Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farm Auction

A little glimpse of my next story.

The auctioneer gave a brief description of the tractor. Darren knew all the rest of the details. What if I don't get it. What if I haven't saved enough. I have to have this tractor. For Abes sake. It was his first tractor and I want it to be my first tractor too. So many thoughts went through Darren's mind.
"Where would you like to start the bidding folks?" the auctioneer questioned.
There was silence. No one bid and no one moved. Darren had always been taught to wait and see how the bidding went. Time seemed to stand still. Why was everyone so quiet? Darren waited patiently.
"Do I hear one thousand dollars? This tractor is worth a lot more than that. Come on folks, get your hands out of your pockets and start bidding, " the auctioneer commented.
Darren couldn't believe it. No one was bidding. The auctioneer tried one more time. Again, no one responded. Darren didn't know what to do. He couldn't let the tractor go by.
"Well folks, I'm going to have to pass by this one. It's a shame, she's a beauty," the auctioneer stated with disappointment in his voice.
Darren couldn't hold back any longer. Out of his mouth blurted, "I'll buy it. I'll start the bidding at one hundred dollars."
"We have a bid, " the auctioneer announced. "One hundred dollars. Do I hear two hundred. Two hundred dollars. Two, two, two, two. Come on folks, this is a fine piece of machinery. Two, two, two, two. One fifty, one fifty, one fifty."
Darren looked around in disbelief. No one was bidding. What was wrong? The auctioneer gave one more try.
"I've got a one hundred dollar bid. Do I hear one twenty five? One twenty five, one twenty five, one twenty five, " the auctioneer questioned.
No response came from the crowd.
The auctioneer broke the silence by saying, "Well, I guess I'm just going to have to sell her to this young fella here for one hundred dollars. Going once, going twice, sold to our one hundred dollar bidder. Your number please?"
Darren held up his number, 01. It was recorded by the auctioneers assistant.
"You've got yourself a ..........


Hopefully I get this published and you can hear why no one was bidding.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Dad has won the Lottery.

     Well not the lottery that gives you lots of money but the one that gives you life. Dad is eighty five years old and is living a relatively pain free life in his own little house. He has family around him that take care of his every whim and wish. Since he moved to Drayton a few years ago his life has changed for the better. Dad has a social life that he diligently takes care of ; Coffee at the "Crest" every Tuesday and Thursday, Fellowship on Sunday at a tiny old Anglican Church (Does not even have plumbing). He seems happy and content. What more could you wish for in life. To make it to eighty five with your health and dignity intact. Family and friends that care about you.  Many people are not that lucky.


Rosemary & Dad - July 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Excerpt from my novel

This is one of the chapters I've written for my novel...my seat-of-the-pants novel! Not sure where in the story this will be but it will be somewhere! Thanks for indulging me!

**********

Brent watched Taylor throughout the entire funeral. She looked like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. In a sense, she did. Her whole world was about to change. Colin may not have been the best husband but he was a big part of their lives.

As the congregation filed out to the reception, the family went off to the graveyard to say their last good-byes. Taylor came up to Brent with an earnest look in her eyes.

"Brent, please come with us. You are practically family. Please?" She touched his arm. Her eyes looked particularly green today. Maybe because she had been crying for the last few days. Brent met her gaze. Her black, conservative dress hugged her petite frame.

"Of course I'll come along. I'll go grab my truck." Brent dug into his pants pocket for his keys.

"No need. Just come in the limo with us. There's lots of room", Taylor insisted. She turned to go. Brent put his hand in hers. She didn't pull away.

The sun shone as a true irony of the day. Brent was glad he had left his jacket at home. He certainly didn't need it as he walked hand in hand with Taylor. This was where he always wanted to be. But as they got closer to the car, Taylor let go to get in. He silently chastised himself for enjoying their connection. This woman lost her husband; her children lost their father; their squad lost an officer. Now was the time to say good-bye.

Taylor got into the car first, with Brent following her. Calleigh sat with her grandmother, crying on her shoulder. Reid sat quietly beside his grandfather. Taylor slid in beside Reid.

