Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Hugh W. Roberts, Yecheilyah Ysrayl and Bette A. Stevens

Check out The Road to Freedom’s Update in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore. Also meet Hugh Roberts and Bette Stevens. ⬅✒💻📚

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore UpdateWelcome to the first of the bookstore author updates this week. To start us off is my own review of Glimpses, the short story collection by Hugh W. Roberts. Glimpses has been sat on my desk since before Christmas and I have been dipping in and out in the last couple of weeks enjoying the 28 stories. Some I have read before on Hugh’s blog but nevertheless there is always something new to discover in each of the tales.

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About the book

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book. Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are…

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Editing For Emotion

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As I enter another revision stage for Book #3 in The Stella Trilogy, and I prepare for that final edit, I found this article extremely helpful. While we hear a lot about action and keeping the story moving, it is true that you don’t hear much about editing for emotion. I know many people do not click third party links, but I discovered this article written by Laura Drake that hit the nail on the head. To the authors credit, I will only post an excerpt of the article. Please visit Laura’s website for its entirety.

The Most Important Edit No One Talks About By Laura Drake

“Everyone knows about ground level edits – copy/line/stylistic edits that look at sentence structure and grammar – they’re small, but important.

We all know those two edits are critical.

But there’s another edit that is very seldom talked about, that could take your manuscript from good to sold.

I call it the 5,000 foot edit. It’s the edit for EMOTION. I don’t care if you’re writing a romance or a legal or espionage thriller; if you don’t have a solid bedrock of emotion in your book, you’re not going to have readers. It’s what they come for! Think of your favorite author. Why is he your favorite? I’ll bet right up there with plot, is the emotion. If we don’t have emotion, the reader won’t care about your character. And that’s a story-killer.

Have I convinced you? Okay, let’s move on to how to do this thing.

In a book, regardless of genre, the character has to grow, right? So you need to follow the character’s arc, and be sure it happens in a timely, logical fashion. It’s okay if the character grows in fits and starts, or even if they progress, then back up a few steps. As long as their character arc doesn’t look like this:

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A problem I’ve seen (and had) is that the character seems bipolar, going from laughing to angry to loving in three paragraphs. For emotion to be satisfying, it has to be deep. Take those three paragraphs, and dig deeper. It doesn’t mean you have to turn three paragraphs into three pages – sometimes a visceral hit and a one sentence reminder of the emotion will do:

This is from my RITA winner, The Sweet Spot:

The red flowers had some brown edges, and looked a bit bug-eaten. She’d planned to stop at Wal-Mart and pick up a bouquet on the way to the cemetery, but . . . Her stomach settled a bit. “These are Benje’s flowers. He’s not going to care about a few bugs.” She headed for the tool shed, to find her clippers.

I added a sentence of dialog that added emotion – a reminder to the reader of an emotional memory: working in the garden with her child (the child she’s going to visit in the cemetery). See?

No matter what genre you’re writing, not all scenes are action. If they are, you’re going to wear out your reader in no time. It’ll be a fast read, but also, unsatisfying, because in action, you can only show flashes of emotion – like paint splattered on a canvas, rather that brush-stroked on. You need what Dwight Swain, in his book, Techniques of the Selling Writer (a ‘must have’ on your craft shelf, IMHO) calls a ‘sequel scene’.

A quiet scene, where the POV character can reflect on what just happened, and compare the results to his world-view. These are the scenes that move him along his growth arc. You can only do that by getting deep into the emotion – because that character’s flaws in his world-view usually come from damage in his childhood: abuse, neglect, or even over-indulgence (poor little rich kid). And that’s emotional. Be sure you’re plumbing all that good stuff.” – Laura Drake

Finish Reading

Are You Just Seeing Your Writing on The Side?

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“Is your writing going to be a lover in the center of your life? The thing you pulse toward, the fever in your soul? Or is your writing life more of a casual crush, something you think about, but don’t do much about? You know how when you are in love, lying with your lover, time stops–goes so fast and doesn’t move at all? You feel mushy and goopy, and you are wet and hot and cool and loved and lovely, all at the same time?

Here’s the thing, there is one way to make time stop. And only one way: Fall in Love.

