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, February 28, 2021

If you haven't already, maybe it's time . . .

cj Sez: Writers’ organizations are great for learning and honing the craft and for networkinggathering information and making those all-important connections.


   I’m a member of Mobile Writers Guild (https://www.mobilewritersguild.org/ ), Alabama Writers’ Forum (https://www.writersforum.org/ ), Alabama Writers’ Conclave (https://www.alabamawritersconclave.org/ ), Sisters in Crime ( https://www.sistersincrime.org/ ) and their online Guppy chapter. 

   Each of these organizations is important to my growth as an author 

   If you’re not in Alabama, I’ll recommend the international group, Sisters in Crime. When you become a member of SinC, you’re eligible to join the 1000-member Guppies (i.e., the “great unpublished,” but they don’t kick you out of the group even after you’re multi-published). 

   The feedback from member/writers of these groups is
informative, super supportive regardless of your level of expertise, and on the money. Not only do they have a large list of specialized groups (for agent searches, querying, critiquing of specific genres, manuscript swaps, et al.), they also offer a variety of virtual skill-building classes.  

   If you haven’t joined a writers’ organization, maybe you should think about doing that.

§§

   Speaking of writers’ groups, here’s a cover reveal of a new YA book from one of my fellow Mobile Writers Group authors, Candice Marley Conner. Sale-priced pre-order is available on Amazon...be sure to look for the launch on June 15, 2021.

 “Sixteen-year-old Bea Pearl knows her brother isn’t dead. Even if her parents don’t agree. Even if the entire town doesn’t believe her.”

§§

Celebrating Black History Month 

“The richer we have become materially, the poorer we become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.” ―  Frederick Douglass 

§§ 

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


P.S.  Signed copies of my stand-alone novels (suspense with a touch of romance) are available at The Haunted Bookshop. TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from an indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us

   The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.

➜ Follow me . . .       
➜ on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, February 21, 2021

If you'd like to read more of a favorite author's work, here a few are ways to help out.

 cj Sez: An archived post updated to 2021 requirements...it’s still relevant.


   What follows is a stream of consciousness post about a few free and easy ways to Support Your Local Writers, whether you’re a writer or a reader.

If you’re a writer  

  Invite guest bloggers. When you have a guest, send out “Coming Attractions” promotions on Facebook, Twitter, et al. Be sure to give your guest space to say something about their own books.

   Join a (virtual) critique group and be willing to give your fellow authors’ work a fair critique. Be kind but be honest. Start with kind. 

   If a writer-friend wants to just sit and talk, adjust your mask, grab a 
chair across the table, and listen. Writing is a lonely occupation, and most other people don't understand. 

   Encourage each other. Writing is not a competition; everyone can be successful.

If you’re a reader (and since writers are also readers, this applies to everyone) 

   If you’ve read one of their books, post a review…please. Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, Twitter, Instagram … wherever you can. The briefest of words can be helpful.

   Like and comment on authors' posts on their Facebook pages. Facebook's algorithms only show posts that FB decides other members would like to see. That means the more likes and comments a post gets, the more people will see it.

§§

Celebrating Black History Month

Katherine johnson

   From Space.com:  On February 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn successfully completed his mission to be the first American to orbit the earth, but did you know it was really a group of Black female engineers and programmers that got him safely into orbit and home again?

   During World War II, NASA recruited a group of women to act as “computers.” These women became the first Black managers at Langley, and when Glenn was ready to be thrust into space, he trusted one of those women’s calculations more than he trusted the NASA computers. 

   “Despite Glenn's trajectory being planned by computers, Glenn reportedly wanted (mathematician and “human computer” Katherine) Johnson herself to run through the equations to make sure they were safe.”

 Read more about three of these extraordinary human computers here:

https://www.space.com/35430-real-hidden-figures.html 

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

§§

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

P.S.  Signed copies of my stand-alone novels (suspense with a touch of romance) are available at The Haunted Bookshop. TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from an indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us

   The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too. 

➜ Follow me . . .       
➜ on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Candy or roses?

 
cj Sez: Candy or roses notwithstanding, what would be your ideal Valentine’s Day gift From your special someone?

 
   Now that that’s settled…what would be your ideal Valentine’s Day gift To your special someone?
 
   When I had a significant other (in the olden days), the thing I wanted most was to be reminded that he cared . . . but I wanted that on any day except Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or my birthday.
 
   I was always floating when he unexpectedly dropped by the office with a single rose in a vase because he was thinking of me.
 
