Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sensory Science-Final-Part 4: SENSE OF TIME, w/Jeanne Marie Leach-Writing Talk Tuesday

let's-talk-writing-purple-banner-Jeanne

USING SENSORY SCIENCE FOR DEEPER DESCRIPTIONS


© 2015 By Jeanne Marie Leach


The dictionary defines the “senses” as any of the faculties involving sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, by which humans perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body. These five senses are the ones everyone learns about in school, and writer’s groups remind you to be sure to utilize them all.

However, in the scientific world there is no solid consensus among neurologists regarding the actual number of senses because of differing definitions of what actually composes a sense. Humans are considered to have at least six additional senses that include:

  • · Balance and acceleration

  • · Temperature differences

  • · Muscle and joint motion

  • · Pain

  • · Sense of time

  • · Direction


After researching these further, I’ve come to the conclusion that these extra “senses” are a valuable part of descriptions used in fiction stories, so as a fiction author, keep these in mind. Most of them are usually mentioned naturally as the need arises in a story, but a couple of them could easily be overlooked. Using these senses will definitely enhance the word pictures you create and will deepen the characters.

This week, I am focusing on the sense of time.

Sense of Time


One field of study within psychology and neuroscience is time perception, which relates to the sense of time. The sense of time differs from the other senses in that time cannot be exactly apparent. Humans can perceive short periods of time, as well as durations that are a significant portion of their lifetime. Many experiments have noted the relationship between perceived and measured time.

Although psychologists often agree that time appears to go faster with age. One day to an eleven-year-old would be approximately 1/4,000 of their life, while one day to a 55-year-old would be approximately 1/20,000 of their life. This is perhaps why a day would appear much longer to a young child than to an adult.

It is important to note this in our writing. Most of us have written about a moment in time that felt like hours had passed, when it was only a minute. Keep in mind that this particular sense occurs more and for longer periods of time the older the character becomes. Younger people would tend to experience these moments in real time. These people think it is unnecessary to make plans.

Another illusion of time can best be illustrated by two people each taking a journey that takes an equal amount of time. The person who covers more distance will appear to take longer than the journey covering less distance, even though they took an equal amount of time.

Some researchers attempt to categorize people by how they differ in their perception of time.

People with a present perspective of time have a tendency to believe that the actions in the present do not significantly affect the future. They don’t think an action taking place in the present will affect the probability of a future outcome.

People with a future perspective tend to believe that an action taken place in the present increases the probability of a future outcome. These people are very goal-oriented, with a high capacity to make conclusions about future results. They usually prepare task lists, use a calendar, and tend to wear a watch.

Time urgency refers to the need for a swift response or action to reach a particular goal. It can be described on an axis with a scale from high to low.

These two dimensions generate four types of personalities.

  1. Organizers -- high time importance and future time perspective. High awareness of time. Illustrated by scheduling tasks and activities and striving for higher-than-average achievement.

  2. Crammers -- high time urgency and present time perspective. Characterized by high awareness of time. Must wield control over deadlines. Very competitive, determined to achieve. Impatient.

  3. Relators – Low time urgency and present time perspective. Not given to care about deadlines or passage of time or taking risks. Acts impulsively, focuses on present tasks and on relationships.

  4. Visioners – Everything the same as relators, except they don’t focus on present tasks or relationships, but concentrate on future goals.


Writing application


I’ve already mentioned many ways you can apply the sense of time more effectively to your writing. When fleshing out our characters, be sure to include their time perspective. There will no doubt be a moment or many moments when their perception of time will be important to the story. Keeping the character true to themselves will create solid, three-dimensional characters.
Final note: This concludes the series that takes us beyond the five senses when writing our stories. By paying closer attention to these six “deep” senses, you’ll infuse better action and closer attention to details into your book.

 Thank you for this opportunity to unveil my latest discovery in the world of writing fiction.   Jeanne

 And we thank you, Jeanne, for sharing all this fascinating information with us.


Readers, if you missed the first three parts of this series, click on the links below:




About Jeanne:

JeanneMarieLeachJeanne Marie Leach is a multi-published author and freelance editor specializing in fiction and teaches courses on editing fiction. She is coordinator of The Christian PEN, a member of the Christian Editor Network, and member #46 of The American Christian Fiction Writers, where she received the 2012 Member Service Award. She teaches 32 weeks per year to editors on how to edit fiction and continually keeps abreast of current market trends and hones her knowledge of fiction writing and editing through classes and conferences.

-->>> For a special treat, please come back again next Tuesday for a discussion about REPEAT POLICE. I, for one, can’t wait to see what that’s all about.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

TWEETABLE:

[bctt tweet="#sensoryscience 'Sense of Time' #writingtalktuesday with author Jeanne Marie Leach. A great writing tip. Check it out!"]

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

To Do. . . or To Don’t

to-do-list-graphic

Have you ever found yourself with such a huge ‘to do’ list you don’t know which thing to do first…so you do nothing? You just sit there and stare at that list and sigh, or cringe, growl and gnash your teeth, want to scream, start pulling at your hair, try to ignore it, or all of the above?

The thing is, they’re all important, and they all need to be done. now, if not yesterday.  That list can not, and will not, be ignored.

This time of year has a particularly demanding ‘to do’ list, but I find myself with this type of issue quite often through the year, not just at holiday time.

So, what to do about it? No, I’m not offering some wise, sage advice. If I had any, I wouldn’t be writing this . . . I’d be whacking away at that list. Either that or I wouldn't”t have such a halacious list to begin with.

I’ve always had a problem with time management, as well as knowing how to separate the urgent from the important.

Knowing this, my creative mind has come up with the perfect solution.

  • I get a giant spinning wheel like the one on The Price is Right, or Wheel of Fortune.
  • I put one of my to do items in each of the slots around the wheel. If I still have room left, I duplicate those items until the wheel is filled.
  • Then I spin the wheel, and wherever it stops, I do that chore/item. Simple, huh? But wait…what if I don’t want to do that one? I just spin it again, right? Wrong.
  • This wheel is special. Wherever it stops, it locks up…no second spin allowed until that task is completed. Okay, I still don’t want to do that one, so I just walk away, right? Wrong again.
  • This magical wheel has the power to force me to complete the task it landed on. If I try to walk away, decide to do anything else, or deviate in any way, it ZAPS me. Hard!
  • It also knows exactly when I’m done, and will unlock the wheel for the next spin.
  • Oh, it also know if I have more time in the day to do another task, and makes me spin again, repeating the whole process.

Some gadget, huh?

On second thought, I think I’ll just figure out a way to manage those tasks on my own. The above sounds a bit drastic. So much for a fertile imagination.

Thoughts?

Silver_Christmas-white

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sensory Science Part 3: PAIN, w/Jeanne Marie Leach

let's-talk-writing-purple-banner-Jeanne

USING SENSORY SCIENCE FOR DEEPER DESCRIPTIONS

© 2015 By Jeanne Marie Leach

The dictionary defines the “senses” as any of the faculties involving sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, by which humans perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body. These five senses are the ones everyone learns about in school, and writer’s groups remind you to be sure to utilize them all.

However, in the scientific world there is no solid consensus among neurologists regarding the actual number of senses because of differing definitions of what actually composes a sense. Humans are considered to have at least six additional senses that include:

  • · Balance and acceleration

  • · Temperature differences

  • · Muscle and joint motion

  • · Pain

  • · Sense of time

  • · Direction


After researching these further, I’ve come to the conclusion that these extra “senses” are a valuable part of descriptions used in fiction stories, so as a fiction author, keep these in mind. Most of them are usually mentioned naturally as the need arises in a story, but a couple of them could easily be overlooked. Using these senses will definitely enhance the word pictures you create and will deepen the characters.

This week, I am focusing on pain.

Pain


Physiological pain signals near-damage or damage to tissue. The three types of pain receptors are the skin, joints and bones, and body organs. Recent studies show that pain is registered in a specific area of the brain. The main function of pain is to warn us about dangers. For example, we avoid touching a sharp needle or hot object or extending an arm beyond a safe limit because it hurts, and thus is dangerous. Without pain we would do many dangerous things without realizing it.

Writing application:


We’re talking about the physiological pain, not emotional pain. Both are used in fiction writing, and until now, authors mostly described pain as being sharp or dull or constant or terrible, and innumerable other basics of pain. Imagine how deeper your descriptions will become when you mention the receptors in your description.

Example: Due to sticking her arm out the car window for two hours, the skin on her right arm inflamed and each nerve ending shot miniscule bullets to the reddened forearm. She cradled her forearm close to her, but it did nothing to assuage the pain. Why hadn’t Daren awoken her earlier? Didn’t he notice her arm burning in the sun? Now they’d have to make a stop to get some aloe cream . . . the sooner, the better.

Instead of having someone get a “sharp pain in their side,” have them pinpoint the exact area. I’ve experienced kidney stones, an inflamed appendix, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. To this day, I can tell you exactly which one of these pains I’m having. By lying still and concentrating, I can pinpoint where inside of me the pain is coming from. I can tell if it’s high (kidneys) or low (bowels) or unusual (appendix). Not all of your fiction characters will be able to do this because they haven’t experienced these specific pains before. But they will be able to tell you if it’s deep inside them on the right side, whether it’s high or low, whether the pinpoint is radiating pain across the whole midsection, and many other specifics. These details will take you deeper into the POV character’s experience and will make it more real for the readers.

let's-talk-writing-purple-Jeanne

Jeanne Marie Leach is a multi-published author and freelance editor specializing in fiction and teaches courses on editing fiction. She is coordinator of The Christian PEN, a member of the Christian Editor Network, and member #46 of The American Christian Fiction Writers, where she received the 2012 Member Service Award. She teaches 32 weeks per year to editors on how to edit fiction and continually keeps abreast of current market trends and hones her knowledge of fiction writing and editing through classes and conferences.

 

If you missed the previous posts in this series by Jeanne:

Find Part 1 HERE

Find Part 2 HERE

Be sure to return next week for Part 4: Sense of Time, the final post in this series.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

COTT's Oct/Nov 2015 Champion!







Thank you to our viewers, fans, and voters—this was a near record-setting post view for our five authors. Congratulations to all of your and thank you for participating. Some of the comments you received include:




  • Thank you for producing such amazing Christian fiction!

  • All of them are beautiful covers.

  • The world of writing may be hard, but you all have already done more than many people dream of doing by finishing and publishing a book. Keep writing, and best of luck.

  • Keep on writing and telling your stories!

  • Keep writing! Keep believing!

  • Love these covers, all!

  • All look like great books, but the cover of Sound of Silver really grabs me the most.

  • Voted for After! A lovely book inside and out.

  • Love the covers of "After" and "Love's Christmas Past" but am most excited to read "Sofia's Tune" first. Who doesn't love a good secret? Excited!

  • LOVE your work, Rachelle!

  • Good for you, Janet Sketchley, for having your book included here.


 Certainly all wonderful, but...there

 

                          Can


                                    Be


                                           Only


                                                      One

 
Congratulations to this month’s Champion, Cindy Thomson, and Sofia’s Tune!


Released November 1, 2015

Ebook - $4.99

Print: $14.99









In Sofia’s Tune, we meet Sofia Falcone, a young woman who has been living in New York only a short time when she is stunned to discover a family secret, one that soon sends her beloved mother into a mental institution. Scrambling to keep her job and care for her mother, Sofia is convinced confronting the past will heal all wounds, but her old world Italian family wants to keep the past in the past.

 

During this time, she encounters Antonio, a Vaudeville pianist with a street-smart dog, seeking to discover why his father was mysteriously killed. Their crossed paths uncover a frightening underworld in Little Italy. Bringing the truth to light may cost Sofia’s mother’s sanity, Antonio’s career, and the livelihoods of countless immigrants. Change is on the horizon, but it may not bring what they expect.

 











Q & A With Cindy


·       Sofia’s Tune has a musical theme. What can you tell us about the meaning of “tune” in this story?


Antonio is a vaudeville pianist who dreams of becoming an accomplished concert musician. His dog resembles Nipper of the “His Master’s Voice” advertisement for gramophones. There is plenty of music in this story, but the title refers to changing your tune, finding a different path for your life, as both Sofia and Antonio must do.


·       Tell us about the dog on the cover.


Luigi is Antonio’s faithful companion who keeps reminding people of the dog listening to his master’s voice on the recording, as I mentioned. He’s well trained and a good judge of character. I really enjoyed adding a canine character to the story. Dogs are such an important part of many people’s lives. He is Antonio’s dog, but he really likes Sofia, as you can see on the cover!


·       What’s next?


Sofia’s Tune is the final novel in the series. However, I am planning on a novella, a sort of  prequel, which will tell Mrs. Hawkins’s story. Mrs. Hawkins runs a boarding house for immigrant girls. Her story is told very briefly in Annie’s Stories. This novella will be free exclusively for my newsletter subscribers. (You can sign up on my web site.)

Next summer I will be releasing the sequel to my first novel, Brigid of Ireland. The stories are set in 5th century Ireland, and weave in a bit of fantasy and adventure. They are somewhat different from the Ellis Island series, but are still representative of our ancestors’ stories that should be passed down for us to carry on their legacy of endurance, faithfulness, and wisdom.


And speaking of wisdom, Sofia’s name means wisdom, and I hope readers will be inspired by the music in the book trailer, written by my friend from Northern Ireland, singer/songwriter Andy Rogers.



