Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
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    • Ohio Author Lillian Duncan
      Welcome back to the Book Loft, Lillian! Is there a story behind your latest book DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS?Three things happened within a few days of each other to inspire DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS. First, my brother asked why I didn’t write a story featuring a speech-language pathologist. To which my answer was that it would be difficult to come up with a suspense […]
    • Deadly Communications by Lillian Duncan
      Improving communication skills is never easy. In this case, it could be murder! Maven Morris is a speech-language pathologist on medical leave–or as she likes to put it: out to pasture. When she’s offered a lucrative position by one of the community’s most powerful men to help his traumatic-brain-injured daughter improve her communication skills, Maven disco […]
    • Interview with Christian Author Susan Correll Foy
      Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Susan. Is there a story behind your book Finding Father?Susan: This is actually the fifth book that I've written, although the first to be published. I had the idea for the book as I was finishing my fourth, but I hesitated to even begin writing it because of the subject matter. It deals with the topic of date rape an […]
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    • Winner of the May Release Clash
      And the winner is.....OF THE PERSECUTED by Angie BrashearCongratulations, Angie!This month's clash was a record-breaker from day one. As a hostess, one of the greatest things is seeing the voting numbers climb higher and higher. And I was thrilled to see so many turn out to vote during my clash. I love it! So thank you to everyone who voted and to our c […]
    • May Releases are in the COTT Arena!
      Hey there, readers. Michelle Massaro here, hoping you're suited up for literary battle. But first, we have some awards to hand out in the form of free books!The winner of our June three-book giveaway isJoan BradleyJoan, you will receive the following novels:Worth the Wait by Laura JacksonLondonderry Dreaming by Christine LindseyRebekah's Treasure b […]
    • Three Books--One Winner!
      GIVEAWAY!Winner announced right hereWednesday, June 25, 2014By entering the contest, you understand that:The books may arrive in Kindle, Nook, or paperback format, according to each author's preference. Each author will send his/her book directly to the winner.COTT cannot be held responsible for prizes not received.Entry in this contest does NOT subscri […]
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    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
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    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
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      Hope DeferredBy Elizabeth MaddreyAbout the Book:Christian fiction for women. It's been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst […]
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      As IsBy Wendy OlestonA Wisconsin Author!.99 Kindle12.99 printISBN-13:978-1499781335Buy on AmazonFrom the publisher:Life is hard for Mara Shaw. One bad relationship after another has left her a single mother with no faith in anything. She is unable to trust in anyone . . . including herself. She decides to start afresh, and never allow herself to be hurt agai […]
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    • Book Review—The Last to Know by Melissa Hill
      This women’s fiction book centers on three women whose lives intertwine as they look for happiness in love. Anna is engaged but can’t seem to set a date and then she finds out she’s pregnant.  Eve has lived with Liam for years and has children by him but isn’t married. All she wants is to be loved by Liam, be his wife and raise his children. Sam is a success […]
    • Book Giveaway: The Love Story by Stenetta
      Today I present children’s author Stenetta Anthony whose children’s book The Love Story released on May 6, 2014. This is her first publication; however, she is currently in the process of writing another children’s book.Stenetta Anthony resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She uses her talents as a dramatic storytell […]
    • BOOK REVIEW: BETRAYAL BAY KAREN FENECH
      I like historical romances but haven’t read a medieval one. I’m pleased with this one so I’ll definitely look for more set during this time period and by Fenech.  The story centers on Lady Katherine Stanfield whose own castle and holdings have been invaded by the power hungry Ranulf. In the dead of night she rushes to De Lauren, her former fiancé for aid. Wh […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Tuesday Promotion in Motion with Cheryl Martin: Pineapples in Peril

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 9, 2012

Welcome Cheryl Linn Martin!

Pineapples in Peril

Book One of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club

By

CHERYL LINN MARTIN

About the Book: Thirteen-year-old Leilani Akamai and her friends, Maile and Sam, are the only official members of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club. Leilani pictures a summer full of secrets and stakeouts as she and her friends aim to solve their first real crime — a case of pineapple vandalism at Tong Plantation.

It’s all Leilani has to look forward to now that her younger brother, Kimo, has already ruined her summer. Thanks to him, surfing is out and she blames him for her broken arm, now in a clunky, itchy cast. To top things off, Kimo might interfere with the pineapple case and blow their entire investigation! The ugliness continues when Leilani’s beloved surfboard ends up in the hands of her dreaded enemy! Can she get her board back and solve the first case of the Hawaiian Island Detective Club? This summer will be one to remember.

 

About the Author: Cheryl loves sunshine, surf, and slipping her toes into flip-flops.

The Pacific NW’s weather yields a very short flip-flop season before it’s time to dig out her favorite boots, unlike the glorious year she spent in Hawaii.

After graduating from The University of Oregon and pursuing a successful Parks and Recreation career, she now focuses on her passion—writing mystery novels. The Hawaiian Island Detective Club combines her love of all things Hawaiian and her fascination with intrigue.

When not writing she loves to try new adventures like wakeboarding, rock wall climbing, horseback riding, and zip lining. While in Hawaii her exploits included surfing, snorkeling, and bodysurfing.

Cheryl is a wife and mother of three grown children. Memories of raising her spirited kids inspire many of her characters’ quirks, relationships, and mishaps.