   Brings back some old, sweet memories.
§§
   
   Speaking of something old, I dusted off an old, short story (several years in the making), spent a day cutting/polishing, and sent it off as a submission to an anthology. It was the second short story I’ve re-edited and submitted (to a different anthology) in the past month.
 
   Yay or nay from the editors will come much later. Of course, I’ll be bummed if I get a “thanks, but no thanks,” but really, I’m excited to be excited about writing again.
 
   My advice to writers is: Don’t give up on those old stories of yours. Maybe, someday one of them will be the draft you need to respond to a call for submissions without starting from scratch.
§§

Celebrating Black History Month

Alan Sealls is a well-respected meteorologist in Mobile, Alabama, and he “owns” the position among his peers. It’s obvious to his fans (me included) that he loves what he does and is happy to share his knowledge. Like the following article says, he’s opening doors and making history and the community loves him.
https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/meet-the-man-opening-doors-and-making-history-in-the-meteorology-field/893769?fbclid=IwAR07ybftA-5uXTtnXMUY767P9XQHU2HbiwyBjUs-rqe9U2JLNa_1nJvB3yc
 
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
   
§§
   
   In VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES, the third installment of the Mobile Writers Guild anthology series, members (cj included) celebrate the traditional romantic aspect of Valentine’s Day with sweet and funny stories of hearts, flowers, and kisses, but they also explore the darkness that surrounds the day with a few tales of intrigue, madness, and murder.  
   In MARDI GRAS PIECES, Mobile
Writers Guild members share their stories—some true and some fictional, some funny, some touching, and some downright chilling. The street festivities are on hold, the floats are not parading, but no problem. 

   Don your beads, deck yourself out in purple, gold, and green, grab a Moon Pie, and relax with some great stories while you experience a little bit of the Mobile Mardi Gras tradition.  BUY NOW
  
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   cj Sez: That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


Orona raccoon

P.S.  My stand-alone novels (suspense with a touch of romance) are out of print on Amazon, but The Haunted Bookshop has signed copies in stock. The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.
 
   TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us
➜ Follow me . . .       
➜ on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor
➜ on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
➜ on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Celebrating Black History Month

cj Sez: Please join me in celebrating Black History Month.

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

   Marguerite Annie Johnson is better known as the respected American poet Maya Angelou. (1928-2014). A remarkable woman, Ms. Angelou was a memoirist, writer, and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry in a career spanning more than 50 years.

§§

Yosemite’s Buffalo Soldiers . . .

   If you’re on Facebook, this is a marvelous and delightful presentation by an enthusiastic U.S. National Park Service Ranger/historian Shelton Johnson:

https://www.facebook.com/YosemiteNPS/videos/875694989639512    16+ minutes

   If you’re not on Facebook, here are two other versions. In the latter one, Ranger Johnson is acting the part of a real Buffalo Soldier who was assigned duties at Yosemite National Park.

§§  

Have I got a deal for you!  A couple of TIMELY ANTHOLOGIES to fill the shelter at home hours. AVAILABLE NOW . . . 

 

  In MARDI GRAS PIECES, Mobile Writers Guild members share their stories—some true and some fictional, some funny, some touching, and some downright chilling. 

  The street festivities are on hold, the floats are not parading, but no problem.  Don your beads, deck yourself out in purple, gold, and green, grab a Moon Pie, and relax with some great stories while you experience a little bit of the Mobile Mardi Gras tradition.     BUY NOW

   

   In VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES, the third installment of the Mobile Writers Guild anthology series, members celebrate the traditional romantic aspect of Valentine’s Day with sweet and funny stories of hearts, flowers, and kisses.

   But they also explore the darkness that surrounds the day with a few tales of intrigue, madness, and murder.  BUY IT NOW 


§§

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

P.S.  My stand-alone novels (suspense with a touch of romance) are out of print on Amazon, but The Haunted Bookshop has signed copies in stock. The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.

   TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us

Follow me . . .       
on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, January 31, 2021

It's official . . .

 cj Sez: The Library of Congress says: The year 2021 brings a treasure trove of 1925 works into the public domain. Indeed, the BBC has asked whether 1925 might have been “The Greatest Year for Books Ever? ”

Time's Up

   The term of copyright has ended for works published or registered in 1925. Which means, they are joining pre-1924 works already in the public domain and are/will be available for use by everyone without restrictions.

   The article from the Library of Congress offers a couple of highlights from the list (read them here: 
but if you want to know more about copyrights and what you can and can’t do, here’s link to a search rabbit hole that will keep you occupied for hours, if not days. 

https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#pdlist

§§


https://leftcoastcrime.org 

   Did you know the 2021 Left Coast Crime convention has been rescheduled for 2022, but the 2021 Lefty Awards continue? This year, the awards will be voted on virtually and presented online April 10, 2021.

