and beta readers do not, will not, and cannot catch everything that a professional copy editor will. When I was gainfully employed, one of my report/column-writing rules was to get as many people as possible to read the document…the more eyes on it the better the end product. That wasn’t easy to do because I was on deadline, and my work wasn’t on the top of someone else’s to-do list. But the effort was so worth it.

   And so it is for an author’s manuscript. I want my manuscript to be the best I can make it. I read the document on the computer screen, and because the text looks different when it’s printed, I print a few pages. I’ll find missing commas, periods, or quotation marks that were missed on numerous computer-screen read-throughs.

   Sometimes, I make a copy of the printed page. Copying changes the size of the font again, and I will (too often) find something else to correct. 

   But the end-all for me is to read the pages out loud. You’d be surprised at what you find. Not just spelling or punctuation problems, but whole paragraphs and dialogues that absolutely need editing in order to be coherent.

   My advice: Don’t presume that because you’ve typed “The End,” your manuscript is finished. It needs fresh eyes. Yes, it’s a personal and financial consideration for each author, but please consider hiring a copy editor if you can afford it.

   Caveat: Expect that if your manuscript is accepted by a publisher, their punctuation rules for how they want their publication to look may differ from your copy editor’s input, and there could be more changes to be made.
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Public Service Announcements

Good news during the crisis: The Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

   This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers. However, second quarter estimated tax payments are still due by June 15.


The Alabama Department of Revenue also announced that the income tax filing due date is extended…Read more here: https://revenue.alabama.gov/individual-corporate/due-dates/

   Not in Alabama? Check with your state’s Department of Revenue.

Reminder: The 2020 U.S. Census is ongoing. Your anonymous, honest response matters. The results enable communities to apply for federal funding for health clinics, fire departments, schools, and even roads, highways, and bridges.

   The census results also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets. In Alabama, the sluggish return threatens the loss of two Congressional seats, according to news media reports. (You can take a look at the actions of our current elected officials and know how important that is. Took me all of ten minutes to complete mine.)


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There's a little Lagniappe (something extra) in your future . . . 

   The authors of the upcoming release, BIENVENUE to the CHATEAU ROUGE, have joined together to give you a little Lagniappe (a little something extra)
   This collection of novellas and short stories gives you a sneak peek at the writers who have stories included in the May release of BIENVENUE to the CHATEAU ROUGE --- it's available for pre-order now. 
Read the teasers here   https://bit.ly/2WNYDtu     

///

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

cj
  
   My paranormal, short story, “Love is Immortal” is included in a new anthology scheduled for release later this spring. Watch for more on the launch of BIENVENUE to the CHATEAU ROUGE on Facebook and Amazon.

  Autographed print copies of my novels CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are available at The Haunted Book Shop. Anthologies in which I have stories, including THE POSSE, the Bienvenue Press Christmas charity series, and the Mobile Writers Guild PIECES series are also available there.

   If the book shop doesn't happen to have a copy of any book(s), by any author that you want, they’ll place an order for you.

   TO ORDER (and support an indie bookstore) contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and an award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice. If you’re in Mobile area, do stop in at the book store; it’s a neat place to browse.

➜ Follow me . . .
➜         on Amazon: Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
➜         on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author/facebook
➜         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson