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Worth Sharing

I love listening to NPR. They have some of the most interesting shows and interviews. During one particular broadcast of All Things Considered, the reporter filed a story on The American Scholars’ pick of the Ten Best Sentences. These are sentences in fiction and nonfiction books that made the editors at The American Scholar pause and marvel at the beauty of words. I think their picks are remarkable and worth sharing. So if you’d like to read some beautiful words and sentences, if you’re ready for your heart to race and for the world to be righted, click here.

Until next time…to the best of life, to the best of living.

Naming Rights Contest

In April 2013, the Naming Rights contest kicked off. This was a contest aimed at securing book reviews for Fuller’s Curse. In exchange for a written review published on any book review site, one lucky reviewer would win the opportunity to work with me to name a future character(s).

The contest dates ranged from April 23 to October 23 (six months) with the winner announced on October 28. Well folks, today is that day so drumroll please….

Elizabeth Klein

…you are the winner!

I’ll be contacting Elizabeth soon to discuss one character in Trémont’s Curse (book two of the Curse series). After our initial conversation, she’ll receive a character analysis sheet and then the fun part for her begins–coming up with names for consideration. We’ll decide on a final name together and then everybody joins in by reading Trémont’s Curse…and guessing which name Elizabeth contributed.

For everyone else who submitted reviews, I can’t thank you enough for your time and effort. I enjoy reading your reviews (yes, I’ve read them several times) on Amazon and Goodreads; they really warm my heart and propel me to keep striving.

Some of you may be wondering why I focused on book reviews for this contest. It’s because book reviews have replaced hand-to-mouth sales (or maybe it’s mouth-to-hand sales, I have already forgotten). If you recall the old days when independent bookstores graced neighborhoods, the sales associates in those stores sold books via hand-to-mouth. Meaning, they would actually put a book in the customer’s hand and talk the book up. Unfortunately, with independent or small bookstores being squeezed out by conglomerates and e-tailers, hand-to-mouth is being replaced by book reviews. Hence, my focus on obtaining book reviews. As is the focus for most authors.

So again, I thank you all, and I believe your reviews helped Fuller’s Curse land in the featured spot on Amazon’s Literature & Fiction bookshelf on October 22.

Sending love and light to all…

Freedom to Read/Write Day

At one time in this country, it was illegal for slaves to read or write. Anyone caught teaching a slave to do so was punished, and the slave too. Punishment ranged from a whipping to dismemberment to death.

As a descendant of slaves, I thank God those laws were overturned. I can’t imagine my life without books or paper (okay, a PC and Word); just thinking the thought makes me ill.

So to celebrate the freedom to read and write, I will observe “Freedom to Read/Write Day” on Thursday, July 4th. I hope you will join me in the celebration by downloading my latest ebook, Fuller’s Curse.

Fullers Curse Front Cover Promo

It will be available for FREE all day on the Fourth of July at Amazon.com. As you’re reading my book (or any book for that matter), I hope you will spare a prayer for those who are still prohibited from learning to read or write. Yes, in this day and age, degrading laws and customs still exist.

Don’t forget…download (to Kindle, PC, or SmartPhone via the Kindle app) Fuller’s Curse for free on July 4th, and enjoy the freedom and pleasure of reading.

Happy “Freedom to Read/Write Day”!

Compulsively Writing More Fiction 2012 by Author, Kate Policani

I am so happy to feature fellow Discover Authors writer, Kate Policani!

Discover Authors Logo

Kate’s book…
Kate Policani Book Cover

…is now FREE!

Kate Policani has compiled and ordered her useful blog posts from 2012. Kate writes her blog to promote her self-published books and to journal her path through self-publishing. Her experiences can help you to achieve your dream of publishing your book, whether you choose to self-publish, publish traditionally, or just write for your own enjoyment. Kate Policani is a homemaker and compulsive writer from Seattle who writes Fantasy and Science Fiction. She also writes a column for the Seattle Writing Examiner.