"Nana and Papa are going in their car." Taylor turned to Brent. "That's Colin's parents". He nodded an acknowledgement. Taylor continued, "And these are my parents, Abigail and Walter."

Brent leaned over to shake both of their hands.

"My condolences to you both", Brent said compassionately.

"Thank you", Walter said for both of them.

They all sat quietly for the car ride to the cemetery. As they drove, the smell of coconut wafted from Taylor's hair as Brent sat close to her. He knew he shouldn't be thinking about that but he couldn't help it.

Two things were on his mind. He lost a fellow officer and a friend, even if Colin had been a jerk the last little while. This was part of the job. Officers die every day on the job. They prepare you for this in Police College. You know going into it, it can happen. "No matter how much preparation they give you, it's still not easy", Brent thought.

The second thought he had was Taylor of course. Who was going to look after her and the kids? Was she going to move closer to her parents? He looked at the woman across from her. She sat, eyes cast down, staring at the floor of the car. She had her arm around Reid. She leaned across the seat to rub Calleigh's hand.

Brent's attention came back to the present as the car pulled to a stop. Everyone got out except Taylor and Brent. She turned to him and put her hand on Brent's knee. An electric current shot through him. His eyes met hers.

"Thank you", she said quietly. He put his hand on hers and smiled at her in response. He didn't trust his voice right now. He wanted to keep his hand on hers forever. But he pulled away as she did. Taylor climbed out of the car and Brent followed. She went up to her children and took their hands in hers.

"Let's go say good bye to Dad, okay?", she said with a quivering voice. She began to walk to the grave site but glanced back to make sure Brent was coming. He was only steps behind them.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Some Thoughts on Thoughts...

Hello all,
I thought I would do my homework assignment for this month which is posting something on this blog, so here goes...
I've been doing a lot of thinking about thinking today. It is the beginning of anything and everything ever written or done, yet how often do we really think about thinking? As writers I'm sure we all agree, before pen touches paper, or in this generation, before fingers touch keyboards we have thought about what we would like to say and how best to say it.
Where do these thoughts come from? The short answer, from life. We all have our own personal answers from that point on.
Today I have been pondering the importance of a healthy thought-life. It affects everything we do and who we are. To keep our bodies healthy we need to make wise food choices. To keep our minds healthy we also need to make wise 'food' choices. Are we caring for our minds in the same way we care for our bodies?
My train of thought was sparked by today's devotion in The Daily Bread. 1 Kings ch. 3, the story of God granting Solomon (as a child) whatever he wished for and Solomon asked for wisdom. I wonder what Solomon fed his mind to ask at such a young age for a discerning heart.
Here are some of my...

Thoughts about Thoughts...


Behind our eyes
Intricately designed
Is an infinite cell
Simply called a mind
And from it will flow
All manner of thought
Our action will show
What words do not

***

In every action
In every deed
Whether minute or mighty
Thought is its seed

***

Do we serve thought?
Or are we its master?
Thought is the forerunner
To success or disaster

***

I thought I knew a little
But with each passing year
The little bit I thought I knew
Has seemed to disappear

***

My thoughts are always more beautiful
With you in them

***

What is the measure
Of one little thought?
Coupled with action
I believe…quite a lot!

***

Who can know the power
Of the mind at all
By it man becomes great
And by it great men fall

***

The power of a man
Cannot be defined
By physical attributes
But the strength of the mind

***

Physical strength, no matter how fine
Is oft overcome by weakness of mind...

***

What are you thinking about today?

Janet Martin

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quizzical Queries

For me, preparing for Writers Unite is a lot of work, but the rewards of seeing someone 'get it' or asking questions or using something that she or he has learned is a reward that negates any toil! I really do love helping other writers. And you guys are the best!
I surely don't know everything there is to know about writing - the more I research and listen, the more I learn, too. But I am more than happy to do my part to help where I can.

  I really enjoyed this past meeting as we discussed and shared how to write a query letter. The keenness of everyone present spurred me into action.

I thought, as a bit of a resource, I would post some of the notes I shared orally. You might use it as a review or even as a bit of a checklist as you begin to write your own query letters - you can start with your homework assignment - writing a query letter to a potential publisher! Anyone who couldn't make it to the meeting but would still like to do 'their homework' get hold of me and I will send details your way!