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When you have a lover or a baby, you fall out of time, and into the beloved. Love is the only time in our lives when we are out of time. To create a writing life, you will need to fall in love–deeply, seductively, passionately–with your writing life. It will become not a habit or a job, but a lover. If you keep it a second-string lover, your back-up lover, your Tuesday night sex-as-friends kind of lover, it might always be cranky with you. But if you make your writing life so lovely you can’t take your eyes off it, you will space out during meetings, and dream about it as you go through the day, just like when you’re in love. – Heather Sellers, Page After Page, Chapter 3

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Heather Sellers is an Award winning writer and professor who has taught writing workshops for twenty years, has a Ph.D. in writing and is an associate professor of English. Her book, Page after Page, is a great resource for writers looking to jump-start, begin, or keep the writing juices flowing. She presents great advice on how to dedicate yourself to writing, enjoying the process, and writing exercises to help keep you passionately, seductively, and totally in loooovveee with writing.

Things Bloggers Need To Stop Worrying About by Elena Peters

As I am accustomed to doing, if I can’t find a re-blog button for your article and I really enjoyed it I’ll share it the old school way: Link up.

So anyway I found this article on Twitter (after promptly following Elena) and I really love what she has to say about what bloggers need to stop worrying about. To her credit I am only going to except a few key points. Please visit her blog for the entire article.

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From Elena Peters Blog

Google/Alexa Ranking
I am no expert and unless you are on this topic or you can afford to pay someone to handle website optimization, you need to stop worrying about your ranking. I am not saying that you shouldn’t use Yoast, add keywords and complete alt tags on your pics. However, I find the excessive obsession with ranking a complete waste of time. I do what I need to do when I create a post and then I step away.

EC – Psst: (This is a good point. Good thing I don’t even know what Alexa Ranking is or Yoast for that matter lol)

Number of Followers
And by this I mean on your blog and all of your social media. I know a lot of people look at my accounts and see that I don’t always follow back. That is because I refuse to get on the follow me and I will follow your back train. You must understand that on some platforms, particularly FaceBook, having a huge number of followers that never look at your page actually hurts you. I personally have seen accounts with thousands of followers and no retweets, no likes and no pins. How did their huge following help them? In reality, not at all.

Automatic follow threads and follow backs do not necessarily bring you more traffic and can be a huge waste of your limited time. If it doesn’t work for you, stop.

Reciprocation
I am here to tell you that you don’t have to read, comment, like, tweet back, pin etc. to absolutely everyone that has been nice enough to do that for you. Unless you have figured out time travel or your days have more than 24 hours, you will never be able to keep that up forever.

Conversely, you need to stop obsessing with keeping track of which bloggers you have done the above for. Be understanding. Maybe that blogger that didn’t read or comment back on your post isn’t interested in your topic or maybe they have a niche of bloggers that they are already committed to sharing with. Don’t keep a scorecard.

KEEP READING ON ELANA’S BLOG

Something New: Embracing Change – Yecheilyah Ysrayl

My “Something New” Guest Post with Lisa Tetting. Thank you for having me.

Rebirth of Lisa

Try Something New Today!

Primarily, I would like to thank Lisa for giving me the keys to the house. It’s nice and cozy in here and you all look great! While I tend to be long winded, I have been given a copy of the house rules, so I’ll be brief.

Lisa asked me to write about newness today and I choose change.

We live in a world that celebrates routine and ritual, so it’s not always easy to embrace change. It is something that happens so frequently in our lives and yet remains something new; moving in and out of our day with the same glide as oil to a pan. Starting with a puddle and then auctioning pieces of itself off into different directions. But this is not easy for us to do; to forgo tradition for a road less traveled by. To be reborn in a way that blows our minds…

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Promo Flyer to Share – Guest Bloggers

Here’s a Promo Flyer for those who would like to assist me in promoting to fulfill this need. I need bloggers / writers interested in helping me to fill in on the weekends. All you would do is send me your posts via email and I will schedule it for the weekend if approved. I welcome everyone but would admonish new bloggers or bloggers looking to increase traffic in general, to apply. You have my permission to share this on your Facebook Pages, and Twitter. Please just link back to this post so people know how to apply.

Click Here if you would like to respond to this flyer. Serious writers/ bloggers only.

Living vs. Existing

Live this moment. It will soon be just a memory.

Write, Live and Love

I heard this question in a movie once:

“Are you living, or are you existing?”

To this day, I find it to be one of the most thought provoking questions I’ve heard.

It’s good to take moments to evaluate how your life is going. You need to ask yourself constantly if you are truly living or just merely existing. Many people have found themselves more in the category of existing, rather than living, and sometimes, once they realize it, it’s too late to turn back.

I have existed in this world for a long time. I would talk about my dreams and goals and everything I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted it to play out. I had a great life on paper, but when I asked myself what I was doing to actually live that life? Nothing. In order to truly enjoy life, you have…

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