Download on Smashwords (all ebook formats)

Download on iTunes

Download on Kobo

Download on Nook

Free PDF Download (from Kate’s website)

Add this one to your library; it’s a must have.

Women’s History Month – Sean’s Influence

I’m sad to see the end of Women’s History Month. I’ve learned so much this month about women writers (my focus for the month) and the influence they have had on many. My prayer is that we, women continue to shape and evolve this world in a way that brings truth and balance, front and center to all lives. So, as Women’s History Month comes to a close, enjoy this last commentary from writer, author Sean Wright as she shares her thoughts on the woman writer who influenced her.

Sean Wright

My first love was books, not boys—even before I could really read. I recall sitting in a sunbeam as a girl with a stack of books, enraptured yet simultaneously relaxed by the effect of the written word; they “say” something–without voice. Wow! I was hooked.

Once I learned to read, I dived right in–deeply. There were Ramona and Encyclopedia Brown books, poetry by Shel Silverstein. I even attempted to contribute to the writing craft with a story of my own at eight, about a girl who finds a strawberry in the woods the size of a Volkswagen. Years passed and I didn’t stop prowling the library, searching for the next adventure on pages. Heck, the library even rewarded me with a hot fudge sundae for my patronage and no late fines in sixth grade.

I stayed a voracious reader until one author changed my life at thirteen, calling me to write: Toni Morrison. My mother belonged to a book club and one of their books was The Bluest Eye. My mother let me read it and I was mesmerized. Ms. Morrison is a literary genius. She takes risks in her stories that seem impossible but makes them work. Her writing style is clever and beautiful. Ms. Morrison can make themes as ugly as slavery, incest and racism sound almost lyrical, poetic. You catch her drift in a way that haunts you—forever. And I wanted to do that, too: tell stories that had the staying power of a stubborn stain.

I wrote articles for some small papers and magazines but kept at my creative writing, amassing a fine collection of rejection letters—enough to wallpaper my house—but kept going. After what seemed like endless rejections and revisions, I got a short story published; thirty years after I wrote the gigantic strawberry story! The following year, an essay I wrote to Glamour magazine was selected to be made into a short, online film that an actress directed. I got another short story published last year and am working on a novel.

There were other female writers that tickled my fancy as well—Alice Walker and Terry McMillan—but Toni Morrison blew the dust off my senses, off my writing skills. I still have the same copy of The Bluest Eye. The cover is faded. Chunks of pages have separated from the binding and I’ve had to put tape on the spine to hold it together. People see it, grimace and ask, “Why don’t you buy an updated copy of that book?” The answer is simple: because I don’t want one. My battered copy of The Bluest Eye is my icon for my calling as a writer. Happy reading and writing, my friends.

Sean C. Wright is native to Dallas, TX, and earned a degree in English from University of North Texas. She is the author of the short stories Hazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. For more information about Sean, visit http://www.iwrightaway.com and her blog: http://www.seanarchy.wordpress.com.

Women’s History Month – Simone’s Influence

Simone da Costa
Simone da Costa
Creative Writer, Author, and Journalist

When Ann first asked me to be a part of an initiative she was concocting, a big smile swept across my face and lingered there for several seconds. Little did she know that I was elated at the thought of being considered for her project, an undertaking to recognize women writers as it is Women’s History Month in America.

There are a few great women writers who have helped influence my writing style, ones such as Mary Monroe, Philippa Gregory and Jane Austen, but mostly American novelist, editor and professor, Chloe Anthony Wofford who goes by the pen name of Toni Morrison.

I first came across Ms. Morrison’s epic work, The Bluest Eye let’s say in my late high school years, long ago. My first thought was wow, such rich detail of her characters and the brazen realism so meticulously ironed out. I speculate that Ms. Morrison purposely did not want to leave anything out. She had a story to tell and she would be damned if she did not tell it the way she saw fitting and she did just that.