Visit Cheryl’s website and blog (Life in Flip-Flops) at http://www.cheryllinnmartin.com/ or e-mail her at cheryllinnmartin-at-yahoo.com.

PURCHASING LINKS:

 Comfort Publishing

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Request Pineapples in Peril at your Local Bookstore and your Library

 

Cheryl, what do you love about this book?

I’ve loved mysteries since I was a kid reading my first chapter books. As an adult I knew I wanted to write a mystery and set it in an exotic, tropical place. Because I had lived in Hawaii for a short time years before, I figured, why not the islands? I love the scenes set outside with the fragrance of fruit and flowers. I love the sounds of the ocean and the sea breeze smells. The amazing aromas of Asian, Hawaiian and Polynesian foods, as well as the wonderful island culture makes me hunger to return to the islands. I hope young readers will experience a little of Hawaii on every page.

What’s the main thing you learned during the process of writing and publishing this book?

I learned how much I remembered of my life in Hawaii, and the research I did made my longing to return even stronger. My love of mysteries was reinforced, but the main thing I learned was that after years of trying to write mysteries for adults, my strength was in writing for Middle Readers (approximate ages 8-12.) I love this age group and love adjusting my mind to their lives and how they act and react in all situations they find themselves facing.

What should your readers discover and want to share with their family and friends after reading this book?

Young readers will discover that sibling relationships are wonderful one moment, and irritating the next.

They will see how faith plays into their everyday lives, and that failure, frustration, confusion and challenges face everyone.

Readers will see that success can prevail even when disaster happens. I believe they will fall in love with the young teens and the crazy, silly and fun exploits in Pineapples in Peril, and want to read the rest of the mysteries in the series.

Posted in Author Spotlight, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Using senses in writing – final chapter, “Taste vs. Flavor”

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 3, 2012

This painting (Gérard de Lairesse, “Allegory of the Five Senses,” 1668) represents the five senses. Can you find them represented here?

Taste is as important as our other major senses, yet is often at least as much as, if not more so, overlooked than that of smell. Can we survive without being able to taste? Certainly, as much as we can exist without our other senses. Yet we would be the poorer for our loss.

In a word…chocolate.

Okay, I do know two people who don’t care for chocolate. They are both male.

Gustation, the sense of taste, is also a biological function involving chemical introduction to our sensory organs, commonly known as “taste buds” on our tongues. The olfactory system, our sense of smell, is located closely juxtaposed, so these senses work somewhat in conjunction. Can a person taste without smell, and vice versa? Naturally, although the perceptions of the individual sense are greatly enhanced by the other senses.

Taste: simply tasting food is a chemical process; the physical substance comes in contact with the gustatory calyculi, or taste bud, releasing the chemical signal sent to the brain which sorts it out and then reminds us of a previous experience, putting a name to the sensation.

Flavor, however, is the experience; the layer of pleasure, pain, reminiscence, that makes up the sensation of physically tasting a substance. As with the other others senses, a taste can evoke a powerful reaction.

Humans taste with the tongue. There are four basic recognized flavors: salt, sweet, bitter, sour. There are others identified in other cultures or even science, such as meaty (Japan), or metallic. Can those taste experiences stand alone or be justifiably one of the “four”? Go ahead, state your case! I’d love to hear your discussion.

What does taste or flavor add to a literary scene? Like the other four, the more a writer naturally portrays behavior, the more a reader can identify with not only the characters, but the story. Create a scene of a family meal. Is it a happy scene? A thought-provoking one? Angry, bitter, normal or dreadful? The food prepared, served, chosen, eaten can say a lot about your characters. How people react to a dinner, a breakfast in a diner, a power lunch, create a unique and intimate insight into an event.

Here’s where the layers of texture, of temperature of the food, of gourmet or completely outside-the-expected meals or parts of meals can be a character itself. What do people in your world eat or drink? What are their individual customs? Is meal time a social activity, a family event, or an evil necessity that takes away from life? Is food something your people look forward to? Obsess over? Annoyance? Treat? Are your characters adventurous, risk-takers, bold? Or shy, reluctant, bound by known likes and dislikes. Even those with emotional or physical disturbances can find their identity, their quirkiness, or uniqueness in food choice or food response. Shopping for food, gardening, hunting/gathering can create a powerful reader experience.

The final version of our mutli-sensory scene follows.

A one-layered version:

Selena left their dog at the house so she and Justin could take a quiet walk on the Circle Path before dinner.

A multi-layered, visual, tactile, auditory, olfactory and gustatory scene:

Selena put the crockpot on simmer for the roast beef in mushroom and port sauce so they wouldn’t have to rush. Her mouth watered at the thought of her grandmother’s special dish. The low temperature would allow the flavors of meat and wine and mushrooms to meld in a delight of senses. The reason for the crockpot was that she wanted to take her time on the Circle – the path around town, to enjoy the late summer afternoon and the first of the asters –without having to worry about the meal. Before leaving the kitchen, the drip of the faucet reminded her of the new washer still in the bag from the hardware store. Later—after the walk.

She pulled the door closed behind her and turned the key. Selena stalled a bit as she looked at her husband. Justin stood in the driveway, still as the light post, while he waited for her. She sighed. His hands were firmly stuck in his pockets.