 
Cindy Thomson is the author of seven books, including her newest novel, Sofia’s Tune, the third book in her Ellis Island series. She also writes genealogy articles for Internet Genealogy and Your Genealogy Today magazines, and short stories for Clubhouse Magazine. Most everything she writes reflects her mission of “Writing the stories of our inheritance." Visit her at www.cindyswriting.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cindyswriting and on Twitter: @cindyswriting



Friday, December 18, 2015

Julie Arduini has a great Christmas deal for you!

I am pleased to welcome author Julie Arduini to Whispers in Purple today. She is here to share some news about her recent writing endeavors. Take it away, Julie!

purplebar2_ltbkg

THE HEART SEEKERS SERIES NOW IN PRINT JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS

When readers ask me what do I like most about working with a publisher, my answer always is I appreciate being part of a team. Write Integrity Press authors are known and respected for marketing each other, not just themselves. That means a lot to me.

One of our team projects is THE HEART SEEKERS SERIES. These three novellas are comprised of A DOZEN APOLOGIES, The LOVE BOAT BACHELOR, and UNLIKELY MERGER. What was so fun about the stories I was involved in (THE LOVE BOAT BACHELOR and UNLIKELY MERGER,) was that we posted our chapters online and had readers vote for the heroine and hero they wanted to see close out each story. Even though my characters didn’t “win,” I can share that all of us authors were as excited to learn the ending and just as conflicted as to what character should win.

With Christmas a week away, THE HEART SEEKERS SERIES is now available for the first time in print. Anyone that purchases either the Kindle or print version not only receives those three stories, but updates on all the characters. Also included is the #1 bestseller, THE CHRISTMAS TREE TREASURE. It’s a perfect Christmas present for the romance reader on your list.

My hope is a new crop of readers will come to love the characters and settings across the USA and Caribbean. In THE LOVE BOAT BACHELOR, I was able to write Nora Laing, a caregiver on a cruise as part of a compromise. For years Nora stepped in and helped her sister and her nephew, Jimmy. With her sister newly married, they are all struggling with their new roles. So much so, Nora’s asked to go on the honeymoon cruise with the whole family. Meeting Pastor Brent Teague and listening to his wise counsel gives Nora the courage to start to find life for herself.

My heart is to write surrender issues and chocolate, so I love Nora because she has to surrender what’s comfortable and take steps beyond what she can see and trust God has the perfect plan for her. Not only did I love Nora, I loved where they were docked, Cozumel. Her shopping excursion with Brent was based on my own shopping experience with my husband.

In UNLIKELY MERGER, Landon Gates runs Lakeview Inn, located in the Finger Lakes Region of Watkins Glen, New York. He’s trying to expand the activities the inn offers as well as transform it into a training place for young adults with special needs. Because he care-gives for his sister, it’s important to him to make the place attractive to tourists and home for his sister, Kaili, and her peers. It’s more than he can handle, and he has to ask Lacewell Limited to consider taking the inn on as one of the business ventures.

Landon was my tip of the hat to my family and the area I lived in before moving to Ohio. My nephew’s name is Landon, and woven into my chapter are places and foods I miss and long for readers to love as much as I do.

I would love for everyone reading today to consider THE HEART SEEKERS SERIES for their loved ones, and for them, too. Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

To purchase THE HEART SEEKERS SERIES, click here.

About Julie:

september2015ja

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the Amazon bestseller, ENTRUSTED, and co-author of THE LOVE BOAT BACHELOR and UNLIKELY MERGER. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE.

11223792_942478115817837_8109467507573719711_nEntrusted FRONT Cover_edited

Thank you Julie, for sharing with us. It’s been  a pleasure hosting you today.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Her Candy Cane Christmas, by Bonnie Engstrom

clip_image002Devastated by her fiancé’s abrasive treatment, Noelle cancels her wedding, including the flowers from florist Braydon Lovejoy. Can love bloom again in California? Will a Santa propose to her?

Noelle Day finally has the courage to break off her ill-fated engagement with her volatile fiancé and cancel their Christmas wedding. It’s embarrassing, and she has to share the humiliating reason with her friends The Candy Canes. The other five girls were to be her attendants in red taffeta gowns.

When she faints and falls into the arms of Braydon Lovejoy, the now former wedding florist, Braydon is confused by her abrupt manner. Who is this beautiful woman with the sepia hair and the huge brown eyes? Is she a damsel in distress as he suspects? He prays for an opportunity to find out.

Then he backs his delivery van into her precious red car, and he’s sure she would never go out with him, especially since he was hired to deliver a huge bouquet of roses to her from a secret admirer.

Noelle is confused how to respond when Bruce, the school principal, physically forces himself on her. After all, he is her boss, and she’s just a first year English teacher.

She finally accepts a lunch date with Braydon, and he takes her to Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar, California where she learns he is the local rose expert. But, Noelle worries their friendship is happening too fast and calls a respite.

One of the Candy Canes has a tragic accident, and the women bond together. But Braydon, who is not sure why he is involved, becomes their anchor.

Will Braydon’s prayers heal the hurts, physically and emotionally? Will the injured Candy Cane forgive the woman who caused her accident, the woman who is related to Bruce the principal? Will Noelle ever have her California Candy Cane Christmas?

A little bit about this book: Her Candy Cane Christmas has been festering in my heart for over five years. It started out as a possible story in a novella collection. The primary author dropped out because she didn’t like that I wrote about abuse, even though it is all off stage and gets resolved. Thus, the collection did not happen. However, I like to write about real problems that often happen in real life. So, what began as Candy Cane Roses became Her Candy Cane Christmas. It is still set in Newport Beach, California where it began. And, it does have a happy ending with all problems and distress resolved. It is a story that I believe needed to be told. I hope you do, too. Life has many struggles, but with God, faith can overcome them.

Please give me personal feedback, especially in my email. Just put BOOK in the subject line. Thank you.

My email address is: bengstrom@hotmail.com.

Please read my other stories on Amazon.com using my name Bonnie Engstrom to bring them up, or the titles of my stories:

  • Butterfly Dreams

  • A Winning Recipe

  • A Cup of Love

  • Her Culinary Catch

  • Her Candy Cane Christmas


Most of them are FREE if you have Amazon Kindle Unlimited. A great value.

About Bonnie:

clip_image004

Bonnie Engstrom and her psychologist husband, Dave, live in Arizona near four of their six grandchildren. The other two live in Costa Rica where they surf. But, they share their Arizona home with Sam and Lola, their two rescued mutts in charge of the household.

She used to bake dozens of Christmas cookies in November and freeze them so she would have a lot to pass out to neighbors. Now … well, that was a long time ago. Instead of cookies for Christmas, she writes. Her Candy Cane Christmas story set in Newport Beach, California, where her family was raised and where they have many fond Christmas memories, is perfect for gift giving. Or, for just cuddling up by the fire for an inspiring romance read.

