Then and Now – Writing 1920s Fiction in 2017 – Guest Post by, Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

My monthly Guest Post with Chris. Writing 1920s Fiction in 2017 has its challenges. It is also a lot of fun. (I’ve been away from the blog lately but I’ll be returning soon.)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

One of the important pieces of research I must do for my books is to look at the differences between how we live today and how we lived in the early 1900s. In writing book one of The Nora White Story, for instance, I found myself researching some strange things, such as how the people bathed back then. It may sound funny but such details can make or break a work of Historical Fiction. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself doing weeks of research just for a single scene. Here’s an excerpt from The Nora White Story:

Sunday night baths were the norm but the boys got so dirty in the field that mom was bathing them every night. Nora and Walter would take turns drawing the water up from the well on the land, Nora would set it to boil on the stove and let sit for cooling…

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Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing – Uncovering the Truth about Vanity Publishers by @CuriouserEdit

Must watch video. I really dislike being used and I hate scams so I am sharing this info.

I think the key problem with this situation is that most authors don’t know much about Book Publishing. I don’t mean far as publishing our own books, I mean the publishing industry itself, how it works (I’m still learning myself). It’s easy for someone to pay someone to publish their book for them if they are interested in someone doing all the work but they don’t know that paying publishers is not how it works. Publishers invest in the author by providing everything (Book Cover, Editing, Formatting, ISBN, everything), and they make this money back in Royalties. As Shayla explains, that’s why it’s difficult to get accepted by a Traditional Publisher. If they are going to invest in your work they need to know your book can sell, otherwise they don’t get their money back. Of course, I’m not saying it should be all about the money but this is a business and that’s how it works. Anywho, here’s Shayla. (You can read the script HERE for the vocab.

 

This week in Indie Publishing

This week in Indie Publishing…

Author Don Massenzio

art1Literary Agent Breaks Down How to Win in Self-Publishing

The facts don’t lie. Everyone who publishes a successful book doesn’t have a deal with a major publisher.  Over the last two decades self-publishing has flourished and the books sold by independent authors have done amazing things in the industry, including winning awards, becoming national bestsellers and even landing television or movie option deals.  Whether you are working on a children’s picture book, a romance novel, a photography or business book, or writing your memoir, if you are choosing to self-publish the following tips will help guide your endeavors.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

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4 Steps to Create a Blog or Podcast That You and Your Readers Will Love

If you’re a self-published author, in addition to writing and producing your books, you must take on the responsibility of marketing them. The most successful author-marketers foster strong relationships…

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The Hard Truth About Publishing—What Writers & Readers NEED to Know

OK, last reblog of the day lol. Most informative post. Quote: “But these days reviews are more important than ever. I am not going to put in a one or two star and tank the author’s overall ranking because fiction is subjective. That author just cannot please everyone.”

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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As we careen toward the New Year, many emerging writers have a goal to finally publish that novel and I hope you do! But the arts are kind of strange. We often get fixated on the creative side, without really understanding the business side of our business.

The publishing world is still in massive upheaval and it is a Digital Wild West. Old rules are falling away and new ones are emerging, but still? Knowledge is power.

In my book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World, I go into a LOT more detail and I highly recommend you get a copy if you don’t have one. I spend the first chapters of the book explaining how the various forms of publishing work so you can make an educated decision as you are building your brand.

All types of publishing have corresponding strengths and weaknesses and this is…

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How Different Types of Reading Change Your Writing

Interesting post on how reading impacts writing. I’ve been saying this for years. Post Quote:

“This article describes a study in which a group of adult readers identified their most frequently read materials such as online magazines (and memes), newspapers, genre and literary fiction, and other written sources. Researchers then looked at the level of writing that each participant exhibited and found a correlation between what types of material people read and the complexity of their writing.”

Kristen Twardowski

You are what you read. That is a simple enough concept, but it turns out that it means more than just that people who read mysteries may become better at writing mysteries. What a person reads fundamentally changes the structure of his or her writing.

In June of 2016, the International Journal of Business Administration published “Syntactic and Lexical Complexity of Reading Correlates with Complexity of Writing in Adults”.  (You can read the full text of the article online.) This article describes a study in which a group of adult readers identified their most frequently read materials such as online magazines (and memes), newspapers, genre and literary fiction, and other written sources. Researchers then looked at the level of writing that each participant exhibited and found a correlation between what types of material people read and the complexity of their writing. People who spend most of their time reading Buzzfeed articles…

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Cane River Creole National Park – Oakland Plantation

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I took a week off to unplug and to spend time with my family. In addition to camping, we visited the Cane River Creole National Historical Park in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

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Reading and watching movies about slavery is one thing, but touring a former slave plantation is a completely different experience. I didn’t get very emotional but what I did feel cannot be put into words that many will understand. I will say for now that appreciation is my best way of describing it. As the sun lowered and we prepared to leave, I thought about what my ancestors would be doing at that time of the day. Thought about how they’d just be coming in from the fields to prepare for their nightly routines.