Cicadas whirred from across the yard. Chloe barked and scratched at the door. Justin cocked his head in the direction of his English setter’s begging. Next time, baby, Selena thought. This time is just for us.

“Clockwise or counter?” she asked. His smile reassured her as he reached for her hand. His rough palm caressed hers and his warm fingers held tight, like a lifeline. Selena moved close enough to feel his body heat. The last of his mother’s tea roses bloomed in pink showers of petals along the front porch, reminding her of their wedding day. They’d never eaten the pieces of wedding cake, preserved in the freezer. Was it even edible? Butter cake, Grandmother had made, with frosting roses in pastel greens and blues and yellows. Pansies from Ooma’s garden, sugared, complimented the roses. So lovely to have had them work together like that. If only…

“I’ll follow you,” he said.

Selena brushed her cheek against his line-dried cotton t-shirt where the rumble of his voice faded before leading him down the driveway. With one hand in hers he rarely tapped the cane in his other hand against the asphalt. Soon they’d be on the path, piney woodchips muffling their steps and taking her back to their honeymoon at Jackson Hole, before all the hurts and defeats of the last two years.

Posted in Encouragment, Writing | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Hobby or Business—How Do You View What You Do?

Posted by April W Gardner on September 26, 2012

(This post is a carryover from my “Do You Need a Business License?” post from two weeks ago.)

When I discovered I needed one to be legal, applying for and obtaining a license for my fledgling home business did something for me I never expected.

I’m an author and, more recently, an editor with Astraea Press. True to their claim, authors don’t make much money. Pennies really. I got my first royalty check nearly three years ago and, for whatever reason, have struggled to go anywhere much with sales. Paying taxes hasn’t even been necessary.

But to be perfectly honest, I viewed writing more like a hobby than a business. Don’t get me wrong,

Me. Working from patio furniture purchased with my hard earned dollars.

I didn’t want it to be a hobby. I WANTED to earn money, but a person’s mindset has everything to do with whether or not that will happen. If a girl doesn’t take her work seriously, if she doesn’t appropriately value her skills and time, no one else will either.

Late last year, I came to a critical juncture in my career. Frustrated and weary, I decided I’d either swim or sink, but I was going to do it on my own. One of my 2012 New Year’s resolutions (the only one I’ve ever stuck with) was to have my writing support itself 100%—no more begging money off my very sweet and willing husband. I’d pay for business cards, fliers, or that $1,000 conference, or I wouldn’t have them.

It seemed an outrageous notion. I honestly didn’t think I could do it and actually get anywhere, but for half the year, I did OK.

This summer was turning point. It happened the day I decided to get a business license.

It took me some weeks to get around to making it official, and if you want to read step-by-step how I went about doing that, you can visit my last Reflections post.

Come to find out, investing (yes, investing!) in a business license was exactly what my floundering career needed. The moment I held that license, I felt like a business woman. Stupid, I know, but it’s true. I view my job in a whole different light now. Notice my use of the word “job”? Yep, writing and editing isn’t a hobby anymore.

It’s what I DO. And I treat it with all the value and respect of a business. I have a budget and daily, weekly, and yearly goals. My time is blocked for certain activities, putting the most time toward my DPAs (dollar producing activities).

I require others to value and respect my work and time, too. No middle of the day chats with friends. I love you all dearly, truly, I do. But if you call me while I’m working, I’ll let the phone go to voicemail and get back with you at my next scheduled break.

At the risk of sounding New Age, let me point out that the mind and one’s attitude are a powerful things. Do not underestimate them.

God called me to this job. He believes in me. I should believe in me too! After which, I’ll give Him all the glory for the skill, energy, and encouragement He provides along the way.

I’m not a name-it-and-claim it kinda Christian, and I’m not rolling in the dough (far from it!!), but I’m got business cards, fliers, and went to that $1,000 conference. No thanks to my sweet, willing husband’s wallet. :-)

In addition to that, at the suggestion of a my very business savvy sister, I set a goal to reward myself for my hard work. She told me to think of something–a luxury–I’ve wanted but couldn’t afford. Something I’d never spend the money on because there’s always something else more important that needs to come first.

So I did.

Somehow, that goal in mind made me work harder, and to my utter astonishment, I not only  reached my goal, I surpassed it. Now, I work from my patio on my lovely new furniture. (Pix above)

And you guessed it, I have set another reward-goal for myself.

My business has supported itself probably 95% this year. 2013 will be even better. Actually, in 2013 I plan to make a PROFIT. There have been times since January I’ve had to say “no” to whatever marketing venture I wanted to explore, but for the most part, God has provided.

What was the big change? It’s as simple as this–I’m viewing what I do as a business, and THAT makes all the difference.

How do you view what you do? Is it an accurate perception? What are your time and skills worth? Put a monetary value on them, then shoot for it!

–April W Gardner is an award-winning author, an editor,

and the founder of the literary contest site, Clash of the Titles

Posted in Authors, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Tuesday Promotion in Motion: The Seekers, by the Cuffe Sisters

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 25, 2012

I had the great pleasure of cyber-meeting Sadie and Sophie Cuffe recently during a Clash of the Titles event not soon to be forgotten. They’re neat ladies, and great songstresses, too – go on , ask them to sing!

I am also delighted to introduce their book, The Seekers, historical fiction. Take away, ladies!