She hopes you enjoy it and also gift it to special women in your life. Don’t forget to leave an honest review on Amazon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sensory Science Part 2, Writing Talk Tuesday, with Jeanne Marie Leach

let's-talk-writing-purple-banner-Jeanne

USING SENSORY SCIENCE FOR DEEPER DESCRIPTIONS

© 2015 By Jeanne Marie Leach

The dictionary defines the “senses” as any of the faculties involving sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, by which humans perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body. These five senses are the ones everyone learns about in school, and writer’s groups remind you to be sure to utilize them all.

However, in the scientific world there is no solid consensus among neurologists regarding the actual number of senses because of differing definitions of what actually composes a sense. Humans are considered to have at least six additional senses that include:

  • Balance and acceleration

  • Temperature differences

  • Muscle and joint motion

  • Pain

  • Sense of time

  • Direction


After researching these further, I’ve come to the conclusion that these extra “senses” are a valuable part of descriptions used in fiction stories, so as a fiction author, keep these in mind. Most of them are usually mentioned naturally as the need arises in a story, but a couple of them could easily be overlooked. Using these senses will definitely enhance the word pictures you create and will deepen the characters.

This week, I am focusing on muscle and joint motion and direction.

Kinesthetic sense (Muscle and joint movement)

Definition/Explanation:

The kinesthetic sense provides the sensation of movement or strain in muscles, tendons, and joints. This can be termed muscle sense and is the awareness of the position of one's body, including weight, muscle tension, and movement.

You use this sense in situations like closing your eyes and touch the tip of a finger to your nose. If your muscle sense is working properly, you won’t lose awareness of where your hand actually is, even though it is not being detected by any of the other senses. Muscle sense and touch are related in subtle ways, and their injury results in unexpected and deep shortages in perception and action.

Writing Application:

A large, upscale department store hires a woman and her team to dress their windows for the spring season. As the team works on staging light and airy scenes behind the windows, the owner of the firm requires help from one of her team, and a handsome, young man volunteers. With two step ladders facing each other, she climbs up one, and he goes up the other. While someone else hoists a large placard upward, the two on the ladders nudge it into place, their hands touching each other’s hand, and the woman becomes deeply aware of how close the man’s torso is to hers. She can “sense” his nearness, even though she’s focusing all her attention on the placard.

Direction

Directional awareness, most commonly noted in birds, is also found to a limited extent in humans. While bees and birds and animals like cattle possess a directional instinct with regard to the Earth’s magnetic field, man does not. Humans must rely on scientific findings in order to navigate their way in the world. While most people depend upon compasses and maps, there are occasionally people who can stand in a certain spot and instinctually “know” which way is north. Scientists disagree on whether this is a true scientific phenomenon or simply a fluke of nature, but they cannot deny the existence of this occurrence.

Writing application

When you create characters, you can determine whether they are one of the “unusual” people who have a keen sense of direction or if they must read a map in order to get out of a situation. Remember that reading maps, or noting the position of the sun or stars is a learned technique.

Example: You have a female protagonist from New York City who is on a first-time camping trip in the woods with her cousins. She needs to go to the bathroom, so she must walk a short distance before she can make sure nobody will see her. When she finishes, she walks back the way she came there, but somehow manages to miss the campsite. Not wanting to look stupid, she turns and keeps walking. Then she calls out for help, but nobody responds. What does she do?

You must determine if she has any survival skills. Does she know how to use the trees as a directional guide? Does she know how to tell direction using the sun? If she does know these things, then it must be written into the story somehow where she learned these tools. If she’s one of those unusual people who has a basic “knack” for finding her way, then that too must play into the story. You cannot just have her find her way through the woods without having established how she knows these things. Without this information, the story won’t be believable. A New York City gal who can find her own way back to her cousins just doesn’t sound right. . . unless. . .

Be sure to come back next week for Part 3: Pain!

If you missed Part 1: Balance and Acceleration, go HERE

About Jeanne:

let's-talk-writing-purple-Jeanne

Jeanne Marie Leach is a multi-published author and freelance editor specializing in fiction and teaches courses on editing fiction. She is coordinator of The Christian PEN, a member of the Christian Editor Network, and member #46 of The American Christian Fiction Writers, where she received the 2012 Member Service Award. She teaches 32 weeks per year to editors on how to edit fiction and continually keeps abreast of current market trends and hones her knowledge of fiction writing and editing through classes and conferences.

TWEETABLE: [bctt tweet="Sensory Science: Kinesthetic sense and directrion w/Jeanne Marie Leach, #writingtalktuesday, #whispersinpurple #writing"]

Monday, December 14, 2015

Subtle Changes

Those of you who have been following my Whispers in Purple blog for a while have witnessed numerous changes in themes and colors, among other things.

Such is the case today. WordPress (.org) has updated the theme I’ve been using, but it’s a subtle change. So I thought it would be fun to see if any of you can detect those changes. Unfortunately, because of the update, the old version is no longer visible.

But give it a try, anyway, and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

For some more fun in detecting subtle changes, below is a picture of the Little Debbie logo since 1960.

 

Little Debbie

This is just for fun. You won’t win anything Winking smile

List the changes you see in each of the three logo changes fro  1960 to 2013, and share them in the comments section below.

If you wish, you can post one comment for whatever changes you can come up with in the blog theme change, and another comment for the Little Debbie changes.

I thought I’d put this up for something different, and maybe provide a bright spot in your “Oh, rats . . . it’s Monday” kind of day.

Have fun with it Smile

Tomorrow is Writing Talk Tuesday, with Jeanne Marie Leach and Part 2 of her ‘Sensory Science’ series.

If you missed Part 1, just click HERE

Blessings,

holly_peg_cup-white

Merry Reading Stocking Stuffer Christmas Clash!



 
 
The Happiest of Holiday Reading to you!
 
This month we share five books and
 
seven authors with you -- some old friends and some new.
 
Voting starts today, December 9 and goes through
 
Midnight December 15, CST.

Vote now and leave the authors a word of encouragement both here and on the survey form. Share with other book lovers, and Come back Thursday
 
December 17 for the Clash of the Titles champion.
 
Which cover tickles your fancy? Which book would be next for you?
 
Scroll down to find the voting form.



Sixty thousand people watched Candace Rodriguez literally fall off the stage while performing the national anthem, wrecking more than her self-esteem. Will her new faith in Christ be strong enough to bring her to an After she could only dream of in her music, health, and love?
 
***
 
Three in One special shorter reads of romantic Christmases Past for the busy holiday season. From the nineteenth century Wisconsin farm family to a small town doctor fighting a flu outbreak to Medieval Britain lords and ladies...all need a Christmas miracle.
 