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Originally called Bermuda, the founder of Oakland was Jean Pierre Emmanuel Prud’homme who began farming the land in 1785 and received a Spanish land grant in 1789. The land’s first cash crops were tobacco, indigo, and cotton.

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The Prud’hommes were the first family west of the Mississippi River to farm cotton on a large scale.

The Overseer’s House

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Close Up: Check Out this Old School Stove

I also noticed the mud and straw still preserved from the original building of the house.

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Slave Quarters turned Home of Sharecroppers

After the Civil War, sharecropper and tenant farmers continued to live on the land up until the 1970s. They worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

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Wash House

Martha Ann, an enslaved Laundress, worked in the wash house in the 1850s. In the 1940s, her descendant, Martha Helaire earned $4 an hour working here as a Laundress.

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Bemuda Store

Opened after The Civil War, sharecroppers and tenant farmers continued buying their supplies from family and farming from this store until 1983. The Prud’homme family owned and operated the store. They also operated the Post Office located inside.

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Carpenter Shop

Slaves built and repaired plantation structures from this workplace.

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Mule Barn

Smokehouse turned mule barn. Built by the enslaved, they reused the smokehouse to accommodate the mules when the original mule barn burned down.

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Cane Syrup Pot

Used to make cane syrup. On some plantations, these style pots were also used to punish the enslaved and to boil them alive (as depicted in the movie “Mandingo”).

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The Big House

Porch and perimeter of The Big House. We could tour everywhere except the house. We were not allowed inside. It was something just to look at the trees whose thick branches bowed low. Shading the big house, cooling it from the LA sun and sheltering it from the River breeze, these trees line the walkway to the entrance of the gate and were built in 1825.

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Strangers Room

I don’t know what the strangers room is (Guest Room?) but it’s a room in the big house. I tried to take pics of the inside from the window. Looks like the original furniture is still preserved.

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Carriage House

The carriage house dates to 1820. In its earlier years, the east bay was used as a horse stall. The overseer had the horse saddled each day and tied to the chain so that it was available for riding and checking the fields

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Square Corn Crib and Cistern

Built around 1821 of hand hewn cypress logs, the corn crib was used to store grain for the plantation. Rain water was channeled from the crib roof into the cistern, which was 16 ft deep and held 4804 Gallons of water used for watering stock.

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Pigeoneer

There are several Pigeonnier’s on the land. The Prud’hommes harvested young pigeons for a delicacy called “Squab”.

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Chicken Coop

Hubby checking out the Chicken Coop.

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Fattening Pen

Chickens were bred, hatched and fattened in this area. Turkeys were also raised on the land.

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Randoms

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What I carried home with me was an even deeper appreciation for those little things we take for granted every day. I was headed back to the campsite to sleep in a tent, but I knew that eventually I’d be going home to a hot shower and a warm bed. As we packed up to leave the plantation, I considered what it would be like to be forced to stay. What it’s like not to have a home to go back to and nothing more to look forward to tomorrow than the same back breaking work. I looked at the children as they played and thought about how any of them could be taken away from their parents and sold. All of this is truths to which I am already familiar. As a researcher, I am familiar with the slave narratives and various accounts of the time. However, being there and standing in that spot produced a greater understanding of what it may have been like to live in that time.

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But, my revelations were not just in relation to the negative or dark history. As I looked around the land, I saw how the slaves built almost everything on it. It reminded me of how skillful and resourceful we are as a people. From our own shelters, to clothing, food, and shoes, I thought how empowering it would be to get back to building our own and that part of history left untold as to our true capabilities after chattel slavery had ended. Often deemed ignorant and illiterate, the truth is that blacks were only ignorant to the extent of American life. When it came down to working and starting businesses and networking within our own communities, this is where we prospered. It makes sense that after working for years as someone’s property that we would maintain the skills needed to cultivate and build on our own land. Thus, it occurred to me that many blacks were only lost when it came to adapting and assimilating into American culture.

Being that I drafted this post when we got home so it can be ready for you today, I’m going to crawl into this bed and get ready to catch up. A week off for me is like a month so let me get this sleep in now so I can get back to work. In the meantime, I’ll be scrolling your blogs to see what I missed. The grind continues.

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From Grammarly to WordRake: A Review of 6 Automatic Editing Tools

Writers check it out! Excellent editing tools for those self edits. Use them to edit your manuscript or blog post. But, as the article states,remember:

“An automatic editing tool doesn’t replace a human editor. Because language rules and elements of a good story can be so flexible, human eyes will always be superior to the rigidity of automatic tools.”

🌼Colleen Chesebro Fairy Whisperer 🌼

There are some great FREE editing tools here. Check them out! Just click the highlighted link at the end of this post to see the list. ❤

Which automatic editing tool is best for writers? We tested six popular options.

Source: From Grammarly to WordRake: A Review of 6 Automatic Editing Tools

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