About the Book:

THE SEEKERS

You don’t say no to the President of the United  States, even if it means saying no to your heart, but when Captain Lawrence Wainwright gets sucked into Civil War espionage, can he save his future wife without blowing his cover and getting them both killed?

Union Cavalry Captain Lawrence Wainwright has one goal: to make sure his horse survives the war. But when he becomes President Lincoln’s spy, Lawrence assumes the identity of a slow-witted boy/man, and suddenly he’s undercover protector to an aging slave and his two young grandchildren, and to Rachel, a stubborn Yankee woman on a mission of her own.

As Lawrence and Rachel get entangled in the subterfuge of Confederate secrets and double crosses, the safe circle surrounding them shrinks with each passing hour. In a deadly game where no one is who they seem, and even brothers turn against one another, Lawrence chafes at his alter ego. He longs to come out swinging and be himself. Rachel steals his heart, but, if she discovers his true identity, it just might get them all killed.

dbp: http://tinyurl.com/csyxgfh

amazon: http://tinyurl.com/d2v6x23

B&N: http://tinyurl.com/9v7ut5a

What do you love about this book?

As you may already know, The Seekers takes place during the American Civil War, and Sadie has a thing about writing a Civil War novel. But unhealthy obsessions aside, the things we love most are the characters in this story. They represent what’s real and vital in all of us: our pride, our faith, our passion, our loyalties, our conflicts, and our stupidities. They have their moments of humor and failure, but they also possess the ordinary quality of someone who moves in next door and, the instant you meet them, you connect and know you’ll be lifelong friends. That may sound rather stupid or ethereal, considering they’re made up of pixels and characters (no pun intended) on a monitor screen, but in the Cuffe sisters’ unofficial (and sometimes wanky) rules of writing, if our characters don’t make us cry, we haven’t done our job in telling their story.

What’s the main thing you learned during the process of writing and publishing this book?

We learned writing a historical novel is fun, in terms of getting sucked into a different era and discovering tons of facts, trivia, weird trends, and cool expressions. We read actual personal accounts written during the war and tried to keep it true to the mores of the times, and that meant steering clear of any anachronistic expressions and references. We also discovered, in this genre, it’s deadly to assume your research is ever complete. Our editors required us to document details on everything from carriage wheel height to the use of the word ‘reticule.’ Since our readers always possess more wisdom than both of us put together, we’re glad for the meticulous edit (and if we messed up any detail, it’s totally our fault!), but it did teach us that historical novel writing is much more involved and time consuming than its contemporary counterpart (in our opinion). Since this was book two of a trilogy, the publishing aspect was already in place, so we didn’t have to go through the process of pitching it to our agent so he could pitch it to a publisher.

What should your readers discover and want to share with their family and friends after reading this book?

We hope they’ll discover the fact that ordinary is extraordinary. The daily aspects of our lives, the little heart parts that make us individuals — our personal perspectives, rural heritage, commitment to faith, loyalty to family (whatever makes you YOU) — are what make each of us wonderful and make our lives a blessing to others. Many of us may think of ourselves as ordinary, but we’re all “ordinary heroes” to someone in our lives. Knowing this can strengthen our confidence and faith in God’s plan for us, and empower us to do things we never thought possible. Everyone’s personal potential is endless. We don’t say so – God does.

A little about us:

As a sibling writing team we bring the strength of a living sisterhood to our work, as well as the spice of differing perspectives on everything from Type-A tendencies (Sophie), to downshifting on curves (Sadie). Our father became a pastor of small rural churches when we were halfway through our childhood, so we know both sides of the PK issue–a unique position which translates into an ability to connect with all ages and personalities. Through years of Bible study, interaction and teaching of youth, seniors, and women’s groups, we identify with our audience because we’re one of them.

Our dad (who was also our pastor) died suddenly in 2008, teaching us the value of time, the preciousness of senior friends, and the power of a graceful Christian example. Since his passing, we’ve been on a steep learning curve in the church, our writing, and our life as adult children that centers around prayer and the challenge of Philippians 4:11-13.

We’ve got rural roots that go deep, which gives our writing a clear friend-to-friend, down-to-earth style. In addition to freelance writing, we run a small farm in Maine’s UnorganizedTerritory.  We bring Jane-of-all-trades life experiences to our work, and believe God’s given us this background to write squarely to the heart of real women who don’t always wear a size 2, and who prefer boots to high heels. If you want to “talk shop” about family, rural life, livestock, music, God, house construction, or girl stuff, we’re ready.  We believe with God anything is possible; and that some of the best stories aren’t hatched in creative writing class, they’re composed on the seat of a tractor.

We hope you’ll visit us at http://www.cuffesisters.com/ and check out our blog “Off the Cuffe,” our author interviews “Complimentary Cuffes,” and our books “Cuffe Works.”

Posted in Author Spotlight, Writing | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Using our sense in writing – the sense of smell

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 19, 2012

Smell vs. Aroma

A part of your brain touches the atmosphere.

Let’s see a show of hands: how many of you already knew this?

Where, you ask? Does my brain leave the confines of my skull?