***


In 1903 New York City, Italian immigrant Sofia Falcone learns a family secret that sends her mother to the brink of insanity. When she meets a Vaudeville pianist whose own struggles cross hers on the streets of Little Italy, change is on the way, though it may not bring what they expect.

***


The stalwart saint fights for faith... the redeemed rebel, fights for honor. After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile and hope is not as easy as it may seem.
 
***


What if the plane crash that killed Amy's fiancé was no accident? Some questions need to be asked.
 
 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sensory Science Part 1, Writing Talk Tuesday, with Jeanne Marie Leach

let's-talk-writing-purple-Jeanne

USING SENSORY SCIENCE FOR DEEPER DESCRIPTIONS

© 2015 By Jeanne Marie Leach

The dictionary defines the “senses” as any of the faculties involving sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, by which humans perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body. These five senses are the ones everyone learns about in school, and writer’s groups remind you to be sure to utilize them all.

However, in the scientific world there is no solid consensus among neurologists regarding the actual number of senses because of differing definitions of what actually composes a sense. Humans are considered to have at least six additional senses that include:

  • · Balance and acceleration

  • · Temperature differences

  • · Muscle and joint motion

  • · Pain

  • · Sense of time

  • · Direction


After researching these further, I’ve come to the conclusion that these extra “senses” are a valuable part of descriptions used in fiction stories, so as a fiction author, keep these in mind. Most of them are usually mentioned naturally as the need arises in a story, but a couple of them could easily be overlooked. Using these senses will definitely enhance the word pictures you create and will deepen the characters.

I will focus on these “new” senses each week for the next four weeks.
Balance and acceleration

Definition/Explanation:

Balance or equilibrium is the sense which allows us to perceive body movement, direction, and acceleration, and to reach and maintain postural equilibrium and balance, gravitational force, head rotation, linear acceleration, and the direction of gravitational force.

Writing application:

There are times when balance and acceleration are both blatantly important to describe in your story, such as a skier going downhill. Without proper balance, this activity is impossible, so it is going to be a huge part of the imagery.

Then there are the more subtle times when these senses are used, and this is when good details will enhance your writing. For example: think about a person fleeing on foot from the police. They run around a city block. Everyone knows when a person has the momentum of running in a straight line, a sudden turn will throw off their balance. As a result, they will compensate for it by slowing down to make the turn, putting their arms out to maintain their balance, possibly stumbling, or grabbing hold of the building corner to keep themselves from falling over.

Just a quick mention of the sense of balance will take your description to a deeper level and give the reader a word picture that they’ll definitely “see” in their minds.

Be sure to come back next week for Part 2!

About Jeanne:

JeanneMarieLeachJeanne Marie Leach is a multi-published author and freelance editor specializing in fiction and teaches courses on editing fiction. She is coordinator of The Christian PEN, a member of the Christian Editor Network, and member #46 of The American Christian Fiction Writers, where she received the 2012 Member Service Award. She teaches 32 weeks per year to editors on how to edit fiction and continually keeps abreast of current market trends and hones her knowledge of fiction writing and editing through classes and conferences.

 

[bctt tweet="Balance & Accelleration: Using sensory science #sensoryscience in your #writing with Jeanne Marie Leach, Part 1."]

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December Thoughts with Carole Brown

It’s December

Desktop Wallpaper, December 2015. Virginia Tech.It’s December, and a busy time of the year it is. Plenty of time for writing, right? Not! What with the shopping, decorating, cards and cooking, plays and pageants, cantatas and practices, visits and schedules--hectic-ism (my word! LOL) abounds. And if we let it, there’ll be little time for writing.

Not good.

Or is it?

I realized several years ago, I needed to make a December change in my life. I could NOT accept every invitation, attend every play, spend as much, and do everything that was offered. It was too stressful, and the peace and joy and happiness was missing because of it. So here’s how I dealt with it:

  • Scale down and back. On the spending, our family was growing. As much as I adore them all, I had to set reasonable limits to how much I could spend and pretty much stick with that goal. Besides kids already have everything! Lol.
  • My attendance is not required at every December function! I’m a loving, caring person, but I’m NOT--as much as the world wants us to portray that picture--a super woman. Yes, I do a LOT of things, and yes, God is all powerful and willing to give me strength. But he also gave me a mind. I had to CHOOSE what is the most important and what is the most attractive to me and mine. Less is more during December.

By doing those simple things, I’ve found I’m still plenty busy, but can also find time to write, edit, research or plot. Best of all, I’m left with the peace and joy that comes with a simple and laid back schedule for December.

A few simple tips for your December writing goals:

  • Give yourself permission to “go easy” if necessary. Things ALWAYS come up. So be prepared and accepting that you might not get 10,000 words written every week. Shoot for less and do more if you’re able.
  • Adjust your work. In other words, if you can’t write more words in your manuscript, then edit or do a little research or some promoting.
  • Give yourself frequent breaks to relax, have fun, enjoy the kids or grandkids, or whatever else keeps you smiling!
  • Treat yourself to a simple or easy or cheap special that you seldom enjoy! You’ll come back to work better for it.

Most of all, realize what the season is all about. God gave us a very special gift. Now let’s give back to him: our hearts and our talents, by being all we can be and at our very best.

Merry Christmas!

Carole’s Featured Book:

Sabataged Christmas1 front cover3

Toni DeLuca, the Italian owner of DeLuca Construction, finds herself confronted with doubts about her father and his possible deceptions--all because of the mysterious pink notes she’s receiving.

Relations with Perrin Douglas who has a troubled history—but the first man in years who’s interested her--is building to a peak. Yet Perrin‘s own personal problems and his doubts about women and God, keep getting in the way.

Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business all converge to play a part in ruining Christmas for Toni’s employees. Will the mysterious person behind it all succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen?

Will this culprit destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams?

Buy the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Sabotaged-Christmas-Appleton-Romantic-Mystery-ebook/dp/B0186GF4GY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

About Carole:

CaroleAug14 (14) cropped

Brown not only has her award winning (2015 Winner of the USA Best Books Award, 2015 Small Publishers Book Award, RWA International Digital Award finalist, Clash of the Titles Laurel Awards finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now.

A companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel is also available.

The first book in her Denton & Alex Davies mystery series, Hog Insane and Bat Crazy, the second book are fun, lighthearted novels that not only deal with the mysteries the Davies land in, but relationships too.

The first book in a new WWII Spies Romantic Suspense series, With Music In Their Hearts are nostalgic, warm-hearted books that place readers firmly in that era. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

This month, Brown is releasing the first book in a new series, The Appleton, WV Romantic Mysteries: Sabotaged Christmas.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dialogue Techniques, with Leann Betts

My sincere apologies to Leann, and to my readers. This article was supposed to have appeared on Wednesday…but I totally spaced it. Partly due to computer issues, but that’s another story.

