Writers and readers alike, for times we’d like to look into our histories, author Margaret Lossi offers tips for how to get started. My two novels are works-in-progresses! Lossi says that when it comes to looking up one’s family background, be prepared for surprises…
The Family Tree
Warning: family history can lead to emotional discoveries.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but you begin at the end! That is, you begin with you.
Check your birth certificate, verify your parents. It may seem like a given, but just sometimes people find they are adopted, or their mum is really their grandma. It pays to check.
Check your parents birth certificates, to verify your grandparents. Then work your way back through the generations, verifying birth certificates.
These first steps build the strong foundation of your family tree, so worth doing well.
It is not a case of how far back you can go, but the quality of your data
You may wish to answer a family question. I knew my parents were second cousins, so wanted to find out about this link. Set yourself a goal to work towards. Whatever your motivation, make sure you verify each…
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The story of how author Geoffrey Simpson, who just released “The Three Hares,” got his first book published — in his own words…
On a gloomy January morning, the air was heavy and uninspired. I read an article about ancient symbols—a distraction from those about politics, rife with propaganda. One symbol, with three rabbits chasing one another in an infinite circle, struck a chord. A whirlwind flooded my conscience.
Although I’ve never written before, a few story ideas were tucked away for a rainy day. That same morning, I began to plot. That same gloomy day was the beginning of an adventurous journey to becoming an author.
Three months later, manuscript in hand and an intent to self-publish, an author friend of the family strongly encouraged me to find an editor. I hadn’t planned on investing in this project, but I also never expected to write a novel.
As an author, I’ve transitioned through two distinct phases. There was pre-Janet, and post-Janet. As you probably assumed, Janet Fix, owner of thewordverve inc., agreed to become my editor, mentor, and inspirer.
With a polished manuscript and newfound confidence, I changed course from self-publishing and sought an agent. A thrilling adventure began, but as the queries went out, the feedback was unanimous. “Unfortunately, I’m not the right agent for this project.” Not a single manuscript request came forth.
Discouraged and circling back toward self-publishing, I spoke to Janet the Inspirer. She, who wasn’t just an editor, was transitioning her business from hybrid to traditional publishing, asked me to join Team Verve.
Twelve months after that gloomy January morning, Janet became my publisher, and there’s no looking back. Today, Janet is editing the sequel to The Three Hares, and I am writing the third installment of this five-book YA adventure/mystery series. It is this partnership/friendship which has made all the difference.
I’ve got two novels I’m writing. What are your experiences with traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?
Love + Compulsion… From as far back as I can remember, I had to learn to read! Once I started, I’ve never stopped. Now I’m writing two novels! Was Orang-utan Librarian reading over my shoulder?…
Hello again!! Yes, I’m actually posting twice in a week- you’re not seeing things! Oh you thought you’d seen the last of me for this month? Well sorry to disappoint 😉 I wanted to do a great “here’s what I’ve been reading this summer guys!” post- but let’s be real, I’ve not actually been doing much reading. Instead, I thought I’d give you an idea of what I’ve been reading/to give myself an idea of what I *should* be reading.
Labels on food packets– ermmm yeah this is one of the things I’m actually reading at the moment- to be fair, it’s helping me practice another language, so it’s not cos I’ve become a food nut and I’m not totally weird (okay I am a little weird but you knew that already 😉 )
Road signs– same reason as above- it’s practice! (also directions probably count here, but…
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When nowhere seems safe, blogger Born in Providence invites us to find shelter on her Island of Sanctuary…
Don’t show them your drawing
They’ll find the mistakes, compare it to what’s already on the fridge or that Picasso we saw on the field trip last year. Third grade is no excuse; third degree.
Don’t ask them how you look
They’ll find the bump in your pony, the hole in your sock which is already inside your shoe, which are too tight and have a scuff. They’ll see that too. You look tired. Did you even brush your teeth?
Don’t tell them you’re hungry or full
They’ll decide you’re too big, small, selfish, greedy, a bottomless pit, picky. Comparing your plate to everyone with more or less deserving than you, making it impossible to taste or swallow past the lump in your throat.
Don’t offer your opinion even when they ask
They’ll decide their ideas, experiences, thoughts and preferences are superior while simultaneously highlighting why everything that comes out…
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Ever heard of geezer-lit? I hadn’t until geezer-lit author Mike Befeler recently spoke at my local public library. He’s an entertaining speaker — plus he writes clever geezer-lit mysteries!…
My writing journey began in 2001 when I was 56 years old. I made the decision that I wanted to retire into writing and took two fiction writing courses at the University of Colorado to jump-start my writing. My first mystery novel, Retirement Homes Are Murder, was published in 2007. There are now six books in this series featuring Paul Jacobson, an octogenarian with short-term memory loss who, in spite of not remembering the day before, becomes an amateur sleuth and even has a romance with a young chick in her seventies.
I enjoy showing a balanced view of the aging process—problems but also the humor and vitality exhibited by older people.
As an author, I get a kick out of some of the emails I receive from readers. Here is one of my favorites: “I have read your books and enjoyed them immensely, but even more fun was listening to my husband read them. He snorted, chuckled and guffawed his way through then. And the idea of geezer-lit tickled the bejabbers out of him.”
I started using the term geezer-lit after my author friend, Christine Goff, gave me this blurb for Retirement Homes Are Murder: “a wonderful debut novel–a fitting entry in the burgeoning field of geezer-lit.”
The majority of my fourteen published books feature older characters. I used to say I was a geezer in training, but I’m now of an age where I may need to eliminate the “in training.”
About the author: Two of Mike Befeler’s books in the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series were finalists for The Lefty Award for best humorous mystery. Other books include a theater mystery, a historical mystery, a sports mystery, two paranormal mysteries, an international thriller based on inventions of eccentric genius Nikola Tesla and a biography of a World War II soldier. Mike lives in Lakewood, CA, with his wife and when not writing can be seen taking his grandson to the park.
Live long enough, and we’re bound to encounter challenges. With the help of a friend, Debbie Centeno (who runs this blog and this blog) uses her grief to help others…
I never knew how much a person could grow to love their pet. I wasn’t raised with pets, other than fish in a tank. And, there’s no way you can take them out of the tank to play, pet or cuddle. I just loved my aquarium but in a materialistic way. As an adult, I didn’t think about getting a pet since I was quite busy with three children. But, after my oldest son passed away, and my two other children were no longer small kids, my daughter convinced me to get a dog. So we opted for a rescue.
I made a few calls to see what dogs were available to adopt. We found a place that had a mama dog who had recently given birth to seven puppies – six female and one male. The male was the runt and was rejected by his mama, but I wanted a female. That was until we met the little guy, of course. All puppies were side by side sleeping on their tummies, except the little runt who was sleeping on his back almost on top of his sisters. He was much smaller than the others. When I saw him – well, I don’t know what I felt, but I just had to have him, so the volunteer picked him up and placed him in my arms, and that was it. I was in love. I handed him to my husband, and he felt the same way. So off we were with a 5-week old 2-pound Chihuahua/Dachshund mix. We named him Chewy, and it suits him well.
Chewy is now 6-years old and 20 lbs. I can’t imagine life without him and don’t regret having followed my daughter’s advice. He is the most loving, spoiled brat ever who stole our hearts. I know he’s not human, but for me, he’s my baby.