Well, it’s like this: Way back in our nasal passages we have about a square-inch-sized area of olfactory receptors. As we inhale we breathe in dissolved particles wash over these receptors which have millions of cilia extending from a little projection of bone at the tip of the neuron – and thus, a part of the brain extends into the your nasal passage to detect emulsions, send the information to the brain which then analyses the scent according to our experience, and tells us how to identify it.

The sense of smell is one of two senses, along with taste, humans are most willing to do without. Yet smell is often the most evocative of our senses. It is a powerful link to memories since we rely on our past experiences to recognize a particular odor. The sense of smell and the sense of taste are not exactly related, yet are closely tied due to the types and placement of physical sensor receptors in our bodies – namely that of mouth/tongue/nostrils/sinuses.

I’m separating this sense, as I have the others, into two aspects: the physical ability – to smell; and the layered reaction to that ability: categorizing the aroma. Even the word “aroma” is so much more elegant than others we might use, don’t you think? You are trained to react to words: when you read “smell” what goes through your mind? How about “scent?” Or “odor?” You react negatively or positively, depending on your experience, and the words we generally associate with them. A remembered scent can take us to an associated experience often more quickly than sight, sound, or even touch.

The human sense of smell is a complex chemical process, trainable, begins at birth and peaks somewhere in the teens when we have learned and categorized the scents in our world. How does a writer use this sense when layering a scene? Using a particular aroma can bridge flashbacks, when used sparingly; a particular scent can generate new information or a repressed memory. An odor can introduce a sense of dread or danger. A bouquet can tell your reader much about the personality of a discerning character. One of my favs is Steven James’s Patrick Bowers who is a coffee snob; he has trained himself, much like a connoisseur of fine wines, to tell where a coffee bean came from and how it was prepared. Just kind of cool.

If you’re going to introduce a memorable quirk in a character, the ability to detect a certain scent might be intriguing. Conversely, the lack of ability to smell, either at all (anosmia) or the loss of ability to detect particular scents can be just as revealing. A change or loss in the sense of smell also may indicate a genetic condition, a disease or injury that can affect a character’s life/health, as well as that of his or her environment and family, work, choices, and so forth. Women have a different and more acute sense of smell than men. Babies can detect their own mothers. Lots and lots of possibilities.  In two weeks we finish this series with the sense of taste.

Our scene, then, with the added layer of scent, continues below. What else might you do in your work to add in this sense?

The story continues:

 A one layered version:

Selena left their dog at the house so she and Justin could take a quiet walk on the Circle Path before dinner.

A multi-layered, visual, tactile, auditory and sensory scene:

Selena put the oven on simmer for the roast beef in mushroom and port sauce so they wouldn’t have to rush. She wanted to take her time on the Circle – the path around town, to enjoy the late summer afternoon and the first of the asters. The drip of the faucet reminded her of the new washer still in the bag from the hardware store. Later—after the walk. She pulled the door closed behind her and turned the key. Selena stalled a bit as she looked at her husband. Justin stood in the driveway, still as the light post, while he waited for her. She sighed. His hands were firmly stuck in his pockets.

Cicadas whirred from across the yard. Chloe barked and scratched at the door. Justin cocked his head in the direction of his English setter’s begging. Next time, baby, Selena thought. This time is just for us.

“Clockwise or counter?” she asked. His smile reassured her as he reached for her hand. His rough palm caressed hers and his warm fingers held tight, like a lifeline. Selena moved close enough to feel his body heat. The last of his mother’s tea roses bloomed in pink showers of petals along the front porch, reminding her of their wedding day.

“I’ll follow you,” he said.

Selena brushed her cheek against his line-dried cotton t-shirt where the rumble of his voice faded before leading him down the driveway. With one hand in hers he rarely tapped the cane in his other hand against the asphalt. Soon they’d be on the path, piney woodchips muffling their steps and taking her back to their honeymoon at Jackson Hole, before all the hurts and defeats of the last two years.

Posted in Life Experiences, Writing | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

Market Monday: publishers to check out

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 17, 2012

Note: These are some independent publishers with whom I interact on GoodReads.com – I have no contracts with them, nor vouch for them, nor know much else! Check at your own risk.

Second Wind Publishing

Second Wind Publishing, LLC, is an independent publishing company located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We select  well-written, quality books in a variety of genres for publication. Please browse our website to see the types of novels we publish.

We welcome queries for publication for completed unpublished manuscripts in the following:

Adult: 40,000 to 100,000 words,
Young adult: 7,000 to 25,000 words,
Children’s: minimum of 24 illustrated pages.

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/submissions.php?osCsid=3044d6f57262656df4f749aa39b3eb4a

Anthologies
Beckoning Books-Romance
Blue Shift-Sci-fi/Fantasy
Chickpea – Children
Cut Above-Fiction
Dagger Books-Crime/Mystery
Fine Lace-Historical Romance
Running Angel-Non-Fiction
Sandpiper-Women’s Literature
Savage-Action/Adventure
Scoundrel-Young Adult
Southwynd

 

Eternal Press:  http://www.eternalpress.biz/

Eternal Press was originally founded in 2007 as an Australian company by Julie A. D’Arcy. Through her hard work and dedication Eternal Press was born and gained its own footing in the publishing industry. Then late 2008, Ally Robertson bought the company and moved it to Canada where it continued to grow. Ally brought a much needed internal structure. Now, Eternal Press is owned by Damnation Books, LLC out of California, USA, keeping Ms. Robertson on as head of the new production department.