Anyway, please welcome Leann Betts as she shares:


Let’s Talk -- Dialogue techniques, By Leeann BettsDialogue-Wordle

Dialogue breaks up the narrative, the exposition, the description. Dialogue is a great place to show conflict, set up foreshadowing, and fill in backstory.

Let’s take a look at each of these purposes for dialogue.

  1. Show conflict: we don’t need fight scenes to show that two characters are at odds with each other. We can also do that through dialogue, both verbal and internal. Here’s an example:


Sally paused in the doorway. “Oh, Bob, I didn’t expect to see you here. How are you doing?”

Bob glanced up from his newspaper then returned to his crossword puzzle. “And why shouldn’t I be here?”

“I thought you were out of town this week.”

He peered at her over the top of his glasses. “Did you have something special planned while I was away?”

In this example, neither one answers the other’s question directly. Both seem suspicious of the other. Bob’s rude treatment by continuing his puzzle and then looking at her over his glasses implies something is going on, but their words could stand alone and you’d know there was some tension between these two characters.

Let’s use internal dialogue to show conflict:
Sally paused in the doorway. “Oh, Bob, I didn’t expect to see you here. How are you doing?”

She already knew the answer wouldn’t be good. Why do I even bother?

Bob glanced up from his newspaper then returned to his crossword puzzle. “And why shouldn’t I be here?”

“I thought you were out of town this week.” That’s what he’d said yesterday. Not that she could ever trust him to be honest with her.

He peered at her over the top of his glasses. “Did you have something special planned while I was away?”

In this example, we see the exact same dialogue, but now we hear a little from Sally. She sounds weary of the conflict, whatever it is, and she doesn’t trust Bob.

  1. Set up foreshadowing: foreshadowing is the technique of alerting the characters and the reader that something is going to happen, or might happen.


Marcus slumped in his chair. “I knew this day would come. And I knew I wouldn’t be ready for it.”

“Don’t be such a prognosticator.” His wife rubbed his shoulders. “Sometimes I think you’re the Grinch in disguise.”

He glanced at the empty mantel. “The kids are going to hate me.”

“And why should they do that?”

He buried his face in his hands. “I feel like I’ve stolen their Christmas.”

We see here that although his wife doesn’t realize it, he feels like he is the Grinch who stole Christmas. Using this dialogue builds the tension in the scene until we get to the reveal.

  1. Fill in backstory through dialogue, but never use “as you know” or over-explain the situation. The reader will get it.


Maggie sat. “What aren’t you telling me?”

How was he going to explain without telling her his entire life story? Again. “I went to see at eleven.”

She nodded. “I know.”

He leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees. “What you don’t know is that I died that same year.”

She gasped.

“And I was reborn.”

“How?”

“I recreated myself.” He sat back. “Our lives are based on a lie. And someone besides me knows the truth. Which means we’re in danger.”

In this example, he starts with one thing she already knows, then progresses rapidly into six facts she didn’t know: he died, he was reborn, he took on a false identity, he isn’t who she thinks he is (their lives are a fabrication), somebody else has found out, and they are in danger.

Hopefully you’ve seen some new ways to use dialogue in your writing. It doesn’t matter what genre you write, these techniques will enliven your dialogue and keep your readers turning pages.

Author Bio:

IMG_6534  Juggling the books -midsizeLeeann Betts pens contemporary mysteries and suspense in Denver, Colorado, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, writes historical suspense. When they aren’t writing about dead bodies, you can find them at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com or www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Leeann has book 1 in a mystery series out, No Accounting for Murder. Donna has a short story collection, Second Chances and Second Cups. Together they penned Nuggets of Writing Gold, chock full of articles and essays on the craft of writing. Their books are available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Thank you so much, Leann! I have to say I learned a few things from this article.

[bctt tweet="Learn new #dialogue techniques in your writing with Leann Betts @bettsleann on #whispersinpurple."]

Monday, November 23, 2015

Defining Historical Fiction ♦ Writing Talk Tuesday ♦ Donna Schlacter

let's-talk-writing-purple-Donna

Defining Historical Fiction,


By Donna Schlachter

One of the most popular genres in fiction writing continues to be historical, which spans, of course, all of history. Each period has its own sub-genres, along with its own set of reader expectations. Although there is general agreement on what constitutes a particular sub-genre, sometimes a publisher will be the deciding factor. For example, books set after World War 2 were rarely classified as historical until recent years. Now many publishers label books set up to and including the end of the Vietnam War as historical.

As with any other genre of fiction writing, knowing what genre and sub-genre your book fits into is important. First of all, acquisitions editors want to know because they need to be able to “sell” it to their publishing board. Unless the publisher is one of the big five or six, most will not publish multiple authors in the same genre in the same year. Secondly, book stores need to know where to file the book on their shelves. Also, online retailers will need to know what keywords to include in their descriptions for online buyers.
And all of this filters down to the reader: while a reader may read more than one genre, when they pick up a book, they want to know when and where that story is set. If they didn’t get at least the time period from the genre description, they may not pick up the book. And some readers stick exclusively to historic fiction, some even to the point of reading only Biblical fiction, Tudor, Regency, Victorian, Colonial, Western, World War 1, World War 2, or the more modern historicals set between 1950 and 1970.

Another quirk in the equation is that as the years go by, the definition for historical will change. In ten years, historical might include the Central American drug wars and the Miami drug wars of the 1980s.

A recent question that has arisen is, does the genre include only books written long after the event takes place, or do books written in that period now become historical because of the passage of time. For example, The Great Gatsby was written within just a few years of when the events happened, but now that is more than 90 years ago. We might consider that historical, but is it truly? Perhaps historical fiction can only be appreciated when written from a point of view where the author has the benefit of all that happened after the event.

The only thing we can count on about historical fiction is that while the history doesn’t change, the definition of what constitutes the genre will.

♦ Question: What is your favorite genre, and why?


IMG_6534 Juggling the books - smallerDonna Schlachter writes historical suspense from Denver, Colorado, while her alter ego, Leeann Betts, pens contemporary mystery and suspense. When they aren’t writing about murder, you can find them at www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com or www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com Donna and Leeann’s recent writing book, Nuggets of Writing Gold, released this month on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. Donna has a collection of short stories, Second Chances and Second Cups on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com, and Leeann’s debut novel, No Accounting for Murder and a devotional for accountants just like her main character, Counting the Days, are also available in digital format. Friend them on Facebook:

Donna: https://www.facebook.com/donna.schlachter?fref=ts

Leeann: www.facebook.com/leeann.betts.1

 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Behind the Stories: Alexis Goring

Please welcome guest blogger , author Alexis Goring. When Alexis agreed to be a guest on my blog, we thought it would be fun to have her tell us the Story behind the stories in her new release instead of an interview. She agreed, as you’ll see below.