How to Write a Query letter
What is a query letter?

A letter or email sent to an editor or agent which details an idea for a magazine, newspaper, book or other publication, along with an attempt to sell this particular idea, along with yourself as the potential writer.
You need to present your ideas as succinctly as possible so that an editor will want to read and buy your article or book.



 For articles:
Read the publication where you would like to see your article!

-         You need to read as many copies as possible of the market you wish to submit to so that you get a basic idea of the magazine's audience and the style of writing they prefer to publish

-         Many publications have internet sites now and some will send you a catalogue of their books or sample copies of their publications

-         visit your library and look through the publications which interest you. Could your article fit here?

-          Tell the editor why YOU are the one to write this article.

-         Did you just write a piece on "Cooking with APPLES?" Inform the editor of Taste of Home Magazine about your cooking expertise, your extensive APPLE knowledge, and why their audience needs this vital information from you and nobody else.

-         Tell the editor what the article is about.

-         For example, stating “I wrote an article about moms on a budget that I think your readers will really like,” is not enough information. What about the moms on a budget? Did you write about smart ways to cut costs? Maybe this piece is about how to use everyday items in unusual ways. Perhaps it’s to do with working moms who need to find ways to spend more time with their kids than on housework or maybe you are talking about being frugal or using God’s provisions wisely. Be specific.

-         This is better: Mom’s on a Budget is a step-by-step guide that shows mothers with limited income how to make sensible decisions when shopping.

-         Talk about an actual budget and make the focus needs verses wants.

-         It tells the editor what’s in store, but doesn’t give away the whole thing. The idea is to hook the editor into wanting to read your article.



For books:

-          Find out what type of books the publisher prints. Will your book fit somewhere in their most recent catalogue?

-         As with magazines, most book publishers have websites where you can get a feel for what each publisher specializes in printing.

-         Give a brief synopsis of the book.

-         Include a brief outline of what the book is about.

-         It’s a good idea to include a hook or exciting excerpt from the book.

For both books and magazines:

-          Put your contact information at the top of the letter.

-          Include the date.

-        Find out the editor's name.

-         Editors leave or change titles within the company more frequently than you may think.

-         Phone and ask if you don't know. Don't always rely on information in writer's market books - especially if they are out of date.

-         Give your writing credentials

-         This is the part of the letter that makes new writers nervous.

-         Don’t panic though — you do have writing experience. Think back on everything you’ve done. Have you had anything published online? Have you written anything for others, or a church bulletin; maybe a news release for a local event. What about letters to the editor? It is still writing. Do you belong to a writing group - local and professional? This is good information for editors to know. 

-          Include your phone number or email or blog address after your name

-          Give pertinent information the editor can use.

-         State the genre, the potential audience, and word count.

-         Include a SASE if mailing

-         visit Canada Post’s website to order your stamps prn.

-         State what enclosures are attached.

-         Proofread your letter.

-         Put the same care into the letter that you (hopefully) put into the story or article. A poorly proofed letter doesn’t bode well with editors. They may still give you a chance if there’s a minor typo or two (though preferably not in their name or the company name), but a letter filled with errors goes straight in the garbage.

-         Pay attention to their guidelines - they are not all the same.

-         For magazines: some will ask you to send a cover letter and the entire article. Others will ask that you query only — without the article.

-         For books: some may ask that you query with ten pages, or query with three chapters or send an entire book proposal

-         For both: you may find they only accept email queries and will ask you to use postal mail for the manuscript (ms), or they want both by email, or both by post mail.

-          If you aren’t sure, look in a recent copy of a writer's market (can be found or ordered from the local library) for the website (or Google the company).

-         If they state they do not accept simultaneous submissions, then send your article only to them and wait for their reply before you approach another publisher with that same article.

-         If they state they do accept simultaneous submissions, it is a good idea to let them know you’ve submitted queries elsewhere so if they really want your article or book, they’ll know to move on it right away.

-         If they tell you they won't take unagented queries, then either find an agent, or cross that publisher off the list until you have representation.