 

Ig Publishing: http://igpub.com/

Ig publishes original literary fiction from writers who have been overlooked by the mainstream publishing establishment, and political and cultural nonfiction with a progressive bent.

Submissions

Ig Publishing DOES NOT accept unsolicited manuscripts, either by email or regular mail. If you have a manuscript that you would like us to take a look at, please send a query to the attention of Robert Lasner, Editor-in-Chief. If we are interested, we will contact you. All unsolicited manuscripts sent to us via email or regular mail will be discarded. We prefer to receive queries via email. If you send a query via regular mail, please DO NOT include an SASE. We will get in touch with you if we are interested.

For rights inquiries, contact Elizabeth Clementson Publisher: elizabeth at igpub.com

For editorial inquiries, contact Robert Lasner Editor-in-Chief: robert at igpub.com

Posted in Author Marketing, Writing | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Do You Need a Business License?

Posted by April W Gardner on September 12, 2012

The short answer to that question is—I have no idea. Every city, county, and state has different laws, but it’s your responsibility to know what those laws are. A quick call to your town’s city hall should answer the question for you.

My particular Georgia city requires me—author and editor—to have one. This is a recent discovery for me, but one I didn’t mind making. Obtaining one actually moved my career forward in a way I never would have expected. Next time I’m at Reflections in Hindsight, I’ll explain exactly what I mean by that.

Today, let’s talk nuts and bolts.

Before getting into how to get a license, let’s discuss what they ARE.

WiseGeek.com defines a business license this way: A business license is a type of legal authorization to operate a business in a city, county, or state. Typically issued in document form, a business license gives a business owner the right to conduct entrepreneurial activities as set forth in the license application. In most cases, there is a fee charged to obtain a business license.

Requirements for a business license vary by state and municipality. Some locations require anyone conducting a business to obtain a business license. On the other hand, some areas allow smaller home businesses to operate without the need for a business license. Such small businesses could include consulting, web design, or typing services.

When I set out to get a license, I had no idea what the process involved. You might be in the same boat, so let me share with you how MY town does it.

After making a call to my local city hall and discovering I did indeed need a license, I made my merry way there to collect the necessary paperwork. On the same visit, my name was put on the books for my license to be discussed at the next town council meeting.

I had a week to fill out the paperwork, which consisted of some basic, personal information and a section requiring me to describe what I do. The part I did NOT expect was having to visit seven of my immediate neighbors asking them permission to conduct my business in my home. The conversation went something like this…

“Hi, I’m here asking if you wouldn’t mind signing this form giving consent for me to sit at my desk and type on my computer.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

To the last one, they laughed, shook their heads in wonder, and happily signed. Of course, if I was a machine repairman who wanted to fix washers and fridges in my garage, they might be thanking the city for making people get their neighbor’s permission…

Forms complete, I turned them in and waited for the city to deliver my lawn decor. Yep, lawn décor. The city placed a “public hearing notice” in my yard that had to remain in place for three weeks—until the actual hearing. This was to inform the rest of the neighborhood that they were welcome to come to the town council meeting and protest, if they so desired.

The evening of the council meeting came, and I made my obligatory appearance. Just like they do at such meetings on TV, I was asked to come to the podium and speak into a microphone. Way cool. The chairman asked me to state my name, address, and give a brief description of what I do. After that, he asked if anyone wanted to object to the town allowing me to conduct “said business” on “said property.”

No one did. Shocker.

I was allowed to leave the meeting and advised to pick up my license in two days. I did. But not before forking over the pro-rated fee of $64.00. Come January, along with the rest of the business owners in town, I’ll renew my license. It should be around $120/year.

It feels like a lot for someone who earns as little as I do, but when I swiped my little business debit card, I did so on the faith that, soon, $120 wouldn’t be a suffocating, drain-your-account kinda number.

In two weeks, I’ll tell how that little step of faith is doing just that.

In the meantime, give your city hall a buzz and ask what your local laws are. What did you learn? I’d love to know!

–April W Gardner is an award-winning author, an editor,

and the founder of the literary contest site, Clash of the Titles

Posted in Authors, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Promotion in Motion: Maureen Lang’s Bees In The Butterfly Garden

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 11, 2012

About the Book:

Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue’s finest, Meg Davenport has all she’s ever needed . . . but none of the things she’s wanted most, like family, or dreams of a future that includes anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn’t the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.
Poised to lead those loyal to Meg’s father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York’s wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

 

Maureen, can you share what do you love about this book?

I love the pure fun associated with this book. I’ve enjoyed the romantic aspects in all of my previous novels, but most of them have had either a war or some other serious element included (such as a child with a disability—important, but more serious). This book, while it does have a message of God’s love and forgiveness included, was more lighthearted and romantic in its theme. It’s not comedic, but Bees In The Butterfly Garden was a delight to write from beginning to end, and I think it shows.

 

What’s the main thing you learned during the process of writing and publishing this book?

 I’ve always suspected that the more fun an author has with a story, the more readers will enjoy it. I’ve found that to be true with this one. It’s a story that leaves a smile on a reader’s face, just as it did with me when I wrote it.