Alexis A. Goring, Autumn 2014Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).

♦ ♦ ♦


Overview of Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories:

We live in a broken world in need of hope. So, I thought it was a good idea to write a collection of stories that revolved around characters in need of hope!

The three stories that comprise my inspirational romance novella were not written in order of publication nor were they written within the same time frame. These are simply three of my best stories at the time when I was thinking of pursuing publication (May 2011). I’d say it took on average, about three to four months for me to write each one of the three short stories in my book.

Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories was published in September 2013. Two of the short stories are set at Christmastime so it makes the perfect holiday gift! The stories, though printed within the same book, are not related.

I’d love to tell you about the “story behind the story” of each of my short stories inside the book…

Story behind the story of “Love Unexpected”:
A car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.

This story was founded on the idea of how love sometimes shows up when you least expect. It wasn’t based on anyone I know personally. But I must admit that I got my inspiration for Sebastian’s good looks from “The Rock” (pro wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson). Many ladies think he’s hot, that’s why Sebastian resembles him! ;)

Sebastian and Chandra are the two main characters in “Love Unexpected.”

Chandra is a career woman who excels in the workplace but doesn’t date. She keeps up a “Miss Independent” front but deep in her heart, she desires to be loved. Chandra is well-liked in the workplace because she is an excellent employee who is talented, dedicated and diligent. However, when it comes to love, it takes the natural matchmaking instincts and caring nature of Chandra’s boss Esmeralda to help Chandra emerge from her fortified shell.

Sebastian is a personal trainer for celebrities and he’s seen his share of attractive women. He’s used to making their hearts melt with his good looks and award-winning smile. What he’s not used to is the opposite of that reaction. So when he meets Chandra and finds that she is 100 percent resistant to his good looks and charms, he’s intrigued and he wants to know more about this woman. He must know why she’s not like the others.

I believe there are real-life “Chandra” and “Sebastian” types in his world and I hope their story brings encouragement to those people.

Story behind the story of “The Best Gift”:
Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.

I thought it would be nice to write a Christmas story that centers on the lives of three main characters: Christina, Jordan and Joshua.

I drew inspiration from my own life story when I created Christina because much like Christina, I too struggle with my weight. I upped the ante by giving Christina a desire to lose her extra pounds in time for her sister’s Christmastime wedding. I enjoyed writing her character and watching her fall in love (because you simply cannot leave that element out, especially when her only sister is getting married)!

I based Jordan on a few female peers who dated many different men, kind of like having a new flavor of ice cream every month. So I thought it would be fun to tell Jordan’s story through that lens, combined with some dramatic traits from a few “types” of females that I watch on popular television shows.

I did not base Joshua on anyone I know personally or even watched on television. But his “type” marinated in my mind until I thought it was a good idea to tell a fictional story about that type of man who loves passionately and does not want to give up on his dream girl, even after she breaks his heart. I threw in a few plot twists and before I knew it, the story ended in a way that I knew was best for Joshua’s mind and heart—just not in the exact way his type would want it, at least at first.

Story behind the story of “Peace and Love”:
Three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately earching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.

Another story that is set at Christmastime, “Peace and Love” revolves around three characters: Eric, Kristine and Elle.

Eric’s A-story is that he’s a family law attorney who wants to move past his personal drama of witnessing his parents’ separate and go through a heartbreaking divorce. But his B-story is based on the idea of how one day, someone will come along that will make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else. I think my readers—especially the hopeless romantics—will love Eric’s story!

Kristine is adopted. She is engaged to her college sweetheart Derek and she wants a missing piece of her heart (her birth mom) to be at the wedding in the New Year. So she hires a private investigator, hoping he will help her find her birth mom before Christmas.

Finally, there’s Elle. She’s the creative type, a “starving artist” who desperately needs steady work with steady pay. She drives down from Michigan to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area because she’s attending three local interviews and she hopes that one of those will be her dream come true.

Elle’s story is a lot like mine because I too am a “starving artist” who needs steady work with steady pay. Just like Elle, I’d like the opportunity to use my God-given talents in a capacity that is secure and pays well. I think readers will enjoy Elle’s journey and be surprised by the plot twists and timing of events. They too will wonder if her dreams will come true.

Closing thoughts for Peg’s blog readers: I hope you better understand the stories within my first book now and I’d be delighted to hear that you’re buying my book for yourself or someone else this Christmas! Smile

Purchase links:

Social media links:

Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Peg! God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Double-Feature with Patty Smith Hall

article-2020546-0B3C6CD200000578-128_468x403Dissecting the Male POV

Alright, class. Time to settle down because today, we have a lot of information to today on the fascinating, yet frustrating subject: The Male Point of View.

Why this particular subject? Because a large number of people who write have the XY chromosome combination and don’t have a clue as to what is going on in the mind of their male characters. It can be difficult to capture the male voice, frustrating at time. So after a great deal of research and in-depth study, I’m hoping I can shed some light on the subject for you today.

The Scientific Facts

As a medical professional with years of research experience, I like to start with the science behind male communication. Why do men communicate the way they do? Why don’t they talk as much as women? Is there a physiological reason they react the way they do in the heat of an emotional discussion?

First, a brief overview of the center of communication, the human brain. The brain has two hemispheres; the left which is the home of logic and reasoning and the right side which is the center of emotions, feelings, intuition and social relationships.

The differences between the male and female brain begin in utero. Male fetuses experience a testosterone bath between the 18th and 26th week of gestation that damages the connections between both sides of the brain, making each hemisphere work more independently of each other. This makes it harder for men to do things that require the use of both sides(language , expression feelings, managing emotions.) Men function best on one side of the brain than the other where as women(thanks to estrogen) can use both sides of her brain equally as well. Another interesting fact is that men possess a larger amydalae, a tiny set of glands at the base of the skull where highly emotional or frightening experiences are stored. This could explain why men have a greater ‘fight or flight’ response as well as flash back to the horrible even more often and with greater detail than women.

Men Really Are Like Waffles

This one-sidedness is also the reason why men are able to compartmentalize different areas of their lives into boxes and typically live in one box at a time. When a man is in one box, it’s as if the other compartments don’t exist. They give 100 percent of their attention to whatever they’re involved in at the moment and tend to stay in the box they’re most successful in—that can be anything from work to video games to anything, as long as they feel like they’re achieving something. They can also think of nothing at all and have the ability to ignore everything else around them.

What Does That Mean For A Writer?

We have to keep in mind the why behind the male way of thinking and communicating in order to create a more well-rounded character. It would seem odd to find a hero who loves to spend hours talking on the phone or get in touch with his emotions. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but if we intend to use such a trait, we’d better have a good explanation as to why our hero is like he is. Another example might be our hero might not understand why the heroine is having trouble sleeping because he has the ability to think about nothing.