        -     If you didn't learn the editor's title (Mr. Miss, Mrs, etc), leave it out.

-         Don't refer to Kim Bell as Mr. Wright unless you know Kim is a man. Stick with what you know. "Dear Kim Bell" is a good intro in this case. If Susan Shepherd is definitely a woman, unless you know her marital status, don’t include a title then either. Mrs. Shepherd may take offense to being referred to as Miss or Ms.

-         Don't tell them you're new to this.

-  The query letter is not the place to make announcements about “who you aren’t,” and “what you can’t.”

-         Never use friends or family as proof of your abilities.
Why would they say anything but good things about your writing. They need you to feed and care for them! They know that poor reviews might mean no apple pie. Don't ever tell an editor that your mom or Aunt Martha said you are the next Farley Mowatt or William Wadsworth Longfellow!

-         Offer editors enough information that they’ll want to read what you have written.

-         Be clever but don't oversell your self, either. No bragging that you are the only one in the world that can write the article and that you are the ultimate expert on the subject. Be professional
     -         Don’t use exclamation marks, bold, or caps. These are tools of an amateur. If you feel you must make an exclamatory statement, use one exclamation mark, only.

-         Don’t query publishers you don’t know.
      -         Do your homework and never say that you don't really know their magazine. If you don't know much about their magazine the editor or publisher is likely not going to be too interested in looking at what you have to offer.
      -           Don't pretend you know the editor through a friend of a friend's friend. Editors are quite smart and don't take kindly to name dropping to any degree.
-         Don’t pester the editor. That means no hounding telephone calls or annoying emails. Check what the guidelines say about response times then add three weeks to that before you start contacting the company.
Last note:
Try to keep your query letter short and to the point. Make it neat and inviting. Make sure you have prepared a letter without grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. Remember you get one chance to make a first impression. Make it count!

Have fun!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

I know my poem has nothing to do with the Scrabble assignment. Since I have been able to make it to the meetings, I thought that I would share my latest poem.

Tricia
I have been to the other side and back.
I have learned how keep my life on track.

I have experienced dark days and teary nights.
I wanted to see heavenly lights.

I felt like letting go.
I would tell God to take my soul.

He showed me signs that
told me it wasn't my time.

I am so thankful for the
love and support that is plentiful.

I am not done with this life.
I am going hang onto it with all my might.

Listen to me God as I now say,
you can take me when I am old and grey.


Tricia

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Scrabble Words






       This is my second trip to Mumbia and I am not looking forward to the heat and lack of adequate facilities in this Indian city. I hear the zoom of the engines as we vie for airspace on this transatlantic flight. My name is A.J. Moss one of the purchasing and product managers for a Canadian aerospace company. Upper management has decided to continue it's investigation into what seems a superior brass hex nut that was used in the fighter plane "the Gnat".
       I am thumbing through a flashy magazine and see that Akon has arrived in New Delhi for a concert. His song 'I'm coming ova'(sic) is gaining ground on the Indian pop charts. I think to myself "ya suck" and toss the mag back into the pocket in the seat. Time to think. Need a plan of action and a way to get the ideas in my head in line with what the company is looking for. I slip off to sleep with visions of India seeding my dreams.    What seemed just a bit later I wake up in daze. My mind seems to be playing tricks on me. Maybe I should not have had that last gin and tonic... The pilot announces that we are preparing to land. How long did I sleep ? I get through customs and look for my regular driver Mr Mehra who was to meet me at the airport. Not seeing him there was raising the ire of my already foggy disposition.  A man in a faded jute dhoti came over to me and said he was sent by Mr Mehra to pick me up in the auto rickshaw he pointed at. I did not know what to do. My mode of travel in India at the last trip was always in a regular cab. Certainly not in one of those rough rickshaws. Do I try to call a cab or do I trust this man Amir as he called himself. I step into the auto rickshaw.       Traffic in this city is chaotic. Amir maneuvered around as best he could. All of a sudden we were side swiped by a cab ( of the like I should have been travelling in) I had a deep gash in my brow. Amir was frantic and had some of his friends take me to a healer a few blocks away. I had to duck my head to enter the door which had a tigers head carved on it. After my eye's adjusted to the dim light I looked in awe at all the beautiful Hindu art that covered the walls and ceiling.       Sitting on a stool was this old shaman with dread locked hair down to his waist. He was wearing little but a small dhoti and garlands of flowers around his neck. Amir spoke to him in his dialect and the healer whose name I found out was Buti stood and looked at my bleeding head.  After a few minutes of chanting he said he could rid me of the injury. Buti immediately started gathering an assortment of herbs powders and figs which he beat in a small tin bowl. He told me he would slather this potion on my brow with special prayers and all would be well in my life. As he worked on my brow he chanted. I left feeling much better and the gash on my head was barely visible. Amir quickly took me to the hotel where I rested as per shaman's orders. I was filled with wonder at this new old side of India that I had not experienced before.      The next day was my meeting with Rhohit Shah the CEO of the plant. I'm not sure what happened to my head yesterday but it was exploding with grand schemes and my proposal was greeted with enthusiasm. A done deal was made. The bump on the head must have helped or was it something else...    
    
