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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Welcome fall and first page turn-offs

cj Sez: Fall—my favorite season—when cooler, shorter days inspire flowers and trees to outdo themselves in a kaleidoscope of color.

   My photographer son took his camera gear in search of fall color this week. The picture of aspens above is one he took in Colorado a few years ago. He used a computer technique on the photo to create the look of watercolor art.

  On the home front, Mobile doesn’t have a lot of leaf-peeper red, orange, and gold on deciduous trees—but I have my camellias in many colors. I especially love the fuchsia blooms in front of the house.

  What fall doesn’t do, though, is inspire me to sit my butt in a chair behind a computer and write when I could be outside. What’s your favorite season where you live?


   I’ve been re-reading some of my old “how-to” files and came across this reminder as I edit my current WIP:

Writing miscues that can cause an agent to stop reading your manuscript:

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

*  The beginning is too slow. Too many details, too much description, too much backstory, or too many characters. The opening paragraphs lack action or a hook to entice the readers to continue to read.

*  The writer didn’t establish a clear point of view.

*  Mechanical errors can earn a speedy rejection. Mechanical errors are the typos, punctuation errors (a lot of them involving dialogue), and unclear syntax that can destroy a good story.   

  What agents or publishers see in the first few paragraphs of a manuscript is what they expect to see throughout each chapter and scene, and they have to reason to continue to read.


Buy Now
   The book signing event at The Haunted Bookshop for HALLOWEEN PIECES was a good time.
   Masks, social distancing, candy, wine, and authors signing books at the entrance to The Haunted Bookshop in downtown Mobile on ArtWalk night. What a treat it was to interact with real people, mask-to-mask. 
The bookshop had a live video feed to Facebook. And surprise, surprise: It was chilly enough to wear a coat.

   The anthology is available on Amazon (free on Kindle Unlimited), and signed copies are available from The Haunted Bookshop (see where to order below).


 Coming soon . . .

   My short story, “The Substitute,” in Bienvenue Press’s annual charity anthology, HOMEROOM HEROES.

  “The Substitute” is about an FBI agent working undercover as a substitute adapted physical education teacher for physically and mentally challenged students while he investigates Federal fraud and tax evasion. He is, at the same time, making a move on the beautiful, first-grade teacher assigned to help him with his students.  (p.s. My daughter-in-law is an adapted PE teacher and my inspiration for the story. 



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


P.S.  TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from my favorite indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: 

  The store has re-opened to limited hours, so you can stop and shop, too.

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