Having a gasp of these facts will help you build realistic male characters.

♦ ♦ ♦


Patty


A Home for Christmas

Is she cursed?

All of her life, Margaret Cobb has seen the port wine stain on her cheek as a punishment for her mother’s death. But she dreams of a home and family. When the opportunity arises to be a mail order bride for a man in Angel Vale, Wyoming, Margaret risks everything familiar for her chance at happiness, only to be rejected once again. That is until assayer Avery Waldwin offers to marry her.

Or the answer to Avery’s prayers?

Avery Waldwin needs a mother for his young daughter, even if it means marrying a woman he’s never met. A marriage of convenience was all he’d hoped for, but there’s something about the kind, Godly woman that draws him to her. As the Christmas season approaches, both Avery and Margaret discover there’s only one present they each want under the Christmas tree—the gift of love!

♦ ♦ ♦


IMG_1250


Patty Smith-Hall is a multi-published author with Love Inspired Historical and Heartsong. She currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter. She calls North Georgia her home which she shares with her husband of 30+ years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters and a future son-in-love. Her next release, New Hope Sweethearts is now available on Amazon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Chat with Gail Kittleson in My Cozy Den

my-cozy-purple-den

Welcome to Whispers in Purple, Gail. So happy to have you here. Are you ready for a little chat with me?

Sure am! Thanks for having me, Peg.

All right! Let’s go. To begin, tell us 5 random things about you.

    • I grew up on an Iowa farm in the 1950’s and 60’s—a baby boomer.
    • I’ve studied French in southern France.
    • My husband and I lived in Senegal, W. Africa for about a year.
    • Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet, and poetry was my first genre to write.
    • I make a great cornbread that’s gluten, lactose, and sugar free.

What is the #1 thing on your bucket list?

Returning to southern France to follow the trail of the Waffen S.S. up through the Auvergne.

What are some of your favorite things to do OUTSIDE of reading and writing?

Hiking, bicycling, and taking classes at my very artsy daughter’s store—that means trying my hand at glass, mosaics, painting, and whatever else she dreams up.

It seems that when someone finds out you’re a writer you get “Oh, I’d like to write a book someday.” What would you tell them?

I’d say, someday is today. At my age, I figure TODAY is the day to do just about everything you’d like to do sometime in the future.

Describe your favorite writing place.

GK WorkspaceWe enclosed a little ex-front porch when we renovated our ancient house. Immediately, I wanted it for ME. The only problem is, it has no door, but I ought to create some kind of covering for the open doorway. Two walls are windows, so it’s light and airy, and one side looks out on the elementary school playground. A picture...maybe. I’m a quote-gatherer and constant note-writer, so my desk is covered with such, and the shelf in front of me has maps of France for my WWII series, maps of an area of Arizona for my 1860’s story, lots of Good Earth teabag quotes, and an array of other stuff taped to it.

I also have our children’s pics from ages ago in here, and of course, the grand-kiddos. One of my signs says, Live well, love deeply, be happy, and share the joy!

What’s on your nightstand right now?

A lamp, some essential oils I use at night, and one of my many pairs of Dollar Tree reading glasses. And probably a little dust—it’s about time to take care of that again.

As writers, we’re often told to read books in the genre we want to write. Do you think that’s good advice? Why/why not?

Great advice, if that’s the genre you love. I know some authors write in certain genres because they’re popular at the time, so they read fantasy (or whatever) because they want to write it. But I doubt that would work for me.

A fun question: If you joined the circus, what job would you want/have, and why? Smile

I’d be the lion tamer. Now, that’s a leap into fantasy, as I’m allergic to cat hair. But I choose this position because there’s a lion looking at me right now from my wall ...reminds me of Aslan. And my whole life has circled around taming the lions within—doubt, insecurity, low self-image, shame-based stuff. They are SO powerful, like lions. But I’ve learned that with time, tenacity, and courage, they can be tamed.

Okay, now let’s talk about your book.

InThisTogether_w9364_300

  • · Title: In This Together
  • · Publisher: Wild Rose Press/Vintage Line
  • · Release Date: November 18, 2015
  • · Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

Tell us a little bit about it and how you came to write it.

It’s one woman’s story of taming the lions in her life. Dottie, a WWII Gold Star mother (her only son died in the war), loses her husband as the war ends. She takes a job at the local boarding house, and finds meaning in providing clean spaces and nutritious meals for the male boarders.

One day, Dottie slipped into my consciousness, is all I can really say. I was in a big old house like the farmhouse of my childhood, and voila! It hit me that a person could work in a place like this, and from there, Dottie’s personality and the other characters emerged, little by little.

This book wasn’t my first, but it’s the first to be published. I find that interesting, because the others are a bit heavier, even though Dottie loses her only son in the war.. There’s a lighter feel for me about her story, lots of hope and encouragement. It is possible to overcome haunting fears, and second chances might just wait for us around the next corner.

Please give us the back cover blurb:

It’s 1946. Dottie Kyle, an everyday Mid-western woman who lost her only son in the war and her husband soon after, takes a cooking/cleaning job at a local boarding house. But when a new employee is hired, complications arise, and when they niggle Dottie’s “justice meter”, she must decide whether to speak up or not. At the same time, her daughter's pregnancy goes awry and the little California grandchildren she's never met need her desperately. But an old fear blocks her way. When the widower next door shows Dottie unexpected attention, she has no idea he might hold the clue to unlocking her long-held anxieties.

Give us the buy links where folks can purchase it.

Amazon.com,  itunes, Bookstrand.comAllromanceebooks.com Kobobooks.comnook.com and it will go to googlebooks on or about actual release day. 

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

Give us your personal/professional bio.

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My tagline, Heroines that Dare to Bloom, parallels my own long journey to blooming as a writer. Our stories are our best gifts. My husband and I enjoy gardening and grandchildren in Northern Iowa, and I facilitate writing workshops and women’s retreats.

WhiteFire Publishing released my memoir, Catching Up With Daylight in 2013, and my debut women’s historical fiction, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Imprint) released yesterday! I also contributed to the Little Cab Press 2015 Christmas Anthology https://www.facebook.com/LittleCABpress

Please feel free to contact me—meeting new reading friends is the frosting on my cake, as my heroine, Dottie, would say!

Thank you so much, Gail, for being my guest on Whispers in Purple. God’s blessings on you and your writing career.

Lighthouse of the Carolinas has contracted Gail for the release of her second women's fiction novel, A Purpose True, early in 2017. The series features three novels set during World War II.

To all those out there writing their stories, Gail says KEEP WRITING! That’s the best advice she’s received on this long journey to publication.