As with every book I write, I loved the revision stage. When I turn in a book, it’s the best I can do. Some gradually shrinking side of my brain still wants to hope that my wonderful editors won’t find much for me to revise—but then we have a detailed discussion and I come away with all kinds of ways to improve the story. This time through, my hero needed to be taught a tough lesson, one I hadn’t been willing to put him through during my first draft. It was funny when my editor mentioned what she thought needed to be done, because I was already saying the same thing in my head. Having some time away from the project, the time between turning it in and having the revision discussion, gave me the fresh eye to see some of the needs.

Maureen, what should your readers discover and want to share with their family and friends after reading this book? 

Readers will be reminded that even though we make mistakes, God loves us. His grace is always there for us, if only we want to receive it. I want someone to hand this book to another reader and say something like: “This story reminded me that God knows me and loves me anyway.” That’s what I felt while writing it.

 

About why I write my books…

All of my books were inspired by something specific. My war books go back to my childhood, hearing my dad and uncles “discuss” the war (although that was World War Two and I wrote about the First World War). I was too young to follow most of that, but I knew all that war-talk came with great emotion. With my “disability” books—i.e., a book that includes a child with a disability—those came from my everyday life, being the mom and an aunt to handicapped children. Bees in the Butterfly Garden is the first book that came out of a title. Usually I’m title-challenged, but one day I was looking out at my garden, one I’d planted with the hope of attracting butterflies. All I saw were two huge bees. Feeling sorry for myself, I said “I don’t get butterflies; all I get are bees. Bees in the butterfly garden.” But hey! I stopped what I was doing immediately (writing another book, actually) and wrote that down, because I recognized that it would make a great title. All I needed to do was write a book to go with it. And I did.

 

About the Author:

Maureen Lang is a reader who figured out at a very young age how to write what she wants to read. She penned her first novel at age ten, and has been writing ever since. In fact, she’d rather be writing or reading than doing just about anything else—but with a family and a dog depending on her for breakfast, lunch and dinner, she feels like she’s in the kitchen more often than at her desk or in her favorite chair with a book. Maureen is the author of a dozen books and has been nominated for a Christy, Rita and Carol. She’s won a Holt Medallion and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, but none of that compare to the day her daughter told her she was a good writer. Ah, recognition at home is rare indeed. Visit Maureen on the web at www.maureenlang.com

Posted in Author Marketing, Author Spotlight, Life Experiences, Writing | Tagged: , | Comments Off

Karin Beery shares about writing

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 5, 2012

NOTE: Sorry, people, I’m caught flat-footed this week as I have not been a good planner of my time this summer. I do plan to return to the Senses in Writing posts next time, Lord willing.

On that note, I pulled up a friend, Karin Beery’s, post on Making the Time to Write.

You CAN Find the Time to Write by Karin Beery

Original Date: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:20 am ((PDT))

About Karin:

Freelance writer/editor/coach, part-time accounting assistant, part-time homemaker.

I started writing to write a novel.  I continue writing because I love this job.  I’ve written for many local and national periodicals, have edited 200-wordpress releases and edited 65,000-word novels.  Whether I’m writing my own stories or helping others develop theirs, I put all of my passion and talent into each job.

NOTE: Since this original post, Karin’s home life has changed :)

Making the Time to Write

I can plan a wedding in three weeks. I can coordinate a sales retreat for 200 representatives. I can even figure out a work schedule for thirty employees working 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’ve done it all. So why do I struggle to find time to work on my manuscript?

After months of frustration and feeling guilty for not meeting my writing goals I’m finally settling into a pattern that works for me. If you’re like me (not the over-the-top-planner, the
struggling-to-find-time-writer), I think I can help.

There were two areas in my life that I had to look at:

When I Work and

How I Work.

Once I could answer those questions I started to see progress. Here’s how:

When I Work: I don’t have a schedule. I wish I did. I thrive in a structured environment. Public schools worked for me because I like knowing where I’m going, when, and for how long. When I worked in hospitality I worked on random days and at random hours, but I knew how long my shift was and what I had to complete each day. I graduated top of my class and both of my former employers still ask me if I’d consider coming back. I was that good.

Despite all of that, I’m a horrible freelance writer. It’s not because I can’t write, but because I’m on my own. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do. My newspaper deadline is “Tuesday night”. Okay, but when? 5 pm? 11:59 pm? I need specifics.

As if that lack of structure wasn’t enough, I’m also a substitute teacher. I don’t work every day, and when I do work it might be a half or full day. I have to be at the high school by 7:30 am and the elementary schools by 8:30 am. And that’s only one school district. The others vary, so my schedule does, too.

When I started going to conferences and reading books on writing almost everyone said to write a certain number of words per day. They also said to pick a time to write. Well, I trust these multi-published best-selling authors, so I followed their advice. I failed.

It’s easy to have daily goals and a scheduled time when you know where you’ll be and for how long each day, but I don’t have that luxury. I might get a sub call at 6 am. Sometimes I even get a cancellation. Either way, I have to be flexible.

When I noticed my lack of schedule I also noticed the futility in scheduling writing times and daily goals. If I can’t guaranteed that I’ll be in my office every morning at seven to write for two hours, then how can I force a daily goal upon myself? I can’t.