With reading just a few words from her books she held my gaze, captured my eyes, moving from side–to-side, scurrying to get to the next page while my willing fingers worked in partnership with my eyes that somehow said to them, “Hurry, turn the page.” Her off-putting words commanded my attention; I became defenseless and I had to read on. I kept reading, though at times I might have tried to stop. Unaware of the grasp her words had, that her words had already won me over, I did not even know it until my scampering eyes told my willing fingers again to, “Hurry, turn the page” until I finished the book.

As a young writer, I am always growing and learning, and over the years I have come into my own style of inscription in that I believe in not only creating a good story for entertainment or amusement purposes, but also to unmask its true essence and make it believable. Whether it is fiction, non-fiction, romance or literature, I want to create and capture a world like no other.

Ms. Morrison has helped to shape my writing style because she has an innate boldness to stylistically write without fear, a fearlessness that surpasses all writing boundaries and communication barriers that some writers may be too weak or too afraid to try. Ms. Morrison has said, “I am sometimes frightened of what I write, but I can’t look away. I will not look away. That’s the one place where I’m going to, you know, make eye contact. It’s a free place for me. It’s not always safe, but that’s the one place where all my little vulnerabilities, and cowardice, cannot come to the surface.” http://www.empirezine.com. So, you see, if the stroke of Ms. Morrison’s pen can inscribe with such spirit, I one day hope to be able to do the same, of course in my own way.

The Bluest Eye
A Novel by Toni Morrison

Women’s History Month – Pari’s Influence

This month during Women’s History Month, I asked Pari Danian, my dear, multi-talented friend, what woman writer influenced her. Below is Pari’s response. I have to admit that I am not surprised by Pari’s selection of Oriana Fallaci. Pari, like Ms. Fallaci is a powerful, gifted artist who is fearless in executing her craft. Read on…you’ll be amazed and inspired!

Pari Danian
Pari Danian – Writer, Sculptor, Poet, Photographer, and More
www.sculptressart.com

“I sat at the typewriter for the first time and fell in love with the words that emerged like drops, one by one, and remained on the white sheet of paper … every drop became something that if spoken would have flown away, but on the sheets as words, became solidified, whether they were good or bad.” Oriana Fallaci, Journalist, Author, 1930 – 2006

These words by Oriana Fallaci inspired me to express myself through the art of literature. They lifted my doubts and I no longer hesitated to write what I thought.

Her journalistic compelling conviction to uncover the truth sparked my passion to seek the truth of my world within and display that in my naked words.

Oriana Fallaci began her career in journalism during her teens, becoming a special correspondent for the Italian paper Il Mattino dell’Italia Centrale in 1946. During the next few decades, she covered many wars starting with Vietnam, the Indo-Pakistani War, the Middle East, and South America.

She raised the flags of democracy higher by exposing conspiracies. Her stories cast light on humanity around the globe, stories that otherwise would have never been heard. They changed the way we viewed the world and opened our eyes with intelligent information.

She was one of a handful of women who interviewed Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. During this interview she addressed him as a “tyrant” and managed to unveil herself from the “chador” she had to wear on her head in order to be in the Khomeini’s presence.

“OF- I still have to ask you a lot of things. About the “chador,” for example, which I was obliged to wear to come and interview you, and which you impose on Iranian women. I am not only referring to the dress but to what it represents, I mean the apartheid Iranian women have been forced into after the revolution. They cannot study at the university with men, they cannot work with men, they cannot swim in the sea or in a swimming-pool with men. They have to do everything separately, wearing their “chador.” By the way, how can you swim wearing a “chador”?
AK- None of this concerns you, our customs do not concern you. If you don’t like the Islamic dress you are not obliged to wear it, since it is for young women and respectable ladies.
OF- This is very kind of you, Imam, since you tell me that, I’m going to immediately rid myself of this stupid medieval rag. There!”

Oriana Fallaci was the most influential journalist of the twentieth century. Her incisive insight is what everyone benefits from through the body of her work that includes “Letter to a Child Never Born,” “A Man,” “Interviews with History and Conversations with Power,” and “Inshallah.”

Oriana Fallaci

Inshallah