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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Welcome fall and other stuff

cj Sez: Aah, at last. Yesterday the autumnal equinox ushered in the fall season—my favorite season—when cooler, shorter days inspire flowers and trees to outdo themselves and burst into one last kaleidoscope of color.

  The picture of a fence line of aspens above is one of several beautiful compositions my photographer son took in Colorado a few years ago. (He’s got an awesome artist’s eye.) He used a software program 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 in a few weeks I’ll have a fence line of camellias in many colors. What’s your favorite season where you live?
  I’ve been re-reading some of my old “how-to” posts and came across this reminder as I edit my current WIP:

  First page/first chapter turn-offs: The writing miscues that can cause an agent to stop reading your manuscript:

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

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

* Mechanical errors can earn a speedy rejection. Mechanical errors are the typos, punctuation errors (including those 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. They are looking for a reason to continue to read.


  Since I have “a ton” of old tech I’d like to recycle, I searched the internet yesterday and found this:

“Staples has been offering free office electronics recycling to all retail customers in the U.S. since 2012. Customers can bring any brand of office technology in any condition, regardless of where they purchased it, to Staples® stores for free recycling by our recycler, ERI Direct. We have similar eWaste programs in Canada, with some variations and exclusions depending on the province.”

  The nearest Staples to me is in the next town over, but it’d be worth the drive. I’ll be sure to call first.

  A brief syntax lesson: different from typically requires a noun or noun form to complete the expression, while different than may be followed by a clause.
  Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for a happy and safe you.


Now a note from my sponsors:

Perfect for the upcoming holiday: HALLOWEEN PIECES

  I have a short paranormal story I’m kind of proud of, “Once in a Blue Moon,” included in this fourth installment of the Mobile Writers Guild anthology PIECES series

  Kindle is $1.99paperback is out of print. I happen to have a very few paperback copies if you’ve a mind to hold that book in your hands. First come, first served and sale priced at $7.50 plus mailing. Just drop me a note:

  My novels THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA are fast-paced, thriller/suspense stories with sassy banter and a smidgen of sweet romance. (Perfect diversions for your quick weekend getaway.)

  The books are available on Amazon or through your favorite eTailer and bookstore. Got a library card? You can read the ebooks free from Hoopla.

  Little note: The Haunted Book Shop has a few signed copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER, contact:  If she happens to be sold out, I have a small stash. Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you any book(s) by any author of your choice.

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