   For those unfamiliar with the event, Left Coast Crime is an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors, and they’ve announced the 2021 Lefty nominees for books published in 2020.

 Here’s your chance to see if one of favorite authors is on their acclaimed list:

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel

° Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard (Crooked Lane Books)
° Jennifer J. Chow, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (Berkley Prime Crime)
° Carl Hiaasen, Squeeze Me (Alfred A. Knopf)
° Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets (Henery Press)
° J. Michael Orenduff, The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing (Aakenbaaken & Kent)
° Sung J. Woo, Skin Deep (Agora Books)

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel   (Bruce Alexander Memorial) for books covering events before 1970

° Susanna Calkins, The Fate of a Flapper (Minotaur Books)
° Dianne Freeman, A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder (Kensington Books)
° Laurie R. King, Riviera Gold (Bantam Books)
° Catriona McPherson, The Turning Tide (Quercus)
° Ann Parker, Mortal Music (Poisoned Pen Press)
° James W. Ziskin, Turn to Stone (Seventh Street Books)

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel

° Daisy Bateman, Murder Goes to Market (Seventh Street Books)
° Mary Keliikoa, Derailed (Camel Press)
° Erica Ruth Neubauer, Murder at the Mena House (Kensington Books)
° Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club (Viking)
° Halley Sutton, The Lady Upstairs (Putnam)
° David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts (Ecco)

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel

° Tracy Clark, What You Don’t See (Kensington Books)
° S.A. Cosby, Blacktop Wasteland (Flatiron Books)
° Matt Coyle, Blind Vigil (Oceanview Publishing)
° Rachel Howzell Hall, And Now She’s Gone (Forge)
° Louise Penny, All the Devils Are Here (Minotaur Books)

 CONGRATULATIONS to all the nominees!

§§

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

cj
P.S.  My stand-alone novels (suspense with a touch of romance) are out of print on Amazon, but The Haunted Bookshop has signed copies in stock. The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too. 

TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us

 Follow me . . .       
➜ on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
 on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

The step writers need courage to take

 cj Sez:  And I don't mean the great step into indie-publishing. Pat Conroy, the beloved author of The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and The Prince of Tides, credited his English teachers . . . no, make that: he lauded the “genius of” his English teachers for instilling in him a love of the English language. 


   Conroy is quoted on Goodreads saying: “I've been in ten thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English language. ” (Goodreads has collected many of Mr. Conroy’s meaningful thoughts.  http://bit.ly/1ldfCg2 )

 Me? I was too business-oriented to get that inspired by my high school and college English teachers (who were nonetheless wonderful). Despite my apparent lack of interest in writing during those years, I am fascinated with words and syntax. I love, love, love the task of putting words together in just the right order to create a story so full of pictures and emotions that readers can see and feel what I do when I’m writing.

   But what really draws me to quote Mr. Conroy today is something he wrote in his memoir My Losing Season: A Memoir: 

   “Do you think that Hemingway knew he was a writer at twenty years old? No, he did not. Or Fitzgerald, or Wolfe. This is a difficult concept to grasp.  . . .  But they had to take the first step. They had to call themselves writers. That is the first revolutionary act a writer has to make. It takes courage. But it's necessary.” 

   That’s what it’s all about. We have to learn to call ourselves “writers.” That’s a grand title I long hesitated to give myself despite having been published in several genres (and been paid for it) over several years. Now that I’ve done it, guess what? It feels good and natural. Try it. Celebrate it. Say it: “I am a writer!” I bet you’ll like it too.


   How and when did you decide it was time for you take ownership of the title you earned?

§§

Marketing your indie-published book

   I attended a webinar this past week hosted by the Central Virginia Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Their guest speaker, Alex Newton of K-lytics, presented a comprehensive lecture on the analytics of trending popular genres and keywords and the sales they can generate. He also gave us the following freebie … data on 2020 Christmas book sales. Maybe you'll find a useful nugget of info in there.

https://k-lytics.com/christmas-mysteries 

K-lytics, ebook marketing intelligence for success https://k-lytics.com

§§

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

cj

P.S.  My stand-alone novels (suspense with a touch of romance) are out of print on Amazon, but The Haunted Bookshop has signed copies in stock. The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.

   TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us 

➜ Follow me . . .       
➜ on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor
➜ on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
➜ on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, January 17, 2021

A blast from the past…Stephen King talks strategies

 cj Sez: Another post from Lyrical Pens’ past that I think deserves new life. Although this one is from my 2016 archives, I don’t think Stephen King’s eight writing strategies are any less helpful today.  

  Some of the strategies are basic and universal among successful writers, perhaps because we believe Mr. King's writing strategies helped him sell 350 million books.

   The quotes, excerpted from an interview (the source is cited below), are some that I’ve pretty much adopted…or adapted. 

1. Tell the truth.

“Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all... as long as you tell the truth... Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work... What you know makes you unique in some other way. Be brave.”

2. Don’t use big words when small ones work.

“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up your household pet in evening clothes.”

3. Use single-sentence paragraphs.


“The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story... to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all.
 

The single-sentence paragraph more closely resembles talk than writing, and that’s good. Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?” 

4. Write for your Ideal Reader.

“Someone—I can’t remember who, for the life of me— once wrote that all novels are really letters aimed at one person. As it happens, I believe this.

I think that every novelist has a single ideal reader; that at various points during the composition of a story, the writer is thinking, ‘I wonder what he/she will think when he/she reads this part?’ For me that first reader is my wife, Tabitha... Call that one person you write for Ideal Reader.” 

5. Read a lot. 

“Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life. I take a
book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in. The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as in long swallows. Waiting rooms were made for books—of course! But so are theater lobbies before the show, long and boring checkout lines, and everyone’s favorite, the john.”
 

6. Write one word at a time.

“In an early interview (this was to promote Carrie, I think), a radio talk-show host asked me how I wrote. My reply—‘one word at a time’—seemingly left him without a reply. I think he was trying to decide whether or not I was joking. I wasn’t. In the end, it’s always that simple.” 

7. Write every day.

“The truth is that when I’m writing, I write every day, workaholic dweeb or not. That includes Christmas, the Fourth, and my birthday (at my age you try to ignore your goddam birthday anyway)... When I’m writing, it’s all the playground, and the worst three hours I ever spent there were still pretty damned good.”

8. Write for the joy of it.

“Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it... Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side — I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”

Excerpted from:

http://www.inc.com/glenn-leibowitz/8-simple-writing-strategies-that-helped-stephen-king-sell-350-million-books.html

(cj Sez: Has Mr. King’s writing changed since 2016? What do you think?)

§§

  My to-be-read list and stack keep getting longer and taller. I don’t seem to be making any headway despite all the alleged free time I’m supposed to be having during these months of “shelter at home.” I found too many household projects that need to be done, so my reading and writing are now on a backburner that hasn’t been turned on in months. That said, I just started looking for contests in which to enter some pages in the hope that I’ll catch the Writing Bug again instead of the Novel Flu.

§§

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

cj

P.S.  My stand-alone suspense (with a touch of romance) novels are out of print on Amazon, but The Haunted Bookshop has signed copies in stock. The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.

TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us 

➜ Follow me . . .       
➜ on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor
➜ on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
➜ on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Extra! Extra! Logline source...

 cj Sez: I found it!  The site I couldn’t remember in Sunday’s post. 
 


   The url source for the logline generator is http://graemeshimmin.com/writing-a-logline-for-a-novel/
 
   I visited that site way back in 2016, and with help from Google search, I found it again. Whew.
 
  (P.S. I’m not endorsing the site or the services offered, so be sure to do some due diligence vetting before signing up for anything.)
 
  You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


cj
 
P.S.  My stand-alone suspense (with a touch of romance) novels are out of print on Amazon, but you can order one from me, which I will personalize. Just drop me a note. The Haunted Bookshop also has signed copies in stock. The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.
 
TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us
 
Follow me . . .       
on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor
on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Loglines and taglines

 cj Sez: Where do you get the ideas for your stories? That’s a question that every author I know has heard.

 
   How and where does one come up with an idea, a theme for a novel? I used to find ideas in the news, but what the media is producing right now is incredibly ominous and ugly. So, let’s get lighter.
 
   First, let's agree that novels need a theme, a premise/thread that continues through the novel on which to hang the action and plot points. And pantsers, this is for us, too (might save a lot of hefty editing later). 

   One way to get a handle on finding the theme/premise is to describe your novel in one sentence before you start writing it.
 
   I’m talking about a logline…a one-sentence description of your story that introduces your main character, the conflicts s/he will encounter, and what the cost will be if s/he loses.
 