1 comment8/4/11by Rosemary

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Scrabble Rousers!

What a great meeting, once again. A group of us - a bit of a motley crew, but we are loveable - met to affirm and encourage each other as writers. Hopefully everyone who came had a super time and we sure did miss our absent friends. We are slowly growing (welcome new members - Barbara, Caroline & Bev)and some are getting braver about sharing their work and pushing toward publication! Hooray...

So the highlight of this past meeting was to listen to the fabulous creations of our Scrabble Rousers! Just to give a brief background - those who were at the June meeting played Scrabble. The resulting words were to be used in a story / song / poem / or in another creative manner and were then to be shared at the next meeting. I think we all enjoyed hearing what everyone had to offer. We are encouraging all Scrabble Rousers to post their creations here. Thanks Janet for starting us off (and thanks for including the list of words after your story!)  Here's my offering:

"That Kind of a Girl"
                                                                               by Glynis M. Belec

It wouldn’t be the first time my crazy ideas got me into trouble. I thought perhaps if I were to get rid of the gray hair, slather on some Oil of Olay Perfect Skin Moisturizing makeup and don a pair of my old faded jeans, then I might just beat her at her own game.

I was barely fifty years old and I wasn’t that type of girl – mind, body or spirit. Besides I was not ready for this. I was able to zoom through any given day and daze the daylights out of anyone who crossed my path. My busyness validated my existence.

“Slow down!” my friends used to say. I guess they were in awe at my ability to leap tall buildings and plan my moments. Some told me that the way I worked if I would go mining for ore I would likely hit gold. I liked that. It gave me a sense of purpose!

But on that particular day, I heard she was coming and I was ready.

“Vie for my spot as lady of the hour, would you? I don’t think so, darling.” 

My ire was in stark contrast to her calm presence, though, and it started to bother me a bit. My mind raced as if twenty tigers were in hot pursuit. What could I say? What should I do? I considered putting a hex on the whole thing but then I remembered that that would not be the Christian thing to do!

I mopped my sweaty brow, rubbing away some of the Oil of Olay mud. I looked at my hands. They felt like mushy figs.

Everyone stood there, just staring at this new kid on the block.  I might as well have been wearing a jute smock…I guess my once girlish figure seemed to suddenly swell into ripples resembling a spare tire or two.

What was I thinking? Who was I kidding?

“Ya’ [sic] know,” I said sheepishly to anyone who cared to pay me any attention, “I guess my gig is up. I’m not fooling anyone with this fa├žade, am I?” I felt like an insignificant gnat.

Then someone touched my shoulder. He was a handsome one, even if he did spit out a pistachio nut shell before speaking to me.

“Hard to believe out of all her ova, God selected the perfect one.”

I looked at him. He seemed sympathetic and gently ignored my kooky attempts at covering up the real me.

“Yes,” he continued, “the fine art of life is not in our hands.”  He pointed to the little bundle.

I stared at the child. She tried to suck her tiny, perfect finger. I was done. I suddenly realized that getting older was just part of life. Gray hair is a sign of wisdom. Wrinkles are laugh lines. Something was seeding my senses.