What I can do, however, is set weekly goals. I don’t know what each day will bring, but I know that I don’t let myself sub more than three days per week. And I also do my laundry and clean the house once a week. And since I’ve changed my writing goals from 500 words per day to 2500 per week, I’ve not only been meeting my goals, but exceeding them. That was my first revelation…when I work. Then I looked at my process.

How I Work: I am a natural procrastinator. I always have been, and I probably always will be. I don’t mean to do it. It just happens.

Take my part-time job at the local weekly paper and my Tuesday night deadline. I cover the monthly Planning Commission (PC) meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. I have an entire week to write the article, but I never start it until Monday. The only reason I write it on Monday is so one of the PC members can review it for me before I submit it to my editor (I tend to misspell last names). I’ve been attending the PC meetings all year. I never write the article before Monday.

This is true for most areas of my life. I work well under pressure, and when there isn’t any I put it on myself by waiting until the last minute. I hope to change, but I won’t hold my breath.

Because I know that I procrastinate I know that I won’t write my articles until the beginning of each week. Back when I was trying to meet daily writing goals, this caused a problem. I couldn’t sub all day plus write/edit/re-write/submit an article and write another 500 words on my manuscript all in one day if I also wanted to exercise, eat, sleep, and see my husband. The guilt and frustration of not meeting my daily writing goals pressed in on me…until I changed.

When I switched to weekly writing goals I removed all of that pressure because it gave me Monday and Tuesday to write for the paper and the rest of the week to work on my novel. That plan has continued to work for me! Since I know I won’t start my articles until at least Sunday
night (if I’m motivated), then I don’t worry about writing the articles over the weekend.  That gives me the freedom to work on my manuscript over the weekend without the deadline-guilt. I went from being a stressed-out, goal-failing writer who dreaded her assignments and manuscript to a woman who makes deadlines and enjoys her job.

For some of you, writing everyday works with your schedule. But for some of us, it doesn’t. I would LOVE to be able to do it, but if I truly want to write my novel (and I do…really, really, I do) then I have to find a way that works for me.

How about you? Do you struggle to make it work? The take a good look at yourself – who you are, what you do, and how you do it best. Fit your writing into that. Don’t try to remold yourself around the writing. It should become a part of you and your life – not the center of it. You have to find what it is that compliments what you’re already working with. That’s the point that I think I was missing. Because it’s not about when you write or for how long – the point is that you write.

From Lisa:

I first met Karin online a few years ago. She’s one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic people I know. And she’s a lot taller than me.

Posted in Encouragment, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The Writing Withdrawal of Doom

Posted by Luther D. Powell on August 30, 2012

Aside from these very blogs, I have not written much of anything since moving back to Bowling Green. Not because I haven’t had time, not because I’ve been seeing people and going places, but rather, I just…haven’t. Part lack of motivation, part depression, part watching-kung-fu-movies-with-my-roommates-instead, I suppose. What really blows my mind about the span of time without writing is that, last night, I wrote some. And by some, I mean a lot.

It happened out of NOWHERE. I didn’t even plan on it last night! I was drawing a bit, eating a lot, hanging around the apartment, then BOOM. Thought I’d sit down and take a peek at the ol’ MS. Filled three pages, no problem. Granted, that’s probably way less than the average published-novel-author, but for me, after having gone so long without it, it was like Heaven. Listening to music, admiring my fancy-schmancy new font, lounging with my laptop on the bed. It felt great.

Writing has become my medication. Too long without it, and my mind grows numb. I don’t get writers block too often, I’ll just have phases where I don’t feel like writing. I get plenty of ideas; most of them I grab from my daily life. The parts of my life that I wish I could tell others about but can’t quite vocalize, I write into the characters from my imagination. My experiences bleed into these word documents and journals, and I feel like although I come up with cool and new ideas, I don’t really gain from them until I can see the words in front of me. I learn as I write. So then, how is it that I can just bail out of it suddenly and go a while without it? I don’t understand it, myself.

See, with art, drawing and all that, I don’t even have to feel like drawing to get a nice drawing done. If I know I have to complete something, I do it. That’s not the case with writing. I really need to feel it first, but half the time, I’ll feel like it and be in class or something else that prevents me from separating my conscious mind from body. What are some ways that you, readers and writers, hold tight to the writing-fire? How do you avoid the withdrawal?

It’s so odd to me, that I could get depressed and NOT feel like writing, because most of the times that I feel like writing (sad as it sounds) are spurred on by my more negative emotions. When I’m not enjoying the world I live in or the life I’m living, I invest more into the lives I create in my head (context is EVERYTHING). So, what do I need to do to get myself in the mood without being in a lame mood? Truly, writing horror has always been heavily-motivated by sadness and gloom, (just ask Edgar Allan Poe!… yeah…) but it doesn’t have to be. My writing doesn’t THRIVE on sadness and gloom, that’s just the most ideal state for me to be in whenever I want to come up with something uber-creepy.

Am I the only writer who gets these moments of withdrawal? I can admit, being a Christian and wanting to write for God, part of me believes that the enemy finds much pleasure in distracting me from my writings, though it’s hard to recognize some distractions. When you’re a writer, doing anything other than writing can become a ‘distraction’ if you think about it that way, but one must live to understand how to give characters life. So then, what am I living which has pulled me away from the lives of all my brain-children? How can I replenish my dose, get my fixes consistent again? Advice is much appreciated, readers! God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Anxiety, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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