Here’s a quick visual formula:
 
Protagonist + Verb + Antagonist + Antagonist’s Goal
 
A young queen + risks her life + vengeful husband + exterminate her people   . . . becomes
 
   A young queen must risk her life and reveal her Jewish heritage in order to change the king’s mind about exterminating all her people. (The story of Esther in the Bible.)
 
***
British spy + uncovers plot + gold magnate + contaminating U.S. gold  . . . becomes
 
While investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, a British 007 agent uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve. (James Bond in GOLDFINGER)
 
   Notice there no names or specifics in those loglines.
 
   Caveat: A logline is not a tagline. The tagline describes what kind of emotion the reader can expect to find in your story. It’s simply a catch phrase, and here’s where the forbidden cliché might be helpful.
 
   A cliché is, by definition, a trite and overused expression —a figure of speech that has become tiresome and uninteresting.  
 
   Clichés are those taboo things editors tell writers to avoid like the plague, but clichés can be good fodder for this exercise (I found the following two paraphrased examples on another site too many years ago to remember the source.)
 
   Cliché “Life is like a box of chocolates” from FORREST GUMP
 
   You’d expect a philosophical story that will probably have some humor, too.
 
“Don’t go into the water” from JAWS
 
   You know this is a story that’s going to scare you.
 
   I like the idea of writing a tagline first because then I’ve identified the tone I’m going to use when writing my story. .  
 
   For a love story (which doesn’t always end with a happily ever after): “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” The reader expects that angst is involved
 
   For a romance: “Love will find a way.” The premise is that there will be obstacles in the protagonist’s path on her way to happily ever after. The reader knows there is going to be romance and probably tears.
 
   I always think of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre as a combination of those two genres—an angst-driven love story that evolves into the happily ever after of a romance.

 
   I will be doing some practical practice of my own; i.e. trying to make up my own loglines and taglines for other stories I’ve read before I create one for my own.  
 
§§
    
   Some smiles and truisms that show up with regularity on my Facebook page.

***
I am a multitasking procrastinator.
I can put off several things at once.
***
Today is Sunday.  Share this and within seven days, you’ll get another Sunday.
It really works!
One of my friends ignored this message, and he got a Monday within twenty-four hours.
Believe me, it works.
***
Noun-verb agreements for authors
I write.
You write.
He writes.
She writes.
They write.
We all revise.
***
We are all precious in the sight of the Lord.
He may shake His head a lot, but we’re still precious.
 
§§
 
  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. 

cj
 
P.S. 
My stand-alone suspense (with a touch of romance) novels are out of print on Amazon, but The Haunted Bookshop has signed copies in stock. The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.

 
TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here:
https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us
 
➜ Follow me . . .       
➜ on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor
➜ on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
➜ on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Have you set New Year's resolutions?

cj Sez: I admit I was never able to keep any New Year’s resolutions. Then my career in a corporate environment taught me to use the word “goals,” and a light bulb went off.
 
   The writer in me said, no wonder I can’t keep a resolution. The word “resolution” seems like a passive ending…you know, set it and forget it.
 
   I think of the word “goal” as inferring action…constant striving to reach it or be defeated.
 
   I have one goal for 2021, and that is to not quit writing for public consumption because the thought has crossed my mind. I love words, the syntax and cadence of a well-crafted sentence, paragraph, chapter, story, but enthusiasm wanes and ennui waxes when I contemplate self-publishing and marketing my novels.

§§
 
Some good things about 2020

 
   When I first saw Mr. Scrappy Rooster on Facebook, I wasn't sure if he was the winner or the loser, but then I thought, he's not only upright, he’s strutting, He’s definitely the winner. 

  He made sure it wasn’t 2020-won for him; it’s 2021-365 days of opportunities ahead. 

  I’m thinking about making him my mascot and pasting his image on the wall above my computer—to keep me focused on my goal. (Though I might look a lot like him as I skid into the end of the year.)
 
   I was going to crow about the publication of my four short stories in four different anthologies in 2020 (the latest is in the charity anthology HOMEROOM HEROES from Bienvenue Press), but then I saw this quote from  prolific author John Floyd: 
“By the way, to those of you who have asked, my final count for 2020 was 43 stories published. The only good thing about the whole year.”
  Egads, John…Congratulations!
 
§§

cj Sez: I want to end this first Lyrical Pens post of 2021 with Billy Graham’s prayer for a new beginning for all of us…

"Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future. We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year. In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love." —Billy Graham
 
§§
 
  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


cj

P.S.  My stand-alone suspense novels are out of print on Amazon, but The Haunted Bookshop has signed copies in stock. TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here:
https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us
 
Follow me . . .       
on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor
on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6