It was as if moss had been fogging up my vision. My brain cleared and I started to slip into the role that I was destined to be.

This precious little child was my healer. At fifty years of age, it turns out that I was that kind of girl, after all. Grandmother – mind, body, and now…in spirit!



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Scrabble Words...

My ideas are done…
I gaze in awe at the setting sun
Like faded tigers sprawled across the west
I slip my plan to He who knows me best

Life can suck the dreamer dry
I had a bit of dream once, in my eye
Beat the drum low, with gathered brow
Dreams are the ire of dust, ya’ know…

But He who plants the hills with ore
And paints His art across earth’s shore
His way is perfect, pure and just
He sees our dreams slather the dust

His art now tints nut tree and moss
It glows with crimson, like the Cross
Where we can rid ourselves of guilt
Because of perfect blood He spilt…

His way is upright and astute
He bends the will of iron or jute
I grasp His love in humble daze
A gnat cannot escape His gaze

The ova of the devil’s hex
Seeks to torment me and vex
Me with the seeding of a lie
Good and evil seem to vie…

…for fruit upon my trembling lips
Can a thistle tree bear figs?
Clouds of dark fore-boding zoom
To sic their evil lies of doom

But then I lift my tortured eyes
To the Painter of the skies
His glory bathes a sin-cursed land
The Healer stretches forth His Hand…

Janet

Here is a list of required words to use..
1. faded
2. awe
3. daze
4. zoom
5. my
6. done
7. ideas
8. hex
9. slip
10. figs
11. vie
12. slather
13. it
14. healer
15. seeding
16. rid
17. bit
18. beat
19. tigers
20. sic
21. ire
22. plan
23. just
24. jute
25. ore
26. to
27. moss
28. ova
29. ya
30. suck
31. know
32. brow
33. gnat
34. art
35. nut

If anyone reading here is interested in joining, check it out!!! Our next meeting is at the Studio Factor in Drayton on Sept. 9.There's is just one thing you need to be there....yourself!...oh, and one more thing about us...we are having WAY too much fun:)) Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meeting Tonight

Just a Reminder...

Tonight is our "Scrabble Night"!
Come out to share your talents and play a little scrabble! 
But there's a twist! (There's always a twist!
You'll have to come out to see what the twist it!


When:  7:30pm
Where:  Studio Factor

See you there!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finding Your Voice in a Noisy World

(Notes adapted from my presentation at our April 8th Writer's Unite Meeting at The Studio Factor by Glynis M. Belec)



 
What do we mean when we say a writer has a distinct voice? What does it mean to have a voice when you write?


You already have a voice. It's beautiful, it's unique and it is distinctly yours. If someone reads your book or article or poetry, or hears your song, and recognizes who wrote it, often it is because of your distinct voice.

Because you already have your own voice, your task is to bring it to the forefront and be who you are.

Enjoying someone’s style and being inspired by the voice of another writer is a good thing, but we should never try to copy. It just doesn’t work.

I like Erma Bombeck – I read her work a lot and I found that my most comfortable style was similar to hers. I call her voice - comfortable and inviting.
 I also like E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web - I call his writing gentle, descriptive writing.
 I call Robert Munsch’s – dramatic, loud writing.
There  are so many different voices in writing. Remember we spoke about Louis L’Amour - the western writer? Think how his voice is vastly different than Stephen King's.
Emily Post, if you remember, has more old style, refined writing.
Remember Ann Voskamp’s new book – 1000 Gifts? She is a vulnerable and generous writer. Her voice implores the reader to share her pain and her purpose.

Style and voice are important when writing. They both help define you as a writer and they set you apart from other authors.
Beginning writers don’t necessarily have a  defined voice when first starting out.

Here are some ideas and suggestions for discovering the difference between Voice and Style and ways to find your Voice and define your Style:

-         Write for a while – hard work and self-discovery – in my case lots of prayer, too! God what do you want me to do with my writing?

-         Voice is born from a lot of words and a lot of work – rejection, refining, rewriting = reward!

       “The voice is the cadence and lyricism with which you narrate and write dialogue, particularly when it comes to speaking through the eyes of a particular character.”

-          voice is the word choice and method of speaking and thinking as demonstrated by characters

-         style is when you are talking about the way in which he writes his books
-         Style is watching your use of adjectives and doing a few flashy things with alliteration.

-         Style without voice is hollow
-         Voice is style, plus theme, plus personal observations, plus passion, plus belief, plus desire

-         For example, do you write in short, concise paragraphs or long, wordy sentences?

-         Do you use multiple viewpoints in creative writing or just one? A writer's style can be characterized by something as seemingly insignificant as punctuation or as obvious as point of view, but each writer's voice is unique.

-         “Voice is bleeding onto the page, and it can be a powerful, frightening, naked experience…”

- Voice = what the reader hears
- Style = what the reader sees
-         both style and voice come naturally to some creative writers
-         other times, it has to be developed

Publishers are always looking for fresh voices and styles that speak to the reader and set the book apart
What do we think about when we think of Agatha Christie for example? Jane Goodall? The Junie B. Jones series? Veggie Tales? Amelia Bedelia? O Henry? 

Nowadays we not only need to sell our books we need to sell ourselves as writers – doesn’t mean selling our soul to the devil or compromising. Rather it means you are selling your unique perspective on life, your own beliefs, fears, hopes and dreams, your memories of childhood tribulation and triumphs and adult achievements and failures . . . your universe

This all comes out in your voice
Anybody can sit down and write a story or a book
-         Just means applying derriere to chair and typing out three or four or ten pages a day until the thing is done
-         not every book is saleable
-          not every saleable book will find an audience
-         not every book that finds an audience will be able to bring the readers back for more of what you are saying or selling.
-         You do that by offering readers something they can't get anywhere else
-         What is that?   YOU!
-         When you develop your voice you are putting yourself on the page
-         How Do We Develop Our Voice?
A) Read!
-         You cannot be a successful writer if you don't read.
-         All writers read, and all good writers read a lot.
-         Read fiction, nonfiction, read in the genre you love, read outside of it.
-         Read WAY outside of it. (I have trouble here)
-         The more you read, the more you will acquire instinct about what works for you,
-         and an equally compelling instinct for what doesn't
-         discover how stories are put together
-         get a feel for how good novels are paced and plotted and how bad ones fall apart
-         start developing a hunger to write specific stories, because you'll come across areas where nobody is writing the kind of books you want to read.
B.   Write everything.
-         Try your hand at non-fiction
-          Write romantic scenes
-         Put together a western character and run him through a fight scenario
-         Try fantasy
-         try SF
-          try romance
-         write a sonnet, and some haiku, and a few limericks.
-         Remember the first rule of writing: Nothing you write is wasted.
-         you will have learned from the experience even though it isn’t sent out or used anywhere
-          You might produce your first saleable work completely outside of your previous area of specialization.
C)   Play games
-         Make endless lists or get hold of a book or online that has story starters and play around with them.
-         Change the endings of some of your favourite books
-         Use a ‘what if’ component
-         Story webs or target writing
-         Scrabble game
-         When you're first looking for your voice, you need to experiment a little
-         Some of what you write might not be too good.
-         Some of it will shock you with how good you really are and how well you can write
-          But the only way you'll get any of the good stuff is if you allow yourself to put whatever comes into your head down on the page without worrying about marketing your work right away
-         Some people need to have the internal editor switched on (I know I do)
-    Others will find they like to free write and edit later
-         Write from passion
-         If you don't care about the things you're writing about, you will never discover your true voice
-         Your voice does not exist when you're trying to write a book in a genre you don’t like
-         Quick money won’t happen here
-         Voice doesn’t happen or exist in the thin and cheap places of your heart or the shallow end of your soul
-         Voice lives in the deep waters and the dark places of your soul,
-         will only venture out when you make sure you've given it space to move and room to breathe
-         complacency is your worst enemy
-         plodding along without thinking or challenging yourself
-    Think about things that you have read and why they moved you, touched you, made you laugh, made you cry - changed your life
-         You are probably thinking about the voice of the writer  
- Now it's your turn...go find your voice!